Disc Priest Raiding – First Impressions

Last night my Horde 10-man group (go Team Goose!) went into Blackwing Descent and killed Magmaw and Omnotron. It was actually our second week in there, but the first week is something I don’ t want to talk about.

I welcome any and all constructive criticism about my stats for these fights, but remember that raiding as a priest is completely new to me, so please be gentle.

Magmaw was the first boss we did. I was tank healing for this fight.

Discipline priest healing on Magmaw

I used Power Word: Shield and Renew on the tank whenever I could, and used a mix of Penance, Flash Heal, Greater Heal and Binding Heal to keep him topped up. Prayer of Healing was used whenever the raid was getting really low and to help top everyone up while Magmaw’s head was down.

Discipline priest buffs cast on Magmaw

No Pain Suppression or Power Infusion. I seem to have a tendency to forget my cooldowns on this fight. I did use Power Word: Barrier on the raid, which unfortunately doesn’t show up at all in WoL. I see from this that I did not pay enough attention to keeping Prayer of Mending up. It’ s interesting to note that my Corrupted Egg Shell trinket 19950 mana – more than Arcane Torrent or Hymn of Hope. That’s not half bad.

Next we did Omnotron, where I was mainly on raid healing.

Discipline priest healing on Omnotron

I got ranked on WoL for this fight, which tells me that having Disc Priests raid heal is not a popular option. I did a lot of Prayer of Healing, especially when Magmatron was active. I also used Power Word: Shield and Renew a lot on the raid. Penance was used mostly on the tanks whenever it was off cooldown, and to counter Magmatron’s fire beam of death.

Discipline priest buffs cast on Omnotron

Again, my uptime on Prayer of Mending was abysmal. I think I need a giant Power Aura in the middle of my screen that flashes and makes laser beam noises when it’s not up. I did remember to use Power Infusion and Pain Suppression this time.

Things that are awesome about Disc healing:

  • Managing mana cooldowns is fun. Between Hymn of Hope, Inner Focus, Shadow Fiend, Power Infusion, Corrupted Eggshell trinket, Arcane Torrent, mana pots and yelling at my fiance the druid to Innervate me, I never have a lack of buttons to push. I like pushing buttons.
  • Things like Pain Suppression, Power Word: Barrier and Power Word: Shield help out the rest of the healers. I know from healing on my druid that having a disc priest in the group makes things much easier for me.
  • I have almost two dozen different abilities to use on each fight (this goes back to how I like to push buttons). Spell usage varies greatly from fight to fight which prevents things from getting stale.

Things that I don’t like, or need to get used to:

  • Grace only stacks on one target. I just don’t know how to deal with this. When tank healing I want to keep it on the tank 100% of the time, but I sometimes need to heal other players as well. Wondering whether it’s worth it to cast a direct heal on someone else causes hesitation on my part and I don’t like that.
  • Divine Hymn. Maybe it’s just because I’m used to how awesome Tranquility is, but I hit Divine Hymn as an emergency heal and it doesn’t save anyone. The healing from it is very disappointing.
  • Leap of Faith. I’ve never used this for anything but griefing people outside of raids. I can see its uses but the times I’ve had it used on my druid it felt invasive and annoying, so I’m hesitant to use it.

How are you liking Disc Healing? Any words of wisdom for me?

23 responses to “Disc Priest Raiding – First Impressions

  1. Life Grip is awesome for helping kiters. We got the achievement on the last boss of BRC because of Life Grip: whenever I got in trouble, I had the spriest Life Grip me. Situational, yes, but awesome when you need it.
    Lyraat recently posted..Hunter 359 loot list- Stranglethorn- Kara

    • I just haven’t programmed my brain to think of Life Grip when something happens. I often think, “gee, Life Grip could have saved that person from a horrible death”, but not until after the fact, when it’s too late.

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  3. Pretty numbers! I haven’t really done any raid healing as disc simply because holy seems so much better at it. Disc is getting some nice buffs in 4.0.6 though (especially the Grace buff).

    I hardly ever used lifegrip but I find putting it on a hotkey makes it much more friendly. It’s just a matter of getting into a habit of using it, like when you first got Pain Suppression and you wanted to save it for emergencies. I’ve found it mostly useful in kiting situations. Atramedes p2, Omnitron when oozes spawn, trash OTW to Valiona / Theralion when the fire elemental explodes and people fail.

    Divine Hymn definitely seems lackluster. When I’m forced to use it it never seems like it helps me catch up. It’s like all it’s capable of doing is offsetting the current damage but never feels like I’m getting ahead.
    Xeonio recently posted..Caster v Healer Weapon

    • I finally bound Lifegrip to one of my mouse buttons while working on Atramedes. It is very useful and I’m learning to use it more.

      I feel when I use Divine Hymn that the time I spend chanelling it is wasted. I think I could put out more healing with a couple PoHs.

  4. What addon use you to collect your healing data?
    Nimue recently posted..Soy un Ent

    • This data is from the wow combat log and is uploaded to World of Logs (www.worldoflogs.com). In-game I use Recount to track healing, but I find the WoL reports are much more informative.

  5. Agreed that Divine Hymn is totally lackluster. It’s no longer useful to save anyone, like you said. Instead I’ve used it once or twice to heal up the raid, as it’s mana-efficient.

    I macro both Power Infusion and Inner Focus on my big heals, because I won’t remember to hit them as separate buttons (if I can find space for them).

    I love Atonement healing on 5-mans, though I suspect it’s not ideal for many raid encounters. Great way to heal up the raid on the head phases during Magmaw, though – the damage buff means I’m doing a ton of healing for not much mana, plus the extra dps for the raid.

