Life for a healer can be a bit challenging in a Battle Ground, especially if that healer is a squishy Priest. So, how does said squishy Priest survive? You spec Disc, that’s how. Disc has the best defensive cool downs in the game. I hate going against another Disc Priest in Arena because they are annoying at best and unkillable at worst. This will be the first in a series of Disco PvP guides.
So what is it that makes a Disc Priest unstoppable? Bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles; Reflective bubbles, Pain Suppression bubbles, Divine Aegis bubbles and the giant golden bubble for everyone who stands under it. But… not only do we have defensive spells we also have access to Shadow DOTs and Psychic Scream. Some PvP specs may carry the Smite/Atonement talents but I have found them nearly useless in a PvP setting.
Let’s take a look at my PvP spec:
The first row is complety filled out. No brainer here.
The second tier I have skipped Evangelism and Archangel completely. These points are better spent in the Holy Tree. I have 2/3 Inner Sanctum – being able to out run enemies is a great asset. You will always have Inner Will up. Inner Fire is tempting for the extra armor but with the horrid regen of PvP gear it is vital to have the mana reduction. Inner Will has better survivability than Inner Fire, period. I have 2/2 in Soul Warding because bubbles will spread liberally around a BG.
The third tier is filled out except for Atonement because I didn’t take Evangelism and Archangel. Power Infusion is a must have talent. I took Inner Focus but I find myself forgetting to use it a lot. Power Infusion is for those times when you meet a Holy Paladin with 120K mana that just will not go down. Power Infusion + Mana Burn = dead Paladin.
The fourth tier is all about Rapture and Reflective Shield. Borrowed Time is nice but it’s not as good as it was in Wrath – more of a filler talent to get to the next tier. Rapture is a tiny bit of regen and Reflective Shield is really nice against those stealthed Rogues/Feral Druids since it will damage them if they hit us – popping them out of stealth.
The fifth tier is the really good stuff: Divine Aegis and Pain Suppression. Divine Aegis’s duration is about to get buffed in 4.1. Hurray! Pain Suppression is a must have, as is the Glyph of Desperation. With the Glyph, you can cast Pain Suppression while stunned. You can cast it on your self or an ally.
The sixth tier is Focused Will and Grace. Take both – they are both amazing talents. Grace was recently buffed to be active on more than one target at a time. Too good not to take now for any Disc Spec.
And then we have our 31st point talent: Power Word: Barrier. 10 seconds of 30% damage reduction and uninterrupted spell casting – yes, please! The CD is about to go up from 2 to 3 minutes in 4.1 but still a really good spell. There’s a glyph for it that’s marginally useful, dependant of how often you use it.
Now for the Holy tree, we only have enough points to get to the first 2 tiers.
The first tier I have taken Improved Renew and Empowered Healing. I didn’t take Divine Fury since most of the healing I do is instant cast. I love Renew – it’s a HoT and our only heal that can be cast on the run consistently.
In the second tier I have 2/2 in Surge of Light and 2/2 in Inspiration. Why no Desperate Prayer, you may be asking. I don’t like it – never have. I don’t use it when I have it talented and I find the point more useful in Inspiration. Surge of Light is my favorite healing Priest talent, hands down. It will soon be buffed to work with Binding Heal in addition to the heals it works with now. When it procs, we get an instant free Flash Heal. This is especially nice in a highly mobile PvP environment. Inspiration has wonderful synergy with Divine Aegis, it’s just too good to pass up.
Now that we have our talent tree filled out, what about glyphs?
There are mandatory glyphs like Glyph of Desperation and Penance. The minor glyphs don’t really help in PvP with the exception of Levitation. Everyone loves a reagent free Levitate and its situationaly useful in Arathi Basin.
I love my Renew glyph and the PW:S glyph is really amazing since the abosorb amount has been doubled. I’ve been seeing anywhere from 7-10K heals with it.
