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Having trouble with new disc priest

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Hi everyone - I just just started healing on my new disc priest a couple of days ago (normally, I use my resto shaman) and I'm having some difficulties getting things down.

My wow armory profile is here:


I don't have any logs available, but will try to get some if needed. Generally, what I do is as follows:

- PW:S on tanks and players who are about to take a lot of damage

- POM on cooldown

- Cascade on cooldown if there is a decent amount of raid damage

- Spirit shell + prayer of healing before big raid damage (still getting used to how early in advance I have to do this)

- Prayer of healing spam with archangel if there's a ton of raid damage

- PW:S, penance, smite spam for atonement healing if there's not a lot of damage

- I rarely use renew, greater heal, heal, flash heal, penance

Basically, the problem is that I'm having a lot of difficulty adjusting from my resto shaman to disc priest. Here are a few questions I have, if someone doesn't mind helping me out:

1) Spamming smite seems to really drain my mana when I'm atonement healing. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong? Should I not be spamming it so much? Or do I just not have enough spirit?

2) On my shaman, if there's a lot of raid damage, I find myself able to clean it up very easily, but I have a very hard time on my priest. Is prayer of healing spam basically the only way?

3) Should I be using penance, renew, greater heal, heal more often? Right now, I barely ever use them at all (except penance for atonement healing).

4) How often should I be using PW:S? Right now, I basically only use it on tanks and occasionally on someone who is taking a lot of damage. I try to keep rapture up.

5) What is the optimal way to use spirit shell? Is there a cap on the max amount of absorbs I can create with it?

I think the main issue I'm having is finding a good balance between atonement healing and regular healing. If there's not a lot of raid damage coming in, then atonement healing works very well, but if there's heavy or unpredictable raid damage, I really struggle. Should I just switch to holy?

Thanks so much in advance for the help.

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Howdy there, here is my input from learning to play a disc priest. I made the switch from holy because there are just so many fights in ToT that are just plain OP for a disc priest.

1.) Doing stright up attonment healing can be some what mana intensive if you don't have good trinkets. I would recommened the 'On Use' Mana trinket from the shado-pan rep once you can. I only have 9.2k spirit w/o flask and food, but I have some ballin' trinkets so I rarely go below 80% mana while straight atonment healing. It doesn't seem like a lot of mana but it adds up. You choose Power Word Solace which I think is better for attonment healing, it just works betting into the rotation.

2.) You have to realize that a disc priest isn't meant to pick the raid up after a huge amount of damage, they are meant to prevent. With things like Spirit shell. Before a giant AoE damage phase you can pop Inner Focus, Arch Angel, prayer of healing for a divine aeigis bubble for about 50kish, and then spirit shell with Prayer of healing spam for another bubble of about 250k. I heal with a monk and a holy paladin, and they do a good job of getting the raid back up.

3.) Another hard thing about disc priests is you need to know when to attonement heal, and when to direct heal. If penance is just about to come off cooldown and someone needs healing, wait the second or two and then use it too heal them up. I don't use Heal, or renew, to me they are just worthless, Heal heals for about the same as a smite does on the boss in HPS numbers. I use greater heal on people that might die if they don't get healed up all the way, or with Inner Focus, to put an extra bubble on the tank.

4.) You have a passive called Rapture, when your Power word shield bubble get's all the way used up you get some mana back. Not enough to gain mana, but it basically gives you a free PW:S every 12 seconds. You can use an addon like 'Extra CD' to keep track of the Cooldown of that, and try to get as much free absorbs out of it as you can.

5.) Spirit shell bubbles can get up to 60% of the priests casting it's max health, and Divine Aegis can get up to 40%.

Disc priests can be really powerfull for some bosses in ToT and I think they are almost a nessecsity. However there are some fights where the ability of a holy priest to get the raid back up from massive amounts of damage can be extremely helpfull too. I would recommend disc priests, because the first two fights in ToT you are just plain OP for. The damage buff you get for Jin'rok and Horridon make attonment healing amazing. When I finish the horridon fight my smites are hitting for over 200K, that's 200K worth of healing onto the raid.

Here is a link to my Amory, and I'm sorry for any spelling errors it's like 6AM for me and I haven't slept yet XD


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Hi there. My 2 cents on your plight :D Your stats look fairly good for your ilvl, but you have too much haste. Haste is looked down upon for disc but it does come down to comfort level. I personally like to have 7.5% unbuffed haste, the poster above has about 7% (and I'm pretty sure most people would say we have too much :D) and you're sitting at almost 9%. That may be why you feel you are losing mana smiting. With the new patch penance is better cast on a person to heal them and give them stacks of grace than for atonement. Grace gives you 30% extra healing on that target at 3 stacks, so its quite significant to keep that up on as many people as possible. Its my understanding that a player w/ grace will benefit from that extra healing with atonement (but not sure if someone knows please post :D)

My personal healing "rotation" is penance, PoM, and cascade (or other talent in the same tier) on coolddown, I also try to keep archangel off cooldown but I do save it if I know I'm going to need it at a particular spot, if there's not enough time to get it again. Greater Heal makes up quite a bit of my healing. Disc is much better at spot healing than raid healing.

Learning the fights and knowing when to cast spirit shell makes a big difference as well. I always try to stack Spirit shell w/ archangel and/or Power Infusion if I know there's a big raid wide dmg coming; I use prayer of healing spam to apply SS and start that between 18sec-15sec DBM countdown to the boss ability. I very rarely use prayer of healing otherwise, only if the whole raid is clumped up. If the raid is spread it doesn't usually heal very many people.

Disc has quite a lot of "little" nuances that all add up to big differences in healing output, keep at it, and keep track of what you're doing and what is or isn't working, there's a bit of a learning curve with disc over other healing classes from my experience.

Here's my Armory link http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/Zul'jin/Redhighhealz/simple

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For disc priest, haste is the lowest priority stat, unless you really have a lot of spirit to keep up, but overall not a good option, since disc heals do not heal as much as other healing specs, on account of our shields. Take mastery and crit, since mastery increases both healing done and the absorbtion of the shields, and crit allows your PW: S to absorb for double amount. I am reguralry seeing 150k absorbs because of that.

Also, penance has its niche in actual healing. When you PW:S someone, you get Borrowed Time buff, that reduces next spell cast time by 15%. However, Penance does not consume it, so after PW:S you can immediately chain a fast channel Penance on the target to get his Grace up, then cast a Greater Heal that has 15% reduced cast time, which you can combine with Inner Focus for a guaranteed crit + DA proc on that target.

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Thanks so much for the replies!

I think I'm starting to get the hang of things. In TOT lfr, I can usually get to #1/2 on the healing meters for boss fights (take that for what you will) with 495 ilvl. I started using an addon for tracking rapture and am making better use of shadowfiend so that has helped my mana issues. I still have a hard time with mana if there are other disc priests sniping all of the tank shields, but what can you do...

I found the biggest difference that really helped my healing was making better use of spirit shell. I just wasn't used to watching for damage spikes 10-15 seconds in advance on my shaman.

I still rarely use any direct heals as I find them to be quite inefficient and slow (compared to shaman anyways). I'm not sure if that's a big issue though. Grace is one thing that I "forgot" about and I rarely keep it up, but I almost never do a lot of direct healing anyways, so I'm not sure how important it would be for me to keep it up. Would any of you "super priests" be able to provide me with a link to a world of logs for a tot fight or something so I can take a peek at your spell distribution (particularly direct heals as I'm unsure if I should be using them more).

Thanks again!

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