Discipline FAQ

October 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm (5 mans, Binding Heal, Borrowed Time, Discipline FAQ, Discipline Spec 57/14/0, Divine Hymn, Flash Heal, Gearing, Greater Heal, Grouping, Healing Mechanics, Mana, Naxxramas, Pain Suppression, Pain Suppression, Penance, Power Infusion, Power Infusion, Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Raiding, Renew, Spells, Stats, Talents, Trial of the Champion, Ulduar)

Starting a Discipline Priest and confused about something? Lets try and help out with some useful information.

What’s my spec?

See the article on Discipline spec here.

The standard spec is something like: 57/14/0 getting all the good heal talents in the Discipline tree, then going up the Holy Tree to pick up Inspiration.

Attribution: GENZOMAN

Attribution: GENZOMAN

What do I shine at?

As a Disc Priest your specialism is Tank Healing and Damage prevention. Because you are a priest however you have a great deal of flexibility because of your huge range of spells. This means you can ably heal 5 mans, 10 mans as a Tank or a Raid healer, in 25 mans you are a great Tank Healer, and you make a good PvP healer.

Because of your shields you really shine in fights where there are periodic spikes of damage which you can prepare for by casting shields on people before they take damage.

PvE Stat values –

Not perfect, but a rough guide is something like:

  • Intellect – 0.6

  • Spirit – 0.22

  • MP5 – 0.67

  • Haste Rating – 0.59

  • Crit Rating – 0.48

  • Spell Power – 1.0

So you should favour Spell Power, Intellect, Haste, Crit, MP5 and Spirit in pretty much that order. However, obviously if you need more mana stack Intellect, if you need to do more healing stack Spell Power. If you have enough mana there is NO benefit to getting more Intellect, Spirit or MP5. Mana is only useful if you are spending it. If you finish fights with lots of mana, you should stop getting more.

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Shadow Priest FAQ

September 25, 2009 at 4:23 pm (5 mans, Devouring Plague, FAQ, Gearing, Glyphs, Grouping, Mind Flay, Naxxramas, Raiding, Shadow FAQ, Shadow Word: Death, Shadow Word: Pain, Shadowform, Stats, Talents, Trial of the Champion, Ulduar, Vampiric Touch)

A list of common questions people look for when they first start. This isn’t really high end discussion and some things are glossed over. Furthermore, I rarely raid as shadow anymore so much of this comes from (I hope) thorough research. Big thank you to the sites out there like Shadowpriest.com and the various shadow blogs (Shadowaffinity) for their great information.

All rights belong to *Genzoman

All rights belong to *Genzoman Deviant Art.

What’s the spec to use?

The standard PvE spec is this:

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#bVcbhZZGxfVRfzcfqfzAo:ahqzcV

The two points in Veiled Shadows are optional and could be moved to Improved Vampiric Embrace. However the reduced cooldown on Shadow Fiend is a nice mana boost and adds a small DPS burst in certain situations.

For PvP your spec would look something like:

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#bxIbzoMZZ0efrRfkbfqfkqo:oMIMVz

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Being a Hero: Serendipity

July 16, 2009 at 2:10 pm (5 mans, Being a Hero, Grouping, Healing Mechanics, Naxxramas, Raiding, Serendipity, Talents, Ulduar)

Serendipity: When you heal with Binding Heal or Flash Heal, the cast time of your next Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing spell is reduced by 12%. Stacks up to 3 times. Lasts 20 sec.

I plan to post several articles soon focusing on Serendipity because I still see Priests not taking it. Equally I think it’s a very complicated ability and it’s something I find it very hard to use correctly in raids when there is so much to think about. Serendipity doesn’t buy you mana, only time. Therefore you only benefit from it is when you are hard pressed to heal. You need it most when you don’t have time to think about it. Hopefully if I get this down on paper it will help me get it straight in my head and allow me to make the right decision with less thought.

Just like Power Word: Shield, or Renew, or Prayer of Mending, what Serendipity gives is stress insurance. The contract goes something like:

I, the undersigned, being of sound mind and body bla bla bla…

…Promise to pay the sum of a little bit of time now, because I’ve got plenty to spare while Hodir pansies around gently patting the tank. I’ll cast a few single target heals like Flash or Binding Heal. In return, Serendipity promises to give me a whole bucket of haste when Hodir starts throwing around Frozen blows and things get dicey.

The key is knowing when to cash in the insurance.

You only get the benefit for your first Prayer of Healing or Greater Heal. After that you have to build your insurance back up again. So it’s only worth taking advantage of when you are hard pressed for time. Unfortunately you don’t get a choice. You can’t decide not to use up your Serendipity stacks unless you just don’t cast certain spells at all. If you want to cast Prayer of Healing, you will use or lose any Serendipity stacks you’ve currently got.

So the worst thing that could happen is that you cast a Prayer of Healing at a time when it’s quiet rather and so don’t have it when the “OH S**T!” moment hits a few seconds later. Where possible then, save your stacks for a time when you need them. I suppose that’s what having other healers in the raid are for, let them heal a little and save your Serendipity stacks for when they are needed. Don’t squander your resources if you can help it.

On the other hand if I sit sit back miserly protecting my Serendipity stacks the raid could die a long slow death because I don’t pull my weight.

Serendipity is a nice thing, and it can do a lot for you when it comes to something like Freya’s exploding daffodils. However if I sit back and don’t cast my best heals (Prayer of Healing) just because I’m waiting for the ideal time might cause more problems than it averts. Sometimes trying too hard to be the hero means you cause the exact harm you were trying to prevent. Every movie involving time travel proves this to be true.

So there is a balance to adopt in terms of knowing when you should wait and when you should not. A big part of that will be knowing the fight and the likely abilities. XT-002’s Tympanic Tantrum is the only real AoE in the fight. So can safely spend your Serendipity for quick help on the Tank, or topping up people wandering too close to the Bombs. Once it gets close to Tantrum time you need to be thinking ahead and saving up those serendipity stacks ready to go. If you know it’s soon, save your Serendipity.

On a fight with more single target damage it’s much easier to save your Serendipity for important moments. For the most part nobody casts Greater Heal in their standard rotation so you can easily make do with Flash heal and Renew and save Serendipity for a big Greater Heal when somebody gets caught in the fire, or takes a big hit you were only half expecting.

It’s a fine line to walk, but knowing the fight, and being able to rely on the other healers in your raid will help a lot in terms of helping you stack Serendipity and helping you spend those stacks at just the right time.

Tip: Use a mod like Powa Auras to show your Serendipity stacks in a more visually explicit way. For example, mine is set up to show a tower of 1-3 icons rather than a number because I find it much easier to read at a glance. Also it allows me to locate Serendipity away from my other buffs which I care much less about.

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