DISC priest help

90 Troll Priest
15410
Hey everybody!

I was hoping I might get some advice from some really OP disc priests out there. Currently my raid group is 5/12 normal TOT. I typically play 3rd heal/dps role, but so far in TOT I've been healing every fight. I think I do a pretty decent job with my healing, but obviously there is room for improvement. Aside from the obvious resources out there (noxxic, icyveins, askmrrobot) does anyone have any advice for picking up my heals?

As of now, I am stacking crit bc I make heavy use of atonement (since I am the "3rd" healer I try to pump out as much dps as possible). Unfortunately my group doesn't have any recent logs for reference, but I typically pull anywhere from 60-90k hps depending on the fight. It seems to me that this should be plenty, but Mageara was definitely a challenge. I've heard of disc priests being able to solo heal Horridon on normal. I'd like to get to that point :3 So any advice, disc specific or general, would be greatly appreciated. TY
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100 Pandaren Priest
12860
Atonement is definitely strong, but you have to make sure you don't let that become a crutch. What stat you focus this tier is shockingly unimportant. Top tier priests are literally across the board this time around. Instead, what really matters is your playstyle within the encounters. For example, a solo heal on Horridon would almost certainly involve a massive amount of smiting with effective use of mass dispel, dispel, pw:s (and thus rapture), and spirit shell/PoH for Jalak phase.

Megaera, on the other hand, is an entirely different fight that emphasizes raidwide damage and spikey hits. We're not the best healers at this fight, like Horridon, but we're still really strong because SS lines up with Rampage for most groups DPS. Use that to your advantage, use PW:S to help out the cinder debuffs, and make heavy use of PoH/PW:S/Offensive Penance/PoM for effective raid healing during rampage and after the venom damage starts to get substantial. You'll find yourself casting smite significantly less on this fight than you do on a fight like Horridon.

For my overall advice, I'd say remember that rapture is still amazing, solace is only great if you really can justify using it off CD (on many fights, you can), and that spirit shell is still our most powerful tool. Don't let atonement healing become your only healing. It will be #1 for quite a few fights this tier, but if that is the case for all of them, you're honestly not doing everything you can with the tools you have. Megaera is a shining example of this. Also it would literally mean you have a 20% nerf hovering over the horizon instead of a 3-5% nerf.

Oh, and one last thing. I have seen several healers solo heal fights, myself included, and not get #1 rankings for healing. Getting through a fight without dying is the responsibility of every player in the raid. If you are doing ~90k hps on Megaera, your top HPS you talked about, and your group is still going down with a 3 heal strat, you are probably not the problem.
Edited by Ezekiah on 4/15/2013 9:37 AM PDT
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100 Human Priest
18405
mostly what I've learned I put up here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/8518012861

But that dude^ pretty much gave a good summary of where we are. A really good overview, in fact.
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90 Draenei Priest
0
Horridon is indeed fun to heal as a disc priest though the thought of solo healing it is a little scary to me. I have heard of priests who reforge and gem completely for haste specifically for that fight, and that is probably how this is done.

Megaera I find fun as well. Our first few kills of this fight I actually forged completely over to Mastery to get it down. The big trick to this encounter is to use Spirit Shell every time you stack for a new head. Another useful thing is ensure that your melee is in one group and your ranged is in another since most groups will be loosely clumped into those groups already, making your prayer of healing more likely to hit everyone in your group. Beyond that, try to save your mana for the end and avoid using Atonement as much as possible for the last two heads.

The one fight I have trouble with as disc is Primordius, and that is because in order to atonement heal effectively you need to be fully evolved. This means that you either spend time gathering stacks, or you just don't use atonement. This is the fight that made me decide to go dual spec holy/disc, though I don't think you have that option. My advice to you for this encounter is to just forget about evolving and don't use Atonement as it is a waste. Instead, focus on single target and then use your spirit shell when raid damage is going out. The tanks take enough damage during this encounter for this to be viable.
I've created a number of macros and listed a few addons that I use when healing as disc and I find these to be very valuable.

A lot of people suggest using a healer addon such as VuhDo, Grid, or HealBot but I find the default UI with Clique is just perfect and while the healers in my raid are fiddling with their filters trying to get this debuff to show or that one not to show the default UI already shows everything that is important to know.

Below are some macros I have found useful as well as a list of addons I use to heal.

