Binding Heal All Of The Things

So Why Binding Heal Now?

Binding Heal is an iconic and longstanding healing priest spell that has seen many iterations. This expansion has seen a few iterations:

  • 7.0.1 – 3% Base Mana – Heals Caster, Target and a Friendly for 200% SP
  • 7.0.1 – 3% Base Mana – Heals Caster, Target and a Friendly for 250% SP
  • 7.0.3 – 3% Base Mana – Heals Caster, Target and a Friendly for 300% SP
  • 7.1.0 – 2.5% Base Mana – Heals Caster, Target and a Friendly for 300% SP
  • 7.2.5 – 1.7% Base Mana – Heals whoever it feels like for 300% SP
  • 7.2.5 – 1.7% Base Mana – Heals Caster, Target and a Friendly for 300% SP

During 7.0 it was competing against SoL, which was easily the most desirable talent due to its interaction with ToL. Then in 7.1, buffs to Piety and PoH throughput (coupled with ToL to no longer have an additional chance to proc BoT) made Piety, PoH and Benediction style our de facto style of play. It was at the release of 7.2.5 with Binding Heal being buffed (and also bugged) that it saw a popularity spike and even now it’s fixed, it still remains a strong talent choice up against Piety due to the mana cost reduction.

The key word here is choice. Choice is not something we’ve had a lot of this expansion with talents. Now that we do have choices, it’s causing people some headaches, so this post is going to outline when to make that choice and when you do make it, how to make the most of it.

What is So Good about Binding Heal?

Binding Heal has the following strengths over Piety (We’re ignoring Surge of Light for this comparison as it’s quite a long way behind when healing actually matters)

  1. Binding Heal is very efficient. It does around 1.5x the raw healing of Heal for the same mana cost, and around 1.5x the raw healing of Flash Heal for 66% of the mana cost (also providing Sanc Serendipity, further increasing its efficiency). Not getting Wisdom or Innervates? Binding Heal just became a lot more valuable to you.
  2. Binding Heal is easy to cast well. Due to a short cast time, it’s easy to hit a target that needs the healing. The smart component of Binding Heal is nearly always going to find a target to fully apply its heal, leaving just the portion that heals the caster to potentially overheal for a high amount.
  3. Binding Heal makes you smarter. Generally we try to ABC (Always Be Casting) as healers, mostly because standing around doing nothing simply isn’t fun. Sometimes this means smite, but often we find ourselves topping people up from light to medium damage; Heal and Flash Heal for single target and PoH for light AoE damage. Being great in both situations, Binding Heal reduces your overheal and your mana consumed, which leaves you more mana to cast PoH when people really need it (resulting in more efficient PoH with less overheal) and Flash Heal for the emergency triage.
  4. Binding Heal reduces the pressure on yourself as a player. Many people will argue this is not valid for them. That’s fine but not everyone is capable of playing each encounter perfectly and avoiding extra damage. People make mistakes; people die, which results in wipes. Binding Heal helps you with this on two fronts.
    1. You are passively self-healing yourself a lot when casting Binding Heal. This is particularly helpful when you are soaking mechanics, or taking ticks of a debuff.
    2. You don’t have to think so much about your spell choices so when you get to a part of the encounter where you really need to focus on the fight (and less on your raid frames) you can do so without having to decide which spell to use as a filler or who to target. You can pick someone taking reliable damage (tanks, debuff targets) and continue to heal them while focusing on dodging the void zones / glaives / soaking that big green pool.

Piety does have a greater mathematical potential with multiple Say Your Prayers relics (which are easily obtainable this tier), and the synergy it has with Benediction… but unless you are hitting PoM on cooldown like a robot there is a good chance you aren’t fully utilising the -2s Cooldown portion of Piety anyway. What is the takeaway? Binding Heal is more likely to increase your overall healing by being simpler to use reliably for the average player.

Great, So When Do I Use It?

As we just discussed, Binding Heal excels in efficiency, which is increased when the caster (that’s you) is taking reliable damage. Binding Heal should be a part of your toolkit, it shouldn’t be the only tool in your toolkit.

