Category Archives: Priest

Evaluating Discipline Priests with World of Logs

The second part of my updated Guide to Evaluating Healers with World of Logs focuses on Discipline Priests. Thank you to the awesome Derevka of Tales of a Priest, who reviewed the post and shared some of his Priestly knowledge with me.

(This post may be easier to read, with less squishy pictures, over on the guide page).


 Here are specific things to look for when analyzing discipline priest logs. It’s best to look at specific kills or attempts in order to get meaningful numbers.

Healing Done

Discipline priests are the masters of mitigation. They are great tank healers but are also capable of putting out a huge amount of absorbs on the raid through Spirit Shell, DA and PW:S. Disc Priests have a wide variety of spells and cooldowns to manage.

Healing by Spell

Disc Priest healing done on World of Logs

Spell selection – Is the priest using the appropriate spells?

Priests have: Heal, Greater Heal, Flash Heal, Binding Heal, Penance, Atonement, Power Word: Shield, Spirit Shell, Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Renew, Divine Aegis (passive effect), and one of Cascade, Halo or Divine Star (Tier 6 talents).

Top Spells

With few exceptions, Spirit Shell and Divine Aegis should be a Disc Priest’s top heals. Spirit Shell is extremely powerful when used correctly. Atonement and Power Word: Shield should be up there as well. On fights with lots of raid damage, the Tier 6 talent (usually Cascade) should also provide a lot of healing.

Spells that may show not show up in the logs much – or at all – include:

  • Flash Heal: For lesser geared healers, Flash Heal should be used in emergencies only since it is extremely inefficient. For healers who are overgeared and/or have access to a lot of mana cooldowns, it may show up more frequently.

  • Renew: This spell is very weak for Disc Priests. It may be rolled on a tank or cast on the move, but overall it should not make up a significant portion of healing done.

  • Heal: Though Heal is very efficient, it does relatively little healing. Priests may not use it in favour bigger, more expensive heals.

Notes on specific spells:

Power Word: Shield

WoL: Power Word Shield
Power Word: Shield should be kept up on the tank(s), or cast on anyone else taking very heavy raid damage. PW:S should be cast often – at least every 12 seconds for the Rapture proc, but usually more often than that. You want to see fairly low overhealing on this.

Penance
Penance is a fairly cheap heal that hits 3 times in rapid succession. It is an excellent way to get a 3-stack of Grace up on a target, and is also great for Atonement heals. This should be used close to on cooldown (cooldown is 9 seconds). Priests should be using Penance more for Atonement healing than direct healing.

Power Word: Solace

PW-Solace
On most fights, you want to see that Priests have taken (and are using) Power Word: Solace as their Tier 3 talent. It provides a free, instant, smart heal so is great in terms of both HPS and HPM. It has a 10-second cooldown and should be used often.

The only reason for a Disc Priest to not take PW:Solace is if the extra damage from Mindbender is really needed.

Atonement

WoL Atonement

Atonement in the healing by spell tab

 

WoL Disc Priest damage by spell

Atonement healing in the damage by spell tab

There are three spells Priests can cast offensively that cause Atonement healing: Penance, Smite and Holy Fire (or Power Word: Solace, depending on talent choices). To see how these spells are being used, check the damage by spell tab. Penance is the most efficient, powerful heal and should appear at the top of damage done, followed by Smite, then Holy Fire/PW:Solace.

Cascade
Cascade will be a Disc Priests tier 6 talent of choice in most situations. It’s a smart heal that heals 15 people and has only a 25 second cooldown. You should see this used often and providing a fair amount of healing on any fight where the raid is taking significant damage.

Prayer of Mending
Priests should be casting this on cooldown so it should provide a fair bit of their healing. With the 2T15 bonus, PoM should account for even more.

Void Shift

WoL Void Shift
This is a newer cooldown for Priests that allows them to switch their health with the health of their target. It’s not something that will be used on cooldown or anything, but it you should see it used at least a few times over the course of a raid. Check the amount healed (it should be high per cast) to see if the Priest is faster with VS than your Pallies are with LoH. There is a slight delay in the health exchange after this has been cast.

