Dr Turkelife is in the house II


I recently got a comment about suggestions for a resto druid heal lead wanting some advice on a disc priest in their guild.  I thought I might share the discussion incase others find it useful.


I have a number of Disp Priest questions to ask and I was wondering if you’d take the time to answer them? I know this will go off the subject of the post but I couldn’t find an email address I could send this this to you. If you prefer to comment in emails you can hit me @ XXXXXXX.

Anyways back story: I play a resto druid in a guild doing 10 man content. We have a rotation of healers and I’m on the most and most active so it falls to me to rally healers. We recently got a Disp Priest and they are capable but have a number of problems. Some with my ability to read his output and some with his inability to manage mana.

While I can read his spec and compare to others I’m not certain it’s best for going into 10 man Ulduar as it doesn’t really cut it for Naxx at this point. I know that preventing damage is what Disp Priests focus on. When looking through WWS or Wowmeters should I be looking through tank absorbtions to get an idea of how well he’s preventing that damage or is there other things that I’m missing?

On the subject of mana, I know that 3.1 threw a monkey wrench in spirit for you guys more than druids. I’m guessing from what I read here that mp5 is more important for you guys. I’m looking for suggestions to give him to improve his mana efficiency as he’s constantly calling for my innervate. Which is fine for now, however once we go into Ulda I maybe needing it for myself.

In short, I’m trying to get a feel for the class and be an educated raid leader. I’ve tried my buddies Holy Priest but that’s the extent. The priests toon is Mishalaa of Dalaran. Sorry but I can’t link wowarmory from work :\

Thanks in advance,
Dillion of Dalaran.

Todays patient: Mishalaa of Dalaran

My first comment is that Mishalaa is a bit under geared for Ulduar 10.  He has plenty of crit and haste and could probably sacrifice a little of each if needed to improve mana regen and spell power.  He has plenty of spirit, perhaps a litte too much, and doesn’t need anymore.  Spirit is a pretty weak stat for Disc priests and personally I run with less than that raiding Ulduar 25 (more like 700 unbuffed).

The first thing that strikes me is only having 5 of 11 pieces enchanted is pretty poor, especially for a enchanter.  The enchants he  does have are fine, the six pieces need to be enchanted along a similar line.  Once you are focused on raiding (i.e. finished gearing in heroics) you need to have all your gear enchanted all the time.  You don’t need to always have the best-in-slot enchant but you always need something decent.  On writing this post I just realised I don’t have a post specifying my suggested enchants but try something like ElitestJerks for ideas.

One thing to do to help with the mana issues is drop the Lightweave Embroidery and take up Darkweave Embroidery.  He is a tailor and can do it his self (actually he has to as its tailors only).  The spell power from Lightweave might be OK if you’ve got lots and lots of regen, but with 254 MP5 you need the mana regen more.

Another small improvement is putting a blue gem in the empty slot and perhaps change the other blue slot from +16 spirit.  I’d suggest Dazzeling Forest Emerald in blue slots.  He also needs an Eternal Belt Buckle on his waist and probably a Luminous Monarch Topaz in it.  I suggest a gem with yellow in it to help meet his meta gem requirments if he upgrades his pants (his only other yellow slot ATM).

Overall his gear is a little weak for Ulduar.  I see from PUGChecker that he has probably only run Naxxramas 10 a couple of times.  He has cleared it, which is more than I can say for myself in 10 man, but the limited runs means he hasn’t had the chances to upgrade much of his gear.  If I were playing Mishalaa i’d prefer to gear up in a few more Naxx 10 runs and try and pug Naxx 25 a couple of times.   Half a dozen upgrades would make a significant difference.

Now having said all of this, if Mishalaa is played well, and you said he was capable, there is no reason he couldn’t hold his own in the first part of Ulduar.  He should be fine healing at least Razorscale and maybe XT-002 Deconstructor.  I don’t have any experience with Ignis and Iron Council in 10 man so I can’t advise on those but they are probably OK too.  If your guild is just starting Ulduar you will probably find low DPS (and not knowing the fights) more of an issue than healing.  This will turn fights into marathons and cause most casters mana issues. Ulduar fights are geenrally less forgiving and more complex than Naxxramas.

Mishalaa’s build is pretty standard (as sadly all good Disc builds are ATM) and should be absolutely fine for healing.  Glyphs are fine too.

Regarding meters, I personally don’t use them at all for healers.  Disc do a fair bit of absorption (about 30% of total healing) so if you are using meters make sure it is one that takes account of absorption.  If you are using something like Recount then add about 30% to your Disc priests healing numbers.

