Table of Contents

Introduction

Hello everyone and welcome to the BFA Discipline Guide. I am Hellpriesto, a Mod here at WarcraftPriests. All feedback and discussion is welcomed. Feel free to contact myself KCR or Clandon. The best place to reach us is in the WarcraftPriests Discord. Please note this guide will be PVE focused.

Discipline is by far the most fun and rewarding healing spec to play in my opinion. You need to be very pro-active and make constant decisions on who will be the best target for you to apply Atonement to. You will also need to have a firm grasp of being able to switch from healing to dealing damage constantly.

The aim of this Discipline Guide is to cover everything you should need to know to heal as Discipline in all content. BFA has not changed a crazy amount for us as far as gameplay is concerned, but has given some nice talent options to handle different scenarios.

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Acronyms

PW:S – Power Word: ShieldPW:R – Power Word: RadianceSW:P – Shadow Word: PainPTW – Purge the Wicked
MB – MindbenderSF – ShadowfiendPS – Pain SuppressionPW:B – Power Word: Barrier
PotDS – Power of the Dark SideMD – Mass DispelLoF – Leap of FaithToF – Twist of Fate
SD – Shield DisciplineSotM – Sins of the ManySCov – Shadow CovenantLB – Luminous Barrier
GCD – Global CooldownDoT – Damage over TimeHoT – Healing over TimeCC – Crowd Control

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What has Patch 8.2 brought?

Going into Patch 8.2 Discipline Priest has received zero tuning changes so all gear and talent choices remain the same.

The patch has brought many new items, consumables, content and of course the brand new Heart of Azeroth Essence system. All of these will be updated into the corresponding sections below very soon. If you would like to see a rundown of all the new goodies, check out this excellent summary provided by WowHead here.

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What changed from Legion?

There have been quite a few changes to our talent tree and baseline spells, all of which can be found here. Levelling recommendations for BFA also included.

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Atonement

To start out I think it’s very important to fully understand how the main mechanic of the spec works and all other various intricacies surrounding it. The majority of our healing is done via Atonement which is applied in a few ways. Following application, any damage dealt by our abilities will transfer as healing to friendlies with Atonement. The baseline transfer of damage to healing through Atonement is 55%.

First and foremost our Atonement applicators are:
  • PW:S – Cheapest single target applicator that can be applied on the move and does minimal overhealing. Due to mana cost and strength of shield we cannot use this spell as our main source of healing.
  • Shadow Mend – Doubles up as our main direct heal spell for single target. In conjunction with the 8.1 version of Depth of Shadows, will apply atonement for 2 seconds longer than standard. It is strong as an applicator when the upfront healing or the increased atonement duration is valuable.
  • PW:R – Most efficient Atonement spread for multiple targets.
    • The duration of atonement is 60% of the normal duration (15 seconds * 0.6 = 9 seconds)
    • It applies 1 Atonement to your target, meaning casting it on a target already affected by Atonement is a waste.
    • The jump range on the extra 4 Atonement spread is 30 yards while your target range of the spell is 40 yards.
    • It is a smart heal that will prioritise those without Atonement and those who are injured.
How dealing damage and modifiers interact with Atonement
  • While we generate healing through dealing damage, the way it’s calculated is not as simple. For instance, things that increase our damage and healing (for example versatility) will not double dip. This is because only the healing portion of such buffs will modify Atonement.
  • Mechanics that reduce our damage dealt does not affect the healing done with Atonement. For example, some raid bosses have phases with 99% reduced damage taken; Disc damage done will still heal for full through Atonement. That being said immunities will stop our damage completely which also means our Atonement healing.
  • External buffs that increase our damage dealt will also have no effect on Atonement healing (our own buffs do increase healing, for example, Schism). There is only one external buff that will affect Atonement healing – Chaos Brand, from Demon Hunters (this was added in a random hotfix update).
  • Once Atonement is applied to a friendly, the range at which the healing applies is extremely far. You will rarely find any encounter room where your Atonement will be out of range unless the encounter phases you and your target apart.
  • Damage trinkets, Racials, Azerite traits, and Essences do not heal through Atonement (unless they increase our baseline spells damage, smite/penance etc).
  • AoE damage effects such as Halo/Divine Star/Holy Nova will do healing through Atonement but only on the first instance of damage.

