The Way of the Disc Priest
Why Bring a Disc Priest
- Power Word Shield Power Word: Shield - Spell - World of Warcraft (PW:S)
No cooldown on cast when used by a disc priest. This enables a disc priest to spam the spell on the raid in advance of high incoming raid damage. Also a Disc priest will take improved power word shield for 15% more absorbtion per shield, and Borrowed Time giving a disc priests shield huge absorbtion potential, in the upwards of 7 to 9K per shield in current raid content gear.
- Divine Aegis Divine Aegis - Spell - World of Warcraft (DA)
Creating additional absorbs, DA has the ability to stack up to 10,000 worth of absorbtion. Making Crit a valuable stat for disc priests, and most of our heals can proc DA including the heal associated with glyph of PW:S, Flash Heal, Greater Heal. It will aslo apply While PW:S is active making for a truly phenominal amount of absorbtion prior to a player taking a single point of Hit Point loss.
obviously the easily spotted Power Word: Fortitude's additonal stamina, the spirit, and shadow resist buffs as well, but all those can be brought by any priest in the raid. What does a disc priest bring?
- Grace Grace - Spell - World of Warcraft
When a Disc priest is assigned to tank healing, it is benefecial to ALL heals that com to him as the disc priest will apply this buff making all heals bigged that hit the tank. Grace is a tough spell to work with though, since it is slow to apply this stacking buff to the tank it can be of debtriment for the priest to move off to heal some one else as he will lose his grace stacks on the tank. I have read articles that consider taking 1 of 2 in the grace talent as to have a 50% chance to not lose the grace buff by throwing a heal to some one else in raid. I do not subscribe to this idea, as it doubles the amount of time it takes to apply the buff to the tank again if you lose that 50/50 chance, and for it to apply initially.
- Renewed Hope Renewed Hope - Spell - World of Warcraft
Reduces all incoming raid damage to the entire raid by 3% for 20 seconds, each time power word sheild is cast, and lasts 20 seconds. This spell will have a 100% uptime if a disc priest is in your raid, as it is his job to keep PW:S on the tank MINIMUM. and every 15 seconds as the weakened soul debuff falls off.
- Power Infusion Power Infusion - Spell - World of Warcraft
The priest on a short CD, has the ability to grant this spell to anyone in the raid, from himself as a mana saving tool to another healer, or used as a
- Pain Suppression Pain Suppression - Spell - World of Warcraft
When used properly this spell can keep a tank alive, on a short cooldown to be used multiple times per fight to mitigate spike damage during suspected times. Also due to its short CD, using it on the DPS that pulls aggro during an AOE pull can save his life, and it will still be up in time for bosses.
How to Heal Properly as a Disc Priest
Though no healer has a true "rotation" there is a of course the series of spells cast in the right order to produce the most healing, and absorbtion in the least amount of time. Referred to as Heals Per Second (HPS). So, as disc how do we provide the most HPS?
PW:S is the staple cast of the disc priest, Each time you cast PW:S you gain a buff called Borrowed Time Borrowed Time - Spell - World of Warcraft 25% spell haste is huge, it can put a disc priest in, the average 25player raid at only 11% under haste cap. The catch, is it lasts only 1 sepll cast. However, the key to our max HPS rotation lies in the tooltip on Pennance our 51 point talent heal, and extremely affective channeled healing spell. Channeling Pennance at this time will not use your borrowed time proc.
So, we can chain PW:S into Pennance into Greater Heal, and complete both casts hasted by Borrowed Time. Our best choice once this is completed is to flash heal once or twice until pennance comes back off CD then back into PW:S and repeat.
A note for Disc Priests specced into Improved Flash Heal Improved Flash Heal - Spell - World of Warcraft there is an extremely complicated graph, or chart im unwilling to calculate that is going to say something along the lines, of: if a tank has 51% + health through some #% health it is MORE effeciant to top him off with a greater heal, than it is to use a flash, and then somewhere between 50% health and some #% lower than that it is superior to top him off with a flash heal in hopes it crits. However most of this determination is based on mana efficiancy of a crit flash heal + its DA proc VS a Gheal, and its DA proc and whether or not you actually crit. Its a huge number of variables, to the point where i can tell you that i generally just ignore it.
Can a Disc Priest Raid Heal?
Short answer, yes. It isn't nearly as affective to assign a disc priest to raid heal as it is to assign him to Tank healing, however PW:S is an instant cast huge absorb with no CD so prepping your raid for incoming damage with it is completely viable, our flash heal, prayer of mending, and prayer of healing are good enough to keep a raider up in most AOE damage situations, and both Flash Heal, and Prayer of healing can Proc DA making them even more potent for future incomin damage.
What Stats am I Looking For
The obvious is you, like any healing class make larger heals from having more spell power, and unique to the Disc priest class, is the both PW:S, and DA procs are enahnced by your spell power. So looking at what to stack, Spell power is certianly high on the list as it affects both how much you heal for, as well as how much you absorb. Crit will help a disc priest more so than other healers as well. From your more traditional healer, crits simply make your heals larger at random unpredictable times, and of course murphys law will mean you won't crit when you need to, and will when there is no need. With a disc priest Crit heals proc DA. meaning not only will the heal be larger but will que up absorbs to be used later even if the target is full. Meaning we are welcome to overheal in an effort to proc as much DA as possible. With Borrowed Time the proc from our previous topic increasing our haste by 25% per power word shield, our need for haste is certainly reduced past 11%.
I use 11% as the ideal number to reach the 1 second Global CD, when in a min/maxed raid group, with Borrowed Time up.
So when going for maximum HPS we want to stack
Spell power > Haste to 11% > Crit > Haste
Now as far as sustainability is concerned the disc priest gains his greatest mana eficiancy from Intellect stat because of the talent Rapture Rapture - Spell - World of Warcraft . Rapture, returns mana when PW:S falls off. able to proc only once per 12 seconds, however can also fall off multiple times in that 12 second, So a disc priest can PW:S an entire raid group prior to large incoming raid damage, and return mana from the expierience. Think XT-002 Tempanic Tantrum. PW:S the entire raid, and return mana from all of them at once. The larger your Mana Pool, the greater your return is.
So when concerning stacking stats for sustained healing throughout a fight
INT > Mp5 > Spirit
We don't have any spirit to spell power conversion in the Disc tree like a holy priest does. So basically 1MP5 is = 3Spirit.
The key for every single class is of course finding the right balance per fight to enable just enough mana to heal the whole thing, and more spell power to safegaurd yourself against emergencies.
When I am progression raiding
INT > Spell power >Haste to 11% > Crit > Haste > MP5 > Spirit
When we are farming content
Spell power > Haste to 11% > Crit > Haste > Int > MP5 > Spirit
for Progression Raids my preferences are:
Meta: 21INT + chance to restore mana
the mana return is on a 15second ICD and is about 600 mana, it procs often, which means for a disc priest even disregarding rapture you get a free PW:S to the tank every time you can cast it on him, as Weakened Soul Debuff is also 15 seconds.
Red: Spell Power + INT
Blue INT + MP5 (I am currently using INT + Spirit as I am also speccing Holy, and have limited gear but this is inferior to INT + MP5 Gems for Disc alone)
For farming Content:
I will use the same Meta
Red: Spell power
Yellow: INT + Spell Power
Blue: Spell Power + MP5
Ok so Why Dont I make every Priest I have Go Disc?
well, simple question really it cripples both of them to use more than one of them.
You see the weakened soul debuff applied by PW:S is the bane of the disc priests ability to use his key abilities including of course PW:S again on the same player, but his ability to know where he can proc a Borrowed Time.
Your holy priests need to be aware of this as well, and not inadvertantly cripple your disc priest by casting there own PW:S on anyone especially the tank. Without the multiple modifiers to PW:S found in the disc tree PW:S is no where near as strong.
I hope this guide was useful for anyone whos judging Disc Priests as a raid leader, or to anyone thinking of becomming Disc in the future.
I now open it for comments, concerns, trolling and bashing my opinions as though I were claiming them fact.[/b]
I have posted this topic, on both my website, and in the healer forums, I brought it here as well in hopes raid leaders may pick up on how there disc priests are supposed to work.
great post mate, really good job, i lvl'ed as disc but never raided, i have always raided as holy and mostly taken the raid heal role. i have dual spec might play a lil disc.
thanks again awesome post !
