A Guide to Holy Priest PvP

November 30, 2013 in Classes, Priest by Rogptor

Holy Priest PvPHoly Priest PvP in patch 5.4.7 is working quite well. You have lots of survivability, especially with the new resilience changes (now 77%, plus the trinket bonus) and some pretty serious healing ability. You should have no problems keeping yourself and your team up while they kill everything.

On this page you’ll find stats, talents, gear, rotations, and more. Hit the “like” and “+1″ buttons and feel free to add a comment if something needs to be added or changed or you want to just add your piece.

Holy PvP Contents

Also see our Priest Leveling Guide and
the Holy Priest PvE page.

 

Holy PvP Stats

Holy Priest PvP Stat Priorities: 

  • Spirit > Int > Haste > Crit > Mastery > Everything else

Spirit, because running out of mana just hurts. Your call as to when you have enough. Finishing fights at partial mana without going OOM is a good marker.

Haste to 16% for a couple of break points where you get additional ticks from certain spells. 12.5% and 16.66% are what you want to shoot for. Haste isn’t all that hot unless you’re able to hit the breakpoints. If adding more Haste does not get you to a breakpoint then spend those extra points in Crit.

Guide to Haste Breakpoints for Priests

TotemSpot’s Haste Breakpoint card. Click the image to visit their page.

Crit gives you that big heal which will be very important time and time again. Naturally it works well with your Serenity.

Mastery provides an extra HOT, but the bigger heals from crits are far more valuable.

Hit and Expertise  are not needed (and are going away in WoW 6.)

Resilience starts at 77% for level 90 PvP (it’s 40% for lower levels.) This means that it’s not nearly as important as it used to be to gear for Resilience. Plus, the PvP trinket pair gives you another 10% Res.

PvP Power was nerfed hard in 5.3 and gives healers only 50% of its value anyway. The stuff on your gear will be enough.

Reforging

Consider grabbing the reforge lite addon, as it will make the reforging job a lot easier.

  1. Reforge into Spirit until you’re happy with your mana use. If you’re using Mindbender then you might not need any more Spirit and can reforge to Haste.
  2. For any gear that already has Spirit, reforge into Haste next. Keep an eye on those breakpoints. Ideally you want to be “right there,” not much over and definitely not “a little bit” under. 16.66% is great if you can reach it, after that go into Crit.
  3. Any remaining items should be reforged into crit.

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Holy Priest Talents for PvP

Depending on your team and your game you might want to switch a few talents around. For example, if you’re having no mana issues, then Mindbender is less interesting.

Level 15: Holy Priest PvP TalentsPsyfiend was nerfed in 5.4. It’s now very fragile, though you can cast a shield on it. (See the macros below, one of them does just that.) Void Tendrils are a pretty solid second option.

Level 30: Phantasm can help you to escape

Level 45: Mindbender for the Mana. It’s good enough that you might be able to reforge out of Spirit and into Haste, instead. It’s so easy to go OOM as Holy and this makes Mindbender a pretty good choice. From Darkness, buffed in 5.4, is also a very good choice. You will get the occasional free Flash Heal, which is not a bad thing. If your mana usage, without Mindbender, is fine then this is a very good pick.

Level 60: Spectral Guise is essentially a Vanish and works well with Phantasm.

Level 75: Power Infusion for when you need that healing burst (or a bit of damage) “Right Now!”

Level 90: Devine Star for the best heals to Cooldown ratio of the three. Very nice for small and/or tight groups. Heals allies and damages enemies on a fairly short cooldown without needing to be a certain range from your target.

Holy Glyphs for PvP

Lightwell is now a Holy ability (as of 5.4) so this frees up a glyph slot. The first two glyphs shown are pretty much required, leaving the third slot open. Any of several glyphs will be fine here, depending on your situation.

  1. Glyph of Prayer of Mending – (strongly recommended) for that larger initial heal.
  2. Glyph of Renew, (strongly recommended) for that more bursty feel. If you use Renew and follow it with Serenity then it resets Renew to the full 13 second duration, with the glyph bonus. This is likely a bug, so enjoy it while it lasts (and comment below if it’s changed.)
  3. Glyph of the Lightwell. It does need to be clicked, but you get that much more healing. Teach your team to click.
  4. Glyph of Shadow Word:Death
  5. Glyph of Mass Dispell to dispell blocks and bubbles. Great if you’re going up against that type of team (Mages, Paladins, etc.)
  6. Glyph of Fear Ward when facing ‘locks and priests.Reduced the cooldown of Fear Ward to 2 minutes.

