Discipline Priest Healing Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Dragonflight 10.2.7

Last updated on May 07, 2024 at 11:20 by Clandon 24 comments
General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Discipline Priest, depending on the type of damage your group is receiving. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your healing output and your mana efficiency. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.2.7.

If you were looking for WotLK Classic content, please refer to our WotLK Classic Discipline Priest rotation.

1.

Rotation for Discipline Priests

The Discipline specialization revolves heavily around healing through dealing damage, thanks to the Atonement Icon Atonement passive ability. We detail this below, but for now all you need to keep in mind is that dealing damage is an integral part of healing as Discipline.

In the sections that follow, we will look at which abilities you should use to deal damage (to generate Atonement healing), as well as how to handle single target and AoE healing.

Already read this page and still struggling? Take a look at our How-to Improve page to see common mistakes Discipline Priest players make, as well as how to analyze your gameplay.

The content on this page will be focused on PvE content. If you are looking for PvP-focused information, please take a look at our PvP page linked below.

1.1.

Raid Healing

1.1.1.

What is a Ramp?

The core concept of Discipline Priest healing in raid is centered around spreading a large number of Atonement Icon Atonements out, followed by using damage cooldowns to result in significant healing over many targets. This described process is what we will refer to in the rest of the guide as a "Ramp".

A ramp is primarily broken down into two distinct phases, the Atonement application phase and the DPS phase. Both sequences will be discussed in detail below.

Due to Ramps revolving around the rapid spread of Atonement, the primary limiter in regards to how often you can do so is Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance. The cooldowns used in conjunction with your Power Word: Radiance casts will determine the exact type of Ramp you will execute to cover a boss mechanic.

Your goal in raid is to abuse Void Summoner Icon Void Summoner to push very low cooldown Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend or Mindbender Icon Mindbender. Utilizing the 10.2 tier set bonus, you can push Mindbender to a 30-45 second cooldown and Shadowfiend to a 45-60 second cooldown. With how many modifiers are tied to having your pet active (Shadow Covenant Icon Shadow Covenant and its associated talents), the worst thing you can do with this iteration of Discipline Priest is sitting on your pet and not casting it. As a result, your decision on whether to run Mindbender vs Shadowfiend will be determined by what the boss timers are that allow you to cast your pet as close to on cooldown as possible.

1.1.2.

Atonement Applicators in Raid

  • Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance is a 2-second cast, multi-target Atonement applicator with a decent heal tied to it. Power Word: Radiance applies Atonement to five people, but for a reduced duration. This is useful in raids for getting large coverage before a major damage event and is the primary enabler for our ramps. Planning out your uses of Radiance is a significant part of playing Discipline Priest in raid.
  • Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield is an instant cast, single target Atonement applicator with a shield tied to it. With the mana cost of both Renew and Power Word: Shield being identical, Power Word: Shield should always be used over Renew if available.
  • Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal is a 1.5-second cast, single target Atonement applicator with a decent-sized single target heal tied to it. With this costing more Mana than Renew as well as requiring you to stand still, it will not see nearly as much play as your primary applicator outside of a few situations. The primary use case of this spell is to abuse other talents like Surge of Light Icon Surge of Light or Binding Heal Icon Binding Heal. When talented into Binding Heal, Flash Heal applies Atonement to both your target and yourself, turning this into two Atonements for a single cast.
  • Renew Icon Renew is an instant cast, single target Atonement Icon Atonement applicator with a small heal-over-time effect tied to it. Renew tends to be our least valuable single target Atonement applicator.
1.1.3.

The Atonement Application Phase

The Atonement application phase stays pretty stagnant for the most part between builds and talent selections. The primary difference being whether you are running Mindbender Icon Mindbender or Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend.

1.1.4.

Evangelism Ramps

  1. Cast Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked on an enemy that already has Purge the Wicked on them to force the DoT to its maximum duration
  2. Cast Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield
  3. Cast Renew Icon Renew
  4. Cast Renew Icon Renew
  5. Cast Renew Icon Renew
  6. Cast Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield
  7. Cast Renew Icon Renew
  8. Cast Renew Icon Renew
  9. Cast Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal
  10. Cast Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield
  11. Cast Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance
  12. Cast Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance
  13. Cast Evangelism Icon Evangelism.
1.1.5.

Rapture Ramps

  1. Cast Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked on an enemy that already has Purge the Wicked on them to force the DoT to its maximum duration
  2. Cast Rapture Icon Rapture
  3. Cast Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield until Rapture duration ends
  4. Cast Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal
  5. Cast Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance
  6. Cast Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance
1.1.6.

