Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How 2 Preist? Plz PST.

I've kinda shelved my warlock in favor of my priest recently, and am enjoying running around healing things in instances again. My resto druid was a fun alternative to my rogue and tank, so this isn't the first time I've ever healed, but it is the first time I've done so with a priest, and hoo boy... Night and Day, baby. Night and Day. I'm slowly coming to the realization that I have no idea what I'm doing, and am therefore asking my friends on the internet (that's you) for help.

Let's start with what I'm doing, and then we can go from there.

My spec and gear can be seen by clicking the armory thing over in the right hand pane of my blog. The priest is Ixobelle, and as of this writing is level 70. I ran heroic Magister's the other day with a bunch of 78-ish folks who were hoping to get the tanking trinket for a DK. It's apparently still really good, and we blasted thru reg and heroic MGT in about an hour. It was a shadow priest, 2 DKs, me healing, and another 70 rogue that we picked up after a hunter rage quit on us mid run for some reason I swear that no one in the group could figure out. He started cursing, then pulled like 4 packs of mobs on us, and left group. It was all very mysterious! In the end I wound up with the Sunwell Trinket, some cloth shoulders, and a cloth belt that I stuffed full of +SD gems. Plus I have 3 more runed whatever gems in my Shadowmoon Valley hat (you know the one).

I'm up to like 840 or so spell damage, but I'm not a warlock anymore. It helps with grinding mobs, but is kinda useless in a run, since I tend to throw out way bigger heals than I'm used to, and a lot of it gets wasted. My spec is geared towards being 'holy enough' to heal 5 mans, but not completely suck for questing, with a few talents like Spirit Tap, Surge of Light, Searing Light, and Meditation. My druid was a trickle healer, that could throw out nuke heals with Swiftmend or Nature's Swiftness if needed, but for the most part just tried to keep people from getting low in the first place.

One of the more interesting tactics I've discovered is a post that described how to make the most from the Five Second Rule by starting and cancelling Greater Heals over and over and over, and then just letting the final one land when it's actually needed. I've known about the FSR, but never really paid it much attention as my druid was always keeping a Lifebloom rolling, or my warlock is just going apeshit, and mana on a lock is free (provided I can get a spare heal from time to time). I aso thought that starting a Greater Heal would nullify the FSR, but it goes from the actual spell being cast, so that's cool.

Before that, I was chucking Power Word: Shields around like Halloween candy (which is still good, and I still do), and using Renew more than I really should have, and then spamming Flash Heals to keep people topped off. I'm trying to avoid falling in love with CoH, since a huge nerf is coming down the pipe, so I try to get around using it now (Prayer of Healing when needed, etc). I use CoH from time to time --it's silly not too-- but I don't faceroll 5 mans with it bound to every key.

So I'm getting better use out of focusing more heavily on stuttering Greater Heal, and falling in love with Binding Heal, too. That's a huge one, as well. Any time I take any damage at all, I look for anyone else that needs a heal, and hit us both. That's a neat trick, and I'm getting better at actively looking for opportunities to use it.

My main questions, now that I'm figuring out specific spell uses, is one of gearing, and more specifically gemming and enchanting. As I said, I have no less than eight +14 Spell Damage gems in my gear at the moment. It's silly. When I hit 71, my Inner Fire charges will begin to add something like 90 or 100 to my spell damage, too, so I can begin focusing on the dreaded journey to MP5 land. My druid had a lot of regen through Spirit on his gear, plus an innervate, and generally speaking, wasn't very mana starved. I'm bad with watching my bars, and mid fight I'll suddenly realize that pushing my buttons isn't doing anything anymore, and I realize belatedly that I'm totally fucking OOM. The shadowfiend helps, and I'm beginning to use it earlier in boss fights to keep me from running out in the first place, and talents like the "free flash heal on crit" or Meditation (allows 30% regen to continue during casting) help, but bleh. Do I need to just suck it up and trade all my pew pew gems for mana regen gems, or what? I have a really hard time being excited about getting 4 points of mana every 5 seconds, especially considering that spells seem to be using a base percentage of mana these days. Just think! If I stand still and do nothing, I can cast a Greater Heal again in 12 minutes! Woo!

