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Legion Holy Priest Guide

Overview

Hello everyone and welcome to the Legion Holy Priest Guide! I am Jak or AutomaticJak/Jakbcastin Priest Healer for Vision on US-Kel'thuzad. I've been raiding in WoW for almost 6 years straight with my most recent accomplishments of finishing Mythic Nighthold US-15, World 69th.

Holy in Legion has grown a great deal from Warlords of Draenor, offering a fresh take on how we heal. Holy Words have been significantly buffed offering impressive tools to our arsenal. While the Holy Word spells have large cooldowns, they can be reduced by casting spells that trigger Serendipity, which has been changed from its form in past expansions. Your bread and butter heals like Flash Heal, Heal, and Prayer of Healing, now work as support spells which help you pump out Holy Words faster. Thanks to this and other changes, you'll see that Holy is looking to be in fantastic shape on a competitive and personal enjoyment level.

My goal through this guide and any post guide instruction is to give you a better understanding of the practical applications of theorycraft without the fluff that could inhibit your gameplay. Part of this will involve explaining the thought process for WHY you are casting specific spells over others to better instruct on some of the nuances of healing that others do not explain. Thank you for choosing my guide and I hope you find it instructive.

Questions? Use the social media links above to get in touch, or submit your logs through my website!

Rotation and Abilities

Let's take a look at what spells a Holy Priest will have at their disposal in Legion and what the primary purpose of these spells are in a raid or dungeon environment. We will get to how these spells work in a raid environment later on.

Baseline Holy Spells

Healing Spells
  • Heal - Slow, efficient, single target direct heal, triggers Serendipity.
  • Flash Heal - Fast, more expensive single target heal, also triggers Serendipity.
  • Renew - Weak direct heal with a Heal over Time (HoT) effect, does not trigger Serendipity.
  • Holy Word: Serenity - Strong direct heal, look for targets around half health or less to use, with a hefty cooldown reduced by Serendipity.
  • Holy Word: Sanctify - Strong, direct, reticule targeted Area of Effect (AoE) heal. Good for healing stacked groups of players, with a hefty cooldown reduced by Serendipity.
  • Prayer of Healing - Very expensive smart heal that heals the target and 5 other injured targets within 30 yards. Triggers Serendipity.
  • Prayer of Mending - A charge based heal that is cast on a friendly target which heals them when they take damage and then bounces to another friendly target if charges are remaining, Use on cooldown!
  • Divine Hymn - Large channeled raid cooldown that heals all raiders over time within 40 yards of the casting player and increases healing done to them by 10% for 8 seconds.
  • Desperate Prayer - Now baseline for priests, provides a strong heal and increased maximum health that serves as a much-needed personal cooldown.
Damage Dealing Spells
  • Holy Word: Chastise - Strong single target damage spell with a hefty cooldown, reduced by Serendipity.
  • Smite - Single target damage spell that triggers Serendipity.
  • Holy Nova - AoE damaging spell which can be very efficient for large quantities of small mobs.
  • Holy Fire - Instant cast damage spell that leaves Damage over Time (DoT) on the target.
Utility
  • Symbol of Hope - Provides exceptional utility although on a long cooldown. This talent is best used and taken during periods of intense raid damage when raid cooldowns like Tranquility or Divine Hymn are NOT in use, as it is better to be actively healing during the period of Symbol to take advantage of the free casting. You as a Holy Priest are often best off making heavy use of your strongest and most expensive heals in your arsenal, heavy use of Prayer of Healing and Holy Words is encouraged.
  • Fade - Drops current threat from all enemies, can be useful for when additional enemies spawn during encounters and you want to ensure none of them are drawn to you.
  • Dispel Magic - Allows you to purge (remove) helpful buffs from your enemies.
  • Guardian Spirit - Increases healing received by the tank by 40% for the duration, if the tank dies while the Spirit is active the affected target is then healed to 40% of their max HP and the effect is cancelled. An effective tank cooldown that should be coordinated with your healing officer and tanks.
  • Leap of Faith - Pulls the target to you, can be very useful for moving tanks across the room with ease on high movement encounters, or gripping little Jimmy out of the fire… again.
  • Mind Control - Self explanatory, gain control of your enemies and jump them off cliffs!
  • Mass Dispel - Also self descriptive, removes debuffs from up to 5 players within the radius, excellent for clearing large amounts of debuffs on the raid.
  • Spirit of Redemption - While this is not an actively cast spell, this form allows you to cast any spells for no cost for the duration when triggered. Take this time to cast your highest healing and most expensive spells to ensure your raid is in a manageable position before it fades.

