To Bonus, or Not To Bonus

So, about that T10 4piece change.

Haven’t heard about it?

Well, the most recent PTR build has a change for Healy Priests’ T10 4 piece tier bonus. The current, live version, is this:

Your Circle of Healing and Penance spells have a 20% chance to cause your next Flash Heal cast within 6 sec to reset the cooldown on your Circle of Healing and Penance spells.

I always thought that was rather confusing, but then let’s be fair. I’m slow. I had decided to forego that particular tier bonus for two reasons:

1) By a strange twist of awesomeness, whose details I am not at liberty to discuss, I miraculously acquired a free Leggings of Woven Death. Since I now have those, I figured what the hell, and went and purchased Meteor Chaser’s Raiment, because Dwarves look oh so hot in a turtleneck. Cough. This essentially killed my opportunity for the 4 piece bonus anyway.

2) Did I mention I’m slow? I don’t even want to see the stats on how many times I would miss the reset cooldown on my Penance. It would likely just throw off my tank-healing rotation, and confuse me.

Now, there was a lot of outcry about the crappy set bonuses for Disc Priests, because it just looked like Blizz was completely out of touch with what Disc Priests actually do most of the time. In 10 mans they may tank heal (and both tier bonuses for Disc Priests are very much directed towards tank healing IMO), but in 25s it is much more common for them to be raid healing – Pallies are just that much better in 25s. The tier bonuses don’t really do much for shield spamming – but to be fair, gear itemization in general does not do much for shield spamming Disc Priests. It’s a bit of a mess. Borrowed Time means you don’t need haste. Shields can’t crit, so you don’t need crit. You don’t need mana regen. So basically, everything that’s not Spellpower or at least Intellect is just *yawn*.

Okay so let’s take a look-see at what the PTR may have in store for us in terms of a new T10 4pc bonus:

Priest Tier-10 4-Piece Healing Set Bonus: Redesigned. This bonus now increases the effectiveness of the caster's Power Word: Shield and Renew spells by 5%.

I feel very ANH about this bonus, but it is definitely superior to the previous set bonus for shield spammers. It’s pretty irritating to change the bonus so late in the game though – quite a few people have already made their badge choices for tier or non-tier gear.

For Holy priests, I think it’s utter crap – and my main reasoning for that is coming directly from something Zusterke (for whom I have the utmost respect and admiration - who doesn't?) pointed out on the PlusHeal forums:

I'm confused by the idea that we get a FHeal bonus in the 2P and a Renew bonus in 4P when those spells seem to be competitors as filler spells.

I see Renew being touted more and more as a replacement for Flash Heal in many ways for Holy Priests, and I’m not sure yet how I feel about that. As someone who always ran with a lot of Druids, I hated it. Druids are better at HoTs, so it's better for me to focus on more burstiness while they deal with ... uhm, health pool softening. If you aren't druid-heavy, then yes, Renew is great.

In a raid, I do not heal in a vacuum - I heal as part of a team, and therefore, I consider the strengths of others in my team when making my own gear and talent choices. When I'm holy and healing next to a Druid, I rarely use Renew.

In conclusion though, if the PTR changes go through to live, it won’t really affect me personally, though I am sad for all those who saved up the emblems to get the bonus and will not like the change – Holy and Disc alike. If you had a good way to keep track of the free Penance or Circle of Healing proc, and if you were a tank healing Disc Priest, I would have thought it was pretty good.

As a side note… every time I read comments about Dawn Moore (the Healy priest column writer at I breathe yet another sigh of relief that I did not get that job. I may not always agree with her evaluations of things but… I know for a fact I would not handle that much criticism very well. Yes, yes… I’m a wimp.

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10 Responses
  1. crankyhealer Says:

    Yeah I saw churchoftrout's post on this minutes before yours (my feed reader is unreliable so it is hard to tell which one of you jumped on this first.)

    Anyhoo, I think it's a good change. I think that having a random reset to penance etc would seriously mess up my healing mojo timing. After a while you just get a FEEL for when certain things are going to come off cooldown. Having it available earlier is awesome, in theory, but I think it would mess up the healing rhythm, so to speak, and cause me to unnecessarily focus on my cooldown monitor rather than just simply heal.

    But exxy seemed to really like it. Who knows?

  2. Calandris Says:

    being in a 10 man team with no druids, I had written off the 4 piece before but now its looks great. renew is my #1 healing spell based on WoL. Im very happy for this, but yes its late in the game for a change like this.

  3. Ari Says:

    I don't think I would have appreciated that random reset... Although I am not geared up enough yet to actually raid. The T10 would most likely be an option for me, though. I agree with cranky, the first would have messed up my healing. (I actually count in my head, can you believe it...) This is much better, in comparison.

    ~Ari (

  4. @Calandris

    I think it's definitely a good change for Renew Holy Priests and shield spamming Disc Priests.

    I don't fit into either of those categories, but I hadn't picked up the tier pieces either, so I'm sorta breathing a sigh of relief. I was about to start kicking myself for skipping the 4pc bonus.

  5. Wikwocket: Says:

    I have mixed feelings on this change. On the one hand, the old bonus was clunky and only worked for certain jobs, and replacing it with a flat 5% bonus is sweet. On the other hand, it's sad to see an interesting and play-style-defining bonus changed to a mindless +5%.

    Back on the first hand though, it's about time priests got a nice fat +5% set bonus... I'm tired of small bonuses to obscure spells that you have to jump through hoops to use; sometimes a mindless buff is nice!

    But then on the other other hand, changing a play-style-defining set bonus after many priests have spent hundreds of emblems on gear is kind of a bummer. C'est la vie!

  6. Mongrr Says:

    While I feel the new PTR bonus is better than the current one... +5% is still not worth it for Disc IMO considering all the spirit on the Tier gear.

    I also agree with Wikwocket that it is sad to see a T10 4pc bonus, which on most classes is pretty epic, reduced to something as "boring" as a simple 5% increase.

    I'll stick with my current badge gear, even if this change goes live.

  7. Daxlim Says:

    I'm glad they did it. It's not so much that the old bonus wasn't nice, but it was just so unpredictable. The proc also had a high chance to be wasted too.

    About renew, whether I played in 10 mans or 25 (with 2 druids, btw), renew has always proven to be a powerhouse of a healing spell. It saddens me to see so few holy priests on the WMO top charts, but the few that are all seem to be renew users too, so this change might put some more on the charts, I hope.

  8. Xeppe Says:

    YES, YES, YES!!!!!!

  9. exanna Says:

    I sort of like my holy bonus as is. I just started getting used to the "Flash Heal!" proc on my Power Auras- so I was really able to use it as intended; however, it will be interesting to see how this change affects healing. TBH and IMHO, the current badge version is just weak compared to other stuff you can get. I have been tinkering with other badge pieces as wel as the Sanguine Robes, and I think the other stuff has more power regardless of any bonus. I am probably wrong about this, but it's just what I have seen. So, Blizz, thank for listening to all the crybabies.. but seriously, could we get a buff to our healing in some other way besides a bonus? I want to see some real changes there. This has been the year of the spriest! Give Holy a chance! LOL

  10. Avalonna Says:

    I think it's a definite nerf for holy raid healers, and disc tank, and still pretty lackluster for disc raid healers. I think the negativity towards the current set was brought on by flat out lack of understanding and lack of first hand application. Almost every priest I know, including myself, thought it wasn't that great.... Until we tried it. For heroic progression raiding, it's amazing.

    You're welcome to read my thoughts here so I don't crap up MMs comments

    as always, great post, MM!

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