Disc Priest’s Guide to PvP, Part 2: Healing Spells

I’ve already touched on a few spells in our arsenal in the previous post but this post will go into much more depth as to what is in our Priesty toolbox. As with my Heroic guide, you must know every spell at your disposal in order to truly unlock your potential. Priests have a wonderful opportunity to do damage and healing at the same time and you should take full advantage of it.

The first spells we will look at will be the more “healing” type of defensive spells.

*** Long CD spells ***

Our very long cool down spells are Divine Hymn and Hymn of Hope. They are both on 6 minute CDs and have to be channeled. They can be interrupted and in the next patch will we have 100% push back protection while channeling them. Hymn of Hope “restores 2% mana to 3 nearby low mana friendly party members or raid targets every 2 seconds for 8 seconds.” Divine Hymn “heals 3 nearby lowest health friendly party or raid targets within 40 yards for 4009 every 2 seconds for 8 seconds.”

These two are very powerful spells and need to used thoughtfully. These are something you want to pop when you, yourself, are about to die and/or out of mana. If you can, run and hide LOS from enemy players to avoid being interrupted. They both use the crazy channeling animations and bright golden animations so it will be painfully obvious that you are doing something “big” and interruption worthy. These are truly your “oh shit” buttons. You will generally only be able to use them once in a BG, twice if you are lucky. I had to pop Divine Hymn in Arena the other day and it saved my ass. We had a Shaman and a Hunter blow all of their CDs on us at the same time. Divine Hymn was the only thing that saved us and ensured our victory.

*** Moderate CD spells ***

Our more manageable CDs are Pain Suppression, PW:B, Power Infusion, Fear Ward and Leap of Faith. Most of these are the real “bread and butter” of the Disc Tree, with the exception of  Fear Ward and LoF which are a baseline Priest spells.

Pain Suppression “Instantly reduces a friendly target’s threat by 5% and reduces all damage taken by 40% for 8 seconds”. You should have the Glyph of Desperation that enables you to cast it while stunned. It’s on a 3 minute CD so use it as often as you can. A good example of it’s use could be on your flag carrier once they “become vulnerable” and are taking heavy damage. Or if a Rogue has you locked down, pop it on yourself. It is OK to be selfish in BGs with your CDs. Keep yourself alive and hopefully while that Rogue is working on you one of your teammates is devastating that Rogue.

Power Word: Barrier “summons a holy barrier on the target location that reduces all damage done to friendly targets by 30%. While within the Barrier, spellcasting will not be interrupted. The Barrier lasts for 10 seconds.” Right now, it is on a 2 minute CD. This will go up to 3 minutes in 4.1. Use it liberally. Don’t get mad when people run out of it. PvP is highly mobile and if anything pops up around people, the first instinct is to run from it before really looking. You will see people pause for a second and then run back under it. Try to place it such a way that more than 1 person is under it – including yourself. A giant yellow bubble is an awfully big target painted on you.

Power Infusion “Infuses the target with power, increasing spell casting speed by 20% and reducing mana cost of all spells by 20%. Lasts 15 seconds.” The CD is 2 minutes for this one. The absolute best use of this spell is in conjunction with Mana Burn, especially in Arena. This combo is a game changer and can easily turn the tide of a battle with another healer.

Leap of Faith “You pull the spirit of a friendly party or raid target to you, instantly moving them directly in front of you.” LoF is on a 1.5 minute CD. The thing about LoF is that you have to be facing your target. I think this is a design flaw. I should be able to face any direction like I do with a healing spell. LoF would be a lot more useful if I could run away and pull someone with me. As it is, it has limited use. The best use of it that I have found is on BWD raid boss Atramedes. You most certainly could pull people who getting focused on over to you or you could even pull a teammate over to help you if you are being focused on.

I put Fear Ward here since it’s on a 3 minute CD with only one charge. It will protect you from only one fear spell for 3 minutes. Make sure you buff yourself with it each time it is off CD – especially if there are enemy Shadow Priests or Warlocks around. A Warlock will pack your lunch with fears and DOTs – don’t make it easy on them.

*** Healing Spells: Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal, Penance, Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending. Holy Nova and Renew. ***

First of all, do not use regular, old Heal. Its cast time is way too long and too easily interrupted, especially by enemies that can lock you out of that school of magic. As in the last post, you see how light on Haste PvP gear has so you will not get much help on lowering the cast time from your gear. You will not outlive your mana pool so blow through it, Wrath-style, baby.

