How to Raid in 5.0-5.1 [Holy/Disc]

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This thread (initially titled 'I still think Priests are fine [pve]') was about working with priests when the general consensus was, "priests are the worst healers." It's morphed into a discussion about the new encounters, how we dealt with all of the hotfixes, what we're thinking about with our stats, and a plethora of other info if you want to read through all of the posts. The first couple of posts in here are everything I've learned and feel compelled to share about the new raid encounters with a written strategy, our logs, and a video detailing what I'm thinking or why I'm doing things. Think of it as a how to guide from my point of view.

Table of Contents:

Mogu'shan Vaults bosses 1-3:
Mogu'shan Vaults bosses 4-6:
Heart of Fear bosses 1-3:
Heart of Fear bosses 4-6:
Terrace of Endless Spring all bosses:
My thoughts on Talents, Hotfixes, Reforging/Gemming, and some other tips/tricks:
Stone Guards

The combos make you do stuff. If blue and purple are up, your raid will be more spread out. If red is up, people are going to be clustering up. If green is up, raid healing is going to be a little more taxing. We 2 healed it the first week it was out, but 3 healing is fine in almost any comp because of the very forgiving enrage. The most outgoing damage per second on the raid, no matter what combo you have, is going to be on the tanks. Make sure they know how to actively mitigate the rend dot. Also, your offtank has the most important role in this encounter, as he should be the one taunting the target that needs to be taunted to prevent the wrong colored overload from going off. Try to use hand of freedom like spells during blue cobalt, and be quick to spread out during red as to break chains. Melee dps are especially taxing for being chained and it's absolutely critical that they move immediately to their target. In our first kill, we didn't worry about breaking chains and simply stuck to our "chain buddy" until the end of the encounter.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Feathers, Mindbender, Desperate Prayer, Divine Insight, Divine Star
glyphs: holy fire, prayer of mending, psychic scream

I took mindbender because I'm not casting enough of the heals that proc surge of light, and there is no downtime for solace. Divine Insight is great if you know how to manage it, and there is a lot of stuff you can do on this encounter with it (power infusion will account for ~3.5% of an overall increase if played in a vacuum, DI did 4.3%, and I really could have been better with it). Divine star is nice because people are tending to stay clumped and the Jade damage goes out at a very predictable 8 seconds. Glyphed mending was eventually taken because it wasn't smart enough to bounce between the chained targets, so it can get stuck on people. As for switching up your strategy each week, be flexible with the level 90 talents, and remember that holy does healing on the move and spread, but disc has all the shield padding.

Feng the Accursed
This fight made much more sense to us, and we spent our wipes working out how much dps we had to do during the phases to see how we should line up our barrier cd and our healer cd's. Again, even with this fight being a healer test, this fight rides more on executing the mechanics and priests are (imo) one of the best for responding to the damage patterns. I did this as holy, but there is a lot of potential for disc absorbs to shine. If you're just hitting this undergeared, missing absorbs is really unforgiving, and the constant random splash damage going out the whole encounter pushed me into doing holy. We didn't know this at first, but a the tank without the null barrier and "steal" lightning fist from someone intentionally taking the stun, and use it to interrupt an epicenter. This can be alternated with null barrier, and you won't have to do as much healing in my video below.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Feathers, Mindbender, Desperate Prayer, Power Infusion, Cascade
glyphs: lightspring, lightwell, circle of healing

Power Infusion was taken because damage incoming is high aoe, nothing, High aoe, nothing. 2nd phase is sustained aoe, and 3rd phase is high aoe, break, high aoe, break. The lightspring works well with the burst aoe requirement, and cascade was the best for our positioning (see vid). Unglyph mending, it will be fully consumed. Glyph circle, the burst requirements are kind of "damn you mana, full speed ahead!"

Gara'jal the Spiritbinder
The voodoo damage taken from your raid is based on how much raw damage your tank is taking essentially. This means mitigation and absorbs will cut the raid damage by half in some cases. Because you're alternating healers in and out of the spirit realm, you can be incredibly liberal with expensive heals.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs: the logs didn't record people in the two worlds unless the guy recording them was with us, so look at the video for the big hps meter maiding.
spec: Psyfiend, Feathers, From Darkness Comes Light, Desperate Prayer, Twist of Fate, Divine Star
glyphs: holy fire, smite, inner sanctum

The primary heals that account for a huge majority of your kit will proc Surge of Light, and mana is almost irrelevant. The burst healing required at the end is under 20%, so a single holy fire every ~15 seconds is enough to keep you fully buffed with twist of fate (should you take it). The group is stacked and divine star worked better for me than halo because the shorter cd jived better with rotating archangel and spirit shell.

