See! We knew Smite Priesting was the way to go! Yes, in Mists of Pandaria (WoW Patch 5.2) 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 the Throne of Thunder, here’s a Quick Start Guide for your stats, talent build, abilities, glyphs, rotation (such as it is), reforging and gems. Enjoy!
Updated 5th March 2013 for 5.2
Disc Priest changes in 5.2
- Glyph of Weakened Soul is new, and a must-have for Disc Priests.
- Inner Focus now grants 5 seconds of immunity to Silence – nice!
- Our Mastery now gives much less mana – you may need to reforge Spirit again.
- Prayer of Healing now no longer automatically gives a shield – but Power Word: Shield has an increased chance of being twice as effective.
- Penance is significantly buffed – but we were casting it on cooldown anyway, so no change there.
- Some talents have changed, but they’re ones we don’t recommend, or don’t change how the talent is used.
- Power Word Solace has been redesigned, and is now a must-have! That changes our spell usage.
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 a really intense 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 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 powerful smart heal.
- 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 this about 10 sec before heavy damage comes in on the tank, then spam heals on him to build a big shield before he starts taking damage. Wierd, but useful.
- 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: Power Infusion – a powerful CD for boosting your healing.
- 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.
Mastery is our most useful secondary stat.
Gemming: Gem for socket bonuses (Brilliant in Red sockets, Sparkling in Blue sockets, Artful in Yellow sockets).
Reforging: Reforging depends on your mana. Reforge to Spirit if you need mana regen, which is very likely. Then reforge to Mastery.
Disc Priest Glyphs
Glyphs are much more situational in WoW 5.x than before – however, here are some solid general choices:
Major: Glyph of Smite, Glyph of Weakened Soul, Glyph of Prayer of Mending
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 or Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste depending on if you can reach a Haste breakpoint.
- Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
- Legs – Greater Pearlescent Spellthread
- Feet – Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step or Enchant Boots – Greater Haste if you’re using Inner Will.
- Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit
- Off-Hand Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Major Intellect
- HealingWoW has an excellent summary of the 5.2 Disc changes
- 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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