Truckload o’ Changes

Yet another build went up on the beta realms/PTR last night.  There were, literally, a million and a half priest changes, many of which have already been announced.

The Very Short Summary:

  • The proposed changes to racial spells were made.
  • In Discipline, buffs were given to Borrowed Time and Grace, two key abilities that just weren’t functioning the way they should. Only these two major issues with Discipline healing were addressed.  More problems remain in terms of raid viability.
  • In Holy, Holy Concentration/Imp Holy Concentration talents were changed to scale with spell crit (fully talented, you have a 45% chance of entering clearcasting on spell crit).  Divine Hymn was tweaked, and is now affected by more talents.
  • In Shadow, Dispersion received some minor buffs, but still does not regen health, only mana.  Replenishment from Vampiric Touch was nerfed to half its previous effect. The prior changes to Imp. Shadowform and Misery were reverted.  Shadow Resilience replaced with a talent that increases crit on your “Mind” spells by 2%/4%. Shadow Power now gives us a crit bonus of 100% damage, but no longer increases our crit percentage.

The Very Detailed Summary:

Racial Spell Changes

  • Feedback -> Removed.
  • Starshards -> Removed.
  • Consume Magic-> Removed.
  • Elune’s Grace-> Removed.
  • Hex of Weakness -> Removed.
  • Shadowguard -> Removed.
  • Touch of Weakness -> Removed.
  • Devouring Plague is now a trainable ability for all priests and costs 31% percent of base mana.
    At level 80, its costs 1,198 (by comparison, SW:Pain runs 850 mana).  It currently does NOT grant any benefit from the Twisted Faiths talent, though that is likely a bug.
  • Symbol of Hope renamed to Hymn of Hope – You recite a Holy Hymn of Hope, restoring 2% mana every 2 sec to all party members within 40 yards. Lasts 8 sec. The Priest must channel to keep the hymn active.
    Channeling kills this spell.  In raids, priests will be too busy healing to get full use of it.  Also, I believe the 2% mana is based off of base mana still, only returning about 1k mana over its full duration.  Hymn of Hope is currently in the Holy spell tree, and therefore cannot be used in Shadowform (Symbol of Hope was in the Disc tree, and therefore usable).
  • Desperate Prayer is the new 11-point talent in the holy tree.  It has a 2 minute cooldown and was given a base mana cost of 21%.
    Costs 764 mana @ 80 and heals about 4k. Handy in PvP .
  • Holy Nova is now a base ability, trainable by all priests.  Otherwise remains unchanged.

Other Spell Changes

  • Prayer of Fortitude now buffs the whole raid.
    Makes raid buffing quicker.  Nice change.
  • Divine Spirit mana cost reduced.
  • Divine Hymn – You recite a Holy hymn, causing the closest 10 enemies within 15 yards to become incapacitated for 20 sec, and heals the closest 10 friendly targets within 15 yards for 348 every sec for 6 sec. Incapacitated enemies take 40% less damage while incapacitated and for 3 sec after the incapacitation ends. Damage caused may interrupt the effect on all incapacitated targets. 6 min cooldown.
    Blizzard is really working hard at making this spell useful.  I know I am in the minority, but I like where they are trying to go with Divine Hymn.  I’m okay with priests being the “Oh Shit!” healers.  The healing from this spell was decreased from its previously stated value, but for only 772 mana it still returns a heck of a lot of healing.  It will be useful as a use-on-cooldown healing spell for splash damage encounters, as most enemies will be immune to the incapacitate effect, and therefore won’t take less damage.
  • Holy Fire is now a 2 sec cast.
    Just a fix that was already announced.

Discipline Talents

  • Borrowed Time – Grants 5/10/15/20/25% spell haste for your next spell after casting Power Word: Shield, and increases the amount absorbed by your Power Word: Shield equal to 8/16/24/32/40% of your spell power.
    Testing is definitely needed to see if this brings up Discipline healing enough to make it viable.  I venture a guess at “no.”  Having the haste after the PW:S (when the spell is on cooldown) shows that developers are paying attention to our concerns about juggling healing in between shielding.
  • Grace now increases all healing received from the priest by 2% in addition to its previous effect. Stacks up to 3 times.
    At 2/2, it grants 2% damage reduction and 4% healing increase from the casting priest only, stacking up to 3 times (triggers on Penance, Greater Heal, Flash Heal). A 12% healing bonus is nothing to sneeze at, but this talent worked better when it increased healing from all sources.  It really cinched discipline as a main tank healer. Now, it just seems to serve as making disc throughput not completely suck. I still don’t think disc has the throughput compared to other healing specs/classes.
  • Improved Divine Spirit changed to increase the target’s spell power by an amount equal to 50/100% of the Spirit granted.
    At level 80, this 80 spellpower.  Much higher than it was before.  I believe it is still weaker than Flametongue Totem and doesn’t stack with it.
  • Twin Disciplines – The tooltip was fixed to read: Increases your spell power on instant spells by 1%.
    It would have been great if it clarified which channeled spells it affected and which it didn’t. It currently affects Mind Flay and Penance in addition to instant cast spells.


