Holy Priest Utility Overview
- Guardian Spirit — In conjunction with the Guardian Angel talent can offer a substantial healing taken an increase to the target on a very short cooldown. This will allow for extremely rapid use in any medium-large sized trash pulls and ideally you will maintain a steady flow of casts into the tank to ensure that the buff effect is not removed through its cheat death mechanic.
- Mass Dispel — Allows you to easily dispel harmful effects on allies and beneficial effects on enemies. Extremely helpful in instances like King's Rest or Underrot that have many helpful buffs for enemy mobs.
- Purify — Removes Diseases and Magic effects from a friendly target
- Psychic Scream — Fears all enemies within 8 yards, can be extremely useful for interrupting spell casts or channeled abilities like Activate Mech from Mech Jockeys in The MOTHERLODE!! Root effects like Grasp from the Depths from Aqu'sirr in Shrine and A Knot of Snakes from Merektha in Temple of Sethralliss can both be negated by using Fear instead of having to kill them, saving a great deal of time and damage.
- Dispel Magic — Offensive dispel that can purge off a single buff from an enemy
- Shackle Undead — Very situational crowd control effect that can immobilize undead enemies. Useful for Deathspeaker's in Underrot, Honorguard or Shield of Zul enemies in Atal'dazar, or crowd controlling specific enemies like the Hex Priest or Beserker leading up to the Council of Tribes encounter in King's Rest.
- Fade — Helps drop threat, often used as mobs are pulled but can also be helpful if the tank is killed, enemies swarm to the next highest on threat and you want to lower your level on the threat table.
- Leap of Faith — Friendly player displacement, can be very useful for separating players from enemy mobs or disadvantageous positions.
Important Azerite Traits
The following are the best DAMAGE ORIENTED Azerite traits from Bloodmallet. In a competitive Mythic+ environment, maximizing your damage as a healer is key towards completing the key before the timer runs out. For healing oriented Azerite traits, check the Azerite section in the directory above.Tier 1:
Holy M+ Strengths and How To Maximize Them
Holy has not changed greatly in a Mythic+ environment, their ability to bounce back from incoming damage with Holy Words still stands as a powerful part of their toolkit in BfA. These Holy Words serve as the key point of their healing kit and allow them to plan around their use to quickly reverse damage onto the group. It can also help to deal with the effects of affixes like Bursting or Grievous, and to allow the Priest to push out more damage while using Holy Words to top off players instead of Flash Heal or Prayer of Healing usage.
Consistent usage of Prayer of Mending is a huge boon in dealing with consistent damage that may go out in a dungeon. Boss fights like Sethralliss thrive on steady damage and often lead to attrition healing encounters at high keys where the player must maintain a certain high level of HPS to keep the party topped off. The enemy trash mobs before Priestess Alun'za in Atal'dazar also lead to a large pull on Mythic+ keys with high group wide damage due to charging Juggernauts that cleave and casters that spam cast DoTs onto the entire party. Holy Priest can often deal well with this steady damage through Echo of Light and Prayer of Mending consistency while utilizing Apotheosis to perform triage healing onto party members that may be overwhelmed by incoming damage.
Apotheosis also can act as a dps tool, and thanks to its short cooldown can be used quite frequently throughout an instance. Boss fights like Aqu'sirr in the Shrine of the Storm have very little group wide damage going out, often providing an opening to deal heavy damage on the pull with Bloodlust and Apotheosis while still having that cooldown come back shortly before you go into any aggressive pulls after the encounter. On a fight like Elder Leaxa in Underrot, that extra damage can be vital to avoid being overwhelmed by the soft enrage mechanic she creates by spawning multiple Blood copies. Extra damage allowing you to skip an extra phase of an encounter makes a massive difference when completing dungeons in time.