Playstyle

Your playstyle in Legion revolves around making the fullest use of your Holy Words, while the rest of your spells revolve around them, benefiting your Holy Words through cooldown reduction to increase your throughput, along with additional talents and spells that are to be used on cooldown.

NOTE: These are guidelines for a general priority under general circumstances, this is to give you an idea of what priority you put on casting which spells and why you cast them, situations and encounters can vary.

General Priority of Dungeon Healing
General Priority of Raid Healing
Advanced Playstyle

It's time for a COMPLETE overhaul of this advanced section. All information is up to date for 7.2.5.

What we have learned from Holy in Legion thusfar is that we have an incredible capacity to serve a great many needs that a raid can provide. Probably the most important of these needs is spot healing. Spot healing refers to immediate, single target healing to tanks and priority allies that take heavy damage in short periods of time. As healers, it is not only important to top off anyone in danger of death but we are also incentivized to single target heal as a big portion of our healing. As a result, we can be exceptional tank healers and have abilities like Holy Word: Serenity that can instantly reverse damage.

With the power of Benediction well established, especially with the recent Piety buff, Holy is in a position to have a large amount of passive healing on the raid as we can actively heal priority targets. The best part about this passive healing however, is that it we can control where it starts to focus the largest amount of healing on individual targets. Bene pushes us to use PoM on cooldown, but if we are focusing PoM on tanks in particular then we are able to push a heavy amount of passive healing onto the tanks and reduce overheal as much as possible. Think of a white light passing through a prism to create a rainbow. All of our passive healing from a Benediction/Piety build, PoM, Renew, Holy Mending, and Echo of Light can all "start" on an individual target and be buffed thanks to our artifact ability, Light of T'uure. Providing a 25% boost to ALL of those passive heals, before you even cast a single direct healing spell on the tanks is so immensely powerful and can be an extremely effective method of sniping heals.

Going into your active healing spells, targeted spells and the like, your focus in the 7.1.5 world will be on accuracy in Holy Words. With Piety, you will have far more Sanctifies than ever, so being extremely accurate with your placements are vital. One of the most consistent areas to target your Sancts are in melee, high chance of hitting full targets and it can be very easy to organize your groups to show all of melee in the first two groups. If you see the first two groups taking damage, then you can immediately default to firing your Sanctify into melee and expecting good results. It takes practice, but accurate Sanctifies can make a world of difference between life and death. With regards to Prayer of Healing, you must always be using it just after a Sanctify to take advantage of not only Divinity but also Power of the Naaru. It does not look like we will be able to spam PoH, but you will be able to weave it in on occasion.

Overall, focus on keeping your Words and PoM on cooldown as often as you can and always be casting!

