Spiritual Guidance: Using healing legendaries in different activities
Legendaries are frustrating, largely due to all the RNG involved. For healing Priests, we’re told to get certain weapons and then we’re good. Unfortunately for some people with bad luck like me, waiting was necessary before we got the good ones. That meant we built up quite an array of not-so-good choices.
Best in slot legendaries provide the greatest boost in certain environments. But sometimes we just stick with them because they’re “best.” Honestly, even I hardly ever change my legendaries in raid ever since I got my cloak and trinket. I do swap a lot outside of raids with custom outfit sets. Raids are set for most people, but dungeons and questing offer more leeway and customization. Even if you don’t get that legendary you really want, the others can still be useful.
Velen’s Future Sight re-distributes your overhealing, increases your healing, and gives you great stats. It’s especially great during periods of heavy burst healing — the cooldown is short enough to use it multiple times per fight. However, it doesn’t work for everything. Velen’s is amazing as a raid cooldown, but worthless if you aren’t actively healing or people aren’t taking a lot of damage. If you’re pushing higher content or Mythic+ keys, the cooldown is short enough to have it up for each boss and most trash packs. On easier stuff, you can swap it out for something different.
Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus is useful in every situation. We don’t have personal cooldowns as Priests, the neck helps remedy that. The absorb automatically renews every 30 seconds, providing free healing in heavy damage situations. Healers often forget to heal themselves, making that huge automatic bubble handy. It’s great in raiding if there’s a lot of AOE damage and you’re having trouble staying alive. And it’s also handy in dungeons — you can focus on healing your group. It’s especially great while questing. All in all, it’s one of the most useful, versatile legendaries.
Even though Velen’s is the legendary everyone wants to have, there are times where Prydaz’s utility may beat it out. Velen’s works best in burst situations. If you’re dying before you can even get your cooldowns off, Velen’s isn’t going to help you. In these cases, switch to Prydaz to give yourself some survivability throughout the fight. Once you have that down, then you can consider switching back out.
The other more generic legendaries seem lackluster, but they’re useful in solo or dungeon content. Sephuz’s Secret is helpful in Mythic+ with its baseline increased Haste and haste buff when dispelling. The increased movement speed makes it a good option for questing. Celumbra, the Night’s Dichotomy is a decent option for questing, especially if you’re a fresh 110. The healing out of combat falls flat, since we are healers. But its real use lies in leveling. If you can spare the gold for one (or materials if your main is a tailor), these can be worn by your level 101 alts. A 970 piece of gear that reduces damage and heals you is amazing for leveling.
Obviously in raiding and Mythic+, Velen’s is your jam. But another great raiding legendary is Soul of the High Priest. It lets you have two talents for the price of one. Normally Discipline takes Twist of Fate, but the ring gives you Twist of Fate automatically. This allows you to also pick up Castigation and boost your Penance. It’s also a good choice for Mythic+ dungeons.
Xalan the Feared’s Clench is great for questing and group content. With regular Penance use on cooldown, it maintains a constant Atonement buff. You’re always getting healed from your damage. In group content you can focus more on healing your teammates rather than yourself. For questing, you don’t ever have to reapply Atonement. You can focus solely on doing DPS, which is useful for tough elite or rare mobs.
Skjoldr, Sanctuary of Ivagont gives a little more oomph to your Power Word: Shield, but its real use is lowering the cooldown on Pain Suppression. This is mostly helpful if you’re running with a squishy tank or need to use Pain Suppression throughout the dungeon.
The rest of the legendaries don’t really shine, but they’re useful while questing. Cord of Maiev, Priestess of the Moon gives you Penances more often while casting Smite. Pair it with Muze’s Unwavering Will and you’ll be a Smite machine. Even though it’s a Holy legendary, Muze’s equip buff still works to lower the cast time on Smite for Discipline. It’s a good combo for DPS and works in dungeons where you aren’t focusing on direct healing.
If you’re Holy, you’re familiar with X’anshi, Shroud of Archbishop Benedictus. X’anshi allows you to ignore some mechanics and get in extra healing by free-casting in the bad stuff, or get mana regen if you’re low. It resets mana potions when dropping out of Spirit of Redemption. You can also accrue mana during the Spirit duration if you have a Paladin’s Wisdom. Paired with Velen’s, the two legendaries are Holy’s best in slot. Unfortunately, while it’s amazing in progression, it’s less useful when farming easy content. The better you get, the less useful it becomes. And it’s useless while questing — you can’t DPS in Spirit form.
The cloak can be useful in dungeons or Mythic+, but it’s limited. The 10 minute cooldown is enough to persist through most of a dungeon. In raids, the cooldown resets with every boss pull. Spirit of Redemption will not proc if your cloak is on cooldown — you’ll just die instead. You can get around this by using it until you die, then swapping for a different legendary while it’s on cooldown.
Entrancing Trousers of An’juna also falls into the “great in raids but less useful anywhere else” camp. Velen’s is great for bursty healing, the Trousers are more for sustained healing over time, or fights with consistent raid damage. Renew isn’t worth casting on its own, but it adds up with the synergy between the legendary legs, Prayer of Mending, Piety, and Benediction in raids. For dungeons, however, there are better legendaries out there.
Rammal’s Ulterior Motive is useful in dungeons, but not so great in raids. It’s far more useful in encounters with sustained damage or DOTS that keep your Prayer of Mending jumping around constantly. Some of the Mythic+ affixes like Bursting, Grievous, and Necrotic make it work well. Muze’s Unwavering Will‘s cast time reduction makes it a solid choice for dungeons, but not so much in raids. You won’t find yourself above 75% health often enough to take advantage of the cast time decrease. It’s better in Mythic+ groups since you spend so much time spot healing and the faster casting is helpful. It’s also good for world quests as Holy, for faster Smites.
Al’maiesh, the Cord of Hope is strong in dungeons, though limited. In 5 man content we’re more meticulous about where and when we cast our Holy Words. They aren’t always on cooldown, as opposed to raids where they’re nearly always on cooldown, negating the equip buff. Prepare for big hits by activating Serendipity with Flash Heal or Prayer of Healing, which increases Serenity or Sanctify by 10% for each cast (stacking up to 5 times).
If you want to test different legendaries but have trouble remembering to switch out sets or certain pieces, the Equipment Manager can save sets and swap automatically for specs. Addons like Outfitter will swap for a plethora of conditions like zones or instances. I even made a mana trinket set that’s triggered by the mini-map zone when we enter Demonic Host’s room. Play with your legendaries and try them out. You just might find a setup you like better.
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