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  1. #1

    Disc or Holy for 3.3

    My main spec is Shadow but my guild usually asks me to heal as well. My off-spec heal is Disc and i've invested a lot on heal gear for this. Last week when 3.3 came out we ran all 3 5man ICC Heroics FoS, PoS, HoR and to tell you honestly it was quite difficult healing as Disc. Because of this I'm thinking of changing my heal spec to holy. I've never tried Holy spec and was wondering if you guys could give me your opinion on this. Thanks!

  2. #2

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    Well I can tell you for 5-man's in general, holy is probably easier to heal with because of the extra group heal. Though I'm Disc and I still remain so just because I love the spec. ^_^

  3. #3

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    If you can't heal it as Discipline, you won't be able to as Holy (generally speaking of course). There's no reason to be changing every patch to a new "FotM" spec.
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  4. #4

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    Hmm.. Im Disc with Shadow as os, but have been thinking of removing shadow for a holy spec to try that part out (havnt been holy since BWL when I went shadow and stayed shadow thrue all TBC, when I changed main to a DK tank until end of Ulduar when I picked up the Priest again) but thats not realyl because I see any problem healing as disc but more to try something new =P

    That said, Im not the best or most experienced priest healer around, but I've noticed a few disc priest trying to play as holy and heal the damage instead of preventing it. Maybe stupid questions and don't feel offended, but do you keep shields up all the time? Keeping a PoM rolling all the time? Holding the tank up with Pennance and a Flash Heal now and then?
    http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Daggerspine&n=lakhota

  5. #5

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    As disc I put out pretty staggering dmg avoidance. I will heal for less than our other healers (5-10%) less healing done, but will have my #1 cast spell be shields, which are not included, and greatly soften the incoming dmg to the raid/tanks.

    Disc is just another piece of the healing puzzle. Just like druids soften out the dmg spikes, disc prevents spikes from being fatal by adding an extra "phantom" 7-10khp ontop of your healthpool

    Disc priests are very viable in a raid and provide many useful buffs to help dps, tanks, and other healers but sync poorly due to weakened soul and stacking issues. A max of 1 or 2 in a raid is sufficient. Anymore and your losing too much actual health gains to be an effective raid.

    On the other hand, holy priests in the right hands are a very powerful raid healing tool and put out some very impressive numbers.

    Depending on your raid makeup, pick the most effective spec or focus on the spec you excel at the most
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  6. #6

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    In general: Holy is better for raid healing, disc is better for single target.
    (There are exceptions f.e. Twins or Saurfang.)

    I think disc is better for 5 mans. For healing your party you can use Borrowed Time + Prayer of Healing. And ofc PW:S everyone. If you got an undergeared tank you might rage starve him and he might lose aggro, but then it's a tank problem, not a healer problem.
    I've had no trouble healing those 3 dungeons, even when I didn't know tacts

  7. #7

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    I totally agree with Kelesti. If you can't heal it with Disc, being holy won't help.

    At least it never helps for me. My two specs were disc(main) and holy. Maybe i was doing something wrong, but whenever i tried to heal as holy it meant massive running out of mana. Disc, for me, means absolutely never having to worry about going oom. Also, for not the best available gear, i would recommend disc again for the same reason of not going oom.

    But if you have gold to spare you can just try it once or twice, going as holy, and see how it works for you.

    Good luck!

  8. #8

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    It depends where you are healing and who else you are healing with. In 5 mans a shield and PoM on the tank with some flash heals should keep them topped up. I tend to shield any dps who have just taken damage and then top them up with a flash heal. For aoe damage, you can either pre-sheild, use a BT hasted PoH or flash heal spam, depending on how much damage is being taken how fast. Penance is great for saving squishy dps in heroics! With large amounts of aoe damage i tend to alternate shield and PoH so they are all hasted. Disc is absolutely fine for healing 5 mans once you get used to the fact that your aoe heals are pretty weak.

    In raids, again it depends whether you are in a 10 man or 25 man and the other healers in your party - you might be doing a shield/Pom/penance/hasted gheal or flash heal spam on a tank, or you might be shield spamming the raid and spothealing with penance/flash heal. either way the damage you prevent will make you an excellent support to your other healers.

  9. #9

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    Lakh: Alot of the time, you Flash Heal the tank, and keep Penance in reserve for when it's needed to help you play "catch up" but yes, pre-shielding can help. Going out of your way to maintain 5 people's weakened souls for maximum shield uptime is not necessarily the best way to handle that, though.

