There is about a week until the release of patch 3.0.2, titled “Echoes of Doom.” This post should serve as an overview of the changes that we priests will see from this patch. I tried to keep it as simple as possible, but there really are a lot of changes. You may have to bookmark this post and come back to it, or just use the menu below to read what interests you. (The full patch notes are available here.)
This was continued on to the WotLK Priest Survival Guide. Check it out here.
Spell pushback has been overhauled. It now has a cap, only letting us be “pushed back” twice at most on any given spell (with each “pushback hit” being 0.5 seconds). This is a great change for us.
Spell crit, spell haste, and spell hit are all gone. They are now a singular stat with crit, haste, and hit. This is just a nominal change for us.
Bonus healing and bonus spell damage have been lumped into a singular stat: spellpower. Each 1 point of spellpower is worth about 1 spell damage and 1.88 +heal. Having a singular stat should allow you to use one set of gear to go between healing and DPS.
Downranking has been removed. All ranks of spells will cost the same amount of mana regardless which rank is used (Greater Heal rank 1 will cost the same amount of mana as Greater Heal rank 5, etc.).
The previously unmitigatable 1% miss chance on all spells against enemies has been removed, which means 17% hit is needed to reach the cap on bosses (for DPS).
Many buffs and debuffs have been made raid-wide instead of party wide and utility has been spread around to more classes and specs than before. Certain raid buffs and debuffs will no longer stack, and only the most effective version of a given ability will be effective. An overview of the changes to the raid buff/debuff system can be found here.
We cannot use a potion more than once during an encounter or an attempt. You will want to use your fiend before your potion, as shadowfiend could potentially be used more than once in a given encounter.
Shadowfiend now regens 4% of our total mana per hit (it hits about 10 times). It’s mana return is no longer based off of our spell damage stat. For most priests, this is a buff.
Certain talents and abilities have been changed, allowing for greater control over your personal mana regen (for example: Spirit Tap now has an improved version allowing for procs mid-combat). The aim was to have players not be as dependent on raid composition for viable mana efficiency. Talent and gear choices will have to be made with a greater eye towards mana conservation.
Replenishment is a new buff, replacing the mana regen aspect of Vampiric Touch. The mana return from Replenishment is much lower, less than half of what we were seeing from Vampiric Touch before. The trade-off is that it now affects twice as many people (up to 10). It will regenerate 0.25% of your max mana every second you have the buff. The buff lasts 15 seconds and gets refreshed with spells.
Shadow priests apply (and refresh) Replenishment by casting Mind Blast at a target afflicted with their Vampiric Touch spell. Replenishment targets the ten players in the raid with the lowest mana that do not already have the buff on them from another player. Each time you trigger the buff, it will check to see if it’s on the players with the lowest mana. If not, it will switch to the lowest. It will refresh on the others.
Ret paladins and survival hunters will also have spells that can grant the Replenishment buff, and it will not stack. You will only need to bring one player to the raid for Replenishment in 10-man raids, or two for 25-mans.
In this patch, Intellect will become a more important mana regen stat than Spirit, due to mechanics with Shadowfiend and Replenishment (and Rapture, for those who are deep Discipline).
Priest racial spells have been removed. Each priest will receive Hymn of Hope (a watered down version of Symbol of Hope, the draenei racial), Devouring Plague (formerly the undead racial), and Holy Nova as spells. Desperate Prayer (the human/dwarf racial) will take Holy Nova’s place in the holy tree.
There have been a number of changes to pre-existing spells:
- Dispel Magic – Range increased to 40 yards for friendly targets (range for hostile targets remains at 30 yards).
- Pain Suppression – Cooldown now 3 minutes.
- Power Infusion – Cooldown now 2 minutes.
- Circle of Healing – Now works on raid members, not just party members. It will target the players with the lowest health first.
- Desperate Prayer – Now a holy tree talent. Has a mana cost and a 2 minute cooldown.
- Hymn of Hope – This is the reworked version of Symbol of Hope and is available to all priests at level 20. It was moved to the holy tree (from the disc tree). It regens 2% of your raid members’ base mana every 2 seconds for 8 seconds (total: 8% base mana returned). It’s channeled. At level 70, you would be returning 210 mana to yourself with this.
