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One of the biggest arguments regarding holy priests is the talent Spirit of Redemption. A lot of people say, “Well, you shouldn’t be dying.” And this is true. For farm content. However, when it comes down to it, progression content is inevitably going to cause you to die. And fairly frequently at that. Odds are, though, you’re doing everything you can to avoid dying – or at least, if you’re not, you should be – but inevitably, something’s going to happen to cause you to die and go into Improved Death Form, especially when you’re learning an encounter. Generally, you’re going to be dying fairly late in a wipe, but that’s not always the case. So I’m going to argue for Spirit of Redemption.

Spirit of Redemption

The long and short of it, I’ve already explained above, but there are various other perks and benefits to having Spirit of Redemption in your spec as well. The biggest and clearest benefit of SoR is the free healing. Yes, there is the downside of having to die first. But the free healing can come either through an accidental death, or it can also come via an intentional death, as well, which can be extremely beneficial at times. I think a lot of people tend to forget that there are very clear-cut benefits such as this. Moreover, SoR makes it easier to see you if you’re in need of a battle resurrection, and it’s less likely you need to have that communication for it.

To elaborate further on my point regarding the free healing, it’s very likely most of the time when you get into Spirit of Redemption, you’ve died by accident or some other mechanic that will somehow manage to kill you outright. As an example, missing a heal on Chimaeron’s Caustic Slime, and then getting hit with a second Caustic Slime, thus killing you because you were less than 10,000 hit points. On the other hand, you can also forcibly commit suicide, as it were, to force Spirit of Redemption. Generally you’ll do this any time you’re out of mana cooldowns, you don’t have an Innervate or Mana Tide available, and you’ve already used your Hymn of Hope, Shadowfiend and your mana potion of choice.

I actually came upon this latter situation most recently on a Maloriak kill. Our holy paladin died fairly early on, so our shaman and myself dual-healed the rest of the encounter. During phase two, I was out of mana, Mana Tide was down, I’d already used a Concentration Potion, Hymn of Hope and Shadowfiend were both on cooldown, I’d used Divine Hymn earlier on, Guardian Spirit wasn’t available, and our add tank had just died. I got aggro on one of the Prime Subjects, let it kill me and was proceeding to Flash Heal/Greater Heal my way to our victory. Largely, this was wasted because we got the kill about three seconds later anyway, but the point remains that you can put yourself in this type of situation in order to eke out that last little bit of HPS to ensure your raid’s survival, and ultimately, get that kill. It can, in the end, be a last ditch effort. But sometimes a last ditch effort is what you need.

On the other hand, as I said before, you will occasionally die for various reasons, especially during progression. If you have a battle resurrection available, then Spirit of Redemption can definitely be a clear way to let people know, “HEY, I’M DEAD.” Granted, there’s the downside of having to wait until Spirit of Redemption fades before getting that battle resurrection out, but your raiders should be aware of this as well. Chances are, your Druids are already aware of this, but soon, your death knights and warlocks will also need to be intimately aware of this, too, with changes to Raise Ally and Soulstone coming. Of course, this is totally dependent on your raid leader’s awareness, and whether you’re actually going to be a battle resurrection target, among so many other different possible variables, but again, there is this possibility.

Now, to consider alternatives for Spirit of Redemption, there’s always the alternative of Desperate Prayer. Now, this is a nice life-saving ability. But, it’s not one that I care for. Yes, it heals for a pretty good amount, but to me, it’s just not worth it in a raid environment. In PvP, it’s a must-have, absolutely, but for PvE, it’s really something that I find is just a nuisance by having another button to push that I’ll probably forget about and as it is, I have enough buttons to push. As it stands, it’s rare enough I use the Healthstones our warlocks provide. But that doesn’t mean you can’t, or shouldn’t, take it. The other possible alternatives are your Renew talents, or even Blessed Resilience (which is actually surprisingly nice for PvE nowadays). All of this is totally based on playstyle preference. I prefer to have Spirit of Redemption. Others don’t. But the “You shouldn’t be dying” argument is not only poorly thought out, but also a very weak argument to boot.