Disc Priest Healing Guide 4.3

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90 Human Priest
10250
General
This is a general guide for Disc Priest PvE healing for those that want to give it a try or want to improve.
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Builds
There are two primary builds for Disc Priests in Cata - with Archangel / Atonement (AA/A) and without. With or without, the basics of Disc healing are the same. Atonement adds some complexity and more buttons, but also provides a very nice healing buff and slightly better mana regen. My suggestion is to try with Atonement and see if you like it. If not, you can always spec out of it.

This is a standard Disc build with atonement:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/tool/talent-calculator#Xc00!SkdheVgSdbd!Yjb!!gTQkPlnLK

This is a standard Disc build without atonement:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/tool/talent-calculator#Xc00!SjZhdVgSebd!Yjb!g!ZegTkPlnL

Note that these builds both include glyphs.
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Stats (Geming / Enchanting / etc)
Int
This is far and away our best stat, gem for it, enchant for it, get it any way you can. Int first, then everything else.

Suggestion: As much as you can get.

Spirit
Spirit is only good for mana regen, so how much you need is directly related to whether you are running out of mana mid fight or not. But be sure you are maximizing your cooldowns, Rapture, Shadowfiend, Hymn of Hope, before you stack spirit for regen. If you find you aren't using these cooldowns or have lots of mana left at the end of a fight, you can drop spirit to improve your other stats. Detailed guides for using the CDs are at the bottom of this guide.

Suggestion: Anywhere from 1800 to 2400 depending on your needs.

Note: Int provides better mana regen for disc priests, so the more int you gain with gear, the less Spirit you will need.

Haste
Most healers stack lots of haste for two main reasons:
1. Faster Emergency Heal
Haste is stacked to quickly cast an emergency heal to save the life of someone that's just taken a big hit.

For Disc priests, PW:S is our primary emergency heal, which is instant cast, which means haste does not at all increase the speed with which we get that first spell off. Instead haste lets us cast our follow-up heal slightly faster, but Borrowed Time from the PW:S cast already greatly increases the followup cast.

2. Cast Speed
Haste is stacked to keep cast times short so that they can do significant healing.

This is important for all healers to keep their cast speeds low. For this reason, some haste is good, but excessive amounts of haste should not be taken.

Suggestion: 10% to 11%

Special Note: If you are doing lots of Atonement / Archangel healing, you'll want to stack lots of Haste since it benefits your casts far more then crit or mastery.

Crit and Mastery
I have put these two stats together because their effects are almost directly inverse of each other. Mastery directly increases the strength of your shield effects - PW:S and Divine Aegis, but is the worst stat for everything you cast except PW:S. Crit on the other hand directly increases everything you cast except PW:S.

So when considering Crit and/or Mastery, you have to consider how much you'll be casting PW:S.

Suggestion: If PW:S accounts for less then 20% of your "healing done", then mastery is not a good stat for you. If PW:S accounts for more then 25% of your "healing done", then mastery is better for you then crit. If PW:S is between 20% and 25%, then you should have crit and mastery more balanced.


Geming suggestions
Meta - Ember Shadowspirit Diamond (+54 int / +2% max mana) Requires 2 yellow.

Red - Brilliant Inferno Ruby (40 int)
Blue - Brilliant Inferno Ruby (40 int) or Purified Demonseye (20 int / 20 spirit)
Yellow - Reckless Ember Topaz (20 int / 20 haste) or Artful Ember Topaz (20 int / 20 mastery) or Potent Ember Topaz (20 int / 20 crit) or Brilliant Inferno Ruby (40 int)

Note
Given the large benefits that Int provides, it is often reasonable to give up the socket bonuses, especially Spirit, and use the red Brilliant Inferno Ruby instead of a mixed cut stone. This is done because the 20 int you gain is usually worth more then the 10 or 20 stat points that you lose by not socketing the correct color blue or yellow gems.

Before doing this, be sure that you will meet the meta gem requirements.
Edited by Medicia on 3/14/2012 8:20 PM PDT
90 Human Priest
10250
Archangel / Attonement
Archangel / Atonement is not so you can be an uber DPS machine - you are brought as a healer, not for your ~4k to ~8k Atonement DPS. The damage is a nice side benefit, but the purpose of taking AA/A is to conserve mana and to get the Archangel healing bonus for when healing is intense.

This means our goal is to use HF / Smite primarely when the healing needs of the tank and raid are light to medium, even if just briefly, for the mana regen and to get to 5 stacks of Evangelism. Then when healing starts to again get heavy, you can use Archangel to consume Evangelism to get that strong 15% healing bonus (and pretty wings) for 18 seconds. You also get 5% mana restored.

After using Archangel, you have 30 seconds to re-stack Evangelism so that you can again use Archangel when it comes off CD or when healing again gets intense.

Again, don't try to be a DPSer with AA/A - the damage you do is very bad.

Things of note
The Archangel buff is nice, but do not neglect real healing just to get the stacks. If your tank goes below ~70% or someone in the group is getting hit hard, it's time to start using your "real" healing spells - PW:S, Penance, Greater Heal.

While Atonement healing is "Smart", it's not very smart - it will heal pets or DPS before the tank if they are lower health then the tank. So if you need to heal your tank, cast direct spells instead of hoping the Atonement cast lands where you want it to.

The heal effect of Atonement has a 15yd range from the edge of the target that you smite. So there should always be at least a tank in range for the heal. However, during some parts of some fights, this may not be possible, so be mindful of the range limitations.

One problem people tend to have with Atonement healing is the need to switch from a raid member to the boss in order to use AA/A (so you can cast Holy Fire or Smite). An easy fix for this is to use the following macro, it's not perfect but it lets you keep someone like the tank targeted and cast your DPS spells as though they were normal healing spells:

#showtooltip
/castsequence [harm] reset=7 Holy Fire, Smite, Smite, Smite, Smite
/castsequence [@targettarget] reset=7 Holy Fire, Smite, Smite, Smite, Smite

For Archangel, I tend to be bad about using it enough - I can easily go long periods without using it for both the mana return and the increased healing buff. Because of this, I like to use a macro to active Archangel automatically when I cast Greater Heal. The reason I've macro'ed it to GH is that I've found the times when I want to cast GH, I am generally trying to do more, stronger healing so the AA buff will serve me well. This is the macro I use to bind Archangel to GH so I get the buff generally when i want it:

#showtooltip Greater Heal
/cast inner focus
/cast archangel
/cast greater heal

If you are good about using cooldowns and trinkets exactly when you want them, then you can just push the button manually.
Edited by Medicia on 3/14/2012 7:32 PM PDT
90 Human Priest
10250
Single Target Healing
This is primarily for when you are the tank healer or just need to spot heal.

Light Tank Healing
During light damage parts of the fight, you want to do light healing and focus on saving mana so that you have lots of mana for when damage is heavier.

When the tank is taking light to medium damage, if you have Archangel / Atonement (AA/A), it is best to use Holy Fire, Smite, Penance and PW:S. The Holy Fire and Smite do good healing and damage and because of AA/A, have a near zero net mana cost. Penance keeps 3 Grace stacks on the tank for additional healing effect. PW:S is good shielding and, with Rapture, also costs no mana. As damage increases, you'll want to use fewer Smites and Holy Fires and more direct heals, such as Greater Heal.

If you don't have AA/A, when damage is light you can use Heal for both spot healing and to reduce the duration of Weakened Soul with the SoS talent. The mana cost of Heal is very low, allowing you to sustain your current mana pool until more healing is needed.

Heavy Tank Healing
When your tank is taking heavy damage, you want to use this general rotation:

PW:S -> Penance -> Greater Heal -> Holy Fire (spam GH until you can PW:S, Penance or HF again)

If you have the Strength of Soul talent, this rotation has higher throughput:

PW:S -> GH -> GH -> HF / Penance -> Repeat

Be careful with using this to much as it does use mana very quickly.

If you have AA/A, Holy Fires is a very fast, very cheap spell that can give you Evangelism stacks for the Archangel buff, so try to work it into your rotation even during high damage.

Quick / Spot Healing
Sometimes you want to heal someone, such as a DPS that's taken a big hit, as quickly as possible, then go back to healing others.

For such situations, you'll want to use this cast sequence:

PW:S -> Penance (if available) -> GH

Things of note
Penance benefits from the Borrowed Time bonus but it does not consume it. To take advantage of this, you need to follow the cast order of PW:S -> Penance -> GH. Penance also stacks Grace to 3, giving your GH additional effect.

PW:S isn't always the best first cast to quickly heal someone that has taken light to medium damage. Whenever you are reasonably certain that a person won't take any new damage over the next 15+ seconds, it's best to avoid using PW:S on them. This is because PW:S is a shield, not an actual heal (the green health bar does not go up when you shield someone), and after 15 seconds the shield fades. And if they didn't take any damage, then you've wasted the mana and time spent casting it. If they are critically low, or you aren't at least reasonably sure they won't take more damage within 15 seconds, then PW:S first just to be safe.
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Group healing
Group healing is best used when 2 or more people in a party have taken ~20% or more damage.

Light Group Healing
Prayer of Healing is your go to AoE spell. Whenever 2 or more people in a party have taken some damage, PoH them. If one person has taken more damage then the others, PW:S that person then PoH the party. This will keep them alive while you heal them and give you the Borrowed Time bonus.

Heavy Raid Healing
When the raid is taking massive damage, this is the best rotation:

PW:S -> PoH (repeat) PoM on CD

Make sure to PW:S the lowest health person in the raid to protect them while you cast PoH, and make sure to keep PoHing different groups with each cast unless one group is taking significantly more damage then the others.

Be careful with using this to much as it does use mana very, very quickly.

Things of note
Prayer of healing heals the party of the person you have targeted. It's not "raid" smart like some other spells. So be sure you have the right party selected before you cast. And be mindful that this might require some group changes be made before the fight starts.

While other abilities require a crit to proc Divine Aegis, Prayer of Healing always does, so every cast gets 30% additional effectiveness in the form of a shield, plus the 20% healing over time from the glyph (plus the DAs from those heals!). While the DAs do stack, the HoT does not, so when possible, it is best to rotate through groups so that you don't overwrite previous HoTs. But do not let this prevent you from repeatedly casting PoH on a group that needs it.
Edited by Medicia on 7/28/2011 12:25 PM PDT
90 Human Priest
10250
Other Spells
Prayer of Mending
Any time there is raid damage going on, this spell should be cast every time it comes off cooldown. It is almost always best cast directly on the tank.

Pain Suppression
This is our tank survival spell, but you have to get it on the tank before their health is to low, or the damage reduction won't be enough. So try to get it off before the tank gets below ~30%. Or you can PW:S -> PS -> Penance -> GH.

Holy Fire
Very low mana cost, short cast time and good healing make Holy Fire a rotation heal for AA/A spec Disc priests. But remember the heal is smart, not direct.

Divine Hymn
DH is a good raid heal to be used when to much AoE damage is going out for normal AoE healing. Haste can cause Divine Hymn to tick for more then 12 heals.

PW:Barrier
A good spell when you know the tank or party won't need to move in the next 10 seconds.

Power Infusion
PI is a very powerful spell and can greatly increase your healing and save you a lot of mana. Just don't use it during Time Warp or the haste buff will be wasted. You can give this to a caster DPS to increase their DPS so that the boss dies faster.

Binding Heal
This is a nice spell that heals you and someone else - very situational but effective when used properly.

Flash Heal
A fast heal, but with very high mana cost. When possible, it's better to use Greater Heal, Holy Fire or Smite (Atonement builds) for better healing per mana.

Heal
Only really useful for using Strength of Soul to remove Weakened Soul when damage is slow. If you are AA/A spec, you can leave this heal off of your bar.

Renew
Renew doesn't heal for enough to justify casting it most of the time. The only time it's an ok cast is if you're on the move and there is nobody that needs or could benefit from a PW:S or PoM. You can leave it off your cast bars.
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Mana Regen
Most all fights in Cata, instances and raids, have periods of low to moderate damage and periods of high damage. Your goal as a healer is to do more then just heal the damage as it scales up and down - it's also to consciously conserve or even regen mana during the low to moderate damage portions of the fight. By doing this, you will have more mana so you can cast more spells during the high damage portions of the fight without running out of mana.

These are the talents, tools and spells to help keep your mana bar from running down to empty.

