Tag Archives: spells

The Discultimate Leveling Guide: Zero to Twenty in Five Seconds

Levels One Through Twenty: The Early Years

Of Certain Interest: The Discultimate Gear Guide, Levels 0-10 and Levels 10-20

IF ONLY IT did take five seconds, my little discipline priestlings. But hope springs eternal, and while it may take longer than five seconds, you can zwish through your first 20 levels with only minor inconvenience and light bruising without once being tempted to walk the sad path of Shadow Priest ( I see you there, with your finger on the button! Don’t do it, you fool!).

Grind your way up to level 10, enjoying the sights and sounds of your native land for a mere hour. Take a moment to savor the transitory ease of leveling, and then bounce into 11 with a good basic understanding of your introductory Discipline spells and talents.

It’s worth thinking at this point about whether you’ll be willing to respec often, perhaps as the healing alt of a moneyed character, or whether you’ll need this spec to go the distance (translation: you’re a cheap bastard), pulling into 80 without once changing your course.

In this guide, I’ll be outlining specifically how to stay disciplined the whole long road. Leveling as a Disc Priest is challenging, certainly compared to leveling as a Shadow Priest, but I think provides unparalleled opportunities to learn your Disc character inside and out.

I’m also assuming that your leveling will be a combination of Random Dungeon Findering and solo questing. I used to argue strenuously against using quests to level as a Disc Priest, but with the pacing of the new Cataclysm quests, I’ve done exactly that five or six times now (what can I say? I’m a fool for love!). With a little bit of know-how, solo questing as a Disc Priest is not only possible, but gleefully dangerous.

And we’ll not be taking on Discipline PvP- at least, not yet.

Patience, my pets.

THE FACTS

Talents are the choices that you make on your character Talent Tree screen. You get to allot one point every two or so levels. Abilities are the spells that you learn from a trainer, which show up in your spellbook. You can drag abilities to your quickbar to cast them more rapidly.

TALENTS

ABILITIES

GLYPHS

  • None

The Big Idea: You can get into a Dungeon Finder group quickly and easily as a healer, but I’m assuming you’ll be splitting your time between instancing and questing. Power Word: Shield will be your go-to spell in both places; you’ll use it to protect the tank in instances, as well as using it on yourself while questing.

As you solo quest, you’ll need a bit of oomph behind your Shadow spells. As Disc, though, oomph is severely lacking. Because of that, I highly recommend picking up Twin Disciplines as soon as possible to increase the effectiveness of your damage spells while questing (and, incidentally, your healing spells while instancing).

After all, there’s only so much abuse you can take from low-level cloth-geared LFD warrior tanks, amirite?

Discipline Priest Build at Level 20

 

ROTATION IN INSTANCES

  • Buff all with Shadow Protection and Power Word: Fortitude, and yourself with Inner Will
  • Shield the tank and hit him with a Renew *just* as he starts to run forward, then sit and drink just before they draw aggro (you’ll spend a lot on drinks, but it’s worth it to top off at the beginning of every fight)
  • Flash Heal small damage
  • Greater Heal big damage
  • Shield specific DPS/yourself if they or you are consistently taking a lot of damage
  • Use Fade often. Tanks don’t have a lot of threat tools yet.
[Instance Toolbar Image Coming Soon!]

ROTATION IN QUESTS

  • Buff yourself with Shadow Protection, Power Word: Fortitude, and Inner Fire
  • Cast Holy Fire (or Mind Blast, if you don’t have Holy Fire yet) at your target, then cast PW: Shield on yourself. Immediately cast Shadow Word: Pain and then SmiteSmiteSmiteSmite
  • If you’re running out of mana, use your wand (I know, I know)
  • When your bubble wears off, renew it unless your target is at less than 20% health
[Questing Toolbar Image Coming Soon!]

QUEST AREAS

  • [Your Racial Starting Area] (0-10)

If you play a Horde character, I highly, highly recommend that as soon as you hit level 10 you get your butt over to Brill, outside of Undercity, and begin the beautifully epic/hilarious Forsaken quest chain, which will take you through to level 35 without pausing for breath.

If you’re Alliance, move with speed to Darkshore (you can get to Darnassus by taking a boat from Stormwind Harbor, then take the boat to Lor’Danel) for the revamped Cataclysm quest chains there. It’s no Dark Lady, but hey.

ALLIANCE:

  • Westfall (10-15)
  • Bloodmyst Isle (10-20)
  • Darkshore (10-20)
  • Loch Modan (10-20)
HORDE:
  • Azshara (10-20)
  • Ghostlands (10-20)
  • Northern Barrens (10-20)
  • Silverpine Forest (10-20)
ALLIANCE & HORDE:
  • Ruins of Gilneas (14-16)
  • Redridge Mountains (15-20)
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The Discipline Priest Handbook

A Short and Complete Manual of Healing as a Discipline Priest

Permanent Link to the most up-to-date version of the Discipline Priest Handbook

Not everyone dedicates the entirety of their Warcraft life to the incomparable experience of being a Discipline Priest.

I can’t explain it, but there it is.

Recently the difficulties associated with playing an alt- long-forgotten, rolled to fill some raid niche that evaporated, miraculously reaching the level cap by picking flowers- were brought home to me when I picked up my dusty mining druid and determined to shape him into a lean mean healin’ machine.

Things went badly. Okay, more than badly. I didn’t know what to spec, I had no idea what a healing rotation even looked like as a druid, and I was- to my shame- booted out of my first pug after two rounds of trash.

To my delight and pathetic gratitude I stumbled upon Tree Bark Jacket’s wonderful Resto Druid Cheat Sheet. Specs immediately become clear, spells made sense, and I stopped wearing cloth.

I asked Keeva of Tree Bark Jacket if I could steal her layout to similarly assist those 85 Disc Priests who needed similar help -the short, sweet version of How To Disc- and she graciously allowed me to lift whatever I could carry.

May this be of some use to you in your new- or continuing- journeys as a priest.

Godspeed, noble Discos!

