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MoP Priest Spells

Posted by Malevica on November - 24 - 2011

In a previous post I talked about the talents Priests will get to choose from in Mists of Pandaria. Under the new system most of the old spec-specific talents will be granted to players as they level up along with general class skills, instead of needing the investment of talent points. Yesterday Blizzard released a very early pre-alpha version of their Talent Calculator, which included lists of the spells we will acquire and the levels at which we will acquire them.

Looking at the spells and trees as posted there are some striking gaps and omissions, and some of the talent and spell descriptions don’t line up with each other. Remember that this is pre-beta information and will undoubtedly change before release. The sky is not falling! If it still looks like this a week before release, then we’ll panic.
This post, like the previous one, is simply to see what the announcements thus far suggests about the intentions of the developers and to look at how the new system may work.

Credit goes to Harpy’s Nest for getting a list up in a really handy format along with some insightful analysis, and I’d strongly recommend you head over there and check out her post then come back. I’m going to lay out the spell lists out separately, so it’s worth keeping both views in mind.
Another take comes from the legendary Derevka, who adds some very healthy ladlefuls of caution to his analysis.

And here’s mine:

Caveat: There are some big omissions in these tables, spells which seem to have vanished altogether, such as Mind Blast and Prayer of Healing. There’s also spells that don’t make sense, or which appear otherwise odd. Bashiok has already said Prayer of Healing’s absence is an oversight and that it won’t be the only quirk in these very early talent/spell lists, which makes it impossible to draw firm conclusions like “Spell X: Gone!”. Where we can draw slightly more reasonable inferences is when spells have been deliberately placed in one or another spec list, although of course even that may change dramatically.

Here’s the full quote from Bashiok:

The calculator contains elements that are experimental, still in the process of implementation, or in some cases outright failed experiments that we already intend to revise or replace. Odds are good that if it looks like we’ve forgotten some critical piece of a particular class toolkit, it’s either accounted for elsewhere, or simply a data glitch (e.g., Prayer of Healing is currently absent from the calculator – we are not taking Prayer of Healing away from priests, and Devastate for warriors probably won’t sunder armor 453%). Our hope is that revealing the calculator in this state will shed light on the philosophy behind our talent overhaul, and let you get a sense of how pieces of your core rotational gameplay, such as Hot Streak, Riptide, or Sudden Doom, fit into the new system.

The Spells

 

Class Spells

This is the set of spells that all Priests get as their baseline toolkit, which gets supplemented by their spec-specific spells.

Level Spell Tooltip
1 Smite Smite an enemy for 858 Holy damage
3 Shadow Word: Pain A word of darkness that causes 1398 Shadow damage over 18 sec.
5 Power Word: Shield Draws on the soul of the friendly target to shield them, absorbing 9123 damage. Lasts 15s. While the shield holds, spellcasting will not be interrupted by damage. Once shielded, the target cannot be shielded again for 15 sec.
7 Flash Heal Heals a friendly target for 7603.
9 Inner Fire A burst of Holy energy fills the caster, increasing the armor value from items by 60% and spell power by 2052.
18 Resurrection Brings a dead ally back to life with 35% health and mana. Cannot be cast when in combat.
22 Power Word: Fortitude Power infuses all party and raid members, increasing their stamina by 2257 for 1 hour. If the target is in your party or raid, all party and raid members will be affected.
26 Dispel Magic Dispels magic on the target, removing 2 harmful spells from yourself or 1 beneficial spell from an enemy.
32 Shadow Word: Death A word of dark binding that inflicts 408 Shadow damage to the target. Deals three times as much damage to targets below 25% health.

If the target is not killed by Shadow Word: Death, the caster takes damage equal to the damage inflicted upon the target.

