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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. The mana cost is increased by 100% for every Atonement active.
  • Power Word: Radiance - An expensive, fast way to apply Atonement to 3 targets at a time. Plea costs the same as Power Word: Radiance at 6 Atonements applied.
  • 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 of Healing/Applying Atonement
General Priority of Discipline Damage
  • Maintain Shadow Word: Pain or Purge the Wicked (if talented) on as many enemies as possible
  • Cast Penance on cooldown, prioritize targets with Purge to help spread the DoT
  • Cast Light's Wrath often, and as damage requires. This is an extremely powerful cooldown, prepare for this by having as many Atonements up as possible before casting
  • Cast Mindbender on cooldown
  • Cast Smite as filler

Talent Builds

These are the recommended talents for new players or those just looking for a flexible and consistent build.

Discipline Recommended Talents

Tier 1
  • The Penitent - I view this talent primarily as training wheels for when you first experience the shock of not being able to Penance a friendly target anymore in Legion. It can be good to start off with this talent as you learn the basics, but is far from optimal in a competitive environment.
  • Castigation - A very good talent, and the preferred talent in this Tier for the exceptional damage and healing that it provides with no extra maintenance needed.
  • 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 than 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.
  • 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, not by decreasing the cooldown like it does with Power Word: Solace. Due to recent nerfs, this talent is no longer the top in the row.
Tier 5
  • Contrition - Offers a solid increase in Atonement uptime, through recent buffs. Exceptional option for progression healing and can allow greater raid coverage before high damage phases. Go to raiding talent.
  • Power Infusion - Solid, reliable cooldown that we've known for many expansions now giving mana reduction and lots of haste. Competitive with Contrition for farm content or encounters where you do not expect high Twist of Fate uptime.
  • Twist of Fate - While Twist of Fate can provide the highest potential benefit of any talent in this tree, it is hard to maintain the consistent uptime needed to realize its full value. Good on high level progression raiding encounters and Mythic+ dungeons. A must have for M+ 10 dungeons or higher.
Tier 6
  • Clarity of Will - A slow casted absorb which caps at two casts on a target. Quite solid for Dungeon content but you sacrifice a lot of damage in taking it. This talent is not recommended for raids.
  • Divine Star - Great for stacked fights, dungeons and leveling, 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. Suggested for raids.
Tier 7
  • Purge the Wicked - Rock solid 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.
  • Grace - Safe Dungeon talent, synergizes well with Clarity of Will in providing strong tank healing and increasing the effect of your absorbs. This loses value in raids as you are split between damaging ( Atonement healing) and using non- Atonement methods of healing that deal no damage to the enemy. Since damage is a key part of our function as Discipline this talent is recommended in dungeons if you really need the healing, but not in raids.
  • Shadow Covenant - No longer replaces Power Word: Radiance and is now instant cast, but does not leave 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 can also promote quite a toxic playstyle of creating more to heal than actually healing. Debuffing players that can make more to heal on them can be dangerous at times so this talent has some situational value and will likely be used on specific encounters.

Gearing

The World of Warcraft Legion 7.0 Discipline Priest Gear Recommendation page explains stat priorities, recommended items for your spec including legendaries, how to spec your Artifact Weapon, and how to use Wowhead filters to find items.

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. Haste increases the attack speed of our Mindbender, which is currently the optimal talent in that tree, increasing damage done which turns into healing, and each attack returns mana. Furthermore, Shadow Word: Pain's damage is increased by Haste making it more effective and providing additional synergy with artifact traits. 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, but for the purpose of a balanced priority between dungeons and raids, we place it just under Crit.

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.

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.

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

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

Amalgam's Seventh Spine > Darkmoon Deck: Promises > Fluctuating Energy > Brinewater Slime in a Bottle >> Cocoon of Enforced Solitude

The most common combination is the first two trinkets on the list, but the other three trinkets have seen some play as well. Mana is an extremely precious resource for Discipline so maximizing it is imperative. Brinewater Slime in a Bottle can be exceptional if it has Haste on it and could likely be one of the best trinkets hands down if it does, unfortunately there is RNG to account for.

Relic Priority System

Relics are exceptionally powerful augments to your Artifact weapon that both increase your weapon's item level but also amplify the effects of one of your 3/3 artifact traits. You can get these from both Dungeons and Raids of any difficulty so Item level will often be your priority, but in close cases the following will be your priority system based on which traits give you the best effect.

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

Special Additions

The Drape of Shame from Maiden of Virtue is an extremely powerful item with a unique effect. The only issue with this cloak is the very low item level and sub-par stats that are on it. This item provides a boost equivalent to around 5-8k HPS per encounter if you switch your gems/enchants all towards Crit. I would recommend running Karazhan constantly until you get this cloak but only replacing your old cloak if there is a 15 item level difference or less. I would not recommend trading in a well stat'd 885 cloak for an 855 cloak. Use your best judgement but keep on running Karazhan to hopefully get an upgraded version of the Drape.

Nighthold Set Bonuses And Relics

Vestements of the Purifier

*Set bonus pieces with Haste that should be your priority for coin rolls.

Disc's Tier 19 set bonuses are Item - Priest T19 Discipline 2P Bonus and Item - Priest T19 Discipline 4P Bonus. Both of these are quite valuable and worth going for. With the 2-set coin rolls based around your legendaries as those are quite hard to replace.

Optimal relics to pursue in The Nighthold include:

Holy - Archaic Nathrezim Keepsake

Life - Parasitic Spore or Precipice of Eternity

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
    New legenday that is 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. 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.
  3. Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus
    Extremely strong effective health boost and raw throughput boost.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Kam Xi'raff
    Legendary with great stats but a weak 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. 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. As Discipline acquires T20 tier Haste will continue to be the most desired stat and the heavy stats make the ring much better.
  8. 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.
  9. Estel, Dejahna's Inspiration
    While you will not want to be spamming Plea, your ordinary use of Plea will still net you a substantial Haste buff. Haste is about 340ish rating to 1%, so even if you are only receiving 2-3% averaged across the course of an encounter, it still results in a nice Haste increase that directly increases both healing and damage. VERY mana costly for short, but substantial, haste buffs and easy to misuse.
  10. 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

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 Atones that are placed just before the damage occurs. "Ramping up" refers to the period before damage, generally downtime, where you apply multiple Atones 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 proximity targeting. Once you've completed a "ramp up" phase, you then will let those Atones that you have applied with PW:Rads expire while still using PWS and Penance on cooldown. You will have SOME Atones out, but it will be a low number in downtime, you only will have double-digit Atone's out when you are ramping up for high damage, or that damage is already out and you are DPSing to heal. The rules of the priority system still apply, this is just meant to illustrate actions that you will take in between using abilities on cooldown and keeping your DoTs up.

When looking at your logs, compare the graph of damage taken by the raid, to the your own graph of healing done. You'll ideally see very similar crests and troughs as you will always want to have heavy Atones out on the raid to quickly counter damage before it goes out. Discipline is a fantastic spot healer and succeeds at rapidly reversing that damage, what you lack in tank or single target healing you can more than make up for in your burst raid healing. Be considerate of your mana and respect that fact that your healing will occur in large peaks and troughs when looked at on logs.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my guide, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or on Twitch where I will be streaming my progression.

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