The Discipline Priest Handbook

Spec Smite Spec:
Sample Smite Spec, WowheadNon-Smite Spec:
Sample Non-Smite Spec, Wowhead
Talent Specs
Stat Priority Intellect >> Spirit >> Haste > Crit > Mastery Stats Guide
Stat Goals Stack Spirit and then Haste (to @12.5%) at lower gear levels.Stack Crit and then Mastery at higher gear levels.
Enchants
Rotation Smite Spec:

  • All of the Non-Smite Spec information, plus…
  • Smite a hostile target five times to proc Archangel
  • Use Archangel to return mana and buff healing

Non-Smite Spec:

  • Apply Power Word: Shield and Prayer of Mending to the tank just before she pulls. Keep Shield up on the tank.
  • Re-apply Prayer of Mending to the tank whenever it expires
  • Optional: Apply PW:Shield to a DPS who is taking a lot of damage, or to yourself
    *ProTip: When you get aggro, use your Fade ability.
  • Small Heal: Renew (HoT)
  • Medium, Fast Heal: Penance
  • Large, Slow Heal: Greater Heal
  • Group Heal: Prayer of Healing
    *ProTip: Use Inner Focus every time it’s off cooldown before a Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing.
  • Use Hymn of Hope and Shadowfiend to regen mana
Rotations
Glyphs Smite Spec:

  • Primary: Glyph of Penance, Glyph of Power Word: Shield, Glyph of Power Word: Barrier (or Glyph of Renew)
  • Major: Glyph of Mass Dispel, Glyph of Divine Accuracy, Glyph of Fade
  • Minor: Glyph of Shadowfiend, Glyph of Fortitude, Glyph of Fading

Non-Smite Spec:

  • Primary: Glyph of Penance, Glyph of Power Word: Shield, Glyph of Power Word: Barrier (or Renew)
  • Major: Glyph of Mass Dispel, Glyph of Dispel Magic, Glyph of Desperation
  • Minor: Glyph of Shadowfiend, Glyph of Fortitude, Glyph of Shackle Undead
Glyphs
Reforging Destroy:

  • Hit
  • Parry
  • Dodge
  • Expertise

Take:

  • Spirit
  • Haste
  • Crit
  • Mastery
Gems & Reforging
Gems When in doubt, gem for Intellect.Primary Gems:

  • Red = Intellect gems
  1. [Brilliant Inferno Ruby]
  • Yellow = Critical, Haste, and Mastery gems
  1. [Smooth Amberjewel] Critical Strike
  2. [Quick Amberjewel] Haste
  3. [Fractured Amberjewel] Mastery
  • Blue = Spirit gems
  1. [Sparkling Ocean Sapphire] Spirit

Secondary Gems:

  • Green
  1. [Zen Dream Emerald] Mastery + Spirit
  • Orange
  1. [Potent Ember Topaz] Int + Crit
  2. [Reckless Ember Topaz] Int + Haste
  3. [Artful Ember Topaz] Int + Mastery
  • Purple
  1. [Purified Demonseye] Int + Spirit
Consumables
  • Elixirs
  1. [Flask of the Draconic Mind] +Int
  2. [Flask of Flowing Water] +Spirit
  • Food
  1. [Fortune Cookie] or [Seafood Magnifique Feast] +Top Stat
  2. [Severed Sagefish Head] +Int
  3. [Delicious Sagefish Tail] +Spirit
  4. [Basilisk Liverdog] +Haste
  5. [Baked Rockfish] +Crit
  6. [Lavascale Minestrone] +Mastery

And don’t forget [Superior Mana Oil] for that little extra edge.

Professions
  • Tailoring: +580 Intellect chance or +580 Spirit chance (cloak embroider)
  • Jewelcrafting: +81 Intellect (3 red gems)
  • Alchemy: +80 Intellect (mixology)
  • Engineering: +80 Intellect (bracer enchants & tinkers)
  • Enchanting: +80 Intellect (2 ring enchants)
  • Blacksmithing: +80 Intellect (bracer & glove sockets)
  • Inscription: +80 Intellect (shoulder inscription)
  • Leatherworking: +30 Intellect (bracer enchants)

For theorycrafting, more in-depth discussion, and alternative ideas, visit the PlusHeal.com Priest Forum or the Elitist Jerks Discipline Priest Forum.

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Discipline Priest Macros for Cataclysm

Macros are useful ways to bind several actions to one key or quickbar slot. Any class has an infinite variety of ways they could bind spells, actions, or alerts, but I thought it would be useful to share the few macros I use as a discipline priest in Cataclysm.

To use the following macros, load your character in WoW and hit ‘Esc’. Chose ‘Macros’ from the menu, select ‘New’ and paste the code for each macro into the empty space below the icon. Choose a nifty icon, name it, hit save and drag the icon to your quickbar. Done!

If anyone would like to share their own useful disc healing macros in the comments, please feel free!

Power Word: Fortitude +  Shadow Protection +  Buff All:

Inner Will + Alert

/showtooltip Buff All
/tar self
/cast Inner Will
/say Priest buffs applied.

Buff your group and yourself and announce that you have done so. Works in party, raid, or all by your lonesome.

Free Greater Heal:

Inner Focus + Greater Heal

/showtooltip  Free Greater Heal
/cast Inner Focus
/cast Greater Heal

Casts Inner Focus, which decreases the mana cost of your next Greater Heal, Prayer of Healing, or to zero, and then casts Greater Heal on your target.

Self Infusion:

Target Self + Power Infusion

/showtooltip Self Infusion
/tar self
/cast Power Infusion

Casts Power Infusion on yourself to speed your spell cast time and reduce mana cost.

Raidwide Damage Redux:

Power Infusion + Divine Hymn

/showtooltip Raidwide Damage
/tar self
/cast Power Infusion
/cast Divine Hymn

Casts Power Infusion on yourself, speeding the cast time and reducing the mana cost of your Divine Hymn. Good followed with a Prayer of Healing.

Possible Addition:

Inner Focus + Prayer of Healing

/showtooltip Raidwide Damage Plus
/cast Inner Focus
/cast Prayer of Healing

Casts Inner Focus- if it’s not on cooldown- with Prayer of Healing, to make PoH free.

