Priest PVE Guide (Disc and Holy) - 4.3

Priest
Updated for: Patch 4.3.2


Intro:

Hello everyone, my name is Buck and I have been a wow player since release and a priest healer since Outlands. I have played all three specs (disc / holy / smite disc) and commonly switch between them as the need arises. This guide is not an item list, but meant more to help answer some of the common questions for healers of all types (holy / disc / smite disc) and hopefully give you some quick go-to answers with some brief reasons without diving miles deep into the theorycrafting. If you want more direction on WHY some spells are better then others, etc... go check out elitist jerks website. Lots more information and spreadsheets there... this is meant to be more of a beginner's guide.


Holy:

- I am going to go over holy first since it is a little simpler and straight forward then discipline


Stats and stat priority:

Int > Spirit (until comfortable) > Haste (12.5%) > Mastery / Haste > Crit

1.) Intellect - increase crit, mana pool, mana regen, and spellpower... your number 1 stat... and should be taken above all other stats

2.) Spirit - Spirit is your #1 secondary stat... until you are “comfortable” with your mana regen. There is no perfect level of spirit. If you are struggling for mana on fights, then increase your spirit, if you have excess mana after fights, consider reforging out of spirit. We are healers, not dps/tanks... there is no perfect answer... a lot will depend on you as a healer, your raid/group makup (is there a shaman or another priest for mana regen?), your role within the group... many things influence this. Spirit is one reason I feel Holy scales better with gear then disc... holy regen goes through the roof as you gear up... disc feels pretty much the same all the way up.

3.) Haste - Here we have a cap that you want to hit at 12.5% haste. This would be when you are buffed. At 12.5% haste, your renew, hymn of hope, and your divine hymn all gain 1 extra tick... the next tick is added at 37.5% total haste. Once you get up past ~370 item level, you will find that even reforging entirely out of haste, you will easily reach 12.5%... especially when raiding (raid buffs). After 12.5%, haste becomes a ‘comfort level’, similar to spirit...as I will discuss in a moment.

4.) Crit - More or less pointless for holy priests. You will gain significant crit from your intellect... and since crit is unreliable for healing with no additional benefit (like disc receives), you are better off reforging out of crit in favor of spirit / haste / mastery ** The Only other benefit of crit is the talent “Inspiration” (10% physical reduction after a critical heal)

5.) Mastery - This is your ‘throughput’ stat. Haste will allow you to cast faster and thus allow more HPS, but mastery gives your spells greater power by adding to the amount healed as a HoT (heal over time) percentage of the original heal spell.

The debate of haste vs mastery:
- Similar to spirit, the amount of haste (past the 12.5% softcap) is more a matter of ‘feeling’ then hard data. On paper, Mastery will give more overall healing on an extended battle (where you drain your mana pool completely); but in practice, haste has more of a direct impact on your heals, since you can heal faster. So really, the debate is more on how you heal and the group makeup that is in your particular party that will determine which you prefer (or maybe a balance of both)

Holy Spells and “Rotations”

General Information: The biggest thing I hear from priests going from Disc to holy is they feel like they are constantly out of mana. The best advice I can give to this (beyond increase your spirit as you need a lot more then you did as disc) is to be efficient. Disc allows more room for overhealing since a lot of that overheal comes in the form of shields, which can still help heal on the next dmg taken. Holy does not... an over-heal is an overheal. So be smart and use your single target heals when they are more practical. Don’t be afraid to stand there for a minute. Holy regenerates mana extremely fast... if healing isn’t needed, don’t keep hammering away on your spells. I see lots of holy priests drop sanctuary or a prayer of healing when there really isn’t much need for it. Switch chakras frequently... when in raid, if there is no aoe damage for a bit, don’t be afraid to switch to heal shakra and hold a renew on the tanks with a couple heals... you can switch back on your first prayer of healing on the next AoE phase. Make sure you communicate with your group. Need them to stack better for sancuary? yell it out... need groups re-arranged for better use of prayer of healing? yell it out. People not using lightwell, yell it out...Holy requires more group coordination them many other healing specs... your group can’t help if you don’t tell them.
- Specific Spells -

** Chakra **
- Serenity (from heal) - Use this when tank healing... gives you an instant heal ‘shock’ spell: Holy Word: Serenity... an extremely efficient single-target heal that also buffs subsequent heals crit chance by 25% for six seconds. Use this often, and don’t let your renew fall off the tank. “Heal” is basically a mana-free (if not net gain) spell, so use your holy word or heal to keep renew ticking.
- Sanctuary (from Prayer of Healing) - Use this whenever you are raid healing (duh)... Holy Word: Sanctuary is great, but very expensive. As you find mana being less of an issue, this spell becomes more ‘usable’... in 25 man you will use this constantly, in 10 man, use it when everyone is stacked up or you really need the extra healing power. Realize it does suffer from diminished power if 6+ people benefit from the spell

1.) Lightwell - easily your most efficient heal (if not THE most efficient in the game)... macro it... drop it often, drop it loudly, and communicate when people need to use it. You low on mana? tell em to use lightwell... the more you drop it and communicate it, the more it will be used... and make sure you place it in good spots. It has a decent range, find a place everyone can see! Finally, I recommend getting a lightwell tracker (addon) so you know when/if/who uses the lightwell in a fight. Lets you yell at them when they aren’t using it.

