Cataclysm Discipline Priest Compendium
Cataclysm Discipline Priest Compendium
Updated for Patch 4.1
These Compendiums are now a legacy with an extensive history. The original versions by
[top] Questions and Answers
[top] What should I spec?
These are some suggested templates
[top] Questions and Answers
Let's talk about Archangel/Atonement.
Smiting to a 5 stack costs less mana each cast and does 100% of the damage as healing over 5 targets.
It is a ‘smart’ heal, so it chooses the lowest health targets within a very short range (15 yds), including
hunter pets and temporary pets like shadowfiend. A 5-stack consumed will return slightly less mana than
you spent, and boost your healing (+3% per stack) for 18 seconds.
As a note, Atonement heals are now influenced by Archangel and "being effected by healing modifiers correctly,"
so when you activate Archangel the Atonement heals are no longer smaller than when you were just maintaining
the 5 stacks of Evangelism. Atonement heals are still not affected by the presence of Grace on their target.
The main purpose of Evangelism is to provide Archangel for the times when you need the healing boost.
The smite-to-heal mechanic is a conservation technique to keep putting out a base amount of healing
while spending (overall) very little mana during lower damage phases of the fight. A non-Archangel/Atonement
spec would use Heal for this purpose.
It is important to remember that in Cataclysm it will be normal to see a raid with health not topped off
while healers go into their conservation phases. HOWEVER--if someone needs healed, heal them! Don’t
just keep smiting and hope a heal hits the person you wanted.
In 4.1, Holy Fire was changed to also trigger Atonement and Evangelism, meaning that we will want to keep
Holy Fire on cooldown as much as possible during any time we will be Smiting. The glyph of Smite will now
see some use to increase damage and therefore Atonement healing.
Power Word: Shield has a 1 second cooldown when talented and a high mana cost. How am I
supposed to spam this like I used to?
The days of PW:S spam are over. I expect that we will be able to set up and maintain about
3-5 shields at a time. Recent changes in the strength and cost of our shields have not changed this
basic rule, although the increased strength has made them more attractive to maintain now than in the
weeks after Cataclysm's release. Rapture is an important source of mana regen for the disc priest, and
proper shield placement, timing and monitoring of the rapture procs can maximize returns.
The reduction in the duration of PW:S in patch 4.1 to 15 seconds will certainly affect attempts to blanket
the raid with shields, but should not cause large changes in our strategies overall.
Should I take Inspiration?
Yes--you should always take Inspiration if you might be healing a tank at any point.
This includes healing the tank group with PoH, and remember that PW:S can proc Inspiration from the
glyph heal. The value of the 10% physical damage mitigation from Inspiration should not be underestimated.
How should I use Power Infusion?
Frequently gifted to a dps in the past, disc priests will be keeping their PI for themselves much more
in Cata. Both the haste and the decreased mana costs are too valuable to consider giving up until we
have significant amounts of gear.
[top] Talents and Spells
[top] Talent and Spell Review
Divine Aegis -- Critical heals and all heals from PoH create a protective shield on
Pain Suppression -- Reduces a friendly target’s threat by 5%, reduces all damage
Inner Focus -- Reduces the mana cost of your next Flash Heal, Binding Heal,
Grace -- Grace is 4% per point per stack, reaching a maximum of 24% additional healing
Veiled Shadows -- Decreases the cooldown of your fade ability by 3/6 sec. Reduces
Holy Nova -- Causes an explosion of holy light around the caster, causing X holy
Holy Nova is no longer confined to your group, or even your party. It will heal other
Strength of Soul -- In patch 4.1 Strength of Soul will also reduce another priest's weakened soul
There is a distinct gap between our obviously useful glyphs and the remainder of our
*Must-have glyphs - disc
[top] Item Enhancements
For Holy, Heartsong will net about 40-50 more mp5 than Power Torrent. Timing shadowfiend
We are still considering socket bonuses with an eye toward what will bring us the most overall
Preliminary work is pointing toward Ember Shadowspirit Diamond providing greater sustained
We will be reforging crit to mastery or haste, depending on how much of each you feel
Most professions give a bonus of +80 int.
Availability and cost of materials for various buff foods remains to be seen.
The feasts provide int as the useful stat, so you may want to consider bringing your own
spirit food if that is your preference.
Cauldrons give an int flask, so again healers may want to bring their own spirit flasks.
The new potions available are:
[top] Stats and Gearing
[top] Stat Priority
1. Get as much Intellect as you can through higher item level gear and gemming.
Arison has updated the spreadsheet for 4.1:
Cataclysm Healing Priest Theorycrafting Spreadsheet v 1.4.xls
This spreadsheet calculates the effects of your spells and models customizable healing rotations.
This is still a work in progress. Bugs and errors can be reported to Arison via private message on these forums.
Long-time priests either hate our regen pets for their short attention spans and
Downranking is even more completely gone than in Wrath--the ranks no longer exist at
Mana Tide Totem
[top] Addons and UI
NOTE: Review macros and addon keybinds that may use spell and ability ranks. Many will
no longer function with the transition to Cataclysm.
A healer’s UI is focused around two points--the raid frames and your character model. The less time
your eyes spend moving between these two locations of vital information, the more time you have to
react to changing circumstances. Other needed information is displayed radiating out from this
central location, the importance dictating how close to the center it needs to be. Examples of this
second ring would be player and target frames and important procs and debuffs. Remaining
information, such as damage/healing meters, chat frames and ordinary buffs are lowest priority and
can safely be placed at the edges of the screen. It is important to prioritize information in this
way so that you aren’t distracted from the job at hand (healing and staying alive) by a flood of too
much information, most of which you don’t actually need at the moment.
Unit frames are used to show information about your raid and party members in a compact format.
Health status is a primary concern, but select buffs and debuffs are also very important to show. Of
less importance but still common are indicators of incoming heals, the status of HoTs on the player,
their distance from you, as well as convenience items such as group role and afk status.
The new raid frames now available through the default UI are dramatically improved from times past
and are certainly a viable option now, especially for those who want to keep setup minimal and memory
useage low. For those who prefer the appearance and customization options of unit frames through an
addon, there are many choices readily available but for simplicity I will mention only two: Grid and
Vuhdo comes with an very usable default setup right out of the box. The configuration
Now that the unit frames are set up and everyone is visible, you need to be able to cast your heals
on them. The simplest method is of course to click the player you want to heal to target them and
cast the spell. Most healers find this system too slow and unwieldy however, and choose one of the
This is a system of binding macros to keys and casting by hovering the mouse over the appropriateClick-Casting
Tracking buffs, debuffs and cooldowns on yourself and others and displaying the pertinent information
in a convenient location is also important for effective and efficient healing.
Power Auras is an addon for displaying graphical auras on your screen to indicate
There is a lot of information out there about setting up a healing UI, and additional research will
serve you well as you develop as a healer.
[top] Handling some common issues
Happily, Holy Word macros work normally now.
Thanks to the hard work of the players testing raid content on the Beta realms, we have some ideas
about what healing might look like in Cataclysm raids. These suggestions are given as a starting
point, and as logs and information and experience start to flow in they will be adjusted.
[top] Spell Selection
as DiscAt this point we are looking at two basic strategies for single target healing: using Strength of
Soul and Heal to reduce the duration of Weakened Soul, allowing more PW:Shields, and using Smite to
reduce the cooldown of Penance. For both, tracking the Rapture cooldown is important for regen, and
for A/A you need to be aware of your Evangelism stacks and timer. Try not to let your Evangelism stacks
fall off unused, even if just for the mana return.
An SoS/Heal strategy might have a core rotation of
PW:S - 2x Heal to reduce the Weakened Soul to 7 seconds,
A typical Smite/Penance strategy might involve
PoM, 5x Smite - PI - Archangel - PW:S - BT/Penance - IF+GhealRaid healing can be accomplished using atonement to heal the melee, and BT-hastened PoH's to heal groups. As always, keep PoM bouncing.
[top] Threat Mechanics
For Cataclysm, the threat system has been overhauled again. Tank threat
Fade -- Fade out, temporarily reducing all your threat.
Cast fade immediately before you start healing. Waiting to fade until you
Not yet updated for 4.1
[top]Spell Coefficients and Formulas
To calculate the value of a spell, the formula (BaseValue + Spellpower * Coefficient) * Modifiers is used.
Updated for 4.0.6
*Per tick value
SH = Spiritual Healing, 15%; Imp PW:S = Improved Power Word: Shield, 20%; TD = Twin
Disciplines, 6%; IR = Improved Renew, 10%; GoR = Glyph of Renew, 10%; EH = Empowered Healing, 15%; SD = Shield Discipline, 20%+
The direct relationship between the base values and the coefficients of (most) spells means that we
can derive a formula for comparing Spellpower as a rating; that is, a measure of how much Spellpower
is needed to gain a 1% increase to healing.
(BaseValue + Spellpower * Coefficient) * Modifiers = BaseValue * (1 + Spellpower / BaseValue / Coefficient) * Modifiers.
At level 85, dividing the base values by the coefficient gives us ~9345. Therefore, your Spellpower
will give your spells additional value equal to Spellpower / 9345. Using Heal as an example, with
2824 + 7482 * 0.302 = 5083.564
2824 + 7482 * 0.302 = 2824 * (1 + 7482 / 9345)
7482 / 9345 = .80064
2824 * 1.8006 = 5084
With 7482 Spellpower, Heal gains 80.06% additional value.
Since it takes 93.45 spellpower to gain a 1% increase to your spells (93.45 / 9345 = 1 / 100), it can
be said that it takes 93.45 Spellpower 'Rating' to equal a 1% increase. This makes it easier to
directly compare the throughput value of Spellpower with other ratings to determine basic stat
The spells that do not follow this convention are Binding Heal (100.01) and Holy Word: Sanctuary
(105.32); these spells will not scale as well as our other healing spells, though only slightly.
[top] Character Stats
Intellect increases your Spellpower by 1, Spell Critical Chance by .001541, and Mana by 15. The
first 18 Intellect will not give mana, and the first 10 Intellect will not give Spellpower
Spirit increases your Spirit Regen according to the following formula:
Spirit Regen = Sqrt(Intellect) * Spirit *.016725
Mastery rating conversions.
Mastery adds 1.25% additional healing to direct heals with Echo of Light for Holy, and 2.5%
additional absorption for Discipline.
Critical rating conversions
Critical heals are 150% of the value of a non critical heal. Divine Aegis adds 10% additional
healing as an absorption shield per point, increased by your Shield Discipline mastery.
Healing = Average Heal * (1 + Critical% * (0.5 + Divine Aegis * Shield Discipline)
Haste Rating Conversions
Haste increases your casting speed according to the following formula:
Base Cast Time / (1 + Haste *.01)
Haste rating decreases the period length between ticks from channeled spells and heal over time
effects according to the same formula, replacing the Base Cast Time with the channeling time or tick
period. Durations are determined from the period times the number of ticks. You get k more
ticks for a hot/dot that has m ticks at 0% haste if your haste is higher than (2k-1)/2m.
Haste rating converts to a 1% increase at a much quicker rate than other secondary stat ratings, but
does so without providing any increase in efficiency. Generally, it lets you spend your mana faster,
and is devalued any time you aren't GCD locked.
Haste rating is additive, haste buffs and percentages are multiplicative.
To calculate the number of ticks for a given haste:
Int[Base # Ticks * (1+ Haste *.01) + 0.5]
To calculate the Haste Rating needed to reduce spell cast time from base cast time to any desired
cast time you use:
((Base Cast Time / Desired Cast Time) - 1) * Rating Conversion * 100
With the removal of Enlightenment and 3% Haste buff, the reduction of Borrowed Time (14% at max
rank), and the change to Darkness (3% available in Tier 1 Shadow), we have new caps and plateaus for
How exactly would those stat weights translate over to ones that you would put in PAWN for quick equipment comparisons in game? I guess I'm just not getting the point of having 2 versions of burst vs sustained?
Personally I would slot the PoH Prime rather than the PWB Prime for the following reason. PWB is going to be used less than PoH, thus your 'bang for buck' will be a lot less. Renew I hardly ever touch, feels a wasted CD to me.
I agree with the above two that the glyph of PWB is not very useful. First, it's only 10% extra healing for 10 seconds, every 2 minutes, only on people in the small area of barrier, and who already have the 30% mitigation from it.
I have been using the glyph of renew (and improved renew talent) in my disc spec since 4.0 hit. My reasoning is that renew crits trigger divine aegis, and that the extra haste from borrowed time will usually add an extra tick to it. This gave me a stronger renew than a holy priest to use on the lich king ledge phases when I didn't want to have weakened soul up on the raid.
In Cata I'll probably switch to the prayer of healing glyph since it's already favored by disc due to the guaranteed divine aegis and it shouldn't cause as much overheal in the cata healing environment.
The PW:B Glyph will defiantly be very powerful and very useful on many of the encounters where the raid will be grouped up tightly to mitigate an ability from the boss. Generally during these times the other healers will have their ground effect aoe's all stacked under the raid. Tossing a glyphed barrier down on top of those already stacked ground effect heals will substantially reduce damage incoming while increasing healing being done resulting in more healing being done and less mana being spend cumulatively by the raid's healers.
