Category Archives: Priest

Evaluating Discipline Priests with World of Logs

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

First, thank you to all the people who reviewed or helped contribute to this post. Nyahm and Baerd of Arm of Hades, Kaleri of Apotheosis and Power Word: What?, Viktory of The Leetsauced Podcast and Gina of You should go pay them a visit when you’re done reading this.

Now, on to the post.

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 well suited to raid healing, especially when damage is constant and/or predictable to make the most of Power Word: Shield. Priests have a wide variety of spells and cooldowns to manage. Disc priests have two viable healing styles: one that uses Atonement/Archangel and one that doesn’t.

Player Details

Healing by Spell

Is the priest using the appropriate spells?Discipline Priest healing breakdown by spell

Priests have a very diverse tool set and how they play will depend not only on their assignment, but also their raid size, composition, gear level and personal preference. Top spells used can change from fight to fight and priest to priest. If in doubt, ask the priest in question why they’re using the spells they are.

Tank healing
The main tank healing spells are: Power Word: Shield, Penance and Greater Heal. These are often supplemented by Prayer of Mending, Binding Heal, Atonement (if available) and possibly Flash Heal or Heal.

Raid Healing
The main raid healing spells are: Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Mending. Penance, Greater Heal and Binding Heal are also used for spot healing. Divine Hymn is a good raid healing cooldown.

Divine Aegis will usually near the top  of healing done in terms of damage mitigated, though it’s not a spell that is actually cast.

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. Geared priests may not use it in favour bigger, more expensive heals. Atonement-specced priests should be using Smite instead of Heal.

Notes on specific spells:

Power Word: Shield

Power Word: Shield will generally be one of the top spells for healing done whether the priest is tank healing or raid healing. PW:S provides all kinds of goodness, from awesome mitigation, haste for the next spell through Borrowed Time, mana return through Rapture and extra crit chance for direct heals through Weakened Soul and Renewed Hope. PW:S will usually account for around 25-40% of heals and glyph of PW:S will provide an extra 5-10%. Overheal on PW:S should be low, ideally under 20% or so. If the overheal is much higher than that, absorbs are being wasted and the priest is likely casting PW:S more than they should.


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. It has a 10 second cooldown and should be used often, especially when tank healing. With the Tier 11 bonus, it also provides extra spirit whenever it’s used.

Flash Heal vs. Binding Heal

Since most raid fights involve significant raid damage, Binding Heal should be used more than Flash Heal in most situations. Use of Binding Heal shows the priest is taking care of themselves in addition to the rest of the raid.

Divine Hymn

Divine Hymn healing on World of Logs

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, especially when raid healing.

Divine Hymn is affected by haste. The base amount of ticks is 12, but with 12.5% haste (which most raid-buffed priests will have) it will heal 15 times. If cast while under the effects of Power Infusion, Borrowed Time or 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.


If a priest is Atonement specced, they should be using Smite/Holy Fire to heal on every fight to some extent. Otherwise, they’re wasting 5 talent points that could be spent elsewhere. How much healing Atonement accounts for really depends on the fight. On a fight like Halfus, where the mechanic is very powerful, it could make up the majority of the priests healing. On most other fights, Atonement is mainly used during times of light damage to stack Evangelism up to 5, then use Archangel when damage ramps up for the 15% extra healing.

Buffs Cast

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

Discipline Priest - Buffs cast on World of Logs

Prayer of Mending – PoM should be cast on cooldown and be up as much as possible. 75-90% uptime is a good, attainable target.

Grace – Uptime on Grace will depend heavily on healing assignment and fight. For tank healers: If the tank is taking damage throughout the encounter Grace uptime close to 100%. The nature of the fight will affect this number. For example, on Atramedes the tank isn’t taking any damage during air phase, so it’s likely Grace will fall off and have a lower uptime over the duration of the fight compared to a fight like Maloriak, where the main tank is taking damage all the time.  Raid healers and Atonement-specced priests will have a lower uptime  since Grace it isn’t triggered from Atonement, Power Word Shield or Prayer of Healing.