    Lootasisew: The raid puzzle means nothing when you're the only one dishing out "heal" spells, in a 5-man dungeon.

    Damaso: Those instances are designed to be kind of challenging, especially given the free gear out they handed to you that is ToC (both the 5 man and the normal 10/25 instance itself).

    Tumdumdumdum: Rage has been generated through shields since either 3.0.8 or 3.1.
    ~Former Priest/Guild Wars 2 Moderator~
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  10. #10

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelesti
    Lakh: Alot of the time, you Flash Heal the tank, and keep Penance in reserve for when it's needed to help you play "catch up" but yes, pre-shielding can help. Going out of your way to maintain 5 people's weakened souls for maximum shield uptime is not necessarily the best way to handle that, though.
    It's definitely not a good idea to shield everyone all the time in a 5 man dungeon, it just wastes mana unless everyone is taking a lot of damage. And even then, I prefer to make sure I can haste all the big heals I need to by rotating shields in with other spells rather than shielding everyone and casting slooooow PoH's or GHs while everything is on cooldown.

  11. #11

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenea
    It's definitely not a good idea to shield everyone all the time in a 5 man dungeon, it just wastes mana unless everyone is taking a lot of damage. And even then, I prefer to make sure I can haste all the big heals I need to by rotating shields in with other spells rather than shielding everyone and casting slooooow PoH's or GHs while everything is on cooldown.
    True, it uses alot of mana... And Im overgeared for HoR (which I guess many in here are) and have quite ok mana regen maybe I shouldnt give tip for it.. As I said.. Im a Disc noob compared to many other here =)

    But with holding up shields on other than the tank on trash and bosses that tends to give group damage, or random damage to non-tank I can focus more on tank and maybe throw a renew on the injured dps if the damage goes thrue the shield. And the shields can give me time out of 5sec regen rule and regain mana before the tank could have use of a pennance and / or a flashheal. I'll will get tired to fast if I just keeps spamming Flash Heal on ppl that takes damage =P

    And if Im not wrong, I didnt say whole group shielded... I said Shileds, that could be any number of 2-5 shields up But it use to be fights where allot if not everyone takes damage that wipes a group in HC and then I would say its nice to keep shields up on everyone and focus on the tank which hopefully will be the one taking the most damage.
    http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Daggerspine&n=lakhota

  12. #12

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    Yep PoH is sloooow (so better avoid it). Also, since i see it wasn't mentioned too much around here, PoM is absolutely great and you really really want to be sure you cast it on every cool down!

    Then try keeping renew on the tank as well, and also, if you have glyph of flash heal you might notice 2 x flash heal = less mana than greater heal. Now, depending on your haste, it might be a good idea to use as many flash heals and see how that works. I think greater heal usage goes better for when you have it hastened and you are tank healing in a raid where usually tanks take a lot of damage. I didn't feel the need for it until Icecrown raid, but again, that's just me; though if you're normally shadow, casting just FH might help you at least until you get the hang around with BT and hasting the longer casts.

  13. #13

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    As far as group shielding, if you know a big AOE is incoming, you can pre-shield a lot of people and rapture will proc off every single one of them. For some reason, you can cheat the internal cooldown if they proc at the same time. ^_^

  14. #14
    Dreadlord
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    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    As was said upthread, if you're having difficulty in heroics, switching from Discipline to Holy, especially if your gear is oriented for Discipline, and thus not as good for Holy, won't help. Yes, there's a lot more damage going out to your groups in these heroics and generally Holy is the superior raid healer, but a lot of that raid healing that Holy has is moot in a heroic. Both specs have PoH which, with Borrowed Time, as an effective way to heal up the entire party. Both specs also have Prayer of Mending, which will also help a lot with random and steady damage in the party. PWS is also a powerful tool for healing your party with predictable or steady damage and can quickly be followed up with a Flash Heal or even a Penance to top them off.

    So, sure, Holy may have a bit of an advantage with healing the party, but if you're having difficulty, you'll probably see better results in evaluating your spell selection or finding a few gear upgrades rather than switching specs, learning how to play it, and making appropriate gear adjustments. Either way, play the healing spec that you find the most fun because both are perfectly viable for the new heroics.

  15. #15

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    I'm having a similar dilemma as the OP, except my main spec is Disc but would like to get more familiar with Holy. So far I have been running mostly heroics.

    With Disc, among Penance / PoM / PW:S + GHeal, keeping the tank up is rarely a problem. And for places like HoR where everyone's all bunched up together, I find that a glyphed holy nova is actually quite effective, especially with the divine aegis proc. In cases where holy nova doesn't reach everyone, borrowed time + PoH usually does the job.