Rapture
When the shield from your PW:S is fully consumed by damage, you receive 7% of your maximum mana refunded to you, which can be more then the cost of PW:S depending on how much mana you have and if you are using Inner Will. However, you can not receive this bonus more then once every 12 seconds, so you can not spam PW:S for mana returns.

Inner Will / Inner Fire
You should always use Inner Will. It will save you a significant amount of mana to the point that you'll be able to cast more spells with a greater value then Inner Fire can provide. If you are using Inner Will and you aren't having mana issues, it might even be possible to gear out of some spirit.

Inner Focus
This is a good, short cooldown ability that helps with saving mana and overall throughput. In my opinion it is best to macro it to GH and PoH to maximize it's use, which increases it's overall effectiveness. Doing this means you can't get the crit bonus on demand, but since it is just 25% increased chance, there is no guarantee of a crit either way.

You can use these macros to cast IF with Greater Heal and PoH to maximize their use.

#showtooltip Greater Heal
/cast inner focus
/cast greater heal

#showtooltip Prayer of Healing
/cast inner focus
/cast Prayer of Healing

Shadowfiend & Hymn of Hope
Shadowfiend returns 3% of your maximum mana with each attack. Hymn of Hope returns 2% of your maximum mana every 2 seconds, and increases your maximum mana by 15%. This means that when you have HoH active, you'll recover more mana from each Shadowfiend attack because your maximum mana is 15% larger, increasing your mana recovered when using these 2 abilities together. HoH is a channeled so if you cast HoH then cast Shadowfiend, you'll break the channel. So always cast Shadowfiend first, then HoH.

Also note that Shadowfiend returns 3% per attack, so the faster it attacks, the more mana regen you receive. For this reason, it's best to use Shadowfiend with haste bonuses such as Time Warp.

Archangel
While Archangel is usually considered best for the 15% buff it provides, it can also be very effective for mana management. If you're at a part of a fight where you're not likely to have to do massive healing within ~30 seconds, then you can heal with Atonement and use Archangel on cooldown for the 5% mana return to keep your mana use extremely low while doing good healing.
Edited by Medicia on 9/26/2011 9:08 AM PDT
90 Human Priest
10250
Reserved.

Feedback welcome.

If you like this guide, please "Request Sticky".
Edited by Medicia on 7/28/2011 8:28 AM PDT
85 Troll Priest
VEX
9795
Nice guide

might wanna add gearing /gemming /enchanting info
Edited by Crestfall on 7/28/2011 8:16 AM PDT
90 Human Priest
10250
07/28/2011 08:15 AMPosted by Crestfall
Nice guide


Thank you. :)

might wanna add gearing /gemming /enchanting info


The basics are covered in the stat section - I don't like to spell out exactly what people should get because more often then not they end up working with what they get instead of what they want.
Edited by Medicia on 7/28/2011 8:31 AM PDT
85 Draenei Priest
11360
Disagree with the gemming slightly. The meta is optimal. The brilliant inferno rubies in red sockets is optimal. It's usually a better idea to gem straight infernos in everything unless the socket bonus is decent (say... +20 int socket). Clearly you need at least two yellow gems (artful, reckless or potent topaz's) to activate your meta.

If I am ever faced with a choice between something along the lines of 10 Spirit/20 Mastery or 20 Intelligence I choose the Intelligence. The bulk of your regen on Discipline comes from Rapture, and other mana/Int based abilities, and maximizing Int will benefit it the most. Int is also the strongest throughput stat for pretty much everything (mastery supposedly scales better with PW:S but at the expense of regen and throughput on other spells, so Int is still stronger).

Also, your information on Divine Hymn is misleading. DH is not a strong raid cooldown on any priest spec. It should be used for efficiency purposes or in conjunction with other raid cooldowns. Outside of that it's pretty terrible. It's a bit less terrible if you throw it out with PI active but still sub-par. "Normal AoE healing" will most likely achieve higher HPS. Popping DH when the !@#$ hits the fan is not a viable use for the spell.
90 Human Priest
10250
07/28/2011 10:33 AMPosted by Volios
Disagree with the gemming slightly. The meta is optimal. The brilliant inferno rubies in red sockets is optimal. It's usually a better idea to gem straight infernos in everything unless the socket bonus is decent (say... +20 int socket). Clearly you need at least two yellow gems (artful, reckless or potent topaz's) to activate your meta.


I did list gemming red as an option as well. But it's hard to give up 70 points in XYZ stats for 40 points worth of int, it's almost a 2 to 1 loss. And either way, the numbers are small enough to not really be noticeable either way.

I do think I need to clarify the red gems part though.

Also, your information on Divine Hymn is misleading. DH is not a strong raid cooldown on any priest spec. It should be used for efficiency purposes or in conjunction with other raid cooldowns. Outside of that it's pretty terrible. It's a bit less terrible if you throw it out with PI active but still sub-par. "Normal AoE healing" will most likely achieve higher HPS. Popping DH when the !@#$ hits the fan is not a viable use for the spell.


I disagree.
One 8 second cast for me does ~141,000 direct healing, which at ~17.6k HPS is pretty darnk good throughput. Best of all, that throughput is both raid wide and specifically targeted at the lowest health raiders within the rather large 40 yd range. So it's healing exactly the people you want it to, which is very useful and all but eliminates any overhealing.

As well, don't forget that on top of the targeted healing DH does, it also applies an 8 second 10% healing buff to everyone it heals, which is a significant increase in the effectiveness of the other healers as well as your next few PoH casts.
Edited by Medicia on 7/28/2011 12:41 PM PDT
85 Human Priest
7735
Hello BnS say hi to kiwi for me :3

lots of good info in here, I enjoyed the read.

07/28/2011 10:33 AMPosted by Volios
Also, your information on Divine Hymn is misleading. DH is not a strong raid cooldown on any priest spec. It should be used for efficiency purposes or in conjunction with other raid cooldowns. Outside of that it's pretty terrible. It's a bit less terrible if you throw it out with PI active but still sub-par. "Normal AoE healing" will most likely achieve higher HPS. Popping DH when the !@#$ hits the fan is not a viable use for the spell.


you are interpreting DH as healing in a vacuum, when in fact this does not ever happen. Though the healing from DH is low compared to say, Tranquility and the cooldown is long, compared to say, Tranqulity, it has the added effect of increasing healing by 10% to any target it hits, and the effect persists beyond the duration of the spell by up to 8 seconds.
20 Night Elf Druid
80
Builds
For Atonement builds, the last point in Empowered Healing will generally be weaker than 1/2 SoS (the first point in SoS is stronger than the second due to how the timing breaks down). Since you only need 2/3 EH to reach second tier, it's probably a better choice.

Gemming
Blue gems are frequently better slotted as +40 Int rather than +20 Int/+20 Spirit. Even losing the socket bonus, +20 Int is significantly better than +20 Spirit.

Prayer of Mending
One of the odd quirks of Discipline is that Prayer of Healing is buffed significantly more than the other AE heals. So Prayer of Mending has a much higher threshold for 'viability' than it does for Holy (where it is buffed equally). As Holy, tossing it on the tank in the hopes it will bounce usually works out. As Discipline, it's more of a special use spell that only functions well when there's a fair amount of aura damage occurring.

Holy Fire
This is actually a 'real heal'. It has about the same hps as Penance, with considerably better hpm. So you can actually use it during high intensity healing effectively (albeit not mass AE). In an Atonement spec, you'll normally be using it on cooldown.

Divine Hymn
For Discipline, Divine Hymn is almost always inferior to Prayer of Healing unless you're concerned about mana. Divine Hymn takes 8 sec to heal 12 times for 4009 base with ~66% coefficient. So with 8k spellpower, you'll heal ~111k over 8 sec (non-critical) or about 14k hps.

Prayer of Healing heals for 3174 + 30% from DA + 20% from glyph (4751 total) 5 times with a 34% coefficient. With 8k spellpower, you'll heal ~44k over 2.5 sec (non-critical) or about 18k hps.

Binding Heal
There's almost no situation where Binding Heal is really useful as Discipline. As a base spell, it's about 75% of a Flash Heal on two targets in the same time for the same mana.

However, for Discipline it's much, much worse. Flash Heal will normally have +10% critical (due to Renewed Hope) and will be fully affected by Grace. Binding Heal doesn't have the bonus critical and it's almost certain that one of the targets won't have Grace (cutting the benefit of Grace in half).

