This is a lot more subjective than my paladin crib sheet. Ultimately for dps there is an optimum way of doing things that produces the most dps. If you don’t follow that, you might do less dps. A few people will manage high dps without following the norm, but not many.
Healing is different. The best healer is the one who manages to heal their assignment and help out a bit elsewhere if needed. Throughput and mana management and all the other things you can consider about a healer are all dependent on the healing assignment and completing that assignment successfully is the measure of a good healer.
With those disclaimers, below is what I am doing as a Holy Priest. If you are new to Holy Priesting you could do worse than copy what I am doing. But depending on who you are healing with, what you are healing and your own style, you will want to make changes. The below should get you started. I’ve tried to note where I’ve gone against the Elitist Jerks advice so you can make a decision. You could also use EJ as your starting point but their guide is a lot longer than mine.
Specs and Glyphs
- There are some talents which different people tend to change: Spirit of Redemption, Desperate Prayer, Rapid Renewal and to a lesser extent Darkness and Body and Soul. Body and Soul is less useful if you are raiding with a Disc Priest.
- The only utterly pointless talent in the Holy tree is State of Mind and its only been pointless since 4.1.
- Use Prime Glyph of Renewal and Prime Glyph of Prayer of Healing. There are probably another three valid choice for the third spot: Prime Glyph of Flash Heal, Prime Glyph of Lightwell and Prime Glyph of Power Word: Shield. I chose the latter as it gives me a nice insta heal which works well with how I use the spell and with Body and Soul. You may want to use the Prime Glyph of Guardian Spirit in certain situations. I’ve not found one yet but I’ve also not done any heroic raiding.
- Use Major Glyph of Circle of Healing and Major Glyph of Prayer of Mending. The others are situational but for general use at the moment I would take Major Glyph of Mass Dispel.
- Minor Glyphs aren’t game changers but Minor Glyph of Fading is nice, as is Minor Glyph of Levitate and Minor Glyph of Shackle Undead. Minor Glyph of Shadowfiend can still be nice too – though the Shadowfiend takes less AoE damage there are still some times when it can be one-shotted.
- Heal is your basic heal. All other heals should be used only when Heal is inadequate for some reason. That will be a lot of the time but it helps to think of other spells in reference to Heal.
- Greater Heal takes as long as Heal to cast, heals for considerably more and costs more mana. Its less efficient than Heal, but not particularly inefficient as long as the whole heal is needed.
- Flash Heal is faster than Heal and heals for more, but costs a lot of mana. Its inefficient but you will need to use it.
- Binding Heal heals for nearly as much as Flash Heal and costs the same, but heals you too. Bargin.
- Prayer of Mending sits on a target and heals them when damage is taken. Once it heals that target it bounces to another random target. It can jump up to 5 times. It will sit on a target for 30 seconds before disappearing if not used.
- Lightwell is your single most efficient heal. You can place it before a pull. Remind your group to use it frequently. It will not reduce their dps!
- Prayer of Healing will heal all targets in a group. Its efficient when you need to heal 3 or more targets. You need to ensure your raid is set up for you to use this efficiently. You need all your targets to be in range of each other and to be taking similar damage at similar times.
- Circle of Healing instantly heals 6 targets. Its not a mana hog so use it frequently. Its a smart heal so it will heal the targetted person and then 5 other people in range who need it. It has a cooldown.
- A Holy Priest should always be in one or another Chakra state. There are two healing Chakra states: Serenity and Sanctury.
- Serenity is for single target healing. It increases the effectiveness of your direct heals, allows them to refresh Renew and turns your Holy Word spell into Holy Word: Serenity.
- Sanctury improves the efficiency of your AoE heals and Renew and reduces the cooldown of Circle of Healing. It turns your Holy Word spell into Holy Word: Sanctury
- In order to get into a Chakra state you cast Chakra and then use a spell that corresponds to the Chakra state you want to get into. I normally use PoM or Flash Heal if I change state mid fight and PoM or Heal to set my state prior to starting a fight.
- Put Holy Word: Chastise on your bar. This will become one of the other Holy Word spells depending on your Chakra.
- Holy Word: Serenity is an instant heal that costs very little mana and increases the crit chance of heals on the target for 6 seconds. Use it often.
- Holy Word: Sanctury puts a sparkling circle on the ground that heals anyone standing in it. It is quite expensive mana wise and you should only use it when you know it will hit most of the group/ranged and healers. There are lots of raid fights where this is very useful.
- Power Word: Shield prevents damage from being taken rather than healing, though it also heals if you glyph it. I use this in several ways (these aren’t mutually exclusive). During a spike of damage on a tank to mitigate some of that spike. To prevent damage on a squishy raid member. To protect a raid member on very low health from dying while I cast a heal. And, because I have Body and Soul, to provide a speed boost to a player who is trying to get out of/stay out of bad.
GlitterNova looks pretty. It heals a bit on up to 5 targets and does some damage to mobs around you. There are very few actual uses for it but its pretty and you should use it at every opportunity (i.e. when you have lots of mana that you won’t need for anything useful and are bored).
- Divine Hymn is your big cooldown heal. It has a long cooldown (8 minutes) but is VERY powerful.
Abilities: Modifiers and Combinations
- No matter what you are healing use Prayer of Mending on cooldown.
- If you are tank healing you should do so in the Serenity Chakra state. Use Heal where possible and Greater Heal when Heal isn’t quite good enough. Put Renew on the tank. Use Holy Word: Serenity frequently. For heavy damage Holy Word: Serenity > Flash Heal > Flash Heal > Greater Heal (which will be faster and cheaper due to Serendipity).