Same goes for Greater Heal, while it does have synergy with Inner Focus if talented, you will not be able to get one off in a timely manner. Three seconds is a very long time in PvP.

Prayer of Healing is not really used in BGs since groups are split up. I may be at Lumber Mill in group 3 but my fellow defenders are in groups 1 and 2. PoH is party wide so in most situations it’s not worth using. Arena is another story. I find myself using it a lot in Arena since it is not an LOS heal – meaning that I can stand behind something and still heal my team mates as long as they are in range. It also has a guaranteed Divine Aegis proc for damage mitigation and if it crits, the DA will stack for more absorption. In patch 4.1 it will be buffed to have a duration of 15 seconds up from 12 seconds.

If you need to use a slow heal, go for Binding Heal: “Heals a friendly target and the caster for 4753 to 6109.” It’s got a 1.5 second cast time so it is twice as fast has a Heal to cast and it heals for more. You will always be taking damage of some sort and there will always be someone around you who is also taking damage. It’s a win-win spell. It’s even being buffed in 4.1 to proc the Holy talent Surge of Light for free, instant Flash Heals. Get used to using it now.

The best heals to use in PvP are the instant ones: Prayer of Mending, Holy Nova, Penance and Renew. (Another instant would be the glyphed PW:S to be discussed later.) They all have wonderfully useful glyphs. The Penance glyph is mandatory to reduce its CD by a few seconds. Instant spells allow us to heal on the run. In PvP, you should never be standing in one spot for long. Throw the PoM on yourself and watch it bounce around, even if you are incapacitated. (Pro Tip: If it gets stuck back on you, a quick Shadow Word: Death on the nearest enemy will make it jump again since you’ll be taking a little damage. This only works if you don’t have an active PW:S or DA on you.)

Holy Nova is interesting because it does damage as well as healing (similar to Penance). While it does not do much damage or healing, the best use of this spell is the spam it around your flag or other objective to bust out stealthed enemies. It is especially useful when you know Rogues/Feral Druids are around and to remove Camouflage off of Hunters – allowing them to be targeted by your teammates. Be careful, you will drain your mana pool from spamming it so proceed with caution on this one. You don’t want to bust out that Rogue only to be not able to heal because your mana is gone.

Renew is one of my favorite spells. I’ve gone over the usefulness of it before and every Priest should be using it. I have mine glyphed for 10% extra healing. Don’t forget that it is our only consistent, instant heal on the GCD since Penance and PoM have CDs and a glyphed PW:S isn’t always possible due to the Weakened Soul debuff. Renew also can proc stacking DA for a bit more damage mitigation. Keep that Renew ticking on flag carriers and your Arena teammates, especially.

Our big, signature heal is Penance. It is special in that it does healing to friendly targets and damage to enemy targets. Use it liberally and on CD. You have 3 opportunities to crit to get the DA so use it often. If you or your teammates are not taking damage, most certainly use it against enemies. I use it against the last person on the opposite team in Arena to help burn them down. Use it as the situation requires, sometimes people to be healed – other times get out there and inflict some pain!

Our other signature spell is Power Word: Shield. Again, use it liberally. Spread it around. Keep it on yourself as much as possible as you will have “Reflective Shield” talented – think Thorns on a Druid. I am constantly thinking to myself “keep hitting me, asshole” as people continue to take damage from my bubble.

So that is it for the “healing” spells, next time we will talk about Holy and Shadow damage spells. We aren’t one trick ponies by any means.

PvP Priest love at 1:28 from Nation. Heck yeah!

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ari
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 20:56:04

    This guide was great, I had never played a disc priest but after reading it I went into a battle ground and easily did top healing, didn’t die, and got some damage in. Unfortunately I couldn’t afford all of the suggested glyphs but I’m only level 69 so I’ll get them soon. Thanks a lot! (:

    Reply

  2. tobeume
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 23:49:07

    You’re very welcome! I’m glad to hear that it was useful to you. Good luck!

    Reply

  3. Lisa
    Nov 04, 2011 @ 13:51:37

    Good read – love my disc you are on the money with this…..

    Reply

  4. Randy
    May 07, 2012 @ 18:04:46

    so say like a rouge is just wailing on you what would be a good way to get your self out of that hole? like if he stuns or something what would be the most effective way to not get wrecked instantly

    Reply

  5. Blake
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 20:30:09

    @ Randy
    Pain suppression – Trinket – fear – mind controll – SWP – MS – MB – Fear – SWP….lol wash and repeat

    Reply

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