Playstyle & Rotation
The Holy Priest is a relatively straightforward healer, with no ramp mechanic, and nearly only reactive healing, making the spec relatively easy to handle in the first place.
Even though proactivity is not that much needed, there are still things that can be said about the spec, and both of the types of builds we saw earlier (AoE & Single Target) will be discussed for raids, on top of some M+ notes.
In terms of defensives, thanks to Translucent Image, your Fade will act as a very short-cooldown defensive. It won’t save you from insane damage inputs, but the fact that you can press it every 20 to 30 seconds, it has to be used and overused on nearly every raid-wide mechanic.
Protective Light is a very strong addition to the toolkit since it will give you the same reduction without any cooldown. Since it’s tied to Flash Heal, do note that Binding Heals will work, too, in this situation, allowing you to cast it on any target you want while still giving you the damage reduction buff.
On top of that, you obviously still have your Desperate Prayer available, increasing your maximum health.
Whatever the build you choose, even if it’s a heavy-healing build without talents such as Empyreal Blaze, try to keep casting Holy Fire on cooldown during any encounter, or as much as possible, on top of maintaining Shadow Word: Pain. The requirement is not super heavy, whether it’s in term of mana or GCD commitment, since you don’t have ramp windows, and the DPS gain will be noticeable.
Weave-in some Smites when you have downtimes after that if you can.
Playstyle In Raids:
The Prayer of Healing build will always require you to use Circle of Healing beforehand, then use Prayer of Healing with a reduced cost and cast time thanks to Prayer Circle, which will be the core of your healing.
It is very important to keep using Prayer of Mending on cooldown. You have a lot of synergies available in this build, like Benediction (which gives you a chance to leave a Renew) Prayers of the Virtuous & Say Your Prayers (will increase the number of jumps) and Answered Prayers, providing you with Apotheosis for 8 seconds after your Prayer of Mending heals 50 times.
The Apotheosis granted via Answered Prayers currently does not refresh a charge of your Holy Words, so there is no need to plan for that before proc’ing it.
Divine Image is a way better talent than it used to be now that it has been fixed & improved a bit. It works this way:
- When you cast a Holy Word spell, you’ll spawn a Naaru for 9 seconds.
- If a Naaru is already active, you’ll instead gain another stack, improving the Naaru’s effectiveness.
- Each stack has its own 9 seconds duration tied to it.
The Naaru will cast different spells, tied to yours, that will generally match the effects of your own casts, but with a reduced power:
- Prayer of Healing will trigger Dazzling Lights
- Flash Heal will trigger Healing Light
- Holy Nova will trigger Light Eruption
- Smite / Shadow Word: Pain / Mindgames will trigger Searing Light
- Renew will trigger Tranquil Light
- Holy Word: Sanctify will trigger Blessed Light
This talent doesn’t require a big shift in term of gameplay, and will provide a good overall increase to your throughput.
If you prefer to swap to Divine Word for some more controlled-quick burst windows, it can be used with a lot of flexibility thanks to its 1-minute cooldown, either for pure healing or for DPS at the start of most fights, for instance.
This build is a bit more situational due to the power of the PoH build. It will help your Single Target healing quite a lot, in a similar fashion as it was during Sepulcher.
Try to always proc Lightweaver before using any Holy Word to buff Heal again via Resonant Words instead of wasting it on a Flash Heal.
Playstyle in Mythic+
Playing Holy Priest in M+ is as straightforward as the Lightweaver build, healing-wise, being very similar on the talents-side.
In terms of DPS, you want to make use of Divine Star as much as possible. It is a formidable tool in packs, especially paired with Divine Word: Chastise and Empyreal Blaze to unleash all those Holy Fires. The duration will get extended so you can blast them even in Single Target without any loss. You then want to refresh your Shadow Word: Pain, or keep DoTing new targets during downtime and/or on the move.
As for raids, the Divine Image talent is quite good now, and can be used very easily to improve either your healing or DPS without any specific build-up.
Apotheosis can be used as a DPS tool in Single Target with Holy Word: Chastise if you don’t need a healing burst in the next 2 minutes. Don’t forget it, and never sit on this cooldown for too long!
If you’re running higher keys, don’t forget to use Power Word: Shield, even though it’s not a staple of the spec as it is for Discipline. This is your only form of absorb on other people and can sometimes be the play on some big targeted mechanic if your Guardian Spirit is planned for something else or is on cooldown.
Symbol of Hope will be a strong tool to recover your teammates’ defensive cooldowns. Make sure to be vocal when you’re about to use it! As a healer, calling the whole defensive rotation for your group is important, and this spell is the best example of that.