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Gameplay

To heal effectively as Discipline you need to excel in your ability to efficiently switch between healing/applying Atonement and dealing damage. A good understanding of the fight you are about to tackle will also improve how effective you will be. This section will cover the very basics behind the spells. How it all works in specific content will be covered in greater detail in the respective sections. The core kit can be separated as follows: Atonement applicators (as covered above), Direct Heals, Damage and CDs. Talents can change how you play quite considerably and will be outlined later.

Direct Heals:
  • Penance – Often referred to as Defensive Penance. This spell is to be used when needed as it does good single target healing.
    • It is numerically better to cast Shadow Mend over Penance unless movement/mana are of concern or if a PotDS proc is available. This is due to the shorter cast time.
    • Not used that often as the AoE healing from the damage version of penance through Atonement is far more desirable.
  • Shadow Mend – In any situation when you need strong single target healing and Atonement application to an injured ally you will want to use this spell.
    • It’s important to note that the damage portion of Shadow Mend is taken off with all forms of damage.
Damage:
  • Penance – Often referred to as Offensive Penance. This will be used very often as part of a standard rotational spell as the damage and AoE healing is very strong.
    • May be worth holding onto if you have a PotDS proc and a hard hitting ability is incoming within the next few seconds.
    • May also be worth holding onto if you need to move in the next couple of seconds.
  • Smite – Typically considered to be Disc’s “filler” spell as it’s very cheap on mana, does significant damage and subsequently healing through Atonement. It also applies an Absorb(absorb). You will be casting Smite a lot.
    • If you’re trying to compare spell power values make sure to multiply the smite SP by 1.5. Smite has a passive that increases its damage by 50% which is not included in any SP sources.
  • Shadow Word: Pain – While it may be weird to maintain a DoT whilst playing a healer it is something that we want to be doing. Not only does this provide constant ticking healing it also provides us with PotDS procs (having more DoT’s applied doesn’t mean more procs).
Cooldowns:
  • Desperate Prayer – Helpful personal to keep yourself alive.
  • Shadowfiend – Whilst this is a damage CD, it is used as a healing CD as it will give a tremendous burst of healing through Atonement.
  • Pain Suppression – This is the best single target damage reduction in the game and is extremely strong at saving a life. Also worth noting this spell is off the GCD.
  • Rapture – Empowers all shields cast whilst active (not shields out at the time of cast). This CD allows you to put out a lot of effective health which gives you a nice buffer to keep people alive.
  • Power Word: Barrier – Very strong stacked damage reduction and should be used preemptively for group damage.
Other:
  • Purify – Standard healer dispel.
  • Dispel Magic – Can dispel buffs on enemies which can be very potent in both PVE and PVP.
  • Mass Dispel – Has a long CD and expensive mana cost but is great for either/both dispelling buffs/debuffs on friends/foes. It can dispel otherwise non-dispellable effects such as immunities or mind controls.
  • Fade – Standard threat drop if you take aggro or accidentally pull enemies.
  • Leap of Faith – Whilst this spell is very often seen as a means to troll fellow players as it can be very disorientating. If you can find areas to use it helpfully, you will be thanked generously.
  • Holy Nova – This spell is poor in both damage and healing and is only used for levelling, old content and detecting stealthed enemies.

Single Target/Tank Healing

  1. Having Atonement on a target that will need regular healing is a good idea through the use of PW:S or Shadow Mend. This means that all the damage you do will always be keeping them healthy.
  2. Once the incoming damage is too much for Atonement, fall back to using a combination of both Shadow Mend and Defensive Penance during movement or with a proc.
  3. If that is not enough you may want to think about using Pain Suppression
  4. Rapture can be used if the latter is on CD, but usually, you want this CD for group healing.

Dungeon Healing

Dungeon healing will be covered in greater depth to include talent setups, M+, and various affixes. (Coming soon)

  1. You want to always be proactive and have Atonements out ready for when you need them.
  2. PW:R is a very handy tool for both reactive and proactive healing as you can cover the entire group with Atonement quickly.
  3. Use Penance both Offensively and Defensively when movement is needed or a Potds proc is available (which depends entirely on the situation in front of you).
  4. Maintain constant up-time of SW:P (multi-target isn’t overly important but can be done).
  5. Use Smite as a filler spell for continuous mana efficient damage/healing.
  6. PW:B should be used before incoming group damage.
  7. Rapture is best suited for mitigating group wide damage pre-emptively. It may also be used reactively to apply a health buffer for more time to heal everyone up.
  8. It is very important to note that Atonement healing will not suffice in all situations. While you will make sure to apply Atonement to those who will need healing within the next 15/9s there will be cases where you must fall back on direct heals.

