Save Players with Aggressive Shielding

I have a confession to make.

I’m an aggressive Priest. Like really aggressive. I’ll shield extra targets as much as I can. I’ll squeeze in extra DPS if I see the opening.


The current train of thought for Disc Priests is to stick to 1 or 2 targets. They’re tanks. Make sure they stay alive at all costs. The mentality of Disc Priest healing is similar to that of a Paladin.

I’ve spoken to a lot of my colleagues who are also Disc Priests. I’ve compared some numbers and talked shop with a few. Many are reluctant to throw around extra shields because of concerns due to mana management or tank deaths.

Instinctually though, when a Disc Priest shields a target with full health, they can deviate from it for a few seconds to throw a shield on another target or use a Borrowed Time proc on another player who needs it.

The parse shown above is a screenshot from World of Logs. It’s another parsing website (and I’m starting to like it as it shows contributions from Divine Aegis and Power Word: Shield). You’ll notice I fire out an abnormally large amount of shields and Prayer of Healing. I believe 58 refers to the amount of players healed as opposed to the number of times cast.

Target the squishies

As an aggressive Disc Priest, if your main tank assignment is topped and loaded, look around for other targets of squishability opportunity. Some excellent soft targets to shield:

  • Mages
  • Non-plate healers (yeah you Paladins are fine)
  • Warlocks
  • Rogues

Yes Ulduar has an abysmally large amount of raid damage. Although Disc Priests aren’t best suited to handle the healing of it, we can extend the life span of those most vulnerable for a few precious seconds while the rest of the healing cavalry step in.

Fights are routinely ended with under 10% mana after using everything at my disposal. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as your mana is managed properly.

Stretch yourself and be better!

22 thoughts on “Save Players with Aggressive Shielding”

  1. I completely agree that Disc can help out on targets other than their assigned tank. Our 8k shields with attached 1.5k heals have saved many a player from a spike in raid damage or a loose mob. With Ulduar’s raid damage, rarely is a shield or heal wasted.

    In my latest blog post, I talk a little about how it’s possible to shield and heal other players without even losing your Grace stack.

    Wikwockets last blog post..Healing with Grace

  2. When I’m assigned to tanks, that’s basically my plan as well. Shield+PoM+Renew the tank and shield up other tanks, healers, and squishies.

    As to your mention of other Disc Priests having mana concerns, the only fights I’ve had issue with is Mimiron (and Vezax, natch) and pre-nerf Ignis/Kologarn. Outside of that, I’ve been doing okay.

    Caladeins last blog post..Playing with Wolfram|Alpha

  3. Totally agree.

    If your assignment is topped up and loaded with an extra or two (Renew/PoM/PW:S) then shield the others when you can. Just remember to be paranoid about your assignment.

    Nothing worse than going overboard and having your assignment die.

    Gobble gobble.

    BobTurkeys last blog post..First impressions of Uldar

  4. Wow…and I thought I was the only one obsessive about shielding even when MT healing. I have shield on my hotbar macroed so it shields me and then I have it keyed with Clique for my fast casting on the raid. Perhaps because my husband plays a mage I like to keep them shielded as well. Even with Uld there is time to get out an extra shield. (which is invaluable for say Auriaya and her kitties of doom)

    Lenelies last blog post..Bad Times at the Zhavi House

  5. When I am disc those shields go EVERYWHERE! but I dont use them as often when I am holy. (mainly concentrating on other healers and casters when i throw them out.) I switch to Disc for Iron Council, and I shield like a maniac there. Helps with chainlightnings and lightning whirls. 😀

    I actually dont Prayer of Healing as much when Disc. I guess I havent gotten the feel of it yet where i feel comfortable with my mana to do it. I’m also addicted to Serendipity for raid healing. =x

    Antimonis last blog post..A Light in the Darkness for DW?

  6. Before rapture was changed, I read that “a shield that is fully used, returns almost all mana it costed.”

    How is that now, with the new rapture? How expensive is a fully absorbed shield, and how expensive is a wasted shield?

    • Rollo: A talented disc shield costs me about 666 mana. If I shield myself and it gets fully absorbed, I gain back 4.5% of my total mana. If I shield another target, I still gain back 2.5% of my overall mana. Raid buffed I’m pushing 25.5k mana.

