Spiritual Guidance: A quick look at Patch 5.1 for priests

Spiritual Guidance A quick look at Patch 51 for priests

WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore is a discipline priest by reputation, but still enjoys melting faces as shadow and bugging her raid to click the Lightwell as holy.

Since launch, priests have received most of their buffs and nerfs through hot fixes, but the arrival of patch 5.1 still brings some changes for us. Holy priests in particular have received several buffs which will improve their quality of life. One such change allows Chakra to persist through death, meaning the days of seeing Holy Word: Chatise on your bars when you're 2 minutes into a pull, frustratedly wondering why Holy word: Sanctuary isn't working, are over.

Another holy change buffs Chakra: Chastise so that damage dealt by shadow and holy spells while in the stance will now do 50% increased damage, instead of 15%. An excellent change, since prior to the patch, it took holy priests 15*(2^27) Smite casts to kill a mob. Now it should only take about 10.

The rest of the buffs are as follows

  • The range of discipline's ability Atonement has been increased to 40 yards from 15. In most cases, this means the heal you do with Atonement will hit the lowest health member of your raid, even if they're not in melee range. The exception to this, of course, is if the lowest health member is off in a corner somewhere being obnoxiously out of range, just like the off-tanks on The Stone Guard always seem to be.

  • Focused Will is back for discipline priests who are inclined to PvP.

  • Holy priests received two other buffs to Chakra. First, Chakra: Serenity will now increase single target healing by 25%, up from 15%. Chakra: Sanctuary has received a similar buff, causing the stance to now increase AoE healing by 25% instead of 15%.

  • Psyfiend has been nerfed in two ways. It will only Psychic Terror every 2 seconds now, as opposed to ever 1.5 seconds. Psyfiend has also been made easier to kill, his health being nerfed from 30% of the priest's health to 10%. Poor Psyfiend.

Finally there was an update to Spirit Shell and Inner Focus, which lets them to interact. Previously using Inner Focus before or during Spirit Shell would not force your next heal to crit; now it will, which means using them both at the same time will allow one of your heals to hit for critical value, thus applying a shield for double the amount that heal normally would. (This section has been updated to reflect information provided by the commenter Dayani. I've been playing holy for most of this tier and thought this disc change had already been hotfixed in. Apparently it wasn't, as the comment below clarifies. Check it out for yourself for the full scoop and original text.)

you can get a crit. . I thought it had been hotfixed in earl. One of the commenters on this article, Dayani, explains it below.

That's about it for patch 5.1 news. As a priest there really weren't a lot of changes, but I highly recommend you read up on upgrading your gear and the changes made to event times (like daily resets) so you don't miss anything.

In other news, I have a severe case of Cinder Kitten deficiency. I'm taking supplements but nothing seems to help.

A short rant on shadow priests multidotting

The other day I saw this tweet from Lead Systems Designer, Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, floating around on MMO-Champion. It's actually a bit dated (it's from early november) but it caught my eye.

Since reading it, I've been trying to decide how I should interpret the comment. From one perspective (the give him the benefit of the doubt perspective) it seems like Ghostcrawler is simply dodging the shadow priest AoE question by telling the player that he's probably playing the wrong class if he doesn't like to multidot. From another (the less optimistic perspective) it feels like a succinct and effective end to the discussion of shadow priest AoE. I'm not sure what side I want to lean toward. What do you think?

Anyway, I brought this up because I've obviously been playing shadow a lot more and as a result, I've found myself invested in the issue of shadow priest AoE for the first time. Now, on PvE boss fights, shadow's lack of AoE doesn't bother me too much. We do good damage and I think the demands of a fight are usually manageable with the tools we have. Obviously some encounters highlight our shortcoming more than others, but for the most part it's okay.

It's everything else that had made me abhor only having a channeled AoE, and not because I think multidotting is boring. It's that when you watch other classes in battlegrounds or doing daily quests, you realize how limited our toolboxes are for the unscripted encounter. So like many others, I've found myself a bit discontent. I think to myself, if I just had an instant cast AoE like mages, or something like a death knight's Pestilence to spreads my DoTs to multiple targets, this could work so much better.

But seeing as that isn't currently on the table, I was thinking we could at least ask for a better interface for conducting our multidotting. Most of us should know that without AddOns, multidotting is a messy affair of overlapping name plates. And anyone who has ever tried tabbing between targets knows it's not a reliable way to select targets. Thoughts?

Additional reading

Rather than starting a new topic (and in turn, having to cut it up into multiple parts) I thought I'd offer up some additional priest reading from around the community. These two below are about discipline priests and Spirit Shell.

Have any suggestions of your own? Maybe another article from a blog or a thoughtful forum post? Leave it in the comments -- if I like it, I'll link it now or in the future.

Next week I'm planning on writing something I've mentioned I'd do for a while now, an in-depth guide to talents. Let me know if you have an particular questions about that before next week if you want them answered!

Spiritual Guidance is WoW Insider's source for priest information. For information on playing the class, check out our Mists of Pandaria guides for discipline, holy, and shadow. For getting geared up, check out our pre-raid gear guide.