  • Divine Providence, Holy Reach, Improved Healing now affect Divine Hymn.
    Divine Hymn is really starting to shape up.
  • Surge of Light now affects Flash Heal.
    Truth: I never liked Surge of Light as a DPS talent.  Truth: As a healing talent, I adore it. I like that holy priests will get some use out of the spell crit stat. Flash Heal is going to be our small (~4.2k) heal.
  • Holy Concentration gives you a 10/20/30% chance to enter a clearcasting state after casting any critical Flash Heal, Binding Heal, or Greater Heal spell and Improved Holy Concentration increases the chance you’ll enter Holy Concentration by 5/10/15% and affects the next 2 spells.
    Tweaked to work off of spell crit, however I was hoping that it would simply scale with our spell crit value, not trigger after a spell crit!  If we just land a mega heal and have Inspiration up, do we really need the haste?  Perhaps this could be fixed to work at the same percent chance as our spell crit?
  • Blessed Recovery changed: After being struck by a melee or ranged critical hit, heal 5/10/15% of the damage taken over 6 sec. Additional critical hits taken during the effect increase the healing received.
    The percent was decreased, however, the overall benefit is gained by adding time to the buff instead of overwriting it.  This is a good change. Not great.  Just good.


  • Dispersion changed to: You disperse into pure Shadow energy, reducing all damage taken by 90%. You are unable to attack or cast spells, but you regenerate 6% mana every 1 sec for 6 sec. Dispersion can be cast while stunned, feared or silenced. If Dispersion runs its full duration, and you are not the victim of any damage or harmful effects during its duration, your spells gain 25% damage for 1 min.
    Nice raid viability addition with the spellpower buff. I still resent that it doesn’t regen health anymore. The health regen component was an important to our shadow PvP viability.
  • Psychic Horror changed to: Causes your Psychic Scream ability to inflict Psychic Horror on the target when the fear effect ends. Psychic Horror reduces all damage done by the target by 15/30% for 6 sec.
    Meh.  Half of those 6 seconds are spent with the mob/player just running back to you after the end of the effect.  A 30% reduction of zero damage is zero.  Boo.
  • Vampiric Touch now restores .25% of max mana when you deal damage with Mind Blast.
    This previously worked with all shadow spells and regened .5% of max mana. Now it just triggers Replenishment on Mind Blast, and has half its original effect.  The reduction in effect of Replenishment was also made to other classes with the buff.
  • Improved Shadowform now gives you a 50/100% chance to remove all movement impairing effects when using Fade while in Shadowform.
    Thank you for reverting the prior change on this!
  • Misery changed to: Your Shadow Word: Pain, Mind Flay and Vampiric Touch spells also increase the chance for harmful spells to hit by 1/2/3% lasting 24 sec, and increases the damage of your Mind Blast, Mind Flay and Mind Sear spells by an amount equal to 5/10/15% of your spell power.
    Thank you for reverting the prior change on this!
  • Shadow Power now increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Mind Blast, Mind Flay, and Shadow Word: Death spells by 20/40/60/80/100%.
    Thank you.  It’s about damn time we got the same crit bonus other casters had! But did it really have to come at the cost of the removal of the crit bonus this talent used to give?
  • Shadow Resilience removed and replaced with Mind Melt.
    Mind Melt: increases the critical strike chance of your Mind Blast, Mind Flay and Mind Sear spells by 2/4%.
    Shadow Resilience wasn’t great, but its removal still a loss to our PvP viability.  Mind Melt should be okay for raiding.

Additional Changes

  • Humans – spirit bonus reduced to 3%.
  • A ton of new mount showed up in this build.
  • There were a few minor glyph changes, too (most notably a nerf to the Renew glyph reducing its healing increase to 25% from 40%.

10 Responses

  1. I’m trying to get my hands around the usage of Divine Hymn in a PvE environment. I’m guessing that bosses would be immune to the incapacitation effect (which I would hope would also prevent the “take 40% less damage while incapacitated and for 3 sec after the incapacitation ends.”) so in that case, it seems like a baby Tranquility?

