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Disclaimer: I don't have a high arena OR RBG rating. That means that what I say is not necessarily accurate, and is 100% open to debate and criticism (so long as its civil). It is my opinion and should be taken as a means of sparking discussion, not an argument for anything.
I'm only going to be addressing the items I think are the most relevant to disc priests in PVP. Feel free to discuss others.
Discipline Priests in PVP:
Psyfiend - Nerfed recently to put it in line with our other options. Smart priests will now shield the psyfiend after summoning it, although this consumes more mana.
Void Tendrils - In arena, quite useful against melee, quite useless otherwise. In RBG, useful in a number of situations. A solid spell overall.
Dominate Mind - Might be less worthless with the cast-time buff, although I still don't see it being picked up much. Blizzard should give this one a look.
Body and Soul - Inferior to Phantasm, but potentially useful in RBG.
Angelic Feather - Getting buffed in 5.2, but I feel the buff doesn't address what's actually wrong with it (landing the darn thing is threading a needle sometimes, especially when trying to get the FC in a crowd). Inferior in general to Phantasm and Body and Soul.
Phantasm - Excellent, often mandatory, PVP talent.
FDCL - Solid for RNG throughput, but as a rule in PVP, we generally prefer spells/mechanics we have more control over, which is why I consider mindbender superior.
Mindbender - Currently the overwhelmingly popular choice, mainly because it is the most reliable.
Solace - For PVP, this is completely worthless (although it has its niche in PVE). After the rework in 5.2? With the cooldown attached, it will be even more worthless (someone needs to explain to me what Blizzard is trying to do with this. I am utterly baffled.)
Desperate Prayer - A solid choice, on-demand emergency healing. No complaints here.
Spectral Guise - Another solid choice, although it is less reliable in general (DoTs cancel it, aoe damage cancels it, and it cannot be used while stunned/CCed like it used to. That was a bug, but it was an awesome bug. I want it back.) Note, however, the low cooldown. This is the biggest advantage spectral guise has going for it at the moment.
Angelic Bulwark - Why is it good? It is automatic and doesnt waste a GCD. Since it is automatic, it can activate while stunned/silenced/CCed etc. Why is it bad? It's dispellable. Again, this is a choice that works well against some comps and fails against others. Not necessarily in need of a change.
Twist of Fate - I have no idea whether this is good or bad, but I tend to pick the others simple because A) it is very boring, and B) it only triggers at <20% HP, which is the dead-zone in most cases. I think spanning this passive over a broader HP range or making it some sort of active trigger might help.
Power Infusion - On-demand haste/mana reduction? Yes please. No complaints.
Divine Insight - Why is it good? Free-cast PW:Shields which completely ignore the Weakened Soul mechanic are awesome, and at 40% trigger, the proc comes reliably often. Why is it bad? Those procs arent free shields. They cost more mana. It doesnt provide the mana reduc that Infusion provides. Also, 40% is still RNG, as high as the percentage may be.
Cascade - Excellent healing mechanic, triggers aegis, no complaints.
Divine Star - I actually choose this talent for several reasons. 1. After the recent buff it's heals are actually significant enough to count. 2. It's cooldown is low enough and it's mana cost is low enough that you can use it often, something which really can't be said about cascade or halo. 3. As a lineshot, you can use it to reveal invis enemies in arena (not as reliable as halo) and, even more importantly, simultaneously heal allies and interrupt flag grabbers in AB/Gilneas/EOTS etc. I can't tell you how many times this has made the difference in RBGs. 4. It is a twin-school spell, meaning if your heal gets interrupted, YOU CAN STILL CAST DIVINE STAR for some extra heals to survive in PVP! This is a huge benefit.
Halo - Excellent heals, but at a high cost on a high cooldown. Reveals invis rather well. No complaints.
Spirit Shell - An extremely powerful mechanic, and quite possibly the best part of our toolset at the moment. A nerf to this ability in 5.2 (removal of mastery benefits) will lower its effectiveness, but not to the point (as I foresee) where we will stop using it. The effect is, however, dispellable, which causes problems against purge/spellsteal comps.
Atonement - A way for priests to contribute in burst teams, switching to offensive penances and holy fire to stack evangelism and smart heal at the same time.
Focused Will - A well-needed buff that was brought back to disc recently, and is getting buffed in 5.2 as Blizzard's response to disc survivability.
Rapture - Will be seeing a buff in 5.2 (although the buff includes a nerf to trinket/enchant proc returns). I'm curious to see whether this helps our mana situation (which, in my opinion, is the biggest issue we face at present).
Glyph of Inner Focus - 100% mandatory PVP glyph. The effect should be made baseline. Otherwise, one slot of Disc PVP glyphs is always pre-determined.
Glyph of Desperation - Not as mandatory as Inner Focus, but still among the top 3.
