Discipline Priest Raid Guide 5.2
Table of Contents
- Tier Overview
3. Stat Priority
- Critical Strike
- Casting Speed (Math)
- Global Cooldown (Math)
4. Spells Overview
- Core Spells
- Passive Spells
- Mana Regeneration Spells
- Absorbs and what they offer to the raid.
- Myth of the .5 Healer
- Stat Budget 5.1 VS 5.2
8. User Interface
- UI Compilations
9. Weak Auras
- My Imports
I. Introduction: Who am I?
My name is Láthus, I have been raiding since vanilla and in top 100 guilds since Burning Crusade. Some notable guilds I have been part of are Black Blood Battalion(Medivh in BC) and Cadia(In Cataclysm) and currently residing with <Shining Force> US - Mal'Ganis a top 100 US guild.
Originally I was a restoration druid in vanilla, made the transition to holy paladin in burning crusade; then alas I was hacked on a short hiatus and my paladin was deleted. I then chose to roll my already level 45 priest(Which at the time was a pain in the butt to level!!) Since then I have dedicated my gaming experience to raiding in World of Warcraft as my priest as holy and discipline. I am an avid user of forums such as these, theory crafting/discussing my class. Tweaking my game play and doing just about anything I can to ensure I can perform on the same level as world class guilds.
I consider myself an exceptional player, and well versed in my class. I keep up with all the latest changes to my class, test on the PTR and research upcoming fights. Of course, I do not claim to be the best player in the world, nor do I consider my opinion and play style "the single and most effective way of playing" I simply know what has worked for me over the years, and what has been proven to be effective. I understand many will agree, and many will disagree. I just hope I can touch ground with the general community and broaden the perspective of the class and it's spec!
This guide is not intended to be the single, and only way to be a discipline priest in patch 5.2; this is simply a set of guidelines and suggestions that I use, discuss and have been 100% effective for me in my raiding career. I do not wish to enforce my opinions on others, I simply wish to inform and broaden the perspective on how the class can be played. If you wish to discuss my views, and what I write in this guide please reply and discuss away! PLEASE BE CONSTRUCTIVE. I do not wish to argue over other peoples views, nor do I appreciate elitists bashing my views. <3
Best options in MOST situations
Glyph of Inner Sanctum
One of the best progression glyphs you can have for raiding.. 6% Magic Reduction is more significant then you might originally think on most ToT fights. The extra mobility is also wonderful for heavy movement fights if you switch to Inner Will.
Glyph of Smite
With atonement being so powerful right now, this glyph is going to give you a large boost in damage as well as healing.
Glyph of Penance
Makes penance a mobile heal, a lot of ToT fights require heavy movement and with atonement being a smart heal, this is almost a mandatory glyph. If you aren't using this, you are wrong. This is one of those glyphs that you NEVER should switch out.
Glyph of Weakened Soul
For 10 man raiding, this is a great glyph. The amount of PW:Shielding you do on multiple people this tier; specifically on extremely mobile fights is high. So the ability to cast shields on more people 2 seconds faster, is going to add a lot to your HPS and shielding time. For tank healing this is the best choice in combination with our passive ability. For 25 man raiding, this really shouldn't be used due to the sheer number of raiders, you won't get much benefit from it outside of tank healing.
Good options to switch for specific boss mechanics
Glyph of Inner Fire
It's glyph of inner sanctums twin brother. If a fight like Ji-Kun has significant amounts of physical damage that you know you will be taking, this is a good choice to switch out with inner sanctum to help mitigate the damage.
Glyph of Binding Heal
This is a pretty situational glyph, it's going to have the best use on a fight where there is a lot of *spot healing*. Meaning, when it's not full raid wide aoe damage, but individual targeted abilities on multiple people. It technically has higher HPS then most other spells when glyphed, but at an absurd mana cost.
Glyph of Fade
This glyph is good if you are on some sort of "Soaking" duty. Where you will be regularly running into things to soak the damage/ability. Lei shen is a good example on the pillar with the swirls on the ground you must stand in to stop adds from spawning. Pretty situational glyph overall and id say last on priority.
Glyph of Purify
If you are dispeling a lot; think heroic horridon, this is a decent glyph. For the cost of using a global, it makes dispeling slightly more worth the mana cost as well as less sacrifice in losing healing time.
Glyph of Dispel Magic
In a situation where you need to dispel adds, it makes the glyph more useful. Of course this is a very situational glyph, and 90% of the time you will have other classes that can dispel faster then you and at a cheaper mana cost.
Glyph of Leap of Faith
The "situationalness" of this glyph is probably going to come from people who are bad at moving out of ground effects. BUT; in rare cases there could be a mechanic that life grip could be great for removing a snare/root on someone important (Like tanks/melee).
Glyph of Mass Dispel
For the rare occasion you don't have a shadow priest, and need to mass dispel something on a regular basis. This is the best choice, it just makes it so you can dispel faster and get back to healing asap.
Glyph of Psychic Scream
This actually is a very useful glyph if you know you are helping CC adds, its like a mini snare/stun just long enough to get them under control. To boot; it works with psyfiend as well. This was a great glyph on heroic will of the emperor and lei shi in 5.1.
The "Eh" Glyphs
Just don't do it....
