Oestrus’ Guide to the Chakra Sutra

Welcome to Oestrus’ Guide to the Chakra Sutra!  This is the first guide that I have ever created and I felt compelled to do so, based on trends that I was seeing in the priest community.  Holy priests are both really excited about and really intimidated by or possibly even overwhelmed by Chakra.  I think it is something that people are capable of over thinking about and I think it is something that is really easy for someone to talk themselves in circles over.  And I don’t feel it necessarily has to be that way.

What I really wanted to do with this guide was keep it simple.  These are concise and simple facts about Chakra, as it stands right now in patch 4.0.1.  I would like to think a large portion of these concepts will still hold true, come Cataclysm.  But for now, I am just talking about things relating to where we are now, specifically the examples of where each Chakra may come in handy.  I wanted to make it relatable to current and even previous levels of content.

This guide will be updated as new changes occur and as new feedback is given.  While I have worked hard to bring the most current information that I can, there are undoubtedly things I may have missed or things that may change in the future.  Hopefully, this can be updated to keep up with these changes and can remain a valuable resource, at any given time.

The basic format of the guide will consist of a general fact sheet about Chakra, followed by a breakdown of each state.  I will cover the finer points of each Chakra state, including the benefits of being in it, details about how your spells will work while in the state and examples of fights where you may find that particular Chakra most useful.  At the end of the guide I will cover some Frequently Asked Questions, suggest some macros for you to make using Chakra easier and forward you to other resources, if you’re looking for other opinions or more information on this wonderful tool.

Let’s begin!

Updated as of 12/27/2010 at 11:44 AM (Central Standard Time)

What is Chakra?

  1. Chakra is a 20 point talent in the holy tree that allows a priest to enter a state where certain abilities are enhanced, depending on which Chakra state the priest chooses to enter.
  2. Chakra is put into effect by casting the spell and then one of four spells immediately after it, thereby putting you into that particular state.
    1. Heal
    2. Prayer of Healing
    3. Prayer of Mending
    4. Smite
  3. Chakra can be extended by putting talent points into State of Mind and by casting spells unique to the state that you are in.
    1. Heal — Chakra: Serenity
    2. Prayer of Healing/Prayer of Mending — Chakra: Sanctuary
    3. Smite — Chakra: Smite
  4. Placing a talent point in Revelations will allow Chakra to change the effects of Holy Word: Chastise to compliment whatever state you are in.  The tooltips will also reflect that this change has occurred.
    1. Holy Word: Serenity — Chakra: Serenity
    2. Holy Word: Sanctuary — Chakra: Sanctuary       
    3. Chakra: Smite is the only state that does not improve or change your Holy Word: Chastise.
  5. Chakra does not limit or restrict what spells you can cast while in a state.  For example, you could still use Shadow Word: Death if you were in Chakra: Sanctuary or Flash Heal if you were in Chakra: Smite.  It only takes spells that you already have and makes them more effective or slightly changes their effects.
  6. Chakra does have a 30 second cooldown.  So, if you go into the wrong Chakra by mistake or you need to change into another one (due to the particular needs of your situation), you would need to wait for it to be off cooldown before you could change your Chakra state again.
  7. Chakra has been shown to not use a global cooldown, so you can make a macro for each state you would want to enter and make it more efficient to use that way.
  8. Chakra does not cost any mana to cast, but the spells you would cast immediately after it still cost mana to use.

Chakra: Serenity (formerly known as Chakra: Heal)

  1. Increases your chance to crit with all direct heals by 10%.
  2. Any direct heals that you cast will refresh a Renew already present on the target.
  3. Holy Word: Serenity
    1. Instantly heals your target for 4654 to 5462 and increases the chance to crit from all of your heals on the them by 25% for 6 seconds.  Has a 10 second cooldown, with 2 points taken in Tome of Light.
    2. The direct heal from Holy Word: Serenity can crit.
  4. Ideal for situations where you are tank healing or single target healing. 
    1. Deathbringer Saurfang
    2. Valithria Dreamwalker
    3. The Frostmourne room, during the Lich King encounter.

