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Tree Recap – Part I: Discipline

Wrath is almost here, so perhaps its time to pause, breathe, and perhaps QQ a little less? Its coming at us like a train, its time we prepare. (Insert obligatory Illidan “You are not prepared!” pun here).

DwarfPriest.com did a fantastic write up on gear/stats, which I will touch on in this series, but she did a great job so here’s a link to it. What I plan on doing is looking at both the new talents, or the completely changed ones in the Holy and Discipline trees from a healing perspective – thus, you know, the purpose of this blog.

Discipline
Overview

Formerly the red-headed stepchild of the 3 trees; a footnote tree at best with a few talents that couldn’t be missed, but mainly the PVP tree. Blizzard has made a number of changes in this tree to make it a viable healing tree. I am one of the priests that really believes after a little bit of fine tuning we’ll get there. Its close, but not 100% there.

The first thing you need to realize when it comes to the Discipline tree, is that a good deal of your “effective healing” simply wont show up on meters because you should be popping Power Word: Shield and Divine Aegis fairly regularly, and thus, not show up on the meters. However, if you look at it that way, Power Word: Shield is the only heal in the game that is guaranteed 100% to never “over heal”. I say that because it is a free buffer to damage. Period.

But, but, but, what about tank rage/mana/runic power?!?! With the insane amount of threat tanks can put out, and a lot of new ways to generate rage, its not a problem. Healing 25 Man Naxx on beta as Disc I never saw an issue, and neither did the tanks.

Talents
Twin Disciplines – Finally a Tier 1 talent that actually has a primary PVE use. While, yes, Unbreakable Will had its uses in a PVE environment – it certainly was limited. (Resisting Archimonde fears or Azgalor’s silence, for example).

Improved Inner Fire – It used to be a complete waste of space, now it provides an alternative to Silent Resolve. Since aggro is hardly an issue for healers now, Silent Resolve, can for the most part be skipped, thus freeing up points you can put into Imp IF. At 70, pretty much a waste, but since you get an Inner Fire that provides a spell power boost at L71, +45% effectiveness is nice. At Rank 9, it provides 120 spell power (174 talented). The downside,is that the buff itself still has charges, and is only a 10 minute buff. Time to get in the habit of remembering to cast this spell folks!

Improved Power Word: Shield – If you are going full Discipline, and getting Penance – max this out, PW: S is a staple in a Disc Priest’s arsenal.

Meditation - Must have for all healing priests. Period, the end, no arguments.

Divine Spirit/Improved Divine Spirit - The 1 point for the base spell, fine. If you are going Disc grab the base spell, while it doesn’t really affect the Discipline priest (since Spiritual Guidance is a Holy Talent), 1 point is worth the buff for the other casters. Imp DS… in its current state, not worth it. 2 points, in an already bloated talent tree is hard to give up. Further since it is weaker than the Shaman Totem of Wrath, and the baseline Flametongue Totem, not really worth wasting the points. Once Blizzard realizes that no one is taking the talent, hopefully they’ll see the light.

Mental Strength – Shame that it went from % mana increase to % intellect increase, however, with crit now so important the increase to Int isn’t as much of a nerf that people cried about originally- a 5/5 talent for all Disc priests. (and a prerequisite for Power Infusion)

Enlightenment – Also a shame it dropped the +int, though the repacement with +haste is nice, but I’ve been using this talent as just a filler to break through to the next tiers.

Focused power – +4% spell power, sure.

Power Infusion – not only a DPS casters friend, can also be your friend in a clutch situation. Haste and mana cost reduction ftw.

Reflective Shields – PVP Talent, not worth the investment of that many points for a 45% reflective damage to a boss. Use them elsewhere!

Aspiration - 2/2 must have for the Penance reduction, and the PS, PI reduction is just icing.

Rapture – One of the best talents in the Disc tree. Effective healing returns mana, and your PW: Shield returns mana. Win.

Renewed Hope – Conceptually: nice. While yes, you should probably have Weakened Soul up on your tank most of the time. I’d skip it, considering the bloat that deep in the tree.

Divine Aegis – More shields, and more mana returnvia Rapture. Must have for Disc priests.

Pain Suppression – Normally a PVP talent, however for 1 point its a good “Oh $#%” button. The threat reduction seems scary on a tank, however, their current threat output makes this still OK to use. Or, just toss it on your local aggrowh*re, to dump threat.

Grace - at first glance it seems fantastic. However it is inferior to Blessing of Sanc froma Prot Pally, and the buff duration can soemtimes be prohibitive b/c you can have it fall off. Not a horrible talent, but not what I’d expect for an investment this deep in the tree. If you have the extra points, sure grab it, but if you have other things you’d rather get and you have a Prot Pally – I’d skip it for 25 mans, and consider it for 10 mans when your raid make up, simply might omit a Prot Pally.

Borrowed Time - Increases PW: Shield absorbtion, worth it alone. Then add in the spell haste on next (non instant) cast? Works well if you toss a PW: Sheild in desperation and then follow with a big heal.

Penance - GHeal healing at the price of a Flash Heal? Yes, please! Fun spell, heals quickly, and looks great. A little annoying since you currently have to face your target (“known issue”), however, in most raids, if you are tank healing you are usually at range with the ranged DPS facing the tank/boss.

Tomorrow…. Holy

Written By: on November 8, 2008
  1. Renewed hope is 4% talented crit on our three main heals, and only 2 points. With them fixing the bloating and more points at 80, I’d still grab it. Free crit is yummy.

  2. Bah, typo. Thnx. Still, I’m convinced that once you get to 80 the amount of crit you’ll have, considering the bloat deep disc it wont be super effective for 2 points.

  3. Thanks for that post,
    I used to be discipline spec, I recently respec half disc-holy at lvl 80 but I miss the healing power of penance. Question: for running 5 men Heroic instances, is a discovery healer a good healer? people tends to judge you as a backup healer with low healing power, what should I do?

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