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Patch 5.2 changes for Disc and Holy Priests

After a quiet start to changes to the Priest class in the 5.2 PTR Patch notes, things have picked up as days have gone on and a number of changes have come our way. Including changes to spells, the Power Word: Solace talent, some glyph effects being added to baseline abilities, some brand new glyphs and a very important change to the Disc Priest Mastery. Patch 5.2 will be released on March 5th 2013 has been released. So stick around and we’ll get into the nitty-gritty after the break:

If you’re looking for a quick and dirty guide, head to: What healing specs need to know for 5.2 or to look at Tier 15 gear sets head to Tier 15, Set bonuses and Season 13 Armor Sets Preview.

Looking for what’s better between Disc and Holy? Head to our Disc or Holy in 5.2 post.

Spiritual Healing is a new passive ability obtained by Discipline and Holy Priests at level 10. This ability increases the amount of healing done by Flash Heal, Binding Heal, Renew, and Prayer of Mending by 25%. The amount of healing done by those four spells have been reduced by 20%. For Holy and Discipline Priests, there is no change to the amount of healing done by those four spells.

This is neither a buff or a nerf to the Priest Healing specs of Holy and Discipline, but is a nerf to the Priest Damage spec Shadow. The four heals mentioned here have been reduced across the board, which would effect all specs, but because Holy and Disc gain this Spiritual Healing passively, that reduction is negated for us. You shouldn’t really notice any change in healing at level 90 because of this change.

Evangelism‘s stacking effect now also increases the healing of Penance.

Evangelism currently on the live realms is gained by casting Smite & Holy Fire on enemy targets up to 5 stacks and provide an increase to the damage of Smite, Holy Fire and Penance. With this change, those stacks will also contribute to an increase of healing done by Penance. Combine this change with the increase to Penance heal across the board outlined below, that’s a possible 40% increase to the healing that Penance can do on a friendly target.

Halo will no longer hit enemies that are in stealth.

Won’t improve our healing and this is more for those classes that stealth (rogues and druids) in a PvP environment. However it’s good to know, should there be a situation in a PvE setting that there are stealth enemies nearby, using Halo will not hit them and won’t attract more enemies.

Dominate Mind now has a 1.8-second cast time (was 2.5 seconds).

Just a buff to this talent by reducing the cast time down to 1.8 seconds. Allows you to crowd control enemy targets at a faster pace, possibly saving you from wiping. Excellent change for PvP should you choose this talent.

Angelic Bulwark can no longer be dispelled.

The shield that this talent provides (when you fall below 30% health) can no longer be dispelled, which makes this talent much stronger for PvP. For PvE situations this change shouldn’t really affect us.

Angelic Feather now has a 6-second duration (was 4 seconds).

An increase to the duration of this spell means you’re able to move at a faster pace for longer. We believe this buff is to bring it in line with other movement talents as it is one of the more difficult to use movement enhancing talents due to it’s click-and-click.

Focused Will is now a passive for Holy Priests, as well as Discipline Priests.

While this passive ability used to be a Discipline only ability, it now applies to Holy Priests as well. What this will now provide to you (including the extra change to focused will below) is a reduction of damage to you by a possible 30% after being struck by a critical hit or being struck by more than 10% of your maximum health. As stated below, Focused Will is mostly a PvP orientated passive ability.

Power Word: Solace has been replaced with a new talent: Solace & Insanity

  • For Holy and Discipline, Power Word: Solace replaces Holy Fire. It deals the same damage, and interacts with other spells and abilities in the same manner, but does not trigger atonement, is instant, costs no mana, and restores 1% of maximum mana on each cast. Damage dealt by Power Word: Solace will heal a nearby friendly player within 40 yards of the target for 100% of the damage dealt (50% when healing the Priest).

