Holy Priest Healing Mythic+ Tips — Shadowlands 9.0.5
In this guide, you will find tips and advice to tackle Mythic+ dungeons with your Holy Priest in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.5.
In order to provide the most accurate Mythic+ dungeon-specific advice, we teamed up with Serainia, the #1 ranked Mythic+ Holy Priest in NA/EU in BfA Season 4. She regularly streams Holy Priest keys on twitch.tv.
Holy Priest in Mythic+
Holy Priest sits in the middle of the pack for Mythic+ content in Shadowlands. Holy Priest has several main draws that make it an attractive spec to play for M+ content in Shadowlands, with multiple strong cooldowns in Divine Hymn and Apotheosis, strong single target damage, hefty group healing potential and a straightforward, reactive playstyle. Holy Priest still suffers from several of the same problems as in BfA, lacking damage reduction and poor burst healing outside of Holy Words and major cooldown windows.
If you are unfamiliar with Mythic+ and its associated general mechanics, you can read more about it on our Shadowlands Mythic+ Season 1 page below.
Holy Priest Mythic+ Rotation
For more information about the Holy Priest healing rotation in Mythic+, refer back to the Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities page.
As a healer, despite your role focus being to keep everyone alive through your healing and utility, any spare time you get should be spent on providing additional damage. Be mindful that only Smite costs very little Mana, the other spells can start to become taxing on your Mana so particularly on some longer tyrannical bosses you may need to reduce your damage output a little by sticking to the slightly weaker hitting Smite casts.
Damage spell priority for 4+ targets:
- Divine Star
- Holy Fire
- Shadow Word: Pain (if the target will survive for the full duration)
- Holy Nova
Damage spell priority for 1-3 targets:
- Holy Fire
- Shadow Word: Pain (if the target will survive for the full duration)
- Holy Word: Chastise (if you do not need the incapacitate/stun for cc)
- Divine Star
Shadow Word: Death can be cast as extra damage while on the move in place of Smite on the priority list, just be mindful it does do damage back to you when cast. If the target is below 20% health, Shadow Word: Death has a similar priority to Holy Word: Chastise.
Holy Priest Utility
Holy Priest provides support for the party through healing, damage, and other additional effects, such as dispels and crowd control.
- Purify removes all harmful Magic and Disease effects on an 8-second cooldown. Often referred to as dispel, Purify is used frequently in all dungeons and can often be vital to the success of a trash pull or boss.
- Dispel Magic removes one beneficial Magic effect from an enemy target. Often referred to as purge, Dispel Magic is very useful in Mythic+, as there are a lot of enemies with very powerful Magic buffs that we can remove immediately.
- Mind Soothe has returned in Shadowlands and provides a unique buff reducing the distance at which an enemy will aggro on to yourself and your allies. This has fairly niche usage but can be used in some scenarios to avoid having to pull a pack of enemies, and instead walking right past them.
- Mass Dispel is cast at an area, removing all harmful effects from 5 allies inside it, and 1 beneficial effect from 5 enemies. While the 40-second cooldown is quite long, there is ample opportunity to make use of this spell to help reduce incoming damage.
- Guardian Spirit places a buff on an ally for 10 seconds, increasing their healing taken by 60% and, in the event they take fatal damage, it will instead heal them to 40% health. Together with the Guardian Angel talent, this becomes a powerful single target external cooldown on a 60-second cooldown, presuming the life saving effect does not trigger.
- Angelic Feather is a talent that can be used by yourself or to assist slower allies in avoiding damage and dangerous situations.
- Censure is a talent which stuns the target of your Holy Word: Chastise for 4 seconds. This can be used to help reduce incoming damage from dangerous enemies and, due to casting Smite frequently during low damage periods, will be available regularly.
- Shining Force is a talent that knocks away all nearby enemies from an ally, slowing them by 70% for 3 seconds. This can be used to both temporarily reduce the incoming damage on the tank, as well as interrupt a group of enemies. Be careful to coordinate this ability with your group, so you don't disrupt any planned crowd control.
- Psychic Scream causes 5 enemies within 8 yards to flee for up to 8 seconds. This can be used to interrupt groups of enemies and, due to being broken on damage, it is very likely enemies will not flee too far if they are currently being attacked by your allies. Care should still be taken with nearby enemies that may be pulled into combat if a fleeing enemy gets too close to them. The cooldown can be reduced by 30 seconds with the Psychic Voice talent.
