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Holy Priest: Still effective?

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Any other Holy priests feel like their effectiveness has slowly been diluted by other classes?

Maybe its just me and the healers I raid with, but lately I've been feeling that with Resto Druid's crazy throughput, Shaman's crazy AOE abilities, and Holy Pallies bein' Holy Pallies, there's just not a lot of room for my heals to be effective.

Just wondering if anyone else is feeling the same.
Posted Jun 12, 11 · OP
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I don't know I switch out last night to my holy from resto in BWD. We had a lot of new people and half of them didn't have speed enchants grrrrrr

-Lightwell is greatest heal in the game once you train your guild
-Burst aoe healing
-Body and Soul+Lifegrip, give a lot of ways to save people
-GS to save tanks which my druid has no oh crap button really

Each healer has a strengthsand weaknesses
Healing with a Positive Carbon Footprint since 2004
WoW = Taiboku - Nall - Reicher - Pottle- Poxs
Posted Jun 12, 11 · Last edited Jun 12, 11
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I'm not sure really...

Speaking from my own experience, I do feel like the spec has slipped a fair bit since Cata release. Still very viable, but I do feel Holy Priests have definitely moved down in terms of desirability compared to a while ago. It just feels to me like our current heals + utility package is a little bit on the lacking side.

Our main selling point is AoE burst, but with the increasing abilities other classes have enjoyed through various buffs, as well as the nerfs to PoH and indirectly from things such as nerfed Mana Tide, I don't think this edge is nearly as big as it used to be. For the rest we have our nice spec specific things, but so does every other spec. Lightwell certainly is nice, but I wouldn't call it the best heal in the game. It's hard to argue against Tranquility for that. Our speed enhancements are nice, and we do indeed have Guardian Spirit. It's not that we are bad, but I also feel at times like not having a holy priest would be less of an issue on most bosses than many other healers. (This coming from a 10 man perspective where you have a small number of healers and not all specs)

Speaking from this same 10 man perspective, I personally just don't see the balance in Druids. I see posters (esp on the official forums) trying to justify it with supposed lack of utility, but quite frankly while this might hold some truth for 25 man (since the Druid utility generally does not stack very well), for 10 man I don't really agree with these sentiments. We've run often enough without DK where our Resto Druid was the only source of BRez, and similarly it's comparatively easy to find yourself in a composition without replenishment as 10 man raid. Aside from that, I just don't really see a major justification for the major throughput gap. Yeah, Holy Priests are more bursty, but I don't think that should equate to 20% higher raw throughput. The whole idea of not giving Druids a proper tank cooldown still feels pretty stupid to me, but even that doesn't quite justify it to me. Holy Priests are the single one spec without a raid saving cooldown now.

Compared to other specs things seem fairly balanced however. Shamans seem a little bit insane on the utility side right now, but overall I find the other 4 specs to be relatively well balanced.
Posted Jun 12, 11
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I've lost my mind and have 3 out of the 4 healers and working on baby shammy next. When ever I play healer X I miss healer Y tools. Hell I try judging on my priest last night. All the healers masteries "should" be buff with the crit change on in 4.2.

The only shortcoming that I really see when I'm on my priest is hes not as good on mana as the druid and pally.
Healing with a Positive Carbon Footprint since 2004
WoW = Taiboku - Nall - Reicher - Pottle- Poxs
Posted Jun 12, 11
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Sarjin wrote:
Speaking from my own experience, I do feel like the spec has slipped a fair bit since Cata release. Still very viable, but I do feel Holy Priests have definitely moved down in terms of desirability compared to a while ago. It just feels to me like our current heals + utility package is a little bit on the lacking side.

Our main selling point is AoE burst, but with the increasing abilities other classes have enjoyed through various buffs, as well as the nerfs to PoH and indirectly from things such as nerfed Mana Tide, I don't think this edge is nearly as big as it used to be. For the rest we have our nice spec specific things, but so does every other spec. Lightwell certainly is nice, but I wouldn't call it the best heal in the game. It's hard to argue against Tranquility for that. Our speed enhancements are nice, and we do indeed have Guardian Spirit. It's not that we are bad, but I also feel at times like not having a holy priest would be less of an issue on most bosses than many other healers.

This is very similar to how I feel about the spec currently as well. Not that its not viable, just that it has slipped. Just to note, I'm coming at this from a 25 man perspective.