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Gemming the PvP Holy Priest

Gems with secondary stats have twice the value of those with primary stats (eg: 160 Int Vs 320 Haste.) This extends to hybrid gems, eg: Int & Haste, so the secondary part will be twice the Int part.

As for costs, note that the “Perfect” gems have exactly the same stats as the “regular gems,” but one of the other is likely to be a lot cheaper. Save some gold, get the cheaper ones. (Go here if you need to earn more gold.)

So here are the gems you want for Holy:

Resilience is not something that you want to gem for, since the base value is so high (72%) and then there is the extra 10% from the PvP trinket pair. PvP power will appear on your gear and that’s enough, you don’t need to gem for it.

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The Holy Enchants

All of the head enchants went away with Mists of Pandaria. All of the high level shoulder enchants are done by the Inscription profession and should be available from a friendly scribe or on the Auction House. Lower level shoulder enchants can be had in various places.

Skill-Capped Holy Priest PvP Gear Guide

Skill-Capped Holy (and Disc) PvP Gear Guide. Click to view, membership is required.

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PvP Gear for Holy Priests

Resilience is now a base of 77% for all players, plus another 10% or so from the PvP trinket pair. This will make you very tough to kill if you’re paying attention.

Holy Priest PvP gear is, obviously, an important consideration. You can get some PvP gear before 60, an arena set at 70, Cataclysm greens starting at 77, and Mist of Pandaria blues starting at 81 or so. Season 15 honor gear is item level 522 and the Conquest gear is 550.

Undead Holy Priest in Season 14 Conquest GearAt level 90 you want to go for all PvP gear, no PvE gear unless you’re doing world PvP. In the arenas and battlegrounds the PvP gear will be superior. and PvE gear is downrated to 512, less than the current honor gear.

While healers only get half the value of PvP power that offensive classes get, it’s still a bonus that you won’t get with PvE gear.

In addition, the PvP Trinket pair gives you 10% Resilience bonus, which is nice. If you do NOT have a PvP (escape) trinket yet then make sure that is the #1 item you get.

As you gear up, keep in mind the stats, above. Get rid of Mastery and try to hit those Haste breakpoints.

If you’re freshly level 90:

Before level 90 do enough PvP to earn your honor points. This will let you get some gear immediately upon hitting 90. If you have 7,500 total and 3,500 saved up, for the current season,  then you can get your staff immediately. That will be the biggest boost that any one item can give you, by far.

As for which order to get your gear, use the list below (for the conquest gear,) or grab the Helm, Robe, Legs, and Shoulders in order to get the set bonuses, then fill in the rest.

Before you start the PvP gear grind you can:

  1. Buy (or make, if you have Tailoring and the appropriate recipes) the Crafted Malevolent Gladiator’s set. (You’ll be looking for the “Meditation” and “Satin” gear.) The crafted set was not upgraded for season 15, but it will get you started.
  2. You can also poke around the Timeless Isle and get the 496 PvE set, by opening lots of chests. You will be down on PvP Power Vs people with PvP gear, but you will be way ahead of those quest greens that you might have been using to level 90.

This will make your BG/Arena experience less frustrating while you grind for the honor gear.

Why Bother with Honor Gear?

Simply because it will make your Arena and RBG a bit less frustrating.Gong into arena with a 522 set will be a lot less pain fun the the 476 craftet set or the 496 timeless gear or the 496 honor gear from season 14.

If you already have the season 14 Conquest gear then skip the season 15 honor gear, it’s the same stuff. Just work on the new Conquest gear.

Reforge to, and gem for, Spirit until your mana is good.

The Best Gear, The Conquest PvP Set

The order of gear listed here assumes you have the complete honor set. If you don’t and you have a weak piece (a green item, for example) then upgrade that first. Assuming you don’t need to update some weak piece first, this is the most efficient order in which to get your gear.

Draenei Holy Priest in Season 14 Conquest Elite Gear, looking forward to the season 15 set and wondering why the pieces shown are for the Horde?Reforge for more Spirit until your Mana is solid, then Haste (hit those breakpoints,) then crit.