      My math is bad. I think I get back around 637.5 when it procs. The effect only happens once every 12 seconds remember.

  7. I’m liking this World of Logs-place. I’m a naughty priest, even with assignment I tend to throw shields on squishies/people who are too low for my taste if I have the time. Shielding that other priest who is currently way to low might save her assigned targets and prevent a wipe.

  8. @Hesston: No, I can’t say I have. I keep No Script active at all times alongside Avast. When I ran their log parsing program, I didn’t have any virus popups or anything.

  9. hi,
    what stat-tool has been used for the first picture? We are currently using “”, but there are no Shields listed in healing-Summary. The missing shields invalidate the healing-Stats, which is apparently fixed in the tool used for these stats.

  10. I find that more often than not I’m put on raid healing if there’s a lot of raid damage. I just did make a post of (exploitable) raid shielding on my blog. While tank healing, if you’re paired with a Hpally, or drood, or both, I find as disc, you’re not doing anything other than shielding for 1.5 s and nothing else till weakened soul wears. I shield and heal more often on raid as the hpally or drood covers up the tank faster than a penance can get 2 ticks in.
    Because of this, I’m usually #1 on raid heals (with shields) and with a shielder you do prevent deaths while other healers rev up a heal to get them to full. It’s all about the mitigation baby!

    8o8s last blog post..keeping up is harder than i thought.

  11. Do you find that such aggressive shielding limits the effectiveness of hots currently rolled on a target, and prayer of mending bounces that never occur?

    Granted, in 25 man there are so many targets that its hard to shield them all, but in 10man I could realistically becoming more of an issue.

  12. @Verstand: I don’t see how it would limit the effectiveness of HoTs if the player has already taken damage. A shield on the target will prevent further damage and provide more time for the HoTs to do more work. Prayer of Mending will last on a player for 30 seconds. If placed on a tank, it’s a guaranteed jump. It might jump 3 seconds later as opposed to immediately, but it will still jump.

  13. I also get aggresive with my shields (causing me to sometimes miss refreshing PoM on my tank by a couple of seconds which i can normally catch up with), Especially on fights where there is lots of AoE damage i try to keep shields up on are arcane mages since they are now demanding it of me since i posted a link to matts post on wowinsider about the PW;S/incanters absorbtion ‘tool’

  14. I subscribe entirely to your aggressive play style as well. It’s nice to hear I’m not alone in being satisfied only when I feel like I’ve played myself out (in a good way) by the end of the raid. Discipline brings an exhausting amount of useful spells to the table, if you’re only using two or three abilities, you’re doing it wrong.

    Dropping a few helpful numbers on your excellent site for Disc priests looking to extend their mana longevity in healing intensive encounters, especially for those who abuse their PW:S like me.

    PW:S costs 23% BASE mana (666 mana) at level 80, where 3/3 Rapture returns 2.5% TOTAL mana. An obvious threshold appears where mana cost and mana return would be the same; this threshold lies at 26,640 total mana. Having a mana pool LARGER than 26,640 mana will actually give you more mana than you spent, though you would have to stack above 30,000 to make this very noticeable (2.5% of 30,000 mana would be 750 mana returned from 666 spent). With full raid buffs these numbers are easily accessible without sacrificing other similarly important stats.

  15. Oops, forgot my disclaimer since I don’t pretend to be a “professional” theory-crafter, just a curious one. I did not research whether or not any discrepancies exist between the base mana pools of other races, I only truly looked into Blood Elf specifications. If these discrepancies do exist, the differences would most likely be negligible but may slightly affect my projected numbers. In either case, I hope some may find the aforementioned information useful!

  16. I finally have been kicking my old holy habits to the curb and was trying this. Now that I finally became convinced to slot in the shield glyph, it not only shot my healing up by about 8% (which is all free) but can easil help out the raid healers only sacrificing one cooldown, whch on most bosses I can easily do when the tank is at full and has a shield and mending and divine aegis on him already, there is time for a shield or two for raiders with low health. I am certain I saved a few people last night with the shield and glyph alone giving the holy priest an extra 2 seconds to finish his cast.


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