 

Improved Shadowfiend

Acquire Target + Shadowfiend

/showtooltip Improved Shadowfiend
/cast [nopet,harm][nopet,target=targettarget,harm]Shadowfiend
/petattack [harm][target=targettarget,harm]
/petaggressive
/cast [harm][target=targettarget,harm]Shadowcrawl

Summons a Shadowfiend  and makes him aggressive. If a Shadowfiend is already out, it casts Shadowcrawl.

Heal ALL The Things!:

Barrier + Alert + Power Infusion +   Prayer of Healing

#showtooltip Big Barrier Heal
/cast Power Word: Barrier

Next macro:
/raid DPS: Please get under the yellow dome now.
/tar self
/cast Power Infusion
/cast Prayer of Healing

Casts a Barrier, alerts all the DPS to stand inside of it, casts Power Infusion on yourself for speed and reduced costs, and then casts Prayer of Healing on everyone in your party. Be sure you’re in the party with your DPS for this to work as advertised!

Polite Priesting:

Alert + Hymn of Hope

/showtooltip Hymn of Hope Plus
/tar self
/raid Casting mana regen. Mana users, please within 10 yards of %t.
/cast Hymn of Hope

Alerts the raid that you’re about to cast Hymn of Hope to regen mana for everyone within 10 yards of you, then casts HoH.

Resurrection Alert:

Resurrection +  Alert

/showtooltip Resurrection
/y Incoming resurrection on %t.
/cast Resurrection

Casts Resurrection on your target and announces you are doing so in a yell.

Bonus Macro!

Super Suppression:

Target your tank + Pain Suppression + Alert

#showtooltip Super Suppression – YOURTANKNAMEHERE
/tar YOURTANKNAMEHERE
/cast Pain Suppression
/raid Pain Suppression on %t.

This one requires a little customization but is well worth the effort. If you regularly heal a particular tank, put their character name into the macro wherever you see YOURTANKNAMEHERE. The macro will then target your tank, cast Pain Suppression on her (reducing her damage by 40% for 8 seconds) and announce it to your raid.

Useful Sites For Macro Creation:

For some reason, macro sites  are dominated by an unbelievable number of junk sites with viruses and the like. Please use caution when searching for macros on the interwebs.

Wowpedia’s Useful Macros for Priests

WoW 300 Macros: A mess of a site, but the generators are helpful

Wowpedia’s General Guide To Macros

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Patch 4.0.1 Live On Public Test Realms

Possible spoilers ahead!

Yes!

Patch 4.0.1 is live on the Public Test Realms (PTR).

Yes!

You can go copy your character and play around in there and get so excited you’re going to die.

Yes!

We will be going there directly this evening, copying our priest, and reporting back tonight.

No!

There was nothing specifically about priests in the PTR Patch Notes posted on the forums, but you can read the blue post in its entirety here. Basically, the actual Cataclysm has not yet happened- Dragonwing hasn’t spread his wings of destruction across the continents- but there are enough strange changes to keep us happy for some weeks. For now, here are the known quick-and-dirty changes for the priests:

  • The Spellbook interface has changed
  • Profession and class training interfaces have been upgraded
  • New alerts about which new talents/abilities are available at each level
  • Redesigned character pane which can be organized through click-and-drag
  • New, toggle-able raid frames (!!!). Access through ‘User Interface’
  • Durability has been normalized across armor types so all players pay about the same amount for repairs… :(
  • Talent trees have been changed and all points (in both specs, if you’re dual-specced) will be cleared
  • MP5 is gone
  • There are now three types of glyphs, instead of two
  • Spells and abilities scale with level; no more training ranks
  • Talent tree overhaul
  • Spells overhaul
  • Professions overhaul
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The Discultimate Leveling Guide: Levels 40 to 50 In Five Days

Level Forty To Fifty: Tanaris Is For Lovers!

BY LEVEL FORTY, you should have this whole healing thing well in hand. Whether you’ve taken up with a sympathetic tank and the two of you terrorize the countryside, or you’ve become a past master of the Looking For Dungeon Tool, this stretch of leveling road is an opportunity to truly hone your craft.

Your Satchel of Helpful Goods these days will contain items for your shoulders and fingers; with two fingers, you’ll likely make out with three free blues in this leveling section, rather than two. Don’t forget and accidentally purchase those expensive, uber-sexy shoulders right when you ding 40.

Acquiring higher-end (read: more expensive) crafting mats should drive much of your choices about where to level. Mats for items in the 200-300 level range can be more expensive than top-tier crafting mats, and buying them on the auction house is likely going to bankrupt you (unless that tank you found happens to double as your sugar daddy). To add insult to injury, much of what you’re crafting at these levels isn’t going to sell for much, if anything. Mageweave in particular is tough on the pocketbook at this point, but can be farmed successfully in Felwood at this level. Tanaris becomes particularly profitable for miners and skinners from these levels forward, and you can quest there to boot.

And don’t forget to pick up your Journeyman riding skill and a sweet new mount when you hit 40.

QUICK FACTS

TALENTS

  • 40    5/5 Mental Strength
  • 41    1/2 Focused Power
  • 42    2/2 Focused Power
  • 43    1/3 Enlightenment
  • 44    2/3 Enlightenment
  • 45    3/3 Enlightenment
  • 46    1/1 Power Infusion
  • 47   1/3 Improved Flash Heal
  • 48   1/3 Focused Will
  • 49   2/3 Focused Will
  • 50   3/3 Focused Will

ROTATION

  • Shield/Renew tank
  • Flash Heal small damage
  • Greater Heal big damage
  • Shield specific DPS/yourself if they’re consistently taking a lot of damage
  • Spam Fade if you’re taking a lot of aggro
  • Power Infusion on yourself at 25% of your mana level

QUEST AREAS

  • Feralas (40-50)
  • Tanaris Desert (40-50)
  • Badlands (35-45)
  • The Hinterlands (40-52)
  • Stranglethorn Vale/Searing Gorge (43-50)
  • Feralas (40-50)
  • Tanaris Desert (40-50)
  • The Hinterlands (40-52)
  • Searing Gorge (43-50)
  • Azshara (45-55)
  • The Blasted Lands (45-55)
  • Felwood (48-55)

LEVEL 40-50 SPELLS

40 – GREATER HEAL

A slow casting spell that heals a single target for X to Y.