Glyph of Levitate
Well....I can't imagine a circumstance that I would use this so I don't really have much to say other then it doens't stack with boot enchants/inner will.
Glyph of Prayer of Mending
If you are on tank healing duty, this might be alright. I find the other suggested glyphs in 90% of cases will be more efficient. With the 2 piece T15, this is actually a throughput DECREASE due to the scaling nature of the 2 piece bonus on PoM.
Glyph of Reflective Shield
Don't do it, don't think about it, don't ask if it's good. It only procs off shields on YOURSELF, and does a minimal amount of damage in raid settings at best.
Glyph of Renew
You just have better things to do then cast renew as disc. Plain and simple.
Glyph of Holy Nova
It's a pretty effect for standing in org/shring and lagging people; as far as healing it's garbage as it always has been. Garbage enough to become a glyph...
Why making best use of each talent is important from fight to fight
Obviously each boss is going to do different things, require different strategies so on so on. So choosing your talents can vary from fight to fight, having a good solid idea of what talents are going to be more useful then others in said situations is key to being effective on every boss. Keep in mind, Tome of Clear Mind(s) are required to switch talents/glyph which are very easy to buy from reagent vendors in main cities.
Lets use tier 3(30) talents as an example. It's out "Mobility Tier"
IE. If one boss has very high amounts of mobility where you need to get from point A to point B fast, body and soul would be a great talent.
IE. If a boss has a crippling ability that reduces your movement speed, phantasm might be a better option over body and soul.
IE. If there are specific locations in the room where mechanics need to be *dropped* or certain people need to run to them as quickly as possible, angelic feather might be more beneficial due to pre-casting multiple feathers in the path of the runners.
Now lets try with tier 6(90) talents, out "AOE Healing Tier"
IE. A fight like durumu where the raid needs to be fairly spread out the majority of the fight and there is extremley high mobility. Cascade might be the better choice for this due to it's ability to do greater healing to farther away targets and most likely hit all 10-25 people.
IE. A fight like Magera, where it has significant amounts of phases where the raid will be stacked for intense amounts of AOE damage for a period of time, you might consider taking divine star because of it's reduced cool down and ability to potentially hit all 10-25 targets instantly twice.
IE. A fight like Horridon that has significant amounts of adds and could possibly use additional damage on top of healing, divine star could be a good benefit due to short cooldown, and ability to both heal and do damage.
Of course, these are only a few examples of how you might switch between talents from fight to fight. This idea also applies to glyphs as well. The majority of the time, switching talents is used at your own indiscretion and is fairly obvious to figure out on your own. Of course there will always be little tips and tricks from fight to fight that can assist in ways you might not have thought of before. Discuss with your raid what is needed, and see if there is anything you can pick from to help.
Let's discuss each talent and it's mechanics.
2B. Talent Tiers
Explanation of Each Tier
If there are CCable adds that you don't want running around this is a great ability. It not only can assist the raid, but if an add gets lose you can throw this on it to keep it from chasing you around, or anyone else for that matter.
A use similar to void tendrils, just another form of raid CC. Is affected by glyph of psychic scream, so instead of fearing them all over. It fears them in place, great way to control adds when they first spawn to keep them from getting out of control.
In previous tiers, this ability has been able to be used to CC adds and grant the raid buffs the add can cast, or used for specific mechanics. Currently not a very important ability.
Body and Soul
Because of the amount of mobility in 5.2 encounters this talent is beyond useful for raids. You can increase multiple peoples run speed to help increase the entire raids ability to move and avoid things. With the amount of PW:Shields going out, this talent is near mandatory.
An ability similar to body and soul, just a different way of using it. You can pre cast up to 3 of these to provide a few people with a significant movement speed increase to help raid mobility. The different use comes in the ability to pre cast these if you know people will need to get to a specific spot at a specific period of time.
Currently, not many uses for this. It would be great on a fight where you are rooted, and able to remove it. Council of Elders sand trap could have this ability prove useful if you find yourself needing assistance getting out.
From Darkness, Comes Light
While generally this tier is "mana regeneration" abilities. This one can be considered as such, in a different form. The ability to instant cast while on the move could prove useful on a few fights in this tier, but due to it's RNG it's not the most reliable ability when held up to the next two. If you are assigned to tank healing, this ability could be marvelous.
Not going to go into great detail, further down in the guide is a better explanation of this ability. Replaces shadow fiend. Note: don't forget if you switch between this ability and solace that you still will have shadowfiend!
Solace and Insanity
Not going into great detail, further fown in the guide is a better explanation of this ability. Replaces holy fire and is affected by the Glyph of Holy Fire.
If you are great at managing extra cool downs this is a great ability for you. Not only is it a life saving ability, it also is a free cast that can assist the other healers in your raid by not needing to heal an extra target and is used on demand whenever you want(adhering to cooldown obviously)
Currently, I can't think of a lot of uses for this ability over the other two in this tier. Perhaps if you need to drop aggro on a fight that has significant adds, you can toss this bad boy around. With only a 30 second cool down and no mana cost, it could be a life saver if your raid has issues managing adds.
