Ugh, this chakra shit is hard.

I’ve learned some stuff since the last guide and there have been some changes to the way everything works (4.0.3a). So we’re trying this again.

Never fear.  If I can do it, you can do it. Even with messy macros.

This is primarily focused on healing, not smiting or any of that junk.

(At the time of this posting, the wowhead tooltips for Chakra and Revelations weren’t caught up with reality, so I screenied tooltips in-game. In the name of science.)

How It Works

The “Chakra” Part

Hit Chakra.

Then hit a SPELL to trigger the Chakra state.  Different spells trigger different states. The names of the chakra state no longer match the spell used to trigger the state.

The CURRENT accurate tooltip, that Yours Truly screenied in-game.

The old tooltip. The chakra states had dumb but descriptive names.

To break it down for you:

Some spells will extend your chakra state through the talent state of mind. However, Chakra has a 30 second duration and a 30 second cooldown. There is no reason to extend your chakra state. You will probably just waste mana trying to hit a spell you weren’t already going to use. If an extension happens, great. But since you can refresh Chakra as soon as it expires, don’t go out of your way to extend.

With a 30 second duration and a 30 second cooldown, you can be in a chakra state all the time. You should be.

The “Holy Word: Junk” Part

While you are in a Chakra state, you can hit Holy Word for extra awesomeness. If you take the talent Revelations (you SHOULD), your holy word transmogrifies into SOMETHING depending on the state you’re in. At least we have fewer to remember, now that they took out renew.

CURRENT tooltip.

Old tooltip. For your reference. See, we used to have another chakra state.

Here’s how it breaks down now.


Make a Chakra Macro For Each Chakra State

As I learned from Erinys, Chakra doesn’t trigger the GCD.  Macro at will!  OK, you might run out of keybindings. I’ll grant you that.

Basically, each macro will look something like this:

/cast Chakra

/cast [@mouseover] Heal

Repeat for the aoe thingy.  I have two for the aoe chakra because I want to be able to trigger it on either Prayer of Mending or Prayer of Healing.

/cast Chakra

/cast [@mouseover] Prayer of Healing


/cast Chakra

/cast [@mouseover] Prayer of Mending

OK fine, how to smite (do the same minus mouseover because you’re probably not mousing over your smite-target)

/cast Chakra

/cast Smite

How to do this for clique?  There’s a guide for that.

How to do this for VuhDo or Healbot? Trick question! Switch to Grid!

If you want to do it all on the same action bar hotkey and get all fancy with the modifiers like shift and control… check out Step 5 in No Stock UI’s article or Leaf-Head’s Ultra-Terse Guide. I can’t even begin to fathom how I’d construct one of those.

Macro Holy Word: Chastise

~Edit 2/28/11: Simple holy word macros work again.~

This seems like an easy task, just like above, but in fact it is the suck.

Remember, folks, Holy Word: Chastise changes into Holy Word: Someotherthingy depending on what state you are in. Oh. Noes. It used to be possible to do a simple mouseover macro but now… not so much. I will direct you to the messy workaround that I’ve found for it, within which are links to other people’s messy workarounds.  Good luck.


Tracking Chakra (duration and cooldown)

Oh, Chakra states are easy to track (both duration and cooldown) with pretty much any currently-updated addon capable of tracking buffs or cooldowns.

For tracking chakra duration, I use Power Auras. Remember, you need to configure it to track all 3 of the possible chakra states. (And yes, I still call it Chakra: Heal on my screen and not Chakra: Serenity because I don’t remember at ALL the difference between Serenity and Sanctuary.  Why make my life difficult?)

For tracking chakra cooldown, I use the good ol’ default cooldown timer bar in ForteXorcist. (The cooldown part, fortunately, only relates to “Chakra” and you don’t have to worry about WHICH ONE it is.)

So far, so good.

Tracking Holy Word: Chastise (cooldown)

These new names are impossible to remember just like the stupid chakra states (I mean… serenity and sanctuary, could they SOUND more alike?) – and if you have the HW: Chastise button on your toolbar (WHICH YOU SHOULD), it does automatically change to become the new HW: Whatever, tooltip and all, when you enter the appropriate chakra state.

But there’s more. Different cooldowns for each Holy Word: Blah spell that Holy Word: Chastise becomes.

Yes, Different Cooldowns.

Now, if you ask me what happens if you trigger the cooldown for it, and then promptly shift into a new chakra state with a different cooldown what happens? Don’t know. Your normal cooldown tracker addons don’t know either. They are going nuts. ForteXorcist won’t register it correctly (even after I entered the names manually).

You have 2 options (that I know of).

Power Auras

I couldn’t for the life of me get this to work. Fortunately, the folks at Tales of  A Priest DID get it to work. Simply go to their Power Auras page and copy the appropriate string. Their code works for all forms of chastise, and it is what I am currently using.

Honestly, that’s just a good idea for ANY power aura that you want to do.  It’s always easier to modify a pre-made than to make one from scratch.


