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Discipline Priest PvP Guide in Battle for Azeroth (BfA 8.0.1)

Last updated on Oct 04, 2018 at 18:49 by Mysticall 10 comments

Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Discipline Priest in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, PvP talents, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

About The Author

This guide has been written by Mysticall, a seasoned PvP player who has repeatedly achieved Arena Master and 2500 rating. You can watch his stream on Twitch, and you can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta for Discipline Priests

Discipline Priests have the most unique style of all the healers. Not only do they do a large majority of their healing with damage, but they are the only healer with 2 healing schools. This makes them a force to be reckoned with when playing with aggressive classes.

1.1. Strengths of Discipline Priests

1.2. Weaknesses of Discipline Priests

  • Run out of Mana quickly
  • Very little mobility
  • Easy to crowd control

2. Stat Priority for Discipline Priests in PvP

The stat priority for Discipline Priests in PvP is as follows:

  1. Intellect;
  2. Haste;
  3. Critical Strike;
  4. Mastery;
  5. Versatility.

Intellect is the best stat in all situations. Haste is the strongest secondary stat at all times due to it reducing the Global Cooldown on abilities and increasing the tick rate of your HoTs and Dots. Critical Strike is also important for increasing the chance your healing and damaging spells do additional damage or healing.

3. Azerite Traits for Discipline Priests

Azerite traits are unlocked in you helm, shoulders and chest. With each Azerite level in your neck, you get closer to unlocking the center trait in your gear. These traits vary from increasing damage or healing of certain abilities to helping increase your survivability. Depending on what traits you use, it can completely alter your playstyle and what talents you should be using.

3.1. Outer Ring

Below are the best Outer Ring traits.

  1. Enduring Luminescence Icon Enduring Luminescence
  2. Contemptuous Homily Icon Contemptuous Homily
  3. Weal and Woe Icon Weal and Woe
  4. Moment of Repose Icon Moment of Repose

Discipline Priests do not depend on one single trait to increase their damage. Instead, they want a mix of the above traits. Concentrated Mending Icon Concentrated Mending and Weal and Woe Icon Weal and Woe both increase your damage. This results in doing more healing. Enduring Luminescence Icon Enduring Luminescence and Moment of Repose Icon Moment of Repose increase your instant healing. These traits are perfect for quickly healing a partner to full health.

3.2. Middle Ring

Below are the best Middle Ring traits.

  1. On My Way Icon On My Way
  2. Blessed Portents Icon Blessed Portents
  3. Woundbinder Icon Woundbinder
  4. Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power

The Middle and Inner Rings are important for additional healing. On My Way Icon On My Way, Woundbinder Icon Woundbinder, and Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power all give a chance at increasing a stat. These are all great choices and the increase to a stat increase your overall healing output. Blessed Portents Icon Blessed Portents will help you heal a teammate who has low health.

3.3. Inner Ring

Below are the best Inner Ring traits.

  1. Azerite Fortification Icon Azerite Fortification
  2. Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection
  3. Twist Magic Icon Twist Magic
  4. Impassive Visage Icon Impassive Visage

All of these traits give you additional ways of surviving. These are all passive, but are crucial to have.

4. Talent Choices for Discipline Priests

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

While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.

5. Regular Talents for Discipline Priests

5.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Twist of Fate Icon Twist of Fate is the best choice in this tier. This will help you keep your team alive once you leave crowd control or if you are playing against a team with strong single target damage.

5.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Angelic Feather Icon Angelic Feather is the best choice in this tier. This will help you run to or from enemy players. This is crucial for getting a Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream on an enemy healer. If you find yourself not using Angelic Feather Icon Angelic Feather often or you think the enemy team will focus you, Masochism Icon Masochism is the better talent in this tier.

5.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Power Word: Solace Icon Power Word: Solace is the best choice in this tier. This talent restores a decent amount of Mana and works well with the Trinity Icon Trinity PvP talent.

5.3.1. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

If the goal for your team is to setup crowd control on the enemy healer, Psychic Voice Icon Psychic Voice is the best choice in this tier. This makes Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream a very strong crowd control ability.

If your team is focusing on surviving against a team with two melee on it, Shining Force Icon Shining Force could be the better talent. If you take this talent, you are sacrificing crowd control for survivability.

5.4. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Sins of the Many Icon Sins of the Many is the best choice in this tier. This is a flat increase to your damage, resulting in overall more healing dealt. It is important to note that it does not decrease damage done when you have Atonement Icon Atonement on yourself. This talent also works great with the Trinity Icon Trinity PvP talent.

5.5. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked is the best choice in this tier. When using this talent it is important to use it often to get value from Atonement Icon Atonement. Using Penance Icon Penance to spread Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked will help you save Mana.