Dayani wrote up a fantastic piece on how the spirit realm works. Basically (since you should probably be disc), stack grace on everybody about to go under (they should try to be ranged dot classes). Once down below, everyone press healthstone and use archangel. Spam binding heal on each of the two dps, and soon as everyone is topped, go back to the normal realm. The buff you get on yourself is mana only, so concentrate on fully absorbing voodoo targets and the tanks.
Spirit Kings
I did rolling Holy for the unpredictable damage. I kept discipline at the front of my mind in case Pillage is affecting my healing (absorbs won't be affected by this debuff) and Meng's crazed eats tanks (I can keep them alive through anything these days). Neither of those abilities was problamatic, and I think priests are better than any other healing class for this encounter thanks to our level 30 talents and leap of faith. I'm not looking to be the meter maid here, just trying to make sure people don't die. These movement abilities were so good our druid had symbiosis on me so he could leap of faith. He also glyphed stampeding roar, which is along the same lines in terms of utility.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Feathers, Mindbender, Desperate Prayer, Power Infusion, Cascade
glyphs: lightspring, lightwell, inner fire

Inner fire? Are you crazy? There is a lot of physical damage taken, and what else could I fill that glyph slot with? Well, circle of healing was cast incredibly frequently, but people aren't always clustered up to make the extra mana cast worthwhile, and I'm casting it close to cooldown. Renew looks really good for this fight, but because of all the random damage going out, you probably want to play up serendipity and more immediate heals (cascade if needed). There is a lot of downtime, but not enough for pw: solace, so make use of cancel casting and making sure your mastery is effectively healing during the lulls in damage and you should be fine on mana.

If maddening shout is the biggest concern for your group (it shouldn't be if you simply mass dispel and top everyone off before it), absorbs will not affect the raid damage breaking out hostile targets. So a good spirit shell can keep the whole group alive during a spirit shell, if needed.
This fight is by far my favorite we have done, and if you watch the video you can see why I think priests are the MVP class for this encounter.

Anything with "increase damage modifier" should make you want glyph holy fire and smite. I played around with PW:Solace, but I couldn't fit in enough of them during p2 which was partially why I wanted it to begin with. I was worried that the boss would outrange me so solace looked even better, but I his large hitbox makes it so you can still smite. I was working them in between atonements on tanks in p1 when we were waiting for an add to spawn, but for our kill I just took mindbender.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Feathers, Mindbender, Desperate Prayer, Twist of Fate, Cascade
glyphs: Holy Fire, Purify, Inner Sanctum

I did this fight as disc to abuse atonements and to gets absorbs out for the predictable damage. I stayed in inner fire for the full fight, so inner sanctum. Holy fire is great to use on those adds as they are about to die in p1 to get that extra long twist of fate duration. Cascade will be up for every annihilate, and halo won't be. Cascade is also good with helping your other healing in p2, and it's good for as the group comes together in p3. You want to pad some absorbs on some party members before you start bubble spamming because the add pulses about 50-75k damage before it dies, so aegis or spirit shell up from before will get consumed first. The rapture trick has been fixed, but you can still roll high absorbs with divine aegis from the healing modifier. Just remember that spirit shell doesn't benefit from that multiplier, so try to use just a prayer of healing instead of spirit shell when possible. Spirit shell is good for p3 when you're out of the middle, and can still be used for annihilates with success.

Will of the Emperor
I thought I would be doing tons of smites because of the adds priority, so my initial thoughts were roll with Twist of Fate, glyphs of holy fire and smite. This was before I knew about how absurd the tank damage is.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Angelic Feathers, Mindbender (FDCL is preferred), Desperate Prayer, Divine Insight, Cascade
glyphs: Holy Fire, Inner Sanctum, Psychic Scream

As demonstrated in the kill vid, I spent this fight exclusively healing the tanks. We two healed this as myself and a resto druid, so I specced divine insight and juggled grace and pw:s on the tanks. For titan gas, I got a prayer of mending out and a cascade when damage cooldowns ran out, but I didn't cast a single prayer of healing the whole fight. I also threw out a psyfiend into the adds when it looked like things were out of control and the stray adds in ring of frost were breaking free. During combos, I was rolling up Spirit Shell and trying to get weakened soul off with strength of soul.
Imperial Vizier Zor'lok
There are two approaches to this fight (that I was messing with). One was go holy, be in serenity for disc phases, sanctuary for the huge aoe. The other way is go disc, line up lots of absorbs before the aoe, try to gets lots of smites out and max your dps rotation, hopefully your raid can avoid discs. If you're struggling with discs, I'd stay holy. If they're under control, disc (imo) is more useful.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Angelic Feathers, Mindbender, Desperate Prayer, Power Infusion, Cascade
glyphs: Holy Fire, Smite, Penance/Inner Fire

I didn't have timers for our first kill, but if I did I'd be better at getting the group fully absorbed before the ludicrous aoe. Glyph of penance could really shine for the discs if people are still taking damage to them, but inner fire would probably be better if your raid can dance. This fight can be 2 healed, but we weren't brushing any enrages so we just did 3 for the sake of saving time. If you're holy, what you want to do is one the pull, prepot and use power infusion, then drop your lightwell on the platform with the silly high aoe damange. This allows you some extra burst healing for the first bunch of damage, and you're free to divine hymn the second. Make sure mending is sitting on someone well before that damage starts so you can max it's bounce 10 times during these aoe bursts. Also use your fears/silences before the mind control goes out.