Inner Focus – Inner Focus makes your next spell free and more likely to crit. It has a 1 minute cooldown (less for those with Train of Thought) and should be used whenever it’s available.

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 should see at least 15 ticks.

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 on World of LogsPower Infusion – Power Infusion reduces casting time and the cost of spells. It has a 2 minute cooldown. It should be used often.  Click on Power Infusion in the Buffs Cast table to find out who it was used on (whether the priest was using it on themselves or someone else).

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.

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.

Power Word: Barrier –  To find out how PW:B often it 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 = “Pasiphae”
and (Spell = “Power Word: Barrier”)

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

Power Word: Barrier in the World of Logs expression editor

Archangel/Evangelism – Archangel increases healing and restores mana and should generally be used whenever the priest reaches 5 stacks of Evangelism. It has a duration of 18 seconds and a cooldown of 30 seconds, so the maximum uptime is 60%, but it will generally not be up anywhere near this often. How much Atonement is used for healing really depends on the priest and the fight, so there’s no target uptime for this. However, you can use the Expression Editor to find out how well it is used. Use this expression (replace the sourceName with the name of the priest):

sourceName = “Pasiphae”
and (Spell = “Evangelism” or Spell=”Archangel”)

Evangelism in the World of Logs expression editor

In this screenshot you can see that I got to a 5-stack of Evangelism, continued to cast Smite or Holy Fire for 11 seconds then used Archangel to consume the stacks.







Things to look for:

  • Ensure that Evangelism is always at a 5 stack before Archangel is used.
  • Check how long after getting a 5 stack of Evangelism it takes for the priest to use Archangel. It’s fine to save it for a short time but if the priest is reaching 5 stacks then waiting more than 30 seconds to use it, it’s a waste.
  • Check to see if Evangelism ever falls off without Archangel being triggered.

Discipline Priest mana returns on World of LogsShadowfiend – 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.

My VuhDo Spell Bindings (also works with Clique!)

If you were to ask me what my most essential mod for raid healing was, I would say VuhDo, hands down (6 months ago the answer would have been Grid + Clique). Besides providing an awesome set of compact raid frames that shows me everything I need to know, VuhDo includes spell click-cast bindings that you can set up however you want.

A little while ago Beruthiel wrote a post sharing her bindings which I though was a fantastic idea, so now I’m going to share mine.

Why Click-Cast?

I’ve tried healing in a number of ways. When I was a noob, I used to manually click on a raid frame then click on a spell (my god, how did I keep anyone alive?), I’ve tried the method of clicking on a raid frame then pressing a keybind, but for the last 3 or 4 years I’ve been using click-casting. I’ve found this to be the fastest way to heal. You never have to worry about having the correct person targeted, just mouseover their frame, use the appropriate click+modifier and bam! they’re healed.


My mouse is Microsoft wireless laser 7000 with 5 buttons. It’s not specifically made for gaming but  it suits me just fine.

Microsoft wireless laser 5-button mouse 7000

My fiance recently bought the Cataclysm gaming mouse (that thing is HUGE, you need big bear paws to hold it – it reminds me of the original Xbox controller) so he have me his old Logitech gaming mouse. However, I’ve gotten so used to my own that it just didn’t feel right, so I continue to use mine.


Since I raid on 2 different healing classes I need a good set of binds that will cause as little confusion as possible when I switch characters. Luckily, resto druid and disc priest spells are highly congruous so I’m able to bind similar spells to the same buttons.

Bindings are made using a combination of the left and right mouse buttons (1&2) and the buttons on the side of the mouse (4&5) combined with the modifiers Shift, Control and Alt.  I use my middle mouse button as my push-to-talk key for Ventrilo.

