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  1. #1

    First time healer: Disc or Holy?

    I recently dinged 90 with my priest and leveled just as Shadow. Now my guild mates want me to have a healing spec too. I never played a healer, so healing in general is completly new to me and I have to decide whether to play disc or holy.

    By reading the stickys, disc sounds fun from the atonement aspect and seems to have lesser spells then holy. That sounds easier, but on the other hand, preemptive shielding sounds more complicated than "normal" reactive healing. So both specs have their pros and cons. I know, most people would say "try what YOU like more". This may be true, but any thoughts about the more easier way to learn healing as a priest in general would be appriciated.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    High Overlord sys01's Avatar
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    Personally I would recommend Disc, I've played my part of Disc in my WoW lifetime, played Holy too, but found Disc easier and simpler to play. Also those shields really help in raid combat. Can't say more about this, since I'm mostly Tank / DPS oriented too.
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  3. #3
    Play one, give it some time, then play the other, give it some time, see what fits you better.

    Disc is a very powerful spec with lots of niche, you can heal with dpsing, you have more absorbs than any other healing class, but the downside is that when the your group is down, a disc priest can have a tough time getting the group fully up.

    Holy is a pure healer, you get a pretty large toolkit (some would argue the largest of all healing specs in the game). They can get your group up really fast with tons of shiny numbers on the screen. However, Chakra system limits them from single target healing and AoE healing effeciently at the same time, and they also require tight mana managment.

    Both specs are fun, both are easy to learn and tough to master (even though a bad disc priest will always look better than a bad holy priest). My personal preference is holy, but disc is good fun too and quite OP with atonment at the moment. If you're a real priest, you'll try both and see what's better for you.

  4. #4
    I would recommend trying Holy first if you never played a healer before.

  5. #5
    Holy is probably the easiest healer spec in the game to play. Just hit PoM, CoH and Cascade when they come up and you can't go wrong really. If everyone is dying use Hymn.

  6. #6
    The Patient Kalas's Avatar
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    Disc is for sure easiest spec to start healing, mainly because you can just spam Smite and HF when allies are taking damage. (Most of the time.)
    Personally I find holy more fun in both PvE and PvP but you have to manage Chakra states as needed. Holy is more flexible in that you can have heavy single target or AoE healing on demand.
    If you were talking about PvP instead of PvE though disc is the way to go since holy is harder to play well. (No passive damage reduction and no Inner Focus.)
    Either way you're in for some good times because priest is the most dynamic class in game, very fun once you learn to play a healer offensively.

  7. #7
    I would say you should start out as holy since its "normal" healing if you are bad geared

  8. #8
    I would say holy, because it's a reactive spec. Disc if you are raid aware and watch boss timers.


    If you mess up a spirit shell on disc, it's harder to heal people up than it would be holy. Holy is a more traditional healer where you can heal ppl up when they take dmg. Disc, it's all about them absorbs.


    Holy has more spells though.

  9. #9
    I'm definitively a holypriest at heart. The holypriest can dish out some insane healing at the press of a few buttons; it's not unheard to pull 3 million healing from nowhere and jump from "last on the healing meters" to "way ahead of everyone else" in 20 seconds in LFR. That is the power of the holypriest, you will never feel weak. Any time you feel like the group is stuggling, pop a divine hymn, void swap, guardian spirit, cascade, lightspring or simply a CoH+PoH combo, and watch that damage disappear. It's seriously fun.

    The downside of the holypriest is that all that power comes with a budget. It's far too easy to spend all your mana in the first third of the fight. This leaves you running on fumes for the remainder of the battle, and that makes for both really crappy healing, and a really crappy healing experience. So as a holypriest you always have to hold back - a lot. This means mastering both trusting your fellow healers, and mastering to ignore damage. Especially at early gear levels, the best thing you can do is often nothing. It gets better once you get heavy gear-up, but I at least feel that initial period of "do nothing to succeed" is going against what I think a healer should be all about.

    Also: Chakra sucks. Enough said.

    --

    Discipline is a spec I have tried many a time, but never quite felt comfortable with. I feel that the loss of Divine Hymn is one of the biggest detriments to the spec, and not even having lightwell or CoH+PoH combos to fall back on is equally crippling. But frankly, I'm playing the spec wrong at that point. Disc shouldn't need that kind of arsenal because disc is all about mitigation. If the group is falling down to critical health levels, then I am not doing my job mitigating. Pre-empting the healing needed, and lowering the blow to the point where noone is in real danger; that's when I do my job as a disc healer properly. It requires a bit of foresight and pattern reading. And of course a lot of timing. With that skillset, Disc truly excels. It also helps that the mana situation is notably better.

