Discipline Priest Overview
Welcome to Wowhead's Discipline Priest guide, updated for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands! This guide will teach you to master playing Discipline Priest in all aspects of the game, helping you to keep your allies alive in Raids and Mythic+ dungeons.
Throughout this guide, we will cover many different aspects to increase your Discipline Priest expertise, including concepts like Discipline Priest talents and talents builds, Discipline Priest BiS gear choices, Discipline Priest stat priorities, among many other aspects of your class and specialization. Make sure to navigate to additional pages of the guide to find more in-depth information on topics such as Mythic+, Raids, and gear recommendations.
How to Play Discipline Priest in Shadowlands
Discipline Priest is one of the more unique healers in the game at the moment, focusing heavily on preparing for incoming raid damage by proactively applying Atonement before a raid-wide damage event occurs, then following through with a flurry of damaging abilities on the enemy to heal allies. While immobile and often vulnerable in their cloth armor, Discipline has excellent preemptive tools in Atonement and absorbs to rapidly reverse damage on allies keeping them away from death's door.
Priests are a longstanding class in Warcraft, offering excellent buffs to your allies through Power Word: Fortitude, increasing the health of your allies. Unlike Holy, Discipline is a heavily preemptive healer, focusing on specific windows to output the most healing, absorbs, or damage reduction possible to protect those around them. While Discipline often is considered a more advanced spec when compared to Holy, it can be mastered through practice and proper fight preparation to achieve the strongest results. Discipline straddles the breach between Holy and Shadow spells, borrowing many spells from both specializations. As a result you have a variety of spells at your disposal to heal, deal damage, or reduce damage taken which is excellent for a variety of scenarios.
Discipline Priest Facts
Disc Priests have undergone another expansion worth of updates, primarily focused on increasing the type of damaging abilities that they have at their disposal, borrowing many from the Shadow specialization. Disc's heavy utility in damage dealt, damage reduction, and absorb effects for individuals and the raid make it an attractive addition to any raid group. The added flexibility that the spec has received will continue the trend of Disc being a challenging spec to master but extremely powerful when operated correctly.
Best Disc Priest RacialsHorde
- Blood Elf - One of the most common races for Discipline. Blood elves receive additional Critical Strike rating, Arcane Acuity, as well as the immensely useful Arcane Torrent ability, offering mana regen and a Dispel Magic effect (Purge) to all enemies hit by the ability. While Priest already has Dispel Magic and Mass Dispel, utilizing Arcane Torrent can save mana and time, allowing the Priest to spend more time healing or dealing damage as needed.
- Goblin - Strong passive bonus haste (Time is Money) and extra, much needed mobility with their Rocket Jump.
- Troll - Offering a substantial Haste increase through the Berserking racial, the Troll racial allows greater control to use this cooldown for healing or dealing damage.
- Void Elf - The Allied Race offers a decent mobility/escape tool in Spatial Rift and a solid passive effect in Entropic Embrace for damage and healing.
- Night Elf - Depending on the time of day you will receive bonus Haste or Critical Strike with the Touch of Elune passive. In addition, Shadowmeld has a wealth of uses in high level keystones, leading away mobs from the party so they can cross a part of the instance (like Volkaal in Atal’dazar) to later Shadowmeld and drop combat.
- Human- Offering bonus secondaries through The Human Spirit and a stun escape in Every Man for Himself, Humans are a solid overall selection.
Discipline Priest Strengths
- Diverse talent tree allowing for frequent bursts of healing to rapidly reverse damage on the raid.
- Heals by dealing significant damage to enemies
- Provides strong utility to the raid with heavy damage reduction cooldowns to the raid with Power Word: Barrier and Pain Suppression
Discipline Priest Weaknesses
- Mobile healing is limited, and being able to plant your feet to contribute the most healing can be an issue on specific encounters.
- While Disc embodies healing via damage dealing, this also requires the player to be in range of an enemy to consistently attack, so encounters where enemies die quickly, move out of range rapidly, or move out of line of sight can cause issues
What makes Discipline Special
- Fantasy: A strong believer in the light - almost zealous in their belief, causing them to feel no remorse about damaging enemies of the light. A Discipline priest is a battle healer, smiting down their enemies in order to bravely save their allies. They have adopted the traits of both healing and shadow priests in order to make sure their allies stay alive. The main thing that makes Disc Priests truly special is Atonement.
