#0 - 2010/05/17 02:05:24 PMI realize there’s another pretty detailed guide courtesy of Nokodohere at the top of the page and that you’re probably well aware of most of the stuff I’m about to post. But this guide is designed to be a little shorter and disc centric for the “help me I’m new to disc” threads that keep popping up.
Discipline is a support spec, you won’t be the designated tank healer and you won’t really be responsible for the raid “healing” either. Your job is to prevent as much damage as possible via shielding in order to make healing more manageable for the other healers in your raid.
While you might never top meters this way (unless you’re using an addon that counts absorbs, which most people don’t) you’ll still be an incredible asset to your raid with your unique skills and style of play. This comes at a price however as Disc priests do not stack well due to the Weakened Soul debuff, meaning you’ll also likely be the only one.
There is not a lot of variation in Disc specs. So I’ll list the main 2.
Spec with Spell Warding, for those that don’t like fire.
Spec with Divine Fury, for those that like throwing Smites and Gheals for whatever reason.
Style of Play
Clearly everyone’s style of play will differ; it’s one of the joys of not being a collective hive mind. But here’s a brief guide on how to go about it for those who are new.
You'll want to PW: Shield everyone who has/is about to take damage at every opportunity. PW: Shield is your main spell, use it liberally I cannot stress this enough it’s your defining ability. It can absorb anywhere between 5-8k of damage depending on gear level, totally negating some boss abilities like the Lich King's Infest.
Penance is used to quickly top anyone who is low, or on the tank to stack Grace in case you’re required to assist. Use Prayer of Mending pretty much on cooldown and when all 3 of these abilities on cooldown, Flash Heal anyone who's still below 100%.
Your 2 unique abilities as Disc are Power Infusion; which should be cast on your raids best DPS caster whenever it’s available (it’s like a mini Heroism/Bloodlust for them), be aware that it can be overwritten by other buffs such as mage’s Arcane Power and it’s not so useful to cast during a Heroism/Bloodlust as most people will already be close to or at their haste cap.
Pain Suppression is your other ability, it should be cast on either the tank if the boss is about to use some sort of gimmick attack which will hit for a lot, or used to save a raid member from certain death if you believe they’re on too little health to survive the next area of effect attack and already have a Weakened Soul debuff up. There are 2 things to remember when using Pain Suppression, firstly coordinate with your tanks about who is using the next damage mitigation ability as it will go to waste if used in conjunction with a Shield Wall. Secondly don’t be put off by the part that states “reduces friendly target’s threat by 5%” some priests hesitate to use Pain Suppression on a tank in case they lose aggro, chances are at this point in the expansion, that’s not very likely to happen.
One of the hallmarks of a Disc priest is that like the DPS, they never stop casting. With talents like Rapture and Mental Strength giving you a large mana pool in conjunction with Replenishment, you should rarely go out of mana. If you come close you have spells like Shadowfiend and Hymn of Hope (if you beg the other healers to pick up the slack for a few seconds) to bring you back to a safe level.
Tips and Tricks
Cheesing Rapture: If you avoid shielding the tanks on LK or some other boss with a large AoE damage spell (at least 12 seconds are required between the last shield breaking, so you can probably still manage to stagger shield the tanks if you time it right) and then have infest or some other massive AoE damage spell break all your shields at once. You'll gain mana equivalent to each shield that broke in the same second as oppose to just one, meaning loads more mana return.
Using Power Infusion on yourself to save mana: While Power Infusion should normally be reserved for DPS casters only, it is possible to use on yourself to save a bit of mana when spamming Shields. It's possible to save 776 mana for every 10 Shields cast (assuming the cost of a Shield is 666 mana, minus the cost of PI) and you should be able to cast about 20 Shields in the duration.
Using Shadowfiend in conjunction with Hymn of Hope: If you find yourself almost out of mana a great way to return a vast amount quickly is by using your Shadowfiend closely followed by a tick of Hymn of Hope. Hymn of Hope gives you a buff which will increase your maximum mana by 20% for 8 seconds while your Shadowfiend will return mana based on your max mana, meaning he’ll return 20% more than he would without Hymn (assuming he doesn’t sit by you dribbling or get himself killed).
