Last night 3.1 finally made it’s long awaited debut and there we much ballyhoo and yelling of voices and good times were had. Dual specs were a go and Ulduar was available for raiding when it wasn’t crashing the entire server thanks to a million and one guilds trying to run it. Thanks to extensive changes in talents, everyone was refunded talent points for free and allowed to respec their main talent sets. As a holy priest, I was quite excited to see the new changes available and to test them in a real raid fight. Though I was only able to test them in a couple of fights against Razorscale (and I died every fight except the last, sigh) before the servers crashed, I must say I was pleasantly surprised.
Though I’ll be taking a look at all the new talents or revisions, I must say that my favorite new talent has to be Serendipity. The new version of this talent will haste either your Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing by 12% each time you cast Binding or Flash Heal, stacking up to three times. Basically this will haste your Greater Heal to the point where it casts as fast as Flash Heal, making it extremely attractive during heavy raid damage fights. I also found myself doing what Blizzard wanted us to do and actually spell weaving during fights last night. I kept an eye on my buff section and when I was at three stacks, would hit a GHeal or PoH depending on what was necessary at that moment.
With this talent combined with it’s new ability to target other groups, Prayer of Healing has now become an extremely viable option during raiding. Before it used to be that PoH took way too long to cast in a fast and brutal fight and since it only worked on your own group was very situational. Now that you can cut a third off the casting time and cast it on groups your not currently sitting in, the spell has moved up my bar and sits next to Circle of Healing as my new second major AoE heal spell. I’m also considering glyphing it in order to up it’s heal ratio, but I’m not 100% set on that yet since CoH glyph is pretty much mandatory and FHeal glyph has become twice as important with Serendipity. My only option would be to trade out my Renew glyph. However, I’m not completely sure I want to do that, which brings me to the second new talent I’m reviewing, Empowered Renew.
This new talent adds 15% bonus healing effects to your renew spell and will immediately heal the target for 15% of it’s periodic effect. Combine this with Improved Renew at the top of the tree and with the glyph effect of shortening the overall time but raising the periodic effect and I was seeing some huge tics on Renew, upwards of 2,000 to 2,300. Of course, this isn’t going to give you a huge upfront heal, but it is free extra healing which is most definitely worthwhile. I know a lot of priests are on the fence regarding this talent, but quite frankly I use renew all the time. It may not be up to snuff compared to all the options druids have, but it’s still our most mana efficient heal and even more so now with this new talent. Usually when I’m raid healing I’ll throw it out on people who are taking sustained damage such as tanks or off tanks. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have it.
Finally I’ll take a look at the third biggest change to our talent line up, the new version of Holy Concentration. I am totally in love with this new version which states that after you crit with Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal or Renew, you gain a 50% bonus to mp5 contributed from your spirit stat. I wasn’t able to really watch the numbers last night, but after testing this morning, this translated to close to an extra 150 mp5 within the five second rule for me. Combine this with about a 30 to 35% crit bonus when raid buffed and this talent should be proccing very often. Keep in mind I have 1,076 spirit now with the new ability to buff myself (thank you Blizzard, Dueg loves your face), but the point is that this is a HUGE bonus to our mp5 after Blizzard nerfed the spirit contribution outside the 5 second rule. Unfortunately I couldn’t really test it too much last night since the servers crashed before I had a chance to go into a sustained fight without dying halfway through it. By the way, when fighting Razorscale, don’t stand still for very long, fire hurts. -_-
Now of course this is all with limited testing, but I’m going to say that I get a very good vibe from the new talent shake ups Blizz had for the Holy Tree. I think they made improvements where needed and trimmed some fat from the tree itself. I truly believe that these changes will help to really solidify Holy priests as premiere raid healers. So how about you? Are you satisfied with changes to your talent tree of choice? Did you even get to test it last night with all the server issues that were going on? Drop me a comment and lemme know!