Talent Builds

Raid Talents

Holy Recommended Talents for Raids

M+ Talents

Holy Recommended Talents for M+

Tier 1
  • Trail of Light - Trail allows for a marked increase in your single target healing by allowing your previous target to be healed for a portion of your last cast Flash Heal. From a mana perspective the more that you are casting Flash Heal, the more bonus effect of extra healing from Trail that you receive, which in fact creates healing for no additional mana cost. It also synergizes well with Mastery as the Trail target also receives Echo healing. You may choose to take Trail on encounters during which you need extra spot healing if it is not overhealing heavily.
  • Enduring Renewal - This is a PvE noob trap, plain and simple. Unfortunately Renew has been quite weakened in potency going into Legion and while this may look powerful in dungeons, it often devolves into overhealing and forces higher maintenance for any sort of solid performance.
  • Enlightenment - A solid increase in mana regeneration and allows flexibility on what you are spending your additional mana on in comparison to Trail of Light. This is your new default go-to talent in this row if you do not need the extra spot healing offered by Trail for a specific encounter.
Tier 2
  • Angelic Feather - A slightly nerfed form of the spell that priests everywhere have come to know and love. Consistent, allows pre-placement and priority is given to the caster, your go-to for mobility.
  • Body and Mind - Similar to Body and Soul for Discipline this talent very much lacks in uptime, consistency, planning and personal use. It is far better to pre-place a feather during a free global before you have to run somewhere, or place a feather down for another player who might be a bit slower to make use of. Unexpected movement speed boosts for other players have a habit of being more harmful than helpful and just more annoying in general, Feather is far superior.
  • Perseverance - With Desperate Prayer now baseline, this takes its position and provides a small damage reduction benefit if you cast Renew on yourself. However, the mobility of feather is superior to the small amount of damage reduction offered by this talent.
Tier 3
  • Shining Force - Potential leveling talent that will give you some breathing room if enemies are chasing after you, little to no value in a raid environment
  • Censure - Another potential leveling talent giving your HW: Chastise the added ability to stun, Censure or Shining Force are acceptable whilst leveling.
  • Afterlife - Essential talent for raiding, giving you added value if you happen to proc your Spirit of Redemption form (also known as dying), giving you more time to heal for no mana.
Tier 4
  • Light of the Naaru - Extremely potent talent giving faster access to Holy Words. By taking Piety this allows double dipping with both Holy Words and a greater portion of your spell casts reducing the cooldown of those Words. Go to talent.
  • Guardian Angel - This talent is exceptionally powerful during encounters in which external cooldowns are especially needed. Expect to take this talent if your tanks are having issues staying alive, but also keep in mind that the angel's duration must run its course, so that you can benefit from taking the talent in the first place. Quite good in all dungeon content, take as needed.
  • Symbol of Hope - Extremely powerful raid cooldown talent that benefits all healers in your raid group. While it has a relatively short duration for such a long cooldown, it can be powerful by giving all healers in the raid the time to cast spells for no mana cost, while also letting them have a solid amount of time to regenerate mana. While this has been recently buffed it is not quite as powerful as Light of the Naaru for personal healing. Consider using on long encounters and those with cooldown resetting mechanics.
Tier 5
  • Surge of Light - Offers free full strength Flash Heals for casting other heals, great synergy with Divine Star and very mana efficient option.
  • Binding Heal - Good synergy with Holy Words but a fairly hefty mana cost. This talent gains more value with better mana trinkets you receive and with more consistent raid damage allowing you to bring back both Holy Words faster at the same time.
  • Piety - With recent buffs, Piety has become the go-to talent to take. Offering tremendous cooldown reduction to Sanctify and a huge buff to Renews spread across the raids with Benediction. Mandatory for raiding.
Tier 6
  • Divinity - A flat healing increase after using your Holy Word. Often quite strong to combo your Holy Words when possible (i.e. waiting 3-5 seconds is okay to combo both damage permitting, but holding 40 seconds is wasteful) using the less needed of the two first, then using the more effective one with the heal increase.
  • Divine Star - Solid, consistent heal for stacked raid fights and offers great synergy as a proc generator for Surge of Light. Also great leveling talent for the extra damage it can provide, especially while moving.
  • Halo - Fairly solid for more spread encounters and no longer has any range modes where you heal the target hit at the farthest difference for more, if you hit them at 5yrds away it heals for the same as the person hit 20 yards away. Currently, Divinity looks a bit more powerful than Halo in most situations.
Tier 7
  • Apotheosis - Very potent 3 minute cooldown allowing faster access to Holy Words. The costs of taking this talent come in how much you are using your Serendipity triggering abilities to get your Holy Words back off cooldown as your Holy Words are free during the duration. It takes approximately 3 consecutive casts of one type of Serendipity triggering spell (i.e. Serenity or Sanctify cd reduction) to get the spell back off cooldown. Fantastic for fights with short periods of high burst damage, solid raid talent overall and optimal leveling talent. While Benediction is currently slightly higher HPS, and far easier to operate, Apotheosis gives you a stronger response to extended periods of heavy damage and can be much more potent for getting life saving Holy Words off cooldown faster. Must have in dungeon content.
  • Benediction - A potent, passive talent augmenting existing abilities and improved by legendaries. You will cut Renew out of your playstyle unless you are moving and need a filler to cast, and will push for always casting your PoMs on the tanks so that they will be the most likely recipients of the Renew that follows. Thanks to recent buffs this talent has become the slightly higher HPS talent in the row and is the preferred talent for the majority of raiders in Trial of Valor.
  • Circle of Healing - Classic and consistent spell that is extremely flexible. While this talent has been a staple of Holy for multiple expansions, as a talent it has lost a bit of its luster. It is solid, but can often lack strength in comparison to Apotheosis. Too weak to consider at the moment.

