Cataclysm Enchants For Holy Priests – Part 1

This week, MMO released previews of two more professions and their new recipes which will be in Cataclysm.  Alchemy was expanded upon yesterday and enchanting updates were released late Sunday evening.  For now, I’m going to elaborate on enchanting and which ones I think are going to be best for holy priests, who are looking to be raid ready in the next expansion.  Some enchants I am still on the fence about and hopefully I can prompt some discussion amongst ourselves as to what we feel could be best or most appealing to us.

Because there were so many enchants and some are more thought provoking than others, I will be splitting this up into two parts.  Part 2 should be coming up very shortly.

With that said – let’s begin!

Weapon Enchants

Heartsong

As a holy priest, I’m going into Cataclysm very cautious about my mana bar.  Already, I have resorted to using Flask of Pure Mojo on fights, post 4.0 and I haven’t entirely ruled out the idea of going back to a mana regen trinket with higher returns on it.  From my experience in the Beta, I was definitely struggling to have the mana to finish certain fights – especially if my group wasn’t familiar with the return of older mechanics and I was having to work overtime to keep people up.

Having an enchant like this one, that has the chance to give you a burst of spirit, which would enhance your mana returns from Holy Concentration and Meditiation sounds very appealing to me.  We need all the mana regen we can get and I’m more than willing to soak it up wherever I can.  If if turns out that my mana situation improves or remains more stable, I may scale it back and go for raw spellpower or possibly more haste.  But for now, it wouldn’t hurt to make sure that you have a reliable source of mana to keep doing your job well.  This enchant could certainly help with that.

Hurricane

In my opinion, haste will be the second most popular stat that we should be stacking, after intellect.  I’m torn between haste and spirit for the second place slot – but for now I’m leaning towards haste.  We still want it for most of the same reasons, being that it reduces the cast time of our castable heals and lowers the GCD on our instant cast spells.  But we’re also going to want to look into haste because it can give us two additional ticks from Renew.  Haste also doesn’t scale very well as we level and so you will need more and more of it to get the same effect that you would have at level 80.  Right now, I’m pushing 1600 haste on the Beta and I still can’t get my Heal down any lower than 2.15 seconds.  That’s depressing.

Having an enchant like this one, to give you an additional burst of haste means you could possibly throw out more heals or faster heals and cover more ground.  Of course, the flip side of that is that you’re throwing more heals and could be burning through your mana more quickly in the process.  When spells come out faster, you feel more inclined to keep using them and to keep casting.  That’s a problem I have with Chakra: Renew – I don’t even realize how many Renews I have littered across the raid, because they just flowed so effortlessly out of my hands.  You have to kind of rein yourself in, in situations like that.

Power Torrent

Now, this one is rather interesting – mostly because of how it is worded.  Notice that with the previous enchants, they have a chance to increase a particular stat “when casting spells or dealing melee damage.”  But on this enchant, you have a chance to increase your intellect “when dealing damage or healing with spells.”  There is a big difference between how many spells you are casting and how many people you are healing.  Kurn brought this to my attention, when we were discussing the new enchants and she brought up a good point.

Intellect is going to be our primary stat that we are going to want to have lots of, for a number of reasons.  It increases the size of our mana pool, it increases our spell power, it increases our critical strike chance - you really can’t go wrong with having more intellect.  Having this enchant to give you a burst of intellect could be a really great thing.

You could have the enchant proc, giving you a boost in intellect and increasing the size of your mana pool and then pop your shadowfiend, followed by Hymn of Hope and see some more mana returns while everything is active.  You could increase your critical strike chance temporarily, to have a higher chance to proc Inspiration on some tanks that could really use the extra padding against some heavy damage.  There are many ways that having this proc could be really beneficial to you, in a various number of situations.

And if it really is based off of how many people you are healing, versus how many spells you are casting – think of how many of our spells heal multiple people or heal over time.  Quite a few.  If each time we heal them, there is a chance to grant us this effect, we could see a higher amount of uptime on this proc – depending on if there is an internal cooldown and how long that is.  I wouldn’t be opposed to having a fairly consistent, sizeable increase to my intellect and this enchant could certainly make that happen.

