Discipline Priest Healing Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (WoD 6.0.3)

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General Information

On this page, we list your Discipline Priest core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft WoD 6.0.3. We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that you will need to know if you want to excel at playing a Discipline Priest.

The other pages of our Discipline Priest guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Jhazrun, one of the best Discipline Priests in the world, who raids in Paragon.

6.0.2 Transition Guide

If you want to read all about the Patch 6.0.2 changes and learn how they affect your character, make sure to read our Priest Transition Guide!

1. Rotation↑top

Healing is in great part based on your ability to react to the damage that the raid takes, and as such there is no set rotation. Rather, you must understand what spells are best suited to the different situations that can occur during a raid encounter.

Below, you will find the optimal use of your abilities, and it will be up to you to then combine them efficiently in combat.

1.1. Single Target Healing

To begin with, you should use Penance Icon Penance on cooldown on the tank, or on another target that is taking damage.

Then, you should make ample use of Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield. This will not only prevent damage, but also increase your haste thanks to Borrowed Time Icon Borrowed Time.

It is also a good idea to keep Prayer of Mending Icon Prayer of Mending rolling in your raid.

If the target is taking more intense damage, then you can use Heal Icon Heal on them as needed. Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal should be saved for emergency situations, since its Mana cost is very high.

1.2. AoE Healing

If there is only sporadic damage on various raid members, you should heal it using the single target heals mentioned above. In any case, you should keep using Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield and Prayer of Mending Icon Prayer of Mending at all times.

As the raid damage intensifies, Prayer of Healing Icon Prayer of Healing is your go-to AoE heal. To make optimal use of it, the members of your target's party must be significantly damaged.

Holy Nova Icon Holy Nova is another AoE heal that does a surprisingly good amount of healing. As an added bonus, this can be cast while moving.

1.3. Evangelism, Atonement, and Dealing Damage

As of Patch 6.0.2, Atonement Icon Atonement healing has become inconsequential. In the presence of other healing options, casting spells affected by Atonement will always result in an overall healing loss, even when accounting for the eventual Archangel Icon Archangel. At level 100, the Mana gain from Power Word: Solace Icon Power Word: Solace will outweigh the time spent, but at this time stacking Evangelism Icon Evangelism should only be considered if:

  • You are consciously preparing for a difficult damage phase OR
  • You have the Tier 16 2-piece bonus and need a stack to activate the effect OR
  • There really is nothing else to do.

2. Cooldown Usage↑top

  • Pain Suppression Icon Pain Suppression should be used on a tank, before a damage spike. Alternatively, it can be used on a raid member who is targeted by a very damaging ability.
  • Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier should be used to mitigate intense AoE damage; it requires the raid to be stacked in one place.

We expand more on the cooldowns that you gain from your talents in a subsequent section.

3. Optional Read: Mastering Your Discipline Priest↑top

While the guidelines we have given so far will enable you to perform very decently as a Discipline Priest, there are many subtleties which you need to be aware of, if you want to play your character to its full potential.

3.1. Important Mechanics

In order to use your spells appropriately for the situations you encounter, you must first understand several aspects of the Discipline specialisation.

3.1.1. Mastery and Absorption Effects

The Discipline Mastery is Mastery: Shield Discipline Icon Mastery: Shield Discipline. Essentially, your Mastery increases the amount of healing your spells do, as well as increasing the damage absorbed by your absorption effects.

Discipline Priests have two absorption effects:

Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield is quite simple. You place a shield on a target, which absorbs a certain amount of damage (affected not only by your Mastery, but also by your spell power). Applying a shield to a target causes the Weakened Soul Icon Weakened Soul debuff, which prevents them from being shielded again (by you or any other priest) for 12 seconds. Power Word: Shields benefit from your critical strike chance, absorbing twice as much damage when this effect procs.

