Discipline Priest Healing Easy Mode — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5

Last updated on May 12, 2019 at 20:30 by Clandon 48 comments

On this page, we explain how to easily play Discipline Priest in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5, using the simplest rotation, talent tree, stat priority, gear setup, etc., without sacrificing performance.

1. Foreword

This page is intended for players who are new to the game or class, have no intentions of raiding Mythic difficulty, or simply want a more straightforward way to play their specialisation without being overwhelmed by the numerous subtleties and active abilities that need to be taken into consideration for optimal play.

2. The Basics of Discipline Priests

Discipline Priests rely on healing players through dealing damage (through Atonement Icon Atonement), but also has traditional heals and absorption spells which are to be used in situations where Atonement is not sufficient. Healing through dealing damage allows them to contribute to the group's DPS, while still performing well as a healer. Discipline Priests provide some of the greatest burst healing in the game on a relatively short cooldown.

3. Talent Choice for Discipline Priests

These are currently the best talent choices as a Discipline Priest for a newer player. Note that some of the suggestions sacrifice a bit of performance for ease of use, but overall the difference is not great. Consult the detailed talents page for the complete picture.

3.1. Dungeons

3.2. Raids

4. Stat Choice for Discipline Priests

Intellect is your most important stat while gearing, and thus higher item level will usually provide better results. In terms of secondary stats, Haste has slightly more value than other secondaries, but not enough to reduce your item level to target it. The remaining secondaries are all quite equal in value. Leech is also quite valuable but this tertiary stat loses value in easier content or during farm content. Once you start to reach higher item levels within Battle of Dazar'alor, secondary stats may begin to be equal to or greater than the value of intellect. This does not change our gearing strategy as our secondaries are close enough in value that more stats will still be more valuable than targeting specific stats. Focusing on the highest item level on your gear outside trinkets and Azerite will continue to be the correct course of action.

For more information on stats for Discipline, please take a look at our Discipline Priest Healing Stat Priority page.

5. Basic Playstyle for Discipline Priests

Discipline Priests rely on applying Atonement Icon Atonement and then dealing damage in order to heal through Atonement.

5.1. Atonement Rotation (DPS Priority)

The ideal rotation for dealing damage in order to generate Atonement Icon Atonement healing is as follows.

  1. Maintain Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain (or Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked, if you have taken this talent) on the target.
  2. Use Schism Icon Schism as needed to provide a damage increase and thus healing increase for your Atonement Icon Atonements (if you have taken this talent).
  3. Use Power Word: Solace Icon Power Word: Solace on cooldown (if you have taken this talent).
  4. Use Penance Icon Penance on cooldown.
  5. Use Smite Icon Smite as a filler.

5.2. Raid Healing

For healing damage on multiple raid members at once, your primary tool is Atonement Icon Atonement. Proactively place Atonement on the required players through the use of such spells as Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance, Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield, or Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend, so that when the damage starts coming in, you can already begin healing them through dealing damage.

If you must heal a rather low number of players then you should use Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield or Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend to apply Atonement Icon Atonement on them. Power Word: Shield is used during periods of movement, as well as when Atonement needs to be applied to a target who is full health and would not benefit from the direct heal of Shadow Mend. Make sure you do not fall into the trap of over applying Atonement and under utilizing them. The primary value of these single target spells like Power Word: Shield and Shadow Mend is the Atonement application, NOT the direct heal or absorb. If you apply Atonement to someone, make sure you DPS after that to take advantage of it. Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance can be used as needed to get out a handful of Atonements (note that the duration is only 60% of normal Atonement) between major damage events, but keep in mind to let them recharge for your next big burst healing rotation (high damage).

If the number of players you have to heal or the damage received are high, then you should use the following rotation in advance of taking the damage.

  1. Apply around 5 Atonement Icon Atonement buffs (using Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield or Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend).
  2. Use Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance twice about 4-5 seconds before the damage occurs.
  3. Use Evangelism Icon Evangelism.
  4. Use Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend.
  5. Use Schism Icon Schism if taken.
  6. Use Power Word: Solace Icon Power Word: Solace.
  7. Use Halo Icon Halo if taken.
  8. Use Penance Icon Penance.
  9. Keep using Smite Icon Smite until Atonement Icon Atonement buffs begin to expire.

5.3. Dungeon Healing

Healing in a dungeon relies on Atonement Icon Atonement when the damage amounts are low to medium. For higher amounts of damage, you will need to make use of additional spells.