Boots

Earthen Vitality

This appears to be Cataclysm’s answer to the famous Tuskarr’s Vitality enchant.  Having the additional speed to get out of harmful effects is always welcome, as is having the additional speed to quickly get into helpful healing effects – such as our Holy Word: Sanctuary and a druid’s Efflorescence or a shaman’s Healing Rain.  There has been talk of my GM making this a mandatory enchant, due to how useful it is.  Depending on how the rest of your gear shapes up and if you feel you are covered on other stats, this one makes a very reliable choice.

Haste

This enchant is pretty simple – it gives you more haste.  Use this one if you feel you are still not at the point where you have your global cooldown lowered to the minimum or you are not quite at the point where you are receiving the two extra Renew ticks.  Or if you just prefer to have a lot of haste on you at all times, this enchant could be for you.

Lavawalker

Another variation on the movement speed enchant for boots, this time with a bonus to your mastery.  Right now, the jury is out on how wonderful our mastery is at level 80.  As it stands, mastery is something you should only be going out of your way to get, if you feel that you already have all of your other bases covered – meaning that you are fine for intellect, spirit, haste, crit (what little of it that we do need) and you have enough stamina to stay alive.  If you feel that you are pretty well rounded in those areas, then by all means turn your attention towards our mastery.  And if you decide that is the point where your character is at, this enchant could be for you.

Mastery

The same rules apply to the description above, except without the speed increase bonus.  If you’re in the mood for more mastery and feel you are covered in all other areas, choose this enchant.  If you still feel you are lacking and could improve some other stats, another one might be a better choice.

Bracers

Exceptional Spirit

If you would rather play it safe with your mana pool and are expecting the worst, this enchant could be a good choice for you.  We don’t have too much to choose from, in terms of attractive enchants for this particular slot.  Holy priests shouldn’t be going out of their way to get too much critical strike rating and the amount we get from our inate stats and gear should be enough and even then, we really only need it for Inspiration.  So, it’s either this one or:

Greater Speed

If your mana situation remains under control and you’re not worried about that too much, you may want to consider taking this enchant to give yourself a bit more haste.

Chest

Exceptional Spirit

Same reasoning as the one behind the bracer enchant of the same name.

Peerless Stats

This would be the upgraded version of the Powerful Stats enchant.  In my opinion, I feel this is a better all around option, as 20 extra stamina, intellect and spirit (the attributes we could actually benefit from) would be quite nice.

If you prefer a more focused approach to your stats and having more control over how much of each individual stat you have, you may find the lump sum bonus of this enchant to be a bit unnerving for you.  However, if you prefer a more well rounded character, with a nice even spread of attributes or feel you have enough spirit and could stand to improve other stats, then this enchant may be just for you.

Check back here for part 2 of this entry, where I will discuss my suggestions and thoughts on the best holy priest enchants for cloaks, gloves, off hands (yes - they are not just for shields anymore) and rings (if you are an enchanter and can enjoy such things).


Tagged as , , , , + Categorized as Holy Priest

18 Comments

  1. You linked the haste enchant for boots to “Earthen Vitality”. You maybe want to fix that.

    Otherwise a nice sum up.

    [Reply]

    Oestrus Reply:

    @Hikari,

    Sorry about that and thank you for being kind enough to point that out!

    Fixed.
    Oestrus´s last blog ..Code of ConductMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  2. A good summary, thanks for sharing!
    Though I don’t like the wording on Power Torrent’s tooltip. I’m not exactly sure if it’ll mean that every heal (like Renew or AoE heals) will activate it, or just direct heals. It’s confusing. I guess we’ll see exactly how this works in Cata. But it’d be too good to be activated every internal cooldown ;)
    Caireann´s last blog ..Kiriban caught! My ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

    Oestrus Reply:

    @Caireann,

    The wording is something that I feel could be a really great loophole for us to look into and use to our advantage or it is something that I feel could be used against us, when Blizzard finally does decide to define how the enchant works and it ends up being something not so useful for us.

    And yes, I agree that having that up every cooldown could be wonderful.

