Tag: talents

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.

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.