This Disc Priest build is focused primarily on dealing as much damage as possible while sustaining the group in a Mythic+ environment. Divine Star can be a competitive option in dungeons with high trash density, but often requires greater activity time spent on reapplying DoTs.
Disc Utility Overview
- Pain Suppression — Key tank external that can be used frequently to reduce incoming damage.
- Power Word: Barrier — Often viewed as a raid or party-wide cooldown can also be used solely as a tank external when needed. Both PS and Barrier have 3 minute cooldowns making it easier to use them both aggressively.
- Rapture — Offering extremely powerful shielding boost on a short cooldown, often requiring preemptive usage due to the GCD attached to the cooldown. Can often act as a strong recovery tool when heavy damage is anticipated whether it is solely on the tank or on the entirety of the group. During the Heartsbane Traid encounter for example, it can be very useful to Rapture as you transition to Sister Maladay due to the movement requirements which stack a DoT effect. Similarly on Cragmaw, you can use Rapture in preparation for the Tantrum ability when the boss hits 100 energy and deals heavy party wide damage. This gives you enough breathing to continue healing through Atonement and not having to stop damage after blanketing the party in Shields before the pulsing damage goes out.
- Mass Dispel — Allows you to easily dispel harmful effects on allies and beneficial effects on enemies. Extremely helpful in instances like King's Rest or Underrot that have many helpful buffs for enemy mobs.
- Purify — Removes Diseases and Magic effects from a friendly target.
- Psychic Scream — Fears all enemies within 8 yards, can be extremely useful for interrupting spell casts or channeled abilities like Activate Mech from Mech Jockeys in The MOTHERLODE!! Root effects like Grasp from the Depths from Aqu'sirr in Shrine and A Knot of Snakes from Merektha in Temple of Sethralliss can both be negated by using Fear instead of having to kill them, saving a great deal of time and damage.
- Dispel Magic — Offensive dispel that can purge off a single buff from an enemy.
- Shackle Undead — Very situational crowd control effect that can immobilize undead enemies. Useful for Deathspeaker's in Underrot, Honorguard or Shield of Zul enemies in Atal'dazar, or crowd controlling specific enemies like the Hex Priest or Beserker leading up to the Council of Tribes encounter in King's Rest.
- Fade — Helps drop threat, often used as mobs are pulled but can also be helpful if the tank is killed, enemies swarm to the next highest on threat and you want to lower your level on the threat table.
- Leap of Faith — Friendly player displacement, can be very useful for separating players from enemy mobs or disadvantageous positions.
Important Azerite Traits
For the most competitive Azerite traits you will primarily be focusing on those that offer the most significant damage increases for the Mythic+ environment. These will include, but not be limited to, the following in Tier 1 and 2 slots. This section will be updated as Bloodmallet and SimC damage APLs are released.Tier 1:
Disc M+ Strengths and How To Maximize Them
Discipline has received significant buffs to its Mythic+ toolkit since Legion, with a revamped level 75 row that is heavily focused on 5 man content. Sins of the Many in particular stands out in the 75 row as a significant damage and healing bonus, pushing the spec to be one of the highest damage dealing healers available at the moment. While offering strong damage their utility to the group is also very valuable with both Power Word: Barrier and Pain Suppression available as tank externals and can be used on other players taking heavy hits if need be.
Heavy absorbs through Rapture allow Discipline to better prepare for large bursts of pulsing damage by blanketing the group in heavy shielding, then allowing the casting Priest to focus on healing through Atonement rather than having to stop damage to spot heal with Shadow Mend. Shadowfiend can also be leveraged to be a huge damage cooldown, especially when stacked with Haste procs or Bloodlust, or can be utilized as a healing cooldown when needed. Cragmaw (2nd boss in Underrot) for example, on high Mythic+ keys, can deal significant damage to the entire party, rotating through Rapture and Shadowfiend cooldowns can heavily smooth out damage patterns.
