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Patch 5.3 changes for Disc and Holy Priests

With Patch 5.3 being released on Tuesday, May 21st, we’re very close to Blizzard’s next instalment for this expansion to be unleashed onto the live realms. This post we’re going to go into analysis for the Patch 5.3 changes for Disc and Holy Priests. There have been some general changes to all healers that you should read about here if you haven’t already. Now onto the changes…

Power Word: Fortitude had its mana cost reduced to 1%, down from 4.4%.

Much like the Monk’s, Paladin’s and Druid’s baseline class buffs have had a reduction, so will the Priest’s baseline class buff. With this change, Power Word: Fortitude will only cost 1% of mana, meaning it is much more mana-friendly when casting it during combat or in between pulls when you have low mana. A quality of life change to say the least, but will be most beneficial when re-buffing a fellow player who has recently been “battle-rezzed”.

Mass Dispel no longer dispels magic effects that are normally undispellable. Cast time has been decreased to 0.5 seconds, down from 1.5 seconds for Discipline and Holy Priests.

A mix between a buff and a nerf. While it no longer dispels buffs or debuffs which are normally undispellable(nerf), cast time has been reduced for both Disc and Holy(buff). That undispellable part however can be negated by the new Glyph we’ll get into a bit later… For dungeons and raids, this won’t effect us much as with any buffs or debuffs that need dispelling, they’re rarely undispellable.

Void Shift had its cooldown decreased to 5 minutes, down from 6 minutes for Discipline and Holy Priests. For Shadow Priests, cooldown has been increased to 10 minutes, up from 6 minutes, and the spell is no longer usable while in Arenas or Rated Battlegrounds.

An interesting change to a spell that we suspect is rarely used in dungeon and raiding situations. For us healers, it’s cool down has been reduced by 1 minute, so there’s an opportunity to use it more than once in an encounter. However I’d be surprised if Priests were using this often during encounters. I feel it’s one of those forgotten spells that really need to be executed accurately to be an efficient spells. Due to this Blizzard has reduced it’s cool down time to perhaps encourage more people to use it.


Glyph of Mass Dispel has been redesigned and no longer reduces cast time. The glyph now enables Mass Dispel to dispel magic effects that are normally undispellable.

As the cast time of Mass Dispel has now been reduced to 0.5 seconds for both Disc and Holy Priests as baseline, they have redesigned the Glyph of Mass Dispel. Instead it now removes those effects that are normally undispellable. This glyph reeks of a PvP only glyph as the developers aren’t going to have encounters where a debuff is un-dispellable.

Glyph of Smite no longer causes the additional 20% damage dealt by Smite to transfer into Atonement.

This glyph on live currently provides a 20% increase to damage done by Smite on targets affected by Holy Fire, and therefore a 20% increase to the heal that is caused through Atonement. This change, while the damage increase will remain, it will no longer also increase the heal. Smite will still heal through Atonement, but just not as much as it used to with this Glyph.


Atonement now heals nearby friendly targets for 90% of the damage dealt, down from 100%.

An across the board nerf to Atonement healing. We believe this is to not only make Disc healing more in line with other healers, but also to encourage Disc Priests to use other healing spells than to just spam smite etc.

Borrowed Time now reduces the cast or channel time of the next Priest spell by 15% after casting Power Word: Shield (was 15% spell haste).

This change will now reduce the cast or channel time of the next spell. This means it will only effect those spells with channel or cast times and no longer effects instant spells (because obviously they don’t have cast-times). Currently on live, Borrowed TIme doesn’t effect Penance, so you get the haste boost on Penance and another cast-time spell following it. With this change Penance will consume Borowed Time so we’ll no longer gain the benefit twice.

Penance now deals 10% less damage, but healing done is increased by 10%.

Like we said with the nerf to Atonement healing above, it appears that this change to Penance will help to negate that nerf. A welcome change especially with the previous changes.


Divine Hymn now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance.

A huge buff to our ‘raid-wide’ spell Divine Hymn in 25 man instances. Like the Resto Druid’s Tranquility, this change will bring it inline with the healing percentage as compared to how much it heals in 10 man instances. We’re not sure how this will behave in PvP Battlegrounds.

Well that’s it for all the healing related Patch 5.3 changes for Disc and Holy Priests. So what do you think? Do you believe the changes to Disc Priests are fair? Do you think you might try Holy now if you were a Disc Priest? Let us know in the comments below!

Originally published on May 19th, 2013 by and on HealingWoW.com, Last modified: in the Disc Priest, Holy Priest, Priest category/s.

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