Discipline Priest PvE Guide
A Discipline Priest is something like a mixture of a Priest of Darkness and Holy with a completely unexpected result. A Discipline Priest has access to many Darkness spells, but their aim is protecting and healing their allies which they mostly carry out through damage delivery.
- Main abilities
- Artifact and Relics
- Netherlight Crucible
- Set bonuses
Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:
- Capable of absorbing damage;
- Has powerful frequent burst;
- Nice additional DPS for the group/raid;
- Barely depends on the group/raid’s positioning;
- Effective in raids.
- Poor survival;
- Weak single target healing;
- Not the easiest character to handle – you need to be able to anticipate and plane your actions long in advance;
- Inefficient in healing on Mythic+, particularly for affixes that demand regular periodic healing.
Basic information on the spec:
A Discipline Priest, like any other healer in the game, uses one key resource – Mana. Mana is spent on the majority of healing spells, and on some auxiliary ones, too.
(Area of Effect) is basically the area where this of that effect is actuated regardless of whether its damage or healing. This command is usually used to act in a team/raid on several targets. It is also used to describe any ability of a Boss with the aforementioned effect.
Absorb is short for ‘Absorption’. Refers to any effects capable of preventing damage taking.
Buff stands for any positive effect. Always reflected to the left of the mini-map, by its upper edge.
Burst is an ability to do – in multiple ways – massive damage within a short period of time.
Cleave is an ability to damage secondary targets through damaging the main one with no (or minor) loss in the damage done to the main target.
Cooldown (often CD) primarily refers to the ability recovery time. Can be often applied to bursts and various protective abilities.
Gear is what it is.
GCD (Global Cooldown) is the overall ability recovery time.
Debuff stands for negative effect. By default, it’ reflected to the left of the mini-map by its lower edge.
DoT stands for Damage over Time.
DPS (Damage per Second) is a measure that reflects the damage done within one second.
HPS stands for Healing per Second – the amount of healing done within one second.
Melee and Range. Melee is the close-range combat zone, also used in the titles of all the classes and specs that do effective damage in this zone. Range usually refers to a zone that is not a close-range one and is used, respectfully, in the titles of all classes and specs that do effective damage remotely.
Overheal is an inefficient heal that exceeds 100% Health.
Trait is a name for the ‘talents’ your artifact has.
Penance is a channel 2-sec spell that can be maintained on the move, can be cast on an ally as well as an enemy; inflicts medium Mana spending. Depending on the purpose of use, it can either heal or deal damage. It’s mostly cast as an offensive spell. CD 9 secs.
- The trait Speed of the Pious increases your moving speed by 30% for 2 secs after you’ve cast Penance.
Plea is an instant Mana-cheap spell restoring your ally a medium amount of Health.
Purify cancels any malicious magic effects and maladies on the target. Provided a successful cancelling, CD is 8 secs.
Mass Dispel allows you, for a huge amount of Mana, to pick an area with a 15-m range in which you conduct a mass dispel of any negative magic effects on no more than 5 allies, and on no more than 5 enemies you cancel 1 positive magic effect. This spell has the capacity to cancel more powerful spells unreachable to your regular dispels.
Power Word: Radiance is a Mana-costly 2-sec spell that restores medium Health to a selected target and also to 4 allies within the 30-m range. It also applies Atonement with a duration of 60% of the standard one. Has 2 charges, CD 18 secs.
Power Word: Shield is an instant cast inflicting average Mana cost. Applies a damage absorbing shield on a selected target. The shield acts for 15 secs or until completely exhausted. The damage received during absorption does not postpone your casts. CD 7.5 secs.
- Then you use your Power Word: Shield, the trait Share in the Light grants you a similar shield with the efficiency of 15% of the initial one.
- The trait Aegis of Wrath empowers your Power Word: Shield by 50%, but after it, the shield’s efficiency decreases by 3% per sec.
Shadow Mend, for medium Mana, restores your ally major Health, but it does leave a 10-sec DoT which deals about half of the restored Health worth damage over the following 10 secs or until the ally leaves combat.