Your Divine Aegis Icon Divine Aegis passive ability provides you with a passive absorption mechanic. Each time you critically heal with a spell (including multistrikes), a shield is placed on the target that absorbs damage equal to 100% of the amount healed. This absorb is added to the heal amount, but the heal is not a critical effect, rather just the default amount. In other words, instead of a critical heal being a 200% heal, thanks to Divine Aegis, it is a 100% heal and a 100% absorption effect.

Divine Aegis Icon Divine Aegis has a 15 second duration, and each new application of the buff will stack on top of the previous Divine Aegis (merging the remaining amount of absorption with the amount of absorption created by the new shield) and refresh its duration. Note that the amount absorbed by Divine Aegis is limited to 60% of the casting Priest's maximum health.

Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield and Divine Aegis Icon Divine Aegis can co-exist on the same target at the same time, without any kind of interaction between them.

Absorption is a key element of Discipline healing. Shielding people is a means of preventive healing, which reduces the spikes in damage taken and ensures that damage is more predictable.

3.1.2. Borrowed Time

After each cast of Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield you gain the Borrowed Time Icon Borrowed Time buff. This causes you to gain an additional 40% haste from all sources for 6 seconds.

You will essentially always have this buff from the way you normally shield players.

3.1.3. Enhanced Leap of Faith

Enhanced Leap of Faith Icon Enhanced Leap of Faith causes your first non-period heal cast on a target on which you have used Leap of Faith Icon Leap of Faith (within a 10-second window) to heal for 50% more. Given that Leap of Faith is on the global cooldown, it is not likely that you will ever be able to use a technique of casting Leap of Faith on someone just prior to healing them. This may only be possible in fringe situation, such as when you can set it up on a tank or other target that you know will need more healing than usual within a 10-second window, but even so the benefit of having Heal Icon Heal or Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal increased by 50% is rather minor.

3.2. More on Cooldowns

3.2.1. Tier 3 Talents

If you have chosen Surge of Light Icon Surge of Light, then simply be prepared to use your procs, so that they do not overwrite each other.

Mindbender Icon Mindbender should be used on cooldown, provided that the Mana it grants you will not go to waste.

Power Word: Solace Icon Power Word: Solace replaces Holy Fire Icon Holy Fire. It is essentially the same as Holy Fire, with a few key differences.

  • Power Word: Solace does not cost any Mana.
  • Power Word: Solace restores 2% of maximum Mana when cast.

It should be used whenever you have spare time to use it (that is to say, when you do not have to heal more intensely), and when you can use the Mana return it provides.

3.2.2. Tier 5 Talents

Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion should be used whenever a period of intense healing is coming up, or simply when you want to conserve your Mana. Exceptionally, you can use it to deal more damage, if the encounter calls for it.

Spirit Shell Icon Spirit Shell should be used whenever there is high sustained damage to heal. You should aim to use it as many times as possible throughout the fight. It can also be used to pre-shield a target before they receive a lot of damage.

You will obtain the benefits of Twist of Fate Icon Twist of Fate passively, so there is nothing for you to do about this talent except enjoy the increased healing.

3.2.3. Tier 6 Talents

Whichever of these talents you chose, you should use it whenever it will not overheal. These talents are all suited for AoE healing, but their usefulness differs based on the positioning of your raid.

For the majority of situations, you will prefer Cascade. This spell is easy to use, so there is nothing much to say here.

Halo is only suited for the rare situations where the raid is neither stacked nor spread out. For it to be effective, you need to be 25 yards away from the targets you wish to heal. Note also that the Mana cost of Halo is very high.

3.2.4. Tier 7 Talents

Clarity of Will Icon Clarity of Will is basically a strong Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield that does not have the drawback of applying the Weakened Soul Icon Weakened Soul debuff, but which is considerably more expensive, and also has a casting time. You should use it much in the same way that you already use Power Word: Shield to prevent damage, by applying it on the tank or other single target you are healing.

Words of Mending Icon Words of Mending is entirely passive, so you do not need to worry about it.

Saving Grace Icon Saving Grace is not a good option, and should never be taken in its current state.