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Spiritual Guidance: Tier 9 healing bonuses

Matt Low
Matt Low|June 29, 2009 7:50 PM

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 No Stock UI, a new UI and addons blog for WoW. A brief look at the tier 9 sets and the origins of those who it is named after: Velen and Zabra Hexx.

We're getting more news as the weeks go by. Last week, tier 9 information was released. As some of you may know, the upcoming Crusader's Coliseum is slated to drop tier 9 items. All classes are getting three levels of the latest tier. I'm assuming one set drops from normal (10-man), heroic (25-man), and heroic hard mode.

Our current tier 8 bonuses feel lackluster. It's difficult to cater towards a Holy Priest and a Disc Priest as they both favor different approaches to healing. Check out our tier 9 gallery if you're interested in seeing the specifics along with the other set bonuses.

Here's what the tier 9 bonuses are:


  • 2 set: Decreases the cooldown on your Prayer of Mending spell by 2 seconds.
  • 4 set: Increases the critical strike chance of your Prayer of healing by 5%.
That's what the old bonuses were. I had a feeling they weren't quite finished yet.
  • 2 set: Increases the healing done by your Prayer of Mending spell by 20%.
  • 4 set: Increases the shield from your Divine Aegis and the instant healing from your Empowered Renew by 10%.
This is what the new bonuses are that just got released. That 2-piece bonus looks good. A spell that both healing Priests use will be getting a pretty cool buff. Make sure you use an addon like PoM tracker (although it has since been discontinued for a while).

I'm enjoying the direction that this 4-piece bonus is taking. It offers bonuses to to both Holy and Discipline Priests. The Discipline bonus is the Divine Aegis buff. The strength of the shields have increased by 10% but don't forget that Divine Aegis can stack. The other side of the 4-piece bonus is an effect to Empowered Renew. I've got some mixed feelings about this. I guess they're offering more incentive for Empowered Renew to get picked up.

Looking at the current tier 8 for a moment, it's obvious that the four piece bonus has Discipline written all over it. Every time a shield is cast, gain 250 spell power for 5 seconds. It's obviously not the most ideal for Holy Priests as it's difficult for them to shield with other Discipline Priests in the same raid group. Not to mention having a 4 second cooldown means constantly using the shield on cooldown to maintain that spell power. Doesn't seem like the cost/benefit ratio is in its favor.

So with tier 8 and (soon) tier 9 available, this presents some interesting gearing options for Priests. As Holy, I would probably be satisfied by snagging a 2-piece tier 8 and a 2-piece tier 9 and call it a day. This gets me the 10% increased Prayer of Healing chance and the increased Prayer of Mending healing. As Discipline however, I'd probably shoot for the tier 9 as quick as possible.

Of course, that could change at any time. None of this stuff is finalized yet, so who knows?

Who the heck?

There are two faction versions of our tier 9 sets. They're named after prominent Priests in the game. Bear with me as while I do have a great interest in lore, I may not be the most qualified as the other columnists we have on the team.

For the Alliance

Velen the Divine is the leader of the Draenei. He has a rather storied history. He was there when Sargeras tempted Archimonde and Kil'Jaden. Of the three, Velen was the only one who managed to figure out what Sargeras' true plans were (since the title Destroyer of Worlds does kind of give that away). Leading the rest of his followers, Velen managed to escape and eventually land on the Orc homeworld of Draenor. The relationship between Draenei and Orc were not hostile initially. Kil'Jaden managed to influence Ner'zhul enough for him to start going after the Draenei. Soon after that, Velen and his followers were on the run again. They managed to hide out in Zangarmarsh for many years. This was during the time of Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal. During the time period of Warcraft III, Velen led an assault on Tempest Keep and commandeered the Exodar. The Blood Elves managed to sabotage it resulting in a crash landing into Azeroth when they fired up the engines.

He now leads the rest of his people from within the Exodar. Read more about Velen here.

For the Horde

I wasn't familiar with the name Zabra. He certainly wasn't in either Warcraft II or Warcraft III. Zabra Hexx is a Troll Priest. His background isn't quite as illustrious as Velen but he's the closest Priest Hero the Horde have. It's a rather intriguing story. Zabra managed to seek shelter and resided within the Scarlet Monastery. He learned about the light reading by various books and tomes. That must have been a lot of reading. He was almost killed by Brigette Abbendis until Mograine verified that he had a connection to the light. Not much is known about him after that. Zabra appears to Darion Mograine during the time that he is mourning the death of his father. Zabra leaves and disappears after relaying to Darion the idea that the spirit of his father had not yet passed on. You can read more about Zabra here.

I'd like to see Zabra make a return at some point in the future. Even though I'm Alliance at heart, I still have a strong respect for Troll Priests.

More 3.2 changes?

Some other minor additions were made to the Priest notes.

  • Levitate now only affects a friendly party or raid target.

I guess some pranks were being played or something. I never tried casting Levitate on the opposing faction before! Nothing absolutely class breaking with this change here.

It looks like the Renew ticks will not be activating Holy Concentration anymore. Even more of a reason to snag Empowered Renew!

Remember that not everything is finalized yet! Check out more patch 3.2 stuff!

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!