Gearing

This section of the Holy Priest guide covers everything Gear: Stat priorities, gear recommendations from dungeons and raids, legendary item rankings, and how to spec your Artifact Weapon.

Stat Priorities

Currently the stat priority for Holy Priest in Legion is:

Intellect > Mastery > Critical Strike > Haste > Versatility

Stats have become much closer with this latest patch and now we are in a situation where item level of gear pieces will make all the difference in determining what is higher valued. Keep this in mind when choosing gear that Mastery/Crit/Haste are all within around 1% in value to each other and are extremely valuable in they are balanced out. Ideally you should shoot for a balanced build of around 40%ish Mastery then 15-20% Haste, then Critical Strike from there, you may have to adjust gems and enchants accordingly to manipulate your stats into an optimal position.

Intellect is our main primary stat and is found on all gear that we want to be wearing. It has a higher value than any of the secondary stats and should be the first thing you look at when debating whether one piece of gear is an upgrade over another.

Mastery for us is Mastery: Echo of Light, leaving HoTs on the targets from our direct heals. Now that absorbs have been greatly toned down in size, along with damage patterns becoming more consistent and less bursty, Mastery has become exceptionally powerful, more than earning the top spot.

Critical Strike provides a chance to double the healing done of your spells, this synergizes quite well with Mastery and the bigger focus on direct healing playstyle of Legion in that Critical direct heals also increase the size of the Echo of Light heal that follows them. While it is random, which is a big drawback for many healers, it is rare to find many of your heals relying on a critical strike at a specific moment to save a player from death, often proper preparation is the key to saving lives. Extremely close in value to Mastery.

Haste decreases the cast time of your spells and also adds ticks during the healing over time of Renew. While Haste breakpoints still exist for Renew, they are irrelevant today because when you are in between these breakpoints the HoT receives partial ticks that are added onto the regular tick. Haste also reduces the Global Cooldown (GCD) and the cooldowns of certain spells like Prayer of Mending and others that have a green text when you mouseover their tooltips in game. Renew is being used far less than in Warlords of Draenor, somewhat devaluing Haste and with mana being less plentiful that means that stacking Haste, will only seek to run you out of mana faster. Haste will gain more value if mana becomes more plentiful from raid trinkets that you receive.

Versatility is a linear gain in outgoing healing & damage, as well as reduction of damage taken. With this increase to damage done, and decrease to damage received, comes the price of worse scaling than any other secondary stats for Holy Priest.

Artifact Weapon: T'uure, Beacon of the Naaru

Artifact Traits 7.2 Traits: Recommended Build Paths

This is the default, go to path for leveling your artifact. Due to Trust in the Light being in the direct, unskippable path and it being a 3/3 trait it is more efficient spending of Artifact Power to take the path listed below.

Artifact Tree Path

7.2 Build Path

7.2 Artifact Tree Path

Best in Slot Trinkets, Relics and Important Additions

Important Notes: Legendaries will not be listed and their rankings will be displayed below. Due to the nature of Mythic+ and the heavy incentives to be running them constantly I will avoid listing out every single slot of gear and instead focus on specific rankings for gear pieces as a perfect Best in Slot set is unrealistic and unobtainable. To compare items close in value I'd suggest downloading the addon Pawn and importing my Pawn Strings listed at the bottom of this guide.

Trinkets

For Holy it is now more optimal to run double throughput trinkets rather than one regen and one throughput due to the devaluation of FH heavy playstyles, the rise of Greater Blessing of Wisdom and Innervate. For the purposes of this ranking system and the concerns of warforged, titanforged, and socketed trinkets I'll list out possibilities assuming equal ilvl, but also try to provide adequate description of just how much better one item is over another.

Throughput

There are a huge number of throughput trinkets that hold value for Holy Priest. Those heavy in Intellect, Mastery, or Crit all can have a great deal of value, especially if they are warforged, titanforged, or socketed. Looking at ideal trinkets for Tomb, a look at some preferred options will look something like this.

