Discipline Priest Healing Guide: World of Warcraft Patch 5.2

Priests are the quintessential healing class in World of Warcraft.  With two fully capable healing specs, it can be difficult to choose.  I discussed Discipline Priest healing in my latest video guide.  Here’s whats important to know before stepping into Discipline Priest healing.  (The text below is meant as a supplement to the guide.  More detail is discussed, as well as demonstrated, in the video guide.  Start the video to let it begin loading, it takes a bit.)

Video Guide to Discipline Priest Healing in Patch 5.2

The techniques provided in this guide are modifications to other guides online, as well as personal recommendations on how to effectively heal.  To start with, I’m going to go over setting up your character to be ready for dungeons and raids by discussing the key stats, glyphs, and talents that I selected in the development of my Priest.

Gear and Stats

To begin with, the most important aspect of healing since Mists of Pandaria released is getting armor with as much Spirit as possible starting out.  There are normally only two types of cloth Intellect gear at max level.  As a healer, you’re going to want to go with the set that has Spirit on it.  The Spirit gear will often have a spattering of secondary stats that will have to be balanced accordingly using reforging.


As far as that goes, first consider your mana.  If you find yourself having trouble with mana in any fight, be sure that all your armor has Spirit on it.  Afterwards, reforge to Mastery if it’s not present, and then try to balance Haste and Critical Strike.  Mastery for Discipline Priests increases the absorb on all shields, including your Power Word: Shield, your Divine Aegis, and your Spirit Shell.  Haste will boost the speed at which your heal-over-time (HoT) spells tick, as well as your casting speed.  Crit, as per usual, increases the chance that a heal or damaging spell will critically hit.

Gems, Enchants and Profession Bonuses

When weighing Gems and Enchants, think about the stat priorities. If you have enough Spirit from just your armor to make it through all the fights you encounter, consider Intellect boosts, primarily.  The main gem you should be putting in your gear, assuming you care nothing for slot bonuses, is the Brilliant Primordial Ruby.  For blue slots, use the Purified Imperial Amethyst, which boosts Spirit and Intellect, and for yellow slots, try the Artful Vermilion Onyx, which is good for Mastery and Intellect.

Enchants follow the same system, except in the case of chest enchants, where it is in your best interest to just go for the Glorious Stats enchant.  This enchant boosts all stats by 80 points.

Non-enchant armor bonuses include the Living Steel Belt Buckle for the waist, which adds and extra gem slot; the Greater Pearlescent Spellthread for legpieces, which adds Intellect and Spirit; and the Greater Crane Wing Inscription for the shoulders, which increases Intellect and Critical Strike.

Active profession bonuses are available for several professions.  My recommendations for professions for a Discipline Priest are Tailoring, which provides Darkglow and Lightweave embroidery for your cloak, adding a Spirit or Intellect proc respectively; and Enchanting, which allows the enchanting of rings for intellect boosts.  Other bonuses can be found online on sites like Noxxic or Wowhead.

Discipline Priest Glyphs and Talents

My recommended Glyphs and Talents, which are different from many sites, are Holy Fire, Smite, and Power Word: Shield for major glyphs, Borrowed Time, Holy Ressurection, and Shackle Undead for minor glyphs, and from 15 and going up, Psyfiend, Body and Soul, Mindbender, Angelic Bulwark, Divine Insight, and Cascade.  These are discussed in detail in the video review.

Discipline Priest Priority System

Now, for the fun part:  The priority system for healing as a Disc Priest.  There are many methods that are effective, but I use a hybrid priority system that takes advantage of the Atonement skill provided to the Discipline Priest.  This is the primary reason I picked the three major glyphs that I did.  Atonement allows you to heal the nearest low health party member to the target for 100% of damage dealt by Penance, Holy Fire and Smite.  Those three spells also stack Evangelism, which increases their damage done and reduces their mana cost.

When the Atonement healing cannot keep up with incoming damage, Archangel should be ready, which consumes all stacks of Evangelism and increases healing done by 5% for each stack of Evangelism, for 18 seconds.

At this point, use Power Word: Shield to stabilize rapidly dropping health bars, shield the tanks, use Penance on the tanks when they’re suffering from Weakened Soul, followed by Heal for low or moderate damage.  If the target is taking damage slowly but is low on health, use Greater Heal.

Discipline Priest

Shields are your primary spell as a Discipline Priest, whether Power Word:Shield, Divine Aegis, or Spirit Shell.

In desperate situations only, spam Flash Heal to stabilize rapid damage.  This shouldn’t happen often, as it is a major mana drain.

In fights where there is widespread group or raid damage, Prayer of Mending and Cascade should be used on cooldown, and Prayer of Healing should be spammed in the meantime.  If there is low raid-wide damage, simply continue your Atonement damage, as it is a smart heal, and will simply heal the lowest health ally nearby.

If you find yourself losing mana faster than the fight is progressing, use Mindbender on cooldown.  In desperate, low mana situations, use Mindbender, then soon after, use Hymn of Hope to regenerate a large chunk of mana.  This should only be used between large damage phases, as it is a channeled spell that effectively stops your healing output.

Other important cooldowns that I tend to use often are Power Word: Barrier, for AoE damage reduction; Inner Focus, which doubles the critical effect chance and quarters the mana cost of the next Flash Heal, Greater Heal, or Prayer of Healing; and Spirit Shell, which makes all Heals, Flash Heals, Greater Heals, and Prayers of Healing place a shield on the target for the amount healed, instead of healing them.


My recommended addons for healing in general are SpellFlash, DeadlyBossMods, GTFO, HealBot Continued, MiksScrollingBattleText, and Recount.  There is also an addon to alert you when the Rapture cooldown is up, allowing some mana regeneration from the use of Power Word: Shield.  This addon is called Ingela’s Rapture.  You can find my “essentials set” on Curse.

HealBot, or something like it, is an essential for healing with any spec or class. You can find it in my essentials pack linked above.

This concludes the guide for Discipline Priests for World of Warcraft Patch 5.2.  If you have any questions or recommendations for me, or if you like what you’ve seen, leave a comment below.  Thanks for visiting.

Also see: Casey’s Three Favorite Classes to Level, Ron’s WoW Review, Divi’s Armory Page

Guide partially based on Noxxic’s Discipline Priest PvE Guide