The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things.
Hello again my lovelies! Due to my lack of foresight I never reserved any post spots in my previous compedium. Since I maxed out each post almost down to the character it makes it difficult to add new sections for new builds, so here we are. Although, the massive change to DoL does feel as though it warrants a brand new guide.
Patch 1.4 has brought one of the biggest changes to Cleric AE healing builds and playstyles since Clerics found out that AE heals have a tendency to chain Serendipity procs. This is due to the addition of smart healing to Doctrine of Loyalty (the 6-point AE heal in the Justicar soul). Previous to 1.4 AE healing was a balancing act between 3 heals, Healing Communion, Downpour and Doctrine of Loyalty. These three were the only viable ones because they are the only AE heals that hit 10, and not 5, targets. Each of these heals had pros and cons, leading to multiple viable builds designed around utilizing one (or more) of these spells. Healing Communion has a high mana cost, a cast time, and low range, but its smart targeting and ability to be targeted at an individual player helped it to be arguably the best of the three. Downpour has a long cooldown, low range, and high mana cost, but it heals for a large amount constantly over 10 secs and uses smart targeting. DoL has a relatively low mana cost, is instant cast and burst heals quite well. However, it requires the maintenance of Convictions, meaning you need to use GCD?s on casting Life-based damage spells, and prior to 1.4 the spell only hit the nearest 10 targets to the caster. With the introduction of 1.4 the biggest downside to DoL (it?s lack of smart healing) has been removed, thus making it the all around best possible AE heal to use. As a result of this many of the best T1/T2 and Raid healing specs have changed to incorporate DoL, along with various methods of maintaining your Convictions.
As always I want to be clear about a couple points. Most of the builds posted (aside from three of the Inquisicar ones) are of my own personal design. I did not find them on the forums, nor have anyone else tell me the point distribution. I have tested and refined them myself. This means if you have been using these builds ?since beta? or ?omfg you stole this from a post I made 2 months ago?, no. It?s just that great minds think alike. Also, I am very open to feedback, if you feel I have missed a build or certain points are spent incorrectly then let me know and we?ll have deep and meaningful discussions about it. Also, if you think I?m awesome and you?d like to do cool things to me then feel free to post that too, though for some unknown reason that one seems to happen less often.
At Least 10 Points in Justicar:
Every build involving DoL must contain 10 points in Justicar. This is because Mien of Honor is an absolute requirement to keep the healing value of DoL in line with the other available AE heals. The spellpower coefficient of DoL is almost exactly the same as Healing Communion, so even when going from T1 to full HK gear, there will be no significant difference between the amount DoL and Healing Communion will hit for. In addition to Mien of Honor, Healer?s Creed is a must.
This is the base of almost every DoL heal build. If your build is more damage focused (such as Inquisicar) then feel free to take the extra point in Life?s Devotion over Doctrine of Bliss, though other than Healer?s Creed most of these points really dont matter (5% armor?woo).
I do not recommend ever using a DoL build as a main heal PvE leveling spec.
If you are using DoL, then you are using Convictions. With practice, Convictions can be managed well enough to allow the casting of DoL as required, though it is certainly not easy. There is always downtime in raid damage, either during movement or when no damage is occurring, and abilities such as Sanction Heretic and Light Makes Right allow you to build multiple Convictions with 1 GCD.
Having to hit mobs for Convictions means you require the focus necessary to ensure that your attacks will not be resisted. If there is any chance of getting a resist, I would highly suggest you use an alternate healing build until you have the required focus. This is because any time taken to build Convictions is time spent *gasp* not healing, and resists mean those crucial GCDs you spent on damage attacks have now been wasted. For anyone who is concerned about your sweet epeen stats, most of the good caster focus gear is an insignificant stat downgrade from equivalent healing gear, so your stat loss is minimal. Please keep this in mind when using the ?Best in Slot? gear guides, use the dps section when dealing with slots used for focus gear.
Your main Conviction building abilities, and generally in this order of importance, will always be:
1. Sanction Heretic ? the best of them all, instant cast and 2 Convictions per cooldown
2. Bolt of Radiance
3. Life?s Vengeance
4. Bolt of Judgment
6. Shards of Light
8. Spirit Rupture ? this will generate 2 Convictions, but is a 2sec cast, try not to use it
WARNING: There is currently a bug with Sanction Heretic where if you use any life based damage spell within a few seconds of casting SH you will only receive 2 Convictions instead of 3. It sucks, I know. Just use a GCD on something inbetween casting SH and your next damage spell and you won?t notice it, or just use BoJ as the travel time will usually negate this.
