Due to a number of changes that took place after patch 4.3 came out and several pieces of loot that managed to slip under my radar, I have decided to re-vamp my loot listing, add some things that I didn’t before and take out some things that I feel made the original post seem cluttered or made it more difficult to understand. Hopefully this revised edition is more streamlined and gives you a better idea of what pieces really are the best for you, during your time spent in Dragon Soul and beyond.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please enjoy the rest of the post.
A couple of things to note, before we begin:
- As you may or may not have noticed, the items mentioned within this post are no longer just exclusive to holy priests. This is because I have become a lot more open to the idea of being discipline and have had the opportunity to try it out on various fights. I tend to enjoy the tank healing side of discipline more, but I’m slowly getting the hang of raid healing in that spec, too. While I can’t say that I’m an expert on anything related to discipline healing, I can say that I want this loot listing and others that I write to include all healing priests and not just one type.
- All of the loot mentioned will be from the Regular difficulty of the Dragon Soul instance. I will not be including Heroic gear right off the bat, as I don’t want to assume that everyone is clearly the instance as fast as others are. With that said, I will also not be including any loot that will come from the Raid Finder, either.
- While the majority of the new cloth armor in 4.3 does come with Spirit, which is a welcome change from the lack of said pieces in Firelands, I won’t automatically assume that a piece with no Spirit on it is not meant for a healing priest. I also won’t suggest any pieces that have Hit on them or that come with a DPS type proc, either. With that said, when determining what piece is considered “best in slot,” pieces with Spirit on them may take precedence over pieces without it. This doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Spirit being primarily a regen stat, but also the fact that Spirit can easily be reforged into secondary stats, like Haste or Mastery, as desired.
Overall, I would like to think that priests did a phenomenal job of adapting to the lack of Spirit that we had to deal with in Firelands and that we even learned that we could do fine without having Spirit on every single piece that we had on. It was nice to see priests who weren’t afraid to slap Power Torrent on their weapon, or take a ring or belt with no Spirit on it, etc. Depending on your play style and how comfortable you feel with your mana this time around, you may be able to continue this trend in the Dragon Soul.
Where your upgrades will come from:
- The new 5 man Heroics (End Time, Well of Eternity, & Hour of Twilight)
- Valor Point vendors
- The Dragon Soul raid instance (Raid Finder, Normal, & Heroic difficulty)
Regalia of Dying Light
Our set bonuses are, as follows:
(2) set: After using Power Infusion or Divine Hymn, the mana cost of your healing spells is reduced by 25% for 23 sec.
(4) set: Your Power Word: Shield has a 10% chance to absorb 100% additional damage and increase the mana granted by Rapture by 100%, and the duration of your Holy Word abilities is increased by 33%.
Ideally, you should be going into Dragon Soul with either the Cowl of Destiny, which comes from a quest in the End Time instance, or the Cowl of the Cleansing Flame, from Firelands. After that, your best in slot helm will be the Cowl of Dying Light, which drops from Warmaster Blackhorn.
The Soulgaze Cowl, which you can purchase with Valor Points has 31 less Spirit than the Tier 13 helm, and comes with Mastery instead of Haste. Depending on your resources and how you choose to get your 4 piece set bonus, you could get by with the Soulgaze Cowl and not be worried about that missing 31 Spirit.
Unfortunately, none of the new 5 man Heroics come with any available amulets for casters (or anyone, for that matter). Luckily, the Firemind Pendant can now be purchased with Justice Points, so I would suggest picking that up, if you didn’t have any luck with getting the Heartstone of Rhyolith to drop in Firelands.
From there, it comes down to either the Petrified Fungal Heart, from Morchok, or the Threadlinked Chain, which you can buy with Valor Points. While the Fungal Heart has 15 less Spirit, it comes with 181 Haste, as opposed to the 154 Critical Strike that the Chain has. Even if you don’t find that you need either stat, you could still get more out of the Fungal Heart, in terms of reforging. You could turn that 181 Haste into 72 of a different stat, versus the 62 of a different stat that you would get from reforging the Chain.
The Mantle of Time drops from Murozond‘s cache, in the End Time instance and is comparable to two other shoulder pieces which come from Firelands. Once you have either of those three equipped, you should set your sights on either the Mosswrought Shoulderguards, from Morchok, or the Mantle of Dying Light, from Hagara Stormbinder.
The Mosswrought Shoulderguards and the Mantle of Dying Light have exactly the same amount of Stamina and Intellect on them, and both come with two red gem sockets and a 20 Intellect socket bonus. The only differences between the two is that the Shoulderguards have no Spirit on them, and have Haste and Critical Strike on them, while the Mantle only comes with a large amount of Mastery. Personally, I’m considering taking these over my tier shoulders, as the lack of Spirit doesn’t bother me and this piece should be fairly easy to obtain, seeing as how Morchok is a rather simple boss to get past.
