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  1. #1

    Switching from Holy to Discipline - hard when completly new?

    I've been holy for... eight years, and I never felt the need to switch to Discipline, so I got no idea how it would go if I was gonna switch. I'm thinking of switching cuz in my 10 men raid, there's already a holy priest (not willing to switch to disc), and *sometimes* I fill in for another missing healer (drood). So I thought maybe the combination of holy + disc would prove better?

    Now I've read and saw 2 videos on how to heal as disc, and it's a complete other way to think about healing. I'm a bit afraid! I'm a good (holy) filler, but I'm game for the challenge. Anyone has recently switch (or learned disc) and care to tell me how hard or smooth it went? And is it a good time to learn disc before 5.2, or I should wait 5.2 and learn then? (I see other big changes coming...)


  2. #2
    Honestly, run heroics and lfr and in a couple of days you will have the feeling to it. its that simple i guess you can say then

  3. #3
    Hey there. I'm quite the opposite from you in the way I've always been a disc priest and I don't really know how to heal well as a holy priest. I think you'll learn the spec best when the patch is out, so you don't have to make many adjustments to your healing style. I do however think you can already start practicing on using the discipline toolkit in LFR and heroics. It's handy to know when you should spells such as PW: Barrier and Spirit Shell.

    My 2 cents the bridge between goals and accomplishments
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  4. #4
    Field Marshal
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Disc isnt that hard to play really, you lose some tools: Chakra/Holy Words/CoH, and gain others; Rapture/Penance/SS/Atonement.
    What's important with disc is getting the most out of rapture (get an addon: Ingela's Rapture Bar), using Atonement properly to get the most out of the smart healing, the DPS and Archangel.
    I'm sure you must've heard about Spirit Shell, just use that and blanket the raids with PoH before big aoe happens, eg Wind Lord Mel'Jarak blades.

    You will have to get used to the different style of healing though, Holy is all about reactive healing, disc about proactive healing. Try to anticipate incoming damage and use the nessecary absorbs to mitigate it.

    However as you say, Disc is changing heavily in 5.2, it'll be a bit of an adjustment to all of us, although most fundamentals still remain the same.

  5. #5
    Disc is much easier to learn then holy, I say go for it.

  6. #6
    Ok, so I did my first heroic. It wasn't spectacular to say the least! I keep reading "disc priests have 0 problem with mana", and yet I was stuggling MUCH more than I usually as holy... there is something I'm not quite understanding. As I understand, Penance is THE spell that gives mana back, right? So when I use Spirit Shell + PoH to pop a shield on everyone, cast PoM, am I supposed to Holy Fire/Smite enemies until the tank takes damage and then I Penance (and/or) PW:S, Heal? And when a noob starts standing in fire, I feel my healing power, emergency wise, is way less than holy, or I again mistaken?

    Used Mind bender on cd, used Mind Suppression once or twice (a new habbit to get), used PW:B twice, but tanks kept moving out of it... What tweaks do I need to master this?

  7. #7
    Disc mana is really strong; you must be doing something wrong. In heroics even undergeared usually using Holy Fire On CD with Smite Spam is enough to keep the group alive. If the tank is getting hit hard, cast a PWS on him to heal him and regen mana through Rapture. The key to disc mana being extremely strong right now is that Rapture benefits from temporary spirit buffs (a around the bush way of saying that getting 80k mana back from one rapture when mana tide is down is broken). I heal in our 16/16 10 man raid and only went oom in P3 of Empress, even without mana tide. If you are having mana issues, get an addon to track your rapture CD and switch to Inner Will instead of Inner Focus. Once you have over 8k spirit, you will gain mana when casting PWS if you have Inner Will on. I like to use Power Infusion and Cascade as my talents. Dont use Cascade in the heroics as it costs too much mana. With the way that Spirit Shell is now, it is an HPS (and in some ways) a mana gain to use your Inner Focus + Evangelism + SS and blanket the group with a MONSTROUS absorb. You can negate the entire "Magnetic Shroud" ability in SPM with this. Disc is supposed to be about damage absorption- we work better when we can anticipate the damage coming. This comes with practice and experience in the fights. At the start of the fight, I like to wait until I go down to about ~260k mana before I throw out the Mindbender, and then OCD after that. Mindbender returns %max mana, so if you toss out Mindbender and Hymn of Hope, your net mana gain will increase.
    Last edited by Broccoliform; 2013-05-02 at 06:58 AM.

