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Legion Discipline Priest Guide

Overview

Hello everyone and welcome to the Legion Discipline Priest Guide! I am Jak or AutomaticJak, Priest Healer for Vision on US-Kel'thuzad. I've been raiding in WoW for almost 6 years straight with my most recent accomplishment of finishing Mythic Nighthold US-15, World 69th.

Discipline in Legion has changed drastically from Warlords of Draenor, but it bears a familiarity with Mists of Pandaria's iteration. Discipline's absorbs have been heavily dampened with Power Word: Shield receiving a cooldown of 7.5 seconds, along with Divine Aegis and Spirit Shell being removed. Atonement has now been pushed to the forefront of the Discipline playstyle, with a slight twist in how it has worked in previous expansions. In Mists of Pandaria, damaging an enemy resulted in healing to the most damaged ally; in Warlords of Draenor, Atonement healing went to a damaged ally though not necessarily the MOST damaged; and now in Legion we're in control of who is healed by Atonement.

Atonement in Legion is a buff applied to the target by casting Power Word: Shield, Plea, Shadow Mend or Power Word: Radiance. After Atonement is applied, damage dealt to enemies is converted to healing on allies with Atonement and is amplified based on your Mastery rating. Discipline in Legion is quite a complex, fast paced, and enjoyable spec to play that can deal considerable damage (usually a bit below a tank) and decent healing (usually a bit below a full healer).

My goal through this guide and any post-guide instruction is to give you a better understanding of the practical applications of theorycraft without the fluff that could inhibit your gameplay. Part of this will involve explaining the thought process for WHY you are casting specific spells over others to better instruct you on some of the nuances of healing that others do not explain. Thank you for choosing my guide and I hope you find it instructive.

Rotation and Abilities

First let's take a look at what spells Discipline has at its disposal in Legion and what the primary purpose of these spells are in a raid or dungeon environment. We will get to how these spells function from a priority perspective later on.

Baseline Discipline Spells

Healing Spells
  • Plea - A weak, efficient (usually) healing spell that applies Atonement.
  • Power Word: Radiance - An expensive, fast way to apply Atonement to 5 targets at a time for 60% of its normal duration. This spell now has two charges with an 18 second recharge time.
  • Power Word: Shield - A solid absorb with a cooldown reduced by Haste, the most efficient way to apply Atonement.
  • Shadow Mend - A quick, moderate healing spell that will leave a DoT on the target for half of the amount healed until the target takes that damage from any source. So if you heal a tank in a raid or dungeon with Shadow Mend it is quite likely Shadow Mend will not damage the target at all because they are taking damage from other sources fulfilling the requirement.
  • Rapture - While this spell on its own does not specifically heal any target, it does temporarily remove the cooldown on Power Word: Shield for the next 8 seconds allowing you to efficiently heal and spread Atonement.
Damaging Spells
To maximize your healing throughput, the majority of your healing will come through Atonement, so you'll have to damage your enemies to transfer the healing to targets with the Atonement buff active.
  • Penance - Extremely efficient, high damage channeled damage spell that fires 3 bolts of Light at the enemy
  • Shadow Word: Pain - A Shadow spell that deals Damage over Time to a target for 18 seconds.
  • Smite - An efficient, moderate damage spell that has its effect split between damaging the target, and absorbing part of the damage that comes from the target. It nets out to be a very small relative amount, but it is interesting to note that it is the most efficient absorb currently in the game.
Utility Spells
  • Fade - Drops current threat from all enemies, can be useful for when additional enemies spawn during encounters and you want to ensure none of them are drawn to you.
  • Leap of Faith - Pulls the target to you, can be very useful for moving tanks across the room with ease on high movement encounters, or gripping little Jimmy out of the fire… again.
  • Mind Control - Self explanatory, gain control of your enemies and jump them off cliffs!
  • Mass Dispel - Removes debuffs from up to 5 players within the radius, excellent for clearing large amounts of debuffs on the raid.Extremely expensive to cast
  • Dispel Magic - Allows you to purge (remove) helpful buffs from your enemies.
  • Pain Suppression - Reduces damage taken by the target by 40% for 8 seconds, strong external tank cooldown.
  • Power Word: Barrier - Reduces damage taken by all allies inside the bubble by 25% for 10 seconds, great for stacked encounters.
  • Purify - Simple dispel of harmful effects on a target.
  • Shackle Undead - Locks up, or provides a sap effect to an undead enemy, more PvP application than PvE.
  • Psychic Scream - Causes up to 5 enemies within 8 years of you to flee for 8 seconds, more PvP application than PvE.