Mishalaa should be casting a lot of Power Word: Shields.  They should be renewed on the tanks(s) close to every 15 seconds and are effective ‘healing’ for the raid especially if you are running with three healers.  His Prayer of Mending should be on someone in the raid all the time and mainly renewed on the main tank on cool down.  A lot of the actual ‘green bars go up’ healing should come from Penance and some from Flash Heal.  Renew is optional as is Greater Heal.  Prayer of Healing is one to watch as it uses a lot of mana.  Even at high gear levels casting a lot of it will hurt your mana bar.  You may see either lot or very little healing from Prayer of Healing depending on his assignment and raid healer composition.  Given his gear hopefully very little.

Another idea regarding mana issues is his assignment.  If you are running with three healers he should be able to mostly focus on the tank(s) which makes use of his most mana efficent spells (PW:S and Penance) better.  Some priests are a little too helpful and snip heal outside their assignment too much to the detriment of their mana pool.

I hope some of this was useful Dillion.

Gobble gobble.


16 Responses to Dr Turkelife is in the house II

  1. zusterke says:

    Good suggestions. Just some comments 😉
    IMO there isn’t a problem with spirit for Disc priests. They just need loads of intellect to make it valuable. So in regen terms:
    Priority 1) Getting intellect up
    Priority 2) Getting more intellect up
    Once intellect has a decent number (say 1200-ish) then spirit and mp5 are quite equivalent. Intellect remains the best regen stat though.

    It might prove difficult to trade spirit for intellect on his gear since few itemizations allow that. It seems the choice is closer between spirit and mp5 but that choice is of lesser importance.
    Either way I’d start with the gem (+enchant) suggestions from above. We have a list of enchants at plusheal btw:

    I’d definitely recommend trading the spirit trinket for an int, mp5 or crit trinket.

    As far as performance measurement goes there is little I can say for Disc is hard to ‘measure’. But wowmeteronline does give some measure of their absorption power. To that I would add some ‘utility’ demands I ask my disc priests:
    – High grace uptime on the tank (90%)
    – High weakened soul uptime on the tank
    – High Renewed Hope uptime.
    90% for each of these should be a goal to aim for (if not higher). Of course, fight mechanics may not always allow such a high uptime. World of Logs is pretty handy to cut a fight in seperate time frames and phases so you can easily evaluate this for different parts of the fight.

  2. Yunk says:

    I started out similarly, and based on some suggestions from plusheal I replaced all my blue gems with +9 int +9 spirit.

    Also I did not start improving until I started uploading raid logs to worldoflogs.com and looking at the aura uptimes, the ones zusterke mentions and also PoM. And looking at healing done by spell and seeing what I was casting and adjusting that. You can use recount for that but there’s not a lot of time after boss fights nor time to really think about what you are seeing.

    I started out with the haste+regen trinket from HoS, as well as the Egg from heroism badges, heck I still use the egg sometimes.

  3. dilliondai says:

    Wow, that a wealth of information there. And priests are quite different from my own flavor of healing. I attempted to make some suggestions to him yesterday about some of what you’ve said. Things came up but I will get with him today.

    We use Wow meters and Wow Webstats. I wish that I could link them but again, work blocks a lot to do with Wow. You’d think they actually expect us to work or something. But from what I saw in his previous fights it was like this:

    From most used to least:

    Flash Heal
    Prayer of Mending
    PW Shield

    The rest I didn’t really remember, however that’s when I started looking into his spec. I tried to find all the talents that improved his Flash heal to see if it should be his most used spell. I couldn’t find that much which is when I started looking for more info.

    I will gladly post the Webstats if you’d like to review and give more pointers. I thank you very much for taking the time to make this post. It really helps getting me up to speed on a class I assumed to be driven by spirit like my own is.

    Dillion of Dalaran

  4. BobTurkey says:

    You’re welcome Dillion.

    re:spell usage – i’d prefer to see FH and PW:S swap positions. I use FH only when Penance is on CD and not that often. I know others use it more though. PW:S should see heavy usage. Any healing class can make health bars go up, but Disc excel at stopping them going down in the first place.

    re:auras – I mostly agree with zusterke. Weakened Soul and Rewnewed Hope should be up at least 90% of the time. Grace is less important IMHO, although it is an excellent indication of exactly who the Disc priest is healing (‘focus’ stats also show this to some extent).

