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Battle for Azeroth Holy Priest Guide - Essences

Guide provided by Wowhead
Guide provided by Wowhead

Essences

Essences are a new system of power progression for the Heart of Azeroth introduced in patch 8.2. These legendary-like bonuses are unlocked through pre-determined activities including dungeons, raids, open world activities, PvP, reputations, and achievements, and come in four ranks: Uncommon, Rare, Epic, and Legendary. The second and third ranks add to or improve the base effect, while the last unlocks a flashy visual. Each Essence has a unique Major and Minor power, which can be socketed into the Heart of Azeroth upon completing a short introductory questline. For more information on available Essences and the drop locations for each rank, see Wowhead's Heart of Azeroth Essences Overview Guide.

  • At Heart level 50, your first Essence may be socketed in the center node to activate both its Major and Minor Power.
  • At Heart level 55, a second Essence can be socketed in the left node to activate a second Minor Power.
  • At Heart level 65, a third Essence can be socketed in the left node to activate a third Minor Power.
  • Perseverance is unlocked at Heart level 52, 57, 62, and 67 for a total of 12% increased Stamina.

Essences may be changed in any rested area, or by using any Tome of the Quiet Mind type item, but the same Essence cannot be used in multiple sockets, resulting in a total of 1 Major and 3 Minor powers active at any one time. You can pre-plan and preview your Essence setup in Wowhead's Essence Calculator.

Best Holy Priest Major Essences

While only one Major power can be used at a time, whichever Essence is socketed into the center node of the Heart of Azeroth will also activate its Minor Power, so both effects should be taken into consideration when determining which to use. Below is a short ranking of notable Top Tier, Mid Tier, and Bottom or strictly Situational Tier Major Essences you should consider using when playing a Holy Priest. Anything not listed is currently considered undesirable or has no noteworthy interaction.

Keep in mind that each rank of each essence comes from a predetermined source and some cannot be unlocked until Season 3 begins, two weeks after patch 8.2 goes live, so plan accordingly. While the first rank of each essence is intended to be acquired relatively easily, the following ranks are meant to be increasingly time consuming, and many cannot be rushed within the first week of Season 3.

The Well of Existence — Calibrated Existence Gauge

  • Use on: Raids/Mythic+

High potential for Mythic+ usage as it accumulates overheal and allows you a short cooldown with which you can redirect it. Minor downsides are the limited quantity that the Well absorbs, being capped at the player's maximum health. This can become problematic on high throughput required bosses where you generate very low overhealing, see Galvazzt. In this situation you can go into the fight with a capped Well, but the passive effect will begin to drain away the value of the orb in between cooldowns of the active ability and then it will be very difficult to refill when you are no longer producing overhealing.

This can also occur on trash packs where heavy group damage is common. Waycrest Manor has many mobs that deal heavy damage to the entire party through DoT effects. In this situation you can still generate heavy overheal through your Echo of Light or heavy Prayer of Healing usage, but it can quickly fade away if there is too much pressure on the group leaving you vulnerable without its power.

In raids this ability can be quite useful but is often in conflict with the minor effect as discussed below.

Effect on gameplay

This is a very simple trait to work with and most commonly involves allowing your mastery Echo of Light to continue ticking on players from pull to pull until your Well is filled. Then, you can utilize Refreshment to heal while still dealing damage to the enemy to help the trash pulls move by more rapidly. In a raid you should naturally overheal and generate large Wells on your own.

By using the Major you also receive the Minor effect as well. You need to be aware of this when using Refreshment as at all ranks for the Major trait your healing is amplified when using the Major effect, making it more important to use the active ability rather than the passive to heal targets. Preventing healing from the passive effect will allow for more efficient use of the Well's reserves.

Memory of Lucid Dreams — Pearl of Perspicuous Intentions

  • Use on: Average in Raid, potential for Mythic+

While this is not the strongest option (particularly after recent nerfs), it is easily earned and can be a lesser substitute for other essences listed before it. Playing more aggressively with your mana pool allows greater raw throughput. While there is certainly a stronger alternative, this Essence does a decent job at giving you greater resource return and keeping your mana looking healthy.

