A Holy Priest is a true Holy power healer. They possess the biggest arsenal of healing spells as compared to other healers.
Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:
- Powerful continuous healing;
- A simple healing model – all the healing is carried out instantly, the share of the over-time healing has barely any effect on your gameplay;
- 2 strong saves with a long cd
- Extremely low mobility;
- AoE spells are very peculiar about the group/raid’s positioning;
- Relatively low survival due to the absence of personal defensive cooldowns;
- Weak single target healing
Basic information on the spec:
A Holy Priest, like any other healer in this game, utilizes one key resource – Mana. Mana is spent on the majority of healing spells, and on some auxiliary ones, too.
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(Area of Effect) is basically the area where this of that effect is actuated regardless of whether its damage or healing. This command is usually used to act in a team/raid on several targets. It is also used to describe any ability of a Boss with the aforementioned effect.
Absorb is short for ‘Absorption’. Refers to any effects capable of preventing damage taking.
Buff stands for any positive effect. Always reflected to the left of the mini-map, by its upper edge.
Burst is an ability to do – in multiple ways – massive damage within a short period of time.
Cleave is an ability to damage secondary targets through damaging the main one with no (or minor) loss in the damage done to the main target.
Cooldown (often CD) primarily refers to the ability recovery time. Can be often applied to bursts and various protective abilities.
Gear is what it is.
GCD (Global Cooldown) is the overall ability recovery time.
Debuff stands for negative effect. By default, it’ reflected to the left of the mini-map by its lower edge.
DoT stands for Damage over Time.
DPS (Damage per Second) is a measure that reflects the damage done within one second.
HPS stands for Healing per Second – the amount of healing done within one second.
Melee and Range. Melee is the close-range combat zone, also used in the titles of all the classes and specs that do effective damage in this zone. Range usually refers to a zone that is not a close-range one and is used, respectfully, in the titles of all classes and specs that do effective damage remotely.
Overheal is an inefficient heal that exceeds 100% Health.
Trait is a name for the ‘talents’ your azerite armor has.
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Flash Heal, for a small amount of Mana, allows you to cast a quick spell which restores a major share of Health.
Heal demands a bit of Mana, but it does have a 2.5-sec cast. Heals a bit more than flash, good to use while the raid does receive high damage.
Prayer of Mending buffs your ally who gets minor Health restored once they receive damage. As soon as the damage is received, Prayer of Mending jumps over onto a different group/raid player within the 20 m range. The total count of relocations is 5. After each jump, the buff is renewed to a 30-sec duration. Restoring time – 12 secs.
Prayer of Healing is an expensive spell with a 2-sec cast. Restores medium Health to a selected target and some more to 4 closest injured allies within the range of 40 m.
Renew is a Mana-cheap spell instantly restoring a very small portion of Health, and then – medium Health over the following 15 secs.
Holy Word: Serenity instantly restores a huge portion of Health to an ally and costs quite a lot of Mana. CD 1 min.
Holy Word: Sanctify allows you to choose a 10-m radius area in which you instantly deliver major AoE healing on no more than 6 allies. Demands a lot of Mana. CD 1 min.
Purify cancels any malicious magic effects and maladies on the target. Provided a successful cancelling, CD is 8 secs.
Mass Dispel allows you, for a huge amount of Mana, to pick an area with a 15-m range in which you conduct a mass dispel of any negative magic effects on no more than 5 allies, and on no more than 5 enemies you cancel 1 positive magic effect. This spell has the capacity to cancel more powerful spells unreachable to your regular dispels.
Smite has a 1.5-sec cast, Mana-free. Deals medium Holy damage to a selected target. Has a 20% chance of finishing the restoring time of your Holy Fire.
Holy Fire costs a small amount of mana, and instantly deals Holy damage to a selected target, plus more damage over the following 7 secs.
Holy Nova deals Holy damage to all your enemies within the 12-m range. If at least one enemy gets hit, there is a 20% chance that Holy Fire‘s restoring time finishes instantly.
Divine Hymn, for a large amount of Mana, restores within 8 secs major Health to all the allies within the 40-m range. It also increases the efficiency of any healing applied on them by 10% over the whole active period. Out of raid, say, in Mythic+, this spell’s efficiency grows by 100%. CD 3 min.
Leap of Faith, for a small amount of Mana, allows you to drag an ally within the 40-m range to your position. You need to consider, though, that dragging an ally through dangerous zones would not save them from being hit. CD 1.5 min.
