[Cataclysm] The Pacifist or the Archangel
Note regarding spoilers: Now that I am in the beta, I will make every effort to preface any spoiler posts with the customary [Cataclysm] tag in the title. If that tag is not in the title, there should be no spoilers - I may mention something about Cataclysm, but nothing specific that would be a spoiler (i.e. I may something like "I am enjoying playing a goblin" but no further details.)

There is a very annoying bug/glitch/intentional issue that renders me unable to copy my Priest over to the Beta. I have tried about ten times now, and I'm beyond frustrated. I've had no luck with creating a premade either, so no new testing on Disc Priests yet, per the many requests I got.

I have tested out a Worgen Warlock, a Goblin Priest, a Dwarf Shaman, and a Tauren Priest. The Warlock is now level 14, the Goblin is only 4 (due to a quest glitch that renders all the goblins unable to leave the starting zone), the Shaman is level 7, and the Priest about level 6. But I am devestated that I cannot currently play my 80 Dwarf Priest.

However, in preparation for that glorious day when I will be able to play a high level priest again, let's talk about talents, and you can help me figure out how to spec!

One of the major complaints I have about the direction in which talent points are being taken is the removal of creativity in spec choices. In raiding, there are generally optimal specs, with very little wiggle room, and that will still apply. However, for leveling, the new talent point system has effectively taken a lot of creativity out of the equation. My lolsmite leveling method will probably be nowhere near viable as a 1-40 leveling spec anymore, due to the changes in talents.

But Evangelism fascinates me.

At first sight, Evangelism strikes me as a leveling or PvP talent, and nothing more. It's not something I would want to choose for raiding. This talent turns Discipline into a viable solo-leveling spec. Currently, Disc is best for not taking damage while leveling, but not so much for dishing out damage, compared to Holy or Shadow (Holy is good up until level 40-45, IMO, where Shadow then becomes superior due to Shadowform).

But Evangelism puts the power back into damage dealing for Disc, which means it makes it easier to solo mobs while leveling.

The only reason, as far as I'm concerned, that Evangelism becomes a potential necessity for raiding is due to the followup talent: Archangel. Now, you can build a solid Disc spec in Cataclysm without taking Evangelism and Archangel, and then the issue of the Disc healer needing to damage in order to heal better no longer is relevant.

However, the question I intend to explore is which is superior for a solid healer: an Archangel spec, or a non-Archangel spec. What talents must be sacrificed in order to pick up Archangel, and is it worth it?

What do you guys think? What sort of talent builds would you like me to test? Head on over to the Wowhead Cataclysm talent calculator, and create some builds for me to try (once I actually have a priest that can use them on beta *weep*). Link the builds for me in the comments, and I will try to test some of the best ones and give you my thoughts.

Here is an example of a non-damaging spec that I've built.
Aaaand here is an example of an Archangel spec.

Think I should tweak those? Strength of Soul is one of those talents that I definitely need to test, because with that component of rotation building in addition to an Evangelism based rotation, I'm not sure how much time would be left for actually reacting to incoming damage.
15 Responses
  1. Gevlon Says:

    It seems every healer class have talent(s)that give mana based on dealing damage.

    The point is that since mana will be a resource the "spam like crazy" will be a bad idea. It will also mean that healers will often be not healing. Standing idle is "not fun", so they want to give us something to do: making pitiful damage for mana.

  2. clra2 Says:

    Huh. I haven't played with the Cataclysm talent calculator for some time but dang they sure changed up the disc tree a lot. If I were to make a disc build I think it would look something like this:


    I'd take Evangelism and Archangel for both increased healing output and mana regen purposes. I don't take Atonement because the healing from that will be pathetically weak.

    I would skip Improved Healing since I think disc won't have much mana problems and has 2 pretty efficient ways to regen mana (Archangel and Rapture) and put 2 points into Darkness in the shadow tree for more haste.

    And depending on how Strength of Soul performs (it sounds great actually) I may only put 1 point in there and finish filling out Darkness. Spell haste sounds amazing since we're moving away from the bubble spam role (hopefully).

    The only thing about Archangel and Evangelism is whether we'd need hit rating. It would kind of suck if we did so good thing I'm a Draenei =D

  3. Sevo314 Says:

    I'm not sure if you noticed (i'm ure you did), but there are some nice points in the first teir of the shadow tree. 6% spell haste, and reducing the cooldown of Shadowfeind are pretty handy.

    I'm curious to see how these could fit into a good healing spec.