Disc M+ Weaknesses and How To Play Around Them
Discipline's greatest weakness in Legion was without a doubt survivability as the player pushed towards high keys. Now that healer survivability is less polarizing and bosses have less one-shot level mechanics tied to them, their biggest concern at this point is their sensitivity to specific affixes. Bursting causing significant annoyance in particular as the spec lacks AoE healing outside of Atonement unless you talent into Shadow Covenant which then lowers your overall damage in the Mythic+ key.
Grievous can be particularly annoying as it has a high health pool requirement and generally the Disc player will prefer to get their allies to an acceptable level of hp as their Atonement falls off, rather than reapplying to push health pools to exactly 100%. When fighting Grievous, it also presses the player to weave in more direct healing via Shadow Mend to quickly take off Grievous stacks before they ramp up out of control which again, lowers the damage potential.
Discipline is also particularly sensitive towards unanticipated and heavy damage on the group that is not prepared for. This can occur in Mythic+ when additional mobs are accidentally pulled, a miscommunication occurs in what is being pulled, or simply the group missing or failing to interrupt enemies. One common situation is where that damage reaches a high point with few Atonements out on the group and minimal DoT spread from Shadow Word: Pain. In order to counter this, you need to look at how heavy of damage is going out onto the group, who is expected to die first, and what other mechanics can hurt or kill your group at the same time. If you know that one or two targets are adding damage to the group in a focused way, like the Bloodswarmers in Underrot. It can be better to singularly focus the targets attacked by the Bloodswarmers to keep them alive until the Swarmer dies or the player is stabilized, then start bringing up the rest of the group.
A common way to avoid getting put on the back foot in the first place is to have a strong opener in every trash pull. Often, this will involve maintaining Atonement only on the tank on the pull, spreading Pain onto as many mobs as will receive full duration, generally 5-7 is good, then taking a moment to analyze what else is needed for the group. If you know it will be a heavy party wide damage pull, like the Witches in the outdoor area in Waycrest Manor, then you may want to PWR into Schism > Solace > Penance > Smite spam. If you see that the damage is most singularly focused on the tank, then refresh Atonement onto them and then continue into your Schism window, then refresh Pains after the Schism debuff falls off. Striking a balance between safety and raw damage is key as you learn instances and improve upon them with your group. In a well-practiced team, you will be able to continue cutting corners and reducing Atonement uptime to maximize the Sins of the Many buffs.
- Infested — Specific utility like Mind Control, Shackle Undead, and Shining Force can all be extremely useful tools for removing an Infested enemy from a large group or preventing that mob from healing others around it. King's Rest, Atal'dazar and Underrot all have significant undead enemies that allow you to make frequent use of Shackle Undead to lock down the affected enemy so that the rest of the mob pack can be pulled without it and taken down. Mind Control usage can be rarer but offers a solid tool to move an enemy out of a trash pack and often into another crowd control effect like Hunter's trap or Polymorph to make sure it stays away from the rest of the group.
- Grievous — Dealing with Grievous often is a fight for quickly counteracting and preparing for the damage before it goes out. In large trash pulls which will definitely have party wide damage, the trash pack before Priestess Alun'za or before Vol'kaal in Atal'dazar for example, will have many casters and aoe damage which hits the party. Consistently having Atonement out and onto the rest of the group before the damage hits so it can be rapidly topped off and negate the Grievous debuff will be key. It is often better to potentially lower your overall damage by applying Atonement's early to quickly reverse any Grievous stacks, rather than playing more greedily with Atonements and having to deal with 4 and 5 stacks Grievous later on.
- Bursting — Bursting is often a group based challenge, as it is extremely important to properly evaluate how many stacks your group can survive while also pushing to either let at least one mob stay alive for the Disc to damage, or to quickly pull into the next trash pack so that the Priest still has enemies to hit to heal everyone in the party through Atonement. Schism is an excellent tool to be able to deal with Bursting but requires a mob to live through the duration of the bursting effect.
