Using World of Logs to Assess Holy Priest Healing

Using World of Logs to Assess Holy Priest Healing

The fifth and final in our series in using World of Logs to analyze healing, the purpose of this article is to provide basic to intermediate considerations for Holy Priest healing through a World of Logs report. The idea is to provide you the means of understanding what to look for in a report so that you can help any Holy Priest you may know, including yourself, improve their game and thus help your raids succeed. It also a good idea to point them here so that they can self-analyze. If you have additional considerations, please share in a comment so that others may benefit from your knowledge. If you see anything that needs correcting or clarifying, please let us know. Check out the Druid, Shaman, Discipline Priest, and Paladin articles if you haven’t already.

The Holy Priest is a truly versatile healer that is capable of multiple healing assignments or roles within a raid group.  You will need to utilize several of the key components that World of Logs has to offer to truly assess a Holy Priest’s performance.  Doing so will require you to look at more than just spell usage and total healing percentages.  In this article, I will guide you every step of the way in delving a little deeper into World of Logs to breakdown the performance of your Holy Priests and to help maximize performance.

The key to a Holy Priest’s versatility lies in their ability to switch between one of two different Chakra states every 24-30 seconds depending on how they are specced.  Here are the two different Chakra states and the buff that they provide when activated.

Chakra: Serenity – Critical effect chance of direct healing spells increased 10%, and causes direct heals to refresh the duration of Renew on the target.

Chakra: Sanctuary – Increases the healing done by AoE healing spells and Renew by 15%, and reduces the cooldown of your Circle of Healing spell by 2 sec

In other words, Serenity is ideal for single target healing and mana conservation and Sanctuary is used for large amounts of AoE damage and just about every burn phase; as long as it is raid wide damage that is occurring (Cho’gall, Ascendant Council, Beth‘Tilac, Lord Rhyolith).

Spell Utilization

Spell usage for a Holy Priest will be largely dependent on their assignment.  When raid healing – Circle of Healing, Prayer of Healing, Renew, and Holy Word: Sanctuary are the Holy Priest’s most effective spells.  When single target healing – Greater Heal, Heal, Renew, and Holy Word: Serenity are the go to spells for a Holy Priest.

The are several rules of thumb regarding Holy Priest spell usage regardless of their assignment:

  • Prayer of Mending should be used on every cooldown and if its uptime is not around 75% or greater, it is possible that the Holy Priest is not using it efficiently.   Prayer of Mending will typically account for around 10% of the healing done for the Holy Priest.
  • Keep in mind that while Power Word: Shield is the primary ability for a Disc Priest, it is largely inefficient for a Holy Priest and is often only utilized to apply a movement speed increase to any given raid member when the Holy Priest is specced into Body & Soul.
  • Flash Heal and Binding Heal are the least efficient spells for a Holy Priest to use as they cost a large amount of mana and do not heal for much.  You are essentially paying for their quick casting time and they are designed for emergency situations.  The usage of these abilities is largely dependent on the priest’s gear and skill level as a better geared priest with more mana regen can get away with using these abilities more often. 

It would be misleading for me to tell you that only X, Y, and Z spells should be used in any given situation – and that if they are not, your Holy Priest is not maximizing efficiency.  Spell usage will certainly differ depending on the Holy Priest’s skill, play style, gear level, and assignment.  Every raid group is different, thus log reports will vary depending on the classes that make up your healing corps as well as their personal strengths and weaknesses.  For example, if your Holy Priest is grouped with a Druid and a Holy Paladin during a 10 man encounter, they could assist both the raid healer and the tank healer by switching Chakra states depending on the type of incoming damage.  Holy Priests can also excel when given a strict raid healing assignment, which is when you would primarily see the use of Chakra: Sanctuary as opposed to Chakra: Serenity.  When in a pinch, a Holy Priest can be used to tank heal by staying in Chakra: Serenity and using the single target heals listed above.  If your raid team tends to stick with looser healing assignments, you will most likely see a wide array of abilities being used by the Holy Priest as well as the use of both Chakra states.


After giving the Holy Priest an assignment, you can check who they are healing by going to Analyze->Healing Done.  From there, select ‘By Target’ and the Holy Priest from the drop down menu.  This will show you a breakdown of who the Holy Priest healed and for how much.  You can delve a bit further by selecting “By Spell”, choosing the Holy Priest as the Source, and whichever player you would like to view as the Target.  This will show you a breakdown of what spells the Holy Priest used to heal the selected target by hovering over their name in the log report.

Since the Holy Priest offers a wide array of abilities and can be used in various roles depending on the encounter, spell utilization will vary and you will need to take the previous steps and considerations to truly assess performance.   There are a multitude of reasons why a Holy Priest may be under-performing. Assessing spell utilization and analyzing healing done are certainly the first steps to take when looking for areas of improvement.

Cooldowns and Buffs Cast

One of the primary features of World of Logs is being able to assess whether the Holy Priest is maximizing the use of their cooldowns.  One of the basic ways to assess cooldown usage us by going to the ‘Healing Done’ section of World of Logs and then clicking on the Holy Priest.  Along with seeing a detailed list of Healing by Spell, you can also check Buffs Gained and Buffs Cast. The Buffs Gained section will show all of the buffs (or cooldowns) that the player benefited from while Buffs Cast will show you only the buffs that the Holy Priest was responsible for.  You will want to take into account the length of the fight, the length of the cooldown, and the amount of times that the Holy Priest used that ability to truly assess optimal cooldown usage.  Here is a list of the various cooldowns that Holy Priest has to offer along with its length and what it provides.

