Category: Discultimate Leveling Guide

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

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

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.