34 Levitate Allows the friendly party or raid member to levitate, floating a few feet above the ground. While levitating, the target will fall at a reduced speed and travel over water. Any damage will cancel the effect. Lasts until cancelled.
38 Mind Control Controls a humanoid mind up to level 93, but increases the time between its attacks by 25%. Lasts up to 30 sec.
42 Mind Vision Allows the caster to see through the target’s eyes for 1 min. Will not work if the target is in another instance or on another continent.
50 Mysticism (Passive) Increases your Intellect by 5%
64 Shadowfiend Creates a shadowy fiend to attack the target. Caster receives 3% mana when the Shadowfiend attacks. Damage taken by area of effect attacks is reduced. Lasts 15 sec.
76 Mind Sear Causes an explosion of shadow magic around the target, causing 268 Shadow damage every 1 sec for 5 sec to all enemies within 10 yards around the target.
80 Inner Will A burst of Holy energy fills the caster, reducing the mana cost of instant cast spells by 15% and increasing your movement speed by 10%.

You can only have Inner Will or Inner Fire active at a time.

84 Leap of Faith You pull the spirit of the friendly party or raid target to you, instantly moving them directly in front of you.

 

What we see in this table is a list of basics (e.g. Flash Heal, Inner Fire/Will, Power Word: Shield, Smite, Shadow Word: Pain) and utility spells (e.g. Resurrection, Power Word: Fortitude, Levitate). The spec-specific lists are where the differentiation is to be expected.

As noted in the caveat above, Mind Blast and Mind Spike are gone entirely. I don’t expect them to have really been removed, but neither is it clear at this stage where they’ll end up. I’m hoping they’ll be shunted out to the Shadow list, leaving healing specs with fewer less-relevant abilities to worry about. Notably though all Priests keep Mind Sear and SW:P, which is good because they have specific uses. The new skill and talent system allows the developers to separate out spells far more precisely than before and declutter our spellbooks, and it’s good to see them using that.

Our Shadowy brethren will be pleased that they aren’t going to be troubled by all those pesky healing spells in their spellbook and on their bars in the future, since all but the essentials have been shifted out to the spec lists. Shadow healing is left with PW:S and Flash Heal, while the slower heals are reserved for the healing specs now.

Another notable absentee is Shadow Protection. At this stage it’s a bit early to conclude that it’s been consigned to the bin, but I can’t say I’ll miss it if it is going.

Discipline Spells
Level Spell Tooltip
10 Penance Launches a volley of holy light at the target, causing 874 Holy damage to an enemy or 3370 healing to an ally instantly and every 1 sec for 2 sec.
18 Holy Fire Consumes the enemy in Holy flames that cayse 1251 Holy damage and an additional 420 Holy damage over 7 sec.
32 Rapture (Passive) When your Power Word: Shield is completely absorbed or dispelled you are instantly energised with 7% of your total mana. This effect can only occur once every 12 sec.
34 Greater Heal A slow casting spell that heals a single target for 10136.
36 Inner Focus Reduces the mana cost of your next Flash Heal, Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing by 100% and increases its critical effect chance by 25%.
44 Evangelism (Passive) When you cast Smite, Holy Fire or Mind Flay you gain Evangelism. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts for 20 sec.

Evangelism (Smite, Holy Fire)
Increases the damage done by your Smite, Holy Fire and Penance spells by 4% and reduces the mana cost of those spells by 6%.

Dark Evangelism (Mind Flay)
Increases the damage done by your Periodic Shadow spells by 2%.

45 Grace (Passive) Your Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Spirit Shell and Penance spells bless the target with Grace, increasing all healing received from the Priest by 10%. This effect will stack up to 3 times. Effect lasts X.
58 Pain Suppression Instantly reduces a friendly target’s threat by 5%, and reduces all damage they take by 40% for 8 sec.
66 Hymn of Hope Restores 2% mana to 3 nearby low mana friendly party or raid targets every 2 sec for 8 sec, and increases their total maximum mana by 15% for 8 sec. Maximum of 12 mana restores. The Priest must channel to maintain the spell.
68 Prayer of Mending Places a spell on the target that heals them for 3332 the next time they take damage. When the heal occurs, Prayer of Mending jumps to a party or raid member within 20 yards. Jumps up to 5 times and lasts 30 sec after each jump. This spell can only be placed on one target at a time.
70 Power Word: Barrier Summons a holy barrier on the target location that reduces all damage done to friendly targets by 25%. While within the barrier, spellcasting will not be interrupted by damage. The barrier lasts for 10 sec.
78 Train of Thought When you heal with Greater Heal, the cooldown of your Inner Focus is reduced by X sec.