5.6. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Lenience Icon Lenience is the best choice in this tier. This talent is crucial to keeping your teammates alive. Atonement Icon Atonement should be active on all of your partners and increases your overall healing output.

6. PvP Talents for Discipline Priests

The first PvP talent tier is will give you a choice between Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion, Relentless Icon Relentless, and Adaptation Icon Adaptation. Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier. It is great for removing crowd control on you that your healer cannot dispel.

Trinity Icon Trinity increases the duration of Atonement Icon Atonement and the healing transferred through Atonement Icon Atonement. However, @Atonement Icon Atonement can now only affect up to 3 targets and can only be applied through Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield. This is by far one of the strongest PvP talents you can have. This is an overall large increase to your damage, which results in even more healing.

Ultimate Radiance Icon Ultimate Radiance makes your Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance instant and increases the healing done by 200%. This, in combination with talents like Twist of Fate Icon Twist of Fate, is crucial to keeping your team alive. Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance costs a lot of Mana and should only be used when your team is low on Health.

Purification Icon Purification gives Purify Icon Purify a maximum of 2 charges. Against teams with crowd control like Polymorph Icon Polymorph or Fear Icon Fear, this is crucial to be able to dispel your teammates. This will help your team have as much uptime on an enemy as possible without being slowed by crowd control.

Dark Archangel Icon Dark Archangel increases your damage, and the damage of all allies with your Atonement Icon Atonement for 8 seconds. This is a strong talent if your team is relying on large bursts to kill a target. In this case, you should replace Purification Icon Purification with this talent.

Premonition Icon Premonition heals nearby targets and applies Atonement Icon Atonement to yourself. It also deals damage to yourself for each Atonement Icon Atonement you have active, and increases their duration by 5 seconds. This is a great talent against teams with multiple crowd control abilities that will be used on you. Use this ability at the end of the incoming crowd control to break it. In this case, replace Purification Icon Purification with this talent.

Archangel Icon Archangel refreshes the duration of your Atonement Icon Atonement on all allies when cast. It also increases your healing and absorption effects for 15 seconds. This talent is on a Global Cooldown and it is difficult to find a useful time to use it. If you are healing a team that will play defensively and you want to keep them at high health, you can replace Purification Icon Purification with this talent.

7. Racial Bonuses for Discipline Priests

Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.

7.1. Horde

The racial gained from being an Undead (Will of the Forsaken Icon Will of the Forsaken) is really strong. This gives you an additional way to remove crowd control abilities on you.

7.2. Alliance

The Human racial bonus (Every Man for Himself Icon Every Man for Himself) is a great way to get out of stuns.

8. Playstyle for Discipline Priests

The main role for a Discipline Priest is to use both your healing and damaging spells to keep your team alive. The passive ability, Atonement Icon Atonement, allows you to directly heal from your damaging spells.

8.1. Before Gates Open

Before the gates open you will want to coordinate your crowd control. Discipline Priests have Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream, a great way to fear an entire team. The only weakness about this ability is that you need to be in melee range to use it. It is important for your teammates to try to stun the enemy healer before using Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream so they cannot run away. Make sure to use Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude on your teammates. It can be dispelled by abilities like Purge Icon Purge or Spellsteal Icon Spellsteal, so be prepared to apply it often

8.2. The Opener

The other team is going to try to force your trinket in the opener so they have an advantage later in the game. As soon as the gates open you want to use Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield on your teammates to apply Atonement Icon Atonement to them. Then start using Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked on enemies. This way, if you are put into crowd control you will still be healing with Atonement Icon Atonement.

8.3. Healing Techniques

8.3.1. Burst Healing

The great thing about Discipline Priests is that they have the multiple ways to keep teammates alive and high on health.

8.3.2. Sustained Damage Healing

Use this to heal sustained damage throughout the match (damage done when the other team does not have burst cooldowns available).

  1. Maintain Atonement Icon Atonement on all of your teammates. If you are using the PvP talent, Trinity Icon Trinity (which you should be), use Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield to apply it.
  2. Maintain Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain or Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked on the enemy team.
  3. Use Penance Icon Penance as soon as it is off cooldown.
  4. Use Power Word: Solace Icon Power Word: Solace as soon as it is off cooldown.
  5. Use Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend if you get interrupted on your Holy abilities.
  6. Use Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance if you get interrupted on your Shadow abilities.
  7. When there is not much damage happening use Smite Icon Smite when teammates have Atonement Icon Atonement.

8.4. Cooldowns/Defensives

Although Discipline Priests can heal with their damage, sometimes this is not enough to keep teammates alive. Below are the cooldowns that they have to deal with heavy damage.

