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Skill Mastery: Guardian Spirit

Matt Low

I wanted to write about this intriguing new Priest ability earlier, but I felt to do so without testing it and using it in a raiding environment would have been pointless.

Important update: According to this blue post, Guardian Spirit has had its 10% heal boosted to 50%.

That doesn't make much sense until I explain what the spell does.

Guardian Spirit, Rank 1
6% of base mana, 40 yard range,
Instant cast, 3 minute cooldown

Calls upon a guardian spirit to watch over the friendly target. The spirit increases the healing received by the target by 40%, and also prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself. This sacrifice terminates the effect but heals the target of 10% of their maximum health. Lasts 10 sec.

In other words, according to the blue post, the part in bold is going to get upgraded from 10% of their maximum health to 50%.

In a nutshell, it serves 2 primary purposes:

  • Increases healing received by the target by 40%
  • If the target dies, the spirit sacrifices itself saving the target from death and restoring 50% of their health (I know the tooltip says 10%, but it's going to get buffed)
It is important to distinguish the fact that while this is one spell, it can serve 2 different purposes. When I started out in Naxx playing deep Holy, I originally focused on the spell as being a last ditch ability. In case of emergency, break open Guardian Spirit.

That was my initial mistake because I'd end up being too slow. As you can see in the screenshot above, I missed and it ended up defaulting to me instead of the already dead tank.

After a while, it dawned on me that if I'm waiting for the last possible minute to use Guardian Spirit there's a good chance I'm going to be too late. I'm going to either get lucky and the spell will save the tank in time or I'm going to be unlucky and the tank's already dead.

With that in mind, I approached Guardian Spirit from a different angle entirely. Don't use this spell with the purpose of trying to prevent the tank from dying. Focus on the healing component. Use it if your tank's about to entire a stage where they're tanking enormous amounts of damage. Maybe the group over pulled or CC'd mobs became loose.

Don't forget that it affects healing received by the tank. Other healers in your party will be able to benefit from it.

Notice the cooldown on Guardian Spirit is 3 minutes. I've been able to use it twice on certain encounters. Don't be afraid to use it. I've always had to ask myself the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" question from time to time. It goes something like this:

If I use it now, what if I need to use it later?
Am I going to waste it?
Are those other heals going to land if I cast this making it utterly useless?
Don't fall into that trap of indecision. If you find yourself asking whether or not this is the right time to use it, the answer is almost always going to be yes.

  • Bind it somewhere easy to reach
  • Coordinate it with your tank's cooldowns (Shield Wall used, Last Stand used)
  • If you miss the timer and the boss enrages, it can buy you a few extra precious seconds
It is a nifty spell and it will take the most disciplined of Priests time to master and use it accordingly.

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