Discipline Priest Builds for 4.0

Check out our guide to Disc Priest Gear in Cataclysm

These builds are now active in patch 4.0.3. You can add onto them- without respeccing- in Cataclysm, when the level cap increases to 85 and you can pick up the last four talent points. Consider them a starting point for experimenting with all the fun new elements of the disc priest!

Check out DA’s main priest: Liala’s Current Build and Stats at WoW Armory

SAMPLE BUILD #1: The Standard Shielding Disc Priest (aka SHIELDSPEC)

Interactive Talent Calculator for Build #1

This build includes many talents familiar to WotLK disc priests, including Improved PW:Shield, Grace, Rapture, and Divine Aegis, among others. I’ve also picked up a few new talents:

  • Darkness: Improves spell Haste by 3% (Shadow)
  • Power Word: Barrier: Summons a barrier in a certain location that shields any friendly target within it.
  • Soul Warding: Reduces cooldown on PW:Shield by 2 seconds.

This build should feel very familiar to current Disc Priests. For variation, I’d recommend dropping 2 points of Veiled Shadows (Shadow; reduces cooldown on Fade and Shadowfiend) for two ranks of Inspiration (Holy; increases healing of Holy heal spells).

Recommended Glyphs
Prime: Glyph of Penance, Glyph of Power Word: Shield, Glyph of Power Word: Barrier
Major: Glyph of Mass Dispel … and the rest currently suck for us; try Dispel Magic and Holy Nova, just for giggles
Minor: Glyph of Shadowfiend, Glyph of Fortitude, Glyph of Shackle Undead (I’d switch this one out with Glyph of Levitate, but it’s a personal preference)

SAMPLE BUILD #2: The Smite/Shield Hybrid Disc Priest (aka SMITESPEC)

Interactive Talent Calculator for Build #2

This build is highly experimental; Blizzard clearly wanted PvPing Disc priests to do more damage through the use of Smite, as you can see from the inclusion of a number of new talents (Evangelism, Archangel, and Atonement). This might also be a nice leveling build, enabling a dedicated Disc priest to heal through 5-man instances and solo quest without changing specs. New talents include:

  • Evangelism: Increases the damage and decreases mana cost of Smite, Holy Fire, and Penance each time you cast Smite (or Mind Flay).
  • Archangel: Consumes your Evangelism effect so that, rather than increasing the damage, etc., of your next Smite (see above), restores a percentage of mana and boosts your healing effects.
  • Atonement: Heal a nearby target (or yourself) for 80% (40% for yourself) each time you Smite.

For a possible variation, I’d consider dropping 2 points in Darkness (haste increase) for two points in Veiled Shadows (Shadowfiend and Fade cooldown reduction).

Recommended Glyphs
Prime: Glyph of Penance, Glyph of Power Word: Shield, Glyph of Renew
Major: Glyph of Mass Dispel, Glyph of Divine Accuracy, Glyph of Smite
Minor:  Glyph of Shadowfiend, Glyph of Fortitude, Glyph of Fading (all that Smite-ing’s going to be generating threat that you’ll have to control much more than the Shield build)

Don’t be afraid to play around with the new talents; good luck and have fun!

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73 thoughts on “Discipline Priest Builds for 4.0

  1. zelmaru says:

    I’m so glad you offered the non-smite build. Other articles I’ve read have been rather… hostile toward priests who have no desire to smite.
    I need to smite like I need a hole in the head. In fact, if I needed a hole in the head, I’d get my nose pierced rather than smite.

    • … Or at least get too close to an orc with a mining pick. And yeah, I am SO not all about the Smite build (I can see my pathetic Smites going over oh-so-well in the ever-mature 5-man: “Hey, that priest is stealin’ mah deeeeeeeeps! MAH DEEEEPS!”).

      In any case, in the PTR the first build has been *way* more fun for me. Like you, I was very surprised at the dearth of the pro-Smiters. Yipes.