- Explosive — Dealing with Explosive often requires looking at the group composition to see who is most well suited to deal with them on a consistent basis. Large pulls will require other players to assist if the orb-killer gets overwhelmed. Discipline is decent at killing orbs but far from the best for dealing with them. Solace is the only instant cast that will consistently one-shot most Explosive orbs, but Smite can bring them extremely low but has the cast time attributed to it. If you have a more powerful orb killer, you can assist by applying Pain or weave in Smites if they are not quite able to one shot each orb.
- Sanguine — Shining Force is an excellent tool to assist with the Sanguine affix, but often it is not optimal to cast off of yourself but instead to coordinate with your tank and have them call for when to cast it off of them. Due to the tank's inherent nature of sitting in melee at all times, this allows them to more easily position themselves and the mobs around them in a suitable way to take advantage of Shining Force's powerful knockback. When the tank can reasonably call and predict where the mobs will be moving towards it makes it easier to reduce the healing that Sanguine will provide to enemy trash packs.
Top M+ Dungeons To Farm
The following lists out the Top 4 dungeons to focus which can offer significant weapons, rings, and trinket upgrades. Some dungeons, like Freehold, can offer a singularly large upgrade in the Ring slot but offer little in weapons or trinkets.
- King's Rest - Ritual Binder's Ring, Gilded Serpent's Tooth and Vessel of Last Rites.
- Temple - Staff of the Lightning Serpent and Galvanized Stormcrusher.
- Tol'Dagor - Ignition Mage's Fuse and Rattling Jar of Eyes.
- Underrot - Leaxa's Thought-Piercer and Loop of Pulsing Veins.
Mythic+ Tips & Tricks
- King's Rest
- Shrine of the Storm
- Siege of Boralus
- Temple of Sethraliss
- The MOTHERLODE!!
- The Underrot
- Tol Dagor
- Waycrest Manor
Atal'dazar Tips & Tricks
- Shackle Undead is an excellent tool in this Dungeon. It can be used to interrupt the Shieldbearer of Zul's Bulwark of Juju ability if stuns are not available.
- Shackle Undead can also be used to CC Reanimated Honor Guard or any Infested undead enemies and allow the group to prioritize other targets before taking on the honor guard which deals substantial tank and party wide damage or an infested mob that will heal others.
- The Gilded Claws from the Priestess Alun'za boss fight should be quickly purged using Dispel Magic.
- Watch out for the Dazar'ai Augur leading up to the Priestess. They spam cast Wildfire onto the party. This can be countered by using Mass Dispel to clear all the debuffs on the party then making sure the Augur is focused down and interrupted before it can cast more.
Freehold Tips & Tricks
- From the start of this instance, beware of the Irontide Corsair as they apply a Poisoning Strike that Priests cannot dispel. Look to Monks/Paladins/Druids to assist with dispelling when the tank is at high stacks.
- Skycap'n Kragg casts an Azerite Powder Shot when he dismounts. This can be outranged by the healers/ranged dps by standing near max range, substantially reducing damage taken in the phase. Instruct the melee not to stand between the ranged and the boss as the boss will still fire at the ranged or healers, but will deal no damage if you are far enough out.
- Bilge Rat Padfoot after the first boss will cast Plague Step on the tank which should be dispelled immediately as it applies a healing taken reduction to its target. It is a Disease so Paladins/Monks/Priests can all help dispel it if multiple go out.
- During the Trothak encounter in the Ring of Booty, Leap of Faith is extremely useful for helping create space between the sharks and a slow ranged player that is targeted by the Shark Toss.
- While approaching the final boss, Sweete, the Irontide Officer will cast Oiled Blade on the tank which must be dispelled immediately as it applies a 75% healing taken reduction to the target. This pull is frequently during high damage so preemptively using an external cooldown will also be extremely helpful.
King's Rest Tips & Tricks
- At the start of the instance, and near the end when fighting Shadow of Zul, you will encounter multiple Minion of Zul. These can be quickly killed with Mass Dispel or Dispel Magic.
