Double Trinity: Priest Chakras explained

After last week’s initial irritation with the new holy priest talents and spells, I set my mind on understanding Chakra better and making sense of the triple function in combination with Holy Word: Chastise. If this is the new holy priest mechanic for Cataclysm, there’s gotta be a lot more to it than what the confusing and cumbersome explanations on the inet and tooltips inspire you to believe. So I entered a couple of 10mans with my priest to give Chakra ample testing time. I got used to things pretty soon and dare say I understood matters a lot better after playing around with the different states in various boss encounters.

The main issue with Chakra is that there’s a lot of misinformation around. I’ve come across pages that talk of “stacking chakra” (lol?) or “spamming chakra”….right.
Also, Blizzard have done a lousy job on the tooltips in my opinion: the wording is often unclear, at least for me, and there’s information missing especially when it comes to Holy Word: Chastise with Revelations. If you haven’t looked into the matter yet before the patch (and possibly even if you have), you’ll spend a lot of time trying to wrap your head around the entire 3-1-3 idea but in essence it’s actually quite simple.

In the following article I have attempted to simplify the new holy priest Chakra mechanic for all those that feel somewhat overwhelmed or confused with all the tooltips and new names. I will try to explain how Chakra works and what I believe its potential uses in raids might be, in combination with Revelations. I will leave out all unnecessary information, especially the long and clunky names for each of the Revelations effects. Names are great and all, but while learning a new, complex mechanic, I find them obstructive and irritating – makes my head spin!

Understanding Chakra

Chakra essentially is a state in which you chose to heal a particular encounter. That state can either empower your HoTs (Renew / green state), your direct healing (Heal / yellow state) or your AoE healing (PoH / blue state) – so depending on the fight and/or your healing assignment, you will chose your Chakra state accordingly.
The way Blizzard designed the spell, being cheap on mana and fast to re-activate, you should think of Chakra as a mechanic that you frequently use or maintain over an entire bossfight. Switching Chakras makes a lot of sense too, for example if you are healing in a multi-phase encounter with different assignments and a different healing style for each phase.

There is a self-refreshing element to Chakra: while a particular state lasts 30secs, you will add an extra 4secs to that timer every time you make use of the respective Chakra spell when talented into State of Mind. So let’s say you choose Renew-Chakra, your Renews will heal for 10% more during the next 30secs – but also, you will add another 4 secs (back up to 30secs) every time you cast a Renew. The same for your other two states.

I’ve tested this and not surprisingly Renew was the easiest of the 3 spells for maintaining Chakra. Not just is Renew the fastest spell of the lot, but obviously also the one that’s most easy to apply on an entire raid. I was able to cast Chakra initially on a bossfight and then maintain it throughout the entire fight via Renew.
PoH being both more situational and also a lot more expensive, you would certainly let this Chakra state drop more frequently and refresh it if needed. As for Heal, I did not test it as much as the other two, but assuming you’re on focus- or tankhealing during a bossfight and Heal is indeed replacing Flash Heal in Cata, you would probably be able to maintain its state for quite a while before re-casting Chakra.
That said, you don’t want to forcefully spam costly healing just to maintain your Chakra state as it’s easy and cheaper to re-activate if you’ve dropped it. It’s good to note that it’s possible to prolong though.

As already mentioned, not all of the 3 Chakra-states are equally mana-efficient and you will have to choose in what “state of mind” to heal each encounter and encounter phase individually for best results. Flexibility will be key here. It does however almost certainly always make sense to use one of the 3 Chakra states to boost your healing powers in bossfights as Chakra in itself is a cheap way of gaining some extra healing.

Chakra and Revelations

If you’ve picked up the Revelations talent in the holy tree, your HW:Chastise spell will transform into 3 new healing spells that correspond to one of your 3 Chakra states each. To understand this a little better and see everything at a quick glance, I’ve created the following graphic:

Click to enlarge

Please note that all healing numbers correspond with my own holy priest’s stats and spec. I am assuming Tome of Light and State of Mind are talented.

Revelations basically brings an extra spell to your healing arsenal that further empowers your healing in combination with your chosen Chakra. If you’re using Renew-Chakra during an encounter, HW:Chastise will let you apply yet another HoT to a chosen target beside an instant heal. The mana cost of 386 is cheaper than if you manually cast a Renew and FH yourself. This effect is useful in a variety of situations, as a quick save on yourself or another player, or frequently added on an MT while raidhealing for example.

The same goes for your PoH-state: HW:Chastise will let you cast an extra AoE healing zone on the ground which makes for some remarkable focus-healing on a certain area or raidgroup in combination with your other, direct AoE heals. I can see potential uses for this on the melee camp where it usually hits MTs too, or if more focused raidhealing is required on a stacked point or ranged group, maybe also in combination with a Disc Priest’s PW:Barrier or a Resto Druid’s Efflorescence.

Inside Heal-Chakra, you will be able to gain even more single-target Heal power if you combine it with HW:Chastise. This makes for some impressive MT- or focus healing!

Out of the 3 Revelations, Heal-Chakra will probably make for the most mana-efficient one at lvl 85. Your Renew state takes the middle position while using HW:Chastise during PoH-Chakra is going to cost you a lot. It does however come with the shortest cooldown, so re-positioning the AoE healing zone if needed, is fast.