Blade Lord Ta'yak
Be discipline if you're losing people to the combination of the big raid slash bumping players into tornados or the dot debuff + slash gibbing people. Be holy if your raid is bad at running through the tornado maze in phase 2.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Angelic Feathers, Mindbender, Desperate Prayer, Power Infusion, Cascade
glyphs: Holy Fire, Power Word: Shield, Penance

You probably want to 2 heal this and heroism at the start because the quicker you can do everything, the less needs to be healed. The raid collapse and stack for the big hit is exactly on a 1 minute timer, so spirit shell every one. I wouldn't rapture trick here because the tanks and the people with the dot debuff need your pw:s more than you need to bubble spam. You can get a few up as you run in for the collapse. For the running tornado phase, Try to be smart with cascade. And try to start the running down the hallway with a healthy spirit shell. If you're holy, this is much easier because when the phase starts, you can drop a lightwell that will persist when you run back to it sub 10%. Your serenity renews on the move are way better than disc for healing as you run down the hallway. I highly recommend the angelic feathers because it has the highest speed boost uptime.

Other posters are having success with Disc (read page 7-8). I personally went with holy because you can manage your mastery for more mana conservation. It's also the more mobile spec, and if you're going to spirit shell before a crush or something, there is so much damage going out that it's going to be fully consumed before the crush.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Angelic Feathers, Power Word: Solace, Desperate Prayer, Divine Insight, Cascade
glyphs: Renew, Inner Sanctum, Lightspring

So, if you 2 heal this, you need to switch pheromones more frequently. If you 3 heal this, it's nice because less movement, less kiters rotating, but you're going to feel the extra pressure on your dps. Just make sure to conserve your mana after a crush by cancel casting and hanging out in inner will. Something I've been keeping in my back pocket all this time is the knowledge that yes, Power Word: Solace needs 7-8 casts per minute to be on par with Mindbender, but what most raiding priests overlook is the damage Solace brings. Think of it like smite (same coefficients, but not mana heavy in cost) which will tie with Mindbender at 6 casts (add normal shadowfiend damage too). Since you should be targetting 7, that's 11% more damage for every additional cast past 6, and you bet that was one of the major changes I made after several 2% wipes in a row. Also, disc might be good for the prayer of healing absorb, but I raid 10 man and the melee group is half of the time split between the front of the boss (tanks) and the back leg (dps). For this reason, lightspring, divine insight procs, divine hymn, circle of healing, and even flash heal serendipity bombing for me was more effective keeping up the spread out melee group better than disc.
Wind Lord Mel'jarak
This fight isn't about which spec is best, it's about teamwork and coordination. I found disc to be good for rain of blades as well as assisting with the tight enrage timer. Our general strategy was stun 1 blade master, 3 menders. Burn down the amber trappers as fast as possible. Once they're dead, cc 1 blade master and 1 mender, interrupt the other menders and make sure the blade master and menders that are active die at the same time. Push the boss to the end, and take care he doesn't go below 75% when doing adds first.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Angelic Feathers, Mindbender, Desperate Prayer, Power Infusion, Cascade
glyphs: Holy Fire, Smite, Penance

I experimented with the dispel glyphs, but we simply couldn't meet the enrage, and we were 3 healing because rain of blades is so deadly once all the adds are down. So I went full offensive glyphs, but I still primarily took care of the quickening buff with my dispels more than the other raiders. I was also in charge of re-cc'ing a mender, so I found the /tar focus/clickExtraActionButton1/targetlasttarget macro to be really helpful. My target is also the one we decided to break once the first wave of adds went down, so make sure you don't accidentally cast the stun at it or the boss will break everybody's cc. Even as holy, I would probably get a PW:S on the person about to be hit with Kor'thik Strike (watch the buff in your frames). Rain of blades is on a 50 second timer, so your spirit shell won't be up for all of them. Try to use it 20 seconds till, 10 seconds till, during, barrier, repeat. I tried to rapture trick but you don't have enough time for all of those globals. In the final push, since you're a healer, make sure you have the best positioning for bomb placement. Try to make sure you're right on the edge of a previous bomb as to minimize space taken up.

Amber-Shaper Un'sok
A disc priest trivializes the Parasitic Growth mechanic, so go 2 heals and work your shields on whoever has it. If you get picked for a vehicle, getting broken out is going to be a decision the raid has to make. If you stay in it for a few more seconds, you can interrupt the explosions and get more dps stacks on the boss. If you get freed immediately, you can go back to cheesing the parasitic growth and stabilizing the raid. For handling the adds from the scalpel, just stay loosely spread out and pick them off in a staggered fashion. The priority should be people stuck in re-shape life (to sub 20%)>boss>little spawns every 5-10 seconds. The vehicle mechanics are spam the 1 button unless there is less than 7 seconds to go on the Amber Explosion from the monstrosity (not to be confused with your own Amber Explosion) in phase 2. If there is less than 7 seconds to go on the Monstrosity's Explosion, hold your 1 button until he casts it and then use it to interrupt. If your own vehicle is casting amber explosion, that is the only time you should press 2 as you are trying not to run out of willpower. If your willpower is about to run out, normally you press 4. If you aren't below 20% of your hp and your willpower is about to run out, run over to a yellow pool and press 3. If you are in p3 or you are making use of somebody sitting in the suite full time, you must run over to the pools and press 3 anytime your willpower drops below 50%. If you are a tank, it's very important to get out of the vehicle at the right time. You want to be in there for about 40 seconds max.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Body and Soul, From Darkness Comes Light, Desperate Prayer, Divine Insight, Halo
glyphs: Holy Fire, Inner Sanctum, Fade

