Spiritual Guidance: Top healing trinkets for priests

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

There were five potential healer trinkets added in patch 4.3, some of which have their pluses and their minuses. If you're a holy or a disc priest and you're not quite sure what trinket you should be taking this tier, let me help you narrow it down. I'll give you a hint, though -- they're the trinkets that everyone else will try to kill you for. Watch your back!

  • Windward Heart As far as healing throughput goes, this is currently the best trinket in the game. Many healers are reporting its doing up to 5% of their healing in a fight, and since the heal is a smart heal that will target the most injured member of your party, you know it's never going to overheal anyone. The internal cooldown is 20 seconds, meaning you'll see the proc going off constantly as long as you keep healing. There is some debate on whether holy or disc will benefit from this trinket more, since holy priests are typically healing more targets and thus more likely to get a critical heal, while disc priests are known to have more crit because of talents like Renewed Hope. First off, it doesn't really matter who benefits from the trinket more, because it's best in slot for both specs. Second, who it benefits more has to do with your raid role, not your spec. It's true that a holy priest is more than likely going to be acting as a raid healer, but disc priests will occasionally fill that role too, just like holy priests may occasionally tank heal. Because raid roles change from fight to fight, I would encourage you to not be that jerk who tries to make a case for it by waving his spec around.

  • Heart of the Unliving This is the regen trinket every healer is going to want for the rest of the expansion. It's the direct upgrade to Darkmoon Card: Tsunami, which you may have noticed most people were still wearing throughout tier 12. The trinket is most ideal for holy priests, who get 30% additional spirit regen from Holy Concentration, but that doesn't mean disc priests need to back off. Disc priests are still able to utilize the spirit through Meditation (even if Rapture will only benefit from the intellect side of the trinket), which means this is the best regen trinket a disc priest can get. Both priests specs should keep in mind, however, that the healer who will benefit from this trinket the most is the one who has the most mana problems. If you raid with the same group of people week after week, you may want to distribute this particular trinket based on need.

  • Seal of the Seven Signs The problem with a random haste proc is that there is no real way of knowing whether or not you'll be able to utilize it when it goes off. That's the main problem with this trinket from a healer's perspective. Healing is not a job that requires you to produce the most HPS possible at all times. It is a job that requires you to respond appropriately to the flow of damage in a fight. Damage is not always high, nor is it always continuous, so having a trinket that will randomly increase your HPS by increasing your casting speed is of debatable benefit. Using this trinket, there is even a risk that you might not be able to use the proc at times, since there are phases of fights that require little to no healing at all. I don't want to make it sound like this trinket is bad however ... It's quite good, just not as good as it could be if it were say, an on use haste trinket. (I should also note for the sake of novelty, though, that the proc on this trinket can get you the mythical sixth Renew tick, provided you have enough static haste rating to begin with, about 1,800, but with the proc being random, there is really no way to make it effective.)

Valor trinkets

Patch 4.3 added two ilevel 397 caster trinkets that can be purchased from your faction's valor quartermaster for 1,650 valor points. Both of the trinkets are decent if you're looking for a quick fix, but neither one holds a candle to what you'd find if you did a little raiding. Between your normal mode lockout and the Raid Finder, you have a lot of chances to pick up a trinket this tier, so you may want to save your valor points for something better. The Woundlicker Cover, for example, is one valor item you will absolutely want to pick up because there aren't any cloak upgrades in Dragon Soul. From there, there are plenty of items like the Splinterfoot Sandals, which you'll only find one rival upgrade for in Dragon Soul (Janglespur Jackboots).

  • Bottled Wishes Though this trinket was probably designed with damage classes in mind, a priest may still be able to utilize this baby. The spellpower proc is about on par with what you'd receive from the flat intellect found on most Dragon Soul trinkets, though a proc does means you would lose out on the mana pool boost that you'd get from an intellect trinket. That said, the haste on Bottled Wishes is so considerable that I could see myself swapping to this trinket for certain fights where producing raw healing numbers is important (Ultraxion, for example). If you recall from my stat weight articles, haste does increase raw HPS more than any other secondary stat for both discipline and holy priests, so if numbers matter, a static haste upgrade for the duration of the fight is definitely useful. Keep in mind, Seal of the Seven Signs does offer better numbers over time, so don't go using Bottled Wishes over that if you happen to have the seal in your bags.

  • Reflection of the Light This is essentially the "my gear is awful and I'll take any spirit I can get" trinket. It's barely better than a Darkmoon Card: Tsunami, and it's half as good as Heart of the Unliving. The spellpower proc is the same as Bottled Wishes, but I don't really recommend taking this trinket unless you're desperate for regen and you've taken all the other possible upgrades you can get from the valor quartermaster.

What are my best-in-slot trinkets?

You may have picked up on it already, but your best-in-slot trinkets for this tier are the first two trinkets we looked at, Windward Heart and Heart of the Unliving. (I guess Dragon Soul has a lot of heart, huh?) I should warn you that I'm pretty sure that these trinkets are also the best-in-slot trinkets for every other healer, so it make take you some time to get both of them for your priest. However long it takes, I wish you the best of luck in getting them (and all the grace in the world when you do get it and that angry paladin, shaman, or druid whispers you about it).

If you've already got them, let me know how they're working out for you. Is there something you prefer more? Shard of Woe, perhaps?

Spiritual Guidance has the inside line on healing priests in patch 4.3. Check out the 4.3 raid gear guide to plan your next upgrade, or leveling a healing priest if you're just getting started.