    With Holy, my biggest problem is mana. I guess it's also a function of the group, but in general I find myself with less than half of my mana pool after the fight. I also feel that I need to "try harder" when I'm healing as Holy compared to Disc, as I find myself spamming heals a lot.

    Any tips / tricks from Holy priests would be appreciated.

  16. #16
    Scarab Lord Unholyground's Avatar
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    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    Discipline, Just because Its all about mitigation, absorption and speed. AOE is the only lacking part, but even then once you get the hang of it and have the right mana regen you can pop some AOE heals out no problem.
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  17. #17
    Dreadlord
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    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    Quote Originally Posted by rannios
    With Holy, my biggest problem is mana. I guess it's also a function of the group, but in general I find myself with less than half of my mana pool after the fight. I also feel that I need to "try harder" when I'm healing as Holy compared to Disc, as I find myself spamming heals a lot.

    Any tips / tricks from Holy priests would be appreciated.
    IMO, ending up with less than half your mana is a good thing, not a bad thing. If you're winding up with lots of mana left after a fight, unless it's a trivial encounter, you have more regen than you need, which means you could be getting better throughput with some adjustments in your gear. Discipline is relatively spammy, where it's designed to keep up roughly the same level of throughput throughout an encounter by making maximum use of every GCD. Holy generally doesn't play that way such that, even if I'm casting on every GCD, some parts will be relatively less mana intensive with Renews and PoMs going out, and other moments will be very mana intensive with FHs and PoHs going out. If you go balls to the wall as Holy, even the best geared Holy Priest will OOM fairly quickly. The real trick is being able to recognize when you need to whip out the big guns. Does that DPS need to be topped off now with a Flash Heal or can I let a Renew top him off? Do I need to PoH the group or would a CoH or a couple FHs or Renews do the trick?

    Some will say that Holy is a harder healing spec, but I won't make that argument because I don't think that sort of argument can be made in any meaningful way and, besides, I find I have to try harder when I play Discipline. Holy is easier for me to play than Discipline simply because it's my primary spec and I've been playing it for years, so a lot of the healing decisions are now second nature. Meanwhile, I have to get myself in a mindset to be more spammy when I play Discipline. Regardless, my point is that may of the aspects that make mana management and spell selection difficult with Holy will really only improve for you through practice.

  18. #18

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    Quote Originally Posted by rannios
    With Holy, my biggest problem is mana. I guess it's also a function of the group, but in general I find myself with less than half of my mana pool after the fight.

    ...

    Any tips / tricks from Holy priests would be appreciated.
    IMO this is what I like about holy because our mana is more of a problem compared to disc and other healers. I'm not sure whether you just discussing about the dungeons or raids, but some simple questions to consider:

    1) Are you trying to cast something every GCD? (eg. trying to "keep up" renews all the time)
    2) Are you trying to spam heals?
    3) Are you capitalizing on / having mana breaks?
    4) Like what zeuq said, mana is meant to be used up. There is no need to feel compelled to compare to other healers boasting about ending fights with X% mana
    5) Watch overheals, and make your heals count. Holy heals are naturally expensive, so make sure youre making them give you the bang for your buck
    The real trick is being able to recognize when you need to whip out the big guns
    Pretty much. Try not to think of fights as a straight line of activity. Perhaps it is more of a sine curve, with ups and downs. Know how to pace yourself. Plan roughly when you're going do use your cooldowns. Dont be afraid of asking for innervates or potting.

    Now raidwise, from personal experience holy is not so cut out compared to disc for the first 4 bosses of ICC (personal opinion). This is something you may wish to consider as well.

  19. #19

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    actually, I also have a disc/holy specc with holy as a main specc. But there has still to be a fight, where I go oom before the boss dies. with the shadow fiend a mana pot and the ritual (usually used on the same time) (+ replenishs) it is nearly impossible to empty your mana pool as a holy priester.

  20. #20

    Re: Disc or Holy for 3.3

    Quote Originally Posted by iluva
    actually, I also have a disc/holy specc with holy as a main specc. But there has still to be a fight, where I go oom before the boss dies. with the shadow fiend a mana pot and the ritual (usually used on the same time) (+ replenishs) it is nearly impossible to empty your mana pool as a holy priester.
    In 5-mans, do it wearing your full raid buffed thoroughput (not regen) gear. Without a single Paladin/Shaman, and no Replenishment. Without stopping to drink. This, personally, is how I like my 5-mans.
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