This post has been rolling around in the back of my head for a while and has really crystallised the recently with regular raiding in Ulduar.
As long time readers know i’m a big fan of Discipline spec priests and I have been blogging about them a lot in the last six months. Conversely I have only recently started raiding as Holy spec. I had put off writing this post for a while as I was hoping it was a case of ‘oh shiny’ rather than a longer term trend, but here goes.
Holy priests are more effective than Discipline priests in Ulduar.
I have to clarify this a bit. I mean in Ulduar 25 I find myself to be far more effective in Holy spec than in Discipline spec. In most fights having another Holy spec priest is more useful than having even one Discipline priest.
This is nothing to do with, “L2P Disc you noob” or similar as I am quite experienced with Discipline. I’ve been raiding regular as Disc since just after the start of Wrath. If anything I am inexperienced with Holy priest.
There are a number of key ability match-ups that really make a difference between Discipline and Holy in 25 man raids:
Circle of Healing > Prayer of Healing
In most of the Ulduar fights, both bosses and trash, there is a lot of AoE damage. Sure you can group melee together and other tactics to help reduce the difference, but it still doesn’t close the gap. Discipline can cast a fast PoH on a group and they do reduce raid damage by 3%, but its just not in the same league as a quick CoH + Serendipitous PoH.
Glyphed Guardian Spirit > Pain Suppression
This was a surprising match-up for me coming from Discipline. Glyphed Guardian Spirit is significantly more useful than Pain Suppression. Cast pretty much on cool down it helps Holy keep up with Discipline single target healing. It is excellent insurance during any situation where one of the tanks is getting hammered, and because its available every 60 seconds it moves from being purely a ‘save’ to a spell cast as a normal part of the healing ‘rotation’.
Penance and Power Word: Shield are awesome spells, but they only effect a single target per cast. You can argue (and I have previously) that Discipline are better single target healers, but they are not special enough in this field to out weight their disadvantages in dealing with heavy AoE damage.
Rarely is a Disc+Holy priest significantly more effective at keeping the tank alive than a dual Holy priest combination.
I find myself specing like this:
- Razorscale – Disc
- XT-002 – Disc
- Ignis – Disc
- IC – either
- Kologarn – Holy
- umm, the rest – Holy. All the keeprrs have significant AoE damage in their fights as does Auriaya.
Ulduar 10 does not display the same split in effectiveness in my experience and I find both specs about as effective. Partially this is because the heavy AoE is concentrated in only two groups, instead of five, and the quantity of it is slightly less.
This is my opinion and arguable, but it was something unexpected to me coming from a heavy Discipline bias.
What do you think?