Slow and big. Big and slow. Though the name couldn’t be more boring, and it is a spell geared towards Holy priests, this is a handy spell to rely on when you know your tank is about to take a massive damage hit. Also useful for topping yourself up from near-zero after a particularly nasty solo leveling run-in.

48 – PRAYER OF FORTITUDE

Power infuses all party and raid members, increasing their Stamina by X for 1.00 hour.

Prayer of Fortitude, like the later Prayer of Shadow Protection and  Prayer of Spirit, is a party-wide buff that uses one Devout Candle as its reagent. You’ll be casting all three before every raid and instance, and it’s useful not to have to stand around and hit five people individually with Power Word: Fortitude. Party-wide buffs are your responsibility as a good healer, so do stock up on the candles.

LEVEL 40-50 TALENTS

MENTAL STRENGTH

5 out of 5 points: Increases your total intellect by X%.

Continuing from last time, you’ll finish picking up these talents at 41, 42, and 43. At this point, your mana pool can handle the drain of mana that all those more powerful spells will require.

FOCUSED POWER

2 points: Increases damage and healing done by your spells by X%. In addition, your Mass Dispel cast time is reduced by Y sec.

Focused Power is a no-brainer, now that it increases your healing by 2% with the first rank and 4% with the second rank. Mass Dispel also gets a boost, but that will come in handy more in the Icecrown Citadel fights than in the earlier instances.

ENLIGHTENMENT

3 points: Increases your Spell Haste, and Spirit by X%.

It’s popular these days to pooh-pooh Spirit, but its importance to the size of your mana pool is undeniable. As mana management becomes more of an issue,  Spirit’s importance grows. As you level, mana pool size is more important than it is during raiding, when gear can pick up the mana slack, so pick up both levels here. And in no universe is more haste not a good thing!

POWER INFUSION

1 point: Infuses the target with power, increasing spell casting speed by 20% and reducing the mana cost of all spells by 20%. Lasts 15 sec.

Though I hesitate to add anything to your casting bar so early on, I go for Power Infusion this early in the game to give every aspiring Disco priest an opportunity to remember to use it. Power Infusion is a fantastic ability, but with its long cooldown and slightly obscure usage, its easy to forget to mash it when needed. Part of the reason you’re leveling as a Disco is to really learn to use your spells to their best effect: picking up Power Infusion early will hopefully increase your use of this, the most underutilized of utility spells.

IMPROVED FLASH HEAL

1 out of 5: Reduces the mana cost of your Flash Heal by X% and increases the critical effect chance of your Flash Heal by Y% on friendly targets at or below 50% health.

Start pushing points into a very unexciting but useful talent that improves your Flash Heal substantially by the time you take all five points (which you will, in the end). Though unsexy, you’ll be glad you did.

FOCUSED WILL

3 points: After taking a critical hit you gain the Focused Will effect, reducing all damage taken by X% and increasing healing effects on you by Y%. Stacks up to 3 times. Lasts 8 sec.

Finish out your talent tree to 50 by picking up all three ranks of Focused Will. Though ostensibly a PvP talent, if you find yourself running a lot of PUGs with tanks who can’t hold aggro, or solo/duo leveling, you’ll be glad you did. This makes it onto my list of essential talents in the as you finish up towards fifty solely because when you hit level 60, the Outlands instances you’ll be running introduces you to a massive influx of Death Knight tanks who have little to no experience tanking. There are exceptions of course, but chances are enormous that you’ll be on the receiving end of a larger number of hits than ever before. It’s nice to roll with the punches.

LEVEL 40-50 TALENT TREE

By level 50, then, your talent tree will look like this:

Discipline Priest Talent Tree, Level 40 to 50

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The Discultimate Leveling Guide: Levels 30 to 40 In Five Hours

Levels Thirty To Forty: Alterac Mountains? But I'm Squishy!

IT SEEMS LIKE just yesterday you were languishing for your mount, navigating the troublesome world of the Dungeon Finder for the first time, and exalting in your first Satchel of Helpful Goods. Now the feeling of excitement is waning, perhaps (Tumultuous Cloak of the Bandit AGAIN?), but the 30 to 40 grind actually has quite a bit to recommend it.

From levels 20 to 30, your Satchel of Helpful Goods contained back and waist items, so you could safely ignore spending money on those upgrades. From levels 30 to 40, however, your bag will give you items for your neck and hands. Whatever else you do, don’t bother getting that snazzy, expensive necklace upgrade right when you hit 30!

This stretch of leveling road is an absolutely excellent time to get serious about your trade skills, particularly cooking, which will pay off with real money in the long run, and fishing, which will make cooking even more profitable. Selling high-end buff foods before raid nights- Firecracker Salmons, Giant Feasts- will pad your pocket most comfortably.

At level 30, you’re high enough level to breeze through the primary gathering skill spots (you do have one gathering skill, right?) with ease.  This is the perfect time to visit them. You should also keep your hands on all the wool and silk you’re accumulating to turn in to capital city Quartermasters for increased faction reps.

QUICK FACTS

TALENTS

  • 30    1/1 Soul Warding
  • 31    1/5 Holy Specialization
  • 32    2/5 Holy Specialization
  • 33    3/5 Holy Specialization
  • 34    4/5 Holy Specialization
  • 35    5/5 Holy Specialization
  • 36    1/5 Mental Strength
  • 37    2/5 Mental Strength
  • 38    3/5 Mental Strength
  • 39    4/5 Mental Strength
  • 40    5/5 Mental Strength

ROTATION

  • Shield/Renew tank
  • Flash Heal small damage
  • Greater Heal big damage
  • Shield specific DPS/yourself if they’re consistently taking a lot of damage
  • Spam Fade if you’re taking a lot of aggro
  • Inner Focus at 25% of your base mana

QUEST AREAS

  • Arathi Highlands (30-40)
  • Desolace (30-40)
  • Thousand Needles (30+)
  • Stranglethorn Vale (30-45)
  • Hillsbrad Foothills (20-30)
  • Arathi Highlands (30-40)
  • Desolace (30-40)
  • Badlands (35-45)
  • Stranglethorn Vale (30-45)
  • Dustwallow Marsh (35-45)

LEVEL 30-40 SPELLS

30 – MIND CONTROL

Controls a humanoid mind up to level X, but increases the time between attacks by 25%. Lasts up to 1 min.