Desperate prayer – your personal cooldown that instantly restores you 25% of maximum health and increases maximum health by 25% for 10 sec.
Guardian Spirit, for a small amount of Mana tags a target with a 10-sec buff that empowers the incoming healing by 40%. It also helps your ally survive fatal damage, and, instead of dying, your ally restores 40% of their max Health. When this effect works, the buff gets cancelled. Can be used when stunned. Does not allow to survive damage that is too massive (usually, the damage is supposed to be no more than 200% of max HP). CD 3 min.
Fade annuls your menaces for 10 secs. CD 30 secs.
Light of T’uure is your artifact’s active ability; becomes available after some upgrading. Restores an ally medium Health; also increases the efficiency of the healing delivere to them by you by 25% for 10 secs. 2 charges, CD 45 secs.
Spirit of Redemption makes you become a Spirit for 15 secs once you receive fatal damage. In this form, no enemy or ally can interact with you. You, on the other hand, can utilize your healing spells spending no Mana. Once its active period is over, you die.
Mastery: Echo of Light makes your direct healing spells restore Health by additional 5% of the total healing over 6 secs.
Serendipity makes your Flash Heal and Heal reduce the restoring time of your Holy Word: Serenity by 6 secs.
Prayer of Healing reduces the CD for Holy Word: Sanctify by 6 secs.
Smite reduces the restoring time of Holy Word: Chastise by 6 secs.
Focused Will reduces the whole incoming Melee damage by 15% for 8 secs. The effect stacks up, up to 2 times.
Resurrection allows you to resurrect an ally out of combat.
Mind Control allows you to control one selected enemy if their level is no more than 1 point higher than yours. The spell can be used on any enemy except for demons, mechanisms and the undead. It is on the same diminishing as disorientation effects.
Levitate allows you to tag a friendly target with a positive effect for 10 min which enables them to float in the air above the ground, the water, and reduces the falling speed. Any incoming damage cancels the effect.
Mass Resurrection allows you to resurrect all your allies out of combat within the 100 m range.
Dispel Magic cancels 1 positive magic effect on your enemy.
Shackle Undead allows you to paralyze an Undead enemy for 50 secs. Any damage dealt to the target cancels this effect. Only one enemy can be subject to the spell at a time.
Holy Word: Chastise, for a small amount of Mana, deals Holy damage and paralyzes the target for 5 secs. CD 1 min.
Symbol of hope – friendly healers are recovering 12% of missing mana for 6 sec. A channeling spell.
Psychic scream – causes 5 nearby enemies to flee within 8 yards disorienting them for 8 sec.
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General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.
Tier 1. Lvl 15
* Your default choice would be Enlightenment as the simplest – and most reliable – raid option.
Trail of Light is perfect for Mythic+ since you have only 5 people in your group, and you’ll often have to heal them one at a time with potent spells.
Enduring renewal– a pretty expensive talent to be used, requires constant usage which is not profitable when it comes to mana cost.
Tier 2. Lvl 30
- Angelic feather. Places a feather at the target location, granting the first ally walking through it 40% increased movement speed by 5 sec. Only 3 feathers can be placed at one time. The spell 3 charges. 20 sec cd. .
- Angel’s mercy – Damage you take reduces the cooldown of Desperate Prayer, based on the amount of damage taken.
- Perseverance. When you cast Renew on yourself, it reduces all damage by 10%.
* Since mobility is the main Holy priest issue it is recommended to use Angelic feather allowing you and allies to move faster.
Perseverance is a good variant for a constant received damage reduction when you don’t need increased movement speed.
Angel’s mercy is too random even when you do not need movement speed.
Tier 3. Lvl 45
* Cosmic ripple is the only raid choice currently because it allows to increase overall healing in combat.
Guardian angel – is a good mythic+ talent for single target healing.
Afterlife – a pretty weak talent in this tier, should not be used anywhere.
Tier 4. Lvl 60
- Shining force. Crates a burst of light around a friendly target, knocking away nearby enemies and slowing their movement speed by 70% for 3 sec.
- Censure. Holy word: Chastise stuns the target for 5 sec. Damage breaks the effect.
- Psychic voice – reduces the cooldown of Psychic scream by 30 sec.
Totally optional choice, depends on the situation
Tier 5. Lvl 75
- Surge of Light. Using Smite or any other healing spell grants you an 8% chance that your next Flash Heal comes Mana-free and instant. At least, 2 charges.