Here are my bindings for both classes:

No modifier

Binding Druid Spell Priest Spell
Button 1 target target
Button 2
Button 4 Barkskin Prayer of Mending
Button 5 Healthstone Inner Focus

Shift modifier

Binding Druid Spell Priest Spell
Button 1 Lifebloom Power Word: Shield
Button 2 Rejuvenation Renew
Button 4 Remove Corruption Dispel Magic
Button 5 Cure Disease

Control modifier

Binding Druid Spell Priest Spell
Button 1 Wild Growth Prayer of Healing
Button 2 Regrowth Flash Heal
Button 4 Healing Touch Greater Heal
Button 5 Binding Heal

Alt modifier

Binding Druid Spell Priest Spell
Button 1 Swiftmend Penance
Button 2 Nourish Heal
Button 4 Innervate Power Infusion
Button 5 Tree of Life Leap of Faith

There are a number of abilities that I do not bind to my mouse, mostly because they are things I don’t want to hit by accident or I just don’t have enough binds for them. I keep the following abilities on a bar right beside my unit frames, so I just click on them when I need to use them:

Battle Rez

Divine Hymn
Hymn of Hope
Pain Suppression
Holy Nova
Mass Dispel
Power Word: Barrier

Healtstones, mana pots, on-use trinkets

I do not have any offensive abilities bound.

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?

Comparison of Healing Spells by Class

As I’ve been leveling my priest I’ve been slightly overwhelmed by the amount of healing spells I have. On my druid, I seem to have the perfect number of healing spells to fill up all my click-bindings but on my priest, I’ve run out – and I’m not even 80 yet. Out of curiosity I dug through wowhead to compare how many spells each of the healing classes has and how they differ in function. If you’re thinking of starting a new healer or just want to better understand the capabilities of the rest of your healing team, continue reading:

Basic Heals

Each healing class a slow, cheap, small heal; a fast, expensive, small heal; and a slow, expensive, large heal.

Spell Function Druid Paladin Discipline Priest Holy Priest Shaman
Slow, cheap heal Nourish Holy Light Heal Heal Healing Wave
Fast, expensive heal Regrowth Flash of Light Flash Heal Flash Heal Healing Surge
Large, expensive heal Healing Touch Divine Light Greater Heal Greater Heal Greater Healing Wave

In each case, paladins get the biggest heal in the category, followed by priests. The druid direct heals are the smallest, but both Nourish and Regrowth get other benefits. Shaman heals are also boosted by other abilities.

AoE and Multi-target Heals

Spell Function Druid Paladin Discipline Priest Holy Priest Shaman
No cooldown Light of Dawn

Prayer of Healing

Holy Nova

Prayer of Healing

Holy Nova

Chain Heal

Healing Stream Totem

Short cooldown

Wild Growth


Circle of Healing Healing Rain
Medium cooldown Holy Radiance Holy Word: Sanctuary
Long cooldown Tranquility Divine Hymn Divine Hymn

Druids multi-target spells are HoT-based. Efflorescence isn’t technically a spell, it is a area-based healing ability that procs from casting Swiftmend. Tranquility is a good emergency heal when a number of people are low on health.

Paladins bring something new to the game with their AoE. For these spells, the paladin’s position and facing are very important in order to make the most of the heals.

Disc priests get one substantial group-based heal, a small area-based heal and a big emergency heal.

Holy priests get the widest variety of multi-target heals. They get all the spells a disc priest has plus a smart-heal and an area-based healing effect.

Shaman get a targetted smart heal that jumps to four players, a totem that provides passive healing to their party, and an area-based heal.

Other Spells

Spell Function Druid Paladin Discipline Priest Holy Priest Shaman



Renew Renew Riptide
Direct heals Swiftmend

Holy Shock

Word of Glory

Binding Heal



Binding Heal

Desperate Prayer

Holy Word: Serenity


Unleash Elements

Absorbs Power Word: Shield Power Word: Shield
Other Beacon of Light Prayer of Mending

Prayer of Mending


Earth Shield


Debuff Removal Remove Corruption Cleanse

Cure Disease

Dispel Magic

Mass Dispel

Cure Disease

Dispel Magic

Mass Dispel

Cleanse Spirit

Druids get two extra HoTs to supplement their basic and AoE heals. They also get a medium-sized instant heal that is dependant on a rejuv or regrowth being up on the target. They have the ability to remove poisons, curses and magic.