Wyrnn--

I certainly agree that every class has its great tools. I'm just referring more to the Priest's toolbox being diluted in usefulness by other classes, resulting in the Holy Priest being less useful as a package.

For example, lets look at 4.2:

Holy Pallies- Holy Radiance CD is getting knocked down to 20 secs vs the current 30. My Holy Pally friend has told me that this has resulted in Holy Pallies
becoming very effective AOE healers by popping Holy Radiance on CD, and then solely relying on Light of Dawn otherwise by using Holy Shock/Crusader Strike to generate Holy Power.

Just kinda takes the wind out of the Holy Priest's AOE sails.
Posted Jun 12, 11 · OP · Last edited Jun 12, 11
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From a 10 man perspective running as Disc with a Holy Priest and either a Pally or a Shammy as the third, The 2 priests are usually pretty close in terms of throughput when absorbs are calculated.

Shammy seems to have the worst throughput and mana conservation however they do make up for the quick use of mana with Mana Tide totem.

Pallys do seem to have little mana issues (as in i have never seen them need to really stress near the end of a fight because they have no mana regen left.

As for raid saving Holy Priests have a good tank save and also a personal sacrifice raid save in the form of "wings of the dead" (spirit form when dead) those mana free heals can really help save a raid from a 5% wipe.

I haven't ran with a druid this expansion at all so I am unsure on their performance.

Not having a druid in a raid doesn't affect us much, we sometimes have a DK or a Lock for the Bres but the only time a Bres should be needed in 10 man is when you get some bad rng and unless it is sub 20% on a boss then chances are even with a Bres a wipe can still happen.

Lightwell if used by the raid correctly is very powerful, it is certainly interesting when you look at reports on WoL and see who and how many people actually use it, Lightwell comes down to placement and at least doesn't rely on people being grouped up together like Healing Rain, PW:B, Light of Dawn.

In an idea world in 10's you would take one of each class, the fact that rarely is possible means that you can stack "flavour of the patch" healers I would say most healers are reasonably well balanced with the ones I have played with, I would still say that Holy Priests have the easiest ability to switch to what is needed ie more tank heals or more raid healing without having to tailor their spec to suit.

However it does all determine on what the healing group is that you have available.
Posted Jun 12, 11
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Palsgraf wrote:
Holy Pallies- Holy Radiance CD is getting knocked down to 20 secs vs the current 30. My Holy Pally friend has told me that this has resulted in Holy Pallies
becoming very effective AOE healers by popping Holy Radiance on CD, and then solely relying on Light of Dawn otherwise by using Holy Shock/Crusader Strike to generate Holy Power.

Just kinda takes the wind out of the Holy Priest's AOE sails.

I'm personally not quite that worried about Paladins as competition. Their only two AOE heals are LoD which is relatively difficult to use highly effectively (as 10 man Pally anyways) and limited by Holy Power generation, as well as Holy Radiance which also has a cooldown. They will be able to do more 'support' AoE healing as result, but as long as their only multi target heals are effectively on cooldown like they are now, I don't ever expect them to be a spec you can rely on to do your raid healing.
Reviamjolly wrote:
As for raid saving Holy Priests have a good tank save and also a personal sacrifice raid save in the form of "wings of the dead" (spirit form when dead) those mana free heals can really help save a raid from a 5% wipe.

We are obviously not lacking in the tank saving department, but I wouldn't really classify Spirit of Redemption as any sort of save. It might come in handy in rare occasions where the raid is wiping on the first kill and it might just delay the wipe enough to take out the final few HP. However this effect is so rare and far in between that I wouldn't compare it to any other raid save. My point isn't also so much that we are sorely lacking (though it seriously annoys me that DH is more of a mana cooldown than a life saving one; with the throughput it has there might be times I even prefer using regular heals since I at least control who gets healed by them) as that I find the situation to largely invalidate the Druids' claim that their superior throughput power is justified by their lack of a tank cooldown:

Paladins: Tank (Hand of Sacrifice) and Raid (Aura Mastery)
Shamans: Essentially both as they can use Spirit Link for both. However, obviously it's a single skill, whereas other specs have different spells on separate cooldowns.
Druids: Raid (Tranquility)
Disc Priests: Tank (Pain Suppression) and Raid (PW:Barrier)
Holy Priests: Tank (Guardian Spirit)

As you can see from the above, where Druids lack a tank cooldown, Holy Priests lack a raid cooldown. Divine Hymn just lacks throughput to really save lives, and its cooldown is also much higher than other raid saving cooldowns. It's not the biggest deal, but as a result I don't find the lack of tank cooldown to be terribly valid as justification for the Druids' much higher raw throughput. (Though we have to keep in mind here that Spirit Link, Aura Mastery and PW: Barrier's effects are 'hidden' on the meters and Tranq is not, which would make a slight advantage in throughput justified. However compared to Holy, I just don't see why Druids should enjoy such a high throughput advantage, as in my opinion the lack of tanking cooldown and lower amount of burst (a gap which has been considerably reduced over the past months) does not justify this.