Borrowed Time hasting: Borrowed time is useful for things other than Shield spamming. For example Penance will not consume Borrowed Time yet it will still benefit from a shorter channel time and maintain a 1 second gcd. You can also Borrowed Time haste your Resurrection, Hymn of Hope and Divine Hymn spells.
As a Disc priest spellpower is your main stat, stack it like your life depends on it. This is lucky when it comes to gearing as every piece of caster gear will have spellpower on it, so you just need to remember these few things. Gear with haste AND crit on is the best throughput gear you can find so go for this stuff first. Failing that anything without hit on is game, chances are you’ll have already hit the haste soft cap (explained in a bit) so both haste and crit become equally as useful.
If gear has haste OR crit on chances are it’ll come with spirit OR mp5 too, in terms of regen, depending on how much intellect you have spirit will only be a little worse than mp5 when it comes to regen stats for a Disc priest. If you plan to dual spec Holy, spirit gear will be more useful to you than mp5 gear.
If you want a stat flowchart type thing (I dislike them as you should be gearing for what you lack) it’d look something like:
EDIT: Getting some questions about this so I'll try and clarify, once again, I hate these flowchart things. But this is focused on THROUGHPUT, you are far more likely to value int over haste/crit if you are going oom. As for the order, haste will win out vs crit untill you reach the pitifully low softcap, then it becomes about as useful as crit (THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD GEM FOR EITHER unless you're mainly Holy with a Disc offspec or something and even then you shouldn't gem for crit).
Disc Haste Soft Cap
Remember that haste stacks multiplicatively not additively. Borrowed Time + Enlightenment is not 25% + 6%. It is however 25% * 6%.
Assuming you have Wrath of Air and Moonkin/Ret Aura or it works out like the following;
1.5 / 1.25 (Borrowed Time) / 1.06 (Enlightenment) / 1.05 (Wrath of Air) / 1.03 (Aura) = 1.03
So after all constant raid buffs have been applied a 1.5 sec gcd becomes 1.03 when BT is up. Meaning you need around 5% haste from gear (164 haste rating) assuming all raid buffs to get a 1.5 gcd to a 1.0 gcd.
REMEMBER: Haste is still useful after this point, you do have more than 1 spell.
Gemming as a Disc priest is rather easy:
Red: Runed Cardinal Ruby (23sp)
Yellow: Runed Cardinal Ruby (23sp)
Blue: Runed Cardinal Ruby (23sp)
Meta: Ember Skyflare Diamond (25sp+2%int)
However, (only) if you find that you’re still somehow going out of mana or you’re totally OCD about socket bonuses you could also gem:
Red: Runed Cardinal Ruby (23sp)
Yellow: Luminous Ametrine (12sp+10int)
Blue: Royal Dreadstone (12sp+5mp5) or Purified Dreadstone (12sp+10spi)
Meta: Insightful Earthsiege Diamond (21int+mana on spellcast).
Just remember that the first one will always be superior for throughput.
Glyph of Penance: Reduces the cooldown of Penance by 2 Sec.
Allows you to top people more frequently.
Glyph of Power Word: Shield: Your Power Word: Shield also heals the target for 20% of the absorption amount.
Adds a heal to your most used spell.
Glyph of Flash Heal: Reduces the mana cost of Flash Heal by 10%.
While you may not be having mana problems, not a whole lot of other useful glyphs to go here.
Glyph of Shadowfiend: Receive 5% of your maximum mana if your Shadowfiend dies from damage.
I already wish mine was dead.
Glyph of Fortitude: Reduces the mana cost of your Power Word: Fortitude and Prayer of Fortitude spells by 50%.
Useful for buffing on the fly when people die during an encounter.
Glyph of Levitate: Your Levitate spell no longer requires a reagent.