So, you’ve picked Discipline. Congratulations! Welcome to a enjoyable and rewarding spec that will bring more to your guild’s raids than they realise. First question – what do we do? What are our greatest strengths? Well, let’s start off by summarising what we’re actually useful for;
- Shields! With Soul Warding, Improved Shields and Borrowed Time, suddenly our Shields become our greatest strength. We’ll use them for everything – I’ll explain later.
- Absorption! Where some tanks would die in two quick hits, a Discipline Priest can turn that into three. We may not show up top of the healing meters, (the basis for many complaints by misinformed raid leaders,) but we offer some of the best pre-emptive tank “healing” around – and while we’re at it, we can provide some of the fastest reactive healing too with Penance and hasted Greater Heals. Oh, and did I forget to mention Divine Aegis?
- Unique buffs and utility spells. We actually have some of these! Renewed Hope should always be up on the raid – we also buff Grace on people (almost always the tank) and have both Power Infusion and Pain Suppression, all of which are unique to the spec. Finally, how could I forget Rapture? These are all things which other people benefit from!
How do all these tie in to us healing in raids? Well the first and second points combine very nicely. Put it this way – if you shield 7 or 8 raid members in advance of a Flame Jets from Ignis, that’s 42-48k damage that you prevented. Does it show up on the healing meters? No. Will it win the heart of your number-crazy raid leader? No. But you just prevented a crapload of damage, and that’s something that nobody else can do – not even a Protection Paladin with super-fast hands. It’ll also give you a nice warm feeling inside.
As for the third point, well all of the mentioned talents are Discipline-specific and they’re quite deep into the tree, so they aren’t really obtainable by Holy Priests. And they’re awesome.
But just cast your mind back to that Flame Jets paragraph. That’s what Discipline is all about – pre-emptive healing. At heart, we’re just a different kind of healer. Other healers heal people. Discipline healers can do that, but more importantly they can prevent damage from happening in the first place. We provide strong, fast tank healing while dishing out excellent support onto the raid with our shields.
I’ll finish off this piece with the golden rule of Discipline, and if there’s one thing you learn from this article, this should be it.
THE GOLDEN RULE FOR DISCIPLINE PRIESTS: If you’re not thinking 20 seconds ahead, you’re not playing it right!