Effect on gameplay

Very minimal. Your area for maximization will be to use this in a position where you can most benefit from the Leech bonus and you will not overcap on mana. This can be particularly effective in Mythic+ if you needed to put out great self-healing while topping others off. If there are especially taxing Tyrannical bosses, it might be more effective to use Memory of Lucid Dreams to stabilize your mana pool while providing strong self healing.

On a Galvazzt style challenge you would be able to self sustain yourself with this high leech buff while healing others in your party. With a recently buffed 2 minute cooldown it could very well be the option on long encounters that stretch you to your fullest.

Life-Binder's Invocation — Lingering Seed of Renewal

  • Use on: Raids/Mythic+

Offering another solid cooldown to use in a raiding environment, Life-Binder's can also be utilized for Mythic+ during Grievous or Bursting weeks to stack heavy Seeds onto a small party of 5 to quickly reverse incoming damage on the group. It is uniquely well-suited to these type of high pressure, low party member scenarios that it makes it so much more easy to deal with.

The Ever-Rising Tide — The Tome of the Quickening Tides

  • Use on: Raids, General Mythic+

This essence can offer an interesting and experimental sort of playstyle that will be hard tested when Eternal Palace releases. The idea behind running Overcharge Mana is to play the specialization similar to Disc, to ramp up the healing effect before large-scale damage goes out, then quickly use your most powerful healing during the duration.

This is a bit antithesis to Holy Priest's solid consistent healing level in a raid environment but it could see some play on particularly bursty/situational encounters. Holy Priest generally has good mana management tools in steady Heal casts so it should not be too impactful on your mana pool.

Effect on gameplay

Since the essence stacks through most all mana costing abilities (even Smite for Holy, even though it is free). You will want to look for casting a multitude of quick casted abilities to ensure that you maximize the effect. With the bonus haste you will likely get your Flash Heal close to the GCD depending on your gear, if not you can always use Renew to effectively stack up the benefit of the effect before using your Holy Words and Prayer of Healing during the fully stacked buff to maximize your healing value.

In many ways this is sort of a weaker form of how Disc operates, but it is an interesting playstyle to potentially work with, especially considering the magnitude of mana regen that will be available to healers through new potions, alchemy stones and enchants.

Vision of Perfection — Perfection-Enhancing Gearbox

  • Use on: Raids

Vision activates a quick burst of healing from Divine Hymn, you do not have to channel to utilize the ability it just appears as a quick burst out of your character and does not interrupt spellcasting. Through testing it has maintained a decent benefit to the player with minimal interaction required. The only question remaining for it is whether you will be able to properly benefit from the minor trait that comes attached to the major.

To take full advantage you would want to reasonably take advantage of the reduced cooldown of the Hymn to get an extra or early cast in for extra benefit. This is very difficult to do in most raid encounters, making it a situational essence at best.

Conflict and Strife — Rib-Bone Choker of Dominance

  • Use on: PVP?

With a PvP talent that allows immunity to a loss-of-control effect this talent looks to have extremely situational usage for raids and mythic+. The Minor Power grants stacking Versatility, which is decent but there are better bonuses from other Minor Powers to take instead. This Essence can also be used for an immunity to certain loss of control effects, notably Mythic Ashvane.

Vitality Conduit — Grid of Bursting Vitality

  • Use on: ???

An incredibly awkward and ill-suited essence. It basically does the same job, but worse, of existing essences. The idea behind it is to have constant healing redistribution throughout the Major and Minor effects but still leaves the issue that there is still healing to be done. When a tank is taking very heavy damage this trait can help alleviate the pressure onto the party, but that means little if there is damage going out onto the entire group.

It is only until the Rank 3 that the passive actually contributes additional healing in the form of a small absorption effect. Until that point other essences can support the tank in a more effective way without harming the rest of the party along the way.