  8. #8
    Oh! So I absolutely HAVE to use PW:S every 12 secs then, right? I completly forgot about Rapture. And now you're telling me NOT to use Penance offensively, ok... My other problem, minor but relevant are my keybindings: discipline has much more keys to be binded than holy. Well, as I was holy, I pretty much *never* had to use Holy Fire or Smite, so they were just buttons I clicked once in awhile, but now they need to be binded to be efficient. I also used (still am) mouseover macros to heal, but it complicates things to use mouseover macros to heal the group while trying to target mob and dps them, if you know what I mean. And I never used Inner Focus either, no more keybinds available, guess I need to click to use (or have it macro'ed with something, dunno what exactly).

    I tried to do as much Holy Fire and Smite I could on mobs while healing, best I did was ~11K dps, a tad far from your 20K. Sigh... ok, back at work I guess hehe. Btw, this is me:

    I don't have 8000 spirit yet (low shoulders, wrists without spi) but I'm not too bad for an offspec, that still haven't clear HoF.

  9. #9
    Not necessarily every 12 seconds- depends on how much damage the tank is taking. But in a raid scenario every 12-13 seconds is pretty much the way to do it. DO NOT USE PENANCE ON THE BOSS! It is much more effective to use it on the tank so he gets more healing from your atonement spam. I don't really like the way that the mouseover heals work as opposed to mouseover DPS spells. The main thing you want to watch out for in raids is that POH will only heal those 5 people- so use it wisely. If 2 of the people in Group 1 are low and so are 2 of the people in group 2, this is NOT the time for PoH. Also, on two tank fights, you should request to have both tanks in the same group so that when you are spamming PoH on that group, the tanks are getting the bonus absorb from the Aegis. If you are looking into macros, an "OH SHIT" macro you should have is to macro your Inner Focus and your Prayer of Healing. Spirit Shell works amazingly well as a raid CD but is also a very strong tank CD on certain fights. On Garajal you can SS the tank and keep your PWS on him and the only damage that the Voodoo Dolls will take is from the unabsorbable Shadow Strike thing he does. On Elegon you can blanket the raid in about 10 seconds with 4 PoH SS when the add is about to explode and your raid takes no damage.

    Looking at your armory, you aren't in a very bad spot at all. You are using a lot of pieces from your shadow spec which holds you back a little.

    Here is me:

    Looking at your glyphs, the glyph of Holy Fire is good for Atonement. I would suggest using Penance and Smite as your other two Majors. Being able to penance while moving is extremely useful, and as you gain more spirit the increased mana cost becomes less of an issue. Once again, if you are having issues with mana just switch to Inner Will. I have a lot of spirit, use a spirit flask and use a mana potion on most fights (int on others). At the start of a fight, I will shield the tank before he runs in, holy fire and smite smite smite and when I get 5 stacks of Evangelism I pop Power Infusion and just spam the hell out of smite and use HF on cooldown and do about 60k burst DPS which is also 60k HPS because of the way atonement works. Use cascade sparingly when ALL the people are low. 27k mana is a large bit, so you have to make it count. You have to trust that your Atonement will heal people in the 5 mans. If everyone is going down, use the aforementioned Inner Focus + Prayer of healing and then go back to atonement. If I do pure atonement DPS in the dungeons with the 15% buff I do between 35 to 40k (which is more than usually 1-2 of the DPS unfortunately). Just have to stick with it; it will come to you. Remember that we function better as a preventative healer rather than a reactive healer.

  10. #10
    If you are using Penance on the boss, you are going to go OOM. If you are dead set on using Penance (I only use it on fights that require me to move and heal like Elegon/Spirit Kings/Blade lord - stuff like that) then use Penance on the tank every 11 seconds or so to maintain the grace buff on him, which will increase your atonement healing (if you are taking that route).
    Don't listen to this guy, completely clueless. Penance is the most mana effective spell was have access to, it costs basically nothing while having great hps, unless you need to keep up grace it should almost always be used offensively (due to giving and getting buffed evengalism).

    Oh! So I absolutely HAVE to use PW:S every 12 secs then, right? I completly forgot about Rapture.
    Well, don't do it if it gets people killed, but generally you should aim to have a PW:S get destroyed as close to 12 seconds as possible, it's definitely something you should track with a macro.

    Well, as I was holy, I pretty much *never* had to use Holy Fire or Smite, so they were just buttons I clicked once in awhile, but now they need to be binded to be efficient.
    Feel free to use these macros, if your target is hostile you'll cast hf/smite on them, if your target is the tank it'll cast it on his targets.