Raid Healing

Raid healing will be covered in greater depth to include various bosses and talent setups for the first raid tier – Uldir. Discipline Raid Guide

  1. You want to always be proactive and have Atonements out ready for when you need them.
  2. PW:R should mostly be used pro-actively to have the casts land just as damage hits, or slightly earlier when setting up for bursts.
  3. Use Penance offensively as part of burst healing at high Atonement counts
  4. Maintain constant up-time of SW:P (multi-target isn’t overly important but can be done)
  5. Use Smite as a filler spell for continuous mana efficient damage/healing.
  6. For quick single target Atonement needs use PW:S. For example, targets with a DoT on them. If you are using the 8.1 Depth of Shadows Azerite trait, Shadow Mend gains strength as an atonement applicator if you can utilize the increased atonement duration and the upfront healing.
  7. Use Shadow Mend to apply Atonement if the target needs substantial healing.
  8. If multiple targets need healing you can use a single charge of PW:R. Similarly, if even more need healing you can use both PW:R charges. Keep in mind you may need to save PW:R charges for any potential incoming raid-wide burst.
  9. If you need to burst heal the raid you can do so with the following cast sequence a good 15s before the damage is to happen. PW:S/Shadow Mend x4-8 -> PW:R x2 -> Dealing damage. Note this burst is strengthened greatly by the use of Evangelism, Schism and Solace.
  10. PW:B should be used before incoming raid damage. Rapture can be used similarly but can also be used re-actively for unexpected damage for an effective health boost.

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Talents

In this section, each talent will be listed with a small commentary about it. Near the end of the section, various builds will be listed that you can use. Blizzard has held true to their initial statement of having a passive talent in every row along the left side. Given how open the talent tree is now there will not be “cookie cutter” builds that you will default to for everything like in Legion. Furthermore, we have many tools to handle various situations and supplement different play-styles.

The Talents are colour coded as follows:

  • Green – Default pick in many situations.
  • Blue – Viable pick for certain situations.
  • Red – Rare pick as not great in many situations
Talent Row 1:
Discipline Priest Level 15 Talents

Discipline Priest Level 15 Talents

Every spell in this row has an applicable strength and all can be used to supplement various play-styles and encounter types.

  • Castigation  This talent is numerically the worst on the row and shouldn’t be taken.
  • Twist of Fate – Is a strong option in any content where progression is involved. This is due to having a consistent uptime of the buff leading to a substantial amount of damage/healing. When a group requires constant single target healing and drops low, ToF is recommended.
  • Schism – Is an extremely strong option and gives a big burst of healing during the buff’s window. It adds an extra layer of complexity to the rotation and synergies very well with Power Word: Solace on the level 45 row. Disc has a tendency to benefit from reliable buffs such as Schism over procs like ToF.
Talent Row 2:
Discipline Priest Level 30 Talents

Discipline Priest Level 30 Talents

  • Body and Soul – This speed buff is completely out of favour due to Weakened Soul and requiring mana to apply. Putting random speed boosts on friendlies can also be very dangerous.
  • Masochism – Has a few very niche applications but it’s usually not worth giving up our only speed boost.
  • Angelic Feather – Very strong speed boost which will be the go-to pick in almost all content.
Talent Row 3:
Discipline Priest Level 45 Talents

Discipline Priest Level 45 Talents

If you would like to compare the numbers behind these three talents feel free to check out the following spreadsheet. Keep in mind this is purely the mana returns, the damage also needs to be considered.

  • Shield Discipline – Being a passive which doesn’t change up your game-play at all. Does provide good mana returns, but no damage. (We are in a position where Shadow Mend is being used considerably more, which furthers this talents relegation.
  • Mindbender – Is a nice CD to have access to as it has a short CD and provides a nice burst of damage/healing while also returning small amounts of mana. Does not benefit from Schism and does considerably less damage than SF.
  • Power Word: Solace – The best talent on the row for both additional damage and mana. Provides very bursty healing and benefits from Schism.
Talent Row 4:
Discipline Priest Level 60 Talents

Discipline Priest Level 60 Talents

This row is largely not too important in which each talent may have some very specific niche use.