For the lazy folk, it's the not quite as good version of divine shield(paladins). The benefit to this ability is that it auto procs and on a fight that has consistent ticking aoe damage(think Garalon). Be warned, can only proc once every 1.5 minutes. NOTE: On a fight similar to Amber Shaper, this talent can be detrimental to your raid. If you get mind controlled and the MC enhances your health and this procs when you are being attacked it could potentially prolong you getting out of the MC and possibly wiping the raid.
Twist of Fate
The little talent that... tried? What to say about twist of fate; 1) It's extremely situational, and by situational I mean... even on the fights you could use it on I would still consider it debatable. The problems with this talent right now come in its reliablity, and the fact it doesn't work on some of our MOST IMPORTANT SPELLS: Spirit Shell/Power Word: Shield. Hopefully blizzard will look into this and fix it for future patches. If it scaled with SS/PW:S then the effectiveness of this on fights with significant adds, or anything sub 20% health would be phenomenal. For now, I just don't suggest using this at all.
This is just an amazing throughput talent, it has multiple uses and is available on DEMAND! Most commonly, it allows you to get to the cap on spirit shell faster. Alternatively in 5.2 you can pop this during a mobile phase and Power Word: Shield spam for a very small mana cost, or if SS is on cool down. Another alternative would be just using it through an AOE phase, such as Megaera "Rampage" where the amount of burst healing needs to be massive in the final phase. Yet another method of using this ability, is simply Atonement, increased burst DPS and a crazy amount of smart healing going out for yet again, a very small mana cost. By far the best talent in tier 5 for throughput. NOTE: Do not forget the 5% increased damage it does while using Atonement which is an additional 5% healing done during the duration.
As disc, this talent serves better in 10 mans where you can get Power Word: Shield on more targets or for tank healing duty. In 25 mans you won't be usually assigned to tank healing(with the rare exceptions) and you won't usually get as much benefit from this ability. Overall, a moderately good ability just highly institutional again.
This spell is going to give you the biggest bang on fights where people are very spread out, as it heals farther away targets for more. It is good to know, this spell has a few second ramp up time the more spread out the raid is, so ideally if you are using this spell to heal up an AOE ability; you will want to try to cast it a second before the aoe happens so the bounces time up better and do less over healing.
Be warned, this spell does have somewhat of a high mana cost, so its usage should be based on whether or not you can afford it at the time, or if it's truly going to be 100% beneficial. Because of the potential of over healing this has for a high mana cost, timing is absolutely a key factor into it's use.
This spell is great for a fight where the raid has a significant amount of stacked time during AOE phases. As disc, I find this ability slightly less useful then cascade on the majority of 5.2 fights. Most of 5.2 fights require a decent amount of the raid being spread out, and not too many significant adds that require a lot of extra damage in normal modes.
Heroic modes tend to be changed by adding some sort of adds, so this could pan out to be a better choice on some fights in the future.
Halo has always been a bit of a "meh" spell for healing. It's not as good as cascade for spread out fights, because it won't always hit all 10-25 people, or 10-25 said people are too close to do significant healing. On top of all of this, it has an overwhelming mana cost for the amount of reliable
healing it does compared to the two above.
In 5.2, this talent has found more room to be used on several fights where there are significant adds and the raid is spread out. You can consider this divine star + cascades child. It takes the aspects of both and mixes them together into a huge(and quite awesome looking) AOE ability that both heals and does damage. I will include a guide on talent choices for each boss later in the guide.
A great resource that assists in planning out talents can be found below.
3. Stat Priority
Credit of math formulas goes to wowpedia.org
Two Sets of Priority Lists
In no particular order.
Int > Spirit > Mastery > Crit > Haste
Int > Spirit > Crit > Mastery > Haste
Till Comfortable: Meaning, you gear/gem/reforge enough spirit until you feel your personal regen is at a point where you no longer need to stack more, and can instead start focusing on either Mastery or Crit.
What do I mean by Priority? When I speak of priority, do not mistake it for simply tunnel visioning one stat and ignoring the other. Prioritizing is getting enough of a stat until you feel that you no longer need to gain anymore of said stat, and begin putting your "extra" stat usage into the next stat down the line.
Something to note about how stats interact with one another
Primarily in a perfect world, you are going to want to balance out stats at some point. This is going to highly depend on your gear level, and experience in raids. Reason being; stats are going to act off one another, if you have a 10% crit chance, and 10% haste the haste is going to help your critical strike rate happen more frequently. If you have 20% crit and 40% absorb mastery; the criticals are going to make your mastery more beneficial because DA is going to be on the raid more often.
So what I am trying to say, is trying to not 100% tunnel ONE secondary stat over another. As you would get spirit to a certain point, you should be working to have your critical/haste/mastery interact with one another on a regular interval. However, you do not want to try to balance all 3 stats. It's best to focus on just two at a time.
Intellect is our "bang" and our primary stat, you obviously will get intellect with gear and it increases naturally. It increases our spell power, and a little portion of our critical strike chance. Just because this is a primary stat that happens naturally with gear does not mean you should be ignoring gems/enchants with intellect. While our secondary stats are both useful and amazing currently, intellect scales with many buffs, and so do temporary intellect buffs such as trinkets/tailoring enchants/weapon enchants etc etc. Later in the guide are options for gems with both intellect and secondary stats that are very useful.
