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Discipline Priest PvP Guide Battle for Azeroth (BfA)

Last updated on Jul 28, 2018 at 13:17 by Mysticall 8 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. Talent Choices for Discipline Priests

Regular talents work in both PvP and PvE content (although they may sometimes work differently in the two environments, which is indicated by their tooltips). In other words, they are always active.

On the other hand, Honor talents are inactive outside of a PvP environment.

3. Regular Talents for Discipline Priests

3.1. 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.

3.2. 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.

3.3. 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.

3.3.1. 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.

3.4. 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.

3.5. 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.

3.6. 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.

4. PvP Talents for Discipline Priests

PvP talents are typically only available in PvP content, but War Mode (explained below) allows you to also benefit from them in the open world.

As you will see below, the PvP talents are very flexible. Depending on what classes you are playing with and against, you can adjust your talents to better suit your team's goal. You must choose:

  • 1 trinket talent out of 3 possible choices;
  • 3 PvP talents out of a pool of about a dozen possible choices.

4.1. War Mode

War Mode is a new PvP system added in Battle for Azeroth. War Mode can be toggled on and off in any major city. When it is enabled, you are able to use your PvP talents in the open world, and because you will be fighting enemies of the other faction, you also get an experience bonus while leveling. Do note that this makes you vulnerable to being killed by players of the other faction.

4.1.1. Bonuses of War Mode

Enabling War Mode provides the following perks.

  • The ability to use all PvP talents in the outdoor world. You do not need to be in PvP combat to use them.
  • You can earn Conquest Points.
  • You gain +10% experience while leveling.
  • There are PvP achievements you can earn.
  • At maximum level, you get a +10% World Quest reward bonus.

4.1.2. War Mode Bounties

If you kill too many players in a single zone, there will be a bounty put on you. Everyone in that zone will know your exact location. You can see the location of players with a bounty by checking your map. Killing players with a bounty on them rewards Conquest Points and is part of an achievement called Bounty Hunting Icon Bounty Hunting. Bounty Hunting is part of a meta achievement called Conqueror of Azeroth Icon Conqueror of Azeroth / Conqueror of Azeorth Icon Conqueror of Azeroth that rewards the title Conqueror of Azeroth.

4.1.3. Air Drops

It is not yet totally clear how Air Drops will work, but we know the following about it from Blizzard.

From time to time, a flying machine will make its way across the sky. The rumble of its engine is a clear indicator that something is afoot. You'll want to keep an eagle eye on the sky and watch for a War Supply Crate to drop somewhere in the zone. Similar to the chest in Gurubashi Arena, players can fight over the crate and claim it for their faction. Once a faction has gained control of the crate, anyone of that faction who is within the area will have a short period to open it and collect a piece of personal loot.

4.2. Trinket Talent

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.

4.3. PvP Talents

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.

4.4. PvP Gear

Gear is what determines how strong a player is in PvP. The better gear you have, the stronger your abilities are. There are several ways to receive gear from PvP. One important way to get gear is by completing the weekly conquest point cap. You will receive gear at the end of the week based on your rating. For example, if you played and won at Rival in 3v3, you will receive a reward with an item level based on your ranking at the end of the week. It is important to note that if you are rated at a Rival level in 3v3, but only do 2v2 that week, you will not receive a piece of gear unless you won a game in the 3v3 bracket. The following are the names and ratings of all of the brackets:

  • Combatant: 1400-1599;
  • Challenger: 1600-1799;
  • Rival: 1800-2099;
  • Duelist: 2100-2399;
  • Gladiator: 2400+.

4.4.1. Conquest Points

Every week there will be an empty bar in your PvP queue tab. If you earn enough Conquest Points to fill it, you will receive a piece of gear. When you complete a set, you can receive higher tiers of gear. Conquest points can be earned by doing the following:

  • Rated Arenas;
  • Rated Battlegrounds;
  • Normal Battlegrounds;
  • Epic Battlegrounds;
  • World PvP.

4.4.2. Obtaining Gear

You will obtain gear by earning Conquest Points. The following are the three ways to receive loot in PvP.

  • At the end of an Arena match there is a chance to receive a piece of gear. This gear is based on your Arena Rating.
  • After you win a Rated Battleground or win your first Battleground of the day you will get a piece of gear and earn Conquest Points.
  • Once you earned enough Conquest Points for the week, you will unlock a new weekly reward. This gear is based on your rating.

It is important to note that the gear you get from capping your conquest points is predetermined in a specific order. There are mechanics for players to get gear quicker if they have no played a character for awhile.

5. Racial Bonuses for Discipline Priests

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

5.1. 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.

5.2. Alliance

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

6. 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.

6.1. 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

6.2. 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.

6.3. Healing Techniques

6.3.1. Burst Healing

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

6.3.2. 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.

6.4. 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.

7. 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.

7.1. 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.

7.2. 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.

8. 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.

8.1. 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.

8.2. 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.

8.3. 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.

9. Artifact Traits for Discipline Priests

With the arrival of Patch 8.0, Artifact weapons have had their power drained in order to combat the spreading corruption from the sword of Sargeras and are now nothing more than a stat stick. This means that all traits are gone, so artifact paths and trait priority list are no longer required.

10. Relics for Discipline Priests

Relics are now simply a boost to your Artifact weapon's item level.

11. ChangeLog

  • 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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