Getting the best gear in World of Warcraft for your Disc Priest may be one of your most important goals, especially if you want to raid. For starters, I will discuss stat priorities, optimal spell usage, and then the best items you can get in the game for your Discipline Priest.
Stat Priority, for PvE Raiding in World of Warcraft
- Spirit, until you’re comfortable. You should aim to be completely out of mana by the end of the fight, with the last spell of the fight bringing you to 0 mana. This is not realistic, but that’s our goal here. There’s no point in having more mana than you need – That will just decrease the amount of healing you do.
- Spellpower to 32,000. This is where you should be if you want to optimize your “base healing”. After that it’s beneficial to stack Critical Strike to reduce “overhealing” and optimize the damage mitigation for your raid team.
- Critical Strike. Always stack Critical Strike over Mastery or Haste. Remember, for every 2 Critical Strike rating, it’s about equal to 1 Intellect rating. Basically, 160 Intellect is equal to 320 Critical Strike, with Critical Strike pulling a bit ahead due to low overhealing (when you heal someone for more than they need).
- Mastery. This increases your raw healing, and the size of your absorbs. 50% mastery will increase your absorbs by 50%, and your direct healing by 25%.
- Haste. Reforge out of Haste whenever you can, but if you are doing well with your Mana regeneration, it’s okay to have Haste. Even if you reduce your cast time by a small 1%, it’s better than having a 1% longer cast time. That 1% faster spell cast means you have time for another spell after casting 100 spells, which is less than you’ll be casting in your average raid encounter.
The Role of a Discipline Priest in a Raid
Your role as a Disc Priest is to mitigate incoming damage, through absorption forms of healing. Power Word: Shield is an instant cast single target heal that provides a large “bubble” on a player to mitigate incoming damage. Divine Aegis is a heal that “procs” from your heals that become a “Crit”. Divine Aegis is usually a Disc Priest’s top heal and that’s why stacking Critical Strike is important. There are other forms of “bubbles”, or absorption heals that I will discuss later in this guide.
A Disc Priest should be aiming to mitigate as much damage as possible, but also be doing direct damage to the Raid Boss and other nearby monsters. Disc Priests also utilize Atonement to do healing while they do damage, resulting in Disc Priests being one of the most powerful healers in World of Warcraft. This bring us to one the most important aspects of being a good healer – Optimal spell usage.
How to Heal, What to Cast, and How to Play a Disc Priest
Atonement Healing is one of the best utilities of a Disc Priest to do damage while healing at the same time. It allows raid groups to kill bosses faster, and keep people alive. One aspect of Atonement is Archangel.
The Archangel Buff increases your healing done by 5% for every stack of Evangelism that you consume. With a maximum of 5 Evangelism stacks, you can increase your healing by 25% every 30 seconds, or about 50% of each fight. To stack Evangelism, you need to cast Damage Dealing spells at the Raid Boss, or nearby monsters. You can use Smite, Holy Fire, or Penance. Those three spells benefit from Atonement, meaning that a set percentage of the damage you deal with them is additionally converted to healing and distributed to the players with the lowest current health. You gain one stack of Evangelism for each cast of either Smite, Holy Fire, or Penance.
You can also use Penance as a direct heal on a player. This will increase any other heals you cast on them by 30% for 15 seconds. Penance is amazing for healing a tank, or even just for getting the 30% increased healing before a moment in which you predict the tank will take increased damage.
Power Word: Shield is a spell that creates a large absorption shield on a single player. It’s an instant cast, so you can get a lot of these on multiple players fairly quickly. One aspect of this is Rapture, which will return the mana cost of the shield if the shield is fully absorbed. This is only able to occur every 12 seconds though. However, you should cast a Power Word: Shield (PW:S for short) on a tank every 12 seconds if possible because the shield will most likely be fully absorbed, thus providing you with the Rapture mana return. PW:S also gives you the Borrowed Time buff, decreasing your next cast time by 15%.
Spirit Shell is one of the most powerful raid cooldowns because it mitigates a massive amount of damage, instead of being used as a reactionary heal that is used to save lives at the last second. Spirit Shell converts your direct healing into absorption shields. You should use Spirit Shell before the damage even starts hitting the raid. I tend to cast Prayer of Healing along with Spirit Shell on multiple groups in the raid, but it can also be used for the strongest tank heals in the game. If you’re one-tanking an encounter that usually requires two tanks, using Spirit Shell with single target heals can be perfect for moments of high tank damage. Inner Focus also makes your next direct heal be a Critical Strike, so you’re guaranteed to build a shield with it. It’s similar to Spirit Shell in the sense that you should use it before damage hits on a tank, or raid group.