    • Really need to get in the correct mindset for Divine Hymn. I need to stop thinking of it as a Tranquility-like emergency heal and just use it as a health stabilizer when no one is in immediate danger of dying.

      I’ve put PI, IF and all my other cooldowns right near my raid frames so I’ve gotten better at using them.

      I haven’t tried Atonement healing since before I hit 85. There are a few bosses, like Magmaw as you mention, where the extra damage would be nice but I can’t see myself smiting very often in raids. Maybe I’ll try it out one day, but for now I like the non-Atonement spec.

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  8. Grace is being changed to stack on all targets in 4.0.6 like any other buff. FYI.

  9. I was under the impression that renew was pretty terrible for Disc, even if you buff it up as much as you can in the first tiers of Holy. Am I missinformed or should you not be using it as much as you are (if at all, except movement heavy situations)

    • I may be using it a little too much (I’m a druid, I can’t resist HoTs). In terms of HPM, yes, Renew is a little weak. However, I like the buffer that Renew (or any HoT provides) when tank healing and do use it quite a bit on the move. If it doesn’t give you major mana problems I don’t see a problem with using less efficient heals sometimes.

    • As disc, part of the reason you would use renew is of the chance that it will crit. If that happens, you get a free Divine Aegis proc.

      • It’s not really a free proc. You still have to spend the mana/GCD on the renew. Plus, renew doesn’t tick for much so the DA bubble it procs is very small.

  10. Grace will stack on multiple targets after the next patch!

    As for Renew, it’s not the most mana efficient heal for a disc priest, but it adds some extra throughput if you’re tank healing (as she was). It’s 8-10k extra healing for 1 GCD.

    • Yes, that’s awesome!

      I like Renew, even though it’s not terribly mana efficient. It’s hard to resist instant spells in movement-heavy fights, plus HoTs are really nice for countering damage over time effects and giving a buffer on tanks.

  11. Tales of the Priest has some great power aura reminders for Disc priests.
    Gives you a subtle submarine ping whenever PoM is available. This will save you many a PoH during AoE fights.

    I take it your not an AA/Evangelism build spec? My guild hasn’t started raiding yet (almost there) and I’m curious how smitey healing does in raids – do we even have the opportunity or are we too focused on direct healing most of the time?

    • Thanks, I’ll check those out. I have a problem with the PoM auras. I’ve tried two different types. The first just tells me when the ability is off cooldown. I don’t find this good enough as in times without heavy raid damage PoM often lasts more than 10 seconds and casting it immediately would be a waste of mana. The one I’m using right now tells me when it isn’t up on anyone in the raid. This is ideal for me, however, everytime it jumps the aura appears momentarily, which is very annoying.

      No, I don’t use AA. I haven’t found too many opportunities in the raid fights I’ve done where I would feel comfortable with un-targeted smite heals (other than the obvious ones like Magmaw phase 2).

  12. I have been playing the atonement/smite build in a few raids so far, it is situational as is holy I am finding. Think u will find a lot of ppl doing disc/holy duals instead of shadow. Our guild downed Magmaw the other week, only after I went to the smite healing to add the extra dps, and the constant flow of heals really helps lower the load on the other healers. Very fun to play for the button smasher, lol.

  13. I have been playing a disc priest since lvl 1, I wasn’t told about leveling in shadow till it was a little too late and I enjoyed healing dungeons better than questing. All I have ever done on my priest is raid and dungeons, as of right now in patch 4.3 I do not get rapture and it hurts in the mana regen. it is an issue that WoW is working on. Once I figured out that priest use mana far too fast I had to learn to conserve and use mana regen at the right times. Knowing the right helps, dont pop your cool downs too fast if the fight will give you back your mana or if its just a buff. Right before a tank (no matter in raid or dungeon) I throw on them PW:S, PoM, Renew and a penance… seems a little rediculous, but it procs my trinkets with extra spell power, spirit and intellect but there are occasions when the tank can receive a critical hit in the beginning of the fight or another team player or both at the same time… doing this has helped me in the past protect them from falling below half of their hps. If the tank is too quick for me then PW:S and PoM are the best, and need to always be kept up. I like PI, but I only use it on myself if the tank cannot use it or if the fight is going bad and I need the extra boost. I dont use pain suppression on myself in a raid or dungeon, I use it on the tank w PW:S at the same time. Because the disc priest has a lot of buttons ( and I am a button pusher, love it) I have only trinkets, PI and pain suppression macro’d only for myself and that is if I get aggro (fade is automatic 😉 otherwise it is situational, never the same.

    I would like to see WoW change the PoH to incorporate more raid members, or atleast the closest raid members would be ideal like the Pally’s heal that looks like a sunburst coming from them (sorry dont know the name) otherwise raid healing is very hard on a disc priest as Holy Nova and PoH are the only aoe heals we have, I don’t count divine hymn… ten min cool down allows only one burst in a fight, its an awesome burst as me and another priest have saved raids before because the heal is quick but it hardly makes a difference as it is on cool down 95% of the time. Priests also do not have HoT’s except renew and what you glyph, another difficult thing. Disc priests are good for single target healing, when a raid uses this to their advantage then a disc priest will not have to use aoe; only penance, flash heal, G. heal, PoM… so this allows the rest of the raid healers who have good HoT’s to heal the rest of the raid and the disc priest can quickly throw a shield on anyone who has taken a massive crit to help out. I am not a big fan of over healing so I don’t use binding heal, ever lol. I am talented to heal myself with desperate prayer.