Upcoming 1.7 cleric changes and you!January 29, 2012
This guide is co-owned and first released on
I highly recommend reading this article at the above MMOsite link, it is better formatted, less spelling mistakes, and contains Zam tooltips so you don’t have to click on each spell to see what it does.
Hey everyone, patch 1.7 is coming up! This patch isn’t as content heavy as some of the prior patches but does bring some significant changes to the cleric class. Reading the patch notes, it can be a bit hard to decipher what some of the changes do to our class and our playstyle. Hopefully, this guide will walk you through the changes and answer any questions you may have!
The big picture
The primary changes this patch brought in was balancing the three healing souls so that we are less reliant on the sentinel tree and introduced some much needed “buffs” to their AoE healing capability. It also buffed the shaman soul so that it is a bit on par with the inquisitor soul in terms of DPS and introduced some much needed complexity to the infamous “one macro” soul . In the process, one of Justicar abilities was changed and this caused massive outcry among the cleric community! Some claimed this change have nerfed cleric’s raid healing ability beyond oblivion while others shrugged the change off, claiming that it only requires a small tweak to their playstyle.
With these changes, the cleric raid scene should have much more variety than before. 51 inquisitors and “-icar” clerics should no longer heavily dominate the DPS and raid healing aspects of the cleric class.
The healing souls
Purifier is the healing soul that benefited the most from this patch. Most of the changes favor deep purifier (i.e. investing more than 34 points, especially 51) but some changes also benefit the overall soul.
- New Combat rez (44)!: This new spell, appropriately called Flash of the Phoenix, is available at 44 points and shares a cooldown (5 minutes) with combat rezzes available in the two other healing souls but not the Justicar one. This is the most welcoming addition to the purifier soul and goes a long way in making deeper purifiers a permanent addition to any raid force. Previously, one could go 51 purifier for some fights but were forced to switch back to the sent/purifier 3x/3x hybrid if the raid was short on combat rezzes.
- Raidwide shield (38): Unlike the two other healing souls, purifier soul does not get a lot of AoE healing capability. This confines its role to primarily tank healing and restricting its usage in a typical raid force to no more than one or two clerics. Luckily, this is about to change. Purifiers now have a new spell at 38 point called Gathering of Ancestors. This new spell will place a shield on 10 raid members within 35 m radius of the purifier. This spell has a 30 second cooldown and puts a “blocker” on raid members who have received it and prevents them from receiving it again for the next 20 seconds. This is a different blocker from the Ward of Ancestors blocker and the two shields do not stack with each other.
- Additionally, this new spell benefits from the Protection of Ancestors talent (50% increase in shield amount with 5/5 investment) and the 36 point passive Disciple of Flames (currently not affected by the purifier greater Ancestral Soulstone but this might change in the future). Clerics have reported this shielding for over 2k on a 51 purifier. Note that this shielding is a smart heal, meaning that it will shield the 10 people with the lowest % HP. Two puriifers casting this one after the another will enable the entire raid of 20 people to receive it.
- Surging flames range increase: Surging flames, purifier passive AoE heal, have its radius adjusted from 15m to 20 m. This is an additional “buff” to purifier’s AoE healing capability, although fairly minor.
- Asphodel’s Purifier Crystal 4 piece bonus buff: One of the issues with the purifiers Hammerknell synergy crystal was that the 4 piece bonus can be overwritten by sentinel’s Protect the Flock and is not better than it (4 piece bonus: The Cleric’s single target fire-based heals reduce the damage the ally takes by 5% for 5 seconds.). Clerics have requested this effect be stackable with Protect the Flock previously. With 1.7, this 4 piece bonus is still not stackable with Protect the Flock but now it lasts for 10 seconds and reduce 7% damage. Additionally, Protect the Flock can no longer overwrite this effect. This is another welcoming change, making this synergy crystal more useful than ever.
- Divine Cascade removed: I shall mourn the loss of Divine Cascade (NOT).
Sentinel soul received a 5 meter increase on two of its AoE heals. Additionally the cooldown on combat rez has being halved. A more recent PTS update also decreased the mana cost of two of sentinel’s trademark AoE heals.