2.) Circle of Healing - Just slightly more efficient (assuming both are fully used) then Prayer of Healing... however, this is instant...and smart... personally I pop this on almost every cooldown... smart heals make for smart healers...

3.) Flash / Binding heal - Don’t be afraid to use these! They are not as mana draining as they are when in Discipline Spec. If you do use them, alternate... flash heal (or binding) x2, then PoH or Greater Heal to get the benefit of Serendipity (Talent) During heavy AoE times, I often will do binding x2 and then PoH … rinse / repeat

4.) Prayer of Mending - I recommend you get a PoM tracker to see where it is and how many jumps are left... I also recommend you get a Cool-Down Tracker (addons) so that you make sure this is ALWAYS in the raid. Arguably your most powerful and efficient healing spell... unique to priests, nobody else has this.

5.) Renew - When tank healing this should pretty much always be up... when raid healing though, it becomes more situational. Use it if you have the mana and the time (I typically keep it rolling on the tanks even if I am raid healing as much as I can...or on dps that you know won’t take more damage for a bit).

6.) Divine Hymn - First, macro it to announce when you cast... few things suck as bad as all your healers blowing CDs at the same time... secondly, use this... 3 min cooldown means you can use this a couple times every raid boss... it is tremendously powerful... I even use it on trash if everything goes wrong for some reason, the CD will be up again by the boss.

7.) Guardian Spirit - one of the best single target save cooldowns in the game... just don’t forget about it! If tank healing, I will sometimes throw this down before hymn of hope to make sure to get full use of the mana regen spell

Discipline:

Stats and Stat Priority:
- It should be noted that for disc, mastery, haste, and crit all work very well together and all are important stats... so finding a ‘balance’ is indeed a best approach for discipline stats. Mastery buffs your shields, but without crits, you don’t get shields... and haste gives you more chances to get shields since you get off more casts... Also, don’t let anyone tell you disc priests can’t raid heal. They can do just as well as any other healer, you just heal differently.... you don’t have the throughput, but you don’t have nearly the overheal either... and disc is phenomenal at spot healing.

Int > Spirit (until comfortable) > Mastery > Haste > Crit

- Intellect: Same as holy... this is your number 1 stat

- Spirit: Similar to holy, spirit does increase your mana regen, but your intellect has more to do with your regen then your spirit does... and in general, Disc does much better then holy for longevity on fights. So if you are running out of mana a lot, you should review your cast ‘rotations’ before dumping tons into spirit... I often hear holy priests complain about mana in disc, but really, if done right, disc will outlast holy on just about every fight.

- Mastery: Mastery stacks very well for disc (despite the mis-information on the market)... technically mastery is the strongest secondary stat in terms of healing power (on paper). But similar to holy, some of this depends on your playstyle and raid healing role. This gives you the most bang-for-your-buck on heals, but when raid healing, you may find you want more haste then more powerful shields.

- Haste: Most beneficial when raid healing, haste will allow more heals and thus more chances for your divine aegis to proc (forced when prayer of healing). Combined with mastery, disc prayer of healing is much stronger then holy, but the shields must be absorbed for this to be the case...which requires more phases of predictable damage, rather then intermittent... your overall throughput is less then holy... so if the shields don’t get used, you will feel weak

- Crit: Unlike holy, discipline benefits considerably from crit through divine aegis procs. That said, if you are raid healing and casting mostly prayer of healing, then this stat is less beneficial since your guaranteed divine aegis anyway. Crit is most useful when tank healing or ‘spot healing’... when you are doing more single-target heals like penance and greater heal. Personally I find that crit will take care of itself, between your int and raid buffs, you will sit at 20-30% crit, which is enough to proc plenty of shields. About the only time I might push stats into crit would be if I am purely a tank healer... then it might be nice to have higher crit.
Spells and “Rotations”

General Information: Discipline healing relies on rapture to generate mana... this means you need to roll your PW:S out every time rapture is up, but avoid using it the rest of the time. Disc AoE healing is almost as strong as holy, the big difference is that disc is pre-emptive and needs to be cast before the damage hits (or during) so the divine aegis is used... otherwise, it is going to feel like you’re not healing as well. Remember a lot of your heals are preventive... for single target, you have a lot of very powerful, fast, single target heals... for aoe, you need to be ahead of the game and get those shields up early for maximum affect. Secondly, make sure you use inner focus EVERY time it is off cooldown... combined with rapture, you can last a hella long time....that said, things that drain mana hurt disc, as your regen is not as powerful as holy... so be wary of that.

