Phideas

Disc Priest Tips for Mana Efficiency

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Hey, everyone~

 

I've recently come to the conclusion that I have way too much spirit on my disc priest (about 17.5k), and that having that much mana regen is a) gimping my throughput and b) letting me fall into bad habits, like spamming PoH and taking Hymn of Hope out of my toolkit.

 

So, I'm starting the process of slowly bringing my spirit down into the 12k range, bit by bit, while teaching myself to play more efficiently. With that goal in mind, what are your tips for healing more efficiently as a disc priest?

 

Particularly:

  • I've gotten in the habit of keeping PWS up on the active tank on cooldown, rather than waiting until Rapture is ready to go again. I don't spam PWS across the entire raid, but I could ratchet back my casting to once every 12 seconds, if casting it more often than that is suboptimal.
  • I haven't been tracking lucidity procs on my metagem, but from reading other threads, it seems like I should. What's the correct response to a lucidity proc, though? PoH?
  • I almost always combine Spirit Shell and Inner Focus with PoH to put a shield across the entire raid, and I wait to do it until raidwide damage is about to happen. (With Spirit Shell, I typically get two PoHs off and one Greater Heal on each tank.) Should I be using Spirit Shell more often, when there is no raid-wide damage, and just put four Greater Heals on the tank?
  • What are the other vital mana-saving best practices that I should be learning?

Phideas

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As a Disc, I typically run around 8k spirit, and can heal a Normal run effectively from ~540 ilvl.

 

Mindbender or Solace!  That talent tier is one of the most important for regen.  If you enjoy doing a lot of Atonement, and can foresee yourself keeping Holy Fire on cooldown constantly, Power Word: Solace is your best bet.  If not, Mindbender is your best bet for regen.  Just make sure you watch it's cooldown and hit it when it's ready.

 

More Prayer of Mending.  When I'm majority tank healing, I like taking Glyph of Prayer of Mending, and I'll often replace a Greater Heal or Heal w/ PoM.  Every time you think 'Greater Heal!' think about PWS and PoM.

 

During your Lucidity proc, you can cast three PW:S, two Flash Heals, two Binding Heals, or a PoH,/Flash/Binding/Greater and a PoM/PW:S.  Any of the options offer high throughput at zero mana cost, and there's never a right answer.  The best healing per mana will be the three Power Word: Shields, but you may not be able to use them on your intended targets at that time, so don't be scared to do a PW:S, PoM, and start a Penance, or really any other combination of high cost high benefit abilities.

 

I wouldn't Shell more often; it's typically a big drain on mana because you want to do high effective heals while you have it up.  Do it the way you are now, predicting damage.

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The primary thing to keep in mind is that you should always be using the appropriate heal for the situation. Casting a PoH when it won't hit more than 4 targets and most are at full health(or three when it will heal them all for most of its healing potential) for example is a waste of mana compared to using smite that, given its smart-heal nature, will heal a target for about half the mana cost of PoH. Cutting back on abilities cast that had less effect will save you mana. Getting raid frames that support cluster finders is a great way to optimise PoH use as it will show how many in each group you can hit with PoH.

 

It's for this reason that atonement is so great. It's a smart-heal and your three spells that interact with it all costs relatively little mana for a decently-sized heal that doesn't overheal.

 

HF without solace is one of your absolute best heals. It's decently big, very mana efficient and a smart-heal too. It should preferably be used on cooldown either way and with that concern in mind, the net mana gain comparing solace to mindbender at normal levels of haste means Solace is the superior choice. In 10m where there are less targets taking damage and thus more calls for single-target heals HF becomes even more attractive.

 

PoM is a great spell, but it's only worth casting if it will be jumping around. You can be unlucky to have it sit around and run out during certain phases of all bosses and on some like Malkorok it's utterly useless other than during blood rage. Casting it during these times will be a mana loss when taking into account what you could've otherwise spent that mana casting. Get the pom tracker[1] and only recast it if there isn't one about already. The glyph is circumstantial. Personally I'm not a fan of using PoM as a tank heal, it doesn't heal for enough to ensure the tank lives or dies and the HPM is terrible compared to alternatives for tank healing(if it doesn't bounce further). Not to mention the total healing it can do is smaller with the glyph.

