I sat down this morning to poke around at a Holy build, but since Holy is my offspec, I won’t drag you through a whole build the way I did with Discipline. Instead what I want to talk about is some of the new talents in Holy, and a few of the changes to the healing trees overall.

A number of spells have changed tiers, but I’m more interested in spells that have gone missing. Holy Specialization is gone, as I mentioned before, so your crit rating will be your crit rating. I enjoyed that extra five percent on my holy spells (i.e., everything I cared about), but no use crying over spilled crit.

Also gone:

Improved Power Word: Fortitude: Two points, Disc; increase the effect of Power Word: Fortitude by 30% and increase your stamina by 4%.

Meditation: Three points, Disc; increases your mana regen while casting by 50%.

Silent Resolve: Three points, Disc; reduces the threat of Holy and Discipline spells and and decreases the chance of your DoTs and healing spells to be dispelled.

Absolution: Three points, Disc; reduces the mana cost of Dispel, Mass Dispel, Cure Disease, and Abolish Disease.

Mental Strength: Three points, Disc; increases your Intellect by 15%.

Spiritual Guidance: Five points, Holy; increases your Spellpower by 25% of your spirit.

Spiritual Healing: Five points, Holy; increases your heals by 10%.

I’m bummed out about Improved Power Word: Fortitude and really bummed out about Meditation. I like not having to worry about my mana, but I know the devs want us to worry a little more about it. I get why, but I don’t have to like it. I’ll miss Mental Strength, Spiritual Guidance, and Spiritual Healing, but so it goes. Those straight-up buffs are exactly the sort of thing Blizz said they were going to get rid of. I never took Silent Resolve or Absolution, so I won’t miss them at all.

We’ve already talked about new talents in the Discipline tree, as well as Divine Accuracy and Deliverance (formerly Serendipity) in the Holy Tree, but there are other new talents in Holy as well:

Choir Leader: Two points; your Divine Hymn heals you for 10/20% of your total health during its duration, and the channeling time of your Hymn of Hope is reduced by 20%.

Improved Holy Nova: Two points; reduces global cooldown on Holy Nova by .25/.5 seconds and increases its chance to crit by 25/50%.

Chakra: Five points; When you use your Prayer of Healing, Renew, or Heal three times in a row, puts you in one of three Chakra states;

  • PoH: Increases your AOE healing by 10% and reduces the cooldown on Circle of Healing by 2.5 seconds
  • Renew: Increases the haste on Renew by 15% and reduces the global cooldown of Renew by .5 seconds
  • Heal: Increases the crit chance of your Heal by 5% and your Heal has a 100% chance of refreshing your Renew on the target
  • Smite: Increases the total damage done by your holy and shadow spells by 15%. (Smite is only mentioned in the second part of the tooltip)

I love Choir Leader.  I’m always nervous about the time I’m not healing when I need to use Hymn of Hope. I doubt I’d take Improved Holy Nova; maybe for AOE damage when soloing dailies or whatnot? The Chakra mechanic sounds like a lot of fun, and I think it will be really interesting to play with. It also sounds like it has some potential for being a pain in the neck, too, but I like that they are trying to make things more interesting.

As much as I’m sorry to see “required” talents like Meditation go, I do like how it opens up choices in the tree. Of course, the extra five talent points don’t hurt either, but it seems like there are really a lot of points to play with. So I don’t have to forgo anything important to me in order to take Body and Soul, for example. I can now grab Improved Power Word: Shield for a Holy Build.

The last two posts are really just my first takes on the new trees. For a complete listing of what exactly has been removed, added, changed or moved in the trees, check out Wowhead’s Priest Cataclysm Changes.

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So I was trying to figure out what my next post would be about, when BAM! Blizz to the rescue with the Cataclysm priest changes. Thanks, Zarhym!

  • Heal (available at level 16): Yeah, like most priests, I never ever ever use Heal or Lesser Heal. Heck, I forgot they even existed! I get the idea that this revamped Heal is intended to replace Flash Heal in my typical rotations.
  • Mind Spike (available at 81): My first new level in Cataclysm, and I get a dps spell? Sigh. Shadow DID need an instant nuke, which is what this sounds like. It’ll be available to all specs, so helpful for those times I need to DPS. Fine.
  • Inner Will (available at 83): Buff to run speed and cheaper instant casts? Yes please! I’m sure Inner Fire will still be used most of the time, but this certainly will be handy in some fights.
  • Leap of Faith (available at 85): The ability to grab players out of danger? Sweet! I’m not so sure I’ll be grabbing you if you have aggro, as I’m not interested in meeting your new little mob friend. I may grab you out of the fire … if I like you and if you don’t deserve to die of your own stupidity, that is.
  • Discipline Talent: Power Word: Barrier. Oh, Power Word: Barrier, how I have dreamed of you! Instead of spamming bubbles one-by-one, I long to shield an entire group! Made of win.
  • Divine Spirit and Prayer of Spirit: GONE! I’ll miss the spirit buff, but my Devout Candle budget just got more manageable.

The other thing that seemed big to me is mana. To quote Zarhym:

Mana will be a bigger consideration for all healers. We aren’t trying to make healing more painful; we’re trying to make it more fun.

ORLY? Because I’m pretty sure when Blue says: “We aren’t trying to make healing more painful,” it means: “Healing is about to get painful!”

Welcome to Six-Inch Heals, a chronicle of my adventures as I heal my way through Azeroth. Yes indeed, another healer’s blog.

I’ve played WoW for a little more than five years now. I spent most of that time as a rogue, but in a fit of altoholism, fueled by a healer shortage on my server, I rolled a priest: the quintessential healer. The lower levels were so painful that I abandoned Sindie at level 24, but when I did eventually pick her up again, I really fell in love. Sin’s main spec was Holy, with a Shadow off-spec for leveling. Healing was stressful at first — people died if I made a mistake! — but I loved it so much that my alt quickly became my main. Eventually, I decided to give the wildly popular Discipline spec a try, and I found the shiny bubbles quite addictive. Sindie is now Disc/Shadow, because I got tired of how slowly dailies went when I was Disc/Holy… but I could see dropping Shadow for Holy sometime again in the future. I really enjoy both types of healing.

In fact, I’ve become so very fond of healing, I recently decided to level a shaman, just to give another kind of healing a try. In her early 40s, Ginger is dual-specced Resto/Elemental. The new LFG tool from Blizz is a godsend for leveling by healing instances, but I still want to be able to quest efficiently. I like the shaman style quite a bit, and needless to say, she’s nowhere nearly as squishy as Sin was coming up through the ranks.

I think I avoided trying out healing for a long time because I thought it was too stereotypical for women to play healers. But really, who cares? I love healing. And my old main? The poor gal now hangs out in Storm Peaks, mostly in Naxx 25 gear, farming herbs and mixing up her alchemical concoctions for Sindie’s benefit. She seldom runs instances and she never, ever gets to raid.

As for why I decided to start a blog, I thought it would be fun to get back to writing (which I used to do a bit of, even professionally), and I thought that WoW would make a great topic. After all, I spend some unmentionable number of hours a week playing it, so why not write about it? I look forward to telling you all about Sindie’s and Ginger’s adventures healing, raiding, pugging, and leveling through Azeroth.