Discipline Priest PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Dragonflight 10.2)

Last updated on Nov 06, 2023 at 17:50 by Mysticall 20 comments

PvP requires you to perform various actions in the course of a duel, match, or battleground: interrupting/silencing enemies, healing your teammates and yourself, defending yourself, keeping yourself alive, etc.. It is a game mode that fully utilises your kit, especially spells that are rarely used in PvE. On this page, we go through all the spells you need to use in PvP as a Discipline Priest, how you should use them, and we explain what your playstyle should be.

This page is part of our Discipline Priest PvP Guide.

1.

Playstyle for Discipline Priests

Discipline Priests have two roles in PvP. Their first objective is to keep their team alive, more through damage prevention than actual healing. Their second objective is to support their team with damage, crowd control, and offensive purges to keep the enemy team under pressure. Atonement Icon Atonement allows Discipline Priests to accomplish both objectives simultaneously as the damage they deal heals their entire team.

1.1.

Before Gates Open

Discuss with your team to have a game plan. You and your team need to agree on who to control and who to kill before the game begins. You also need to know who will use their defensive cooldowns first, as overlapping defensives will make it very difficult for you to keep your team alive.

Discipline Priest's Honor Talent choices greatly vary depending on the comps and specs you face. Always make sure that you have the correct ones every game.

Buff your team with Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude and you are good to go!

1.2.

The Opener

In the opener, you need to make sure you apply your Atonement Icon Atonement to every potential target in your team to be able to heal your damage as soon as combat starts. You also want to apply Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked to your kill target as soon as possible. It is crucial to do so because not only does it contribute to damage and healing, but it also has a chance to grant you Power of the Dark Side Icon Power of the Dark Side procs upon dealing damage, which is a significant buff as it empowers Penance Icon Penance. Lastly, mind your positioning. As a Discipline Priest, you are not very mobile, so it is important to have a pillar for cover right from the start to avoid crowd control or attacks.

2.

Healing Techniques

2.1.

Burst Healing

When the enemy team uses offensive cooldowns and has a lot of damage, you need to have a high healing output to keep your team alive. You will most likely also have to use defensive cooldowns. Keep in mind that Discipline Priests are not designed to heal high amounts of damage over an extended period, so you have to make sure you use the right cooldowns to mitigate as much damage as possible. How to best use your defensive cooldowns is detailed in the "Defensive Cooldowns" section below.

  1. Use Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier if the enemy cooldowns call for it (see the "Defensive Cooldowns" section). You will have to use it against most standard DPS offensive cooldowns to mitigate the. damage.
  2. Use Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield if it is not on cooldown.
  3. Use Power Word: Life Icon Power Word: Life if your ally is below 35% health.
  4. Use Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance once.
  5. Use Penance Icon Penance on an ally. If your team is taking heavy cleave damage, you can use it on an enemy instead for more AoE healing.
  6. Use Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal if your teammates are still in danger and you don't have Penance, Power Word Shield, or Radiance available.
  7. If you are still unable to stabilize your team, use your second charge of Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance.
  8. Use Pain Suppression Icon Pain Suppression if one of your teammates is taking high amounts of single target damage and you cannot stabilize them without damage reduction.

The use of Rapture Icon Rapture slightly alters the rotation. When using Rapture, your Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield is much more powerful and soaks massive amounts of damage. To get the most value out of Rapture, you want to avoid casting any Holy spell while it lasts to make sure you do not get interrupted on Holy, as it would prevent you from using Power Word: Shield. The rotation comes down to using Power Word Shield as well as instant heals while the shields are holding to top your team.

2.2.

Sustained Healing

When the enemy team is not using cooldowns, you do not need to use powerful heals to keep your team alive. Instead, you will use a combination of healing spells and offensive spells to heal through Atonement Icon Atonement. That way, you will contribute to your team's damage, forcing the enemy healer to heal more and spend more Mana while not spending much Mana yourself.