    /cast [harm] Holy Fire; [@targettarget] Holy Fire

    /cast [harm] Smite; [@targettarget] Smite;

    Not sure if you're in your disc or shadow gear on the armory quite frankly, but you should probably keep in mind what stats you are looking for primarly while gemming/reforging. You could get more spirit by swapping a few gems, and you almost certainly want to value mastery/crit above haste (especially at your current gear level).
    Last edited by Cookie; 2013-02-22 at 11:49 AM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by DiGG View Post
    am I supposed to Holy Fire/Smite enemies until the tank takes damage
    It's good to keep the 3 stacks of healing up on the tank I think, so if you are using damage to heal I'd say potentially through a penance up on the tank maybe to keep those 3 stacks up. I haven't healed since Cata though

  12. #12
    Bloodsail Admiral nobodysbaby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    You can actually run through a 5hc just spamming HF+Penance on CD on mobs with Smite fillers and PWS tank every 12 s and just pop Archangel whenever you feel is right. That should be enough, but if the group takes more damage than usual, don't hesitate to use Inner Focus and PoH, perhaps if you feel daring use SS+the CD of your choice. Don't forget you have Pain Suppression, a very nice tool if the tank will take/is taking a lot of damage.

    When it comes to healing a raid it's a bit more complex, but genreally yeah, Atonmenthealing is enough for low dmg phases and PWS tank. And as I said, practice on using SS before incoming damage and while healing raid use SS/AA/PoH+PoM and occasional PWS/HF/Penance (only in worst case FH/GH for ST healing) if the dmg is not on the whole raid at the same time.

    You should have Ingelas Rapture addon together with good unitframes and bossmods for bossability timers to do your job as disc the best.

    Well, you wont get comfy until you practice a lot, so thats my best advice.

    I think Disc is a little easier to manage when you learn it, mostly cause there is no worry about mana whatsoever, and you have very few buttons to push to raidheal outside CD management.

    I don't think Holy will ever be great/fluid/rewarding to play as long as they keep Chakra as a choice between ST or AoE healing.

    Oh, but I need to Edit; Disc will change quite a bit... So if I were you I wouldnt go Disc until 5.2
    Last edited by nobodysbaby; 2013-02-22 at 12:28 PM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by bigfootbigd View Post
    Honestly, run heroics and lfr and in a couple of days you will have the feeling to it. its that simple i guess you can say then
    ^ Best advice I can give you. If you don't feel confident enough yet, then heal *normal* dungeons first (should be incredibly easy if you're in epics), then heroics, and then lfr. There isn't a better way to learn to heal than just healing.
    Thank you, gentlemen. Someday I will repay you, unless of course I can't find you, or if I forget.

    An allusion! What are you implying?

  14. #14
    -Manage 6 AoE Healing Spells, 7 if you count Divine Insight

    -Selective Casting being our main source of regen, basically making sure you are casting THE MOST beneficial spell you possibly can every single cast

    -Knowing how to rotate spells to have the best burst, IE: PoH, being prepared for a divine insight proc, knowing if it would be better to cast the divine insight, or use cascade/CoH/PoH again first, also meaning risking losing potentially 1 divine insight proc due to reproc

    -Being able to time mindbenders so they are most useful, IE: If you have hymn up, if another priest has hymn up, or if bloodlust is about to go off

    -Chakra...knowing when the best moment to use it is, switching mid fights/phase transitions. Or simply knowing if its better to roll renews on several people, or just sit in AOE chakra. IE: Garajal, totem phases early in the fight renew spamming is the best + binding heal to refresh with cascade. Also because switching to portal realm binding healing in serenity + instant cast heal + serenipity is OP.

    Another good example could be stone guards heroic, AOE damage is bursty/spikey. You will probably find yourself going "herm should I switch now or wait"

    -Lightwell/spring: Pre casting before a pull, making sure you are able to refresh the lightwell at the proper time without rising a global cooldown.

    -Divine Hymn, not much to explain.. just another thing to think about

    -CoH/PoM/Cascade cooldowns are all very short, managing those without over using or improper use.

    -Preparing Serendipity for a predictable AOE phase, precasting PoM/Precasting Cascade for said AOE phases

    -"Do I purpously kill myself at 5% on a boss because I am oom for spirit of redemption?"

    -Haste VS Mastery[Although this is less of a debate now, most people prefer mastery such as I do]

    I am sure I could continue.. but I think you get the point, if you look at what holy has to manage VS disc to create high amounts of throughput and HPM it's pretty insane how much harder holy is then disc.


    -Shield tanks/someone taking damage for rapture
    -Smite/Holy Fire/Penance on DPS phases of low aoe damage
    -Grace Stacking[tanks] really only requires doing a penance on the tank every other cast
    -Spirit Shell for predictable AOE phases or to just mitigate damage on tanks
    -Avengalism/Archangel happens on its own via smite/holyfire/penance
    -Mindbender/Fiend cooldown
    -Power Infusion knowing when the best time to use this is

    You can say the difference, is always going to be that disc can predict, holy can react. I tend to feel disc has always had an easier playstyle because the choices for preparing can usually come 10-15 seconds before the oh shit moment happens, then during the oh shit moment.. they either atonment spam or PoH/cascade.