You can use the cooldown that appears on your hotkey on your action bar. This isn’t so bad.  This is what I used until I copied the Power Auras string from Tales of a Priest.

Now, you can fancy it up a bit, like I did.  You can use Dominos or Bartender to give Holy Word: Chimaera its own special one-icon half-transparent big bar so it looks a little more like it’s supposed to be a cooldown tracker and not a dressed-up button.

There it is, above the power aura indicator. Chastise is ready.

And OmniCC (yes, updated) will provide you with a neat little number that ticks down.

Now it's on cooldown

I have it show up only while in combat and remain hidden the rest of the time. In Dominos, you do this by setting the opacity and faded opacity of the bar to zero, and then entering the following into the “show state” box: [combat]100;show. This forces the opacity to 100% while in combat.

Further Reading

Post-Patch Priestly Ponderings from Harpy’s Nest. Erinys has some awesome macros for canceling your chakra state so you can toss out stun-chastise at will.

Edited to add: Oestrus’s Guide to the Chakra Sutra from Divine Aegis. Updated 11/27!

Better Ways to Do It?



Chakra and Chastise for Dummies Take 2 (4.0.3a) — 16 Comments

      • That’s been the most suprising part of leveling a priest. So many spells. I remember having something silly like 8 different healing spells at level 40 and being a little overwhelmed, and there were so many more to come! I have run out of click-binds for all my spells.
        I know for Holy it’s even worse…

  1. “How to do this for VuhDo or Healbot? Trick question! Switch to Grid!”
    You should actually be able to use these macros in Healbot (or VuhDo), because Healbot does allow you to bind macros to the click events in a similar manner to standard spells (though it takes a tad more work).
    Just telling healers “Don’t use Healbot or VuhDo” is counter productive in my opinion.  I have used Clique + Raid Frames, and didn’t care for it in the least, I have tried VuhDo and couldn’t stand some of the features.  I personally use Healbot, simply because it fits better with my play style.
    In my opinion, find what you like, and make it work…any of the three work fine.

    • In Vuhdo, go to the  “Spells” tab and in the box for each click action (or click + standard modifier keystroke) type the macro name. 
      Should work.
      That said… yeah, my new 80 priest enjoys being disc/facemelter. Holy looks too…. wordy.

    • Don’t let Zel troll you too hard, she can’t help being a Grid partisan.  I mean, some people are naturally into self abuse and doing it the hard way.  As long as none of the blood spatter lands on me I figure it’s none of my business.

  2. Thanks for this, I am so struggling to get power out of Chakra. By the time I’ve worked out which one I want and remembered the keybind for Chakra and the triggering spell and then possibly the spell I really wanted in the first place – well either the afflicted is dead or healed by someone else.
    Macros work fine in Hbot and Vuhdo, you just need to add that [target=hbtarget] or [target=vuhdo] to the /cast (where the spell is specific to a player).

    • That’s honestly why I try to get my butt into chakra state as soon as it expires, so I don’t worry about triggering it when it’s time to HEAL, I just heal… Remember, you can get into chakra with a heal (cheap) or a prayer of mending (also cheap).

  3. Hey there, Zel!  I have seen you around on my blogs once or twice and I figured I would stop and take a peek at yours, to see what you were up to and I found this post! 

    I have been writing about Chakra extensively, myself – specifically my Chakra Sutra.  I liked that your guide focused more on the macros and the more technical aspects behind the spell and not necessarily the mechanics or tactics for using it.  However, there were a few things you mentioned in your post that I do feel we disagree on.

    There is no reason to extend your chakra state

    I can see where you are coming from, in that you feel that some people may find having State of Mind as an excuse to spam a spell they don’t need to use, just because it extends the cooldown of the Chakra state. 

    However, I feel that there is nothing wrong with having some extension of the cooldown, simply for using spells you were already going to use and doing your job.  Sure, you can use Chakra religiously off cooldown, but I feel it’s an extra step that you may not need to take.  I do agree with Zusterke, who was the first one to suggest to me that we didn’t need both points in State of Mind and one is plenty.  I like having the one point there.  I’m not completely opposed to removing both points, but right now, I’m not sold yet. 
    With a 30 second duration and a 30 second cooldown, you can be in a chakra state all the time. You should be

    I have to say that this one is questionable, as well.  Take the LK fight, for example.  Now, I usually get stuck being Cleansing Girl and I’m responsible for the Necrotic Plague.  I don’t need to be in a Chakra for that.  More importantly, I don’t know what Chakra I could be in for that initial first phase.  I can’t see HW: Sanctuary or Prayer of Healing being terribly wonderful against the Infest.  Maybe Renew spamming the raid would be somewhat helpful.  You could be in Serenity for tank healing, but that’s if you’re assigned as such. 
    Same for phase two.  Once people start spreading out, you wouldn’t be able to cover enough ground with Sanctuary or Prayer of Healing.  Stronger Renews for those you can reach could be nice.  Again, Serenity could be lovely if that’s your role for that phase. 
    I just feel it could be argued that there are several situations where the benefits of a Chakra would not mesh well with certain fight mechanics or bosses within ICC or other places.  Then there are others it’s terrific and positively made for.  But a blanket statement like being in Chakra all the time I feel is not entirely accurate.
    Have a good one, Zel!  :)

    • Perhaps I wasn’t clear.  I like state of mind.  I have state of mind. But I don’t think anyone needs to try to extend a chakra state ON PURPOSE. If it happens, that’s nice, and then you don’t have to start the next one quite as soon. But it’s an incidental thing that might happen in the course of healing, not something that you should strive for if it means using a spell that is not ideal.