I understand that one gem by itself isn't the idea, and that you should stack as many as possible... eventually that number becomes like 2 or 300 mana per 5, which is better, but still... how far do you have to aim before it becomes viable? Do you guys have any 'general priesty tips' you can chuck out there? How valuable is crit, for example, and what about hit for casting friendly spells? Heals don't miss, but landing an MC will eventually become an issue (if only for Razuvious). On my warlock, I just throw SD gems in every slot unless the bonus is uber (or to satisfy my meta gem reqs). What's the main priest gem?

After hitting "publish post" I'm going to troll the EJ posts for a good hour or so until it's time to go home for the day (no classes after lunch today), but any little tips that 'you wish you had known back then' or whatever will probably help. This priest was basically /following my warrior all the way to 60, and I wasn't even playing the warrior either... just powering them thru instances over and over to reap the RAF 3x XP and get to Northrend ASAP. I've played a warrior before, though, and know what to expect on that front. I fumbled through Outlands just questing, and still using the 78 paladin to blow thru stuff like Nessingwary's questline and the Ring of Blood/Durn in Nagrand. Now that I've really sat down and began using him, I've respecced my priest about 7 times over the last two days, and am finally getting a general feel for how the class works. I actually like my spec atm, I just don't know the stat breakdowns, and what's important for me to focus on ;)


Ixobelle said...

lol, and I love when people ask you to "PLEASE PST", or tell you "I'll PST you later", like they have no idea that the P stands for Please already, or that the second one breaks down to "I'll please send tell you later".


Jipakazoid said...

You got it right with GH and BH, try to weave PoM as much as you can, and don't gem mp5, it doesn't scale of other buffs and isn't that great to start with.

Ixobelle said...

ah yeah, forgot PoM... I do try and keep that rolling, and have a fancy thing going with xperl unit frames that shows the buff bouncing around to who has it on them.

Regarding addons in general, I have Grid (which I really don't use), Smart Buff/Debuff (which I do use), and Clique.

I basically Clique heal on the Xperl unit frames themselves, instead of using Grid, since grid gives a pretty limited amount of info, in exchange for being so compact. Smart Buff reminds me when innerfire or fort are about to expire, and Smart Debuff has a little grid type UI I can right click or left click to remove certain debuffs (magic / disease).

which gems do you recommend, if mp5 is out?

Silkworm said...