      • zelmaru says:

        I’m gonna be very interested what EJ has to say about the value of the 3% haste in the shadow tree. There was something similar for druid healers – 3% haste way down in the Balance tree. It worked out to lowering the soft cap by about 120 haste points on gear. Worth it? At the time, with the damage models being as they were (tank could croak in 1 GCD) and druid’s healing model being spam hots on GCD, it was VERY valuable.

        On PTR did you find that haste mattered that much with the new healing model? In WOTLK the motto was “ABC” (always be casting) but in a mana-management model where the tank isn’t necessarily in imminent danger of croaking within 1 GCD, will haste be as valuable as before? (Again, a question for the math nerds.)

      • It didn’t *seem* to make me oom too fast; in fact, I didn’t really have huge issues with mana management either on the PTR for 4.0.1 or in Beta (though perhaps it was slightly worse in Beta than PTR). I know we’re all talking and worrying about it, but it truly wasn’t the deal-breaker I was expecting.

        I’d have to let a theorycrafter give us the numbers on it in the final build, but my on-the-fly assessment was that it helped more than it hurt. However, all that said, it was three of the four talent points I *didn’t* implement in the 4.0.1 build (the other was one point in Inspiration- I think someone was asking about that earlier).

  2. Ali says:

    exactly what zelmaru said! I am not as familiar with priests, I’m only level 72, so this is a much friendlier build to me as it is more of what I know.

    Any word on glyphs?

    Thanks for the build! I will be testing it out when we are back online.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stark, Disciplinary Action. Disciplinary Action said: New post up! Discipline Priest Builds for 4.0.1: http://bit.ly/bmeQub […]

  4. Killian says:

    I could use some clarification: are these 4.0.1 (i.e., level 80) specs or Cataclysm (level 85) specs?

    I ask because I assume the former would not necessarily be an incomplete version of the latter.

  5. jaz says:

    Bro, you state these are for 4.0.1 but you clearly use the talents that require 85 points.

    Maybe I am misreading there.
    As for today with 4.0.1 dropping we’d need to drop 4 talents from each build.

    Tough calls for me in doing so:(

    • It’s to give you an idea of the final builds for each build (4.0.1 leading into Cataclysm). Obviously, you’ll have to pick and choose among them, but knowing what a final build looks like should help make the choices a little easier :) Good luck!

    • In my PTR Build #1 (for 4.0.1), for example, I left off all three points of Darkness and one point of Inspiration, but it really is up to your play style.

  6. Yay specs. I kinda want to try the smite spec, since I end up being the third healer in 10 mans anyway.

    Now, if I could just figure out my shadow spec, I’d be set. Ty for this!

    • To me, that would be the *perfect* way to try out the Smite spec- as a backup heals/additional DPS. It’s sort of the way Shadow operates in Wrath, but much heavier on the healing side. Ah ha, the TRUE hybrid! :) But good luck to us all!

  7. Myia says:

    Ty so much for this article, I was so lost until I found it. Will be using the non-smiting build for my priest, cause I do so NOT wanna use Smite, I hate that spell, and I wanna keep doing what I do best: Bubble. ^^

  8. […] Discipline Priest Builds for 4.0 These builds are now active in patch 4.0.1. You can add onto them- without respeccing- in Cataclysm, when the level cap […] […]

  9. Zephirine says:

    Disc Priest here and I took came to the understanding that the changes to smite were purely from a pvp perspective (so we can at least do some damage and heal at the same time.) My raiding spec hasn’t really changed all that much, few points different here and there but ultimately almost the same as your build. One really nice thing is the change they made to the cd on Inner Focus and its bonus with Greater Heal. Macro it, use it. At the moment I’m hitting 22k crit heals using my IFGH macro in ICC. I’m no pally, but its nice to hit a big heal like that with some relative speed thanks to the haste changes.

  10. Ali says:

    I’m wondering if smite healing is viable for a priest to run 5 mans? Or is it better for PVP and raids where they want some half heals/half dps toons?

