Discipline Priest Healing Spec, Builds, and Talents — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated on Dec 10, 2018 at 16:13 by Mend 44 comments

On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Discipline Priest in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.

1. Talent Choices for Discipline Priest

Level Choices
15 Castigation Castigation Twist of Fate Twist of Fate Schism Schism
30 Body and Soul Body and Soul Masochism ? Masochism Angelic Feather Angelic Feather
45 Shield Discipline Shield Discipline Mindbender ? Mindbender Power Word: Solace Power Word: Solace
60 Psychic Voice ? Psychic Voice Dominant Mind ? Dominant Mind Shining Force ? Shining Force
75 Sins of the Many Sins of the Many Contrition Contrition Shadow Covenant ? Shadow Covenant
90 Purge the Wicked ? Purge the Wicked Divine Star Divine Star Halo Halo
100 Lenience Lenience Luminous Barrier ? Luminous Barrier Evangelism Evangelism

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Talent Cheat Sheet for Discipline Priests

While optimizing talents on a contextual basis is the highly recommended method of setting up your build, the talent builds listed below work great for specific purposes.

2.1. Raids

The talent setup below is a good starting point for raiding. It is highly recommended you read the individual talent points further down the page, as level 90 and 100 talents in particular have other situational talent options. Talent recommendations also depend on the type of encounter you are planning on doing. For more information on specific talent builds per boss encounter in the current tier, please check out our Uldir Boss by Boss Discipline Priest guide.

2.2. Dungeons

The talent setup below is a good starting point for dungeons. This build in particular aims to maximize your ability to keep the tank and other focused targets alive by boosting your single target healing as well as providing some additional group healing, however, it does sacrifice your potential DPS output. For more information on talent selection in Mythic+ content, please check out our M+ guide for Discipline Priest.

3. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Discipline Priests

Castigation Castigation Twist of Fate Twist of Fate Schism Schism
  • Castigation Icon Castigation causes Penance Icon Penance to fire an extra bolt of holy light over its 2-second duration (thus increasing its damage, and through Atonement, increasing your healing).
  • Twist of Fate Icon Twist of Fate grants you a 10-second buff each time you heal a target whose health is below 35%. The buff grants you 20% increased damage and 20% increased healing, and it does not stack.
  • Schism Icon Schism is an active ability with a 24-second cooldown. It deals Shadow damage to the target, and causes your damage dealt to that target to be increased by 40% for the next 9 seconds.

We consider Schism Icon Schism the best choice for both progression raids and difficult dungeons. Schism provides an on-demand damage cooldown that, through Atonement Icon Atonement, will also increase your healing output.

Twist of Fate Icon Twist of Fate is a great alternative for dungeons when spot healing is needed more than Atonement Icon Atonement healing, typically at lower gear levels or high Mythic+ keys. For raiding, Twist of Fate also has potential in a progression setting when it can maintain a high uptime (players will frequently drop below 35% Health) and Schism Icon Schism does not line up with specific abilities.

Castigation Icon Castigation is a relatively weak talent in this tier and is not recommended for any content.

4. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents for Discipline Priests

Body and Soul Body and Soul Masochism ? Masochism Angelic Feather Angelic Feather
  • Body and Soul Icon Body and Soul causes Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield and Leap of Faith Icon Leap of Faith to increase the targets movement speed by 40% for 3 seconds. This has a 6 second internal cooldown.
  • Masochism Icon Masochism causes Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend's DoT to act as a HoT instead, when cast on yourself, and also causes you to take 10% reduced damage while it is active.
  • Angelic Feather Icon Angelic Feather is an active ability with 3 charges and a 20-second recharge time. It places a feather at the targeted location, which grants a 40% increase in movement speed for 5 seconds to the first ally who comes in contact with it. Only 3 feathers can be active at any given time.

Angelic Feather Icon Angelic Feather is the recommended choice in this tier if you wish to provide movement speed increases. It is much more flexible and easy to use than Body and Soul Icon Body and Soul, since the latter is tied to usage of Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield (which has an internal 6-second cooldown and which you cannot realistically save in order to use for movement speed).

Masochism Icon Masochism should only be taken if you have no need to provide movement speed buffs, or if you are assigned to some specific tasks during the encounter that put you in danger and therefore require that you heal yourself. In most cases, movement speed will be better than a minimal buff to survivability.

5. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents for Discipline Priests

Shield Discipline Shield Discipline Mindbender ? Mindbender Power Word: Solace Power Word: Solace
  • Shield Discipline Icon Shield Discipline causes you to gain 0.5% of your maximum Mana whenever one of your Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield is completely consumed by damage.
  • Mindbender Icon Mindbender replaces Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend. Mindbender has a 1-minute cooldown and 12-second duration (down from a 3-minute cooldown and 15-second duration for Shadowfiend), and it restores 0.5% of your maximum Mana with each of its attacks (whereas Shadowfiend does not restore any Mana).
  • Power Word: Solace Icon Power Word: Solace is an active ability with a 12-second cooldown. It deals Holy damage to the target, and restores 1% of your maximum Mana.

