So my main is a 511 Spriest. I love playing her but a few things are worrying me at the moment - me and the two other Spriests I run raids with are always mid-table for DPS, and we are all gemmed and enchanted (used both MrRobot and advice from a rl friend with a 540 spriest). From what I've read it seems to be the way for spriests at the moment.
It's getting to me that whenever I respond to a pug in trade chat I'm kicked for either a warlock or mage for their utilities and 'extra' DPS. It is just getting tired, frankly, and as I haven't been lucky enough to find a decent guild to raid with I'm just left with LFR most of the time.
So someone suggested I double spec with Disc and learn how to heal. I've tried it a few times in LFR with DPS gear and although I go OOM pretty quickly (I'm assuming because of the intellect-heavy DPS gear instead of spirit) I really enjoy it. It's giving me that sense of excitement I've just lost with shadow.
I've started to create a new gear set for healing, and basically just wanted to ask for some rotation advice. I've never healed before and although I seemed to do reasonably in LFR I'm worried that if I ever do find that apparently unobtainable guild raiding team I'll be kicked as soon as I can put up a bubble.
I'd really appreciate any advice anyone could give me - I don't even know what state Disc priests are in at the moment, apart from the fact that one once beat me in DPS in an MSV pug......
(Oh, and just to clarify - at the moment I am looking at making Disc my primary spec if it continues to go well).
disc is pretty fun. just re-gem/reforge your haste to crit. as far as how much spirit you need, it's a matter of what you're comfortable with. if you get the legendary meta gem, you probably won't need more than 11-12k spirit, but some people like having more.
one of the biggest things is to get comfortable with boss ability timers like DBM or bigwigs - disc's strength is in using spirit shell and PWS right before a big aoe goes out to blunt its damage. disc's ability to get a raid up (reactive healing) is relatively poor, but our absorbs are phenomenal and leave you with less healing to do after that big raidwide damage bomb goes off.
in between big aoe bombs, penance>solace>smite on the boss and keep up PoM.
A more condensed version of that guide:
Reforge/Regem to: Spirit (you want about 12k) > Crit > Mastery > Haste
PWS every 12s on a tank for Rapture
Keep PoM on the raid (use on CD if it falls off within 10s)
Try to use Spirit Shell + Prayer of Healing to get 250kish absorbs on as many people as possible before the damage. Otherwise,
Use PoH + Keep PoM on the raid. Use your level 90 talent.
In situations where you can't cast PoH, just spam PWS on the raid. If mana is an issue, switch to Inner Will for this (I don't even have Inner Will bound if that's any indication of how often I use it)
For situations where the tank is taking heavy damage, use PWS whenever Weakened Soul falls off, use Penance on CD, and spam Greater Heal or Flash Heal if he'll die before you can cast Greater Heal.
That covers all the basics. There's 3-4 sets of "rotations" I use for healing, which I list here. Remember to use things like Inner Focus and Mindbender/Shadowfiend on CD (when it will benefit you, obviously). There's a lot of nuances, but that Icy Veins guide covers the majority of things you need to watch out for.
Something to keep in mind, disc doesn't have very good bursty healing CDs. There is no equivalent of Tranq, Hymn of Hope, Healing Tide, or Revival for disc. Paladins are sort of similar, but they have far more CDs than disc does. Disc makes up for this fact by their absorbs easing the damage output and making those CDs not as useful. Especially something like Spirit Shell which can completely negate many boss mechanics that would probably require a big CD on.
It would be fairer to say that disc can have issues responding to unanticipated massive burst AoE damage. Unanticipated is the key word here. There is a reason Spirit Shell is being nerfed a bit in 5.4. It is almost too good for mitigating predictable large AoE bursts.