Holy M+ Weaknesses and How To Play Around Them
While their healing power is strong, Holy can also struggle to deal damage while maintaining some healing onto the group. Lacking large passive damage often makes it more difficult to maintain as heavy of damage as Discipline or other more competitive Mythic+ healers when pushing keys. Survivability can also be an issue for the Holy Priest as keys increase in level. While Discipline can often add more shielding to increase their effective health and have multiple instant casts to stabilize when on the move, Holy is very much lacking in that department so watching out for avoidable damage is key in higher Mythic+.
Holy Priest can be a viable healer to get your weekly key requirement done in time, but often when pushing higher levels the sustained damage and utility of Discipline often outweigh the kit that Holy Priest brings to the table. If you are dedicated to playing the spec in Mythic+ there are some key ways to play around some of the weak spots that Holy has. While your Holy Words often are your great strength, the pressure that they can put on the player to have them ready and available to deal with an incoming spike can cause them to lower their damage to use more frequent Flash Heal to get Holy Word: Serenity back more rapidly.
Smoothing out that pressure by using Renew on friendlies as you run towards the next mob pull can be helpful for Holy Word: Sanctify cooldown reduction, but can also help you fish for Surge of Light procs to help you reduce Serenities cooldown. Applying Renew in advance will also smooth out some initial damage that goes out when the tank first engages with a fresh pull and can delay the moment where you need to switch from dpsing to healing. Prayer of Mending casts are also important, but depending on the pull in question it may be more important to utilize greater Flash Heal casts. Pulls with heavy tank damage will often not take great advantage of PoM healing as the buff will go from the tank, heal them, then bounce to a random ally who may not be taking any damage at all. Keeping an eye on these pulls and knowing when a heavy single target is needed versus a greater party wide focus is required will make a significant difference in your performance in Mythic+.
- Infested — Specific utility like Mind Control, Shackle Undead, and Shining Force can all be extremely useful tools for removing an Infested enemy from a large group or preventing that mob from healing others around it. King's Rest, Atal'dazar and Underrot all have significant undead enemies that allow you to make frequent use of Shackle Undead to lock down the affected enemy so that the rest of the mob pack can be pulled without it and taken down. Mind Control usage can be rarer but offers a solid tool to move an enemy out of a trash pack and often into another crowd control effect like Hunter's trap or Polymorph to make sure it stays away from the rest of the group.
- Grievous — Dealing with Grievous often is a fight for quickly counteracting and preparing for the damage before it goes out. In large trash pulls which will definitely have party-wide damage, the trash pack before Priestess Alun'za or before Vol'kaal in Atal'dazar for example, will have many casters and AoE damage which hits the party. For Holy, this means consistent casts of Prayer of Mending will be key for smoothing out damage patterns and ensuring a basic level of healing onto the party before any targeted abilities like Flash Heal or Holy Word: Serenity are used to top off the group. Apotheosis should be used aggressively to ensure that 2 or 3 stack Grievous Wounds do not turn into 5. The faster that you are able to react to incoming damage, tracking the target of target from enemies, for example, is a great way to do so, the easier time you will have in dealing with Grievous Wounds.
- Bursting — Bursting is often a group based challenge, as it is extremely important to properly evaluate how many stacks your group can survive without getting overwhelmed. Holy Priest often will have an easier time with this than Discipline in the average group as their out of combat healing is the same as in combat. An important point for Bursting as Holy is to ensure that the group stacks as Bursting begins to ramp up allowing an easier time for Prayer of Healing or Holy Word: Sanctify to hit all group members. If you fall behind, you can use Guardian Spirit on the party member most likely to die to Bursting while you can spot heal other targets that need particular attention.
- Explosive — Dealing with Explosive often requires looking at the group composition to see who is most well suited to deal with them on a consistent basis. Large pulls will require other players to assist if the orb-killer gets overwhelmed. Holy is not a great orb killer but can provide some solid assistance when needed and should work to often hit new Orbs with Holy Fire whenever necessary to assist your main orb killer. If more help is required, rapid Smite casts will drop the orbs very low in a single cast and can reset the cooldown of Holy Fire in the process.