Sea Star of the Depthmother > The Deceiver's Grand Design >= Unstable Arcanocrystal > Chalice of Moonlight = Etraeus' Celestial Map > Barbaric Mindslaver > Archive of Faith

With the prominence of Mythic+ there are many options available to you for trinkets. Looking for the criteria listed above and high ilvl pieces can trump some of the items in this list easily. For a full list of Trinkets, be sure to check out this spreadsheet.

Mana Regen

With the recent devaluation of heavy Flash Heal styles, mana regen trinkets have lost a ton of value and it is often better to just run with double throughput trinkets and use Enlightenment to offset the lack of mana regen.

Darkmoon Deck: Promises > Amalgam's Seventh Spine > Fluctuating Energy

Set Bonuses

Vestements of the Purifier

Holy's Tier 20 set bonuses are:

While the 2pc is fairly average, the 4pc of this set is immensely powerful and should be pursued immediately at all costs. This set bonus gives us immense power in cycling through our Holy Words, using more efficient spells in both healing per second (HPS) and healing per mana cost (HPM). By weaving in more Holy Words to deal with the same damage, we will use more efficient abilities that will increase our Divinity uptime and thus cause all other abilities to be more efficient and effective. I would not recommend dropping X'anshi, Shroud of Archbishop Benedictus for example to complete 4pc when you are entering difficult progression content, you should seriously consider dropping other strong pieces to complete your 4pc as quickly as you can.

To reiterate:

Completing 4pc is a TOP priority!

Relics

While item level will frequently be king, optimal relics to pursue in Tomb of Sargeras include:

Holy - Boon of the Prophet (Kil'jaeden)

Life - Moontalon's Feather (Sisters) or Glowing Prayer Candle (The Desolate Host)

Relic Priority

While the above are the best relics to pursue specifically in Tomb of Sargeras, you can get more powerful relics with lucky warforge or titanforges! Here is the general priority for optimal relics.

Say Your Prayers > Hallowed Ground > Holy Guidance >= Words of Healing > Power of the Naaru

Jewelry

Necks and Rings are a great way to adjust your stats to help achieve a better balanced distribution. Warforge/Titanforge and Sockets can play a big role in deciding which piece to take over another, with M+ pieces also being a big factor. The most attractive Rings at face value in Tomb however, are the following:

Scaled Band of Servitude (Mistress) and Seal of the Second Duumvirate (Kil'jaeden)

For Necks, in Tomb you have the option between a Versatility neck, or one without. It is inevitable that we will have some Versatility on our gear through tier pieces, so I would suggest avoiding acquiring more if you can help it.

Locket of Splintered Souls (The Desolate Host)

Legendaries

My personal ranking for Holy Priest Legendaries are as follows:

