Picking my talents 2 of 2.
This time, I work the holy tree, from the bottom up. Again, stream of consciouness (sorta) so lots and lots of words. Which means I’m inserting this break – click if you want to follow me up the holy tree and into a final review.
I’ve discussed the bottom tier before, so without further ado: Healing focus 2/2 and Improved Renew 3/3. Holy Spec tempts, and when I do my review I may try to pick up some of it. But I plan with sustained reliability in mind. And “counting” on criticals is bad for that model as those tend to be overheals — unless I can boost my crits to a realistically high level like, oh, around 40%. Which is doable if I build and gear that way. But for that, the negative consequence is that half the time the heal is too low. Decisions, decisions – I choose reliability.
Second tier. Spell warding and divine fury. Sigh. When in an instance, the mobs most likely to aggro on me are the spellcasters. It’s simple, really. Unless my tank and killteam have prioritized the casters high (my recommendation but not common), the tank’s not usually close enough to threaten them – on the pull, they stop short so they can cast at range. Which means that there’s nothing balancing my healing threat. Which means…. ouch. Divine fury, on the other hand, is useful for ‘only’ one spell as a healpriest. It will reduce my cast time for Greater Heal by half a second – an eternity in an instance. (It’s also a prerequisite for searing light, which since I’m not going for damage is immaterial to me.) I know the team with which I’m going to be working, however, and casters are very choice tidbits for them. So for now, only five in Divine Fury.
Tier three… I know priests who love all these talents. I’m not one, though I admit they’re tempting. There’s Holy Nova – a sucky damage spell, a poor excuse of a healspell, it offers two advantages: zero threat, and it’s the only AoE available to a priest. These are not insignificant, but for my use they’re poor trades for the talents. Then there’s Blessed Recovery. Three points here and I get a nifty benefit — if hit by a crit (nonspell), I self-heal 25% of the damage. That can be a lifesaver. If, that is, I get hit by a crit. Non-crits won’t help. In PVP crits are frequent. In PVE they’re a lot less common. Maybe… Finally, there is Inspiration. max of three points, and it cues off MY critical heals. After a critical heal, the target gets 25% increase in armor for 15 seconds. The issue is, well, see my discussion about Holy Spec. Actually, if I decide to go with this it pairs nicely with Holy Spec.
Since this is Stream of Consciousness again, I’m cheating. There are some considerations a bit higher. Just… I have to put five points here or below to go on, so that’s fifteen of 38 to this point.
And so tier 4. Holy Reach, Searing Light, and Improved Healing. I’ve already dismissed Searing Light for this build – it’s purely offensive. Holy reach… I’ll rarely use Holy Fire and Smite – if I did, the extra 20% to range would be extremely useful. I already dismissed Holy Nova, and Circle of Healing is out of reach. So this affects one and only one spell – Prayer of Healing (and not Prayer of Mending). PoH is popular with some priests – an AoE spell with quite good return on mana (provided it’s healing more than a couple of players). Oh, it’s also about the best spell priests have in terms of Heals per Second (Hps) — if you’ve gotta have a lot now it’s better than flash heal. However, it’s a nasty bite of threat, and you’re still healing group instead of the tank. In my eyes, its only applicable in Boss AoE situations, and in that case the extra 6 yards just isn’t worth the two talent points.
But this tier includes improved healing. 15% reduction (with three points) to the mana cost of my two main healing spells — flash heal and greater heal. (I’m not good enough to effectively intertwine heal in the middle of that, but it pays that one as well.) For a priest, the 5 second waltz is all about mana management. And improving mana efficiency of the most frequently used spells is a big winner. Three points.
hmmm. I’ve got five points unspent from the third tier, and two more unspent from here. I begin to see an opportunity. But let’s go on, knowing I’ve spent 20 altogether at this point.
Tier five. The heartbreaker tier of the holy tree. Let me gaze longingly on all three of my choices: Healing Prayers; Spirit of Redemption; and Spiritual Guidance. The only – ONLY – saving grace is that the first two only eat three points maximum. sigh.
Healing Prayers. Remember why I chose Improved Healing? Mana efficiency. This one’s also about mana efficiency. The downside is that it’s only applicable to two spells – prayer of healing and prayer of mending. The first I’ve already mentioned somewhat disparagingly, though this helps a lot. But the second is another mainstay – the frisbee of healing. I’m not going into it in depth. The frisbee is mana efficient already – pretty good even if it only heals one person – and with renew is a spell that gets thrown out constantly. The fact that threat from it goes to the recipient instead of the caster is a bonus (here, tank, have some more threat). A 20% reduction in mana makes it nicer – 800 points healed for 312 mana. Gear applies, but it doesn’t crit. Two points max, 10% per bump.
Spirit of Redemption, aka Improved Death. The ultimate “Oh Crap” button. If you die, you get 15 seconds during which you can cast any spell not on cooldown for zero mana cost. The naysayers will tell you it tempts your party to let you die. Me, I know that the party is going to work really hard not to see the angel of life. In 15 seconds I can toss a renew and a frisbee and spam a small handful of prayers of healing (who cares about threat in THIS case – and it may be the only reason for reconsidering the increased range). This one’s getting picked regardless.
