Healing priest talents in 4.0


Now there is talk of patch 4.0.x landing sometime soon and the priest talents seem to have settled down its time to have a look at them.


Discipline Tree

This tree has 43 talent points in it.  A suggested discipline priest build is http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#bfGoGschfozchM

Tier One

Improved Power Word: Shield – 2 ranks
Increases the damage absorbed by your Power Word: Shield by 10%.

Discipline – Mandatory
Holy – Optional

Twin Disciplines – 3 ranks
Increases your shadow and holy spell damage and healing by 6%.

Discipline – Very optional.  Some advantage to Smiting and heals.
Holy – Optional.  More advantageous than Improved Power Word: Shield.

Mental Agility – 3 ranks
Reduces the mana cost of your instant cast spells by 10%.

Discipline – Highly recommended
Holy – Recommended. Reduces mana cost of several regularly used spells (Circle of Healing, Renew, etc)

Tier Two

Evangelism – 2 ranks
You have a 100% chance when you Smite and a 40% chance when you Mind Flay to gain Evangelism. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts for 15 sec.

  • Evangelism (Smite) – Increasing the damage done by your Smite, Holy Fire, and Penance spells by 4% and reduces the mana cost of those spells by 6%.
  • Dark Evangelism (Mind Flay) – Increases the damage done by your Periodic Shadow spells by 2%

Discipline – Recommended.  Viability of Smiting/Evangelism/Archangel tactic will depend on how fights, especially raid boss fights are staged.
Holy – Recommended.

Archangel – 1 rank
Consumes your Evangelism effects, causing an effect depending what form you are in.

  • Archangel (Caster) – Instantly restores 3% of your total mana and increases your healing done by 3% for each stack.
  • Dark Archangel (Shadowform) – Instantly restores 3% of your total mana and increases your shadow and frost damage done by 3% for each stack

Discipline – Mandatory if you take Evangelism.
Holy – Mandatory if you take Evangelism.

Inner Sanctum – 3 ranks
Spell damage taken is reduced by 15% while within Inner Fire, and the movement speed bonus of your Inner Will is increased by 6%.

Discipline – Optional.
Holy – Optional

Soul Warding – 3 ranks
Reduces the cooldown of your Power Word: Shield ability by 3 sec.

Discipline – Highly recommended.
Holy – Not recommended.

Tier Three

Holy priests can not reach this tier.

Renewed Hope – 2 ranks
Increases the critical effect chance of your Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Heal and Penance (Heal) spells by 10% on targets afflicted by the Weakened Soul effect or blessed with your Grace effect.

Discipline – Mandatory for tank healers.  Highly recommended otherwise.

Power Infusion – 1 rank
Infuses the target with power, increasing spell casting speed by 20% and reducing the mana cost of all spells by 20%. Lasts 15 sec.

Discipline – Highly recommended.  This will be cast more on yourself and less on caster DPS now.

Atonement – 3 ranks
When you deal damage with Smite, you instantly heal a nearby low health friendly party or raid target within 15 yards from the enemy target equal to 45% of the damage dealt.

Discipline – Highly recommended if you take Evangelism.

Inner Focus – 1 rank
Reduces the mana cost of your next Flash Heal, Heal, Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing by 100% and increases its critical effect chance by 25%.

Discipline – Optional.  I was never a huge fan of Inner Focus and it’s been nerfed further.  Someone might do the math and say its worthwhile in a situation where we are casting less heals (and more smites) and its macroed to Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing. i.e. when Inner Focus is being triggered on proportionally more of our healing spells.  Or maybe they won’t.

Tier Four

Rapture – 3 ranks
When your Power Word: Shield is completely absorbed or dispelled you are instantly energized with 2.5% of your total mana. This effect can only occur once every 12 sec.

Discipline – Mandatory. Our main mana regen talent.

Borrowed Time –  3 ranks
Grants 15% spell haste for your next spell after casting Power Word: Shield.

Discipline – Recommended.  Heavily nerfed from the previous version, but a decent candidate for some of our non-mandatory talent points.

Reflective Shield – 2 ranks
Causes 45% of the damage you absorb with Power Word: Shield to reflect back at the attacker. This damage causes no threat.

Discipline – Don’t bother.  May be worth a second look if the reflective thing works on shields cast on the tanks, but probably not.

Tier Five

Strength of Soul – 2 ranks
When you heal a target with your Heal spell, the duration of the weakened soul debuff on the target is reduced by 4 sec.

Discipline – Mandatory for tank healers, recommended otherwise.  One of the more interesting new talents in the tree.  PW:S, Heal, Heal, and repeat for tank healing?  Shame we can’t access Chakra.

