Chakra: The Holy Priest's "Maul"

100 Undead Priest
During WotLK, the Maul ability was virtualized for feral druid tanks. It was critically important for a bear to use Maul, but he didn't need to worry about actuating it. Many bear tanks macro'd Maul with important abilities (Mangle, Swipe) so that Maul stayed queued as often as possible. The ability was essential, but there was almost never a decision (for many players) about when to use it. The ability was virtualized.

I like the Chakra ability. Having it active makes a Holy priest feel a bit more awesome and gives him access to cool new Holy Word abilities. Holy priests will need to use Chakra since we are balanced around it (in this way, if true, Chakra doesn't actually make a priest awesome ... rather, it makes him adequate). So, I have concluded that Chakra is as essential to Holy priests in Cataclysm as Maul was to bears in LK.

The issue I have (and about which I have no corrective suggestions) is that Chakra can be virtualized the same way that Maul was.

A Holy priest will necessarily want to keep the up-time of Chakra maximized, since it will be necessary to be competitive. Therefore, a Holy priest can macro Chakra with the abilities Heal, PoM, and PoH. This completely makes Chakra a passive rotation and not a decision.

When Chakra is available and a Holy priest casts Heal, he automatically gets Serenity and keeps it available while doing single-target/tank healing for as long as he is in that role.

When Chakra is available and a Holy priest casts PoM, he automatically gets Sanctuary and keeps it up any time he casts PoM/PoH in a raid healing role.

One question is whether roles in Cataclysm are as binary as they were during TBC, i.e. a healer on tank heals stays on tank heals for the whole fight. Maybe in Cataclysm healers will switch between tank and raid heals more often which would bring back a decision process for Chakra. However, if the roles are as binary as they were in TBC, then Chakra can be treated exactly like Maul was. It is an essential ability that can be taken completely off the action bar.
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82 Blood Elf Priest
drop flash from your rotation and go with an all instant cast rotation and watch your hp's soar. ie; renew, CoH, PoM, PW:S(yes you can use it as holy, great with body and soul).

These four should be your staples, with flash only used as necessary when the pally decided to raid heal to top the charts, leaving the tank almost dead.

don't even talk to me about slow casting PoH with its party only and distance limitations.
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85 Goblin Priest
Just don't use PW:S if you are holy and raiding with a disc priest
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85 Night Elf Priest
Sometimes Sanctuary won't be the best chakra to be in. At that point the priests who didn't macro it in will be able to get into Heal chakra, while those who did will find themselves stuck in the wrong chakra.
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90 Human Priest
Just don't use PW:S if you are holy and raiding with a disc priest

If you're using it specifically for the Body & Soul effect, it's usually not a problem.
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90 Night Elf Druid
don't even talk to me about slow casting PoH with its party only and distance limitations.

Then you have no idea how good it is. PoH is fantastic, and one of the best spells Priests have right now. Have fun crippling yourself.
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100 Blood Elf Priest
While you can do, it is acceptable as others have said because of the skill difference. It will get the job done much of the time, but you will find yourself in situations where you accidently pop sanctuary while tank healing because you are throwing a PoH on the group while having the tank targeted. If you are tank healing out of Serenity, there is a good chance they are gonna die or you are gonna oom. This is only one of many situations that has prevented me from doing this on beta or live.
Edited by Taihou on 11/30/2010 1:28 PM PST
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