Discipline Priest Healing Easy Mode — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1
On this page, we explain how to easily play Discipline Priest in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1, using the simplest rotation, talent tree, stat priority, gear setup, etc., without sacrificing performance.
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.
The Basics of Discipline Priests
Discipline Priests rely on healing players through dealing damage (through 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.
For a more in-depth description on the spells you have available to you as a Discipline Priest, take a look at our spell summary page.
Talent Choice for Discipline Priests
These are currently the easier 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.
- Level 15: Twist of Fate
- Level 25: Angelic Feather
- Level 30: Power Word: Solace / Mindbender
- Level 35: Completely situational/irrelevant
- Level 40: Sins of the Many / Shadow Covenant
- Level 45: Purge the Wicked
- Level 50: Lenience
- Level 15: Schism
- Level 25: Angelic Feather
- Level 30: Power Word: Solace
- Level 35: Completely situational/irrelevant
- Level 40: Sins of the Many
- Level 45: Purge the Wicked
- Level 50: Evangelism
Stat Choice for Discipline Priests
Currently, you will want to prioritise secondary stats as follows for all content:
- Critical Strike
While we provide stat preference lists, swapping gear to higher item level items — and their higher Intellect/total stats — should, usually, provide a larger upgrade than using lower item level items with better stats. The exception to this rule are items with important tertiary stats, Leech and Avoidance, which should still be used ahead of other items without them, unless the difference in item level is around 10 or above.
For more information on stats for Discipline, please take a look at our stats page below.
Basic Playstyle for Discipline Priests
Discipline Priests rely on applying Atonement and then dealing damage in order to heal through Atonement.
Atonement Rotation (DPS Priority)
The ideal rotation for dealing damage in order to generate Atonement healing is as follows.
- Maintain Shadow Word: Pain (or Purge the Wicked, if you have taken this talent) on the target.
- Use Schism as needed to provide a damage increase and thus healing increase for your Atonements (if you have taken this talent).
- Use Power Word: Solace on cooldown (if you have taken this talent).
- Use Penance on cooldown.
- Use Mind Blast on cooldown.
- Use Smite as a filler or Mind Sear if locked out of the Holy spellschool via Shadow Covenant.
For healing damage on multiple raid members at once, your primary tool is Atonement. Proactively place Atonement on the required players through the use of such spells as Power Word: Radiance, Power Word: Shield, or 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 or Shadow Mend to apply 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 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.
- Apply around 5 Atonement buffs (using Power Word: Shield or Shadow Mend).
- Use Power Word: Radiance twice about 4-5 seconds before the damage occurs.
- Use Evangelism.
- Use Shadowfiend.
- Use Schism if taken.
- Use Power Word: Solace.
- Use Penance.
- Use Mind Blast.
- Keep using Smite until Atonement buffs begin to expire.
Healing in a dungeon relies on 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 and simply perform your DPS rotation. This should provide enough healing to keep the target alive.
- High damage: Atonement healing will no longer suffice on its own. In addition to utilizing Atonement, you may have to spam Shadow Mend. In case of group-wide damage, you should use Power Word: Radiance to quickly apply 5 Atonements at 60% duration and use Schism, Power Word: Solace and Penance offensively to heal up your group. 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 and 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.
For more in-depth rotation advice, take a look at your rotation guide linked below.
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. On the other hand, Shadow Mend can be a great way to spot heal and apply Atonement in situations where you have the time to stop moving in order to cast it. Power Word: Radiance provides a quick method of applying 5 Atonements at 60% of normal duration. Keep in mind that Power Word: Radiance is our most Mana-efficient and GCD-efficient applicator.
Cooldown Usage for Discipline Priests
- 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 Atonements out before using this cooldown. Evangelism should always be used after a double 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, 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 healing. This should be used in conjunction with as many Power Word: Radiance charges as possible as well as with every Evangelism cast.
- 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 should be used to mitigate intense AoE damage; it requires the raid to be stacked in one place.
- Shadowfiend should be used for additional DPS (and therefore Atonement healing) when this is needed at high atonement counts.
- 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 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 casts will replace the previous buff on the target.
- 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.
Azerite Traits and Essences for Discipline Priests
When obtaining Azerite gear, you should always be on the lookout for these traits:
- Depth of the Shadows — This trait is very strong in raid content due to the increased duration of 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.
- Enduring Luminescence — this is also a strong trait for raid content. Just like Depth of the Shadows, the Atonement duration portion does not stack, so you should never use multiples of this trait.
- 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 (and Purge the Wicked), which subsequently increases the Atonement healing those spells provide.
Essences have both Major and Minor powers, with Major powers typically being a new ability you can use, and the Minor powers granting you a passive buff of some kind. Good essences to aim for are:
- The Ever-Rising Tide ( Overcharge Mana) — This Essence as a Major, when timed well, can provide a significant healing increase. Its Minor is also very powerful and should be used whenever you are not using it as a Major already.
- Memory of Lucid Dreams ( Memory of Lucid Dreams) — This Essence as a Major grants you a large amount of Mana back over an encounter, as well as strong Leech on demand.
- Conflict and Strife ( Strife) — This Essence as a Minor will be your best for any content.
See the Discipline Priest Essences page for a full ranking of each trait.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- The Top 5 Worst Mounts of the Shadowlands Expansion
- Warrior Class Changes in Shadowlands Beta 9.0.2 Build 36294
- Blizzard Add Some HARSH Penalties for Repeated Name Violations
- Warlock Class Changes in Shadowlands Beta 9.0.2 Build 36294
- Ion Hazzikostas on Shadowlands Pre-reset Regional Advantage
- Awesome Bolvar Cosplay By Hartigan
- Shadowlands Would Have Released Today!
- Rogue Class Changes in Shadowlands Beta 9.0.2 Build 36294