1.) Power Word: Shield - Pick a target... keep this on them... but only for rapture (for mana regen). For myself, I avoid taking ‘strength of soul’ talent and just allow weakened soul debuff to track rapture (I am usually raid healing). In this way, every time I am able to shield the target, I will get a rapture proc. If you prefer to take ‘strength of soul’ for faster tank heals, I would recommend getting an add-on to track rapture. Other then for rapture, PW:S is very inefficient and will drain you quickly. That said, it is great for those ‘oh !@#$’ moments or when you are spot healing. It does provide more healing power then ‘flash heal’ for the same amount of mana, so in those critical moments, PW:S is better then Flash heal... although usually you would be choosing between them based on situation, not on mana efficiency. Other then that, this is a great ‘save’... easily protecting for 30k+ worth of damage, it will let you get a heal off when needed. We don’t want to spam it, but don’t be afraid to use it to save someone either.

2.) Penance - As discipline, this is your most efficient, go-to heal. Unless no healing is needed (or you are doing AoE heals), penance on every cool-down. Fast, instant, and powerful... if you aren’t using this...check your rotations

3.) Heal - as disc, take this spell off your spell-bar. Technically this is your most efficient heal in terms of mana / heal... but unless you are doing nothing but raid healing or pvp, you should have the talent “train of thought” that allows greater heal to reduce the CD on inner focus. With the ‘train of thought’ talent, you are actually more efficient to cast greater heal then heal in terms of pure healing per mana analysis (counting on no over healing).

4.) Greater Heal - This is your go-to cast over time spell for disc. When single target healing, this is your ‘filler spell’ when PW:S (for rapture) and Penance are on cool-down.

5.) Prayer of Mending - Same as holy... use it... keep it always going... period.

6.) Power Word: Barrier - Funny thing... as disc you have many more cool-downs then holy. This is one of two (some say three with power infusion) raid cooldowns. Divine Hymn is your first... which has become very powerful for holy in 4.3... and PW:B. Don’t Forget To Use It. The number of disc priests who never use this spell is crazy. There are a ton of fights now in raid where the entire raid stacks up. PW:B has a 3 min CD, that means you should typically get 2 casts off in a raid fight without too much trouble (some 3-4 times). It is a huge benefit to the raid team.

7.) Power Infusion - Again, use this spell, you can get a couple uses each fight... if you have no need for it (aka, your mana is fine), throw it on a holy priest or a warlock or a mage and watch their numbers fly.

8.) Pain Suppression - Only one piece of advice for this... macro it so others know when you pop it. There are few things worse then 3-4 healers all throwing their big tank CDs at the same time... when they could be spread out.

9.) Inner Focus - Your Bread and Butter for the Disc Healer...this is what helps make disc so efficient. Blow this bad boy on EVERY Cooldown... I also highly recommend you spec into Train of Thought (talent) to help get this used even more.

10.) Flash Heal - Use it if you have to...but for disc you will find out how fast you can go OOM if you spam it. This sucker is a mana leech for disc, avoid it as much as you can... but don’t let people die over it.
Archangel / Atonement

- Although often thought of as a disc spec, there is a holy use for this as well... you have enough talent points left after filling the holy tree to pickup Archangel, which in predictable fights, can lead to some nice raid healing buffs (15% to heals for 18 sec). Personally I have not found this to outweigh the 3% base haste buff you would loose, but I have seen it used and it definitely has some appeal, especially in certain fights.

- Technically, archangel / atonement heals are stronger then regular ‘heal’ after around 340 item score. Especially when you add in the bonus to healing you receive from atonement. If you can master the art of switching targets (and mindset) to dps, archangel is a very strong talent build to go. There are tons of opportunities to use it in raid settings.

- Don’t get tunnel vision. I strongly recommend mouse-over macros if you choose to go atonement... else you penance the boss when you meant to penance your tank. But remember that atonement will heal a target of its choice (in the words of matticus, the rogue... always the rogue). You need to be on the ball and switch to heal when needed, rather then focusing too much on the dps.




Final Advice:

- Lifegrip - Use it whenever your tank runs ahead to pull or your mage sits to drink his spellpower food... its fun. No but seriously, this is a phenomenal spell that is rarely used. Someone standing in the fire, yank them out... macro it to a mouse-over button... sometimes quicker and better then trying to heal them... I also will occasionally use it on the tanks as a last ditch effort to save them. Lifegrip does not affect threat, so if your tank is going to die, sometimes a lifegrip will give enough time to get another heal on him before the boss gets back to beating on him. Be wary using this in raids... some bosses don’t like it when their ‘prey’ is yanked away from in from of them. There are tons of applications for this spell... don't’ let it sit idle on your spell bar.