My explanation on talents and glyphs: you want to unglyph penance because you're going to be casting it on cooldown for more divine insight procs and you need the mana (and you shouldn't really be moving much outside of being picked for scalpel). People being picked for scalpel will take some damage up front, and they will take some possible damage as they're running. It's more effective to spend 1 global on them to get them both a shield and a movement speed boost, so I took body and soul. The spells that don't trigger the healing on the parasitic growth are PW:S, Spirit Shell, Pain Suppression, Void Shift, and Divine Aegis. Now, you can't get a divine aegis on a target without casting a big heal, so save the greater heal+inner focus combo for when they're at the end of the buff's duration. You can layer in spirit shell and juggle divine insight procs on a target, make sure to pain sup them if they dip low, and make sure you are fully healed before void shifting them. If it lands on yourself, don't forget to use fade. Also, you want to use archangel on this fight and maximize the amount of shields you get off with archangel running, but you want to be very careful to only use atonement spells when there is no debuff out or if you are aware that the debuffed target is outranging the atonements (soon to be obsolete when atonements go 40 yds). Because penance should be used on cd for divine insight procs, you want to use it as a spot heal on people. From darkness comes light really shines here because you can spot heal a group with bigger flash heals if someone in the group has the parasitic growth (because using prayer of healing would build too many stacks). It also should be up if you get picked for scalpal, and because you should be avoiding prayer of mending (sort of) and you unglyphed penance, you could use more healing on the move. Halo is good because of the burst healing (which melee will tend to need), but it also cleaves out the little adds if they are up. Less time spent on those guys = more time on the boss or vehicle players and less healing needs to be done. My advice is actually to avoid cascade because it will guarantee heal whoever has the debuff, so you want to get good at re-positioning so your halo doesn't hit that target if you need to use it. If the fight is going poorly for your group, it's probably because individuals in the vehicle aren't executing their role job properly because as a disc priest you take the only difficult healing mechanic off the table.

Grand Empress Shek'zeer
After watching the method kill, I was tempted to go holy for the better burst cooldown. However I stayed disc because the longer someone with the debuff can stand in the dissonance field, the more stable your p1 will be, and PW:S+Divine Aegis can still heal them within the field. Also, our p2 strat involved each tank taking 3 adds and a reaver, so I needed disc shields to keep up with the insane tank damage.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Body and Soul, From Darkness Comes Light, Desperate Prayer, Divine Insight, Cascade
glyphs: Holy Fire, Fade, Inner Sanctum

So I flip up my entire talent tree for this fight. For one, I stuck with body and soul because 1 feather + 1 pw:s on someone with the debuff takes too long for them to run into a dissonance field. The dissonance field is a strange mechanic. Exisiting absorbs will be used up if you can get them on a raider outside of the field. When they enter the field, your absorbs will be eaten, however PW:S can be cast normally. If they are outside the field and they have the debuff, it will do damage to your raid based on how much damage they are taking. So if they have reduction cd's (like pain sup) or have on absorbs outside the field, you'll lessen your raid damage considerably. My personal strategy was try to use strength of soul and divine insight procs to keep whoever in a dissonance field totally absorbed. If they ran out of it, I spirit shelled and dropped heavy heals into them to lessen raid damage UNLESS it was my turn to roll spirit shell on the raid for an exploding dissonance shield. I didn't have the time for rapture tricks, and the random raid damage that forces your ranged camp to spread out will probably pop a bubble early, which is a wipe considering the damage in p2. For p2, we found it best to have the tanks just take 3 adds and a reaver, which means you need absurd tank cd's and heals to keep them up at the start of p2. For p3, I just rolled prayer of healing and single dispelled the fear. The aegis or spirit shell imo is better than healing people back up from the 50% hit they just took. Remember to fear ward yourself. We also clumped up in melee range for p3 and ran out if you had the fear debuff.
Protectors of the Endless
If your raid can execute the mechanics of this fight as fast as possible, you should be able to do this on elite mode. Kill order working for us is Regail, Asani, then Kaolen. We made it work with 3 heals, 2 tanks, and 5 dps but we hit the enrage on our first try. After having the heals do a prepot and dps the first 30-45 seconds, we killed them 2nd try.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Angelic Feathers, Mindbender, Desperate Prayer, Divine Insight, Cascade
glyphs: Lightwell, Lightspring, Circle of Healing

So we left the offensive dispels up to our mage and shamans. For defensive dispels, there is a countdown from 3 from some debuff before the target is stunned, so you should work out an order (one healer go bottom up and one go top down) as to maximize dps. For killing Asani, run into where the orb is going to explode and rotate 3 minute cooldowns. Don't forget about the tank who has Kaolen. For p3, try to place a lighspring down where people will be moving to so you can maximize the charges. It's really critical to minimize overhealing with echoes of light and use mindbender off cooldown because the debuff that Kaolen is throwing out on people is really mana taxing in the final push. Good interrupts early in the fight will also help stretch mana. Start in Chastise chakra, go to serenity after your pre-pot wears off, and go to sanctuary when 4 dots are out on raiders or if you're moving in during the Asani phase.