- Shackle Undead can be used to disable a single Undead enemy for 50 seconds. A number of dungeons have dangerous Undead enemies which are good candidates for Shackle Undead. Damage taken will remove this effect.
- Leap of Faith can be helpful for assisting allies in avoiding damage or saving them if they are knocked off an edge or into something bad.
- Power Word: Fortitude provides a 5% Stamina buff to all allies for 60-minutes and should be kept up on everyone at all times.
- Mind Control temporarily controls an enemy which allows you to move, attack and cast some of their abilities. This can be beneficial in some dungeons, as specific enemies have valuable spells that can buff your party or debuff enemies.
Holy Priest Mythic+ Talents
Below are the suggested talents for Mythic+.
|15||✗ Enlightenment||✓ Trail of Light||? Renewed Faith|
|25||? Angel's Mercy||? Body and Soul||✓ Angelic Feather|
|30||? Cosmic Ripple||✓ Guardian Angel||✗ Afterlife|
|35||✗ Psychic Voice||? Censure||? Shining Force|
|40||✓ Surge of Light||✗ Binding Heal||? Prayer Circle|
|45||✗ Benediction||✓ Divine Star||✗ Halo|
|50||? Light of the Naaru||✓ Apotheosis||✗ Holy Word: Salvation|
- Level 15: Trail of Light is the best talent in nearly all situations.
- Level 25: Angelic Feather is the best talent in nearly all situations, due to the increased movement speed for both yourself and your allies, however, if there are particular abilities that require additional survivability, then Angel's Mercy can be a good option.
- Level 30: Guardian Angel is the strongest choice as it greatly enhances our external cooldown, Guardian Spirit.
- Level 35: Censure will usually be your default, however if your group has lots of stuns already taking Shining Force can provide more utility, especially on Sanguine and Necrotic weeks.
- Level 40: Surge of Light is the strongest option on this row.
- Level 45: Divine Star is the preferred choice for dungeons due to the additional healing and damage and being instant-cast. Halo can be unpredictable and unreliable, often pulling extra enemies you are not in combat with.
- Level 50: Apotheosis is a strong cooldown that greatly increases your throughput for 20 seconds, on a 2-minute cooldown. Light of the Naaru has less impact, but can still provide a reliable healing increase over the course of the dungeon.
Holy Priest Mythic+ Legendaries
While Mana is still a concern, individual fights tend to be shorter and there will be multiple opportunities to drink on a run, making Mana management less of a priority than while raiding.
- Flash Concentration has great synergy with the Trail of Light and Surge of Light talents, allowing for the majority of the Flash Heal casts required to keep the legendary buff up be instant cast and cost no Mana. It also improves the throughput of the buffed Heal casts by cleaving it onto previously cast targets, through Trail of Light.
- Twins of the Sun Priestess is great at both providing a damage increase to one of your party members, while also increasing your own damage and healing.
- Harmonious Apparatus grants additional Holy Word cooldown reduction (4 seconds) when casting some of our normal rotational spells. In addition to the healing benefits it also helps contribute towards some extra damage and crowd control through Holy Word: Chastise and pairs well with the Censure talent.
- X'anshi, Return of Archbishop Benedictus is the return of the popular Legion legendary cloak. This cheat-death style effect not only allows you to soak or ignore specific mechanics to aid your group, but it can also help save your group if you make a mistake that would ordinarily kill you.
Echo of Eonar has been removed from the recommendations on 11 Dec. 2020, since it is currently not granting damage buffs to DPS, or damage reduction buffs to Tanks. It is currently granting all roles a 5% healing bonus regardless of their role which removes most of the value in Mythic+.
Holy Priest Mythic+ Affix Advice
Season 1 recap: There have been a few affix changes from BfA Season 4. Bursting is now a magical debuff, meaning we can dispel it with Purify and Mass Dispel. Volcanic now knocks you up into their when hit. Grievous can now have stacks removed from direct healing spells, specifics are discussed further down below. View the full list of changes on the Shadowlands Mythic+ Season 1 page.
Prideful is the Season 1 seasonal affix. Filling up 20% of the progress bar will spawn a Manifestion of Pride which when killed grants each member of your party with a buff tailored for their specialisation. The Manifestion will cast two main abilities:
- Bursting With Pride — Stacking damage to all players that is increased the longer the Manifestation is alive. You will want to aim to keep everyone topped, progressing to heavier healing spells like Holy Word: Sanctify, Apotheosis, and Divine Hymn as the damage increases.