Our main mana regen tool. You want to get enough spirit based on rapture; rapture is our secondary and most important regen ability. You want to get enough spirit where you are able to sustain yourself in heavy throughput situations, then start reforging/geming into other secondary stats listed below. NOTE: My personal spirit threshold is 12,000.
Total Mana *0.02 +(1.1287*SPI*Meditation%)
Mastery is a guaranteed throughput stat as disc, it will increase your healing and absorbs by a flat amount. If you enjoy doing both raw healing, and significant amount of absorbs, this is the way for you. NOTE: Atonement healing dips into new mastery receiving full benefit on the heal portion of the spell but NOT the DPS portion. As well as interacting quite well with the critical strike stat described below. Once you get to a certain point(for me 40% absorb 20% healing) you should start putting extra stats into crit.
For every 600 Mastery Rating, our healing increases by 0.80% and Absorbs increase by 1.60
The critical strike chance, as a discipline priest is all about divine aegis and atonement. Every critical hit you do that gives a heal[Including atonement] provides a shield for the target it hit. This build emphasizes shielding/preventing damage and atonement healing. Affects Power Word: Shield as of 5.2 as well. NOTE: Critical heals do 100% heal + 100% absorb in 5.2; instead of the old 200% heal 50% absorb. This stat also co-exists with mastery, once you get to a comfortable crit point, you can start putting your extra stats into mastery.
Again, haste is a pure throughput stat as disc. It makes you cast faster, increasing the amount of healing you can do over a period of time. Typically with haste, comes the cost of mana. You will notice mana going down faster with a haste build and will need to watch your mana cool downs tighter. Haste does not provide nearly as much benefit to disc as mastery or crit currently. Also note that our mindbender/fiend both scale with haste(no I don't have the formulas for this currently if anyone does please PM me!) but does not increase the number of ticks on our hymn of hope, simply makes the ticks happen faster and the cast time shorter.
1% Haste = 425 Rating
Calculating Required haste based on cast times
Haste required = ((Base Cast Time / Desired Cast Time) - 1) * 100
Base Cast of 2.50s
Not including 5% raid haste buff
Base Cast of 2.00s
Not including 5% raid haste buff
Calculating your Global Cooldown
Haste required = ((Base Global Cooldown / Desired Global Cooldown) - 1) * 100
(Base global is 1.5 seconds)
Why is your Global Cool down so important?
Your global cool down affects the gap between you beginning your cast, and when you can begin your next cast. If you are using a heavy haste build, GCD and casting speed go hand in hand and must be considered on both levels. More importantly as disc, it increases your ability to use multiple instant cast heals(such as PW: Shield/penance/solace/PoM) at a much frequent rate. In a raid, with bloodlust, that's a flat 30% haste increase for the duration. Being aware of your global cool down will be so important because it will help you gauge what spells are going to be the most efficient to cast at the highest rate possible. The lower your global cooldown, the faster you are going to be getting spells out, specifically instant casts.
Things you should consider about global cooldowns
The LOWEST your GCD can possibly be is 1 second; including raid buffs like bloodlust/time warp/Power Infusion/Borrowed time etc etc. Be wary if you are stacking haste to make sure in a raid you will not dip below the GCD cap of 1 seconds, or the additional haste during that period will be wasted on empty time. It should be noted; you will only have issues with the GCD past 1.0 on spells of 1.5 seconds or lower, and instant cast spells.
4A. Spells Overview
This section is a brief overview of the functions of significant spells to the class
The icing on the cake as a discipline priest. In 5.2 this spell received a slight nerf by no longer benefiting from our mastery; however it was side graded by now being affected by taking into factor any divine aegis procs that might happen during it's duration. The proper usage of this spell lies in the ability to predict incoming raid damage. Let me explain a little bit more in detail.
In order to get the best use out of spirit shell, you need to know your boss mechanics. If you cannot predict when there is going to be significant AOE damage, this spell will not gain it's full benefit. Typically, you want to be pre casting this spell and coating the raid with it using prayer of healing roughly 15-17 seconds before a boss begins it's aoe phase, or does its aoe burst ability. Although if the AOE phase is a long enough ticking phase, you could sneak in a SS for the duration of the aoe phase and use it as a pad for each tick of incoming damage. Please take note that this ability is NOT affected by the talent "Twist of Fate"
How it differs in 10 VS 25 Man Raids
25 man: This spell is extremely difficult to get to the cap on more then 2 groups. If you are the only disc priest in the raid, your best option is to get the cap on two groups and then try to coat a 3rd with as much of the rest as possible. The easiest way to achieve a fast cap is to use Archangel + Inner focus in conjunction with spirit shell. The first cast on a group with Inner Focus and Archangel will allow you to have gotten the majority of the amount on a single group. Meaning; you can cast the first on one group, then the next two on another group then rotate every other between those said groups, and once you feel you have gotten enough stacks you can move onto a 3rd if you feel comfortable doing that. If you so choose, you can also toss Power Infusion into the combo to really pump out the cap as fast as possible.
10 man: It is significantly easier to achieve the cap on the entire raid in 10 mans, due to less numbers obviously. You have a little more flexibility on whether or not you feel it unnecessary to use archangel + inner focus with the spell, but typically doing so will just make your life easier in the long run.
