Mental Agility Hybrid

Ok, as we all know, raiding guilds often ask a whole list of questions about how you spec your talents, what you gem in every slot etc. So, yesterday an interesting case popped up with a holy priest speced (18,53,00). Looking at the spec, it seemed that this guy designed it around getting Mental Agility from the Discipline tree. This meant that 4 more points were used in the Disc tree compared to typical holy builds. 14 points in Disc to get to Meditation is considered mandatory these days with the regen nerfs and I’m totally with that. Mental Agility though.. takes some persuasion when I don’t have enough points as it is to get what I want in the Holy tree.  Other oddities with this specc I found, was the 2 points in Healing Focus and perhaps, the 3 points in Improved Healing.

Mental Agility reduces the mana cost of instant casts by 10%. In holy spec, that would include PoM, Renew, CoH, Desperate Prayer, Holy Nova.. In this sense, I’m thinking raid healer and useful in fights with loads of mobility. MA would no doubt stretch the mana buck a fair bit as a raid healer, but whether or not it is worth 4 point in Disc than Holy remains challenged. As a raid healer in 25man, I noticed my top heals to be PoM, FH and CoH most of the time. 2 of these benefit from MA and justify why this healer chose to spec this way. PoM is a truly an underrated heal we have and often does far more healing than I credit it for. I love it so much, I have it thrown back on the MT every CD; burning how much mana I do not wish to calculate. >.< MA together with Healing Prayers thus makes PoM a powerful raid heal in hurtfest fights like Hodir. Healer guy here also has Empowered Renew maxed out and a Gylph of Renew to work Renew to its full potential. Divine Providence also benefits CoH and PoM in this case, though that’s irrelevant since I expect most priests have this talent maxed out anyway.

So, recap. MA, Healing Focus, Improved Healing. Forgoes Surge of Light, Desperate Prayer, Inspiration, Test of Faith. What seemed to irk people the most was why 2 points in Healing Focus? and why not Inspiration?  So let’s break it down.

  • Healing Focus

I see it as a less than wise choice. With 4 less points to spend in the Holy tree now, this is 1 talent I would forgo. Concentration Aura would do this well enough; and I don’t see many 25mans these days with no Holy Paladin in the midst. Besides, if you’re gunning for MA, instant casts would be your forte. So, why bother with pushback when you rarely see a long cast bar? Makes no sense isn’t it? And tbh, even my Holy spec doesn’t waste 2 points on this; too many goodies further down.

  • Improved Healing

Another insignificant talent to waste 3 points on if instant casting is the focus. This doesn’t even benefit Flash Heal which I would say will be 1 of the 2 spells you’ll actually see a castbar for (other being PoH). That said, a 15% increase in healing for a GH on Serendipity X3 might be a valid reasoning.

  • Surge of Light

Specing with MA, you’re seeking loads of crit in your gear. An extra FH is a given with the amount you should be crit-ing for this playstyle. Btw, Holy Nova crits 9 in 10 times with 25% holy crit.. Then again, you’ll be forgoing 2 points in Empowered Healing for this.

  • Desperate Prayer

I’ll say invest. It’s saved my ass more than a couple of times. Besides, you’ll need the point in to move to the next tier. Plus, it benefits from MA lol.

  • Inspiration

Tricky bit here, but going along with the MA logic.. Inspiration is not a must-have. Why? Because pre-3.2, this talent is inclined towards tank healing rather than raid healing with the armour buff. With 3.2 though, this might be set to change and Inspiration will warp into a similar buff as the Disc talent that’s Renewed Hope though with very significant differences. Not taking up Inspiration would effectively make you a less than effective tank healer. In fact, in a 25man with this spec, just make sure you never step into that role. In a 10man however, such a spec would not work since there’s a lot less flexibilty with just 3 healers and you’ll find yourself having to tank heal and raid heal most of the time if not all. That said, Inspiration is a worthwhile investment even in this MA design. You could choose to take this up instead of Healing Focus and Divine Fury to open the next tier.

  • Test of Faith

Don’t take it if you don’t have Divine Fury, Empowered Healing, Serendipity maxed out or you’re dead sure you won’t be tank healing. Most Holy priests in a normal spec skip this talent as well for other stuff like Healing Prayers or Holy Reach inclining towards raid healing.

  • Serenedipity

Must take for the hasted PoH. You’ll really need this since there won’t be much haste on your gear coz you’ll be preferring crit for the instant casts. Get that 3 FH 1 PoH rotation down to pure instinct.

  • Empowered Healing

Ok, the deal breaker is that you’ll be at 2/5 for this if you invest 2 points into Surge of Light earlier. 4 points in (which is as far as it gets with what points left) you get 16% and 32% more SP contribution to FH and GH respectively. If you ask me, I’ll get this over Surge of Light since FH is going to be gylphed and gonna be the spell casted most often other than PoM.

  • Healing Prayers

Must get with MA spec. PoM essentially being the biggest and most efficient of your heals, it is going to really work with this synergy. PoH being the most powerful of AoE heals for us + Serendipity X3 means it’s gonna be used more than enough to benefit.

  • Holy Reach

Hmm, I personally don’t spec for this. With good group organization, knowledge of the fight and good positioning, I’ve found this to be nothing more than a talent providing me with a bigger margin for error in judgement. Gauging range however, should be a skill every healer should have. Raid healers should also know to stand in the middle of healing targets or who to center CoH on. Other than Holy Nova, I see not much use to this. That said, you do need these 2 points to get to another tier.. So channel them to Divine Fury or Inspiration, or Improved Healing if you’re confident.

