Disc healing is awesome, but a few questions

Priest
So I'm still leveling this priest right now, (leveled to 75 as shadow, and my other priest to 80 as shadow), but I decided to go disc to grind out instances to 80 for a change of pace, and I had a few questions.

First off... holy god is this simple. 9 times out of 10 I can shield / renew and watch tv on all fights, and on the ones I don't, a quick penance will fix everything up. Not to mention Holy Word: Barrier is absolutely sick.

I guess my question is, I know it will get harder, at least marginally, as I get into heroics and what not. But is disc healing actually as overpowered as it feels right now?


My other question is, I picked up the talent (forget the name) that lets me smite spam and then hit evangelism for a +healing bonus. I've found I never use this, mostly because smite takes forever and a day to cast, so I have to think that it wouldn't see much use in raids. Do any of you end-game healers actually find yourself smiting to get +healing, or were those wasted points on my part?


Or... is this entire thread pointless because everything is just out of whack to prepare for Cata? Thoughts?
Disc, from my perspective, was much better pre 4.0. Right now it just feels okay, nothing special but not terrible. I mean it felt more awesome with the amount of absorbs before 4.0 hit than it does right now. Disc is still "easy to play" anyway.

Also, Evangelism/Archangel is cool for heroics and leveling but in a raid you won't be using it at all. Don't get me wrong, it's a nifty little talent with wings (even though there was a large thread about how it's pure crap, which I disagree with) but it's not amazing. I think you'll be fine keeping those talents while leveling. When you hit 80, then you can change them if you please.

I personally took the talents for fun.
It'll be pretty simple once you're geared. Right now, things scale a bit weirdly because of all the Cataclysm changes. I can use smite-heals with attonement for 95% of instance fights; stuns and the occasional CC being the only place I need to use Penance or Shield. It picks up strength when you put the 3 pts in the Holy talent that reduces its cast time. In Cata though, Smite healing be far less potent at first.

There are a lot of people saying Disc is relatively weak compared with other healers. Mana is an issue by design, but our shields and heals are comparatively less potent as well.

One figure I saw estimated the average Tank health at 145k; the average hit from a mob around 10-20k, and the average PW:S at around 10-15k. This means that a shield, which on Live will last 1-2 hits easy, will only account for PART of a 'normal' damage attack. If those numbers are accurate, then dungeons will require a bit more focus than they currently do.
I just started leveling as a Disc healer too (not with the smite build though). I'm really enjoying it a lot more than Holy. I didn't like the Chakra mechanics, and felt confused trying to keep track of so many abilities. Disc seems a lot simpler and faster, and I've been a more reliable 5-man healer since switching to it.

However, I'm worried about Disc at 85. If it's not going to be as effective at the new endgame, should I go back to Holy and start learning to heal with Chakra, etc. now?
Okay I leveled as shadow with dual in Holy until we needed a tank healer for raids. Then i went Disc, and absolutely love it! Once you are geared you'll see the difference. Keep at it !
I personally love the "new" disc priest ^.^

I turned 80, ran a heroic, and then my guild needed a healer for the 25 man... They convinced me to come (super casual social guild 7/12 in regular 25icc) and I was #3 on healing+absorbs the whole time. I was in the heirloom chest and staff still and no tier gear. They were gonna replace me after the first wing, but when they saw the numbers, they let me stay.
I can't speak to raid healing, but I've found that smite healing in 5-mans, especially heroics, can be viable depending on how well geared the tank is and how well the dps play their roles. If people start grabbing aggro, then you need to be prepared to stop casting smite and bubble, renew, or whatever, because smite healing is a little iffy about who it decides to heal. Usually I just PoM the tank and start smiting, bubble the tank if my smite healing isn't keeping up and maybe cast a renew. The rest of the time I'm smite healing. Then I pop Archangel for the mana return, because by the time I get to four or five stacks everything is dead.

