Discipline Evolves. The new Raid Healer

October 13, 2009 at 3:36 pm (Being a Hero, Circle of Healing, Divine Hymn, Flash Heal, Grouping, Healing Mechanics, Penance, Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Raiding, Rapture, Renew, Trial of the Champion, Ulduar, User Interface)

I’m taking a break out of the FAQ series because a couple of things came together for me recently. What I want to talk about this week is two things. The first is the evolution of the Discipline Priest’s role in a raid since 3.0 launched. The second is to go a little theoretical and talk about what a modern Discipline Priest has that makes them the most powerful healers in the game.

Discipline as a viable raid spec really came with Patch 3.0 with the introduction of three talents. Penance, Borrowed Time, and Rapture. Before these talents Discipline had poor mana, poor healing, and no real niche. Rapture brought the Mana, Penance the Healing, and Borrowed Time has let us find our niche.

Priest Evolution

The emphasis from very early on was on Discipline as a Tank healing spec. PW:S, Grace, Renewed Hope and Inspiration provided the mitigation, whilst Borrowed Time and Penance gave quick healing necessary to heal tanks up. For a long time therefore Discipline Priests have been the Tank Healers.

Holy Priests on the other hand have been the traditional Raid Healers. Circle of Healing, bigger Prayer of Healing, larger Prayer of Mending, and better HoTs make the the obvious choice for healing larger numbers of people.

This simple Distinction is naïve, and it’s beginning to change. There is talk in the back rooms of Forums. Priests are talking late at night in the Orgrimmar Drag when the Paladin’s aren’t listening. Things said only in /whisper… Have you heard? Come closer. Discipline is becoming a Raid Healer.

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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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Healing Trial of the Champions: Anub’arak

September 8, 2009 at 7:16 pm (Grouping, Guardian Spirit, Healing Mechanics, Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Raiding, Trial of the Champion)

Anub’arak is the last boss in Trial of the Champion. He’s quite straight forward.

When you engage the encounter there is some fun Malygos-esque floor explosion and some non-hostile trash to clear out of the way.

Anubarak

From Wowwiki

The fight comes in three phases:

Phase 1

Anub’arak will be picked up by the main tank and tanked just a little behind the centre of the room.

In 10 man he hits the tank with frost and physical damage for around 15k on a Tier 8 tank so that’s reasonably high, twice that in 25 man. It also freezes the tank briefly in place, but that’s no big deal because Anub’arak doesn’t need to move.

DPS begins on Anub’arak. Save Heroism/Bloodlust for Phase 3, but DPS as hard as you can.

Nerubian Burrowers

Anub’arak will periodically summon Nerubian Burrower adds. Only one at a time on 10 man, two on 25 man.

The Burrowers will be off tanked, (one tank per Burrower because they stack nature debuffs,) and DPSed. They will periodically burrow and heal to full if possible. To stop this happening you have to Tank them on top of patches of Permafrost.

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Healing Trial of the Champion: Twin Val’kyr

September 3, 2009 at 6:03 pm (Grouping, Guardian Spirit, Pain Suppression, Prayer of Mending, Raiding, Renew, Trial of the Champion)

I apologise for this article being a little late, my guild didn’t get a chance to raid ToC until Tuesday this week (which in Europe is the day before raids reset) and I’d rather not post tactics without having some personal experience of the encounter. Now that I do:

Twin Val’kyr

Two bosses enter. Fjola Lightbane and Eydis Darkbane

The fight itself is probably the most straightforward of all the ToC fights so far and requires two tanks and probably no more than two healers on 10 man.

When you begin the encounter the two bosses enter from the large double doors at the back of the Arena. They will proceed to stand each side of the centre circle facing towards the raid entrance.

If you stand back when they enter you do not immediately agro them.

If you are facing them you will have the “Dark” Val’kyr on your left, and on your right is the “Light” Val’kyr.

Light and Dark Aura’s

Stationary on the floor in front and behind of each Val’kyr will be a spinning portal-like object, one light and one dark, making four in total. Clicking these swirly portals will give the player a dark or a light aura.

Having the one of these auras will absorb much of the magic damage done by the Val’kyr of the opposite colour. You will also throughout the fight get a DPS boost against the Val’kyr of the opposite colour to your aura. Therefore the Tanks and all the DPS for the Light Val’kyr (for example) should all have the Dark aura to boost their DPS, and mitigate the raid damage they receive.

Each Boss does raid wide ticking magical damage to the entire raid. They also periodically cast some AoE’s around themselves for magical damage. If you have an an aura, either light or dark, it will negate the damage done by one boss so every player, even healers should have one to substantially reduce raid damage (and boost DPS).

