Oestrus’ Guide To The Chakra Sutra – Version 4.1.0

11 Feb

Welcome to Oestrus’ Guide to the Chakra Sutra, which has been recently updated to reflect the large amount of changes that have been made to Chakra since the release of Cataclysm and with the recently released patch 4.1.0. 

Holy priests are both really excited about and really intimidated by or possibly even overwhelmed by Chakra.  I think it is something that people are capable of over thinking about and I think it is something that is really easy for someone to talk themselves in circles over.   I don’t feel it necessarily has to be that way.

This guide will be updated as changes occur and as new feedback is given.  While I have worked hard to bring the most current information that I can, there are undoubtedly things I may have missed or things that may change in the future.  Hopefully, this can be updated to keep up with these changes and can remain a valuable resource, at any given time

The basic format of the guide will consist of a general fact sheet about Chakra, followed by a breakdown of each state.  I will cover the finer points of each Chakra state, including the benefits of being in it, details about how your spells will work while in the state and examples of fights where you may find that particular Chakra most useful.  At the end of the guide I will cover some Frequently Asked Questions and suggest some macros for you to make using Chakra easier.

You can find the original Guide to the Chakra Sutra here.

What is Chakra?

1.  Chakra is a 20 point talent in the holy tree that allows a priest to enter a state where certain abilities are enhanced, depending on which Chakra state the priest chooses to enter.

2.  Chakra is put into effect by casting the spell and then one of eight additional spells immediately after it, thereby putting you into that particular state.

*  Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal or Binding Heal will put you into Chakra: Serenity

*  Prayer of Healing or Prayer of Mending will place you into Chakra: Sanctuary

*  Smite or Mind Spike will put you into Chakra: Chastise

3.  Placing a talent point in Revelations will allow Chakra to change the effects of Holy Word: Chastise to compliment whatever state you are in.  The tooltip graphic will also reflect that this change has occured. 

Holy Word: Serenity — Chakra: Serenity

Holy Word: Sanctuary — Chakra: Sanctuary

*  Chakra: Chastise is the only state that does not change your Holy Word: Chastise

4.  Chakra does not limit or restrict what spells you can cast while in a state.  For example, you could still use Shadow Word: Death if you were in Chakra: Sanctuary or Flash Heal if you were in Chakra: Chastise.  It only takes spells that you already have and makes them more effective or slightly changes their effects.

5.  Chakra now lasts until canceled, which is a buff from its previous one minute duration.  However, if you go into the wrong Chakra by mistake or you need to change into another one (due to the particular needs of your situation) you would need to wait for it to be off cooldown before you could change your Chakra state again.

6.  Chakra does not use a global cooldown, so you can make a macro for each state you would want to enter and make it more efficient to use that way. 

7.  Chakra does not cost any mana to cast, but the spells you would cast immediately after it still cost mana to use. 

Chakra:  Serenity

1.  Increases the critical strike chance of all healing spells by 10%

2.  All direct heals will refresh the duration of a Renew already present on the target.

3.  Holy Word: Serenity

*  Instantly heals your target for 5198 to 6100 and increases the critical strike chance of all healing spells on the target by an additional 25% for 6 seconds.  Has a 10 second cooldown, with points taken in Tome of Light.

*  The direct heal from Holy Word: Serenity can crit and will trigger your mastery.

4.  Ideal for situations where you are tank healing or single target healing.

Chakra: Sanctuary

1.  Increases the healing done by AOE healing spells and Renew by 15%

*  This includes Circle of Healing, Divine Hymn, Holy Nova, Holy Word: Sanctuary and Prayer of Healing.

2.  Reduces the cooldown of Circle of Healing by 2 seconds. 

3.  Holy Word: Sanctuary

*  Targets a zone to become a sanctuary and heals those standing inside of it for 299 to 355 every 2 seconds for 18 seconds.  Has a diminished effect when healing more than 6 players at once.  Currently has a 28 second cooldown, with 2 points in Tome of Light.

*  Despite not being a direct heal, the healing effects of this spell will activate your mastery.

*  Allies must remain in the zone to receive the full effect of the sanctuary.  If they step out of it for any reason, they will instantly stop receiving heals. 

*  The heals from Holy Word: Sanctuary do have a chance to crit.

4.  Ideal for healing through widespread raid damage, preferably with people grouped up.

*  Chimaeron

*  Atramedes

*  Valiona & Theralion

Chakra: Chastise

1.  Increases all damage done by your holy and shadow spells by 15%

2.  Holy Word: Chastise

*  Remains unchanged by this Chakra.

