Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Attempt at PvP

So, while I initially expressed my extreme dislike at anything at all related to PvP, I have to say... I have changed my mind. Let me explain.

What started this whole bit was my (horde) friend telling me that his guild, has a 'if it's red, it's dead' policy for anyone they spot in world PvP, and that they are going to strictly implement this while leveling in Wrath. My first reaction? GREAT. Not only do I level slowly to begin with, but if I'm getting ganked every other step I take, I'm never going to hit 80!

The solution? I decided that I needed some practice in the field, and maybe get some gear with resilience to level with. Some friends of mine; Iliana, Aegus, and Marilyn, all of whom are infinitely better at this whole PvP thing than I am, were doing some BGs already, and offered to let me come.

At first, I tried to heal in BGs as holy. This, my friends, was not fun. At all. Not only was I being torn apart based on gear (I have 34 resil! That isn't enough?), but I had no defense; i.e. pain suppression, reflective shield, lessened mass dispel cast times, etc. After one BG, I went to the priest trainer and respecced. I was kind of making it up as I went, but this is what I came up with. Please note that this is strictly a Battleground spec, and I wouldn't use it for arenas.

After respeccing and trying again, I noticed a significant difference in survivability. In fact, after gaining a little confidence, I was able to 1v1 other players of decent pvp gear and somewhat equal skill (which isn't saying much).

Some things I recommend:

1. Keep Power Word: Shield up on (especially) you, and your friends as often as possible. If you don't have a shield on yourself, at least, you're going to be ripped apart rather quickly. Having the shield and prayer of mending up on yourself gives you a second to start casting a big heal in the time that it takes for whoever is attacking you (mostly melee more than anyone else, I noticed) to break the shield down. Hopefully someone is working to defend you (<3 Aegus), and you can manage to stay up while you're being beat on.

2. Stay mobile. Don't be a sitting duck! You'll piss off more melee this way, and you can trigger the 'Target must be in front of you' for casters. This is the glory of a priest's versatility. Shield, PoM, renew, and started movin'. If you have a rogue, warrior, shaman, or all three with you, there's an excellent chance whomever is attacking you will be poisoned, hamstrung, or earthbound, but if you're just standing there, you're going to be eaten alive.

3. Note: This ONLY applies if you're a Night Elf! (rawr). If you're being targeted by a pet of any kind, whether it be hunter, warlock, or even a shadowfiend, you can now use SHADOWMELD (!) and it will automatically remove you from combat, and, therefore, drop you as a target. Why is this important? When you are removed as a target, the pet in question will run back to it's owner and leave you alone. What I've been noticing is that many warlocks and hunters will sic their pet on a healer and start nuking someone else. Therefore, it will generally take them a second to realize their pet is either a. doing nothing, or b. attacking whomever they are attacking, and not the intended target. This may only grant you a bit of time, but it's definitely helpful if you're being silenced/poisoned/annoyed.

4. If you're doing Battlegrounds with some friends, convert to a raid before you queue up, and give each other raid marks. As a healer this is really helpful, because you can see where the people who matter are through buildings/hills. It's also helpful if you're hesitant about running into help one or two allies against a group of horde. If you know your friend is in there, you're gonna want to go in and help.

5. Try to remember to equip your PvP trinket, and if you don't have one, I seriously recommend getting one. Try to get the two minute one, as well, as it only costs about 8k honor. The trinket is highly useful in PvP situations, but also in PvE situations, so it's definitely a worthwhile investment.

Some spells to focus:

Prayer of mending, and flash heal are going to be your main direct healing spells, with power word: shield as a primary spell always. I've also found binding heal to be invaluable as well, and greater heal if you are specced into Divine Fury, and especially if you have some haste going on. Renew is semi useful, but your GCD is generally better used on a flash heal, as renew doesn't tick for as high as a PvE priest, and if your target needs fast heals, renew probably won't tick before they die.

Anyway, I've been having a surprisingly fun time learning this stuff. If you have any suggestions/comments/questions on anything I've posted, please leave a comment, or e-mail me at

Thanks for reading ^_^


Anonymous said...

I loved healing as Holy pre-3.0.2 because I was so squishy. I'd run into a group and start flinging heals, enjoying seeing how our opponents would react. Binding Heal was amazing in that respect, since I could pick a target and keep both of us alive almost indefinitely due to the high mana regen of my race, spec, and gear. Prayer of Mending is also invaluable, especially when you're with one or two others and some careless caster puts DoTs on each of you. It's free heals, over and over.

I got back and forth with Discipline for PvP. I adore Penance. I love the damage reduction. I always pick a caster and use Power Infusion on them. But the lack of Spirit of Redemption when I die makes me feel like my death was in vain -- even though I die less! I miss those free heals so much!

Belle said...

Penance is just so pretty; I use it all the time ^_^

I've been PvPing on my shaman lately, and it's still fun doing damage and being right in the face of the opponents, but I still miss healing and have to switch to my priest just for relief.

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