- Holy Fire – Cast time is now 2 seconds (base).
- Holy Nova – No longer a talent. Now available to all priests at level 20.
- Lightwell – Now has 10 charges, 0.5 second cast time, and heals for more. Cooldown reduced to 3 minutes. Will no longer break on damage, unless the hit is greater than 30% of the player’s max health.
- Prayer of Mending – Can now crit.
- Devouring Plague – No longer a racial spell. Available to all priests. Now a key spell for shadow priest DPS.
- Mind Flay – Damage coefficient increased. Its ticks can now crit! It also has a new, cheesy spell graphic.
- Shadowfiend – Now returns 4% of your max mana each time it hits (no longer scales with spell damage). Overall benefit increase for most priests.
- Shadowform – Will now also grant the priest 30% threat reduction.
- Silence – No longer triggers the global cooldown.
- Vampiric Touch – Now grants the Replenishment buff for up to 10 people instead of returning 5% of your damage as mana (we’ll see a little less than 1/2 its previous benefit individually).
Also: buff spells (Prayer of Fortitude, Prayer of Shadow Protection, etc.) now affect the whole raid each cast. You no longer have to cast them on each group.
The mana costs of spells have been changed to be a percentage of your base mana (meaning, your mana pool assuming no buffs, talents, or intellect). Base mana for level 70 priests is 2,620.
The Wrath of the Lich King talent trees will be introduced, giving us 51-point talents and other goodies to play with. Many of our previous talent have changed as well.
Things That Have Changed
- Wand Specialization
This has been removed and replaced with Twin Disciplines (see below).
- Silent Resolve
Now only requires 3 talent points to get the full effect (down from 5). Also, it now decreases the chance of your spells being dispelled by 30% (up from 20%).
- Improved Inner Fire
This will now also increase the number of charges of your inner fire buff, in addition to the armor bonus.
- Mental Strength
Now increases your intellect by 3% per rank (up from 2%).
- Improved Divine Spirit
Increases spellpower by the amount of spirit it grants (buffed), but will not stack with other spellpower-increasing raid buffs, such as Totem of Wrath, that are more effective.
- Focused Power
Now also increases damage/healing done by 2% per rank.
- Focused Will
The increased healing effects bonus of this talent was decreased to 3% per rank (from 4%).
- Power Infusion
Cooldown reduced to 2 minutes (from 3 minutes).
- Reflective Shield
Down to three talent points (from five). Reflects 45% of the damage absorbed by the shield (at max rank).
- Enlightenment and Force of Will
These two talents have been combined into a new “Enlightenment” that increases your haste by 1% per rank in addition to your stamina and spirit. It no longer affects intellect.
- Pain Suppression
Cooldown increased to 3 minutes (from 2 minutes).
- Holy Nova
Removed as a talent. Replaced with Desperate Prayer (see below).
- Blessed Recovery
Fixed so that multiple crits against you do not overwrite the effect, but add onto it.
- Surge of Light
Changed to make your next Smite or your next Flash Heal instant-cast and mana-free (but be incapable of a crit).
- Holy Concentration
Now a 30% chance at max rank to enter a clearcasting state on a critical Flash Heal, Binding Heal, or Greater Heal.
Changed to not break on damage (unless damage > 30% of your health). Number of charges increased to 10 (from 5). Casting time reduced to 0.5 sec (from 1.5 sec). Healing done increased.
- Empowered Healing
At max rank, will increase the bonus healing effects of greater heal by 40% and flash heal/binding heal by 20%. (This is an increase of its current values due to the change in the spellpower mechanic).
- Circle of Healing
Now affects any raid member, as opposed to just party members. Will “smart heal” by selecting the players with lowest health first.
- Spirit Tap
Now only 3 talent points (down from 5) to get the same effect.
- Improved Shadow Word: Pain
Changed to increase the damage of SW:P by 5% per rank (still two ranks).
- Shadow Focus
Now also reduces the mana cost of shadow spells by 2% per rank. The number of ranks has been reduced to 3 (from 5), but the spell hit awarded is still 1% per rank.
