1. #1

    Learning to Use Cool Downs (DISC)

    Hi,

    As some people might know, I'm leveling a new disc priest for MoP, currently 87. Got Void Shift last night, and thought to myself "hey that looks pretty cool"

    Then I realised, its ANOTHER cool down to use. I've come from a Resto Druid background. I didn't play much with the tree form cool down, so realistically I'm used to having Natures Swiftness as my only real Cool Down spell.

    I'll admit that i've done no raiding on this priest yet, so i've not had many reasons to pop my cool downs.

    At the moment if shit hits the fan my go to seems to be spirit shell, but I don't seem to instinctively use anything else.

    I'd say I'm a pretty good healer, except for my cool down usage, as I'm rather used to only having one, so really have to save it for those OH SHIT moments.

    Is there a way to train to be better at using my many many cool downs before raiding?

  2. #2
    It's a close kept embarrassing secret: NO priest is able to use all his buttons. There's just too many of them around.

    What I do is to associate certain abilities with certain encounters. And keep an open mind for experimentation with combinations and encounters. And remember what worked, and what didn't, so I can try these combinations out in new situations later.

    For example:
    I largely neglected renew during most of cata. Sure it was okay to throw a renew on a tank every now and then, but I didn't really think I got much mileage out of it.
    Then I got to the trash before fandral staghelm in the firelands, which cause the entire raid to catch fire, burning for steady heavy damage. I tried several things, but people just kept dying. And then I tried spamming renew. It was a huge success, as that ability met the encounter need perfectly. To date the staghelm trash is still the only encounter in the last expansion where I used the spell much. But lesson learned: if lots of partymembers are ticking down steadily, renew is great. Old WoTLK lesson, relearned.

    Another example:
    Madness of Deathwing. Mostly a boring fight, with the first 3 out of 4 platforms being trivial.
    Then we got to the final platform. With dirty bits hitting fans: tanks taking silly tank spikes, explosions blowing up 90% of all the raid HP.
    So I tried saving my guardian spirit for the tank, and my divine hymn for the raid. To make it more effective, I also try to time the lightwell so that it is up and nearby, and a sanctuary on the ground under a stacked up raid. By executing all this at the right time, that particular situation is rendered harmless. Lesson learned: rigth cooldown at the right time makes a hell of a difference. The fun part was figuring out which and when.

    Third example:
    The "father's crossbow" quest in townlong steppes. Tricky quest involving killing an elite boss mob guarded by two normal goons. The goons spit some stacking goo that reduce armor by 80%, and the boss mob hits damned hard. First time, I was slaughtered. Trying again, this time with a lightwell by my side. Normally I don't use the lightwell much, but it's very good for keeping me alive. Still didn't work well. Those adds just spew too much goo. Trying again, this time also by switching to a "always-move" healing style (like a druid). Spamming renew, prayer of mending and PW:Shield, letting my dot tick on the mobs, and still being healed by the lightwell. Was still struggling, until I remembered my psychic scream - which can be used to force mobs away for a short while, allowing me a breather to cast some serious self-healing. This time the mob died. Lesson learned: I can sustain myself pretty well by just throwing instants, and moving out of bad stuff beats healing through it. Even if scream causes mobs to pull adds, it's worth it in questing.

    So...

    It's all down to trying different things. Some work, some do not. The fun of the challenge is to find out what works, and what doesn't work, and how you can make it work. This means trying out all your abilities, figuring out which work in which situations, and in relation with other abilities. It's what makes priest healing fun. Did you ever consider the synergy of psychic scream + Halo during questing, for example?

    You have so many combinations to try out. Sounds like you have mastered one that works pretty reliably: spirit shell when trouble brew. Next try to refine it. a natural combo would have been to add archangel to the mix to make your spirit shell that much more powerful. Unfortunately, this does not work (wish it did!). But don't let that stop you, try some other things. How about power infusion?

    Void swap is rather tricky to utilize, but you can abuse it in so many ways. Void swapping the tank followed by binding heal is very handy. Void swapping a hunter pet makes it a free lay-on-hands. Voidswapping a mindcontrolled mob to bring it down to low HP ... was unfortunately hotfixed. Voidswap + desperate prayer heals everyone involved. It's all about being desperate if you ask me. Voidswapping someone sure beats dying, so next time you die, ask yourself - how could I have avoided this?

    As disc, it's mostly down to timing and picking the right cooldown for the right job. Play around with it. It's what priest healing is all about
    Non-discipline since 2006. Also: fails. "Chakra, when the walls fell"

  3. #3
    thanks for the friendly advice!

    i figure that disc is more about stopping the damage before it comes in, so knowing the encounters will be a massive advantage, so i can shield/pop cool downs etc to stop the damage before it hits (or at least reduce it) rather than as a reactive thing and keeping everyone safe at low health and then healing them back up? as i tend to pop say spirit shell when shit hits the fan, and then once i know everyone is safe with massive shields i heal everyone back up to full etc . . .

    I shall en devour to pop cool-downs more in 5 mans even if they're not all that needed and figure out how best to use them

  4. #4
    You are quite right -

    Disc healing is all about proactivity. You need to learn when the damage comes, and think ahead. If you know that the boss will do a major hit on the offtank in 15 seconds, plan ahead. Build a grace stack in time so that you can easier heal him up when needed. Or maybe just save that penance to heal him. Maybe bubble him early, if the shield isn't going to be consumed by autoattacks. If the tank is out of cooldowns, communicate and maybe help him out with a pain suppression.

    Holy is far more reactive. But they both work on the same idea - combine abilities with situations to get the best effect at the right time. Spirit shell is powerful, and you should use it. But try the other abilities too. As you learn more about them and when and where they work, you effectively get more cards to play. Spirit shell is great, but it's still on a large cooldown, so more cards to play is a good thing!

    Good luck, and I hope someone who has been playing much disc so far can also chime in with specific tips on where to use various cooldowns and in what combinations. My specific advice would unfortunately be limited to Holy at this point as I haven't had much hands-on disc experience so far this expansion. Yet.
    Non-discipline since 2006. Also: fails. "Chakra, when the walls fell"

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