Divine Aegis – 3 ranks
Critical heals create a protective shield on the target, absorbing 30% of the amount healed. Lasts 12 sec

Discipline – Mandatory

Pain Suppression – 1 rank
Instantly reduces a friendly target’s threat by 5%, reduces all damage taken by 40% and increases resistance to Dispel mechanics by 65% for 8 sec.

Discipline – Mandatory

Tier Six

Focused Will – 2 ranks
After taking a critical hit you gain the Focused Will effect, reducing all damage taken by 4% and increasing healing effects on you by 5%. Stacks up to 3 times. Lasts 8 sec.

Discipline – Don’t do it!  Pure PvP talent.

Grace – 2 ranks
Your Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Heal and Penance spells bless the target with Grace, increasing all healing received from the Priest by 4%. This effect will stack up to 2 times. Effect lasts 15 sec. Grace can only be active on one target at a time.

Discipline – Highly recommended tank healers, otherwise optional.

Tier Seven

Power Word: Barrier – 1 rank
Summons a holy barrier on the target location that absorbs ((21225  + (6 * $SP)) * .20) damage done to friendly targets within it each time they take damage. While within the barrier, spellcasting will not be interrupted by damage. The barrier lasts for 25 sec or until it absorbs (21225 + (6 * $SP)) damage.

Discipline – Highly recommended.  This one is a hard one to call, but I think once geared at level 85 in tier 11 gear this could be absorbing around 50k damage in total.

Holy Tree

Holy tree only has 36 talent points in it. A suggested holy priest build is http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#bcGoZfGMrRMdoGk

Tier One

Improved Renew
– 2 ranks
Increases the amount healed by your Renew spell by 10%.

Discipline – Not recommended. More useful stuff follows.
Holy – Recommended.  Not awesome, but useful filler.

Empowered Healing – 3 ranks
Increases the healing done by your Flash Heal, Heal, Binding Heal and Greater Heal by 15%.

Discipline – Put 2 points in to help access the next tier.  The last point is optional.
Holy – Recommended.

Divine Fury – 3 ranks
Reduces the casting time of your Smite, Holy Fire, Heal and Greater Heal spells by 0.5 sec.

Discipline – Mandatory if you take Evangelism.
Holy – Mandatory if you take Evangelism.

Tier Two

Improved Healing – 2 ranks
Reduces the mana cost of your Heal, Greater Heal, Divine Hymn and Penance spells by 10%.

Discipline – Optional.
Holy – Recommended.

Desperate Prayer – 1 rank
Instantly heals the caster for 4896 to 5776.

Discipline – Optional.  Personally i’ve never bothered with this talent nor felt i’ve missed it.
Holy – Optional.

Inspiration – 2 ranks
Reduces your target’s physical damage taken by 10% for 15 sec after getting a critical effect from your Flash Heal, Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal, Penance, Prayer of Mending, Prayer of Healing, or Circle of Healing spell.

Discipline – Highly recommended, especially if your tank healing.
Holy – Highly recommended.

Tier Three

Discipline can not reach this tier.

Divine Touch – 2 ranks
Your Renew will instantly heal the target for 10% of the total periodic effect.

Holy – Recommended.

Holy Concentration – 2 ranks
Increases the amount of mana regeneration from Spirit while in combat by an additional 20%.

Holy – Mandatory. More mana regen? Yes please.

Lightwell – 1 rank
Creates a Holy Lightwell. Friendly players can click the Lightwell to restore (2878  * 3 * 1) health over 6 sec. Attacks done to you equal to 30% of your total health will cancel the effect. Lightwell lasts for 3 min or 10 charges.

Holy – Optional.  Personally I take it.

Tier Four

Serendipity – 2 ranks
When you heal with Binding Heal or Flash Heal, the cast time of your next Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing spell is reduced by 20% and mana cost reduced by 10%. Stacks up to 2 times. Lasts 20 sec.

Holy – Recommended.  Shame only Binding and Flash Heal trigger it.

Spirit of Redemption – 1 rank
Upon death, the priest becomes the Spirit of Redemption for 15 sec. The Spirit of Redemption cannot move, attack, be attacked or targeted by any spells or effects. While in this form the priest can cast any healing spell free of cost. When the effect ends, the priest dies.

Holy – Not recommended.  The main reason to take this in Wrath was the 5% spirit buff.  Thats now gone. 😦  The number of times this triggers and is actually useful is very, very low.  The free heals may be more useful in a low mana environment but I doubt it will make this a valuable talent.