- During the The Golden Serpent, the boss will spawn Animated Gold from the gold pools placed down. Priests can knockback these adds away from the boss with Shining Force.
- After the first boss you will fight four seperate members of Zandalari royalty and their minions in a mini-gauntlet.
- Queen Wasi casts on a player which can be immediately removed by casting Purify on them.
- King Rahu'ai will cast a Channel Lightning which can be interrupted via displacement tools like Shining Force. NOTE: Shining Force must be cast AFTER the channel starts, if it is used before, he will simply restart the cast.
- This pack will also have Guard Captain Atu who will attempt to cast an Axe Barrage onto the entire party. You can use stuns or Shackle Undead to interrupt the cast from getting off.
- King A'akul will cast Hidden Blade on a random player that a Priest is unable to dispel. This poison can only be dispelled by Monks/Paladins/Druids, so if there are any in the group, be sure to call for their dispel to help the party out.
- During the Mchimba the Embalmer boss fight, he will cast Drain Fluids on a player and can occasionally follow it up with a Burn Corruption cast on that same player. If the player is not topped off at the end of the Drain Fluids, they will receive the Dessication debuff. This is where Leap of Faith can assist in moving that player out of danger if you are not able to top them quickly enough.
- The hallway leading to the Council of Tribes encounter is filled with undead mobs that can be CC'd with Shackle Undead, take your time through this wing and CC infested or dangerous mobs like Spectral Berserker to make the run through more smooth.
- During the Zanazal the Wise fight in the Council of Tribes encounter, you can Dispel Magic the buff he receives from his Earthwall Totem as the buff will persist after the totem is killed, until the shield is depleted or purged.
Shrine of the Storm Tips & Tricks
- This instance is filled with enemies that require interrupts or purges if their self buff casts go off.
- Shrine Templar's Tidal Surge, Tidesage Spiritualist's Mending Rapids, Dredged Sailor's Reanimated Bones, Abyssal Cultist's Consuming Void and Detect Thoughts, and the Drowned Depthbringer's Touch of the Drowned cast all make Dispel Magic and Mass Dispel invaluable tools for the instance.
- On the Aqu'sirr encounter you can use Psychic Scream to release the player trapped in the Grasp from the Depths. Fear can also be very useful for helping interrupt the Ironhull Apprentice's Sundering Blow casts that greatly reduce the uptime that melee would otherwise be able to have on them.
- On the Vol'zith the Whisperer encounter at the end, the Whispers of Power can be an extremely beneficial debuff to maintain to kill the boss more rapidly. As a result, it often will be ideal to use externals like Pain Suppression or additional shielding with Rapture to ensure that you can survive an add cast going off or specific dangerous affixes like Quaking.
Siege of Boralus Tips & Tricks
- During the Sergeant Bainbridge encounter, Leap of Faith can be extremely useful for helping players position better to kite the boss into azerite bombs or to help a player out of the Steel Tempest that comes after the Hangman's Noose cast drags the player into melee range.
- Ashvane Commander that you face throughout this instance will cast Bolstering Shout onto nearby enemies that should be Mass Dispeled immediately.
- On the Dread Captain Lockwood encounter, the boss will cast Evasive on herself which can be removed through slows or snares. Priest can assist with this by using Shining Force on the boss if no other slows are available. The slow effect of the knockback should remove the debuff and allow for greater melee uptime on the boss.
- While moving to the third boss, the Bilge Rat Cutthroat will cast the Rotting Wounds disease that a Priest can dispel to quickly take off the reduced healing effect that is applied to the tank.
- Ahead of that are also Ashvane Invader that quickly stack Stinging Venom Coating onto their tank. Again, another poison that a Priest cannot dispel and will look to Paladins/Monks/Druids to assist with dispelling when at high stacks.
- Before you get to the third boss room, you move past the roadblock established by the enemies. If a member of your party is running back after a death you can Leap of Faith them over the roadblock to catch up with the group more rapidly.
