Discipline Priest Healing Guide — Shadowlands 9.0.2
Welcome to our Discipline Priest guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2. Here, you will learn how to heal as a Discipline Priest in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons. We cover everything from the basics all the way to min-maxing techniques to optimize your output.
If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic Healer Priest guide.
Discipline Priest Overview
The Discipline specialisation relies on healing players through dealing damage (thanks to the Atonement passive), but also has traditional heals and absorption spells. Healing through dealing damage allows Discipline Priests to contribute to the raid's DPS while still performing well as a healer. Discipline Priests provide very significant, on-demand AoE burst healing on a very short cooldown.
Balancing healing and dealing damage can be difficult to master at first but through research and practice, Discipline can be one of the more rewarding specialisations to play.
In order to properly play a healing role, you will need more than just class-specific information. To better understand healing in general, we recommend that you read our healing guide.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- High burst healing on a short cooldown.
- Strong cooldowns that increase the effective health of your group (through absorbs or damage reduction).
- Strong at sustained spot healing in a raid setting.
- Provides significant damage with low opportunity cost.
- Moderate mobility, having a decent range of spells able to be cast while moving.
- Reactive, raid-wide, emergency heals are limited compared to other healing specs.
- Mistakes made by the Discipline Priest are far more punishing than on other healers.
- High barrier to entry for raid healing.
- Poor personal survivability options.
- Poor personal mobility options, with no baseline movement speed increases.
Shadowlands Changes for Priests
We are maintaining a list of changes for Priests for Shadowlands, the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, which you can access using the link below. We also have pages for the new Covenant abilities and Anima Powers.
Discipline Priest has received a handful of minor changes going into Shadowlands, including a rework of the Shadow Covenant spell, the replacement of the talent Luminous Barrier with Spirit Shell, new spells like Mind Blast and Mind Sear, and more. For a comprehensive list of changes to the Priest class going into Shadowlands, check out the page linked above.
In addition to the above changes, Discipline is gaining access to the new and powerful Covenant and Legendary systems. For full recommendations in regards to both systems, take a look at the following links.
Leveling a Discipline Priest
For open world questing and leveling, Discipline is viable but slow. If you plan on questing to level, we recommend you quest as Shadow instead of Discipline if your goal is speed. Discipline does, however, have the benefit of being significantly safer while leveling despite being slower. If you plan on leveling through dungeons, Discipline is a fantastic choice. Our leveling guide is a great starting place for basics, as well as some tips and tricks to help when healing.
Hitting max level and then trying to dive straight into end-game content as a healer can be quite daunting. To ease in this transition you should try to implement relevant macros and addons as you are leveling. While not all are necessary throughout the leveling process, getting started in modifying your UI and how it impacts your performance as a healer early on will make it much easier to dive head-on into the end game content when you reach max level.
Basics of Discipline Priest Gameplay
Discipline Priest plays very differently depending on the content type you are participating in.
In raid content, Discipline is a very proactive style burst healer. Utilizing our passive in Atonement, we prepare for large, raid-wide, incoming damage bursts and reverse them very quickly. This style of healing requires extensive knowledge of the encounters incoming damage and benefits heavily from planning/researching the encounters ahead of time. Due to this, the specialisation will not be for everybody, but will also provide a great sense of accomplishment for those seeking a challenge.
In Mythic+ content, Discipline attempts to utilize Atonement as much as possible to stay aggressive and keep people topped while contributing damage. With the ability to apply atonement to the entire group with a single Power Word: Radiance, it is very easy to have a high uptime in regards to DPSing. With cooldowns like Rapture and Power Word: Barrier to nearly negate or reduce incoming mechanics, it can be fairly easy to achieve the above goal. In situations where atonement is not enough to keep someone alive, Discipline falls back on their direct heals. Learning how to balance being aggressive and trusting your atonement and falling back on direct heals is the biggest challenge in the path of mastering Discipline Priest in a mythic plus environment.
To learn more about the fundamentals and make sure you are doing the basics right, familiarise yourself with the Spell Summary page then move on to the Easy Mode page.
If you have played Discipline Priest recently and you are looking to dive more in depth in regards to current talent recommendations, rotations, and other topics, check out the below pages.
How to Gear Up a Discipline Priest
Gearing as a healer is fairly straight forward in regards to the basics. You will generally prioritize item level in most situations as the value of your different secondary stats is close enough that more stats is better than targeting a specific one. This can be complicated by gear with effects or tertiary stats like leech or sockets.
To assist in handling the edge cases that gearing can throw at you as well as what gear to look out for, take a look at our stats and gear pages below.
After obtaining your new gear, be sure to look at our Enchant and Consumable page to get the most out of your character.
Discipline Priest in Shadowlands
With the addition of the Covenant system, as well as the Legendary system moving into Shadowlands, Discipline Priests, along with everyone else, are gaining many new decisions to make and tools to play with.
Covenants provide a variety of content. You gain two new spells, one that every class gets for that covenant and one that is class specific. Soulbinds allow you to tie your soul to notable member of that covenant, gaining access to a variety of powers, as well as unlocking the ability to utilize conduits.
For more information on the Covenant system and our recommendations, check out our Covenant page.
Legendaries in Shadowlands provide another avenue of powering up your character. With the recommendation of what legendary to craft and use being different based on the content you are tackling, take a look at our legendary page for specific advice.
Discipline Priest End-Game
Identifying the content type you plan on focusing on overall or in a specific instance is crucial to determine how you gear and play. Whether you plan on raiding, sticking to mythic plus, or focusing on PvP, understanding the basics of your class and the spells at your disposal is the important first step. Shadowlands also provides us with another type of end-game content in the form of Torghast, allowing you to gain crazy powers as you climb your way up the tower. Hop into our specific content-type guides for more tailored information.
Improving as a Discipline Priest
In order to be successful as a Discipline Priest in any type of content, having the ability to analyze your mistakes and gameplay is crucial. Identifying common issues, logging your play, and learning to analyze those logs are the best next step in your path to Discipline Priest mastery.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (Torghast): Page added.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (stats page): Updated Stat priority and added short section discussing Stat DR.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (this page): Added references to Covenants, Soulbinds, Legendaries, and Torghast.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Removed references to Azerite and Essences. Added reference to Power Infusion.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (FAQ page): Removed Questions that are no longer relevant with the release of Shadowlands.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (spells page): Added Power Infusion for Shadowlands release.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (how to improve page): Updated for Shadowlands.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Updated talent recommendations based on Shadowlands tuning and changes.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (simulations page): Removed link to BFA Spreadsheet.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Removed reference to essences. Added Spirit Shell section. Added Covenant Ability section.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Added Shadowlands Socket information, removed BFA trinkets, and added Legendary mention.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (mythic+ page): Removed affixes that no longer exist. Added new Affixes.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (addons page): Removed reference to Azerite addon.
- 23 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Added Weapon Oils/Armor Kits and updated recommendations for Shadowlands Consumables.
- 21 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Page added.
- 21 Nov. 2020 (Legendaries): Page added.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 07 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added page with raid advice for The Eternal Palace.
- 24 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 24 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 24 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 12 May 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated page after peer review.
- 12 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Updated guide with Live data instead of PTR testing.
- 16 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
- 20 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added Battle of Dazar'alor tips for Discipline Priest.
- 11 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated formatting for talent selection.
- 11 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Added page with raid advice for Uldir.
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