Ultimate Penitence Ramps

  1. Cast Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked on an enemy that already has Purge the Wicked on them to force the DoT to its maximum duration
  2. Cast Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield
  3. Cast Renew Icon Renew
  4. Cast Renew Icon Renew
  5. Cast Renew Icon Renew
  6. Cast Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield
  7. Cast Renew Icon Renew
  8. Cast Renew Icon Renew
  9. Cast Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal
  10. Cast Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield
  11. Cast Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance
  12. Cast Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance
1.1.7.

Mini-Ramps

  1. Cast Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked on an enemy that already has Purge the Wicked on them to force the DoT to its maximum duration
  2. Cast Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield
  3. Cast Renew Icon Renew
  4. Cast Renew Icon Renew
  5. Cast Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal
  6. Cast Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield
  7. Cast one or two Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance
1.1.8.

The Damage Dealing Phase

Your exact sequences for the damage-dealing phase will be dependent on whether or not you have access to a target in execute phase (below 20% health) that will live through your full damage-dealing phase. This section will detail various sequences to cover the aforementioned scenarios.

Rotation Switches
Execute Target Available
Tier Set Active
Mindbender Build

Evangelism Ramp

  1. Cast Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend
  2. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast
  3. Cast Penance Icon Penance
  4. Cast Shadow Word: Death Icon Shadow Word: Death
  5. Cast Smite Icon Smite until either Penance or Death come back off cooldown
  6. Repeat casting Penance and Death on cooldown and filling with Smites until your prepped Atonements falls off

Rapture Ramp

  1. Cast Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend
  2. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast
  3. Cast Penance Icon Penance
  4. Cast Shadow Word: Death Icon Shadow Word: Death
  5. Cast Smite Icon Smite until either Penance or Death come back off cooldown
  6. Repeat casting Penance and Death on cooldown and filling with Smites until your prepped Atonements falls off

Ultimate Penitence Ramp

  1. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast
  2. Cast Ultimate Penitence Icon Ultimate Penitence (on an enemy in most cases)
  3. Cast Penance Icon Penance
  4. Cast Smite Icon Smite until Penance come back off cooldown
  5. Repeat casting Penance on cooldown and filling with Smites until your prepped Atonements falls off

Mini-Ramp

  1. Cast Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast
  2. Cast Penance Icon Penance
  3. Cast Smite Icon Smite until either Penance or Death come back off cooldown
  4. Repeat casting Penance and Death on cooldown and filling with Smites until your prepped Atonements falls off

Downtime

Outside of actively performing one of the above ramps to cover a boss mechanic, you want to be focusing on abusing Void Summoner Icon Void Summoner whenever possible to push cooldown reduction for either Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend or Mindbender Icon Mindbender depending on what you have talented. You can still contribute to spot healing when needed via single target atonements, but you want to be very conservative with this as each single target atonement is both your biggest potential mana drain, potentially causing mana issues if you use too many, as well as giving up void summoner cooldown.

1.1.9.

Ultimate Penitence

When utilizing Ultimate Penitence Icon Ultimate Penitence, it is important to realize that you want to avoid casting this spell when you have a pet (Mindbender Icon Mindbender or Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend) available. Your primary goal during a pet window should be to push further cooldown by abusing your tier set. As a result, casting Ultimate Penitence during those windows is a huge loss overall. Ultimate Penitence can be used in place on a pet during a ramp where the pet is not available. This will most commonly occur when playing Shadowfiend as Mindbender is such a low cooldown you will generally have it for every double Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance cast.

In a situation where you are utilizing the capstone talent Overloaded with Light Icon Overloaded with Light, you will only ramp to 10 atonements via either single targets or Radiance casts prior to casting Ultimate Penitence.

1.1.10.

Holy Nova and Halo

Depsite taking these talents, they're noticably absent from the above rotations. With the current tier set bonus, cast spells that are not Smite Icon Smite can heavily get in the way of pushing cooldown reduction on your pets via Void Summoner Icon Void Summoner. As a result, the default is going to be hitting smite as much as possible to hit those cooldown timings. However, if you have moments where you do not need the additional CDR to meet whatever timings you are trying to hit, you can freely replace smites with either of these spells for a small gain. Holy Nova Icon Holy Nova can also be utilized during movement when you normally would not be able to cast smite.

1.2.

Dungeon Healing

Your primary playstyle in Mythic Plus will revolve around rotating between casting Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance followed by a cast sequence of DPS spells to utilize the Atonement Icon Atonement provided. Single target applications of Atonement are generally not nearly as valuable due to how powerful Radiance is, but occasional use of Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal will be utilized, especially with procs from Surge of Light Icon Surge of Light. Renew Icon Renew is not a very strong spell in Mythic Plus content and should rarely be utilized outside of niche scenarios.

Your DPS windows following your Radiance casts will often involve a Mindbender Icon Mindbender/Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend cast, allowing you to abuse both Shadow Covenant Icon Shadow Covenant and Inescapable Torment Icon Inescapable Torment.