 

Lucidity only lasts 4 seconds. There will often be a GCD 'wasted' from casting the spell that procced it, meaning you have roughly 2.5-3 seconds to casts spells in. Squeezing in three seconds of casting is hard and so is getting three PWS' of during that timeframe. It's definitely possible at times, but aiming at two is more realistic. The thing to keep in mind with lucidity is that the casts you do will need to be effective healing, otherwise you're not saving mana. Casting PWS on a target that won't take damage means that cast was wasted and you didn't gain anything from casting it. It's also worth keeping in mind that casting PoH to save 13.5k mana takes the same time as casting 2 PWS(roughly) that saves you 27.4k mana if used well.

 

Learn not to use SF when you're at full or close-to full mana. It'll be wasted if you hit 300k while it's still up. At the same time you shouldn't be conservative with its use. Use it the first time about 60-70% mana and then the second time with HoH for a better mana return when you're lower longer into a fight.

 

With that said, a discipline priest will have some wasteful casts that we do either way. Casting DS on cooldown, aligned with AA, is virtually the norm to generate as many DA shields as possible, no matter the mana cost. There are few encounters where this isn't the case.

 

 

1: http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/prayer-of-mending-tracker

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During your Lucidity proc, you can cast three PW:S, two Flash Heals and a PW:S, two Binding Heals and a PW:S ...

 

FTFY

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You have received some great feedback.  I'll touch on these two below from my PoV.

 


  • I've gotten in the habit of keeping PWS up on the active tank on cooldown, rather than waiting until Rapture is ready to go again. I don't spam PWS across the entire raid, but I could ratchet back my casting to once every 12 seconds, if casting it more often than that is suboptimal.
  • I haven't been tracking lucidity procs on my metagem, but from reading other threads, it seems like I should. What's the correct response to a lucidity proc, though? PoH?

 

-- I am a proponent of keeping PWS up on the active tank regardless of Rapture.

 

-- Pick up the WA in the sticky from Brutal at the top of the Preist Forums to track your LMG proc.  Most fights will allow you to net the most mana/heal(absorb) by casting PWS on targets that will consume the entire shield.  When doing generic log analysis, most of the regular posters will filter your LMG proc then look to see how many PWS you fit into that window.  It's a great way to make the most of your mana.   The encounters that don't allow for 3 people to use the entire PWS you will need to find what is best for that specific instance (which is just muscle memory/reaction time/situational awareness/etc).  Lately, I have found myself using a lot more Glyphed Binding Heals during my LMG proc IF the tanks already have a PWS active.  The right answer will change based on the encounter and your group but more than half the time, PWS will be the correct answer.

 

Other than that my 2cents on some other remarks just for varying points of view for you to compare: 

I've been running without the PoM Glyph for about 4 months now

I have replaced Flash Heal wherever it shows up with Glyphed Binding Heal

I do not use Greater Heal or Heal

I use PoH exclusively for SS and use it to reduce/cancel predictable incoming damage.  Some fights, not all, this will be on CD.

 

For another mana tip:

Do your best to overlap your Mindbender with your and/or other priests HoH

HoH will stack if you have multiple Priests in raid

Just for good measure, I'll reiterate:  Track you LMG and your Rapture

 

GL dropping the Spirit!  You will undoubtedly love the rewarding increase to your heals potency!

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Thanks for the tips, everyone, and keep them coming!

 

I dropped from 17,500 to 17,000 last night and ventured into normal mode SoO for the first time. We downed the first two bosses, and I averaged 138k HPS. My plan is to drop another 1,000 spirit a week until I'm down to 12k, and then decide if I want to go lower.

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Follow-up questions:

  • If I'm keeping PWS up on the active tank on cooldown (with glyph of weakened soul), what's to be gained from tracking Rapture? Is that just to determine when it might be advantageous to put a shield on someone other than the tank?
  • Some folks argue that Penance should always be used to defensively to keep Grace stacks up on the tank, while others push for it to be used offensively as much as possible as part of Atonement. Which is preferable?
  • Regarding must-have macros for increased efficiency, I've culled the following from the forums:
    • Binding Archangel to Smite and Solace in order to maximize AA uptime.
    • Making a SF/HoH button for the second time you cast SF in a fight
    • ​What am I missing?

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-  When I hear the Rapture tracker time out, it's a reminder to make sure you have it up and out on the right target.  I only use the Weakened Soul Glyph on fights where I tend to use PWS on more than just the tank. Nazgrim is the first that comes to mind.  I run with Penance and Binding Heal Glyphed all the time.  The last spot I rotate based on the fight.

 

-  IMO, use Penance offensively as much as possible, ignoring Grace.  If the tank is not low and in need of the defensive Penance the smart heal will hit the tank in the circumstance that they dip low while you are channeling offensively.  Otherwise, Atonement will do it's job and fill up the others health bars. 