Twirling Light – 2 ranks
When you deal damage with Smite, Holy Fire, or Holy Word: Chastise your next Flash Heal is instant at 75% reduced mana cost, but heals for 30% less. Lasts for 10 sec.

Holy – Recommended.   Current mana costs for spells appear to be variable but currently a Twisted Flash Heal heals for about the same as Heal and costs about the same mana…

Tier Five

Body and Soul – 2 ranks
When you cast Power Word: Shield or Leap of Faith, you increase the target’s movement speed by 60% for 4 sec, and you have a 100% chance when you cast Cure Disease on yourself to also cleanse 1 poison effect in addition to diseases.

Holy – Recommended.  Situational useful, fun and better than the other options as filler.

Chakra – 1 rank
When activated, your next Heal, Renew, Prayer of Healing or Smite spell will put you into a corresponding Chakra state. Lasts for 30 sec.

  • Heal – Increases the critical effect chance of your Heal spell by 10%, and your Heal refreshes the duration of your Renew on the target.
  • Renew – Increases the healing done by your Renew spell by 10%, and reduces the global cooldown of your Renew spell by .5 sec.
  • Prayer of Healing – Increases the healing done by your area of effect spells by 10% and reduces the cooldown of your Circle of Healing by 2 sec.
  • Smite – Increases your total damage done by Shadow and Holy spells by 15%.

Holy – Mandatory.  Fun, powerful and flexible.  Use on cool down.

Revelations – 1 rank
While in a Chakra state, your Holy Word: Chastise ability will transform into a different ability depending on which state you are in.

  • Holy Word: Serenity (Heal) – Instantly heals the target for 5198 to 6100, and increases the critical effect chance of your healing spells on the target by 25% for 6 sec. 20 sec cooldown.
  • Holy Word: Aspire (Renew) – Instantly heals the target for 2363 and another 4470 over 18 sec. 15 sec cooldown.
  • Holy Word: Sanctuary (Prayer of Healing) – Blesses the ground with Divine light, healing all within it for 299 to 355 every 2 for 15 sec. Only one Sanctuary can be active at any one time.

Holy – Highly recommended.  Turns a pretty useless spell into something quite useful.

Blessed Resilience
– 2 ranks
Critical hits made against you have a 60% chance to prevent you from being critically hit again for 6 sec.

Holy – PvP talent.  Don’t take it for PvE.

Tier Six

Test of Faith – 3 ranks
Increases healing by 12% on friendly targets at or below 50% health.

Holy – Recommended.

State of Mind – 2 ranks
Your successful Heal, Renew, Prayer of Healing or Smite spell casts increase the duration of your corresponding Chakra state by 4 sec.

Holy – Mandatory.  More Chakra?  Yes please.

Circle of Healing
– 1 rank
Heals up to 5 friendly party or raid members within 15 yards of the target for 1776 to 1962. Prioritizes healing most injured party members.

Holy – Mandatory.  The best area-of-effect heal in the game.

Tier Seven

Guardian Spirit – 1 rank
Calls upon a guardian spirit to watch over the friendly target. The spirit increases the healing received by the target by 40%, and also prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself. This sacrifice terminates the effect but heals the target of 50% of their maximum health. Lasts 10 sec.

Holy – Mandatory.  An awesome healing cool down, which becomes even more powerful in Cataclysm with bigger health pools and bigger focus on healing efficiency.

General Comments

Requiring 5 points per tier feels clunky now with only 35 or so talent points in total in a tree.

Options are very limited in both healing trees.  Very little of the first 31 talent points you spent in either tree could really be placed in too many other options without choosing the PvP only talents.  Blizzard have removed the ‘bloat’ from the talent trees, but they talent builds feel kinda the same (as in Wrath)  to me.  I suppose you can’t please all the people all the time.

The viability of Smiting/Evangelism/Archangel tactic will be very interesting and especially important to discipline.  If it is viable then Atonement, providing effectively free heals around the 4k mark, could be a very powerful mechanic for discipline.

Discipline pretty much have to take the Evangelism/Archangel option as they have little interesting alternative.

Holy have Chakra/Revelations, which is pretty much a no brainer, and then the option of taking the Evangelism/Archangel option.  Interestingly Derevka thinks holy is the more limited one.

I’m sure there will be plenty more discussion about this in future.

Gobble gobble.


2 Responses to Healing priest talents in 4.0

  1. James Sims Jr says:

    What about Tome of Light

  2. BobTurkey says:

    Didn’t exist when I wrote the article.

    I’ll do something like this again after the patch goes on to the live servers. Still too many chnages being made.

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