- Improved Fade
This talent was renamed to Veiled Shadows. It now also decreases the cooldown of your shadowfiend by 1 minute per rank (2 ranks).
- Shadow Weaving
Now only 3 points (down from 5) to get the same effect.
- Shadow Resilience
Has been replaced by Mind Melt (see below).
Now has the added bonus of reducing your threat by 30% while in shadowform.
- Shadow Power
Now only increases the critical strike damage bonus awarded by 20% per rank. This finally lets shadow priests do double damage on critical strikes.
- Vampiric Touch
This talent was changed to regen mana through the Replenishment buff (based off of recipient’s max mana) instead of being based off of your DPS.
Twin Disciplines – Tier 1
5 ranks – This replaced Wand Specialization. Increases the damage and healing of your instant cast (and most channeled) spells by 1% per rank. This is an excellent talent choice for any priest talent spec!
Renewed Hope – Tier 8
2 ranks – Increases the crit chance of Penance, Greater Heal, and Flash Heal by 2% per rank on targets with weakened soul.
Rapture – Tier 8
5 ranks – Returns up to 0.5% per rank of your max mana each time you heal with Greater Heal, Flash Heal, Penance, or damage is absorbed by your Power Word: Shield or Divine Aegis (The amount returned depends on the amount healing. The most you’ll see at level 70 is about 265 mana returned).
Aspiration – Tier 8
2 ranks – The cooldowns of Inner Focus, Power Infusion, and Pain Suppression decreased by 10% per rank. Aspiration should have aspired to more; this is a lackluster talent.
Divine Aegis – Tier 9
3 ranks – Creates a shield on targets you heal that lasts for 12 seconds and will absorb 10% of the healing done, per rank. This is a great addition to the damage reduction arsenal for PvP.
Grace – Tier 9
2 ranks – Will give your targets a “Grace” buff (that is susceptible to magical dispel) after receiving a Greater Heal, Flash Heal, or Penance heal from you. Grace, per rank, reduces the damage taken by 1% and increases the healing received from you by 1% on that target. The Grace buff can stack up to 3 times, making this another solid choice for the PvP healing arsenal.
Borrowed Time – Tier 10
5 ranks – You can think of this talent as “More Improved Power Word: Shield” if you wish. For each rank, the amount of damage your power Word: Shield absorbs is increased by 8% of your bonus spellpower. It also grants you 5% spell haste (per rank) on your next spell after casting Power Word: Shield. This talent stacks with the Improved Power: Word Shied Talent.
Penance – Tier 11
1 rank – New spell. 2 second channeled. If cast on an ally, it will heal them twice for a moderate amount. If cast on a hostile target, it will damage them for a smaller amount twice. It isn’t spammable (10 second cooldown!). Its another “fast heal” option, and a high throughput healing spell for Disc.
Desperate Prayer – Tier 3
1 rank – This replaced Holy Nova. Instant-cast self-only heal for about 2k. 2 minute cooldown. Base cost is 550 mana at level 70.
Serendipity – Tier 8
3 ranks – If your Greater Heal or Flash Heal overheals at all, this talent will refund 25% (max rank) of the spell’s cost. What a phenomenal PvE healing talent. It synergizes with spell crit, too (an unusual concept for a holy priest!).
Improved Holy Concentration – Tier 9
3 ranks – Increases the chance of entering Holy Concentration by 5% (per rank). Increases your spell haste by 10% (per rank) for your next 2 heals after entering Holy Concentration. This should be a requisite for any holy healing build. Do not pass this up!
Test of Faith – Tier 9
3 ranks – For your targets under 50% health, your healing is increased by 2% (per rank) and spell crit chance increased by 2% (per rank). It’s like the Crystal Spire of Karabor up and became a talent. At first glance, this feels a little weak for how high it is in the tree, but the overall increase to healing power over long periods of time (such as raids) is quite measurable.
Divine Providence – Tier 10
5 ranks – The amount healed by Circle of Healing, Binding Heal, Holy Nova, Prayer of Mending, and Prayer of Healing is increased by 2% per rank. Yes, this is less of a talent than Spiritual Healing and Mental Agility.
