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While there are effective benchmarks for gaining additional renew ticks through haste and the similar, as you level, because you will be spending so little time at each particular one healing, the only real advice is to focus on your primary throughput and regeneration stats (INT and SPI respectively) and try to maintain a balance of secondary stats as they a play an interrelated role and too much of one can inflate the value of the others.
Your first priority should be Spirit, until you feel like you don't easily run out of mana. There's no set-in-stone number for this, since it depends on your play style and spell usage. You'll have to gauge this one yourself.
After all, if you don't have enough mana to cast your spells, it won't matter how strong or how fast your heals are ^^
Once you're comfortable with your mana regen, it's time to start stacking Intellect and Haste. Obviously Intellect makes your heals stronger, and Haste make them faster.
This much is true for all healers.
The importance of Mastery and Crit depends on which healer class you're playing. For Holy Priests, the general order of importance is Spirit (until comfortable) > Intellect > Haste (*) > Mastery > Crit.
(*) At max level, Haste is actually higher priority than Intellect up to a certain point. When you hit level 90, you'll want to make sure you have at least 3038 Haste Rating (7.15%). This amount, when combined with a 5% Haste buff from other classes, will give you an extra tick of Renew, which does wonders for mana efficiency.
Edited by Rubdown on 12/11/2012 7:51 PM PST
For leveling: Heals are very over-scaled at low levels. I recently leveled an Alliance priest 1 - 70, no heirlooms for the most part. Got some gold for the guild ones eventually. Never bothered too much with spirit tbh, but you still should have some.
I'm not disagreeing with anyone here who says you should prioritize spirit, I just never had any issues while leveling in 5.1. Better to have too much mana than go oom. Like I said, heals are over-scaled anyway so losing some int won't be a big deal.
Spirit is VERY important once you hit 80-90, your most important stat. As any healer actually. Crit/mastery/haste vary on the class/spec/playstyle.
Hope you enjoy healing, good luck.
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