- The trait Taming the Shadows gives a 15% chance that your target wouldn’t be hit with the damage effect.
Shadow Word: Pain, for medium Mana, instantly tags your enemy with a DoT dealing minor instant and major over-time damage over the 18 secs of its lifetime.
Leap of Faith, for a small amount of Mana, allows you to drag an ally within the 40-m range to your position. You need to consider, though, that dragging an ally through dangerous zones would not save them from being hit. CD 1.5 min.
Shadowfiend summons a Familiar which attacks your target for 12 secs. CD 3 min.
Pain Suppression, for a small amount of Mana, tags a target with an effect which reduces the whole damage delivered to it by 40% for secs. Can be cast when stunned. CD 4 min.
- The trait Pain is in Your Mind reduces the restoring time for your Pain Suppression spell by 10 secs per each point spent.
- The trait Tyranny of Pain restores 33% of the received damage during Pain Suppression.
Power Word: Barrier, for medium Mana, generates you a bubble with a 10-m radius in the selected area for 10 secs. Inside that bubble, all your allies receive 25% less damage. Also, their spells do not get postponed upon damage taking.
- Atonement applied on targets within your Barrier restores 100% more Health.
Fade annuls your menaces for 10 secs. CD 30 secs.
Atonement – Plea, Power Word: Shield, Shadow Mend and Power Word: Radiance tag your allies with a 15-sec long Atonement effect. When you deal damage with your spells, all your allies tagged with Atonement restore Health as of 40% + Mastery of the damage you’ve dealt.
- The trait Borrowed Time, upon casting Atonement on a target, reduces the casting time for your next Smite or Light’s Wrath by 5% or that of your Atonement per each point invested.
- The trait Sins of the Many increases your outgoing damage by 1% per each ally tagged with Atonement.
- The trait Lenience’s Reward reduces the incoming damage by 0.5% per each point invested.
Focused Will reduces the whole incoming Melee damage by 15% for 8 secs. The effect stacks up, up to 2 times.
Mind Vision enables you to see the world with your selected target’s eyes for 1 min.
Resurrection allows you to resurrect an ally out of combat.
Mind Control allows you to control one selected enemy if their level is no more than 1 point higher than yours. The spell can be used on any enemy except for demons, mechanisms and the undead. It is on the same diminishing as disorientation effects.
Levitate allows you to tag a friendly target with a positive effect for 10 min which enables them to float in the air above the ground, the water, and reduces the falling speed. Any incoming damage cancels the effect.
Mass Resurrection allows you to resurrect all your allies out of combat within the 100 m range.
Psychic Scream makes 5 enemies within the range of 8 m run away in terror for 8 secs which is a disorientation effect. CD 1 min.
Dispel Magic cancels 1 positive magic effect on your enemy.
Shackle Undead allows you to paralyze an Undead enemy for 50 secs. Any damage dealt to the target cancels this effect. Only one enemy can be subject to the spell at a time.
General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.
Tier 1. Lvl 15.
- Twist of Fate. Healing any allies with below 35% Health increases all your damage dealing and healing by 20%.
- Castigation. Penance, over its active time, sends an additional charge of light energy.
- Schism. For medium Mana, this 1.5-sec cast spell deals your enemy Shadow magic damage, after which it allows you to deal 30% more damage to that target for the next 6 secs.
* Your default choice would be Twist of Fate as the most efficient talent in both raids and Mythic+.
Castigation and Schism are more cut for dealing damage, but Schism is very peculiar about Mana. With Soul of the High Priest in stock, use a combination of Twist of Fate + Castigation.
Tier 2. Lvl 30.
- Angelic Feather. Place a Feather in a selected spot. An ally to pick it up gets 40% faster for 5 secs. You can place up to 3 Feathers. The spell has 3 charges. CD 20 secs.
- Body and Soul. Power Word: Shield also increases your target’s moving speed by 40% for 3 secs.
- Masochism. When using Shadow Mend on yourself, its periodic effect now restores Health and reduces the incoming damage by 10%.