Playstyle

Discipline's playstyle in Legion focuses on maximizing healing through high uptime of Atonement on priority targets while also maximizing your damage output. There are many cooldowns to maintain, you must track your Atonement uptime in order to efficiently use Plea, and maintain buff/debuff uptimes on allies and enemies respectively.

NOTE: These are guidelines for a general priority under general circumstances, this is to give you an idea of what priority you put on casting which spells and why you cast them, situations and encounters can vary. Please read the Advanced Section for a more in-depth breakdown of Discipline's playstyle.

General Priority Raid Healing

Talent Builds

Raid Talents

Discipline Recommended Talents for Raids

M+ Talents

Discipline Recommended Talents for M+

Tier 1
  • Twist of Fate - Recently moved in the latest patch, this talent will be the go to for progression raiding and M+ due to the powerful effect and uptime that is achieved when heavy damage hits the group.
  • Castigation - Rock-solid, consistent and low maintenance talent. Slightly behind Twist of Fate for progression raids/mythic+ though.
  • Schism - While Schism can greatly improve your damage, it does so at the expense of your mana and your activity time. Since there is a global cooldown, you can only be casting so many things at once and Schism greatly splits your focus from healing and dpsing to nearly full time dps. Great for maximizing damage, but at the cost of healing and your mana pool.
Tier 2
  • Angelic Feather - A slightly nerfed form of the spell that priests everywhere have come to know and love. Consistent, allows pre-placement and priority is given to the caster, your go-to for mobility.
  • Body and Soul - Similar to Body and Mind for Holy, this talent provides the flexibility of instantly casting a movement speed on any target, but it also can provide a large annoyance for many raiders receiving a movement speed increase when they are not prepared. This also can be harmful to your healing as using PWS on yourself solely for the movement speed increase is a waste of the initial heal from the Shield and the later Atonement healing that comes afterward. Feather is far superior.
  • Masochism - While this can provide a decent bit of personal healing to you, it often is not as valuable as having increased mobility to get out of danger quickly. Has some situational value in low movement encounters.
Tier 3
  • Shining Force – Best used for leveling, it will give you some breathing room if enemies are chasing after you, but little to no value in a raid environment.
  • Psychic Voice - Has a similar purpose to Shining Force: providing space; although it does so in a different fashion. It will see little to no use in raiding.
  • Dominant Mind - Allows your Mind Control target to become your pet! But its cooldown is increased and this cannot be used on players.
Tier 4
  • Power Word: Solace - Provides damage and resulting Atonement healing while also refunding mana. The most important aspect of this talent row is the AMOUNT of mana returned to you along with the maintenance required to acquire that mana. This talent is high maintenance and while it was recently buffed is not quite as good as Shield Discipline.
  • Shield Discipline - Returns mana to you through fully absorbed Power Word: Shields. Requires no change to how you play and currently is the highest mana regen talent in the row. Go to talent if you are hurting for mana.
  • Mindbender - While this does have a 1 minute cooldown, it is considered very low-maintenance and easy to use. It synergizes very well with Haste due to the increased attack speed of your Mindbender providing more damage and healing. Top pick for M+ and is the highest HPS talent.

If you are really hurting for mana in raids, go Shield Discipline if not, go Mindbender.