Spread out in the night phases so people aren't dropping the fear circles on the group. We found running in and resetting your stacks was pretty healable at 10-12 stacks when we were trying 3 heals. With 2 heals, you might want people running in at 6-8. For the day phase, purify has a healing cap but it still heals Tsulong so a priest should watch the dispel timer. Tanks always face adds away from the healer group in front of Tsulong's breath. Roughly assign ranged to a corner so those adds get burned quickly. Anyone who can heal should listen for when the healers say to burst on Tsulong, and anyone who can heal should try to hop in front of his breath as it happens to drop some burst heals on him.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Angelic Feathers, From Darkness Comes Light, Desperate Prayer, Power Infusion, Halo
glyphs: Renew, Lightspring, Purify

For night phases, sit in sanctuary and let your lightspring, mending, and echoes do most of the work. If things look really bad, try to drop a well placed halo for recovery without relying on divine hymn. I found myself using renews and circle of healing a lot because of the running into the sunbeams. If tanks are too spikey from breaths, make them stop derping, because that should be a laughable mechanic. For day phases, make sure to get a mending out, then channel a divine hymn before switching from sanctuary to serenity to maximize the increased healing buff on tsulong. Glyph purify and stop what you're doing to dispel at all times. Try to conserve mana if below 50% by using heals and serenity. Try to time a serenity and 2 serendipity charges right before a breath, and use Guardian Spirit>Flash>Flash>Greater>Flash>Greater for maximum burst after a breath. For spot healing the raid, I used Halo if it looked bad, and then circle of healing on tsulong as a last resort. You really don't want to #%%!***% around with other raiders during the day phase. I rolled flash flash greater heals until 50% mana, then tried to be more conservative with healspam unless right after a breath. For mana, I got a shadowfiend and a hymn of hope out really early (and I used power infusion about 10 seconds in) so everything would be up again later (and Power Infusion would be up for the day phase). I would never be disc for this fight, ever.

Lei Shi
Joke of a Boss. Have the tanks swapping at 8-10 stacks, and work with their cooldowns. For healing the intense run towards him part, have healer cooldown rotations planned in advance. Have the tanks mark the dps target with the adds, and cc all the others.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Angelic Feathers, From Darkness Comes Light, Desperate Prayer, Divine Insight, Divine Star
glyphs: Holy Fire, Penance, Holy Nova

This is truly the best test of your ability to tank heal as a disc priest. Always use penance. Don't let evangelism stacks fall because you'll be mostly using holy fires to keep them up, and don't be afraid to use archangel at 3 stacks. My priority was always shield if I could, one flash heal if I had 2 surge of light charges, decide if spirit shelling was safe (especially if the adds were coming up or were out), juggle inner focus and train of thought with all my borrowed time procs. Mana was tighter at the end because I was bubble spamming at the wrong times. I used barrier and pain sup if a tank was at 4 or more stacks and didn't have a cooldown running. I used Divine Star because when you're running towards him, you can fit it in twice. Juggle PoM, holy fire, and penance while running towards him in inner will (holy nova as filler). Don't bubble spam like me, you need that mana for tank healing. Holy nova can help the raid find him when he's hiding, but keep grace up and weakened soul clear on tanks as a priority.

Sha of Fear
This fight was really hard as a priest because prayer of healing is a sucky heal when half of your groups get divided up. Tanks doing their mitigation with thrash really isn't hard with a boss timer. When off to the side platforms, it's more important to pick up an orb than to do dps to the panda. Healers should be spamming really expensive heals throughout. To get more dps on the adds on the main platform, the people who just got back from panda platforms have a buff that lets them stand in the Fear aoe, so stick on those little shield adds. This fight goes smoothest with high dps, so 2 heal it.

Here is the video:
Here are the logs:
spec: Psyfiend, Angelic Feathers, From Darkness Comes Light, Desperate Prayer, Divine Insight, Halo
glyphs: Holy Fire, Penance, Smite

On the main platform, try to do a max dps rotation until the adds appear. Roll pw:s spam on everybody and try to maintain grace on the tank. Use archangel close to cooldown, and burst a halo if damage is spiraling. I used barrier and pain sup on the tank when cd's ran out, and used shadowfiend soon as I found out I wasn't picked to go to a panda platform. When traveling to a panda platform, keep healing the tank that's flying with you because he'll be taking damage from grasping. Spam the crap out of flash heals, pws, holy fire, offensive penance, and renew on the panda platform. Drop a halo if things are going south, and keep fear ward up on yourself. Line of sight the death blossom early and start prayer of healing yourself if someone else is in your group. Try to grab as many mana orbs as you can, but all the people on that platform should be making mad grabs for them, so try to stand where they aren't. When you get back, help burn down the side adds with your dps buff. This fight is cake if everybody is rushing down everything.
Some more thoughts and reflections about the state of our class

The tier 45 talents are throwing a lot of people off. Mindbender is a big theoretical mana gain, but only if you can use it close to cooldown over the course of the fight, and this also needs to account for that dead time you have as you pull. If you look over your logs, that dead time on the pull can add up very fast and you need to get that mindbender out quickly, even if it means mana capping. You want your overall usage to be ~1:17 over the entire fight, including the start.

And nobody is looking at the 45 tier from a damage perspective. That power word: solace is quite a blow to your hps assuming you cast it 7-8 times a minute to break even with the mindbender mana gains, but the magic number for doing more dps than mindbender is a mere 6 casts. Every cast after 6 is more overall damage than mindbender. Also, look at how much you need to be chain casting. Wasting 7-8 casts on it might sound like hearsay, but realistically can you afford to stop 15% of your healing within a minute to squeeze them in without pressuring other raiders? Would it help you narrow down your overhealing?

