I'll admit that I got a bit spoiled using Angelic Feather on the beta. It just makes questing on foot so much quicker. Whoosh! Whoosh! It's great fun and makes errands between the mailbox and auction house so much more efficient. I have another priest to level to 85 before Mists of Pandaria comes out, so I've been anxiously awaiting patch 5.0.4 to go live so I could level in style. Whoosh!
Anyway, with the existing talent system getting tossed out the window, many of your favorite priest talents are moving around or undergoing changes. Many talents will now take the form of passive abilities granted by your specialization. Some talents will actually remain talents but will now be accessible to all three priest specializations instead of restricted to certain trees. The list after the jump will tell you where many of your talents will have gone after patch 5.0.4 hits. If you don't see a favorite talent of yours, keep reading! It's probably one of the new (well, sort of new) talents.
Talent and specialization changes
- Rapture and Soul Warding Learned at level 10. Both talents have been squashed together under one name, Rapture.
- Divine Fury Learned at level 16.
- Divine Aegis Learned at level 24.
- Spirit Shell Learned at level 28. This is the new hotness for disc priests. We'll talk more about this in future posts.
- Inner Focus Learned at level 36. This ability has been changed in a few ways. It now reduces mana cost of Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Prayer of Healing by 25%, down from 100%. The increased critical effect chance has also been increased to 100%, up from 25%. This basically makes Inner Focus a throughput cooldown instead of a mana saving cooldown. Use it consciously, whenever you need more firepower behind Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Prayer of Healing. Take note that this ability can no longer be used with Binding Heal.
- Evangelism Learned at level 44.
- Grace Learned at level 45. Each stack of Grace will now increase your healing on the target by 10%, up from 8%.
- Archangel Learned at level 50. No longer returns 1% of your mana per stack of Evangelism, but the buff portion of the spell now increases your healing by 5% per stack, up from 3%.
- Strength of Soul Learned at level 52. Casting Heal, Greater Heal, or Flash Heal on a target afflicted with Weakened Soul will now only reduce the duration of the debuff by 2 seconds, down from 4 seconds. Additionally, the immunity to silence, dispel, and interrupt effects granted when using Inner Focus has been made into a the Glyph of Inner Focus instead.
- Pain Suppression Learned at level 58.
- Atonement Learned at level 60. Penance, when used offensively, will now trigger Atonement just like Smite and Holy Fire. Each tick of Penance is treated like a separate spell, so smart healing can potentially be distributed to three different friendly targets.
- Borrowed Time Learned at level 62. Spell haste granted increased to 15%, up from 14%.
- Power Word: Barrier Learned at level 70.
- Train of Thought Learned at level 78.
- Divine Fury Learned at level 16. Same as disc.
- Spirit of Redemption Learned at level 30.
- Serendipity Learned at level 34.
- Lightwell Learned at level 36. Now starts with 15 charges, up from 10.
- Evangelism Learned at level 44. Same as disc.
- Circle of Healing Learned at level 50.
- Chakra Learned at level 56. No longer activated by corresponding healing spells; instead, you will gain each of the three stances (Chakra: Sanctuary, Chakra: Serenity, and Chakra: Chastise) as individual abilities that you can place on your bars and hotkey separately from one another.
- Rapid Renewal and Divine Touch Learned at level 64. Both talents have been squashed together under one name, Rapid Renewal.
- Guardian Spirit Learned at level 70.
- Divine Hymn Learned at level 78. No longer available to discipline priests.
New priest talents
The new talent system is all about choice. Instead of picking the talent that does the most numerical healing, you'll be looking to pick the talent that suits the situation and your individual playstyle the best. Some talents will shine in certain situations; others will not.
- Void Tendrils This is probably your safest crowd control for questing. It lets you get away completely or just get some distance to patch yourself up and refresh some DoTs.
- Psyfiend Semi-random, single-target Psychic Scream. Personally, I think it's a bit limited and situational, but maybe you'll find a good use for it as a healer.
- Dominate Mind Basically the Mind Control you once knew, except it can be used on any enemy target that isn't mechanical. Previously it was only useable on humanoids. Not much use for healers, but it's a much more versatile form of crowd control now.
- Body and Soul Same old Body and Soul, except it no longer grants the chance to cleanse harmful poison effects when you cast Cure Disease, or Purify, or whatever. A disc priest taking this will be able to spam speed, while holy priests will still be limited by the cooldown of Power Word: Shield. Overall, you know what it's good for.
