In my previous post, I suggested two specs: Holy and Disc. I have found that while I particularly enjoy Discipline more, the number of fights that I am able to use it is notably low. This is mainly due to the fact that Ulduar has a lot of AOE damage and a quick snap or two of a Glyphed Circle of Healing really is a life saver.
What really surprised me was how good Prayer of Healing actually turned out to be in Ulduar. In my previous post I indicated that I was expecting ProH to be much more powerful than it was in the past. Being able to cast a serendipitous ProH and then target specific groups really can make a major difference to raid healing.
Here you see a WWS screenshot from a Kologarn kill. The total effective healing done by Prayer of Healing was a large amount of my total healing done. Admittedly, other priests in my guild have been able to pull off bigger numbers using ProH more often than I. I simply need to train myself to look to that spell more often than COH.
A lot of the fights in Ulduar have massive raidwide damage, which need to be controlled by smart healing. I have found that Discipline, while able to spam PW: Shield, is vastly inferior to deep Holy in many boss encounters due to the shear amount of raid damage. This, of course, also is dependant on the number of Shaman, Wild Growth Druids, and COH priests you may already be running with. If your healing team can cover the raid damage without COH/ProH, then having a Disc priest focus on the MT is likely the best option.
Matticus wrote up a post that shows his two options for Discipline spec – one for aoe healing flexibility. (I can only assume he intends to use Borrowed Time for the haste on a ProH. Part of his argument is that Disc and Holy itemize differently. While that is true, I’ve found that my gear mixes well, though mainly due to the fact that I tend to run my Holy Spec crit heavy for Holy Concentration procs, which translates well to Aegis Procs as Disc.
Then there is Divine Hymn. I have to admit, I freaking love this bad boy! First you need to understand that while it is a channeled spell, it heals 3 people every 2 seconds for 8 seconds. That means 12 ticks, and every 2 second’s it reapplies the tick– smartly! Seeing this spell heal for 8500 average heal and 14,500 on crits is a a raid saver. Kologarn’s Shockwave and you’re an AOE healer down? Pop this and see the equivalent of Greater Heals fly everywhere. The 10 minute CD is worth it.
At the end of the day, Ulduar has major raidwide damage from nearly every boss. This requires fast, and intelligent choices in your spells. Deciding to tackle those as Disc or as Holy is ultimately up to you. Me? I tend to lean towards Holy for a vast majority of the boss encounters, and Disc for a special few.