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Thread: Atonement/Archangel vs without

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    Atonement/Archangel vs without

    I've heard of two different specs that seem to be the "standard" for Discipline players, and those are the Atonement/Archangel spec and the without Atonement/Archangel. Through reading up on both different styles, it seems to be differing ways to set up "baseline" heals for conservation modes in fights.

    I'm leveling up a Discipline Priest right now - but I'm wondering what are the pros/cons of each? I want to make a decision either way so that I can get used to the playstyle now leveling up rather then having to learn it later on.

  2. #2
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    It depends on the fight. Some fights it's easy to throw out a HF or Smite once in a while, then consume your stacks (even if you don't have 5) to get a nice throughput cooldown. Others, you may prefer the Strength of Soul and Train of Thought effects, which give you some extra time with Inner Focus when using Greater Heal (very nice for tank healing) and more frequent access to PW:S again when tank healing.

    Keep in mind that the second half of Heroic Halfus aside, there is not a single raid encounter where Smite will be a core heal. Holy Fire does *okay* HPS, but Smite is merely used in periods of low damage, or simply weave one in once in a while to get your stacks up for a predictable damage spike (good example is Chimaeron, try to weave in a few HF/Smite to get a few stacks, then for the Feud you would pop wings and spam Prayer of Healing).

    Any way you cut it though, leveling and gearing up in 5-mans... Smite will make your life significantly easier. There isn't as huge of a difference between the two subspecs as many people let on, you should have no issue going from one to another at 85.

  3. #3
    I think I'm probably going to stick with it for buff and the ability to use Archangel as a healing cooldown. Thankyou for your response!

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    Just for some input I tested a spec of Archangle without Atonement it's basically the full Strength of Soul and Train of Thought spec but with the ability to stack and use AA.

    It turned out not very desirable, the bonus of AA it's self was not worth the points spent into it since without Atonement's healing casting smites and holy fire becomes more of a hassle then a benefit and it's unlikely that you will have a full 5 stacks when you need it.

    The way the disc tree is at the moment it's almost like it's two mini trees built into one and both specs don't really work with each other all that well due to how they work.

    SoS / ToT spec is very single target focused for the benefit of casting more shields more often it makes you focus on casting greater heal and heal so you can gain reduced weakened soul and reduced cooldown on inner focus.

    AA/A spec is in a way a classic disc spec focusing on utility and more open healing, smiting/HF does melee range smart healing and reduces penance CD, AA buffs healing on all spells but smites and HF so the spec tends to focus you on melee group healing then aoe healing with AA.

    I have tried all manners of specs and rotations to try make use of all the key talents but to gain the benefit of one spec you have to stop using the other and vice versa.

    As Sabadoh said though AA/A spec is great for 5 mans and as far as raids go I think it suits a non static role, in a 3 healer setup you have a tank healer a raid healer and usually another raid healer who is free to float and heal anyone I think an AA/A spec priest is best suited to this role.
    Last edited by CoolNitro; 06-24-2011 at 11:05 AM.

  5. #5
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    My role is typically tank healing, and so I use the SoS/ToT spec. It does an amazing job. The only downside is putting up with complaints from the Holy Pally that you're OP and making their job boring.

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    Atonement also annoys Shamans, because most fights tend to not allow Chain Heal to jump around the ranged, so melee is laready covered pretty well
    Quote Originally Posted by Ion
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  7. #7
    I've just been healing Scholomance and it became abundantly clear the flaws in AA/A versus the SoS/ToT spec, there are alot of AoE heavy fights were the mobs can die very quickly - to quickly for me to cast Holy Fire or Smite, thats for sure. However there is alot of damage going out which I'm having to switch to Heal for, as my casts are being "interupted" due to the mobs dying. I've got Smite and Holy Fire set to cast on my focus's target, typically being the tank (as my power auras also work on the focus to show my buffs on them easier, though my UI is set out to show everybodies in some other way).. I've found whilst this helps me not to pull aggro whilst I'm DPSing, if the mob dies, the tank doesn't get his heal. Also I'm finding that if theres an overaggroing Rogue in the party, if they're both gonna die, obviously the Tanks the one I want to keep alive - but it's the Rogue who'll get the heal from Atonement in most cases and boom, the Tank dies - followed by everyone else.

