Tag Archives: healing

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 WoW.com: 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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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 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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PUGtales: Snap Judgements

Just Another Day In Paradise

Lately I’ve been racking up massive numbers of PUGs with the LFD tool in order to keep my alts in the heirloom style to which they have become accustomed (the ungrateful bastards! Why, in MY day, I leveled as a holy priest with a broken dagger and half a cape, and was damn grateful for it! Uphill both ways to Molten Core through-… ahem, excuse me).

But my point, and I do have one, was that I realized last night that I’ve been creating a mental list of Instant Tank Judgements. We all know that someone with a name like ‘Ipwnulolz’ will likely require the patience of a saint, but there are more subtle signs.

There’s that inescapable, thoroughly subconscious, internal checklist that makes us think, Oh, God, I should just drop now and get it over with that we run through before anyone even opens their mouth. I’d be totally interested to hear someone else’s, but without further ado, here are my own:

Good Tanks

  • Dwarves (usually)
  • Gnomes (always)
  • Females (unbelievably good, unless they’re a DK named ‘Sexxorz’)
  • Any tank who’s running with his ‘Display Helmet’ turned off (???)

Bad Tanks

  • Any retarded name (always)
  • A tank grouped with only one other DPS from his guild (Always, always means a sprinter who will not stop to let you drink; something about not wanting to be seen as weak in front of the DPSer, maybe?)
  • Human males with facial hair (This makes no sense!)
  • Any tank who’s running with his ‘Display Cloak’ turned off (??? x 2)

DKs are emphatically not on my list; certainly Outland runs they tend to be much hazier on the mechanical details, but they don’t seem to be any more or less personally obnoxious than any other tanking class. Man, they sure do get a bum rap, though.

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Endgame: How To Disc Heal Naxxramas – Arachnid Quarter

There There, Big Fella

The Endgame series covers raiding, emblems, and being the best darn level 80 disc priest you can be.

ONCE UPON A time, you were a level 1 player. Dinosaurs roamed the earth. Van Halen was still together.

But time marches on (just ask David Lee Roth), and your hard work and discipline has paid off. You’re a newly-minted 80, and you’re ready to hit the big time: Raiding.

To even stand a chance in your first real raid, you’ll need to acquire some serious gear. Check out our discussion of New 80 Raiding Gear, then come on back.

Naxxramas is divided into four main quarters: Arachnid, Construct, Plague and Military, plus the final Frostwyrm Lair. The Lair can only be accessed when you clear each of the four main quarters in one session.

Most raiding guilds which are just starting out will focus on one quarter at a time, but be safe and familiarize yourself with the whole raid. If you blow through the Arachnid Quarter and the Guild Leader launches you into the Constructs Quarter without a breath, you’ll be glad you did.

*Standard Disclaimer: This is how I do it as a Disc Priest. You’ll find your own path, young Jedi, but here’s a possible plan of attack until you do. As always, make free use of the comment section to take me to task, suggest alternatives, and dish out the feedback.

Arachnid Quarter

The easiest and therefore (usually) first quarter tackled. You’ll clear trash to get to

Boss 1: Anub’Rekhan

Don’t blow through all your mana on the first trash mob you see keeping everyone topped off and shielded. Your raid leader should know enough to pause for a re-mana before the boss, but a combination of itchy fingers and first-raid nerves may see you way lower on mana than you should be by the first boss without enough time to Kungaloosh it to full. Play it cool, and focus on bubbling your tanks with Power Word: Shield (PW:S). If you’re tank healing, keep one eye open during the trash pulls to see if any non-tank player is taking lots of aggro. This is the player you might have to Renew and PW:S during the bosses. Speaking of which…

Anub’Rekhan causes two types of AoE damage: a line of spikes that causes damage in a straight line from him to his target (and launches you in the air), and a Locust Swarm DoT that stacks… and silences.

Two crypt-keeper adds will also come out during the first few minutes of the fight. Generally the OT takes care of adds while the MT holds Anub’s attention.

If tank healing: Bubble the tanks and slap on a Renew on each a few ticks after you see the adds come out. If you get distracted, you run the risk of getting targeted by the line of spikes; if you find yourself tossed in the air, bubble yourself in air and slap a renew or PoM. Penance the crap out of your tanks if they need a more than a 25% boost; that procs Grace, which gives you a 9% increase to heals. Keep up Prayer of Mending whenever it cools down.

