Monday, January 17, 2011

Holy Heroics

I changed my healing spec to Holy this past week on the advice of a guildie. Keeping a tank up as Discipline was still pretty easy, but Disc lacked any ability to heal DPS without having the tank lose a huge chunk of HP or have to use mana inefficient spells.

With the changes made to Holy, introducing Chakra states, it's become more viable as a tank healing spec for heroics but still is strong with party healing. For those not familiar with the Chakra system the idea of it is that you cast your Chakra, then the next healing spell you cast puts you in one of two Chakra states for the next 30 seconds.

If it's a direct healing spell, you get 10% additional healing from all direct healing and the basic heal refreshes your renew. If it's an AOE heal, then it reduces the CD of our instant cast heal by 2 seconds (out of 8 so 25%) as well as improving our renew's overall healing. So one state is meant for tank healing and one is meant for AOE. And since you can switch between these every 30 seconds, it's made Holy a very flexible spec that's a lot of fun to play.

There's a few other procs that we get too. From our talent tree, we get Serendipity which turns our Greater Heal into a pretty fast cast. Generally, Greater Heal is not great for mana efficiency (Flash = 2.4, Greater = 3.3, Heal = 3.8), but since Serendipity also decreases mana cost, it becomes the most mana efficient non-CD spell we have! This is pretty awesome and since I tend to take an extra second to react to standing in things since I'm staring at health bar, I tend to use Binding Heal a lot, so it's up pretty often.

Surge of Light is another nifty proc that helps a lot. Instant cast, free, big heal? Yes please! Oh, and it procs Serendipity. Cute little chain reaction there.

The last pretty sweet new thing Holy Priests have gotten is our Power Words. The normal mode for this is a strong instant cast DPS spell on worthlessly long CD. But depending on our Chakra state, it can change one of two ways. The first is into Holy Word: Serenity. It changes into this when entering the Chakra state corresponding to the direct heals. This is a pretty large (~10k) heal that's also super cheap, and instant cast! Moderately long CD, but factored into the longer run of keeping a tank up, this is a pretty good boost.

In the Chakra state that goes with AOE heals, it becomes Holy Word: Sanctuary which is a ground targeted spell that drops a healing zone. The zone apparently spreads past the visible boundary but falls off quickly beyond there. I can see this helping a pretty good deal on Assad in Vortex Pinnacle. A lot of players don't like to move too much after the grounding field so chain lightning takes its toll. Popping some AOE heals while everyone's in the next field tops them off well and this well help greatly.

Another bit of coolness we get: Body and Soul. Shield someone and they move 60% faster for 4 seconds. One of the absolute hardest fights in heroic right now seems to be Ozruk from Stonecore. Just after doing his AOE stun he does his shatter. The tank barely has sufficient time to get far enough away to get out of range before, generally being one shot. The timing on this has been pretty glitchy and seems to depend very heavily on the lucky coincidence of the DOT they apply to themselves to break the stun happening just after the stun goes off, giving the maximum time to run. If you're unlucky, you can lose nearly a full second of run time and the tank is doomed. If a healer with Body & Soul can break themselves quickly and toss the shield on the tank, the extra move speed will help them make up for lost time.

Lastly, we now get Inspiration. With a good deal of crit (I'm currently sitting at 9.34%), this can be pretty much kept up continuously. While it's only physical damage, it's still a pretty huge chunk. Since it's a percentage, that means it scales with damage, not your gear! And since a lot of what a tank takes is physical, this is pretty amazing for us.

Overall, the whole field of Holy healing has changed. There's a lot more buttons we have to press and a lot more to think about, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's given us some great adaptability and the result is a fun and flexible build.

I still want to stay shadow as my primary raid spec, but I'm not entirely against the guild needing me for healing now.

Meanwhile, heroics have started to become tolerable again. I'm still dropping about 25% of them within the first 10 minutes when tanks think that AOE pulling and not watching CC's is a good idea, or when some scrub in full PVP gear waltzes in and expects to get carried when they're only doing 3k dps but we can't kick him due to the vagaries of the whole voting to kick system.

I'm managed everything except Deadmines on heroic now. Ripsnarl kills us every time, mostly due to poor DPS. I haven't tried it yet as Holy, but I'm suspecting I'll be able to keep people up much better and make up for their mistakes than as Disc. Time will tell.

No comments:

Post a Comment