Instead of an extra spell from the talent Power Word: Solace, it now replaces the spell Holy Fire completely. It is also an enhancement over Holy Fire by making it an instant cast, cost no mana and restore 1% mana. It does still have a 10 second cooldown. Whether you’re Disc or Holy, if you’ve chosen this talent over the other talents in this tier, you’re going to want to use this off every cool down to get the most mana back. It is unknown as yet how it compares with the other mana returning talents from the same tier. As it replaces Holy Fire it also takes on all it’s characteristics, such as Divine Fury which increases your chance to hit, Glyph of Holy Fire which will increase the range(change below), Glyph of Smite which increases the damage done by Smite when afflicted by the Power Word: Solace Damage over Time. Power Word: Solace also procs Atonement to heal from damage and to build up stacks of Envangelism.

Glyph of Desperation has been replaced with Glyph of Binding Heal. Pain Suppression and Guardian Spirit can now always be cast while stunned.

A welcome change to all priests both Holy and Disc in both PvE and PvP situations. It means you can use your strong defensive cool down and it no longer takes up a glyph space.

New Glyph: Glyph of Binding Heal applies Binding Heal a third nearby friendly target, but costs 35% more mana.

With this glyph you can heal 2 injured party or raid member as well as yourself. An interesting change to one of our favourite healing spells for the Priest. A little cheaper than Flash Heal and with a little less healing than Flash Heal, we believe with this glyph our Binding Heal may out heal in terms of mana cost per heal. Usable in certain situations of course (yourself and 2 other members suffered damage).

Glyph of Inner Focus has been replaced with Glyph of Weakened Soul. Casting Inner Focus now always grants 5 seconds of immunity to silences, interrupts, and dispels.

Another large buff to the Discipline Priest with another part of their defensive cool downs having it’s glyph requirement removed and added to the baseline ability. Casting Inner Focus to grant immunity to silences, interrupts and dispels. Very handy for PvE situations, absolutely essential for PvP. It also means you’ll have another glyph slot should you really like this ability.

New Glyph: Glyph of Weakened Soul reduces the duration of Weakened Soul by 2 seconds.

Reduces the Weakened Soul debuff on the targets you use your Power Word: Sheild on from 15 seconds to 13 seconds. Power Word: Shield is a staple spell of the Disc Priest, so we can’t imagine why a reduction on the debuff it causes wouldn’t be a good thing. In other words, most Disc Priest will most likely want this glyph in both PvE and PvP settings.

Glyph of Holy Fire has been redesigned. It now increases the range of Holy Fire, Smite, and Power Word: Solace by 10 yards.

The current Glyph of Holy Fire makes Holy Fire instant, but the re-worked talent Power Word: Solace (described above) now has that built in. This glyph now increases the range of Holy Fire, Smite and Power Word: Solace.

Power Infusion now increases the Priest’s damage by 5% in addition to current effects.

A good change for Disc Priests who take this talent as increasing their damage increases their healing through Atonement.

Phantasm no longer makes the Priest untargetable by ranged attacks, and the movement impairing immunity effect is now 5 seconds (was 3 seconds).

A nerf and a buff in one. You’re going to be targetable by ranged attacks now, but the movement impairing immunity effect means you’ll be free to move for 5 seconds instead of 3. This is primarily a change to PvP, but you’d be wise to know about this talent should you be using this talent in PvE situations.

Psyfiend belonging to an individual Priest will no longer cast Psychic Horror on the same target twice.

This is a nerf, but it was a pretty weird working spell to begin with anyway. Currently on live, using this talent, enemies would be feared when in range of the psyfiend. After the fear effect wore off and they once again approached the Psyfiend, they would be feared again. In 5.2 enemies will be feared only once by the same fiend. This is really just a change for PvP, and we believe is a fair change, as it could be pretty frustrating to use your trinket only to be feared again 1 second later.

Discipline Penance damage and healing has been increased by 20% and has a range of 40 yards for both friendly and hostile targets (was 40 yards for friendly and 30 yards for hostile targets).

Disc Priest’s main healing spell with increased healing? Yes please! Combine this change with the change to Evangelism stacks also effecting Penance healing, that’s a possible 40% increase to the heal Penance can do on a friendly target.

Focused Will now reduces damage taken by 15% per stack, with a limit of 2 stacks.