If raid healing: Keep an eye out for targets of the line of spikes. They need a bubble (it cushions their fall even if you don’t hit them before they hit the ground) and a Penance/Renew. If it’s you and another DPS in the air, target him with a Binding Heal to keep you both going.

When the Locust Swarm comes out, it’s your job to move to the center and heal the tanks and melee. Anub slows down just before casting (and an extra add comes out after it’s over). The tank will drag him around the edge of the room: bubble, renew, and penance the snot out of tank/melee as you run to the center of the room. All ranged DPS should be in the center with you. Anyone who’s not is going to start stacking damage, so know who your melees are and bubble/renew them.

Keep an eye out for Agonal Sash, Band of Neglected Pleas, Gloves of Dark Gestures, or Knife of Incision, if you’re a dagger fellow. You’ll be dancing on his grave when the rest of the group runs off through a few mobs, winds through the instance, and ends up in a huge room filled with mobs, a group of nattily dressed mages on a platform, and

Boss 2: Grand Widow Faerlina

Faerlina heads up my favorite fight in Naxx. She’ll hit the three closest players with a Poison Volley, toss out a little Rain of Fire indiscriminately when things get dull, and goes into a Frenzy.

You’ll be killing her four worshippers one after the other to remove her Frenzy effect right after she enters Frenzy. The raid leader will paint each worshipper with a target and call out their kill order (triangle-circle-moon-star is favored in our guild… unless I’m confusing it with a cooties shot again).

Your job is nice and simple: for tank healing, keep the tanks, yourself, and the other healer bubbled, Prayer of Mending on every cooldown and Penance when ready. Toss out Renews if you see your tanks getting poisoned or if it starts raining fire. Flash Heal to make up the difference. For raid heals, keep up as many bubbles as you can, Prayer of Healing the whole party when you see fire raining down, and put out (metaphorical) fires with your Penance.  Keep up Prayer of Mending and it should be no problem.

Once you’ve scooped up Watchful Eye or Sash of Mortal Desire, scoot on down the hall, killing more mobs than ever, and don’t get locked out of the caged deathmatch that is

Boss 3: Maexxna

Maexxna means business. As soon as the tank (or a hapless DPS) engages her attention, the room becomes surrounded with webbing and any disc priest silly enough to hang out on the stone entry to her lair will get caught out in the cold. Luckily you can run straight into the lair- hugging the wall furthest from the giant drooling spider, mind- and hang out there without attracting any attention from her majesty.

Maexxna casts an AoE web spray every 40 seconds that hits everyone inescapably, Posion Shocks a 15-yard cone in front of herself every 10 seconds, Necrotic Poisons any melee target that touches her, and spray-webs random people to the wall every 40 seconds. Oh, and she sends out eight spiderlings every 40 seconds which seem magnetically drawn to healers. Did I mention she frenzies at 30% health to become bigger, faster, and meaner?

For tank healing: You can and should remove Necrotic Poison with Abolish Poison. It reduces the effects of your heals, so just hit Abolish if you see any green-ringed portraits. Poison Shock sprays in a cone in front of Big M; you’re looking at a spike down in tank health every 40 seconds or so. Bubble and Renew (my favorites) are less effective here than PoM, Penance, and Abolish Poison. Bubble yourself, and hit Fade when the spiderlings come out, but under no circumstances worry about the people getting laminated to the wall. Until YOU get laminated to the wall, in which case ping the map to tell a DPS where you are and Penance yourself the minute you get out.

When you get close to the 30% Freakout Moment… load your tank up with heal over time spells, bust out your extra mana juice/Shadowfiend/Hymn of Hope, and at the last moment slap your tank with Pain Suppression.

For raid healing: You can’t heal party members while they’re webbed, so don’t waste your time trying until they’re free. If things get very ugly and you’ve got lots of raiders at partial health, Divine Hymn and Prayer of Healing will help. Don’t forget to use Abolish Poison for every green-ringed portrait, and with any luck (and helping the tank heals pop some HoT onto the tank right before Maexxna hits 30%), you’ll come out of it with most party members intact.

Mop up any remains (or let those speedy Pally and Druid jerks do it, since they’re just going to interrupt your Resurrection anyway), and pounce on the Timeworn Silken Band, Embrace of the Spider, and Pendant of Lost Vocations.


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