    But against multiple mobs (such as a trash pull gone bad), I’m not sure how to best utilize it. Is the idea that everyone in the raid stops attacking for the 10 seconds of mob incapacity, using the “free time” to bandage, apply more heals, let CD timers spin, and other things that are difficult to do in the heat of battle? This seems like it would take a very coordinated (i.e., non-PUG) group to take advantage of and would be problematic with caster mobs and any other out-of-range mobs in the mix.

    Given that, this now this seems like more of a fire and forget spell, where you take for granted that the stun will likely break immediately on any tanked/dps’ed mobs, so you just enjoy the benefit of the heals and hope that the healing is worth the 40% dps loss? Or maybe I’m just misunderstanding the optimal situation for this spell. I’m not on the beta and haven’t had any luck getting on the PTR yet, so I’m very interested in people’s thoughts about how to best use it.

  2. I’m not sure I understand the VT mechanics. Does this mean that if VT is on the target each mind blast will restore .25% of base mana to 10 people – and that’s it? Replenishment only ticks once each mind blast? That’s less than 10 mana at level 80. Please tell me I’m wrong.

  3. @dfscott – On a trash pull gone bad or large multi-mob pulls (think: third room of Shadow Lab) it gives players a chance to focus down a few mobs before tackling the rest. Sure, they will take less damage, but the party will take even less during that timeframe. You just pick mobs off one at a time. most groups can handle the concept of “focus fire.”

    Solong: It’s an “oh shit!” spell, and an aide for larger pulls.
    In instances: Much the same, large pulls and oops pulls.
    In raids: Bosses will have immunity, so it is a lot of healing for a small amount of mana, especially in situations where much of the raid is taking damage.
    PvP: Escape spell with a healing component.

  4. @Merlot – When Vampiric Touch is up on a mob, and you cast Mind Blast, a buff called “Replenishment” will be given to the ten raid members with the lowest mana (granting 0.25% of their base mana per second, or close to 200 mp5 for most players at level 80). Replenishment lasts 15 seconds, so provided you can trigger Mind Blast as least once every 15 seconds, and keep VT up, then you are golden.

    Again, this is another case of poor wording on shadow priest talents. Blizz could really make this stuff more clear. :(

  5. I personally like the direction of disc healing. I didn’t take grace in my build (8 seconds is too hard to keep up since I rarely cast enough back to back heals to keep 3 up at any sort of efficient manner). I like the way it heals, you have to think of it closer to a druid. You cast PoM, shield, renew and then penance if your tank’s hurt then cancel cast greater heal till renew/PoM/shield/penance is up again. I did a heroic or 2 on the test server and had no trouble with rage regen on war since they no longer spam shield block. I need to see its raid viability before I decide if its good or bad.

  6. I’m happy with the changes to my old friend IDS, but really P’d off with what they’ve done to Symbol of Hope :(

    Ah well, “elämä on” as they say around here.

  7. […] sind. So wurden, ob als Reaktion auf den Druck der Gemeinschaft oder wegen des Balancings zahlreiche Änderungen […]

  8. The Light Fantastic…

    Bei Elunes Silbermantel! Da ist bisher die wichtigste Patch-Änderung an mir vorbei gegangen. Ich gehöre wohl den wenigen Holy-Priestern, die schon immer eigentlich eine gewisse Sympathie für “Surge of Light” hatten. Zugegeben, ich mag auch Randski…

  9. Surge of Light now affects Flash Heal:

    Since the Holy tree seem to point in the direction of more crit based, this Surge of Light is a huge upgrade, and a good alternative/sideeffect towards the holy Concentration and Improved Holy Concentration talents. I mean 45 % chance of getting a free heal, and now 50 % chance aswell on a free Flash heal that aint bad in my oppinion.
    I like the fact that we even more now can take advantage of the FSR (five second rule)

    But I do have some questions concerning this change:

    When getting a crit heal is it then possible to proc both Surge of Light and Holy Concentration?

    If thats the case, will we then get 1 free instant flash heal and next our free heal from holy concentration?, or will the Surge of Light proc just consume the free holy concentration proc?

    Hope someone got some informations about this matter…
    Thanks for a good page, and for your time reading this…

  10. Surge of Light and Holy Concentration are currently bugged and eating each other’s buffs, so you will only get the effect of one or the other. Blizzard said they are fixing it, but the change hasn’t been rolled out yet, so its hard to say how it will really play out. I believe they intend for you to be able to get two separate procs that can each be used for a mana-free heal.

    I’m not a big fan of Surge of Light, personally, but the ability for mega FSR-cheating in 5-mans will be quite handy. I can’t see myself using it too much in raids, though.

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