Tip: Try to narrow down which targets in each group you are casting on will be in range to hit all 5 targets, there are multiple ways of doing this; Having a melee in a group along with ranged so you have a 'central point' or coordinating different groups to different regions of the room, or even just being able to pin point who is best positioned to be targeted for the cast. Alternatively, there are addons that assist in aoe healing spells that can put icons on the person in each group that is best for the casting target.
Calculating your spirit shell cap
Cap = (TotalHealth).6
So with 446,003 Health we get: 446,003 * .6 = 267,601 Maximum Spirit Shell
The usefulness of this ability, is not simply in it's low mana cost and ability to heal. It's the fact that very often, a disc priest can act as a .5 healer. The ability to do both healing and DPS at the same time just has infinite uses. Assisting DPS on adds, and at times; even being the deciding factor on if a healer in a raid needs to be sat for another DPS or not. The DPS disc is capable of should not be pushed aside. On average they can bring 40-50k DPS to a raid setting which is fairly close to a lot of tanks.
Often times this is going to be your "gap" spell or "filler"; however you prefer to name it. It is going to be what you do between spikes of AOE damage, and moments of very random raid damage that is healed through "spot healing". The speed of the heal lies in the fact that it is a "smart heal" so it is instantly going to go to the first person who needs a heal the most at the time, and is far faster then any human beings reaction time could ever be. I discuss the speed of this ability later in the guide under the ".5 Healer Section".
On damage modifying bosses(IE Horridon/Jinrok), you want to be abusing this like no tomorrow. Of course do not neglect your other spells, which happens more then you might think to a lot of priests. When you start seeing 300k damage and 200k healing crits, you are going to want to tunnel that, but more often then not there are more important things you can do outside of tunneling atonement.
Your throughput increasing ability. This spell is going to flat out increase your effective healing for the duration. Typically, you want to try to time this ability as best you can with boss mechanics to make sure you get the most benefit from it without any going to waste. However, there are moments where you might be simply atonement healing and there won't be significant raid damage for a while and you can pop this knowing the CD will be up in time for the next wave of damage. Seeing how it DOES effect atonement; this can prove to be an effective use of increasing your healing over the course of an entire fight. NOTE: It affects ALL healing spells, including atonement and Power Word: Shield and single target/aoe heals alike.
Usage with Spirit ShellThis spell is like Spirit Shells child. They nearly go hand in hand with each other the majority of the time. It is going to increase your ability to get the cap on more then two groups significantly. If you know you are going to need to spirit shell soon, and this is off cooldown; your best bet is to save it and pop it with shell. Thus reducing the amount of casting on each group needed to achieve the spirit shell cap allowing you to cast on more groups.
Alternatively if you are in 10 man raids, the extra duration on AA could go to PW:Shield if you reached the cap on both raid groups.
Power Word: Shield
The usage of this has shifted from 5.1. In 5.1 the majority of this spell was used for rapture; but with the recent 25% reduction on this spells mana cost as disc this spell can act as a "Mini Spirit Shell". Meaning, you can use this to coat another group after you use Spirit Shell to help absorb additional mana cost. While you can still VERY EASILY go OOM using this spell to much, coating a group or two every other AOE phase is highly suggested and not going to break you that badly any longer.
In 5.1 this spell also recieved the ability to "crit". Meaning this spell gets better with more mastery and crit. For a small cost, you could be looking at a 200-300k shield on someone, or multiple people when it does crit. NOTE: Is affected by archangel, but not grace or twist of fate.
This spell currently also acts as our mobile heal during heavy movement fights/phases. On top of providing the shield, you also increase the targets movement speed by 60% for 4 seconds if you use the talent "Body and Soul". If you have individual people that you know will need to move to a new location very quickly, you can pop this on them to give them increased mobility; thus giving them time to either continue what they were doing before, or more time to do a new task.
This is a passive ability. It is disciplines extra source of regen, nerfed in 5.2 to no longer proc off of temporary spirit buffs; however it still yields enough mana return to be considered a regeneration tool past the cost of power word: shield. You need to be keeping track of the cooldown on this spell, it can proc every 12 seconds and ONLY when a shield is completely absorbed, or dispelled. This is a vital spell for the spec, I will later post ways of tracking the cool down of rapture in the addons section. NOTE: I cannot stress enough how important it is to use rapture on cooldown as much as possible, it's the key to discs sustainable HPS in raids.
With the change to crit healing being 100% heal 100% Divine Aegis, this spells usage has shifted slightly. Instead of granting increased raw healing, it can now be used to put a mini shield on an entire group, or an individual player. Best used when timed with spirit shell because of the fact that spirit shell now counts DA into it's total absorb. Try to use this on cool down as much as possible, but making sure to time it properly and not just using it to use it. Also serves as a bit of a mana saving tool. NOTE: Cool down is reduced every time you cast Greater Heal by the passive called "Train of Thought"
Power Word: Barrier
This is your raid cool down, while it is really only best used in situations where the raid can easily stack; this spell can be a raid saver on the majority of current fights where there is significant AOE damage. Alliteratively, you can use this on the tank to reduce incoming damage for the duration if the raid cannot stack.
UsageIf your raid is timing cool downs, and it's early in the fight. Try to suggest you using this as early as possible; if used early enough it will be available again later in the fight.