Guardian Spirit – Tier 11
1 rank – Summons a guardian to “watch” a target for 10 seconds. If the target would have taken a killing blow during that time, the guardian “dies” healing that target for 50% of their (max) health and saving them from death. While the guardian is active, healing on the target is increased by 40%. This spell has a 3 minute cooldown. Let’s just call this what it is: an instant-cast buff that give a fast, emergency heal if a target is going to perish, else just increases the healing done on the target by a substantial amount for 10 seconds. This spell has flexibility. It can be an “oh shit!” button, or a handy helper during boss enrages.
Improved Spirit Tap – Tier 1
2 ranks – Critical strikes from Mind Blast and SW:D increase your spirit by 5% per rank and increase your mana regen by 10% per rank for 8 seconds. This talent is important for shadow priest mana efficiency.
Mind Melt – Tier 6
2 ranks – This replaced Shadow Resilience. Increases the crit chance of Mind Blast and Mind Flay by 2% per rank.
Improved Shadowform – Tier 8
2 ranks – This gives Fade a 50% chance per rank of removing movement impairing effects while in shadowform. It also reduces the amount of spell pushback encountered by 35% while casting shadow spells. This talent is great for PvP, but won’t see a lot of use in PvE (not until WotLK, at least).
Psychic Horror – Tier 9
2 ranks – When the effects of Psychic Scream wear off, a (dispellable) debuff will remain on the target(s) that reduces their damage done by 15% per rank for 6 seconds. This talent is weak; half of those 6 seconds the enemy will spend running back to you.
Pain and Suffering – Tier 9
3 ranks – Gives your Mind Flay a 33% chance per rank of “refreshing” SW:P on your target. It also reduces the damage you take from your SW:D by 20% per rank. This is one of the more controversial new talents as it is easily misunderstood. The word “refresh” is a little misleading here. When your SW:P gets “refreshed”, it does not start ticking all over again from the beginning. Time is just added to the end. The 3 second interval between DoT ticks is not interrupted. This talent is essential for PvE for the SW:P refreshing alone (saving mana and time).
Twisted Faith – Tier 10
5 ranks – Increases your shadow spell damage by 2% of your spirit per rank. Increases the damage done by Mind Flay and Mind Blast by 2% if your target is afflicted by SW:P.
Dispersion – Tier 11
1 rank – For 6 seconds, reduces damage taken by 90% and regenerates 6% of your mana per second. You can move, but cannot attack or cast. Dispersion has a 5 minute cooldown. The PvP benefits are quite obvious, and the cooldown appropriately limiting. It’s not necessary for PvE, but worth trying out. In PvE, it could have its benefits as an “Oh Shit!” button or as a useful thing to pop during boss phase transitions (free big mana potion!).
The Wrath of the Lich King talent trees will be introduced, giving us 51-point talents and other goodies to play with. In this month-long transition period between Burning Crusade and WotLK, I strongly encourage you to try as many different talent builds as you can.
- Holy Priest PvE – (14/47/0)
As a holy priest, given your reliance on mana conservation, you’d have to be nuts to give up Meditation, making at least 13 points in Discipline mandatory for PvE healing. Serendipity, however, is a better talent choice for mana efficiency (and, fortunately, you can get them both). Holy Concentration and Improved Holy Concentration rely on higher crit ratings than you will likely be able to obtain in order to make them a competitive pair of talents in terms of mana efficiency. However, I recommend picking them up anyway so that you can get used to how procs from Improved Holy Concentration feel. Empowered Healing is crucial for the strength of your heals. Healing Focus is not worth taking for PvE, given the change to the spell pushback mechanic. Silent Resolve was picked up in the Disc tree, but don’t get used to having it. In WotLK you’ll want to pick up Improved Inner Fire instead for the spellpower bonus.
- Disc Priest PvE – (52/9/0)
Deep disc healing just doesn’t have the healing throughput that holy does at this level, but if you are eager to give it a go, this is the spec I’d recommend. Core Power Word: Shield improving talents were picked up, as was Penance. Those two spells are core to healing as disc. Greater Heal/Flash Heal and Renew/PoM are sprinkled in between them as needed. Mental Agility is a must for mana efficiency with the shield, and Mental Strength does a lot for your mana regen. Grace and Divine Aegis really highlight the potential strength of discipline: preventative healing. Divine Spirit and Improved Divine Spirit are optional to this build; due to raid stacking they won’t make a difference if there is someone with a more powerful spellpower buff in the raid. If you really don’t think you’d see yourself using Pain Suppression, move the point over to the holy tree for Divine Fury.