      I see your point that sometimes you’re not doing a whole lot that chakra benefits, but I still think that if you CAN be in a chakra state, you SHOULD, unless there’s a good strategic reason such as:

      (1) You’re going to need to switch chakra states, and the cooldown may not be up when you need it.

      (2) You’re going to need to use chastise as a stun, and then you’ll have to /cancelaura chakra, and then you’ll be stuck under the cooldown.

      I figure being in a chakra state just pumps your healing in whatever you’re doing, the spells to trigger it are cheap, and unless you have one of the predicaments mentioned above, it certainly can only HELP you.

      Example: LK, as you mentioned above. The first thing I do is get into chakra-heal even if I’m assigned to cleanse duty. If I *do* need to throw a heal because a tank gets overwhelmed with enraged this-or-that, I can do so with the benefit of chakra.

      When that chakra expires, I determine how close we are to phase 1.5. If we are a good 30 seconds away, I’ll get into chakra-heal again. If we are close to phase 1.5, I will hold off because I want to get into chakra-aoe to use “healing floor” on phase 1.5 (it’s on the ledge.) Because that is so healing-intensive for aoe, I’ll refresh chakra-aoe if we’re there for more than 30 sec, even if it means I enter phase 2 in chakra-aoe.

      Once in Phase 2, I’ll switch to chakra-heal for tank healing, and again, I’ll hold off on refreshing only if we’re about to hit phase 2.5 and I’ll once again need Chakra-aoe.

      You get the idea. So I guess we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this point, as I still think that if you CAN get into a chakra state, you SHOULD (unless, as mentioned above, there is a good strategic reason not to)

      • Thank you very much for the reply and thank you for linking my guide on your site!  That means a lot and I appreciate you for doing it. 

        I don’t think we really disagree that much or at least I don’t feel we have to.  You brought up a lot of good points and I think breaking down your opinions really helped me see where you were coming from.  So, I thank you for that, too.

        I would be lying if I said that I didn’t get locked into a Chakra mindset and it can be difficult for me to go “OK, I’m tank healing, tank healing.”  Phase 2.  “Tank healing, tank healing.  Crap, raid needs heals.  But I’m in the tank Chakra and I really like it!”  Guilty as charged!  I’m certainly getting better, though.

        Again, thank you for replying to my comment and for helping me understand where you were coming from.  I will also add your guide to mine and show you some link love there, too.

        Have a good one.  :)

        • I know the feeling of “but but but I’m in heal-chakra” and I want to sprinkle some renew love. I think it takes REALLY knowing the encounters and being able to plan. Now that they combined renew and poh, it is likely that you’ll have a ballpark idea of whether you’ll be raid healing or single-target healing and plan accordingly. If only Chakra were a 15 sec cooldown for a 30 sec spell!

          Chakra-heal used to be my “Default” chakra state, but now that they combined renew and POH I’m going to seriously rethink that…

          The pings probably don’t come through from pages, but I got your stuff already up on the priest page, along with the enchant guides. The only reason I hadn’t linked to the chakra sutra here is that I didn’t notice it had been updated for 4.0.3a (oops).

          We priesties brave enough to tackle the holy chakras gotta stick together. This isn’t a spec for the faint of heart! Thanks for stopping by and giving your thoughtful critique and forcing me to THINK!

          • I’m very fortunate that I have Kurn as not only a GM but a healing lead who firmly believes in healing assignments and I rarely need to worry about covering something other than my original assignment.  It definitely helps, along with knowledge of the fights, to plan in advance what states I could see myself going into.

            And yes, we are a brave lot!  Though I can’t help but feel like Chakra is relatively simple and that a lot of people are just overthinking it.  I know some of the terms I see from search engines that brought people to DA are really random.  Things like “Chakra + wanding” and “Chakra + tailoring” and things that are completely apples and oranges. 

            I look forward to reading your blog more and enjoying some other things you churn out, once Cataclysm begins!   


  4. This is why I have stuck to a Disc/Disc dual spec. Chakra looked like it would cause me to lose sight of healing and have to focus more on reading tooltips everytime I had Chakra going….not fun healing.

    And I’m back! Here saying Hi!


    • Disc/Disc?  That’s crazysauce. But actually if you’re trying a smite disc and the other spec is nonsmite, it makes sense.

      Honestly, priesting has so many dang spells and stuff that it’s going to be hard for people to master it if they’re just playing it as an infrequent alt. Mains won’t have that much trouble after the learning curve of the first few days…