Discipline Priest Healing Easy Mode — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated on Jan 19, 2019 at 21:11 by Mend 45 comments

On this page, we explain how to easily play Discipline Priest in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1, 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. Healing through dealing damage allows them to contribute to the raids DPS while still performing well as a healer. Discipline Priests provide the greatest burst healing in the game, and they are also able to contribute DPS to the raid.

3. Talent Choice for Discipline Priests

These are currently the best talent choices as a Discipline Priest. 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, 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.

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 or if the damage taken is low, then you should use Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield to apply and maintain Atonement Icon Atonement on them, and, if needed, use Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend to prevent someone from dying. Throughout this time, you should continue to weave in DPS. 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.

  1. Apply around 2-4 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 Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend/Mindbender Icon Mindbender.
  4. Use Evangelism Icon Evangelism.
  5. Use Power Word: Solace Icon Power Word: Solace.
  6. Use Penance Icon Penance.
  7. Keep using Smite Icon Smite until Atonement Icon Atonement buffs begin to expire.

Depending on your talent choice, you will also supplement your AoE healing with Schism Icon Schism, Halo Icon Halo, or Divine Star Icon Divine Star.

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 Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield on cooldown and simply perform your DPS rotation. This should provide enough healing to keep the target alive. Using Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield this way should ensure that Atonement Icon Atonement is always up on the target, but if you need to quickly top someone off use Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend.
  • High damage: Atonement Icon Atonement healing will no longer suffice on its own. In addition to casting Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield, 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 or Mindbender Icon Mindbender 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. If you have selected Shadow Covenant Icon Shadow Covenant, you would want to follow up a Power Word: Radiance cast.

5.4. Atonement Applicators

Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield is best used in situations when you are on the move or there is low or moderate damage going out. 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 and when the death of the target is imminent. Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance provides a quick method of applying 5 Atonements at 60% of normal duration.

You should aim to maintain around 2-4 Atonement Icon Atonement buffs active at any given time, as regularly applying and maintaining more will strain your Mana consumption.

6. Cooldown Usage for Discipline Priests

  • 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.
  • 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 — definitely want one of these for the added duration. The duration does not stack with multiple traits.
  2. Enduring Luminescence Icon Enduring Luminescence — also a strong trait regardless of content. Duration does not stack.

8. Changelog

  • 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.
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