And the talent that disc priests are specifically undervaluing is FDCL. This talent, while good with holy and serendipity, is also really good for disc because it's a grace stacker/refresher as well as a movement heal. Ask yourself, how much mana do you really need for this encounter? This talent would actually be my go to if you put all math aside. But of you're looking for the quick and dirty, try to do at least 30 seconds of slow casts or 18 seconds of fast casts in order to match the "mana gains" with this talent to mindbender. This is a loss of dps technically, but one could argue that the ability to respond faster with spot heals allows one to move back to atonements/chastise dps quicker.

More talent underestimation is the 75 tier. Power infusion over the course of a fight is only a 3.2%-3.5% boost to your healing, and that's if you can fully utilize it. On my logs, it was closer to a 1.8%-2.3% boost to my overall healing. But don't go overboard and never use it. I'm playing with heavy mastery, which has the unfortunate shortcoming of not responding well to burst damage I didn't anticipate. Power infusion will be there to recover in those situations. But Twist of Fate is my wild card. Not only is it a bigger overall boost on any fight with adds, but it can have a surprisingly large uptime if you use holy fire on an add sub 20% hp. And divine insight is a blessing of a talent for tank healing as disc. For holy, I've found it to be more of a quality of life talent more than a hps/hpm gain.

Development Changes and Hotfixes
As for my reactions to the community, I'm quite ashamed at the hps competition being used as a cornerstone for arguments or as justification for class balance changes. The recent changes to Prayer of Healing/Prayer of Mending (25% flat buff) has thrown the balance off our toolkit compared to our other spells. Prayer of Healing, even at my low haste, is more effective than circle of healing (glyphed even) and divine star. It's also not punishing to cast on 2 targets, which isn't right. The changes being made to chakras next patch is pushing holy into staying in one stance more often, which I don't agree with. That spec is long overdue for reduced cooldown, but the development team is clearly against such a change. The newest changes to Rapture (200% instead of 150% spirit) and divine aegis (50% up from 30%) are doing some bizarre things to my stat weights. For one, it means that you can achieve the "spirit soft cap" sooner as discipline, and maybe reforge to more throughput oriented secondaries sooner than holy. It also bumped up the value of crit for discipline, but not enough (imo) to consider reforging to primarily. Ultimately what I can forsee from these changes is that:
1.) We will be pigeon-holed into playing disc now. The scaling is too high and the shields are "better" than anything holy provides. Mind you, this is for 10 mans, but I'd probably stick with it for 25s too.
2.) Disc is being pushed more and more into simply rolling prayer of healing for everything. Heal damage? poh. Incoming predictable damage? poh. Mana effective heals? poh. Max throughput hps? poh. And there is simply less punishment for overhealing with shields than with overhealing direct heals, so disc can get away with this playstyle.

Stats and Reforging/Gemming
Reforging is something that I've put a lot of thought into. For holy, my general conclusions are along the same lines as last expansion. Int>Spirit>mastery=haste. The more spirit you have, the more serendipity heals you can do and that's more effective for your raid group, before considering hps and hpm. You still want to gem and enchant int though. And although I see much value in haste breakpoints, it isn't gospel to reach them and stack another stat. Consider the renew breakpoint might be this huge theoretical gain, but eyeball your renew overhealing to be sure that you should reach that breakpoint or die. Lightspring breakpoints are still always the best imo. But haste is playing at holy's strengths, and if you have more spirit as holy (than disc), you should be able to afford more haste.

For disc it gets trickier. Int is good, but if 50% of your healing is absorbs (and they aren't just tons of overhealing), mastery is actually equal to int, point per point. Which leads to strange gemming because that means you want to gem mastery all the time. But not all fights are super absorb friendly. Int is going to go back to being the best for you in those cases, so it entirely depends fight per fight how you gem. For early gear, you still want to gem spirit, but there is a "soft cap" to be reached with spirit that depends on your spells breakdown. For me, that sweetspot is going to be about 9.5k spirit, and then I'll look into going back to gemming mastery or int. Though crit is also compelling as disc, however there are some warning flags with gemming/reforging crit. If you're making heavy use of greater heal spam + inner focus, you're largely going to dimish the value of crit. However, crit still remains a stat that's almost close to even with haste if you're doing prolonged "tank heals". Also, if you're rolling prayer of healing for the sake of getting divine aegis up on people, crit is actually your worst stat because of the guaranteed aegis and the 100% overhealing from it.