  1. Prideful Gladiator’s Mooncloth Helm – for the meta socket
  2. Prideful Gladiator’s Emblem of Meditation – for the Spirit and that “on use” heath boost.
  3. Prideful Gladiator’s Energy Staff – For the Spirit
  4. Prideful Gladiator’s Mooncloth Robe – Spirit and you now have the 2-piece set bonus.
  5. Prideful Gladiator’s Mooncloth Leggings – Nice stats
  6. Prideful Gladiator’s Mooncloth Mantle – Four piece set bonus is complete.
  7. Prideful Gladiator’s Mooncloth Gloves – Psychic Scream cooldown reduced.
  8. Prideful Gladiator’s Pendant of Meditation – for the Spirit, if you still need it.
  9. Prideful Gladiator’s Cord of Meditation
  10. Prideful Gladiator’s Treads of Meditation
  11. Prideful Gladiator’s Cuffs of Meditation
  12. Prideful Gladiator’s Band of Meditation
  13. Prideful Gladiator’s Band of Cruelty
  14. Prideful Gladiator’s Drape of Meditation
  15. Prideful Gladiator’s Medallion of Meditation

The Elite pieces add no stats, but do offer a color change.

 

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Your Healing Rotations

For most types of damage a basic rotation will keep you covered. A bit dull, maybe, but effective:

  1. Your “bread and butter” will be Prayer of Mending into Serenity. This puts a Holy Spark on the initial target, which increases your next heal by 50%. This can be pretty sweet if it crits.
  2. Renew, your 3rd best heal, should be up as long as our target is taking damage. It gets refreshed whenever you heal. Even if you’re using Glyph of Renew it will still be refreshed to its full duration.

For area healing, such as if you’re facing DKs and Warlocks. Note: Always be in Chakra: Sanctuary when using these.

  1. Switch to Chakra: Sanctuary for the A of E healing boost.
  2. Switch your Glyph of Prayer of Mending to Glyph of Holy Fire
  3. Make sure your Prayer of mending is up on a target and you are positioned such that it can be bouncing among your team.
  4. Circle of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Divine Star, and Chakra: Sanctuary should keep your team healthy.
  5. Divine Hymn makes a nice backup here if you’re able to channel.

What if someone (possibly yourself) is taking a lot of damage?

  • Flash Heal, if you can, otherwise Divine Star or Circle of Healing. Sanctuary will give either of the latter, and your P of M, a very nice boost.

Here’s your order:

You can chain this pretty much indefinitely: Renew > Prayer of Mending > Cast Serenity > Circle of Healing > Divine Star > fake a flash heal, if you like, possibly another Renew > Prayer of Mending > cast Serenity

After that you can Flash Heal > Divine Star > P of M > Serenity, cooldowns permitting.

In the lull periods you can dispell, fake cast a Flash Heal, fear, etc.

Note: If you are casting Flash Heal then note that your Serendipity spell reduces the cast time and mana cost of your next Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing spell. With two stacks of Serendipity the cast time of those two drops from 2.5 to 1.5 seconds (less with lots of Haste) which makes them somewhat more useful in many fights.

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Surviving the Murder Squad

Improve Your Holy Priest PvP Skills, Join Skill-Capped!

  • Grievous Gladiator’s Emblem of Meditation – for a 74k health boost when you most need it.
  • Focused Will reduces subsequent damage for a few seconds after you take a decent hit. Stacks twice for 30% reduction. This is another reason for not needing to stack Resilience
  • Always use your lightwell and always be close enough to it for it to work on you. Glyphed lightwell heals for more, but you will have to click on it.
  • When being focused you should stick to your instant heals. Don’t bother with cast-time spells. Renew > P of M > Serenity > Divine Star. Angelic feather will help you get away, as will Spectral Guise. Note that Feather isn’t so hot if you’re snared (such as Hamstring.) That paretty much cancels out the effect.
  • If you use your Spectral Guise it’s a good idea to change directions. This makes it harder for attackers to predict your location, giving youi a chance to get to cover. THis might give you enough time to get a cast-time spell off, such as Flash Heal.
  • Your Psychic Scream is a great way to peel DKs, Monks, Ferals, and Rogues, etc. away from you. Any CC you can get on the target will greatly increase your survival chances.
  • Stunned and no trinket up? Guardian yourself. Can’t use it while silenced, though.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings, your position (eg: near enough to that Lightwell,) and your team’s position.

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Holy Macros!

We have a basic “haw to macro” guide, here.

The ‘#show’ directive makes sure the effect shows on your screen, so you can track it. ‘#showtooltip’ makes it show the name when you hover of it on your action bar.