Also, as you get better gear and move out of the disc tree and pick up the shadow and holy talents that increase your haste, your smite won't take as long to cast.

So mainly I smite heal if the group is a good one and I know I can get away with it. If it's touch and go, then I keep all my focus on healing.
I personally smite spam my butt off in heroics while closely watching bars for any gibb hits that atonement can't fix. Typically a quick Penance on that person is all it takes and I go back to smiting. At the very least, this ups your groups over all damage and gets things done faster.

Also, while on a dps character, I grouped with a Disc priest who didn't use any of the Smite related talents and she was constantly complaining that she didn't have any mana.

Besides, who doesn't want some awesome looking wings?
I can't speak to raid healing, but I've found that smite healing in 5-mans, especially heroics, can be viable depending on how well geared the tank is and how well the dps play their roles.


In the raid, I kept PoM flying at all times and bubbled as many people as possible (especially before a known dmg spike). I didn't do much smiting at first cause I was so nervous being fresh and didn't trust the smite as much as bubbles, flash/greater/regular heal and penance. Once I got over the initial shock of healing in a raid environment, I started smiting and noticed a significant change in my heals and mana usage.

In 5 mans I always smite heal. I can usually get 4-5 stacks per pull (definitely 5 on 5man bosses). I keep PoM flying and bubble when necessary. I find that I rarely use renew... only for topping people off afterwards.
I love the wings and the mana bonus from them - I just wish there was a talent in the disc tree that procced an instant cast smite for much reduced damage or something. Maybe I'm having trouble adapting to 4.0 but in ICC I've had mana troubles lately and had to drop to the smiting. I was hoping there would be some healing ability that could give stacks.

But I do love out DPSing people in heroics as healer.

EDIT: I absolutely love Barrier but my experience makes it almost invalid in raids - has anyone else noticed the Barrier doesn't seem very useful in ICC? Many times (ICC 25) I've cast my barrier only to see it disappear in less than a second. So I'm thinking either I had great timing on that barrier... or the barrier doesn't do much for 25 mans.
I absolutely love Barrier but my experience makes it almost invalid in raids - has anyone else noticed the Barrier doesn't seem very useful in ICC? Many times (ICC 25) I've cast my barrier only to see it disappear in less than a second. So I'm thinking either I had great timing on that barrier... or the barrier doesn't do much for 25 mans.


As it is right now (absorbing x amount of damage) it gets sucked up so quick it seems useless. I believe that the beta version will be the following which will be much better:

Power Word: Barrier: Summons a holy barrier on the target location that reduces all damage done to friendly targets by 30%. While within the barrier, spellcasting will not be interrupted by damage. The barrier lasts for 10 sec (Down from 25).
From MMO Champion
I absolutely love Barrier but my experience makes it almost invalid in raids - has anyone else noticed the Barrier doesn't seem very useful in ICC? Many times (ICC 25) I've cast my barrier only to see it disappear in less than a second. So I'm thinking either I had great timing on that barrier... or the barrier doesn't do much for 25 mans.


As it is right now (absorbing x amount of damage) it gets sucked up so quick it seems useless. I believe that the beta version will be the following which will be much better:

Power Word: Barrier: Summons a holy barrier on the target location that reduces all damage done to friendly targets by 30%. While within the barrier, spellcasting will not be interrupted by damage. The barrier lasts for 10 sec (Down from 25).
From MMO Champion


I read that too, and I agree that this new PW:B will be much better. Kind of like a mass Pain Suppression for the whole group.

I've been thinking about Smite/Atonement/Archangel and wonder if it wouldn't work better in reverse. That is, instead of smiting to get stacks of Atonement and then pop Archangel, it might be better if Archangel was an instant cast on a short-ish CD that would greatly reduce the cast time of Smite and allow Smite to heal as it does damage for a certain period of time (20 seconds, or whatever). Because as it is now, most people find the healing bonus pretty useless (stuff is already dead) and only Archangel for the mana return.

Just a thought, and not a fully considered one.

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