    :)
    Oestrus´s last blog ..Code of ConductMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  3. I think the value of Power Torrent will depend greatly on how often it procs. If it’s like the Darkmoon Card: Greatness procs, that’s going to be near constant and a 500 intellect boost that has a ridiculous amount of uptime is probably going to trump anything.

    On the other hand, if it has an ICD of something like 45 seconds, you’re going to have about 26-27% uptime (12 seconds out of every 45 seconds = 26.6%). That’s less happy-making, but can still be very useful for cooldowns such as Divine Plea, Mana Tide totem, Hymn of Hope and Shadowfiend.

    I went looking at the Cataclysm Wowhead site and found this comment by skribs:

    From a healer perspective:
    I’m assuming an average cast of 2 sec, as most heals seem to be 1.5 sec or 2.5 sec. Simple math puts 1/proc chance * 2 + ICD as time-to-proc.

    Power Torrent:
    45 sec ICD, 33% proc chance. Roughly 51 seconds between procs, lasts 12 seconds, means ~24% uptime, or 120 intellect. Factor in that you do not get the benefit of using 7500 extra mana during the procs, and this is weaker than that.

    Heartsong:
    20 sec ICD, 25% proc chance. Roughly 28 sec between procs, lasts 15 seconds, means ~54% uptime, or 108 spirit. Unlike Power Torrent, you get the full benefit of the spirit gained during combat.

    Hurricane:
    45 sec ICD, ~12.5% proc chance. Roughly 61 sec between procs, lasts 12 seconds, means ~20% uptime, or 90 haste.

    Source: http://cata.wowhead.com/spell=74242

    On the same page, another commenter, Latias714, confirms this is healing or damage spells, not buff spells. So a disc priest who focuses on shielding more than healing would find this less useful than a holy paladin, for example, and a holy paladin who makes good use of their hand spells will find this slightly less useful than, say, a resto shaman who spends almost all of their combat time healing. IMHO.
    Kurn´s last blog ..Progression &amp Finishing Raid ContentMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

    Oestrus Reply:

    @Kurn,

    Hey there, boss!

    I’m not seeing anything in the above calculations about instant cast spells and how they would affect the uptime or internal cooldown. I see the part about the average spell cast time, but a lot of my spells being holy are instant or much faster than that. Do you feel if someone were casting more instant cast heals that this would affect the above mentioned calculations and if so, by how much?

    You know I’m terrible at math, so I’m throwing this back at ya – lol
    Oestrus´s last blog ..Code of ConductMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

    Kurn Reply:

    @Oestrus,

    Heya lady. :)

    I think that, for instant-casts, you should focus on the GCD. Baseline (no haste) is 1.5s for a GCD and the minimum you can bring that down to is 1s. So there are your calculations for instants — depending on your haste, you should probably be close to 1s at 80 and probably around 1.3-1.4s at 85. IMHO.

    I’m not that great at math, so that’s my contribution, but bear in mind that the more casts you get off (that are heals), the more chances you’ll have for things to proc once the ICD is up.
    Kurn´s last blog ..Progression &amp Finishing Raid ContentMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  4. I really like how there’s more variety in enchants now, or at least it feels that way. Now if they’d keep adding more throughout the expansion, that’d be even better. Choice is good!
    Jadissa´s last blog ..Only Half-DeadMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

    Oestrus Reply:

    @Jadissa,

    I agree. I think they have done a nice job of making stats more attractive for a number of reasons and choices to cater to each playstyle. I didn’t want to just talk about the ones I would choose, I really wanted to cover most of the bases – except in situations where I really felt a holy priest wouldn’t get anything out of certain ones.

    Good to see you back, by the way!
    Oestrus´s last blog ..Code of ConductMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  5. The jury isn’t really “out” on Power Torrent, as both testing and logic suggest that there’s no reason that Power Torrent wouldn’t function like all other endgame “x chance for y to occur” enchants and effects—the word “sometimes” is the key word here, as it’s a word Blizzard uses to convey “10% chance 45sec ICD.”

    [Reply]

    Oestrus Reply:

    @Miles,

    Hey there, Miles! I think you may have gotten confused about some phrasing that I had used. I didn’t make any reference to a jury during my explanation of Power Torrent. I mentioned it regarding our mastery.

