Discipline Spec

August 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm (Discipline Spec 57/14/0, Talents)

Discipline Talents

Discipline Talents

It occurred to me that I was kind of missing out on some of the basics things people might like information on. So I figured I’d go back and cover Talent Specs a little. Today is going to be Discipline, I’ll do Holy or Shadow tomorrow if I can.

The cookie cutter Discipline Spec which I use looks like this 57/14/0:

I think the Discipline tree pretty much selects itself. You take all the talents which improve your healing and your mana, and you skip any PvP focused talents which give you better personal survivability. The perfect example is taking Twin Disciplines over Unbreakable Will in Tier 1. I’ve heard arguments for taking Unbreakable Will because many boss fights involve stuns or silences. Ultimately whilst Unbreakable Will does offer you some utility in the shape of more freedom, for almost every situation the 5% more healing from instant casts is a substantially better option. In the long term, you will heal for more with 5% better instant casts than you will with ½ a second less stuns or silences here and there.

The same line of thinking continues throughout. Improved Inner Fire increases your spell power so we take that. Threat and dispel resistance is not an issue, so we avoid Silent Resolve.

Meditation is mandatory in every Priest spec there is. It’s a shame because until it’s not required there is no room for Blizzard or us to experiment with different sorts of specs. There is no room to make the Holy tree even slightly tempting to Shadow priests, nor the Shadow Tree tempting to Holy priests. Perhaps that’s acceptable given the lore, but I could imagine a lot if interesting stuff that Blizzard could try out. As it is, three points in Meditation are non-negotiable.

Inner Focus is lacklustre, except that it works incredibly well with Prayer of Healing and Divine Hymn. Macro it into either (or both) of those spells and it can save you a few thousand mana per fight whilst boosting your crit rate on your big spells.

Absolution is a good possibility, it’s reducing mana on spells you do use as a healer. It’s the kind of talent you dismiss out of hand, but I think looking at the rest of the options, it’s not worth the points. You simply don’t use Dispels that much.

Mental Strength on the other hand is 15% more on the best mana stat we have as Discipline Priests. That’s 15% more mana to start with, then 15% more from Replenishment as the fight goes on. And 15% more mana from Shadow Fiend, Rapture, Holy hymn etc. Spirit regen is also based somewhat on your Intellect, so you get more of that too! It’s all good stuff.

Soul Warding is a big deal. I admit when it first arrived I wasn’t impressed by it. After playing with it I’ve changed my tune. The freedom it gives to cast Shields turns them from being an occasional spell into the Discipline version of Renew or Rejuvenation, that and a mana cost reduction to boot.

Enlightenment. It’s not a very interesting talent, but it does give a sizeable amount of free haste rating and free spirit. A lot of Discipline Priests complain that Spirit is not as attractive to use as Holy Priests. That is certainly true, but spirit is a substantial amount of passive mana regenfor a priest, and 6% more of it is not trivial.

All this being said, apart from Meditation, Rapture is the highest return mana talent in the Discipline tree. In some cases Rapture returns almost as much mana as replenishment, and it scales with Mental Strength. So for three points this is a necessary talent if you come this high in the Discipline tree. The secondary effect of Rapture – the rage, mana, energy, runic power returns – are very hard to quantify. I know for example that it gives about 1/3rd of the amount of rage a Warrior Tank gets from Improved Shield Slam even if you chain cast shields on them. So it’s not a lot of rage. But I suppose free rage is free rage. You’re taking Rapture anyway, so this is a nice side effect. Personally I think this aspect of the talent could be better designed.

Borrowed Time is the reason Power Word: Shield is worth using. Without it your Shield is too small and gives no real benefit beyond being a small heal. If you don’t come this far into the Discipline tree then you should not be using Shields as a primary heal.

Penance. Obviously. Needs several blog posts dedicated to it.

Holy Talents

Holy Talents

Holy Tree

Probably the only real disagreement within the 57/14/0 spec is how to spend five points in Tier 2 of the holy Tree. I take 5 points in Divine Fury because I do use Greater Heal on occasion. Particularly when I have a Borrowed Time buff. It’s a nice big heal that can get you out of trouble if you have a Haste Trinket proc, Power Infusion, or Borrowed Time. More than that, I really appreciate the cast time reduction on Smite and Holy Fire when I’m questing.

The other option people look at is 2 points in Healing Focus. It is a good talent, particularly for something like Mimiron Phase 2 where you take a lot of spell push-back. I would consider 2/2 in Healing Focus and 3/5 in Divine Fury. The other option is 3 points in Improved Renew. Renew is not an awful spell, but Discipline priests get substantially less benefit from it than a Holy Priest does with Empowered Renew as well. Ultimately, Power Word: Shield is the Discipline Priest’s renew. That doesn’t mean don’t use renew, but I personally wouldn’t put points in increasing it.

The reason you’re coming into the Holy Tree is for Inspiration. This talent is a huge bonus on Tank healing. It’s recently been changed from 25% armor to 10% mitigation and personally I think that is a buff. 10% physical mitigation means those constant melee attacks bosses do are 10% less powerful which means you can worry less about constant damage and more about big spikes of magical damage. Given Discipline has good Burst Healing from Borrowed Time and Penance, but poorer consistent healing, relying mainly on Flash Heal, Inspiration really helps you out. While we’re here, grab Desperate Prayer.

So that’s your Discipline spec. Not really a lot of room for messing around with it. I’ve seen people try to go further into Holy to pick up 15% less mana cost on Penance, but ultimately you lose several good Discipline talents to do so, and you waste a talent point trying to get up to “Improved Healing”. Not worth it.

For the sake of completeness, there is nothing in the Shadow Tree worth taking as a Discipline Priest in PvE. I’d love to see that change some day.

– Talent tree’s taken from Wowhead.com



  1. justsigneduptopost said,

    The discipline tree is free from choice. 🙂

    I like 2/2 Healing Focus, but I put the other 3 points in Spell Warding. I suppose renew or g. heal would be better choice for a healer, but no biggie.

  2. SpotHeal said,

    I’ve looked at spell warding a lot. It’s the kind of thing which, if everybody in your raid could take, it would be hideously overpowered. I mean, if everybody coudl spec to reduce all magic damage taken by 10% it would be pretty damn good. So why don’t priests take it, why don’t I take?
    I suppose with me it’s because I value Divine Fury too much for questing and for Greater Heal. But for people who don’t take Divine Fury I could see spell warding being an interesting option, perhaps for some fights more than others. Hodir for example it could save you thousand and thousands of health.

  3. Discipline FAQ « Spot Heal said,

    […] See the article on Discipline spec here. […]

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