Hydra here, lots of people have been asking me what i’m gonna be playing for MoP. Right now I’m not sure but i guess i’ll try a few things out, however I’m unsure how viable disc priest is after playing some BGs/Wargames and testing the new specs out.
Disclaimer: if you don’t like negative points or attitude, don’t read this. I speak my mind exactly and that means sometimes i’ll compliment stuff and others i’ll complain about it. If you don’t like that, don’t read on.
So it’s the first week of MoP and after a pretty fun launch, (although plagued by disconnects) I’ve been able to test some disc out in bgs for the first week. It seems to follow the trend of disc being horribly weak at the start of expansions as usual :) Right now the class has some major issues and bugs making it a nightmare to play, I guess we’ll see to what extent on wednesday.
Current issues i feel need to be addressed
Extreme mana issues – any kind of offensive play renders you oom instantly, and aside from penance the damage still isn’t much to be sought after which brings me on to my next point.
Low damage – Holy fire and Smite doing roughly 10k each in pvp and swp ticking for ~4k (people have 350k health pools to put it in perspective
Low healing output – Penance ticking for 20k, flash heal doing ~42k (compared to shaman’s flash heal which does 65k with es up) In addition i’d like to say that i think it’s pretty sad that disc’s only instant heal is prayer of mending, something which is intended for aoe group healing.
Poor survivability – Focused will was removed from discs between cata and mop, not sure if intended or just forgotten but most of our passive survivability went out the window with that. A good example of this is brought up here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/6678688887.
Disc compared to other healers
Overall most of the priest stuff doesn’t look bad and one would expect them to be okay going into season one, but will this really be the case? What worries me is when looking at the stuff that some other classes got which looks ABSOLUTELY UNREAL in comparison to the ‘doesn’t look bad’ stuff that priests get then i’m forced to take a moment to stop and think, will people really want to take a priest in their comp over another healer? What do we really bring anymore?
Mana burn gone
Single offensive dispel vs shaman double purge
Damage no longer stands out from the other healers
Poor healing throughputCan’t survive without peels
fear but you have to be in melee range of their healer, exposing yourself to their dps – are you feeling brave punk?
mind control/psyfiend/roots (can only choose one, druids can shift roots, psyfiend’s ai can be compared to that of a small child with crayons – you never know what it’s gonna do next. Mind control is great for following up cc but you also cc yourself. (but now the other healers all have cc too these don’t seem so special anymore)
no interrupt (every other healer has one now)
Lets take a look at disc’s defensive cooldowns and then compare them to some other healers right now
Pain Sup (3min cooldown)- 40% reduction, dispel protection standard
Power Word: Barrier (3min cooldown) – 25% damage reduction standard, slightly high mana cost for what it is but that’s mostly due to pve i think.
Spirit Shell (1min cooldown) – a cooldown entirely based around delaying the inevitable while your class gets the peels it relys on to survive. Shield is dispellable, don’t like. very niche ability.
Fade (30 sec cooldown) - (requires talent) best thing we got in cata, really well designed ability that is off global and increases the skillcap and possibilities of the class. 30 second cooldown so use it wisely
Spectral Guise (30 sec cooldown) - (requires talent) – really cool ability that is powerful for getting fears, repositioning and avoiding spells/juking stuff. Another ability that increases the skillcap/possibilities of the class if used well, acts like regular stealth so everything under the sun breaks you out, be careful! (currently bugged, shouldnt break from damage when you’re shielded but right now breaks from 1 dot tick)
Void Shift (6min cooldown) – Decent equivalent to spirit link totem, it’s ranged so that’s a plus but it leaves a different player in trouble and susceptable to swaps so doesnt completely alleviate pressure and doesnt allow offensive play to continue.
Archangel (30 sec cooldown) – 25% more healing, great right? not so much. Requires you to stand around spending time doing virtually insignificant amounts of damage, probably falling behind on healing at the same time or suscepting yourself to interrupts/cc/swaps. (you better be fucking afraid of swaps as a disc priest let me tell you that)
Lets compare these to the resto shaman defensive cooldowns
Nature’s guardian – passive 25% hp when you go below 30% (30sec cd)
Windwalk Totem – aoe 6sec freedom (1min cd)
Totemic Restoration – passive, if your totem is destroyed or replaced before half it’s duration is up, the cooldown is halved, 30 second tremor cooldown hihi
Ancestral Swiftness – NS (1min cd)
Healing Tide Totem – aoe fuck ton of healing, totem has 35k hp (3min cd)
Unleashed Fury – (50% more powerful heal on earthliving unleash)
Ghost Wolf – 30% movement speed (no cooldown)
Spirit Link Totem – balances everyone in range’s hp (3min cd)
Spiritwalker’s Grace – cast while moving for 15 sec(2min cd)
Unleash Elements – (15sec cd )
Comparing the two side by side really shows how much the disc cooldowns pale in comparison, the main reason being the longer cooldowns in general and the lack of healing throughput on any of them. They are all simply stalls for you to get away and use normal casts to heal up while the shaman cooldowns are mostly instants and grant actual healing, add these on top of stoneclaw totem, earthshield and riptide and getting away as a shaman no longer feels so urgent. If you arn’t able to get away as disc, then the sheer number of interrupts now mean that you’re unable to keep yourself up.This means that you need extreme amounts of peels to allow you to escape, if the enemy team gets on you early in the game when they have plenty of cooldowns to stay on you, you’re basically screwed. Desperate prayer was our major ‘pick me up’ in cata which just about kept us in the game most of the time, this is now a talent which you cannot get due to being in the same tier as Spectral Guise. This brings me on to my next bunch of points.
