10 Tips for the New Discipline Priest

Last week, I surveyed the Plus Heal forums (Priest regiment) for any quick advice they’d like to offer for any Priests that had just turned Discipline (like me). This is what they came up with:

The Tips

Remember the four Ps, and use them! Penance, Power Word: Shield, Pain Suppression, and Power Infusion.


It’s not your job to top the healing charts; you’re there to prevent crisis moments.

– Wistoovern

Play to your strengths; don’t be afraid to chain cast. If it’s truly warranted, you are at your strongest. Penance does not consume Borrowed Time yet still benefits from it

– Arcady

Your job is about damage mitigation, and speed healing.

– Melchizedeck

Power Word: Shield does so many things for you. If you’re not keeping that up consistently on your tank, you might be missing out on some emergency opportunities!

– Kitts

During fights that you know involve AoE damage, I’ve found it very helpful to use my spare time to toss PW:S on the DPS. They end up being protected if they get hit by something, and you really get to abuse Borrowed Time.

– Juzaba

As far as the AoE damage is concerned, I’ve found that PW:S on myself plus a Holy Nova followed immediately by a nice Prayer of Healing really did wonders for everyone’s health box.

– Seriah

You benefit more from MP5 than spirit. It goes against everything you have learned as a holy priest, but because you chain cast there is no chance to cheat the five second rule with Clearcasting (you don’t even get this) and Inner Focus.

– Takka

With the threat generation being made easier for tanks, any tank crying about the bubble should scare you and make you think twice about healing them in a group or raid.

– Beanne

You can also use Renew & PoM without consuming Borrowed Time, if you still want to save it for a Flash or Greater Heal.

– dunia

I turned Discipline for the weekend and had a lot of fun with it PvPing. It took me a while to get used to it at first, but I really freakin’ enjoyed it! I hope these tips from the more experienced Discipline Priests will benefit you as it did for me. I’ll definitely be tapping their minds in the future for more advice.

Don’t forget to read more about Discipline healing from guest writer Seriah that went up earlier!

16 thoughts on “10 Tips for the New Discipline Priest”

  1. With the threat generation being made easier for tanks, any tank crying about the bubble should scare you and make you think twice about healing them in a group or raid.

    – Beanne

    I’m not sure you should/can make blanket statements like this. My main is a tank, and I frequently run heroics with a disc priest. He’s my #1 choice for a healer while doing heroic achievements, in fact.

    Once your tank is geared in 25man gear, there is a valid point that threat in heroics becomes harder. I frequently find myself rage starved in heroics, so we discuss when we should and shouldn’t use the shield.

    I would certainly run from any tank that made a blanket refusal of the shield, and become closer to tanks that understand the value of the shield both to the healer and the tank, and try to learn when the best time to use the shield is.

    cullens last blog post..Progression in Wrath

  2. Cullen,

    Ya, the pally tank I run with a lot has had similar issues with mana, especially non-heroics. He just doesn’t get hit enough. And then when Divine Aegis pops, it doesn’t help even more. So basically I judge the situation and if I need to chain heal a bit more I’ll often opt for that instead of shielding.

    However, boss fights, even non-heroic are usually a different story…

  3. “You benefit more from MP5 than spirit. It goes against everything you have learned as a holy priest, but because you chain cast there is no chance to cheat the five second rule with Clearcasting (you don’t even get this) and Inner Focus.”

    This is only true to a point. Once youv’e hit 1500-ish INT (raid buffed) spirit will get you more regen than mp5 will.

    A disc priest should not be choosing gear based on mp5 or spirit ever anyway.

  4. As far as I know PW:S should still be kept off of rage builders until the last desperate moment because they won’t be able to build rage while shielded.

  5. I play a now Disc Priest and a Prot Paladin. Even with the increase to PW:S through the disc tree, there should still not be a problem putting it up on a “rage” builder as the little bit of damage that it prevents is not enough to leave a tank rage starved.