    As zusterke mentioned the Priest section of http://www.plusheal.com/ has some good insights into the class.

    Gobble gobble.

  5. sparklefreeze says:

    ^^ What I would suggest is for him to go Holy instead. Disc is a very technical playstyle requiring a very solid spell rotation, preferably instinctive on the player’s part.

    Also, if Bob’s saying he’s undergeared.. I don’t see how assured your raid can be with him main tank healing. A holy build is a lot more forgiving if gear is an issue and even more so if play experience is at question.

  6. BobTurkey says:

    @sparklefreeze – Why do you say “holy build is a lot more forgiving if gear is an issue and even more so if play experience is at question”

    Are you saying gear because Holy grants a bit more spell power?

    Are you saying experience because holy don’t need to to pre-shield to be effective?

  7. xxtoyedxx says:

    Hello Bob. Dillion talked to me about what you said, and gave me the link to your blog. I am Mishalaa, and first I want to say thank you for the information you provided. It helped point me in the right direction. I have a few more questions for you, most of which are in reguards to the math involved in calculating stats for Priests. I would like to know how things like mana regen and spell power are calculated, and how they are affected by other base stats like intellect or spirit. I’ve done some digging around, and haven’t found much. I was hoping I could get some insight about this.

    Thanks in advance,


  8. xxtoyedxx says:

    I really wish they put in an edit feature. Shortly after posting the last comment, I realised there is another question that is probably much more important. Having seen my current spec, you said it was fairly cookie cutter. I’ve tried to theorycraft a good custom spec, however based on my knowledge I see that most of my current spec can’t really be sacrificed for anything else. Is there something I’m missing, and if so what is it? What can you suggest to improve my spec and my total damage mitigation with shields and DA procs? I really want to get into the dirt and grit of this class and spec so I can provide the utility and healing pressence needed to help the rest of the guild progress. And of course, I know my mana regen is a huge issue right now. Popping shadowfiend and Hymn of Hope just isn’t cutting it like I thought they would. I’ll start looking into getting some different gems to get rid of the +16 spirit, and I’ll see what enchant I can do to myself that would benefit my mana regen.

    Again, thanks in advance,


  9. sparklefreeze says:

    @Bob – Yes, I tell all my priests to get Holy down to an art before trying Disc. I’ve always regarded Disc to be more demanding than Holy because shielding at the right times will make a hell a lot of difference at effectiveness. Disc also provides the player with more control than in Holy because you make buffs proc instead of Holy chancing on them. This calls for a lot more understanding of how every talent, every buff, every cast synergises to play to maximum effectiveness. Focus and vigilance, 2 things every Disc priest must have. Confidence; the x-factor.

    I find that many of my friends end up telling me they do not like Disc healing despite understanding their power. It’s a matter of playstyle I suppose. Holy is a lot more straightforward and SP is easy compared to DA and shields. Hence I say it’s more forgiving.

    @xXToYeDXx – What you’ll probably need is to extend that mana pool first. Your gear is just at a slightly lower level than mine, but I do Disc at 19.5k mana unbuffed. What your gear looks like, is my previous Holy set. TBH, when I go Disc, I swap out 6 to 7 pieces of my gear, primarily focusing on big Int and Crit pieces. For example, I’ll use Forge Ember over the tailsman any day for DA to proc.

    When you need to heal less, mana naturally becomes easier to manage. Big ticket mana items are GHs that you hopefully aren’t having to use much. Shields and Penance (which should always crit, hence DA) should then have you covered easy.

    To maximise mana return, Fiend + Hymn of Hope together and Arcane Torrent (Belf here =)). That gets me from 0 to 90%. And I always do it on a Bloodlust.

  10. sparklefreeze says:

    Ooh, and @Bob.. Not that Holy talents grant more SP but the whole different set of gear does too. Disc, I run at 1900 while on holy, it’s 2250.

  11. BobTurkey says:

    @xxtoyedxx – Your welcome. If you are after details of calculating stats for priests try my theorycrafting posts starting here: https://bobturkey.wordpress.com/2009/04/22/priest-theorycrafting-introduction-part-1/

    If you need further information on mana regen stuff try Zusterke’s Corner: http://zusterke.orderoftheathanor.eu/

    The comment about your Disc spec being cookie cutter wasn’t ment as a negative. Disc priests are fairly restricted in how they spend their talent points and still come up with a good build. For example my build is pretty much the same as yours (and most other Disc priests i suspect).

    re:mana regen – at the T7/T7.5 level stacking Intellect works pretty well for quickly building mana regen. Also make sure your using your PW:S regularly as Rapture every 15s makes it cheap.