3.  Ideal for leveling purposes, during burn phases on boss fights or periods where little healing is required.

*  Magmaw

*  Chimaeron  

Frequently Asked Questions

QCan Chakra be dispelled off of me?

A:  No.  Currently, Chakra cannot be removed by Dispel Magic, Purge, Spellsteal or any other offensive type dispel from an opposing player or enemy.

QCan Chakra be cast on other players?

A:  No.  Chakra can only be cast on yourself, not other priests or other allies.

QAre there any glyphs that benefit Chakra?

A:  Not specifically.  However, glyphs that you already have enabled that would enhance spells that are part of a Chakra state (like Circle of Healing) will stack with the benefits of being in that particular Chakra. 

For example, if you were using Glyph of Prayer of Healing you would still enjoy the additional 20% of the intial heal bonus that comes with using the glyph, along with the 15% increased AOE healing bonus provided by Chakra: Sanctuary.  Being in a Chakra state does not take away or override the benefits your glyphs would give you for a particular spell or ability. 

QShould I place talent points into Tome of Light?

A:  Yes.  As of right now, you want the reduced cooldown on your Holy Word spells, because they are still quite long and you want to make sure you are getting the full benefits of being in a Chakra state by having the option of having these spells available when you need them.

QShould I place talent points into State of Mind?

A:  That depends.  State of Mind was recently changed to give you a flat reduction on the cooldown for Chakra.  As it stands right now, I don’t see State of Mind being terribly useful unless you see yourself changing stances often during a fight.  If you feel that you spend most of your time performing one role, rather it be tank healing or raid healing and you don’t feel that you stray from that too much, then I would say you don’t need to put points here.  If you feel that you do a little bit of everything and your healing assignments are sort of vague, then you may want to put points into State of Mind, so that you have the option of changing your stances more quickly if you need to. 

This is entirely personal preference and I don’t feel there is a “right” answer to this question.  The best answer to this question would be to do whatever works best for you and your raid and whatever you feel helps you get the best results.


As always, much appreciation and thanks to Kurn, for helping me create these macro suggestions for the various Chakra states that are available, for spending a good chunk of time creating sanctuary zones in Dalaran with me and for helping me test out other spells for this guide. 

The first thing you will want to do is set your binding and then paste in one of the following macros.  Repeat the process for each one that you would like to have bound. 

Chakra: Serenity

/cast Chakra

/cast [target=mouseover] Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal or Binding Heal

Chakra: Sanctuary

/cast Chakra

/cast [target=mouseover] Prayer of Healing or Prayer of Mending

Chakra: Chastise

/cast Chakra

/cast [@mouseovertarget] Smite or Mind Spike

1.  The Chakra: Chastise macro assumes that you are mousing over someone who is friendly, but who is targeting something that is hostile.

Thank you very much for reading and hopefully this guide will take away some of the confusion surrounding Chakra and make it seem much more enjoyable and easier to understand than it may have been before.

Please enjoy!

(Additional thanks go out to Darista, for coming up with the tongue in cheek title for this guide and also to “Mirzolot2” from Wikipedia, for creating the beautiful Chakra images that were used here, which are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unproted License.)


17 Responses to “Oestrus’ Guide To The Chakra Sutra – Version 4.1.0”

  1. Felade February 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    I’d like to hear less of the abc’s of Chakra, and more about how you think it affects the game or where you use certain Chakra states.

    Also, macroing Chakra into your spells is filed under *really bad idea*. Casting Chakra while already in a state cancels your current state, so in that setup every 24 seconds you’ll be casting a spell without the benefits of Chakra. It is also a waste of the cooldown that you might want to save so you can switch states.

    • Oestrus February 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

      Hi Felade,

      I would normally agree with you and I’m certainly happy to elaborate on the finer points of Chakra. However, it seems that there is still a larger number of people that aren’t getting Chakra, as is. This was meant to cater more to those types of people that are consistently hung up on how bad it is for them and how poor of a mechanic it is for priests. I feel the complete opposite. It’s a fantastic tool and if a simplified explanation can ease people into it, we can certainly cover more detailed things down the line.

      Regarding your query, I feel that Chakra was designed to be used near constantly. I use it for trash mobs, I use it for boss fights. If we’re in any form of combat, I’m in a Chakra state. The particular states that I use for certain boss fights may differ from the ones someone else uses, because it’s based on your healing assignments. There are some fights where I get to tank heal and some where I raid heal. Sometimes the assignment is the same from week to week and sometimes it’s not. Like they say, results may vary.

      I would also agree about the macros, but I did want to at least show people that it was an option and depending on your healing assignments, you may not need to shift states constantly. That’s been my experience, at least.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      • Felade February 16, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

        Oh, I understand Chakra completely, or at least at the level you have gone to in your post (which is quite nice for a summary, really) – I still hate it. Alot.

