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Holy Priest Patch 9.1 Survival Guide

· 11 min read

Patch 9.1 brings with it the new raid Sanctum of Domination which provides access to the new borrowed-power system in Domination Sockets/Shards. It also introduces a new mega-dungeon Tazavesh the Veiled Market, a new zone Korthia, and builds on some of the existing shadowlands features with new Legendary Powers, Soulbind Traits, Conduits and of course a slathering of new Trinkets.

This page is intended to be a bit of a quick-reference to help answer some of the easier questions for this season, as well as point you in the right direction for some of the harder questions. As always, if you have any Holy Priest related questions please visit us in #holy on the Warcraft Priests Discord and we'll be more than happy to help you out!

Domination Shards

First thing is first, the new major borrowed-power system for the patch are the domination shards. The short version of the system is:

With all of that out of the way, after a few weeks of killing bosses in SoD and the world boss you should eventually end up with all 9 shards. As you obtain loot in SoD you will obtain gear in the 5 possible domination socket slots and begin to place your shards into them. Your ideal shard setup will be:

It doesn't matter which gear items you socket your Domination Shards into, so long as you have your 3-set of the same family socketed, and then some other useful ones in the remaining 2 sockets.

Recrafting your Legendary

If you're a hardcore raider, you will want to re-craft your legendary if Flash Concentration isn't in the Neck slot. The reason for this is that Wrist is a Domination Socket slot - of which you will want all 5 eventually to get maximum benefit from the available Domination Shards. Thankfully the rank 1-4 currency Soul Ash] is in high supply if you're doing Torghast weekly, so recrafting it isn't a big deal. Having it on your neck will be totally fine next tier too (unless they introduce something super powerful in the neck slot) so it's not an entirely wasted craft.


Korthia is an amazing looking new zone with a ton of stuff to do to earn new mounts, pets, toys and cosmetics. For some specs and classes it is also the source of an RNG-filled rep grind resulting in some sockets & conduit upgrades that increase their power in a meaningful way. Fortunately for you, the gains from grinding this new rep is incredibly minimal to the point it's basically not worth your time.

Earning Currency and Rep

The currency you earn to purchase these negligible power increases is Cataloged Research. The method of obtaining this is to painstakingly do dailies, kill rares and loot chests and bring their drops to Archivist Roh-Suir. He will reward you with some Cataloged Research - the amount you earn each day depends entirely on how much content you do! Just kidding, it's incredibly random and some days you will get a ton, other days you'll barely get any.

Socketing Gear

Once you hit Tier 6 with The Archivists' Codex, you can spend 5,000 Cataloged Research and buy yourself a Alloy-Warping Facetor.

This incredibly versatile item allows you to socket a range of items. Unfortunately due to blizzard not allowing sockets on gear with Domination Sockets (which you will have in all 5 slots), and your Legendary comes with a socket (Flash Concentration on your neck), the only remaining slots left to socket are your rings.

Upgrading Conduits

Once you hit Tier 6 with The Archivists' Codex, you can spend 3,000 Cataloged Research and buy yourself a Death-Bound Shard. When you use this, it will upgrade a single conduit of the lowest item level at random, out of:

  • Your covenant Potency
  • Your spec-specific Potency
  • Your Finesse
  • Your Endurance

For most people it will be 60,000-80,000+ Cataloged Research to fully upgrade each of your conduits. The amount required will depend on your luck with the Adamant Vault in Torghast, as well as your access to some higher level conduits through Heroic & Mythic SoD.

The good news here is that if you haven't hit Tier 6 yet to unlock all of these upgrades from your hard earned Cataloged Research - don't sweat it. Take your time. The power increase you're missing out on is so absurdly small it's not worth losing sleep over and you will get it when you get it. Seriously, we're talking under 50 hps increase, which when you're getting over 10,000 hps on some fights is less than 0.5% for a massive time investment. If you spend even a tenth of the time learning fights before you do them, you'll gain significantly more healing for your time spent!


Patch 9.1 brought with it 4 new legendaries, each interacting with their associated covenant ability.

Realistically in Raid you'll be sticking to Flash Concentration. In Mythic+ if you want to lose the increased healing bonus (or just can't be bothered keeping FC up), and happen to be Kyrian, the new Boon legendary power Spheres' Harmony is also an option. To use it, focus on only popping boon during large packs to ensure you cap the CDR getting 1-minute boons. Exceptions to this are bosses on Tyrannical as they often take up enough time that using boon early will still have it up for the next pack.

New Conduits

With 9.1 we've gained a new ceiling for Conduits, being able to unlock item level 252 versions for all conduits. Some of them will drop from raid bosses at 239 (heroic) or 252 (mythic) but primarily your upgrades will come from the Death-Bound Shard obtained through The Archivists' Codex rep or The Adamant Vaults in Torghast.

Empowered Conduits

As Renown pushes into the 60s it begins to unlock Empowered Conduits. Empowered Conduits start with the top row and unlock more rows down the tree as your renown gets higher. Conduits that are in your empowered slots have +2 ranks to them (+26 item levels), granting you a small power increase. Unfortunately for us, our conduits are all very low impact so empowered conduits offer very little throughput increase. That said you should still aim to have your best conduits higher up the soulbind tree, with Resonant Words as your top conduit, then whatever tickles your fancy after that.

Secondary Stat Diminishing Returns

This patch secondary stats from gear, soulbinds and other sources are starting to stack up to the point that even people not specifically stacking a secondary stat are starting to reach the first Diminishin Returns (DR) breakpoint.

While the first one is fairly low impact, only "losing" 10% of the secondaries you obtain past the breakpoint, it's still something to keep in mind going forward as you get more gear or start evaluating trinket or soulbind effects.

The first few tiers of breakpoints are found below, and you can find more details in the Compendium section on Secondary Stat DR Jump to this spell in the compendium.

StatNo Penalty10% Penalty20% Penalty30% Penalty
Critical Strike0-10501051-14001401-17501751-2100

Due to how close Mastery, Crit and Vers are for us - if you're nearing one of these breakpoints, you can swap some items around or change your gems/enchants to another secondary without impacting your performance.

Speed Set

With Painsmith Raznal in Sanctum of Domination being quite a "wall" for most raids, and the heavy movement required - there have been a number of priests having a lot of success running a "speed set" to help navigate the mechanics easier.

As a Holy Priest you have no base movement increases, and only really have the Angelic Feather talent to increase it. Night Fae with Soulshape and Venthyr with Door of Shadows can also navigate some of the particular dangerous overlaps, especially when affected with Chains.

Even with these increases, it's really easy to drop stacks of Flash Concentration on this fight, leading to a significant HPS loss and wasting mana.

To attempt to alleviate both of these issues a little, increase speed!

This gear gets you to a total of 17% speed. You then get an additional 1% speed for every 10 Speed Rating Jump to this spell in the compendium on gear, swapping out just one item to a slightly lower item level one for an additional few percent of speed is worthwhile.

Having a 15-20% speed boost helps a ton in particular on this fight. You do lose a small amount of HPS running above, without Leech on cloak and 2 gem slots. That is a lot less than being dead or dropping Flash Concentration repeatedly though.

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