Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Spiritual Guidance: Patch 3.0.2 - Holy and Disc Priest talent review

Matt Low

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. This week Matticus is going to light up a two-part Spiritual Guidance post about all the necessary and relevant information you need for patch 3.0.2!

Welcome to part 1! This post will cover all of the new Holy and Discipline talents that will be accessible when the patch becomes live. Not only that, I've offered up some suggestions on different builds to remain raid viable (at least to the rare few guilds that are still raiding). I've isolated 1 traditional build and have 2 experimental builds for you to toy with.

Notable Talents

Here is a real quick run down of the new talents we get access to.


Twin Disciplines – This replaced Wand Specialization. Most PvE Priests ought to strongly consider this talent. 5 ranks.

Improved Inner Fire – This improves the strength of Inner Fire. Definitely want to pick this up if you're invest points into Discipline. 3 ranks.

Aspiration – Cooldown reduced on Inner Focus, Power Infusion, Pain Suppression and Penance by 20% when fully talented. 2 Ranks.

Rapture – Restores up to 2.5% of your maximum mana each time you cast a Greater Heal, Flash Heal, Penance, or whenever your Power Word: Shield absorbs damage and when Divine Aegis activates. 5 Ranks.

Divine Aegis – Did you crit heal? Take 30% of whatever you crit heal for and watch as that amount of damage gets absorbed on the next blow. Yes, it literally does create a mini-bubble around players. Goes hand in hand with the damage mitigation philosophy of Discipline. 3 Ranks.

Grace – Your direct heals (Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Penance) will bless your target with a buff called Grace. It reduces the damage done by 1% and the healing received by the target increases by 2%. The effect is able to stack 3 times. I guess when it's fully operational, it'll reduce damage done by 3% and increase healing received by 6%. 2 Ranks.

Borrowed Time – Makes your next spell after casting Power Word: Shield faster by 25%. Not only that, it increases the amount of damage absorbed by 40% (assuming full ranks). Yes, it does stack with Improved Power Word: Shield. 5 Ranks.

Penance – Channeled spell. Either damages an enemy or heals an ally every second for 2 seconds. 30 second cooldown means it won't be used every chance. 1 Rank.


Desperate Prayer – This was formerly the Dwarf and Human racial. It is now the 11 point talent where Holy Nova used to be. It has a 2 minute cooldown and it now costs mana (as opposed to a 10 minute cooldown where it didn't have mana costs to begin with). 1 Rank.

Surge of Light – 50% chance that your next spell crit will allow your next Smite or Flash Heal to become free and instant cast. Unfortunately, it means it can't crit. 2 Ranks.

Empowered Healing – Greater Heal becomes 40% stronger and both Binding and Flash Heal heals for 20% more. Percentages are based off of bonus healing effects. 5 Ranks.

Serendipity – Definite must have for the PvE Priests. If you overheal while casting Greater or Flash Heal, you'll get 25% of the mana cost back. 3 Ranks.

Improved Holy Concentration – Combines with Holy Concentration for a 45% chance to get Clearcasting (a free Flash Hea, Binding Heal, or Greater Heal). Not only that, but the spell haste for the next 2 Greater Heals, Flash Heals, or Binding Heals is increased by 30%. They look like 2 charges. 3 Ranks.

Test of Faith – Overall healing is increased by 6%. Increases your spell critical chance by 6% on friendlies below 50%.3 Ranks.

Divine Providence – Circle of Healing, Binding Heal, Holy Nova, Prayer of Healing, Divine Hymn, and Prayer of Mending have their healing strength increased by 10% (fully talented). 5 Ranks

Guardian Spirit – Increases healing received by the target by 40% and prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself. If that happens, the targets health shoots back up to 50%. 1 Rank.

Suggested Talent Specs


54/7/0 (Shield Spec) – I do think I'll grab this spec to start with myself so that I can play with it and see it goes. A lot of emphasis will be placed on casting Power Word: Shield. Discipline has its own mana mechanics with Rapture and Meditation. Expect to play more of a role in preventing damage and following up with Flash Heal crits more than anything else (in theory, anyway).

If you don't have players who can provide a Spirit buff or an Improved Divine Spirit buff, you can feel free to allocate points from elsewhere and squeeze them in.

***IMPORTANT***: When the patch goes live, the 2nd tier of Discipline offers Improved Power Word: Fortitude instead of Improved Power Word: Shield. It appears as though the graphic for the talent tree hasn't changed yet but the mouse over is correct. The Improved Fort and Improved Shield graphics have switched positions.

14/47/0 (Circle of Healing) – This is what I'd suggest picking up for the more traditional Holy Priests. You get access to Circle of Healing, Holy Concentration (and Improved Holy Concentration), Serendipity, and Surge of Light. All of those should help you in terms of mana management. What you will have to get used to is keeping an eye on your buff bars. Watch for signs of Clearcasting and Surge of Light. Try to wait as long as you can for opportune times to use them. Don't waste a Greater Heal Clearcast on a tank who only took 1000 damage. But at the same time, don't hesitate to use the Surge of Light Flash Heal proc on anyone nearby who would benefit. The goal is to not waste free heals.

4/57/0 (Don't need regen spec!) – I was toying around with this idea for the longest time. The big hit to this build is that there is no Meditation. 30% of your overall mana regen is a pretty tough pill to swallow. Is that loss worth it to pick up Guardian Spirit? It might be if you're working on a progression boss. A couple of factors help reduce the pain. The big thing to remember is that raid bosses are losing 30% of their health. If this build is going to be successful at all, it's going to depend on the quality of DPS (which has been ramped up, from what I hear). In other words, it will be a race between your raid's ability to kill stuff and your mana to sustain the raid. I wouldn't use this if you represent your guild's only healing Priest or are one of two. However, if you're like my guild (who runs 4), it might not be a bad thing to bring along a guy who can drop a Guardian Spirit.

Rumor has it that 50 minute Karazhans are going to be the norm anyway.

Further Reading

On a final note, Happy Thanksgiving to all the Canadian readers! Lastly, expect to see a leveling guide from 70 – 80 at some point over the opening weekend of Wrath.

Part 2 will come out later in the afternoon!

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 the WoW Insider Directory for more priestly info!

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr