I've been thinking about a suitable PoH replacement that retains the Priest-ly flavour for a while and this is what I'd like to suggestt:
<Insert name here (sorry, I'm bad at this!)>
This spell would basically serve as the inverse of Mind Sear. It would heal for as much as a Disc Priest's PoH and have a 3 second channel with 4 ticks. The range of the spell would obviously be 40 yards and would be a smart heal that targets any raid member within 20 yards of the initial target.
These are just base numbers, but the main point is the concept of the spell, rather than the exact numbers.
While GC may have acknowledged that Disc uses PoH far too much (especially in a 25m setting), the fact of the matter is that Holy uses it just as much. The question is, what's to prevent a Priest from simply spamming this smart raid heal? The answer is to simply increase the synergy between the various spells in our toolkit to encourage the weaving of our various spells.
This then brings me to the suggested updates to the Disc spec:
1) With PoH gone, there needs to be a suitable replacement to allow for SS usage. As such, I'm bringing PoH back again! My idea is to give SS two flavours depending on whether you're in Inner Will or Inner Fire.
With Inner Will up, you'd get SS/PoH. It would function exactly the way it does now, except that with PoH completely removed from our toolkit, it allows for greater balancing of SS without too adversely affecting our raid healing abilities.
Conversely, with Inner Fire up, you'd get SS/<single target heal>. My initial thought is to make it a 1.5s cast for PvP purposes.
2) There needs to be an incentive to cast more than just our raid heal and this can be done via buffing BT. Changing BT to increase Haste AND Crit by 15% would serve the purpose of increasing our HPS and allow DA to become a passive part of our raid healing again. I suspect that with the right BT numbers, it should become optimal to weave in a PW:S between our casts.
3) But more can be done to encourage casting just PW:S and our raid heal. I would like to see Grace become a buff for the Priest rather than on the player. The new Grace would have 2 stacks only, with each increasing the healing of our direct heals AND Atonement by 10%. Its duration would be 15s and the triggers would be any direct or Atonement heals.
The idea behind this is that it would serve as incentive to weave in Atonements between our casts, especially Penance and HF/Solace.
As an aside, HF would be an instant cast, just like Solace will be.
4) As it stands, it's quite impossible to trigger every AA on cooldown, and if fights mandate the usage of SS on a 1-min timer, it means that Priests are holding out on AA till SS is up due to the exceedingly tight timing requirements of SS. Thus, I propose reducing the CD of AA to 20s, reduce its healing boost to 20% and make it a 15s buff.
Overall, it will still provide the same healing boost if used on CD and the reduction to 20% would serve as a minor temper to the extremely high peak output of SS. This should allow Priests greater flexibility when using AA, whilst still rewarding good usage of it.
5) This is a minor issue, but as suggested by others, it would be nice to see PW:S be affected by Crit. This would enable greater synergy between our secondary stats and spells. Still, a slight reducton to the base value of PW:S might be necessary to off-set this buff.