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Class Roles in Groups - Priest

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  • Class Roles in Groups - Priest

    Group Role Ė Priest
    By Liseryoth

    Priests can generally heal better than any other class in the game and they can, if specced for it, do serious damage. For the most part Priests are Shadow-specced throughout their leveling and re-spec when they need to meet the massive demand for healing needed for end game. It's is arguable that a Shadow Priest can do a lot of healing which is true, but they don't possess the talents needed to keep a main tank up without getting aggro.

    Priests have three talent trees to select from:
    Discipline:

    This is where I have 33 points allocated with some BIG benefits:
    Divine Spirit +35 spirit
    Improved Power Word:Fortitude that enables stamina increased by 70
    Improved Power Word:Shield, with a 15 second cooldown not the normal 30 second. This has saved many players when I have aggro and need breathing space to cast a heal.
    Mental Strength, overall mana increased by 10%
    Meditation, allows 15% of your mana to be regenerated while casting

    (These next two are things I find are very undervalued and I use them ALL the time)
    Focused Casting, when activated you don't lose casting time if you are hit for 8 seconds.
    Inner Focus, This is basically a free mana spell that gives you a 25% chance to crit, once again has saved a wipe by keeping up a tank with a FREE greater heal.

    Holy

    There are some nice things in Holy that I would like, but don't want to lose what I have in Discipline. I cast Flash Heal more than any other spell, so I set my tree up to focus on Flash Heal. So the things that won out in this talent point battle:
    Holy Specialization, increase chance to crit by 5%
    Spiritual Healing, increase amount healed by 10%
    Subtlety, reduce threat generated from spell by 20%
    Improved Flash heal, 70% chance to avoid interruption when from damage when casting.

    Shadow

    I have nothing in Shadow at all at level 60, as most of the talents are focused on damage dealing spells. Shadow makes DPS easier for leveling, PVP and grinding. When I was Shadow I found I just couldn't keep up with healing. There are several reasons for this, which I will explain later. My experience is that a Shadow Priest lacks the healing capacity and healing flexibility to be a main healer. I came to this painful conclusion on my own...and I miss it pure Shadow [email protected] from time to time. This is a topic of considerable discussion among priests.
    Group Role

    Plain and simple, your role it to make sure the Main Tank and Off Tank stay alive, with emphasis on the Main Tank. Your life is intertwined with the MT since he needs you to keep him alive and you need him to keep aggro away from you and the others. It's also your responsibility to monitor other players health, and if the situation allows, give them heals or debuffs as needed.

    A Guide to Healing

    This is more how I heal. For mana conservation, I don't heal until a player is -900 health as that is the minimum that Flash Heal will heal for, this helps with mana conservation. I don't do ANYTHING except heal, and for the most part I don't attack, I don't cast damage spells, I don't use my wand, I wait for damage and then monitor that damage. I make myself available to heal when needed, that is the absolute priority. If I'm feeling saucy, I may attack with my staff as I can still cast right away if needed. If tanks have proper aggro and the rest of your party is behaving, i like to break open the PHAT Heals aka Greater Heal. This gives you the most health per mana spent, 4 second cast, so there is a risk...but it's sweet when you get a 4500 crit. The risk is that big heals = big aggro, so this is used only when the MT has firm aggro established with the mob(s).

    Good Advice and Tips:

    Know your tank, feed your tank, love your tank.

    Use Focused Casting and Inner Focus.

    If you anticipate a long battle, hit the mana pot early, that way you can use it again in 2 min if that battle is still going.

    Speak up if players are pulling aggro off Main Tank. If the tank can keep aggro you will be the most mana efficient. Keeping a cloth-wearer up burns a lot of mana. When it comes down to it, you will most likely survive if you let them drop and allow the MT to get aggro again.

    If you do get aggro, fade. If that doesnít work, Shield and bring your mob to your MT or OT and talk to them to get an MT swipe at the mob. If situations are dire and you're in a clear area use some fear, although this wonít work in most instances because of the risk of adds.

    Consider the use of add-ons like Benecast. While I donít use it, some healers swear by it for ease of avoiding overhealing.
    Beep


    Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. - (Isaac Asimov)

  • #2
    Re: Class Roles in Groups - Priest

    Nice post lis - easy to read and understand.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Class Roles in Groups - Priest

      Alright, I feel it's time to add my bit about the priest class, strategy wise. At the time I am making this post, my main (Golerth) is a lvl 54 Dwarven Priest.