- Races: All races except Orc and Highmountain Tauren can be Priests.
- Resources: Disc Priests use mana as their resource for spells.
- Damage Reduction: Focused Will is a passive personal damage taken reduction from melee hits. Pain Suppression is a strong single target damage reduction spell as well as Power Word: Barrier being strong for a group setting.
- Healing: Using their Power Words such as Power Word: Shield to shield allies and Power Word: Radiance to heal allies, Discipline Priests' true strength lies in Atonement which makes the damage you do, heal your allies.
- Basic Rotation: Not overcapping Power Word: Radiance charges, maintaing Shadow Word: Pain on the primary enemy. Maintain Atonement on the tank, prepare large-scale Atonement on the party before incoming damage via Shadow Mend or Power Word: Shield, then Power Word: Radiance, extend their duration with Evangelism then deal damage through Schism, Penance and Smite.
- Mobility: Angelic Feather and Body and Soul are both on the same talent row. These are used for mobility if needed.
- Healing Cooldowns: Rapture is a strong Cooldown for Disc Priests. While it does no direct healing, it allows you to shield many members of your raid.
- Artifact Weapon: Light's Wrath is the Disc Priests artifact weapon which not only harnesses the healing power of the holy light but uses that same power to deal damage against your enemies.
- Armor: Intellect Cloth
- Flavor: Priests have a variety of vanity glyphs:
- Glyph of the Heavens to float your Levitate targets on clouds
- Glyph of the Sha to change the appearance of your Shadowfiend
- Glyph of Shackle Undead to change the appearance of your Shackle Undead spell
- Glyph of Ghostly Fade to have a more spectral looking Fade!
What's changed in Shadowlands?
Discipline has primarily received more abilities to assist with your ramps both from a damage and healing point of view. Power Infusion can be used on yourself in raids to improve your ramps or on an ally to assist them. Mind Blast is now part of the Discipline kit but has a hefty mana cost attached to it, this will be something to bear in mind in Castle Nathria where resources are more scarce.
Spirit Shell is a new talent that replaces Rapture allowing you to put out massive absorbs if you don't mind trading off some powerful cooldowns in the process. Shadow Covenant also has been revamped offering increased shadow healing and damage but locking you out of your holy-school spells for the 9-second duration.
New Abilities for Discipline Priest in Shadowlands
Discipline Priest has received some talent adjustments and GCD improvements:
- Spirit Shell - On the 50 tier replaces Luminous Barrier. When talenting into Spirit Shell it replaces Rapture and is also on the same tier as Evangelism. There is a VERY heavy trade-off for taking this talent.
- Shadow Covenant - With a new expansion comes a new version of Shadow Covenant. This time around it locks you out of Holy-school while improving your Shadow healing and damage by 25% for 9 seconds. Pairing this with the Venthyr Covenant can have some strong payoffs, but without that extra shadow ability in the rotation, this may not be as powerful. It generally adds another layer of complexity into the ramp-up window but can result in some explosive healing.
- Rapture - Now instantly casts a Power Word: Shield at your target when activating the ability.
- Mind Sear - Another AoE damage tool like others provides Atonement healing off only the first enemy it deals damage to.
- Mind Blast - Produces a strong burst of Shadow damage that automatically converts into Atonement healing. It has a high mana cost for Discipline, so it ideally will be used with large ramps, ideally paired with Schism.
It has also received some returning abilities shared across all Priest specializations:
- Mind Soothe - Offers a very useful tool for skipping trash enemies in Mythic+ and while questing. You cannot run straight through these enemies but you can be significantly closer to them than before without having them attack you.
- Power Infusion - Off-GCD haste increase for yourself or an ally.
- Shadow Word: Death - Excellent execute damage, with a price. Requires a Legendary in Shadowlands to result in Atonement healing.
How Do AoE Target Caps Affect Discipline Priest in Shadowlands
Holy Nova now reduces in strength when hitting more than 5 allies or enemies. Even before the drop-off you would still use Mind Sear to maximize AoE damage. If targets will live long enough you'll want to use Purge the Wicked to ensure a steady flow of Atonement healing into your allies before using Mind Sear for improving your damage. Keep in mind that Mind Sear and Holy Nova only heal through Atonement on the first enemy that it hits, NOT all targets, so the healing produced is very minor.