Patch 4.3 Discipline (Disc) Priest guide – stats, spec and talents, glyphs, gems, reforging, changes and healing spells

It’s time to do some bubbling! Yep, Disc priests are back, and whilst we can’t spam soap bubbles of invulnerability like we used to, we’re still awesome healers. So, as we face up to Deathwing’s Bits, if you want to know what spells to use, what gems and glyphs to buy, what talents to spec, or how to reforge in Patch 4.3, read on.

Updated 6th Dec 2011 for Patch 4.3

Disc Priest Changes in Patch 4.3

Very little has changed for Discipline in 4.3. The main change has been a fix for Atonement, meaning it will now work properly when used against large bosses like Ragnaros or Al’Akir.

However, of course stat increases mean that your style of healing may change, and this guide has been updated to reflect 4.3 levels of gearing.

Spell Usage/Rotation

Disc priests, like all healers, don’t have a “rotation” as such. Instead, each spell has a different ideal use, and you’ll use them depending on situation:

Tank healing

  • Power Word Shield: One of your primary heals. Cast when the tank’s about to take significant damage, and generally whenever you can.
  • Penance Fairly powerful and efficient. Use whenever it’s off cooldown.
  • Greater Heal Primary healing spell if the tank’s taking more damage than Heal can cope with.
  • Heal Your “spam healing” spell. Use whenever the tank’s taking damage, but if his or her health is going down even with Heals, it’s time to switch to something more powerful. Becomes increasingly less useful with better gear – if your mana can handle it, consider using Greater Heal as your spam heal on harder content.
  • Flash Heal Your panic button. Will run you out of mana FAST, but will also heal the tank FAST.

Raid/group healing

  • Power Word Shield: Also very useful for raid healing. Cast on people you know or suspect are about to take damage. Fast and high healing.
  • Prayer of Healing: Your primary group heal. Use whenever it will be useful for healing at least 3 people.
  • Prayer of Mending: The “Bouncing Heal”. Cast on cooldown – as a smart heal, it’ll go where it’s needed (hopefully).
  • Other healing spells: Use Penance when it’s off cooldown, and Greater Heal to spot heal as needed. Only use Flash Heal if someone’s about to die and you can’t use Power Word Shield.

Cooldown spells

For when it’s all gone a bit Pete Tong:

  • Power Word: Barrier :Best used when the raid’s stacked and you know they’re about to take a lot of damage – Red phase on Maloriak, for example. Note: this is a powerful CD and can save your raid if used right.
  • Pain Suppression: Powerful damage reduction – coordinate with your healing target as to when to cast this if possible, as it duplicates the effect of many tank cooldowns.
  • Divine Hymn and Power Infusion: Your other two “Oh, crap” buttons. Best to not use both at once, to maximise your ability to react to The Bad.

What about Evangelism/Atonement/Smite Priests?

You may have heard about the so-called “Smite Priest”, an alternative Disc build that heals by using DPS spells.

It’s a very fun build – use if you want to try it out. However, it’s more complicated than a non-Smite priest.

If you decide to try Smiting your way to victory:

  • Tank Healing: Proceed as above, but use Smite instead of Heal if you ever get time for it, and try to use Holy Fire if you get a chance. If healing gets hairy, you should have enough stacks of Evangelism built up to cast Archangel, which is a decent cooldown on a very short timer.

  • Raid Healing Use Holy Fire on cooldown, as it’s a powerful smart heal. As above, pop Archangel for heavy damage. Use Smite where you’d be casting Heal otherwise.

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Discipline Talent Spec

The standard Disc talent spec looks like this 4.3 spec

Here’s a good Atonement spec: Atonement/Evangelism spec for 4.3

Stats, Reforging and Gems

Intellect is your most important stat, boosting your healing and mana pool, followed by Spirit, which controls mana regeneration. Haste, Mastery and Crit can all be useful in different circumstances, but are all less useful than Int or Spirit – see below.

Gemming: Gem for socket bonuses unless the socket is a yellow socket providing 10 or less Mastery, Crit or Haste – gem those for Intellect with Brilliant Inferno Ruby.

Reforging: Reforging depends on your mana. Reforge to Spirit if you ever need mana. Otherwise, reforge to a balance of Crit and Mastery, or Haste if you’re really sure you won’t run out of mana on the content you’re healing. (Haste increases your healing power but also means you consume more mana).

Discipline Priest enchants

Several professions have “superior” enchants – use them if the stats are appropriate. Felfire Inscription on shoulders from Inscription, for example. Note – a few enchants can be swapped for Spirit enchants, like Chest, and so if you’re having mana problems, Spirit enchants are decent alternatives.

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Hands Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Lavawalker (the run speed is very useful)
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent
Off-Hand Weapon Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect

Glyphs for Disc

Prime: Glyph of Power Word: Shield, Glyph of Penance, and Glyph of Prayer of Healing. Swap one for Glyph of Power Word: Barrier if it’s vital for the content you’re doing.

Major: Glyph of Prayer of Mending and Glyph of Dispel Magic are the stand-out choices. The third is your choice – not vital whatever you choose – unless you’re Atonement, in which case you need Glyph of Divine Accuracy.

Minor: You’ll hate people who ask you to cast Levitate if you don’t have Glyph of Levitate. Glyph of Fortitude is also very useful. Glyph of Fade can be useful, and it’s not like there are other fantastic choices.

  • Plusheal’s Disc Priest guide – Excellent and thorough, if slightly strangely ordered. The Plusheal community in general are also great. Not updated for Patch 4.3, but it scarcely matters.

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