  • Empowered Renew

Must have for MA since you get an extra heal on top of the HoT for less mana. Btw, this crits too. Gylph of Renew in particular is a cool synergy since the fact that you’ve got to recast it more for an increased heal hurts less with MA.

  • Divine Fury

It’s not so bad to get though the only real benefit is hasting GH. This could work together with Serenedipity further down the tree. You’ll need to put the points in to get to the next tier anyway; and I would take this over Healing Focus any day.

  • Stat Preference

Crit>SP>Haste. Because Crit procs Holy Conc that we all love; because AoE heals like CoH; PoH, Holy Nova can crit on individual heals; because 3.2 is gonna cut SP contribution to PoH so you had better be crit-ing more; because of Surge of Light if you manage to find 2 points to invest. Haste is of course less prefered but very welcome always because of your forte being instant heals which don’t benefit from haste. Also, haste can be increased with an Imperial Mana Steak if you’re really truly sorely lacking. Also, as a raid healer, the only 2 casts you’ll really be making will be FH and PoH. FH isn’t a long cast as it is and you’ll probably not have to use it to grab ppl back from the brink of death but rather as a top up. PoH hasted from Serendipity is nice enough as well without a cool haste rating.

All in all, the MA hybrid is a limiting spec I feel; and I don’t see myself adopting it ever as a 10man healer. In a 25 man setting however, this is a great spec as a support healer and isn’t as worthless or senseless as people may judge it to be. I actually like that people are trying to personalise their specs rather than just stick to the regular builds. =)


~ by sparklefreeze on July 7, 2009.

4 Responses to “Mental Agility Hybrid”

  1. Mental Agility has at least one high profile supporter –

    I looked at it and didn’t get the benefit of it, but I ended up using a build without Renew talents.

    Don’t like Test of Faith? I take it in any Holy build. 12% more healing when you need it most? Yes please.

    Here’s a hybrid I seriously considered, but no saves was too risky IMHO –
    Mana may be an issue with no Rapture and restricted Holy Concentration but Mental Agility will help offset CoH cost. Use PW:S like Disc. Use CoH for AoE and consume Sol procs.

    Gobble gobble.

  2. You’ll have to let Test of Faith go in this MA hybrid in favor of Divine Providence & Empowered Renew just because there’s just not enough points. Pitting the 3 talents against each other, I would say DP >Emp Renew >ToF.

    Why I say many regular built holy priests also bypass ToF is that many feel like they can’t pass on Healing Prayers or Holy Reach earlier on. Those 2 are crap talents for my spec and ToF is maxed on me since I always end up healing a tank. MA hybrids who fall into a situation where they have to tank heal.. are putting themselves in the line of fire for a sure wipe.

    The MA hybrid’s use of Renew is a totally different playstyle as with normal holy priests in that they’ll be using it like a Disc priest using their shields. Likely, Renew will get thrown on as much of the raid as possible at any time so that it will top up the gap after the major AoE heals. In a sense, it’s like druid healing.. constant HoTs. That’s how MA hybrids can potentially outheal normal spec priests. They also act as great support healers because Renew keeps people healed as they take damage. That just buys the raid healers a 0.1 second here and there for the major raid heals to get out.

    When you have a healing team which is a real TEAM, consider the MA hybrid and concentrate on support when you can trust the tanks won’t need your attention at all.

    The hyrid you’re looking at Bob, is one I would never risk. Disc with no Rapture, Holy with no Divine Providence means it’s all up to yourself to have a cool mana base and regen, a SP value or crit rating high enough such that 2/3 in Holy Conc and 0/5 in DP wouldn’t hurt.. =S

  3. Ah sorry I thought you chose not to take it rather than not having access to the pints at the right tier.

    I don’t know about a “sure wipe”, perhaps a bit of an exageration. As long as the build is reasonable it should be able to do OK.

    Using Renew like PW:S? Now that sounds like a recipe for disaster. Renew lasts half as long and becomes less effective over time. I would have thought the MA build would play pretty similarly to a standard Holy build.

    re:my hybrid – mana may be an issue I agree, but may not. I doubt 0/5 in Divine Providnce is game breaking.

  4. Hmm, I wouldn’t volunteer for tank healing without Inspiration and Test of Faith in a 10man although in a 25, a “sure wipe” would depend largely on your healing partner. What would wipe the raid would be that your MT healer dies mid-fight and you have to sub in with P3 & P4 of a boss fight looming. Mana certainly will not hold up til the end with the MA hybrid; nor will you be putting out the big heals without these talents; nor will your haste rating be vaguely enough in this hybrid to do spam healing.

    This priest with the MA spec outhealed a couple of holy priests in a 25 on a recent fight. Many cannot believe the truth of this or how it can happen. But, MA hybrids should theoratically heal in a whole new style; almost as different as Disc and Holy healing, with CoH contributing the larger part of heals together with PoM and Renew (assuming 5/5 in DP). As holy, I am very stingy with my Renews even as it is talented and gylphed. This is why I say, it’s a whole new mindset when approaching healing as a MA hybrid.

    re:your hybrid – DP puts PoM on the top of my heals and I’m very much conditioned to use it every CD. That’s why I’m in love. With better gear and in a 25man, the hybrid might work. But being all-rounded is very impt to me as a 10man healer. I have worked with priests with similar specs but find that in a high HPS fight, mana becomes a real issue because they simply cannot put out the same amount of heals as a regular holy build within the same time.

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