Hello and welcome to our newest series inspired by our third Podcast (http://wow.stratics.com/interviews/wow-stratics-podcast-3-spotlight-disadvantaged-gamers/) where Metro discusses how simple UI elements can make a world of difference and helps players looking to take their character to the next level do just that. As mentioned in the Podcast, if you aren’t playing with proper Keybinds, Macros, or Addons, you might as well be missing a hand compared to players who are! These guides will be focused on players who already understand the class/spec and are looking to elevate their game to the next level. The experience I have with each spec is almost purely through Challenge Mode dungeons, and can say these design elements can make or break your play and will tell you if / when you are ready for that next step. Let’s get started!
Today we will examine Discipline Priest and show how a few simple indicators can take your play from moderate to exceptional.
First order of business is explaining just how this spec operates, especially compared to other healing specs in the game. If you are going to play a Discipline Priest and try to cast heals every global, you won’t be very effective, especially in small group content. The strength of this class comes in its ability to double dip, and then shield in times where the former is not feasible. This will be the most important thing to get used to as a Disp Priest, and thus the biggest adjustment, especially some one like me.
In challenge modes and small group content, its essentially playing a DPS that can also dispel and do some other healing-based things. Challenge modes especially, you will want to prefer CD usage to deal more damage (conversely, healing more) than save them like a Paladin would for times of high throughput. Then when push-comes-to-shove, you have the three of the best reductive CDs in the game. With this string of auras you are about to see, you will realize just how many tools Priests have as a class, and hopefully have a better grip on just what you need to be able to succeed in any type of content.
In the image above you see essentially two strings. In the first string you will find every ability relevant to Discipline Priest healing. In the second string below that one, you will find some CD and Duration timers that can also be vital for the spec. This set seems like a big departure from the norm, but realistically its just much more compact. Because everything you need to know about this spec revolves around dealing damage, the best way to approach this is just have everything the class has on the screen. The goal is have as many of them on CD as possible, while saving Barrier, Pain Suppression, and Spirit Shell for the right time. Regardless of how simple it may look, let’s break things down individually so you can understand exactly what is present.
Cooldown Tracker -
As mentioned previous, its important to be able to concentrate on doing as much DPS as possible, especially in Challenge Modes, but also to a degree in raiding. Damage is your filler, and the cooldowns are your actual abilities. Things like Prayer of Mending, Level 90 Talent (divine star shown) and Penance can help you achieve the disp priest lifestyle, so its pertinent to know exactly when they are useable. Other things like Spirit Shell and Pain Suppression will make your life even easier and once again, can allow you to fill with damage. Here is a screenshot of all the CDs being tracked. Its important to note that this same string will work for Holy Priest as well, but that’s not within the scope of this article!
You can click on the image to enlarge it to full size if you are struggling to see all the different icons, but you should now appreciate the magnitude of what it entails. I will address them one by one to help you have a better understanding of each ability. Starting from the Left:
Archangel: A small throughput increase. Also being tracked on the subsequent timer. Use this as much as possible, especially when DPSing.
Spirit Shell: 1 Minute CD that turns your healing into absorbs of equal value. Is the fundamental spell of Disp atm, and if you can predict the damage properly you will be a god. If not, you will suffer. Can also be used as a Tank CD!
90 Talents: For some reason the Cascade Timer is out of place but on this list we see Cascade, Divine Star, and Halo, and then the Cascade ready alert at the end. These talents each have a good use, but in content where most people are close together, Divine Star reigns. Use it on CD or save it for a few seconds if you expect big aoe healing needed.
Penance: THE spell. Get the glyph, and enjoy being a god. Will do amazing dps, amazing healing, and can be cast while moving to another location. This makes it all possible, honestly.
Prayer of Mending: A great heal when you know pulsing aoe damage is abound. I also throw it on the tank as much as possible on boss fights to make sure the primary damage target is still received heals while I DPS (as that healing may be random.)
Power Infusion: The only option on the 75 tier for Disp priests IMO. Use it as an offensive CD to boost the amount of burst dps you can do. Especially in Challenge Modes, this can EASILY make the difference between a gold medal and otherwise.