- Sanguine — Shining Force is an excellent tool to assist with the Sanguine affix, but often it is not optimal to cast off of yourself but instead to coordinate with your tank and have them call for when to cast it off of them. Due to the tank's inherent nature of sitting in melee at all times, this allows them to more easily position themselves and the mobs around them in a suitable way to take advantage of Shining Force's powerful knockback. When the tank can reasonably call and predict where the mobs will be moving towards it makes it easier to reduce the healing that Sanguine will provide to enemy trash packs.
Top M+ Dungeons To Farm
The following lists the top dungeons that can offer the most beneficial gear possible. Bear in mind that Mythic+ dungeons can not drop Azerite pieces, so this list focuses instead upon Weapon, Ring, and Trinket upgrades that are possible. The following are dungeons that will most consistently offer strong upgrade options, with rings accounting for a massive part of your total secondary stats (compared to other pieces) it will often be important to continue running instances that have multiple ring options to better help you optimize your stats. Staff options from Dungeons are fairly weak for Holy (Seabreeze/Flamecaster/Lightning Serpent) while they are strong from raids. Main Hand and Off-Hands are plentiful, so many can be targeted specifically for an instance if need be.
- Shrine of the Storm — Conch of Dark Whispers and Murky Cerulean Signet.
- MOTHERLODE — G3T-00t and Footbomb Championship Ring (haste in limited amounts is good, having a variety of near equal ilvl rings is important).
- Siege of Boralus — Band of the Ancient Dredger and Seal of the City Watch.
- Temple of Sethralliss — Jade Ophidian Band and Charged Sandstone Band.
Mythic+ Tips & Tricks
- King's Rest
- Shrine of the Storm
- Siege of Boralus
- Temple of Sethraliss
- The MOTHERLODE!!
- The Underrot
- Tol Dagor
- Waycrest Manor
Atal'Dazar Tips & Tricks
- Shackle Undead is an excellent tool in this Dungeon. It can be used to interrupt the Shieldbearer of Zul's Bulwark of Juju ability if stuns are not available.
- Shackle Undead can also be used to CC Reanimated Honor Guard or any Infested undead enemies and allow the group to prioritize other targets before taking on the honor guard which deals substantial tank and party wide damage or an infested mob that will heal others.
- The Gilded Claws from the Priestess Alun'za boss fight should be quickly purged using Dispel Magic.
- Watch out for the Dazar'ai Augur leading up to the Priestess. They spam cast Wildfire onto the party. This can be countered by using Mass Dispel to clear all the debuffs on the party then making sure the Augur is focused down and interrupted before it can cast more.
Freehold Tips & Tricks
- From the start of this instance, beware of the Irontide Corsair as they apply a Poisoning Strike that Priests cannot dispel. Look to Monks/Paladins/Druids to assist with dispelling when the tank is at high stacks.
- Skycap'n Kragg casts an Azerite Powder Shot when he dismounts. This can be outranged by the healers/ranged dps by standing near max range, substantially reducing damage taken in the phase. Instruct the melee not to stand between the ranged and the boss as the boss will still fire at the ranged or healers, but will deal no damage if you are far enough out.
- Bilge Rat Padfoot after the first boss will cast Plague Step on the tank which should be dispelled immediately as it applies a healing taken reduction to its target. It is a Disease so Paladins/Monks/Priests can all help dispel it if multiple go out.
- During the Trothak encounter in the Ring of Booty, Leap of Faith is extremely useful for helping create space between the sharks and a slow ranged player that is targeted by the Shark Toss.
- While approaching the final boss, Sweete, the Irontide Officer will cast Oiled Blade on the tank which must be dispelled immediately as it applies a 75% healing taken reduction to the target. This pull is frequently during high damage so preemptively using an external cooldown will also be extremely helpful.
King's Rest Tips & Tricks
- At the start of the instance, and near the end when fighting Shadow of Zul, you will encounter multiple Minion of Zul. These can be quickly killed with Mass Dispel or Dispel Magic.
