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Spiritual Guidance: Macros for priests

Dawn Moore

Every Sunday (and the occasional weekday) Spiritual Guidance offers holy and discipline priests advice on how to wield the holy light and groove to the disco night. Your hostess Dawn Moore will provide the music.

/target reader
/use The Mischief Maker

There. I love a captive audience.

This week I'll be writing about macros for priests. I will touch on why and how to use them, then provide a few useful ones that readers sent in during the past week. This article will not be an introductory guide for the use of macros because... already had one of those. Hit the jump for the link.

Old but applicable, the following 4-part introductory guide to macros was written by former staffer Sean Forsgren. It's a good read for any player who wants to get started with macros. So if you have no idea what a macro is, or you want to polish up your macro vocabulary, check these out:

  1. Macro Anatomy: Primer
  2. Macro Anatomy: Crawl phase
  3. Macro Anatomy: Walk phase
  4. Macro Anatomy: Run phase and beyond!
If you're interested, there are plenty more articles in the archives on macros, so don't be a stranger to that search bar up above if you want to find out more.

For now, I want to touch on some reasons why priests specifically would want to use macros.


Priests have more healing spells available to them than any other healer. Add into that all our offensive abilities and cooldowns, and our bars can get very crowded, very quickly. Macros are a great way to consolidate the number of buttons you need, as well as clean up your UI so things are easier to see. Since not every ability is used frequently, or some abilities are on cooldown, you can bind two or more abilities to one key. Adding a target condition will let you keep offensive abilities on your bars but out of the way; ideal for burn phases. Here's an example.
/cast [help, nomodifier:alt, nomodifier:shift]Renew; [modifier:alt, target=player]Renew; [modifier:shift]Guardian Spirit;[harm, nomodifier]Holy Fire
When targeting a friendly target this macro will cast Renew. Holding down shift when using it will cast Guardian Spirit on the friendly target. If targeting an unfriendly target, the macro will cast Holy Fire. Holding down alt will always self cast Renew regardless of your target. The tooltip will change based on your target or modifier.


There are all sorts of communications a healing priest would want to use. The most commonly used macro I see for healers is a Resurrection macro which states who you are reviving. This will help to prevent overlapped casts and reduce downtime between fights. Here is a disco themed example:
/cast [target=target] Resurrection
/run SendChatMessage(GetRandomArgument("%t what you doin' on your back?! You should be dancing, yeah!","%t gimme that night fever, night fever!","%t do the hustle!"),"SAY")
That macro is a great way to annoy your guild mates. If you want something simpler try this one:
/cast [target=target] Resurrection
/run SendChatMessage("Casting Resurrection on %t ","SAY")
A more important communication macro to use would be for external tank cooldowns. Whether it's Guardian Spirit or Pain Suppression, a priest's protective cooldowns are unique and signature abilities. Adding a communication macro to them will further their helpfulness by letting your tank and raid know the exact moment your cooldown goes off, putting their minds to ease. It's especially useful if you're in a PUG or if there is any delay in voice chat.
/script if GetSpellCooldown("Pain Suppression")==0 then SendChatMessage("Pain Suppression up!","RAID") end;
/cast [target=target] Pain Suppression
This macro checks to see if Pain Suppression is on cooldown or not before spamming your raid chat, then casts the spell on your target. Discipline priests can use a similar version of this macro for Power Infusion. I received many variations of this macro, some with timers and other cool extras. Thank you to Anshlun and everyone who sent in a form of this macro!

In-combat buffing

This is my favorite macro in combat. As a priest, getting Power Word: Fortitude back on a player who has been revived in battle is a priority, especially if that player is a tank. However, since I might also be juggling my GCDs on my own target, I want to be able to get back to healing as quickly as possible if I stop to buff a recently revived player.
/cast [target=target] Power Word: Fortitude
This macro will cast Power Word: Fortitude on my selected target, then immediately re-target the player I was on previously. Simple in concept, but a great time saver in battle.


To get the most out of a spell, try attaching a buff off the GCD or trinket to it. For priests in particular, our buffs in the discipline tree offer a lot of opportunities to combine one spell with another to create a huge effect. This example is from Carolinus, with a slight alteration to show an example of using the emote function to announce action instead of a normal chat channel.
/cast Inner Focus
/cast Divine Hymn
/e starts singing a Divine Hymn - perhaps not the best time, but how lovely!
This macro in particular will save you a lot of mana, since Divine Hymn is such an expensive spell. The added crit effect from Inner Focus will also help to save your dying party members. Beyond Inner Focus, trinkets or Power Infusion can be used on any spell to save time, save mana, or increase your output.

In general, macros can help make everything a little easier. They're a good step if you're looking to improve your game but don't necessarily want to implement something that requires a lot of extra memory. They're also a good way to share some of your personality, or better, expand upon a style of game play you're working with. The macros I used here are all target based, but there are many macros that deal with mouse-over healing. I will let commenters handle those; I myself do not use mouse-over of any kind, so I'm not going to pretend to be an expert at it.

The following is a short list of links to visit to find out more about using and making macros for your healing needs.
That's all for this week. If you have a unique variation of the macros I used here, would like to expand on one I've shown, or have more macros (or reasons to use macros) you'd like to share, be sure to leave it in the comments. I highly encourage readers who don't typically read comments to check them out this week.

Want to find more great tips for carrying out your Priestly duties? Spiritual Guidance has you covered with all there is to know! Check out Holy 101 for an introduction to healing as a holy priest, or Disciplined raid healing to see new ways players are using damage mitigation.

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