  • Pain Suppression Icon Pain Suppression is a strong defensive with a long cooldown. It will primarily be used while you are stunned, but should be used whenever a teammate is taking strong single target damage.
  • Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier is also a strong defensive with a long cooldown. It is best used when your teammates are stacked and taking strong spread pressure. The bonus healing you gain when standing in it will help keep your teammates alive.
  • Rapture Icon Rapture is a powerful cooldown that should not be wasted. Use this when your team is dangerously low and you need a way to recover. This can be used when your team is taking single target or spread pressure.
  • Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend is best used when your teammates are starting to take light spread pressure and have Atonement Icon Atonement active.
  • Desperate Prayer Icon Desperate Prayer increases your health by 25% for 10 seconds, and instantly heals you for that amount. This is great for when you get interrupted on Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend and need an instant heal.

9. Best Team Compositions for Discipline Priests

Now that you have the correct talents and understand your damage rotation, it is time to step into the arena with your team. With spells like Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked, Penance Icon Penance and Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream, Discipline Priests play with classes that are very aggressive.

9.1. 2v2 Arena

In 2v2 Arena, you want to deal as much damage as you can when your DPS partner is using their burst rotation. Maintain Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked on all enemies, including pets. Use Penance Icon Penance as soon as it is off cooldown. Use Dark Archangel Icon Dark Archangel when your partner is using their burst rotation for a large amount of damage. Have your teammate stun or slow the enemy healer so you can easily get a Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream on them. It is important to note that Discipline Priests are the only healer with multiple casting schools. What this means, is if you get interrupted while casting Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend, you can still use Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance or Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 2v2:

  • Discipline Priest + Assassination/Subtlety Rogue;
  • Discipline Priest + Arms Warrior;
  • Discipline Priest + Windwalker Monk;
  • Discipline Priest + Frost Mage.

9.2. 3v3 Arena

Your role in 3v3 is similar to 2v2 Arena. You want to always be damaging to maintain pressure on the enemy team. Discipline Priests struggle when they fall behind, so you always want to stay ahead. Maintain and refresh your Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked. Try to utilize Mind Control Icon Mind Control. If you are interrupted while channeling it, you can still cast your Holy spells. Remember to take advantage of having more than one casting school. There will be some match ups where you cannot cross the map to use Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream on the enemy healer. In those situations, use Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream on whichever DPS your team is not targeting.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 3v3:

  • Jungle(Discipline Priest + Feral Druid + Marksmanship Hunter);
  • Cupid (Discipline Priest + Retribution Paladin + Marksmanship Hunter);
  • RMP (Discipline Priest + Subtlety Rogue + Frost Mage);
  • Discipline Priest + Outlaw Rogue + Elemental Shaman.

10. Useful Macros for Discipline Priests

Macros are crucial to be successful in PvP. They allow players to use abilities on enemies without having to target them. This helps increase overall damage/healing and general awareness in the arena. Here are a few macros that all Discipline Priests can benefit from.

10.1. Purge the Wicked 123 Macro

  • #showtooltip Purge the Wicked
  • /cast [target=arena1] Purge the Wicked

Using this macro will use Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked on arena enemy 1. This makes it easier to damage an enemy while healing your team. If you want macros for the second and third enemies, simply change the arena1 to arena2 or arena3.

10.2. Penance Target of Target Macro

  • #showtooltip Penance
  • /cast [harm][@targettarget] Penance

This makes it so you cast Penance Icon Penance on your party member's target.

10.3. Purify Party Macro

  • #showtooltip Purify
  • /cast [target=party1] Purify

Using this macro will cast Purify Icon Purify on party player 1. This makes it easier to dispel a teammate while healing the rest of your team. If you want a macro to dispel the second party member, change the party1 to party2.

11. Changelog

  • 04 Oct. 2018: Removed Artifact traits and Relics section.
    • Added Stat priority and Azerite trait sections.
    • Added Talent Table.
  • 02 Oct. 2018: Removed PvP Gear and War Mode sections.
  • 27 Aug. 2018: Updated Air Drops section.
  • 28 Jul. 2018: Updated Guide for patch 8.0.1.
    • Updated introduction.
    • Updated tier 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 regular talents.
    • Added War Mode section.
    • Added PvP Talents section.
    • Added PvP Gear section.
    • Updated Racial Bonuses section.
    • Updated Burst Healing and Sustained Healing sections.
    • Updated Macros section.
    • Removed Gear section.
    • Updated Artifact Traits and Relics sections.
  • 09 Jun. 2018: Added an Arena Compositions section.
  • 12 Apr. 2018: Made several updates to the guide and its structure.
    • Added sections for Macros, Strengths, and Weaknesses.
    • Moved Gear, Artifact Traits, and Relics sections to the end, since they are not that important.
    • Updated recommended Tier 2 honor talent.
  • 16 Dec. 2017: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.2.
  • 14 Sep. 2017: Updated tier 1 talent discussion slightly.
  • 30 Aug. 2017: Removed artifact trait description.
  • 08 Jul. 2017: Guide added.
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