Category Archives: Disc 101

Holier Than Thou: Basic Priestsources

The web abounds with resources for priests, but separating out the wheat from the chaff can be an exhausting slog. The following is a brief but comprehensive list of priest-centric resources that don’t suck, won’t give you a virus, and don’t try to sell you gold.


PlusHeal: Extensive forums for all healer types, with excellent priest-specific boards.
World of Matticus: A group-run blog from multiple healing perspectives.
BobTurkey: Theorycrafting and healer math.
Spiritual Guidance at A dual-author column focusing on priest healers on Mondays and priest DPSers on Wednesdays. The healer writer is dull as ditchwater, but the shadow priest is ace.


Disciplinary Action
Tales of a Priest
– Righteous Orbs

Priest Is The Word
Holy Form
Holy Fire Spec: A blog dedicated to DPSing in a Holy spec. So weirdly fab I had to include it (though even he admits he’s not a meter-topper).


Pugnacious Priest
Twisted Faith: A super-helpful comprehensive guide to raids, leveling, and the like.


Vudho is an excellent healer add on but can be (well, was for me) extremely intimidating to start using. Check out Tamarind’s idiot-friendly guide to Vudho setup at Righteous Orbs.

Have a great go-to blog or guide? Share the love here!

Reposted from the Mortem Vitae Sequens guild priest guide.
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Disc 101: PvE v PvP

Separate But Equal

One of the trickiest problems with gear, I find, is the internal debate over whether you should take a readily available PvP piece of equipment that is a big iLevel upgrade for you, or if it’s better to keep going with your PvE gear and just keep grinding out those badges. When I PvP, my problem is exactly the reverse: dip into that tempting Frost pile I never use to replace those ancient gloves, or grit my teeth and Arena until I pile up the points there?

How do you when it’s better to take the lesser PvE gear over the higher-level PvP gear, or vice versa?

Here are a few tools to help you decide:

  • Rawr: Rawr is a program which runs on your computer, looks up your character, then gives you automated suggestions for gear upgrades for PvP or PvE. Take the suggestions with a grain of salt, though; it’s been known to make mistakes, as Bang & Blame notes this week.
  • WoW Armory:
    – For PvE: Look up a high-level, endgame raiding guild on a guild progression website like Search within the ranked guilds for a discipline priest who has completed the raid you’re currently on, and then check out his gear on the armory. Compare and contrast with yourself.
    – For PvP: Look up a high-level arena team who is doing the same arena numbers that you are (or for battlegrounders, look up a 5v5 team) at an arena team ranking site like Arena Junkies. Find a team with a disc priest of the size you want, then check out her gear on the armory. Compare and contrast with yourself.
  • PlusHeal: PlusHeal is a forums-driven healers website divided into classes. Check out the PlusHeal Priest section, and specifically this thread to compare your own stats with those on endgame raiders (or PvPers, if that’s your bag).

This all comes with a caveat we all know only too well: Even if you choose the lesser piece of equipment for all the right reasons, raids and guilds will look at your gearscore and not your gear nine times out of ten. If you’re not getting into high-level raids, you’re not going to be pulling down extra Frost. If you’re not pulling down extra Frost, you’ll be stuck in that noble, low-level, perfectly appropriate PvE gear for a very long time.

Walk the line, my little priestlings. Walk the line.

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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.


  • 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


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

    What Strength Means for Disc Priests
    : Nothing.


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

    What Agility Means For Disc Priests
    : Nothing.


  • 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 (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 (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 (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


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 Gear Guide

The Discultimate Gear Guide: Levels 20-30

Let's See Those Psionic Aliens Get Through THIS!


Now that you have your first twenty levels under your belt, it’s time to branch out. If you’ve accumulated enough gold you’ll be purchasing your mount at some point during this leveling block. Increased speed equals increased questing equals more money, which translates into MOAR STUFF!

At this point you’ll be looking at more serious business gear. Your discipline specialization is starting to become more pronounced as you add in talents, and your gear less disposable. You’ll be looking at it a lot longer too, so do try and get something that looks pretty. Last but not least, real headgear is now available to you.

At this point, we still want:
Spellpower > Intellect > Spirit or MP5 or Stamina

Check out our Discultimate Leveling Guide: Levels 20 – 30 In Five Minutes


Particularly for the first forty or so levels, the fastest way to gear up will be through the Auction House. If you’re playing the well-funded priest alt of a high roller, all well and good. If this is your only character, you are, as the British say, for it.