  • Low to medium damage: you should maintain Atonement on the target through using Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend and simply perform your DPS rotation. This should provide enough healing to keep the target alive.
  • High damage: Atonement Icon Atonement healing will no longer suffice on its own. In addition to utilizing Atonement Icon Atonement, you may have to spam Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend. In case of group-wide damage, you should use Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance to quickly apply 5 Atonements at 60% duration and use Schism Icon Schism, Power Word: Solace Icon Power Word: Solace and Penance Icon Penance offensively to heal up your group. Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend can supplement your healing quite well in a pinch, so it is recommended to save the cooldown as best you can for packs or bosses that require the extra healing. Rapture Icon Rapture and Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier are extremely powerful cooldowns that Discipline has available. Make sure to not fall into the trap of holding cooldowns too long for perfect moment. Specifically, Rapture has a very short cooldown.

5.4. Atonement Applicators

Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield is best used in situations when you are on the move and the target will not benefit from the direct healing of Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend. On the other hand, Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend can be a great way to spot heal and apply Atonement Icon Atonement in situations where you have the time to stop moving in order to cast it. Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance provides a quick method of applying 5 Atonements at 60% of normal duration. Keep in mind that Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance is our most Mana-efficient and GCD-efficient applicator.

6. Cooldown Usage for Discipline Priests

  • Evangelism Icon Evangelism is a Discipline Priest's primary raid cooldown. Utilizing this properly is key to performing well with the specialisation. Always aim to have at least 15 Atonement Icon Atonements out before using this cooldown. Evangelism should always be used after a double Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance cast. See the raid healing section above for a detailed cast sequence involving Evangelism for a better idea of how to use this well.
  • Schism Icon Schism, despite its tooltip only mentions dealing increased damage, is a significant part of our healing potential. It is one of the few damage amplification sources in the game that does increase our Atonement Icon Atonement healing. This should be used in conjunction with as many Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance charges as possible as well as with every Evangelism Icon Evangelism cast.
  • 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.
  • Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend should be used for additional DPS (and therefore Atonement healing) when this is needed at high atonement counts.
  • Rapture Icon Rapture should be used when you anticipate a large amount of AoE damage. This allows you to provide a large absorb shield about 9 targets, which also serves to set up Atonement Icon Atonement on them for subsequent healing. Used in dungeons it is extremely powerful at only a 1.5-minute cooldown. Because of it being on a short cooldown, it is recommended to be used as frequently as possible. Uses include: heavy tank damage, pre-shielding, and healing major damage over time abilities. Be aware that after Rapture expires any new Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield casts will replace the previous buff on the target.
  • Desperate Prayer Icon Desperate Prayer provides increased health for its duration, but also provides a heal for the amount that it increased. This provides you with a quick heal when you drop low and added survivability.

7. Azerite Traits for Discipline Priests

When obtaining Azerite gear you should always be a look out for these traits:

  1. Depth of the Shadows Icon Depth of the Shadows — This trait is very strong in raid content due to the increased duration of Atonement Icon Atonement. Keep in mind the Atonement duration portion does not stack with multiple traits, which makes this trait very poor to stack. Never use more than one.
  2. Enduring Luminescence Icon Enduring Luminescence — this is also a strong trait for raid content. Just like Depth of the Shadows Icon Depth of the Shadows, the Atonement Icon Atonement duration portion does not stack, so you should never use multiples of this trait.
  3. Treacherous Covenant Icon Treacherous Covenant — this is one of the raid traits from Battle of Dazar'alor. It is very powerful in almost all situations.
  4. Bonded Souls Icon Bonded Souls — this is another one of the raid traits from Battle of Dazar'alor. It is very powerful in almost all situations.
  5. Death Throes Icon Death Throes — while this is a Shadow trait, it is usable as Discipline. This trait is very powerful as it increases the damage of Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain (and Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked), which subsequently increases the Atonement Icon Atonement healing those spells provide.

8. Changelog

  • 12 May 2019: Updated page after peer review.
  • 16 Apr. 2019: This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 27 Feb. 2019: Updated rotation and Azerite trait sections.
  • 19 Jan. 2019: Updated page for the Battle for Dazar'alor raid.
  • 10 Dec. 2018: Updated page for Patch 8.1.
  • 29 Oct. 2018: Updated Azerite trait suggestions.
  • 11 Sep. 2018: Made several updates based on post-launch experience.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 11 Aug. 2018: Added the Azerite section.
  • 28 Jul. 2018: Updated wording throughout page.
  • 20 Jul. 2018: Updated level 90 talent recommendation.
Show more
Show less