Pew Pew Renew
Okay, I was actually going to talk about Lightwell today, but I guess I'll do that tomorrow, because my Disc Priest readers demanded discussion of Renew. Or something like that. Shh. I shall open this discussion with a quote from Ghostcrawler that simply has to be repeated from the Priest Q&A:
"Furthermore, the priest has strong heal-over-time spells (HoTs), direct heals, and area-of-effect (AoE) heals."
I reiterate what I said back then - one good solid HoT does not "strong HoTs" make.

Anyway. That having been said, Renew is quite awesome. If we're only going to have one real HoT, then ours is pretty damn solid, and I cannot complain about it. There are also lots of talents that modify it, giving us quite a bit of versatility with that one HoT.

The "problem" with HoTs in general is two-fold.
  • Healers are not patient. If you have a HoT on someone, most healers have a very bad habit of not waiting for that HoT to heal the target up, but instead using a direct heal to fill up the health bar, thereby wasting the HoT. HoTs can therefore be difficult to manage amongst a variety of healers.
  • While yes, Priests are very versatile, all you need is one healing Druid in the raid to render even our one strong HoT pretty inferior. If you have more than one Druid, the value of Renew is greatly reduced. There is such a thing as too many HoTs. Balance is key, IMO, to a good healing group in a 25 man raid especially.
For Disc Priests, however, you are usually assigned to a single target. And usually, you won't need to worry about too many others focusing on your target. Personally, I think renew is great for Disc Priests. The Disc talents Twin Disciplines and Mental Agility, coupled with the first tier Holy talent, Improved Renew, make it pretty easy to buff up your Renew - and one strong HoT on a tank while you're Bubbling and PoMing and Penancing and Flashing (wow that sounds dirty) is a great inclusion into your rotation. The buffer of a HoT fits well with the mitigation of a Disc Bubble. In fact, the Disc Priests who read this blog were so in favor of using Renew that I might add a bit about it to my Disc guide, hmm.

What about Holy Priests? In addition to the tier 1 Disc talent Twin Disciplines (which Holy Priests should pick up anyway on their way to Meditation) and the tier 1 Holy talent Improved Renew, there are a couple of deep Holy talents that affect Renew.
  • Empowered Renew - This is the best talent for improving Renew for Holy Priests. There are lots of neat talent options that deep in the Holy Tree, but this is a solid choice. In addition to making Renew more powerful, it also turns it into a mini instant heal. The benefit of even a mini instant heal cannot be understated. In addition, at least the first 15% healing portion can crit - which can also proc a Surge of Light. Two instant heals is such a superbly wonderful thing. If specced into the next talent, it ALSO procs...
  • Holy Concentration - Any good Holy Priest picks up this talent anyway, but I wanted to mention it here because of how often it procs from Renew when you are specced into Empowered Renew.
The point of this little analysis for you Holy Priests is to determine whether or not you should spec into Empowered Renew. My verdict? An overwhelming yes. But I bring it up because there are a lot of people who choose not to spec into it, and instead pick up another deep holy talent, such as Body and Soul, or others. I've already dicussed when you should and should not spec into Body and Soul, and I will make a similar assessment for Empwered Renew - a lot of it depends on whether or not you raid, and the healer makeup of your raiding group.
  • Do you primarily heal five man dungeons or solo? SPEC IT
  • Do you raid with multiple healing druids? (possibly) SKIP IT
  • Do you raid with multiple Trees but no Disc Priests? SKIP IT (and pick up Body and Soul instead)
  • Do you have a high crit rating? SPEC IT
  • Do you have a low haste rating? SPEC IT
I'm sad that Disc Priests don't have such an awesome talent for Renew, but at least you guys get a nice mana reduction talent for it!

ETA: Updated my Disc Healing Guide (and the talent spec I used as my template) to reflect my new-found appreciation for Renew.

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5 Responses
  1. Fido Says:

    Just had to comment on this.

    As a disc priest, I only use Renew on dps with a bubble to keep my Grace on the tank. Why? It´s not really mana efficient.

    And If we have 1 druid in the raid assigned to raidhealing I won´t even bother to cast a renew. Ofc. this differs a lot based on how the druid uses his HoTs.

    Casting a renew on your MT might sound like a good idea, but since you should always keep the MT topped off the ticks will go to waste.

    The point I´m trying to make is: Renew is good, it can save your group, but I find myself not using it a lot.


  2. Grimmtooth Says:

    I second @fido's comments and add my own.

    Renew's my little buffer for the MT/OT but also helps buy our overworked shammi raid healer some time on other toons in the raid.

    Especially when you have spikey-damage casters, they may take a mob to the teeth every now and then before one of the DKs YOINKs it off him or her (Hey, that sounds filthy too!) or whatever. To help mitigate this, I usually pop a bubble and renew on the victim to mitigate things until the shammi gets a heal on them.

    Assuming we're not on an intensive MT-healing fight, of course. But those usually don't have a bunch of adds running around kicking warlocks and mages in the unmentionables.

    Honestly, I'm not sure it's ever worth it for holy spec. For Disc it helps make up for lack of a decent group heal, which is very useful in a 5-man, as you noted.

  3. Fuubaar Says:

    You are right about use Priests (lol look at me "us Priests")and our patience level when it comes to healing. Someone takes damage, I bubble & renew them then I tap my foot waiting for them to be topped off. I've probably overhealed & wasted my own renews just sitting there waiting for them to do their thing.

    The only class that I don't mind using it on are warlocks. At first, I freak out.

    "Why the hell are they dying?!" Nothing is alive!

    Oh yeah, locks are emo... I'm married to one, I should know that they LOVE to cut themselves lol.

    It's those pesky demons I tell you!

    They probably laugh at me because I bubble them when they do that lol.

  4. Jessabelle Says:

    @ All of you Disc Priests...

    Ya'll are impossible to please. Just sayin'.

    When it comes to renew for holy, I use it all the time - especially when Circle of Healing is on cooldown.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    As discipline spec I use Renew about as much as Penance.

    I mostly maintain it on the tank(s) throughout fights because it is the easiest increase in throughput I have.

    Renew along with PW:S and PoM are the holy trio for preventative healing.

    I never use it on multi targets as a group heal. Thats what PW:S and PoH are for.

    Gobble gobble.

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