9.1 Holy Priest Compilation

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: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DoPzkGCcRyqI_EBPorlM15J1Im7YyRRCFsVPtBbCi5k/edit#gid=0

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.

Raid Gearing
(to add)

Legendaries
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 list is here: https://www.wowhead.com/guides/covenant-specific-legendaries-in-shadowlands-9-1#priest

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.

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I don’t think I’ll be playing Retail in 9.1, but are you really excited by holy getting another ability that relies on buffing other players - especially one that’s so completely hit or miss?

I wish they’d gone the much more straightforward route of just giving the iconic throughput healer the throughput it needs instead of the path they have chosen since 9.0.5 of weird band-aids in the form of buffs to other players - which all seem to be interesting… but not quite enough to make the spec more desirable than others (except maybe the poor MWers).

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Healers are ranked less about their healing throughput (because they all do roughly the same amount in equally skilled players hands) and more about what they offer to the raid. You can only bring 4 healers to most fights in Mythic so your options are rather limited when you have 6 healer classes.

Holy was in a bad spot at the start of the expansion in regards to utility, but has been steadily improved upon to make it more desirable. 9.1 just ups it to another level that makes it offer a new unique level of utility that no other healer has which makes it more desirable to potentially have at least one in your raid.

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Like…that’s the whole point of utility…buffing others or providing more support to your group/raid

Right… just wondering if the changes are remotely enough to compete with the extra DPS (hpally/disc), extra throughput and tools like spirit link (resto sham), absorbs (disc) or even just the huge buffs to resto druid throughput holy priest has to compete against.

The night fae changes since 9.0.5 felt impactful in mythic+… but none of these buffs seem remotely likely to change the raiding meta from what I can see.

So a brief comparison of 9.1 Niya and Dreamweaver (Night Fae) for Holy Priests:

Niya:

Niya is receiving one of the more interesting changes with its endtree ability Bonded Hearts. When you gain a stack of your Grove Invigoration (2 procs per minute) you’ll heal up to 5 nearby allies for 2% of their health (up to a maximum of 2k - and it does trigger Echo of Light). It’s a little bit misleading on Fae Guardians so I’ll clarify. When you activate Fae Guardians it only triggers once and heals the 5 people for the maximum of 2k because it’s triggering 12 stacks. So it’s not 12 stacks = 12 procs… nope only 1 total.

If any of the targets that are healed by the proc aren’t Night Fae you’ll get an extra 50% health/mastery bonus from Grove Invigoration for 5s. If that happens when you activate Fae Guardians you’ll gain an extra +6% mastery for 6s on-top of the 10%. So if you properly time it you can get an extra +16% mastery bonus to Divine Hymn/Salvation.

Dreamweaver:

Dreamweaver is getting a rather strong passive ability called Waking Dreams that creates an absorb shield for 30% of your health for 12s whenever you go below 80% hp once every minute. In terms of survivability for M+, raiding, etc… it’s pretty strong. It’s like getting Fleshcraft for free every minute and will definitely mitigate a lot of damage and help you survive things that would otherwise kill you.

The end tree ability is Dream Delver which gives you an extra stacking +1% damage/healing to your target for 4s up to 3% each time you damage/heal them. It’s pretty hard to keep up constantly, but it does trigger off of HoT/DoT ticks as well like Echo of Light/Renew/SWP. In M+ you can reasonably keep a high uptime of the proc.

Which is better for what?:

Niya is going to be stronger for raids in terms of raw HPS, but Dreamweaver isn’t that far behind in HPS. Dreamweaver is the better pick for M+ and PvP simply from a survivability standpoint because of the cheat death + passive absorb shield.

So for raiding it just comes down to switching to which covenant you think will benefit you the most on that fight.

Was hoping we would get one last tuning pass or spell rework before. It was close, but still doesn’t feel like enough to. But I guess it is always going to not feel like enough when you’re compared against holy paladins, disc priests, and shamans. :slightly_frowning_face:

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There was hardly any class tuning this patch for anyone so most classes… so my assumption is changes are being saved for raid launch so they can hotfix stuff live or save it for further down the road in 9.1.5 is my guess.

