Sorry… this one might be a little wordy.
Right, hopefully now I’ve explained the underlying mechanics well enough and you know roughly what we’re about. Time to move on to building your lovely Discipline Priest. 71 points, and so many talents to choose from! Where do you put the points? What talents are good, and what do you avoid? Why do other people have different talents to me?
Well the first thing, and only thing you really need to know about talent builds is that provided you have well thought-out, sensible and informed reasoning behind your choices, there isn’t really a “wrong” build. You’ll see people with points all over the place. Some might have more points invested in mana-reduction talents to give them more longevity in raid encounters, like General Vezax. Some might have put points into Absolution for fights where they need to dispel a lot.
Some might even have points in Improved Mana Burn. Amazingly, it does have a use outside PvP – it allows for easier soloing/2-manning of certain vanilla bosses – example, the bat boss in Zul’Gurub. She casts a massive heal that my brother and I (Moonkin/Disc Priest) couldn’t interrupt regularly, so I instead Mana Burned her until she could no longer cast it.
The point is that there’s too many different builds to cover in one article. But a couple of general points to bear in mind;
Firstly, anything less than 53 points in the Discipline tree really detracts from the strength of the spec. The first 25 or 30 points are spent getting to the lower end of the tree, and after that – well, you’ll be taking just about everything in the lower half of the talent set. For this reason, there’s simply not much in the way of points you can take out to go lower than 53 and go far up the Holy tree.
Secondly, don’t bother looking at the Shadow tree. Most of the variation in Discipline builds can be attributed to the 14-18 points spent in the Holy tree, as you’ll see. There’s nothing in Shadow that we need, other than Spirit Tap if you’re levelling – a levelling build without Spirit Tap is like a dog without a tail! You can have one, but it just won’t be as fun.
So, without further ado;
- Standard raid build, 57/14/0 – this is your bread and butter. Think of it as a “template” for all of your other builds, adding and removing 2 or 3 points here and there to get to where you need to be. The 5/5 Divine Fury is to reduce your Greater Heal cast time, which comes in useful during raids for tank healing.
- Slightly altered raid build, 57/14/0 – this is for those of you who can’t bear to use Greater Heal. Instead, the points go into a slightly stronger Renew and reduced spell damage taken. Alternatively, the 2 points in Spell Warding can be put into Healing Focus or Divine Fury. Much of that is down to personal preference. Recommended for healing heroics.
- Mana-efficient build, 53/18/0 – this swaps out all non-essential Discipline talents in exchange for a 15% mana reduction on Penance (and GH, although this build isn’t friendly to GH-users). Once again, the Spell Warding points can be put into Divine Fury or Healing Focus plus one elsewhere. Recommended for those having mana problems in heroics.
These are the three basic builds and their variants. Try each of them out, or get dual specced and try two at a time – just find the one that suits you and use it! I find that the first 57/14/0 build suits me for everything, allowing me to take Shadow as my dualspec (for heroics with my Holy Paladin RL mate) but if you want another build available, don’t hesitate to dualspec it!
Hope this helps – part 3 will be all about which stats to prioritise. Until then, adieu!