An extra 5% per stack on top of the 10% means a possible of 30% reduction of damage. This is primarily a PvP focused ability, but it also can effect you in dungeons and raids should you suffer more than 10% damage. An extra 5% per stack up to a total of 30% in total is a welcome change for any Disc(and now Holy) Healer.

Spirit Shell can no longer be dispelled and now provides an absorb shield equal to the average healing and absorb of the triggering spell, including criticals and Divine Aegis.

Spirit Shell still benefits from Mastery: Shield Discipline. Spirit shells can now benefit from critical effect chance. It also benefits from Divine Aegis(which has also gone from 30% to 50%). So basically, when using spirit shell, not only will damage be absorbed by the shells created by “heals”, but those “heals” if they crit will also proc Divine Aegis for extra absorbs. So it kind of rounds out in the end.

Rapture now provides mana equal to 150% (was 200%) of the Priest’s Spirit and no longer benefits from Spirit provided by short-duration bonuses.

This is a double nerf. Less mana (150% down from 200%) from Rapture and less reliance on the benefits from Spirit provided by short-duration buffs such as trinkets. It will be interesting to see how Disc Priests manage their mana with this change.

Mastery: Shield Discipline now also increases all healing done by a lesser amount, but the bonus provided by Mastery has been reduced by 36%.

A silly way of wording our Disc Mastery change. Instead we should read the actual tooltips provided for Mastery: Shield Discipline. Mastery: Shield Discipline on Live: Increases the potency of all your damage absorption spells by 20%. Mastery: Shield Discipline on 5.2 PTR: Increases the potency of all your damage absorption spells by 13%, and all of your healing by 6%. Looking at those numbers it would appear that the effective healing that can be done is now 19% instead of 20%, but with the Divine Aegis change outlined below, things have got really tricky. We’ll sum up what’s going and the balance that’s been struck on the Divine Aegis note next…

Divine Aegis now causes critical heals to apply an absorb shield on the target for 100% of the amount healed instead of healing for twice as much. In addition, it grants Power Word: Shield a chance equal to the Priest’s critical chance for the shield to absorb twice as much damage.

Another long-winded and confusing way to explain a spell change. Once again let’s look at the tool tip on Live vs. PTR 5.2:

Divine Aegis on Live: Critical heals and all heals from Prayer of Healing create a protective shield on the target, absorbing 30% of the amount healed. Lasts 15 sec.

Divine Aegis on the 5.2 PTR: Critical heals create a protective shield on the target, absorbing 100% of the amount healed, instead of healing for twice as much. Lasts 15 sec. Additionally, Power Word: Shield has a chance equal to your critical effect chance to absorb twice as much.

So, first of all, Prayer of Healing no longer always creates a shield. Nerf. Critical heals won’t heal for twice as much like they used to and still do for all other classes. Nerf. Instead they will create a shield that would absorb 100% of the amount healed. Buff. And Power Word: Shield has a chance equal to your crit chance to become a shield that can absorb twice as much. Buff.

So you can see, they have reduced our shielding Mastery, because they’ve increased our shields created by Divine Aegis, as well as our Power Word: Shield. And they’ve increased all of our general healing through our shielding Mastery, beacuse they have basically removed our ability to critically heal.

What does this mean for Disc Priests? We think we’re going to see Power Word: Shield being cast more often due to the chance of a double shield. The developers wanted to reduce the Disc’s reliance and spamming of Prayer of Healing. As for the rest, we believe it should balance out in the end but it will be difficult to find a happy medium. Though, we are really confused as to why Power Word: Shield’s enhancement for Disc is listed under the Divine Aegis tooltip?

To get a really good idea of how these changes work and Ghostcrawler’s take on the change, head to his post on the forums here.

So that’s it for now. Remember, these may change at anytime throughout the PTR and before release.  Now that Patch 5.2 is live, why not let us know what you think of these changes by leaving a comment below. Or why not take a look at our Best in Slot LFR loot for Disc and Holy Priests?

If you haven’t already, take a look at our Disc or Holy in 5.2 post.

Originally published on February 27th, 2013 by and on HealingWoW.com, Last modified: in the Disc Priest, Holy Priest, Priest category/s.

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