- Hymn of Hope - Macro this as well so everyone knows when you blow it... not much else to say on this

- Shadowfiend - Pop this guy early on raid fights and you will probably get him again just before the heavy burn at the end... combined with Hymn of Hope will give you even more mana back (hymn adds more % to your mana pool, meaning Shadowfiend will get more mana per ‘attack’)



Addons:

- Healbot... sets you up with mouseover macros and lots of pretty timers for spells you care to track. Very nice looking raid-frame interface

- Grid... my personal favorite... there is a mouseover addon for this too, but in general simplified, utilitarian version of raid-frames. Really lets you cram a TON of information into a very small space

- Vudoo... similar to healbot, sets you up with mouseover macros on your raid-frames... I have never personally used this, but I know lots of healers who do

- Decursive... don’t try to heal without this... pretty much a required addon to dispell and decurse

- DBM...Deadly boss mods... pretty much required if you raid...

- PoM Tracker … several versions out there

- Lightwell Tracker (holy priest)… several versions out there

- Rapture Tracker (disc priest)… you can setup grid (and I am assuming the others) to track this for you
** Reserved **

Talent Spec and Recommendations Coming Soon
** Reserved **
** Reserved **
02/12/2012 12:55 PMPosted by Rainia
holy regen goes through the roof as you gear up... disc feels pretty much the same all the way up.

I don't agree with this. Disc scales extremely well with gear because of Rapture - the more gear you have, the more int you have. Simple as that. Disc also benefits from spirit, so there are 2 major stats that will always increase with gear that will impact your Disc regen. Holy really only benefits from spirit. Yes, more int will help with your regen, just because of the way the two stats interact. However, the basic fact is that you are always guaranteed to have more int when you increase the ilvl on a piece of gear, and Disc will always scale extremely well with more int. You are not always guaranteed to have the same type of increase with spirit as holy.

Mastery - This is your ‘throughput’ stat. Haste will allow you to cast faster and thus allow more HPS, but mastery gives your spells greater power by adding to the amount healed as a HoT (heal over time) percentage of the original heal spell.

I disagree as well. Mastery is not 'your throughput stat.' Haste is the pure throughput stat; it increases your cast speed which makes you push out more healing in less time. Mastery is both throughput and HPM; while it gives each spell that it affects more bang for its buck by tacking on the hot with no extra cost, it does come at the price of overhealing fairly frequently. I still prefer it to haste, but you shouldn't describe each spell the way you did.

02/12/2012 12:55 PMPosted by Rainia
Switch chakras frequently... when in raid, if there is no aoe damage for a bit, don’t be afraid to switch to heal shakra and hold a renew on the tanks with a couple heals...

If you are a 25m raider, you should only switch chakra's when you can't ever AoE heal (only example that comes to mind is purple ooze on H Skittles). If there is nothing to AoE heal, and you are just waiting for that damage - instead of switching chakras, you should just single heal and put renews on the tanks, as you said. Renew benefits from Sanctuary Chakra, so there is no reason to switch. I would assume the same applies to 10m raiding as well.

02/12/2012 12:56 PMPosted by Rainia
Realize it does suffer from diminished power if 6+ people benefit from the spell

As far as I know, this hasn't been the case since they buffed the spell. If it has been fixed and I didn't see the fix, I apologize.

Flash / Binding heal - Don’t be afraid to use these! They are not as mana draining as they are when in Discipline Spec.

This entire paragraph is terrible. Flash heal and Binding heal have the same mana cost in both specs. If anything, they are easier to use as Disc because of the superior regen. It isn't as much of a disaster for your regen to use them now as it was when Cata first came out, but it is still not advisable to go around saying that you should be using them whenever you feel like. Flash heal is still an emergency spell, and Binding Heal should still only be used when both portions of the heal will be used fully. If you do as you say, and use it only to get Serendipity, you should realize that you've already wasted more time getting 2 stacks to use for PoH than if you had just used PoH in the first place. It is also incredibly mana draining to constantly use them just to get faster PoH during AoE phases.


02/12/2012 12:56 PMPosted by Rainia
Circle of Healing - Just slightly more efficient (assuming both are fully used) then Prayer of Healing... however, this is instant...and smart... personally I pop this on almost every cooldown... smart heals make for smart healers...

Using it on every cooldown is pretty silly unless you are actually getting use out of every heal. Smart heals don't make smart players if they aren't used correctly.
Thanks for input! I posted this in another forum a couple weeks ago looking for feedback and got none. I agree with your comments... I think my wording needs to be adjusted to get across what I am trying to say :)

- On holy / disc gear scaling: I agree with you that they both scale fine... its the "FEELING" ... at level say... 333 gear, holy feels hard to keep up on mana, you struggle, disc really doesn't give that feeling. At 380, disc feels about the same, you don't really worry about mana too much... but for holy, you now have much less issues with mana and feeling OOM all the time

- On mastery as throughput... maybe throughput is the wrong word to use. Mastery increases the power of your heals; haste increases your cast time. Over a full length fight (IE: completely through your mana pool) mastery will give you more healing power then haste.

- Switching Chakras... I think there are lots of times in a raid when you can switch chakra. If you are the tank healer and it is an aoe phase, switch chakra, then go back... if you are AOE healing and you hit a phase (like you point out) where there is no raid damage, might as well switch and help out your tank healer. This is more true in 10 man then 25 though... I 100% agree with you there.

- Diminished Sanctuary affect - this may be true, everything I can find still reads the same, but I can change the wording to match what is correct!

- The flash heal / binding heal is more efficient for holy then disc... because of serendipity... it gives more reason to use it...also, disc has pennence, gheal (after shield) and shield for those "oh !@#$" moments, where holy does not.

- As for CoH, yes, only when it is actually used...but they are relatively small heals and relatively cheap... I am pretty quick to throw them into the rotation whenever damage is being taken.
02/12/2012 12:57 PMPosted by Rainia
Mastery buffs your shields, but without crits, you don’t get shields

Power Word: Shield and PoH/Divine Aegis disagree. PW:S gets the biggest benefit from mastery stacking, so if it is your number 1 heal and you aren't mastery stacking, you're not maximizing your healing.

02/12/2012 12:57 PMPosted by Rainia
They can do just as well as any other healer, you just heal differently.... you don’t have the throughput, but you don’t have nearly the overheal either

The reason they don't have the throughput is because the Disc model is based on mitigation rather than actual healing. If you are writing a guide, you should be mentioning why they heal differently instead of just saying they heal differently. Also, Disc can have plenty of overheal from their spells - the point of Disc is that the overheal isn't generally as wasteful as other classes/specs spells because you get the benefit of mitigation.


02/12/2012 12:58 PMPosted by Rainia
this means you need to roll your PW:S out every time rapture is up, but avoid using it the rest of the time

PW:S is your strongest spell, period. This statement is really bad advice - it can be used before large amounts of damage go out to pre-emptively mitigate, it can be used on a low hp player that is about to take more damage in order to save them, it can be used on tanks to help even out the damage they take, etc. Only using it for rapture is a complete waste of the best spell in Disc's arsenal.

Also, if you are going to talk about rapture, you should really explain what it does and how it interacts with Disc stats. You didn't talk about anything when you listed the Int under the stats that Disc should look for. Again, if you are writing a guide, you should really include everything instead of only a few things.


Haste...Crit

The explanation for these two stats is really weak. You don't talk about the interaction between the two at all, and you completely miss how they interact when you are a pure PoH spammer. When talking about a Disc priest, your throughput always includes the absorbs from your shields; however, you are constantly talking about how your 'throughput' will always be weaker than Holy's when discussing PoH healing. That really isn't the case if you compare two players at the same gear and skill level. If you are PoH-ing, there will be AoE damage going out or coming out - if there won't be, you are wasting your time and mana by AoE healing. Talking about how weak you will feel if your DA doesn't get used shouldn't ever be a part of an explanation on Disc AoE healing because if you are AoE healing there should be AoE damage, which means it will always get used. If you are referring to the fact that your actual HEAL will be less than another healer's, then yes you are correct; however, you really need to make that distinction.

02/12/2012 12:58 PMPosted by Rainia
that said, things that drain mana hurt disc, as your regen is not as powerful as holy... so be wary of that.

You say this, and then you talk about how Disc will always outlast Holy: "in general, Disc does much better then holy for longevity on fights." Regen as Disc is very powerful, and much more complete than Holy's. You should really make sure you are keeping a consistent statement throughout a post such as this, otherwise you will confuse people and look silly. And as I said before, only using PW:S for rapture is an extreme waste of Disc's most powerful spell; not taking SoS as well as ignoring PW:S is gimping yourself as well. It isn't "inefficient" and the only reason for it to drain you quickly, as you say, is to spam it Wrath-style. Even then, if the fight is short enough (H Morchok comes to mind), you should be able to use PW:S much more freely without having to worry about mana.

This is your go-to cast over time spell for disc. When single target healing, this is your ‘filler spell’ when PW:S (for rapture) and Penance are on cool-down.

