Shadowlands Discipline Priest Guide

Discipline Priest Sanctum of Domination Guide

Sanctum of Domination is the second raid of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, where we confront Sylvanas Windrunner and the Jailer forces to stop the Jailer's master plan to escape The Maw.

In this guide, you will learn how to optimize your Discipline Priest in the Sanctum of Domination Raid by highlighting the best talents, best soulbinds, and best legendaries, along with encounter specific tips and tricks to help you succeed against each raid boss.

Discipline Priest Sanctum of Domination Talents

Why Evangelism over Spirit Shell?

At the start of the Patch it looked like Spirit Shell would continue being the defining talent in Discipline's tree going into the Sanctum of Domination raid. After all, absorbing damage is just so much better than healing damage right?

Well, with the significant 9.0.5 nerfs to Spirit Shell reducing the Atonement to shield conversion rate to 85% (without the Exaltation conduit) instead of 100% AND the cap of Shell being based off of the casting Priest's spell power x11, instead of 60% of the Priest's health pool. These changes heavily lowered the cap at a moment where it is easier than ever to cap out said shields, what resulted was heavy ease with which you could overcap or waste shields, lower shields relative to health pools AND a longer cooldown for Spirit Shell added in 9.1. So, you're getting lower overall output, less shield usage and a higher potential for waste and spoilage to occur.

On the other hand Evangelism produces excellent output and offers some good flexibility to be used in conjunction with Rapture for a massive amount of Atonements to be extended for a full Boon of the AscendedAscended Eruption or for them to be split up for smaller/separate ramps. Furthermore, the raid damage in Sanctum of Domination is heavy, but it is more steady than one giant hit, so you can still pump heavy healing with Evangelism with greater sustain and staying power.

Discipline Priest Sanctum of Domination Covenant Choice

Discipline in Shadowlands remains focused on producing large bursts of healing through building large burst healing via applying Atonement and dealing high damage afterwords.

Kyrian is now the top selection for Discipline Priest in Patch 9.1 due to the high damage of Boon of the Ascended to substantially increase Discipline's healing through ramps. To support this, the new covenant legendary Spheres' Harmony and new Mikanos capstone soulbind trait Effusive Anima Accelerator are both available to reduce Boon's cooldown by one minute each for the potential of a 1 min Boon of the Ascended cooldown (though this is mainly for Mythic+).

Discipline Priest Sanctum of Domination Legendaries

In Sanctum of Domination, both of the following legendaries will see use.

Clarity of Mind

Has two functions depending on your talent selections. When talented into Spirit Shell, this ability extends active Atonements and decreases mana cost of damaging abilities. When NOT talented into Spirit Shell, this ability makes Power Word: Shields applied during Rapture to place longer lasting Atonements and cost less mana. Great legendary to take with either ability for the excellent increased extensions that it provides.

Spheres' Harmony

With the rise of Kyrian for Discipline comes the Sphere's legendary. In a raid environment, this legendary can work well on some niche encounters with damage profiles that have excessive gaps between them.

Discipline Priest Sanctum of Domination Boss Tips

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Discipline Priest Tips

  • Ramp Timers: On this encounter there is fairly constant damage going on throughout, the main priority is finding that period where you can also stay in melee for a reasonable period of time for your Ascended Eruption. Look to begin your ramp using Rapture/Evangelism starting early in the fight. You can bein on pull immediately after applying Purge the Wicked if you prefer. Then on cooldown from here. Just don't wait too long then be caught out away from the boss unable to hit him with Ascended Eruption or Ascended Nova.
  • This fight mostly consists of using anima powers granted by the trash mobs around the boss. Some powers can remove the otherwise permanent debuffs on the encounter, those should always be the focus for the healer to pick up.
  • This fight mostly consists of using anima powers granted by the trash mobs around the boss. Some powers can remove the otherwise permanent debuffs on the encounter, those should always be the focus for the healer to pick up.
  • Rotate Mass Dispels to clear Predator's Howl from players to avoid players getting feared, be ready to move out swifty from other players so you are not affected.
  • Grasp of Death will generally produce the largest overall damage for the raid, the buff is almost constantly up will be most challenging to heal through when Torments are unleashed. These timers are every 30 seconds, starting at 1 minute into the encounter.
  • Hide behind a mage's Ice Block to avoid lethal damage from Annihilating Smash. This attack follows Chains of Eternity.
  • At 10% health The Jailer's Gaze activates. Prepare for the boss to be kited, try to remain central while dealing damage. Coordinate with your tank for an ideal time to Leap of Faith them to safety. Place down Angelic Feathers as needed to help tanks kite.
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Discipline Priest Tips

