A PvP Priest’s Guide to Disc Healing in Raid

Priests are one of the most versatile healers. Discipline specialises in damage absorption and mitigation. Discipline aims to avoid damage and smooth out incoming damage, rather than healing it. We can both tank and raid heal fairly well. Did I mention that raid healing is new to me?  I am completely winging it here. When I raided waaaay back in the day, I was Holy. It was when I hit level 80 (top level, woot!!) and went into a bg with a friend that I discovered how much stronger Disc is. I fell in love. I ditched Holy and raid. Never regretted that decision. I have stuck with Discipline through all the changes (good and bad), all the nerfs. When every single guide said to roll Holy, I stayed Disc. It came down to knowing my spec better than anyone else knew theirs.

Not being top healer is unacceptable to me. If I’m not top, I did not work hard enough. I’ve come to accept that Disc is not awesome for every boss fight and I’ve accepted that sometimes I just might have an off night. But I still walk away frustrated and pissed at myself. The beauty of Disc is that it can be done a number of ways, and none of those ways are wrong. Ready?

Stat Priority

This will be different depending on who you ask. MY preferences are:

Intellect> Mastery > Crit > Haste> Multistrike > Versatility

Intellect: Primary stat. It gives you Spell Power, which increases the power of your heals.

Spirit: Mana Regen. Only stack Spirit until you are comfy with your mana regen.

Critical Strike: Vital for generating Divine Aegis, and for making the most of the Disc Mastery.

Mastery: The Disc Mastery is Mastery: Shield Discipline. It increases potency of all absorbs by 12.8%, and all your healing by 6.4%. Which is why this Mastery goes great with Crit. And Mastery.  Haha… see what I did there? Mastery.. aaaaanywho…

Haste: Reduces cast time of spells and reduces global cooldowns.


I cannot tell you the “right” glyphs and talents to use. That depends entirely on what is going on around you. Let’s start with talents.

I *usually* use:

  • Desperate Prayer
  • Body & Soul
  • Power Word: Solace
  • Psychic Scream
  • Power Infusion
  • Cascade
  • Clarity of Will.

I cannot stress enough that these change depending on the fight. I rarely use the same talents for every boss. These are not the talents I use for PvP.


Again.. these do change. Not much for raid, but sometimes, I do swap them out.

Glyph of Penance is a must and you will never swap that for anything else, ever. It is your Disc BFF. The only glyph that matters.  

Glyph of Weakened Soul is what I usually use, but sometimes swap it for one of the other two bubble glyphs. All 3 of them are great, but they depend on the situation.

Glyph of Holy Fire. Awesome for keeping up stacks of Evangelism.

Spell Priority

Rotation, rotation, rotation.  There isn’t one. Toss that idea right out the window, now. Stat. Disc priest is chaotic. There is no rotation. There are only general ideas of what to do approx when.

Single Target:

Bubble! Toss a Clarity of Will and a Power Word: Shield on your tanks. Tanks are top priority- always. ALWAYS. Keep the bubbles rolling on them. Prevent them from taking damage and you prevent the other healers from having something to heal. Not to be selfish or anything.. Keep Prayer of Mending rolling at all times. Toss it on the tank that is pulling first and let it work it’s wonderful magic. I am kind of bad at keeping up with this one, I’ll admit. I toss it on the tanks every once in a while, but usually get busy with bubbles and heals.

Penance is your go-­to heal. Use this first, always. It can also be used to damage enemies, but I rarely do that in raid. I do not want to be in a situation where I used it on the boss and need it on a tank while it’s on CD. I do not take the chance. I’m sure others probably do. Heal and Flash Heal are options. Not very good ones. But you do have them. I use Heal often.

Flash Heal..not so much. Only if we are taking a lot of raid wide damage and someone is dropping really fast. I toss a bubble and Flash Heal a time or two to stable their health back out.


Ahhh, AoE. How I miss you. You want AoE heals? Reroll to Holy. Disc doesn’t really have a strong one. We have Prayer of Mending, Holy Nova, Cascade, and Prayer of Healing. PoH is fairly strong, but is going to drain your mana.