Binding Heal is less efficient than simply casting Greater Heal on both targets, and it's less efficient/throughput than using Prayer of Healing to heal yourself and a single other target (due to the DA procs on even full health targets). It's also worse than using PW:S on both yourself and another target.

So you really need to find a very unusual situation where Binding Heal is worthwhile.

Flash Heal
With Train of Thought, Greater Heal is really the 'go to' spell for direct healing as Discipline. Since Discipline already has Penance/PW:S for fast response, there are very few situations where you really need Flash Heal.

Inner Focus
Note that Train of Thought does not proc when you use it for Greater Heal. So when Inner Focus is actually up, you probably want to use it on something other than Greater Heal. So it's a bit of a toss-up whether or not you want to bind IF to GH. If you think you can pay attention to the cooldown, you might as well just burn IF on PoH or Flash Heal. If you want to macro it so you don't forget to use it, losing the benefit of ToT for a GH every now and then isn't a big deal.

HF/Smite Macro
The 'reset' parameter resets the cast sequence based on the last time you activated it, not the last time the cast sequence started. As a result, you can't actually use it to 'rotate' spells like you're doing - you'll always have situations where you don't properly cast the cooldown spell even though it's cooled down.

Also, if you chain-cast your macro with even minimal haste, Holy Fire won't be cooled down by the time the castsequence recycles.

I find it much easier to simply have a modifier key for my HF/Smite macro.
20 Night Elf Druid
80
07/28/2011 11:13 AMPosted by Tsilyi
you are interpreting DH as healing in a vacuum, when in fact this does not ever happen. Though the healing from DH is low compared to say, Tranquility and the cooldown is long, compared to say, Tranqulity, it has the added effect of increasing healing by 10% to any target it hits, and the effect persists beyond the duration of the spell by up to 8 seconds.


Unfortunately, the mechanics of Divine Hymn tend to mean that the healing buff isn't spread very evenly - even with 15 total targets, you're probably only giving 5 the buff. But let's say you give 15 different targets the buff. This means that you're increasing the hps on those targets by 10% during the buff.

However, each individual target is (realistically) probably not going to receive more than about 2k - 3k hps each from all the healers combined. 10% of that 15 times would be 3k - 4.5k additional hps - which is less than the difference in hps between Divine Hymn and PoH spam.

Another way to grasp the weakness of Divine Hymn is to recognize that it's a marginal cooldown for Holy Priests - you normally lose overall raid hps (albeit only slightly) over using your normal healing methods - and Divine Hymn gains the same benefits from talents than PoH/CoH do. So how is Divine Hymn supposed to be competitive with Prayer of Healing when PoH gains a +30% buff (DA) that Divine Hymn doesn't?
Edited by Calaris on 7/28/2011 11:55 AM PDT
I'm not sure I understand this part:


This is a standard Disc build with atonement:
http://www.wowhead.com/talent#bfGorRsbcoMochM:mqVdaq0Vz


Specifically why Soul Warding? Is this leftover when PW:S spamming was kind of viable?

It would seem that ToT or SoS could be used in place of Soul Warding, for significantly more actual gain. It seems to make even less sense when reading your actual rotation/priority guide for healing doesn't suggest spam Shielding. Perhaps I'm blind (and honestly seriously playing a disc priest is relatively new for me), but presuming a traditional healing role, wouldn't you need SoS and enough haste to get Flash Heal down to a 1 second cast to consistently make this worth the points?

I'm not trying to imply Soul Warding is worthless, just that it appears quite situational compared to ToT in an Atonement spec. Train Of Thought is moving the cool down of Pennance or Inner Will, which means it is helping one of your nicer heals available sooner, or helping your mana consumption cool down available sooner.

85 Troll Priest
0
Here's how it works - mastery directly increases your shields (PW:Shield and Divine Aegis) but has no effect on healing done. Crits on the other hand increase healing done, but have no effect on shields because shields can't crit. Haste increases casting speed of everything allowing you to make more casts in a shorter amount of time, which also means you use mana faster.

This means if you're doing more shielding, you should push more mastery. If you are doing more direct healing, then crit is better. Haste is always good. A balance is usually best.