Spells removed from disc
I’ve included desperate prayer and holy nova here because they are currently unobtainable in the current priest design, the removal of divine hymn was probably the biggest hit to our ‘safe’ team healing, the removal of desperate prayer means we have no ‘oh shit’ button at all in comparison to other healers who have several. (unless you count void shift which is pretty bitter sweet if you ask me.) I suggest making desperate prayer baseline for disc or if it’s being kept as a talent then make it targetable to make it more attractive and comparable to spectral guise. Making divine hymn one of the final tier talents would be a welcome change because the trash priests get right now for pvp in that tier is pretty much useless.
The loss of mindblast / mind spike essentially means we can no longer nuke ‘safely’ or force interrupts on shadow to safely cast holy spells without faking.
The loss of focus will is the icing on the cake.
Hey, Shadow word: death is so fucking op, breaking all that clutch cc and takes no skill to use ffs!! – said no one ever
Wait scratch that, said blizzard in mists of pandaria, since in all their wisdom they decided it was necessary to require a glyph to use shadow word: death over 20%.
What they’ve essentially done is made disc priests the only class in the game that only has 2 major glyph slots. Thanks blizzard. Glyphs relevant to disc:
PS - Lets you PS while stunned
Dispel magic - Does ~5k damage to targets you dispel
fade - 10% damage reduction when you fade
fear ward - 60 seconds off fear ward cooldown/duration
holy fire - Makes it instant cast
inner fire - 50% more armor on inner fire
holy nova - holy nova
inner focus - 5 second aura mastery when you use inner focus
leap of faith - makes you able to grip roots
inner sanctum - 6% spell damage reduction on innerfire, 6% runspeed on inner will
mass dispel - mass dispel 0.5 sec cast time
penance – running while casting but 20% more mana cost
shield - 20% of shield is also heal
pom - 60% stronger pom, 1 less charge
fear - fear doesnt run around
purify - defensive dispel heals for 3%
reflective shield - 45% of damage into shield is reflected
renew - 33% stronger ticks, 1 less tick
death - death any time
scourge imprisonment - 0.5 sec cast time shackle
smite - 20% more smite damage on holy fire’d targets
That’s quite of lot of choices for one spec, but lets remove a few that are too niche to be used in every day arena play or have issues with them.
Dispel magic – breaks cc when your offensively cleaning the target? no thanks
Fade – 10% damage reduction during the only time your going to be getting away? no thanks
Holy Nova – a precious glyph slot for a spell that was previously baseline that’s only use is getting rogues out of stealth and killing snakes? no thanks
Psychic Scream – although it’s nice to have feared targets stand in one place at times, most of the time it means i want to fear the target out from behind a pillar or get them away from me. No thankspurify – 3% heal on my dispel which now has a 8 second cooldown? not worth it. no thanks
Renew – this is basically a slap in the face. renew is ticking for like 7k 4 times now, thats ~30k hp healed up on targets with ~350k health pools. What happened to this ability since wotlk blizzard? The glyph might be slightly non terrible but they felt the need to tag that little ’1 less tick’ on the end rendering it completely useless. no thanks
Reflective Shield – duel glyph, useless for arena ever since it only works on yourself. no thanks
Scourge Imprisonment – only useful against dk teams, too niche. maybe swap it on if you know what team it is, else no thanks
Smite – smite is doing like 10k right now on pvp geared targets, 2k more damage per smite is not worth a glyph slot. no thanks.
Now lets remove a few less obvious ones
Mass Dispel – a glyph for something that’s going to be cast a couple of times a game vs 2 classes in the game and has a long cooldown? maybe swap in if you know what team it is, else no thanks (could be good for cleaning whole enemy team at the start of the game, subject to testing)
Holy Fire – looks great at first but remember, now the spell is instant it also comes with a 1.5sec global so in reality all you’re doing is saving yourself 0.5 seconds off the cast. So you can cast it while being trained, great but i feel like at that time you’re going to be more concerned about the imminent threat of falling down and not getting back up again. Ever. As you turn off your computer and curl up in the corner of your bathroom sobbing. Perpetually wondering why you ever thought this glyph was a good idea.
Fear Ward – not a bad glyph but only valuable vs certain classes, maybe worth subbing in vs certain caster cleaves with shadowpriest/warlock. otherwise not worth it.
Leap of Faith – all though this is cool for being able to grip rooted targets, this should be part of the spell in the first place as opposed to a glyph slot and it’s just not better than other options when you can simply, wait for it, not grip on roots. (most dks won’t understand this, i have faith in that you will fellow priests.)
Inner Sanctum – 6% spell damage reduction/6% movement speed (used to get this as disc standard) – nothing wrong with this glyph but it just feels kinda lack luster and passive compared to the active effects of some of the other glyphs, we only have 2 slots free remember, are you really going to take this over PS or inner focus?
We’re left with the following
Prayer of Mending
Shadow Word: Death
Shield and prayer of mending just don’t add enough healing power to be viable over the other two. The only option is maybe penance but which glyph would you replace? It’s a tough choice i think.
Spamming reshield while you still have weakened soul will make it not work when weakened soul ends unless you retarget yourself
/cast [nomod] power word: shield; [mod: shift, target=player] power word: shield;
adding /use 1 at the end of your shield macro fixes this
Spectral guise breaking with shield up
Mind Control goes on cooldown if you pummel it right as it land
If you have anything to add, please let me know in the comments, i realise this blog is pretty fucking bleak but i don’t really like to sugar coat stuff and i feel that right now Discs are in desperate need of help. GL HF