- Belligerent Boast — This forces players to spread, making it a bit more difficult at times to properly heal the party up together. At really high stacks of Bursting With Pride, you may want to organise for your party to run away from you if you get it so you can remain stationary and continue healing everyone.
Try to cast Divine Hymn early on as Bursting With Pride stacks up to make the most of the 15 seconds of 20% healing amplification Hymn provides. Be sure to properly spread and align with your group to avoid having Hymn cancelled by having to move or being stunned by Belligerent Boast.
Tier One Affixes
Tyrannical increases the Health pool of boss enemies by 40% and their damage dealt by 15%.
During Tyrannical weeks we need to be more careful with Mana management on bosses. Also, heavy hitting boss abilities might require the use of Angel's Mercy and require some planning of Desperate Prayer usage to reliably survive at higher key levels.
Fortified increases the Health pool of all non-boss enemies by 20% and damage dealt by 30%.
Fortified increases the focus on your crowd control abilities, such as Shining Force and Censure. You should also be mindful of dangerous debuffs, which you must dispel quickly using Purify and Mass Dispel, and dangerous enemy buffs, which you can dispel with Dispel Magic.
Tier Two Affixes
Raging increases the damage dealt by enemies below 30% by 100% until they die.
This affix can be particularly dangerous to your group, especially during Fortified weeks. Care should be taken to ensure that your group is adequately applying crowd control to dangerous enemies that get low on health, to avoid unnecessary damage.
Bolstering causes dying enemies to increase the maximum health and damage of other nearby enemies by 20%.
This affix typically has little impact on our role as healers. To counter this affix, DPS all mobs down evenly and focus on the highest health pool enemies first.
Bursting causes enemies to detonate when slain, afflicting the group with a stacking debuff that causes players to suffer stacking damage over 4 seconds.
Like most affixes, this one is a group effort. Try to have your tank avoid pulling dangerous mobs while Bursting is active. DPS have the responsibility of not refreshing the Bursting stacks unnecessarily. The whole group should aim to stay in range of you during Bursting, as most of your high throughput spells require standing still to cast.
As of Shadowlands, Bursting is now dispellable. That means you can add Purify and Mass Dispel to your triage arsenal when dealing with Bursting. Mass Dispel in particular should be coordinated with your group so you can quickly remove all stacks from your whole party when needed.
The best way to handle Bursting is to diligently keep your group as healthy as possible before the mobs even die and start generating Bursting stacks on your group. This means trying to monitor the health of the enemies you are in combat with, and using this information to help decide when to use your cooldowns, such as Apotheosis and Divine Hymn, to quickly top up the group.
Below is a rough priority to help top up a group, prior to the mobs dying and beginning to apply Bursting:
- Apotheosis if many mobs are about to die soon, or multiple allies are dangerously low.
- Guardian Spirit on an ally dangerously close to death.
- Holy Word: Serenity on the lowest health ally.
- Holy Word: Sanctify on as many group members as possible.
- Circle of Healing on cooldown.
- Divine Star on cooldown.
- Flash Heal on multiple allies, utilising the Trail of Light bonus healing on low allies.
- Divine Hymn if your whole group is at a similar health percentage.
You can cancel Divine Hymn to cast Holy Word: Sanctify if your group need the quick health boost. Having Divine Hymn cast prior to Bursting not only helps you stabilise your group, but also gives you the increased healing buff for the duration of Bursting. Using Guardian Spirit or Holy Word: Serenity on an ally gives you an opportunity to focus on other allies, helping you triage the whole group effectively.
Once Bursting has been applied and your group are all topped up, or at least at similar levels of health, you can focus on Holy Word: Sanctify, Circle of Healing, and Prayer of Healing to keep the group stable until Bursting wears off. If you still have low group members, continue triaging with Guardian Spirit, Holy Word: Serenity, and Flash Heal
Prayer of Mending can also be very useful during the Bursting damage. To maximise your usage of Prayer of Mending, try to cast it during the pull on a target that will not be taking damage, such as yourself, then again just before Bursting begins. You will then have multiple Prayer of Mending buffs bouncing around at once.
Inspiring causes enemies with this buff to increase the strength of other nearby enemies, making them immune to crowd control effects.