The 'Sustained' stat weighting is most likely what our metric will be for Cataclysm raiding, at least for the early tiers. This is how much healing you can output until you are out of mana. Haste has no effect on this number, except for extra ticks of Renew.
I adjusted the divisors so that the Sustained value would not be hundreds of times larger than the Burst values (and cause confusion), but the two metrics cannot be compared directly to each other.
Nice work on the compendium!
There are some points i'd like to discuss.
I would really like to play with the new talents, but I opted out after doing some tests in beta. I found the following issues:
- Atonement Bug: Atonement doesn't heal anybody when the boss has a large hitbox. this bug was reported on August, and remains unsolved.
- Atonement Nerf: It now heals only 50% of the Smite damage, and 25% if it procs on yourself.
- Archangel Nerf: It now restores only 1% of mana per Evangelism stack (up to 5 stacks). Considering that 5 Smites cost 13585, you would need 271700 total mana to get the 5 Smites full refund. So, this is definitely not a mana regen talent.
- Lack of Archangel Synergy: The Archangel healing buff doe not affect absorbs, nor Atonement, which are the biggest focus of the Atonement/Archangel disc build.
- Usually Low Smite/Heal cast frequency: The high damage going on in many fights makes it hard to cast lots of Smites/Heals in a short time. You would either take a long time to get the 5 stacks, or you would have to give up throughput by using Smite when you actually should be using something more suited to the current situation.
By the way, the suggested A/A spec recommends taking Strenght of Soul, but Heal is not going to be frequently used with this spec. I would put those two points in Inpiration. 10% damage reduction is quite significative.
So, after all the nerfs and bug, do you guys really consider the Atonement/Archangel spec viable for raiding? I can only see it fit as a for fun low throughput healing spec, for not getting bored in easy (not high-end) content.
Penance and pw:Shield is must-have for me too.
But for the third slot.. I'd take Renew for healing the tank, and PoH for healing the raid.
In an environment where most of the raid is not topped, which occurs in almost every cataclysm boss, those little HoTs will be quite effective. And considering the new DA 100% proc chance from PoH, we'll cast it a lot.
The Glyph of Power Word: Barrier also has it's value, though I consider it to be situational. Good for when people are on top of each other, preparing the raid for an incomming massive burst damage.
Hymn of Hope
It's now raid-wide. To ensure you will get at least one tick, you will have to be one of the 3 raid members with the lowest mana. Quite hard in a 25man raid. Whether you are going to wait until you are almost depleated before casting, or cast it at any other time, making it a pure altruist spell, is your choice.
So, combining Shadow Fiend with HoH is now tricky, specially because HoH is a channeling spell, and it should only be used in a lul. I'll use them both combined whenever possible, but.. hoping for getting mana depleated in a lul.. I wouldn't count on that.
Theorycrafted Spell Values and Stat Weightings
The disc tree considered is 33/8/0.
By those numbers, I suppose it's an Atonement/Archangel spec. Is it the 35/6/2 linked spec, moving two points from Strength of Soul to Inspiration?
Also, Blizzard mentioned in the hotfix notes a few days ago that they specifically increased Atonement heal values to match Heal HPS. They really want this.
Looking at the numbers I am seeing of course a big devaluation of haste as the increased importance of regen and mana efficiency takes over. I am looking over numbers and am wondering if part of the devaluation of haste comes from the reset of our haste plateaus/caps. Does the inability to reach the extra renew ticks or the expense of mana actually devalue the haste in your calculations? or does the math simply support a higher HPM from the other stats at the expense of HPS? Crit/mastery/spellpower of course directly reduce the HPM cost and increase HPS.
Haste gets more value as we have the ability to get more of it, we simple cannot stack enough of it in the pre-raid/first tier to make your argument valid yet. Depending how future content goes, you may be right. If you check the pre-raid gear, you see that we'll mostly be stacking mastery initially, then filling in haste as we get it. Once items start having mastery+haste/crit on them, then we will start getting into the stuff you are talking about.
Although I have seen people comment on Atonement not benefiting from A/A or Grace, something I haven't seen anyone mention yet is that it also doesn't seem to be affected by healing reduction debuffs either. From what I have seen the heal is completely based on how much damage is done and so could have situational use on fights that have MS effects like the ones seen in the Bastion of Twilight.
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