I’ve tried to include gear that comes from a variety of sources that may not be the absolute top stat gear to provide the non-high-rollers with a selection of gear that allows for some variation in following quest lines, and just plain personal preference (I refuse to set foot in Silithus, for example, no matter what Discipline Robe Of Shazaam might be there).  And for those of you with a Daddy Warbucks alt suppling you with a steady stream of allowance packets, or far-reaching hopes, there’s a ‘Best In Show’ category as well.

Heirloom gear is not included in this list, but is discussed here.


An exhaustive list of enchantments would be too exhausting to contemplate, so for each piece I simply recommend one enchantment that I think gets the job done and will serve you well for most of your ten levels. Re-enchanting leveling gear is, I think, neither time nor cost effective given the relatively small benefit you’ll enjoy.

SECRET TIP O’ THE DAY: I always carry two extra pairs of gloves with me at lower levels. I buy the cheapest gloves I can find and then enchant one with [Enchant Gloves – Herbalism] and one with [Enchant Gloves – Mining] (my two professions), then make a macro to slip them on quickly. When I hit that “just a little too high!” herb or mine, I’ve got them in the bag and ready to go.



Best In Show: Robes of Arugal (Usable at 20!)

Alternative 1: Green Silk Armor
Alternative 2: Azure Silk Vest BEST BUY!
Alternative 3: Death Speaker Robes

Enchantment: [Enchant Chest – Greater Stats] or [Enchant Chest – Major Mana]


Best In Show: Gaze Dreamer Pants

Alternative 1: Azure Silk Pants BEST BUY!
Alternative 2: Sanguine Trousers
Alternative 3: Leech Pants

Enchantment: [None until Level 50]


Best In Show: Acidic Walkers

Alternative 1: Spider Silk Slippers BEST BUY!
Alternative 2: Silver-thread Boots
Alternative 3: Boots of Darkness

Enchantment: [Enchant Boots – Minor Speed] or [Medium Armor Kit]


Best In Show: Batwing Mantle

Alternative 1: Resilient Mantle
Alternative 2: Luminescent Amice
Alternative 3: Silver-thread Amice

Enchantment: [None until Level 60]


Best In Show: Glowing Magical Bracelets

Alternative 1: Nightsky Wristbands
Alternative 2: Fingerbone Bracers
Alternative 3: Silver-thread Cuffs

Enchantment: Enchant Bracer – Mana Regeneration or Enchant Bracer – Greater Intellect


Best In Show: Hotshot Pilot’s Gloves

Alternative 1: Gloves of Old
Alternative 2: Hands of Darkness
Alternative 3: Phoenix Gloves BEST BUY!

Enchantment: [Enchant Gloves – Minor Haste]


Best In Show: Cloak of the Faith

Alternative 1: Cloak of Rot
Alternative 2: Yeti Fur Cloak

Enchantment: [Enchant Cloak – Greater Resistance] or [Enchant Cloak – Greater Defense]


Best In Show: Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator

Alternative 1: Shadow Hood BEST BUY!
Alternative 2: Moonsoul Crown
Alternative 3: Azure Silk Hood

Enchantment: [None until Level 50]


Best In Show: Darkmoon Necklace (30+)

Alternative 1: Crystal Starfire Medallion
Alternative 2: Amulet of the Moon
Alternative 3:  Brilliant Necklace BEST BUY!


Best In Show: Advisor’s Ring [H] / Lorekeeper’s Ring [A]

Alternative 1: Electrocutioner Lagnut
Alternative 2: Seal of Argas
Alternative 3: Wicked Moonstone Ring BEST BUY!
Alternative 4: The Queen’s Jewel

Enchantment: [None until Level 70 and then enchanters only]


Best In Show: Defiler’s Talisman [H] / Talisman of Arathor [A]

Alternative 1: Rune of Perfection
Alternative 2: Gnomish Universal Remote (Requires Engineering 125)
Alternative 3: Minor Recombobulator (Requires Engineering 140)


Best In Show: Kam’s Walking Stick

Alternative 1: Bloodscalp Channeling Staff
Alternative 2: Wind Spirit Staff
Alternative 3: Rod of the Sleepwalker

Enchantment: [Enchant 2H Weapon – Major Intellect] or [Enchant 2H Weapon – Major Spirit] (or Lesser versions of either)

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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.



  • 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


  • 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


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



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

See Shadow Protection.



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?


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.


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.


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.


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

Discipline Priest Talent Tree, Level 30
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