The Cloak of Subtle Light, from Asira Dawnslayer, in the Hour of Twilight, is comparable to the cape that you can purchase from the Avengers of Hyjal faction, upon reaching Friendly status with them. From there, your best in slot in cape will be the Woundlicker Cover, which you can buy with Valor Points. The Cover is a noticeable improvement from the Flamewrath Cape, as it comes with 65 more Stamina, 24 more Intellect, 24 more Spirit, a red gem socket wit
h a 10 Intellect socket bonus, and 148 Haste.
The Whisperwind Robes, which drop from the Echo of Tyrande, in End Time, are just as good as two of the chestpieces which come from Firelands. From there, the competition gets a bit more stiff, in terms of which piece could be considered your next best in slot.
The Lightwarper Vestments don’t compare to the Robe of Glowing Stone or the Robes of Dying Light, simply because it comes with one red gem socket less than the other two. You may not think this makes a huge difference, but it does. Putting two Brilliant Inferno Rubies in the Vestments only gives you a total of 100 Intellect (that’s 40 + 40 + 20), as opposed to the 150 Intellect that you could gain by using one of the options (40 + 40 + 40 + 20). 50 Intellect is a pretty big deal.
Between the Robe of Glowing Stone and the Robes of Dying Light, it really comes down to stat preference and weight. The Robe of Glowing Stone, from Morchok, has the same amount of Stamina and Intellect, but comes with 21 less Spirit. Both pieces have three red gem sockets and a 30 Intellect socket bonus. However, the Robe of Glowing Stone has 290 Haste, as opposed to the 260 Mastery that the tier chestpiece has. Like the Mosswrought Shoulderguards, the fact that Morchok is rather easy to defeat makes the Robe a lot more attractive than the tier version. You be the judge.
Patch 4.3 introduces new crafting patterns for Tailoring, which include potential upgrades of bracers and pants. The two choices for bracers happen to be our initial best in slot items. Whether or not you prefer Spirit will determine which one you want to have made for yourself. Let’s go over why the other options may not compare to the new patterns that just came out.
The Bracers of the Black Dream come from Valor Points and have 271 Intellect on them, Critical Strike, and no gem socket. This immediately sets it apart from the other selections. The Bracers of the Banished drop from Hagara Stormbinder, and come with no Spirit, and one red gem socket. Putting a Brilliant Inferno Ruby in there gives you a total of 301 Intellect, overall. However, both sets of crafted bracers come with an additional red gem socket, which gives you 331 Intellect, overall. That’s a net gain of 30 Intellect.
The only difference between the Bracers of Unconquered Power and the Dreamwraps of the Light is the materials that it takes to craft them and the additional stats that they come with. The Dreamwraps have Spirit on them and require 8 Dreamcloth to make them, as opposed to the Bracers, which have no Spirit and require 5 Dreamcloth. Both pieces require 4 Essences of Destruction, which are Dragon Soul’s equivalent of Living Embers. Since Dreamcloth isn’t that hard to come by anymore, I would take the Dreamwraps over the Bracers.
The Safeguard Gloves, from an escort quest in Hour of Twilight compare to our tier gloves from the Firelands. After that, you have a couple of items to choose from.
First up are The Hands of Gilly, which you can buy with Valor Points. These are only slightly better than the Handwraps of Dying Light, from Warlord Zon’ozz, as they come with a red gem socket and Haste, as opposed to a blue gem socket and Critical Strike. Another choice is the Gloves of Liquid Smoke, which come from the Spine of Deathwing.
The Gloves come with no Spirit, but two red gem sockets and a 20 Intellect socket bonus. They also have 1 more Intellect than the Hands or the Handwraps, but that’s neither here nor there. That additional red gem socket makes the Gloves really stand out. However, the Hands of Gilly come with 237 Spirit that you can either take as is or reforge into Haste. If you are interested in your 4 piece set bonus and looking for an off-set piece, the Hands of Gilly make a fine choice for this.
In my opinion, I find the Historian’s Sash, from a quest in Well of Eternity to be slightly better than the belt from the Avengers of Hyjal faction, only because of the 210 Spirit. Technically, the Embereye Belt has 1 more Intellect, but that’s not really a game changer for me.
From there, you can buy the Tentacular Belt with Valor Points or get a similar piece from Warlord Zon’ozz. If you’re going to shell out the Valor Points for a belt upgrade, I would suggest getting Vestal’s Irrepressible Girdle. The Girdle has 248 Spirit, while the Tentacular Belt and the Cord have no Spirit on them. You could either reforge the Critical Strike rating into a much more needed stat or you could shave off that excess Spirit and change it into something else. In any event, I feel you would stand to gain much more from the Spirit than you would the couple more Intellect that you could receive from the other two choices.
