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WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Holy and Disc Priest changes

Matt Low

A lot of changes are being introduced for both types of healing Priests in the upcoming 3.1 patch. Some of them are expected and others are unexpected! As always, check out the full PTR notes (which are most likely incomplete).

The promised changes to increase Holy's PvP ability don't seem to be here yet. I rubbed my eyes when I saw it because this wasn't the Holy tree I remembered.

As an overall grade, I'd say there are some serious buffs being doled out for healing Priests. Our Area of Effect heals have been ramped up!

Some notable highlights? Rapture has some new additions to it (It grants energy, rage, mana, or runic power to the target when it is removed). Prayer of Healing is no longer restricted to the Priests current party. Renew get's some extra nice bonuses in the form of an instant-application aspect and an overall spellpower bonus.

Keep reading! Disc and Holy changes are after the break!


  • Abolish Disease: Now cleanses a disease every 3 sec, down from 5. Duration reduced from 20 seconds, down to 12 sec.
    This will help Priests against Death Knights who like to unload every conceivable disease onto us. Will help during the Heigan encounter, too!
  • Devouring Plague: This spell now has a new icon.
  • Divine Spirit is now trainable at level 31.
    This will remove Divine Spirit and Improved Divine Spirit from the talent trees.
  • Holy Nova: Mana cost reduced approximately 20%.
    Good change! This makes Holy Nova a much more attractive party wide healing spell. Not sure how it will compare to Prayer of Healing and Circle of Healing yet. The Glyph of Holy Nova heals for an additional 40%.
  • Hymn of Hope: This spell has been removed.
    No more 8 seconds of standing still. This means we lose an avenue of mana regeneration. Surely there will be other talents that increase our mana return?
  • Improved Holy Concentration removed.
    So we're left with Holy Concentration now.
  • Prayer of Healing: This spell now heals the target's party, rather than being limited to just your direct party.
    No longer need to stagger Priests across various groups. Since Prayer of Healing is no longer restricted to the Priest's current party, flexibility of the spell goes up.
  • Shadowfiend: Health scaling increased. Now receives 30% of the master's spell power. Mana return increased to 5%, up from 4%. The Shadowfiend now receives mana when its melee attacks land, rather than when it deals damage. Movement speed normalized to player movement speed. Tooltip revised.
    Sweet! Now it might be able to live long enough to actually restore mana instead of being one or two shot! This should lead to a net increase. Our mana restored goes up when the Shadowfiend hits a target. Doesn't matter if it gets blocked or parried, it seems. Another 1% increase in mana return should help.
  • Divine Aegis - Divine Aegis effects will now stack, however the amount absorbed cannot exceed 125*level (of the target).
    Nice. A buff to Divine Aegis. Even though Divine Aegis will continue to stack, there's now a ceiling. Seems like the magic number is 10000 for level 80 characters. I can stack Divine Aegis many times on a tank. Each application will absorb 30% of the amount heal. Each time Divine Aegis lands, that number will continue to go up until it reaches 10000.
  • Grace: Duration increased to 15 seconds, but now is only limited to one target.
    I guess we're definitely sticking to tank healing for a while.
  • Improved Power: Word Fortitude - Now also increases your total Stamina by 2/4%.
    Seems like the Priest itself gets an extra 4% overall stamina.
  • New Talent: Soul Warding: Reduces the cooldown of your Power Word: Shield ability by 4 sec., and reduces the mana cost of your Power Word: Shield by 30%.
    Interesting new talent! This essentially removes the cooldown timer on Power Word: Shield! The Weakened Soul debuff will still remain. The lowered mana cost is good.
  • Penance: Damage increased approximately 30%.This spell can now be cast on yourself.
    Forget the damage increase, the fact that Priests can cast this on themselves is pure gold. I wonder what the animation will look like.
  • Power Infusion: This effect now has a new spell effect and sound.
  • Reflective Shield:This talent has been removed.
  • Unbreakable Will:Increased from 3/6/9/12/15% to 6/12/18/24/30%.
  • Rapture: When Power Word: Shield is absorbed or dispelled, you gain 1.5/2/2.5% of total mana back. Your target has a 33/66/100% chance to energize your shielded target with 2% mana, 8 rage, 16 energy, or 32 runic power.
    Taken from the new talent calculator that MMO Champion has provided. This is a big buff. Hopefully this just might silence the tanks who keep asking us not to shield them so they can gain more rage.
  • Enlightenment: Increases your total spirit by 2/4/6% and increases your spell haste by 2/4/6%.
    It's a switch from Stamina to spell haste. Good change. I guess I won't be tanking as much.
  • Improved Flash Heal: Reduces the mana cost of your Flash Heal by 15%, and increases the critical effect chance of your Flash Heal by 10% on friendly targets at or below 50%.
    Nice addition! With the Glyph of Flash Heal, this reduces the overall mana cost of Flash Heal by 25%. The critical chance increase should help save lives, too.
  • Meditation: Allows 17/33/50% of your mana regeneration to continue while casting.
    Expected due to the Spirit nerfs. Holy Priests may not be dancing as much anymore.
  • Circle of Healing: Healing increased by approximately 40%.
    To help make up for the cooldown nerf, they introduce a healing increase.
  • Holy Concentration re-designed: Mana regeneration is increased by 16/32/50% for 8 sec after you critically heal with Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal or Renew.
    Start stacking a lot of crit. It might be possible to get it so that Holy Concentration is almost always active.
  • New Talent: Empowered Renew: Your Renew spell gains an additional 5/10/15% of your bonus healing effects, and your Renew will instantly heal the target for 5/10/15% of the total periodic effect.
    So Renew gains an instant heal component when you cast it. Not only that, it's all overall effect is increased even more. Renew finally gets some love!
  • Serendipity re-designed: When you heal with Binding Heal or Flash Heal, the cast time of your next Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing spell is reduced by 6/12/20%. Stacks up to 3 times. Lasts 20 sec.
    Trying to make healing more fun and less monotonous. I might not go out of my way to set off Serendipity, but it's an interesting change. Will need more time to test it out in game.
  • Test of Faith: No longer increases critical effect chance of your heals, but healing done on targets lower than 50% health is increased from 2/4/6 to 4/8/12%.
    No more crits but the healing is increased on targets below half life.
These patch notes are incomplete and can chance at any time!

So yes, not all of these changes or additions will make it to the final cut. But for the time being, they're here and in the patch. Let's see how they'll perform first.

Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

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