- The final boss Viq'Goth has many line of sight issues on the encounter and casts a nasty Putrid Waters that deals a substantial amount of damage over the duration. Look to dispel early and often on this fight, weave in Mass Dispel if the need arises to quickly catch up on debuffs.
Temple of Sethraliss Tips & Tricks
- The first boss combo can be especially deadly due to the burst damage they both can deal. Aspix in particular will cast Conduction on an ally which is rapidly followed up by a Static Shock onto the entire party, threatening one-shot potential on high keys. Defensives, externals and raid cooldowns should be utilized for this to ensure survival.
- Sandswept Marksman apply a particular annoying poison that you should call for assistance from Pally/Druid/Monk in dispelling as the Neurotoxin will sleep the target if they move after it is applied.
- Faithless Tender start out with a Embryonic Vigor buff when you engage them that should be Mass Dispeled off immediately to reduce the damage the tank takes.
- During the Merektha boss fight, the Priest can use Psychic Scream to remove the player stunned by A Knot of Snakes.
- Before the third boss you will encounter multiple Agitated Nimbus that have Accumulate Charge buffs that need to be removed via Dispel Magic.
- Upon entering the room for the final boss you will have to fight four Hoodoo Hexer that will apply plenty of Flame Shock debuffs. Use Mass Dispel if you start to fall behind on dispels.
- During the Avatar of Sethraliss encounter you should always seek to assist in damaging the Hexers to push to the healing phase more rapidly. The spot where most groups run into trouble is the Rain of Toads. Here multiple Plague Toads drop down from the sky and rush multiple players applying the Plague disease that stacks. As a Priest, you can dispel these diseases so the easiest way to reduce the damage on your group is to get your most mobile member of your group to run around the room stepping on these toads and you quickly dispelling multiple stacks off of them at once. If you have multiple ranged dps players you can also kite, slow, stun and kill the toads before the hit a player, but generally as a priest you will be immobile so it is very helpful if that mobile player, preferably the tank, can soak all the toads can get dispelled. If many party members are being afflicted by the toads it causes you to take focus away from healing Avatar of Sethraliss and making the fight that much more difficult.
The MOTHERLODE!! Tips & Tricks
- The MOTHERLODE is filled with mobs that apply nasty debuffs to players and helpful buffs to allies, making Dispel Magic and Mass Dispel exceedingly important.
- Psychic Scream also serves as an excellent aoe interrupt if needed AND as long as the mobs are all able to quickly be broken out of their fears so as to not pull into other mobs on accident.
- Mobs that will need purges in this instance include: Venture Co. Earthshaper's Earth Shield, Stonefury's Tectonic Barrier, and Venture Co. Mastermind's Azerite Injection. Many times these mobs will coincide with harmful debuffs on the party so Mass Dispel can handle both jobs extremely easily.
- Psychic Scream is especially helpful early on in the instance for many enemies. These include: Mech Jockey's Activate Mech, Hired Assassin's Hail of Flechettes, Refreshment Vendor's Iced Spritzer and Kaja'Cola Refresher, and Earthrager's Resonant Quake. Of this short list, only the Refreshment Vendor can be interrupted through a conventional kick. The rest's casts are immune to kicks but can be "interrupted" by using Psychic Scream just AFTER their channels begin.
- This instance is particularly trash heavy so positioning, planning and frequent external usage is encouraged. Plan your routes!
The Underrot Tips & Tricks
- Devout Blood Priest are a priority for using Dispel Magic on the target of their Gift of G'huun.
- After the first boss, Feral Bloodswarmer are the most disruptive enemies that you will face and should be focused down immediately as their Thirst For Blood deals heavy damage to their target and is difficult to shut down.
- As a Priest in this instance, Diseased Lasher are among the lower priorities as you can easily dispel the Decaying Mind debuff that goes out onto allies. The more Paladins/Priests/Monks that you have in your group, the more aggressive you can be with pulling these lashers as you will have a wealth of dispels at the ready to break out friendlies.