Your goal in dungeons is to abuse Void Summoner Icon Void Summoner to push very low cooldown Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend or Mindbender Icon Mindbender. Utilizing the 10.2 tier set bonus, you can push Mindbender to a 30-45 second cooldown and Shadowfiend to a 45-60 second cooldown. With how many modifiers are tied to having your pet active (Shadow Covenant Icon Shadow Covenant and its associated talents), the worst thing you can do with this iteration of Discipline Priest is sitting on your pet and not casting it. As a result, your decision on whether to run Mindbender vs Shadowfiend will be determined by what the boss timers are that allow you to cast your pet as close to on cooldown as possible.

1.2.1.

Atonement Applicators in Dungeons

  • Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance is a 2-second cast, multi-target Atonement applicator with a large heal tied to it. Power Word: Radiance applies Atonement to five people but for a reduced duration. Not only is this our best way to apply Atonement to a whole group, but it is also a significant heal on its own. As a result, the majority of your Atonement application in a key will be from Radiance.
  • Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield is an instant cast, single target Atonement applicator with a shield tied to it. While this is a very potent option for applying Atonement to a single target, it does have a cooldown.
  • Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal is a 1.5-second cast, single target Atonement applicator with a decent-sized single target heal tied to it. While this is the best option for single target Atonement applicator when a single target is injured and needs Atonement, the majority of your uses will come from Surge of Light Icon Surge of Light procs.
  • Renew Icon Renew is an instant cast, single target Atonement Icon Atonement applicator with a small heal-over-time effect tied to it. The largest benefit to Renew is that it can be cast while moving. In most cases, Renew will see very little usage in Mythic+ and should not be a button you are pressing often.
1.2.2.

Cooldown Usage in Dungeons

  • Rapture Icon Rapture — Rapture removes the cooldown of your Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield temporarily and increases their strength, making the shields decently strong. Due to the strength of Power Word: Shield baseline, Rapture is not a cooldown you want to be utilizing while damage is actively occurring, as just utilizing your other Atonement-based cooldowns will provide significantly more value. Where Rapture shines is as a pre-emptive tool. Utilizing Rapture to cover your group with Shields prior to a scary damage event gives you a nice health buffer going into it, making it easier to heal through.
  • Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier — This is a powerful cooldown, assuming your group can stand under it for the duration. A significant, group-wide damage reduction is nothing to ignore. Look for opportunities where your group can stack under the Barrier while high damage is occurring.
  • Pain Suppression Icon Pain Suppression — Pain Suppression is a very large Damage Reduction on a single target. Utilizing this either on the tank or on a player with a large damage over time effect on them can have a significant impact. When running the talent Protector of the Frail Icon Protector of the Frail, you will have a lot of additional casts available of Pain Suppression, so make sure you use it often instead of just sitting on maximum charges.
  • Ultimate Penitence Icon Ultimate Penitence — While the damage of this spell is not massively ahead of your normal rotation involving either Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend or Mindbender Icon Mindbender, it does provide the benefit of granting a large self shield as well as granting you pushback/movement immunity, allowing you to potentially avoid/cancel encounter mechanics. Utilziing this spell when you are not in a pet window as a suplimentary cooldown or to utilize the defensive nature of the spell leaves it in a solid place as a flexible cooldown.
1.2.3.

Penance

Penance Icon Penance is not only one of our most iconic spells but also one of our most powerful and versatile. While the majority of our penance casts will be utilized for damage against enemies, casting them on allies is completely viable and immensely powerful, depending on the situation.

Penance is modified by a variety of spells/talents, including Castigation Icon Castigation, Harsh Discipline Icon Harsh Discipline, Power of the Dark Side Icon Power of the Dark Side, Shadow Covenant Icon Shadow Covenant, Blaze of Light Icon Blaze of Light, Twilight Equilibrium Icon Twilight Equilibrium, and more. When all of these effects are stacked on top of each other, the result is a massive cast for either Atonement Icon Atonement healing or a gigantic single target heal. Playing around things like Twilight Equilibrium, Harsh Discipline, and Shadow Covenant to buff our Penance casts is a major facet of Discipline Priest gameplay.

1.2.4.

The Importance of Smite

With how reliant Discipline is on our Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend or Mindbender Icon Mindbender windows as described above, it is critical to understand the massive value of Smite Icon Smite due to Void Summoner Icon Void Summoner. Filling available GCDs with Smite casts, especially during Shadow Covenant Icon Shadow Covenant (due to our new 4pc Set Bonus), can shorten your pet cooldowns significantly. Ensure that you are casting Smite as often as possible, whenever you don't absolutely need to be casting something else.

1.2.5.