      Before I start shooting my opinions on various bits about playing this class out of my various orafices, I want to say that the most useful Priest addon I have ever used is called Healpoints. I can't link it, because of this forums restrictions, but visit your favorite WoW interface site and search for "Healpoints". All healing callses can use this addon.

      What does Healpoints do? Essentially, it tells you your healing power. It tells you how much you can heal with your most powerful healing spell in 30 seconds with a full mana bar, how much you can heal in 3 minutes with your most efficient spell starting with no mana, how much you regen in 1 minute and much more. Most importanly, it's a calculator. How much exatly are you benifitting from that +55 to healing bonus? Plug the numbers in, and it will tell you exactly how much. What if you traded 100 int for 100 spirit? How would that effect things? Plug it in, and it will tell you. How much gas did you get from eating that Chili last night? Plug it in and it wi- well... maybe it wont tell you that :/

      Now on to the meat of my post- something you have to keep in mind this advice is geared towards 5 man groups with a single priest. I'll post my thoughts on Raid healing a bit later.

      Just for the heck of it, this is what my build will be when I hit 60- a Holy/Disc priest geared for Raid and 5 Man healing. Pure healing build- Shadow Priests can suck it-...until they steam roll me in PvP ;_;

      Discilpine Tree- 21 points

      Tier 1
      5/5 Unbreakble Will
      -It helps a little bit, and since this is a healing build getting the other tier 1 skill in disc would be pointless.

      Tier 2
      3/3 Improved PW:S
      -while PW:Shield is the most mana ineffiecient spell in a priests repitoire it will save the life of many clothies when they critted the boss when they didn't want to and got aggro. Normally there is a 30 second wait before you can shield someone, 3 points in this reduces it to 15 seconds.
      2/2 Improved PW:Fortitude
      -Increases potencey of PW:Fortitude- extremely useful.

      Tier 3
      5/5 Mental Agility
      -Reduces the cost of instant cast spells by 2%for every point invested. Inceases mana effieceny with many important spells. And it really helps when you are rebuffing your party with PW:F.

      Tier 4
      5/5 Mental Strength
      -increases your mana pool by 2% for every point invested. Extremely useful, as a priest travels on their mana pool.

      Tier 5
      1/1 Inner Focus
      Reduces the the mana cost of your next spell by 100%, and gives the spell a 25% chance to cirt if it is capable of critting. Really, this is like getting a free Greater Heal or PoH, every 5 minutes.

      Holy Tree 30 points

      Tier 1
      5/5 Improved Renew
      -Increases amount healed by Renew by 3% per point. Makes a mana efficient spell even more so.
      Tier 2
      5/5 Spiritual Healing
      -increases amount healed by your mana spells by 2% per point. No healer should be without 5 points in this.
      Tier 3
      5/5 Subtelty
      -Absolutely useless for PvP. GREAT for PvE, as it helps your tank keep aggro off of you. Increases the survivability of both you and your party.
      Tier 4
      5/5 Improved Healing
      -Decreases mana cost of Lesser Heal/Heal/Greater Heal by 3% per point. Vital for my strtegy for Raid Healing.
      2/2 Improved Flash Heal
      -Reduces chance of being interupted while casting Flash Heal by 35% per point. When you get aggro and your shield is gone, this will save your life... most of the time.
      Tier 5
      2/2 Improved PoH
      -Reduces mana cost of PoH by 10% per point. Reduced effectiveness in raids :(
      1/1 Spirit of Redemption
      -Essentially when you die, everyone that is in your party that is near you will get the equivelent of a free flash heal and a free Renew. It also lets everyone know the priest died, which does have some strategic value. Reduced effectiveness for raids :(
      Tier 6
      5/5 Master Healer
      -Reduces casting time on Heal/Greater heal by .1 second per point. Vital for my Raid Healing Strategy.

      I did not go for 31/Disc because the point investment needed for Divine Spirit is more than I am willing to pay. I feel that Meditation is useless, as it would take a very long battle to get a single spells worth of mana out of Meditation. Not worth 5 points. I did not take Martyrdom or Focused casting for two reasons: If you get critted you are probably dead, or will be in less then 1.5 seconds. I feel that Focused Casting is Redundant along with Improved Flash Heal. And for the Holy Tree, it is very well known that Holy Nova is a waste of talent point.