When you Smite, the cooldown of your Penance is reduced by Y sec.

80 Mastery: Shield Discipline (Passive) Increases the potency of all your damage absorption spells by 20%. Each point of Mastery increases the potency of absorbs by an additional 2.5%.

 

A pretty familiar toolkit.

The healing spells have been split between Holy and Discipline in an interesting fashion: Discipline got to share Greater Heal while Holy wrested Binding Heal, Heal, Renew and Divine Hymn entirely from our fingertips. If this is how it ends up then I’ll be a little sad to lose so much of the flexibility that I’ve enjoyed as a result of playing a Priest; Discipline will be left with Flash Heal, Greater Heal and Penance for tanks and (possibly) Prayer of Healing for the raid, which really does push us squarely down the tank-healing road.

One could speculate that this is intentional, to split the Priest specs more definitively into tank- and raid-healing specs, but this doesn’t feel like the best way of achieving that goal. Then again, in 4.2 I don’t often find myself using anything on the list besides Binding Heal, I just like being able to when the situation demands it. As I’ve said, this is early days, so I’m hardly freaking out!

Another one to add to the list of notable omissions is Divine Aegis. I’d be very surprised if this didn’t make a reappearance, since it’s so central to how Discipline healing currently works.

I my previous post I speculated about who might be able to take advantage of the Archangel talent, and looking at these spell lists, Discipline is the only spec given an Evangelism spell. However, Shadow currently has no Dark Evangelism spell while the talent specifically refers to a dark version, so either the talent or the spells will have to be changed.

Holy Spells
Level Spell Tooltip
10 Holy Word: Chastise Chastise the target for 727 Holy damage, and disorients them for 3 sec.
18 Holy Fire Consumes the enemy in Holy flames that cayse 1251 Holy damage and an additional 420 Holy damage over 7 sec.
26 Renew Heals the target for 1373 every 3 sec for 12 sec.
28 Heal Heal your target for 3801.
30 Spirit of Redemption (Passive) Upon death, the priest becomes the Spirit of Redemption for 15s. The Spirit of Redemption cannot move, attack, be attacked or targeted by any spells or effects. While in this form the priest can cast any healing spell free of cost. When the effect ends, the priest dies.
32 Holy Concentration (Passive) Increases the amount of mana regeneration from Spirit while in combat by an additional 30%.
34 Greater Heal A slow casting spell that heals a single target for 10136.
36 Lightwell Creates a Holy Lightwell. Friendly players can click the lightwell to restore 11133 health over 6 sec. Attacks done to you equal to 30% of your total health will cancel the effect. Lightwell lasts for 3 min or 10 charges.
48 Binding Heal Heals a friendly target and the caster for 6085. Low threat.
50 Circle of Healing Heals up to 5 friendly party or raid members within X yards of the target for 2725. Prioritizes healing the most injured party members.
56 Chakra When activated, your next Heal, Flash Heal, Greater
Heal, Binding Heal, Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Mind Spike or Smite will put you into a Chakra state.

Serenity (Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal)
Increases the critical effect chance of your direct healing spells by 10%, and causes your direct heals to refresh the duration of your Renew on the target.

Sanctuary (Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending)
Increases the healing done by your area of effect spells and Renew by 15% and reduces the cooldown of your Circle of Healing by 2 sec.

Chastise (Smite, Mind Spike)
Increases your total damage done by Shadow and Holy spells by 15%.