For raiding and dungeons, Power Word: Solace Icon Power Word: Solace is an extremely powerful choice, especially paired with Schism Icon Schism. Power Word: Solace is the only talent in this row that benefits from Schism, but it also rivals the Mana gains from Shield Discipline if it is used as close to on cooldown as possible. The reason Mana returns are so comparable is that Power Word: Solace also replaces a Smite cast (0.5% of your Mana) and thus can be assumed you are actually saving 1.5% of your Mana when you cast Power Word: Solace. It is highly recommended to cast Power Word: Solace after Schism, so waiting for Schism to come off cooldown before casting it is advisable if needed.

Shield Discipline Icon Shield Discipline is not ideal in most situations currently due to it being rather lacking in providing any throughput as well as it being so comparable to the Mana savings provided by Power Word: Solace Icon Power Word: Solace. Shield Discipline in Legion was balanced around a relatively cheaper Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield and an old version of Rapture that allowed you to take more advantage of this talent. The current version is balanced around Power Word: Shield having no cooldown making this talent slightly less valuable in Battle for Azeroth.

In case Mana regeneration is not too important in the encounter (for example, because the encounter itself provides Mana), then you can consider using Mindbender Icon Mindbender. This talent is also a good choice in raids or dungeons if you are needing a cooldown approximately every minute to handle frequent raid damage or if the encounter is very short.

6. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents for Discipline Priests

Psychic Voice ? Psychic Voice Dominant Mind ? Dominant Mind Shining Force ? Shining Force
  • Psychic Voice Icon Psychic Voice reduces the cooldown of Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream by 30 seconds.
  • Dominant Mind Icon Dominant Mind changes Mind Control Icon Mind Control to allow you to also control your own character during this time (by turning the mind-controlled target into a pet). However, Mind Control can no longer be used against players, and it gains a 2-minute cooldown (up from not having a cooldown).
  • Shining Force Icon Shining Force is an active ability with a 45-second cooldown. It knocks back all enemies located around your (friendly) target, slowing their movement speed by 70% for 3 seconds.

For raiding, Shining Force Icon Shining Force has the most potential utility in this tier. Encounters that require mobs to be knocked back to avoid them interacting with another mechanic are ideal for this talent. Shining Force is also ideal in Mythic+ when you need to move mobs out of Sanguine or knock mobs back away from the tank to drop Necrotic stacks.

Dominant Mind Icon Dominant Mind has some use in specific dungeons to handle troublesome trash packs, specifically on Mythic+ keys.

Psychic Voice Icon Psychic Voice is normally not an ideal talent unless you expect that you would need to fear frequently in dungeon content, which is not common.

7. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents for Discipline Priests

Sins of the Many Sins of the Many Contrition Contrition Shadow Covenant ? Shadow Covenant
  • Sins of the Many Icon Sins of the Many provides a damage / healing buff decreasing with each Atonement in your group to a minimum of 3%.
  • Contrition Icon Contrition provides Atonement healing when using Penance defensively (on an ally).
  • Shadow Covenant Icon Shadow Covenant is an instant cast spell with a 12 second cooldown that heals up to 5 allies within 30 yards of the target, but also places a healing absorption effect on them that lasts for 6 seconds.

Currently, the best talent for raiding and dungeons is likely Sins of the Many Icon Sins of the Many, but Shadow Covenant Icon Shadow Covenant has some potential benefits as well. Contrition Icon Contrition provides some added utility in encounters where you would not be able to cast Penance Icon Penance offensively (when targets will be out of range) or in situations where you know you will need to be casting Penance defensively frequently. In most castes, Contrition will have limited value and thus is not recommended in its current state due to the alternative choices being better.

As for recommendations for both raids and dungeons, Sins of the Many Icon Sins of the Many is a good passive choice and provides a nice increase in DPS and healing, while Shadow Covenant Icon Shadow Covenant can be used as a nice intermittent burst heal every 12 seconds.

We would like to note that Sins of the Many Icon Sins of the Many does not linearly decrease the damage increase it provides, however, it decreases as shown in the table below based on the number of Atonement Icon Atonements you currently have out:

Atonements 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10+
Damage Increase 12% 12% 10% 8% 7% 6% 5% 5% 4% 4% 3%

8. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents for Discipline Priests

Purge the Wicked ? Purge the Wicked Divine Star Divine Star Halo Halo
  • Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked replaces Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain. It deals Fire instead of Shadow damage, and it lasts 20 seconds (up from 18). While Purge the Wicked is active, using Penance Icon Penance on the target causes Purge the Wicked to be applied to another nearby enemy target.
  • Divine Star Icon Divine Star is an active ability with a 15-second cooldown. It resembles a yo-yo, in the sense that a ball of energy travels in a path away from you (in front of you), and after reaching a certain point (24 yards away), it returns. Both on the first, as well as on the second trip, it heals allies and damages enemies in its path.
  • Halo Icon Halo is an active ability with a 40-second cooldown and a 1.5-second cast time. It creates a ring around you that expands in radius (up to 30 yards). Allies who come in contact with it are healed, and enemies are damaged.