Since you have not raided with a Druid that much, to give you an idea: going by parses in all difficulties (10-25 Normal-Heroic) and different measurements (average, median, Top X vs All), Druids typically hold a 10-15% throughput advantage over Holy Paladins, and 15-20% advantage over Holy Priests, Disc Priests and Resto Shamans.

I just feel having Druids have such a throughput advantage is just a silly way of balancing. If it were up to me I'd tone their output down to a more balanced level, give them that tank cooldown (Barkskin or whatever) and then apply Holy specific buffs to Divine Hymn (Both a bump in throughput and reduction of cooldown to be more in line with other skills) so that all specs then have raid and tank cooldowns. (Holy only DH though since Disc already has a nice repertoire)
Posted Jun 13, 11
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I love playing holy... I like planning for the burst damage and syncing up my abilities to burst after that damage (eg. Shadows Orders or Flame Breath, or Chain Lightning, or Blackout) However, I'd be lying if I didn't say that I've felt that Holy has been slipping down and down as the tier progressed.

Holy doesn't really scale by much outside of pure Int. Yes, Haste means you can cast faster, but compare Haste scaling to a Druids Haste scaling... its a bit imbalanced. Renew's "magic 12.5%" (trololol) is one method... and yes you can add ticks to Hymns. But with Rejuv, Efflor, and WG with very easily attainable breakpoints... its not a small buff. Pallies just had Mastery improved for them, which is not dissimilar to DA... (Let's not forget it is without the critical healing requirement.) While they still won't 'chase' Mastery... it still is added scaling for them.

But Derevka... Echo of Light is a added heal to all of our non HoTs! Holy's biggest downfall, to me, seems to be our Mastery. Yes, mastery is nice. I am not doubting that... but the sheer amount of it we'll need (in it's current model) needs to be high for the Echo to be consequential. Mastery is frankly, just buffer and not really great throughput. The amount that it heals for only cumulatively looks "nice" on meters. Yes, any free healing is great... but still is just so little. (Stacking a ton of mastery you're still only 20-30% EoL) And with more and more Holy priests incorporating more Renews ... which isn't affected by it. (Don't try to cite Empowered Touch.... lol). EOL doesn't scale with Haste, and often is 'sniped' by other healers--- not to their fault, just by nature of the time EOL takes to apply. I'd much rather have it be a flat increase. If you asked me (and you didn't): Tie it to Chakra... make Mastery scale your heals that are incorporated to your corresponding Chakra state-- boom, reliable and immediate effective throughput, not a slow bleeding EoL. Anyhoo... I digress.

200% Crits? While Crit is great, and 200% even better... crit isn't 'reliable'. As Vandregian supposed in another thread, I agree... Holy Priests will want to maintain a healthy balance between all 3 non intellect stats. (HST/MST/Crit)

Disc and Mastery will scale exceptionally well as gear and mastery becomes more and more available. Of course, DA's will be more easily capped. (which on the PTR is roughly 51k, and can be attained by a lucky crit streak)-- but who's really scoffing at a 51k bubble?

My guild at the moment typically runs 2 holy priests, and 1 disc in our healer make-up(fight dependent, but yes... usually 3 of us). I am predicting that in 4.2 we'll shift towards a 2 Disc 1 Holy Setup with one of the discs on the raid with the other on the Tank. This will mainly be due to the Added Raid Cooldown (which is always welcomed), Flexibility of Power Infusion for DPS/Self, Pain Supp (tank), and the general rule of "Mitigated Damage on the Tank is better than Healing Up the Tank Damage Received" . With 200% crits, and further availability of more Mastery disc is going to prove to be very powerful on the Tanks.

Does this depend on your raid? Of course it does... We only have 1 raiding HPally, and historically in Edge we've had a LOT of cross healing, and cross-assignment support. Adding a full time Disc on the tanks seems likely. Druids will continue to be powerful, and have ALWAYS scaled a good deal the further you go into progression and Tiers. In Cata this just seems a bit sooner than expected.

