See! We knew Smite Priesting was the way to go! Yes, in Mists of Pandaria (WoW Patch 5.4) the Smite playstyle is fully included with every Disipline Priest’s spec choice – along with a bunch of more recent changes! So, to get a quick heads up on how to play a Disc Priest as we all head off to kick Garrosh’s oversized ass, here’s a Quick Start Guide for your stats, talent build, abilities, glyphs, rotation (such as it is), reforging and gems. Enjoy!
Updated 17th September 2013 for 5.4
Disc Priest changes in 5.4
Minor changes, stat priorities updated.
Discipline Healing “Rotation” and Priorities
Of course, we don’t really have a rotation – we’re a healing class, dammit! (Well, not unless you count the low-level dungeon rotation of Smite, Smite, Smite, Smite…). But here’s an intro to how best to use your abilities to keep everyone else up.
When you’re healing the tank, you’ll be using:
- Power Word Shield: One of your primary damage prevention abilities. Re-cast it whenever it drops. Note that when it drops you get mana back!
- 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.
- Flash Heal Your panic button. Will run you out of mana FAST, but will also heal the tank FAST.
- Prayer of Mending Will bounce around injured targets healing them. Use on your primary target during moderate or high damage phases, on CD.
- Power Word Solace Use on CD unless you’re in an ntense damage phase. Smart-heals nearby players.
You can also use Smite to smart-heal the tank if no-one else is injured, but most of the time it will be too random to use. However, use it in very low-damage phases to build Evangelism stacks.
Keep Grace running on your primary target with Penance and your Heal spells.
- 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).
- Power Word Solace: Use on cooldown (on the mobs, obviously), as it’s a smart heal that restores your mana.
- 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. Whenever you don’t need to cast anything else, be casting Smite to build Evangelism stacks and do low-powered healing.
For when it’s all gone or is about to go a bit pear-shaped:
- Power Word: Barrier :Best used when the raid’s stacked and you know they’re about to take a lot of damage. 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.
- Archangel: Frequent-use cooldown powered by Atonement stacks from Smite. Use whenever you need a bit more healing punch.
- Hymn of Hope: Use during low-damage phases to restore mana to you and nearby casters.
- Spirit Shell: Use whenever there’s high damage coming in.
- Leap of Faith: Useful for two things: moving slow, DCed or otherwise distracted people out of the Bad, and annoying your fellow raid members!
- Inner Focus: Short cooldown, and gives your next Flash Heal, Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing 100% crit chance. Useful frequent-use cooldown. Also grants 5 sec immunity to Silence.
- Void Shift is an extremely powerful heal if you’re on high health – but it has a very long CD. Assume it can only be used once per encounter.
- Cascade: Use on cooldown or when you know the raid’s going to take heavy damage.
Keep Inner Fire or Inner Will up (the latter helps with mana costs), remember to cast Prayer of Fortitude, and cast Shadow Protection if appropriate.
Discipline Priest Talent Choices
The new 5.x talent system means that you may well want to change talents on a per-fight basis. However, if you’re looking for a general-purpose talent build that’ll get you started quickly, we recommend:
- Tier 1: Void Tendrils (not very important)
- Tier 2: Angelic Feather – grants a movement speed increasing effect on the ground.
- Tier 3: Solace / Insanity
- Tier 4: Desperate Prayer – powerful self-heal.
- Tier 5: Twist of Fate
- Tier 6: Cascade – another powerful group-healing CD.
Stats, reforging and gemming for Discipline Priests
Intellect is your most important stat, boosting your healing, followed by Spirit, which controls mana regeneration. Mana pools are now fixed in size. In MoP, you’re likely to find you need to reforge for additional Spirit until you’re comfortable with your new mana regen.
Crit is our most useful secondary stat.
Gemming: Gem for socket bonuses (Purified in Red sockets, Sparkling in Blue sockets, Misty in Yellow sockets).
Reforging: Reforging depends on your mana. Reforge to Spirit if you need mana regen, which is very likely. Then reforge to Crit.
Disc Priest Glyphs
Glyphs are much more situational in WoW 5.x than before – however, here are some solid general choices:
Major: Glyph of Penance, Glyph of Binding Heal, Glyph of Mass Dispel.
Minor: Whatever you want – they have no performance effect.
Discipline Priest enchants and item enhancements
You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.
- Shoulders – Greater Crane Wing Inscription
- Back – Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect
- Chest – Enchant Chest – Mighty Spirit
- Wrist – Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect
- Hands – Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery
- Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
- Legs – Greater Pearlescent Spellthread
- Feet – Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step
- Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit
- Off-Hand Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Major Intellect
- Icy Veins have a great Disc Priest Guide going into more detail on a lot of points.
- Derevka from Tales of A Priest writes a massive, complete, and tremendously useful Disc Priest guide for Mists of Pandaria – GREAT guide for more information on Haste breakpoints, talent choices and much more.
- Finally, as a WoW player, you should really check out the latest and greatest from the blogosphere on World of Warcraft, here at the Melting Pot.
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