- During the The Golden Serpent, the boss will spawn Animated Gold from the gold pools placed down. Priests can knockback these adds away from the boss with Shining Force.
- After the first boss you will fight four seperate members of Zandalari royalty and their minions in a mini-gauntlet.
- Queen Wasi casts on a player which can be immediately removed by casting Purify on them.
- King Rahu'ai will cast a Channel Lightning which can be interrupted via displacement tools like Shining Force. NOTE: Shining Force must be cast AFTER the channel starts, if it is used before, he will simply restart the cast.
- This pack will also have Guard Captain Atu who will attempt to cast an Axe Barrage onto the entire party. You can use stuns or Shackle Undead to interrupt the cast from getting off.
- King A'akul will cast Hidden Blade on a random player that a Priest is unable to dispel. This poison can only be dispelled by Monks/Paladins/Druids, so if there are any in the group, be sure to call for their dispel to help the party out.
- During the Mchimba the Embalmer boss fight, he will cast Drain Fluids on a player and can occasionally follow it up with a Burn Corruption cast on that same player. If the player is not topped off at the end of the Drain Fluids, they will receive the Dessication debuff. This is where Leap of Faith can assist in moving that player out of danger if you are not able to top them quickly enough.
- The hallway leading to the Council of Tribes encounter is filled with undead mobs that can be CC'd with Shackle Undead, take your time through this wing and CC infested or dangerous mobs like Spectral Berserker to make the run through more smooth.
- During the Zanazal the Wise fight in the Council of Tribes encounter, you can Dispel Magic the buff he receives from his Earthwall Totem as the buff will persist after the totem is killed, until the shield is depleted or purged.
Shrine of the Storm Tips & Tricks
- This instance is filled with enemies that require interrupts or purges if their self buff casts go off.
- Shrine Templar's Tidal Surge, Tidesage Spiritualist's Mending Rapids, Dredged Sailor's Reanimated Bones, Abyssal Cultist's Consuming Void and Detect Thoughts, and the Drowned Depthbringer's Touch of the Drowned cast all make Dispel Magic and Mass Dispel invaluable tools for the instance.
- On the Aqu'sirr encounter you can use Psychic Scream to release the player trapped in the Grasp from the Depths. Fear can also be very useful for helping interrupt the Ironhull Apprentice's Sundering Blow casts that greatly reduce the uptime that melee would otherwise be able to have on them.
- On the Vol'zith the Whisperer encounter at the end, the Whispers of Power can be an extremely beneficial debuff to maintain to kill the boss more rapidly. As a result, it often will be ideal to use externals like Guardian Spirit to ensure that you can survive an add cast going off or specific dangerous affixes like Quaking.
Siege of Boralus Tips & Tricks
- During the Sergeant Bainbridge encounter, Leap of Faith can be extremely useful for helping players position better to kite the boss into azerite bombs or to help a player out of the Steel Tempest that comes after the Hangman's Noose cast drags the player into melee range.
- Ashvane Commander that you face throughout this instance will cast Bolstering Shout onto nearby enemies that should be Mass Dispeled immediately.
- On the Dread Captain Lockwood encounter, the boss will cast Evasive on herself which can be removed through slows or snares. Priest can assist with this by using Shining Force on the boss if no other slows are available. The slow effect of the knockback should remove the debuff and allow for greater melee uptime on the boss.
- While moving to the third boss, the Bilge Rat Cutthroat will cast the Rotting Wounds disease that a Priest can dispel to quickly take off the reduced healing effect that is applied to the tank.
- Ahead of that are also Ashvane Invader that quickly stack Stinging Venom Coating onto their tank. Again, another poison that a Priest cannot dispel and will look to Paladins/Monks/Druids to assist with dispelling when at high stacks.
- Before you get to the third boss room, you move past the roadblock established by the enemies. If a member of your party is running back after a death you can Leap of Faith them over the roadblock to catch up with the group more rapidly.