    Just an update that I used your traditional shield build (at lvl 72) and with the changes to the class after the patch, it is absolutely wonderful. I never had too much trouble before, but now it is just insane. My flash heals as a low 70 are critting for 9-10.5 k!

    To me, that is a lot. Penance seems to have a big boost as well. All around I’m doing a happy dance. Thanks again for the build.

    • Ali says:

      Erp — I just reread your info on the smite spec in 5 mans. I might try it out if I’m feeling brave :S

    • [continued from comment just above]:

      My pleasure! I’m glad it worked well for you!!

      Blizz certainly wants the smite spec to be the go-to PvP build; however, I took the Smite build above out for a spin yesterday in some 5-mans as the healer, and it was INSANE!!!!!!! I healed, I DPSed, I sliced and diced- and no one died, mana return was fantastic, and I came in second on the Deeps-O-Meter.

      However, I feel certain our current of imba amazeatude will get a stern nerfing from our beneficent Blizzard; no way should we be this good at smiting and bubbling simultaneously.

      Until then, I certainly recommend you try the Smite spec just once, to see how amazing it is to be so overwhelmingly good at all things :)

      • Ali says:

        I’m trying out the smite spec, finding that I’m having a tad bit of trouble switching back from heals to dpsing (kinda hurts when the addons are all wacky).

        When you were in the 5 man runs, did you do archangel a lot, or just when needed for mana? I’m sort of confused as to how long I should be smiting for. Do I stack the buff you get from smiting to 5 and then use archangel each time, or do I just smite everything to death (sort of ignoring that the buff stops at 5 smites) and do archangel only when I want mana back?

        Thanks so much for your help!

      • Ali says:

        I’ll also add, in the brief time I was able to test the spec (before the tank dc’d and the group fell apart), I was doing less dps than the tank.

        Do you think it scales better at later levels/better gear? or is that about the dps range you saw?

        I can see that it does change up the play style and the fun factor is there, I’m just not sure if the dps is worth the trade off to me. I was getting a little frazzled when I got distracted. :/

      • It was really quite frazzling, for sure. I stacked the buff up to five, shot off the heal, and stacked again. I was definitely still using my normal rotation stuff when starting a mob; for example, my rotation was:

        Bubble everyone, Penance on the tank, PW: Pain, then straight to Smite x 5, Archangel if I needed the mana, a Renew on those who needed it.

        Then back to the bubbles/Penance if they were off and then back to the Smite x 5. Mind Blast and mind Flay if I was feelin’ funky. Rinse. Repeat. Shadowfiend ad nauseum.

        ‘Hectic’ is the nicest thing I can say about it, and it’s probably very gear-dependent right now. I was going through 5-mans before the patch throwing a bubble on everyone, a Penance on the tank, and then not doing ANYTHING else the entire time. Smitespec makes me feel… all funny inside.

        But it would be a little overwhelming if you weren’t bored to death earlier. Always fun for an offspec lark, though!

      • Ali says:

        I think at my level when a lot of the tanks are still undergeared, I wasn’t as bored with healing as I’m sure a lot of 80s are, when a lot of tanks are running around in crazy gear. I was still getting fury/arms warriors trying to tank, or things like that, to keep me busy.

        I’ll keep playing around with it. Thanks again for your help with the ‘rotation’. Helps me out a ton. I think I was relying too much on the smite/heal aspect far too much, and since things are wonky I wasn’t seeing if I was healing anyone with them. :)

  11. […] Disciplinary Action A dedicated pipeline for discipline priests throughout Azeroth in World of Warcraft Skip to content Home4.0 Priest Builds4.0 Priest StatsAboutDisciplinary Action AdventuresEpisode #1Episode #2Episode #3Episode #4Episode #5Interlude #1Interlude #2Episode #6Episode #7Episode #8CommissionsDiscultimate Gear GuideHeirloom GearLevels 1-10Levels 10-20Discultimate Leveling GuideLevels 0-20Levels 20-30Levels 30-40Levels 40-50 ← Discipline Priest Builds for 4.0 […]

  12. PhatOne says:

    I like the 31/7/3 spec, had specced the same before i entered this site.
    The thing is that i haven’t played the 4.0.1 patch yet, so i don’t know how fast a disc priest runs oom. Anyhow, if you’re going oom pretty fast i’d remove inspiration and spec veiled shadows instead. As i said, i dont know how 4.0.1 is like.