- Healing Communion/Healing Benediction range adjustment Healing Communion, one of the most used AoE healing spells in the sentinel soul, saw a 5m increase on its range to 20 m. Healing Benediction, the 51 point sentinel ability, has its AoE heal range also adjusted to 20 m. It is not known what the AoE heal range for Healing Benediction prior to patch 1.7 was but if we assume it was 15m like Healing Communion, it would also be a 5m increase (note the AoE heal range is not to be confused with the cast range, which is 35m).
- Combat rez cooldown decrease: Life’s Return, sentinel’s in combat rez available at 32 points, saw its cooldown duration reduced from 10 minutes to 5 minutes to bring it more in line with mage and Justicar combat rezzes. This is a nice change, especially for hybrids as sentinel is the healing soul that requires the least point investment for its combat rez. This will also make some of the current raid encounters more forgiving as you now have more combat rezzes to work with.
- Changes to Marked by the Light: Marked by the Light saw its range adjusted to 15 m range (ranger prior to 1.7 unknown). Honestly, Marked by the Light was one of those spells I never really used as it is fairly unpredictable and costs quite a bit of mana per cast.
- Decreased cost on AoE heals: In the sentinel soul, both Healing Communion and Divine call received a reduction in mana cost. Healing Communion now costs 325 mana, a 52 mana decrease from the old 377 mana cost. Divine Call now costs only 248 mana, a 158 mana reduction from the old 406 mana cost. If you have the 5/5 Light Concentration talent from the sentinel tree (10% mana cost reduction for healing spells), this decrease is a bit smaller, 47 mana reduction for Healing Communion or a decrease of 1- 293/339 = 13.6%. (339 = 377 * 0.9; 293 = 325*0.9). By the same calculation method, this is a reduction of 1- 223/365 = 39% for Divine Call.
Warden soul saw many of its AoE heals increased in radius. Healing Cataract saw a nice boost that should make it comparable to other AoE heals. Wardens now also get a combat rez. A recent PTS update also reduced the mana cost of two of warden’s AoE heal spells. However, all of these came at the cost of nerf to Waterjet. R.I.P. Waterjet.
- Healing Showers/Orbs of the Tide/Ripple range increase: All three spells have their ranged increased to 20 m. For Orbs of the Tide and Ripple, the range increase is 5m but for Healing Showers the range increase is 13 m (from 7m to 20m).
- Healing Cataract boost: Healing Cataract was a fairly weak AoE for 44 point investment, especially since it had a small range of 15m and only covered 5 raid members. Most deep wardens were using Healing Communion from the sentinel tree instead on raids. With patch 1.7, Healing Cataract now have a 25 m range and heals upto 10 party members. This make it better than Healing Communion in terms of range (25 m vs 20 m), mana cost (259 vs 325 mana) and heal amount (368 to 373 health vs 306 to 312 health) at max rank. This change, in addition to the range increase on 3 of the AoE healing spells, will make wardens have a bigger prominence in raid healing, a field typically dominated by DoL (Doctrine of Loyalty) clerics.
- Cascade no longer costs mana: Cascade, the warden 15% mana return with a 2 minute cooldown, no longer costs mana (costs 56 mana previously). Definitely a nice change – not using mana to get mana back!
- Combat rez at 44 points: This is another change favoring deep warden builds and places a lesser reliance on pure hybrid builds with sentinel. This spell is called River of Life, appropriately for the warden soul and its reference to water.
- Watejet nerf: Waterjet has its spell power reduced, possibility due to concerns from other classes in PvP. It is a rather sad change as I enjoyed killing other players with spammable instant cast Waterjet in warfronts while rocking a pure healing build. This change to Waterjet also have consequences in other builds, namely the 51 Inq build. 51 Inq/10 Sent/5 warden used to be an old favorite build that was recently passed by 51 Inq/10 sent/5 cab for DPS due to the increased stats players gained as they got more and more HK raid gear. Some players were still rocking the 5 warden build due to its mobility – namely spamming waterjet on movement heavy fights. With this nerf to Waterjet, the 5 cab variation definitely looks much better.
- AoE heal mana cost reduction: Healing Cataract and Healing Showers both received some minor mana cost reduction to further help warden in the raid/group healing role. Cost of Healing Cataract was reduced to 259 from 300 mana, a 1-259/300 = 13.7% reduction. Cost of Healing Showers was reduced to 187 from 228 mana, a 1- 187/228 = 18% reduction.
The tanking soul
Justicar soul has a few changes with the 1.7 patch but there is one change that has some clerics up in arms on the forums.