Let's not get me started on Divine Hymn.... that spell has been on a steady decline since it's nerf during Ulduar. It's output is just far too low.

Is Holy Effective? You bet... and a lot of it is dependent on your raid makeup and what your raid needs from you. If you are going to be able to raid heal... Holy will still be your best bet of the two specs.

Wow this post seems very "THE SKY IS FALLING!"--- which is not my intent. TLDR; Holy is very viable, albeit a bit overlooked by the developers in late T11 and in the current 4.2 builds. If you love Holy... play holy, but position yourself in your healing assignments to your strengths
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8/8 Heroic 25-Man Dragon Soul
Posted Jun 13, 11 · Last edited Jun 13, 11
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Mastery aside, there are two problems that I foresee with holy priest in the coming tiers. Note that this does not come from a hardmode perspective, so things could very well be different in that regard. Moreover, it's a 10-man perspective, so again, things may change in 25-man.

The first is with Test of Faith (and by proxy, shaman mastery, which works similarly). Since holy priests are balanced around Test of Faith, it means that we're at our highest throughput when targets are under 50% - doubly so if there are many targets under 50%, since we can use our highest throughput spells (PoH and CoH) to bolster that up even further. In the same regard, restoration shaman heal more when targets are missing health; the more health they are missing, the more healing they do (especially via Chain Heal, Ancestral Awakening and Healing Rain). The interesting thing about this is that this also in a way causes the other three healers (discipline priests, holy paladins and restoration druids) to have to heal more, since they're at low health. Since we're no longer being asked to go the triage route, it will eventually return to mindless spamming of key heals in order to get through an encounter.

The second issue is Holy Concentration. While nice, if what Derevka says is true, and we scale off intellect more than any other stat, Holy Concentration becomes a liability since it's not based off intellect regen, but purely spirit regen. Passive mana regeneration (not counting Replenishment) is tied to both spirit and intellect. What this ultimately does is potentially cause holy priests to - more or less - rely on Mana Tide Totem, since it gives a boost to spirit, and thus a boost to Holy Concentration. Unfortunately, for some reason unbeknownst to us, holy priests are also the only healers that don't have an intellect-based or damage-to-mana conversion via talents or baseline spells, which also may cause issues (we won't go into issues with Shadowfiend or Hymn of Hope). One might argue Evangelism and Archangel, but I'm not entirely sure it's worth the loss in points from Darkness or (potentially) Veiled Shadows.

On this note, I also think what stats one goes for in the end comes down to what your raid composition is going to be, and what raid size it is. In the long run, I feel that mastery is very possibly going to be my "worst" stat come 4.2, but I also won't have an opportunity to gear for crit after haste (which will be king, short of spirit) due to gear itemization. All in all, mastery also tends to cause a lot of overhealing save on specific encounters, and it's already far too easy as a 10-man priest to clip Echo of Light and Glyph of Prayer of Healing, just by virtue of only having two groups in the raid. Additionally, since Chakra dancing is more common in 10-man encounters, this also causes crit to be more valuable, just because of Chakra: Serenity and its innate crit increases to "Heal" spells and Holy Word: Serenity.
Holy Troll
@gotowell
Posted Jun 13, 11
Derevka wrote:
But Derevka... Echo of Light is a added heal to all of our non HoTs! Holy's biggest downfall, to me, seems to be our Mastery. Yes, mastery is nice. I am not doubting that... but the sheer amount of it we'll need (in it's current model) needs to be high for the Echo to be consequential. Mastery is frankly, just buffer and not really great throughput. The amount that it heals for only cumulatively looks "nice" on meters. Yes, any free healing is great... but still is just so little. (Stacking a ton of mastery you're still only 20-30% EoL) And with more and more Holy priests incorporating more Renews ... which isn't affected by it.

...

Let's not get me started on Divine Hymn.... that spell has been on a steady decline since it's nerf during Ulduar. It's output is just far too low.

Totally agreed on both counts. I do think Holy needs to have the DH cooldown reduced (leave it at once-per-fight for Disc though).

I think maybe if they shortened the duration on Echo of Light by a second or two, it would be more passable, but still the issue with Renew makes it a very shaky stat. No offense but I don't like your suggestion of tying it directly into Chakra, because then it would probably be too much of an "I WIN" button. I think making it heal for the same amount over a shorter period of time would be a better fix, albeit far from a perfect one.
Posted Jun 13, 11
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