- Binding Heal. A Mana-cheap spell, it restores medium HP to you and one of your allies within the range of 20 m. Triggers the effect Serendipity to each spell for 3 secs.
- Circle of healing . Heals the target and 4 injured allies within 30 yards of the target. 15 sec cd.
* Circle of healing – for raids
Surge of light or Circle of healing for mythic+
Binding heal was the best talent before 8.1.5 patch, after nerf its weaker than other 2.
Tier 6. Lvl 90
- Benediction. Prayer of Mending generates 25% probability of tagging every healed target with Renew.
- Divine Star. For a small amount of Mana, it releases a star that flies 24 m forward. All the allies on its way restore Health, and all enemies take Holy damage. Once the star makes the whole distance, it goes back the same way – healing the allies and damaging the enemies. CD 15 secs.
- Halo. For a small amount of Mana, the spell creates a ring of Holy energy which expands around you until reaches the radius of 30 m. Allies receive healing, enemies take Holy damage. CD 40 secs.
*Divine Star is a good mythic+ choice and an optional choice for raiding.
Halo is a universal choice for raiding but it is pretty difficult to use it mythic+.
Benediction looks weaker than other 2 after nerfs.
Tier 7. Lvl 100
- Apotheosis.Increases the cooldown reduction to your Holy words by 300%, and reducing their cost by 100%. 2 min cd.
- Holy word: salvation – One of the strongest healing abilities in the game with 12 min cooldown. Heals all allies, and applies Renew and 2 stacks of Prayer of mending each. Cooldown reduced by 30 sec when you cast Holy word.
- Light of the naaru. The cooldowns of your Holy words are reduced by 33% when you cast the relevant spellsк.
* Holy word: salvation – is definitely the best choice for raids in this tier. It is a good additional save for your raid.
Light of the naaru or Apotheosis can be used in mythic+ in different situations. Apotheosis fits burst moments in the fight where you need to maximize healing in 20 sec.
So, we can boil it all down to the following builds:
- Angelic Feather
- Cosmic ripple
- Shining force
- Circle of healing
- Holy word: salvation
- Trail of Light
- Angelic Feather
- Guardian angel
- Shining force
- Divine Star
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- Word of mending – A great trait with a high priority. You should have at least 1 of it in your azerite armor.
- Prayeryful litany – A good trait that improves Prayer of healing.
- Promise of deliverance – An average trait for raids but a good trait for mythic+ that grants you non-stacking effect of an additional cooldown reduce on Serenity and stacking effect to increase healing from Heal and Flash Heal.
- Swirling Sands– a good passive increase of minor stats
- Blightborne Infusion – analogue of Swirling sands with minor stats increase
- Blessed sanctuary– A good healing increase mainly for raids.
- Permeating glow– A good trait for mythic+ but not really good for raids.
- Blood Rite – In raids it will be difficult to keep up buff uptime but this trait could be good in mythic+.
- Meticulous Scheming – A pretty bad trait for raids, but could be useful in mythic+ where haste is a priority stat.
- Unstable Catalyst – A situationally good trait in case you can afford minimum movements during the fight.
- Everlasting light – Not a bad heal increase. But in overall it is pretty weak and rarely used when it is required to heal a lot.
- Seductive Power – Unfortunately it is hard to keep up in raids or mythic + when Bwonsamdi appears. Even with good management this trait is still worse than its analogues from Battle for Dazar’alor.
- Synergistic Growth – a good trait for haste increase when you need it. In 8.1 “snapshot” mastery problem was fixed so this trait looks really good now.
- Concentrated Mending – a really good HoT that increases during its duration
- Blessed Portents – A great trait for getting into raiding and mythic + because has an ability to heal when “it’s required” but loses its potential once the content is fully known and often farmed
- Blood Siphon – additional mastery and self healing
- On My Way – -a constant stats increase
- Ephemeral Recovery – A situational trait that is good only if you can use a few times during the fight otherwise it’s pretty average.
- Earthlink – Pretty good stats increase but its not stable so won’t really grant even average boost when it is really needed
- Savior – a good trait if the players need to survive with low hp
- Заклинатель ран – Good haste buff
- Overwhelming Power– A pretty good Haste proc that loses efficiency while it lasts
- Not that good in raids and has average potential in mythic keys.
- Bracing Chill – A trait with a good potential but because it requires to keep up its procs makes it worse than others.
- Resounding Protection -Good constant healing increase.
- Impassive Visage – Constant healing. Grants more healing than shields, so it is less effective since shields let you survive lethal mechanics.