Glyph of Penance - Due to the huge benefit of being mobile while using Penance, this glyph feels mandatory as well. Top 3 along with Desperation and Inner Focus.
Glyph of Prayer of Mending - One of the better glyph choices, since it makes PoM a reliable heal on a short CD (already useful since it procs Life Spark on the target).
Glyph of Fade/Renew - Potentially useful. I havent experimented with them enough to know, mostly because the four above seem way above the rest.
Solid shields - A powerful mechanic and the reason we get picked for comps.
Solid anti-burst potential with spirit shell+inner focus+phantasm+pain supp.
More mobile than most healers (except for rdruids) thanks to penance glyph and instant cast shielding.
Mana - Honestly, I think that our current mana situation is fine and other healers need their mana regen mechanics nerfed down to where we are. But this is highly subjective.
Dispels - They cripple us at the moment. But every spec needs some sort of weakness, so I guess this is fine.
Survivability - We'll see what happens to this when the buff to focused will and the nerf to blanket silence goes live.
Mandatory Glyphs - There's maybe 3-4 glyphs that pretty much all disc priests have to choose since they are far better than the rest for PVP. See above.
Miscellaneous Rant - Can we make shields count in Healing Done (in the BG charts)? If I did the most healing, I want to see it on the chart.
Thanks for reading. I may have missed some important things, but I think I covered most of the situation. Feel free to discuss/criticize.
Edited by Umbron on 12/28/2012 5:20 AM PST
I'm mostly feeling it when half of my skills are removed or dispelled, the absolutely mandatory pvp glyphs that leave next to no choice in what to use, and the GIANT BLANKET of CC's that don't share DR that you can get cloaked to death with.
Mana could be a little better but it's miles better than it was only a month or so ago.
Other than that I'm pleased with most of our talents, Void Tendrils and Phantasm just make me happy right now in pvp most of the time.
for some reason they took so much away from priests in mop. which is strange since holy pally and resto shammies were already better pvp healers.
they took away MC baseline and mana burn is gone, double dispell is gone, and not much was given to compensate an already mediocre healing spec. shamies have more offensive utility and massive heals, pallys have better survival cds, more cc and bigger heals, druids just have more mobility and lots of CC (they arnt that great i guess either but better than priests) and monks... maybe more through-put and survivabilty now
priests used to have unique utility in mana burn and off dps burst capability and some offensive utility. they have lost the offensive utility and damage and these were handed out to other healers.
priests will not be competitive until they gain back something unique over the other healers, bigger heals and/or more survivability will make them more usable but it wont make them competitive with shaman and pallys... its been a loooong time since priests and druids have been comparable to pallys/shammies,
In my opinion pallys are balanced as a healer spec, so priest druids and monks should be brought up to par and shammies should be taken down just a notch- starting with a small mastery nerf and getting rid of the double dispell glyph.
Edited by Ditsi on 12/28/2012 11:23 AM PST
Mana Burn was an interesting mechanic, but I'm guessing Blizzard found it a bit underhanded (similar to mana drain) and since they nerfed healer mana, they figured it was time for the mechanic to phase out. I do miss being able to MB enemy healers, though.
MC, I feel, should be made baseline again. I get the idea (it's an escape/control option like the other two) but it just doesn't seem to fit in as a talent choice. Maybe give it to shadow, and throw in a disorient mechanic (similar to chastise). I think others could come up with better solutions on this one. I'm pretty happy with psyfiend/tendrils.
I think Ditsi is on the mark in saying we need something to make us stand out a bit better. I think that disc offense is a bit too low at the moment (not that it should be on par with DPS classes, mind you). Smite, in particular, has always felt rather useless. I would just wait on Holy Fire and penance for my evangelism stacks. Maybe some work could be done there?
I feel like Disc survivability has gone down the drain. Aren't Discpline priests suppose to throw shields on allies/themselves to help them SURVIVE? If we had better survivability maybe I wouldn't be stunned once and then killed in a matter of seconds if the player is good (taking into consideration I'm undergeared). In Cataclysm I could easily do 2s and I knew what I was doing. I could survive any attack probably x3 longer than now. Arenas now consist of me los'ing the other players and if I get cc'ed once I might as well just let them kill me or my partner. It'd be nice to be buffed just a teensy bit. I feel like I'm being forced into playing Shadow this expansion. I've always played Discipline so I don't like the sound of that.
Mana burn was a very cool spell to use. Although arenas where there were two priests were basically a race to see who could burn the other one to 0 faster. It's not that big of a deal to me that they took it out of the game. I see how it'd be unfair due to the whole mana changes. I am also very impressed with the talents they have given us and have no complaints there. Also archangel/atonement becoming passive is a very nice addition. I see it helps out mostly in PvE, especially at lower levels.
Edit: Can a geared Disc priest shine some light on me and tell me if it gets any better when you're fully geared?
Edited by Canaridra on 1/3/2013 11:01 PM PST
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