Pain Suppression: 3 minute CD that turns the tank into a slab of stone. Strongest external CD in the game, especially for small group content. Coordinate this with your group around big damage or huge pulls in CM.
Power Word Barrier: AOE reduction cd that is kind of limited in yardage. Consider using this as a Tank CD as it still reduces all damage taken by 25 percent no matter the number of people. Especially in CM, this will be its best use.
Mindbender: Level 45 talent choice, and once again, the only one I am considering. Its a great, versatile ability, and because of its immensely short CD it can really help with DPS as well going in between pulls of CM. This tracker I intentionally made larger. I will demonstrate why below.
The other stuff to the right of Mindbender are for Holy priests ONLY and will not be discussed.
The whole aura can be found, as it appears, at this link!
Mindbender Specifics -
I intentionally enlarged Mindbender from the size the others are to make it more obvious. This is an ability that if you do not use on CD you are wasting the talent choice. Conversely, it can be easy to forget about because its such a short CD. To remedy this, and without adding too much effort, I simply enlarged the icon when its active, but not when its on CD. This makes the rest of the bar sized wrong, adding black bars encasing the horizontal portion. In my eyes, this makes all the other abilities I have my eyes on also tell me about Mindbender! It works especially well, as its the last thing on the right for Disp. Its a brutish way of accomplishing this task, but made the most sense to me at the time. You can examine the difference here:
Non-CD Durations -
The second part discussed in the start would be the duration based trackers. While the first tracker indicates availability, the second will show the duration, particularly of a few key abilities that can really improve your DPS. The two go hand-in-hand so be sure to use them so.
The breakdown here is quite simple, yet highly effective. Let’s examine each, starting at the top:
Evangelism: the stacking buff you receive whenever you are doing damage. This will track the number of stacks. When it reaches 5, its time to use Archangel! It also tracks the length you have remaining, so if you want to save Archangel or have to stop DPSing you can still be aware.
Power Infusion Active: Once again, extremely important to know. You want to line this up with all your other damage, so knowing exactly when it is about to expire can be huge for maxing our your potential.
Archangel: Already discussed in the CD tracker, this shows the duration, once again so you can plan around the loss of healing when it dissipates.
Spirit Shell: This shows when the ability is active, not when its shields are. This is extremely important as well, because you need to know how many shields you can get off and how much time remains.
Find this string by following this link!
Rapture Tracking -
This isn’t something I originally included in the main screenshot, but will discuss options here. A lot of people use an addon known as Ingela’s Rapture. If you’d like to use an addon instead, feel free to do so. You can download it here: http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/ingelasrapture
Past that, you can also use a Weak Aura to do the exact same thing. You can even include the silly noises if your eyes aren’t working well that day!
Regardless, the “rapture” concept is an important one. It basically allows you a free Power Word: Shield as long as its consumed wholly, but has an internal CD, so if you are just spamming shields you will OOM very quickly. This can be really useful in CM, as you will have essentially zero spirit, yet some shielding can be quite useful. This is a very “min-max” type concept though, and can easily be done without, unless you are doing progression raiding.
Find the weak aura string here!
Either way, if the CD is on the screen, don’t use PW:S. Long story short.
Well that’s everything, so if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the forum attached to this topic, or contact me in game. Unlike other specs like Paladin or Shaman healers, you don’t need to directly place anything on players, so all these weak auras will do everything you need them to do. If you are going for crazy times as disp priest you can also use potions offensively. Head over to the mage thread and take the code for the Int potion CD and add it to this list and have it activate as a Disp Priest as well.
As always, I am not fluent in the program, and usually find people who ARE fluent and modify their work. The original source of this came from searching the internet and finding this blog!
Let’s all thank Derevka for putting the work in, and check out his blog and support him at How2priest!
It’s important to remember that you are the best person to help yourself improve, but with tools and help from those already experienced you can transform yourself into a top-tier player near instantly.
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See the set-up in action:
Check out my Priest’s Armory:
Download Weak Auras Two: