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Thread: Disc to smite or not to smite that is the question

  1. #1
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    Disc to smite or not to smite that is the question

    So as the title says is specing into archangel and atonement "worth it"? Does this change at various ilvls?

    Let me just put some backstory so we know why i am asking. I have always loved the concept of disc and with the cata changes to druids(i just came back) i kinda feel they are a tad meh and as such am powerlvling a priest. Currently lvl 41 after a few days.

    Talking to various priest within my guild I have heard that smite healing isn't good at 85 nor efficent. However reading various guides and looking around the priest community i have seen differently.

    So which is it? does it depend on your gear? does it depend on your playstyle? or as i suspect does it mostly depend on your knowledge of encounters and how best to use the mechanic if at all?

    in case it is at all relavent which i doubt it is as we are talking undergeared restro druid vs priest. I have healed cata heroics and 2 bosses in a 10 man raid (can't remeber the name of the instace but the one with the annoying to heal boss chlor or w/e and the head on spike guy magma .. isn't that helpful)

    one last question I mostly just thought of. from what i have read crit=mastery for disc. If that is the case would crit>mastery if using a smite build because it can result in more divine aegis procs off the attonment heal.

    Sorry in advance if i have a misunderstanding of any priest mechanics
    ~Ari

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    Smite away. I love the Smite/Attonement healing and get a bit pissed at a fight where I can't use it (some of the new 5 man fights make it difficult to use i.e. phase 2 Jin'dal). Attonement works off Holy Fire now also, which buffs your Smite damage. Look at Attonement as having access to a Circle of Healing spell (in my scrolling battle text, Attonment comes up as Circle of Healing) and Attonement can hit hard - I've gotten off 35k Smite heals; not often but they can hit hard - mostly it's a 16-20k heal for me. And getting your mana back along with a pair of wings, priceless.

    I prefer Mastery to Crit, but that's a personal preference since I like buffing my shields.

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/characte...garee/advanced

    Here's my priest so you can get an idea of gear level.

    I also use it on my lvl 47 Undead Disc priest, and it's nice in lower level dungeons too.

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    thanks for the reply. two additional questions about your build specifically (i know often it comes down to personal play style but) do you find strength of soul > train of thought and are popping out enough bubbles in a raid environment (i would mostly be in 10s with a few 25s here and there) that soul warding is better then 2 points in darkness or is it mostly a when ur gear provides enough haste thing the points can move ?

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    For 5-mans solely, Smite is amazing.

    For raiding, it's mainly for a) downtime where you can afford to sit there and top off the melee, and b) for when you know you'll need a +15% healing cooldown shortly. Skippable but certainly viable. You are not going to sit there and spam smite the entire time.

    Crit is okay for single-target healing, but loses a lot of its value when you step into raids. This doesn't change too much for Atonement spec, because while you don't get the benefit of the 10% crit talent, you will have a 5% spell crit buff from a Fire Mage or any spec Warlock.

    Soul Warding is useless for 5 mans, but in raiding (especially the later bosses or heroic modes) being able to pop off several bubbles in a row is crucial to your success.

    Aaaaand Train of Thought is a very nice mana talent when you cast a lot of Greater Heal. I rarely tank-heal and when I do, I have plenty of mana to go around (4-piece helps a lot, even though it won't have a 100% uptime for Disc) so I don't bother. I do use the SoS mechanic fairly often so I spec into it, but skipping it is certainly a valid decision as well.

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    sounds like it isn't a complete waste of talents as it will help in 5 mans and not be a complete waste in raids for certain fights.

    but that leaves me with a slight dilemma. In low tier gear which I will have for a bit when i hit 85 will i need the added efficiency of train of thought and if so where do i cannibalize strength of soul or soul warding. or is tot never really a must have and just a nice bonus

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arielin View Post
    but that leaves me with a slight dilemma. In low tier gear which I will have for a bit when i hit 85 will i need the added efficiency of train of thought and if so where do i cannibalize strength of soul or soul warding. or is tot never really a must have and just a nice bonus
    You definitely want ToT until you're in raid gear. I'd get rid of Soul Warding when you're in 5-mans and perhaps the earlier normal modes, but you definitely will want to pick it up again if you get deeper into the raid content.