A few things, Grace affects the priests healing only and is not a raid buff. For meta activiation personally I use the 10 int 10 spirit gem. Also a talent section would be useful for people, I know you added the talents in the post but a step by step breakdown of core talents with a talent calc link to a typical disc spec. Also you could use some paragraphs otherwise its a fairly nice guide.
For those interested in disc I suggest strongly utilising grid to show pw:shield in a square and weakened soul (e.g. frame->Topright, bottom right buffs/debuffs can be added in a section called auras it is casesensitive) it is incredibly helpful to know who has weakened soul so you don't waste time shielding. Shield is incredibly powerful if you know when the big raid damage is comming and even if your not sure its pretty good(often better than holy).
For those wanting to use greater heal don't let me or anyone stop you but know that the majority of priests do not even have divine fury and if they do its likely for smite. I personally haven't found a time when ive needed to greater heal alot I have used it on a borrowed time proc but even then it is a slow heal. Likewise imp renew is something you don't need a flash heal is likely to be better or a prayer of mending (that is ofc if you can't shield).
Loved it. I'm going to link it for my guild's priest forum. Although I do agree with Nicki on the fact that the grace buff is not a raid heal, it is single target buff that only help the priest healing that target for 15 secs. You still make very good raid healers regardless. Bubbles for everyone!
Nicki I do caution against generalizing about the divine fury talent Many priests spec into this in their pve spec and it is not because of smite. Out of the top four specs for holy and disc only one spec opts out of divine fury and that is to put points in imp renew. Discipline/Holy Priest Best Talents for Patch 3.2 of World of Warcraft - WoW Popular - Filter by Talents, Priest class, Discipline spec, Holy spec
Not sure what will be happening with the patches before the new expansion. But int/spirit will become every healer's bread and butter stats... Lucky for us priests, I don't think this change will hurt too much But that is a long way off.
Question, I'm a little confuzzled by your wording here... Taking your example, if you PW:S the entire raid as the shields are absorbed are you refreshing the 12sec proc of rapture or is it on an internal CD so after the first shield drops off only another shield 12sec later will proc it again.
Originally Posted by TomBrokeOff
shield drops > rapture procs (4 secs later another shield drops)... Is it renewed back to 12sec? Or is it at 8sec?
btw, I'm learning so much from your write up I barely every go disc, the raid wont allow it and I'm not comfortable with it to handle the "oh shit!" situations. But you've given me some confidence.
Oh dear, that line is written terribly.
What its meant to say is that
If you know the raid is about to take major damage from tantrum on XT in a 15 or so seconds (using DBM or some addon of course)
wait. PW:S the entire raid EXCLUDING the tank (since his will fall off proccing the affect)
once the raid is shielded shield the tank., tantrum his, and as rapture procs from the damage of 1 shield the others have ALL fallen off at the same time.
Whalah a whole lot of free (or in my mana pools case + 122 manas)
it will not stack procs or reset procs
so if your going for this kind of free shields to the raid approach, it takes some good timing of KNOWN incomming damage.
on a side note
WOOOOOOOOOO my complaint about stat simplification post not only got GC's attention but his blue post made it to the front page of my favorite WoW site EVER tankspot! SO WIN
Popularity and usefulness are two different things. Ive not encountered anything where ive needed to use greater heal others may have maybe. Likewise imp renew's value in a disc spec is very low.
Originally Posted by Amallthia
So your wondering why do so many people have the same talents if their bad?
Well I don't paticularly agree with EJ's Retribution talent suggestion which takes only 1 point in vindication (half of demo shout) instead of sacrificing a point in run speed for full demo shout. Likewise people take what they are suggested also any priest who healed before wrath had greater heal as their main big heal flash wasn't as efficient as it is now. In tbc my priests holy spec included imp renew but actually using it was something I don't remeber doing all the time.
Also a large majority not only look at EJ but will look at top players how many warriors did you see running around with the exact same spec as kungen? True theres not alot of room for deviation in a warrior spec but more on warriors were drummed into believing cruelty was their best talent 3.0 released and the maths was done on Armored to the teeth which was showen to be better per point but I guarentee you will still find warriors running around with cruelty over armored to the teeth.