Feel like being a DPS for a hot minute? Healing failPUGs got you down? Why not mind control a nearby enemy and use him to bash the brains out of his companions! Fun for the whole family! … Except, you know, if you need to, say, heal someone. Absolutely a Shadow-only spell unless you’re just having a larf or solo leveling.

30 – PRAYER OF HEALING

A powerful prayer heals party members within 30 yards for X to Y.

Finally, something useful. When you hit 30, the long slog of no new spells you’ve endured since 20 is finally broken. PoH is worth waiting for. It’s pretty great in 5-man PUGs when all of your party members take damage at once from some AoE, but it really shines in raids. You can target any raid member and heal their entire party, wether or not you’re in it. Hit your ‘Inner Focus’ cooldown just before using PoH to obliterate its long-ass casting time and staggering 48% of base mana cost.

30 – SHADOW PROTECTION (Buff)

Increases the target’s resistance to Shadow spells by X for 10 min.

Until level 56 and 60, when you pick up Prayer of Shadow Protection and Prayer of Spirit, respectively (which buffs the entire party at once), you’ll have to individually cast this buff on every member of your party (including yourself, natch). But there’s a lot of shadow damage out there and SP comes in handy, as do all your buffs. Don’t skimp on buffing, as you’re the one who’ll pay the price for people taking more damage.

30 – DIVINE SPIRIT (Buff)

Holy power infuses the target, increasing their Spirit by X for 30 min.

See Shadow Protection.

32 – ABOLISH DISEASE

Attempts to cure 1 disease effect on the target, and 1 more disease effect every 3 seconds for 12 sec.

Pre-Cataclysm, casting Abolish Disease didn’t cost you mana unless there was actually a disease to dispel, meaning you could smack it down any time someone looked peakish (just in case). In Cataclysm, however, you pay the price for casting even if you have no diseases to dispel. Sadly, you’ll have to learn what icons stand for disease and what icons stand for poisons to make this an effective, mana efficient spell.

34 – LEVITATE

Allows the target to levitate, floating a few feet above the ground. While levitating, the target will fall at a reduced speed and travel over water. Any damage will cancel the effect. Lasts 2 min.

Though I thought of this as a ‘slow fall’ spell for years, its greater utility is actually the ability to travel over water. This can save you vast swathes of time while leveling through Outland, and with a minor glyph- Glyph of Levitate- you can eliminate the Light Feather it normally costs to cast. An under-appreciated but very useful little trick!

40 – GREATER HEAL

A slow casting spell that heals a single target for X to Y.

Slow and big. Big and slow. Though the name couldn’t be more boring, and it is a spell geared towards Holy priests, this is a handy spell to rely on when you know your tank is about to take a massive damage hit. Also useful for topping yourself up from near-zero after a particularly nasty solo leveling run-in.

LEVEL 30-40 TALENTS

SOUL WARDING

1 point: Reduces the cooldown of your Power Word: Shield ability by 4 sec. and reduces the mana cost of your Power Word: Shield by 15%.

Nothing says happiness to a disco priest like shielding more and harder. If you use this spell and Rapture, a later talent, together, you’ll be returning truly unseemly amounts of mana to yourself.

HOLY SPECIALIZATION

5 points: Increases the critical effect chance of your Holy spells by X%.

Yeah, yeah, yeah- we’re not Holy. I get it. But think about all the Holy spells you use that could benefit from going all the way into Holy Specialization: Lesser Heal, Smite, Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal, Holy Fire, Prayer of Healing, Circle of Healing, and Holy Nova. So there.

MENTAL STRENGTH

2 out of 5 points: Increases your total intellect by X%.

Increasing your Intellect grows the power of your spells. I don’t go straight for this talent in all five points yet because having too much Intellect can make your spells so powerful that they drain your mana pool too quickly; give it until levels 41 and 42 to take the next two levels, when your mana catches up to your power.

LEVEL 30-40 TALENT TREE

By level 40, then, your talent tree will look like this:

Discipline Priest Talent Tree, Levels 30 to 40

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Disc 101: Working With Other Healers

I know.

We’re imba.

Sooner or later, though, if you want to have chance of running 10-man raids, you’ll have to learn to get along with at least one other healer in a group. Working with other healers is a ton of fun, especially when you’re running with skilled individuals who do things totally differently but get fantastico results and make your job easier.

Getting along with your healing team is the single most important thing you can do to improve your success rate in raids. Learn to love them, listen to what they have to say, and always throw them a bonus heal.

They might even make you look better, if such a thing is possible! Then you can all retire to Ironforge for a beer amidst the cheers of your raid group for their healing team.

Understanding is the key to success!

Raid Healing Crib Sheet

Disc Priest & Paladin

Spells They Use:

Holy Light. Beacon of Light. Cleanse.

How This Affects You:

Holy Paladins are exclusively tank healers. If you don’t wanna be a tank healer, *footstomp*, tough shit. Unless there’s a shaman lurking around the back and you get to have that off-tank all to your lonesome, you WILL be the raid healer.

This is the trickiest combination of healers.

Neither of you have much in the way of group heal spells (oh, wait, what’s this under a rock? Circle of Whatnow?)- Paladins have none- and by the time your raid DPS’s get to 25% health it may already be too late to save them. And there’s not even another Disc Priests’ Penance bouncing around to help you out. You’re on your own completely, so be prepared to do a metric ass-ton of casting.

Keep Power Word: Shield up on all your targets. Start off with a rotation and then stick to it- “Click- shield, click-shield, click-shield”. If a DPS is taking damage, throw a Renew on them and keep moving. Watch who’s taking the most damage and hit that person with your Penance (sad fact: it may be you). Don’t bother bubbling the Pally, who has plenty of self-healing spells… besides which you’ll quite simply be too busy to bubble them.

Unlike the Marines, you may be leaving a man behind. On the plus side, your healing rotation gets much easier when you have one less person to keep alive!

Bonus Tip: Cast ‘Inner Focus’ before you slam down that last-ditch ‘Circle of Healing’. And pretend we don’t both know that if you’re doing that, it’s already too late.