We believe Halo Icon Halo or Divine Star Icon Divine Star to be an ideal choice for both raiding and dungeon content. Halo Icon Halo would be best in situations where your group is spread out, whereas Divine Star Icon Divine Star is ideal in situations where your group is stacked or Halo has the chance to pull extra mobs. Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked does 10% more damage than Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain but has the ability to cleave the DoT to nearby targets, making this a viable option in raids or dungeons when you can get sufficient uptime on the DoT’s as well as have additional targets available to cleave it to.

One note on Divine Star Icon Divine Star; in order for the spell to do damage or heal, the projectile has to travel completely through your intended target, not just hit the target with the projectile. Also something to mention regarding Halo Icon Halo, if you use it in a hallway or in an area where there are clear breaks in the line of sight to other enemies, it will not pull from another room making it safe in those types of situations.

9. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents for Discipline Priests

Lenience Lenience Luminous Barrier ? Luminous Barrier Evangelism Evangelism
  • Lenience Icon Lenience provides a buff to your Atonement Icon Atonement targets reducing damage taken by 3%.
  • Luminous Barrier Icon Luminous Barrier replaces Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier and provides you with a 1-click spell that provides a moderate absorb to anyone within 40 yards.
  • Evangelism Icon Evangelism is an active ability with an 80-second cooldown that extends the duration of all your active Atonement Icon Atonement buffs by 6 seconds.

We recommend Evangelism Icon Evangelism for raiding; this talent provides a major throughput increase.

Lenience Icon Lenience is recommended for dungeon content and potentially some raid encounters with constant damage.

Luminous Barrier Icon Luminous Barrier has likely the least use in this tier since it replaces Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier. There could be some limited use in Mythic+ content and on raid encounters that require the raid to be spread for a majority of the encounter making it hard to utilize Power Word: Barrier. In addition to being an encounter where you are spread it also needs to be an encounter where Evangelism Icon Evangelism is also not ideal, which currently seems like a rare occurrence. Luminous Barrier will likely only be used in very niche situations because of this.

10. PvP Talents (War Mode)

In Battle for Azeroth, there will be the option to go into "War Mode". Enabling War Mode provides the following benefits:

  • PvP talents enabled in the outdoor world.
  • 10% increase in World Quest rewards at maximum level.
  • 10% more experience gained while leveling.
  • Earn Conquest Points which can reward gear every week.

With the benefits of enabling War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended to enable the feature to maximize your leveling and rewards at maximum level. However, you will make yourself available for open world PvP, and the possibility to be "ganked" while leveling or doing World Quests exists.

10.1. Discipline Priest War Mode Talents

In this section we will rank the PvP talents best for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Below is a ranking of both General PvP Talents and Discipline Priest-specific PvE talents.

10.1.1. General PvP Talents

  1. Relentless Icon Relentless is also a passive ability but it does not automatically remove crowd control abilities but instead reduces the duration.
  2. Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is an on-use ability that removes all movement impairing effects and all loss of control effects.
  3. Adaptation Icon Adaptation is likely your most passive choice since it will automatically remove loss of control effects over 5 seconds. It is recommended for leveling to take this PvP talent.

10.1.2. Discipline Priest PvP Talents

  1. Trinity Icon Trinity increases your Atonement healing and duration but limits your maximum potential Atonement targets to 3. This is not an issue in open-world leveling making this rather strong for self healing.
  2. Searing Light Icon Searing Light increases the damage of your Smite Icon Smite by 15% and each Smite reduces your Penance Icon Penance cooldown by 1 second. This obviously is quite a DPS increase making soloing as Discipline much easier.
  3. Dark Archangel Icon Dark Archangel increases your damage, and the damage of all allies with your Atonement Icon Atonement by 15% for 8 seconds. This is great for soloing or small group world content.

Dome of Light Icon Dome of Light, Premonition Icon Premonition, Purification Icon Purification, Purified Resolve Icon Purified Resolve, Strength of Soul Icon Strength of Soul, and Ultimate Radiance Icon Ultimate Radiance have limited on PvE content in terms of increasing your damage in the open world, or healing in a small group setting. Archangel Icon Archangel is a good choice if you are anticipating heavy healing in an open-world setting but for the purposes of leveling and World Quests in Battle for Azeroth, the choices above are better options.

11. Changelog

  • 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 29 Oct. 2018: Modified some talent recommendations.
  • 25 Sep. 2018: Added additional information on Sins of the Many and the "cheat sheet" section.
  • 11 Sep. 2018: Made several updates based on post-launch experience.
  • 17 Aug. 2018: Added a mention to Halo description regarding use with the line of sight mechanic.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 04 Aug. 2018: Updated description on Shield Discipline and Divine Star.
  • 28 Jul. 2018: Updated wording throughout page.
  • 20 Jul. 2018: Updated level 90 talent recommendation and updated wording for proper Contrition use.
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