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.


How to Disco – Intro

Not THAT kind of Disco! Silly rabbit bells (as in bottoms) are for Holy Priests! (think bell – trinket) No, that’s not actually funny I guess… or completely accurate…

*funny hand gestures* that “joke” never happened *funny hand gestures stop*

Discipline in WotLK is fairly new to me. I’ve been reading a lot and getting some good in game experience with the spec as well. In light of the changes to mana regen i5SR, disc could see a population explosion in the very near future. I thought I’d start a series of “How To” posts to help others out. Not because there aren’t answers and information out there in the blogoshpere and healer type forums… but because I’m opinionated dog-gone-it! So, I’m peddling blogging my own flavor of disco right here!

So you think you want to be a Disc priest? First, there are a few things you should know about disco:

~Our throughput is lower compared to other, equally geared, healers.

~We do not top healing meters.

~Our AoE healing ability is lower than a holy priest’s.

~We shield.

~A lot.

~A large portion of the WoW community still views discipline as the “PvP” tree.

~Therefore, uninformed players scoff at us in raids.

So why on earth would ANYONE in his or her right mind want to play a discipline priest?



~We pwn.

Seriously though, a discipline priest’s value cannot be determined by a superficial look at recount or WWS. We prevent damage; we don’t just react to it.

Currently, the WoW combat log doesn’t really measure damage prevented in any form that is easily tracked. Damage that is partially absorbed will be listed as “Absorbed” with no indication of what spell did the absorbing or whom the spell originated from. Fully absorbed damage will be counted as a “miss”.

My shield absorbs over 5k damage. Without getting to theory-crafty, lets take a closer look, shall we?

If I only shield one tank, I can shield him or her four times a minute. Let’s assume that the 5k is easily gobbled up with in the 15 seconds the tank is affected by the weakend soul debuff. That’s 4 x 5,000 = 20,000 damage absorbed in sixty seconds, or 333.33 damage prevented per second. As far as I’m concerned, damage prevented is equal to damage healed, so that’s 333.33 HPS. Does the meter measure that? Nope.

Divine Aegis procs when you crit and absorbs damage equal to 30% of the amount healed by your critical. Let’s look a Penance and assume one of the three “ticks” will crit for 4k each time Penance is cast (it is very uncommon to not have at least one of the “ticks” crit each cast). I can (and do) cast Penance every 8 seconds. That’s 15 casts with a 4k crit each cast; so that’s another 18k damage absorbed in two minutes (150 damage prevented per second).

Larger crits will absorb more damage and Divine Aegis doesn’t cause a debuff like PW:S does so there’s no set “cool down” period from aegis to aegis. DA can be overwritten by a smaller crit though, ofc it can be overwritten by a larger one as well.

In addition to shield and aegis, we have a lot of “oh, crap!” buttons. Pain Suppression and Power Infusion to be exact. We have the best priest healing ability in the game – Penance. Yes, even with the cooldown it’s that good. Disc priests have great mana regeneration and haste via talents as well. I’ll go into all these talents more later on in the series when we cover how to spec your discipline priest.

I hope this introduction has piqued your interest and you come back to read the next installment of the series!

Pip, pip, cheerio for now!

The Lost Patch

With all the buzz about patch 3.10 we, well I, sorta forgot all about the lil patch in between .08 and .1… oopsie

So far the only priest change listed is the long hoped for time increase to Inner Fire (30 min duration – up from 10!)

In 3.09 Rogues have quite a few changes though…

HFB – damage increasing from 3% to 5% per stack (guess we know why it jumps to 15% in a single stack in 3.10 now don’t we?)

Mind Numbing Poison changed from 60% reduced cast time to 30%. (meh… who cares?)