    Holy has to be very, very choosy about what they do at ANY given moment, disc has more wiggle room.

  15. #15
    You are right, half my gear is shadow optimized (using in both spec'ed), so I guess if I was VERY serious about healing better, have better spi, I would have to replace those items. With the new glyphs and new macros you gave me, I see things moving MUCH better now. Just did another heroic this morning, and it felt MUCH better that last night to say the least. I have yet to use Inner Focus, and that's stupid, but is there anyone using it in a macro? I've got no more keybinding for it (someone could argue are you using ctrl/alt/shift keys, it's just totally unatural to me, I use alt for 3 keys, shift and ctrl not very accessible with small finger), and I would prefer for it to just pop without having to keybind it. I could click to use, but I try to do that less and less.

    I haven't used Inner Will yet, maybe I should, cuz I'm still not as mana efficient as I could be. Maybe it's gear, maybe it's me having to really get into the spec mechanics...

    On another note, Rapture doesn't always happen, I mean I've been PW:S'ing the tank on boss fights, but because I Smite/Holy Fire as much as I can, I guess I must crit sometimes, as Divine Aegis pops and create those smaller shields, and PW:S just fades and isn't fully spent. How rude LOL!

    On another another note, I use Shadowed Unit Frame addon for my unitframes, and I always prefered to HIDE the buffs on my target. Now, I NEED to know how many stacks/time left on target for Grace... is there a way to just track Grace?

    (changed head and bracers, added enchants here and there, reforged some items, gain almost 1000 spirit!)
    Last edited by DiGG; 2013-02-22 at 05:20 PM.

  16. #16
    I have yet to use Inner Focus, and that's stupid, but is there anyone using it in a macro?
    Ppl used to have it macroed in every spell that used it because it used to be 25% crit and 100% mana reduction, so all it did was giving you a free spell - nothing to loose from casting it on cd. Nobody worth their salt is macroing it anymore, because it's more useful when you actually need a big fat heal.
    Rapture not always happening is generally the tank being overgeared, often happens in 5 mans. In raids, shields rarely fail to break.

    And I'm afraid disc has many things they need to track in terms of buffs - PWS, grace, weakened soul, Spirit Shell being the most usual. I dont know much about shadowed frames, but vuhdo for ex has a decent shield tracker (meaning a way to show you how much of your shield is left).

    As for the rest its a case of getting used really, all speccs feel uncomfortable when you are used to something else.

  17. #17
    Dudes... I just did my first Sha kill, as disc... It was SUPER easy! I mean, not being comfortable yet with the real proper mechanics of raid healing, I almost used all cds, tried to timed things for PoH, even used Inner Focus (that was about time I use it hehe), BUT I forgot to use Spirt Shell! My god... and I finished 2nd on the meter, by 0.2%. I made some mistakes, like trying to use Attonement healing, I guess it's kind of a waste of time, I mean Rapture and Mind Binder were doing the job mana wise, I used PoM on cd, did 2 Cascades, rest was just spamming PoH on each group.

    I don't know how that would translate in a "real" raid (we're at Amber-Shaper 10N in my guild), I would have to master the mechanic for real by then (if need be). JUST LETTING YOU KNOW.

  18. #18

    Joking aside, spirit shell is really good. Now, sha normal isn't much of a fight for it, but its golden for others.
    And why would atonement healing be a mistake? It's all I do on sha tbh >.> otherwise its soooo boring. Atonement isn't for mana regen, its just something you cast when there isn't much raid dmg - and in some hc bosses, its even the best thing you can cast. Anyway, dont avoid it, even if its just casting holy fire on cd for archangel.

    Anyway, congratz for becoming a priest that knows both sides of the deal . Best priests play both speccs!

  19. #19
    Sha normal mode, is atonement fest unlike any other.

    Most boring fight of this tier, even more boring then heroic blade lord.

  20. #20
    Ok, so now I did my first LFR... and finished on top by a LONG shot on all 3 bosses. (I realise it's lfr and it doesn't mean much, but for me it indicates I'm on the right path)

    Blade Lord Ta'yak:


    I was able to do MUCH more attonement healing on Garalon than Blade Lord, tanks stayed in between tornadoes, was pushed around more than usual. I used Inner Fire btw, with a spirit flask, and was able to stay afloat mana-wise. At two occasions my mana went super low, I had difficulty keeping Rapture up, only because we had another disc priest PW:S'ing the tanks faster than I... I had to pw:s the raid, and it shows.

    From a holy perspective, you can't really rest as disc. I mean, I'm used to dot and aoe like crazy in holy, then stopped for 3-4-5-6 secs before I restarted healing. As disc, I spam HF/Smite as much as I can, there is NO rest hehehe.

    So guys, you think I'm on the right path to become a potent disc healer?

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