    Strength of Soul isn't really a must-have either, I use it for two reasons: 1) help shave some time off my Rapture cooldown when I'm single-target healing, and b) Heroic Maloriak (it helps a ton for the Dark Phase!). You could probably do without it in 5-mans in favor of grabbing Veiled Shadows in the Shadow tree.

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    If I was going to change my spec at all it would be to remove points from SoS and move them to Inner Sanctum along with one point from somewhere else. However, I'm used this spec since I started raiding on this toon and am used to the interactions, so I'll most likely leave it.

    As for Attonement in normal raids, I use it a lot - there are times when I'll just spam Holy Fire, Smite - but I tank heal and as we've geared up there aren't a lot of "oh crap" moments on most fights. I can't speak to heroic modes yet, hopefully next week .

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    I was kind of wondering this myself, the other week I spec-ed into AA mainly for the buff but I just couldn't get it to work right since I am used to spamming heal + shields on tanks so the fact that smite heals don't always land on the tank ended up with a dead tank quite a few times forgetting I was a healer was the main issue

    The problem I have is the fact that the smite spec seams very tacked on i.e Smite heals can create DA shields but not gain a benefit from grace and does not stack grace or inspiration nor to they remove weakened soul debuff but you gain un-controllable heals and a 15% buff on cooldown.

    I suppose if one was to spec both full AA and SoS ToT and just cast a holy fire every cooldown to get stacks it could work out but I don't think we have enough talent points to make the extra 15% on cooldown worth it since we would lose inspiration and maybe more from the holy tree.


    I think I kind of answered this question for my self with the above but, is AA spec worth taking for heroics?

    My usual spec is SoS ToT full points, I'm not worried about rapture as my mana is usually good so I am free to shield every 4.5 seconds ish usually every 2 heals + 1 gcd it's a great spec for keeping tanks stable imo.
    Last edited by CoolNitro; 05-19-2011 at 07:36 AM.

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    thanks for the replies again. So it looks like something like this http://www.wowhead.com/talent#bfGorRsbcRMochM:qVcdRqz0V
    would be good for low lvls and early 5s and then later as I get some better raid gear and dont need the tot as much sos will become more atractive. Feel free to look at glyphs as well they may vary a bit scream might change to desperation if i really needed it but will most likley change to dispel if it was going to change at all.

    other sugestions are always welcome.

    to Cool Nitro : from the reading I did the key is to use glyphn of divine accuracy this is a must and only smite heal in low dmg situations. We all have been in that content where the tank just doesn't need heals as much as he used to this is usually for that. Also after (i don't have it in front of me so don't quote me.. i will see if i can find it) i346 smite=heal on ur rotation and with 18% hit on it I wouldn't think you would be missing all that much.


    edit 2: ya here is what i was thinking of cool http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1568013564

    How to Heal Efficiently:
    There are three basic healing styles for discipline which depend on the type of incoming damage, and are as follows. If you cannot heal the encounter with these strategies, you cannot heal that encounter at your current gear level OR you have DPS taking unnecessary damage. These rotations are produced by examining the efficiency of each heal in your repertoire, and considering the types of raid damage.

    Efficiency (highest -> lowest; no overheal):
    Divine Hymn > Prayer of Mending > Prayer of Healing > Penance > Smite (i346+) > Greater heal = Heal = Binding Heal = Smite (i333) > Binding Heal > PW:S >

    Smite scales very well with gear, and at raid quality gear outstrips Greater Heal and Heal.

    heals which have very poor mana efficiency given the spec and glyphs listed include flash heal, renew, and holy nova. These can be used situationally, but there are often better choices.

    1. Low, predictable damage:
    Main heal: Smite (Atonement) + Penance + PW:S for Rapture ONLY. + PoM if sufficient AoE to benefit. At high gear levels, Smite will outstrip Heal in efficiency when combined with effective Evangelism management (see bottom of post)

    2. High, single target damage (3 or fewer targets in raids):
    Main heal: Greater heal (making use of Train of Thought for reduced Inner Focus) + Penance + PW:S for Rapture ONLY, + PoM

    3. AoE Raid damage:
    Main heal: Prayer of Healing (Inner Focus) + PW:S for Rapture ONLY + PoM. This is a good time to use Power Infusion.

