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Holy Priest DPS – Patch 5.4

This article is relevant Holy Priest DPS spec to World of Warcraft Mist of Pandaria 5.4 patch.
Last update: 21st September 2013 || Version 1.20

Since the release of Warlords of Draenor, this guide is now redundant due to changes to Priest class and mechanics. This guide is still online for legacy purposes. My latest version of my Holy Priest DPS guide is available.

Background

This article is about how to play a Holy Priest DPS spec for PvE and raiding in World of Warcraft 5.4 patch. This summary is not meant to the definitive ‘how-to’ manual but more of a general guide. Each player is different, so please adapt this guide to your playing style.

Gameplay

The Holy Priest has become a very capable DPS class thanks to specific talents, glyphs and buffs. The damage output for a Holy Priest DPS can meet and yet sometimes exceed that of a Shadow Priest whilst having the added advantage of having more healing spells which can be used in a time of need or help with the additional healing to the main healers in a raid encounter; an ‘off-healer’ as you will. This gives the Holy Priest DPS spec a true hybrid combination which might intrigue some Priest players to take up the spec.

Stats priority and gear

If you are planning to play only as a Holy Priest DPS, there are only three statistics that are important to your spec:

Intellect > Haste > Critical strike

That’s all you need. Spell Hit, mastery and spirit are dead stats.

Intellect translates directly into spell damage. The more intellect your Priest has, the more damage (and more healing if you are playing as an off-healer) they will achieve: you can’t have enough of it.

Haste is for reducing the cast time of your spells, but there is a soft haste cap though. As Smite is the only spell with a cast time, you could have too much haste if you find your cast time is shorter than the Global Cooldown (GCD) if Bloodlust/Time Warp, Power Infusion has been applied. Smite will be your main spell, so the more Smites you can cast, all the better.

Critical strike rating is the probable chance of scoring double damage on a target.

Holy Priests already have 15% Spell Hit thanks to your Divine Fury passive spell, so you don’t need any Spell Hit gear. Regardless of what the in-game tooltip reads, Divine Fury also affects Shadow spells whilst in Holy specialisation. Replace all your Spell Hit gear if you haven’t done so already, it’s a complete waste.

Mastery only affects your healing spells (Echo of Light), so if you are planning to play an off-healer then you may want to stack some Mastery. Some healing Priests may argue it has little benefit, it’s purely up to you but any additional healing is beneficial.

Spirit is only needed for mana regeneration. Whilst this is not as important anymore thanks to Chakra: Chastise and Evangelism, you may find that some Spirit gear beneficial if you find yourself on ‘Add Control’ as multi-DOTing with Shadow Word: Pain and Mind Sear can cost a lot of mana. But the spell Hymn of Hope and talent Mindbender will help in mana regeneration.

Best In Slot

The list of gear shown below is what I consider to be Best in Slot (BiS) loot for Holy Priest DPS. The choices is not based on ‘in-game’ statistical data but based on the stats of the gear and description of its tooltip. Please note, the list is subjective and more of a guide so no doubt will change over time, therefore the list is subject to change.

SlotItem
HeadHood of the Ternion Glory
NecklaceNecklace of Fading Light (Reforge Spirit into Critical Strike)
ShoulderShoulderguards of the Ternion Glory
BackXing-Ho, Breath of Yu'lon (Reforge Mastery into Spirit, to help with mana regeneration)
ChestMantid Vizier's Robes
WristBracers of Sonic Projection
GlovesMontak's Grips of Scorching Breath
BeltSash of the Last Guardian (Reforge Spirit into Haste)
LegsLeggings of the Ternion Glory (Reforge Mastery into Haste)
FeetSkydancer Boots (Reforge Spirit into Critical Strike)
Ring 1Signet of the Dinomancers (Reforge Mastery into Critical Strike)
Ring 2Laser-Slice Signet (Reforge Spirit into Critical Strike)
Trinket 1Black Blood of Y'Shaarj
Trinket 2Purified Bindings of Immerseus
1H weaponHorned Mace of the Old Ones (Reforge Spirit into Critical Strike)
2H weaponLever of the Megantholithic Apparatus
Off-handJuggernaut's Power Core

Enchants and gems

Use enchants and gems that give you intellect, haste or critical strike. Which ones will depend on what you already have and what you need the most. Any enchants that give hit, mastery and/or spirit are a complete waste and these need to be replaced.

