This post was originally created before Cataclysm came out and was based on a lot of speculation about how things would turn out for us and what stats were and were not going to be priority for holy priests. Obviously, a number of things have changed since then and will be changing with the release of 4.0.6. this week. I have changed the format of this post to be one lengthy post, rather than splitting it up into two parts. Let’s work our way around the character sheet and discuss the best possible enchants for raiding holy priests. As always, this post and these opinions are solely mine and what I have found works for me or others around me. I’m certainly open to discussion about other possibilities or things that I may not have covered here.
The de facto head enchant of choice for us is the Arcanum of Hyjal and is available at Revered with the Guardians of Hyjal. As an additional motivator to gain more reputation with them, the Guardians of Hyjal also have an epic quality belt available, for those who have reached Exalted and this belt will probably be your best in slot for quite some time.
Therazane offers two shoulder enchants, one at the Honored (called the Lesser Inscription of Charged Lodestone) and one at Exalted (known as the Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone). Different guilds may have different rules or expectations for which enchant you should have before you start raiding. At least make sure you have the Honored version available and then try your hardest to get Exalted as soon as you can. By doing the dailies and wearing the Therazane tabard while you do instances, you should find reaching Exalted to be quite doable.
Greater Intellect still appears to be the front runner here, unless you happen to be a tailor and then there are two other possibilities for you. Darkglow Embroidery could be seen as a more viable alternative, if you find you are having mana issues or that you may not have enough to spirit to be comfortable with the amount of regen that you have. This enchant is being changed to temporarily increase your spirit by 580 instead of giving you a small amount of mana back, which is definitely seen as a buff. The other alternative from tailoring is Lightweave Embroidery, which provides intellect instead of mana regen (contrary to what the tooltip states). This enchant appears to have a roughly 45 second internal cooldown and could be considered superior to Greater Intellect, due to the amount of intellect received being vastly more than any other profession can provide.
I tend to go for pure stats, regarding chest enchants and Peerless Stats is the obvious choice for that. However, Maelstrom Crystals are a pretty rare commodity right now and they can go for upwards of 1,000 gold a piece, depending on your server and the economy there. The next best thing would be Mighty Stats and that provides a nice +15 to all of your stats, which gives a slight increase to the size of your mana pool, the amount of hit points that you have and to your mana regen. Exceptional Spirit could be another option, for those facing mana issues or that are just beginning to raid.
Three new bracer enchants are being unveiled in this patch and one of them provides 50 intellect, which would make it the top choice for casters. If you’re still finding yourself having mana issues, you can choose Exceptional Spirit or if you’re not haste capped or feel you could use more haste you can also choose Speed. Greater Speed would be best, but the Maelstrom Crystals could again be the issue. Overall, I still believe the intellect enchant to be the better option.
EDIT: The 50 intellect to bracers enchant does in fact require Maelstrom Crystals. Exceptional Spirit or Haste would then be your next best options, if you don’t have access to those. 50 intellect to bracers will most likely be the top bracer enchant over Greater Speed and should take priority over that.
Right now, there are two clear choices for this category; Heartsong and Power Torrent. Initially, I did talk about Hurricane and I overestimated how much haste holy priests were going to need. Since I have started raiding and after many visits to the reforger, I feel that haste isn’t something I’m having too hard of a time getting my hands on. I really don’t see myself needing any more of it or needing to go so far as to take up a valuable weapon enchant spot to get more. So that leaves the initial two.
I definitely notice when I don’t have Heartsong on my weapon. I feel as if my mana regen takes a huge hit without it. I’m doing fine for mana right now, but I do want to err on the side of caution as my guild starts inching closer to downing final bosses and possibly beginning Heroic attempts. I’m also preparing myself for the slight nerf to Holy Concentration and I don’t want to be too over confident in my mana regen and have that hit me harder than I planned. Personally, Heartsong is the more obvious choice for me.
However, I can’t deny that Power Torrent is insanely good. The main thing holding people back from taking it is of course the expensive and hard to find Maelstrom Crystals. Once that hurdle is overcome, this enchant will start seeing much more use. It is useful for timing your cooldowns to go along with it (specifically Shadowfiend and Hymn of Hope), as it can temporarily increase the size of your mana pool. It helps to increase your overall spellpower, which is excellent if you are doing fine for mana and just want your heals to heal for more. It really depends on the type of healer you are. Some prefer to go for more endurance and are willing to sacrifice the strength of their heals to accomplish that and others aim for more hard hitting heals at the cost of some longevity. Both are strong choices and it really depends on where you are at and the type of healer that you are.
The sole enchant to off-hand is being nerfed in 4.0.6, to provide only 40 intellect instead of 100 intellect. Personally, I think this is a great move. The problem with the enchant the way that it was is that it basically made staves obsolete for us. Pound for pound, the stats on a main hand/off-hand combo (specifically the intellect) were going to outshine anything a staff could give you. I don’t think it was Blizzard’s intent to rule out an entire category of upgrades for people. Reducing the strength of the enchant gives people more of a choice, instead of feeling boxed into one way of gearing yourself up.
For enchanters with a skill of at least 475, the ring enchant for Intellect becomes available to you. This is the best option for you, followed only by Greater Stamina and that’s only if you’re really having survivability issues. If you are that could be an indication of worse things up ahead and I would try to get those sorted out as quickly as possible.
One thing to remember about the ring enchant is that the text beneath the enchant description now states that the enchant “requires 475 enchanting to be active.” This means that you not only need a minimum enchanting skill of 475 to even place the enchant on your rings, but if your enchanting skill ever falls below 475 you will lose those bonuses.
Say for example that you are a Blood Elf and you have leveled your enchanting to 475 – just enough so you can get the ring enchants for yourself. Then you decide to race change to a Troll and still remain an enchanter. You would lose the Blood Elf racial that gave you a boost to your enchanting and would no longer have the skill at 475. Any enchants you have added to your rings would be null and void until you leveled those few additional points to get back up there to re-active them.
The priority for this enchant depends on your guild and their particular pre-requisites for raiding. It’s not uncommon for guilds to require some form of run speed enchant on your boots and if that’s the case, you will want to go with Earthen Vitality first and then Lavawalker, if you can afford it. If your guild does not require any form of run speed enchant, then you have a number of choices available, based on your overall needs. If you find that you’re not haste capped or could use more, Haste would be a good choice. If you feel you are haste capped and are ready to start stacking mastery, take the Mastery enchant instead.
This is another enchant that can vary in importance and choice, depending on where you’re at with your gear and your stats. After intellect and spirit, haste is your next priority and you want to make sure you have at least 12.5% to hit the first haste break point, so you get the 2 extra ticks from Renew. Personally, I aim for a little more, but I always make sure I have at least that. Once you do, your next priority should be to stack for mastery. So, if you’re not at the break point or want a little more, take Haste. If you’re already there and are at the point where you can stack mastery, take Mastery. If you have the means to afford a higher quality enchant and you’re still wanting more mastery, take Greater Mastery. It all depends on where you are at and what you need.
Please keep your eyes peeled for more updated posts that I have written in the past that will be changed to reflect current trends in 4.0.6 and beyond. I will certainly do what I can to remain up to date and as always I encourage discussion about the choices that I have made so far regarding enchants and about what may be doing, too.
Enjoy the new patch and thank you for stopping by!