    There is the possibility in a heroic on a well geared tank that they may find themselves slightly rage starved due to lack of damage caused by the procs from a Disc Priest.

    On the other hand it is possible to succeed with a lesser geared tank than it might be possible with any other healer. I keep hearing over and over again how hard (H) HoL is, and I have never wiped to Loken. I am open to part of this being luck, but then again we didn’t even run out for the blast the last time I was in there. I firmly equate this to the damage reduction a proper Disc rotation causes.

    There are times when I miss holy, but Disc has been a fun change. The hardest thing to get used t o is not sitting on top of the healing charts anymore.

    Xannders last blog post..25 dragons > Malygos

  6. Nowadays its rare that a shield will affect a tanks ability to generate rage and I pre-shield the tank 95% of the time. Really, unless the tank far out gears the content that they are rage starved anyway this should not be an issue. Its a very common misconception.

    I agree with Xannder, Disc is a way more fun and interactive play style than Holy ever was to me. I took a break from Holy and went shadow for most of BC, but returned to healing with WotLK and never regretted for a second being Disc.

    Meters only show part of what we do. If you want a more accurate number, add back in 1/3 of what is on the meter to see what the Disc priest has actually contributed.

    I’ve had my frustrations (Druid PW:S bug, PW:S and Aegis not stacking) but I have no desire at all to heal as anything else.

  7. This is probably gonna get me laughed at, but my baby Priestess (currently level 20 :3) is intending to go Disc for raid healing, but has no plans to take Power Infusion or Pain Suppression. Are they really that vital to the Discipline toolbox that I should nab them at the cost of something else?

  8. @tekillja: Yes and no. It speeds up the process AND reduces mana cost temporarily. But it’s not a major thing to get. On the other hand, there aren’t that many other talents to throw that 1 point into at that level.

  9. Wonderful Article by the way.

    I am a priest thats been going Disc since day one, i wanted to re-roll a heals for my guild but holy was honestly, boring to me.

    Disc is built for a few things.
    1. Endurance (no OOM for you)
    2. SIngle Target Heals (your a MT’s best friend)
    3. Damage Mitigation

    While your less of a raid heals you are a great tank buddy, pair you with a holy priest or a resto shaman and the two of you can manage most things.

    One thing i did notice is a disc priest should probably avoid haste if at all possible.
    Enlightmentment 5% + Borrowed Time 25% + Power Infusion 20% = 50% spell haste

    with that you actually have met global cooldown to 1 second!

    All in all Disc rocks, once you go disc you can never go holy again.

  10. I found rolling a disc priest suited me perfectly – i had been playing shadow (doing a little pvp) and still healing the lower instances, when i was higher levelled it was impossible to heal raids so still wanted the opportunity to do some dps whilst remaining alive and healing without the pain of dropping Shadowform – hence Disc spec…
    I found power infusion incredibly useful in both raiding and pvp… pop power infusion and then PW:S when in the poop to do a mass of prayer of healings in a short time – also allows for quick bursts of DPS on fast moving targets/feared targets in pvp (as long as you watch your cooldowns)
    With the new patch there is going to be a glyph for the CD on penance reduced by 2 secs … this is going to make us unstoppable single target healers and improve our dps… we just need something for group/raid healing now blizzard!

  11. I’ve been playing a Disc specced priest since BC.. I’ve never ran into a problem with a rage starved tank since WoWLk, and now speccing into rapture makes it even more beneficial to shield tanks.. It’s pretty much a necessity.
    739 Mp5, and crit 29% self buffed :LO makes for an easy ToC Heroic

  12. Rolling a disc spec without Inner Focus/Pain Suppression/Power Infusion is pretty fail.

    For one, your AOE heals will suck. Power Infusion+Innerfocus Prayer of Healing will just barely cut it for your only aoe heal (besides POM). BTW its a good idea to glyph this spell as well; you’re only as strong as the weakest part of you.

    Pain Suppression – has more uses in pvp than pve I admit, but that damage reduction is really handy to use on tanks or yourself.


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