- The final boss Viq'Goth has many line of sight issues on the encounter and casts a nasty Putrid Waters that deals a substantial amount of damage over the duration. Look to dispel early and often on this fight, weave in Mass Dispel if the need arises to quickly catch up on debuffs.
Temple of Sethraliss Tips & Tricks
- The first boss combo can be especially deadly due to the burst damage they both can deal. Aspix in particular will cast Conduction on an ally which is rapidly followed up by a Static Shock onto the entire party, threatening one-shot potential on high keys. Defensives, externals and raid cooldowns should be utilized for this to ensure survival.
- Sandswept Marksman apply a particular annoying poison that you should call for assistance from Pally/Druid/Monk in dispelling as the Neurotoxin will sleep the target if they move after it is applied.
- Faithless Tender start out with a Embryonic Vigor buff when you engage them that should be Mass Dispeled off immediately to reduce the damage the tank takes.
- During the Merektha boss fight, the Priest can use Psychic Scream to remove the player stunned by A Knot of Snakes.
- Before the third boss you will encounter multiple Agitated Nimbus that have Accumulate Charge buffs that need to be removed via Dispel Magic.
- Upon entering the room for the final boss you will have to fight four Hoodoo Hexer that will apply plenty of Flame Shock debuffs. Use Mass Dispel if you start to fall behind on dispels.
- During the Avatar of Sethraliss encounter you should always seek to assist in damaging the Hexers to push to the healing phase more rapidly. The spot where most groups run into trouble is the Rain of Toads. Here multiple Plague Toads drop down from the sky and rush multiple players applying the Plague disease that stacks. As a Priest, you can dispel these diseases so the easiest way to reduce the damage on your group is to get your most mobile member of your group to run around the room stepping on these toads and you quickly dispelling multiple stacks off of them at once. If you have multiple ranged dps players you can also kite, slow, stun and kill the toads before the hit a player, but generally as a priest you will be immobile so it is very helpful if that mobile player, preferably the tank, can soak all the toads can get dispelled. If many party members are being afflicted by the toads it causes you to take focus away from healing Avatar of Sethraliss and making the fight that much more difficult.
The MOTHERLODE!! Tips & Tricks
- The MOTHERLODE is filled with mobs that apply nasty debuffs to players and helpful buffs to allies, making Dispel Magic and Mass Dispel exceedingly important.
- Psychic Scream also serves as an excellent aoe interrupt if needed AND as long as the mobs are all able to quickly be broken out of their fears so as to not pull into other mobs on accident.
- Mobs that will need purges in this instance include: Venture Co. Earthshaper's Earth Shield, Stonefury's Tectonic Barrier, and Venture Co. Mastermind's Azerite Injection. Many times these mobs will coincide with harmful debuffs on the party so Mass Dispel can handle both jobs extremely easily.
- Psychic Scream is especially helpful early on in the instance for many enemies. These include: Mech Jockey's Activate Mech, Hired Assassin's Hail of Flechettes, Refreshment Vendor's Iced Spritzer and Kaja'Cola Refresher, and Earthrager's Resonant Quake. Of this short list, only the Refreshment Vendor can be interrupted through a conventional kick. The rest's casts are immune to kicks but can be "interrupted" by using Psychic Scream just AFTER their channels begin.
- This instance is particularly trash heavy so positioning, planning and frequent external usage is encouraged. Plan your routes!
The Underrot Tips & Tricks
- Devout Blood Priest are a priority for using Dispel Magic on the target of their Gift of G'huun.
- After the first boss, Feral Bloodswarmer are the most disruptive enemies that you will face and should be focused down immediately as their Thirst For Blood deals heavy damage to their target and is difficult to shut down.
- As a Priest in this instance, Diseased Lasher are among the lower priorities as you can easily dispel the Decaying Mind debuff that goes out onto allies. The more Paladins/Priests/Monks that you have in your group, the more aggressive you can be with pulling these lashers as you will have a wealth of dispels at the ready to break out friendlies.