Tier 5
  • Sanctuary - Solid healing increase to your absorb effect from Smite and continues to make the spell more efficient. Go to for raiding.
  • Clarity of Will - A slow casted absorb which caps at two casts on a target. Decent for Dungeon content. This talent is not recommended for raids.
  • Shadow Covenant - No longer replaces Power Word: Radiance and is now instant cast, but does not place Atonement on the targets and leaves a debuff that absorbs the next healing up to half of the healing done by the Covenant cast. While this can be a great heal for when the absorb debuff, which only lasts 6 seconds, falls off, it does not currently have a place in raids. It is however exceptionally powerful to use in M+ weeks with high party wide damage with little risk of the healing absorb negatively impacting you.
Tier 6
  • Purge the Wicked - Strong DPS talent that replaces Shadow Word: Pain and is easily spread through Penance. This will be the recommended talent for most raid encounters and for maximum damage in dungeons.
  • Divine Star - Your star will travel in a straight line away from you damaging and healing, then return to you. Both Star and Halo's damage only transfers to Atonement on the first target hit.
  • Halo - A wide reaching heal that is good for more spread out fights and the heal amount is no longer determined by the distance at which the ally is from you. If Halo hits them at 20 yards, they are healed for the same amount as if they were at 5 yards.
Tier 7
  • Power Infusion - Age old reliable talent. Strong for pumping out some extra damage in M+, but currently is outclassed by its counterparts for most situations in raids and M+.
  • Grace - Safe Dungeon talent, synergizes well with Clarity of Will and Shadow Covenant depending on the type of healing that you need. Recommended for dungeons, especially high keystones.
  • Evangelism - Newest talent, this works extremely well with the latest changes to hit the spec allowing you to put out a high number of atonements, then extend their duration with this talent. Top pick for raiding.

Gearing

This section of the Discipline Priest guide covers everything about Gear: Stat priorities, and gear recommendations from dungeons and raids, and legendary item rankings.

Stat Priorities

Currently the stat priority for Discipline Priest in Legion is:

Intellect > Haste > Mastery > Critical Strike > Versatility

Intellect is our main primary stat and is found on all gear that we want to be wearing. It has a higher value than any of the secondary stats and should be the first thing you look at when debating whether one piece of gear is an upgrade over another.

Haste reduces the cooldown of certain spells like PWS, which can greatly improve our efficiency, and also other damage and healing spells, which results in greater throughput. More PWS' can also make for more mana regen'd from Shield Discipline which is always a huge plus. Lastly, as with all other specs in the game, faster casting and quicker use of cooldowns is always a positive.

Mastery increases the percentage of healing transferred through Atonement. While this can be a strong healing increase, it provides no benefits to your damage. Mastery is also quite poor in Dungeon content as there are often periods where you must be healing in between pulls after mobs have died, so you must be using Shadow Mend to top off players--a spell Mastery has no synergy with. If you are only planning to raid and do little to no dungeon content then Mastery will likely be more valuable than Crit in many situations, keep this in mind when choosing gear or switching pieces around for Mythic+.

Critical Strike provides a chance to double the damage and healing done by your spells. While it benefits both your damage and healing spells, it does not currently match up to the throughput and mana efficiency provided by Haste, so it has a lower priority and is quite close to Mastery in value.

Versatility is a linear gain in outgoing healing & damage, as well as reduction of damage taken. With this increase to damage done, and decrease to damage received, comes the price of worse scaling than any other secondary stats for Discipline. Versatility will actually provide more benefits to healing than Mastery in 5-man dungeons while still increasing your damage, so it is much better in that content, but they are quite close in value in raids.

For more information on the work behind the stats, be sure to check out Josh's spreadsheet and the Focused Will Discord.

Artifact Weapon: Light's Wrath

Artifact Traits 7.2 Traits: Recommended Build Paths

Asterisks denote the last artifact traits that you will be filling in. Number 14 is in purple to mark that you can fill this trait in at any time, but it is recommended that you fill it in just before raids come out as that is where it is likely to have the greatest effect. I suggest taking Power of the Dark Side first over taking Sins of the Many as Power of the Dark Side will help you the most in world quests and dungeons in the pre-raid weeks leading up to the expansion and you will reach Sins of the Many easily before raids do come out.

