10.2 Priest Patch Notes + Tier Sets

Yeah, my plan with my monk was to try a jade serpent + unison build even in M+. Basically every once in a while hitting Soom without committing to channel to keep the statue going, since the statue’s soom also gains unison.

Basically a ton of passive healing then if things ever get dangerous TFT or Yulon to soom and viv cleave to pump out a ton of burst. The tier just seems wild for that.

I think the nerfs to holy feel very fueled by just a cursory glance at their raid performance. If you don’t dig very deep, Holy’s throughput looks like it’s higher than everyone else’s there.

And I mean, I do totally agree with nerfing PoM a bit going into next tier. Holy is over-indexed on PoM right now, for sure, because in raid your HPS is almost entirely dependent on how well you kept it on CD.

It’s more everything else they’re changing that has me scratching my head. Prismatic Echoes wasn’t even a great talent, tbh. Now it’s kinda just… there. Divine Image was great, sure, but it was the only really good capstone talent, so to see it just get chunked feels awful. Pontifex is so far out of the way that picking it up just feels like a giant sacrifice no matter where you go in the tree. Heal has a prohibitive cast time for raiding without Lightweaver, but picking up lightweaver requires a giant point sink no matter how you get there that will make you lose QoL somewhere, etc, etc.

I don’t understand what Blizzard is doing.

Holy Paladin’s were the only healer that needed to be toned down for next season because they’re 85%+ of all the healers with logs on a +25 or higher. It was a combination of being overtuned and also their kit was way too stacked.

Every other healer needed to be brought up to their level. I thought 10.2 would be the opportunity to do that, but apparently not. Disc is the only healer getting overhauled and the changes simplify the spec + added in Ultimate Penitence. This is literally something they should be doing to Holy at the same exact time.

Instead they’re dumping nerfs on Holy every week without giving anything to compensate for. It’s just atrocious, especially when Holy is underperforming in raid hps compared to something like Resto Druids who are +20% higher than everyone else.

I don’t look at the +30% single target buffs as a buff because everyone else is getting them. I view it more like the trash is going to hit 30% harder because Blizzard can’t tune anything properly.


I get the feeling that this is what would be happening if Blizzard knew what they were doing with each healer. Unfortunately it’s painfully obvious that Blizzard just don’t play and don’t understand and don’t think about some healers. Blizzard forgetting that Heal exists and is even a spell in their first round of single target tuning shows that Holy Priest is one of those specs.

Resto Druid is certainly being brought up to Hpal standards. Their throughput and toolkit and flexibility on the PTR is incredible. Healing without spending mana or healing while moving constantly are both now Resto Druid stengths. They also now have the ability to lean into a flat, efficient, sustained HoT healing profile or can lean into an extremely powerful burst healing profile where they can pack literally millions of healing into a few GCD’s and do it often, without relying on CD’s.

Preservation is similarly very powerful but it’s also the single most difficult healing spec to minmax so it often doesn’t seem that good. On The PTR their set bonus works with Echo such that you can Echo a target and cast Dream Breath or Spirit Bloom on them so you’ll hit them with the Dream Breath, Echo the Dream Breath, hit with the Living Flame from the set bonus and also Echo the Living Flame and then both of those Living Flames have a chance to proc Essence Burst and/or Echo. I’m not sure if it’s a bug or working as intended but it’s extremely powerful and fun.

Mistweavers have numerically overtuned set bonuses because those bonuses don’t work with or affect about half their spells and it’s likely intentional. Even so, they are getting set bonuses that shore up notable weaknesses in their healing profile while also gaining a lot of numerical power. I’ve included Mistweavers in the “Blizzard don’t care about or play” group for a while but in recent months we’ve seen the addition of the old Mana Tea and now set bonuses that are effectively copies of the HFC set bonuses in WoD so at least Blizzard know what they’re doing with the spec, even though it’s taking them back to their MoP/WoD design with a modern twist (which I really like).

Then there is Disc which seems to get reworked every expansion. It seems like Blizzard are attempting to modernize their toolkit and healing profile similarly to how they did with Paladin. I’m not a huge fan of how much Smite spam there is and how simplified the gameplay has become but I can’t say that the spec is lacking in power or that its healing profile or toolkit is weak on the PTR. It’s very, very good. A lot of the “clunk” has been removed and it now has distinct areas in which it excels, such as damage and absorbs and sustained throughput.

I wish I got similar vibes from Holy Priest. I wish it seemed like Blizzard has a direction for the spec and idea of what it should excel at or how it should stand out from other healers but in my mind there is really one Priest healing spec that Blizzard think about; and it isn’t Holy. I’m clinging onto hope that the Mastery change from 6s to 4s will be a big buff and that the spec will feel much better with it. I’m also hoping that the 4pce will get significantly buffed or reworked such that it can be relied upon or planned around.