I think youd get a better view of how useful it is by looking at the top guild's priests the ones doing hardmodes algalon etc. Not all of them are taking divine fury or imp renew there are deviations and if there are people managing(or should I say performing better than the vast majority of players?) without those talents then you question the worth of a talent.
But yes alot of people have the same holy spec wooohooo and I should have wrote most priests in top guilds don't have divine fury or rather its around 1 in 5 and oddly most are disc.
Disc is fantastic for all healing tasks except topping up the raid. Holy priests, trees and shammies are better at that.
As disc you can tank heal well, you can mitigate raid damage and save people who drop very low like no other healer can.
I think the first healer priest in every raid should be disc. Yes, even in 10 mans.
You want int and mp5 until your mana is enough, then you stack spell power. Stacking crit and haste is totally stupid unless you are on the tank at least 75% of the time. The best role for a disc priest is to mitigate raid damage, save low hp members and heal the bursts on the tank with penance. This role requires nothing but sufficient mana regen and spellpower.
I have less than 22K mana and 350 mp5 i5sr unbuffed, and I'm still fine on all Ulduar10 hard modes. I don't know about 25man hards, maybe 22K is not enough there. So I think both intellect and especially crit are overhyped, our best stat in fact is spellpower. Never gem for anything but spw and int. Mp5 only for the metagem bonus.
About divine fury: some people like to use gheal when they are assigned on a strict tank duty. In this case, OR if you want to use smite for example soloing or XT heart phase, this talent is good. Renew, even with talents is quite bad, I only very rarely use it when I have to move and my target cannot be shielded (weakened soul). There is no other real use for renew as disc.
Last edited by Delicatesse; 08-25-2009 at 07:00 AM.
I kind of understood what you meant before, but I needed a better way to rephrase it for my guild's forum. No worries I gave you complete credit and posted a link back to this thread Grats on your GC nod! I have to read up more on the stat simplification, I'm hoping that it will allow me to basically keep one set of gear for holy and shadow.
How do you embed a link so it shows the tool tip for the spell? They all broke when I copy pasted
And Nikki, I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, I value your knowledge. I don't want to take away from the disc discussion, so this is my last two cents...
I'm just voicing the other side of an opinion. Just because the top guilds working on alagon (which is a small population of the priests playing wow) do not all take the talent, doesn't make it "bad", they are min/max for a specific encounter and those points can be placed elsewhere. Where as many of us are specing for a wider range of encounters, we might be "covering all bases" for progression content.
One of the great things about playing a priest is that our talent tree is so easy to bend to our gear/play style/raiding content. I think many classes lose out on this added flexibility.
the website you are trying to post to is required to have the WoWhead plug-in. Its a tiny piece of code anyone with FTP access to your site can add.
I will also continue to work on adding information to this guide, including spec, glyphs etc.
GL to all tonight on twin valks
With the way that Meditation was changed, Spell power + spirit would be just as good as Spell power + Mp5. They both give the same amount of mana, but atleast that way you get a benefit if you have to spec holy.
Like I said earlier I only used 1 int/spi epic gem for meta activation, I do currently have a spellpower spi gem in gear for a single socket bonus and if I want to go shadow this piece will do nicely aswell as for holy.
Originally Posted by Sathius
Stat balance wise though the correct approach is that MP5 > Spirit by about 40% but if you play holy or even shadow spirit is no danger to ruining your regen. However int is superior for regen but taking spi on a purple gem if you play shadow or a green gem if you play holy is acceptable.
good information, but I personally prefer the 25sp/2% intel meta, , I've never had mana issues and this provides much more throughput.
25sp 2% mana is rather wasted compared to 21 int and roughlyly 60mp5 just saying the item gains here are extremely better. Youd gain better throughput with gems or even trinkets. And if your not going oom on atleast a few fights (XT, Freya 3 elders) are you shielding other players on encounters like this regularly if not youre probably slacking.
Originally Posted by Imanohealu
Likewise with normal gems you can customise more so I use my meta for regen and trade int on my normal gems for spellpower and haste as I see fit. Raid buffed I have 30k mana and throughput is hardly an issue. (Actually more of an issue when I spec holy then disc :s)..
But hey whatever works...just saying its better to get throughput elsewhere...
Last edited by Nicki; 09-02-2009 at 01:58 AM.
thank you thank you thank you!