        Don’t assume because someone doesn’t *like* something they don’t understand it.

        • Oestrus February 17, 2011 at 12:12 am #

          Well, I’m open to hearing your thoughts. What about Chakra do you not care for? Have you been a holy priest for a while and upset by the recent incarnation of holy priests? I’d be curious to know about your background and how you got to the point where you are now with your feelings on it.

          I would agree with you on the difference between not liking and not understanding something, except the loudest critics of Chakra seem to be radically missing the point of why the spell/talent exists and how to use it. There’s a very clear minority, in terms of people who don’t like it and have sound, stable reasons for feeling that way.

          I certainly didn’t mean to assume or imply that you were one of the latter. Those are just the types I seem to run across the most.

          • Felade February 17, 2011 at 2:37 am #

            I’m not going to claim one way or another where the majority lies.

            I healed through BC (SSC/TK) and Wrath (11/12 HM ICC 10 11/12 ICC 25) as Holy.

            I don’t like Chakra because it encourages (not enforces) a less flexible healing style. Sure, you CAN use your off-chakra heals, but if you are doing it right, you try to use them as little as possible. You also don’t get much reward for using it other than being just as powerful as the other healers. On my Druid, I don’t need to make choices about whether I want to be strong at tank healing or at group healing every 24-30 seconds. I just use the heal that’s right for the situation.

            That’s what bothers me with Chakra. I played holy because I was flexible; I had a specialized tool for every situation. Now, I have a specialized tool for every situation, but half my tools I get penalized for using.

            Which would be fine, if situations only came up where you needed one toolset or the other. But real life just doesn’t work like that – sometimes, the heal you need right now is Greater Heal. It just is. That guy took a big spike, and no one else in his group did. But you’re stuck in Sanc for the next 20 sec or so so you cast a Gheal that doesn’t get Serenity’s benefit.

            Not a huge deal in the scheme of things, but it really bothers me and it is something I don’t have to worry about on other healers. I feel it also encourages us to just stay in one chakra. I’d like Chakra better if the CD was lower – say 15 seconds – so that it was a little easier to respond correctly to damage phases. *That* might actually make it a fun mechanic. Some phases line up well with chakra, but a lot of them don’t and they aren’t really being designed around it. As it is, I usually end up just staying in one Chakra stance the whole fight – it just isn’t worth the trouble of being in the wrong Chakra when the problem phase comes up. So, you just stay in the Chakra for whichever damage type is most threatening/your assignment for the whole fight.

            The mechanic is also bothersome – it is much better now, but it is still annoying to have to constantly recast a buff or cast useless spells. At least now the CD doesn’t line up with the duration so you can pre-plan your recast a bit more. There’s no reason for it to have a duration now though since you can’t extend that duration with your casts (which is a mechanic I wouldn’t mind seeing come back somehow).

            I don’t expect to convince you one way or the other but there’s my thoughts. Don’t expect to convince me either – its just not fun for me. Its a chore and it really gutted a spec I enjoyed in BC and Wrath.

          • Oestrus February 17, 2011 at 8:37 am #

            It’s interesting that you would mention Chakra encouraging a less flexible healing style, because I would consider what most holy priests did through Wrath to be pretty inflexible. I was a resto druid through the same levels as content that you had seen and beyond and we shared a lot in common with holy priests, in that most of our time was spent just spraying what I call “HoT vomit” on the raid. There was no challenge, there was no real finesse to it. It was pretty faceroll. Not every priest and druid had locked themselves into that mindset and some of us wanted more for ourselves. But we could only do so much without the support of our raid leaders or healing leads. I have asked that question a number of times before. Who was to blame healers falling into that trap? Was it us for giving in to it and not trying to challenge ourselves? Was it the officers who demanded we keep using that play style? Or was it the developers for making that play style so optimal? Yes, we had flexibility, but we chose not to use it.

            You also stated a number of times that you feel that you can’t use certain spells because of the Chakra state that you’re in. You’re not barred from using those spells. Nothing is stopping you from using them, other than yourself. You made mention of not having a reason to use a spell not in your range of Chakra heals because it would only be as powerful as the heal from another healer. You… were expecting to be leaps and bounds better than everyone else? What would give you a reason to think that your class was meant for such a thing? Your heal would be as good as another healer, not less than. How is that a bad thing? If the situation calls for a Greater Heal, use Greater Heal (although I am curious why you’re using Greater Heal when on raid healing duty, assuming that’s why you would be in Sanctuary).

