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 Healbot.net. 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.
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.
Healing by Spell
Is the priest using the appropriate spells?
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.
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.
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 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.
This screen will tell you how often a priest is using their cooldowns, along with the uptime on key abilities.
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 – 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.
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”)
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.
Shadowfiend – 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.