Discipline Priest PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Shadowlands / 9.2.5)

Last updated on Jul 28, 2022 at 14:26 by Shadenox 13 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. Their second objective is to support their team with damage, crowd control, and offensive purges in order to keep the enemy team under pressure. Atonement Icon Atonement allows Discipline Priests to accomplish both objectives at the same time 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 are facing. 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 in order to be able to heal with 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 very important 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, in order to be able to avoid crowd control or attacks.

2.

Healing Techniques

2.1.

Burst Healing

When the enemy team uses offensive cooldowns and have a lot of damage you will need to have a high healing output in order 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 of time, so you have to make sure you use the right cooldowns to mitigate as much of the damage as you can. 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: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance once.
  3. 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.
  4. Use Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend until your teammates is out of danger. If several people in your team are under fire make sure you alternate who you heal with it in order to keep everyone healthy.
  5. Use Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield if you get interrupted on Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend, have no Radiance charges left, and Penance Icon Penance is on cooldown.
  6. If you are unable to stabilize your team use your second charge of Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance. Simply make sure to always use Penance Icon Penance in between the two charges to benefit from your Power of the Dark Side Icon Power of the Dark Side and The Penitent One Icon The Penitent One procs, as they might be enough to top your target.
  7. Use Pain Suppression Icon Pain Suppression if one of your teammates is about to die and you do not have any other way to heal them. Pain Suppression is best used as a cooldown to reduce incoming damage prior to it happening, but thanks to the Conduit Pain Transformation Icon Pain Transformation it can be used as a very last resort emergency heal.

The use of Rapture Icon Rapture slightly alters the rotation. When using Rapture your Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield is a lot more powerful, and soaks massive amounts of damage. In order 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 following healing rotation assumes you have Rapture active:

  1. Use Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield on any ally that takes damage. Shield them again as soon as it breaks to make sure their health remains stable.
  2. Use Power Word: Radiance Icon Power Word: Radiance once if you need the strong instant AoE healing to top your team. Do not use Penance Icon Penance until Rapture ends, as an interrupt on Penance would prevent you from using Shield.
  3. Use Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend in-between Shields in order to top your team.
2.2.

Sustained Healing

When the enemy team is not using cooldowns you do not need to use powerful heals in order 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 you are not spending much Mana yourself.

  1. Maintain Atonement Icon Atonement on every member of your team 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 Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend to refresh it as it is more valuable Mana-wise.
  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 Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend casts 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 who 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 Boon of the Ascended Icon Boon of the Ascended if you are Kyrian, Mindgames Icon Mindgames if you are Venthyr, or Unholy Transfusion Icon Unholy Transfusion if you are Necrolord.
  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.
  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 powerful 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 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 Vendetta Icon Vendetta, 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 a long cooldown. 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. Remember that with the Conduit Pain Transformation Icon Pain Transformation it heals the target by a significant amount, allowing you to use it as a last resort instant heal.
  • Rapture Icon Rapture is a 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 they are protected by your enhanced Shields you will use either Shadow Mend Icon Shadow Mend 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.
  • 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 Conduit Translucent Image Icon Translucent Image Fade reduces all damage taken for 5s. Fade has a very low cooldown so make sure to use it whenever you are going to take significant damage.
  • Shadowfiend Icon Shadowfiend is a very strong offensive cooldown, as well as 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 you can to get the cooldown back early, in order to generate even more Mana and stay in the fight longer.
  • Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion grants your target 25% Haste for 20s. It can be used 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 own burst damage. Last it can be used on yourself when you struggle to keep your team alive and need to extra Haste to heal faster.
  • 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 in order 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

  • 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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