  • Ramp Timers: On this encounter the primary damage during the normal phases comes from the cleave the boss does off of the tank and during the intermission it is the high stacks that the raid will receive when fighting the smaller eyes. With this, you can reliably ramp on cooldown starting on pull with a Shadowfiend ramp while using Boon of the Ascended for intermission healing. The downside is that you may not be able to hit every ally during the intermission but the damage dealt there is often substantially larger than the normal phase. As a result you can Rapture on pull into Evangelism then use them as they come back throughout the fight.
  • Keep away from other players who have the opposite debuff as you in the intermission, Scorn or Ire. One trick we used on PTR was to have every ranged player pick on side to go on with even splits of melee players. This would cause the range to all have the same debuff and allow them to cleave both adds while ranged healers could heal the entire raid. You could also have two very separate groups and have separate stack locations after the intermission ends.
  • Positioning away from the beam is important when Annihilating Glare activates. The beam is larger than it appears and is best to just run to the grappels to avoid.
  • Scorn or Ire coupled with the Titanic Death Gaze makes up the majority of the damage before the final phase. This combination of stacking debuffs and raid wide AoE happens around every 1.5mins, from testing the intermission phased at around 1 minute and the Death Gaze hit around 15-20 seconds after the intermission.
  • In the last stage, Immediate Extermination causes this fight to get much harder and reduces healing but not absorbs. Large healing cooldowns should be used early in this phase while they still yield good value, followed by damage reduction and absorbs.
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Discipline Priest Tips

  • Resentment deals heavy and steady damage once Skyja spawns. Combined with Repeating Slash or Arthura's Crushing Gaze creates nasty overlaps that require heavy healing.
  • Arthura's Crushing Gaze is cast infrequently but still deals significant burst damage, 26 seconds is around when the first burst is unleashed then the Word of Recall takes effect and copies the damage to happen a second time. The next bursts are at 3mins, then 15 seconds later, then 4:20 and another 15 seconds later with the next recall at 4:35 and finally another at 6:39 (from testing).
  • Building shields to ramp from one Crushing Gaze to the next will be key to maximizing the value of your shields. Otherwise the damage on this encounter is fairly steady and you should look to leverage your spare Power Word: Radiance charges effectively to heal up this incoming damage.
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Discipline Priest Tips

  • Managing knockback from Malevolence is a big part of this fight. Priest have minimal tools to avoid getting knocked off the platform by bad positioning so the goblin racial can be extremely powerful.
  • When orbs are hit by Suffering they become vulnerable. Watch the frontal yourself and make sure your Purge the Wicked can spread to these targets when possible.
  • Aura of Spite is ever present throughout the encounter, watch for Malevolence bursts that happen in quick succession. Timers for the Malevolence damage are approximately 30-45 seconds apart and deal the most when dispelled.
  • Timers for the fight: 0:25, 2:00, 3:30, 5:00. This is generally a fast encounter.
  • At 80, 60 and 30% health the boss will Shatter their armor dealing heavy damage to the raid, watch for these timers and for how they align with Malevolence for optimal cooldown usage. On testing this was 30 seconds into the fight, 2mins, then not until 4 mins did the next shatter go out with a significant gap before the next Malevolence, perhaps because we pushed it before he could cast it.
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Discipline Priest Tips

  • Torment will require large movements to avoid the waves. Standing near Garrosh's side of the room is advised.
  • Brand of Torment should be used to increase damage taken by Mawsworn. If you get this debuff, try to put the Mawsworn in the circle with you.
  • Unleashed Tyranny is the highest damage and number one priority on the encounter. Chains go out and can be broken around 1:30 into the fight, then 4:30 and around 5:30 if the fight lasts that long. If possible you can ramp very quickly and ask for chain breaks very rapidly on the first set to use Shadowfiend and Boon of the Ascended together but that will require significantly delaying the chain breaks on the 2nd round. Possible but requires more begging from the raid leader.
  • Shining Force should be used to push the Mawsworn into a pile.
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Discipline Priest Tips

  • Goblin racial can be used to jump off the platform and back on to dodge Spiked Balls or Spike Walls.
  • Flameclasp Trap deal very heavy damage to the raid as do the recently buffed Echoes of Pain.
  • Ramp timers will be focused on Trap and Weapon throw combinations. 0:45, 2:20 and 4:45 are the beginning of each burst of damage. So begin applying Atonements around 15 seconds before each timer.
  • When soaking multiple traps, pay particular attention to applying Atonement to players with chains as they will not be stacked to take advantage of damage reduction like Power Word: Barrier that the raid might be in.
  • During intermissions stay away from clumps of other players. I often worked to sit in the middle/back of the room and wait for the spikes to come to me so I had more flexibility to go forward or backwards to dodge flames. Often if I saw a clear lane I'd work to run forward out of flames and then I'd back track and run backwards to stay in the back of the room and let the next spike row come to me.
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Discipline Priest Tips