      Now on to Strategy.

      Mana efficiency. Your party travels on your mana pool. I cannot stress this enough. Without any +healing gear, generally this is how the order of mana effecient spells go, with most efficient starting on top:

      Prayer of Healing (sorta)
      Renew
      Greater Heal/Heal
      Flash Heal
      PW: Shield

      Shield isn't a healing spell, but it must be made clear that it is the absolutely least mana effecient anti-damage spell a priest has.

      Prayer of Healing is the most mana efficient spell under the right circumstances. Essentially if three people get the full healing effect from PoH (with no overheal) it is the most mana effecient spell you can use.

      Renew is a great spell. One that I don't see many other priests use very often. It is a HoT, but it's also an AoT (Aggro over time) spell. It's also very mana efficient, comparitevly speaking. Generally speaking, Renew will heal about the same amount as a same rank Flash Heal, just for less mana and it's done over 15 seconds. Stacks with druid HoTs, but not other priests.

      Lesser Heal/Heal/Greater Heal. Slloooooooooow. >:( but still a lot more mana effcient than Flash heal.

      Flash Heal- for emergencies, and is a crutch(aka the easy way out). It's a 1.5 second cast that heals for a moderate amount. If you use Flash Heal a lot it will eat through your mana pool very quickly. It has horrible mana efficiency. It's great for "O S***!!! PAT PAT PAT" emergencies where you just barely shielded someone whos health went down to 5% in 5 seconds and needs a heal not half a second too late. Other than that, even in raids, every time you want to use flash heal a hand should come out of your monitor and slap you in the face.

      General Healing Strtegies:

      Once again, I will state that this advice is for 5 man groups pre-endgame. My raid strat will be outlined further down.

      Work with, not against the 5 second rule. Incase someone is reading this that doesn't know what the 5 second rule is, the 5 second rule is that mana regneration wont restart until 5 seconds after a person has casted a spell. So pretty much, if you have a ton of +spirit gear and all you do is cast Flash heal every 6 seconds, you should prolly trade it in for some +int gear.

      FLASH HEAL IS A CRUTCH!!!!!!! It's for emergencies :( I've seen wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too many priests use this as their main heal for absolutely everything. That's right poster two posts above me, I'm looking at you. In raid healing it is more acecptable, however.

      PW:Shield is a mana inefficient spell, however it prevents casting interuptions. If 3 imps are attacking the mage in your party, throwing a shield on the mage will help that mage get off their 100000 second 10000000000000000 dps spell off, which helps the party as a whole. And gets you free ports :D

      If you have aggro... try not to run away. The people with more armour than you will have a hard time taking aggro off of you if you run away.

      Raid Healing
      -----------------

      This is my planned strategy for Raid(aka endgame raid) healing. I do lack experience with endgame instances and Raids in general, but I have spent dozens and dozens of hours researching this strategy, making sure this was the one for me.

      My strategy is to spam Rank 1 or Rank 2 of Heal (with my Holy spec it would be 2.5 and 3 second casts respectively)(instead of spamming Flash Heal). With a suffecient amount of +healing gear (+250 or more) Heal rank 1 acutally becomes the most mana efficient healing spell (excluding Renew)- that is it is more efficent then both Flash Heal AND the highest rank of Greater Heal. After pouring over the Healpoints calculater, the gain over spamming Heal rank 1 or 2 over Flash Heal is about a 20% increase in Healing Power- and that's just with the +healing gear I could buy off the AH at lvl 54. At lvl 60, a lot more gear become available.

      In short, I Hate Flash Heal.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Class Roles in Groups - Priest

        Thanks for the informative post Golerth. I'm very interested in trying out some of the techniques you discuss here. If you have a a good group and a tank that is keeping aggro I can see the Heals working out. Though you may hate flash heal, it can be unavoidable when Bosses start dolling out the crits. I'm looking into gear and if the Devout set is really they way to go. I think in the end Im going to be camping out Dire Mail.

        Anyways great post and I really appreciate your input.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Class Roles in Groups - Priest

          Hehe, i love that your a family of preists.... except juc.... who still wears squishy cloth.


          I <3 you guys!

          So cool!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Class Roles in Groups - Priest

            Originally posted by Kossi
            Hehe, i love that your a family of preists.... except juc.... who still wears squishy cloth.


