WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Matticus is now a panda. He wields shadowy powers as well as his chopsticks but continues to play supportive healing roles in challenge modes. Stop by the World of Matticus for more!Greetings my brothers and sisters!
It has been too long since I've donned my healing robes. I've been predominantly shadow this whole expansion. I will be spiritually guiding you this week at Dawn's request and we are getting ever closer to a patch 5.2 drop. With the PvP season ending soon, you can bet your trinkets that a release is imminent. The final stages of patch development are winding down. Most of the new abilities or talent changes have been overhauled. Now it's all about tuning and numbers. There's been some fundamental patch changes recently since the last time the PTR changes were reviewed.
How Divine Aegis works
There are now two components to Divine Aegis.
First, Divine Aegis causes critical healing spells to apply an absorb on the target for 100% of the amount healed (instead of healing for twice as much).
Let's say you critically heal a player for 100k. In addition to the heal, they now gain a 100k shield. Realistically, that 100k shield is going to actually be higher based on your discipline mastery. In current raid settings, as long as players are taking damage from something, discipline is going to be unbelieveably strong. However, Dawn did bring up a good point that there's going to be some serious potential healing lost to orphan shields.
The second component is that Power Word: Shield now has a chance equal to the priest's critical strike chance for the shield to absorb twice as much damage. If your shield crits, it absorbs double.
Orphan shield: A shield placed on a target who receives healing but does not incur any damage thereafter. This results in a "wasted" shield.
That change is in addition to the mana cost buffs.
Get back into the habit of casting Power Word: Shield more frequently. I have mine bound to "1".
Mana costs of Power Word: Shield before and after
5.1: 18300 mana
5.2: 13725 mana
The mastery for discipline priests has also changed slightly. On live, it increases the potency of all damage absorption spells by 20% (and goes up from there). After the patch, it will increase the power of damage absorption spells by 12.8% and all healing by 6.4%.
Why were these changes made?
I may as well just let Ghostcrawler explain the logic in the decisions behind Divine Aegis and the discipline mastery.
On Power Word: Solace
Power Word: Solace has been replaced by Solace & Insanity. For holy and discipline priests, Power Word: Solace completely replaces Holy Fire. It deals damage and interacts with spells in the same way as Holy Fire. However, Atonement does not activate off of it. Not only that, Solace is instant, free, and restores 1% of your maximum mana on each cast. Damage dealt by Power Word: Solace also heals a friendly player that's close by for 100% of the damage dealt (but only 50% if it's the casting priest).
Power Word: Solace vs Mindbender
So what's the consensus on Solace? I worked with Dawn on this one. If you're casting it every moment it's available, you get 6% of your mana back per minute. Factor in the Shadowfiend and that's 3% per swing. You're looking at around 8-9 swings every 3 minutes.
With Mindbender, it's about 1.46% mana returned per swing with around 10-11 swings per cast on a 1 minute cooldown.
Every 3 minutes, you'll be getting back 45% mana back with Power Word: Solace and 48.18% with Mindbender.
We're giving the decision to Mindbender on which talent is the better bang for the (mana) buck. That being said though, I think Solace will have a place in certain areas like clearing out heroic dungeons or select challenge modes.
The last major change is that Power Infusion has been buffed (mainly for shadow). Priest damage is increased by
Other minor healing changes
- Body and Soul is being reverted back to a 4 second duration.
- Holy Fire will be instant cast.
- Penance's base cooldown reduced from 10 seconds to 9 seconds.
- Tier 14 - 4 piece cooldown for Penance is being changed. It now reduces the cooldown by 3 seconds instead of 4 seconds (Tier 14 is nerfed and Penance is buffed resulting in similar end results).
Shadow priests will see some additional buffs:
With respect to all of the changes though, I'm quite delighted to see that we're heading back toward the direction of discipline priests in early Cataclysm and late Wrath of the Lich King. Mind you, we're not heading down the road of complete and utter shield spam the way it was during those periods. But at least it's not going to be the Prayer of Healing spam coupled with Spirit Shell method as it is currently.
Are you fine folks delighted about the direction discipline is taking with regards to Divine Aegis and the mastery changes? What about Power Word: Solace? Do you see a situation in which you would select that over the other talents in that row?
Come to Spiritual Guidance for the inside line on current healing gear and trinkets, as well as advice for healing in Dragon Soul. Newcomer to the priest class? Look into leveling a healing priest, and consult our guides to Discipline Priest 101 and Holy Priest 101.