    Glyphing, imo:

    Prime: PW:b, PW:s, penance
    Major: Mass dispel, Pain supression, Dispel magic/Holy nova
    Minor: Levitate, shadow protection, fortitude.

    • You mean, if you’re not going oom you’d go into Veiled Shadows? (It’s a haste-y thing; it makes you oom faster.)

      And I’m with you on the major glyphs; we don’t have a lot of choice there, but hey- we get everything else, so no QQ from me about that! I choose the Fiend over Shadow Protection in the Minor glyphs just because I think shadow protection isn’t all that. I’d rather get my Mana Demon up and running than not have to re-apply a buff, but that’s just me.

  13. ladyerinia says:

    I just wanted to say great job on the guide. I referred some priests I knew over here. =)

  14. […] Disciplinary Action: Discipline Builds for 4.0 […]

  15. Tam says:

    Heh, it’s possible that smitey-disco was meant to be PVP all along and I am totally barking up the wrong tree by attempting to raid with it. And maybe everyone at Blizzard is pointing and laughing…

    Anyway, although I’m pretty sure the 3 points in mental agility will be absolutely vital come Cata I find for mid-to-end Wrath mana pools are so deep it’s largely unnecessary, and gives you a nice 3 points to play with elsewhere.

    I like the builds though – my current attempt has, quite frankly, a lot of crap in it I don’t use. I like renewed hope enough not to want to shed it but Strength of Soul is an embarrassing waste of everybody’s time and I have no idea why I took it! Train of thought is a bit blah as well. I might take these as inspiration and try again!

    • I think that though they (Blizzard, not The Man) certainly were looking at Smitey Disco as a PvP spec overall (I’d dig up my bookmarks on the blue posts to that effect, but I’m on the wrong computer), currently in Wrath we’re so ridiculously OP with mana and whatnot that there’s just no reason why we shouldn’t do serious damage AND top the healing meters! :D I feel a bit god-like at the moment with that Smite spec.

      And while it may be fleeting, it’s nice to be good at absolutely everything for a little while. I’m considering telling the ICC tank to take a hike- I’LL handle THIS one! But in all seriousness, do give the shield spec a whirl if so inclined; I’m convinced you could single-heal a well-geared ICC 10-man with it.

    • And I’m right there with you on Renewed Hope- it seems to be more useful than not. And I too was seduced by ToT on the PTR, but got much better return when I ditched them for Pain Suppression and Darkness. I’d absolutely drop SoS if you aren’t pulling out Heal ever.

      … and I knew, I knew, I *KNEW* that some priest knowledgeableless raid leader would throw a shoe when he saw one of us Smiting for the first time, just as happened in your raid. I just can’t take the QQ that comes with the Smitespec at this point in my healing life. I’m weak.

      • Actually, now that I’m playing around in it- this is turning into a comment fiesta!…

        Really and truly, where would you put the extra two points that you drop out of SoS? You *must* have 31 points in Discipline to go over to the other trees, and if you drop SoS your remaining choices are:
        – Evangelism (Smite or Mind Flay)
        – Atonement (Smite)
        – Reflective Shield (low-level DPS return from shield)
        – Train of Thought (Greater Heal reduces Inner Focus cooldown)
        – Focused Will (personal damage reduction upon personal hit)

        It’s a total nightmare to choose between these guys, truly. I took SoS and told myself I’d use Heal more often, but of course I don’t even know where it is on my QuickBar! Terrible priesting.