Mutilate damage bonus on poisoned target going down from 50% to 20% (my priest thanks you blizzard… now I may have a fighting chance once the all too long stun sequence is complete – hey at least I can get a heal off or something)

Slice and Dice – increased attack speed up from 30% to 40%. (This is a good across the board change for rogues that should help us struggle a little less on recount)

Rogue 3.1

* Hunger for Blood – instead of a self-buff; this ability can only be used when there is a bleed effect on the target. However, it has no stacks and grants a 15% damage bonus.   

The old HfB increased damage by 3% and stacked 3 times (at 30e a pop). (plus a bleed effect remover thingy)

OK HFB probably costs too much energy for three stacks and stacking on skills like this is just plain annoying (read – stupid). So, taking away stacks is good. But do mut rogues really NEED another 6% damage on top of the 9% already granted by three stacks?!? I don’t think so. Though I speak not from experience – only from combat jealousy. BUFF US PLZ?

p.s. please note it doesn’t specify (yet) that the bleed effect has to be the rogue’s to use this…

* Adrenaline Rush – the cooldown on this ability has been lowered.    

Speaking of combat buffs… /yay! /dance

Now I wonder, is the AR glyph being modified?

* Lightning Reflexes – reduced to 3 ranks. In addition to 2/4/6% dodge, this talent now also grants 4/7/10% passive melee haste.    

This is good… except now I have to figure out how to fit it into my spec >< /sigh I had it all worked out w/no partial talents! *grumble* /emo

* Killing Spree – while this ability is active, the rogue does 20% additional damage.    




* Savage Combat – now causes 2/4% physical damage done.    

OK so is this replacing the current increase to physical damage on poisoned mobs? Do they still need to be poisoned? Or is this also replacing the AP buff (sad panda)?

* Mace Specialization – this talent now grants haste in addition to armor penetration.

Well they are trying to get us 4 viable weapon class options… (p.s. rogue really shouldn’t be using maces anyway if you want to get all RP about it…)

All and all it looks like we are getting some love… but will it be enough to keep combat competitive in the end game? It doesn’t seem like it TBH (at least not yet), but at least we’re on the path now.

Disc is OP (or 3.10 Priest Changes)

First don’t get the wrong idea… Discipline Priests are not really OP – just in comparison with past history. I think we’re quite well balanced overall (could use some group heal lovin’ but we’ll get to that).

In the next patch it looks like Disc priests are getting some well needed lovin’, Holy Priests are getting some PvP attention and AoE heals are getting some (positive) attention.

What’s that you ask? What about Shadow Priests? Meh… I thought they were already pretty ridiculous in PvP so I’m ignoring the buff they are getting >< (SEE NO EVIL)

Holy and PvP – lol wut? No more yummy discipline PvP dominance??!?!? *sad panda* I guess I’ll allow this… >.> but only because I’m tired of the whining!

Warrior Notes (yes warrior… you’ll like it, I promise!)

You now gain rage when damage done to you is absorbed. Srsly? this is one of the best changes for a disc priest period. HELLO LOVE and good bye sniviling warriors… please to tank for meh?)

Divine Spirit

Trainable spell for any priest!! This is a good thing 🙂 The best thing about this is the proposed talent to take it’s place…

Power Word: Barrier

New talent in the Discipline tree, this is an AoE shield of some sort. Not much else is known at this time but it’s got my approval. I was just telling one of our druids the other day that an AoE shield of some sort would have been the perfect Discipline talent.

Then only negative here that I can see is that based on the name alone… it sounds as if it will be some sort of barrier around the priest that you have to be in range of (or within)… rather than use it and all group members w/in X yards will be shielded. It’s just like blizzard to do something lame like that… yanno?

Additionally I doubt the AoE shield will be a mere 20 point talent… so be prepared for a complete rearranging of the Disc tree and we all know what that means… FREE RESPEC!!

AoE Heal Lovin!

PoH – This does not sound like a smart heal change (which is what we have been hoping for). It sounds like you have to target someone now to cast (ugh) and that is the party you cast it on (yay for better). WTB raidwide smart heal! I mean COME. ON. it’s a three second cast… with no talents to decrease it!