Disc Priest & Shaman

Spells They Use:

Chain Heal. Healing Wave. Rip Tide.

How This Affects You:

Restoration Shamans are well-rounded raid healers. Congratulations! You’re bubbling the tanks.

It’s important to note that their Healing Stream Totem only heals the people in their party; Chain Heal, however, hits raid-wide. Shamans’ single-target heal spells are their Healing Wave and Rip Tide. Their raidwide heals aren’t as strong as a Druid’s, but they do have more flexibility to top up DPS who are taking more damage than the rest of the raid, which is reassuring if you run with one eye on the raid.

You’ll be perfectly fine just paying attention to your tanks without worrying too much about what’s happening in the raid, though bubbling the Shaman is a gentlemanly gesture which is always appreciated.

Bonus Tip: Stand within 30 yards of their Mana Tide Totem for better mana regeneration, and praise the Gods for giving you a Shammy.

Disc Priest & Disc Priest

Spells They Use:

Power Word: Shield. Penance. Flash Heal.

How This Affects You:

This can be a disaster waiting to happen, but it doesn’t have to be. The biggest issue here is that you’ll both end up trying to shield the same target that’ll screw up your cooldowns on Weakened Soul, or that you’ll place Penance on the same person.

This combination is particularly brutal when one or both of you don’t stick to your healing assignments.

Not sticking to the assignments means that on your frantic rotation through your raid group (let’s say you’re raid healing), you find that another shield is already up on one of your DPS. Now that person is off the scheduled clock- you don’t know how long that shield’s been up, how long it’ll be up, or how long the Weakened Soul will last, so you skip that dude and keep going. But it messes up your momentum, that DPS will invariably go without shielding for a while as you go on to the rest of your rotation, and it messes with your flow, man, your fuckin’ FLOW!

Don’t be that Disc priest.

With any other healer, you’re a saint for throwing a few raid bubbles on hard-hit DPS targets as you wait for your assigned tank’s bubble to wear off. With another Disc healer, you are just making them MAD.

Stick religiously to your assignments if you’re thrown in with another Disco. Keep Penance up on your targets (only your targets! You don’t want to hit the same person the other priest just hit and waste it). If you have the time and mana to assist on some non-assigned heals, you may feel free to dole out some Flash Heals.

Remember, if everyone in the raid just took a few huge hits, another disc priest cannot effectively heal them all at once. This isn’t like playing with a Shammy who has one enormous long Chain Heal she’s just on the verge of finishing; if you see seriously empty bars, you must help out your fellow Disc by Flash Healing the snot out of the second-worst damaged.

It’s the Code of the Discos.

Bonus Tip: Let each other know when you’re about to cast Hymn of Hope. Stand close to each other if possible. Trade off to ensure that the priest who’s casting is shielded, and you both get the most mana out of those two Hymns that you possibly can.

Disc Priest & Holy Priest

Spells They Use:

Prayer of Healing. Prayer of Mending. Circle of Healing.

How This Affects You:

A Holy Priest can perform single-target heals, but hopefully your Holy Priest will relish his role as a raid healer.

Lots of PUGing and LFD, though- especially if he’s overgeared- may have seduced your Holy into some bad habits: namely, using disc spells as quick fixes. This can be legendarily bad if it happens when you run together.

With any luck, your Holy Priest will not try to bubble. If they do, you’re going to have to figure out a way to ask them as politely as possible to stop. This is a recipe for disaster as it will screw up your Weakened Soul cooldown rotation and is a terrible waste of his mana to boot.

Otherwise, Holy priests make excellent raid companions. Do, do bubble them whenever you can; for some reason, I see Holy healers go down before any other healer class, and a fairy loses its wings every time a priest dies.

Bonus Tip: You both have Fade. Use it!

Disc Priest & Druid

Spells They Use:

Healing Touch. Nourish. Rejuvenation. Wild Growth.

How This Affects You:

Druid healers have lots and lots of loooooong HoTs (Heals Over Time). They are, to my mind, on the absolute other end of the healing spectrum from us fast and flashy disc healers. This is definitely a good thing: You perform triage, they keep up steady infusions.

You may find it helpful to keep up a bubble on the one DPS who is taking a ton of damage, simply because the Druid repertoire is very light on single-target heals. Tossing a Flash Heal or Penance on a DPS whose health is falling way behind everyone else’s will get you very far indeed with your tree.

The problem you may have with healing with a druid is mainly personal. It’s incredibly hard for me to see several low health bars and not do anything about it, ohmigod STAN, ohmigod he’s DYING *flash heal! flash heal! flash heal!*. The problem is internal. We aren’t patient, or we wouldn’t be Disc priests.

Trust your druid to keep on top of it. Repress the desire to bubble spam the raid when you’re tank healing (and you will be tank healing, if there’s a druid in the group). If you absolutely must, just avoid looking at any health bars that aren’t assigned to you. Be at one with nature, and compliment your druid’s foliage.

Bonus Tip: Always, always, always keep a bubble up on the druid healer. Yes, I know it’s not your assignment. No, I don’t care.

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Discipline Priest Stats for 4.0

As you work on creating your character, you’ll find yourself faced with a dizzying array of numbers and acronyms. Buzzwords fly around like mosquitos in August: Stam, Haste, spell Crit and holy Crit, Spirit and nerfed Spirit.

It can all get a little confusing.

QUICK STATS CHEAT SHEET

  • Intellect: Size of your mana pool & strength of spells
  • Haste: Spell casting speed.
  • Crit: Chance to cast a more powerful than normal (critical) spell.
  • Spirit: Mana and health regeneration rate

For a standard, endgame level 85 discipline priest build:
Intellect > Spirit > Haste (to 22%) > Crit

If you’re having trouble running out of mana:
Spirit > Intellect > Haste (to 22%) > Crit

FINDING YOUR STATS

The Blizzard-run WoW Armory will be a powerful ally in figuring out the whys and wherefores of your character statistics, otherwise known as your stats. When you log into or just visit the armory, you’ll search for your own character name and choose the correct realm for your personal ‘Ihealunoobz’.

