Last night, I took part in a curious raid.
It was the first experience of raiding with my shiny new guild Absolute on Kazzak, and I’ll start by saying that it was a blast. Very relaxed atmosphere and largely sensible raiding added up to a fun evening’s 10-mannage of Ulduar. We jogged through a few hardmodes, but had nowhere near an optimal setup for… well, for anything! We didn’t even have Replenishment. This made it both fun and kind of frustrating at the same time – it added a completely unnecessary challenge, (which is great fun if you know it’s coming,) but on the other hand I was going out of mana three quarters of the way through many fights. You don’t realise how important something is until it’s gone, right?
Anyway, I digress. Not having Replenishment on three-healer fights (one Priest respecced Shadow for Hodir) was a big issue, but what hindered us more early on was that we had two Discipline Priests. Our setup for XT and IC was two DPriests and one drunk, Scottish-sounding Holy Paladin. It reminded me of how I had said I was going to do a post on this, so I promptly got my ideas together and started writing!
So, Big Question – why don’t Discipline Priests “stack” well in a raid? Let’s take a quick look at all our buffs, and what impact a second DPriest has on them.
Renewed Hope: 3% damage reduction on the entire raid when we shield (so that’s basically all the time). A second stack of this would be lovely, right? Unfortunately they don’t overlap – a second DPriest shielding won’t give you an extra 3% reduction, it’ll just restart the buff’s duration. Because we’re throwing shields out for raid support, there’s almost no downtime on this – I even preshield most tanks now, so there’s not even any downtime on the pull. Benefit of bringing another DPriest? None whatsoever.
Shields: The defining spell of the Discipline tree, every one of us will be rolling these on raid members, left right and centre. Bringing another DPriest means more shield coverage on the raid, right? The answer is “yes, up to a point”. The key here is the Weakened Soul debuff, which pays no regard whatsoever to which Priest shielded the player it’s applied to! If you shield a guy, he gets the debuff and nobody else can shield him until it wears off.
The obvious problem this presents is on tanks. We shield them every 15 seconds anyway, because that’s what we do – so there’s going to be some overlap on the tank shielding. For 25-mans, raid shielding is a little more flexible because different DPriests can take different sections of the raid, leading to really incredible absorption capability. That only works for predictable AoE damage, though – single target stuff like Light Bombs, Gravity Bombs and Razorscale Fireballs don’t benefit at all from having a second DPriest around, because only one of you gets to shield that guy!
As for 10-mans, the advantage is even less. In many AoE damage situations, I’m shielding a large portion of the raid so long as I can stay off the tanks for a while, and there won’t be much left for the other guy to chew on.
So, benefit of taking a second DPriest? Negligible.
Rapture: See above. With the lack of a second shield, Rapture also has similarly diminished effects on both tanks and raid members. There’s no additional rage or RP generation on the tanks, but it’s worth mentioning that you can “aim” the Rapture proc on two low mana raid members instead of one.
Grace: As far as I know, Grace stacks independently for each Priest, which means that two stacks of Grace can be active on one target. You won’t benefit from the other Priest’s stack, but it will allow both Priests to put Grace on the tank. But wait – isn’t this exactly what would happen normally? There’s no extra benefit from bringing the second DPriest, Grace is just an innate talent that increases our throughput. So while Grace isn’t harmed by bringing the second DPriest, it doesn’t benefit.
Divine Aegis: Not affected by the second DPriest. If the DA procs were to add to each other’s “stack”, then you might in some exceptional situations hit the 10k single-target stack cap, but each Priest’s aegis stacks separately so I don’t believe it makes any difference. As this is effectively just a straight throughput increase, having another DPriest doesn’t really get any benefit from this.
Just look down that list – many Discipline buffs and quirks have their effects reduced or negated by a second DPriest in the raid! This is why Discipline is often seen as a “niche” role, and you’ll find that the majority of upper-level raid leaders are very reluctant to take two of us to the same raid. Frankly, I don’t blame them.
But on the off chance that your guild has more than one of our kind, in what kind of situations would taking more than one be good? Where can you wangle your way into a raid with a fellow DPriest? Basically, any 25-man fight where there’s a lot of predictable AoE damage going around – when the healing isn’t required on the tanks, the overlapping shields aren’t as much of an issue and you can coordinate which groups to shield with your fellow Discipline club member. 🙂