Best Holy Priest Minor Essences

Two additional Minor Essence slots can be unlocked over time, providing additional benefit. While the above rankings already detailed several minor bonuses, the rankings below consider only the Minor or how it might interact when using it alongside a different Major Essence. Anything not listed is currently considered undesirable or has no noteworthy interaction.

The Well of Existance — Calibrated Existence Gauge

  • Use on: Additional raw throughput, Raids/Mythic+

With Holy's Mastery Echo of Light, the spec naturally generates consistent overheal. You make an upfront cost to heal with spells like Prayer of Healing or your Holy Words so your mastery will naturally leave some residue overhealing onto the target.

This means that there is very high likelihood that you will have little issue bolstering your Well's reserves in a Raid or Mythic+ environment and you just grant a new tool to distribute bonus healing whenever a target drops low.

Effect on gameplay

Continue to charge up your Well. In Raids this will often happen naturally and you should not waste mana to charge the Well. In Mythic+ where you are able to frequently drink between pulls, you should more frequently use Prayer of Healing on easy pulls to heal your party, even if only 2 or 3 are injured, rather than using single target abilities like Flash Heal so that you can generate more overheal to your Well in preparation for dangerous pulls that may catch you off guard.

The Ever-Rising Tide — The Tome of the Quickening Tides

  • Use on: Raids, General Mythic+

Taking just the minor essence will grant strong primary stats and mana return whenever you're lower on mana. Its a good balance between both effects with a solid proc chance.

Effect on gameplay

Entirely passive.

Life-Binder's Invocation — Lingering Seed of Renewal

  • Use on: Raids/Mythic+

Provides additional trickle healing for Raids and Mythic+ particularly against group-wide damage in 5 mans with Grievous and Bursting. This can also be an excellent trait to take later on in a raiding environment where essences like Well that are dependent on the target's HP will lose value as stamina increases.

Effect on gameplay

None.

Memory of Lucid Dreams — Pearl of Perspicuous Intentions

  • Use on: Raid and Situational Mythic+ Support

A strong mana restoration essence. Lucid Dreams grants a substantial portion of mana return to the caster and helps offset the heavy cost of spells. The fact that Holy is generally a very mana efficient spec as is, this essence may not be a priority in just its minor state alone. If you really needed as much mana as you possibly could get, you'd often just take the major version of this essence.

Effect on gameplay

It is an entirely passive effect but does an excellent job of stabilizing your mana pool on long or particularly taxing fights. Holy has many spells with similar mana costs so it is likely to have a higher than average level of regen compared to other healers throughout the encounter.

This means, that if you are able to get by with external mana tools like Innervate, you are using the new Alchemist Stone, or other mana sources this essence might be skipped in favor of others that bolster your pure throughput.

Vision of Perfection — Perfection-Enhancing Gearbox

  • Use on: Situational Raid

Reduces the cooldown of Divine Hymn in its passive form. This essence is only really valuable to take if you are able to generate an additional cast of Divine Hymn at a critical time in the encounter or utilize an extra cast on the side.

Effect on gameplay

Entirely passive.

Artifice of Time — Azerite-Fueled Timequartz

  • Use on: Cutting Edge Raid and Mythic+

An interesting Minor effect that grants substantial Haste uptime to players healed. Artifice of Time can offer a bit of extra damage that can make a critical difference on bosses with tight damage checks in a raid encounter. In PTR testing multiple healers could grant multiple Haste bonuses to players allowing a substantial benefit if all 4 or 5 healers were using this passive.

Effect on gameplay

Minimal. Maintain Echo on the DPS that pay you the most gold!

Vitality Conduit — Grid of Bursting Vitality

  • Use on: Situational Mythic+

Health redistribution that alleviates pressure on the lowest health target but does very minor effective healing. This could most likely see use in some Mythic+ environments where you want to assist the tank in a greater capacity. Unfortunately it holds a similar role to Well's passive effect in Mythic where the Well will actually produce additional healing rather than taking health from other players.

Effect on gameplay

None.




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