If I’m really huffing the copium I tell myself that maybe Blizzard are still getting around to taking a focused look at and working on Holy Priest.

I’m not hopeful. Blizz recognized that Discipline was underperforming in raids in Season 2, and has answered that with some real fixes for Discipline, and further nerfs to Holy. They have not committed to the viability of both specs in both forms of PvE content, and are clearly content to make us pick one.

The fixes Holy needs are not huge in number - Shadow and Disc getting talent reworks has shown the poor condition of the Holy tree. 8 talents to prop up ProM, and multiple dead capstones, should ordinarily constitute a cry for help.

It’s still early in the 10.2 development cycle but absent communication – and it’s been absent for a long time – there’s a pretty big disconnect about the state of the spec.

I don’t understand the logic either. There’s only 3-4 Holy Priests and 15 Disc Priests who qualify for the seasonal title compared to 100s of Holy Paladins.

The issue with healers this season is they were largely overshadowed by the god comp and how powerful Holy Paladins are.

Here’s the stats over the last 2 weeks for +25s…

Holy Paladin - 27,174 parses
Disc Priest - 7,046 parses
Holy Priest - 2,764 parses
Resto Shaman - 2,750 parses
Resto Druid - 1,870 parses
Mistweaver - 1,108 parses
Pres Evoker - 464 parses

When you push it up to +28s…

Holy Paladin - 12,718 parses
Disc Priest - 1,508 parses
Holy Priest - 174 parses
Resto Shaman - 328 parses
Resto Druid - 286 parses
Mistweaver - 102 parses
Pres Evoker - 42 parses

I literally see no reason why there’s not still going to be a Holy Paladin meta next season because they haven’t been nerfed down that much in the patch. They actually got single target healing buffs.

Priests had their utility nerfed which pushes them down the totem pole. Disc will probably still be popular, especially post-update, but the 2nd cousin to the Holy Paladins.

Pres Evokers aren’t going to get into keys simply because Aug Evokers overshadow them. That also makes it harder for Resto Shamans to fit in if the group has a heroism.

Bear Tanks are probably going to still be S-tier. That limits Resto Druids viability since you’re overlapping.

Then you got Mistweavers and Holy Priests which don’t really have a niche in M+. Holy Priests should have been elevated up to be the single target pumpers like they were in Shadowlands. Right now they’re not.

Ugh saw those holy priest nerfs. If it weren’t for the mog then I would have shelved mine already. Looks like I’ll be going disc.

Yea. I think Hpal is in a good enough position that it will likely be the meta healer in any patch where Prot Paladin is not the meta tank just because Paladin utility is so good.

As it stands Disc might be a contender for meta healer simply due to how much damage it can currently do on the PTR. But it lacks a kick and I imagine that damage will get brought into line which will just cement Hpal as the meta king yet again.

I don’t think Blizzard knows either lol

It’s pretty obvious they don’t have a clear vision for Shadow

I just…don’t care anymore. Blizzard couldn’t find the answer if it jumped up and slapped them in the face with its :eggplant:

That’s fair honestly.

They changed it a lot in Legion and I’ve been really confused with it since. I don’t understand how I keep hearing it’s a burst healer; the damage just doesn’t seem like it’s there under any circumstance. It just noodles at everything.

Meanwhile, I just mash smite on Holy and do literally 1/3rd more DPS while covering the entire group with similar healing output.

To be clear, I’m not doing M+ (despise it) so it’s not a big issue; it’s really more I played Disc from Cata until they broke it in Legion and I just don’t get where the damage is. My hate of 2 minute CD’s likely figures into this.

It’s less of a burst healer now. It was a burst healer legion-SL. And admittedly while it was good enough to do SL content, it was definitely behind other SL healers and most of its burst was being given by covenant abilities.

A lot of our atonement burst window got moved into more traditional healing spells (namely, PW:R) in DF. In DF we just have strong sustained healing and good CDs. Shadow covenant, Rapture, 2x Pain supp and Barrier are all great.

In the hardest content you still have to plan your burst, but it’s not as be-all-end-all as it was previously. In SL you were so reliant on your burst that if you screwed up at all, you were going to be spamming smend from behind or someone would die.

In raid, though, we’re a burst healer in that functionally we just play as a walking raid cooldown. We pool our mana till ~12 seconds before the boss does some big damage, then start spreading atonements, cover the entire raid then hit evangelism → burst combo and boom we did the most potential raid group healing outside a very very lucky mistweaver renewing mist spread->vivify cleave.

I’m gaining a better understanding of how Holy is going to perform in the next tier.

They’ve fixed our 4-piece set on the PTR, so it should trigger much more frequently in M+ dungeons compared to before. I suspect there’s an internal cooldown, as I haven’t observed more than 4 procs within a minute in a raid setting.