    Inner Fire vs. Inner Will
    Because the above healing strategies utilize very few instant heals (PW:S every 12 seconds, PoM in AoE situations, and the very occasional renew) Inner Fire provides superior efficiency compared to inner will and should be used in almost all situations. Inner will can be situationally useful for the movement speed, and in fights with a large amount of movement, however.
    such a research junkie
    Last edited by Arielin; 05-19-2011 at 07:41 AM. Reason: to reply without double post

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theotherone View Post
    If I was going to change my spec at all it would be to remove points from SoS and move them to Inner Sanctum along with one point from somewhere else. However, I'm used this spec since I started raiding on this toon and am used to the interactions, so I'll most likely leave it.
    Inner Sanctum would be more useful if it were a reduction to spell damage in Inner Will too (at least for PvE). I use Inner Will the vast majority of the time, and I can't say that 2% move speed is worth a talent point. A 2% reduction to incoming spell damage would be very welcome though!

    As for Attonement in normal raids, I use it a lot - there are times when I'll just spam Holy Fire, Smite - but I tank heal and as we've geared up there aren't a lot of "oh crap" moments on most fights. I can't speak to heroic modes yet, hopefully next week .
    Atonement is good for a lot of the heroic modes, at least the ones I've done. Halfus should be obvious (spam Atonement for the second half of the fight and keep the tank/melee topped off), but it's also useful to weave a few HF/Smites in once in a while just to get up stacks, then blow it for a particularly heavy damage phase. Perfect example would be throwing out the occasional HF for Chimaeron, then popping wings for Feud.

    @Arielin: Looks good to me. Psychic Scream is good for an emergency CC or interrupt, but if you find yourself making heavy use of Atonement healing then the Smite glyph (the other one, +20% Smite damage on Holy Fire targets) might be a good choice as well.

    to Cool Nitro : from the reading I did the key is to use glyphn of divine accuracy this is a must and only smite heal in low dmg situations. We all have been in that content where the tank just doesn't need heals as much as he used to this is usually for that. Also after (i don't have it in front of me so don't quote me.. i will see if i can find it) i346 smite=heal on ur rotation and with 18% hit on it I wouldn't think you would be missing all that much.
    By "missing the tank" he was referring to the Atonement heal healing someone besides the tank, not the actual Smite missing.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arielin View Post
    thanks for the replies again. So it looks like something like this http://www.wowhead.com/talent#bfGorRsbcRMochM:qVcdRqz0V
    would be good for low lvls and early 5s and then later as I get some better raid gear and dont need the tot as much sos will become more atractive. Feel free to look at glyphs as well they may vary a bit scream might change to desperation if i really needed it but will most likley change to dispel if it was going to change at all.

    other sugestions are always welcome.

    to Cool Nitro : from the reading I did the key is to use glyphn of divine accuracy this is a must and only smite heal in low dmg situations. We all have been in that content where the tank just doesn't need heals as much as he used to this is usually for that. Also after (i don't have it in front of me so don't quote me.. i will see if i can find it) i346 smite=heal on ur rotation and with 18% hit on it I wouldn't think you would be missing all that much.

    That spec looks good but you could try ditch some mental agility points for shadow tree talents as there are not many spells that are instant for us that make use of it mainly shield and mending.

    As for your reply to me, it wasn't an issue with missing more like one moment the tank is full HP and I'm smiting the next he starts dropping but my heals are hitting dps or pets and I have to reapply all my key buffs just to get him stable again, it was mostly my failure for not using the spec correctly or relying on it too much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolNitro View Post
    That spec looks good but you could try ditch some mental agility points for shadow tree talents as there are not many spells that are instant for us that make use of it mainly shield and mending.
    Honestly, if the talent read "Reduces the mana cost of Power Word: Shield by 3/7/10%" and it affected nothing else, it would still be a fantastic talent. Way better than Veiled Shadows.

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    ah hehe i feel silly now . however i am wondering what ur dps.. pet or otherwise was doing that the heal was missing the tank. It is my understanding it is a smart heal so even if one or 2 goes to a pet who doesn't know to move out of damage i would think then the tank would be on track. if dps is taking avoidable dmg and thus "stealing" the tank heals i would think that would be something they shouldn't be doing. but pugs will be pugs if it is a guild group then smack them a bit. i would say smack the pugs too but lets be honest that is a waste of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebadoh View Post
    Honestly, if the talent read "Reduces the mana cost of Power Word: Shield by 3/7/10%" and it affected nothing else, it would still be a fantastic talent. Way better than Veiled Shadows.
    i haven't heard about taking vieled but some people sugest a few points in darkness but they usually take them from
    soul warding rather then mental agility.