Positioning

It is best to split the raid in half and have tanks and healers pick the portal appropriate for the Val’kyr they are attacking. For healers, either aura is fine but it’s good to have a mix so that you always have some healers healing even when others are swapping aura’s throughout the fight.

The two bosses share a health total so in theory it doesn’t actually matter which you DPS, however for various reasons it’s good to have the raid evenly split between them.

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Trial of the Champion: Faction Champions

August 22, 2009 at 5:59 pm (Divine Hymn, Fade, Grouping, Healing Mechanics, Power Word: Shield, Raiding, Trial of the Champion)

This is not an easy fight to describe, it’s very unconventional.

If you did the 5 man Magister’s Terrace back in TBC you might remember the second last fight was something like an arena match. Your 5man group faces off against a five separate bosses each with a different class and class abilities.
This fight is very similar but with 10v6 (or 25v10 for 25 man raids). So your raid will be facing off against a group of NPCs from the opposite faction. The exact composition will change from raid to raid, but not from wipe to wipe. So once you start the encounter you will be fighting the same setup for the rest of the lockout.

Class Champions
Alliance Horde
Death knight Tyrius Duskblade Gorgrim Shadowcleave
Druid (Moonkinr) Kavina Grovesong Birana Stormhoof
Druid (Resto) Melador Valestrider Erin Misthoof
Hunter Alyssia Moonstalker
& cat pet
Ruj’kah
& cat pet
Mage Noozle Whizzlestick Ginselle Blightslinger
Paladin (Heal) Velanaa Liandra Suncaller
Paladin (Retribution) Baelnor Lightbearer Malithas Brightblade
Priest (Holy/Disc hybrid) Anthar Forgemender Caiphus the Stern
Priest (Shadow) Brienna Nightfell Vivienne Blackwhisper
Rogue Irieth Shadowstep Maz’dinah
Shaman (Heal/Caster) Saamul Thrakgar
Shaman (Enhancement) Shaabad Broln Stouthorn
Warlock Serissa Grimdabbler
and her felhunter
Harkzog
and his felhunter
Warrior Shocuul Narrhok Steelbreaker

The NPCs have many class abilities. The hunter “boss” for example does Deterrence, Disengage, Steady Shot, Wyvern Sting, Aimed Shot, Explosive Shot, Frost Trap and Wing clip. So it’s safe to assume each boss has many of the abilities you would associate with them and you should act accordingly.

Because of the fact the fight will have a different composition each time, and because there are so many targets, there is not a simple strategy for this fight. However, I can certainly make some observations.

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Trial of the Champion: Lord Jaraxxus

August 13, 2009 at 6:26 pm (Grouping, Raiding, Trial of the Champion)

Lord Jaraxxus is the second event of the Trial of the Champion Raid on both 10 and 20 man. The fight begins with him killing a gnome, so that’s nice. I really enjoyed this fight, it really felt like a Healer focused encounter.

As with Northrend Beasts, I’ll explain the fight and then try and outline some healing tips.

One thing to bear in mind is that you get a break between the end of Northrend Beasts and Lord Jaraxxus so you have time to rebuff, drink, distribute loot etc.

Lord Jaraxxus

There are a lot of abilities to this fight, but don’t be overwhelmed. It’s essentially an Add fight with a few gimmicks thrown in. So the focus is DPSing Lord Jaraxxus when possible, but killing the things he summons takes priority.

Priority for Melee DPS is Mistress of Pain first, Jaraxxus second.

For Ranged DPS it’s Mistress of Pain, Infernals, Jaraxxus.

So you have a main tank tanking Jaraxxus, any kind will do, but you should know that there is a lot of magic damage, and opportunities to interrupt.

He summons two sorts of adds which will be picked up by a second tank (on 25 man, it’s up to you whether you want to take an additional offtank).

Mistress of Pain

One of those six armed daemon women. She will come out of a large purple gateway that will appear. Her main ability of concern is that she will target a random person, pick them up incapacitating them briefly, and do substantial physical damage to them. On 10 man I was hit for around twelve thousand. Hence killing them fast is important and all DPS should switch to them.

Infernals

Jaraxxus will also periodically spawn a small green volcano on the ground. This volcano will spit out three or four Infernals. As usual the Infernals do an AoE fire attack on the ground around them, so only ranged should DPS these. They have a sort of “Charge-like” ability where they turn into a ball, float over to a raid member, and then cast their AoE. So the offtank needs to make sure they are reacquring them quickly, and players need tobe smart about moving away from them where possible.

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