Pitfalls and strengths of Holy

Priest
Some of the pitfalls of the Holy Priest as I see it, and why maybe we can't do some things you think we can. Plus where our strength actually lies (below).

1. Our spell for constant damage (Renew) doesn't benefit from our top (equal) stat: Mastery, heals for next to nothing, and costs a lot of mana.
2. Our spell for AOE healing (Prayer of Healing) requires all 5 targets to be present and not overhealed to be worth casting. Its range is also limiting (20 yards from primary target). Sanctify, which is described as a "miracle" is really not much more than an an instant cast Prayer of Healing.
3. However, Prayer of Healing does becomes better for a short while after casting Sanctify (+18% to Prayer of Healing for 15 seconds). In practice this means that if you don't need to or can't cast Prayer of Healing during that window where it might be worthwhile, you will not cast Prayer of Healing any more until Sanctify comes off cooldown. Which won't be for ages because you aren't casting Prayer of Healing!
4. Heal is only one chance to proc Blessing of T'uure (bonus to all healing after critting with Heal or Flash Heal), while Flash Heal is two (Trail of Light talent), so Heal is never used. Dependancy on Flash Heal means mana can be tight. Mana trinkets are very strong (I regret not having one). Innervate isn't good for me as I don't really have the ability to dump a lot of mana into burst healing during a short time (this is probably because Blizzard don't want us to be able to heal the raid solo during Spirit of Redemption).
5. Putting out a decent amount of healing requires getting a good uptime on Blessing of T'uure . More than that, it means spending a significant amount of time casting anything other than Flash Heal us hurting your healing.
6. Late pickups on the artifact tree buff single target healing even more (Light of T'uure gives a +25% bonus to all healing done by you to a single target, 45 second recharge) (Serenity Now is a passive 15% increased critical strike chance on Serenity - bringing it up near 50%).
7. Our personal throughput cooldown is Apotheosis (Holy Words are free, and casting Flash Heal / Prayer of Healing brings Holy Words off cooldown quicker for 30 seconds). It's fine to save mana and gain a little bit of throughput, the problem is that your healing capability then matches no incoming damage pattern ever. The most common need for a cooldown is to top people up before and after an incoming burst, but you can still only cast Serenity after every 3 flash heals. So this maybe lets you cast Serenity one extra time before the burst comes in?
8. Apotheosis with Sanctify/Prayer of Healing does a decent amount of healing to 5 players at a time for when there is heavy sustained damage over the 30 seconds, but heavy sustained damage phases normally don't last that long, and you need to be very bunched up to benefit from it. A raid cooldown (like Divine Hymn) is going to be the better tool for raid wide damage anyway. Instead you usually heal these shorter heave damage phases (e.g. Violent Winds) by bursting as hard as possible at the beginning and then near the end you are just triaging the lowest players and waiting for it to end (and so most are not true sustained damage situations).

Our strengths/conclusions/tldr

If you were thinking of a Holy Priest as a healer with great burst healing (perhaps because you've heard about the holy words being "miracles"), or versatile healers (perhaps because we have historically had a varied toolkit) or blanket throughput healers (as when we relied on Renew in previous expansions), then you need to reconsider.

The way I see it, our strength now lies in triage and saving the weakest raid member. We rotationally bring the lowest health raid member to practically full HP as in instant cast about once every 10 seconds (Apotheosis: 5 seconds). We need to be positioned where we can target a lot of people (as opposed to being assigned a small group) so that we can always reach the most needy targets. Between Serenity casts, our best cast is Flash Heal. Recipients of one cast benefit from the next as well even if it isn't cast on them (Trail of Light). Any healing done also heals over time. It only makes sense to cast on the most injured person in the raid.

When triage isn't needed as damage is light, Prayer of Mending remains a decent cast. But once that's on cooldown, we really have nothing. You may as well Smite (which does no healing but doesn't cost mana and is actually slightly mana-positive through Surge of Light) rather than spending your mana needlessly with the follow up effects going to overheal.
And yet despite my view of us as a triage healer (for all the reasons described), there are some gaps there too.

A triage healer with no haste on their gear?
A triage healer that relies on critical strike instead of something more dependable?
A triage healer whose heals are back-loaded (mastery/trail) rather than front-loaded?

We really have some design problems...
I agree holy priests are essentially triage healers, but you had some false information in your post.

