Holy Priest Healing Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Shadowlands 9.0.5

Last updated on Mar 09, 2021 at 18:04 by Niphyr 32 comments
General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Holy Priest, depending on the type of damage your group is receiving. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your healing output and your mana efficiency. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.5.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic Healer Priest rotation.

1.

Foreword

Welcome to our Holy Priest Rotation section. Here you will learn everything you need to know about properly healing as a Holy Priest in Raiding and Mythic+ scenarios.

1.1.

Easy Mode

If the rotations below seem overwhelming at first, you might benefit from checking out our Easy Mode page where the simpler rotation will get you started until you are comfortable learning to heal as Holy Priest in more depth.

1.2.

PvP

The content on this page is purely PvE-related. If you are looking for PvP Rotation tips, please visit our PvP page below.

2.

Rotation / Playstyle for Holy Priests

Healing is in great part based on your ability to react to the damage that the group takes, and as such, there is no set rotation. Rather, you must understand what spells are best suited to the different situations that can occur during an encounter.

Below, you will find the optimal use of your abilities, and it will be up to you to then combine them efficiently in combat.

2.1.

Raid Healing

Raid healing is primarily focused around AoE group healing, as outlined below. A lot of your decision making will be based on incoming damage and the cooldowns you have available. It is better to use your cooldowns early and often, than it is to save them for unknown future situations.

The next section outlines the priority you should follow in raids. You should not cast a spell that will mostly overheal, so keep this in mind as working through the priority list and skip an item if there is likely to be significant overheal.

Holy Priest Covenant abilities do not change our healing rotation, instead they should be used in a situation that makes the most sense depending on which covenant you have chosen. To read more about each Covenant ability and situations theyare best used, check out the Holy Priest Covenant page and for fight-specific tips, the Holy Priest Castle Nathria page.

Choose your Talents and Legendaries to help customise your rotation.

  1. ** Holy Word: Salvation Icon Holy Word: Salvation when the majority of the raid is heavily injured.
  2. ** Divine Hymn Icon Divine Hymn when the majority of the raid is heavily injured.
  3. Holy Word: Sanctify Icon Holy Word: Sanctify when a cluster of your raid is injured.
  4. Holy Word: Serenity Icon Holy Word: Serenity on an injured ally.
  5. Circle of Healing Icon Circle of Healing on cooldown when at least 4 allies are injured.
  6. Prayer of Mending Icon Prayer of Mending on cooldown, usually on the active tank.
  7. Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal for emergency triage on an ally near death.
  8. Prayer of Healing Icon Prayer of Healing for general purpose raid healing.
  9. Heal Icon Heal for general purpose raid and single-target healing.
  10. Renew Icon Renew while moving and emergency healing is required.
  11. Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain an enemy when no healing is required and the enemy will not die in 16-seconds.
  12. Smite Icon Smite an enemy when no healing is required.

**Note on raid cooldowns: While Divine Hymn Icon Divine Hymn and Holy Word: Salvation Icon Holy Word: Salvation are listed on the rotation above, you will typically coordinate your raid cooldown usage with your raid leader, healing officer or healing team to try and maximise their usage to counter dangerous parts of the encounter without overlapping or wasting them.

Flash Concentration Icon Flash Concentration slightly changes your rotation. Use the tickbox above the rotation to show how your rotation changes when using Flash Concentration.

When playing with Harmonious Apparatus Icon Harmonious Apparatus or X'anshi, Return of Archbishop Benedictus Icon X'anshi, Return of Archbishop Benedictus, your rotation does not change.

2.2.

Dungeon Healing

Dungeon healing is primarily focused around Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal healing multiple allies at once through the Trail of Light Icon Trail of Light talent, and supplementing this with regular use of your cooldown-based abilities. A lot of your decision making will be based on incoming damage and the cooldowns you have available. It is better to use your cooldowns early and often than it is to save them for unknown future situations.

Below is the priority you should follow in dungeons. You should not cast a spell that will mostly overheal, so keep this in mind as you work through the priority list and skip an item if there is likely to be significant overhealing.

  1. Holy Word: Serenity Icon Holy Word: Serenity on an injured ally.
  2. Holy Word: Sanctify Icon Holy Word: Sanctify when most of your group is injured.
  3. Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal for emergency triage on an ally near death.
  4. Divine Star Icon Divine Star if talented, when most of your group is injured.
  5. Circle of Healing Icon Circle of Healing when most of your group is injured.
  6. Heal Icon Heal for regular healing, utilising Trail of Light Icon Trail of Light to heal multiple allies.
  7. Prayer of Healing Icon Prayer of Healing when your whole group is injured and no individual is in danger of death.
  8. Prayer of Mending Icon Prayer of Mending when little healing is required.
  9. Renew Icon Renew while moving and healing is required.
  10. Smite Icon Smite an enemy when no healing is required.