    Also with lower-geared tanks my bubbles will expire before the full duration, whilst this is great for mana-return, it's not so great because then Smite/Holy Fire isn't going to keep that tank alive and I have to switch to a Greater Heal/Flash Heal to keep them up (obviously with Renew applied aswell).. if I went with the SoS/ToT spec, I could keep the tank bubbled more often because I'll be reducing the debuff on Weakened Soul.

    Don't get me wrong, I love how theres different ways people can play the same spec, it's quite exciting learning the pros and cons of each. So far however, SoS/ToT spec is far on top.

    Also I'm embarassing DPS by beating them on the meters..

    Quote Originally Posted by NewfieDave View Post
    My role is typically tank healing, and so I use the SoS/ToT spec. It does an amazing job. The only downside is putting up with complaints from the Holy Pally that you're OP and making their job boring.
    Why are you tank healing with a Holy Pally in the raid? :P Anyway, I would of thought the AA/A spec would of been better for Tank healing? Saying that, I CAN see why SoS/ToT would be better to return the debuff of WS.

    Quote Originally Posted by WarTotem View Post
    Atonement also annoys Shamans, because most fights tend to not allow Chain Heal to jump around the ranged, so melee is laready covered pretty well
    Having played a Resto Shaman in Wrath, I can see how this is true. And I'm well aware that healer teams need to synergize well, it's just another nail in the AA/A's coffin for me..
    Last edited by Charonites; 06-26-2011 at 07:09 AM.

  8. #8
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    Also with lower-geared tanks my bubbles will expire before the full duration, whilst this is great for mana-return, it's not so great because then Smite/Holy Fire isn't going to keep that tank alive and I have to switch to a Greater Heal/Flash Heal to keep them up (obviously with Renew applied aswell).. if I went with the SoS/ToT spec, I could keep the tank bubbled more often because I'll be reducing the debuff on Weakened Soul.
    I can't really comment on lower level characters but bubbles in general will pop after a single hit my PW:shield at the moment absorbs about 29k and yet it will nearly always be gone instantly when applied to the tank so even with SoS/ToT spec at most you can apply a new shield every 5 seconds or two and a half casts of heal or Gheal ( 2.2 sec cast time )


    Quote Originally Posted by Charonites View Post
    Why are you tank healing with a Holy Pally in the raid? :P Anyway, I would of thought the AA/A spec would of been better for Tank healing? Saying that, I CAN see why SoS/ToT would be better to return the debuff of WS.
    To be honest I also have a holy pally in my 10 mans and he is not as strong as me for tank healing for bosses like chogal he is incapable of keeping the main tank alive despite having the same Ilvl in gear as myself.

    AA/A spec is far from a tank healing spec as it's unreliable and will not always heal the tank as you said your self in your rogue example ( it also heals pets and other useless friendly creatures ) meaning you will end up switching out of casting smites and HF's and opt for heals and Gheals so if you are the focused main tank healer you will rarely be using smites.

    The main benefit of AA/A spec being that smites and holy fires cast as quick as a flash heal cost less mana then a heal and can generally heal for as much as a greater heal when they crit meaning you can blanket the melee in almost constant heals and cast penance more often, with the addition of shields and DA on crits generally most 5 man groups will stay topped off but still it's far from being the be all and end all of healing if you rely on it too much like hoping it will heal who you want it to heal chances are people will start dying, This is the main reason why I believe its a backup 3th healer spec with it's focus on melee just like that of a shaman with their chain heal.
    Last edited by CoolNitro; 06-26-2011 at 01:25 PM.

  9. #9
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    atonement is my <3

    here are some bosses in heroic I like healing with it:

    BoT:

    - halfus (increased incoming damage debuff: the more drakes are dead, the better)
    - v&t (engulfing magic +100% dmg AND heal = 400% profit.)
    - cho'gall (I keep damaging the boss, while healing the tank in periods of low damage. I make about 2m dmg on these fights)
    - sinestra 1st phase on bloodlust, b4 first wrack. easier to pull her to mid-phase. (I dispell wrack btw)

    BWD:

    - omnotron (arcanotron's +50% damage pool and +50% increased incoming damage, if your target is standing in gas cloud)
    - nefarian (your smites crit up to 300k with good stacks.)