A baseline spell for all priests, this can save the tank or any player in the raid from near death. Be warned, can be fatal to yourself as it transfers the targets health to YOU. Meaning, don't be standing in bad stuff or there be AOE damage happening, because while you might save someone you will probably die yourself.
UsageWhile this is a great ability to save someone from near death, you will typically try to save this for the tanks as much as possible. It's the DPS responsibility to stay alive as best they can and they have personal cool downs they can use most of the time to survive.
For the most part, fairly self explanatory. Can be used both in a set rotation if the boss has a damaging ability occurring on a regular interval, or used at your own choice. Best used on tanks, or someone soaking a massive damaging ability.
4B. Passive Abilities
This section serves to point out significant passive abilities that enhance the specs play style.
Train of Thought
This passive ability is important to be aware of as it reduces the cool down on two very important spells in your arsenal, be sure to keep track of the cool downs on both Inner Focus and Penance if you are procing this ability.
This ability enhances the amount of healing you are capable of, typically you want to try to keep this on the tanks as much as possible but it's not going to wipe the raid if you don't want to, or cannot.
Strength of Soul
It's important to know if you are reducing the CD of weakened soul if you need a rapture proc, this passive ability can assist in both that, and increasing throughput on tanks for tank healing duty. Combined with glyph of weakened soul, you can almost spam PW:S on the tanks significantly reducing incoming damage.
This passive is a flat throughput increase, you can time it before an AOE to increase your casting speed. It has no cool down and is important to know that penance does not consume the ability, but does gain benefit from it.
4C. Mana Regeneration Abilities
This section is simply an outline of how abilities can be used.
Master Mana Potion
A must have for raiding, best used towards the end of the fight when your mana resources are at a minimum and you need additional mana.
This should be used roughly around 70% mana at the beginning of a fight, and on cool down for the rest of the duration. Next to rapture, this is your only other source of regen outside of spirit. Both Shadowfiend and Mindbender gain increased mana returns from Hymn of Hope and should try to be timed at least once with your own Hymn of hope, and with other priests in the raid.
Hymn of Hope
This ability is best used when shadowfiend/mindbender is available, typically later into a fight when the entire raid could benefit from the buff it offers.
Power Word: Solace
Tier 3 Talent: In 5.2 this received a significant buff. Has a cool down but returns much more mana then previously and has 0 mana cost. When used on cool down and consistently used this ability now has the potential to return more mana then mindbender. However, be warned; it requires strenuous management making sure you don't miss the cool down while focusing on other aspects in order to achieve this. Strong for disc in particular because it is already part of the atonement rotation. NOTE: This replaces holy fire and stacks with Hymn of Hope buffs.
This is the most important mana regeneration tool you have. The importance of it lies in the fact that it scales with gear, and any static spirit you have. While blizzard states that rapture is meant to offset the cost of PW:Shield it absolutely is much MUCH more then that, and here is why:
Rapture's mp5 value:
1.5 x spirit * 5 / mean rapture interval
With a base spirit amount of 12,056.
Average Interval 16.28 Seconds 25 procs.
((1.5 * 12,056)5) / 16.28 = 5554 mp5
This time, let's tighten up the intervals and say we had better proc/usage time.
Average Interval 14.23 Seconds 30 procs.
((1.5 * 12,056)5) / 14.23 = 6354 mp5
So only adding 5 additional procs to our fight, improved our mana usage by 800 MP5... pretty significant. If you want to think of it this way; it could potentially count as a 3rd trinket.
Let's talk about mana regen cooldowns
Here are the basics..
Returns 4,380 (1.46%) mana per attack and will attack 10 times before de-spawning. That's 43,800 mana per cast and per minute. On top of calculating the cost of holy fire; 28,800 additional mana spent.
Returns 9,000 (3%) mana per attack and will attack eight times before de-spawning. That's 72,000 mana per cast, or 24,000 mana per minute. On top of calculating the cost of holy fire; 28,800 additional mana spent.
Returns 18,000 mana per minute. On top of having 0 mana cost for an additional 28,800 mana saved.
Thus a total savings of 22,680 mana every minute.
So thus we have...
Shadowfiend + Solace
18,000 + 24,000 = 42,000 Mana Per Minute.
(42,000 + 22,680)7 Minutes = 452,760 mana.
(42,000 + 22,680)10 Minutes = 646,800 mana.
10 attacks: 43,800 Mana Per Minute.
43,800(7 Minute Fight) = 306,600 mana over 7 minutes.
43,800(10 Minute Fight) = 438,00 mana over 10 minutes.
If you calculate holy fire when using mindbender(which you should be) the number are going to have a much greater margin in terms of how much mana you will have over the course of a fight. In which case, you would just subtract the cost of holy fire over 7 minutes, and 10 minutes. From it's mindbender counterpart. It should also be known that both fiend/bender scale with haste; and at the time I do not have formulas to calculate additional mana gained through haste.
Holy Fire Cost(used on cooldown + 5 stacks of Evengalism)
7 Minutes = 158,760 mana spent
10 minutes = 226,800 mana spent
These numbers are based on if mind bender and fiend would be used at the start of a fight and calculate the cost of holy fire with mindbender with perfect usage as a base guideline to see how much benefit each gives at it's FULLEST potential.
You can clearly see that solace grants you significantly more mana over the course of a fight, while the calculations of holy fire VS solace free mana cost are not regeneration tools, it's mana not spent/spent over the course of a fight that will add up to your casting costs.