Buffs Cast

This screen will tell you how often a priest is using their cooldowns, along with the uptime on key abilities.

World of Logs - Disc Priest buffs cast

Prayer of Mending – PoM should be cast on cooldown and be up as much as possible. 80%+ uptime is a good target for most fights. However, if the fight has people constantly taking damage (like Tortos) it will likely run out of charges before the cooldown is up again and the uptime will be lower (probably around 60%.)

Grace – With Disc Priests’ focus on Atonement healing, Grace is a bit of an outdated mechanic. If the Priest is strictly assigned to tank healing, you want to see Grace up on that target all the time. However, since Discs are such powerful raid healers, Grace uptime is likely to be low and not something to worry too much about. Grace should have a higher uptime in 10s than 25s.

Archangel – Archangel consumes stacks of Evangelism, giving 5% increased healing per stack. It has a 30 second cooldown and lasts 18 seconds, so the maximum uptime is 60%, though it won’t be up this often in practice. You want to see the Priest using Archangel often throughout the fight, and only when they are at 5 stacks of Evangelism.

Evangelism

To see how Evangelism and Archangel are being lined up, click the # beside both. Hovering over the Evangelism bars will show how many stacks it was at. You want to see 5 stacks before the Archangel bar lights up.

Inner Focus – Inner Focus makes your next spell cost less mana and a guaranteed crit. It has a 45 second cooldown and should be used often. A good practice is to use Inner Focus before a PoH while Spirit Shell is active.

Inner-Focus

Clicking the # next to Inner Focus and Spirit Shell will show you if these things are being lined up, as they are in the example above.

Inner Sanctum / Inner Will – One of these should be up all the time. However, if the Priest casts one of these before the fight begins and never switches it, it won’t show up here.

Hymn of Hope – Hymn of Hope restores mana to the raid and should be used on every fight. It has an 8 minute cooldown. You should see 12 ticks to indicate that it was channelled for the full duration.

Pain Suppression – Pain Suppression has a three-minute cooldown. Its use will often be prescribed by the raid leader. You should see PS used 1-3 times on most fights, depending on length.

Power Infusion (optional talent) – Power Infusion reduces casting time and the cost of spells. It has a 2 minute cooldown. It should be used often. Pairing it with Spirit Shell can make a very powerful combo.

Trinkets – If the priest has any on-use trinkets, or racials like Arcane Torrent they should be used as much as possible. Compare the cooldown to the amount of times used.

Other things to look for

There are a few important things that won’t show up under Healing Done or Buffs Cast, and you’ll have to look for them using the Expression Editor.

Power Word: Barrier 

WoL Power Word: Barrier

To find out how often PW:B is used, you need to use the Expression Editor. Go to Dashboard > Expression Editor and add in the following (replace the sourceName with the name of the priest):

sourceName = "Priest"
and (Spell = "Power Word: Barrier")

This will show you how many times PW:B was cast. If you want more details, such as how many people were affected by the Barrier, just use (Spell = “Power Word: Barrier”) as the query.

Shadowfiend 
This restores mana to the priest and does some damage too. Shadowfiend has a 3 minute cooldown. Paste in the following query (replace the sourceName with the name of the Priest):

sourceName = "Priest"
and (Spell = "Shadowfiend")

If the Priest has specced into Mindbender, it has only a 1 minute cooldown. Paste in the following query (replace the sourceName with the name of the Priest):

sourceName = "Priest"
and (Spell = "Shadowfiend")

No matter which ability the Priest has, you should see it used first within about a minute of the start of the fight and then again whenever it’s off cooldown.

Comparison of Healing Spells by Class

A while back I wrote a post and made a whole lot of charts that compared each healing class in terms of what type of heals and abilities were available to them. People seemed to find it handy, so I’ve made a new charts for Mists.

I hope they will be helpful if you’re thinking of starting a new healer or just want to better understand the capabilities of the rest of your healing team.