  16. Julius says:

    I kind of feel embarrassed to post here because it almost feels like I am just overlooking an obvious heal or rotation that is going to make me /facedesk and go “Ooooh so THAT’S it” ~ But sadly, I’m not discovering that, so I turn to my fellow priests for some help <3 … I see a lot of talk for PVP and 5 mans, but is the disc priest/bubbling still valid for ICC heroic 25? I have taken my priest in there and for most of the fights the 'ole do what I'm used to bubbling is just not cutting it, and while shamans are doing 4-5million healing & absorbs on fights, my disc priest is mustering 1million absorbs and 900k heals? For most of the fights, the bubbles are dropping off super fast and not protecting the raid the way they used to (Yes, I knew this would happen) but then what other major heals are we offering the raid? Penance, Greater Heal for some lukewarm heals on the tanks? The heroic bosses still hit as hard as before the patch and sadly, the disc priest is still mostly unable to heal that level of damage… I feel just utterly confused as to what my role is? For 25 man Heroic LK it now takes 2 disc priests what it used to take one, and it seems the bubbling to prevent infest on that fight is still the only fight where the bubbles will be sufficient to protect the raid. It's just aggravating… Anyone else having this issue or am I the only disc priest in Azeroth that is totally confused :P (I should mention my toon is totally reforged into Shield Discipline Mastery).

    • Hmmm, that seems… odd. Can you link to your character on the Armory so we can take a look at your stats and build?

    • Oh, and Mastery is bad, berry bad! at the moment. I’ve seen several theorycrafting run-throughs that have all come to the conclusion that it’s currently a complete waste of time (BobTurkey, some Elitist Jerks threads, and Dawn Moore over at WoW Insider are the two that pop to mind, though I’ve seen far more than just those- not hard to find with a quick Google).

      If you’re not having trouble with mana, I’d say go reforge 50% Haste and 50% Critical Strike. That may be your problem right there, though the numbers still look awfully low to me. Do direct us to your Armory if so inclined!

      • zelmaru says:

        Oh good to know about mastery. I haven’t reforged anything yet as I feel like I don’t know enough about stats. I’m also trying to L2Holy first since I already know How2Disc (I’m not using a smite build so the muscle memory is basically the same). Hopefully, everything will settle so i don’t need 2 different gear sets (one for holy and one for disc). That would be painful.

  17. Julius says:

    ok here it is and honestly I’m ok with someone saying “Oh look you totally screwed this up, duh!” just to have someone give me some ray of light… lol :)

    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Blade's+Edge&cn=Nik%C3%AE

  18. Julius says:

    ok wow, that posted all wrong, sorry about that… here it is:

    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Blade‘s+Edge&cn=Nikî

    • Hmmmm… I might switch out that one head gem with Spirit for straight Int- or even haste- but I’m surprised your numbers were as low as that. If you had money to burn, you could switch out some of your Int gems for Haste and Crit- your crit’s pretty high already, though. Your haste does seem a little low, but certainly not to the point that you should be struggling on ICC25.

      Unless you’re dedicated to Smitespec ™, you might want to drop Archangel and Evangelism and pick up Improved Renew and more Darkness (if you can find something else in the Disc tree that you actually want- hard, I know!!).

  19. Julius says:

    BTW I appreciate this guide, thank you so much for creating it! I have been having a lovely time looking into what other disc priests are feeling post-patch, and that’s the 1st I have heard about mastery (Although once I did reforge & head back into ICC 25 Heroics, it seemed glaringly clear to me that spending all that gold to reforge it was apparently a waste of time).

  20. Julius says:

    Yes!! as you can tell, I like doing things right and well and all this new priest stuff is about to make me DPS again!! /gasp

    • I know just what you mean. I think we are, uniquely, undergoing a very strange transformation right now as we lead into Cataclysm. Things are in complete disarray, and nothing feels ‘right’ to us. Tam over at Righteous Orbs posted a really great piece on this exact problem:

      http://www.righteousorbs.com/?p=2408

      and my comments in the bottom don’t bear repeating here, but are very much what I think is happening in the dev team’s mind right now.