In most situations, the 4-piece set should activate 2-3 times a minute, although you can achieve 4 procs if you’re spamming Renews.

However, we’ll be getting Answered Prayers less frequently. The old set bonus was essentially equivalent to adding +2 stacks to your Prayer of Mending. So, with 6 Prayer of Mending casts per minute, we’re looking at 12 fewer Prayer of Mendings.

This results in a net decrease in our HPS, but it will be compensated for by the additional Holy Words. If the proc rate remains consistent, I’m fairly confident that Holy Word Salvation will have a 4-minute reset timer. You might need to use your set bonus somewhat blindly, though.

So, in M+ dungeons, the likely approach for Holy will involve accumulating charges (if possible) before boss group damage occurs. Think of it as if you’re preparing to use 3-4 Holy Word Serenity spells. You’d use 2 for one round of damage and another 1-2 for the next round, essentially repeating this process.

Once you run out of Holy Words, you need to ensure that you have a Renew actively ticking on someone to fish for more charges. The talents Benediction and Renewed Faith will become more crucial. Additionally, the Renew effect from the 2-piece set bonus stacks on top of each other and your hard-casted Renews. This means you can have a Renew effect lasting 40 seconds or more on a target.

Overall, this will make Holy more responsive to group damage, but it can feel somewhat unpredictable and reliant on RNG when your Holy Words are on cooldown. There will be a noticeable increase in Divine Images uptime (potentially up by 10-20% compared to before), making that talent and Miracle Worker even more potent.

Holy will likely become more enjoyable to play at higher difficulty levels in Mythic+ dungeons, but we’ll have to see how the season progresses. I still believe that Disc Priest will outperform Holy significantly after the update.

For raids, your goal is to cast Holy Words as rapidly as possible to maximize the effectiveness of your 4-minute Holy Word Salvation. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to achieve a 4-minute Salvation reset until we have our 4-piece set bonus, which can be frustrating.

Do you think that mana limitations will play a big part in being able to lower the CD down to 4 minutes? I just keep preparing my mind that salv will be a one time use CD because it just feels like it will-even after the 4 piece. Guess we will see?

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Highly doubt mana will be a giant issue. We still have a very efficient kit so long as we stray away from casting PoH/FH too much. At 50% mana cost, Sanc and Serenity will be fairly cheap, and they didn’t nerf shadowfiend.

At the very least, other healers have the mana problem far worse than us right now.

No. The tier set makes the holy words cost half as much and they already cost low mana.

Salvs reset is really going to depend on the encounter design. We get about twice as many overall holy words to cast in a five minute fight and the tier set bonus buff lasts indefinitely until you die.

Twice a fight should be feasible, but you have to salv in the first min to have a chance of it coming up late fight.

Mana management is always going to be a challenge. You can double mana pot most fights and also get innervates.

Oh yea, I forgot that the 4 piece makes the extra serenity and sanctify charges to be half mana. Sorry about that, that sure helps!!

They should have come with them reverting some of the shadow damage nerfs, because now shadow has no damage AND no utility.

And that shadow tier set looks god awful. I’ve never once said to myself “You know what I like doing? Taking more damage from Shadow Word: Death and having to hard cast SW:P in my rotation”

These are the builds I’m eyeing for next tier…

Disc M+ (I don’t plan on raiding Disc)

Harsh Disciple looks enticing, but it requires casting 2x Radiance for the buff.

Holy Raid

With the buff to Flash Heal and nerf to Prismatic Echoes I’m figuring 2 points in Crisis Management + Pontifex is going to beat out Prismatic Echoes. If not I’ll just put the 3 points elsewhere.

Empowered Renew might get flipped around for Rapid Recovery.

Holy M+

More the tradition build now.


I ran this build this season because rolling Renews on the entire group on some of the nasty bosses gave me a considerable hps boost to CoH.

It all depends on how much healing Trail of Light + Cosmic Ripple provides.

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You won’t need 2. 6 bolt penance is already good enough IMO to take it with the penance buffs, shadow covenant making it automatically shadow damage and penance feeding into VS. In M+ you probably wouldn’t ever double radiance. A 6 bolt Scov enhanced POTDS penance is already gonna do a lot - and we can just guarantee that now with Bender → MB → Penance.

I think they slipped back to the point where now I want to pour all my points into 2-point talents in the final tier :upside_down_face:

My build’s gonna end up like this:

Basically penance build, but we still can’t forego bender/VS because of our tier set.

I tested Penance on the PTR rq.

Penance default = 4 bolts
Harsh Discipline 1 points = 5 bolts (6 with 2 stacks)
Harsh Discipline 2 points = 7 bolts (same with 1 or 2 stacks)

I’m figuring the 2 points in HD is bugged.

Also, they are 100% going to nerf Power of the Dark Side + Harsh Discipline. My penance @ iLvl 451 did this much in healing…