Disc Priest PvP – (53/8/0)
I will admit: speccing for disc PvP is the only time I really feel that any of our talent trees are bloated. There are some tough choices deep in the tree which come at the cost of almost-necessary holy talents. Similar to disc PvP now, there is a great reliance of Power Word: Shield and the talents that increase its effectiveness. Divine Aegis will be a crucial mitigation tool. Penance is very powerful in PvP (fast heal, high throughput).
- Shadow Priest PvE – (7/0/54)
You have to make a choice to go for Dispersion and Twisted Faith, or stay 14 points in disc for Inner Focus/Meditation. I’m going to opt for the deep shadow talents, as they are better for DPS. We gained talents that passively increase our mana efficiency (such as Improved Spirit Tap), allowing us to focus more on DPS. I found that 2-3 points in Imp. MB worked well for me, but your results will vary based on your lag. If you have mana problems, you can move some points into Veiled Shadows for the decrease in cooldown to Shadowfiend. The points in Shadow Affinity may not be needed, depending on how well your tank(s) can generate threat.
- Shadow Priest PvP – (10/0/51)
New talents have been introduced to the shadow tree that address some of our main PvP concerns. With Improved Shadowform and Veiled Shadows, we can move around more freely. Dispersion is like a strange Pain Suppression/Evocation hybrid. Psychic Horror gives us an extra edge to our fear. Silent Resolve, in the disc tree, is still important for reducing how often your spells are removed.
Downranking of spells has been removed, changing the the way we heal and think about mana conservation. Cheating the 5 second rule becomes imperative to our longevity. We will have to gear and select talents with a keener eye toward mana efficiency. Mental Agility, while not a sexy talent, will become an important one once again.
With the downranking change, you won’t be spamming heal spells as much. Casting things like Greater Heal will become somewhat reactive. We now will be using top rank Greater Heal as our “oomph” healing spell after a tank takes a lot of damage. For smaller amounts of healing, or to top someone off, we will be turning to Flash Heal (where we used to downrank GHeal).
Circle of Healing was changed to be raid-wide, and to “smart-heal” the players in its range lowest in health. However, due to mana changes, it isn’t as spammable as before. Hitting it more than 4 or 5 times in a row takes too large a chunk out of your mana pool. Use of this spell will be situational.
Stabilization spells will become quite important as a mana conservation tactic, as they generally have the highest healing throughput. Renew remains unchanged and as efficient as ever. Prayer of Mending now credits the healing threat to you, but is otherwise unchanged. Due to an increase in the amount of threat tanks generate, they can now handle having Power Word: Shield on them (but due to its mana cost, you won’t be using this much as a holy priest).
The Discipline talent tree was greatly revised to allow it to be a PvE healing tree in WotLK. It centers around using PW:S and Penance whenever possible, and interweaving between the cooldowns of those two spells other healing as needed (Prayer of Mending/Renew for stabilization, or Greater Heal/Flash Heal to top off players). Unfortunately, Discipline PvE healing has a heavy talent point investment, limiting its viability until we can get closer to level 80 (it comes at the cost of too many necessary holy talents).
Be careful not to make a rookie mistake by loading up a tank with Prayer of Mending, Renew, or Power Word: Shield before (or immediately after) a pull. All the threat from those spells go to you. Wait a few seconds into combat before casting them on the tank. Safety first!
Lightwell is going to be our highest throughput healing spell, if used properly. There will be many encounters in WotLK where it will be quite handy. It may be worth your while to start training your raid members now on how to use it.
As for how we think of stats, intellect has caught up to spirit as a mana regen stat due to how Replenishment and Shadowfiend work (and Rapture, if you are deep disc). In the bigger picture, spirit still wins out over intellect for holy builds due to how much it increases our spellpower through Spiritual Guidance. Spellpower is obviously strong for us (it’s our throughput) and haste has diminished (sure it increases throughput, but at the cost of mana, a now precious commodity). Crit has come a long way for us, now increasing both our healing output and mana efficiency in both trees.