And, of course, spiritual guidance. Up to 25% of your spirit gets applies as +spellpower to damage and healing. That’s on top of the bonus from Improved Divine Spirit — 35% for me if I take it all. But all means I cut points higher up the tree.
I’ve spent one for sure, I’ve got four more to spend here – maybe more. Let’s go on, knowing 25 are down and I’ve 13 more to go.
Tier six is a lot easier on my nerves. Surge of light is an excellent choice for attackers, and worthless for healers. Spiritual Healing is the reverse. Five points (tentatively) to add 10% to ALL my healing spells. 30 down, 8 to go.
Tier seven has three choices: Holy Concentration; Lightwell; and Blessed Resilience.
Let’s eliminate Blessed Resilience first. Oh, it’s another great talent. If you’re critically hit, there’s a 60% chance you’ll be immune to more critical hits for 6 seconds. In PVP this is a big deal. And if/when I get higher in Kara and beyond, well, rumor says some of the bosses there are big critical hitters as well – in which case I may revisit all the crit-reduction talents. But for where I am right now, no thank you.
Then there’s Holy Concentration. With three talent points there’s a six percent chance of entering a limited clearcasting state. Clearcasting, as you may recall, means the next spell is free. The limit here is that it only applies for the next Flash, Binding, or Greater Heal. 6% – less than most any crit I can get. It’s… tempting. Provided I don’t sacrifice an improvement in sustained reliability.
In fact, the only spell I know I’m going to grab at this level is the one other healers scoff at. I love Lightwell (aka lolwell). Effective use requires training of your group. So, as it happens, does the frisbee. If your group has spaced correctly – casters outside 20 yards, melee inside – the frisbee stays in the melee. This balances the frisbee by being for the casters/ranged fighters. Sure, it’s a bandage. And it does a bit less than a heavy netherweave. But it does it faster (a bit), and they can move while it’s bandaging. Just not take damage – don’t use it while debuffed with a DoT. Fire, and forget for three minutes. Oh — one more thing that’ll make the other healers examine this again. In the upcoming patch (whenever it gets here) Lightwell gets bonuses from healing. I don’t know which ‘timing’ will apply – the 1.5 cast or the 6 second channeling – nor even if it’s going to get the AoE (for the multiple charges) effect. At worst it’s about 15% of bonus healing applied. At best… 170% (channeling). Yum. I’m betting somewhere in the middle, say 42% from cast time. Which with 1000+ bonus healing (gear and talents) makes those bandages a LOT more useful as they push 3K healing apiece.
35 down (though some are unassigned), 3 to go. Is it worth putting 3 points into the only talent on the next tier? (snicker) yes. In fact the missing two to cap it has me looking back at Disc – do I REALLY need IDS? (Yes, sigh). Improvements in Sustained Reliability for the win. +12% to the healing bonuses for Greater Heal, and +6% for flash and binding heal. hmmm, let’s clarify this. Greater Heal, as a 3 second (base) cast-time spell, has a coefficient of 85.7% to healing bonuses. So if my healing bonus is +1000 (not hard as a level 70 dedicated healer) my GH gets 857 additional points. This makes the bonus 97.7% or 977 points. The extra two points I’m sacrificing would add another 8% or 80 points in this example.
Let’s re-examine. I’ve got potentially 11 talent points uncommitted – let’s go commit them, running back down the tree.
3/5 points in Empowered Healing
1 Point Lightwell. 0/3 Holy Concentration, 0/3 Blessed Resilience.
5/5 Spiritual Healing, 0/2 Surge of Light.
5/5 Spiritual Guidance, 1/1 Spirit of Redemption, 2/2 Healing Prayers. whoops, there went some of the buffer. But 21 left for below is enough to support up here, so let’s continue.
3/3 Improved Healing, 0/2 Searing Light, 0/2 Holy Reach — I’ve got 18 to place of which 17 need to be here or below. And joy of joys – I am solid in my sustained, so I can look to crits. (Good thing as what’s left are all ‘occasional brilliance’ talents.)
The three “open” spots are Holy Spec, Inspiration, and Blessed Recovery. I’m going to grab 3/3 in blessed recovery because on consideration I’m beginning to feel a bit like a glass cannon. If a crit doesn’t kill me it’ll leave me very, very weak, and this will help. That leaves me with five. I’m going to put 3 in Inspiration, and I have a choice. I can put one each in Holy Concentration AND Holy Spec, or I can put both in Holy Spec. (Seriously, none of the other talents left tempt me.) As I generally despise putting one point in a talent unless there are two or less, I’ll go with both in Holy Spec. So to finish the downward trip:
0/1 Holy Nova, 3/3 Blessed Recovery, 3/3 Inspiration
0/5 Spell Warding, 5/5 Divine Fury
2/2 Healing Focus, 3/3 Improved Renew, 2/5 Holy Spec (Increasing crit chance by 2%)
That’s a lot of words, so let me give you a picture. Click here to see the template displayed.
Is it “the best”? Bah, humbug. There are other, potentially better choices out there even staying 23/38/0. Add in more Disc or some shadow and… What it is, is the template that results from choices I made based on my playing style and my preferences.
If you take anything away, take away the DISCUSSION. Not what I chose, but the fact I pondered the use, weighed pros and cons, and decided from there. You are not me.
Have fun, or don’t do it.