This is a revised compilation of my original post from: 9.1 PTR Changes for Holy Priest (big buff)
So what should Holy be expecting next patch?
Outside of PvP talent changes and the buff to Symbol of Hope there isn’t much direct changes to Holy itself. However, that change to Symbol of Hope is rather substantial for raiding, M+, and even PvP.
The balance of what healers are FOTM is going to change because Discipline Priests are getting their Spirit Shell nerfed to a 1.5 minute cd from 1 minute, Holy Paladins are getting a damage nerf, and Mistweaver are getting buffs to their damage/mana costs/healing. The next raid tier has a lot more movement involved than in Nathria to avoid boss mechanics as well.
Holy Priests overall will be in a much better spot than they were with the start of the expansion because of Discipline Priests being grossly overtuned for a while. I’m predicting we’ll see less of that oppressive atmosphere that made it difficult for Holy Priests to get into Mythic guilds.
Most people have been sleeping on Holy for a while now and it may be our time to shine.
Symbol of Hope update
Symbol of Hope now restores +18% of missing mana and reduces the cooldown of a major defensive ability of every person in your raid/party by 60s.
What cooldowns it reduces is listed here:
So for Priests you’ll reset your Desperate Prayer cd.
The missing mana portion is your total mana minus how much you have left. So at 20% mana (10k mana) you’ll get just over 7k mana back. For long drawn out fights in Mythic it’s a huge boon for all the healers because it’s like an extra mana pot.
In PvP it’s going to be tricky to use this ability because you’ll need to find a way to get LoS and channel it for its full duration. It’s more feasible + powerful for BGs/RBGs because you have more opportunities to escape. Pro tip: you can channel Symbol of Hope while in the air with Divine Ascension or Spirit of the Reedemer form!
How will it be used for raiding is dependent entirely on what the encounters require. It can be used for late fight mana return for the healers or to reset everyone’s defensive abilities. Work with your raid leaders to figure out the optimal usage of this. It is practical to get at least 2 uses of it on fights that are 6+ minutes long.
How will it be used in M+ is really up to you. Ideally if you’re low on mana and need a boost than you want to use Symbol of Hope. If your tracking your parties defensive cds and they all use it after a difficult boss phase than you can use it to reset their cds for the next phase if you have downtime. Inbetween trash pulls you can use it to reset tank defensive CDs as well. So overall this will be something you have to experiment and learn the optimal time to use it.
I’ll keep this short. None of the new Legendaries being added are going to replace Flash Concentration for raiding and M+, but in PvP you have more flexible choices.
The Kyrian one is the most interesting because you can get Blast down to a 1-1.5 minute cd.
Bwonsamdi’s Pact might be strong in PvP because you can double the bonus of your faerie on a target. An extra -40s off your partners offensive cd or doubling the +20% dr to +40% for 20s might be pretty strong. Need to test this though.
Covenant specific info
Night Fae Stuff: 9.1 Holy Priest Compilation
New 9.1 soulbind tree: https://wowhead.com/soulbind-calc/kyrian/pelagos/priest
PvP Talent changes
So there was a lot of PvP talent changes.
- Cardinal Mending got nerfed from a flat +10% direct HP heal on the primary target to only giving an extra +50% healing on each PoM bounce. If you’re bouncing PoM all 5 times after its cast it will do the same amount of healing as it did before, but you won’t be able to rely on PoM anymore to heal you through melee trains. So this PvP talent got knocked down from a “must pick” to a “situational pick”.
- Holy Word Concentration got renamed to Sanctified Ground and now makes the zone of interrupt/silence immunity for 6s on where you place Holy Word Sanctify. Overall this one is a buff because you can use it more often and basically double-channel it with Apotheosis. However, there is a bug with this ability that I’m hoping will be fixed before the patch will launch. The visual effect has no Z-radius beneath where it’s casted so if you’re on uneven ground or stairs… you won’t get the Sanctified effect if you’re below the center of the casted field. If you’re above it… you’ll get it. So just be aware that on uneven terrain you may think you’re standing in the Sanctified field, but you’re not. Always cast it at your feet to avoid the issue.
- Greater Heal cd is now 12s instead of 15s. With the nerf to Cardinal Mending and buff to Sanctified Ground… this talent might become viable again. I can’t really say with a certainty this will be the new Holy playstyle without testing it in 91.
- Greater Fade lasts 3s instead of 4s. Minor nerf if anything. Still powerful for avoiding being bursted.
- Divine Ascension now grants an additional +50% casting range while you’re up in the air. I tested this and it works.
- Spirit of the Reedemer now has a 2 minute cd instead of 3 minute. This one here is a bit interesting because you go immune for the full duration of the effect (can still be interrupted) and you can also trick people that you’re dead. With the Afterlife talent you can stay in Spirit form for 10.5s. The only downside is the 2 minute cd and you can’t use X’anshi with it, but overall it’s still a strong pick for a defensive cd.
- Improved Mass Dispel (new) reduces Mass Dispels cd by 15s and makes it 0.5s cast. Situational at best.
What will be the best PvP talents? I honestly can’t say right now. Miracle Worker is a definite pick still so that leaves the choice of one defensive talent between the 4 we got and one other talent.
Holy’s PvP playstyle may shift from being mostly instant cast healing to one that utilizes more direct heals so Sanctified Ground may be the must have pick, especially if you want to use it to get off a full channeled Symbol of Hope, combo it with Greater Heal, or use it to your team mates benefits.
On a minor note Flash Heal is getting an extra +10% healing for PvP. This change is likely meant to offset the loss of Cardinal Mending.