To make Cascade always function as a heal no matter what you're targeting:
#showtooltip Cascade
/cast [target=mouseover,help] [target=target, help] [target=targettarget] Cascade


The inverse of the above macro, to make Shadowfiend, Holy Fire, Smite, and Penance always function as a damage spell and target the boss while you are targeting the tank. This is especially useful for fights where you are Atonement healing and there are a lot of target switches. Just change Penance to the spell you want.
#showtooltip Penance
/cast [target=mouseover,harm] [target=target, harm] [target=targettarget] Penance


Super Spirit Shell - for when you know a huge chunk of damage is coming and you need the biggest spirit shell you can get. You can attach engineering gloves and Lifeblood to this as well if you want.
#showtooltip Spirit Shell
/cast Spirit Shell
/cast Power Infusion
/use 13
/use 14
/cast Archangel


Leap of Faith - because you don't necessarily have time to target the person you need to cast leap of faith on, or maybe you don't have time to see the name of the person you need to grab. This lets you cast Leap of Faith on whatever you have your mouse on, be it a raid frame or the physical character. It adds in a confession for good measure, because 90% of the time I use LOF to save some dumbass standing in the fire.
#showtooltip Leap of Faith
/cast [target=mouseover] Leap of Faith
/cast [target=mouseover] Confession


This is the only macro I feel I need for Shadow, and it works quite well with all three specs. Just plug this onto any spell you want to use but not have it break your Mind Flay, Penance, Mind Sear, or Hymn. This lets you spam the button without breaking any channeled spell.
#showtooltip Mind Flay
/stopmacro [channeling]
/cast Mind Flay


As for addons, there are quite a few I highly recommend.

Clique: this works well with the default raid UI and allows for click casting of your spells. A must if you want to be a strong healer.

Inline Aura: Gives you more detailed information about what's going on with your spells inside their action buttons.

Quartz: A very useful cast bar replacement.

Ingela's Rapture: Helps you keep track of your Rapture procs to maximize mana returns as disc.

HaloPro: A range indicator to help you maximize the effect of Halo.

Weak Auras: I consider this an essential addon for any class or spec. You can configure this to show you anything you want, really. I have bouncing icons telling me when important things like Solace, Shadowfiend, and Prayer of Mending are off cooldown.

Leatrix Plus: A tiny addon with a load of excellent tweaks to the UI that you can turn on or off as needed. Though not necessarily needed for priests specifically, it's a largely unknown addon that adds too much functionality to be ignored. This one as far as I know is only available from wowinterface and not curse.
Edited by Purl on 4/16/2013 8:43 AM PDT
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Tiriel and Twisted are both people to listen to for Disco help. The only thing I have to add is an Aura to track Rapture. You can plug it in to Weak Auras instead of downloading Ingela's Rapture (which is no longer maintained) and customize it. I lifted it from Kaels a long time ago.

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Edited by Heartsings on 4/16/2013 12:45 PM PDT
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90 Draenei Priest
0
Aah thank you for that string Heartsings! Ingela's rapture still works as of now but much better to have it with a supported mod.
Edited by Purl on 4/16/2013 5:13 PM PDT
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
I think I'm going to abscond with that weak aura, Heartsings. Ingela's Rapture stopped working for me at some point in...early Cata? I think? It might have been later, but I can't quite remember. Would love to get a replacement.

@OP: I'd like to reiterate that the stats you focus on really depend on your raid comp and style. I'm currently trying out a higher Haste build than I have before, and so far it's yielded great results. However, I raid 25 mans, and what works for me may not work in a 10 man setting.

Don't be afraid to tell your guildies that they do not have to be WAY OUT IN EGYPT when the fight calls for "spread." It's okay, seriously, to have a "loose" spread, where people are...you know...still close enough to SS.

Disc relies on properly predicting incoming damage. I am not always the best at this, but timers help (we won't talk about the horror that was H Ji-Kun the night that DBM apparently "broke" because I'd installed updated modules) as does getting a "feel" for the fight.

Work with your fellow healers. Every class has strengths and weaknesses. The best thing you can do for your raid is to figure out which strengths and weaknesses you and your co-healers have, and then work to reinforce one another. Healing is a team sport.

Don't be afraid to use Flash Heal if things go sideways. Remember you need to keep yourself alive before worrying about anyone else, so make heavy use of Binding Heal if you're taking a lot of damage and so is someone else. Personally I do a lot of Atonement healing on tanks, but there's a time when you need to direct heal tanks, too. Part of that will come with experience, so you'll know when to lean on Atonement, and when to directly heal.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.
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