Chakra: Sanctuary (formerly known as Chakra: Prayer of Healing)

  1. Increases the effect of your Renew and AOE healing spells by 15%.
    1. Circle of Healing
    2. Divine Hymn
    3. Holy Nova
    4. Holy Word: Sanctuary
    5. Prayer of Healing
  2. Reduces the cooldown of Circle of Healing by 2 seconds.
  3. Holy Word: Sanctuary
    1. Targets a zone to become a sanctuary and heals those standing inside of it for 267 to 317 every 2 seconds for 18 seconds.  Has a diminished effect when healing more than 6 players at once.  Currently has a 28 second cooldown, with 2 points in Tome of Light.
    2. You can only have one sanctuary up at a time.  They do not stack.  If you cast a sanctuary while one is already present, the first one will stop providing any healing, despite the graphic still being there. 
    3. Despite not being a direct heal, the healing effects of this spell will activate your mastery, Echo of Light
    4. Allies must remain in the zone to receive the full effect of the sanctuary.  If they step out of it for any reason, they will instantly stop receiving heals. 
    5. The heals from Holy Word: Sanctuary do have a chance to crit. 
  4. Best suited for healing through AOE burst damage, preferably with people grouped up.
    1. Blood Queen Lana’thel
    2. Freya
    3. Twin Valkyr

Chakra: Smite

  1. Increases all damage done by your holy and shadow spells by 15%.
  2. Holy Word: Chastise
    1. Remains unchanged by this Chakra.
  3. Works best for leveling or during a lull in incoming damage, where healing output is low and you can find time to do some DPS.
    1. XT-002 Deconstructor
    2. Gunship Battle

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Can Chakra be dispelled off of me?

A:  No.  Currently, Chakra cannot be removed by Dispel Magic, Purge, Spellsteal or any other offensive type dispel from an opposing player or enemy.

Q:  Can Chakra be cast on other players?

A:  No.  Chakra can only be cast on yourself, not other priests or other allies.

Q:  Are there any glyphs that benefit Chakra?

A:  Not specifically.  However, glyphs that you already have enabled that would enhance spells that are part of a Chakra state (like Circle of Healing) will stack with the benefits of being in that particular Chakra.

For example, if you were using Glyph of Prayer of Healing you would still enjoy the additional 20% of the initial heal bonus that comes with using the glyph, along with the 10% increased AOE healing bonus provided by Chakra: Sanctuary.  Being in a Chakra state does not take away or overwrite the benefits your glyphs would give you for using a particular spell or ability.

Q:  Should I place 2 talent points into Tome of Light?

A:  Yes.  As of right now, you want the reduced cooldown on your Holy Word spells, because they are still quite long and you want to make sure you are getting the full benefits of being in a Chakra state by having the option of having these spells available when you need them. 

Q:  Should I place 2 talent points into State of Mind?

A:  That depends.  If you feel you are going to be locked into one role enough, where you may not need to change your healing style, then I would suggest yes.  For example, if you know you are primarily a tank healer in your raid and rarely get asked to do anything outside of that, then you do want to remain in Chakra: Serenity for as long as possible and having 2 points in this talent could help you do that. 

If you feel that you are going to be doing a little of everything or your healing assignments are generally vague, you may want to only place a single talent point into State of Mind and place the extra point somewhere else.  You won’t have much need to extend your Chakra state by that much, if you feel you are going to need to change it up a lot or you don’t see yourself staying in that role for too long. 

With the Chakra cooldown being reduced to 30 seconds, I don’t feel there is a need to extend our states by so much.  This is entirely personal preference and I don’t feel there is a “right” answer to this question.  The answer to this would be to do whatever works best for you and your raid and whatever you feel helps you get the best results.


Many thanks to Kurn, for helping me create these macro suggestions for the various Chakra states that are available and for spending a good chunk of time creating sanctuary zones in Dalaran with me and for helping me test out other spells for this guide. 

First, set your binding and then paste in one of the following macros.  Repeat the process for each one that you would like to bind.

/cast Chakra

/cast [target=mouseover] Heal

/cast Chakra

/cast [target=mouseover] Prayer of Healing

/cast Chakra

/cast [@mouseovertarget] Smite

(This macro assumes that you are mousing over someone who is friendly, but that person is target something that is hostile.)

Other Resources

This guide is something that I have created, based on my findings, observations and feelings about Chakra and its finer points.  There are a number of other fantastic resources out there – some with similar opinions and some with different ones.  I feel we each bring something new and fantastic to the table, when it comes to learning this amazing new spell and I would encourage anyone who wants to learn more about this or anyone who is seeking a number of view points to check out the following pages.  I fully support them and hopefully you will do the same!

Tales of a Priest

Derevka is a tremendous holy priest resource who has seen a lot of progression and has a wonderful archive of videos on YouTube that he creates himself, along with a steady stream of relatable and informative priest posts for the novice or expert holy priest.

The Harpy’s Nest

Erinys writes about all things WoW and throws in some priest posts, too for good measure.  She recently covered both Chakra and Lightwell (which I will be posting more in depth about soon) and included a lot more on macros and some of the more technical aspects of both spells.

Raging Monkeys

The Raging Monkeys are a collective group of folks who discuss a number of entertaining topics, both related to in game and out of game topics – usually with a  dose of snark and humor and wrapped in strong facts and information.  Syl recently covered Chakra and has also published her thoughts on recent holy priest changes and the newly released set bonus.

The Murloc Parliament

These folks are long overdue for getting a referral in this guide.  The most recent Chakra post from them gives a very concise definition of what Chakra does and the macros associated with it, along with some helpful suggestions with what add-ons you should use to track Chakra related cooldowns.  Feel free to check out their site for other healer related musings and other commentaries on general WoW activities and other social based issues that they experience in game. 

These are a just a few that I have stumbled upon so far and that I highly endorse.  If you feel I have left your blog or entry out of this, please let me know and I will see about adding you to the mix and sending some readers your way.

Otherwise, thank you for reading and hopefully this guide will take away some of the confusion revolving around Chakra and make it seem much more enjoyable and easier to understand than it may have been before.


(Additional thanks go out to Darista, for coming up with the tongue in cheek title for this guide and also to Mirzolot2 from Wikipedia, for creating the beautiful Chakra images that were used here, which are licensed under the Creative Commons-Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.)

Tagged as , , , , , , , + Categorized as Holy Priest


  1. EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT guide! Thank you very much for this contribution to the priest community!
    Steve – Kestrel’s Aerie´s last blog ..VERY Preliminary WoW 401 SpecsMy ComLuv Profile


    Oestrus Reply:

    You’re quite welcome! Thank you for stopping by and taking a peek! :)


  2. thanks for the guide! currently disc, can’t wait to try holy on my alt spec.


    Oestrus Reply:

    Super! Maybe you can give me some tips on my discipline off spec, then. I haven’t played discipline in ages and the new changes seem just as foreign to me as the Chakra changes might be to a discipline priest. Or another class, for that matter.


    Lilitharien Reply:

    @Oestrus, Don’t worry honey! I’m working on the Disc 4.0.1 guide. Should go out this weekend.


    Oestrus Reply:


    That wasn’t a jab or anything, Lils – I swear!

    Oestrus´s last blog ..Oestrus’ Guide to the Chakra SutraMy ComLuv Profile

  3. Cute name for the post :P

    Excellent guide! I’m still trying to decide what to heal with in an alternate 10 man group my guild will be running, and this condensed the major Holy concern I had into a quick read.

    Still debating on doing a guide to 4.0.1 paladin healing over at my blog.
    Jadissa´s last blog ..Snap Judgments No this isnt about Paladins.My ComLuv Profile


    Oestrus Reply:

    Thanks, I give most of the credit to Darista. She and I were chatting in game, as I was putting the finishing touches on it and she came up with something that was very “me” and still appealing and wasn’t too techincal. I really didn’t want to go the “Version 4.0.1, Guide #15823980″ route – lol

    Regarding the paladin blog, I think you should! I think there need to be more positive voices for paladin healing (even though the current environment may not entirely be in your favor, depending on who you ask) and if you could do something like that, I think it would be a great draw. But I wouldn’t turn down a fellow holy priest joining the ranks, either!


  4. Thanks for mentioning us – and a very useful FAQ and macro section! If only they didn’t keep changing this! =)
    Syl´s last blog ..How to prep your guild for Cataclysm Or- Dear DPSMy ComLuv Profile


    Oestrus Reply:

    You’re very welcome! I’m not too worried about the constant changes yet, because they’re either in the PTR or Beta and even those can change and may not see Live (i.e. they keep changing Tome of Light’s position in the talent trees or adding/removing Rapid Renewal). And I’m more than up for the job of editing it. I worked hard on it and don’t mind the upkeep!

    I’m glad you stopped by! :)


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