This is a little confusing, at least for me. You're not saying anything wrong, I just think you should go into more detail about each stat. For example, Crits do have an effect on DA, but not PW:S, so it's important to make that difference clear rather than just saying "have no effect on shields".

I also think it's important to add some clarification to what "if you're doing more [x]" means. For example, if PW:S accounts for at least 25% of your healing and DA accounts for 10-15%, Mastery becomes an important stat. This will only occur if you are an SoS tank healer without Atonement or if you are using PW:S to raid heal. Otherwise you will find Crit to be a higher throughput increase over the course of a fight.

Also, explaining why "Haste is always good", but not necessarily always the most optimal stat, might clarify why "a balance is usually best".
20 Night Elf Druid
80
07/28/2011 11:54 AMPosted by Stefanus
Specifically why Soul Warding? Is this leftover when PW:S spamming was kind of viable?


Ideally, Discipline is played as if you don't have Soul Warding - you don't want to cast back-to-back PW:S because it wastes the Borrowed Time.

However, that doesn't mean you're never in a situation where you have to cast back-to-back PW:S. Discipline's one great weakness is healing individual secondary targets. Without Grace, direct heals are fairly weak, Discipline has a terrible Renew, Penance is on a cooldown and relying on Holy Fire to heal an arbtrary dps'r somewhere in your raid is optimistic to a fault. So if Bill-the-Mage decides to linger in the fire a bit too long, PW:S is really your only option to save them.

Also, not taking Soul Warding completely eliminates even the possibility of pre-shielding large chunks of the raid. While this isn't a standard tactic due to the duration/cost, having it as an option is still worthwhile.
85 Human Priest
6500
I've noticed you've list a bunch of gems to use, but left out the enchanting choices. Also, don't forget about darkglow/lightweave embroidery and spellthreads from tailoring (if the priest also has the profession) as it's a good money saver for those who are out of reach for maelstrom crystals.

All in all, I'm half and half on this guide. I don't completely agree with it, but that's my playstyle. For instance, I find Desperate Prayer a real bonus for me since it's a free heal to myself, it saves my heal mates their mana for throwing extra heal if I took a heavy dmg in raids. It goes the same in Heroics since I save myself mana to heal my heavy damages taken. I'm also the awkward disc priest who casts Flash Heals instead of Greater Heals to those in need of emergency heals in addition to the shield as the casting speed is in my comfort zone. I shall give Greater Heal a try sometime and see the difference.
Specifically why Soul Warding? Is this leftover when PW:S spamming was kind of viable?


Ideally, Discipline is played as if you don't have Soul Warding - you don't want to cast back-to-back PW:S because it wastes the Borrowed Time.

However, that doesn't mean you're never in a situation where you have to cast back-to-back PW:S. Discipline's one great weakness is healing individual secondary targets. Without Grace, direct heals are fairly weak, Discipline has a terrible Renew, Penance is on a cooldown and relying on Holy Fire to heal an arbtrary dps'r somewhere in your raid is optimistic to a fault.


But even specced, PW:S has a 1 second cool down.



So if Bill-the-Mage decides to linger in the fire a bit too long, PW:S is really your only option to save them.



Maybe, but you are also presuming that

a) Penance is on Cool Down
b) Inner Focus is on Cooldown
c) You just cast PW:S on the tank (or someone else)
d) Bill-The-Mage decides to linger in the fire too long


Also, not taking Soul Warding completely eliminates even the possibility of pre-shielding large chunks of the raid. While this isn't a standard tactic due to the duration/cost, having it as an option is still worthwhile.


No argument, but again this talent seems like a "do I take it over talent x" and not
"This talent should be baseline for atonement specs"


So this still has me asking the question why is the basic template including soul warding instead of ToT for an atonement build. Because My comment was that Soul Warding seems situational, where as ToT will always benefit any Atonement based Dsic priest, as any Atonement build will use Inner Focus and Penance (the recipients of the benefit) as well as Greater Heal and Smite (the triggers)


Please Note I'm speaking completely of atonement builds. If you aren't doing some smite healing and firing archangel for mana gain, then soul warding seems to make as much, if not more, sense than ToT.
Edited by Stefanus on 7/28/2011 12:31 PM PDT
90 Human Priest
10250
07/28/2011 11:43 AMPosted by Calaris
Builds


So you are saying this is a better default build with 2 points left over?:

http://www.wowhead.com/talent#bfGorRsbsoMoMhM:mqVdaq0Vz

Gemming - I've already made those changes. :)

Prayer of Mending - Yes, I said PoM is only good if there is raid damage going out.