Other spells you should be using on cooldown, or very often include:
- Prayer of Mending when damage is about to hit the entire raid in a “pulsing mechanic” – When damage continually hits everyone, which is different than just one wave of damage and then no further damage.
- Power Word: Barrier should be used so everyone takes 25% less damage (while in the golden bubble that you place on the ground) for raid mechanics that do a lot of damage. Ask your raid-leader when they want you to use this.
- Binding Heal if another player and yourself have taken damage.
- Flash Heal if a raid member is rapidly losing health, or use Penance instead.
- Fade is useful if nearby monsters are targeting you instead of the tank. It drops your “aggro”.
- Purify to remove a debuff, curse, damage-over-time, on a raid member. Purify can prevent so much damage from certain debuffs that it’s better to “dispel” a player than try to heal through it.
- Void Shift swaps your health bar with the player you are targeting. This can save a tank, or save yourself. If someone’s health is very low, you don’t need to worry because if you end up with health less than 25% of your maximum health, you’re healed up to 25% health. Use a Healthstone, or Desperate Prayer after Void Shifting.
Other Buffs & Mana Regeneration
- Power Word: Fortitude provides 10% increased Stamina (which increases a player’s health).
- Inner Fire increases your armor by 60% and Spellpower by 10%.
- Inner Will increases your movement speed by 10% and reduces the mana cost of instant-cast spells by 15%. This buff is good for fights that you need to use Purify a lot, but you lose out on Inner Fire’s Spellpower buff.
- Hymn of Hope returns a considerable amount of mana to you and other healers. Aim to use this twice each fight so you can get rid of some spirit.
- Mindbender / Shadowfiend are pets that do damage, and return mana to you. For an extra 10,000-20,000 mana, use your pet right after you use Hymn of Hope because Hymn of Hope increases your total mana pool.
- Remember to utilize Rapture for a free PW:S every 12 seconds.
There are a ton of other spells in the Disc Priest’s spell book, but those are the basics. Here’s a quick recap.
- Cast Power Word: Shield every 12 seconds to utilize Rapture.
- Use Atonement (Smite, Holy Fire, Penance) to damage the boss, and heal your raid team and build Evangelism.
- Use Archangel before high periods of damage.
- Utilize Spirit Shell for massive raid damage mitigation before damage hits, or as an amazing tank protection cooldown. Remember to use Inner Focus too.
- Always give your raid a Stamina buff, and use your self-buffs / mana cooldowns.
For Siege of Orgrimmar, there’s specific gear you should be aiming to obtain to maximize your Critical Strike, Mastery, while maintaining an appropriate amount of Spirit. I won’t show the differences between every single choice, but believe me when I say – The following list is fully optimal and I have done the math. This proposed set might just be an addition of 0.26% Critical Strike and 0.15% Mastery a loss of 150 Spirit and 1% Haste, but that’s why they call it “Best-in-slot for Disc Priest”. For casual raiding, you can get away with using similar items that might not be the best.
Discipline Priest Best-In-Slot Item List, for Siege of Orgrimmar Patch 5.4+
Helm: Hood of Swirling Senses, from Immerseus.
Neck: Lost Necklace of the Mogu Empress, from Spoils of Pandaria.
Shoulders: Mantle of the Ternion Glory, from Siegecrafter Blackfuse.
Cloak: Xing-Ho, Breath of Yu’lon (for more damage), or Jina-Kang, Kindness of Chi-Ji (more healing).
Chest: Akolik’s Acid-Soaked Robes, from Thok the Bloodthirsty.
Wrist: Bracers of Sonic Projection, from Paragons of the Klaxxi.
Staff: Gaze of Arrogance, from Sha of Pride.
Gloves: Handwraps of the Ternion Glory, from General Nazgrim.
Belt: Sash of the Last Guardian, from Norushen.
Pants: Leggings of the Ternion Glory, from Paragons of the Klaxxi.
Boots: Toxic Tornado Treads, from Kor’kron Dark Shaman.
Ring 1: Seal of Sullen Fury, from Malkorok.
Ring 2: Signet of the Dinomancers, from Thok the Bloodthirsty.
Trinket 1: Prismatic Prison of Pride, from Sha of Pride.
Trinket 2: Dysmorphic Samophlange of Discontinuity, from Siegecrafter Blackfuse.
Thank you for reading my all-in-one guide for Discipline Priests in World of Warcraft, Mists of Pandaria. If you’re interested in more WoW guides, I recommend checking back on my page, or looking at the videos on my WoW Gaming Youtube Channel.