Solace + Shadowfiend
The thing with solace and fiend, is that you must have near perfect timing and not miss a lot of cool downs on solace, as well as being sure to be casting shadowfiend as early into a fight as possible to make sure it's available 2-3 times per fight. So all in all, for the more skilled priest with tracking cool downs Solace + Shadowfiend has the potential to grant substantially more mana over the course of a fight. It's also good to know that the longer the fight, and the better the usage on cooldown; the better these two in combination scale. Obviously grants significantly more mana over the course of a fight. SO the TL;DR version is: If you use solace and shadowfiend well, it is much better then mindbender for Discipline priest. Holy is another story..
The nice part about this, is it's a quick cast and forget spell. You cast it, and you don't need to worry about what happens after that(for the most part). It should also be known, this spell has greater ability to stack with multiple hymn of hope buffs over the course of a fight if you have multiple priests. Calculating the cost of holy fire brings down it's value compared to solace significantly.
Why any of this matters..what does it mean to be a disc priest?
So you just read through a lot of "stuff" but it's all very important for you to be aware of before you venture into raiding as a disc priest. If you venture into raids, without a base understanding of how spells work and what is most efficient you are going to form bad habits that will be hard to break later. It's better to start off with a solid foundation of guidelines and practice them VS walking in blind and not really being sure what is going to happen next. So let's break a few things down here.
So you know what your spells do, and now you know how they interact with each other in different settings so "WTF do you do with all of this?"
After reading all of this, you are probably wondering the true benefits of the spec. Well let's discuss what the benefits of being a disc priest are.
By now you realize, disc is about preventing damage to the highest extent possible. But why is this so potent?
1: It offers your raid group greater recovery possibility should things go wrong absorbs will be the first step to the recovery process. Any form of absorb on a player is going to flat out increase their ability to survive. Think of it this way, if a rock falls from the sky onto your head... you are most likely going to suffer great injury, or... well you can figure out the next step. However, if a rock falls out of the sky and you have a couple layers of bubble wrap on your head, you will still feel the impact; but suffer significantly less injury.
2: It creates a "padding" for your other healers. It gives the other healers more room to breathe in a raid setting, raid damage in normal modes is high; but in HC modes it's even greater. The padding disc offers to other healers in raids allows them to be less concerned with incoming damage, knowing the majority of the time it will be lower. It can act nearly as a regen tool for raid wide healers. The less they have to worry about incoming damage, the less they need to cast up front and have greater longevity over the course of a fight.
So lets go back to the rock falling on your head.
A rock is falling down, and someone quickly tosses a handful of bubble wrap on your head. You suffer less injury, thus reducing the amount of "resources" needed to get you back to full healthy condition; thus creating more resources for anyone else around you that could have potentially been injured.
The .5 Healer
The potency of atonement is not only in it's cheap mana cost, and the fact that it offers a smart heal. It's the fact that it provides additional DPS for the raid. The faster the boss dies, the less resources required to continue that can be spent more freely on other mechanics. It can include extra DPS on the boss, and extra DPS on the adds.
Many times I have been assigned to assisting the DPS on killing adds as disc just because the 40-60k DPS that the spec is capable of was the deciding factor on whether or not we sat a healer and brought in another DPS.
Aside from any add mechanics, the amount of "smart" healing atonement can deliver is astonishing. Any smart heal, is the best heal in my eyes; and disc can absolutely deliver in that area.
So lets put this .5 healer into perspective a bit.
You are killing a boss, yay everything is going great; smooth phase no real damage happening so you are just Penancing/Holy Firing/Smiting away, life is great right now!
BUT WAIT OMG THERES A VOID ZONE! Oh no! The melee weren't able to react fast enough to the sudden un-predictable damage and suffered damage. Chances are, you have already healed them several times before the other healers could even get a cast off because you were already in your rotation of atonement spells. It goes to say how fast the reaction time on this smart heal truly is compared to any healer reacting on their own.
My top choices
MP5 in this section is based on combat regen and rapture mp5 for static spirit trinkets.
Rapture = 1.5 x spirit * 5 / 16.57_Avg_Interval
CR = (1.1287*AVG_SPI*Meditation%)
1. Horridon's Last Gasp
- 9885 mana/proc as well as the ability to stack the effect (also refreshing the timer) up to 4 possible stacks.
- 1752 INT
2. Spirits of the Sun [*] 2/2 HEROIC ONLY
- 869.66 mp5
- 1400 INT
3. Soothing Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault
- 803.85 MP5
- 1467 INT
4. Qin-xi's Polarizing Seal [*] HEROIC 2/2 UPGRADE ONLY
- 740.99 MP5
- 1606.12 Average INT
5. Lightning-Imbued Chalice
- 1657 INT
- 0 MP5
6. Inscribed Bag of Hydra-Spawn
- 988.74 MP5
- 792.99 MP5 from rapture
7. Stolen Relic of Zuldazar
- 935.12 MP5
- 750 MP5 from rapture
"O_O WHOA... you put two 5.1 heroic items above two 5.2 items??? The Ilvls are so much higher! Are you nuts?"