For gearing, I am looking at LootRank lists with the following stat weights:
These lists give a little more emphasis to crit and int than we saw in the past, but are pretty close to what we’re using now. Most players will be fine sticking with their current gear.
Fundamentally, the way we shadow priests cast spells in raids will change very little. You will still have a core set of DoTs/buffs that you will want to keep up on the mob, and then will toss in other spells around those. Keep Vampiric Embrace, Vampiric Touch, Shadow Word: Pain, and Devouring Plague up; burn Mind Blast every cooldown; and interweave Mind Flay and SW:D as well as you can fit them.
- VE / VT – For utility
- MB – To keep Replenishment up, and for DPS
- SW:P / DP – Keep up for DPS
- MF / SW:D – To fill the gaps between the rest of the spells
SW:P will be refreshed for you with Mind Flay, provided you have the talent Pain and Sufferring (which really is a must-have).
Vampiric Embrace is going to be a key spell, and taking the Improved version of it will be a benefit to your raid. Remember to be put in the main tank group to optimize the health return from it. Don’t put VE up at the start of the fight. Wait 2-3 casts before doing so as it can be an aggro monster. Given how much tank threat generation has changed, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about threat, but it is still wise to be mindful of it at the start of battle.
As for stats, spirit will become a much more imporatant stat for you due to Twisted Faith. Crit will as well, due to Shadow Power. Shadow priests will be losing 7% hit going into this patch, so finding hit gear will be important. You will need 139 hit to reach the hit cap for bosses (provided you have Shadow Power and Misery).
You may have to spend some time resocketing your gear for spell hit (yellow gems), spell hit/spellpower (orange gems), and spirit/spellpower (purple gems) if you plan to continue raiding through to the release of WotLK. Shadowpriest.com has made a wonderful list about which gear will be best for you, given the changes in stats.
Not too much will change in the way of PvP for us. Discipline is still king for priests, but now shadow can make a good showing as well with new abilities such as Dispersion and Improved Shadowform.
The changes to spell pushback will be helpful to us when we are focus-fired in PvP.
On the negative side of things, we will no longer be casting downranked versions of spells for utility purposes (Holy Nova, Fade, SW:P, Psychic Scream, etc.). This will hurt our mana conservation to a small extent.
The largest changes we will see are from what other classes will be bringing to the table. It’s a little too hard to call right now (as finding good PvP on the PTR is difficult), but it looks like feral druids, frost mages, and ret paladins are going to be our toughest competitors. When the patch actually goes live, I think we’ll have a better idea what we’re up against.
Professions now have more ways of benefiting you. Here is a short list of their advantages:
- Herbalism – You get Lifeblood, a HoT that heals 1,200 health over 5 seconds (self-only) and scales with your herbalism level. It is castable in shadowform. In WotLK, you will be able to use the consumable Fire Seed to increase your spellpower by 200 for 10 seconds.
- Mining – A 300 bonus health. The health bonus scales with your mining level.
- Skinning – Bonus 15 crit rating. This scales with your level in skinning.
- Alchemy – Double duration on flasks and elixirs. Increased effects of flasks and elixirs on you (by ~20%). New epic BoP Alchemy Stone trinkets will be available in WotLK.
- Tailoring – In WotLK, you will be able to make nice cloak enchants and spellthreads (tailoring-only), receive bonus cloth drops, and access to a BoP Flying Carpet mount. You will also be able to make some entry-level raiding gear at 80 (that will be quickly replaced in your first raid).
- Inscription – This is the new profession that is being introduced this patch (more info about it below). Its benefits are improved shoulder enchants.
- Enchanting – More ring enchants.
- Engineering – In WotLK, you gain the ability to enchant various peices of your armor with engineering-like utility spells (rocket launcher to gloves, increased run speed to boots, etc.). You get a portable mailbox and portable vendor, too.
- Jewelcrafting – Epic gems unique to jewelcrafters with slightly better stats. Rare BoP trinkets (easily replaced).