Been a priest for 2 years raid healing till end of BC almost. Now been playing resto druid. I did not follow the priest after 70 but I can help you tremendously since you are a beginner healer.
First things first: Switch to shadow and do not run any instances as holy until you hit 80. Trust me you will save a lot of time. Holy questing is just time consuming to say the least unless you are taking this on yourself as a self inflicted penance for shouting at that kid on vent :)
Guessing that the above sentence will exit your brain within the next 5 seconds(*) here is my bit to your questions. All of them come down to one question.
Do I have enough mana to last through a boss or particular fight?
For 5 mans this is usually a 3 minute fight. For 10 mans this is very mana intensive since you lack some important raid buffs such as replenish or similars. For 25 mans your gear that can last you 10 man boss fight is good enough. So from this point of view you must have enough regen to last a boss fight. Let me define out of mana also. This means a fight where you will use a potion that will give you about 3-4K mana and use your fiend which will give you another 3-4k (or more I dont remember the mana it gave) do all the below tricks I will explain to keep yourself out of 5SR (and get max mana regen) and still the boss is not dead. This means your mana is not enough for this fight. (or DPS is low) Spirit is your friend for mana in and out of 5SR.
So Gemming
As long as you will not be out of mana as described above in your type of combat (5 man heroic 10 man or 25 man) put as much +spell power as possible. There may come a time where you might need to change to crit and/or Haste and spell power but believe me that road is very far away at least until you hit 80, get into a Nax farming guild and when you need to compete with other über priests to get yourself a raid spot. If you are OOM as described above then gem some items with +spirit. Depending on socket bonus you can use +spirit or gems with +spell power and spirit. Priortiy should be like this : Spirit(until you are comfortable with your mana) > Spell Power >Crit> Haste
Same as above. If you are having mana issues do some spirit enchants. Chest +15 spirit is very easy and helps good and better than any other enchant for you. Use metagem that restores mana back.
You have a few nifty tricks to keep yourself out of 5 sec rule and get max mana regen. Sort of micromanagement.
When you enter clearcasting do as you have explained yourself by starting a GH and canceling it. This will probably take you out of 5SR. When you do land a heal since it was a free cast you will still be out of 5SR. To continue to be out of 5SR pop Inner Focus. It works (used to) just like clearcasting meaning you will be still out of 5SR even if you do land a heal. This gives you almost 15 seconds of out of 5SR and even in your own gear can net you about a 1,5k mana which is almost your %15 of mana pool. Your mana regen out of 5 sec rule is 300+)
You and your shadowfiend:
Learn to use it effectively. Releasing it just before an AoE effect and getting it killed in 2 secs is worthless. Use it wisely and timely. It used to hit melee but was changed. I’not sure about that any more. But use it on correct time and place.
General tips
Use the PWS as little as possible. Its not efficient manawise. Use renew on caster dps as they git hit and fade/vanish/invis/shatter as necessary so they dont get any mor damage for a while.
Use a panic button that fades you and puts a shield on you.
For tank healing use GH renew and PoMending. For AoE dpsing use PWS and Flash heal on casters. Heal yourself with renew Binding heal (yeah its really very good)
Get used to Spirit of Redemption and use that 15 secs for good and save cursing to after actually dying.
Spam Prayer of MENDING. Its realy that good.
Prayer of Healing will not be very needed generaly. Use it with ınner focus to reduce its cost to zero and increase its crit chance.
Use Circle of Healing as needed. This is not needed to spam on 5 mans.
Read here http://elitistjerks.com/f77/ but remember that discussions here are toward end game raiding. But you can register, open a topic and get some friendly answers to a beginner priest.
This is a level 71 holy build http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=bVhbzhZfhtccMqVhVIo. If you will heal the rest of 70-80 use this build. It gives you the tools to survive even heroics. But I still recommend you to go shadow and keep away from instances until 80. Then get into full holy build and do 10 man pugs and 5 man heroics to get decent gear.
Do get alchemy as profession. The trinkets are awesome. Even current blue 80 alchemy trinket is better than most trinkets. Also gives more per flask and elixir.
Above all play this if you really gonna end up with it. Otherwise dont bother. Just level it up. Go back to your lock and be better with it. I realize that most people keep changing their toons at whim rather than sticking with them and learning to be master of their class. A good warlock is irreplaceable. A good healer or a good tank or a good rogue as well. Be that good one.
Hereis my armory http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Chromaggus&n=Ciang in case you want to take a look. I can dps as moonkin, I can tank as bear and I can heal as resto. I go 25 mans mainly as resto or moonkin and I can off tank 10 mans. Couple of more gear and I can even tank 25 man Kel Thuzad. And also here is my 70 retired priest to compare gear. (no link because of long time inactivity. Will login tonight and post again)

Silkworm said...

Oh I was thinking what can actually work as new MMO. I think something with sci-fi would do better. There are still lightsabers, bloodswords etc. There can be medics,paramedics. Something in UFO/Xcom games environment. hell even a World of Starcraft would rock now. I'm pretty tired of dragons and gods. I prefer nebulas and aliens. Imagine if Warhammer has started as Scifi and not a bad copy of WoW. (What creative mind to call orcs as greenskins)

Silkworm said...

Oh and finaly use healbot addon rather than grid. It gives much better visualty and you can click on names to heal them. i.e. I mousover a name right click to lifebloom, alt+left click to rejuvenation etc. You dont need to use Clique. I guess grid has similar built in mechanism. They also show agro so you you know who to heal.

Silkworm said...


This is my retired priest that raided until Tempest Keep. Gear is mostly Karazhan and badges. 70-73 questing gives much better items, so again I repeat: go shadow do quests and get to 80 as soon as possible. Choose quest rewards that favor spirit and save a few select ones for your shadow spec. Then go full holy and run pug heroics and 10 mans. With quest blues/greens you can get better gear than my 70 priest. Sigh..Those were the days...

werouious said...

you should respec to discipline and give that a try. it's a lot of fun, it's more about damage mitigation and using instant-cast spells. it is freaking awesome for MT healing.

there's a great thread over on wowhead about this.

werouious said...

here's the wowhead thread i referred to:


Ixobelle said...

damn silk! awesome chunk of info. I popped on the blog today as I was out of work sick, and jsut spent the whole day in bed, sill need to digest it all this weekend.

I know what you're saying about shadow, but I'm going to tough it out holy to get practice. I leveled my prot tank as prot back when it was lol-dps, and same with my druid, leveling resto instead of doing the feral thing like everyone expects you to do.

