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Healing Priest Discipline Guide

Doomed to wear cloth and to share gear with cloth wearing DPS classes, Priest healers have it rough. Extra squishy due to the cloth, Priest healers need to have high situational awareness to be able to keep themselves alive. A tolerance for sharing is also required, so when that Mage takes those boots you have been waiting for over the past few weeks you don’t go into a complete nerd rage.

Item Stats

Discipline Priests will be on the lookout for basically the same stats as Holy Priests. Don’t be fooled though; while they may be looking for the same general stats, how these stats are valued is vastly different.

Intellect is a major player for the Disc Priest, for basically the same reason a Holy Priest would value it. The more Intellect you can accumulate, the bigger your mana pool and the more it increases your mana regen. It also raises your critical strike rating to proc Divine Aegis & Inspiration and increases the mana regeneration you will receive from Rapture. Picking up as much Intellect as possible is advised.

Spellpower is next on the list and is just as important as Intellect for the Discipline Priest. Spellpower will dictate how much you can heal for, and in turn dictates how large your Divine Aegis shield ends up being. Discipline Priests who choose to spec into Borrowed Time will gain even more from Spellpower as a Priest without it. Overall, Spellpower is one of those stats you just can’t go wrong with.

Regeneration

With the changes to Spirit, Priest healing styles have drastically changed. No longer can a Priest just stand around and rely on Spirit to do their regeneration. While mana can still be regained by just standing around it has been nerfed and quite a bit of gear is required before you can really count on ticks outside of the 5 second rule.

As such Priests are now relying more heavily on Intellect for mana regeneration purposes, especially since the size of the Priest’s mana pool affects mana regeneration abilities such as Shadowfiend. You will eventually find that you will attain much more Intellect than Spirit because you can not stack Spirit without nerfing the other stats important to you.

Discipline Priests do not have to worry about using out of the 5 second rule regeneration as they are all about sustaining. Discipline Priests must take advantage of any free Global Cool Downs available to put more Shields up. The more Shields you have up, the more chances for it to be removed with damage, allowing the Disc Priest to gain mana back through Rapture. Another reason to constantly be casting your Shield instead of standing around waiting on your mana to regen is the ability for Disc Priests to proc Borrowed Time. After each Power Word: Shield is cast, Borrowed Time provides extra spell haste for the next spell you cast, and also increases the amount absorbed by your Power Word: Shield based on your Spellpower.

When you really are in a mana crisis, Discipline Priests like all other Priests can make use of your Shadowfiend. Using Shadowfiend at the same time you use Hymn of Hope is advised. Hymn of hope increases your max mana for a period of time, therefore increases the mana you get back from your Shadowfiend. Do this and you will find yourself back to almost full mana in no time.

Fade and You

As a healer you will find that very rarely will you ever have to worry about threat (unless you have a really terrible tank). But you will still find yourself in situations where threat is a concern for healers, especially when there are many mobs spawning that cannot be picked up quickly. An ill timed heal can bring these newly spawned mobs down on you, easily wiping you out.

To avoid getting splattered all over the ground by rampaging mobs, making use of the Priest’s Fade ability is imperative. Fade temporarily reduces all threat for 10 seconds, and gives your tanks time to pick up the mobs you have gained aggro on. Keep in mind that after the 10 seconds is up all your threat will instantly come back and any mobs that are not picked up by a tank or another player will make a bee line for you.

Raiding as a Discipline Priest

Now that we have gone over most of the basics here is a description of how a Discipline Priest functions in a raid setting. Discipline Priests (if you haven’t caught on yet) are excellent tank healers and as such this should be their assigned job in any raid if possible. Like any other healer, knowing what spells you have up your sleeve is very important as what spells you use can vary depending on the situation.

The most commonly used spell by a Disc Priest are Power Word: Shield and Penance. These are your bread and butter, know them and love them. Use Penance on every cool down without fail. For those Discipline Priests with Borrowed Time, using your Power Word: Shield often grants an extra bonus as it keeps up Borrowed Time granting you 20% additional Haste on your next spell. Using Prayer of Mending is also an excellent idea, not only does it bounce between raid members, but it also can Crit, which in turn will proc your Divine Aegis.

At times you will find that you cannot cast Power Word: Shield or Penance due to cool downs. You should be casting something, however what that something is will not always be clear. Some Discipline Priests will choose to cast Flash Heal, while others swear by Greater Heal.

My advice to you is to use the filler spell you feel most comfortable with. Both have their pros and cons, and in the end it is the player that makes either spell stand out.

While Disc Priests are obviously masters of tank healing they are also viable raid healers if needed. Keep Prayer of Mending on cool down at all times, and toss shields like there is no tomorrow. Pre-shielding can easily mitigate quite a bit of raid damage a boss can put out. If you do need to use a large group heal speccing into Borrowed Time can be extremely beneficial. Simply cast Power Word: Shield on the tank, gain the haste and cast an uber quick Prayer of Healing. If you need to group heal again, cast Power Word: Shield on another person and cast another Prayer of Healing.