Here’s what I did when I hit 85. Maybe it will help anybody else. First, I learned Life Grip (or Leap of Faith if you want the real name…). While I was at the trainer, I reset my holy tree (I leveled on my secondary spec as shadow… it was still painful :( ).
Here is what my current spec looks like. I’m planning to mess around a little bit until I find what works for me. So here’s the justification for that spec and what I chose or didn’t choose:
- The entire first tier is obviously useful. Heal more, heal faster, and make one of the most versatile spells we have stronger. No brainer for me, really.
- In the second tier, I picked up Inspiration, 10% reduced incoming damage is huge. Unfortunately, crit % is pretty low early on, so it’s not proccing often from what I’ve seen so far. Surge of Light is actually useful now. I can verify that if you’re not using heal as your primary spell in 5 mans, you will go oom quickly. Really. I lasted one trash pull before I changed my ways. I couldn’t Circle of Healing on cooldown because it wasn’t necessary and it wasn’t efficient. I picked up Desperate Prayer because while I personally don’t like the spell that much, it is useful in a pinch and I ended up needing the point.
- I picked up all of tier 3 as well. The instant heal on renew doesn’t seem quite as useful in 5 mans, but it could become useful. Lightwell is proving itself very situationally useful in my opinion. The healing can get rather frantic from what I’ve done so far and people being able to keep themselves alive while you cast the 2+ second Heal is amazing.
- In tier 4 I picked up Rapid Renewal for utility. I picked up Spirit of Redemption because I figure with new instances and raids and such, I will die. If me being “alive” for 15 extra seconds saves the day, it’s worth the 1 point. In ICC I thought it was a waste to plan on being dead because of the encounters themselves and the stage we were in progression-wise when 4.0 hit.
- I did not pick up Serendipity. While I loved Serendipity in WotLK, I don’t plan on spamming Flash Heal or Binding Heal often enough to make it worthwhile. This may change after I play around some and especially after raiding starts.
- In tier 5, I picked up Body and Soul, Chakra, and Relevations for obvious reasons, leaving the PvP talent alone.
- Tier 6 I picked up Test of Faith which is infinitely more useful in Cata than WotLK since people actually dip below 50% often. In fact, it’s motivation to keep people hovering right at 50% if you’re triaging. I did not pick up State of Mind. Instead, I macro’ed Chakra into Heal for the time being. It was previously on Prayer of Mending, but 5 mans require very little aoe healing.
- Circle of Healing and Guardian Spirit are no brainers.
- In Shadow, I took 3 points in Darkness for the much-needed haste. My haste levels are ridiculously low in 85 starter gear.
- In Discipline, I chose Twin Disciples for throughput and Mental Agility for efficiency. I decided that with 7 points to spend, Soul Warding was more useful than Inner Sanctum when combined with Body and Soul. I decided that extra efficiency that is useful all of the time was a better option for 1 talent point than a utility talent to benefit another utility talent that benefits a spell we don’t generally cast often as holy. >>
After respeccing, I visited the quartermasters for all of the zones I need rep with for gear and other options. I bought my tabards and starter gear. I also spent my justice points that I had capped before launch. I bought:
- Blue quality shoulder enchant from Therazane in Deepholme (honored)
- Ring from Ramkahen (honored)
- Neck from Earthen Ring
- Cloak from Guardians of Hyjal
- Shoulders from Justice Point vendor (In case you didn’t know, the Justice point vendor is in Org on top of Garromosh Hold. It’s in a little room up there. It took me a good chunk of time to find it ><)
- Chest from Justice Point vendor
- Once I have more points, I plan to pick up the helm and gloves as well
There is a spirit trinket available in the Vortex Pinnacle. It has a very high drop rate off of trash (somebody quoted 8% for every mob). It is incredibly useful and if you don’t want to wait for it to drop, you can get it for relatively cheap on AH. (On my server they were about 100g.)
Then for the fun part. I ran some normal instances. They were my first instances of Cataclysm as I prefer to level on quests only. I can verify that if you’re not using heal as your primary spell in 5 mans, you will go oom quickly. Really. I lasted one trash pull before I changed my ways. I couldn’t Circle of Healing on cooldown because it wasn’t necessary and it wasn’t efficient.
Overall, I felt a little frantic in the instances until I really got a feel for what I needed to do. I definitely have more spells bound now and may change things as I see what I use more often. My one proud moment where I felt totally bad-ass was in Halls of Origination on Temple Guardian Anhuur. At one point in the fight, you have to run/jump downstairs to hit some levers to stop a big bad ability. The first time it happened, I was running around and noticed the boomkin in the group knew what he was doing. I had trouble running around keeping everybody in line of sight and healed and dealing with figuring out the staircases, etc. So the second time, I put a circle on the boomkin’s head (I have Skull Cross Triangle and Circle bound to F9 through F12 for easy marking… I like raid icons) and then when he was done gripped him up to the boss. I had line of sight and access to everybody who was running all over the place and he got to get back to dpsing faster. I know it’s not anything major, but I felt useful and I got to use the new ability.
Leap of Faith is pretty, your target gets blue wings.
And with that, I had to log off and pack. I’m heading to an interview and will be gone for a couple days. I don’t think they would understand, “I’m sorry, that date’s not convenient for me, I need to level my archaeology.”