  1. X'anshi, Shroud of Archbishop Benedictus
    Fantastic survivability legendary that allows you to fully utilize your Spirit of Redemption, resets your potion cooldowns, and provided mass rez protection for difficult progression encounters. Priest lacks heavily in personal cooldowns so the Cloak is quite easy to activate on certain mechanics of your choosing giving you the flexibility to choose when to activate the full benefit or simply keep your guild from ever having to use a battle rez on you. On Mythic encounters in particular it can be very powerful for certain mechanics that force movement while damage is going out, being able to stand in Arcane Orbs on Spellblade Alluriel for example can give you an exceptional HPS benefit and help keep the rest of your raid healthy.
  2. Velen's Future Sight
    Highest HPS Legendary available, Velen's offers a distinctive HPS boost on a short cooldown. Very effective with your Divine Hymn or any heavy damage phases and should result in strong efficiency with its overheal protection.
  3. Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus
    Offering a strong and consistent effective health increase, this neck provides huge amounts of healing over a fight and has recently been buffed to offer even more healing than before. This legendary is very close in value to the legs, and on some encounters with heavy damage may be better as Priest heavily lacks personal cooldowns and the effective health increase for Prydaz is quite substantial.
  4. Entrancing Trousers of An'juna
    This is a straightforward and great legendary to take, adding big value to Renew.
  5. Muze's Unwavering Will
    Decent legendary, the cast speed can be good, especially now that Flash Heal has been added to the included spells, but it is not as strong as the Legendaries above it.
  6. Rammal's Ulterior Motive
    While this legendary can synergize well with our PoM centric playstyle and received a slight buff with 7.2, we often are not casting enough Flash Heals over the course of encounters to justify this legendary over the above. This is a great legendary for healing Mythic+ dungeons, but in raids it can fall flat. To utilize it always focus PoM's on the tanks first and you can guarantee a hefty tank healing boost. Make sure you have a tracker on your raid frames to properly track the buff. Weak heal increase, but an HPS increase nonetheless.
  7. The Alabaster Lady
    Newest Holy specific legendary. Solid potential, but the RNG and lack of control related to the effect make it a situationally strong legendary at best.
  8. Sephuz's Secret
    The bane of many a DPSers existence, this Ring has received some nice buffs and is be an exceptional Mythic+ legendary for Priest to have since we will be utilizing the haste effect for healing or for damage in 5mans. It can have some decent effects in raid encounters with multiple dispels, and the recent flat Hasted buff to it, but generally it has many limitations in that area.
  9. Phyrix's Embrace
    Recently buffed ring granting increased duration of Guardian Spirit and making it so that the healing effect does not fade if the Spirit is consumed early, highly situational.
  10. Norgannon's Foresight
    Recently buffed with the latest patch, these boots now guarantee control over when you would like to move and cast, specifically for using something like Divine Hymn on the move. This is a nice quality of life boost, although it does not result in significantly higher raw HPS like the legendaries ranked above it.
  11. Celumbra, the Night's Dichotomy
    Crafted legendary with a large amount of stats and sockets available but a comparatively weak effect.
  12. Al'maiesh, the Cord of Hope
    While I had high expectations for this legendary due to its nature of allowing you to prepare for damage I've found that all too often you are always using your Words on cooldown and very infrequently will you gain the benefit in a raiding environment, that said it can be very potent in Mythic+ 5mans because you are more likely to hold HWords for specific moments.

Gems, Enchants and Consumables

Enchants, gems, and consumables in World of Warcraft Legion provide ways to increase your character's power and optimize your performance. The 7.1 Holy Priest Enchants, Gems, and Consumables page suggests enhancements and how to acquire them.

Enchants

Three gear slots can be enchanted with Legion gameplay enchants: necks, cloaks, and rings. There are also shoulder and glove enchants which can assist with professions, but weapons in Legion do not have special enchants.

For level 100 players in the Legion pre-patch, weapon enchants work. You will want the Draenor equivalents of these Legion enchants:

Gems

Masterful Shadowruby & Masterful Queen's Opal. For level 100 players, the Draenor equivalent is Greater Mastery Taladite.

Gem sockets have a small chance to be found on all gear in Legion, including raid bosses, world bosses, world quest loot, and dungeon loot. Rings and necks crafted by Jewelcrafters have a 100% chance to have a socket.

Jewelcrafters which complete To Dalaran, With Love can also create BoE epic gems that offer +200 of a primary stat. You will want to acquire one Saber's Eye of Intellect.

Flask

Flask of the Whispered Pact. For level 100 players, you will want the Draenor equivalent of this item, Greater Draenic Intellect Flask.

Flasks can be crafted by a level 110 Alchemist that has completed the questline for the Malloric Burette Assembly.

Potions: Ancient Mana Potion, Leytorrent Potion, Potion of Prolonged Power (prepot)

Food

Lavish Suramar Feast is the highest quality food as of 7.2, the lower quality feast is Hearty Feast and the individual food is either Nightborne Delicacy Platter or The Hungry Magister but as of 7.2 it is weaker than feasts.

Food can be crafted by any player with the Cooking profession that has learned the Legion recipe from either questing or Nomi's Discovery Table in Legion.

Addons, WeakAuras, etc

Pawn Strings

As of 01/11/2017, these are the most up-to-date Pawn strings for Holy. You can always find the most updated version of this file at Jak's Pastebin.

( Pawn: v1: "Jak/Niphyr Balanced Holy 7.1.5": Intellect=1,, HasteRating=0.74, MasteryRating=0.77, Versatility=0.68, CritRating=0.73 )

WeakAuras