- Blacksmithing – In WotLK, you will have the ability to add an extra socket to your gloves, bracers, and 1H weapon. You can also craft a BoP epic weapon at 80 that will be replaced in your first or second raid.
- Leatherworking – Better bracer enchants. Drums that were previously crafted by leatherworking were given a once-per-encounter debuff and made unusable at level 80.
Alchemy seems to be a strong choice for PvE. For PvP, engineering remains a good bet. I’m not putting it past Blizzard to add better tailoring patterns in later raiding. It may be worth sticking with it if it’s your cup of tea.
In general, its nice that gathering professions now benefit more than just your gold reserves. In the WotLK beta, I enjoyed being a shadowpriest herbalist for the mana-free heal usable in shadowform. It was nice for soloing and PvP.
The benefits of enchanting, inscription, leatherworking, jewelcrafting and blacksmithing are all quite similar, if you think about it. They each give you slightly higher stats due to more sockets or better enchants. Tailoring similarly has spellthreads and embroidery that will augment some aspects of your healing or DPS.
The thing about professions is that you never know what kind of pattern could drop in a later raid. Blacksmithing and Leatherworking are unlikely to be good choices, as the majority of the items crafted by those professions are completely unusable for us. Gathering professions (skinning, mining, and herbalism) are not likely to develop benefits beyond what we see already. However, their financial benefits are quite nice and should not be overlooked.
As for tailoring, enchanting, jewelcrafting, engineering, alchemy, and inscription, we don’t know where they will go in with end-game raiding in WotLK, so select or stick with whatever feels best to you for now.
Inscription is the new profession being introduced. Similar to enchanting, it is a profession that will benefit everyone, not just the people who spec for it. There will be a tab on your spellbook where you can socket 3 major and 3 minor glyphs (at level 70). Similar to jewelcrafting, glyphs that you socket will remain until you choose to overwrite them with a different glyph.
Major glyphs are intended to bring a significant change to the mechanics of the spell (duration, power, range, etc.). Minor glyphs are supposed to affect spells cosmetically, or superficially.
If you are interested in leveling Inscription, bananashoulders.com has a great guide.
Priests have 27 glyphs available (21 of which are major glyphs). Inscription and glyphs will likely see a number of changes after the patch goes live. Blizzard is still working things out with it.
Prime Choices (and when to use them):
- Glyph of Renew – Major Glyph
Reduces the duration of your Renew by 3 sec. but increases the amount healed per tick by 40%.
PvE Healing – It comes at a small cost, but this is a huge overall increase in HPS (healing per second) and in HPM (healing per mana spent).
- Glyph of Flash Heal – Major Glyph
Reduces the mana cost of your Flash Heal by 10%.
PvE Healing – With this glyph, Flash Heal becomes a lot closer to Greater Heal in terms of mana efficiency.
- Glyph of Circle of Healing – Major Glyph
Your Circle of Healing spell heals 1 additional target.
Holy Healing – Tremendous increase to healing done by CoH. You won’t be using CoH as much as you used to in raids, but it will still see a bit of use in splash damage encounters.
- Glyph of Power Word: Shield – Major Glyph
Heals your target for 20% of the amount absorbed.
Disc Healing – This glyph obviously has the best synergy with the disc healing mechanics.
- Glyph of Dispel Magic – Major Glyph
Your Dispel Magic also heals your target for 6% of maximum health if it removes a damaging effect.
PVP – There is still a good amount of dispelling being done in PvP. Free heals!
- Glyph of Mass Dispel – Major Glyph
Reduces the mana cost of Mass Dispel by 20%.
PvP – Mana conservation is so important now, especially in PvP.
- Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain – Major Glyph
Reduces the mana cost of your Shadow Word: Pain spell by 20%.
Shadow PvP – SW:P is still one of the costliest spells a shadow priest will typically cast, but the Pain and Suffering talent will be refreshing this spell for you in raids. This glyph is clearly aimed toward soloing/grinding or PvP.
- Glyph of Fading – Minor Glyph
Reduce the mana cost of your Fade spell by 30%.
Shadow PvP – Best minor glyph for shadow pvp.
- Glyph of Mind Flay – Major Glyph
Increases the range of your Mind Flay spell by 10 yards, but it no longer reduces the target’s movement speed.