 

 

Some other good ones I have read revolve around IF but don't have them to copy. They are:

IF/SS/PoH

IF/PoH

PWS/IF/SS/PoH

 

Edit:  There is also one w/ a built in delay for Void Shift then Desperate Prayer/Cookie

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I would still have AA on its own keybind. There are situations where you shouldn't use it on cd because of impending downtime where it'll be wasted or similarly because you want it ready for SS to react to a certain ability. Sha is one example where you should stagger it to have it ready for Swelling Pride.

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Damn, you guys all beat me to it =P Good advice! 

 

I always use AA on cooldown.  Spirit Shell is more than sufficient for Swelling Pride with or without AA, in my experience.

 

As far as macros go, I use 2.  One combines Solace and AA, the other combines AA, Inner Focus, Spirit Shell.  Well, I do have a third, but it just ties my mana regen racial to shadowfiend =P

 

Yes, always use inner focus with Spirit Shell.

 

IMO cut 3k a week, or jump straight down to sub 10k.  Spirit does a LOT less for your regeneration than you would think.  And in any case, are you ever even close to OOM on any given fight?

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I imagine in 10m it's much less of an issue given you can hit both groups twice. In a 25m raid you're only able to hit everyone once and AA provides a tremendous boost to the average PoH hit[1], in the ballpark of 40%, which is what SS shields are ultimately based on. Accordingly it becomes imperative to use AA with SS to maximise the potential hits.

 

Granted on farm you can afford leniency and just keep AA up whenever it comes off cooldown despite it being a bad habit during progression, but in general staying alert even on farm can be important to guaranteeing the kill. Bigger SS shields are also a surefire way to increase your HPS and thus your ability to rank :P..

 

1: The equation for SS, simplified is H*((1+C*(1+M))*(M/2)), where H is the average heal -- min+max dmg divided by 2 plus spellpower times coefficient, C is your critical strike chance as a fraction and M is your mastery as a fraction. AA on its own effectively adds another modifier with 1.25, but also increases your crit by 0.1. T

Edited by steve

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AverageHeal*((1+CritChance*(1+Mastery))*(MinMaxDamage/2)) is much easier to read lol

 

And yeah I'll definitely give you point on 25m progression.  All my advice is from 10m point of view and I've never cared about ranking =)

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And in any case, are you ever even close to OOM on any given fight?

 

With 17k mana, no, I never have critical mana problems, although I do tend to run low on Fallen Protectors, Malkorok, and Garrosh. The more I've been reading, the more I'm coming to the conclusion that my mana problems are a result of egregious misuse of Prayer of Healing - until this week, I didn't realize that it healed the group but not the raid, and so you can't simply spam it on the tank and expect that it'll heal everyone within 30 yards. Learning to use PoH correctly will probably solve most of my problems...

 

It does bring up an interesting UI question for me, though - I've gotten in the habit of sorting my healing grid (Vuhdo) with me in the upper left, followed by the two tanks, followed by the healers in alphabetical order, followed by the DPS in alphabetical order. It's a habit I picked up in LFR, when groups were rarely sorted and I got tired of never knowing where the tanks would be in the grid. (I'm typically a tank healer.)

 

It's worked out great for me... except that it makes it impossible at a glance to distribute PoH among different groups, per Steve's description. I'm guessing that you guys keep your healing grid sorted by group? And if so, does that require the raid leader to put some thought into who he puts into which groups? What's the optimal setup for that?

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Personally, I'd recommend to always ask for assist so you can make sure that the groups are set up for better PoH/SS efficiency. The Vuhdo Mod is no longer being updated as far as I know.  So it will not work come 6.0 and/or WoD.  In its current state though there is a setting for showing the ideal PoH/AoE target.

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I always keep the raid sorted by groups, no matter the healer I'm on. For 10m it might only matter for PoH selection, but in 25m groups are extensively used as organisational tools as well, eg to designate who goes down on Norushen at what point, who's going to tower, at what shock pulse we're expecting you to use your cooldown and more.

 

Sorting by name would mean that you would have to open your social tool(usually by clicking o) to see who's in what group making it difficult to diagnose these issues during combat. It's hard to see for example if all people intended to go tower went up, if sorting by name rather than group.

 

WRT to addons, VuhDo is, as Gwen mentions, currently a dead project. The developer officially ended support for the addon 25th of April and has not since responded to any of the takeover requests for the addon, meaning the future of the addon is uncertain. It's quite unfortunate as VuhDo had one of the best implementations of cluster finders in my opinion, but there are great alternatives. Personally I use Grid2, but there are loads of people happily using Healbot and Grid as well. Even ElvUI's raid frames are pretty good if you get the cluster finder adon for it.