    If you want more general priest resources check out https://bobturkey.wordpress.com/priestly-resources/

    @sparklefreeze – I find Disc a bit more demanding also, more because of the pre-shielding and being very GCD contrained. Holy is less so and more traditonally focused with reactive healing.

    Regular use of Arcane Torrent generates quite a bit of man return if you’re a belf.

    Gobble gobble.

  12. xxtoyedxx says:

    @BobTurkey – I see your point about the spec. I was thinking about speccing Holy for the time being, as it seems to be a bit more forgiving for new raiding priests. However, I really don’t like how Holy plays. It seems more like the traditional healing spec, one that any resto druid, shammy or Holy Pally can offer. I want to bring something different than just huge heals and more huge heals. Holy is great for alot of fights, but not as fun for me as Disc is.

    As for the theorycrafting, I’ve already looked at it, and to be honest I’m not that great at math. I tried to follow it, but got lost in all the equations. I’m finding it alot more difficult to manage a healer’s stats, then a tank’s. I have no idea what is meant by “in 5 second rule” and “out of 5 second rule”, and have no idea what I can do at this point to increase my int for more regen and spell crit. I know there is something I’m not seeing, but at this point it seems more like its a problem with gear than enchants or gems, and I know thats not entirely true.

  13. sparklefreeze says:

    @xxtoyedxx – don’t say holy’s the same as a pally. I play pally, and I yawn from start to end of raid when I have to heal. Priest healing is by far the most flexible and dynamic of all the healing classes. A lot depends on your judgement when you play as holy. What you’re supposed to bring to the raid when you play holy is support. Let the DPS know you have their asses covered; let the MT healers concentrate on spamming their heals. At the end of it, they’ll really appreciate that you’re the one who snatched them back from the brink of death every time; you’re the one who had that PoH timed exactly right; and you’re the one who seamlessly takes the dead MT healer’s place; you’re the one who isn’t going oomph at P4. Holy priests always end up as heroes who save the day. Trust me on that.

  14. BobTurkey says:

    @xxtoyedxx – Personally I wouldn’t go Holy if I didn’t want to. Stay Disc and learn to be better at it.

    Some of the basic concepts like “in the 5 second rule” are explained pretty well on http://www.wowwiki.com. This one is basically about your mana regen on your character sheet being how much you generate when you are not casting, starting 5 seconds after your last cast (outside the 5 second rule or O5SR).

    While casting and for 5 seconds after (inside the 5 second rule or I5SR) you generate no mana, except that granted by talents, abilites and MP5 on gear. In the case of priests we have the Meditation talent which allows half our normal mana regen to continue even while casting.

    Kitts has a good intro to Discing here: http://bloodelfpriestess.wordpress.com/2009/07/05/tips-for-the-starting-discipline-priest-3-2/

    @sparklefreeze – I think he means holy pally makes green bars go up like holy priests do, but Disc is more preventive. But yes holy priesting does have a lot of tools to play with.

  15. xxtoyedxx says:

    Hey Bob

    Just getting back to you. It’s been awhile, I’ve changed some of my gear, some gems and some enchants. I just wanted to pop back in to let you know where I am after a month. My average MP5 inside 5 second rule is about 650-675, with it out of 5 secong rule at about 820-835 with 10 man buffs. However, my crit is still only about 18% after buffs. I’ll be looking into some crit gear, maybe sacrifice some MP5 gems for crit gems seeing as I’m ending boss fights with 70%+ mana without innervate, shadowfiend, mana pots or Hymn of Hope. Again, thanks alot for all your help, Disc is definately my spec of choice for raid healing. Maybe you could turn this into another blog entry, maybe “Mishalaa Revisited” or something. A before and after comparison.


  16. BobTurkey says:

    Thanks and i’m glad you have things sorted out.

    Two suggestions:

    1) If you have lots of mana left at the end of boss fights … do more! In particular PW:S more. It will be good practice for Ulduar. Also if you get a chance mid-fight drop your Hymn of Hope to help everyone elses mana.

    2) Start looking for more spell power. You are currently packing two regen trinkets and you could probably switch to more throughput focused ones to beef up your spell casts.

    To help your crit you could drop the 3/3 Improved Flash Heal and pick up 3/3 Focused Will for an easy 3% more crit.

    Your armoury looks pretty decent now though. Good job.

    Gobble gobble.

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