Your “Rotation” With Binding Heal

Your general cast priority when healing with Binding Heal should be as follows:

  1. PoM on Cooldown
  2. Sanc and Serenity on Cooldown when they will effectively heal
  3. PoH for significant AoE damage
  4. Binding Heal to fill for medium & light damage
  5. LoT and Flash Heal to triage priority targets in danger of death
  6. Smite during periods of no damage

As you can see, this only varies from the current play style on step 4. Ordinarily we’d be filling with Heal and Flash Heal for the medium and light damage, but with Binding Heal we have a far more efficient option.

Alternative 1: Binding Heal For Days

An alternative that is quite popular for some players is simply avoiding PoH almost entirely (skipping step 3 the majority of the time) and sticking to casting Binding Heal outside of emergency triage. It is particularly strong during encounters with low to medium damage (outside of the raid wide damage that raid cooldowns generally cover), meaning people doing Normal and even many Heroic mode encounters will find this particularly viable.

Alternative 2: Entrancing Enduring Renewal

Enduring Renewal is a great alternative talent to Enlightenment, particularly when running Entrancing Trousers of An’juna. When taking Enduring Renewal, all 3 heals from Binding Heal refresh renew on their respective targets. The synergy between these, Prayer of Mending and Benediction results in decent healing which can also be an enjoyable play style. With this build in particular it’s common to avoid casting PoH, Heal and Flash Heal as much as possible, sticking with BH to keep your renews rolling.

Note About Trinkets

While Sea Star of the Depthmother is still considered our strongest trinket this tier (even after it was tuned down), it loses a lot of value the less you are casting PoH. If you find yourself rarely casting PoH, it is probably wise to swap this trinket out for another one (in particular if you are using the Entrancing Enduring Renewal build above).

Darkmoon Card: Promises is a solid option for really long encounters. With Binding Heal being part of our rotation, our casts per minute tends to increase so the mana return from this trinket is increased. This allows us to sustain our desired casting pattern for longer.

Specific Tomb of Sargeras Encounters For Binding Heal

Finally we are now at the meaty part of the post, answering the real question people want to know… is Binding Heal viable, and if so, in which encounters should I use it?

The answer is yes it is, and in virtually every encounter. In particular Desolate Host, Sisters of the Moon and Fallen Avatar are proving to be great for Binding Heal. Their reliable self damage and a lengthy fight time improve its the efficiency and allow you to burst with Sanc and PoH during the heavier parts of the encounters. Outside of these 3 encounters it’s still perfectly viable and in particular is a good choice if:

  1. You are not good at hitting PoM on cooldown
  2. You are bad at managing your mana and run out of mana (OOM) casting too much Flash Heal, Heal and PoH
  3. You do not have Wisdom or Innervate on a longer encounter
  4. You do not have a Sea Star to use
  5. You simply want an easier, more care free style of play at all levels, Normal, Heroic and Mythic.

But I’m A Mythic Raider So I’m Different, Right?

Not really, no. Binding Heal is still being used with great success over all encounters in Tomb so far; DH, FA and Sisters in particular. Below is a table showing the number of people using each talent and their average HPS, filtering out to only show the top 25% of parses. You can view the latest results here.

Mythic Talents All Bosses
Mythic Talents All Bosses

As you can see, Piety is slightly ahead of BH, but when paired with Enduring Renewal (and likely Entrancing Trousers of An’juna) it has slightly more throughput. All 4 are so close though that you can clearly see, on average, BH is just as “viable” as Piety is. Looking at some of the fights that favour BH more, we see what we would expect; BH and Enduring Renewal are slightly ahead.

Binding Heal Mythic Sisters
Binding Heal Mythic Sisters

 

Binding Heal Mythic DH
Binding Heal Mythic DH

Overall though, the difference is still quite minor. Even going through some of the other fights, BH and ER are right around the mark.

WARNING: Boring Numbers Below

Feel free to stop reading here if you aren’t interested in any of the fine-grain comparisons or theory around Binding Heal.