  • This fight is very straightforward, but incorrectly placing a Threat Neutralization will likely lead to a wipe. Always drop your circle on the Energy Cores.
  • The boss begins mass aoe with Purging Protocol when out of energy, each burst makes the raid take more than the previous hit with a 5 second cast time. These timings are about 1.5mins between each other. Once the boss is dragged into the conduit he will begin recharging and deal steady damage to the raid, followed by a conduit meltdown which deal significant damage to the party and needs to be run away from Meltdown.
  • As bursty as you are as Disc, the priority will be to cover the purge protocols and assist with mini ramps when possible for meltdowns or splitting Obliterate damage. Alternating Power Word: Barrier and Boon ramps will be key. Consistency is also very important, if your raid is sometimes getting to two Purge protocols and sometimes one then you'll quickly fall out of sync with your ramps and be worse off. Don't be afraid to be early in your ramp to cover part of the first burst then all of the second burst with your shields.
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Discipline Priest Tips

  • Invoke Destiny deals significant damage around every 40 seconds starting at 0:28. After each intermission he will begin using this ability again after around 15 seconds. Look to delay your ramp to capture both the Destiny burst and the Twist Fate damage that follows after a short period. Timers to watch for 0:30, 2:50ish, 4:40, 6:30 or 7:mins
  • If against the wall during the Rune moving face make sure you're firmly away from the runes to dodge the smoke clouds traversing the outer ring which deal heavy damage.
  • Go far with Call of Eternity so your orb doesn't cause issues later during Fated Conjunction.
  • If affected with Runic Affinity, popular weakauras list 5 players as marked to a spot and another 5 are on the "backup" list. Even if you are on the backup list, run immediately into the middle of the room to provide spot healing or to help an ally move their rune, wipes primarily happen when the backup squad is on the sidelines and not in position to help.
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Discipline Priest Tips

  • Keep Oblivion's Echo away from the raid.
  • Managing stacks from breaking Glacial Spike is an important part of this fight. These spikes will increase in quantity to break over time and will become even more punishing as the fight goes on.
  • For Frozen Destruction damage, look to pop 2 or 3 spikes together with your Boon/Ramp, then continue to pop others as health allows.
  • First set of Spike(s) come out at around 25 seconds into the encounter. Since it is only one Spike I used a Fiend/Shell ramp to cover this first burst
  • By this point you should be able to push KT into his Phylactery, multi-dot adds and don't stand near where other players go downstairs. The 2nd Shell ramp's damage actually hits around 2:30 because there is a significant delay between the time it takes for the spikes to spawn and the players to actually kill them. Boon/Shell this ramp and have Power Word: Barrier or some other damage mitigation to help reduce incoming burst.
  • You won't be able to Shell the next spike burst so hold on and make sure extra cooldowns are allocated to fill in this gap period, defensives are key.
  • At 4:47 our next set of spikes came out and I Fiend/Shell'd that ramp, after this you ideally try to push the boss before another set of spikes comes out right as you're pushing. The goal is to push the boss so you can ignore those spikes and use your final Boon/Shell ramp for the end phase where ticking damage rapidly spikes. The boss' health is removed rapidly so I give it around 30 seconds into the final phase before I use my last Boon ramp to protect everyone from his heavy ticking damage. You can delay further if the fight is taking longer.
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Discipline Priest Tips

  • If playing Spirit Shell or Rapture/Evangelism for this encounter you need to look to use the ability about on cooldown. If you slow-push in Phase 1 then you can fit 3 casts in.
  • At the start of the fight I radiance'd once to capture incoming damage then began my first ramp so it would fit right that radiance came off cooldown to capture damage from the Wailing Arrow
  • Your 2nd ramp comes in around a combo between Shadow Daggers and Wailing and mainly just captures some of the incoming ticking damage. The final ramp in Phase 3 is basically in the intermission which can be very stressful, look to stand close to a domination arrow in the middle of the room so that it will select you instead of you being selected by a domination arrow in the middle of nowhere that'll take longer to kill. Quickly move to build your shields off of far away arrows or the boss if she's nearby.
  • Entering Phase 2, don't take any chances while running over the bridges onto the chains, always jump from bridge to the chain as you can get caught in some weird lips that will cause you to fall thru
  • First Ramp in P2 (Ramp #4) should come on Sylvanas' first burn that you get on her to capture Shadow Dagger damage. Following that you'll have to fight a series of adds, look to dispel Crushing Dread from the Souljudge enemy at around 4 stacks or immediately when the Souljudge dies.
  • 2nd ramp of P2 (Ramp #5) will come on the 2nd wave of adds after your Sylvanas burn. In it you'll have a summoner who manifests orbs that explode when killed. Across the bridge you'll also have the summoner/Souljudge combo where you should use Power Word: Barrier to help your allies live through the heavy burst damage.
  • Final Ramp of P3 will be from the last Sylvanas burn you get before transitioning into P3. Wait until after her Veil of Darkness cast to Spirit Shell and build up your shields as they will then carry over into the add spawns that can very easily kill a player.
  • Come P3, primary mechanics to watch for are Wailing Arrow and Banshee's Bane. Try to stay on the edge of the room away from the tank's designated drop-off corner. You do not want to have any magic debuffs out while the Banshee Bane is going off, if she completes the cast with any debuff'd players then she'll likely kill the raid.
  • First Shell of P3 should be for the 2nd Banshee's Bane where it combos with Wailing Arrows. From there you can more easily ramp on cooldown until the encounter ends.
  • Bear in mind that Veil of Darkness is the primary reason you need to spread out in P3, when that has already occurred then it is very good to be near or on melee to receive more cleave/aoe healing, especially if you are debuffed with Veil of Darkness yourself and will need healing to remove the debuff.