Talking about this being your go-to cast when single target healing is perfectly fine. However, you didn't include what your filler for AoE healing is. Again, if you are going to write a guide, you should include everything. The fact that you didn't include PoH at all in your Disc 'list of spells' is a ridiculous oversight and detracts from your entire post. Only including it in the Holy side would be fine if you also included a small post on the Disc portion that explains how it differs as a Disc, but you didn't.

02/12/2012 12:58 PMPosted by Rainia
Power Word: Barrier

You didn't talk about what it does at all - only telling people to use it without telling them what it does leads to misinformation. Also, talking about raid cooldowns as Disc without explaining the difference between Holy's DH and Disc's is the same kind of oversight.

02/12/2012 12:58 PMPosted by Rainia
Power Infusion - Again, use this spell, you can get a couple uses each fight... if you have no need for it (aka, your mana is fine), throw it on a holy priest or a warlock or a mage and watch their numbers fly.

This is not a raid cooldown, as you try to mention in the previous paragraph. It is a personal cooldown, either for yourself during a time of hard AoE healing to get PoH out faster or cheaper PW:S out, or on a dps if you don't need the extra help and you are racing an enrage timer. Again, you don't explain what it does.

Pain Suppression - Only one piece of advice for this... macro it so others know when you pop it. There are few things worse then 3-4 healers all throwing their big tank CDs at the same time... when they could be spread out.

Macro-ing a 'say' or something else to let others know you popped a cooldown does nothing when everyone pops their cooldown at the same time. It's decent advice, but rather than pretending that the information helps, you should be setting out cooldown rotation ahead of time. Obviously that won't really work in things like LFR, but then again, neither will informing everyone else in /say or /raid. Again, you don't explain what it does.

02/12/2012 12:58 PMPosted by Rainia
I also highly recommend you spec into Train of Thought (talent) to help get this used even more.

Speccing into Train of Thought is really useless for Inner Focus if you aren't using Greater Heal often (you are more of a raid healer or Atonement user). If you are handing out advice like this, make sure you attach the reasoning behind wanting it.

I've already discussed your Flash Heal usage advice, so that doesn't need to be repeated.

Archangel as holy is for very specific uses - I wouldn't ever recommend thinking about trying it unless you are doing it for specific fight progression and sacrificing other talents in order to get your extra +healing. Also, talking about Atonement/Archangel as Disc is fine, as it is a very viable spec choice. However, discussing how to HEAL as Atonement isn't really useful if you are talking about a raid setting. The only reason to go Archangel/Atonement is specifically for either Archangel itself or the extra dps that Smiting/HFing will provide (fights such as H Ultraxion or H Warlord, where the extra dps is either needed or increased by specific boss abilities).

Also, when you discuss addons, you mention that Decursive is absolutely required. However, both Vuhdo and Healbot have their own built-in Decursive. Again, explaining everything you say in context rather than blindly making statements with no facts or support detracts from the effect of the post. Hope all these comments help.
02/12/2012 01:59 PMPosted by Ironey
If there is nothing to AoE heal, and you are just waiting for that damage - instead of switching chakras, you should just single heal and put renews on the tanks, as you said. Renew benefits from Sanctuary Chakra, so there is no reason to switch. I would assume the same applies to 10m raiding as well.

Indeed, I raid 10 man and I have to agree that swapping on CD is not needed for the vast majoriy of fights. If AoE healing and raid damage is low, it is better to stay in Chakra: Sanctuary. At this point one should instead focus on maintaining Renew on the tank(s) and supplementing their heals with Greater Heal.

For example, think of the latest boss in BH. Would you swap to Serenity while the tanks are the only ones getting hit? Doesn't make sense.

But on the other hand, a fight like Heroic Yor'sahj, it makes sense to swap to Serenity when Purple is up as slow, single target heals are a good bet. That's not to say you can't do the whole fight in Sanctuary, you definitely can and I have.

Another fight: Alysrazor. Chakra: Serenity is most beneficial when the tanks are dealing with the little birds, but then swapping to Sanctuary during her recharging phase is highly recommended.

- On mastery as throughput... maybe throughput is the wrong word to use. Mastery increases the power of your heals; haste increases your cast time. Over a full length fight (IE: completely through your mana pool) mastery will give you more healing power then haste.

And that was my point - haste will give more HPS over a full fight (provided you don't run out of mana and use the same rotation) than mastery (provided you use the same rotation and don't count it as overhealing). The qualifications for each stat are the reasons that you need to chose between the two, but that point will always stand. Getting more full casts in per fight will always increase your healing more than getting a little hot at the end of every cast and watching the healing build per fight.


- Switching Chakras... I think there are lots of times in a raid when you can switch chakra. If you are the tank healer and it is an aoe phase, switch chakra, then go back... if you are AOE healing and you hit a phase (like you point out) where there is no raid damage, might as well switch and help out your tank healer.

