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Immer
Gentleman
Premium
join:2010-01-07
Evans, GA
kudos:8
Reviews:
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reply to Immer

Re: [Classes] 5.0.4 Healing Priest (Discipline)

I decided I needed a mental break from RL for a bit, so let's talk about Discipline healing in 5.0.4.

What we must say goodbye to:
• Divine Hymn. I'm going to miss it some, sure... but can you imagine how ridiculously overpowered it would have been if used during Spirit Shell?
• Archangel no longer gives us mana back. Which leaves us with fiend and Rapture for mana regen. (hymn of hope isn't worth mentioning... entirely too situational and altruistic).

Now the good stuff:
• Spirit shell is the key to being a great Discipline priest. I will be quoting Derevka's writeup on the spell and sharing what I've learned.
• We now get Evangelism(Passive), Atonement(Passive) {smite/HF healing} and have the Strength of Soul (Passive) mechanic where we use heal to reduce the weakened soul debuff. (before, we needed to chose one style over the other in our spec). So we can shift between tank healer and raid healer mid-fight and we are also better able to adjust to having another disc priest in the raid (before, if both of you were spec'd into atonement, only one of you got the big numbers due to weakened soul being up forever).
• From Darkness, Comes Light ("mana" talent) gives us one of the coolest throughput benefits that previously only Holy priests had. Smite, Heal (our bread and butter), flash heal, binding heal, and gheal have a chance to proc a free, instant, Flash Heal... and the proc stacks to 2. So you don't even have to fire off the first one immediately. You can wait until a second procs before you fire one off... and flash heal hits big. I consider it a throughput talent more than a mana talent, because to calculate the mana savings would require a lot of assumptions/RNG. So, the trick to this is to store up 2 charges during the low dmg, smite/heal phase leading up to a high dmg phase. That way you have 2 instant Flash heals that will create bubbles during Spirit Shell before you start your PoH spam.

Okay, so let's talk Spirit Shell a minute. At my current haste level (which is low) I can squeeze in 4 PoH during Spirit Shell (15 sec). The spell has to finish while Spirit Shell is up for it to create the bubble. So if you have 2 FDCL procs stored up, I might knock out 2 flash heals and 4 POH (depending on haste procs) to get the raid ready for high dmg phases. That's intense. The haste breakpoint I was mentioning earlier was the level of haste needed to squeeze in a fifth POH... but I don't see that being a good idea right now. Let's see where the stat inflation of MoP gear brings us down the road (I don't like using beta datamines for this stuff... I'd rather just see the live stuff). So lets look at Derevka's writeup on Spirit Shell:
said by HowToPriest :

Post by derevka >> September 1st, 2012, 1:02 pm

X. Spirit Shell
Spirit Shell is a new tool available to Discipline in MOP. Essentially it allows us, on a short 1 minute cooldown, to convert all of our spells into absorbs that last for 15 seconds. Finally, we have a spell that lets us do what we've always wanted to do... mass absorbs!

This isn't mechanically different than POH spamming to prepare a raid with Divine Aegis prior to damage occuring that many priests have been comfortable doing in 4.3. Spirit Shell now simply allows us to do this much more effectively, and with much greater ease. Note: Spirit Shell caps at 60% of the Casting Priest's HP.

Using Spirit Shell effectively will be a hallmark of a good Discipline Priest. You could simply use Spirit Shell on cooldown and either pad a tank, or POH pad a raid and see fairly positive results--- however the real marker of a good Disc Priest will be using SShell when its needed the most. Despite it having a fairly short cooldown, we might want to pause a second or two to line up Spirit Shell's absorbs to large raid/boss damage. Simply using the ability on cooldown will be effective, but ultimately not as effective of using it when the fight benefits from it. The tricky part is not delaying it so much, that the short cooldown is wasted.