  1. Maintain Atonement Icon Atonement on every team member that is taking damage and needs healing. If your allies are at full health, then refresh it with Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield. If your allies are not at full health use Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal to refresh it as it is more valuable Mana-wise.
    • If you are using the PvP talent Trinity Icon Trinity, remember that Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield is the only way to apply it.
  2. Maintain Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain or Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked on the enemy team. This is your highest source of damage overall and your highest source of Atonement Icon Atonement healing.
    • Remember to use Penance Icon Penance to spread the damage of Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked rather than using it manually on multiple enemies.
  3. Use Power Word: Solace Icon Power Word: Solace as soon as it is off cooldown. It is important to prioritize this ability above all others to maximize your Mana regeneration throughout the game.
  4. Use Penance Icon Penance offensively as soon as it is off cooldown.
  5. Use Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast as soon as it is off cooldown.
  6. Use Smite Icon Smite when all of the above is done, and your spells are rotating back off cooldown.

You can weave in some Flash Heal Icon Flash Heal and Power Word: Life Icon Power Word: Life in the sustained healing rotation when Atonement alone is not enough to keep your team alive. If needed Penance Icon Penance can also be used defensively, although it is better to use it offensively as much as possible. Try to avoid using Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance when there is not too much damage going out.

2.3.

Burst Damage

One of the strengths of Discipline Priests is the damage they can deal when their team goes for a kill. Before going for damage, always make sure you have Atonement Icon Atonement active on any ally who is not at max health or will take damage while you deal damage yourself. Your burst damage rotation is as follows:

  1. Make sure Purge the Wicked Icon Purge the Wicked is on your target.
  2. Use Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion.
  3. Use Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend.
  4. Use Schism Icon Schism if you play this talent.
  5. Use Dark Archangel Icon Dark Archangel if you play this PvP talent.
  6. Use Mindgames Icon Mindgames if you play this talent.
  7. Use Shadow Word: Death Icon Shadow Word: Death if your target drops below 20% health.
  8. Use Penance Icon Penance as soon as it is off cooldown.
    • Ideally you want to have a Power of the Dark Side Icon Power of the Dark Side proc ready to empower your Penance. However, you should still use Penance if you do not have one.
  9. Use Power Word: Solace Icon Power Word: Solace as soon as it is off cooldown.
  10. Use Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast as soon as it is off cooldown.
  11. Use Smite Icon Smite when all of the above is done, and your spells are rotating back off cooldown.

When you want to deal maximum damage, you should try to follow the order given above if several spells are available at the same time, as it will make you use your most potent spells first. Note that Dark Archangel Icon Dark Archangel is in the list because when you use your burst rotation, your team usually does the same, but if that is not the case; then you should not use the spell and instead keep it to empower the burst damage of your team instead.

3.

Defensive Cooldowns

Managing your cooldowns properly as a healer is key, and it is even more true as a Discipline Priest. Most of your cooldowns allow you to reduce the damage taken by your team, but none of them helps you heal your team. As such, it is crucial to use the right cooldowns at the right time to mitigate as much damage as possible so that you have to heal as little as possible.

  • Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier is your most powerful defensive cooldown when playing with the PvP talent Dome of Light Icon Dome of Light. You want to use it when your team is taking heavy damage. It is usually best to use it as an answer to powerful offensive cooldowns used by the enemy. Typically you will want to use Barrier when an Assassination Rogue uses Deathmark Icon Deathmark when a Retribution Paladin uses Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath when an Arms or Fury Warrior uses Avatar Icon Avatar or Recklessness Icon Recklessness respectively, and so on. That way, half of their burst damage will be mitigated by your Barrier, allowing you to heal the rest of the damage with ease. It can also be used when a Rogue uses Smoke Bomb Icon Smoke Bomb on one of your teammates. That way, your teammate should stay alive long enough for the Smoke Bomb to end, and you will then be able to heal.
  • Pain Suppression Icon Pain Suppression is very powerful defensive. With the talent Protector of the Frail Icon Protector of the Frail it doesn't have such a long cooldown anymore. It will primarily be used while you are stunned and anticipate either follow-up crowd control on you, high burst damage on someone in your team, or both. You should still use it outside of a stun if someone in your team is going to die.
  • Rapture Icon Rapture is a very powerful cooldown that should be used when the enemy team has high damage, but nothing that warrants the use of your Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier or Pain Suppression Icon Pain Suppression. You want to use it before your team is critically low on health as it empowers your Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield, but not your actual heals. When this cooldown is active, you will keep reapplying Shields on your team to prevent their health from dropping further, and while your enhanced Shields protect them, you will use either Power Word: Life Icon Power Word: Life or Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance to heal them up. You want to avoid using any Holy spell that can be interrupted, such as Penance Icon Penance, during Rapture, to make sure that you are not locked out of your Power Word: Shield.
  • Void Shift Icon Void Shift is a powerful cooldown that allows you to instantly save an ally, or yourself, from very low health by exchanging your health percentage with an ally. This can be used as an answer to overwhelming damage you cannot mitigate or heal through.
  • Desperate Prayer Icon Desperate Prayer increases your health by 25% for 10 seconds and instantly heals you for that amount. This is a good spell to use when you are the target of the enemy team and struggle to keep yourself alive.
  • Fade Icon Fade is a very underestimated cooldown as Discipline Priest. Thanks to the talent Translucent Image Icon Translucent Image, Fade reduces all damage taken for a short amount of time. Fade has a very low cooldown, so make sure to use it whenever you take significant damage, and you won't need it as a freedom effect.
  • Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend is a powerful offensive cooldown and a good defensive one. You can use it for burst damage when your team goes for a kill. You can also use it before a CC chain on you to have it heal your allies through Atonement Icon Atonement while you are in CC. Note that your Shadowfiend grants you Mana every time it attacks. As such, you do not want to use it when you are at 100% Mana, but you want to use it as early in the game as possible to get the cooldown back early to generate even more Mana and stay in the fight longer.
  • Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion grants your target 25% Haste for 20s. You can use it both offensively and defensively. If you play with a teammate that greatly benefits from it, such as an Assassination Rogue, a Retribution Paladin, or an Affliction Warlock, you want to use it on them when they use their offensive cooldowns. Otherwise, you can use it on yourself when you are about to do your burst damage. Last it can be used on yourself when you struggle to keep your team alive and need extra Haste to heal faster. Remember that thanks to the talent Twins of the Sun Priestess Icon Twins of the Sun Priestess, you also get Power Infusion for yourself when using it on an ally. Note that with the talent Twins of the Sun Priestess Icon Twins of the Sun Priestess, using it on an ally also grants you the effect, so you won't have to choose !
  • Shadow Word: Death Icon Shadow Word: Death is your one way to avoid incoming CC. If you use it and the target does not die, you will be damaged a second later. This is important because it means you can use it preemptively when you are about to be hit by a crowd control ability that breaks on damage to free yourself. And, of course, its primary use remains: executing an enemy low on health.
4.

Macros

It is advised to use Macros to use abilities on enemies or allies without having to target them. For this reason, we have a page dedicated to them.

5.

Changelog

  • 06 Nov. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.
  • 04 Sep. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.1.7
  • 10 Jul. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.5
  • 09 May 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.1.
  • 21 Mar. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.7.
  • 30 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Season 1.
  • 22 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
  • 28 Jul. 2022: Reviewed for Shadowlands Season 4.
  • 03 Jul. 2022: Rewritten and further updated for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 28 Feb. 2022: Updated for Patch 9.2.
    • Updated Healing rotations.
  • 23 Nov. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 02 Jul. 2021: Updated all Healing rotations.
  • 25 Apr. 2021: Removed outdated ability (Memory of Lucid Dreams).
  • 08 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 05 Dec. 2020: Updated Rotations to include Covenant Ability.
  • 30 Nov. 2020: Removed outdated Traits and Essences.
  • 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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