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Spiritual Guidance: Your dual spec questions answered

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. Welcome to the delayed, dual spec edition! Dual specs will be here soon! What specs will you be going for?

The marching orders have been given. With the green lighting of dual specs in the upcoming 3.1 patch, Priests of any discipline will be faced with an enormous decision that dwarfs the question of going Holy or Shadow (and Disc)!

First, a brief history lesson.

For the longest time, the healers struggled with questing. Soloing and doing dailies was a monumental effort due to the of our spec to Smite those that would oppose us! In Burning Crusade, our offensive spellpower was raised to so that it became a fraction of our healing spellpower. In Wrath of the Lich King, these become consolidated into one overall stat.

We cried out that respec costs cut into our dwindling money pouches. Mistakes in one point were often costly. It wasn't fun having to switch from raiding to PvPing or farming. We ached for a method that allowed us to switch roles without the headache.

Blizzard listened and they gave us dual specs!

So, now what?

How do you, the Priest, figure out what your second spec should be? If you're a tried and true healer who loves the thrill of healing in any environment, then you may wish to consider both a raiding and a PvP spec. If you're the type of player who prefers the ability to do some solo action, then you might opt for a healing and shadow type build. If you're not into PvP or that interested in doing any solo work, then a healing and healing spec may be up your ally.

Raiding and raiding

With some of the new Priest changes coming in 3.1, expect these talent builds to look a little different. We know that Divine Spirit will be a baseline ability. But we don't know how the Discipline tree will be affected. I'm predicting that Power Word: Barrier will be a talent in there somewhere.

57/14/0 Deep Discipline + 14/57/0 Deep Holy

This is combination that I'll be using for my raids. The big reason for me is that I'm not huge into PvP. I tried it for a while, but I'm not skilled enough to remain competitive. I'd rather stick to what I know best. What this combination offers the Priest is the ability to switch from the raw, single target healing strength of a Discipline Priest to the raid healing flexibility of a Holy Priest.

Adjust your talents accordingly. You might not need Grace if you have a player with the equivalent talents in the raid.

Guild leaders and officers may remember participating in a discussion with the Priest talking about upcoming dual specs. And that discussion may have gone something like this:

Priest: "I think I'm going to go Holy and Disc for my dual specs."
Officer: "Cool."
Priest: "But there's a problem."
Officer: "What's that?"
Priest: "I'll need two sets of healing gear to make use of them."
Officer: "Oh hell naw."

And they're right. Discipline and Holy are different enough that it requires different strategy in gearing. In a nutshell, a Disc Priest is going to get as much Intellect and Crit as they can. A Holy Priest is going raise their Intellect and Spirit as similar as possible and then gun for Haste.

Some of the gear is interchangeable and you don't absolutely need the best. But depending on your server's economy, switching gems on a set of gear will add up to your expenses.

Blizzard did say they were working on giving Holy more PvP options. I'll look at that when more information comes out.

Holy and Shadow

14/57/0 Deep Holy + 14/0/57 Shadow

I suspect this will be the popular combination for Priests that like to heal and DPS at the same time. Twisted Faith grants a spellpower boost based on a percentage of your Spirit. Spiritual Guidance does the same thing.

Raiding and PvP

57/14/0 Deep Discipline + 54/17/0 PvP Discipline

It's great if you want to have some fun on the weekend with some battleground or arena action. I'm still experimenting with the PvP side of things (you can tell I don't do it much). I tried out using Spell Warding instead of Divine Fury. It worked great until I ran into nothing but Rogues, Warriors, and Hunters.

After that, I switched back to Divine Fury.


Here's a great twitter question from @zabuni that I wanted to address for Shadow Priests.

"Given current norms for SP gear, would Disc or Holy be the better second spec if my main is Shadow?"

With the current gear accessible in the game, Holy may be the better spec of the two. Some of the cloth DPS gear has Spirit and others have MP5. If you notice you're packing more Spirit, go Holy. More MP5? Try your hand at Discipline instead. It's not a big enough factor that you have to go out of your way and manually calculate your stats. But it's significant enough where you do need to look at your spellpower gear and your healing gear and see what's the best solution for you. The key thing to remember is that both Holy and Shadow add spellpower bonuses from Spirit. Don't forget that!

It's time to start thinking about your second spec option! These are just some of the combinations that players may shoot for. What will you pick?

Further reading

Raid Rx: Will dual spec affect your healing squads?

Got any ideas, question, comments or suggestions for Spiritual Guidance (or Raid Rx)? Send a Direct Message or reply on Twitter to @wowinsider.

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!

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