Artifact Tree Path

7.2 Build Path

7.2 Artifact Tree Path

Tomb of Sargaras Set Bonuses

Vestements of Blind Absolution

Disc's Tier 19 set bonuses are:

These set bonuses are very valuable and should be a top priority to acquire in Tomb. The 2pc provides for substantially higher damage through Penance, rapidly increasing Disc's ability to provide prepared bursts of healing to the raid. The 4set allows for more rapid access to that burst and helps save a great deal of mana over the course of the fight.

Trinkets, Relic Priorities and Important Additions

Important Notes: Legendaries will not be listed and their rankings will be displayed below. Due to the nature of Mythic+ and the heavy incentives to be running them constantly I will avoid listing out every single slot of gear and instead focus on specific rankings for gear pieces as a perfect Best in Slot set is unrealistic and unobtainable. Following the stat priority for high item level pieces with large amounts of Haste should be your litmus test to pay attention to. To compare items close in value I'd suggest downloading the addon Pawn and importing my Pawn Strings listed at the bottom of this guide.

Trinkets

For Disc, the spec is becoming far less reliant on mana trinkets for sustainability. Disc in 7.2.5 should now easily have the option to utilize double throughput trinkets in all but the longest of encounters in Tomb of Sargeras. Some preferred options for Tomb trinkets are as follows.

Tarnished Sentinel Medallion > The Deceiver's Grand Design >= Unstable Arcanocrystal > Chalice of Moonlight = Etraeus' Celestial Map > Archive of Faith

Some special trinkets to consider are also the recently upgraded Darkmoon Deck: Promises if you need the mana.

There is an excellent spreadsheet of rankings and comparisons of the latest trinkets for Tomb created by Mend who is also one of the founders of the Focused Will Discord which provides exceptional theorycrafting for the Discipline community. This sheet can be found here!

Relics

While item level will frequently be king, optimal relics to pursue in Tomb of Sargeras include:

Holy - Inquisition's Master Key (Demonic Inquisition) or Fragment of Grace (Maiden of Vigilance)

Shadow - Scornful Reflection (Kil'jaeden)

Relic Priority

While the above are the best relics to pursue specifically in Tomb of Sargeras, you can get more powerful relics with lucky warforge or titanforges! Here is the general priority for optimal relics.

Confession > Lenience's Reward > The Edge of Dark and Light >>> Borrowed Time > Shield of Faith

Jewelry

Necks and Rings are a great way to adjust your stats to help achieve a better balanced distribution. Warforge/Titanforge and Sockets can play a big role in deciding which piece to take over another, with M+ pieces also being a big factor. The most attractive Rings at face value in Tomb however, are the following;

Scaled Band of Servitude (Mistress) and Seal of the Second Duumvirate (Kil'jaeden)

For Necks, in Tomb you have the option between a Versatility neck, or one without. It is inevitable that we will have some Versatility on our gear through tier pieces, so I would suggest avoiding acquiring more if you can help it.

Locket of Splintered Souls (The Desolate Host)

Legendaries

While it is likely these Legendaries will all be an upgrade to whatever other gear you may be wearing, I wanted to offer a ranking of which legendaries are better than others so that you can better prioritize which one or two you will wear!