Add it to Divine Fury… 🙂

HN – mana cost has been reduced. (and on that day there were many dancing in the chapel) That’s one issue with HN addressed (well two if you count the glyph helping it’s HPS and HPM). Now… lets just make it a tad bit larger shall we?

CoH – heals for more. It’s about time. The six second cooldown really hurt CoH. It was a miserly heal that was only worth using because it was instant and you could spam it. Even with that it often couldn’t keep up with a lot of incoming damage. It currently heals for about 1/3 of what wild growth heals for (based on tooltip info only), so if they double it’s current strength it will still heal for 2/3 wild growth thus compensating for the 10 points difference in the talent tree (assuming I’m right about it currently only healing for 1/3 wg).

Penance – can now be cast on the priest. YUM. I thought it was crazy that I could channel heal someone who was 40 yards away… but I couldn’t channel to myself 0 yards away. This is a good change.

Serendipity – now reduces the cast time of Greater Heal and Prayer of Healing when Binding Heal or Flash Heal are cast. I don’t know if this is in addition to its old ability or in place of. It’s nice to see a PoH cast time reduction… too bad I’ll never benefit from it ><

Last but not least (again) nothing says lovin’ like some FREE RESPEC’N!!!

All things considered, I’M COMPLETELY ESTATIC ABOUT THE NEXT PATCH!!!! (OK so this is only true because I’m choosing to completely ignore the mana regen changes that are pending… more on that another day)

Shield Glyph, I <3 You

Well I replaced my Fheal glyph with the shield glyph to run some BGs last night and I LOVE THIS LITTLE JEWEL. It’s very close to the love I had for the first incarnation of the dispel magic glyph.





fun, fun, fun, fun, fun – but the most wonderful thing about t… oops sorry got carried away there.

Tiny Priest Takes the Plunge!

Oh no! Not that plunge… We could also call this post “Discipline, How Sweet Thou Art” (and believe you me – it is oh so sweet). After weeks of making excuses as to why I couldn’t respec just yet, I finally “just did it”. Nike would be proud – (possibly both of them). Don’t get the reference? Read up on pop culture in the 90s and Greek Mythology.

I might have mentioned that I spent some time healing as disc in BC. So, why should it be so difficult for me to make the switch now? In BC disc healing was still a lot like Holy healing (IMO to the best of my recollection) In today’s game – it is an entire shift of healing style.

Proactive v. Reactive

Penance is quite possible the best healing talent/spell in the game – EVER – Yes, it is THAT good. At first read it doesn’t “seem” that great TBH. I was meh about it when I first saw it. You really have to “see” this talent in action to fully appreciate it. It’s like a greater heal that takes less time to cast and if you get interrupted… it still heals for 33-66% of it’s total healing ability. Plus YOU GET MANA RETURNS! What happens if you stop your Gheal midcast? Nothing. Nil. Zip. Nada. Zilch. (except your tank might get too low and die… we all know what follows the tank dying)

Fheal? Barely touched it last night. Though I would imagine healing in heroics may require a bit more Fhealing than raids… I’ve only done one heroic as Discipline so I’ll get back to you on this one.

Shield… I loathed shield and scoffed at priests who spent three talents improving such a mana sink.

Every time you are able to shield, cast penance and PoM – you do (even when you don’t “need to” – this lets you keep grace x 3 on your tank). Penance and PoM are the highest HPM single target spells we priests have. Don’t get me started on the wonders of Penance again. Please.


I can’t decide whether to replace my fheal or HN glyph with the shield glyph (keeping my PoH glyph TYVM). Glyphed HN is really nice for fights like Loken (heroic HoL) and Loetheb (naxx). Fheal I don’t really use and OOM isn’t really an issue (so far)… so /shrug. I guess my best course of action is to try replacing the Fheal glyph with the shield glyph and see how it goes. I can always change it later.

Anyhow… that’s it for today.