- Sanctum – A strong absorb when using Fade. Worse than the previous traits because can be triggered only manually.
- Gemhide – A good survivability trait. Especially good against physical damage.
- Vampiric Speed – A situational trait, mostly good in mythic+
- Longstrider – Some movement speed increase
- Twist Magic – A pretty strong trait if there is something to dispel.
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These ratings are based on simulations, statistics of WarcraftLogs and players experience.
With weak or medium incoming damage on the target, your Renew and Heal should suffice.
With damage more serious that that you should switch to Flash Heal. But keep in mind that this talent is more Mana-picky.
If the damage is getting to high, use Holy Word: Serenity.
If that’s not enough, you can use Guardian Spirit.
Even though we are reviewing the single target healing section now, there are often other allies at that time which means you shouldn’t forget to use Prayer of Mending per CD. The only exception is when each GCD is crucial for holding up a particular target.
Prayer of Mending per CD.
With minor incoming damage, use Heal, and talents like Circle of Healing, Divine Star or Halo.
If the damage grows on all targets at once, you should switch to Prayer of Healing and Holy Word: Sanctify. But remember that those spells are Mana-costly.
Divine Hymn is a great healing cooldown. You should try to use it as often as you can when your raid is exposed to major damage. It is also good to know if you have an opportunity to stand where you are for a while as that spell cannot be cast on the go.
Guardian Spirit should be utilized in one of the two cases: in advance on a target that is expected to take damage; or to provide a more successful heal, or as an insurance that they won’t die, or it could be done on purpose to make sure some large scale one-time damage spends the cooldown. The second option is more of emergency help measure when an ally loses massive Health for the same reasons. You should be attentive when to use Holy word salvation, because this ability actually has 4-5 min cooldown and can be used only a few times during the fight.
Before starting a combat, it’s recommended you stack both your tanks with Prayer of Mending. Ona target can house up to 10 stacks. It’s extremely beneficial to have it at the beginning of the combat, because that way you’d have enough time to regenerate Mana, and you’d have 20 (!) charges of the Prayer of Mending for the raid. This trick is extremely useful in combats that demands HPS from the very beginning.
Use instant spells when relocating, for example, Renew
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The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:
Intellect > Mastery > Crit > Veratility>Haste
The current specialization’s Mastery leaves an HoT from your direct healing spells. The HoT heals by a % of your Mastery for another 6 secs. 40% is an approximate number. With full concentration on one characteristic, its efficiency drops as it does synergize with others. This would be the more or less reasonable ratio – Mastery 40%, Haste up to 15-20%, the rest goes to Critical strike and a bit of Versatility.
Haste reduces GCD, shortens the casts, reduces the CD for your Circle of Healing and Prayer of Mending, and also increases the number of Renew ticks.
Mastery in mythic+ loses its value due to frequent instant healing and Crit+Versatility become priority.
Flasks and pots
* If your gear bears enough Mastery, you can exchange these enchantments for Versatility and Crit.
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It is a good idea to set mouseover macros for all your healing and defensive spells as well as for Leap of Faith (meaning when you use these macros, the spell is cast upon the target which is at your cursor’s position). For example:
#showtooltip Prayer of Healing /cast [@mouseover] Prayer of Healing
Macros for Angelic feather that allows to cast it on yourself without targeting the spot
/cast [@player] Angelic feather
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- Leveling. If your character has been inactive since the previous expansions, the best option to level up it is by Timewalking dungeons. You will gain a lot of experience, but there is one big disadvantage of leveling this way. Timewalks are available only for one week during a month, but Overgear is always here.
- Equipment. At high level, the most important thing for you will become your gear. WoW is a multiplayer game, that’s why we recommend for you to play it with your friends, or to find a new friends for mythic+ runs. If you have any trouble with it – Overgear may help you to find not just friends for a run, but a complete well geared and experienced group that also will be glad to trade all the loot you need.
- Raids. Raids are the top-tier PvE content in the game. That’s why the equipment’s base ilvl is higher than anywhere else. These dungeons require knowing all the tactics and have a good gear to kill the bosses. The possibilities of Overgear might let you skip those criteria.
Azerite. It is also not the best idea to forget about the Heart of Azeroth and not to feed it with more Azerite. Ignoring this won’t make your character stronger. The easiest way to do it – just complete all the world quests with Azerite rewards everyday. You can get extra azerite from Island Expeditions. Companions can be found at Overgear.