Unfotunately, the charts are far too wide to fit into a post, so you’ll have to go to the new page I created here:

Comparison of Healing Spells by Class – Mists of Pandaria

Double Disc and other Distractions

Blizzcon is this week! I’m so excited. Okay, I’m not going to the actual Convention, but I’m excited to go to California for the first time, meet up with 10 of my Apotheosis guildmates and meet a bunch of my favorite bloggers and Twitter friends at the various meetups. I’m also excited to play Chrono Trigger on the flight (though I may have to forgo my usual habit of self-medicating on airplanes if I want to get the most out of it).

Anyway, on to the real topic. I’ve been playing a discipline priest as my Horde main since the beginning of Cataclysm and I love it. I love bubbles, I love cooldowns and I love sparkly spell effects. There’s only one thing about it I don’t love – healing with other priests. The thought of playing with another disc priest, the thought of not being able to Shield someone because they have another person’s Weakened Soul on them, drives me mental. Truth be told, this hasn’t happened much. I raid 10s and am usually the only healing priest in the raid. The only times I’ve ever had to heal with another priest is when we’ve been short and needed to borrow from one of the other teams to fill our raid. This has happened maybe half a dozen times, and hasn’t happened in T12 at all. So why am I thinking about this now?

Last night in my Alliance raid, our two disc priests were both assigned to heal tanks on Ragnaros. I, even though I was on my druid and this assignment had zero impact on me, immediately had a (completely internal) freak out.

“Two Disc priests on the same targets?!?  But…but the bubbles! And the PoMs! Aaahh! /sob /hide under desk”

Of course, everything was fine. One priest bubbled one tank, one bubbled the other. There was no fighting over weakened soul. The priests did not have meltdowns as they are obviously not raving lunatics like myself (at least not in this regard).

I think my issue stems from a lack of self-control when it comes to healing. Back in Blackwing Descent I filled in for one of our other raid teams and ended up healing with a holy priest. This was the first time I had ever healed with another priest. We were fighting Maloriak. I was healing the main tank and the other priest asked me not to bubble the aberration tank, as he was planning to do it for the Body & Soul speed boost. Of course I said okay, no problem. What’s the first thing I do as soon as I see the aberration tank is taking damage? I bubble him. I apologize over Vent immediately, but then I do it again a minute later. I just can’t help myself. If someone is taking damage, I need to heal it (or prevent it, in this case). For me, not healing someone takes 10x more effort than healing them.

If I was told on my druid to not heal a tank, it would take every ounce of self-control and constant awareness in order to follow that. As soon as my mind wandered for a split second, that tank would have a Rejuv on him. And likely a 3-stack of Lifebloom as well.

The Arm of Hades officers occasionally throw around the idea of going back to 25s in the next expansion. On the one hand, I think this is great because I prefer 25s. On the other, I don’t know that I’d be able to play a Disc Priest in a 25man raid, where I’d likely have other healing priests to contend with. I’m originally a HoT-loving, heal-everyone-I-can-reach druid. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to learn how to play nice with other priests. I want to Shield and PoM whoever I want.

How do you handle healing with other priests? Do I just need to suck it up, turn down the crazy, and learn to play nice?

Discipline Priest Feedback

Here’s my Disc Priest feedback for Blizzard. Happily, the priest thread isn’t full yet so I actually got to post this one. You can find it on the forums here.

What type of content do you focus on? [PvE/PvP/Both]

PVE – I mostly play as Discipline.

If PvE, what type of PvE? [Heroics/Raids/Other]

10-man raids

What are your biggest quality-of-life issues?

It’s a pain to have Cure Disease and Dispel Magic as two separate spells. Every other healing class has their debuff removing abilities combined into a single spell. Priests have a huge amount of healing abilities that get used all the time – combining these two things would free up a keybinding.

Shadowfiends are dumb. I’d really like it if their auto-attack setting was reliable.