Paladins have two instant heals and Beacon of Light, which heals the selected raid member for 50% of the healing the paladin does on anyone else. Through Beacon and Protector of the Innocent (talent), paladins are always healing three people at once. Paladins can remove poison, disease and magic.

Priests get a little bit of everything: a HoT, a shield, a spell that heals themselves and one other person, and a spell that jumps from person to person as they take damage. Disc priests get Penance, a channeled spell that heals a single target 3 times in rapid succession, and can also heal with Smite if specced into Atonement. Holy priests get two instant heals; one they can use on anyone and one they can only use on themselves. They also get Lightwell, which is placed on the field and lets others heal themselves. Priests can get rid of diseases and magic.

Shaman get a combination instant heal/HoT in Riptide, which also acts as a boost to most of their other spells because of Tidal Waves, and another instant heal which buffs their next spell. They also get Earth Shield, which has multiple charges and will heal the target it is placed on whenever they take damage. Totems are also a big part of being a shaman and they can provide all kinds of different buffs, party healing or damage mitigation. Shamans can get rid of curses and magic.


Spell Function Druid Paladin Discipline Priest Holy Priest Shaman
Output boosts Tree of Life

Avenging Wrath

Divine Favour


Inner Focus

Power Infusion

Emergency Nature’s Swiftness Lay on Hands Guardian Spirit Nature’s Swiftness
Damage mitigation

Hand of Protection

Hand of Sacrifice

Aura Mastery

Pain Suppression

Power Word: Barrier

Mana return Innervate Divine Plea

Hymn of Hope


Hymn of Hope


Mana Tide Totem

Lightning Bolt*

Other Leap of Faith Leap of Faith Spiritwalker’s Grace

Druids are a little light on cooldown abilities – they have one cooldown that increases their healing and modifies some of their spells to make them stronger. They also have an emergency heal that can be used to make another healing spell instant. For mana regen, they have Innervate which can be cast on themselves, or given to someone else.

Paladins have a variety of cooldowns. Two output cooldowns increase healing, haste and crit. They also have a huge emergency heal with a long cooldown and three different cooldowns that mitigate damage on the raid. Divine Plea gives mana return at the cost of healing output.

Disc priests have a spell that makes their next heal free and more likely to crit, a spell that decreases spell cast times and mana cost and, if specced into it, also have a spell to increase their healing output that is based around using smite. They have two damage mitigation spells, one for a single player, and one for a group that is area-based. Hymn of Hope returns mana to the people in raid who need it most and Shadowfind restores mana to the priest. Leap of Faith is a ‘get out of stupid’ card that can be used on another player.

Holy Priests get an output bonus with Chakra, which modifies and strengthens some of their other spells. Guardian Spirit will increase the healing on one raid member and prevent them from dying. Like disc priests, holy priests also get Hymn, Shadowfiend and Leap of Faith.

Shaman, like druids, are also a little light on cooldowns. Their emergency spell makes a heal instant. They also have a spell that lets them continue casting spells while moving. For mana regen they have Mana Tide, which increases the spirit their party (which increase mana regen for healers), and if they are specced into Teluric Currents, Lightning Bolt provides mana return for the shaman.

Dead Sexy

My baby priest is growing up. She’s now level 62 and is trudging through Outlands. I love some of the Outlands zones, but there is one major thing in Outlands that I do not like: The leveling gear.

Outlands leveling gear

Forget hide cloak and helm, I want to hide it all. Yech.

Now that I’ve decided my priest will be my Horde main I’m reconsidering my choice of undead. Generally I like my characters to be either pretty females or male Taurens. Perhaps a race change is in store for Pasiphae?

When it’s okay to let someone die

This topic was discussed a while back as a Blog Azeroth shared topic. As a healer, my first reaction was “It’s never okay to let someone die.”  However, over the last little while that opinion has been changing. I’ve had more bad pugs in the last two weeks of leveling my baby priest than I’ve had in 2 years of randoms on my various level 80s.