SOMEONE has to heal 5 mans on the climb to 80, and I'm finding groups ridiculously easy, with the added benefit of being able to be a huge dick the whole time, and still having everyone kissing my holy ass! win win!

werouious: i saw that link, and was really thinking about going disc, maybe when I'm running tens, and can be the MT heals, but group healing is harder with disc.

Ran BT last night, and got 3 pieces of gear (lolglaive MH dropped too). I also rolled a highest 84 on the staff that illidan drops, but the ML gave it to some alt on autofollow :(

Traguna said...

You may find it comforting to know that sometimes you will run out of mana simply because the tank’s or dps’ gear sucks; they take too much damage, or can’t kill fast enough, and its really not your fault. (You will learn to tell how good the group’s gear is the moment you stam buff them. If someone’s hp bar jumps significantly, you know you’re in for a rough ride.)

I have been playing my priest since beta and love holy/disc builds (grinding or healing). You’re absolutely right, who is going to heal the mid-level 5 mans?

To maximize your mana regen, you first want to have a decent mana pool, not to mention intellect actually affects your base regen capacity (check out the cool graph). http://www.wowwiki.com/Mana_regeneration
Next make sure you have a heavy dose of spirit to maximize your 5SR regen, before you start tacking on the pure MP5. Pretty much everything has spell power on it, so that will come, but be careful not to sacrifice too much regen for sp. I typically won’t equip an item unless it has a good balance of regen (either spirit or mp5) and sp. If you feel something lacking in your gear balance, that’s how to decide which gems etc.

I find that my healing tends to depend on the fight encounter itself. I typically will change out a couple pieces of gear and pick different buff food/potion/what-have-you depending on the boss, but for most trash fights and 5 mans, I like maximizing my intellect and spirit (rather than mp5). This gives me a good size mana pool, and requires less drinking between pulls. Not to mention, if you have the Spiritual Guidance talent, your spirit contributes to your overall spell power.

Speaking of talents, definitely have imp inner fire, inner focus, meditation, surge of light, and holy concentration too.

The other guys are right on about smart casting. Lots of renews, roll the PoMs, bring out the fiend when it can be safe from aoe, and saving inner focus for PoH, or a free gheal. I’ve been trying to use binding heal more often too, but its hard for my instincts to use it when a quick renew does the trick in chaotic moments. As for shield, I know its non-mana-conservative, but I got the inscription for it that adds a heal to it so now its double function has made it much more cost effective.

Happy healing!

Ixobelle said...

yeah, healing a UK run, I noticed my paly tank taking way more damage than I was used to seeing. It was my first paly tank, though, so I figured that just might be the way it was. Inspected him, and found that although he had specced to tank, all his gear was ret-tastic. +crit as far as the eye could see, and nothing with any kind of def. the group wiped twice before we all kinda gave up at the same time, but at least we were all on the same page, and there was no "fail tank" or "fail heals" thrown around ;)

Valkry said...

Get the +spellpower+spirit gems and gem every socket with it. Except of course if you want to hit a particularly good socket bonus, there are spell power + int gems which aren't too bad. Don't bother gemming for haste or crit while lvling.

Shadow really is the best way to lvl though. I'm lvling resto now and am finiding it slow. Though you do save yourself a lot of quests to complete at 80 for some big money.

Tbh though, I used to gem my druid 9 heals/2mp5 at lvl 70. I found that I gave my innervate to other people and that the flat our mp5 gems were better than the spirit gems until the spirit/intellect buff (intellect increased the effect of spirit on mana regen).

It's like crit rating and agility. You may get better crit from the rating, but eventually the agility will outscale it with raid buffs.

Ixobelle said...

also why kings is the best paly buff, yeah I hear ya

Silkworm said...

Mana regen for priests and druids is directly related to a function of intellect and spirit. Check EJ forums and you can find un-understandable pages of formulas on how its calculated. To save your time lets just say that to get max mana regen out of spirit, your spirit and intellect must be within same range. (i.e. both in 700ish region or 800ish region give or take 50) AT higher levels of gear where you end up with 900-1000 range of both stats, the kings give %10 to both which means 100 points to each stat plus the stamina. Now thats much better than static mp5 buff of pallies. Because spirit contributes to our spell power as well and increased intellect also means replenish buffs of mages or hunters give more mana back as they are based on max mana of the player. So overall in 25 man BoK is really the king of buffs. The same goes for most other classes but since there is usually 2-3 pallies in any given 25 man, you end up with all buffs.