You have a little wiggle room in the Major glyphs. You should most certainly have the Dispell Magic Glyph and the Glyph of Desperation. Don’t confuse Dispell Magic with Mass Dispell – the glyph heals the target for 3% of their health when Dispell Magic is used, this is the single target Dispell. The 3rd Major glyph could be anything from Prayer of Mending (my favorite) to Mass Dispell or Prayer of Healing. It really depends on your play style. I love PoM since it will still bounce when I’m stunned. Sixty percent of that first heal is quite a bit. I have been seeing it crit up to 18K.
So now we have our spec and glyphs taken care but what about gear? What do we look for in PvP gear? Short answer, resilience.
At my current gear level, I have 3464 resilience or 36.38% damage reduction. This includes Mana Burn damage, as well. I think this is an acceptable level of resilience and as I get the epic pieces I will stop gemming for it. The thing with resilience is that everyone will be comfortable with a different amount. I think I have some good survivability with what I have now but others might like less. I would say a good value to shoot for would be around 3K before you even think of dropping some in favor of another stat.
After Resilience you want to look at the more basic Disc Priest Stat order: Int -> Mastery -> Spirit -> Haste -> Crit. I value Mastery over Haste and Spirit in PvP more than I do in PvE. PvP gear just doesn’t have much Haste on it and one extra tick of Renew doesn’t mean much if people aren’t alive long enough to get that extra tick. Mastery is more beneficial because of the larger shields absorbs (and the bigger glyphed heal from PW:S). Spirit is nice to have but in BGs you will rarely be out living your mana pool since you will be focused fired by any decent PvPers.
Spirit can be pretty rare on gear since it is best to “double dip” on the cloth sets for the bonus 400 resilience from the 2 piece bonus. If you have 2 pieces of Mooncloth and 2 pieces of Satin you will get a bonus of 800 resilience but you will loose Spirit from the Satin Pieces. Also, you need to take at least the DPS ring for some hit rating. The cap for hit rating in PvP is 4%. I’m not saying you need to be capped but you do need some hit for those times when you can be offensive. Dispells on enemies work on hit rating and can miss just like a DPS spell can so you need to have at least a little bit.
Now that we have our gear, how should we gem and enchant it? What meta gem should we use?
As for gemming, gem for socket bonuses only if it’s 20 or more of a good stat. By good I mean resilience or intellect, don’t worry about the others – it’s just not worth it. I have a smattering of different gems in my gear but it works for me. If I think I need more health, I’ll pop in a stamina gem or if I want a bigger mana pool, I’ll get an intellect one. Just make sure to gem in line with the above stat order.
The meta gem I swear by is the Destructive Shadowspirit Diamond. Yes, it’s + crit but look at the other stat on it: 1% percent spell reflect. You have absolutely not lived until you have seen a Shaman’s Hex reflected back on them. I’ve reflected all sorts of stuff: Paladin’s Hammer of Justice, Druid’s Cyclone and many, many DPS spells. But really, it is worth it just to watch those CC spells get used against them. The meta gem is another thing in our arsenal that makes us a lot harder to down. Also, don’t be fooled by the increased run speed metas. They do not stack with your Inner Will.
Enchants should also be inline with the above stat order. As above, Vitality enchants for boots will not stack with Inner Will. The big ones to not skimp on are the 40 resilience to chest and the reputation shoulder/head enchants. There are new PvP enchants from the Tol Barad vendor but they are 80 commendations for each. I don’t know about you but I just cannot make myself do those dailies anymore. You may want to get the Wrath PvP enchants from the Wintergrasp vendor and the Leatherworking leg enchant from the era is still pretty decent at 40 resilience and 28 stamina. If you can afford it and have an epic weapon, Power Torrent is totally worth it but it does take 5 Maelstrom Crystals. Heartsong is also a good alternative. I would not recommend Mending – it hardly procs and you will be healing yourself for more than it procs anyways.
That’s it for now. Next time I’ll go over our spells and how/when to use them.