            The desire to change Chakra more frequently seems a bit outdated, considering that you rarely see warriors stance dancing anymore and you also don’t see paladins shifting auras too often. A number of classes that had the means to change their abilities frequently don’t have a need to do that anymore, presumably driven by the developers. Chakra should be no exception. I would be more inclined to think that if you’re having to change states that frequently that there could be a hole in your healing assignments or coordination at large. That’s just my initial opinion, when I hear people say that they’re having to juggle roles frequently enough to warrant changing Chakra states that much.

  2. Felade February 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    An aside: I’m trying to keep this post as civil as possible. However, text doesn’t convey such emotions well. I apologize if it doesn’t come across that way, but I assure you I’m just stating my points and nothing personal is meant in any way 🙂

    Ok, first lets get this out of the way. Whenever I talk Chakra with someone, I always hear “but you can cast your spells even if you’re in the wrong Chakra”. Yes, I am aware of that. A Frost Mage can still cast Fireball – but it is not *optimal*. Same goes for off-Chakra healing. It is not always avoidable, granted, but you should avoid it if you can. I don’t like that.

    “HOT vomit” was not how I played Wrath at all. However, there WERE lots of Priests out there who played that way. They were not effective. Sure the METERS might have said they were effective, but you can’t heal through massive spikes using HOTs, and a lot of times it caused unnecessary deaths where a Flash Heal or a Prayer of Healing would have been a much better choice, even if it would have meant you fell behind on the meters. I think if you did a lot of 10 man HMs, you’d notice that you’d need a raid healer who didn’t heal like that if you wanted to be successful, at least until the buffs started going out and any trained monkey could get their 10 man Drake. So the problem in Wrath was that healers weren’t challenged, and the buff made it worse. We could just focus on meters because we had nothing better to do. Turns out Renew scaled really well and worked out for meter spamming.

    Did Chakra fix this? no. Currently, Renew has been replaced by Prayer of Healing. That is just because Renew does poorly at the beginning of the scale, and our mastery is OP (in 25 mans, on certain fights) for meter purposes. POH is a much larger percentage of the average Holy Priest’s healing than Renew ever was in ICC. That’s not really Chakra’s fault, but Chakra’s not really helping, either.

    Here’s what I mean by flexible. Can you cast *your best possible* Circle of Healing, followed by *your best possible* Greater Heal? In Wrath, the answer would be yes. After Chakra, the answer is no.

    I think Chakra switching holds a lot of potential. If you could give it a shorter cooldown, that would *reward* knowing the fight and preparing in advance for damage. If you don’t ever switch Chakra, what’s the point? Then maybe Blizzard really ought to make it a stance with a long cooldown. Stances and Presences have very little effect on the game. Anymore, you just set your stance/form and forget about it – but then, warriors, Druids or DKs don’t have to recast their Stance/Form/Presence all the time either. Recent changes have reinforced this: Charge and Interecept sharing a CD, removal of the root break from Druid forms, and so forth.

    I think you misunderstood my statement about relative power. If you look at equivalent heals across the classes, you will see that our glass is half empty: our spells are balanced with the assumption of the correct Chakra state. Circle of Healing is as powerful as Wild Growth – but only if you are in Sanc Chakra. Only difference is, the Druid doesn’t have to wait 24 seconds to cast a Swiftmend after casting that powerful Wild Growth.

    What would I want? Well, Chakra gone for starters. I’d take a shorter cooldown though, since there’s little likelihood they will remove Chakra at all (even if they did it probably wouldn’t happen until the next expansion). Then, it might be a bit more fun, and encourage us to predict damage and think about what state we want to be in instead of “5 mans? Serenity. Tank healing? Serenity. Group healing raids? Sanctuary. Rinse, Repeat”

    I’ll use Greater Heal when healing the raid. Take Cho’gall, for instance. My tank healer’s falling behind on the MT, no one’s taking damage yet. Bam, a few greater heals on the tank. 5 seconds after that, the adds pop up, or Cho’gall switches to Shadow orders. If I set my Chakra Serenity before using those G heals, I’d be in trouble. But I’m giving up a lot on that G heal by not being in Serenity, too. The Druid doesn’t have to do that – he just switfmends or casts healing touch, then goes back to rejuv/lifebloom/wild growth as soon as the AE damage comes out. Mind you, that’s his best swiftmend followed by his best rejuvs and lifeblooms.

    • Oestrus February 18, 2011 at 9:36 am #

      Thank you for clarifying that things may not be conveyed well in text and that this wasn’t personal. I was starting to get the wrong idea!