You’ll find your base stats section here:

Base Stats

Also known simply as your ‘stats’, your base stats include the six main combat components of your character: strength, agility, stamina, intellect, spirit and armor.

Strength

  • Strength (STR): Increases your melee power, block power, and parry rating.

    What Strength Means for Disc Priests
    : Nothing.

Agility

  • Agility (AGI): Increases your ranged attack power, armor, weapon critical hit rating, dodge, and armor rating.

    What Agility Means For Disc Priests
    : Nothing.

Stamina

  • Stamina (STA): Stamina determines your available pool of health.

    What Stamina Means For Disc Priests
    : In the theoretical world of PvE raiding or instancing, your health pool won’t be an issue. You’re a clothie, at the back and squishy as hell, protected by a die-hard phalanx of plate-wearing warriors whom you trust to throw their dying corpses in front of enemies to protect you.In reality, however…When one is running PUGs for leveling or profit, frequently the discipline priest finds that he or she is at the mercy of a tank with very low aggro-holding abilities. And almost all raids these days have at least two bosses with guaranteed, uninterruptible area of effect damage spells (bone spikes, anyone?). In either case, it’s very nice to stand up to slightly more abuse than an average cloth wearer.

    Staying alive means more time healing, less time running, and less money spent on repairs.Because of all that, I tend to stack Stamina to an unseemly degree. And if you’re running PvP battlegrounds or arenas, it is, of course, a no-brainer.

Intellect

  • Intellect (INT): Intellect determines your available pool of mana, your chance to score a spell critical strike, and mana regeneration.

    What Intellect Means For Disc Priests
    : Intellect’s powerful effect on your mana pool is, to me, deeply reassuring. Perhaps it’s the placebo effect, but just a small increase in my mana pool really calms me down in large fights. In case you were curious, Intellect also determines the rate at which your weapon proficiencies increase, so feel free to order a Knuckle Sandwich.

Spirit

  • Spirit (SPI): Health and mana regeneration.

    What Spirit Means For Disc Priests
    : Spirit is a tricky stat for discipline priests. Holy priests are far more dependent on spirit, as their more-powerful spells take longer to cast and require more mana. Disc priests, on the other hand, have an arsenal of lightweight and fast-casting spells, mainly of a preventative nature, with far lower casting costs.We’re less likely to have mana issues, and as a result I tend to give up increases in Spirit for increases in Intellect. When I do find myself running out of mana more often than I’d like, I prefer to increase Intellect- and grow my available mana pool- over Spirit.

Armor

  • Armor (ARM): Physical damage mitigation.

    What Armor Means For Disc Priests
    : While I always enjoy the opportunity to be slightly less squishy (see Stamina), I tend to let Inner Fire and party buffs fill my armor needs.

Spell Stats

SPELL STATS

Your spell stats include the six main casting components of your character: bonus damage, bonus healing, hit rating, spell critical chance, haste rating, and mana regeneration.

If a different set of stats than the one pictured here is displayed on your WoW Armory page, click the left or right arrows (next to the word ‘Spell’ in the picture).

Hit Rating

Hit Rating: Spell Hit Rating is the chance your spells have to land on your target. It is countered by the opponent’s resistance rating.

What Hit Rating Means For Disc Priests
: Healing spells always hit friendly targets, so nothing.

Crit Chance

Crit Chance (aka Crit, Criticals, Crit Rating, Spell Critical Strike): Increases the chance a spell you cast will produce an extra-large ‘critical’ strike.

What Crit Means For Disc Priests
: Spells cast on friendly targets will always hit their mark, so as a dedicated healer you don’t ever have to worry about Spell Hit rating. Spell Crit, on the other hand, is of great importance to us as- since we’re guaranteed to always hit our target- any increase in Spell Crit translates directly into higher healing power. In addition, Divine Aegis and Inspiration talents proc only on spell criticals.If you hover your mouse over the words ‘Crit Chance’ on your WoW Armory page, you’ll see that your criticals are broken up into Holy, Fire, Nature, Frost, Shadow, and Arcane. Your Holy will (probably- well, hopefully!) be higher than the other forms, and will be higher, too, than your listed Crit Chance.Your Holy Crit Chance can be increased by 5% by taking all five levels of the Holy talent ‘Holy Specialization’.

Haste Rating

Haste Rating: Haste can be incredibly difficult to understand, and may be the most hotly contested stat for priests. In its simplest form, increased Haste reduces the time it takes for your Global Cooldown (spell countdown timer) to reset.

A cap is the maximum haste rating, usually given in percentages, from which a priest can benefit. The absolute fastest you can cast Flash Heal (the spell we generally use to measure the Global Cooldown speed) is one second. A cast time of greater than one second means you could be casting Flash Heal faster. If you’re already casting a one-second Flash Heal, any additional Haste will be wasted.

A hard cap on haste is your maximum beneficial haste rating with spells, buffs, and talent effects. The maximum haste you can have is 50%.

A soft cap on haste is your maximum beneficial haste rating without any spells, buffs, or talent effects. This is the number you will see on your WoW armory page. The best soft haste cap number is the source of much debate.

Spells, Buffs, and Talents That Increase Haste:

- Power Infusion: Disc talent. Increases spell casting speed by 20%. Lasts 15 sec.
– Borrowed Time: Disc talent. Grants (5 to 25)% spell haste for your next spell after casting Power Word: Shield. Lasts 6 sec.
– Heroism: Shaman party buff. Increases melee, ranged, and spell casting speed by 30% for all party and raid members. Lasts 40 sec.

Here’s the take-home point: If a Shaman has cast Heroism on you, do not blow your Power Infusion or Borrowed Time. Doing so will likely put you over the Haste hard cap and the extra haste they provide will be wasted.

What Haste Means For Disc Priests: We always want to cast Flash Heal in one second, but we don’t want to have Haste in excess of that one second Flash Heal. Personally, I’d rather err on the side of having too little Haste. I don’t mind if my Flash Heal takes 1.2 seconds. Many Theorycrafters, though, get very into walking that line precisely.

I like to have a Haste rating of about 22%. Any more and I feel like I’m sinking too many resources into Haste; any less and I find my Flash Heal is casting too slowly to be responsive.