Hopefully! Your lips to Ion’s ears.

It is just a possibility, but have you considered the reality where both healing specs are weak enough so mythic guilds decide to bring in an spriest for the fort buff? Because right now the dmg spec is in a much better place comparing to the 2 healing specs.

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I recently just finished 10/10 Mythic as Holy and overall I don’t find Holy to be weak at all in terms of raw healing output. It’s just going to feel stronger next patch due to other healers getting knocked down a notch and the new utility buff.

I honestly don’t know where Disc is going to stand. We only get 1 hour to test bosses on the PTR.

Well, I am saying this because it seems like despite the 4% nerf, spriest is like at the top of the dps ladder in the test servers currently. And since guilds change the healing roster from bosses to bosses, at some bosses guilds might just use an spriest for the Fort buff, unless holy is the meta healing spec.

The unholy trinity that really made holy priests and MWers look like trash in 9.0… but at least disc and hpally took some arrows to the knee, and the disc nerfs might even be considered meaningful, were it not for the fact that absorbs are totally irreplaceable, or at least not replaceable by anything in the hpriest toolkit (lacking immunity/delayed damage abilities that might compete with that).

Thanks for this thread full of good info, Caithyra!! I’m super excited for 9.1 NF. Holy is a sleeper healer that shines in a lot of cases and actually has pretty good mana management if you use pots/FG intelligently. I also think that having NF blink is going to be huge this tier. It seems like a huge movement raid and less static stacking like CN.

It’s also surprising bc I think most priests are trained to follow the disc meta and don’t choose their covenant with holy in mind. While obviously they are pretty close, there are some huge parts of NF that make it super strong. Empowered chrysalis, the mastery boosts, the smart use of FG and its extension for DR. It’s honestly like you have a less obvious but powerful version of Pain Suppression. With these other improvements I’m excited to see where we go from here.

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I think quite possible. Its entirely possible they run a 2 hpally, shammie plus hps healer and both priests lose out

Yeah, I’m loving the utility package right now. Fae Guardians is just really strong and I got back about 35k mana just from it on M Sire. I think the damage reduction mitigated almost 300k total dmg or something nutty like that.

I’ll work on gearing and stuff this coming week. Still need to study what 3rd potency conduit I want to run on both Dreamweaver and Niya for M+/raiding.

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Well, patch week is here, and the changes are in.

That extra potency conduit is a fairly nice change of pace. I played around with different combinations and my fav combo for M+ is now Resonant Words, Lasting Spirit, and Holy Oration. Light of the Naaru + Holy Oration is 6 flash heals to reset and with Resonant Words it’s like having two Holy Word Serenities when you use Heal. So Serenity -> Heal (Resonant Words) -> Heal x5 -> repeat. Weave in Chastise + Serenity as well.

Lasting Spirit just makes Guardian Spirit an amazing tank cd. +80% healing for 12s every 1 minute combo’d with Fae Guardians… you can give a tank 30s of protection.

Not sure what I’m going to use for raids yet, but thinking Resonant Words, Holy Oration, and Focused Mending.

I’m not raiding this week, but I did a bit of M+, and have been trying out the updated Symbol of Hope. It’s definitely useful for dealing with our last week of Prides because I’m able to pop out an extra 7k mana when I’m fairly low. With the cd reset I found the best time to use it is during calm periods after bursty boss phases when everyone blows a defensive. It’s pretty strong with bear tanks because their barkskin is on a 1 minute cd so you can give them double bark skin back-to-back.

They buffed Dreamweaver further because her Fields of Blossoms is now +15% haste for 18s compared to +12% for 15s from before. It’s def an improvement over the other one.

Also, has anyone else noticed that you can’t cast Guardian Spirit while stunned? Not sure if this is an undocumented change or bug.

How you gonna fit Sanctified ground and greater heal when you already have to pick greater fade and miracle worker?

Well that’s easy.
You just leave Greater Heal and pick Sanctified ground.

Greater Fade is the best defensive and Miracle Worker is a must.
You now choose between another defensive or Sanctified Ground.

Obviously, but others were suggesting using greater heal with sanctified.