The change to the Divine Aegis graphic was unfortunate. I’d really like to be able to tell the difference between a DA bubble and a PW:S by the visual.

What makes playing your class more fun?

Priests have a ton of different abilities. It’s fun to play around and find the best spell for every situation. The utility that priests have is also great. Between Barrier, Pain Suppression, Power Infusion, Hymn of Hope and Leap of Faith I really feel like I’m making an impact on the raid’s performance rather than just straight healing.

I enjoy that secondary stat priorities for disc priests are fairly fluid. Unlike druids (where building your gear around the 2005 haste breakpoint can be somewhat limiting), priests can pick and choose the stats they want, which makes gearing easier.

I also really enjoy the priest talent trees. I feel like every talent I take makes a noticeable difference in healing. There is a lack of boring, filler talents that don’t have much impact.

What makes playing your class less fun?

I don’t enjoy Atonement spec. This isn’t a huge deal since it’s not a requirement, but the times I have used it, it feels awkward and counter-intuitive.

Raid healing can sometimes be difficult. When damage is constant or predictable shields and DA absorbs are great, but in situations where the damaging effects are further apart (such as Rhyolith’s Stomps or Rag’s Magma Traps), our ability to heal multiple people up at once feels limited. Prayer of Healing isn’t that impressive if the DA bubbles don’t get used, and the fact that it’s still limited by party can be frustrating.

How do you feel about your “rotation”? (Rotation is the accepted order in which abilities are used to maximum efficiency.)

The tank healing rotation is great. We have so many great direct healing spells and some nice cooldowns to help out.

The raid healing rotation isn’t all that engaging.When only a few people are taking damage we have great tools to get them healed, but when everyone’s taking damage at once, Prayer of Healing spam can get very boring.

What’s on your wish list for your class?

  • Cure Disease and Dispel Magic combined into one ability.
  • A better raid healing spell – something that’s not limited to one party and also doesn’t rely on Divine Aegis to make it effective.
  • A working shadowfiend.
  • The return of the original DA look.
  • Improvements for Divine Hymn. The healing from it isn’t great. I don’t think it needs to put out huge amounts of healing, but even if it put out the same amount of healing over less time, that would be nice. A 6-second channel (with faster ticks) would feel more worthwhile.

What spells do you use the least?

Renew. I generally don’t use this at all in raids.

Pasiphae’s Priestly Power Auras

Here are all the power auras I use on my Discipline Priest. I only use 5 auras, and this is what they all look like together:

Priest power auras

1. No Inner Will/Inner Fire buff

When neither Inner Will or Inner Fire is active, a blue rune appears around my character to remind me to use one of them. This aura will activate at any time.

Power Aura - Inner Will or Inner Fire missing

Version:4.22; b:0.9647; g:0.6196; icon:priest_icon_innewill; buffname:Inner Fire/Inner Will; r:0.0549; texture:2; alpha:1; stacksOperator:=; texmode:1; inverse:true

2. Penance

Penance is not visible on my action bars, so I use this aura to let me know when it’s off cooldown. It will only activate when I am in combat.

Power Aura - Penance off cooldown

Version:4.22; icon:Spell_Holy_Penance; buffname:Penance; x:-119; bufftype:15; alpha:0.8; owntex:true; combat:true; size:0.25; y:-24; texmode:1

3. Prayer of Mending

I want to keep PoM up as much as possible so this aura appears whenever it is off cooldown. It also includes a ‘ping’ noise as an extra cue to cast it. This only appears in combat, while in a party or raid.

Power Aura - Prayer of Mending off cooldown

Version:4.22; icon:Spell_Holy_PrayerOfMendingtga; buffname:Prayer of Mending; x:101; bufftype:15; alpha:0.8; owntex:true; sound:23; exact:true; groupOrSelf:true; inParty:true; combat:true; size:0.34; inRaid:true; y:-128; texmode:1

4. Power Torrent/Lightweave

I like to know when my Intellect procs happen so I can time the use of my Arcane Torrent and Shadowfiend. These auras appear whenever my weapon or cloak enchant proc while I am in combat.

