How to Disco – Spec (The Holy Tree)

The first thing you need to do is decide how to spec your priest. What are you goals? Will you PvP or PvE? Both? Heroics? Raids? Both? This won’t be as important in 3.1 with the introduction of Dual Specs – but you still need to know which talents are best for which type of game play.

First let’s look at the holy tree. There are anywhere from 13 to 19 points to consider spending in this tree.

PvE Holy Talents:

Holy Specialization – This talent increases your crit %. Critical heals proc Divine Aegis and Inspiration; they also increase your overall throughput. As a discipline priest (well any healy-type priest IMO) you should reach 20 – 25% unbuffed crit %. (more on why that is in a later post)

Inspiration – This talent procs and armor buff on any target you critically heal. We aim for as close to 100% uptime of this as possible (when considering single target – MT – healing).

In order to get to Inspiration you need to spend five more points to get to there. There are two schools of thought here – 1) Divine Fury and 2) Healing Focus + Improved Renew. Of course some people take partial talents, but I don’t like to think about that (partial talents EEWWW!) so you can decide that for yourself.

Your choice should be based upon your personal healing style. You may end up changing your mind several times while you are learning the ins and outs of your new spec. If you cast Gheal a lot, then Divine Fury is probably the way to go. If you get a lot of pushback (more likely in Heroics than in raid zones), then Healing Focus and Improved Renew might work out better for you.

Personally, I cannot decide. Originally I took Divine Fury, then I stopped casting Gheal, but I was doing a lot of PvP (dropping renews like crazy) and Heroics (pushback love fest) so I spec’d into Healing Focus and Improved Renew. Now, I haven’t PvP’d in a couple of weeks and I haven’t had time for heroics. Plus, I’m casting Gheal a lot more in raids (normally after I shield so it falls under the Borrowed Time haste benefit). So, another respec is pending soon. I’ll probably yo-yo back and forth until dual spec ability is released!

The last talent in the Holy Tree to consider is Desperate Prayer. As a dwarf priest I’ve always had this ability, so not having it would be like not having my beard beer! (OK I don’t really drink but I had to think of something) This is an instant cast self heal that packs a pretty good wallop! I highly recommend it for those “Doh! Forgot to heal myself” moments.

Improved Healing – also in the holy tree and reduces the mana cost of Penance and Gheal. You can spend points on it if you like, but you really need to get out of your “holy healing” mind state. Mana efficiency is important for a discipline build, but it is an entirely different method of efficiency. Traditional mana reduction talents are not neccessary. Yes, they make you more mana efficient but you’re not going to go OOM without them if you play the discipline spec properly. You’ll see why later.

PvE Holy Talent View:

Option 1 for PvE  

Option 2 for PvE  

Obviously there aren’t ONLY two options, but these are the two main (best) ones IMO.

PvP Holy Talents:

Holy Specialization – This talent is probably not as important for BG healing, but it could still be valuable. For arenas I would definitely take this talent. PoM will proc your Divine Aegis anytime it crits. Any of your critical heals will proc Divine Aegis. Damage absorption is your friend in Arenas where you can’t just rez and come back with full health and mana to help overcome the other team.

Let’s thing about rogues for a minute, Rogue ambushes one of your teammates, your PoM goes off and crit heals for 5k at that same moment it applies a DA that absorbs another 1500 damage. This might buy you enough time to outlast that pesky rogue’s burst damage – or enough time for someone else to deal with the rogue all together.

Spell Warding – reduces spell damage by 10%. This is pretty self-explanatory. Any talents you can take to reduce incoming damage is a + for PvP – especially in arenas.

Blessed Recovery – This gem heals you anytime you get critically hit. Over six seconds, it heals for 15% of the critical attack (or spell) damage. If you get crit again while this is active it “stacks”.

Desperate Prayer – A lifesaver in PvP. Period.

Healing Focus – Your shield will not always save you from pushback in PvP. This talent is the best help you have to fight pushback. It could be the difference between saving your 2v2 partner and losing the match.

Improved Renew – meh. Renews are useful for on the move healing… but disc is pretty good at that already. Plus, the extra 100 healing per tick probably isn’t going to make much of a difference when compared to the other talents you can get. I’ve included this talent because a lot of people view it as an important talent to have in PvP. Skip it IMO, it’s three points without much return.

PvP Holy Talent View:

Option 1 for PvP  

Option 2 for PvP

Again, there aren’t ONLY two options, but these are the two main (best) ones IMO.

Tomorrow I’ll try to post a review of the discipline talents. I may break it up into two posts – one for PvE and one for PvP.

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