For heavy single-target damage, use Apotheosis Icon Apotheosis with Heal Icon Heal, Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal and Holy Word: Serenity Icon Holy Word: Serenity as it comes off cooldown. If this is still not enough, you also have access to Guardian Spirit Icon Guardian Spirit.

For heavy AoE damage, use Apotheosis Icon Apotheosis with Prayer of Healing Icon Prayer of Healing and Holy Word: Sanctify Icon Holy Word: Sanctify to keep your group alive. If this is still not enough, you also have access to Divine Hymn Icon Divine Hymn.

Dealing damage while in dungeons is often overlooked by healers. While any additional damage is beneficial to your group, it should not come at the cost of keeping your group alive, which is your main priority. Smite Icon Smite is your main damage dealing ability, costs very little Mana and can proc Surge of Light Icon Surge of Light, if talented. In situations where Mana is not a concern, you can also cast Holy Word: Chastise Icon Holy Word: Chastise and Holy Fire Icon Holy Fire on cooldown.

While Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal is a fairly Mana-expensive spell to be casting a lot, during dungeons you get frequent breaks from combat between pulls that you can use to regenerate Mana by "drinking" Mana regenerating food.

Flash Concentration Icon Flash Concentration slightly changes your rotation. Ideally with Flash Concentration you have the Trail of Light Icon Trail of Light and Surge of Light Icon Surge of Light talents. You then prioritise casting Heal as your primary filler spell once you reach 5 stacks of Flash Concentration, replacing Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal and Prayer of Healing Icon Prayer of Healing — even in emergency healing situations. You should only cast Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal often enough to prevent the Flash Concentration debuff from dropping off. For more information on properly using Trail of Light Icon Trail of Light check out the section below on Tier 1 Talents

3.

Cooldown Usage for Holy Priests

As a Holy Priest, you have three main cooldowns. Here is how you should use them:

3.1.

Divine Hymn

Divine Hymn Icon Divine Hymn will heal all raid members within 40 yards over 8 seconds, and also increase the healing they receive during that time by 10%.

Keep in mind that the spell is channelled, so you cannot perform other actions while casting it.

Generally, your raid leader will assign you to use this spell at a certain time in the fight, in order to counter a heavy burst of damage. If this is the case, make sure your spell is available at that time.

Otherwise, you should simply try to find a moment when using this spell is beneficial. Most often, this will happen during a period of very intense raid damage.

3.2.

Guardian Spirit

Guardian Spirit Icon Guardian Spirit is one of the most useful tools you can bring to a raid. Using it places a buff on the target, which lasts for 10 seconds and increases all healing received by the target by 60%. If the target receives a killing blow during this time, they will not die and instead be healed for 40% of their maximum health, consuming the Guardian Spirit effect.

While you can use this on any raid member who is about to die and whom you have no other means of saving, it is by far better used on a tank who is about to take a large amount of damage. You should make sure to communicate with the tank and other healers, in order to ensure that you do not use multiple powerful cooldowns at the same time.

You can also use this spell to allow tanks (or other players) to survive an ability that should have otherwise been avoided, either as part of your raid's strategy or to recover from a mistake.

Keep in mind that your raid leader may assign you to use this spell for a specific event in the encounter.

3.3.

Symbol of Hope

Symbol of Hope Icon Symbol of Hope is a unique cooldown that provides all healers in your raid with Mana when you channel it. The amount of Mana gained by each target is dependant on how much Mana they are missing so this ability is often best used towards the end of encounters

If you are unsure of when to use it, a general rule of thumb is to use it either when your remaining Mana is below 20% or the bosses remaining hitpoints are below 20%

4.

Optional Read: Mastering Your Holy Priest

The above information should allow you to perform at a high level as a Holy Priest. In the following sub-sections, we offer a few additional pieces of information and we expand on some concepts further.

4.1.

Holy Word Cooldown Reduction

Heal Icon Heal and Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal have a passive ability that reduces the remaining cooldown of Holy Word: Serenity Icon Holy Word: Serenity by 6 seconds. Prayer of Healing Icon Prayer of Healing reduces the remaining cooldown of Holy Word: Sanctify Icon Holy Word: Sanctify by 6 seconds and Renew Icon Renew reduces the remaining cooldown of Holy Word: Sanctify by 2 seconds.

While you do not need to actively manage this mechanic in any way, it is very important that you are aware of its existence and that you constantly monitor the remaining cooldowns of your Holy Words, so that you can use them as soon as they become available.

4.2.

Talents

4.2.1.

Tier 1 Talents

When talented into Trail of Light Icon Trail of Light, your goal should be to move your healing from Heal Icon Heal and Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal around to get the maximum benefit from the trail that is left behind. Repeatedly healing the same person with Heal or Flash Heal will cause the previous target to receive Trail of Light healing for each cast. This means your priority should always be to move on to a new target once your Flash Heal or Heal target has reached 75%+ hitpoints. This way the Trail healing from your new Heal or Flash Heal casts will top up the remaining amount of their missing health.