Once you have either the Time Traveler’s Leggings, which are a shared drop in End Time, or your tier 12 legs, you should set your sights on the Legwraps of Dying Light. You could go for the World Mender’s Pants, which come from another new Tailoring recipe, but you could get better for far less trouble.
The selling point of the Legwraps of Dying Light, which drop from Yor’sahj the Unsleeping, again revolves around the socket bonus. The Legwraps have two red gem sockets, a yellow gem socket, and a 30 Intellect socket bonus. This means that you actually stand to gain more Intellect by going along with the socket requ
irements than not doing so. Overall, you would gain 130 Intellect from the Legwraps, as opposed to a maximum 120 Intellect from the World Mender’s Pants – and that’s if you used 3 Brilliant Inferno Rubies instead of going along with the socket requirements.
I admit that 10 Intellect less isn’t a huge loss, but it is when you factor in the Dreamcloth and the Essences of Destruction that you would need to make the World Mender’s Pants. If these items are trivial to you, then go ahead and have those made, instead.
The Janglespur Jackboots, from Warmaster Blackhorn, have no Spirit on them, Critical Strike, Haste, two red gem sockets, and a 20 Intellect socket bonus. It has the same amount of Stamina and Intellect as the Splinterfoot Sandals, which you can buy with Valor Points. However, the Sandals come with Spirit on them, and a red and yellow gem socket. Gemming the Jackboots correctly would give you 20 more Intellect than any possible way that you could gem the Sandals, so I would think this would make them the better choice. But, the 216 Spirit that you would get with the Sandals could easily be reforged into 86 Mastery, which means you would get a nice mix of all of your desired stats from one piece of gear, instead of just a slight Intellect boost that you would get with the Jackboots.
The two best rings for priests didn’t even come from the Firelands instance, itself. One of them came from Valor Points and then other came from gaining Exalted status with the Avengers of Hyjal faction. If you weren’t able to get your hands on one or both of these rings, you can find reasonable substitutes from Pero’tharn, in the Well of Eternity instance, or from a quest in the Hour of Twilight.
Going forward, the two best rings for you will be the Band of Reconstruction, which you can purchase with Valor Points, and the Signet of Suturing, which is a shared drop between the first three bosses in Dragon Soul (Morchok, Warlord Zon’ozz, & Yor’sahj the Unsleeping). While the Ring of the Riven, from Hagara Stormbinder, is a decent ring to equip, it’s the Spirit found on the other two rings that stand to make it a bit more desirable for you. Even if you don’t need a lot of Spirit, it’s still useful to reforge into other stats that you may prefer to have more of.
What you could end up with:
Reflection of the Light
Foul Gift of the Demon Lord
Heart of the Unliving
Seal of the Seven Signs
What you should end up with:
Heart of the Unliving
Bottled Wishes and Reflection of the Light can be purchased with Valor Points and I would only advocate buying these if you don’t see yourself doing a lot of actual raiding and if you have already purchased everything you may need and happen to have some stray Valor Points laying around. In my opinion, these two trinkets aren’t that great, compared to the other options that are available.
Foul Gift of the Demon Lord, from Mannoroth in the Well of Eternity, is one that I have been after since 4.3 was released, simply because I was gone for a lot of Firelands and I haven’t been too lucky with drops, since I came back. It has a 15% chance to proc and a 45 second internal cooldown. For someone like myself, who is gearing for Mastery after Haste, this is pretty nice. I would consider this one to be a step up from the previous two, but it can be more difficult to obtain.
Next up is the Seal of the Seven Signs, which drops from Warlord Zon’ozz. Preliminary testing on this trinket shows that it has a 2 minute internal cooldown (which is rather high) and comes with a 20% chance to proc. The Seal has also been shown to work with Atonement healing, specifically heals that come from using Smite and Holy Fire. I can see this trinket being more useful for a discipline priest, as they would have more of a use for all of that Haste than a holy priest would (anything past the 12.50% haste breakpoint is questionable) and the long internal cooldown would stack nicely with Power Infusion.
The first of the two trinkets that are being considered best in slot for healing priests is the Heart of the Unliving, from the Spine of Deathwing. This one snuck under the radar for quite a while, due to the fact that it didn’t have any Intellect and just came with the stacking Spirit effect, similar to the Majestic Dragon Figurine, from Wrath of the Lich King. Shortly after the patch was released, 323 Intellect was added and it suddenly went up in value. While you could get more Intellect from other trinkets, you could stand to have a constant 880 Spirit, simply by using the Heart and by being able to keep your stacks up. For holy priests, this trinket is especially good, because we are so reliant on Spirit based regen, thanks to Holy Concentration. Even a discipline priest would be hard pressed to pass up 880 Spirit for a little over 100 Intellect, despite them deriving most of their regen from Rapture.