    Also I've thought about a Lolsmite spec that goes into the Holy. That would pick up Chakra and Evangelism. Might be pretty potent for leveling.

    Here it is: http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#bcroZfGRrRodorkb

    It's pretty basic, but the main talents are there. Still trying to figure out how to get the last point into Darkness.

  4. Kurnak Says:

    The spec I created is very simmilar to clra2's, the disc tree has the same talents, but the difference is the holy tree, where I focus more on mana reduction rather thn reducing cast time.
    Not sure if the points used to improve Renew are worthy, would be nice if you can provide some feedback.

  5. BethE Says:

    When did they change Inner Focus to only affect certain spells? Also I wonder if taking away the +power to shields of Borrowed Time is to compensate for the +to shields of mastery.

  6. Gronthe Says:

    @ Beth: Yes, taking away the +power to shields from talents is a direct result of that being the Disc mastery.

  7. Lunarsoul Says:


    The last 2 points from "Improved Healing" can be moved into Darkness if mana isn't an issue for you, although Blizz did state that mana will become an issue for healers to make it more fun, so any mana reduction talents will probably be quite valuable.

  8. Lunarsoul Says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Lunarsoul Says:

    Also, if you plan on trying out the Holy tree, this build seems to be very viable at this time.


    Chakra is AMAZING!!!!! Long live Holy Priest tank healers!

  10. Lunarsoul Says:

    Grats on the Beta invite! Wish I could join you.

    The current Disc tree needs a bit more work. Archangel and Evangelism work the same way as Telluric Currents (resto shaman), Fury of Stormrage (druid), and Denounce (paladin), althought it seems to be more closely related to Telluric Currents.

    I don't really see any other talents that are worth putting points into other than Evan/Arch. Other talents seem to be more pvp or situational talents. I would not put a point in Power Infusion as I currently rarely ever use it on my priest when I spec disc. It's always just kinda sits there on my bar.

    Inner Focus is nice to have. I mainly use it for a nice free "oh-****" Divine Hymn when I sense a raid wipe.

    I'll link you a nice build once wowhead's cataclysm talent calculator becomes unbugged (it's not working atm).

    BTW, I have enjoyed reading your blog so much, that I decided to start one of my own. I've been playing a priest since BC and thought I could share my own insight. You can fine it at www.holyguidance-lunar.blogspot.com. Cheers!

  11. BethE Says:

    @ Lunarsoul
    That's what I use Inner Focus mostly for as well. But it looks like that has been taken away. Also, I guess it would have been a mana-saver for Life Grip as well.

  12. Codi Says:

    I really, -really- need to get reading comparisons between Empowered Healing, Divine Fury and Darkness. Most likely, it will depend on what optimum spell usage will be (since bubble botting is out the window), but I will most likely go with this spec:


    I just can't see going for a Smite build being very useful for Disc in non-PvP settings. (Smite in PvP makes me laugh so hard, I love it so much!) The mana usage of Disc has always been lower than for Holy, due to Rapture. The CD on bubbling will not really effect Rapture returns too much, since there has always been a CD on the mana return and we're just used to it in normal cases. (ie. non-LK fights)

  13. Gilraén Says:

    You need spell hit to facilitate using archangel and evangelisim effectively, otherwise your damaging spells will miss alot as usual. Then it'll be matter of opporunity cost whether to get the talent in shadow tree, which gives spell hit equal to ur spirit, or not. If you gonna play as tank healer in Cata, i dont think u can sacrifice those first two-tier holy talents that easily in order to get spell hit talent from shadow.

    But if Blizzard makes a change and put that spell hit talent into the disc tree, then we can talk about getting archangel and evangelism.

  14. Lunarsoul Says:


    There is a Prime glyph that increases your chance to hit with Smite by 18%. I imagine this will be a mandatory glyph for Disc/Holy priests who want to utilize Evangelism/Archangel effectively.

  15. Gilraén Says:


    Hmm I just saw that glyph. Yea u're right, that glyph will be mandatory for disc/holy spec users if they wanna use arch/evang. effectively. Still i'm doubtful about using smite for healing bonus and mana regen since we dont know yet how much damage tanks will get and how often they will get spike damage in the raid environment. It's too early to talk about it, but if it's anything close to Halion HC 25-man, i dont think any tank healer will find a break to cast damage spells on boss for mana regen.

    But at least we'll have options for different play styles, which's much better than today's boring shield spamming play style.

    P.S: Medicina, u have a great blog for priests :) its a pleasure to read your posts.

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