My point was that you will never ever have to tank heal as Holy (if you do, there is something seriously wrong with your raid group). Yes, there are times you CAN switch chakra. However, there are rarely ever any reasons that you SHOULD. The only thing that Serenity will give you is extra crit on your single target heals. Why would you give up extra healing on your AoE heals and Renew for the next 30 seconds just to get a little extra crit? There is no point.


- The flash heal / binding heal is more efficient for holy then disc... because of serendipity... it gives more reason to use it...also, disc has pennence, gheal (after shield) and shield for those "oh !@#$" moments, where holy does not.

It isn't more efficient, which was my point. Serendipity only changes the mana cost and cast time of PoH and GH. There are no more reasons to use Flash Heal and Binding Heal as holy than as Disc - you still want to use them as little as possible. Just because you have a talent that buffs another spell when you DO use them doesn't make it more ok to use them. It just makes the penalty for using them less severe.

As for those oh-!@#$ moments - Flash Heal is always your go to oh-%^-* spell for either spec because of the cast time(unless you're disc and the target will die in the next second, in which case PW:S is your oh-!@#$ spell). Penance will not heal enough to save anyone unless they aren't taking any more damage, and as you said you should only use Gheal as your oh-%^-* spell if you have Borrowed Time.
02/12/2012 12:58 PMPosted by Rainia
PW:S is very inefficient and will drain you quickly.


Actually PWS is pretty effecient in terms of HPM, but very expensive. Big heals for big mana.

02/12/2012 12:57 PMPosted by Rainia
It should be noted that for disc, mastery, haste, and crit all work very well together and all are important stats... so finding a ‘balance’ is indeed a best approach for discipline stats.


No. In fact, they work very poorly together. Each stat favors a particular style of healing more than others. Balancing all of them effectively leads you to being a jack of all trades master of none, who no matter what the healing situation is cannot match his full potential.

  • Mastery favors PWS spamming, is OK for PoH, but very poor for anything else.
  • Crit favors PoH spam, is OK for Gheal/Fheal/Penance etc, and is very poor for PWS
  • Haste favors a PWS/PoH balance, is OK for PWS exclusively, and is rather poor for PoH exclusively.

  • Heal - as disc, take this spell off your spell-bar. Technically this is your most efficient heal in terms of mana / heal...


    Actually, it's not even your most efficient, which is why it is completely ignored rather than situational. Penance is more efficient in HPM single target, PoM is far more effecient multi-target and with ToT even Gheal is equivalent. Even PWS is relatively close in HPM if your mastery stacked, although it still has a high mana-per second cost.

    Inner Focus - Your Bread and Butter for the Disc Healer...this is what helps make disc so efficient. Blow this bad boy on EVERY Cooldown... I also highly recommend you spec into Train of Thought (talent) to help get this used even more.


    Inner focus is a nice bonus, but little more. ToT makes Gheal spam more efficient, but you will normally want to avoid that style of healing, since it turns out terrible HPS regardless of its HPM. In PvE, it is generally better to just macro Inner focus to all of the heals that can consume it (Flash heal, Gheal, Binding Heal, and PoH), so that you can maximize your usage of it and therefor maximize the mana savings. Binding it instead may be tempting so you can take advantage of the crit, but the number of procs you will typically lose that way far outweighs the benefit

    Don’t get tunnel vision. I strongly recommend mouse-over macros if you choose to go atonement... else you penance the boss when you meant to penance your tank


    Not so much mouseovers for atonement, as this is just as easily acomplished through targeted healing. What you want is a special macro for Holy Fire and for Smite that primarily functions of of your friendly target's target, of your friendly mouse-over target's target. "/cast [@target, harm][@targettarget, harm] Smite" works for this, as well as "/cast [@mouseover, harm][@mouseovertarget, harm] Smite" for the mouseover version.

    There are ways to simplify even those macros, but as they are written should be the easiest to understand and expand.

    02/12/2012 12:58 PMPosted by Rainia
    this means you need to roll your PW:S out every time rapture is up, but avoid using it the rest of the time.


    No, no, NO! PWS is a core part of disc healing. It is reasonably efficient, and extremely effective in a number of situations. In general, you keep it up on the tanks at all times, and then use it as your first go-to spell for any spot healing. PWS is more efficient (HPS/HPM) then a non-fully utilized PoH. So as long as there aren't 5 targets to heal at a time in a group, your probably going to be using it a lot.
    I would just like to start off by saying this is guide has many great tips for priests confused about what exactly to do.



    Haste favors a PWS/PoH balance, is OK for PWS exclusively, and is rather poor for PoH exclusively.


    Don't think you meant to type it like that but just so others are aware. Haste is OK for PoH exclusively, and is Rather poor for PWS exclusively.