Shadow PvE – Increase of 10 yards (putting Mind Flay at 34 yards with talents). Getting over that 30 yard threshold in raids is going to be extremely helpful to shadow priests.
- Glyph of Shadow Word: Death – Major Glyph
Targets below 35% health take an additional 5% damage from your Shadow Word: Death spell.
Shadow PvE – For lack of better alternatives, this is one of our best options for raiding as a shadowpriest.
- Glyph of Smite – Major Glyph
Increases the chance you’ll resist spell interruption when casting your Smite spell by 50%.
Holy/Disc Soloing – Laugh if you must, but this is a godsend for priests who depend on soloing without respeccing. Also, it’s worth holding onto if you think you will stay holy/disc for leveling in WotLK.
- Glyph of Levitate – Minor Glyph
Your Levitate spell no longer requires a reagent.
FUN! – This is our cosmetic glyph. It exists solely for the sake of letting us look cool.
- Glyph of Lightwell – Major Glyph
Increases the amount healed by your Lightwell by 20%.
Lightwell won’t see a lot of use until we can train raids to use it and have better situations to use it in. This will be a great glyph in WotLK, but not as useful now.
- Glyph of Prayer of Healing – Major Glyph
Your Prayer of Healing spell also heals an additional 20% of its initial heal over 6 sec.
This glyph really ups the group healing potential of Prayer of Healing, especially in predictive damage situations. However, due to the insane mana cost on Prayer of Healing, we will rarely be casting it.
- Glyph of Fear Ward – Major Glyph
Reduces cooldown and duration of Fear Ward by 30 sec.
There are better options for PvE glyphs.
- Glyph of Scourge Imprisonment – Major Glyph
Increases your hit chance with Shackle Undead by 8%.
Not a bad option for healers who don’t want to have to worry about the spell hit in PvE.
- Glyph of Mind Control – Major Glyph
Increases the duration of your Mind Control spell by 12 sec.
This doesn’t do anything for PvP (doh!) and CC with Mind Control in PvE is usually not much of a problem at its current length. This glyph will have situational use in certain WotLK encounters.
- Glyph of Inner Fire – Major Glyph
Increases the charges of Inner Fire by 20.
Inner Fire is so cheap mana-wise, is it really that much trouble to recast? It isn’t really worth the major glyph slot for PvP, given our better choices. This glyph will be useful in WotLK when Inner Fire grants spellpower.
- Glyph of Holy Nova – Major Glyph
Your Holy Nova spell heals for an additional 40%, but deals 40% less damage.
Holy Nova will cost 655 mana. Even with the glyph, it is still too expensive for what you get out of it.
- Glyph of Fortitude – Minor Glyph
Reduce the mana cost of your Power Word: Fortitude and Prayer of Fortitude spells by 5%.
We’re typically casting this out of combat, so mana isn’t really a problem…
- Glyph of Shadow Protection – Minor Glyph
Increases the duration of your Shadow Protection and Prayer of Shadow Protection spells by 10 min.
It’s rare you’ll be situations where you may have this expiring in combat. However, this is one of our best options for minor glyphs.
- Glyph of Fade – Major Glyph
Increases the length and cooldown of Fade by 50%.
Who would need this? If you really need to buy yourself extra time for your tank to gain control of mobs, then you need a new tank.
- Glyph of Mind Soothe – Minor Glyph
Increases the duration of your Mind Soothe spell by 5 sec. and reduces the range at which the victim will attack by an additional 100%.
Who uses this spell?
- Glyph of Spirit of Redemption – Major Glyph
All heals cast while Spirit of Redemption is active have a 20% chance to increase the remaining duration of Spirit of Redemption by 5 sec.
No one takes this talent for the actual effects; they take it for the spirit bonus.
- Glyph of Shackle Undead – Minor Glyph
Increases the range on Shackle Undead by 5 yards.
The range was never the issue on this spell. Spell hit was, especially for healers.
- Glyph of Psychic Scream – Major Glyph
Increases the duration of your Psychic Scream by 3 sec.
It won’t be full duration in PvP anyways, so where is this supposed to be useful. Soloing?