Serenity Macro: This one switches you to your Serenity “stance” and, with a second button push, casts Holy Word: Serenity. Two spells with one button.

  • #showtooltip Chakra: Serenity
  • #show Chakra: Serenity
  • /cast Chakra: Serenity
  • /cast Holy Word: Serenity

Divine Star – makes sure that you’re in Sanctuary “stance” before casting Divine Star. Remember that Sanctuary gives you 25% bonus to your area heals. You can start your area healing “rotation” with Divine star and then go into Prayer of Mending and so on. You can also use this macro for Divine Hymn. Just switch the names.

  • #showtooltip Divine Star
  • /cast Chakra: Sanctuary
  • /cast Divine Star

Flash Heal – this one makes sure you’re in the right stance and uses your engineering gadget (on your gloves, if you have eng.) You can also add any other appropriate cooldown. Slot 10 is your gloves slot.

  • #show Flash heal
  • /cast Chakra: Serenity
  • /use 10
  • /cast Flash Heal

Chastise – What this does is clears off all of your stances and allows you to use Holy Word: Chastise immediately. Otherwise you might have a cooldown if you only just switched into one of the healing chakras.

  • #show Holy Word: Chastise
  • /cancelaura chakra: serenity
  • /cancelaura chakra: sanctuary
  • /cancelaura chakra: chastize
  • /cast Holy Word: Chastise

Doing some damage? this gets your Chastise up and casts Holy Fire. You can also make one of these for your Smite.

  • #show Holy Fire
  • /cast Chakra: Chastise
  • /cast Holy Fire

Protect your Psyfiend: Requires two clicks or keypresses (you DO have it bound to a key, right?) Summons the thing and then shields it. The macro then returns you to your last target. Normally your ‘fiend has the stamina of a soap bubble, this helps a lot.

  • #showtooltip Psyfiend
  • /target Psyfiend
  • /castsequence reset=45 Psyfiend, Power Word:Shield
  • /targetlasttarget

You can do the same for Mindbender.

  • #showtooltip Mindbender
  • /target Mindbender
  • /castsequence reset=45 Mindbender, Power Word:Shield
  • /targetlasttarget

“Mouse over” macros let you mouse over a target and cast you spells on them, without losing the current target. You can mouse over yourself while keeping the other guy targeted.

  • /showtooltip Prayer of Mending
  • /cast [target=mouiseover, exists][help][target=player] Prayer of Mending

Named Macros

If you team with a regular partner you can use their name in a macro, like this:

  • #showtooltip WhateverSpell
  • /target NameOfPartner
  • /cast WhateverSpell

There’s an addon which you can grab which will help you with pro-macros and with keybinds. It’s Impulse, check it out.

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Professions For That Little Bit Extra

It costs a bit to level up the crafting professions and you get about 320 Int worth of bonus from it. That makes the profession equal to two very expensive gems. Is it worth it? That’s up to you. It’s a bit of an extra edge. You can earn gold with professions if you work them and learn your server’s market, otherwise you will be spending plenty. (Earn more gold with this addon.)

If you like effects that proc randomly then there are other professions you can use, such as Tailoring and its Lightweave Embroidery. None of the professions listed below have procs, which means that their bonus is always on and reliable. Cooldowns let you use those abilities when you need that extra burst. Add them into a macro to use with other buffs or appropriate abilities.

  1. Engineering:The Int glove enchant is great and works well with mindbender (same CD)
  2. Enchanting: +320 Int by enchanting both of your rings.
  3. Inscription: +320 Int with a better Shoulder enchant.
  4. Blacksmithing: +320 Int by adding two more gem sockets. You can also load 640 Spirit or Haste into those sockets, so Blacksmithing does offer more fexibility than the others.
  5. Jewelcrafting: Load in two nicer gems, for +320 Int gain.
  6. Leatherworking: Get an extra 320 Int from your bracer enchant.
  7. Gathering – Consider learning one of the above professions instead, as you’ll get more from it than you will from the gathering profession. Herbalism: has a 2880 Haste cooldown, lifeblood, which is awesome if it helps you to hit a Haste breakpoint, not so hot otherwise.

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Holy Priest PvP Videos

An overview of glyphs, talents, and a few macros.

Holy Priest Crowd Control. Note that this fellow picked the Dominate Mind talent instead of Psyfiend.

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Where do you want to go today? Get leveled fast or get a ton of gold? Or both?