    --As far as the argument about Heal is concerned it is not a spell that is cast by disc priests in DS. It used to be a terrific spell to cast to refresh Divine Fire(tier12set bonus) when PoM was still out. Now it's just meh.



    If you have the time i would suggest adding a macro section in this guide for priests. There are many that make some annoying spells(ie fiend) perform correctly.
    02/12/2012 12:55 PMPosted by Rainia
    - I am going to go over holy first since it is a little simpler and straight forward then discipline


    well ppl already said what i had noticed but just a few opinions here like this and a few other opinion statements you have for certain skills and rotations (FH/BH for serendipity comes to mind), a good guide deals less with opinion of the person making the guide and more about the facts.


    Anyways i disagree with your statement here and its a lil misleading to anyone who is new to raid healing. Holy has a learning curve that can really be unforgiving, The mana management along with many more healing spells that are on a judgement based cast makes holy a lil harder.

    For instance take longer fights, while you explained that GH is used more for disc, I didn't see too much about Heal for Holy. Since holy doesn't get the wicked 15% int bonus that disc gets that means a smaller mana pool and with no real regen mechanic besides the passive regen and hymn of hope/shadowfiend which have ridiculous cd you have to really know how to use your spells wisely. If you know a fight is going to be 10-13min like a madness fight, it would actually benefit you more to use heal more often as holy even disc could possibly use if need be. Even if you feel you have a ton of spirit and mana you can't really recommend that rotation for new players to the spec or say that ilvl 380 is when you stop going oom because thats not the entire truth there are too many factors to really determine a correct ilvl for spirit so i would really recommend removing your suggestion of ilvl.

    You also have a very long wall of text in general, you have no builds posted? (I only read this once and at the time i saw no builds) you could post 2-3 different links and give a brief pro and con of the tree and why it may be beneficial to a particular playstyle/mechanic


    The holy "Rotation" is just bad btw, You barely talk about it, you just give examples and hearsay of ppl that are disc going to holy for particular fights. You said 1 thing about Sanctuary and like 1 thing about Circle and Prayer of Mending.
    It's worth noting that Disc priests who run with high Mastery builds *tend* to also run with higher Spirit values in order to push PW:S usage.

    Whether I'm running my AA/A build or my non-AA/A build, PW:S is almost always at or above 30% of my total healing done (I run 10man; I hear that for 25man, PW:S usage doesn't tend to be as high a percentage of total healing done) except of course on Ultraxion.

    Yes, my regen comes mostly from my Int (Rapture, Fiend, HoH), however, stacking more Spirit allows me to use PW:S more heavily than I'd otherwise be able to manage.

    You have to have a good grasp of fight mechanics before deciding to lean heavily on PW:S; simply throwing shields out at random is not how you manage to heal via heavy PW:S use. There is no sense in shielding someone who is not reasonably expected to take close to 30k damage within 15 sec after you've shielded them.

    The prolonged raid-wide damage phases in most DS fights make it easy to identify times when even a conservative PW:S-user *should* toss out more shields than they'd normally want to.

    Ideally, you watch DBM's special abilities timers and start pre-shielding people expecting to take damage 10 - 14 sec in advance of the first burst of the damage. The best healing is healing that's never needed...

    god I love Disc.
    Some very good comments and insight. I appreciate the feedback.

    Couple things on feedback:

    PW:S - my intent isn't to say never use it... but this isn't a guide for heroic level DS raiders. A beginning disc priest needs to avoid using it unless really needed. At 400 level gear you can throw a lot of PW:S and never even feel it... at 333 it doesn't take many extra PW:S to completely burn you out.

    I will re-write some of my wording on the mana longevity of holy vs disc. Disc lasts longer, but holy recovers faster... that is my feeling on the issue....and my experience.

    Inner focus - I find that as disc... 90% of the time I am either tank healing or spot healing. Both of which give ample opportunity to use gheal. When spot healing it is very common to shield and then gheal. Sure, if you are in 25 man raid and do nothing but spam PoH, then inner focus talents are a big waste... remember too, this is meant for beginners... when starting out, any help you can get on mana is huge.... a free PoH is a free PoH ya know?

    Thanks guys/gals, please keep them coming... I will start editing tomorrow!
    If the stickies needs replacing, and I am not sure they do, I wouldn't recommend this guide to anyone, sorry to say. I applaud you for your consideration of those seeking knowledge and appreciate the effort, but as many have posted... there are many debatable statements in your guide.

    Your stance on how holy/disc mana regen 'feels' with better gear, the entire belief that PWS should only be used for rapture, thinking disc secondary stats work together... Others have said why these things are in error better than I can.

    I know this comes off negative, but I'm trying not to just nag away. I like to encourage guides. People should be helpful, however bad/wrong information harms more than helps. I hope you really listen to the comments of the prior posters, for your next draft. They make great points.

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