This post aims to cover everything we know so far about Discipline Priest in 9.1. Simply put, be prepared for some big changes in our gameplay.

Changes

The PTR is still ongoing so please keep in mind everything below is highly subject to change. So far there has been little to no development of the spec other than the following:

  • Spirit Shell has had its cooldown increased by 30 seconds from a 1min to a 1.5min CD.
    • While SS needs to be worked on as it's far too good for an absorb. This change doesn't really have the desired effect and it will still excel in certain fights.

New Covenant Legendaries

  • Kyrian: Sphere's Harmony
    • Boon of the Ascended's cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds, up to 60 sec, for each stack of Boon of the Ascended consumed by Ascended Eruption.
      • This is going to be one worth picking up as soon as it's available. It will have considerable potency within M+ and specific boss fights where you can gain additional uses per damage mechanic.
  • Venthyr: Shadow Word: Manipulation
    • Mindgames lasts an additional 3 sec and reverses an additional 10% damage or healing. When Mindgames can no longer reverse healing or damage, gain 3% Critical Strike for each second remaining for 10 sec.
      • This legendary is very underwhelming. While the stat gain is nice, it comes after you have used the bulk of your output in most circumstances.
  • Necrolord: Pallid Command
    • Casting Unholy Nova summons a Brooding Cleric that gains 2% additional damage and healing each time an enemy affected by Unholy Transfusion is damaged by an ally, up to 100%. The Brooding Cleric serves you for 20 sec, healing an ally for (40% of Spell power).
      • Likely an okay pickup as you already aren't gaining full value from our standard legendaries as a Necrolord.
  • Night Fae: Bwon
    • Enter a pact with the Death Loa, calling forth a haunted mask that lingers on a target until Fae Guardians ends. Haunted Mask: Copies the benefit of the current faerie on its target. Follows your Direct Mask.
      • Hard to fully quantify the value of this legendary. There will surely be various scenarios where having even more CDR on allies can be beneficial.

How Does This Affect us?

With both the changes to SS and analysis of the PTR raid testing. (Disclaimer: not all bosses had full testing and could play out very differently than expected). We can at least give a friendly warning of some pretty large swing in covenants that you will want to be aware of and prepare for. These are highlighted below:

Kyrian

We expect our preferred Covenant to shift to Kyrian. If you have just joined Disc this tier and are used to how simple the current playstyle is in raids; Be prepared for a huge switch up in both awkwardness and difficulty in our ramps. There are various reasons as to why Kyrian is gaining strength:

  • We will have the availability of two different CDR sources in Sphere's Harmony and Efusive. This will allow us to gain additional Boon uses per fight and line up to damage patterns easier.
    • Keep in mind Efusive will be locked behind soulbinds which won't be immediately available.
  • Damage patterns on the PTR heavily lean towards some burstier mechanics which are on longer CD's compared to Castle Nathria.
  • We will be playing around our main ramp timers every 1.5 minutes with either Evangelism or Spirit Shell. This allows our Boon to line up more efficiently than before.
Kyrian Expected Ramp Sequences

The choice between Evangelism or Spirit Shell will be highly dictated by each specific fight.

Evangelism will require very strict timing so that you land your damage abilities as the damage occurs. The rotation is expected to look at follows:

  1. Apply 5-8 Atonements using Shadowmend or PW:S.
  2. PW:R x2.
  3. Evangelism.
  4. Cast Boon and then Blast immediately after.
    • Damage occurs as your first Blast hits.
  5. Schism
  6. Blast
  7. Nova
  8. Nova
  9. Repeat 6,7,8
  • Sfiend will be paired with every non Boon ramp.
  • This is the simplest form of the sequence. The complexity starts to arise depending on the decision of using Nova or your available main spells such as Penance or Solace. This decision comes down to if you are able to be in melee and if you want to maximise stacks for the eruption.
  • Another complexity comes from Eruption itself. You want this to land when you have as many stacks as possible, when you have high Atonement counts and when damage is occurring. This may mean we use a cancel aura macro to force this at a preferred moment.

Spirit Shell Is still easier to time with expected damage intake but will require a lot more effort to make sure all your Kyrian abilities hit within SS.

  1. Apply 5-8 Atonements using Shadowmend or PW:S.
  2. PW:R Once.
  3. Cast Boon
  4. Cast Spirit Shell and Blast at the same time.
    • This can be used in a macro for ease of use.
  5. PW:R A second time.
  6. Blast
  7. Schism
  8. Blast
  9. Nova
  10. Nova
  11. Repeat 8,9,10
  • Sfiend will be paired with every non-Boon ramp.
  • This is the simplest form of the sequence. The complexity starts to arise depending on the decision of using Nova or your available main spells such as Penance or Solace. This decision comes down to if you are able to be in melee and if you want to maximise stacks for the eruption.
  • Another complexity comes from Eruption itself. You want this to land when you have as many stacks as possible, when you have high Atonement counts and when damage is occurring. This may mean we use a cancel aura macro to force this at a preferred moment.
Venthyr

Goodbye old friend? It currently appears to be the case, atleast if you want to go for the best potential output in both raiding and M+. Here's Why:

  • Everything lining up with each 1min timer was perfect for Mindgames and gave it a huge efficiency especially when using SS.
    • There is of course the argument that you still get full use out of Mindgames as you can cast it on CD and still line it up with Evangelism or Spirit Shell. The problem with this is, it's a very strict timer and if anything causes you to have to hold it or there is just simply nothing to heal in-between your main ramp it loses far more value.
  • So far on the PTR raid testing, there has been no bosses that allow us to make use of Mindgames healing reversal.
    • Please refer to this post for more info on what this reversal is

With all the above said, Venthyr still remains a potent choice overall and is still likely to be viable on the majority of fights.

Legendary Choice

For the most part, Legendary choices will remain the same with the exception that Kyrian may want to use Spheres Harmony. With Evangelism seeing more use, we may see a shift away from Clarity of Mind. The circumstances where this will be true is yet to be seen.

Talent Choice

Again we will see very little change in our chosen talents. The main difference will be between Evangelism or Spirit Shell depending on the fight. Otherwise, the only other difference will be running Sfiend instead of bender as you no longer have a 1min SS to line it up with.

What Simple Changes Would We Like To See?

There are various areas of the spec that could be altered slightly to improve the overall feel of the gameplay. Below are the simplest and least impactful overall:

  • Mana could be touched upon. While we can get by as we are, without external help. There are just many areas where you feel you just have to stop doing anything and reserve mana.
    • The simplest way to allow additional mana expenditure in between our ramps would be to lower the cost of both our single target Atonement applicators.
  • Active DPS tools. We have very little in our kit that gives us a decision of "I want to sacrifice healing here to do more damage".
    • Mind Sear could be altered to do no healing through Atonement and have its damage increased to facilitate.
    • While it would be a healing increase, our iconic spell Penance could do with a tuning pass to be more impactful on a damage and healing front.
  • Boon could receive a number of quality of life fixes as it's currently unnecessarily awkward.
    • Both Blast and Nova should incur a standard GCD of 1.5s. (its currently 1s)
    • Blast should be cast at the end of your Boon cast time, similar to how Rapture behaves with PW:S
    • The Boon duration could be slightly shorter as it is awkward to time it without a cancel aura macro.
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