Power Aura - Lightweave and Power Torrent proc

Lightweave (purple):

Version:4.22; b:0.698; g:0.1647; icon:Spell_Arcane_PrismaticCloak; buffname:Lightweave; r:0.6667; x:102; texture:231; combat:true; size:0.35; y:23; texmode:1; finish:3

Power Torrent (white):

Version:4.22; b:0.5804; g:0.9529; icon:Ability_Paladin_SacredCleansing; buffname:Power Torrent; x:102; texture:231; combat:true; size:0.35; texmode:1; finish:3

What’s better than one Ragnaros kill?

Two Ragnaros kills this week!

Ragnaros - Arm of Hades first kill

Team Hansel - we're so hot right now.

Last night Arm of Hades went into Firelands, one-shot Majordomo then killed Ragnaros for the first time. After 5 not so great attempts where people made silly mistakes and we didn’t get past the 2nd transition, our 6th attempt look us right to the end. We even got the achievement. We’re also the first Horde guild on our server to kill him! (yes, it’s a small server).

This means that next week I will be trying out my first hard modes on both my druid and my priest – Apotheosis just scored our first Rag kill on Thursday. I’m interested to see how the 10man and 25man formats compare for hard modes.

Wish us luck!

Evaluating Holy Priests with World of Logs

This is part of a series about using World of Logs to evaluate raiders.

Big thank you to Oestrus of Stories of O, Serrinne of Apotheosis and Baerd of Arm of Hades who helped contribute to or review this guide.

Here are specific things to look for when analyzing holy priest logs. It’s best to look at specific kills or attempts in order to get meaningful numbers.

Healing Done

Holy priests are mainly raid healers who are capable of great AoE burst healing. They have 2 difference Chakra states that can increase the effectiveness of their group or single target healing. With a huge array of spells at their disposal, holy priests have a heal for every situation.

Player Details

Healing by Spell

Is the priest using the appropriate spells?

World of Logs - Holy Priest healing doneHoly priests have a big, diverse selection of healing spells. How often each of these spells are used will depend on assignment, raid composition and personal preference.

Holy priest heals include: Heal, Greater Heal, Flash Heal, Binding Heal, Prayer of Healing, Circle of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Renew, Holy Word: Sanctuary, Holy Word: Serenity, Power Word: Shield, Desperate Prayer, Lightwell, Divine Hymn and passive healing from Echo of Light, their mastery.

Top Spells

The main raid healing spells are: Prayer of Healing, Circle of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Renew and Holy Word: Sanctuary on fights where the raid is grouped up.

The main single-target healing spells are: Binding Heal, Holy Word: Serenity, Flash Heal, Greater Heal and Renew. Which single target spell is used most will depend on the priest and the fight.

Unless assigned to tank heal exclusively (which won’t happen much) a Holy Priest’s top two spells will generally be Prayer of Healing and Circle of Healing. Echo of Light will also usually be in the top 5 heals in terms of healing done. Though the big AoE spell will make up the biggest percentage of total healing done, single target spells should also show up on any given fight.

Spells that should not show up in the logs much  include:

  • Power Word: Shield: This spell is weak for a Holy Priest and generally not worth casting, especially if there is a Disc Priest in the group. Power Word: Shield should mostly be used for the Body & Soul speed boost.
  • Heal: Though Heal is very efficient, it does relatively little healing. It can be used as a filler spell during times of low damage but it shouldn’t make up more than a couple percent of overall healing.

Overheal

Overheal doesn’t mean a lot for a Holy Priest. The nature of spells like Prayer of Healing, Holy Word: Sanctuary and Echo of Light will push the overheal numbers up. Though the single target spells should have low overheal, as long as the priest isn’t running out of mana and their assignments are staying alive, overheal isn’t a big concern.