Now, last expansion, my preference for disc was haste, and it still is. However, with mana pools fixed, rapture no longer returning so much mana (and being spirit based), and with the changes in mana cost and speed of our evangelism building spells, haste is actually a little ugly for me. It's still the king stat for many rotations like prayer of heal spam, strength of soul play, and heavy atonement hps but it comes at a heavy cost. Haste is now directly opposed with spirit because all of these rotations that you can chain cast are draining your mana pool at a rate that's entirely dependent on spirit. And something extra mean for disc is you want to get out of being dependent on spirit as soon as possible, so being tethered to stacking more of it because you have haste is a nuisance. My rational with it nowadays is that you can get away without much haste because you can always have some form of on-demand haste with borrowed time. There's some synergy with using pw:s whenever you need haste because if you're opting out of stacking haste, you're probably stacking a ludicrous amount of mastery. But pw:s drains mana outside of rapture at a really fast rate as well, so you need to be smart with low overhealing with everything if you want to make use of this playstyle. If you aren't super proactive or know exactly how to watch your other raid healers' heals to minimize overhealing, I'd recommend grabbing int>spirit until 10k to 12k>mastery>haste (gemming for int). If you're able to carefully play, I'd recommend going mastery=int>10k-12k spirit>crit>>>>avoid haste (gem mastery).

More Tricks
Other tricks and tips I'm rolling around in my back pocket include:
- grab multiple belts. You do this because there is an abundance of belts this first tier and they're highly customizable with the right gems. So you could have a belt with lots of haste if you need haste for one fight, and then a belt with tons of mastery/spirit for another, and then a general purpose belt with int gems.
- grab multiple helms. You kind of want to play the secondary stats on them in the same way as the belts, but mostly you want to have an alternative meta gem for a given fight. Spirit shell loves the int 3% crit gem, but mana strapped fights like the spirit 3% crit. And the int 2% mana is a happy all around medium gem.
- weapon twist with the new enchants. The jade spirit enchant is on a fixed timer (for now, it's apparently going ppm soon) so if you're good, you can proc it and quickly switch to a weapon enchanted with windsong until jade spirit comes off cd, then switch back. This is 2 gcds however, and you're doing this for the increased hps gains, so you need to play it smart and match burst appropriately if you're going to do this (and know when to cut your losses and stick with your current weapon until the danger has passed).
- have lots of trinkets. The thing with trinkets is they do all sorts of crazy things with one another. For example, the heroic dungeon on use spirit trinket doesn't conflict with my engineering tinker, but the shado-pan/random msv drop trinkets do. Avoiding haste looks fine until you get up to a fight like gara'jal, and suddenly it's the best stat to have. But those freaking smites don't proc the haste proc on the brewfest trinket, so if you're coming out of the spirit realm and rolling atonements, it's losing value. And if spirit shell is being pushed to the max, the shado-pan trinket with on use crit is going to be my go to. Basically, more trinkets = more options.
- void shift, apart from saving yourself or saving an about-to-die friend, is also a shadow attack. Which means if we have another cho'gall fight, you can use it to heal people who are unable to be healed.
- psyfiend (glyphed) does more for adds control than void tendrils. And it interrupts spell casts, so look to use it.
10/04/2012 07:38 AMPosted by Twistedmind
Hey, I feel like I've been going against an overwhelming tidal wave of priest tears these past couple of months ( will start that journey if you missed it), but I'm still maintaining my stance that there is no reason to bench your priests.

This is a truth exemple of arrogancy amoung our community. Although i acknowledge ur previous posts and contribution regarding the priest rotation( and ur spread sheet), i have to say that ur attitude is pretty lousy, because we are trying to have open discourse about TRUTH ISSUES of the class, while u stand and mock us for doing so.

Saying that people are crying its the same to say that they are weak and do not have any reason to do so. While on the other hand, me and all this other "cry babys" support our clains on person experience and LOGS.

I for once believed that wouldnt de this bad, that the gap of HPS wouldnt be this far. I believed in members of this community when they say that we couldnt judge the current state of priests at lvl 85, that we supoused to see the end game.

Guess what.. the end game is here.. and it aint pretty. If u dont mind doing less 6% then the other guy, that fine by me, but plz, spare me off your mockery saying that im crying, im making a complaint, WITH REASON.
rockos, i'm trying to be empathetic, but all you seem to do is your own version of mockery of anyone that presents anything in a positive light. priests may not be in the most comfortable spot, but rest assured that blizzard not only sees world of logs data, but their own data as well.

mostly what twisted is doing is presenting "hey this is what we can do right now to take maximum advantage of what we have to work with."
rockos, i'm trying to be empathetic, but all you seem to do is your own version of mockery of anyone that presents anything in a positive light. priests may not be in the most comfortable spot, but rest assured that blizzard not only sees world of logs data, but their own data as well.

mostly what twisted is doing is presenting "hey this is what we can do right now to take maximum advantage of what we have to work with."

ok.. honestly.. my concern is this : If we stay quiet, the issues might not be adress.
There.. i said it. Listen i did Heroic and it was fine.. i only raid on the weekends, but i already did 3 trys on Mogu, and it wasnt that bad.

But heres the thing.. i do not play this game to achieve a "wasnt that bad" status, im here to try to be great, and to do so, i need tools.