* Discipline is not famous for their mobility, so, picking Angelic Feather would be the most reasonable move on this Tier as it provides a speed boost, and not only to you.
Body and Soul ends up being a rather mediocre talent because Power Word: Shield is used per CD to absorb the damage to be taken by your allies. That is what makes it difficult to speed up whoever you need whenever you need.
Masochism is good for situations where you don’t need a lot of relocation, but rather survival. This is why additional reduction of the incoming damage is only welcome.
Tier 3. Lvl 45.
- Shining Force. For a small amount of Mana, it helps you push the enemies near the selected ally of yours back and slow them down by 70% for 3 secs.
- Psychic Voice. Reduces the CD for your Psychic Scream by 30 secs.
- Dominant Mind. Allows you to control your character during Mind Control effects thus making the controlled target your familiar for 2 min. Doesn’t work against players.
* The whole Tier has no effect on damage delivery or healing. Usually, Shining Force is used as, in Mythic, it helps you save your tank from receiving damage or interrupt an unwanted cast with the throwback effect.
Tier 4. Lvl 60.
- Power Word: Solace. A Mana-free spell, it deals instant Holy damage to your enemy and recovers 1% of your max Mana. CD 12 secs.
- Shield Discipline. If Power Word: Shield is completely absorbed, you instantly recover 1% of your max Mana.
- Mindbender. Replaces Shadowfiend. Summons, for 15 secs, a Guardian which would attack your target. Each of your Guardinan’s attacks restores you 0.5% of your max Mana. CD 1 min.
* From the viewpoint of Mana regeneration, Shield Discipline is your best option.
The higher your Haste Rating, the more effective the Mindbender gets – it starts generating more Mana and delivers more damage which turns into healing. The best HPS and Mythic+ talent.
Power Word: Solace is a weak pick at the moment.
Tier 5. Lvl 75.
- Sanctuary. Smite‘s damage absorbing effect gets empowered by 50%.
- Clarity of Will. A 2-sec cast, Mana-medium, this one allows you to tag your target with an absorbing shield for 20 secs.
- Shadow Covenant. For minor Mana, instantly heals the selected target and up to 4 allies within the range of 30 m. It restores every one of them major Health but does not apply the 6-sec debuff absorbing the following incoming healing.
* Sanctuary has the best efficiency for raids.
Clarity of Will is an optional choice for situations when you need to absorb more damage coming, for example, from a specific attack on your tank.
Shadow Covenant may sometimes be useful, too. Particularly when you need a one-time burst heal.
Tier 6. Lvl 90.
- Purge the Wicked. Replaces Shadow Word: Pain and get slightly cheaper in terms of Mana. Deals instant Fire damage, plus some more over the following 20 secs. When Penance is being applied to a target with Purge the Wicked on them, this effect spreads over to the closest enemy.
- Divine Star. For a small amount of Mana, it releases a star that flies 24 m forward. All the allies on its way restore Health, and all enemies take Holy damage. Once the star makes the whole distance, it goes back the same way – healing the allies and damaging the enemies. CD 15 secs.
- Halo. For a small amount of Mana, the spell creates a ring of Holy energy which expands around you until reaches the radius of 30 m. Allies receive healing, enemies take Holy damage. CD 40 secs.
* The best raid and Mythic+ talent here is Purge the Wicked which significantly empowers the outgoing damage as well as the healing produced through Atonement.
For burst AoE healing, you could use Halo.
Tier 7. Lvl 100.
- Power Infusion. Increases your Haste Rating by 25% and reduces your Mana spendings by 25%. Active for 20 secs. CD 2 min
- Grace. Increases healing by all abilities – except Atonement – by 30%. It also increases damage absorption for all the targets tagged with Atonement.
- Evangelism. Increases the active time of all the cast Atonement effects by 6 secs. CD 1 min 15 secs.
* The best basic choice in terms of HPS would be Evangelism.
For Mythic+, Grace is good because you would have to use channeled healing into people quite a lot.
Power Infusion may come in handy in situations demanding an additional heal or an extra DPS cooldown.