    But, I do strongly agree with you that there is a chance that the effect would work like other enchants and effects that you had described.

    Just wanted to clear that up.
    Oestrus´s last blog ..Code of ConductMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

    Miles Reply:

    @Oestrus,

    It’s actually not a chance—that IS how it is working, on the beta. Go try it out—chain cast for five minutes and you will never have less than 45 seconds between procs. Get some friends to help and bomb PoH, and you’ll see it proc at the 48~ second mark every time.

    At the end of the day though, without major changes to the healing paradigm in Cataclysm, any sort of semi-random proc that increases throughput is going to be the least effective option. Random regen procs are fine because they are never “wasted,” but you can’t coordinate group healing around small and random healing increases. They overhealed in BC, they overhealed in Wrath, and they’ll overheal in Cata. Disc is the only healing spec that can benefit from these random increases (more than others) because of the preventative nature of their healing.

    [Reply]

    Oestrus Reply:

    @Miles,

    I do feel like you and I have a difference of opinion on this, Miles – though I’m certainly excited to discuss this more with you and I don’t feel that either one of us has to end up being “right” or “wrong,” here.

    I completely agree with you that having an effect of any kind that gives you a constant effect rather than a chance to create a certain effect appears to be much more rewarding and probably would be. However, I feel that may not be the case here. I’m having a hard time getting my head around the idea that having a straight 30 intellect weapon enchant, which would be “on” at all times would be more beneficial than having the Power Torrent enchant, which has a chance to net you much more intellect when the enchant procs and could very well proc multiple times.

    I also am not sure that I agree with your stance on discipline being the only healing spec that could benefit from the random increases that could come from the procs. You had stated that this was because of the preventative nature of discipline priest healing. You could also say that resto druids have been seen as preventative healers at some point and this could benefit them, too.

    It also depends on your opinion on overhealing. Some people view it more neutrally or positively/negatively than others. My opinion is that overhealing happens. Period. I feel there are acceptable levels, where it seems natural and not overt and then there are levels of overhealing where there could be an indicator of a sort of problem in your raid. I think that using overhealing as proof that the random increases do not work and have not worked in previous expansions may not be the best way to go.
    Oestrus´s last blog ..Code of ConductMy ComLuv Profile

  6. Overhealing isn’t bad in and of itself, and it happens. But some things simply create more overhealing than they actually create meaningful healing increases.

    You’re taking the word “preventative” too broadly, here; the only reason random throughput increases tend to work better for Disc more than other specs is the “full effect” is always used.

    I’m not trying to say that any overhealing is bad, but I think it is reasonable to say that enchants and other procs that cause more overhealing than meaningful healing are useless, if there are other options. In this case, the “other option” exists in the form of a proccing regen increase, which will absolutely be used, even in full epics.

    The actual benefit of an intellect/spellpower gain, and its effects on spells, is marginal at best—we’re talking less than a 5% increase in the amount being healed by spells while under the effect of a particular buff. This enchant also scales inversely with gear, providing smaller percentile increases as passive Intellect goes up. No healer, no matter how good, can monitor their procs and then say, “Oh, my heals are 3 to 6% stronger for the next few seconds, I will change my style to accommodate.” You make a good case for stacking it with Hymn and Shadowfiend; however if you’re going to use it for regen it makes one wonder why you wouldn’t just go with Heartsong in the first place, instead of having to slave your on-use mana returns (including HoH, which has raid-wide uses) to a 45sec random proc.

    ” I’m having a hard time getting my head around the idea that having a straight 30 intellect weapon enchant, which would be “on” at all times would be more beneficial than having the Power Torrent enchant, which has a chance to net you much more intellect when the enchant procs and could very well proc multiple times.”
    Two problems in here. For one, there is no fuzziness to the value of power torrent. 500 Intellect for 12 seconds on a 45sec cooldown means, at best, the enchant is worth 133.3 Intellect; more realistically around 120 Intellect. For two, you’re comparing apples and oranges—there is no choice between a “passive” enchant and an “active” one; the only choice is between one that has a chance to increase mana regen somewhat, or one that has a chance to increase throughput somewhat. The mana regen proc will, literally, never be wasted as long as you are casting spells. On the other hand, there are many many factors that can lead to the throughput being wasted—periods of low damage, other healers layering heals on yours, etc. Power Torrent is what we call a “damage/heals per minute” enchant. Obviously H/DPS represents what you can pump out at any moment and any raider knows how much it varies; 30,000 DPS during a Heroism with Hysteria, and then down to 13,000 with normal buffs. For DPS, there is no harm at all in getting these bursty buffs, because a damage-dealer’s job is to deal damage-per-minute. Damage-per-minute doesn’t work well for healers an tanks, as both roles need to react to ever-changing stimuli. This is why tanks have long shied away from random procs concerning survivability.

