Discipline Priests Unveiled: What Your GM’s Won’t Tell You

I received an email several days ago asking about the bastard brother in the Priest talent trees. Er, I mean the Discpline Priest. By Discipline Priest, I mean 41 points.

Matticus – I’m known as Hawk 99% of the time, but on my off days I join the ranks as Farrow, a now lvl 53 Belf priestess. I haven’t noticed many Discipline priests my level…ever actually. I love it though. I spec’d far into it and am finally starting to go into the holy tree and will put my remaining points there until I’m 70. I was wondering though – is discipline just not a comment way for priests to roll? I was heavy into Holy for a long time but like to solo…discipline enables me to do that easier. I just don’t have it in me to be shadow. Don’t ask me why! I did try it! (dont knock it til you try it)

What is your take on discipline priests? Am I doomed in this spec even though I enjoy it?

Matt’s Note: Hawk also has her own blog which I won’t hesitate to shamelessly plug because I enjoy reading it.

The truth is, until recently, Discipline Priests had no business being in a Raid. One of the recent patches changed that when it was announced that Pain Suppression could now be cast upon any member ony our party.

You don’t have to be a Gnomish Engineer to figure out what that means.

My History

When I was a wee little Dwarf Priest, I leveled from 1-60 as Holy/Disc. In my case, I had no problems at all getting the experience I needed. When TBC came out, I specced completely in Disc so I could get to 70 in a manageable way. I’ve had no experience playing Shadow.

My secret? The server I leveled on was brand new

Levelling

What Hawk is ding is leveling as Discipline. I wholeheartedly commend her for doing that. The Discipline tree requires… well, discipline to play. You get a ton of stats and your survivability is almost as notorious as a Warlock. I don’t see any problems leveling as Discipline because that’s what I did. Granted, you may not kill as fast as our dark, shadow brethren. But at least you can live.

Raiding as a Discipline Priest

As Healing

Just like in hockey, players in a team have to remain aware of what their roles are and what’s being asked of them to do. You don’t ask a shadow priest to heal your tanks. You don’t ask a resto druid to light up wrath and starfire.

I’ve spoken with several friends and colleagues in the game about Discipline Priests could be slated for. In raiding, you play 1 of 3 possible roles:

  • Tanking
  • Healing
  • Beating the crap out of the boss

Pwyff, a blogger on Gameriot (and friend), sees Discipline Priests as “fantastic panic healers”. True Disc Priests must have Brodeur like reflexes and can bail out your healers if crap hits the proverbial fan.

In other words, like Luongo (or Jesus), Discipline Priests save.

But herein lies the 5200 G question:

If you consistently rely on a Disc Priest to save your healers, what kind of healers are you bringing to a raid? Disc Priests are an excellent crutch and support class to have in a raid, but I think their presence isn’t necessary if you already have outstanding healers. Sure they can Power Infuse your best casters every few minutes at a time. Other than that and Pain Suppression, there isn’t much else.

Disc Priests cannot match the healing output of a Holy Priest, period. If you think otherwise, I expect several WWS reports as evidence.

As DPS

Don’t even think about it. You’re competing with Mages, Warlocks, Shadow Priests, and Boomkins for cloth gear.

PvPing as Discipline

As a healer

I’ve PvP’ed with my Shaman both against and alongside Discipline Priests

Nothing pisses me off more than seeing a player with that Pain Suppression blue glow around them. I end up spending precious time spamming Purge instead of Lesser Healing Wave, or Shocks offensively.

Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing that blue glow around me when I’m at 10% after popping Battlemaster’s Perseverance and a Fel Blossom to stay alive because I’m being focus fired.

They’re a pain in the butt to take down, especially with those stat bonuses. Then they sit behind one of those pillars in Nagrand spamming Mass Dispel, Mana Burn, and Power Infusion.

As DPS

No. It does’t seem to fit with pre-existing arena team setups. By DPS, I mean a Priest who actively Smites/Mana Burns and the like. I think they’re a reactive class. They cannot ever replace actual DPS like a Warlock or a Mage. If you think I’m wrong otherwise, I invite you to show me. But please do not give me theories or opinions. I do not want to know the maximum amount of DPS a Disc Priest can do under ideal conditions when his opponents are CC’d and there is nothing he’s doing other than spamming. Discussing theory is like discussing experiments in lab conditions. As a student, I know lab conditions do not equate to real life situations. The same should be held true of WoW.

Again, the only thing I know of offensively is Power Infusion, Mana Burn, and Mass Dispels. Healing and DPSing roles aren’t that far off from one another.


I know somewhere in here I’ve pissed off many readers. Good! Because anger breeds reaction and discussion. I want to know your experiences and thoughts about Discipline Priests. Specifically, I want to know from readers who are:

  • Priests who raid as Disc
  • Priests who PvP as Disc
  • GM’s who have Disc Priest raiders (and why)
  • Guildmates of Disc Priests
  • Anyone who has ever been in contact with a Disc Priest in any way shape or form (playing alongside or against

Over the next few days, I hope to compile the most insightful comments into a future blog post about what other players think about Discipline Priests. I want to get some community feedback and start involving more. I’m hoping for some feedback from GMW, Kirk, Ego, Kestrel, Karthis, Phaelia, Megan, and Galadria/Vladvin others that I’ve no doubt forgotten due to lack of memory.

Who knows? Perhaps Discipline Priests will earn the respect and prestige that Protection Paladins now have. After all, 10 months ago we were laughing at the idea of a Prot Pally. Now we beg them to come tank our runs.

About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

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