Buffs Cast

Guardian Spirit
Guardian Spirit is a buff that increases the healing received on the target by 40%.  It also prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself while at the same time healing the target for 50% of their maximum health.  It has a 3 minute cooldown unglyphed and 2.5 minutes glyphed and would ideally be saved for the tank whenever they are in danger.
This is better used in a proactive approach then not used at all; as simply using this when it would not have been used otherwise will save the healers’ mana.  If your tanks are continually dying or are coming close to dying on a specific ability, make sure that your Holy Priest is using their Guardian Spirit to assist the tank healers.

Divine Hymn
Is a smart heal with an 8 minute cooldown that works by selecting 3 raid members within 40 yards with the lowest health and channeling a very substantial amount of healing to them over 8 seconds (1 tick every 2 seconds). In addition, it grants a 10% increased healing buff to those targets for 8 seconds.   It will switch targets each tick to the 3 most in need of healing.  It is the Priest’s version of tranquility and should be used in the same manner.

Hymn of Hope
Restores 2% mana to 3 nearby low mana friendly party or raid targets within 40 yards every 2 sec for 8 sec, and increases their total maximum mana by 15% for 8 sec.  It has a maximum of 12 mana restores and the Priest must channel to maintain the spell. This ability is best used in combination with Shadowfiend, which is something that you can assess by using the Log Browser as explained below.

Summons a Shadowfiend to fight alongside the priest for 15 seconds, dealing Shadow damage. Each time the pet lands an attack, the caster gains 3% of their maximum mana – up to 30% of the Priest’s maximum. It has a 5 minute cooldown that can be reduced by 2 minutes (3 minute cooldown) by putting 2 talent points into Veiled Shadows. As stated earlier, it is best used when in combination with Hymn of Hope due to the temporary increase in total mana which results in an increase in total mana gained when both abilities are finished. Shadowfiend is also best utilized when in combination with any trinkets or abilities that grant a temporary intellect buff such as Mandala of Stirring Patterns or Fiery Quintessence.  This can also be checked via the Log Browser.

The Lightwell is truly epic when utilized appropriately and has the potential to be the most efficient HPM (heals per mana) ability that the Holy Priest has to offer. Everyone, including the Holy Priest should be using the Lightwell.  It has a 3 minute cooldown, has 10 charges unglyphed, and 15 charges glyphed. Remind the Priest to set out the Lightwell before the pull and they will regain their mana before entering combat while also providing a reduced cooldown for when the encounter is underway. You can see who is clicking (or not clicking) the Lightwell by checking ‘Healing Taken‘.  You will see the source listed as ‘Lightwell Renew’ and it is not unusual for it to account for around 10% of the healing taken by any raid member if used appropriately. You can also see a more detailed view of who is using the Lightwell via the Log Browser.

Using the Log Browser

Getting good at using the Log Browser will greatly enhance your ability to assess a Holy Priest as well as any other player in the raid.  If you have read Lorelya’s first article in this series that provides a general overview of World of Logs, then you are already acquainted with the Log Browser and what it is capable of doing.  Once you have learned how to enter a basic ability in the Log Browser, you can get creative in assessing any event that occurred during the encounter.  The possibilities are endless and you will get better at it as you go along.

One of the major functions of the Log Browser in an assessment of a Holy Priest is whether they used the right Chakra state at the right time.  While it is often impossible (and sometimes impractical) for a Holy Priest to be in the appropriate Chakra state each and every time damage switches from single target to AoE, it is crucial that they are actually using their different Chakra states – especially during the burn phase.  Staying in one (or the wrong) Chakra state causes unneeded stress on not only the Holy Priest, but on your other healers as well.  Simply making sure that the Holy Priest is maximizing the use of their Chakra ability can be the cause of going OOM, causing other healers to go OOM, and can be the difference between success or defeat.  Here is how to assess Chakra states via the Log Browser:

Log Browser

1. Go to Dashboard -> Log Browser
2. Remove “Show all Events” from the Query Builder
3. Click on the “Add Query” button.
4. In the field titled “Spell” type in Chakra: Serenity and click “Save“.  Repeat this process for Chakra: Sanctuary.   Note – this is case sensitive.
6. Click on “Add Query” and in the “Spell” field, type in the boss’ ability that you wish to assess.  You can repeat this step for various boss abilities.
7. Once complete, click the “Run” button to see an updated log.

Take note that you don’t have to enter something in each field when creating a Query with the Log Browser.  You can take a general approach by only entering the spell and seeing when it was used who it affected.  You can also narrow your search to specific players and specific abilities by filling in the appropriate fields.


Here are some tips on how you can use the Log Browser to check other aspects of a Holy Priest’s performance, as well as any other member of the raid and the various abilities that they have to offer:

  • You can check who is using the Lightwell by adding “Lightwell Renew” to the Query Builder.  This will show you who is using the Lightwell, when they are using it, and how much it healed for.
  • You can check the Holy Priest’s AoE heals like Circle of Healing and Prayer of Healing and make sure that they are hitting the maximum number of targets on each use.  Circle of Healing should hit 5 raid targets unglyphed and 6 targets glyphed within a 30 yard range of its target.  Prayer of Healing will affect up to all 5 party members so it will not heal outside of the target’s group.
  • Add Hymn of Hope to the Query Builder to see who benefited from it.  The Priest should be using it at a time where the other healers will benefit from it as well.
  • Open a separate tab or create a screen shot of the DTPS (Damage Taken Per Second) from the Dashboard for any given encounter.  Look for areas where there is a large spike in AoE or Single Target damage.  Then, use the Log Browser in a separate window to see what abilities the Holy Priest used and what Chakra state they were in during those times of increased damage.
  • If a Holy Priest is specced into Body & Soul – which provides a movement speed increase when a Power Word: Shield is applied – check that the Holy Priest is using Power Word: Shield when needed like when someone is targeted with Atramedes’ Searing Flame.
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