This affix typically has little impact on our role as healers. The only thing to be mindful of is the holding on to your crowd control abilities until the enemy with Inspiring is dead.
Sanguine places a pool of blood on the ground when an enemy dies. This pool will heal enemies who stay inside the zone, while damaging players.
Talenting into Shining Force can be really helpful to push stubborn enemies out of the Sanguine pools. Be mindful of casting Holy Word: Chastise on enemies inside a Sanguine pool if talented into Censure, as they will heal for the duration of the stun.
Spiteful causes enemies to spawn a Spiteful Shade for a short period of time upon death.
This affix typically has little impact on our role as healers. Ideally your party control the Spiteful Shades with stuns, slows and snares and avoid getting melee hit by them. Be sure to move away if you're fixated by one.
Tier Three Affixes
Explosive will occasionally spawn Explosive Orbs that need to be targeted and burned down within a short period of time or they will deal significant damage to the party. Explosive Orbs are not cleaveable and the amount of orbs that spawn scales with the amount of enemies pulled.
This affix typically has little impact on our role as healers. That said, we can assist during periods that require less healing by helping damage the orbs with our DPS spells such as Smite, Holy Word: Chastise, and Shadow Word: Death.
Grievous afflicts players with a stacking damage over time effect when they fall below 90%.
This can be one of the most dangerous affixes if not dealt with properly, and as such, you may find yourself focused on keeping your entire group topped up, therefore doing much less damage than you would on a week without Grievous.
This affix has also been altered in Shadowlands granting single-target healing spells the ability to remove stacks. The following spells when cast will also remove a stack of Grievous on their target:
- Flash Heal
- Holy Word: Serenity
- Prayer of Mending (on initial cast, not each bounce)
- Renew (on initial cast, not each tick)
- Power Word: Shield
- Holy Word: Salvation (one stack on cast)
Make sure to quickly remove the debuff with Flash Heal and Holy Word: Serenity, focusing on one ally at a time so you do not fall too far behind. If you fall behind, use Apotheosis and Guardian Spirit regularly to try and catch back up, or it is likely you will fall further behind and deaths will occur. Regular use of Holy Word: Sanctify, Circle of Healing, and Divine Star as they come off cooldown can help keep your group above the threshold.
Finally, encourage your group members to help out once all enemies have died by casting some healing of their own, or eating some food to heal up, such as Conjure Refreshment from a Mage or Healthstone from a Warlock. A slightly more expensive option that helps your group members heal up quickly is to use Sugar-Crusted Fish Feast after combat to quickly restore their health.
Necrotic debuffs the target of enemy melee swings with stacking healing reduction and a minor damage over time effect.
This affix challenges your group's control of enemies as you work towards managing the number of stacks your tank obtains. There is not a lot we can do to help out when an ally has high stacks. Instead, your group should aim to try and reduce the number of stacks gained by stunning, slowing and knocking back enemies. Shining Force in particular is extremely helpful at giving your tank additional time to let the stacks expire and should be used regularly.
Quaking will periodically attempt to interrupt casters by creating a damaging zone around each player. About 3 seconds after the zone forms, it will deal 40% maximum health in damage to each player caught in the zone and interrupt any casts being finished during the shockwave.
The biggest impact this affix will have on you is the constant interrupts on your casting. Take special care to avoid being in the middle of casting if you are going to be hit by one of the damage zones, as it will interrupt your spell casting and can lead to ally deaths.
Storming creates a short-duration tornado near enemies. Standing in this tornado will deal damage to you and cause you to be knocked back.
The biggest impact this affix will have on you is the constant interrupts on your casting if a tornado spawns under you and you need to move out of it. Care must be taken when using Divine Hymn in case a tornado spawns near you.
Volcanic spawns volcanic plumes underneath and around players when in combat with any enemy. When damaged by Volcanic, players suffer damage and are knocked into the air. The more enemies you are in combat with, the more volcanic plumes will spawn.
Care must be taken when using Divine Hymn in case a plume spawns underneath you.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Added relevant tips for Patch 9.0.5 changes.
- 12 Dec. 2020: Updated legendary recommendations.
- 07 Dec. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands Season 1 release.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Temporarily removed the Affix advice until closer to Mythic+ release.
- 22 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands release.
- 16 Nov. 2020: Fixed a typo with Power Word: Fortitude.
- 15 Oct. 2020: Added single and multi target damage priority.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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