  21. Julius says:

    Yeah I like that article… I’m not sure what they actually *did* to that smite spec because when I first went in & tried it, AOE heals were popping all over from Atonement, and now, I can barely muster 5-8k on one target and apparently I’m not seeing the 50% heal for myself? I opened a ticket and asked, is this broken or? I’m confused… Then I thought, maybe I just broke it… let’s go with that.

    • Yeah, I had the exact same experience. If you read my earlier comments, I went bonkers healing in Smitespec. Now it’s completely different- utterly nerfed.

      Do remember about macroing Inner Focus and Greater Heal for the bonus those now give- it might help you rip off some huge heals to get those numbers up. But it could also be changes to the specs of the healer types you’re playing with…?

  22. Julius says:

    We run heroic ICC 25 with 2 shamans, 1 drooyd, 1 holy pally (and I thought I was nerfed) and me. That first patch Tuesday when we went in, I tried the Smite spec on Deathbringer? Holy AOE heal numbers popping, and I thought.. OK this I could get used to, now I see the random one pop for 1/2 of what it was and I’m like “Oh yay?” I just cast a 4k heal on one person after 1.62 seconds” ~ Then I thought, lucky there are other healers that are actually carrying my sorry heals, LOL :)

  23. Severino says:

    Great post, i have just built a tree very similar to your non smite build im currently debating having my 5 spare points in empowered healing and imp renew or 3 in darkness and 2 in Emp healing, seeing as my play style i dont use renew massivley. The reason i am drawn towards the haste over the 3rd point in Emp Heal and any renew is that i have read a few rumblings about us needing to try and get to 700ish haste rating currently, which brings me to my quetion, what do you feel is the best gemming solution? i am full int atm, tempted by int+haste gems possibly, but my head is getting sore from all the scratching of it im doing trying to work out what i feel is best!

    • I think you really get the most out of gemming and reforging when you think about what is actually happening when you play, rather than looking at the hard numbers (as a recovering theorycrafter, it’s hard for me to say that).

      If you really aren’t having mana issues at all, I’d absolutely go for a little more haste in your gems. Until you’re really hitting that mana wall- sending out a Shadowfiend on every cooldown, using mana potions whenever available, and blowing all your cooldowns- I personally think you’re not casting as fast as you could be.

      That said, it’s very tricky now to bump anything for Intellect now that it controls mana pool AND spellpower. My own advice would be to respec so that you put all three points into Darkness, then see if you’re getting close to the oom point. If you’re nowhere near it, try switching out just one Int gem for an Int/Haste, and test it again. Keep switching until you’re really walking that oom line.

      • Severino says:

        I think i am semi not wanting to change iint to haste because of my pretty mana pool and pretty sp number. However, we ran Icc 10 HC last night and i cannot remember going below 50% mana, and i never used fiend HoH or my crappy sliver of pure ice, so i think haste is the way to go. As like you say i need to be popping everything or else i am not casting fast enough, i managed to get my 1st decent WoL ranking on BQL last night, and im sure i was still above 50% mana. Atm i have mastery on all my gear, i am finding altho my shields are popping faster they are stilldoing a awesome job. I’m goign to have a play with haste and se where that takes me in my next raid.