            I <3 you guys!

            So cool!


            Before we made characters we decided to pick classes based upon the awesomeness of the individual in question.

            The scale goes, the more awesome you are, the more DPS you're allowed to do, with the lord of all that is awesome and good being allowed to grace the server with his presence as a mage.
            But those who suck so hard they could pull a sun back out of a black hole , were forced to become priests.

            Be glad that I have two brothers playing, their suckage cancels eachother out. If it wasn't for that half of azeroth would be destroyed by now, pulled into the gaping maw of all that is not radical, groovy, and the cats pajamas.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Class Roles in Groups - Priest

              *dies from the funny*





              *Crashes the brother post with Kossi*



              Whoo!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Class Roles in Groups - Priest

                You may do a lot of DPS juc, but you also tend to die an obnoxiously large amount...anyways, you are teh funny.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Class Roles in Groups - Priest

                  Originally posted by Shawner
                  You may do a lot of DPS juc, but you also tend to die an obnoxiously large amount...anyways, you are teh funny.

                  *Recalls Juc "helping" on a ZF run, a whole lot of A.E. spamming, a whole lot of dying, and a whole lot of laugher*


                  You guys are by far the second coolest set of siblings on the forums.

                  *slaps Sunderland t3h high-five*

                  ;D

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Class Roles in Groups - Priest

                    *Gets high fived

                    I have to say that our priests are awesome in a can.

                    Even the unguilded priests we usually run with are straight up bananas. Keep up the good work!

                    P.S.: Im not just saying that t keep you happy enough to heal me after I life tap....honest. :)

                    -Hold onto the pin, throw the other part

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Class Roles in Groups - Priest

                      Originally posted by Sunderland
                      P.S.: Im not just saying that t keep you happy enough to heal me after I life tap....honest. :)
                      :icon_lol: Hadn't considered that strategy! Clever way to transfer mana.
                      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Class Roles in Groups - Priest

                        Ok a few thigs Flash heal is not a crutch it is just the way blizz has doomed priest the only heal spell you will use in MC and all other end game places untill 1.10 is flash heal the reson speed 1.4 with 3 parts prophecy set. no other spell can save a tank that get hit for 3k every time shielding is another life saver. I use it most for rouges and mages that take aggro not much else unless were in a boss fight just to sofen the blow of some major damage.
                        with my crurent build and gear I crit often enough I avarge 1400 to 1600 per heal and cit close to 2000 when a tank is going down there is no time for a slow spell. For trash mob pulls I use lower rank flash heals.

                        helle
                        Last edited by Helle; 02-09-2006, 11:05 AM.
                        If I am sleepy and lazy at the same time does that make me sleazy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Class Roles in Groups - Priest

                          Originally posted by Helle
                          Ok a few thigs Flash heal is not a crutch it is just the way blizz has doomed priest the only heal spell you will use in MC and all other end game places untill 1.10 is flash heal the reson speed 1.4 with 3 parts prophecy set. no other spell can save a tank that get hit for 3k every time shielding is another life saver. I use it most for rouges and mages that take aggro not much else unless were in a boss fight just to sofen the blow of some major damage.
                          with my crurent build and gear I crit often enough I avarge 1400 to 1600 per heal and cit close to 2000 when a tank is going down there is no time for a slow spell. For trash mob pulls I use lower rank flash heals.

                          helle
                          What he said! In boss fights, you really don't have the luxury of greater heals most of the time.
                          Beep


                          Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. - (Isaac Asimov)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Class Roles in Groups - Priest

                            I prefer the greater heals, all the time. But I cast them very little. Why? The main reason is you don't really cast the spell until the tank is about half down, which is all ready a big risk, second you better not get any aggro, or interuptions when you're casting. I've been burned a lot from interuptions when casting Greater Heal on a tank that has little health. Beep can probably attest to that. Tanks dies, you die, party dies...GO GREATER HEAL GO!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Class Roles in Groups - Priest

                              Hence my previously planned strategy of using a 2.5 second cast Rank 1 heal, as opposed to the 1.5 second flash heal.

                              However, in the next patch GHeal's cast time is being reduced to 3.0 second, 2.5 with talents, in addition to a 10% increase in efficiency.

                              Flash Heal still equals crutch :D

                              Comment

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