Edited by steve

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How much spirit are people running with to 2-heal 10man heroics? I find myself spamming a LOT of PW:S, since the environmental/raid damage there is usually so react-fast-or-people-die.

 

I'm running at about 21k spirit (plus cloak tailoring proc, using Nazgrim trinket and Sha amplification trinket), wondering if I should try cutting down on some of that...

Edited by Mord

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What boss are you currently working on?  I ask because if you are working on HM's I want to assume there is some sort of accountability on unnecessary damage taken that will allow you to lower your Spirit.

 

I'm not going out on a limb to assume that everyone that will check in to help will tell you that needing 21k Spirit to maintain mana the duration of the encounter is a nod at inefficiency in spell selection along with your pro-firestanders.

 

Personally, I carry 10-11k Spirit with the DSoD trinket and I consider myself a spammer.  Most of the other contributors carry less than I do.  I've seen some claim 5-7k in HM's but I don't think they've supplied logs or armory links.  Steve made a great post referencing the effect of Spirit on mana regen here:

 

Icy-Veins: Disc Priest - How much Spirit?

 

Here is the article in reference:

 

Hamlet's I am yelling on the internet: The Mana Economy

 

If you are willing to have some of us look over your guilds logs' and your armory I'm sure we can help get your Spirit down and your other stats up.  The Nazgrim trinket is not very powerful for Disc so if you get the free time do your best to farm for DSoD every week even on Flex.

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Hah, yeah I agree with Gwen completely.  You're running WAY too much spirit, and if your guildies are standing in fire you need to tell them to stop =)  In general there shouldn't be a reason to use PW:Shield a lot.  Certainly for the mana refund or during L.Metagem proc, but in general it shouldn't be your go-to spell, it's just too expensive. 

 

I typically run 9 to 11k spirit, and honestly it was only that high because I couldn't get it lower unless I reforged spirit to haste =P

 

I have some guides over at

http://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/3044-siege-of-orgrimmar-discipline-priest-style/

if you want to read how I do my fights.  My heroic guides start at the bottom of the first page.  That being said, if you have troubles on a particular fight, start a new thread, we'll help ya out. 

 

Switch out that nazgrim grinket for any version of Blackfuse's Samophlange, even raid finder. 

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If you need armory links and logs for 5-7k spirits here's a couple:

 

Dracomaros

 

http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/character/laughing-skull/Dracomaros/advanced

 

http://www.warcraftlogs.com/reports/XvA46BbDCy1zYJah

 

Jhazrun

 

http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/character/lightnings-blade/Jhazrun/advanced

 

http://www.warcraftlogs.com/reports/9hTNqDZYkcWFzy7v

 

Priestting

 

http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/character/tarren-mill/Priestting/advanced

 

http://www.warcraftlogs.com/reports/pF62t8vmMJdWnrfZ#fight=1&type=healing

 

Granted these are from top guilds and just the ones I knew from the top of my head.

 

I don't see what it adds though.

 

As has been pointed out several times, by basically everyone in this forum, spirit is a product of circumstance and you need to adjust accordingly. If you're on progression and you make a lot of screw-ups, you'll necessarily need more regen than if you're on farm. Similarly concerns relates to what strategies you're using number of mana cooldowns available to you, your actual use of spells and many other factors(such as number of healers=.

 

If you're having issues with mana spirit is not a blanket answer, despite many treating it like it is. In fact, spirit is a terrible means for mana regeneration. 2000 spirit is roughly equal to one additional power word: shield per minute. Comparatively, that's 3.33% crit or 5.33% mastery, both of which will boost all of your healing rather than that single ability. That's a lot of throughput to give up for one extra spell.

 

Spirit is even less of a concern for a disc priest since we have no ability that scale with spirit. Paladins, shamans and druids all retain spirit to some degree to fuel their mana regeneration cooldowns. That is why shamans will still sit at 10k+ spirit despite not having a need for it. It's needed to give MTT some oomph. That is no longer the case for priests and hasn't been for a while. The only benefit of spirit for disc, and holy, is the passive regen it gives. All of our mana regeneration mechanics rely on percentages of total mana or spell cost. This leaves spirit much less desirable than to those other classes.