Once again, i hold my tongue on the pre-mop, and i knew it was gonna to be bad.. but cammon, this is ridiculous. We have so few raid healing tools compared to the other classes... I cannot be quiet anymore, and i will not acept people saying that im crying, when i actualy trying to have a honest discourse.
Even if we are "ok" and can get by in a raid, what's the point if every other healing class is just better. Given equal gear and skill priest may have a harder time so why bring them when you can bring a better class and not worry about the healer failing?
Say twisted, 2 things:
1) lightspring and lightwell stack?
2) are you using the same gear for both specs?
10/04/2012 09:57 AMPosted by Politsu
Even if we are "ok" and can get by in a raid, what's the point if every other healing class is just better. Given equal gear and skill priest may have a harder time so why bring them when you can bring a better class and not worry about the healer failing?

every class brings something different to the raid
Just look at the logs. Sure people are downing bosses with priests but see how much every other class is dominating us in every fight. Why are the margins so big...? We aren't at a level equal to other healers.
10/04/2012 10:11 AMPosted by Saintpain
Even if we are "ok" and can get by in a raid, what's the point if every other healing class is just better. Given equal gear and skill priest may have a harder time so why bring them when you can bring a better class and not worry about the healer failing?

every class brings something different to the raid

That is very true. The question is whether that special something a priest brings is able to outweigh the fact that his main job (healing) is subpar compared to the other healing classes who have similar CDs, or different CDs that can be used for the same situation for similar effects, and whoop a priest on healing.

From the looks of it, certain progression minded guilds seem to think priests are at the moment, not worth the special something when there are better alternatives. Already seeing a few being benched in the name of progression. This will be more evident when heroics roll out and every last bit counts.
Okay, I don't know how I come off sounding because you cannot see my body language. I'll edit the 'tears' out if it gives validity to my point. What I'm getting at is that people are incorrectly reading way too much into the world of logs.

Look at Gar'Jal. The meter maids are at the top, but compare those logs to any of the logs with a disc priest at the bottom of the page and compare the raid damage taken between both logs. If the priest's main heal target is a tank, and absorbs are their top heals, the raid is taking almost half of the damage in some cases. Yet the community seems to think that monks, paladins, druids, shamans, or whoever is at the top of the meters is the best class for this encounter?

And I'm linking both the logs and the kill videos from my point of view to illustrate that I'm not only pulling equal hps, I'm doing the same healing per mana as our other equal geared/equal skilled healer. Not only that, but I'm even commenting to make it perfectly clear that my spell choice selection is keeping us alive, and keeping people alive is much more important than topping meters. As for discipline meter reading, always, always, always look at when power word: barrier and pain suppression was cast. Also look at the amount of healing done to targets with and without grace. Also look at the overhealing done by Power Word: Shield.

In each of these scenarios: pain sup and barrier do not show on the meters, but the hps you're doing with them out is in the correct scenarios more hps than the other healing class's cd's and it's much better for raid stability; if lots of spot heals are going up on non-graced targets, you're either not predicting the damage correctly or the damage is random and you're going to be slightly (really slightly, like 10%) lower than the other healers. If PW:S is overhealing, you're either using it on targets after they took damage and aren't going to take anymore (bad), or you're padding low health targets who might take damage and die (sometimes good). Two of these scenarios will show you low on the meters, but will guarantee a greater success at finishing the encounter in the right circumstances.

Not only that, but I'm even commenting to make it perfectly clear that my spell choice selection is keeping us alive, and keeping people alive is much more important than topping meters.

This. Btw looking at your gear and stats I see you have virtually no haste, may I ask why?
Great video's twisted and great work on your kills your clearly very skilled!

I have seen you very vocal about priests being ok and not needing attention right now. I cant help but chuckle when your talking about your strat for Feng as holy and planning on dieing and using spirit of redemption even going so far as to plan on glyphing it for next week to leverage it as a tool to down these bosses.

Do you think its ok to say priest have to DIE to be viable and ok?

Not only that, but I'm even commenting to make it perfectly clear that my spell choice selection is keeping us alive, and keeping people alive is much more important than topping meters.

This. Btw looking at your gear and stats I see you have virtually no haste, may I ask why?

Sure, in response to your first question, the two glyphs stack (lightspring gains 2 charges).

In my spreadsheet, I have a time till oom calculation. The cheapest spell in our arsenal, heal, is not mana neutral until my level of spirit at 5.83% haste (<-raid buffed). The bonus amount of haste needed for +ticks in the holy spec would push the ratio of spirit to haste way out of wack, and pushing my time to oom in one of my more common spell rotations from 6 minutes to 3 minutes.

But, haste will gain a lot of value in healing up the high damage phases of an encounter based on the frequency at which you're casting spells. It also gains a lot of value by spell choice. So, I looked at how I was casting spells, and how I thought I'd be casting them, and I looked at the window of damage I was looking at. Basically, for discipline, I was going to be making heavy use of power word: shield (especially with a resto druid partner) even at this low spirit level, and I was going to be using lots of spirit shell and inner focus aegis. I'm staying away from some archangel rotations unless the encounter calls for it, but I need just a little bit more spirit to sustain them. I'm thinking elegon would work with the downtime in phase 2, so you might see me reforged to more haste if we get there. For holy, it's very mana conservative to roll heals and to wait until your mastery is fully effective before healing again (see my Feng video). During a sustained aoe phase, holy mastery is roughly equal to haste in term of hps. However, mastery does not work against your passive spirit regen like haste does. This becomes more negligible at higher gear levels, so we'll get there someday.

But TLDR: I looked at my spell selection. I looked at my spirit and time till oom. I stacked the secondary stats appropriately. With this playstyle, I cannot really afford to cancel a cast, and I really need to be following the always be casting rule. I demonstrate some of the other styles of healing on the past livestreams on my channel if you want to see me playing differently.

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