Reforging

The ideal gear to have and collect will be gear with just haste and critical strike (stamina and intellect come as default). Unfortunately, there will be times when you’ll have gear that will have mastery or spirit. Reforge these lesser stats into a stat that you need most. Unfortunately, there is no Tier bonus for Holy Priest DPS, but if you have to collect Tier gear, collect the Holy Tier gear.

Talents

There are only two talents that directly give you a direct DPS increase: Mindbender and Power Infusion.

Mindbender gives a DPS increase through the damage caused by your Mindbender pet. Solace and Insanity does not give a direct DPS increase as it replaces your Holy Fire spell, but some players may want to take this talent to provide additional healing to players. From Darkness Comes Light is a healing talent. Power Infusion is a straight up DPS increase with the 20% increase in haste and 5% increase in damage.

Twist of Fate talent maybe consider instead of Power Infusion if you find you are dealing with encounters with a lot of adds. Twist of Fate can also help with healing, so if you are also playing as a off-healer, then Twist of Fate would be the talent for you.

As Cascade, Divine Star and Halo talents can do damage as well as healing, I feel choosing one of these talents is either personal preference or boss situational.

Glyphs

There are many Holy Priest major glyphs to choose from but there is only one major glyph that directly affects DPS: Glyph of Smite. Holy Priest DPS will also need Glyph of Holy Fire to increase the spell range of Smite and Holy Fire spells.

For the third major glyph, I’d personally choose Glyph of Lightwell; this will help healing in a raid, but you can choose any third glyph to meet your playing style.

You maybe interested with Glyph of Holy Nova as your third glyph. Holy Nova is an Area of Effect (AoE) spell, similar to the Mage’s Arcane Explosion but in addition to doing damage, it is also an AoE healing spell. Holy Nova doesn’t do as much damage nor has the range as Mind Sear, your main AoE damage spell, but there might be encounters where Holy Nova could be useful. However, Holy Nova is perfect if you are planning to do low level dungeons or raids for transmog runs.

All minor glyphs are purely for fun and cosmetic,  you can choose what you want.

Buffs

There are three buffs that directly affect your DPS: Inner Fire, Charka: Chastise and Evangelism. Only Inner Fire and Charka: Chastise are castable so make sure these are always active at all times.

When you deal damage with your Smite or Holy Fire spells, you gain an Evangelism buff. Evangelism is a stackable buff (maximum of 5) that increases the damage of your Smite and Holy Fire spells with each stack, whilst reducing the mana cost of these spells. It has a 20 second cooldown but refreshes each time a Smite or Holy Fire is deals damage to the target. To maximise your DPS, it is very important that you have this buff active as much as possible.

Rotation

Single target:

  1. Power Infusion
  2. Mindbender
  3. Holy Fire
  4. Shadow Word: Pain
  5. Shadow Word: Death (if target is less that 20% health)
  6. Smite
  7. Cascade, Divine Star or Halo. Depends on situation (adds, healing)
  8. Reapply Holy Fire, Shadow Word: Pain, Shadow Word: Death and cooldowns at ALL times.

I personally don’t use Holy Word: Chastise in my main DPS rotation as I the spell is more of an interrupt than a damage spell.

Multiple targets:
If you are attacking between two and five NPCs, then use a combination of Shadow Word: Pain and Mind Sear. If you are attacking six or more NPCs then use Mind Sear directly and any AoE damage spells such as Cascade or Halo.

Healing

If you are planning to play an off-healer or would like to know more about the Holy Priest specialisation, please view Icy Veins Holy Spec guide.

Change log

Version 1.2 – 21st September ’13 – Best in Slot table added
Version 1.11 – 20th September ’13 – Updates to Talents to include Twist of Fate as the talent was buffed in patch 5.4.
Version 1.10 – 16th September ’13 – Patch 5.4 update.
Version 1.02 – 21 August ’13 – Added Level 90 Talent into single rotation.
Version 1.01 – 15th July ’13 – Better role description of Holy Word: Chastise as  an interrupt spell.
Version 1.00 – 11th July ’13 – Initial release