Unlike talents, in the weapons branch there is no choice of what you can and what you can’t take. With the current Artifact Knowledge, the order of artifact acquisition is insignificant as to open all the traits, you only need to earn 2.23 billion artifact power which is extremely easy to do just over the first few minutes after you’ve reached level 110.
A Discipline Priest uses 2 Holy and 1 Shadow relics.
First and foremost, you should consider the relic’s ilvl; how much ilvl it gives to your artifact, to be precise. None of the traits costs over 3 weapon ilvl. In case the difference between the ilvls is not big enough, consult this simple list where the artifact ilvl equivalents are also indicated:
Tier 1 of any relic allows you to increase your weapon’s ilvl by 5 points.
Tier 2. This is where you face the first important choice between Light and Shadow as the result of your choice deprives you of one of the last traits on Tier 3. Your objective: to pick a way of the highest ilvl equivalent sum:
- Shadowbind, Chaotic Darkness +3
- Infusion of Light, Master of Shadows, Secure in the Light +2
- Light Speed +0.1
- The rest 0
Tier 3. Corresponds completely to the relic rating:
A Discipline Priest has access to the total of 14 Legendaries.
Let’s single out the best and the good Legendaries:
Soul of the High Priest allows you to have 2 talents from Tier 1. One of the best second-slot Legendaries. It has a bad synergy with 2T20 if you are using it.
Prydaz has a huge number of stats which secure nice HPS figures, but – this is important – it’s an absorb for 25% of your max Health once every half a minute. It quite boosts Priest’s survival which is a burning issue altogether. One of the best second-slot Legendaries. Should be used, if you are using 2T20 + 4T20.
Sephuz’s Secret is one of the best Legendaries for Mythic+: you can activate the ring all the time which is perfect for dealing burst damage or producing burst healing.
Kam Xi’raff is a great Legendary in terms of all the stats but, unfortunately, its effect is not quite powerful. Average efficiency.
Estel, Dejahna’s Inspiration demands a slight gameplay change to provide its max efficiency. But even with impeccable execution, it still is a rather average Legendary.
Inner Hallation is quite random which is not that great for healing. Provided, however, that the Legendary works in healing during the phase you need, its efficiency is quite nice. In general, a mediocre Legendary.
Cord of Maiev, Priestess of the Moon is quite a nice Legendary for dealing damage. Weak in terms of an HPS increase, though.
N’ero, Band of Promises is only apt for use in one situation – if the whole raid is under your dome, and they all need a heal.
Norgannon is a pretty weak one.
Celumbra is only okay for the beginning, until you find the first two Legendaries.
Insignia of the Grand Army empowers Tier 2 of the Netherlight Crucible. With best traits at tier 2 becomes a strong legendary, but not close to the best.
A Discipline Priest’s healing has damage delivery as an inherent part of it. A huge portion of your healing is carried out particularly with Atonement. For that reason, let’s first review the damage dealing priorities:
- Maintain Shadow Word: Pain or Purge the Wicked on as many targets as possible.
- Schism, if talented, to maintain the buff for the outgoing damage.
- Penance per CD.
- Power Word: Solace per CD, if talented.
- Smite, the rest of the time.
The main idea is healing people through Atonement. This means you need to trigger that buff on your damage-taking allies with Plea, Shadow Mend, Power Word: Radiance and Power Word: Shield. At any time, about 5 buffs should be maintained simultaneously. More buffs would exhaust your Mana very quickly, and it is usually not needed with the group/raid receiving minor damage.
In case the damage is delivered to a small group of people, or the damage is small itself, to maintain Atonement, use Plea, Power Word: Shield and Shadow Mend, in case your target needs more healing. If a larger number of players is subject to damage, use Power Word: Radiance instead.
If there is upcoming damage to be delivered to a large group of players, or the current damage dealt to already injured players is about to grow:
- Maintain Atonement on ~5 players with Plea and Power Word: Shield.
- 5 secs prior to the raid receiving damage use Power Word: Radiance twice.
- Trigger Evangelism.