    Not to say that disc is bad at healing. Because that would be a lie; Disc has most of the priest toolkit after all, and PoH is still a powerhouse spell. Cascade is still going to heal for a million or two worth of healing when you need it. But yeah, I'm much preferring the reactive mindset of Holy.

    --

    That's just me though.
    The answer to your question is probably still "try both, see which you like". Sorry. No two ways around that.
    Last edited by Danner; 2013-04-28 at 08:41 AM.
    Non-discipline since 2006. Also: fails. "Chakra, when the walls fell"

  10. #10
    Disc is definitely easier, for me at least. Holy has a huge toolkit of spells to play with and it's VERY easy to oom if you just spam your spells with no regards. Disc doesn't really worry about mana and can smite spam for the most part - contributing damage while having a very good and cheap heal that doesn't require any thought.

    Of course, both are hard to master, but I feel that it's far easier to be a good disc than it is to be a good holy personally, if you aren't running amazing gear. This is my experience having leveled a priest to 90 about 2 weeks ago and in 505 ilevel gear atm doing most of normal ToT.
    Last edited by Dawnrage; 2013-04-28 at 02:48 PM.

  11. #11
    You'll learn more starting with holy and trying disc later, holy is the more traditional healing spec.

  12. #12
    Blademaster Leyn's Avatar
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    Holy is IMO more fun.
    Disc is very different from holy so I'm not sure if "learn with holy and change to disc" is a good option.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Leyn View Post
    Disc is very different from holy so I'm not sure if "learn with holy and change to disc" is a good option.
    i think they're suggesting holy first because its the OP's first time ever healing and holy is a more 'traditional' healing spec when compared with other healers.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Twobeers View Post
    I recently dinged 90 with my priest and leveled just as Shadow. Now my guild mates want me to have a healing spec too. I never played a healer, so healing in general is completly new to me and I have to decide whether to play disc or holy.

    By reading the stickys, disc sounds fun from the atonement aspect and seems to have lesser spells then holy. That sounds easier, but on the other hand, preemptive shielding sounds more complicated than "normal" reactive healing. So both specs have their pros and cons. I know, most people would say "try what YOU like more". This may be true, but any thoughts about the more easier way to learn healing as a priest in general would be appriciated.

    Thank you!
    I have been playing as a priest for 5 years now, and mostly as a healer. I would without doubt recomend discipline, since I find it much more fun, the aspect of the game that you actually react before something happends is how I prefer to play. But on the other hand, I do not know if you want to just get by healing or actually would like to play as a healer. I usually recomend holy for starters tough, I find it easier, considering it's much more forgiving than discipline (don't get me wrong here, just my personal opinion). I mean, currently my shields is the healing and atonement because of it's fast nature it just outheal others.

    I mean, if played correctly you can just outshine others, like:
    http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/r.../?s=991&e=1381
    To be fair to my guildmates, I did not fly, I didnt pick up a single feather at all, on the other hand, I didn't pick up the damage buff either.

    But if you are going for the easy solution, I think holy is the way for you, it's more forgiving. Instead of preshielding the raid before a heavy damage taken income, you can just use Divine Hymn while or after the damage occoured. And for some reason people like to feel stronger, and holy without doubt got a lot more healing numbers and higher numbers than discipline. First time I went holy this patch, I felt I had to pass 200-300k hps, compared to the healing numbers from discipline.

    Anyway, I recomend Discipline since that's what I enjoy the most, with great results.

    -Tobbx

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobbx View Post
    I have been playing as a priest for 5 years now, and mostly as a healer. I would without doubt recomend discipline, since I find it much more fun, the aspect of the game that you actually react before something happends is how I prefer to play. But on the other hand, I do not know if you want to just get by healing or actually would like to play as a healer. I usually recomend holy for starters tough, I find it easier, considering it's much more forgiving than discipline (don't get me wrong here, just my personal opinion). I mean, currently my shields is the healing and atonement because of it's fast nature it just outheal others.

    I mean, if played correctly you can just outshine others, like:
    http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/r.../?s=991&e=1381
    To be fair to my guildmates, I did not fly, I didnt pick up a single feather at all, on the other hand, I didn't pick up the damage buff either.

    But if you are going for the easy solution, I think holy is the way for you, it's more forgiving. Instead of preshielding the raid before a heavy damage taken income, you can just use Divine Hymn while or after the damage occoured. And for some reason people like to feel stronger, and holy without doubt got a lot more healing numbers and higher numbers than discipline. First time I went holy this patch, I felt I had to pass 200-300k hps, compared to the healing numbers from discipline.

    Anyway, I recomend Discipline since that's what I enjoy the most, with great results.

    -Tobbx
    Totally disagree with this. Holy is probably the most unforgiving healing spec in the game, simply because you can't just spam heals, since you'll go OOM in seconds. Holy has a large and powerful toolkit but requires thinking of which spell is right for the which moment, rather than casting PoH time after time ala disc in 5.1. Disc is a very forgiving spec, and a bad disc priest will always look better than a bad holy, simply because of Atonment, which costs very little mana, helps with dps, and is a smart heal that snipes everyone else's heals when damage is low. That's not to say disc is an easy spec to master, mind you.

    On tough fights, both specs require mastering. Disc requires smart SS timing, and getting the most out of it, handling rapture procs, AA, etc. Holy requires timing a lot of spells to get the mot out of them, since they can easily overheal, switching between chakras to maximize your current healing, deciding which spell to use at a given time, and mana managment is tougher than on disc.

    There's no telling which is more fun to play, everyone has their own preference. You really need to try both, and see whether you are a reactive or a proactive healer.

    Edit: Looked at your log, I find it funny that 24% of your healing done is via atonment yet you consider disc an unforgiving spec.
    Last edited by Blachshma; 2013-04-30 at 06:35 AM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Blachshma View Post
    Holy is probably the most unforgiving healing spec in the game, simply because you can't just spam heals, since you'll go OOM in seconds. Holy has a large and powerful toolkit but requires thinking of which spell is right for the which moment, rather than casting PoH time after time ala disc in 5.1.
    I think seconds is a large exaggeration . I'm sometimes (admittedly rare) playing holy and I never oomed in seconds, even with my disc amount of spirit of @11k (I heard holy needs 15k to pull it off properly). And tbh its a lot of prayer of healing I do, next to coh/pom more or less on cd. I'm by no means a brilliant holy priest (or a disc one at it), but it works just fine spamming those 3 spells and its not very different from the fights I just mostly atonement heal as disc.

    Same time I disagree that disc is hard/complex at a base/medium level, you can just spam atonement and be okay. If you want more, both speccs have plenty of challenge.

  17. #17
    Atonement is actually the reason I would recomend trying holy first. You learn nothing about healers if you played a dps class before and fall into the trap of casting only atonement all the time, which while doing ok or even great on many fights will not prepare you for those moments where atonement just doesn't suffice.
    Holy on the other hand while turning out worse numbers than atonement spam initially also demonstrates mistakes more obviously and is easier to correct after looking at logs (which are useless for disc with all our spells smashed together into categories that hide which spell actually caused which heal).
    After the player is aware of those mechanics he can then try out disc able to recognise its benefits and shortcomings.

    Also, if he wants to try out a healer to try something new atonement won't do the trick. Without the background knowledge of a healer it will appear like a pure dps rotation, which is what the result might look like anyway but is not the case for the decisions involved in priorizing of the spells. ("atonement trap")

  18. #18
    Fluffy Kitten Dyra's Avatar
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    I would recommend trying Holy out first. Holy is so mana intensive that at low gear/spirit levels you have to master learning which spells are right for what moment, and learn how far what's left of your blue bar will take you. Once you've tried that, then you can go Disc, and start mastering the pre-emptive healing portion of it. After that, depending on what content you're going to do and what the rest of the healing team need you to be, you can choose.

    A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.

  19. #19
    I don't know where you are raid wise, but why don't you spec both for awhile.... at the same time. You can easily quest in Disc spec, its almost impossible to die as a Disc priest smite pew pewing. For raiding Disc is very powerful and is THE 2.5 healer spec where you need a bit more DPS to get your team over the top. Holy will outshine on fights where there is considerable raid damage and a great deal of movement. A priest that can swap Disc/Holy brings a great deal of utility to a raid. This may not be required however if your raid team are two healing a lot of fights and you need to go Shadow.

  20. #20
    I'm really tempted to just heal with Atonement (Smite, Solace, and offensive Penance ONLY) one raid week (except Lei Shen, kek), but my guild is struggling due to lack of membership as is.

    Anyone up for it? Any...ANY healing other than Atonement/Solace/DA makes your log invalid.

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