Healer’s Creed, a talent in the Justicar tree, used to reduce the mana cost of Doctrine line of spells by upto 30% with 2/2 investment. This affected mostly Doctrine of Loyalty (DoL), a spell that would normally cost 301 mana pre 1.7 patch without any talents affecting it. With 2/2 in old Healer’s Creed, this would reduce the mana cost to 0.7* 301 = 211 mana, a sizeable reduction.
With the upcoming 1.7 patch, Healer Creed has being changed so that it now increase the healing received by 5-10% rather than affecting mana costs. This would cause a 301/211 = 43% increase in the mana cost of Doctrine of Loyalty.
However, with a more recent PTS update, and perhaps to ease the concern of some clerics, the cost for a fully ranked Doctrine of Loyalty has being reduced to 267 mana. This is a merely 267/211 = 26.5 % increase in the mana cost of DoL.
Nevertheless, this has caused some concerns within the cleric community, with some clerics claiming that this would spell the doom for cleric raid healing as this would make clerics inferior to mages for raid healing.
The real impact of this change is yet to be seen. Fierce debates are raging across the official forums, with some clerics taking a very negative perspective on this proposed change to Healer’s Creed and others simply shrugging it off as nothing more than a minor annoyance. One advice that is echoed many times throughout the debate is the term L2Purpose, which means Learn to use Purpose, a spell in the justicar tree that requires 12 point investment and returns a significant amount of mana, with the downside being that it is a melee spell.
Anyways, I think it would be interesting to see the impact this change has on the live servers. If anything, we should get some variety in the cleric raid healing department with maybe one warden and some purifier shields mixed into the previously DoL cleric dominated scene.
The second change is a buff to Reprieve, Justicar’s O’-sh*t big heal with a 5 minute cooldown. Reprieve received a bit more bonus from spell power and should heal more than before.
The third change is to Reparation. Reparation used to be not able to affect anyone using reparation. This meant that cleric tanks had to drop Reparation to be able to receive heals from other DoL clerics in the raid. Doing so meant that the cleric tank received less overheals overall and thus less threat generation. With patch 1.7, Reparation should no longer heal other clerics using Mien of Honor, meaning that cleric tanks no longer need to drop their own Reparation. DoL clerics are still unable to heal each other using Reparation as they will all be using Mien of Honor (as opposed to Mien of Aggression for DPS or Mien of Leadership for tanking).
The DPS souls
Both shaman and druid souls received some significant changes. Shaman now scales quite good and do just as damage as inquisitor if you have a good 2hander to go with it. Druid changes are still kind of lackluster but there should be some significant changes to druids in patch 1.8.
For quite a long time the Inquisitor, a ranged DPS soul that can also bring 7% magical damage debuff to raid, was the highest DPS option on raids. This was rather disappointing to many clerics who prefer to get close to mobs and melee. Patch 1.7 aim to make the shaman soul more competitive via a series of changes. Shaman class is also no longer a 1 button macro spam soul but now actually requires you to prioritize your attack abilities and maintaining certain DoTs on the mob to maximize DPS.
- Changes to Brutalize: Brutalize is a talent in the shaman soul that puts a dot on the enemy after it has being struck with Massive Blow, one of Shaman’s hardest hitting melee abilities. Previously, this DoT deals only 40% of the damage of Massive Blow over 4 seconds. Now, with 1.7, this DoT deals upto 60% damage of Massive Blow over 10 seconds and can be stacked for upto 3 times. This make maintaining 3 stacks of Brutalize a very very important priority since Brutalize can contribute 600+ DPS if kept up.
- Changes to Favored of the Valnir: Favored of the Valnir used to be a talent that increased the amount of healing received by shaman for up to 10%. This talent has being moved to Justicar soul and now called Healer’s Creed. Favored of the Valnir now grant a new benefit: increasing the duration of Lighting (the DoT from Lightning Hammer) by up to 8 seconds, granting increased damage on each additional tick. This change is also rather significant. You no longer want to use Lighting Hammer everytime it is off cooldown (6 seconds). Rather, you will want to manually apply Lighting Hammer when the Lighting DoT fully wears off so it receives the max benefit from Favored of the Valnir.
- Battle charge cooldown reduced: Battle Charge now has its cooldown reduced from 15 seconds to 10 seconds, allowing you to get back into the fight faster than ever before!