- Angelic Feather Mana free Body and Soul for those of you who are good at aiming your mouse curser with speed and precision. Ideal for questing or crazy A-Team raid strats; it's fun all around.
- Phantasm This is mostly a PvP ability now -- but by the holy light, is it a good one! This is a wonderful getaway talent.
- From Darkness, Comes Light Instead of restoring mana, you save mana. Best for fights where you're mostly using single-target heals.
- Mindbender Works just like your Shadowfiend, only on a shorter cooldown.
- Power Word: Solace Perfect for fights where there are alternating phases of heavy and light damage. During the less intense phases, you can restore mana by spamming this and have more for when you need it. We'll talk more about this and Mindbender in future posts.
- Desperate Prayer The same old Desperate Prayer. Same as it ever was.
- Spectral Guise This is a sort of PvP, damage dealer talent. You won't have much use for it as a healer, though you can use it as another getaway tool while questing.
- Angelic Bulwark If you're the sort of player who takes Desperate Prayer and then forgets to use it, this is the talent for you. It won't heal you, but it'll protect you from immediate death.
- Twist of Fate Look at the healing needs of the fight you're healing, and the strength of this talent will be apparent. There have been lots of fights in the past where you'll have allies dipping to extremely low levels of health. In those instances, you were challenged with the task of getting allies back up to a reasonable percentage of health before they were hit again. This talent is for those situations, especially if your healers are stretched thin. It can also be used on more gimmicky mechanics, like Chimaeron.
- Power Infusion It's not the same old Power Infusion. You can only use it on yourself now, but it lasts 5 seconds longer as a consolation.
- Divine Insight For holy priests, this is a great throughput talent for when you're doing single-target or group healing. More Prayer of Mending is never a bad thing. For disc priests, this is more situational because you don't always need more absorption on your current target. Remember that more isn't always better ... Sometimes, it's just more.
You won't be able to access your last tier of talents until level 90, so I'll save that for guides in the next few weeks.
Megan O'Neill will be releasing a comprehensive patch 5.0.4 glyph changes guide tomorrow (here's the link) that includes priest glyphs. I won't rehash the whole thing, but I wanted to give the highlights for healing priests and also mention where a few of your missing spells and talents are.
- Glyph of Lightspring is the new hotness for holy priests.
- Glyph of Penance is definitive proof that priests are the best class.
- Glyph of Holy Fire makes Holy Fire instant cast.
- Glyph of Holy Nova is where spell Holy Nova went. It's no longer baseline for priests.
- Glyph of Reflective Shield is where the talent Reflective Shield went.
- Glyph of Inner Focus, as I mentioned earlier, is where the other half of the Strength of Soul talent went.
Big changes to Dispel Magic and Cure Disease
When it comes to friendly dispels, you will no longer need to differentiate between dispelling disease and magic effects. Holy and discipline priests have a new spell called Purify that combines magic and disease dispels for friendly targets into one button. It has an 8-second cooldown and removes all harmful magic and disease debuffs on the target. It's learned at level 26. The Glyph of Purify picks up the role that the old Glyph of Dispel Magic played by healing targets of the spell for 3% of their health.
Dispel Magic still exists, but it can only be used offensively. It's learned at level 22. The new Glyph of Dispel Magic is like a mirror image of the old glyph. It now inflicts damage upon the target you use it on.
Mass Dispel has received some smaller changes as well. The spell now has a 15-second cooldown, but it removes all harmful spells from friendly targets instead of one per cast. It still only removes one beneficial spell from enemy targets per cast. The Glyph of Mass Dispel remains unchanged.
A farewell to spells
The following spells have been removed from the priest spellbook.
There's really not much to say about them other than adieu! I suppose we could send them off, though. Maybe tell stories about them and play that Into the West song from Lord of the Rings?
I'll go first. During tier 7, I read somewhere you could us Mana Burn on Gothik the Harvester in Naxxramas while he was up on his little balcony in phase 1. I used to spend a good portion of the phase draining his mana (between my healing duties) so that in phase 2, all he could do was melee the tank. The first time it happened, I don't think anyone in my raid believed me. Then, when Gothik ported down and started whacking our death knight with his staff they flipped out. Ahh ... memories.
Come to Spiritual Guidance for the inside line on current healing gear and trinkets, as well as advice for healing in Dragon Soul. Newcomer to the priest class? Look into leveling a healing priest, and consult our guides to Discipline Priest 101 and Holy Priest 101.