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I didn't use it this tier if I was undergeared, if the tank damage was extreme, or if I needed to try to cap divine aegis with prayer of healing. I used to showcase arguments that would try to illustrate why it could still be "optional" to use atonement, but most of those arguments in the live version and the 5.2 ptr are invalid.
With the ratio of hps/hpm of atonement spells shifting up as prayer of healing and pw:s (if you're moving away from stacking mastery) shifting down, you're going to want to learn how to use archangel/atonement if you want to maximize disc efficiency.
Some food for thought:
with penance getting a throughput buff, evangelism building becomes more important as does smiting to get it off cooldown faster with train of thought. But with the change to evangelism also affecting the healing version of penance, it becomes more throughput to use the healing version of penance. But the healing version of penance is limited to one target, and can potentially overheal more. But if you channel the healing version into a target and they will be taking subsequent damage within 15 seconds that you'll be healing yourself, it's more efficient to use penance for healing because they will have 3 stacks of grace on them. Using offensive or defensive penance next patch is going to be really situational, but you definitely want to be using it on cooldown.
With the change Spirit Shell and non-guaranteed divine aegis on prayer of healing, mastery is at a lower stat weight. If you are heavily stacking mastery now and move to something else, your pw:s hps is going to go down. But with the change to it's mana cost, the healing per mana of the spell is going up. If healing per mana goes up on pw:s, this means that using non-atonement spells like heal, gheal, and fheal to cooldown weakened soul on a target with the strength of soul passive just got a buff. Strength of soul also got a buff with the new glyph of weakened soul. The healing per mana of using the divine insight talent also got a buff.
But if you're aim is to constantly keep divine aegis rolling on people with rolling prayer of healing on the current live patch, then stopping to cast atonement spells is a loss of hps. This playstyle is being axed next patch, so opting out of using atonement isn't as much of a desirable choice on fights with burst aoe.
So basically both playstyles are getting slight buffs and nerfs in patch 5.2. It's going to be up to you to decide when it's appropriate to use them.
Edited by Twistedmind on 2/12/2013 4:43 PM PST
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