  1. Velen's Future Sight
    In a class of its own, insanely powerful and synergizes very well with Disc's burst phases. It has a short enough cooldown that you are able to make constant use of it, and the overheal protection can be quite potent as well.
  2. Soul of the High Priest
    Newest legendary allowing two talents to be chosen in the same row. Discipline receives Twist of Fate which also means that you can take Castigation at the same time.
  3. Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus
    Extremely strong effective health boost and raw throughput boost.
  4. Xalan the Feared's Clench
    A very solid, consistent effect that can stack up to large amounts late into encounters. This keeps you from having to ever reapply Atonement to yourself and is literally free healing and a consistent heal on yourself if you ever get into a sticky situation. Disc's lack of personal cooldowns really make defensive legendaries very powerful.
  5. Sephuz's Secret
    Sephuz continues to receive new buffs each patch and the 7.2 buffs to include a hefty amount of flat Haste have made this legendary much stronger than it was previously. Fights with frequent dispels will make this legendary a decent competitor in this tier.
  6. Kam Xi'raff
    Legendary with great stats but a mediocre effect. While Disc is quite reliant on its mana, it often requires mana savings as you are ramping up Atones, rather than after as this Helm piece does. It offers minimal value from its effect, but it does have a huge amount of Haste which is rare in many Disc legendaries.
  7. Estel, Dejahna's Inspiration
    Just nerfed in 7.2.5 for fear of more frequent Plea usage allowing high Haste rampups, this legendary still has some solid value if utilized in an alternative playstyle, but with the nerfs the legendary is in a situational/mediocre position.
  8. Skjoldr, Sanctuary of Ivagont
    Thanks to recent buffs in 7.2 these wrists have become more than just powerful cooldown reduction and have become a solid single target heal increase, an area that Disc could always use more power in. Competitive with other legendaries in the same tier.
  9. Inner Hallation
    Newest Disc specific legendary. This has a chance to grant you Power Infusion for 9 seconds after using Power Word: Radiance. Even with recent buffs to Power Infusion, this legendary is not competitive enough to justify a higher rating.
  10. Cord of Maiev, Priestess of the Moon
    This belt is quite a strong DPS increase, and a solid healing one. While this has the potential to complicate an already fast-paced rotation, the additional damage is quite substantial. Highly situational
  11. Norgannon's Foresight
    Receiving changes/buffs yet again in 7.2, as well as an additional stat added (Crit) the boots give a great amount of stats, though still have a comparatively weak effect to the other Disc legendaries.
  12. Celumbra, the Night's Dichotomy
    Crafted legendary with a large amount of stats and sockets available but a comparatively weak effect.
  13. N'ero, Band of Promises
    Provides a minor healing increase to Power Word: Barrier though not powerful enough to be rated higher. Some encounters will allow ranged and melee to stack during intense raid damage, making this ring pretty good, but many fights will cause ranged and melee players to be split which dampens the potential healing.

Gems, Enchants and Consumables

Enchants, gems, and consumables in World of Warcraft Legion provide ways to increase your character's power and optimize your performance. The 7.0 Discipline Priest Enchants, Gems, and Consumables page suggests enhancements and how to acquire them.

Enchants

Three gear slots can be enchanted with Legion gameplay enchants: necks, cloaks, and rings. There are also shoulder and glove enchants which can assist with professions, but weapons in Legion do not have special enchants.

For level 100 players in the Legion pre-patch, weapon enchants work. You will want the Draenor equivalents of these Legion enchants:

Gems

Saber's Eye of Intellect, Quick Dawnlight. For level 100 players, the Draenor equivalent is Greater Haste Taladite.

Gem sockets have a small chance to be found on all gear in Legion, including raid bosses, world bosses, world quest loot, and dungeon loot. Rings and necks crafted by Jewelcrafters have a 100% chance to have a socket.

Jewelcrafters which complete To Dalaran, With Love can also create BoE epic gems that offer +200 of a primary stat. You will want to acquire one Saber's Eye of Intellect.

Flask

Flask of the Whispered Pact. For level 100 players, you will want the Draenor equivalent of this item, Greater Draenic Intellect Flask.

Flasks can be crafted by a level 110 Alchemist that has completed the questline for the Malloric Burette Assembly.

Potions: Ancient Mana Potion, Leytorrent Potion, Potion of Prolonged Power (prepot)

Food

Lavish Suramar Feast is the highest quality food as of 7.2, the lower quality feast is Hearty Feast and the individual food is Azshari Salad but as of 7.2 it is weaker than feasts.

Food can be crafted by any player with the Cooking profession that has learned the Legion recipe from either questing or Nomi's Discovery Table in Legion.

