Discipline: The Cooldown Spec

Flipping through the various Priest spells in anticipation of MoP, I noticed something about the cooldowns. Discipline has a little more than Holy. Anyone else thinking it’s starting to look a little cooldown heavy?

Both specs



The cooldown on Spirit Shell’s a minute long. DIscipline’s playstyle feels a little different now. I’d feel a little better if Spirit Shell could be switched to a stance akin to Chakra. You could toggle Spirit Shell on and off between healing and absorbs instead.

But I digress.

The main point I wanted to go with is that it feels like we’re starting to juggle a rather high amount of cooldowns now. The game isn’t quite as simple as it was before. Cooldown bloat? Seems like it’s getting there to me. Here’s what the required cooldowns for healers should be (at minimum):

  • A tank save
  • A raid save
  • A mana replenishing save
  • A class specific save

Those are all should be what’s needed. Every healer has something to help protect the tank and the entire raid with. They get an ability to help restore mana (either to themselves or to the raid). Lastly, they get one other cooldown that’s unique to their class (Lightwell, Rebirth, etc). With Discipline, you get one that makes your next spell free. You have another one that increases your healing done and gives back mana. Power Infusion would’ve belonged onto that list if it wasn’t made available to all specs.

Hope they don’t add too many more in the future.

Going to try to heal more instances and such as Discipline though. Really want to try to master that class. But I need to relearn when to use which abilities when (truest of Spirit Shell).

EDIT: I didn’t list any of the CDs accessible via talents. (Power Infusion, Cascade, etc)

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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.


  1. If you’re going to consider Lolwell to be a cooldown, then PoM is up there, too. 

  2. bmsullivan says:

    I’d be interested to see what you see as the spells for other healers that fit into those four categories. As a mostly Shaman healer, I’m having a little trouble identifying what those would be.
    Mana Tide fits nicely as the mana CD. SLT would probably count as a tank or raid save, but would it have to serve as both? Nature’s Swiftness would seem to stretch the term “save” a bit, and Spiritwalker’s Grace wouldn’t fit in at all. But that’s pretty much the extent of our CDs.
    I’ve always felt that my priest and paladin buddies were a little stronger in the cooldown department, though.

    •  @bmsullivan Lessee. You got SLT for your raid save. I suppose NS could fall under a tank save (possibly combined with Earth Shield. Maybe). Mana Tide, naturally, fits with the mana restoration. For class specifc, you’ve got your Heroism and/or your Spirit Walker’s Grace. With Shaman tank saves, I’ve always though that the different aspects of Shaman-ing added up to  make up for the lack of a specific spell or ability designed for it (Mastery, NS, Earth Shield, etc).

  3. Bubblespam says:

         I’ve been playing as Disc/Shadow on Beta (I run Disc/Holy on live) and I agree that Disc has lots of CDs at its disposal.  Add in the talent specific ones and it can be a bit much to keep track of it all, even for an experienced priest.
         I think you’ll enjoy the spec very much if you play it some in Beta.  I *love* being able to use Body and Soul as Disc and I see the incredible abuse potential of Spirit Shell, but what has me most excited is the inclusion of Penance into Atonement/AA.  Now I can stack up Evangelism exceptionally fast and be mana efficient about it as well.  One Penance cast is 1.85 seconds in my current gear (@90) and gives 3 stacks, whereas one Holy Fire takes 1.87 sec and one smite cast takes 1.39 seconds.  I still get the healing from the Penance on tanks/melee and a mana cost reduction on one of my best healing spells if I don’t use stacks immediately.  My only loss in that situation is grace stacks.  Did I mention the PW:Solace I can weave in with the time I save and still have another second to use compared to smite spam?
    I was happy about the 4pc T14 bonus before this change.  Now?  I’m absolutely thrilled. 

  4. Darkener says:

    I would consider the Holy Word spells a cool-down for Holy, despite being on a shorter cool-down: Chastise (an interrupt which Disc doesn’t have, I used it on Neltharion to interrupt the Chromatic dudes as a backup interrupter and on Cho’gall to interrupt the worshippers), Sanctuary and Serenity. Disc has utility cool-downs, but suffers from a lack of healing cool-downs. I have noticed playing on the MoP beta that as Disc I significantly under-heal all the other specs though I have broader utility. So it’s give and take. 

  5. With all these new cooldowns and abilities, I need to buy a new mouse…  my 3 button mouse won’t cut it anymore lol.

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