We as Disc use our damage spells to heal. Or.. we used to. Atonement is not as awesome as it used to be. If things are slow, I will DPS the boss to stack Evangelism and take the little bit of healing I’ll get from Atonement. But don’t rely on it to save someone’s life. That is not going to happen. The only time you really NEED to focus on your stacks of Evangelism to make the most out of Archangel is when we’re going into a rough phase. It’s great if you have the Tier 16 2­piece bonus (loooooooove it!!), or you’re just bored and wanna help kill things.

Cooldown Usage

Now.. let’s talk cooldowns.

We have plenty of those.

Pain Suppression is a beautiful spell used to reduce all damage taken by the target by 40% for 8 seconds. Make the most of this. Use your common sense with this spell. Tanks first. Healers taking a lot of damage second. DPS last. That 3 minute cooldown on it really hurts, so don’t use it until it’s needed.

Power Word: Barrier. Unless we’re going to all stack up nice and neat, this spell is a waste. It will reduce all damage taken by the people in the bubble by 25%. While in the bubble, spellcasting cannot be interrupted by damage. It lasts for 10 seconds.

Mindbender should be used on CD. I stress the should in that sentence. You don’t want to waste the mana gain. If you’re sitting pretty on mana, don’t use it. You can and probably will need it later. It has a 60 second cooldown. BUT. I personally prefer PW:Solace. It does damage to stack Evangelism, mana free to cast, and restores mana­ all for the low, low price of a 10 second CD! Too good to pass up, in my opinion. I spam the hell out of it. PW:Solace for everyone! You decide there which one you prefer to use.

Power Infusion. Yummy. Haste increased by 25% and reduces mana cost of spells by 20% for 20 seconds. Two minute cooldown, so don’t go wild with it. It’s really great to have when you need it. But, on the other hand if you use it on CD every time that’s a lot of mana reduction and haste increase. Remember haste drains your mana because you’re casting faster. Watch that. As Disc we can get mana back pretty easily, but still.. keep an eye on that. You don’t want to OOM.

Key Mechanics

Mechanics? What are those!?

Oh.. right. We will next discuss Mastery and Absorption Effects. Because that is what Disc is all about, after all. Our Master is Mastery: Shield Discipline. Way too yummy NOT to stack mastery. It increases the amount of healing the spells do as well as increase the damage absorbed by our bubbles. Those would be, as we know because we rock at disc healing, PW: Shield, Divine Aegis, Clarity of Will.

Shield and Clarity are pretty straightforward. But what is this Aegis?! Aegis is a passive ability that places a bubble around the target when you critically heal with a spell. This includes multistrikes! Aegis bubble absorbs damage equal to 100% of the amount healed. It has a 15 second duration and each time the effect is renewed, the buff with stack on the previous Aegis and refresh the duration. The amount absorbed by Divine Aegis is limited to 60% of the casting Priest’s max health. Fun times. Stack mastery to make all the bubbles stronger, but don’t be shy about some Crit. I find that using Holy Nova and Prayer of Healing are both great ways to proc Aegis. Especially used with Archangel.

Borrowed Time. You should always have a Borrowed Time buff on you, because Power Word: Shield is pretty much your biggest spell. It is always going on somebody. Borrowed Time grants you an additional 40% haste from all sources for 6 seconds.

Leap of Faith.. good luck with that one. Good luck. A lot of people are using the silencers. Because bad priests are spamming that spell. People hate it. I will admit, just standing around in a city, I use it on people all the damn time. I use it in PvP a lot. Rarely in raid. Mostly because people do not like being gripped, even if it means saving their life. Use with caution.

Evangelism. It builds up to 5 stacks when you Smite, Holy Fire/Power Word: Solace, or Penance the enemy target. When you use it, it increases healing done. By how much? I’m not exactly sure. For how long? 20 seconds. Make great use of this spell. Every time you get to 5 stacks, use it.  You should almost always be generating stacks, if you are making the most of Aegis and what not anyway.

Any questions, comments..whatever.. send ’em my way. If I don’t have an answer, I can find it.


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