Discipline Priest Review - Battle for Azeroth Community Opinions
Throughout the pre-patch, we'll be launching a community opinions article for every class and spec. We're continuing our Battle for Azeroth Class Reviews and in this post, we'll be taking a look at the state of Disc Priest. See if this spec appeals to you in Battle for Azeroth!
We reached out to the Disc Priest community to give their thoughts and opinions on the changes and current state of the spec.
If this spec appeals to you after reading this article, check out our
Battle for Azeroth Disc Priest Guide
- Admin for the Focused Will community, raids with <Ego>
- Co-admin for the Focused Will community, Icy Veins Discipline Priest guide author, raids with <Spike Flail>
- Twitch and YouTube content creator, Wowhead Discipline Priest guide author, raids with <Future>
- Moderator and content creator for the WarcraftPriests community, raids with <Witness>
- Moderator for the WarcraftPriests community.
There is a lot to be thankful for as Discipline going into Battle for Azeroth, most importantly our core gameplay of healing through
via damage still remains. Certain spell changes made things a bit easier by reducing the amount of buttons we have by default (ex: removal of
, removal of Plea) while at the same time our talent selection is expanding providing us with a lot of interesting options. This dynamic allows for certain talents to be selected that are more passive and make the spec easier to access for newer players while at the same time increasing the skill ceiling yet again for those of us at the top level of play. Discipline has become more accessible without taking away from the great depth that many fell in love with in Legion.
One of the byproducts of losing
(artifact) and Plea essentially being replaced by
is that our dependance on burst healing has been reduced. With talents like
we can viably use defensive
without being punished for doing so. In addition to talent selection, Mana costs were shifted allowing us to use certain spells more frequently than before. More on this later in this article.
is a far more effective version of Plea but won't return us to a shield bot similar to Warlords of Draenor due to the taxing amount of Mana it requires.
Non-burst healing feels much better, with greater ability to “spot heal”. That is, to provide more triage style healing to low targets through more frequent use of defensive
(especially when speccing into
Talent choices provide ways to supplement our burst healing or shift it towards triage healing between bursts (most namely
, which is finally very powerful and a recommended choice for increasing your burst healing both during and outside of heavy raid-wide damage).
Mastery is now considerably more useful in both raids and dungeons.
Changes to our core toolkit make us considerably better in terms of being a DPS healer in 5 man content, thus allowing us to heal more through
and less through
Specific attention was provided to Discipline in the talent tree to address more of the areas that the spec felt lacking in, namely, the 5 man environment. The 75 tier offers more utility to alleviate these issues with
competing with one another (depending on the content).
There isn’t a lot to be upset about with Discipline but there are a couple select talents that are just poorly designed or need major consideration to be revised.
After the removal of the
cooldown, it would be easy to assume that
would be great, however, there is no situation to take this talent since it has a 6 second internal cooldown. It’s hard to balance this because if you make it a better option than
as a movement ability, you’re forcing players to spend Mana to increase their own (or others) movement speed and you’d effectively make
obsolete in the process.
Mana management after the changes is definitely in a different position than in Legion. This is because DPS spells have significantly lower Mana costs in Battle for Azeroth, and
application is more expensive (longer cooldown in the case of
). What this means is rather than being concerned about the total number of
s, we should instead be concerned about the efficiency of said
s. Basically, the way the class is designed right now punishes you for blanketing the raid in
because Disc doesn't really gain as much out of blanketing the raid and it is significantly more expensive to do than it was before. That said, the class is rewarded for using dps spells actively because they are much cheaper.
The organization of the talent tree in many ways can feel weird as well. The level 75 tier has talents that all look very 5 man oriented, while the talents at level 100 are all more raid oriented. While each set of talents definitely has value in the other level of content, it can be frustrating having these talents that seem so focused on specific content and competing with each other. Other healer specializations often feel more impactful or flexible in this regard.
in a raid provides some minor and often hard to notice healing to targets with
Lastly, DPS trinkets no longer transfer healing through
and are not on our loot table going forward into Battle for Azeroth. This change makes choosing a trinket a bit more straightforward but takes out the ability to supplement your healing with an on-use trinket through damage and thus increase your burst healing potential. Keep in mind that we can still use the trinkets, so it’s yet to be seen that we would obtain them for use on specific M+ keys to provide additional damage.
There are still talents that linger on or even died and came back from the dead (
… I’m looking at you). There are still some choices that you would struggle to fit into any situation.
In Battle for Azeroth, this row remains the same but the dynamic between talents has changed.
has a longer cooldown now but provides a more substantial damage increase and increased duration.
has a very limited role since
provides better healing when you need it on healing intensive encounters / content, and
provides more burst healing potential. It’s hard to find a situation where it would be better than the other two talents but I feel that as a passive buff to
it’s not terrible but its role in most content is limited.
as stated in the previous section is not advised in any situation.
is a considerably better speed boost unless the internal cooldown were reduced or removed on
has a very small role to play but usually not worth losing our only speed boost.
This tier traded spots with the level 60 tier going into the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch. In terms of competitiveness, this tier actually remains rather balanced and each talent has a specific role in both raids and dungeon content besides
, which remains raid-specific. The change to reducing Mana cost of DPS abilities and increasing the Mana cost of
applicators shifts a lot of our focus from defaulting to
in raids and makes
a relevant talent choice and can be used to supplement your
and Solace provide comparatively the same amount of Mana if assuming you’d use Solace on cooldown (not always an option, in some cases you would hold it for
). One thing to note is that using Solace as your talent of choice means you’d be replacing a
cast, thus saving you an extra .5% Mana in addition to the 1% Mana return from the spell itself.
No changes to this tier. Each talent has some sort of niche role in dungeon or raid content but the choice is largely irrelevant unless you can take advantage one of them.
Of all of the talent tiers, this one seems to have seen the most impactful changes, some of which are controversial.
provide healing increases at lower
counts (non-burst situations) but in different ways.
provides you with a damage increase for the less number of
s you have out whereas
lets you use
defensively in situations where it is necessary while also healing
targets. The odd-ball out, and for some reason one of the talents that was removed for a week and reluctantly brought back, is
did receive a change making it have a 12 second cooldown as well as a bit of a Mana reduction and throughput increase to compensate. The major issue still remains that
puts a healing debuff on players it heals making it half as effective as its first initial heal and healing meters lead you to believe.
The level 90 tier is an interesting one since it remains the same but departs from one of the hallmarks of the spec in Legion. In Legion, we used
nearly all of the time since even on one target it was a better version of
. However, in Battle for Azeroth, this is no longer the case. It does the same amount of damage as
but can still cleave. This means that if you’re looking for the choice that provides you more damage or healing, you’re more likely to choose
(grouped up) or
(spread out). (Note: the current situation with
may change in the future as it may have been an oversight by Blizzard when buffing
This tier saw a lot of change with the removal of Power Infusion and Grace moving over to our Mastery. To replace those we now have
, and as in Legion we still have
is a go-to talent for dungeons and has some limited use in raids when
would likely not be ideal (consistent aoe damage on the raid and no real opportunity for a burst heal scenario).
is our tried and true raid talent since it increases our burst potential by extending
is the most difficult to find an opportunity to use since it replaces
. In order for us to take
, we would need to not only have
be less than ideal (raid being spread during heavy AoE), we’d also have to have a situation where
wouldn’t be a better talent choice. This puts
in a very specific niche and likely only advisable to take on very specific encounters to handle specific burst mechanics.
creates a massive trap for newer players as it is the only choice with a visible benefit and may teach poor habits surrounding
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