      I feel as if there are people out there who feel that because something isn’t optimal that it shouldn’t be done. Take holy priest tank healing, for example. I do it and I do it well. Are there healers that are probably built better for it than I am? Sure. But I don’t lose my tanks and our boss kills go down pretty smoothly. If someone is truly in that much need of a heal, I would think any heal would be welcome. I wouldn’t look at a situation and say “Pfft, my heal isn’t going to do very much. I just won’t cast it.” That would be a pretty strange way of looking at things. If you have the means to bring someone back up in health, you should do it. Optimal or not. That’s your job. It’s like when you’re near a wipe and you have DPS classes who can heal that don’t. Why would you not?

      Regarding your thoughts on Chakra switching, I feel as if you gave more arguments that supported NOT having to do it than you realize. If a paladin is protection, it’s a pretty safe bet that he’s going to use Devotion Aura and keep said aura up. He usually doesn’t have to swap into Retribution Aura or Concentration Aura, unless a situation really calls for it. He could just as easily stay in that one aura all the time.

      Same goes with a feral druid. If he’s DPS and not required to suddenly tank (due to a current tank disconnecting or dying), he can remain in cat form and has no reason to swap out. I feel like the Charka argument runs along these lines. If I’m raid healing, I should be in my raid healing stance. If something changes and I need to suddenly swap to a tank, the option is there for me to do that. There’s no reason for a prot paladin to go “Devotion, then Fire Protection, then Concentration, then CRUSADER!” within the span of a couple of minutes. That would be silly.

      With regards to your last paragraph, I stll think healing assignments play a large part in things. If your raid is not taking damage and your tank healer can’t keep a tank up, I’d be a little concerned. When I’m assigned to raid healing, I do not need to touch my tanks. I slap a Renew on them, PoM and maybe bounce a PoH or CoH on them, depending on what the rest of their group is looking like. My tank healers handle it. If they can’t handle it, they’re assigned to do other things. I believe if you have an assignment, you shouldn’t have to stray from that unless under extreme circumstances. Now if the whole raid was taking damage and your tank couldn’t seem to stay up, I would think that would be OK. But if you have just pulled and your tank healer can’t keep up? That’s a “them” thing and not a “you” thing and you shouldn’t be expected to break your stride to make up for them.

  3. ash February 21, 2011 at 3:38 am #

    I understand chakra and am constantly in a chakra state, but like Felade, I really do hate and resent chakra. Obviously, I’ll use whatever heal will get the job done, no matter what state I’m in, but I lose optimal healing if I’m tank healing and need to heal the raid, and vica versa. I miss the days when switching between raid and tank heals didn’t require pushing extra buttons and waiting for cooldowns to go into a different chakra state in order to use the most efficient heals for the current situation. It feels much more rigid than in the past, and like we’re being penalized for our versatility, which is what I’ve loved most about priest healing. I had hoped that given time, I’d come to appreciate chakra more, but I don’t. Perhaps it’s partly due to the fact that I’ve healed holy since this game began and partly because my role is usually filling the gaps in both tank and raid healing, healing wherever it’s needed. Yes, that’s how we usually do it…. we usually have a free healer to fill in the gaps, and it works well for us. Especially in situations where a particular healer is unable to cast for one reason or another (running, silenced, etc.)

    • ash February 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

      I meant to add that you did a nice job on the chakra guide.

      • Oestrus February 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

        Hey there Ash,

        Sorry it took me so long to reply. I have been sidelined with a terrible cold the last few days. I at least wanted to unscreen your comment, because it was very nice and I appreciated the feedback and I made a mental note to respond sometime soon. So here I am!

        It’s funny that you mention Chakra penalizing priests for their versatility, because I feel like it’s kind of brought it back in a way. At least compared to how things were in Wrath. Towards the end of “Wrath” we did nothing but raid heal, because that’s what the class/spec had been essentially built to do. We could tank heal, but nowhere in a solid capacity. We couldn’t be relied upon to do it and keep said tank up. Now in “Cataclysm” we can still be the strong raid healers that we developed a reputation for being in “Wrath” and we can also tank heal in a reliable way. The method that we use to get there is a bit different, but at least it’s there. I like Chakra because I feel it gives you something to watch and monitor, which we really didn’t have to do in “Wrath” and it’s a neat mechanic.

        I keep hearing the argument of “We should be able to do both.” But I can’t think of any healer who could give an equal amount of attention and the same quality of heals to both a tank and the raid if asked to do so. You could devote a lot of time and attention to your tank or the raid and if you’re asked to “pinch hit” or heal, you can but someone is going to not get your full attention. I think that’s the case with everyone. Why should it be different with a holy priest?


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