4. Talent specs and glyphs
Talent specs are another thing that has been completely overhauled with the arrival of Cataclysm. In WOTLK, we used to have 71 points, but such a buttload of obligatory "+X% healing done" talents that pretty much all of those were predefined, even for the priest, a class which used to have a relatively large amount of room to shuffle with. The new system of being locked into a tree until you've spent 31 points there and talents themselves having been nerfed has changed this quite a bit. Those 8 talent points we still have free after filling up our main tree are in most cases completely preference based and really can be thrown wherever you want them. I will however add the most common and basic builds to this guide to give some basic insight into our new specializations. Discipline Builds Basic Discipline PvE cookie cutter (with Smite trick)
This build is the most basic Discipline build you can get. It isn't optimized for any role, but it picks up all the tricks you can get. I recommend it for someone who is new to disc and is still learning the ropes - this build will allow you to play with all the bells and whistles and get familiar with the whole tree, after which you can more easily optimize your tree by leaving out the stuff you don't want for more stat bonuses. Basic Discipline PvE cookie cutter (without Smite trick)
While quite similar to the basic build, this one skips the Smite trick. The thing is that while it sounds good in theory, in practice the whole Smite+Atonement ordeal often ends up being just as good as simply casting Heal instead. And why waste five talent points to obtain something you already have? Min/max PvE Discipline
This is a more hardcore build for people who intend on specializing completely in high-end raiding. Strength of Soul's use is arguable because Rapture can only proc every twelve seconds and PW:S becomes too expensive to keep up, hence why the real hardcore players will want to skip the talent. Surge of Light is skipped for Darkness, as it is too unreliable and will likely not weigh up to a pure stat bonus in the long run. Basic Discipline PvP cookie cutter (without Smite trick)
The most basic PvP discipline spec without grabbing the Smite trick. PW:B is skipped because of its relatively high mana cost and slight uselesness in a mobile PvP fight. The leftover seven points can be distributed by preference. Most people would want to fill up Divine Aegis and Inner Sanctum, though some spec into Darkness, Veiled Shadows and Twisted Faith. Basic Discipline PvP cookie cutter (with Smite trick)
And the Smite version of the above build. Again, the leftover seven points can be distributed by preference - prime talents to fill out would be Divine Aegis, Inner Sanctum, Darkness or Twisted Faith. Holy Builds Basic Holy PvE cookie cutter
Similar to the basic discipline build, this one picks up all the bells & whistles of the holy tree. It is a great starting point for players wanting to get familiar with the tree. Desperate Prayer is skipped because while free, it heals for paltry amounts thanks to the new Cataclysm improved health pools™. Veiled Shadows is picked up to help with mana problems and the points in Twin Disciplines are there for extra throughput. Spirit of Redemption is picked up because while people will argue that you should not be dead to begin with, Cataclysm's starvation for mana has in some cases made it a viable tactic to kill yourself off when you run completely out of mana just to get fifteen seconds of free healing. This can, especially at lower gear levels, often be the difference between a wipe and a kill.
As a little sidenote to holy PvE builds - do not ever pick up Evangelism and Archangel. They are not worth it for holy, you will never get any chance to cast non-healing Smites. Also note that Lightwell is now a must-have in pretty much every holy build; I'll touch upon this in the healing tactics chapter. Min/max PvE Holy
A build optimized for throughput, this one isn't recommended until higher gear levels are attained (think full T11). Spirit of Redemption is dropped, and Darkness is picked up as a decent stat bonus. Basic Holy PvP cookie cutter
With a full nine points to spare. Most PvPers will fill those points up like this
, but there are several options possible. Going into disc
for a now semi-useful Archangel is another option. Revelations is skipped because while HW: Serenity is good, a PvPing holy priest will want to be able to stick in Chakra while having HW: Chastise available to him. Inspiration is skipped because it lacks a lot of it's allure in PvP, especially since there is so much non-physical damage going around. Glyphs
Glyphs too have become more lenient with Cataclysm. The new glyph system has also made it possible to easily change your glyphs on the fly, allowing you to simply learn all of them and switch according to the fight, if necissary. Prime glyphs are still mostly set in stone, but I'll give a simple rundown of all non-minor glyphs here. Prime glyphs
Discipline has Penance and Power Word: Shield as must-have glyphs. Power Word: Barrier is a strong third choice, but so is Prayer of Healing, which becomes an incredibly potent heal when coupled with Divine Aegis as well. PvPing priests may want to look into Shadow Word: Death or Shadow Word: Pain.
Holy wants Renew and Prayer of Healing. Lightwell and Guardian Spirit are both options for a third, with Lightwell being the best on most fights. For PvP, Prayer of Healing can be dropped.
Note that Flash Heal has been nerfed significantly from what it was and is now useless for pretty much all purposes, except for perhaps the ocassional fight with mechanics that instantly take down the entire party/raid to 1% hp and are based around timing your heals correctly (think decimate
). Major glyphs
For holy, Circle of Healing is the only must-have here. For disc players who use the Smite trick, Divine Accuracy is one you'll certainly want. Past those, there is lots of room for playing around. Dispel Magic, Holy Nova, Mass Dispel, Psychic Scream, Smite and Spirit Tap all have some kind of use in most PvE content. If you just want to grab the 'best' three and be done with it, get Dispel Magic and Mass Dispel alongside your must-have.
If you're a PvPer, must-haves as disc are Mass Dispel and Pain Suppression (and Divine Accuracy if you use Smite). As holy, Mass Dispel really is the only required major glyph. Inner Fire, Dispel Magic and Smite are all interesing alternatives.