        Glad i found this blog, real good job :)

  24. […] Discipline Priest Builds for 4.0 Be sure to check out our guide to Reforging and Gemming for Disc Priests in 4.0 Builds updated 10/18/10 These builds […] […]

  25. Julius says:

    Hey there, I just caught up on this… Yeah, I know I need more haste and I am actually going to look through my bank and my 277 collection of items for exchanges. I just put the Sanguine Silk Robes on, but I replaced my heroic 277 chest for it so I’m going to go for the heroic 277 gloves and some other Haste items ~ Hopefully I can just get it from gear. Honestly, it wouldn’t be a big deal to switch out Int gems though, I cant go OOM even if I try running around holy nova’ing things, lol

    • Severino says:

      Have you removed all your mastery then now? i was going to revert mine back to haste equip some of my haste gear and then think about regemming to reckless amertines depending on what haste i am at, i think around the 750 mark is my target. Unfortunately i have taken a bit of a back seat raiding 25 mans now and am just focused on ten’s but wont be able to have a good trial with this until Sunday.

  26. aarion says:

    Just going to reiterate what everyone else has been saying: thank you SO MUCH for posting the non-Smite build! While Smiting to heal sounds fun, and at 85 may very well be a viable way of Disc healing…it just feels odd to me, and I much prefer the regular heal/damage prevention playstyle.

    • I’m so glad it was of some assistance! I’ve got the Smitespec off-specced, and… man, I feel like the worst healer in the universe when I use it. The Shieldspec works an awful lot better for me. It may be because we’re just so used to it, but even when I felt like I was doing the Smitespec “well”, it still wasn’t healing anything near as effectively as the Shieldspec. Good luck (to us all)!

  27. Priestie Newb says:

    First and foremost, thank you for your dedicated work for the lazy bums (namely me) out here who don’t do it for ourselves and rely on what others find out about the class mechanics. :o)

    Now on to the meat and bones…

    Like many, I have the “pre-expansion duldrums” and have hijacked a toon that my gf no longer plays. It is a priest (lvl 67) and is a totally new class to me, even though I have been playing since shortly before the release of TBC and have 7 level 80s. While your info here is great and well written (I understand a good bit of it while knowing VERY little about the class) it still leaves me with questions. The biggest one is “How do I improve mana regen without having to sit and drink?”. As I fiddle with the priest I will be mainly be questing with a dungeon thrown in here and there. I came across this blog last night while searching for info on priests and decided to try out the non-smite spec. I went and quested for a few hours and found that mana went fast (well, was gone after killing about 10 things). I saw very little regen while fighting and running from mob to mob. Is it due to the fact that I’m just too low a level and will just have to deal with it? Would poppin Shadowfiend be worth it with a 5 min CD?

    Also, are there spells I should or shouldn’t be using to help with mana regen? I open with (bear with me, I don’t know the spell’s names by heart) Holy….Fire (?) then do Mind Blast followed by two instants (Power Word: Pain and one that has a kinda purply colored icon). Just as I am hittin my first instant the mob is on top of me (unless it’s a caster of course). After my second instant the mob is usually at half health or a little less and I can usually finish them off with…ummmm…a channeled spell with a bluish icon and spell graphic is a yellowish swirly thing. If the mob isn’t dead by the time the channeled spell is done I usually finish them off just by whackin them with my mace. Are there other spells I should be using instead that won’t eat up so much mana? Or is what I’m doing pretty good? I won’t ask you to inspect my armory, because at lvl 67 it’s pretty much pointless as my gear should be changing often. Just any info on rotations or mana regen tips would be appreciated.

    • These are all such good questions; I think we, as disc priests, face this problem at level 17, 37, and 67 equally: How can you solo level without running out of mana?

      Before I talk about how I do it as a disco, I do have to say that- as much as I HATE to say it!- you’ll be far better off at 67 by dual-speccing into Shadow Priest and turning that on every time you want to solo level. We’re dedicated healers; our skillz are just not built for pwning the wilds of Azeroth.

      But onto how to do it as Disc!

      #1: General — Use the Dungeon Finder to level.

      #2: Rotation — In solo leveling, your rotation should be something like on a distant target: Smite -> Shadow Word: Pain -> Devouring Plague -> Power Word: Shield on yourself -> Holy Fire -> Smite -> Smite -> Smite -> Wand -> Wand -> Wand.