The other trinket you will want to round out your gear with is the Windward Heart, which is a shared drop between five of the eight encounters in Dragon Soul. With a 20 second internal cooldown and initial testing showing that the healing it provides benefits from 130% of your Spell Power, this trinket is mighty hard to turn down. The Windward Heart is fantastic in the hands of a holy priest, who tend to heal a lot of targets at once, which means a more likely chance that one of those heals will crit and then trigger the proc – or in the hands of a discipline priest, who may heal fewer people at once, but who have a higher chance to crit on the targets that they do heal.
Going into Dragon Soul, you can either choose to spend Justice Points on the Scorchvine Wand, or you can take the Crescent Wand, which comes from a questline in the End Time instance. From there, you can choose between a drop from Warlord Zon’ozz or another wand th
at you can purchase with Valor Points. Personally, I would choose the Rods over the Finger (that sounded a little filthy). While the two have the exact same amount of Stamina and Intellect, the Rods come with 112 Spirit. I figure the DPS casters are going to be chomping at the bit for the Finger (again with the dirty wand references) and if we can choose things with Spirit, we should
If you prefer to use one-handed weapons and an off-hand, you may want to start off with either the Scepter of Azshara, from the Well of Eternity, or one of the two choices from Firelands. After that, you could choose between the Vagaries of Time, which is a shared drop between Morchok and Warlord Zon’ozz – or go with the Scalpel from Yor’sahj the Unsleeping. I would choose the Scalpel over the Vagaries, simply for the 141 Spirit, which you could reforge into Mastery and would give you a weapon with all of the secondary stats that you could want, instead of just some of them. The clear winner for best in slot priority is the Maw of the Dragonlord, which comes from the Madness of Deathwing encounter.
A couple of things to note about the Maw, so far:
- The healing from the Maw can crit, but will not trigger Echo of Light. No word yet on whether or not it will proc Divine Aegis.
- There doesn’t appear to be a “cap” or limit on the number of people that the proc will heal.
- The additional healing will not heal you, just those in a cone in front of you. The cone is roughly 140 degrees wide and heals people within a 10 yard range.
- The effect can proc from direct heals, HoTs, and heals which come from a Lightwell or trinkets (like the Windward Heart).
- Early testing shows it to have a 15 second internal cooldown and a 10% chance to proc.
If you’re an interested in using a one-handed weapon to get you through the Dragon Soul, you’re going to need an equally powerful off-hand item to go with it. The Demonic Skull, which comes from a quest in the Hour of Twilight is just as good as the Goblet of Anger from Firelands. Of the two new off-hands available in Dragon Soul, I would choose the Ledger of Revolting Rituals, from Ultraxion. The only difference between that and the Dragonfire Orb, which is a trash drop, is that the Orb comes with a sizable amount of Mastery that the Ledger does not have.
The two staves from End Time and Hour of Twilight, respectively, are sidegrades to the two staves from the Firelands. Another staff drops from Hagara Stormbinder, but that one comes with a lot of Hit on it and is very clearly for DPS casters. Of course, one could also argue that Ti’tahk isn’t necessarily meant for healers, either, or that Maw of the Dragonlord is better. Let’s look into this a bit.
The proc from Ti’tahk, called “Slowing The Sands,” gives you 1928 Haste for 10 seconds, and also gives 386 Haste to up to 3 allies within 20 yards. Initial testing has shown it to have at least a 45 second cooldown. It may be possible to position yourself in such a way to give certain allies the benefit of the added Haste over others. I’m tempted to say that this might be a better item for discipline priests than holy priests, as their direct heals would be more impacted by the Haste boost than the raid heals from a holy priest.
If Ti’tahk sounds like a risky proposition and you want something a bit more geared towards you, let me suggest the Visage of the Destroyer, from Warmaster Blackhorn. This staff comes with at least 119 more Stamina, 78 more Intellect, 40 more Spirit, and 452 more Spell Power than either of the staves before it.
In closing, we have a lot to look forward to with this next tier of content and I’m happy to be in a place where I hopefully get to see everything that I want to see for myself. I look forward to seeing (and writing about) the changes that are being made to holy priests and I’m excited to see their representation hopefully increase in the Dragon Soul, from the worrisome levels that they were at in Firelands. I’m anxious to get more practice at being a discipline priest and learning how to adapt to that play style and all of the cooldowns that come with it. It’s a good time to be a priest in the Dragon Soul and hopefully these new upgrades motivate you to be just that.