Short answer: No
The first 4 trinkets both have higher balance of mana regen/throughput then the bottom two. Yes, they have 20 ilvls difference, but where those ilvls budget was spent on blizzard behalf, is such a waste. The proc rates on the bottom trinkets are so low, that on most logs they account for only 1-2% of the TOTAL healing. On top of that, you cannot control where the procs on one of them go to, so it could go to someone and be completely wasted due to that target not requiring a shield at that time. While the one below has such a low proc rate on the charges, that by the time you get all charges, you could have had an enormous amount of static intellect and a frequent regeneration buff active several times.
On top of all the low proc rates and % of total healing. They don't scale with our mastery... I would much rather use two trinkets with lower ilvls that I know are going to provide me with enough benefit that it's not going to go to waste, or actually be beneficial to the raid/myself.
But the mp5...
Yes, the spirit trinkets have quite an absurd amount of mp5 granted both from rapture, and just natural regen. Besides, mp5 past a certain amount, is going to drop dramatically in value because the extra mana you are gaining will not be used fast enough. That is the point you start looking into fully increasing your throughput with intellect/secondary stats.
So I can say this: If you aren't super geared, and do not have enough regen to support yourself through an entire fight; or do not have access to some of these trinkets, the lesser trinkets actually would be great options until you can reach a comfortable amount of spirit that they can be replaced with better throughput trinkets. If you simply have nothing better, then of course these will be good for you; but that does not make them better then the first 4 choices.
Ok so I have enough spirit, and considering how much DPS we do using atonement wouldn't that make the DPS trinkets viable for us?
Yes and no, my biggest issue with using dps trinkets is that the proc is not controlled so yes it could proc for you using atonement but it could also be during a moment where you really just don't need the proc. Then when you actually need the proc and it will be 100% beneficial, it won't proc. On top of this, the DPS trinkets have significantly lower PPM as a healer spec, then a DPS spec. This was implimented by blizzard to avoid healers using DPS trinkets and DPS using healer trinkets.
DPS trinkets as a healer and trinkets with throughput procs typically just are not reliable enough to prove useful when you need it, or do enough extra throughput to be much of an increase at all. The 5.1 heroic versions of the current 5.2 throughput trinkets/static spirit trinkets just are more valuable over the course of an entire fight and much more reliable.
Not the end all be all, just suggestions based on what I do and see others doing.
Revitalizing Primal Diamond
Sparkling River's Heart
Gem a lot of these till you get to your comfortable spirit level.
Purified Imperial Amethyst
Zen Wild Jade
Perfect Artful Tiger Opal
Potent Vermilion Onyx
Flask of the Warm Sun - Best choice once you reach comfortable spirit levels
Flask of Falling Leaves - Best choice until you reach comfortable spirit level
Mogu Fish Stew
Steamed Crab Surprise
Secret Crane Wing Inscription
Greater Crane Wing Inscription
Enchant Cloak - Superior Intellect
Formula: Enchant Cloak - Superior Intellect
Formula: Enchant Chest - Glorious Stats
Formula: Enchant Bracer - Super Intellect
Enchant Weapon - Jade Spirit
Formula: Enchant Gloves - Superior Mastery
Living Steel Belt Buckle
Greater Pearlescent Spellthread
Formula: Enchant Boots - Pandaren's Step
Formula: Enchant Ring - Greater Intellect
Simple macros to enhance your gameplay.
Why are macros important?
Simply, they make your gameplay more convenient. If you have 3 abilities that you all want to be used together, then a macro can save you keybinds, and significant amounts of time. These are very simple macros, but these are the most commonly used sets of macros a disc priest might use.
Mindbender/Shadowfiend + Engineering Glove + Arcane Torrent/cast Mindbender
/cast arcane torrent
Simple Mouse-over Macro
Trinket Slots 1+2
I personally use a layout similar to this with my own customizations. Alternitavly, you can choose from any healer composition UIs from the website below.
Amazing and easy to set up UI's for any healer.
Allows you to bind heals to your mouse click buttons and scroll wheel, for people who don't use a naga this is a wonderful addon that saves key-binds. I personally cannot live without this addon, it's just amazing for healers.
Best way to track cool downs and various other uses.
Easy to use, highly customizable unit frames(With Icons suggesting AOE Targets for AOE heals)
Deadly Boss Mods
Boss ability timer, A MUST HAVE FOR RAIDING.
9. Weak Aura Imports
If you are unsure what to do with this code, please PM me. It requireds the addon "Weak Auras".
- Friday March 15th: Added more detail on several spec specific spells. Added introduction/disclaimer section as well as adding all of the tier talents with descriptions. Added "Intermission" section to highlight the benefits disc brings to raids.
- Saturday March 16th: Removed a faulty macro from the macros section; The no-channel macro actually creates additional lag. Updated spell section with more detail.
-Sunday March 17th: Added detail into the beginning of talents section "Why switching talents from fight to fight has a huge impact on your success". Added math/tables for haste/mastery/crit. Added haste casting time formulas. Added detail/math into mana regeneration section about mindbender/shadowfiend and solace.
- Monday March 20th: Added global cooldown calculations, as well as a "Why it's important" section". Updated table of contents to reflect recent changes.
- Monday March 25th: A lot of stuff... I am just going to leave it at that. Trinkets got a massive overhaul of information, as well as other sections.