Some of the new tier sets have come out with Blizzard’s official preview of tier sets, and they’ve also released current tentative information regarding set bonuses. This is obviously one of those things that’s hot on everyone’s minds, which is perfectly okay. Rightly so, it should be. Clearly, there are a lot of things that can go well, or can go poorly, with each individual set bonus, but for priests, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Priest T12

All in all, I think there’s a good amount to be said, both on a positive note, as well as the negative connotations that can come with the priest healing tier set. Personally, though, I think the absolute best part of it is the way it looks, but of course, this is subjective. So let’s take a look at the set bonuses and discuss what can come of it. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

  • Holy/Discipline 2 Pieces – Your Flash Heal, Heal, and Greater Heal spells cause you to regenerate 2% of your base mana every 5 sec for 15 sec.
  • Holy/Discipline 4 Pieces – You have a chance when you cast a helpful spell to summon a Cauterizing Flame. Friendly raid and party members can use the Cauterizing Flame to be instantly healed for 4625 to 5375. Lasts for 45 sec sec or 10 charges. After using the Cauterizing Flame, players cannot benefit from it again for 10 sec.

The Good

10-man priests are going to have an easy time with the 2-piece bonus, period. There’s ample opportunity in most encounters to use Flash Heal, Greater Heal or Heal. A tank-healing priest in 25-man is probably also going to see a good amount of return from the set bonus as well. One hopes that the trigger from the 2-piece rolls, too, otherwise it becomes a bit of a waste (especially in comparison to the other healers’ 2-piece bonuses, which is just flat mana regen all at once, rather than over time). So for any 10-man priest, I’d definitely look forward to this set bonus, should it remain the same.

The 2-piece bonus can be problematic for any raid healing priest in 25-mans. Holy priests and Atonement priests are particularly vulnerable to not seeing returns from the 2-piece bonus just because of how raid damage is laid out, essentially making the 2-piece bonus near worthless. Since holy priests are mostly relegated to PoH/CoH/PoM/Renew spam, and Atonement priests are generally using Smite/Holy Fire/Penance, and the 2-piece bonus procs from none of these, it makes it almost useless to even bother. Discipline priests will probably have the easiest time with this, but usually only if they’re tank healing; raid healing again goes back to PoH spam, with Power Word: Shield and Penance in the mix – again which don’t trigger the set bonus. So it leaves a lot to be desired in 25-mans. But for 10-mans, this is very easily a good bonus to have.

The Bad

Cauterizing Flames. There’s a lot of negativity surrounding this already, and it’s definitely justified, but strangely, this isn’t even the worst of what’s going on with healing priest tier sets just yet. At any rate, Cauterizing Flames essentially acts like a Lightwell, of sorts. It will last 45 seconds, and have 10 charges. The target cannot be affected by the heal more than once in a 10 second period. The one major upside to this is that it’s an instant heal, not a HoT, somewhere in between a tick of Renew and a tick of Lightwell Renew, so it’s about as much healing as you’d expect from a Healthstone. The other good thing about it is that it’s not limited to specific heals triggering it, like the 2-piece bonus, so it could potentially proc off of Levitate, mid-encounter Fort/Shadow Protection due to a death, or any possible heal or absorb. Note, however, that it’s only on casts, so it’s not going to trigger from Echo of Light, Renew or Lightwell Renew ticks, and possibly not Divine Aegis procs or Atonement or Glyph of Power Word: Shield heals. I suppose another plus to all of this is that Discipline will have something Lightwell-esque to boost their healing, as well.

The downsides to this are pretty numerous, though. For one, it’s RNG-based, so who knows how often you’re going to have one of these up? They’re not reliable, since you’ll have to rely on your raid members to use it. The duration is terrible, at only 45 seconds (but given that, maybe it will trigger more often). The placement could be wonky, if it procs right on top of the person that benefited from your helpful spell. Color could be an issue, especially if it’s got a red/orange tint, since we’re going to be in Firelands, and all. Communicating that one has procced with also be an issue, because it has a long name for one, and there’s no telling who it’s going to proc from. My hope is that, if anything, it will look like a Holy Fire animation (which is kind of a white-yellowish color), but this could also be one of those things like the early versions of Holy Word: Sanctuary, Efflorescence and Healing Rain, where people are just going to avoid them for a while.

The Ugly

The worst part of everything regarding the bonuses is the possibility that the Shadow two-piece bonus will override the healing four-piece bonus, especially when specced for Veiled Shadows. Without the talents, it’s a cooldown of three minutes, forty-five seconds. With it, that’s an additional one minute off the timer for Shadowfiend. That means two Shadowfiends per Hymn of Hope cooldown when you’re specced for Veiled Shadows. That’s a pretty hefty amount of mana, especially considering that a priest isn’t able to get all of the ticks from a Hymn of Hope.

I guess in the end, I kind of hope that we get a more worthwhile set of bonuses, but if not, then we’ll make do. I just hope that the four-piece bonus can manage to overshadow going for 2-piece healing, 2-piece shadow.