    These are my logs if you want to check them out. (Check Healers - Це)
    http://www.worldoflogs.com/guilds/13...kings/players/

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charonites View Post
    Why are you tank healing with a Holy Pally in the raid? :P
    A few reasons:

    A) I run 25mans, and share tank healing duty with a Holy Pally. We also have our Druids chip in a bit by rolling Lifeblooms.
    B) My guild trusts me to keep the tanks alive more than most of our other healers.
    C) Disc is really, really good at dealing with burst damage, which is the most common source of tank death.
    D) Some encounters strongly favor Disc in the tank healing role: healing the MT on heroic Maloriak through dark phase, healing the double attack tank on heroic Chim during feud, and basically any other situation where healing is reduced and/or damage comes in large but predictable bursts. Sometimes absorbs >>>>> heals.
    E) I used to perform a "swing" role in Wrath, so I'm used to knowing when the tank needs to be bombed versus when the tank damage is low and I can help out with the raid healing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charonites View Post
    Anyway, I would of thought the AA/A spec would of been better for Tank healing? Saying that, I CAN see why SoS/ToT would be better to return the debuff of WS.
    You nailed it. ToT is good for the mana savings, but SoS is the real lynchpin of the build. With a "rotation" of PW:S > Heal/GHeal x3 > PW:S, I get roughly twice as many PW:S casts as I would without SoS. Each of those PW:S casts absorbs 32k+ damage (I'm a mastery stacker). GHeal is the go to heal, and Heal is used when the tank is already topped off to reduce WS. I can easily weave in Penance and PoM with Borrowed Time up as needed.

    In any situation where a single tank is taking monstrous amounts of damage, the combination of a Disc Priest, Holy Pally, and a few Druid HoTs is quite potent. The Disc Priest smoothes out the damage, the Pally bombs raw healing, and the HoTs fill in the gaps.
    Last edited by NewfieDave; 06-27-2011 at 10:12 AM.

  11. #11
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    To get back to the levelling aspect, I can see how it might be a little problematic. You probably aren't packing much haste, and don't have access to the shadow tree and darkness yet, so those casts are going to be slow. And things do die fast.

    That said, the content generally isn't challenging, and you'll probably be chipping in dps anyway. So you may as well get a heal out of it.

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    You all seem to imply that you can't do an AA/A spec with SoS; I do. I don't do the AA/A - Inner Sanctum spec. I love AA/A granted some fights it's not too usable, but for the most part I find it extremely useful.

    I know we're excluding H Halfus, but, man, 75k and up Smites is just awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theotherone View Post
    You all seem to imply that you can't do an AA/A spec with SoS; I do.
    http://www.wowhead.com/talent#bfGorRsbsoMochMZo is what I use when I spec for Atonement. That lonely point in Strength of Soul helps a lot with a) helping out on tanks, b) shaving a couple seconds off your Rapture timer during periods of lower damage, and c) Heroic Maloriak (and by extension, helping to keep the insane mage alive on H Cho'Gall, not that I've done more than few pulls on that one).

    A lot of people are under the impression that Veiled Shadows is this uber regen talent that you absolutely must have. Not really the case. There are some fights where it helps, but to throw out an example, it does NOTHING for me on Heroic Nef. When we were working on this fight, I always (and I do mean always) went in to phase 2 with full mana, so 5 minutes versus 4 minutes makes absolutely no difference - either way, you won't have time for two.

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    My spec is close to yours, but I put both points in SoS and ignore Darkness. The popular build on my server is to ignore SoS and put the points into Inner Sanctum and take a point away from Mental Agility. Personally, I don't agree with that as I like to reduce the Weakened Soul debuff and reduced mana v. speed buff and spell damage reduction is not a good trade off in my book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theotherone View Post
    take a point away from Mental Agility
    They must have insane gear to get away with that.

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