    correct me if i am wrong but since i will primarily be raid healing (with 5 man guild groups here and there) i would think that mental agility would be a must since some encounters need shield spamish and PoM should be used on cooldown if there is enough aoe to make it worth it. which these days can be most boss enounters. Honestly with it glyphed just the initial bounce i have heard is worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arielin View Post
    i haven't heard about taking vieled but some people sugest a few points in darkness but they usually take them from
    soul warding rather then mental agility.


    correct me if i am wrong but since i will primarily be raid healing (with 5 man guild groups here and there) i would think that mental agility would be a must since some encounters need shield spamish and PoM should be used on cooldown if there is enough aoe to make it worth it. which these days can be most boss enounters. Honestly with it glyphed just the initial bounce i have heard is worth it.
    Here is my character so you can get an idea of my stats and spec, http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/characte...nitro/advanced

    Now you said shield spamming or spamish moments my spec is pretty much a shield spam spec yet if I was to cast 3 or more shields on every large aoe event I would be oom in no time for 5 man ZA /ZG runs I can get away with shielding the tank constantly and the odd shield on others if they take agro but there is no way I could shield 5 people every time weakened soul comes off even with inner will active which it always is for me.

    I know people are doing shield spamming in raids but they must be making use of all mana regen abilities from the raid to keep up.

    For raid healing your best spell is prayer of healing with haste and mastery as your priority stats, shields will be used but are normally conserved for buffering low health players from death or those you know will be hit hard.

    In 5 mans using the smite spec you should not need to shield spam and because of DA mending will normally end up jumping onto someone then stay there without being fully used or at least this is my experience of smite spec this is why I suggested losing some mental agility talents for haste or even the shadow fiend cooldown talent.


    btw if you are looking at my spec and thinking crit wtf or low haste wtf I know it may look off compared to the guides but I have tried all the other specs i.e full mastery ( 30k shields ), full haste fast Gheal / PoH casts and they turned out bad for the way I play lately I found a nice balance of crit and mastery to be the best option with no more then 11% haste raid buffed.
    Last edited by CoolNitro; 05-20-2011 at 06:22 AM.

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    Yeah, we can't just shield spam like we used to *sigh*. Those were the days; back in late WoLK when you could go into H HoR and just bubble everyone and sit back and enjoy watching the fight. "Oh, damage, here's a bubble"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theotherone View Post
    Yeah, we can't just shield spam like we used to *sigh*. Those were the days; back in late WoLK when you could go into H HoR and just bubble everyone and sit back and enjoy watching the fight. "Oh, damage, here's a bubble"
    Heh. I'm thinking about swapping to my Pally in a tier or two if they don't do something to keep PW:S in its current role. I don't want to go back to one-button healing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebadoh View Post
    Heh. I'm thinking about swapping to my Pally in a tier or two if they don't do something to keep PW:S in its current role. I don't want to go back to one-button healing!
    Blizz don't want us to use bubbles as a main heal anymore but the main problem is absorbs are still pretty powerful, I read somewhere that they plan to fix crit so it doubles the output so instead of 50% more it's 100% more if this does go ahead then DA shields will be almost as good as PW:shields after a single Gheal crit and with smite spec it's quite possible to see large stacks being applied if you get a crit streak.

    Edit smites probably wont gain anything from the crit change but shorter cooldown on penance due to casting smites will show a bonus for smite casters when using penance on friendly targets that is if it crits.
    Last edited by CoolNitro; 05-22-2011 at 01:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebadoh View Post
    Heh. I'm thinking about swapping to my Pally in a tier or two if they don't do something to keep PW:S in its current role. I don't want to go back to one-button healing!
    I've been healing on my Pally in raid these days, he's as geared as my Disc priest (358 ilvl), and I have to say the Pally is really fun. But they're too mana efficient and are getting the mana nerf bat, so we'll see how that goes.

    But I encourage you to break out your pally they are fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theotherone View Post
    I've been healing on my Pally in raid these days, he's as geared as my Disc priest (358 ilvl), and I have to say the Pally is really fun. But they're too mana efficient and are getting the mana nerf bat, so we'll see how that goes.

    But I encourage you to break out your pally they are fun.
    Well bliz has stated that it should "make them oom at thwe same rate other classes do" translation they will be mana starved till there is a hotfix

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