Additionally- as a very reactive and stressed-out player with a strong tendency to overheal- I look at my Haste rating as a way to stop myself from casting a Flash Heal (or two or three) on a tank at full health. I’d rather move my resources into powering up my heals and deepening my mana pool (Intellect).

If you’re just itching for more mathematical information about Priest class Theorycrafting, after all this, I recommend BobTurkey’s WoW Blog. And a visit to your friendly local psychiatrist.

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Disc 101, Discultimate Leveling Guide

The Discultimate Leveling Guide: Levels 20 to 30 In Five Minutes

Levels Twenty To Thirty: The Wetlands Await!

NOW THAT YOU have the first twenty levels under your belt, and a fancy-pants mount to boot, it’s time to start digging in for the long haul. You’re starting to get comfortable with a spell rotation, you have general idea what it is this priesting lark is all about, and with any luck you’ve even gotten a few PUGs under your belt.

The 20-30 level grind is lightened by the availability of your new mount, the chance to take in new leveling areas, and some of the funnier quest streams going. So let’s talk about how you can get the most out of your healer in this range with the minimum personal fuss.

QUICK FACTS

TALENTS

  • 20   1/3 Improved Power Word: Shield
  • 21    2/3 Improved Power Word: Shield
  • 22    3/3 Improved Power Word: Shield
  • 23    1/1 Inner Focus
  • 24    1/3 Meditation
  • 25    1/3 Mental Agility
  • 26    2/3 Meditation
  • 27   2/3 Mental Agility
  • 28   3/3 Mediation
  • 29   3/3 Mental Agility
  • 30    1/1 Soul Warding

ROTATION

  • Buff yourself with Shadow Protection, Divine Spirit, and Power Word: Fortitude
  • Shield/Renew tank
  • Flash Heal small damage
  • Greater Heal big damage
  • Shield specific DPS/yourself if they’re consistently taking a lot of damage
  • Spam Fade if you’re taking a lot of aggro

QUEST AREAS

  • Redridge Mountains (15-25)
  • Ashenvale (18-30)
  • Wetlands (20-30)
  • Duskwood (18-30)
  • Ashenvale (18-30)
  • Wetlands (20-30)

LEVEL 20-30 SPELLS

22 – MIND VISION

Allows the caster to see through the target’s eyes for 1 min.

Of great utility in PvP (you can see through hostile and friendly players’ eyes), Mind Vision has very little utility in PvE or instancing. If you’re watching your pennies, don’t even bother purchasing the spell for now.

24 – MANA BURN

Destroy 10% of the target’s mana (up to a maximum of 20% of your own maximum mana). For each mana destroyed in this way, the target takes 0.5 Shadow damage.

If you come up against a boss who keeps healing himself, mana burn can be critical in halting the damage/self-heal cycle. I can’t say I use it very often, though, and a set of obscure rules keeps it pretty underpowered in PvE. In PvP, though, it’s handy, and I hear it’s a laugh riot if you use it as a Shadow Priest in conjunction with Vampiric Embrace.

30 – MIND CONTROL

Controls a humanoid mind up to level X, but increases the time between attacks by 25%. Lasts up to 1 min.

Feel like being a DPS for a hot minute? Healing failPUGs got you down? Why not mind control a nearby enemy and use him to bash the brains out of his companions! Fun for the whole family! … Except, you know, if you need to, say, heal someone. Absolutely a Shadow-only spell unless you’re just having a larf.

30 – PRAYER OF HEALING

A powerful prayer heals party members within 30 yards for X to Y.

Finally, something useful. When you hit 30, the long slog of no new spells you’ve endured since 20 is finally broken. PoH is worth waiting for. It’s pretty great in 5-man PUGs when all of your party members take damage at once from some AoE, but it really shines in raids. You can target any raid member and heal their entire party, wether or not you’re in it. Hit your ‘Inner Focus’ cooldown just before using PoH to obliterate its long-ass casting time and staggering 48% of base mana cost.

30 – SHADOW PROTECTION (Buff)

Increases the target’s resistance to Shadow spells by X for 10 min.

Until level 56 and 60, when you pick up Prayer of Shadow Protection and Prayer of Spirit, respectively (which buffs the entire party at once), you’ll have to individually cast this buff on every member of your party (including yourself, natch). But there’s a lot of shadow damage out there and SP comes in handy, as do all your buffs. Don’t skimp on buffing, as you’re the one who’ll pay the price for people taking more damage.

30 – DIVINE SPIRIT (Buff)

Holy power infuses the target, increasing their Spirit by X for 30 min.

See Shadow Protection.

LEVEL 20-30 TALENTS

IMPROVED POWER WORD: SHIELD

3 points: Increases the damage absorbed by your Power Word: Shield by X%.

Sweep in and pick up all the points in Improved PW:S right away while leveling. From 20-23, this should be a no-brainer way to spend your talent points. Your shield is the best weapon in your arsenal; why wouldn’t you devote as many resources as possible to it?

INNER FOCUS

1 point: When activated, reduces the mana cost of your next spell by 100% and increases its critical effect chance by 25% if it is capable of a critical effect.

Inner Focus is a very nice “Oh, shit, I’m out of mana” save. If you use it in conjunction with Circle of Healing, in particular, it gives you a massive party-wide heal for free. Since you won’t pick up CoH until level 30, though, don’t spend this talent point until you reach level 29. Between 29 and 30, play with using it to make regular Heals cost-free.

MEDITATION

3 points: Allows X% of your mana regeneration to continue while casting.

You won’t be regenerating an immense amount of mana with Meditation, but you have to spend at least five more points in Tier 3 (that’s this current set of talents) in order to move on to the juicier Tier 4 talents you’ll pick up in the next ten levels. Meditation is as good a way to spend your points as any, and as you move onto more challenging instances, you’ll realize just how much of your time you do spend casting. Pick up all three points here.

MENTAL AGILITY

3 points: Reduces the mana cost of your instant cast spells by X%.

Our best spells- Power Word: Shield, Renew, and later Prayer of Mending- are instant cast. Reducing the mana cost of those suckers is essential. Grab all three points.

LEVEL 20-30 TALENT TREE

By level 30, then, your talent tree will look like this:

Discipline Priest Talent Tree, Level 30
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