 

Given the inefficiency of spirit, you're much better off turning to your logs and do some analytical work, even turn to filming yourself to see what mistakes you're making. Correcting the spells you're using will give a benefit much greater than spirit will. One screw-up -- as in one PWS that isn't utilized -- will cost you the mana those 2k spirit would be worth.

 

Instead of asking yourself, "do I have enough spirit?" start asking "Am I using all of my cooldowns effectively" and "Am I using an incorrect spell as response to this situation?". Those will yield larger results. Only when you can answer yes and no respectively to those questions should you start worrying about increasing your spirit.

 

 

AverageHeal*((1+CritChance*(1+Mastery))*(MinMaxDamage/2)) is much easier to read lol

Think you meant to say Mastery instead of MinMaxDamage :P. That is only a factor for the average heal.

Edited by steve

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Thanks for the links but ya I was referring to some of the other non 1%ers who posted about their efficiency expertise!  I wanted to see how strong their heals compared to my spamming and how much quicker they were killing bosses or different strat in Combat Logging.  Priests closer to the 5.4.8 kills instead of the December kills. lol.

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Cheers all (especially Steve for those parses/armory links)

 

My profile is at http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/character/kazzak/Mordd/advanced

 

Unfortunately I'm in the undesirable position of generally having to raid with PuGs rather than my guild (due to irregular availability) so educating people to not stand in the fire is unfortunately not an option. :( that's mainly the reason I've gone so spirit-heavy; I know how to heal properly (and do when I get to raid with my guild) but far too often I'm forced to do the grunt work of keeping people alive with lots of PW:S and glyphed binding heal for throughput, rather than smiting as often as I'd like (and I only 10man raid too, so am less fill-in healer, more primary carry..)

 

I'm wondering now though if 21k is still too much for 10man PuG heroics- as steve said, each 2k spirit is only an extra PW:S a minute. I'm going to try focusing much more on crit, and see how that works out- hopefully if I dump 10k or so into crit, I'll find I can get away with more actual healing and let DA buffer the people on fire.

 

Cheers!

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Cheers all (especially Steve for those parses/armory links)

 

My profile is at http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/character/kazzak/Mordd/advanced

 

Unfortunately I'm in the undesirable position of generally having to raid with PuGs rather than my guild (due to irregular availability) so educating people to not stand in the fire is unfortunately not an option. sad.png that's mainly the reason I've gone so spirit-heavy; I know how to heal properly (and do when I get to raid with my guild) but far too often I'm forced to do the grunt work of keeping people alive with lots of PW:S and glyphed binding heal for throughput, rather than smiting as often as I'd like (and I only 10man raid too, so am less fill-in healer, more primary carry..)

 

I'm wondering now though if 21k is still too much for 10man PuG heroics- as steve said, each 2k spirit is only an extra PW:S a minute. I'm going to try focusing much more on crit, and see how that works out- hopefully if I dump 10k or so into crit, I'll find I can get away with more actual healing and let DA buffer the people on fire.

 

Cheers!

 

You've got the right idea!  I've Open Raid pugged on my alt Disc a few times in 10 and 25mans and I have been able to get away with less Spirit.  Dumping in favor in Crit I hope will give ya a nice quality of life change.

 

GL!

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Well, turns out dumping spirit -> crit wasn't *quite* as straightforward as I thought (since nearly all my gear was spirit/crit gear anyway, I couldn't reforge directly).

 

After some regemming I'm down to about 14k spirit to see how it goes... just one PuG Garrosh normal last night, and my DA output was definitely vastly improved (although I did get a LOT of atonement spamming in), blowing all the other healers out the water with far less need for PW:S spamming (although again 25man makes that easier than 10). Cheers again for the advice!

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Well, turns out dumping spirit -> crit wasn't *quite* as straightforward as I thought (since nearly all my gear was spirit/crit gear anyway, I couldn't reforge directly).

 

Great to see you doing at improving your character and getting results from it! It feels great to rep the rewards of the work you put into this game.

 

Looking over your profile, I noticed there are a couple of thing you could do as your next step if you want to further reduce your spirit. You can replace all of your pure spirit gems with misty wild jade.  You currently have 5 of them, replacing them nets you 800 crit, adding the purified(replaced with a misty as well) gives you another 160 crit, though personally I'd skip the 60 spirit bonus on both rings and feet for more spirit. Similarly replacing the green gem in your weapon with a smooth will increase your crit at the cost of your spirit.

 

All of the above adds up to 1440 if I'm not mistaken, or 2.4% crit.

 

You might also want to consider changing the enchant on your chest, legs and hands if you want less spirit or haste.

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