As I've already stated, there is no right way to heal. However, here are some basic things to remember.
- Always use Prayer of Mending when it is not on cooldown. Throw it on the tank if you don't know who is going to take damage next.
- In a raid, if more than 1 player is not at full, use Circle of Healing. The exception to this is if your targets are clearly in two very different places on the map. Typically, raid damage is area based, so your Circle of Healing should be effective if you center it on someone not at full. If damage is raid wide, try to heal in sections (for example, melee, ranged, soakers, etc). Holy by default produces a lot of wasted healing, but your job as holy is to be the first healer on the scene. Circle of Healing will allow you to do this, even if you overheal 3 people in the process.
- Use your Surge of Light Flash Heal on whoever needs it. If you have an extra one, throw it on the tank.
- Spot heal all small raid damage with Renew. Larger damage can be healed with a Flash Heal.
- If you're a Renew spam style of raid healer, Renew whenever you have nothing else to do. As long as you have 1 point in Empowered Renew, your Renew will have a chance to crit on the initial heal. That crit can proc any of your on crit abilities.
- Try to only use Prayer of Healing with your Serendipity buff stacked. Prayer of Healing is extremely costly as a spell, and not as effective in 25-man raids since various druid HoTs will tick on a target by the time you finish casting Prayer of Healing. Prayer of Healing is great in a 10-man or 5-man however.
I recommend any of the following gems for a holy priest. It is up to you to find a combination that works for your needs and play style. Assuming you have already read over the important stats in section 2, you should be able to select gems for your needs.
- Runed Cardinal Ruby: Spellpower
- Sparkling Majestic Zircon: Spirit
- Brilliant King's Amber: Intellect
- Quick King's Amber: Haste
- Smooth King's Amber: Critical Strike
- Reckless Ametrine: Spellpower/Haste
- Potent Ametrine: Spellpower/Critical Strike
- Luminous Ametrine: Spellpower/Intellect
- Purified Dreadstone: Spellpower/Spirit
- Seer's Eye of Zul: Intellect/Spirit
There are a few other miscellaneous gems that a priest could use, but they're odd mixes like haste/MP5. If you're looking for a gem like that, try looking at this gem table.
On socket bonuses: It's easy to utilize socket bonuses as a holy priest, since every stat is useful. However, if you are interested in stacking one stat (such as spellpower) it is usually better to just gem that one stat, rather than trying to utilize the bonuses. In some cases that won't hold true though, so always consider your spirit to spellpower conversion on blue sockets. For example, If a helm has a +9 spell power socket bonus and a blue socket, you will get more spellpower by socketing a blue spellpower/spirit gem than if you socketed a straight spellpower gem and didn't get the socket bonus.
For meta gems any of the following are useful to a priest in PvE:
- Insightful Earthsiege Diamond: This is the best meta gem to use if you need mana.
- Ember Skyflare Diamond: This gem focuses more on throughput, but contains a small mana bonus.
- Beaming Earthsiege Diamond: This is a throughput gem similar to the Ember Skyflare Diamond. Primarily this gem should only be used if your gear is starved on crit. If your crit is good, stick with the Ember Skyflare Diamond as the +intellect is more valuable.
- Revitalizing Skyflare Diamond: You guys all raved about this meta after my first article, so since I missed it back then I'll review it now: This is an option for a holy priest who wants a different kind of throughput, since Circle of Healing and Prayer of Healing both offer more chances to utilize the effect. I don't really recommend it though, since if you're already hitting someone with a critical heal, an addition 3% healing wouldn't make much difference. It strikes me as a scheme at padding meters more than saving players. That extra percentage on a critical heal is rarely going to make or break saving someone, and if you're relying on your critical heals to save someone you need to rethink your healing philosophy. Granted, as far as 3% not making a difference, the same could be said by the additional spellpower of the Ember Skyflare Diamond. The difference is that the bonus spellpower from the ESD is always there, where as the RSD only yields that extra healing on a crit. If it's something you like though, by all means.
- Tireless Skyflare Diamond: Only take this meta gem if you don't plan on using the Tuskarr's Vitality boot enchant.
- Glyph of Guardian Spirit: I consider this the only must have glyph for holy priests. Everything else is play style dependent. If you hoard your defensive cooldowns then maybe you won't agree, but I use cooldowns with a "better safe than sorry" mentality. This glyph matches that mindset perfectly: if you needed to use that Guardian Spirit then all is well, if you didn't then the penalization for using a cooldown when you didn't need it is softened.
- Glyph of Circle of Healing: If you're raiding at all, this is a must have holy glyph. If you only do 5-mans you can pass on this one.
- Glyph of Renew: If you're a Renew spamming holy priest, this is a good choice to get your heals to your targets faster.
- Glyph of Flash Heal: If you cast Flash Heal frequently, save some mana by popping on this glyph.
- Glyph of Holy Nova: As AoE healing goes, Circle of Healing is far better than Holy Nova, so as a holy priest you'll find less usefulness from this glyph than if you were discipline or PvPing. It is a great leveling glyph though.
- Glyph of Hymn of Hope: This glyph could be useful if you desperately need more mana (I stress, desperately) and already have glyphs in to stretch your mana pool. It's an option, but I don't recommend it.
- Glyph of Inner Fire: This isn't the glyph you're looking for. You can go about your business. Move along.
- Glyph of Lightwell: If you use Lightwell (or have somehow manipulated your raid or tank to use it like a certain character from a certain science fiction classic) then this glyph is fantastically overpowered.
- Glyph of Prayer of Healing: This glyph is not going to be useful on every encounter. Consider how often you use Prayer of Healing before dropping in this glyph. It's great as a 5-man healer, and maybe very useful in 10-man raid. In a 25-man raid though, you may find the HoT applied by this glyph is overkill if there is a resto druid present.
- Glyph of Spirit of Redemption: Don't take this. Before it was nerfed, it was cute in PvP. But in PvE, if you plan your play style around being dead you might want to consider a different game.
- Glyph of Levitate: This glyph offers PvE utility and endless amounts of fun!
- Glyph of Fading: If you use fade frequently (as you may find yourself doing if your LFD tank is awful) this is a useful glyph to have to save a bit of mana here and there.
- Glyph of Fortitude: If you have careless DPS in your raid like my guild does, this will save you some mana when you buff people who are resurrected during combat.
- Glyph of Shadowfiend: If you don't have time to toss your Shadowfiend a HoT or shield when he spawns, this might be a minor glyph for you.
- Glyph of Shackle Undead: This glyph is obviously only good on a situational basis.
12. Endgame Enchants
- Back: Greater Speed (or: Lightweave Embroidery or Darkglow Embroidery, for tailors).
- Chest: Powerful Stats.
- Feet: Greater Spirit or Tuskarr's Vitality (or Nitro Boost, for engineers).
- Fingers: none (or Greater Spellpower for enchanters).
- Head: Arcanum of Burning Mysteries.
- Legs: Brilliant Spellthread.
- Main Hand: Mighty Spellpower.
- Hands: Exceptional Spellpower (or Hyperspeed Accelerator, for engineers).
- Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Storm (or Master's Inscription of the Storm, for scribes).
- Two-Hand: Greater Spellpower.
- Waist: Eternal Belt Buckle.
- Wrists: Superior Spellpower (or Fur Lining - Spell Power for you crazy, leatherworking priests).
Want to find more great tips for carrying out your Priestly duties? Spiritual Guidance has you covered with all there is to know! And don't forget to check out our other Leveling Guides as well as our Wrath Guides and Galleries!