Shadow Word: Pain and Purge the Wicked

Currently, Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain is completely outclassed by its replacement Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked. If you are looking for Shadow Word: Pain in your spellbook or on your action bars when utilizing one of our talent recommended talent builds, you should be looking for Purge the Wicked instead.

Our DoT is a significant part of our kit for a few reasons. The damage Purge the Wicked deals does result in Atonement healing for every target the DoT is on. Having five targets with Purge the Wicked on them will result in significantly more Atonement healing than a single DoT. As a result, at the beginning of a pull, getting as many Purge the Wickeds active (either by casting them ourselves or spreading them to other targets via Penance Icon Penance) is very important.

The other benefit to Purge the Wicked within Discipline's kit is that it procs the passive Power of the Dark Side Icon Power of the Dark Side, which allows us to provide a significant amplifier to our next Penance cast. Please note that you only need 1 active Purge the Wicked to maximize your potential Power of the Dark Side procs. Having more than 1 dot up does not increase your chances of proccing Power of the Dark Side.

For further tips and tricks in Mythic+ content, please check out our Mythic+ specific page.

1.3.

Personal Defensive Usage

  • Desperate Prayer Icon Desperate Prayer — This is one of our primary defensive abilities, healing us and bolstering our maximum HP, allowing us to take larger hits while dying. Use this whenever you expect to take a large hit you are worried about surviving or just in general when you drop to low health.
  • Fade Icon Fade / Translucent Image Icon Translucent Image — Fade, when combined with Translucent Image becomes a small damage reduction on a short cooldown. With how weak our defensives are in general, using this often when damage is going out is very important. Many players struggle to utilize this effectively when it is one of the only defensive abilities in our kit.
1.4.

Power Infusion

Due to most builds, including Twins of the Sun Priestess Icon Twins of the Sun Priestess, which will grant you Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion when cast on an ally, you should never cast this spell on yourself. While there may be some niche situations where you want to utilize Power Infusion on yourself for hard healing checks in mythic plus, the vast majority of your casts should align with a DPS player's cooldowns to help maximize their damage output.

2.

Tier Set Bonus

The primary difference when playing with our current 2pc/4pc tier set bonus will be the increased value in Smite Icon Smite as well as the additional cooldown reduction you can gain on your pets via Void Summoner Icon Void Summoner due to the double smite casts during Shadow Covenant Icon Shadow Covenant. In general, your gameplay will not drastically change with this tier set; you should just plan around having your pets available even more frequently than without the tier.

3.

Optional Read: Mastering Your Discipline Priest

While the guidelines we have given so far will enable you to perform very decently as a Discipline Priest, there are some subtleties that you need to be aware of if you want to play your character to its full potential.

3.1.

Atonement

  • While we generate healing through dealing damage, the way it is calculated is not as simple. For instance, things that increase our damage and healing (for example, Versatility) will not double dip. This is because only the healing portion of such buffs will modify Atonement.
  • Mechanics that reduce our damage dealt do not affect the healing done with Atonement. For example, some raid bosses have phases with 99% reduced damage taken; Disc damage done will still heal for full through Atonement. That being said, immunities will stop our damage completely, which also means our Atonement healing.
  • External buffs that increase our damage dealt will also not affect our Atonement healing (our own buffs do increase healing, for example, Schism). There is only one external buff that will affect Atonement healing — Chaos Brand Icon Chaos Brand, from Demon Hunters.
  • Once Atonement is applied to a friendly target, the range at which the healing applies is extremely far. You will rarely find any encounter room where your Atonement will be out of range unless the encounter phases you and your target apart.
  • Damage trinkets and Racials do not heal through Atonement (unless they increase our baseline spells damage).
  • AoE damage effects, such as Halo Icon Halo/Divine Star Icon Divine Star/Holy Nova Icon Holy Nova and Inescapable Torment Icon Inescapable Torment will do healing through Atonement, but only on the first instance of damage.
4.

Changelog

  • 07 May 2024: Reviewed for 10.2.7.
  • 22 Apr. 2024: Reviewed for Season 4.
  • 27 Mar. 2024: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.6
  • 15 Jan. 2024: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.5.
  • 11 Nov. 2023: Fixed small rotation issue.
  • 07 Nov. 2023: Added additional clarification.
  • 07 Nov. 2023: Updated page for Patch 10.2
  • 04 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.7
  • 10 Aug. 2023: Updated rotation to reflect Rhapsody hotfix.
  • 10 Jul. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.5.
  • 01 May 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1
  • 24 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
  • 22 Jan. 2023: Updated Rotations to reflect 10.0.5 changes and talent changes.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Reformatted the page to utilize build toggles.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Reviewed for Dragonflight Season 1.
  • 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
  • 25 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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