- Reanimated Guardian after Cragmaw cast a Bone Shield onto themselves which should be Mass Dispeled off immediately to allow the DPS to continue killing them.
- They are frequently accompanied by a Fallen Deathspeaker which can be shut down through Shackle Undead use. Any time there is a Raise Dead or Wicked Frenzy cast, you can use Shackle Undead to stop the cast, though often the enemy will try to cast again when the Shackle breaks so this is an excellent stall tactic, but often is not a long term solution to this enemy unless you isolate it on the pull and do not damage it until it is the only focus for the dps.
- Sporecaller Zancha is an easy fight for the healer Priest as you are consistently able to clear out extra Decaying Spores before Festering Harvest and dispel yourself before the stacks get too high if the dps do a poor job of clearing pods. Keep in mind that Mass Dispel will not dispel Diseases, so if multiple debuffs go out onto the group at a time your only recourse is to use your single dispel or just heal them through it.
- The Unbound Abomination frequently stacks a Putrid Blood debuff onto the party which is often removed via the Cleansing Light from Titan Keeper Hezrel. If the Titan is killing Blood Visages then he will not assist in clearing the debuffs, so utilizing a Mass Dispel periodically is very helpful.
Tol Dagor Tips & Tricks
- Like in MOTHERLODE!!, Tol Dagor has many mobs that are extremely susceptible to Psychic Scream's effective "interrupt" capabilities. These include: Silt Crab's Squeeze, Ashvane Jailer's Riot Shield, Ashvane Officer's Handcuff, and the Ashvane Warden's Lockdown. All of these mobs are unable to be kicked, but their abilities will be canceled and not repeated after the fear falls off if cast during their channels.
- Other mobs in the instance are also very easily countered by using Mass Dispel or Dispel Magic to remove their helpful buffs or dispel your allies easily. In Tol Dagor specifically, these would be: Irontide Thug's Debilitating Shout, Blacktooth Arsonist's Torch Strike, Bilge Rat Looter's Darkstep, Bilge Rat Seaspeaker's Watery Dome, Jes Howlis's Motivating Cry, and Ashvane Marine's Suppression Fire.
- Constant dispels are a large theme in this dungeon and will be key towards a smooth run. Coordinating with the group for kicks, interrupts or rotating purges will be key to completing in time.
- While recently nerfed, Overseer Korgus is still a very challenging encounter that is only made more difficult by poor positioning. Moving the group into the small dugouts at the four points of the rectangular room greatly assists in players positioning themselves against walls to mitigate the knockback effects.
Waycrest Manor Tips & Tricks
- Waycrest Manor possesses not only the common farmfolk, but also a high amount of enemies that buff themselves or apply rapid debuffs onto players that require frequent Dispel Magic and Mass Dispel. The priority enemies to watch out for include: Bewitched Captain's Spirited Defense, and Marked Sister's Soul Fetish for self buffs, while Heartsbane Vinetwister's Grasping Thorns and Coven Thornshaper's Infected Thorn are two priority mobs that require individual dispels.
- On the Soulbound Goliath encounter healers will frequently generate threat from healing and that can draw the aggro of the Burning Souls that spawn from the boss'Burning Brush mechanic. If you need to plant your feet and heal an ally, it can be very beneficial to Fade off the aggro, alert your party members that the ghosts will switch targets (encouraging them to help kite) and using that window to top off the injured ally. Failing to notify the group can cause an unsuspecting player to take heavy damage from Burning Fists, so be cautious with its use.
- Raal the Gluttonous is one of the easier encounters in the instance but Priests can be helpful in long tyrannical boss fights in helping avoid the Consume Servant mechanic by knocking any Wasting Servant away with Shining Force before he can eat them for the damage buff.
- On the final boss Gorak Tul, Priests can again use Shining Force to displace the Deathtouched Slaver who stun other players with their Death Lens casts. This cast can be interrupted by displacing the enemy WHILE they are channeling Lens, ideally at the start of the cast so the affected dps does not lose uptime.