The goal is to pay attention to who your previous target was so that when they are fully healed up you move along to the next player. Below are some examples on spell usage showing how Trail of Light Icon Trail of Light would heal. For the sake of keeping the explanations concise, using Heal Icon Heal or Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal is referred to as "Heal/FH"

An example of how Trail of Light behaves when you are healing different people:

  1. You last used Heal/FH on The Tank
  2. You Heal/FH Player 1, Trail of Light also heals The Tank.
  3. You Heal/FH Player 2, Trail of Light also heals Player 1.
  4. You Heal/FH Player 3, Trail of Light also heals Player 2.
  5. You Heal/FH The Tank, Trail of Light also heals Player 3.

As you can see, Trail of Light is only ever present on one player at once, and simply follows the last person you cast Heal or Flash Heal on that wasn't your current target:

  1. You last used Heal/FH on The Tank
  2. You Heal/FH Player 1, Trail of Light also heals The Tank.
  3. You Heal/FH Player 2, Trail of Light also heals Player 1.
  4. You Heal/FH Player 2, Trail of Light also heals Player 1.
  5. You Heal/FH Player 2, Trail of Light also heals Player 1.

These two examples of how Trail of Light works should help explain why it is often ideal to cast Heal Icon Heal or Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal on new targets frequently to maximise the healing done by Trail of Light Icon Trail of Light, and use Trail to top up higher health targets that are no longer in danger.

4.2.2.

Tier 3 Talents

When talented into Guardian Angel Icon Guardian Angel, you should be aiming to use Guardian Spirit Icon Guardian Spirit regularly throughout the encounter on high-damage targets, which are usually the tanks. The additional healing provided by having Guardian Spirit on them benefits not only their self healing, but also healing from other healers.

4.2.3.

Tier 5 Talents

You should make sure to use Surge of Light Icon Surge of Light procs quickly, so that new charges are not wasted.

Prayer Circle Icon Prayer Circle does provide additional throughput in a shorter window but be mindful not to hold Circle of Healing Icon Circle of Healing unless you know there is about to be some raid-wide damage that would really benefit from Prayer Circle. It is still important for your throughput and efficiency to keep casting Circle of Healing as often as possible.

4.2.4.

Tier 6 Talents

When using Benediction Icon Benediction, it is important you focus on casting Prayer of Mending Icon Prayer of Mending as often as possible to maximise the benefit this talent provides.

Both Halo Icon Halo and Divine Star Icon Divine Star when talented, should be cast as often as they will do group healing as they are both efficient and do a large amount of healing.

4.2.5.

Tier 7 Talents

Holy Word: Salvation Icon Holy Word: Salvation is a potent raid cooldown that heals everyone within 40 yards of you, as well as applying both renew and 2 stacks of Prayer of Mending Icon Prayer of Mending to each. While this ability does have a very long base cooldown of 12 minutes, each of your Holy Word: Serenity Icon Holy Word: Serenity and Holy Word: Sanctify Icon Holy Word: Sanctify casts reduce its remaining cooldown by 30 seconds. Due to this interaction, it is important you aim to efficiently use those holy words as often as practical to lower the cooldown of Holy Word: Salvation when the remaining length of the encounter allows for a second cast

Apotheosis Icon Apotheosis is a powerful cooldown, which you should save for moments of heavy damage. Below, we list the spell sequences you should use to maximise your healing-per-second.

To maximise your single-target HPS:

  1. Cast Holy Word: Sanctify Icon Holy Word: Sanctify.
  2. Cast Holy Word: Serenity Icon Holy Word: Serenity.
  3. Cast Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal until Holy Word: Serenity Icon Holy Word: Serenity comes off cooldown.
  4. Cast Holy Word: Serenity Icon Holy Word: Serenity and repeat step 3.

To maximise your AoE HPS:

  1. Cast Holy Word: Serenity Icon Holy Word: Serenity.
  2. Cast Holy Word: Sanctify Icon Holy Word: Sanctify.
  3. Cast Prayer of Healing Icon Prayer of Healing until Holy Word: Sanctify Icon Holy Word: Sanctify comes off cooldown.
  4. Cast Holy Word: Sanctify Icon Holy Word: Sanctify and repeat steps 2 and onward.
5.

Changelog

  • 09 Mar. 2021: Updated dungeon healing rotation.
  • 12 Dec. 2020: Added some talent and legendary specific rotation information.
  • 08 Dec. 2020: Added some notes about rotation with legendaries.
  • 03 Dec. 2020: Fixed a missing comment about Smite and the Shadowlands Mana addition.
  • 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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