Spirit Shell scales exceptionally well from both Mastery and Crit. Each cast of a heal while Spirit Shell is active will be the same (barring throughput procs). The Spirit Shell calculation takes Mastery, Crit, and Divine Aegis creation into account and rolls it all up into a single absorb-- making this one of our most scalable heals in our arsenal. Spirit Shell scales linearly by Mastery as well as by the amount of critical strike chance you have. Additionally, when Spirit Shell is active, it essentially ignores the RNG aspect of Crit as it provides direct scaling based on your critical strike chance (guaranteed). (It does this by essentially looking at Crit as an aggregate stat, not as a RNG stat based on a single heal)

Spirit Shell's Calculation is as follows:
Non-POH Shell = Average Heal * (1 + Mastery %) * (1 + Crit %) * (1 + (Crit % * 0.30))
POH Shell = Average Heal * (1 + Mastery %) * (1 + Crit %) * 1.30

As you can clearly see, SShell's stat scaling is quite liberal, scaling crit linearly with the amount it absorbs; essentially guaranteeing crit chance to provide scaling to the heals cast when SShell is active. (as well as accounting for Divine Aegis).

Haste does not have a direct throughput increase to an individual cast of Spirit Shell, however it does allow you to cast faster while the Spirit Shell proc is active, and theoretically, create more Shells during a single Spirit Shell cooldown. Generally speaking, you should be able to fit in 6 GHeal/POH casts during Spirit Shell's uptime. (some haste and spell conditions might allow for upwards of 7). Haste scales Spirit Shell in a tiered fashion, given the fact that you must complete the cast when Spirit Shell's buff is active. If you cannot complete the cast when the buff is active, it is considered a regular heal. Once you get enough haste to complete that cast in the time allotted, then you can count it towards SShell scaling.

How do you make the most out of Spirit Shell? Know the fight. That is always the biggest boon to a Discipline Priest. The more you know and understand the fight, the better you can be at predicting periods of large amounts of damage and preemptively preparing the raid (or Tank) with Absorbs.

Spirit Shell does not scale with Archangel, so save this cooldown for after/before Spirit Shell is going to be used. Further, Inner Focus only provides the mana cost reduction when Spirit Shell is active. (this is intentional given how Spirit Shell's guaranteed crit scaling is already accounted for). Remember to use, and time these abilities appropriately before or after a Spirit Shell period.

Generally, absorb mechanics are fundamentally superior to raw healing. This is because it actually prevents the damage from happening to a player. If a killing blow is prevented via mitigation, regardless how much a player can raw heal, that mitigated damage is tops.

--
Immergruen (resto/boomie) on Nathrezim Server (US)
Malanorei (discipline/holy); Esclavizado (blood/unholy)
Guild leader for Pride and Ego

Intelligence is no substitute for Character.


Immer
Gentleman
Premium
join:2010-01-07
Evans, GA
kudos:8
Reviews:
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I know I keep delaying the Holy Priest Healing discussion. I healed my first dungeon in MoP as holy (by mistake... woke up late and queued up with guildies while still waiting for my coffee to cool down a bit) and I must say that I prefer the mana regen in my holy spec. Granted, with a 398 geared party, there was not a lot of healing needed unless we completely borked a mechanic... but I could blow through my mana and regen most of it by the next pull. This observation might only be valid for lvl 85/86 and may deteriorate rapidly...

The new dungeons cater better having a "healer on the move", so r.druids, h.priests should be strong for fast runs. HW:Sanctuary needs to be timed with mechanics so that you aren't dropping one just as the tank is forced to move the boss and melee. I really need to switch to lightspring for dungeons. Body and Soul is great for both specs, don't see a need for the angelic feathers just yet, but surprisingly I am tempted to try using Phantasm in the brewery dungeon.

In other news, I was able to solo quest in my discipline spec pulling between 12~14K dps. It was slow (compared to a dps toon pullin 22K), but I was not forced to drop a healing spec to do quests... but I simply could not die. Heck, my atonement healing was healing up NPCs around me, so in many cases I had lots of help killing mobs, lol.

So far, both healing specs are strong for the first dungeons, and You shouldn't have any problem leveling up disc or shadow. I may drop one of my healing specs for faster soloing... but I just don't want to rebuild my shadow macros/keybinds only to drop them again at 90.. /sigh.
--
Immergruen (resto/boomie) on Nathrezim Server (US)
Malanorei (discipline/holy); Esclavizado (blood/unholy)
Guild leader for Pride and Ego

Intelligence is no substitute for Character.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to Immer
72k HPS on Garalon in this week's LFR as disc. 39k absorbs per sec.