When to build Convictions requires practice. Any movement is an excellent time to throw out an instant cast or two, as is any downtime between bursts of damage. Once you are used to when and how to build and maintain your Convictions the utility of these builds will become obvious. I highly recommend anyone who uses DoL heal builds make the following macro:
cast @focustarget First Damage Ability
cast @focustarget Second Damage Ability
cast @focustarget Third Damage Ability
Then put your tank as your focus target. This way you can maintain your heal target, and you will always be casting damage spells at whatever mob your tank is targeting.
This is where I imagine agreement with my opinions will diverge. As far as I am concerned, Sanction Heretic is absolutely critical to anyone looking to raid heal with the new DoL. My reasoning is thus: Because DoL is so good, casting any other AE heal spell is a bad idea, it doesn?t catch those far away people and costs you more mana for less gain. Previous to 1.4 you could throw out a DoL then switch to Healing Communion, post 1.4 all you ever want to do is cast DoL. So anything you can do to ensure you can keep casting DoL over other AE heal spells is good voodoo. Thus, if you are looking to chain cast DoL, and so to reliably build Convictions, you require an easy way to generate multiple Convictions. As it stands right now Sanction Heretic is the best of your options. Finally, if you are going into the Inquisitor tree for SH, you might as well go a little deeper for the best mana skill Clerics have access to, Aggressive Renewal.
Now that we all agree that any DoL heal build (outside of Senticar) should involve Inquisitor in some way?right?, let?s take a look at the base DoL build again.
As we discussed, if you have the focus for Aggressive Renewal you might as well go and get it (hell, I was using Aggressive Renewal in my heal builds pre-1.4 so this is just gravy). The mana offered by this spell is undeniable since one of the greatest limiters to a Clerics healing ability is their mana pool. Castigation should also be obvious since no matter what your Conviction builders are, sometimes you will want to be able to just sit there and spam a spell for Convictions. The extra crit to heals should also be obvious, as is the one-off into Armor of Devotion.
The Builds ? Endgame PvE T1/T2/Raid
Most of these builds are very viable in a T1/T2 environment, just be sure you have the focus to run them.
The downgrade in value of Healing Communion, and the effectiveness of Serendipity for raid healing, do not invalidate the Sentinel tree. Use this build if you are looking to focus on a high level of single target healing, along with some very valuable tank cooldowns and a combat rez, which is always important.
Maintain Convictions with whatever SH macro you?ve chosen, while spamming Healing Invocation on your tank. DoL will ensure your party never dies on anything, and as a bonus provides easy Serendipity procs for when you?re ready to go back to Healing Invocation. Try not to zone out and let your Convictions fall off, always cast a damage spell at every convenient opportunity, even if you think you don?t need the Convictions. Use Healer?s Covenant, Touch the Light and Vigilance (if you have it) to keep your tank going through any rough patches. Aggressive Renewal provides an excellent amount of mana, but be sure to time it while you have a couple seconds of downtime. There?s no requirement to complete the entire channel, even just a couple ticks are worth it. Purpose is a little iffy, but there are some fights where you are spamming and healing so hard that you may actually out-mana your potions + Aggressive Renewal (not an easy feat!). If this does happen, look for a period of several seconds of downtime, run your *** into melee range and whack a couple times with Strike of Judgment. There are many fights with such periods of downtime so this is not entirely unfeasible (e.g. Hylas, Greenscale, Herald, Plutonus, Alsbeth and Zilas).
Use this build if you thinks HoT?s would be more beneficial than the higher single target heal spam and battle rez offered by the Sentinel soul. Also your new Orb abilities offer the added bonus of being able to create your own downtime for the use of Aggressive Renewal/Conviction building.
HoTs & such ? http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=00?xE0xqtRqz.VuMo
Keep your HoT stacks rolling on whatever targets you deem fit. Use Healing Flood/Showers/Ripple in anticipation of any raid damage, and Deluge if any single target healing is required. There is no real spot healing with this build, but due to the sheer amount of mana you have access to with Cascade and Aggressive Renewal you should have no issues using DoL as your spot heal. When you do require Convictions or channel time for AR just put one of your two Orbs on the tank and fire away. Using Tidal Surge on a DoL is also a nice combo for any large AE damage that goes out.
If you want to keep your HoTs and battle rez at the cost of mana and Conviction management then this build may suit your playstyle better. More mana and Convictions does equate to more DoL utility, but if you wish to sacrifice that for tank heals then that is perfectly acceptable.
The combination of HoT?s, large single targets heals and DoL can make these excellent specs for 5-man dungeons. Make sure to include Shards of Light in your Conviction macro as the first tick of damage will grant a Conviction, but remember that you do not need to let the channel finish, just get your Conviction and then move on to other things. Purpose is still in this build because you?ve lost both Cascade and Aggressive Renewal, even just a couple hits off Purpose should be enough to maintain your mana along with potions. The Warden soul and Sentinel soul do combine quite well together to boost the healing from your DoLs quite a bit with Surging Rapids and the early tier Sentinel talents.