68 Prayer of Mending Places a spell on the target that heals them for 3332 the next time they take damage. When the heal occurs, Prayer of Mending jumps to a party or raid member within 20 yards. Jumps up to 5 times and lasts 30 sec after each jump. This spell can only be placed on one target at a time.
70 Guardian Spirit Calls upon a guardian spirit to watch over the friendly target. The spirit increases the healing received by the target by 60%, and also prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself. This sacrifice terminates the effect, but heals the target of 50% of their maximum health. Lasts 10 sec.
74 Revelations (Passive) While within Chakra: Serenity or Chakra: Sanctuary, your Holy Word: Chastise ability will transform into a
different ability depending on which state you are in.

Holy Word: Serenity
Instantly heals the target for 6322, and increases the critical effect chance of your healing spells on the target by 25% for 6 sec. 15 sec cooldown.

Holy Word: Sanctuary
Blesses the ground with Divine light, healing all withinit for 367 every 2 sec for 18 sec. Only one Sanctuary can be active at any one time. 40 sec cooldown.

78 Divine Hymn Heals 5 nearby lowest health friendly party or raid targets within 40 yards for 4496 every 2 sec for 8 sec, and increases healing done to them by 10% for 8 sec. Maximum of 20 heals. The Priest must channel to maintain the spell.
80 Mastery: Echo of Light (Passive) Your direct healing spells heal for an additional 10% over 6 sec. Each point of Mastery provides an additional 1.25% healing over 6 sec.

 

As noted in the Discipline section, Holy seems to have come away with the lion’s share of the juicy healing spells, at least at this stage. I’m not so concerned about Divine Hymn being Holy-only, since it slots in as the rough counterpart to Power Word: Barrier while Guardian Spirit counters Pain Suppression.

Honestly, I suspect this separation is just an artefact of the state of the spell lists when the snapshot was taken to create the talent calculator. It would be odd for Blizzard to implement a 3 Heals system in Catalcysm, praise its success, then ignore it again one expansion later.

Disciple/Holy Overlaps

There are a few overlapping spells too, listed here for completeness.

Level Spell Tooltip
18 Holy Fire Consumes the enemy in Holy flames that cayse 1251 Holy damage and an additional 420 Holy damage over 7 sec.
34 Greater Heal A slow casting spell that heals a single target for 10136.
68 Prayer of Mending Places a spell on the target that heals them for 3332 the next time they take damage. When the heal occurs, Prayer of Mending jumps to a party or raid member within 20 yards. Jumps up to 5 times and lasts 30 sec after each jump. This spell can only be placed on one target at a time.

 

Conclusions

Well, as I’ve said throughout, there’s not much to conclude at such an early stage. There are some general observations though.

I find it reassuring to see that the old familiar talent abilities haven’t all been lost, and those that are missing may well turn up again in due course. This suggests that healing won’t be changing too dramatically into MoP, which is good given that it’s had one shake-up recently.

There is a note of concern that so many of the core Priest healing spells we all know and love seem to have been given to Holy only. This might just be because of the time the snapshot was taken, it might be an oversight, it might be a deliberate design decision to nudge the classes in distinct directions. I hope they don’t go quite as far as these lists suggest, because I think that could lead to a loss of flexibility. I can understand the argument that it would simplify the class for players if you simply didn’t get given Renew, for example, if you’re in the “wrong” spec for it; I’ve heard it said that possibly Priests have ended up with too many options. But a lot of the appeal of the Priest over other healing classes, for me, is having that expanded toolkit, so I’m hoping the separation isn’t permanent.

Of course, none of this may mean anything by the time the next iteration comes around, the only real way to know how MoP will play is to get in there in the beta and try it out, which I will of course be doing as soon as it’s available!



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Categories: Analysis and Theorycrafting, Opinion

2 Responses so far.

  1. Grav says:

    That definately looks like a capital “H” to me. I’ve been misled.

    • Malevica says:

      The little “h” looked all asymmetrical. It was originally lower-case though.

      Tell you what, I’ll create a special banner and favicon just for your IP address :P

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