- If you are raid healing you should do so in the Sanctury Chakra state in most cases. Use Holy Word: Serenity and Lightwell to keep people stable while you cast other spells. Use CoH on cooldown and lots of PoH. If only a couple of people need healing use Heal or Renew – frequent use of Renew requires more mana than Heal. Use Flash Heal when you need to respond quickly and remember Serendipity also works to speed up and reduce the cost of PoH.
- Surge of Light makes your next Flash Heal instant and free. There is no bad here. Any direct heal makes it proc, as does Smite.
- Inner Fire increases your spellpower and armor. Alternatively, you have Inner Will which reduces the cost of instant cast spells and increases your movement speed. I use Inner Will most of the time. It helps me save mana and live longer, which are more valuable from a little bit of throughput and mitigation of physical damage.
- Shadowfiend returns a % of your maximum mana to you. For personal regen you should combine this with Hymn of Hope as the latter will increase your maximum mana and therefore what you get from Shadowfiend. However, in other fights you will want to spread your cooldowns and use Shadowfiend early so it will be available again.
- Fade temporarily reduces you aggro. Use it when adds are attacking you (standing next to a mage before you hit it is optional). But remember it is temporary. If a tank doesn’t get aggro on the mob before it runs out and you keep healing, it’ll be back!
- Hymn of Hope returns mana to 3 nearby raid members and increases their maximum mana.
- Guardian Spirit basically stops a player from dying if they die while its active and gives them enough health that you can heal them. Useful to prevent inevitable deaths of some kind, or for big spikes. Its a bit buggy.
- Dispel Magic removes two magical effects from a friendly target and one from an enemy target. Yes you too can purge. You need to ensure you can use this quickly as many magical effects do very bad things if you leave them on too long. There is an addon called Decursive that does just this, but I use Vuhdo to do it.
- Mass Dispel removes a magical effect from friendly targets in its range. This saves mana and global cooldowns, but has a cast time.
- Cure Disease removes a disease from a friendly target.
- Fear Ward stops a target being feared.
- Power Word: Fortitude and Shadow Protection add health and shadow immunity. Make sure they are always up and recast them on a battle rezzed person where possible.
- Leap of Faith is FABULOUS. You basically grab someone and pull them towards you. Useful for getting people out of bad. Or into the position they are meant to be standing in (thou shalt stand in the middle on phase 1 of Nef as ranged dps). Or for pulling people back up the lift. It also adds a speed boost with Body and Soul.
- Levitate lets someone float safely to the ground.
- Shackle Undead is fairly effective. It does tend to break randomly but can be recast.
- A holy priest can only Mind Control if the target they are controlling can heal as well or better than they can. There are some mobs in Vortex Pinnacle that allow this. I’ve not found any others so far.
- Psychic Scream makes a group of mobs who are very close to you run in fear. Generally not for use in raids. It has a short duration and a long cooldown. It can be used to ease the first few seconds of a trash pull gone wrong or to interrupt Conversion on Cho’gall. If you are going to use it, glyph it.
- Mana Burn takes mana from a target … and doesn’t give it to you. In fact it costs you mana. Its been a long time since this had a use in raids, but you never know.
- Intellect is the best stat. You will always gain more intellect by going up an ilevel. However, don’t upgrade Intellect at the cost of too much Spirit.
- Spirit is important. You should aim to have Spirit on most if not all of your gear.
- You should aim for 12.5% Haste raid buffed which will give your Renew an extra tick. After that you should reforge haste to Spirit or Mastery.
- Mastery is the stat to stack.
- Crit is bad. Reforge it to Spirit, Haste or Mastery (as detailed above).
- The 2 part set bonus for tier 11 is pointless. The 4 part set bonus is very nice.
Gems and Enhancements
- Use the Ember Shadowspirit Diamond meta gem. You can also use the Revitalizing Shadowspirit Diamond, but Ember is generally better.
- In a red socket use a Brilliant Inferno Ruby (+40 Intellect)
- In a blue socket I tend to use Purified Demonseye (+20 Intellect/+20 Spirit) If the socket bonus is poor you could use Brilliant Inferno Ruby, but a little extra Spirit doesn’t hurt.
- In a yellow socket I tend to use Reckless Ember Topaz (+20 Intellect/+20 Haste) or Artful Ember Topaz (+20 Intellect/+20 Mastery). Again depending on the socket bonus you could use a Brilliant Inferno Ruby. You need at least two yellow gems to activate your meta so use two of these somewhere.
- Unless you have a profession that provides a better enchant, enchants and enhancements are:
- Head: Arcanum of Hyjal (Guardian’s of Hyjal – Revered)
- Shoulder: Greater Inscription of the Charged Lodestone (Therazane – Exalted)
- Chest: Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats (+20 stats) or Exceptional Spirit (+40 Spirit)
- Wrist: Enchant Bracer – Speed (+50 Haste), Exceptional Spirit (+50 Spirit) or Mighty Intellect (+50 Intellect)
- Hands: Enchant Gloves – Mastery (+50 Mastery) or Haste (+50 Haste)
- Waist: Ebonsteel Belt Buckle (Made by BS, BoE)
- Legs: Powerful Ghostly Spellthread (Made by Tailor, BoE)
- Feet: Enchant Boots – Haste (+50 Haste) or Mastery (+50 Mastery)
- Weapon: Enchant Weapon – Hurricane (Haste), Heartsong (Spirit) or Power Torrent (Intellect) – each procs based on casts.
- Off-hand (if you have one) Superior Intellect (+40 intellect)
- Where you have a choice of stats start with any Spirit ones as you are gearing. Once you have plenty of Spirit from elsewhere you can use Intellect, Haste (up to 12.5% raid buffed) and Mastery in that order of preference.