- Reanimated Guardian after Cragmaw cast a Bone Shield onto themselves which should be Mass Dispeled off immediately to allow the DPS to continue killing them.
- They are frequently accompanied by a Fallen Deathspeaker which can be shut down through Shackle Undead use. Any time there is a Raise Dead or Wicked Frenzy cast, you can use Shackle Undead to stop the cast, though often the enemy will try to cast again when the Shackle breaks so this is an excellent stall tactic, but often is not a long term solution to this enemy unless you isolate it on the pull and do not damage it until it is the only focus for the dps.
- Sporecaller Zancha is an easy fight for the healer Priest as you are consistently able to clear out extra Decaying Spores before Festering Harvest and dispel yourself before the stacks get too high if the dps do a poor job of clearing pods. Keep in mind that Mass Dispel will not dispel Diseases, so if multiple debuffs go out onto the group at a time your only recourse is to use your single dispel or just heal them through it.
- The Unbound Abomination frequently stacks a Putrid Blood debuff onto the party which is often removed via the Cleansing Light from Titan Keeper Hezrel. If the Titan is killing Blood Visages then he will not assist in clearing the debuffs, so utilizing a Mass Dispel periodically is very helpful.
Tol Dagor Tips & Tricks
- Like in MOTHERLODE!!, Tol Dagor has many mobs that are extremely susceptible to Psychic Scream's effective "interrupt" capabilities. These include: Silt Crab's Squeeze, Ashvane Jailer's Riot Shield, Ashvane Officer's Handcuff, and the Ashvane Warden's Lockdown. All of these mobs are unable to be kicked, but their abilities will be canceled and not repeated after the fear falls off if cast during their channels.
- Other mobs in the instance are also very easily countered by using Mass Dispel or Dispel Magic to remove their helpful buffs or dispel your allies easily. In Tol Dagor specifically, these would be: Irontide Thug's Debilitating Shout, Blacktooth Arsonist's Torch Strike, Bilge Rat Looter's Darkstep, Bilge Rat Seaspeaker's Watery Dome, Jes Howlis's Motivating Cry, and Ashvane Marine's Suppression Fire.
- Constant dispels are a large theme in this dungeon and will be key towards a smooth run. Coordinating with the group for kicks, interrupts or rotating purges will be key to completing in time.
- While recently nerfed, Overseer Korgus is still a very challenging encounter that is only made more difficult by poor positioning. Moving the group into the small dugouts at the four points of the rectangular room greatly assists in players positioning themselves against walls to mitigate the knockback effects.
Waycrest Manor Tips & Tricks
- Waycrest Manor possesses not only the common farmfolk, but also a high amount of enemies that buff themselves or apply rapid debuffs onto players that require frequent Dispel Magic and Mass Dispel. The priority enemies to watch out for include: Bewitched Captain's Spirited Defense, and Marked Sister's Soul Fetish for self buffs, while Heartsbane Vinetwister's Grasping Thorns and Coven Thornshaper's Infected Thorn are two priority mobs that require individual dispels.
- On the Soulbound Goliath encounter healers will frequently generate threat from healing and that can draw the aggro of the Burning Souls that spawn from the boss'Burning Brush mechanic. If you need to plant your feet and heal an ally, it can be very beneficial to Fade off the aggro, alert your party members that the ghosts will switch targets (encouraging them to help kite) and using that window to top off the injured ally. Failing to notify the group can cause an unsuspecting player to take heavy damage from Burning Fists, so be cautious with its use.
- Raal the Gluttonous is one of the easier encounters in the instance but Priests can be helpful in long tyrannical boss fights in helping avoid the Consume Servant mechanic by knocking any Wasting Servant away with Shining Force before he can eat them for the damage buff.
- On the final boss Gorak Tul, Priests can again use Shining Force to displace the Deathtouched Slaver who stun other players with their Death Lens casts. This cast can be interrupted by displacing the enemy WHILE they are channeling Lens, ideally at the start of the cast so the affected dps does not lose uptime.