You said sanctify was just an instant poh. Really?!?!?! Sanctify is 600% to 6 targets. Poh is 200% to 5 targets(250% next patch).

Once poh sees its buff and piety sees its buff in 7.1.5 we will be very versatile healers. With the new piety, you can cast sanctify about every 20 seconds assuming you cast 2 PoH and 2 PoM after each sanctify. We will still take ToL in most scenarios so we'll still have the powerful spot healing of FH. PoM is already our most efficient button, and pretty high throughput and it's seeing buffs through piety.

And holy utility is buffed with dp going baseline in 7.1.5. Im really looking forward to the changes.
11/22/2016 05:19 AMPosted by Diamondtíara
You said sanctify was just an instant poh. Really?!?!?! Sanctify is 600% to 6 targets. Poh is 200% to 5 targets(250% next patch).


Yes, I was exaggerating. I'm saying it feels more like an empowered Prayer of Healing rather than its own spell. In my mind Sanctify doesn't do enough to think of as a "miracle" because the amount healed on individual targets doesn't feel like enough to make a real difference to the individual's survival. Per target, it is not significantly more than a single Flash Heal. So this isn't going to significantly impact the chance of survival of the person who is most likely to die at this moment when compared with casting Flash on them. You are just using it for the increased throughput/efficiency as you would with Prayer of Healing when there are enough targets to benefit from it.

Plus since we only ever cast POH after Sanctify, the real comparison is Sanctify on one hand, while POH + Power of the Naaru + Divinity (maybe) is on the other.

I'm not well versed on how the new stronger-but-dumber Prayer of Healing and other changes are playing out on PTR, so I haven't commented about that. And I haven't really thought too hard about the Piety change. I wonder if it scales well - does the number "2 seconds" being a fixed number become a limiting factor? Does a build without Surge of Light have mana problems that eat into the benefits you're trying to get from Piety?
11/22/2016 04:42 AMPosted by Dominish
And yet despite my view of us as a triage healer (for all the reasons described), there are some gaps there too.

A triage healer with no haste on their gear?
A triage healer that relies on critical strike instead of something more dependable?
A triage healer whose heals are back-loaded (mastery/trail) rather than front-loaded?

We really have some design problems...


Regarding haste, dont most holy legendaries have mastery/haste stats ...do you think blizzard viewed holy as a spec that will focus on haste? (but with the crit golden artifact talent...that can't be right?)
11/22/2016 12:10 PMPosted by Dominish
11/22/2016 05:19 AMPosted by Diamondtíara
You said sanctify was just an instant poh. Really?!?!?! Sanctify is 600% to 6 targets. Poh is 200% to 5 targets(250% next patch).


Yes, I was exaggerating. I'm saying it feels more like an empowered Prayer of Healing rather than its own spell. In my mind Sanctify doesn't do enough to think of as a "miracle" because the amount healed on individual targets doesn't feel like enough to make a real difference to the individual's survival. Per target, it is not significantly more than a single Flash Heal. So this isn't going to significantly impact the chance of survival of the person who is most likely to die at this moment when compared with casting Flash on them. You are just using it for the increased throughput/efficiency as you would with Prayer of Healing when there are enough targets to benefit from it.

Plus since we only ever cast POH after Sanctify, the real comparison is Sanctify on one hand, while POH + Power of the Naaru + Divinity (maybe) is on the other.

I'm not well versed on how the new stronger-but-dumber Prayer of Healing and other changes are playing out on PTR, so I haven't commented about that. And I haven't really thought too hard about the Piety change. I wonder if it scales well - does the number "2 seconds" being a fixed number become a limiting factor? Does a build without Surge of Light have mana problems that eat into the benefits you're trying to get from Piety?

Sanctify is 6 flash heals. If that isn't a spectacular spell to you, then idk what is. And with the piety changes you could easily get sanctify down to 20 second CD in 7.1.5 with the decreased CD to PoM with piety.

A triage healer with no haste on their gear?

We really have some design problems...


I have no haste on my gear because I don't need it. FH already has a low cast time and both Crit/Mastery affect our heals. Haste doesn't do much other than make us OOM faster.

Hey... it's Blizzard's class design and I'm not sure what they are thinking. They design the spec around crit/mastery and then give us legendaries and tier gear with haste.
The tier gear with haste and the changes coming out makes me believe we are going to be casting PoH a lot more. Theyve already stated EN was too easy and expect the next raid to be way more intense. I have more hope for holy than shadow next patch.

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