At level 80, 95% of my LFD experiences (with a couple notable exceptions) are great. Quick, with people who are either pleasant or silent. In the low level randoms at least half of them have one obnoxious jerk.

Last night I joined an SM library run. As I zoned in, I saw the group was mostly dead and had cleared almost to the boss. As soon as everyone was alive and buffed up, the rogue whispers me and tells me the tank has a habit of ignoring the healers mana and pulling whole rooms at a time. He had raged at the last healer when he died and the healer had left. Oh goody. The tank, true to the description given by the rogue, proceeds to pull a whole room of mostly caster adds, which attack everyone. I spam heal my little heart out, using up most of my mana bar in the process.

Once the mobs were dead, I announce “drinking,” sit down and see the tank charge into the next room. I watch his health drop to zero as I enjoy my delicious sweet nectar. For some reason this makes Mr. tank angry.

Now, I admit I’m not completely innocent in this. After all the bad pugs I’ve been in lately and hearing that the tank had raged at the last healer, I was spoiling for a fight. You want to rage at me for something that was your fault? Bring it on.

Tank: Jesus Christ healer are you really that shit?
Rogue: The healer was drinking.
Me: I said I was drinking.
Me: Which part did you not understand? The “drink” part?
Tank: You’re terrible, I only pulled one room and you had half mana.
Me: 700/2400 is not half. I see you’re no better at math than you are at English

Then he left.

As a healer I take pride in keeping everyone alive and making a good impression on people I group with. When people die on my watch I feel guilty/inadequate/bad. However, if people die because they’re morons and then have the gall to give me shit for it, it turns my frown upside down. I could watch those people die all day.

Do you think it’s okay to let jerks die? Also, does anyone have any insight into why low level randoms are so rife with jerks?

My priest leveling experience

As I mentioned last week, I recently created a new toon – a shadow priest. It feels like forever since I leveled a new character and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. I haven’t spent this much time in-game outside of a raid in a long time. I’m attempting to level in the most “pure” way possible. No heirlooms. No gear or gold from my 80s. The only thing I did was send bags to my priest as lack of bag space pisses me off. I’m also trying to level mining without doing any smelting – I have no idea why, I think I’m just crazy.

Here are some of my impressions on leveling a new priest:

  • I’m enjoying melting faces as Shadow, but I also really like that I can still heal in dungeons. Power Word: Shield is my best friend.
  • No matter how many times I’m brutally killed after pulling 4 or 5 mobs at a time I keep doing doing it, thinking “I’ll live through it this time!”
  • Getting mounts at level 20 is awesome.
  • Spells scaling with level is extra awesome.
  • I love how after level 10 you get something new every level (for the most part). A talent point on the odd levels and a new skill on the evens. This means there’s always something to look forward to. However:
  • Priests get shafted between levels 21 and 27. Cure Disease, Fade, Dispel Magic – boring! Also, the talents available to you between these levels are kind of a waste. Most effect spells that you don’t even have yet.
  • Random dungeons are an absolute mess. They’re filled with people in heirloom gear who run around like chickens with their heads cut off. I think every single dungeon I’ve done has had a twink rogue in them that runs off ahead to stab things and doesn’t help at all with the mobs the rest of the group is killing. At least 3 people always have aggro at one time. That said, I’ve also usually had one excellent player who is very protective of the healer (me!) and gets all the mobs off me.
  • I don’t like questing in Hillsbrad Foothills. I need to find a new place to quest my way through the mid-20s.

Things I’m looking forward to:

  • Devouring Plague! This time I will remember that it can only be used on one target at a time.
  • Dual specs! I can’t wait to Smite-heal my way through dungeons.
Devouring Plague

In other news, the Headless Horseman is still a dick.

Also, if anyone reading this is a foodie, I’ve written reviews of two of the restaurants I went to in Las Vegas at the beginning of the month: Sage and Joel Robuchon. They were both excellent. I’ve also included lots of delicious pictures.