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Spiritual Guidance: Valor point and raid gear for discipline and holy priests

Dawn Moore

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for discipline and holy priests, while her archenemy Fox Van Allen dabbles in shadow and screams at the heavens for truth. Dawn also writes for and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Late last month, Spiritual Guidance examined the many options for discipline and holy priests who were looking to gear themselves up through normal and heroic dungeons. Now that it's been a while, I'd assume that many of you have quite a few valor points saved up from doing your heroic daily and have maybe even dived into a little raiding. That undoubtedly means you'll want a convenient list of all the things you want to keep an eye out for in raids, and possibly some recommendations on how to best spend your valor points. So that's what's on our agenda today.

Oh and just in case you missed it, let me mention again that there is already a pre-raid gear guide for healing priests. If you're looking for something that covers gear from normal and heroic dungeons, then that's the guide you'll want to check out. The pre-raid gear guide also covers many random BoE world drops, crafted gear, reputation gear from faction vendors, and gear created through the secondary profession archaeology. Today's guide will just focus on item level 359 raiding and valor point gear, as well as 372 heroic raiding gear. I won't be covering any PvP gear, because it's evil resilience can't be reforged to usable stats in PvE.


ilvl 359

ilvl 372


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Main hand

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Off hand

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ilvl 3
59ilvl 372
Gear from Throne of the Four Winds

All the gear that drops from both encounters in the Throne of the Four WInds (Conclave of Wind and Al'Akir) have random enchantments just like that old stuff we used to get in vanilla. You remember items like, you know, Disco Pants of the Owl? That sort of stuff. In Cataclysm, that stuff is making a comeback on raid bosses, so as a healer, you'll want to know what enchantments to keep an eye out for. They are as follow:
  • of the Feverflare (intellect, haste, and mastery)
  • of the Fireflash (intellect, haste, and crit)
  • of the Undertow (intellect, spirit, and haste)
  • of the Wavecrest (intellect, spirit, and mastery)

What valor item do I get first?

When you get at least 1,250 valor points, you'll be able to get your first item from the valor point vendor, but that doesn't mean you should buy the first thing you can. Particularly if you're just getting points from doing your daily heroic dungeon, you'll want to get something that's worthwhile. For that, I'd recommend purchasing your tier pieces first. Since you can get 359 gloves from the Earthen Ring quartermaster at exalted reputation, you'll probably want to grab either the chest or the legs first.

The tier pieces might not be what your gear is lacking most for an upgrade, but in the long term and short term, they're the best investment. The four-piece bonus is very attractive to healers and may allow you to cut back on some of your spirit-stacking more than any other one thing. Plus, if you plan on upgrading to heroic item level tier gear at some point, you'll need to have purchased the normal, 359 ilevel stuff first.

What about the valor trinket?

Before now, a lot of players recommended investing your first valor points in the trinket, Core of Ripeness. I haven't made the same recommendation today simply because there are some upcoming changes in patch 4.0.6 that will diminish the strength of the trinket. Let me explain how.

Now, Core of Ripeness isn't a bad trinket -- it's got a lot of intellect and a nice, self-activated spirit cooldown -- but if you've been playing the game for any amount of time, you'll know that there have always been trinkets in the game like this. It's nothing to write home about, right? Well, ordinarily it wouldn't be, but what's made it so noteworthy in the past month has to do with how Mana Tide Totem currently works.

Mana Tide Totem is a cooldown used by restoration shaman that restores mana to not just the shaman but every caster in the shaman's party. Typically, raiders will utilize this cooldown by putting all the healers (and DPS casters, if in a 10-man) in whatever party the shaman is in; each time the shaman uses the cooldown, everyone gets the effect. Previously, the totem returned 6% of each party member's total mana, but it was redesigned for Cataclysm to work around spirit. Currently, the totem increases a party member's spirit by 350% for 12 seconds. So, think about this effect: Pair it with a trinket which buffs your spirit by 1926, and suddenly you'll realize why Blizzard decided to change a few things. This tactic was basically allowing healers to restore half their mana bar every 3 minutes.

In patch 4.0.6, Mana Tide Totem will be getting an overhaul so that this tactic can't be used anymore. That will make the Core of Ripeness just some trinket you have to remember to use on cooldown, meaning it's up to you whether you want to spend your points on it or save up for something else. As I said, it's still a good piece of gear, but it's probably not a priority if you've picked up a decent trinket or two from heroics.

Selecting gear

What gear should you pick? Well, spirit gear is an obvious choice for raiders, but if you've completed gearing up from heroic dungeons, you might find that you're doing well on mana for certain raid encounters. Depending on your needs, you may be able to substitute a few intellect items without spirit. Just don't go too easy on spirit; you still get plenty from it because of Meditation.

Remember the basic stat guidelines from Discipline Priest 101 and Holy Priest 101 if you're not sure what secondary stats to go after.

So that's it for this week. If you think I missed something or have any questions, be sure to leave a comment. Next week, we'll finally start getting to the fun stuff, but I'll leave it to you to guess what that is. (This is the part where I tap my fingers together as though I'm plotting something sinister.)

Want more tips for carrying out your priestly duties as a disc or holy priest? Check out Spiritual Guidance: Discipline and Spiritual Guidance: Holy. Newcomers to the priest class will want to look into Discipline Priest 101 and Holy Priest 101. For getting gear, check out the pre-raid gear guide for holy and discipline priests.

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