      Shadow Word: Pain and Devouring time both do damage over time; when their icons disappear from under your target, re-apply them. If your Power Word: Shield falls of of you, re-apply it.

      #3: Mana Conservation — Use reforging and gemming to maximize your Intellect (the size of your mana pool) and Spirit (mana regeneration rate). Use your wand as much as possible. Your gear does change a lot now, true, but- especially if you’re quest leveling- you really need to maximize it anyway.

      #4: Spec — Consider using the Smite spec for leveling. The Smite spec really is built to give you mana return from using Smite, which you’ll be doing anyway if you’re solo leveling. I don’t recommend using it in LFD, though, as everyone and their mother will bitch at you forever for daring to Smite something. Saying, “But it’s the way this new spec freaking heals, jackasses!” (a) gets old very fast and (b) will not cut any ice and they’ll boot you. Trust me on this one. Sigh.

      It can be done; I used solo leveling exclusively to build my main disc priest up to her raiding heights. It *is* slower, and you *are* better off using the LFD tool to level… but man, is it fun to really know your spec inside and out by the time you get to raids.

      PS – You can check out the full list of priest spells hynah, to match the icons with their names: http://www.wowpedia.org/Priest_spells

    • One more thing:

      The best way to use your Shadowfiend is to fight a mob or single target, run totally out of mana but be pretty good on health, then send your Shadowfiend out to aggro the next mob while you stand back (not unlike how Warlocks use their Blueberries to tank, for instance). Pick the highest level target in the mob, and always do it on a mob; if the fiend kills the target and there’s no one left to attack, he’ll just come back to you, which is a waste of precious mana-return time.

      Additionally, you can use Glyph of Shadowfiend to reduce the cooldown to three minutes. Best glyph in the game!

  28. Jaedor says:

    Just a note to say that haste is really necessary for bubble spam. My priest was very gimped in haste after the patch and I’ve reforged every piece I can to add more. It’s at 733 with a boomkin buff (but no shaman) and I still get hung up on the edge of the GCD. So the 835 number I’ve seen around as the new haste soft cap for bubblers sounds accurate.

  29. Franklinn says:

    By the way,
    Glyph of Dispel Magic is freaking amazing for all you healers who have to neglect your full time duty to clean up those nasty dots. Especially LK, when those PuGs reaction time to necrotic plague is a tad slow. highly recommend it.

  30. […] more information on gear and builds, check out: Cataclysm Disc Priest Builds (Shieldspec and Smitespec) Gearing a Disc Priest: 80-85 Gearing a Disc Priest: The Beginning Raider (85+) Cataclysm Disc […]

  31. Theholyzigg says:

    Am haveing problems running heroics dungens and running out of manna like nothin. I’m trying to find a good Disc Build that is good on saving mana just on healing not on pvping either.. Even on trash mobs in heroics am always drinking in WOLK i was never running out but now am always out plz help me out

    • Man, Zigg, I think we all can relate!

      I wish I had better news for you, but right now we’re all pretty much in the same boat. We’re running out of mana very quickly because we’re less geared, tanks are squishier, and DPS aren’t as fast as they generally have been at zerging down mobs. You’re healing more, for longer, in harder instances.

      1) It’s okay to run out of mana on trash mobs in heroics. Tanks have to stop for you to drink more frequently right now; that’s par for the course for all of us.

      2) I see you’ve reforged a lot of your gear’s extra stats into Spirit. That’s just what I would do to replace the Hit you had on several items, but you’re pretty Spirit-heavy now; consider switching back to Mastery and especially to Critical Strike on the gear that originally had those ratings. We’re supposed to be going into Spirit now, but be careful that you’re not sacrificing other needed stats just for Spirit. A balance is better than stacking on one stat at this point.

      3) Blizzard’s cry of “Spirit, Spirit, Spirit!” is hard ignore, but I think that scared us away from stacking Intellect, which is still remarkably important. Consider gemming half Spirit, half Intellect (with a critical or two thrown in for luck).

      Good luck!

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