- Dauntless Courage: Dauntless Courage used to increase only physical damage but it has being changed to affect all melee damage. This is a great change as it would affect quite a lot of spells, especially in the Justicar tree (Strike of Judgment, Even Justice).
- NEW ranged instant cast spell: Ekkehard’s Invocation is the new ranged spell introduced in the shaman soul. It is instant cast and deals air damage (benefits from Stormborn). It is kinda like a shaman version of the warden Waterjet – something you use when you need to stay in ranged but should not be part of your rotation.
- Vengeance of the Frozen Earth removed: Not missed.
Druid finally received some updates with 1.7. Three of druid’s dmg+ debuff melee attacks have being converted to spells with 30m range and druid’s faerie pet have received some upgraded healing abilities, making it into a mini-warden that is useful for 5 man groups. The satyr pet also received a gap-closer and now automatically buff the group/raid when out of combat. There is no doubt that druid is looking better in 1.7 than in 1.6 with these upcoming changes. However, as Zinbik (cleric dev) metnioned, the big update for druid is coming with 1.8 and he has no plans to make druid into a full support soul.
- Changes to Trickster spirit, Slothful Spirit, Spiteful Spirit: These attacks, available with 4, 38 and 44 points in druid respectively, are no longer melee attacks that deal physical damage. Instead, these attacks have being converted to ranged spells that deals earth damage with a maximum range of 30 meters. This means that these spells will no longer benefit from talents like Hammer of Virtue or Dauntless Courage from the justicar and shaman souls respectively. However, they will benefits from talents such as Inner focus and Death’s Grasp from the inquisitor and cabalist souls respectively. As these spells are mostly attacks + debuffs, having them as a range spell do have a distinct benefit as druid lacks any “gap-closer” for being a melee class. However, these spells will lose the “double dipping” from raid buffs as they are no longer melee attacks and thus do not benefit from the dex/str raid buffs in addition the wis/int buffs. ( gap – closer: something that can quickly bring the melee attack to the enemy i.e. shaman’s battle charge).
- Changes to Eruption of Life: Eruption of Life is a melee attack that also leaves a debuff on the mob that will proc additional damage if the mob is struck by melee attacks for the next 12 seconds (max trigger is 3 times). With 1.7, this debuff will trigger by any damage, not just melee. This is a nice change to the spell and since it only requires 16 points investment in druid, this might have potential for hybrids.
- Changes to faerie pet heals: Faerie Healing, the single target heal casted by your faerie pet, has its healing amount increased in 1.7 and now heals for 1.2k hp with a 2 second cast time on PTS self buffed (Greater Faerie). Faerie’s Favor, previously a single target HoT, now is an instant cast that heals up to 4 raid members for 1.4 k hp over 12 seconds if casted by the Greater Faerie. In comparison, Healing Grace from the sentinel tree heals for 850 hp and also have a 2 second cast time. Healing Breath, the 0 point sentinel ability, heals for 1.4 k (instant, 8s cooldown). Healing Flood from the warden tree heals for 700 hp over 12 seconds on 5 raid members. Healing Shower from warden heals for 1.7 k on 10 raid members over 12 seconds. As you can see, Faerie healing is better than Healing Grace and Faerie’s Favor is better than Healing Flood.
- Druid pet gains a “gap-closer”: The druid Satyr melee pet now gains a gap-closer called Mead Rush with a 10 second cooldown and deals 237-241 damage on the PTS (vs 191 damage by Battle Charge from the Shaman soul). Great news for druid’s primary DPS pet.
- Fury of the Fae: The Satyr pet will now auto-cast this out of combat, allowing it to “buff” up before a fight and save some valuable time during combat.
Both inquisitor and cabalist received one –liner changes so I will describe them together.
Inquisitor received a small DPS boost with the change to Corporal Puishment. Instead of lasting for only 5 seconds, it now lasts for 12 secs. This should see a much bigger uptime on Corporal Punishment, resulting a bigger DPS increase as it has a 50% chance to increase the damage of your Life/Death abilities by 15% at 5/5 investment.
Cabalist finally received a much requested update to its “blink” ability Dark Passage. Instead of porting you to a random location within 10-15 meters of original location, it now send you 10m forward. This should be very useful in PvP and in PvE in aiding one to escape nasty AoE effects.