Notes on specific spells:

Lightwell

World of Logs - LightwellWhen glyphed, Lightwell has 15 charges. How much healing Lightwell does depends on how much the raid uses it, which can’t really be controlled by the priest. It has a 3 minute cooldown and should be up as much as possible. In many situations Lightwell should be dropped before the pull (which won’t show up on the logs for the fight) so it can be dropped again sooner – unless its use is otherwise specified. Check how many times the Priest placed a Lightwell by clicking on Lightwell Renew on the Healing Done page. Look at the Buffs tab and divide the buff count by 15 (and round up!) to see how many times it was dropped over the course of the fight. Also check that the priest is making use of their own Lightwell.

Desperate Prayer

Instant, free and heals the priest for a ton of health. Priests with this talent should be using this on every fight. Multiple uses with low overheal show the priest is aware of their own health levels.

Flash Heal vs. Binding Heal

Since most raid fights involve significant raid damage, Binding Heal should be used more than Flash Heal most of the time. Use of Binding Heal shows the priest is taking care of themselves in addition to the rest of the raid and is a great tool in situations where the priest and their assignment are both taking damage. Binding Heal is also more likely to proc Surge of Light for free, instant Flash Heals.

Divine Hymn

Divine Hymn has an 8 minute cooldown, so can only be used once a fight. Besides the healing it provides it also increases healing done to those it heals by 10%. It should be used on every fight.

Divine Hymn is affected by haste. The base amount of ticks is 12, but with 12.5% haste (which most raid-buffed Holy Priests priests will have) it will heal 15 times. If cast while under the effects of Bloodlust, it could tick up to 18 times. You should see at least 15 direct heals from Divine Hymn. If it’s less, the priest is probably using it at a bad time and had to interrupt the cast before it was finished.

Buffs Cast

This screen will tell you how often a priest is using their cooldowns, along with the uptime on key abilities.

World of Logs - Holy Priest buffs cast


Prayer of Mending –
PoM should be cast on cooldown and be up as much as possible. 80-90%+ uptime is a good, attainable target.

Hymn of Hope – Hymn of Hope restores mana to the raid and should be used on every fight. Like Divine Hymn it has 12 base ticks but is affected by haste. You may see 15 ticks.

Fade – Fade is something to look for if the priest has pulled aggro on something. If they’re pulling aggro and getting killed without using Fade, there’s a problem.

 

Guardian Spirit – GS is a life saver with a 3 minute cooldown (2.5 with the glyph). It should be used often. GS shows up under buffs cast which will show you the number of times it was cast.

World of Logs - Guardian Spirit

You can check to see if it was actually triggered by looking under Healing by Spell. If Guardian Spirit shows up here, it was triggered and saved someone from dying. Even if GS is not triggered, it still provides a 40% healing buff on the target.

Trinkets – If the priest has any on-use trinkets, or racials like Arcane Torrent they should be used as much as possible. Compare the cooldown to the amount of times used.

Other things to look for

Chakra – If the priest stays in the same Chakra state for the whole fight, it will not show up in the Buffs Cast section. However, you can tell while state they are in by their spell use. If you see Holy Word: Sanctuary, then are in Sanctuary state, which increases their AoE healing. If you see Holy Word: Serenity they are in Serenity state, which increases their single target heals. On fights with distinct phases with changing damage patterns of single target vs. raid damage a good holy priest will switch between Chakra states. When this happens Chakra will show up under buffs cast. The combined uptime should be close to 100%.

World of Logs Chakra states

Samples of fights/assignments where you should see both Chakras used:

  • Beth’tilac – If a Holy Priest is assigned to heal the tank on top of the web they should use Serenity for tank healing then switch to Sanctuary for the final burn phase.
  • Shannox – If a Holy Priest is assigned to heal Face Rage they should be in Serenity, then switch to Sanctuary when Rageface is dead.

World of Logs mana leechShadowfiend – Shadowfiend restores mana to the priest and does some damage too. It should be used on every fight. To make sure it’s used, go to the player details and check the Buffs Gained screen. You should see Mana Leech in the Power Gains table. If Shadowfiend is used while under the effects of Hymn of Hope, mana gains will be greatly increased.