Using our Tomb of Sargeras template character (55,000 int raid buffed, 30% crit, 16% haste, 38% mastery, 8.5% vers, 54 traits) there are various comparison we can make between spells and playstyles which back up some of the results we’re seeing in game.

Raw Spell Potential Comparisons

Using the template character we can see that in terms of Healing Per Second (HPS) and Healing Per Mana (HPM), Binding Heal is ahead of both Heal and Flash Heal. Binding Heal remains significantly behind PoH when cast with the PotN buff, however it’s HPM is still considerably more. What does this tell us? Binding Heal is the better choice for spot healing in terms of overall HPS and HPM. In terms of AoE HPS PoH is superior, but it falls behind with HPM, especially if PoH is cast without PotN.

 

Raw Spell Comparison
Raw Spell Comparisons

Also shown here for comparison sake, is the Healing Per Second (HPS) and Healing Per Mana (HPM) of PoM (With and without SYP & Benediction), Serenity and Sanc. As expected both our holy words are both great HPM and HPS. The surprise to some here may be just how much potential PoM has when paired with SYP and Benediction which really highlights how important it is to be casting it as close to on cooldown as possible regardless of the build you’re playing.

Disclaimer: This is a rough comparison. It doesn’t take into account the serendipity generated by the spells in question, nor does it take into account the BoT buff that Heal and Flash heal occasionally generate or the Divinity buff Serenity and Sanc generate when used. The point of this is to highlight BH vs it’s other options.

Darkmoon Card: Promises

On average when playing without Binding Heal people cast approximately 22 spells per minute that cost mana. With BH that jumps up to 28.5 per minute. Those 6.5 extra casts with Darkmoon Card: Promises work out to be around 13,000 extra mana per minute or 29.5% more mana from Promises.

Binding Heal Makes You Smarter

Something interesting from bulk log analysis, was the overhealing values with and without Binding Heal. When players do have Binding Heal they tend to obviously cast Heal, FH and PoH less, and when they do cast these spells the overheal is also much less. Having a more efficient filler results in less wasted mana over the course of an encounter, despite the overhealing from BH.

Binding Heal Overhealing
Binding Heal Overhealing

… {more to come}

7 Comments

  • SavinGrace

    I am so glad to have found your blog. I’ve followed another “top” priest but I won’t mention names. Your info and theory crafting has given me the confidence to go with what my intuition was telling me all along. Binding heal has been a major boost to my numbers, due to our healing team comp and again, my personal play style. The cookie cutter info on reddit is fine but some top priests are in the most optimal situations. Let them play with my guild for a week and I bet they’d be switching things up a bit. lol Currently 3/9 mythic and Sisters @ 20%!

  • LuceMichael

    Very happy to see this discussion. I actually thought I had “discovered” something but it’s nice know BH is a “thing”. 😊

    I started experimenting with an BH/ER in M+ a little over a month ago, and love it for most affixes I have seen since. Then I realized that build would be very helpful on Fallen Avatar, so I used it there and loved it. I am now running BH/ER (with the legendary trousers) for FA and frequently do not change out for KJ. I will look into running with it for Sisters and DH, but maximizing w the trousers currently it breaks up my 4 pc and I love the 4pc bonus on those fights.

    One thing I want to mention that I didn’t see here. When comparing BH to FH or Heal or even PoH, BH is an extremely cheap way to “apply” our mastery heal Echo on multiple targets. In M+ (I run 12-15 keys), btwn Renew constantly refreshing and Echo application, it frees me up to heal affix dmg (e.g. Necrotic), move or respond, and with the same cast time as one FH.

    I love this build.

  • LuceMichael

    While I am waiting for my above comment to be approved, I do have a stats question. When running the ER/BH build with Entrancing legendary, what stats are optimal? Normally my heal sets run in the range of 20/20/40+ with anywhere from 8-14% Vers. My current setup for ER/BH/legendary is right around 25/ 20/38 with 10 Vers. My thinking is that the crit on the neverending Renew ticks would be nice. Again, I run this setup on many M+ runs and FA in ToS.
    Thanks!

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