This is a build I?ve used recently in HK and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is for people who wish to only raid heal (with some tank healing support) with DoL. It is designed to provide the maximum amount of Convictions, along with the fastest ways to generate those Convictions, some excellent boosts to your DoL heal, and comes with a few other handy tools too.
DoL Spam & Brez ? http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=00?zoo.yE00oz.gxk
DoL Spam & Overflow ? http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=00?EE00okRo.vxk0M
Maintain a HoT stack on the tank while spamming damage and chaining DoLs when AE damage comes out. You should be able to pull around 500dps with this spec if you want to, though you?ll probably be spending most of your time healing. The combination of Light Makes Right and Sanction Heretic provides you with a massive number of Convictions, making DoL very easy to spam if needed. Surging Rapids in the Warden tree and Fanatic?s Faith in Inquisitor also work well with DoL to greatly boost its effectiveness. Aggressive Renewal serves to provide the mana requirement to maintain your AE healing, while squeezing in a couple Purpose hits if you need to. The Brez Spec will require explanation, and some people will probably not appreciate the number of wasted points to get that high. However, the greatest detriment to running a Justi/Ward/Inq spec is the loss of the battle rez from Sentinel. In general, particularly in HK, you are trying to run as few healers as possible, which equates to less available combat rezzes. This means that ideally you want the few healers you do have to be able to rez. Since you are already going 21 points into Justicar, there are some fights where you may want to plug in the extra 10 for the brez. The Overflow spec is a little different as you are trading in your brez for more tools in Warden, more points in Inner Focus (LMR runs off crits after all), and Clinging Spirit which may allow your Inquisicar to switch to a full dps spec, if that?s how you feel like doing things. Since you?re mostly AE healing and Hotting the tanks, it?s pretty simple to hang around in melee range and keep the debuff up.
I finally got around to adding this build. I did post that I considered it more of a damage than raid support build, however I am older and wiser than the foolish boy I was a couple months ago and I have learned the error of my ways. Though surprisingly my omission does allow it to fit quite well into this more DoL-focused post.
Inquisicars offer added raid healing through Reparation/Righteous Mandate and DoL, along with good single target damage, excellent AE damage, and one of the best raid dps buffs in the game with Clinging Spirit (yes, it stacks with your archon/bard). The new buff to DoL has only served to boost the effectiveness of these builds. There are so many different Inquisicar builds that it makes my head spin, so I will try to hit the high notes, along with a little build of my own, and hopefully I won?t piss too many dedicated Inquisicars off.
Mandate ? http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=00?gxzqz.guMo.V0x
More DPS ? http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=00?gxkqz.xhMo.V0x
More DoL ? http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=00?igxkqz.euMo0xo
Warden (personal build) ? http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=00?0qz.yE00o.guMo
Inquisicars have a very specific set of priorities, which are as follows:
1. Maintain your Soul Drain debuff ? 7% extra magic damage on your raid is critical, particularly for HK
2. AE DPS ? if multiple mobs are out you?re better AEing them down since this will both put out damage and heal your raid (and tank if you have mandate)
3. AE Heal ? if AE damage does go out then just throw out one or two DoLs, then go back to?
4. Single Target DPS ? boom boom
Early Hammerknell Inquisicars should be putting out in the neighbourhood of 1000-1100 single target dps, which obviously increases as the number of targets does. HPS will vary depending on the fight, but if there is significant AE damage (and your other healer?s aren?t idiots) Inquisicars should be pulling from 800-1000 hps. These are not epeen numbers and are not benchmarks, they will depend on the fight and raid composition, they are ?ballpark? numbers. However, if you see yourself approaching these values then you know you are doing things right. If you see yourself at 500dps and 300hps, then you know you?re doing something wrong.
My Warden variant is a little different, and something I haven?t had much opportunity to test. Feel free to try it out and let me know. It?s a little more theorycraft than the other builds, and definitely only for raids. The essential idea behind it is you can take two raid slots (Inquisicar + Raid Healer) and combine them into one raid slot. The job of the raid healer is to raid heal and support the tank healers. The main jobs of the Inquisicar are to provide a soul drain debuff, added AE damage and raid healing. If you could combine all of the main jobs of the raid healer and inquisicar into one build, then you?d free up a raid slot for a full dps such as a 51 Inq, Cabalist, Shaman, Druid, whatever. The Warden build above is designed to provide all of the things required from both of those raid slots, with the added tank support coming from your Soothing Streams.
That is all for now folks. I?ll try to include any extra builds or edits people suggest. I hope these guides have been helpful, and if you have anything to add please feel free to post. I generally always respond to questions or criticisms, and I do (surprisingly) have the ability to be convinced of other viewpoints than my own.