- Light’s Wrath / Shadowfiend / Mindbender (any of those available at the moment).
- Penance on an enemy.
- Smite to heal those tagged with Atonement.
What differs this gameplay from a raid one is that Atonement healing is only effective when a group is subject to minor damage. Whenever you are subject to major damage, you’ll have to use different spells. You are assumed to be using the talent build suggested for Mythic+ in the corresponding section.
In case your whole group is subject to damage simultaneously, use Power Word: Radiance.
- Pain Suppression is a powerful single target CD. It is most likely to be used to survive potent abilities cast against your tanks. To be utilized directly before taking damage, to provide max efficiency.
- Power Word: Barrier is a potent raid save which is quite peculiar about the raid’s disposition. Also keep in mind that, apart from reducing the incoming damage to the allies inside your dome, you also deliver more healing to those tagged with Atonement.
- Shadowfiend is used as a DPS cooldown. You should also keep in mind that its delivered damage heals people under Atonement.
Its modified version among talents, Mindbender, restores you Mana. You should remember that, too, so that the Mana it generates does not overcap.
- Rapture is to be used in advance, before your group/raid receive massive damage, to prevent those targets from taking damage.
- Light’s Wrath is used most effectively when its damage is delivered to allies with Atonement. It is preferable that you have 12+ people with Atonement before you cast it.
- Fade is your personal cooldown which not only lets you go off the aggro but also reduces the damage dealt to you by 13%+ (depends on your Vestments of Discipline score).
The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:
Haste => Mastery > Crit > Versatility > Intellect
*If you have Drape of Shame, Crit surpasses Mastery.
Haste reduces the restoring time for your Power Word: Shield, reduces the GCD, shortened the casts, reduces the interval between your Shadowfiend‘s attacks, and increases the number of ticks by your Shadow Word: Pain or Purge the Wicked. Best of all, Haste increases your outgoing damage which eventually facilitates your healing.
The current specialization’s Mastery increases Atonement‘s healing efficiency.
- Neck: Enchant Neck – Mark of the Claw.
- Ring: Enchant Ring – Binding of Haste.
- Cloak: Enchant Cloak – Binding of Intellect.
- Flasks and Potions:
- Flask of the Whispered Pact, 1300 Intellect for 1 hour.
- Potion of Prolonged Power, 2500 Instant for 1 min. Suffering Mana shortage, you can use Leytorrent Potion – the potion use takes 10 secs. In case you need Mana instantly, use Ancient Mana Potion.
- 2 pieces: Your healing spells restore 30% more Health to the targets tagged with Power Word: Shield.
- 4 pieces: During Rapture, the effect of Atonement applied with the spell Power Word: Shield lasts 6 secs longer.
- 2 pieces: The first light charge by your Penance deals 65% more damage and restores 65% more Health.
- 4 pieces: Utilizing Power Word: Shield grants you a 15% chance that your spell Penance comes Mana-free, and its restoring time shrinks by 50%.
- 2 pieces: Reduces the recharging time for your Power Word: Radiance by 3 secs.
- 4 pieces: Casting Power Word: Radiance increases your next Penance‘s damage by 30%.
4T21 is necessary to use. 2T20 can be a good edition, especialy if they are high ilvl. This tier parts can be removed if you have off-sets of very high ilvl. Set bonus weigth depends on wich parts you have:
Chest, Legs and Head = 70 ilvl
Back, Gloves and Shoulder = 100 ilvl
Mixed = 85 ilvl
It is a good idea to set mouseover macros for all your healing and defensive spells as well as for Leap of Faith (meaning when you use these macros, the spell is cast upon the target which is at your cursor’s position). For example:
#showtooltip Plea /cast [@mouseover] Plea
If it’s no matter wich target to dps with your Shadow Word: Pain, this macro will be very useful:
#showtooltip Shadow word: Pain /cast [harm,nodead][@targettarget,harm,nodead][@targettargettarget,harm,nodead][@targettargettargettarget,harm,nodead][@targettargettargettargettarget,harm,nodead]Shadow word: Pain