    [Reply]

    Oestrus Reply:

    I agree with you that it is entirely reasonable to say that things that cause high amounts of overhealing can be seen as unnecessary and a potential waste of your resources – resources which will already be much more restricted, come Cataclysm.

    In terms of the proc monitoring and changing playstyles because of it, I would disagree with you about that. DPS classes do it all the time. Certain DPS classes/specs have a rotation and that rotation can change, based on what procs happen to be active at any given time. One spell might take more precedence over another spell, simply because a proc or temporarly buff is active. That’s nothing new. You’re correct in that healers have not necessarily had to adapt to that playstyle as of yet, but I don’t feel making a statement that it can’t be done is entirely accurate. It can be done. It just hasn’t had to be something we as healers have had to do. That could change in the expansion. I can’t say it’s something I would be excited about – but I wouldn’t necessarily shun the idea of keeping my playstyle more interesting or having to think on my feet a bit more. Personally, that’s one of the reasons I’m enjoying Chakra so much. I have to think for once!

    Regarding Heartsong, I prefer it above the other enchants I suggested, by far. You’re right in that I would prefer that over the others. I was covering a number of enchants that could be possibly attractive to a holy priest for various reasons. I feel the other two have a lot of potential and some may feel they get better results by using them and that’s entirely up to them. I don’t feel having too much haste is a bad thing and I don’t feel the intellect buff is so terrible that it’s beyond consideration. It’s a personal choice. I felt that Power Torrent could be more attractive, based on the wording – some may disagree. I wanted to stress that for once, we have a choice – we have quite a few and neither one I feel has to be “right” or “wrong.” They’re all viable to a different extent and for different situations.

    There is a difference between an “active” enchant and a “passive enchant.” As I illustrated before, a paladin can choose the 30 intellect to weapon enchant for their weapon, which I would consider an “active” enchant. That paladin will always have that extra 30 intellect and would never need to worry about that intellect suddenly disappearing on them. Or they could choose to put Power Torrent on their weapon and only have that intellect when it procs. They can’t count on that intellect all the time. It can go away or they may not have it in the first place. That to me is a “passive” enchant. It isn’t a stat that can be relied upon. Granted, when it’s on it’s very nice. But when it’s not, you may or may not feel the difference. That’s how I classify the difference in those types of enchants and I feel examples of them do exist.

    [Reply]

  7. “In terms of the proc monitoring and changing playstyles because of it, I would disagree with you about that. DPS classes do it all the time.”

    Right, but that gets back to the whole Damage Per Minute versus Heals Per Second. We’re not talking about “I got a proc, I need to change what spell I cast for a few seconds.” We’re talking “I got a proc, my heals are now about 5% stronger for the next 12 seconds. ‘Hey other healers, you can reduce your healing by about 5% for 12 seconds, I have this covered.’” That situation is literally not humanly possible, the way heals are handled in WoW. =P

    Generally I think your assessments were correct, I just think you missed the boat with Power Torrent. Early sims are showing that most healers are going to be going with Heartsong, and move toward Hurricane once gear trivializes content. Hurricane ends up being a good deal better than Power Torrent simply because you can utilize the haste to increase your throughput in smarter ways—rather than just heal one person harder (Power Torrent) you heal that person faster and can move to another target. Gives the healer more control, and Control is the key word of healing in Cata.

    Power Torrent is going to end up as a DPS enchant, and a sub-optimal enchant for healers that don’t read a lot (probably the same ones who gemmed spellpower as a Holy Paladin or Resto Shaman in Wrath).

    [Reply]

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