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I don't think it's been posted yet, but I don't think Prayer of Mending will activate if the hit was absorbed by PW:S.
To account for this, when I plan to use PoM, I cast it on the tank a few seconds into the fight and wait for it to bounce before I cast my shield (as a Disc priest).
Correct me if I'm wrong, though.
You're right, save for a short period (at the release of WotLK) when it was bugged and PoM would actually proc while your target was still shielded, effectively healing 0 damage, when it works right (as it does now), it won't proc unless the target is taking damage, which he won't for as long as the shield holds.
PoM has fantastic uses on pretty much every fight, be you Disciplines or Holy. I even suspect that it has some degree of smart-heal to it.
My FAVORITE is in Heroic Ulduar - Kologarn fight.
Three players get gripped in the hand, throw a PoM on one of them... It pinballs around IN the hand, one CoH later + a druid using Wild Growth, and WAHHH-LAHHH! All those players are topped off! You have effectively healed 30k damage with 2 GCD's.
edit: it can be more if you're a Holy Priest with
Test of Faith
One thing that has really helped me with making PoM an effective heal in
fight has been the addon PoM tracker. It shows me who PoM is on at any given time, so I don't waste a cd putting it back on the tank; and if it goes to a player who won't be taking damage or a pet. I agree to a point that you don't always need to keep it, but I find that very helpful to do in
fights. For example, on heroic Patchwerk, only 3 ppl should be taking damage: your tanks. I try to keep PoM up as it will usually bounce between the 3. But with PoM tracker, if it goes to a pet or say a ret pally, I can see it and recast it on my tank, keeping PoM up and effectively healing throughout the fight.
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