Preliminary bottom line

The extra healing power and tools gained from using and playing your Chakras and Revelations right should be quite remarkable in Cataclysm. Adopting these new mechanics into your standard healing habits and repertoire will take some time and experimenting, but there’s a lot of potential there once you got the hang out of things, know how to combine and when it’s best to use what.
Holypriests should think of Chakra as their three new healing states of mind, with Revelations bringing you that little extra tool to go with your different states.

We will see how things work out in Cataclysm: I’m most eager to see Heal come out of the closet especially and I expect some more changes to our talents or at least the numbers. It is yet to be seen how big our mana issues will be which will further impact on Chakra‘s significance in the coming expansion.

I will look into updating this topic come lvl 85, until then have fun experimenting with your new abilities and feedback is of course welcome!


  1. I was kind of thinking of changing my offspec to Holy with Cataclysm but it’s starting to sound like I’ll need to relearn how to heal either way


    Here’s hoping I’m a fast learner.

    Actually I think one of the things that appeals to me about the 3 chakkrah states is that you might need to switch mid-fight (I’m thinking Festergut – from raid healing to single target healing perhaps?) but I don’t know if it’s actually that easy to switch mid-combat.

  2. I absolutely love the new holy tree but I’ve got mixed feelings on Chakra. I mean I love the concept of the mechanic but I just don’t feel the effect of it. I mean 10% more to your renews, it’s not really something I notice, I don’t feel anymore powerful with the chakra buff on me. A lot of times I don’t even notice the buffs fallen off me (not in the habit of watching the cooldown yet).

    However, the real star of chakra though is the Holy Word spell and how it changes, that to me makes Chakra absolutely worth it. From a pvp standpoint, going into the renew chakra and being able to keep the Holy Word: HoT on me or my target on top of renew has yielded some great results so far. Unfortunately I don’t use the heal chakra as Heal at lvl 80 is too slow and small of a heal spell to even consider using atm. Hoping it becomes more viable at 85, maybe when gear is better, mana matters more, and HP pools are even larger.

    Also another thing that’s interesting to note is on the most recent beta build the cooldown of chakra was reduced to 30 seconds. Making the State of Mind talent not so neccessary. Unless you intend to switch chakra’s constantly and before the 30 seconds it initially lasts is up.

  3. Not played with this that much, but it’s one of those things that seems more complicated because, as you say, there are poor descriptions from source – thus left to guess work. The chart you have done is excellent and helps understand it a lot more. Personally I’m a discipline bunny and, to me, Chakra seems to have the same implementation as Evangelism/Archangel – ie: you can’t really judge it yet. True I’ve not raided yet, but the mana portion is certainly not needed to me. Also I can’t see you getting the time at the moment to be smiting left right and centre whilst healing in really hectic fights – BloodQueen, LK and so on.

    I think it will be a while before you can see Chakra working in it’s full glory, with top guilds currently clearing LK Heroic with 4 healers without any healing priests, you can’t really see if they are truely pushing the tree to it’s max

  4. @Cassandri
    It’s no big issue to switch mid-combat, I believe that’s how it’s meant to be used actually. the cooldown is so short now (though I am still having 1min ingame currently, I don’t know when that fix is supposed to come?) that you can easily recast it at some point if needed. Or even likelier, you’ve already lost it and will have to re-activate. I’m currently looking into a Chakra-Mod to help me keep better track of it.

    And I’m actually the other way around, learning to play Disc as my offspec atm. I think you should be fine, it’s not rocket science after all. 🙂

    @Warsong Priest
    I think numbers will be more noticeable in cataclysm, also under the light of mana being scarcer. And indeed, the whole Chastise-deal is what makes it more appealing.
    So you actually use holy for PVPing? 🙂 I have in the past, but after this patch I’ve chosen to go Disc for it.

    Thanks for reminding me of SoM btw, I meant to add that in the article but forgot to! it’s fixed now.

    Yeah I’m waiting to see how bad exactly mana will be – until then you can’t really judge the full importance of these new talents yet.
    I also think there’s still a thing or two that would need fixing, but you never know what they’ll do..

  5. This is MUCH clearer.

    I can kind of see why it didn’t make it onto the tooltip though.

    Can you imagine?

    Maybe the tootip for chakra should just be a link to an external webpage.

    With graphs.

    And a flowchart…

  6. LOL indeed…
    and I’m still not convinced adding so many multi-functional talents to our tree is a great idea – but hey, we’re holypriests, we can keep 100 things in mind at a time, right?

    Half my confusion came from each Revelations state having a name of its own – after looking through HW:Serenity, Aspire, Sanctuary “functioning through Chakra with HW:Chastise” on MMO Champ 2 weeks ago, I was ready to jump off a cliff! *nut*

  7. @Syl
    Yes! I’ve made myself a 4.0.1 holy spec and have been loving it! I’m in the process of making a guide for it, not quite finished yet. At the risk of writing an article in this comment I’ll just say so far I’ve found the tree to be more than viable in PvP at least now. 🙂

  8. Thank you for posting this. I have not yet put points into Revelations because I did not understand it. Sure, this gives me something else to adjust to but I can use all the help I can get.

    Keep up the great work!

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