Discipline Priest Raid Sanctum of Domination Strengths

StrengthsWeaknesses
  • Powerful burst healing that can be adjusted to align with damage patterns on any boss fight.
  • Consistent damage while maintaining high healing.
  • Absorption effects through Spirit Shell or Rapture.
  • High emphasis on maximizing gameplay to improve healing performance, high skill cap.
  • Strong defensive cooldowns in Pain Suppression and Power Word: Barrier.
  • Middling mobility and defensives.
  • Requires enemy targets to be in range and attackable to produce substantial healing.
  • Unforgiving if errors are made in preparing for future damage spikes.

Notable Sanctum of Domination Gear

In Shadowlands, all of the highest item level gear drops from Raids. Because of this, all of the gear is notable in that it has more stats than other gear.

Sanctum of Domination includes several pieces of gear with special effects that may influence your gearing or gameplay, as discussed below. Make sure to visit the Discipline Priest Gear Guide for the full list of recommended gear.

Weapons

ItemSlotSource
Gnarled Staff of the Elder ShamanStaffRemnant of Ner'zul
Maledict OpusStaffKel'Thuzad
Torch of Eternal KnowledgeMain HandGuardian of the First Ones
Signe's Sonorous ScramaseaxMain HandThe Nine
Guarm's Lost Chew ToyOff-HandEye of the Jailer
Record of Collapsing RealitiesOff-HandFatescribe Roh-Kalo

Trinkets

  • Forbidden Necromantic Tome is a stat stick that grants a stacking Critical Strike buff. It can also be used to summon a skeleton ally on a 10 minute cooldown (similar to Antique Cornerstone Grimoire).
  • Shadowed Orb of Torment is an on-use trinket that deals damage to the player and grants a large Mastery buff that scales with duration. Since it causes you to stop casting while channeling, this item might be useful depending on how much downtime the fight provides.
  • Titanic Ocular Gland is a stat stick that grants a large amount of haste while above 50% health, but removes the stat while below 50%.

Best Raid Shards of Domination Build for Discipline Priest

For Discipline Priests, we're mostly focused on a Shard of Domination Build that enhances our healing throughput. As such, we'll look to maintain the Unholy Rune Word 3-set bonus Chaos Bane and fill with strong Frost Shards.

Shard of DominationTypeNotes
Shard of ZedUnholyThe strongest of our Unholy Shards. Provides healing and damage via a health drain effect applied via our healing spells.
Shard of DyzUnholyProvides a stacking damage that should easily be maintained by our DoTs. Only provides damage not healing.
Shard of OthUnholyWeakest of our Unholy Shards. Provides a bit of mobility via speed, but fairly weak for a Discipline Priest.
Shard of TelFrostAllows us to apply short duration absorbs to other players. Because our HoT crits can proc this, we can reliably apply these absorbs as close to the 1s ICD.
Shard of KyrFrostDecent self-survivability. Consider picking up Shard of Rev otherwise for flat leech.

Best Shards of Domination to Upgrade for Discipline Priest

Best Raid Shards of Domination to Upgrade for Discipline Priest

Since the higher ranks require additional Stygian Ember, we'll want to upgrade our set bonus-oriented Shards at similar ranks until fully upgraded before upgrading other non-unholy Shards. This allows us to be as efficient as possible with Stygian Ember while maximizing our power gain. This resulting in the following order:

  1. Shard of ZedShard of Oth and Shard of Zed all upgraded at the same time at similar ranks to maximize your set bonus. Fully Upgrade all 3 before moving onto the 4th Shard of Domination.
  2. Shard of Kyr
  3. Shard of Tel