Holy Fire - I don't want to over stress this, but I will make it a bigger note.

Divine Hymn
It's not so much the amount of healing as the amazingly effective targeted healing - the lowest health in the entire raid get the most healing from it, and they get the buff too. It's basically perfect triage for 12 seconds while your other healers pick up the slack (with a bonus).

Binding Heal
Agreed, I very rarely ever use it. but when things are slow and i'm in a different party then someone i want to heal, along with myself, or I just have myself and one other slightly below full, Ill use it.

Inner Focus
Yes, it's macroed to keep good uptime.

HF/Smite Macro
You are right, as I said, it's not perfect. But the macro does make better use of buttons for a spec that already has lots of them. This is the same as IF being macroed with GH - not ideal, but little thought and good up time, so you are free to focus more on who you are healing and not standing in stuff.

As for chain casting, I pretty much never direct chain cast, I'm always mixing in a PW:S or something during the casting so I very rarely hit the HF cooldown.

And my hands get twisted when I start to use modifiers keys. :)

________________

Thank you for the feedback, I've included it all in the guide. :)
90 Human Priest
10250
07/28/2011 11:53 AMPosted by Calaris
Unfortunately, the mechanics of Divine Hymn tend to mean that the healing buff isn't spread very evenly - even with 15 total targets, you're probably only giving 5 the buff.


But the important thing to note is that those 5 that do get it are exactly the 5 that need it most. As well, realize that the buff is spread out over 8 seconds, so it's very likely that in that time, the other healers will direct heal the lowest, which changes the lowest to others. In my last 10 man raid, 6 people got the buff, which is a pretty good spread.

But let's say you give 15 different targets the buff. This means that you're increasing the hps on those targets by 10% during the buff.


Right, so if they take another tick from DH, or get healed by another healer, they get that bonus. And since the actual healing of DH starts at 2 seconds and happens every 2 seconds, the buff will extend after DH finishes.

However, each individual target is (realistically) probably not going to receive more than about 2k - 3k hps each from all the healers combined. 10% of that 15 times would be 3k - 4.5k additional hps - which is less than the difference in hps between Divine Hymn and PoH spam.


But you're hitting the 3 lowest at the same time instead of one at a time, which is a big nice difference.

Another way to grasp the weakness of Divine Hymn is to recognize that it's a marginal cooldown for Holy Priests - you normally lose overall raid hps (albeit only slightly) over using your normal healing methods - and Divine Hymn gains the same benefits from talents than PoH/CoH do. So how is Divine Hymn supposed to be competitive with Prayer of Healing when PoH gains a +30% buff (DA) that Divine Hymn doesn't?


My Divine Hymn had one crit and a throughput of ~17.6k HPS, which I consider strong for any spec.

http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/ni0ycn8g1yaek0l6/spell/64844/?s=2773&e=3166
Edited by Medicia on 7/28/2011 1:04 PM PDT
90 Human Priest
10250
This is a little confusing, at least for me. You're not saying anything wrong, I just think you should go into more detail about each stat. For example, Crits do have an effect on DA, but not PW:S, so it's important to make that difference clear rather than just saying "have no effect on shields".

I also think it's important to add some clarification to what "if you're doing more [x]" means. For example, if PW:S accounts for at least 25% of your healing and DA accounts for 10-15%, Mastery becomes an important stat. This will only occur if you are an SoS tank healer without Atonement or if you are using PW:S to raid heal. Otherwise you will find Crit to be a higher throughput increase over the course of a fight.

Also, explaining why "Haste is always good", but not necessarily always the most optimal stat, might clarify why "a balance is usually best".


I agree with what your saying, but I was specifically trying to avoid going to deep into the details of "which stat is best when" and all the reasons why. It's such a huge argument, it needs it's own post.
Edited by Medicia on 7/28/2011 1:00 PM PDT
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