Well folks, I finally did it. I healed Halls of Reflection with my discipline priest. I've always been afraid of this, the pinnacle of Wrath 5-man dungeons. As a dps I've died many times in there but we all know by now that in order to be successful in this dungeon you need to have some very serious dps, among other things.
Thanks to the elemental invasion, I managed to get my hands on some nice ilvl 251 items. I also got some practice healing these new mini-bosses which are actually tougher than many heroic bosses. And then, after acquiring some more Justice Points by running several heroics as shadow dps, I bought a few ilvl 264/245 items from the Emblem of Frost and Triumph vendors.
Afterward I chain-healed almost a dozen heroics and found out that I can really do it.
My problem, of course, was the lack of gear. A healer in <= ilvl 200 gear isn't gonna do a great deal in a heroic unless he's very talented (and I can't claim that I am). Now that my gear is up to speed (average level is 233), I feel very confident in healing any heroic thrown at me.
In all fairness though, Halls of Reflection didn't seem as tough as I'd imagined it to be. Trial of the Crusader and Azjol'Nerub (both of which I healed subsequently) felt more difficult. It's true that in HoR we had really good dps and a good tank so everything went smoothly. I even gained the achievement to finish the gauntlet quickly. On the other hand, for the two other dungeons mentioned (ToC and A'N) some of the people were standing in poison and other crap (so I had to heal like crazy) and they also pulled too many mobs a few times (so I had to heal like crazy).
My main tool as a discipline priest remains Power Word: Shield which currently absorbs a little over 5000 damage self-buffed. What's nice is that at this point mana has ceased to become an issue, meaning that after 90% of fights (including boss fights) I'm left with 90% mana. Occasionally when someone screws up or they're not geared enough, I'll go down to 50% or so but even then I manage to pull through.
My biggest issue as a healer - and this probably comes as a consequence of not being very experienced - is that I often forget about more powerful spells that I have at my disposal. For example I always forget to use Power Word: Barrier which is an awesome spell especially for those moments when there's heavy damage incoming.
I've also been trying to use Smite in combination with Evangelism/Archangel, not that I need the mana but in preparation for Cataclysm. My feelings about this are mixed. On the one hand, it's a nice thing to be able to do some damage (no matter how puny) during downtime, and also heal a group member for 100% of the damage done thanks to Atonement. Now on the other hand, when the fight is frantic and I'm struggling to keep the group alive, there's no time to Smite and the whole concept becomes worthless. And then there's the third issue which is more of a personal one, and that is laziness. As a discipline priest I'm cool with popping PW:S and then taking a break.
At any rate, we'll see how all this comes together in Cataclysm, in a couple of short weeks. Until then I will likely continue to heal some heroics, especially since one piece of my gear is still a lousy ilvl 187 (my bracers).
Patch 1.0.5 commentary
4 years ago