I just respecced from holy/shadow to holy/disc because I joined a raiding guild and we needed more MT heals, and this thread helped sooooo much in setting it up successfully so that after only two retrains I healed Uld 25 at MT heals a few hours after setting it up...
two things of note for me as I raid with both of these specs:
Mana pool/regen in disc kick a$$....seriously...I'm trying to run out of mana, and I can't do it...I now see why haste is a stat i'm going to need on my gear...I need a ton more of it on this spec before I can really use my mana pool...to the point that my pool is basically wasted right now
group healing is tougher with disc for me, maybe because it was so much easier with holy...in a nutshell, here's why: spell (throughput holy/disc); Renew (10k/6k), CoH (2-3k/0), PoH (6-8k/3k)....just basic throughput on these 3 spells is why I will probably keep my holy build for raid heals...these stats are just what I found and are with the same gear...so time to re-gear to specialize these two, I'm thinkin.
That being said, using the trick in the first post: grace, borrowed time, PW:S, Pennance, Greater Heal/PoH, is the most potent healing trick i've seen....thank you! Pennance increases healing effectiveness of the final heal on the MT because I get a 3 stack of grace from pennance because it launches 3 channeled heals, then I hit with greater heal or prayer of healing, depending on who needs coverage...this is especially awesome because in raids, other folks may have healed the MT up with me, and the greater heal on the MT might be wasted, at which point I can simply PoH and catch the party along with MT or something like that....great tip! with all the gravy talents for PW:S, I can restore 15-20k HP on my MT in 2-3 seconds with this series, plus some dmg mitigation...woot!
Honestly, you need less haste on your gear as disc than you do as holy. You get plenty of haste from talents, and after getting 4-5% on your gear, you end up haste capped for bubble spam fully raid buffed. You're more likely to run into the issue of your throughput sucking rather than your haste. A few extra casts over a length of fight isn't going to seem as important as not getting as big of heals as you'd like when you actually need them.
Originally Posted by Goomba
I don't know what happened to the reply I put here an hour ago, but I'm wondering if there are haste and crit caps for disc priests...I'm pretty beefed on Int and spellpower, and the build does a lot for my crit and haste, so I'm wondering how to do more crit (helps throughput) and haste (cast more heals....yay).
As I read your post and was thinking about throughput on my toon and the times when I feel like I should be using more mana, it dawned on me that I'm not healing the raid in certain situations when my tank is stable because I'm scared of getting locked into a long heal...this is part of why I'm looking for haste...if I can cast faster, I can toss a couple heals on the worst injured dps and then switch back to the tank...but I haven't been using flash of light in these situations because I made a habit of not using it due to the way my spec was in Holy (spammed renew and used greater heal to deal with serious dmg)....Flash may not be super efficient, but it might be the right tool for the job in those situations...gonna try that
Crit is tasty. You should be stacking crit, sp and int. Haste is, most likely, going to come on your gear naturally when upgrading. I believe the hard GCD cap for PW:S spam is something around 4.7% (note to people who say it's 11%: haste is multiplicative, not additive). If you're sitting around 5 or 6% and find a nice upgrade that has haste on it, I wouldn't say no (depending entirely on the other stats and current piece, of cours) but I wouldn't be stacking haste up in the high teens. As far as crit, there's no cap. Stack it. The more you crit heal, the more you stack DA and (obviously) the more you heal for.
You don't really need to be casting flash on low raid members. If you can't pull off the tank for more than a second or two, just cast a PW:S on a low raid member. If you're glyphed for it (and you should be!) it'll give them a small 1-2k heal and a fair amount of absorption as a cushion, giving time for the raid healers to top them off. Remember that you have borrowed time to use liberally! If your tank is topped off and shielded, and your raid just took a huge sweep of AoE damage, toss a PW:S on someone that's dangerously low, then take advantage of the haste to cast a PoH on a group. Given your spell haste, it comes with the added bonus of likely procing DA on at least one or two of those people, if not three or four.
Flash heal is also an option, of course.
yay for some answers...thank you....good to know about crit not being capped...and both my disc and holy builds have the glyph of pw:s...now that I think about it, in disc build the heal from pw:s has about as much of a heal on it as my flash heal...woot