There is also a new Augment Rune: Defiled Augment Rune

Advanced

Updated for 7.2.5

Maximizing your efficacy as Discipline in raids will require the very quality that this spec draws its name from, Discipline. Disc has been transformed into a very bursty healer with the primary goal of reversing damage as soon as it occurs with well-timed blanket of Atonements that are placed just before the damage occurs. "Ramping up" refers to the period before damage, generally downtime, where you apply multiple Atonements at a time before raid wide damage occurs so that you can instantly heal up your allies. There are different magnitudes of ramp up phases based on the damage expected. Power Word: Radiance is your primary method of applying mass Atonements and, while costly, is extremely effective at targeting specific members of the raid due to its smart targeting.

In 7.2.5, we maintain this element of burst to our spec, but it comes in a much different format. Rather than casting multiple Power Word: Radiances at a time we are relegated to only two because of the charge based system that has been added. To supplement this, Power Word: Radiance now hits 5 targets and Evangelism is a new talent that helps extend the duration of all active Atonements. To use this properly, we now must heavily juggle multiple different cooldowns all at once. Proper ramp-ups will often involve a priority system listed above where you are tying the cooldowns of Evangelism and Light's Wrath together to maximize efficiency of both abilities. Your ramp-ups now are not always required to happen before damage happens, and you have greater opportunities to heal priority targets thanks to Power Word: Radiance's smart healing capabilities.

How fights generally will work is choosing between whether to go all in, or just dip your toes into the pool. "All in" means that you will be utilizing both Power Word: Radiance charges, Shadowfiend (or MB if talented), Evangelism and Light's Wrath all at once in order to provide your super burst of healing to the raid. Rapture generally will not be sync’d to other cooldowns as you often will overlap Atonements too much to Rapture into Power Word: Radiance casts, so it will be more efficient to use Rapture in between Evangelism/Light's Wrath windows. Dipping your toes in will just be your in-between phases. While primarily you will want to be utilizing your Power Word: Radiance charges together, you may end up with opportunities where you can use just one charge based on the damage going out on the raid.

If there is a fight similar to Star Augur where the fight starts with limited damage on 4-5 targets at a time, then you can utilize a charge here and there to heal them instead of using Plea or Shadow Mend to place those Atonements (always assuming Power Word: Shield is used on cooldown). The thing to keep in mind though is the cooldown of your Power Word: Radiance charges. In this Augur scenario, it will work out perfectly if you are able to time out the encounter so that you know that by the time the Frost Nova comes out from the boss (aoe raid damage) you will have both Power Word: Radiance charges back and at the ready to top off the raid immediately after the hit. Evangelism will then extend the duration of those Atonements so you can heal up any remaining HP left behind after your Light's Wrath into Penance. After that is completed, the timer in your head should start again as you look to how much time you have before the next Frost Nova and you will manage your Power Word: Radiance charges around it.

Once you have sorted through all of the scenarios for when you manage your precious Power Word: Radiance charges, then we look at the in between, to Plea or not to Plea. Plea and Shadow Mend are your secondary Atonement applicators, with Power Word: Shield and Power Word: Radiance being primaries. When you are in between your primaries' cooldowns you have to decide whether to Plea or Shadow Mend and the effects it will have on your healing and mana. Shadow Mend, if it heals, will always be higher HPS but Plea will be more mana efficient. If a target is near death then absolutely Shadow Mend, that is never in question, but the mana efficiency of your kit, is always something to keep in mind. If you have free mana and long periods of downtime for example, it is totally fine to be using Smite as general filler for damage. If you are concerned about your mana however, you may want to hold off on Smites until you have at least 4-5 Atonements out before using Smites.

Efficiency with our abilities and Discipline with our preparations are key to mastering the spec in 7.2.5. I hope you all enjoyed this deep dive into the spec and found it helpful. If you have any questions feel free to message me on Discord or Twitter.

- Jak

Addons, WeakAuras, etc

Pawn Strings

As of 11/27/2016, these are the most up-to-date Pawn strings for Discipline. You can always find the most updated version of this file at Jak's Pastebin.

( Pawn: v1: "Disc": Intellect=1, CritRating=0.8, HasteRating=0.95, MasteryRating=0.75, Versatility=0.6)

WeakAuras