Raiding discipline specs for priests in the Cataclysm 4.0.1 patch

Raiding discipline specs for priests in the Cataclysm 4.0.1 patch


If your guild still has intentions on raiding when the Cataclysm pre-patch occurs (patch 4.0.1), then you might be at a loss as to what to grab when you’re Discipline. I’ve got 2 specs for you to keep in mind today: 1 for straight support and 1 for farm content



Link to talent tree here

This is the one I would select if I was working on newer/progression oriented content still (any hard modes or getting Arthas down, for example).


I did not get Archangel and Evangelism.

1 point in Inner Sanctum was needed to put me over the top in order to get Power Word: Barrier, although that point can be used anywhere in that tree.

I opted for Empowered Healing instead of Divine Fury. At level 80, you’re not really expected to use the updated Cataclysm healing model anyway. That changes when you hit 85, of course. Although the health of players may jump up slightly (and the pools aren’t even finalized yet), I think the harder hitting heals are still better. I’m not using Heal much myself even though I grabbed Strength of Soul.

Darkness in the Shadow tree makes up the last 2 points. It was simply a filler for 2 talent points. Seems like it speeds up the times of all priest spells instead of just the shadow ones.

If you’re having mana issues, you might want to consider switching to Veiled Shadows. I honestly haven’t played much with it, but it could be the difference between having 1 shadowfiend in an encounter or 2. Again, its just an option.

The base talents are fairly self explanatory, but you have 5 points or so points you can shuffle around between Empowered Healing, Divine Fury, Darkness and Veiled Shadows

Playing it

Power Word: Barrier has a 3 minute cooldown. Use it where it can do the greatest good. Expect to see the bubble burst within a second or two of some type of AoE damage (which is the point).

If no one is in immediate threat of dying (anything less than 80%), and if you’re looking for a filler, use Heal on your recently shielded tank. Don’t rely on Heal too much as the method to spring someone from the brink of death. It would be used as a way to speed up the Weakened Soul Process.

You’re still using the Power Word: Shield, Flash Heal, and Penance spells the most.

Above all else, keep a close eye on your mana bars and adjust your spell usage accordingly. I think Discipline priests will have the easiest transition (alongside resto shamans) when it comes to healing in the next patch.

What about spec number 2?!



Link to talent tree

This is the spec you’re using if you want to heal but help accelerate the DPS process a little bit. You have other strong healers in your raid and you will only pinch in when necessary to help. Don’t expect to crack top 10 DPS here or anything.


You’ve got the full Archangel and Evangelism combination going.

Completely skipped out on Inner Sanctum.

No access to Inner Focus.

Divine Fury is used for faster Smites.

Playing it

When you’re in DPS mode, simply build up Evangelism stacks to maximum and let it hold. When you reach a stage in the encounter where you need to do some healing (say after a Festergut explosion or after a bunch of ghosts from Lady Deathwhisper obliterated your raid), trigger Archangel. This gives you back some mana and more importantly it increases your healing by 15% (assuming full stacks). Use that time to get your tanks back up, your healers to full, and anyone else that’s low.

Its a fairly straightforward spec. It might take an encounter or 2 to fully adjust and appreciate the DPS side of things.

Feel free to post any alternative specs or suggestions in the comments. How are you liking the look of the Discipline tree so far?

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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. It is something odd with the spec though, when you take strength of soul, which is triggered by Heal(the standard cheap long casting one) you don’t take Divine Fury, And the spec you are taking divine fury, You don’t have strength of soul. If you don’t intend to use Heal.. there is no point of taking Strength of Soul.

    • @Velaria: Yeah, you can toss the points back into Archangel or something if you want. But you need 30 points somehow to get Barrier and access into a second spec. I may not use Heal as my main healing nuke, but it might happen once in a while. Flash Heal will still be carrying the load for me.

  2. running on beta right now. i’m condidering moving the points out of renew and up a tier to despirate prayer and one in improved healing.

    hard to say atm as I haven’t pulled heroic LK yet. shields are bugged and the renew is a good thing atm on beta.

    in 277 gear i’m packing about 4950 spellpower. 1350 mana regen in combat and 54k mana.

    at least for starters, we aren’t in bad shape, if they fix the shielding.

  3. @matt

    not sure, hopefully I’ll get some time in there this weekend with some guildies, and whatever else we find… :S

    I’ll try to peek in today and see if its gone with the current build.

  4. Hey there, Matticus!

    Do you have any plans to discuss holy priests more in depth, with the expansion? I have been extremely interested in their developments and I have an 80 priest right now that is holy and that I enjoy quite a bit. I would probably keep a disc offspec – just for versatility and usefulness, but I would prefer to be predominantly holy, if I can help it.

    How does holy look so far and do you have a proposed spec in mind for those of us wanting to go that route?

  5. But you’re a fabulous Dwarf, sir. I totally want to make my priest a Dwarf and some tiny part of me (pun intended) has been eyeing a Gnome priest.

    Oh, the shame!

  6. Thanks Matt! I’m too busy fending off cannon rushes in SC2 to sort out my own builds, hehe.

  7. Great article. I think I’d definitely tend towards the first build – I’m really concerned with the massive change in healing that it’s going to be rough when 4.0.1 comes out, so I don’t anticipate healers really having much DPS time.

    Plus, it seems like most classes will gain some DPS, so I think it’ll be fine if the healers spend time adjusting to the triage model at 80.

    • @Jadissa: I don’t know if we’ll be doing much triage healing at 80. Our spells got buffed, but our health didn’t get as much of a buff as it would at 85. We can probably still get away with our current style of healing ^^.

  8. @Matticus: Good point, I wasn’t thinking too much about the health increase on the way to 85 being the other half of the triage mindset.

    I sure hope that heal spamming is viable enough for the few weeks 4.0.1 is out, otherwise my holy paladins might end OOM, and I’m just not sure I can afford to send them to therapy over that.

    • You’ll have to send them to therapy over the fact that they are not really viable raiders for the moment. Every log I’ve seen has them as the lowest HPS/Healing done spec. Bad holy paladins now have to worry about being outhealed by shadow priests. Its really sad and I hope the transition to level 85 and the cataclysm healing model makes holy paladins viable raiders, otherwise I’m going to be switching mains to my Shaman or Disc Priest.

  9. @ Boss… Even the really good holy paladins are getting outhealed by shadow priests, and I would definitely go shaman, disc priests are almost getting outhealed too =/

  10. New shining mechanic allow priests to manage mana, reduce spell cost and increase damage, 15% heal boost on any target with any spell, after consuption of evangelism. And you can have this great abilities in only 3pts!. You have to learn how to use it or change class 🙂

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