  • Psychic Voice – Can be quite helpful in PVP to peel Melee off of you.
  • Dominant Mind – May have some uses in M+ to allow you to cheese the bolstering affix or take out a very dangerous foe from the pull.
  • Shining Force A knock-back which can be used for necrotic in M+ to help your tank drop stacks, or knocking unsuspecting victims off of cliffs during levelling.
Talent Row 5:
Discipline Priest Level 75 Talents

Discipline Priest Level 75 Talents

The three talents on this row offer useful tools for handling different situations within dungeons. Due to their overall low throughput increases, they are fairly evenly matched for their actual overall benefit. As a result, which you choose will largely be down to the situation you face in the content you are tackling. (Not a great row as far as raiding is concerned.)

  • Sins of the Many – A solid boost to damage and healing through Atonement. The damage scaling is shown below.
Atonement Count012345678910
Damage Percent12%12%10%8%7%6%5%5%4%4%3%
  • Contrition – Empowers your Defensive Penance by removing the punishment of casting it, as it applies healing through Atonement as well. This talent is numerically the worst on the row and shouldn’t be taken.
  • Shadow Covenant – The healing numbers behind SCov are there and relatively strong and serves as a burst of healing. It allows for extra healing outside of Atonement windows when necessary. Due to the mana cost it is not to be used on cooldown but rather used to replace other casts such as a single PW:S when group healing is needed. That being said, keep in mind that on logs this talent’s healing is over-valued as the heal absorb is not accounted for.
Talent Row 6:
Discipline Priest Level 90 Talents

Discipline Priest Level 90 Talents

  • Purge the Wicked – Is nice for newcomers to the spec as it keeps game-play pretty simple whilst adding a free spread upon Offensive Penance casts. Purge will gain strength over Shadow Word: Pain when enemies live for longer and you can make use of the longer duration and spread.
  • Divine Star – Contributes a substantial amount towards healing and damage but requires aim, increased CD usage and more mana for maximum benefit. For obvious reasons nice in areas where players will be consistently close together. Allows for priority healing outside of combat on demand.
  • Halo – Contributes a substantial amount towards healing and damage. For obvious reasons, it’s very nice on spread out encounters but you must be very proficient with your positioning in order to avoid unwanted pulls or CC breaks. This talent is a lot easier to use in dungeons than most people anticipate. Halo will not hit enemies that aren’t in your line of sight. Allows for priority healing outside of combat on demand.
Talent Row 7:
Discipline Priest Level 100 Talents

Discipline Priest Level 100 Talents

This row is probably one of the most convoluted as the strengths of each option can be very ambiguous.

  • Lenience – Simple passive damage reduction on any target with Atonement. At face value 3% seems quite low, however, considering how often you have Atonement applied the damage reduction will add up over time. Its use mostly limited to dungeons, but some raid encounters may favour a more over time reduction compared to the burst of the other talents.
  • Luminous Barrier – Is most likely going to be the hardest to out-compete the others on this row. Whilst it provides the most visual healing on meters, as it replaces PW:B it’s already diminished for raw value. There may be very niche uses where PW:B can’t be efficiently used and you need more upfront burst that either talent in this row cannot provide. It disguises itself as a very user-friendly spell for newcomers. That being said, I would not recommend getting used to it.
  • Evangelism – Allows you to extend all your active Atonements which is very strong when used correctly in raids. When predicting incoming raid damage and setting up a large amount of Atonements correctly you will gain considerable healing burst.
At A Glance Talent Builds

Keep in mind as a healer you will need to assess the situation that presents itself in front of you and change talents accordingly. The builds below are not to be used strictly.

Raids

This build is a typical default build for raids. Purge the Wicked is often taken over Halo on multi-dotting fights.

Discipline Priest Bursty Build

Dungeon

This build is a typical default build for dungeons. Twist of Fate can be used when more Single target healing spam is required. The Level 90 row is fairly equal across the board in dungeons and is mostly down to preference/situation.

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Stats/Gear

As a healer, all stats for Discipline end up providing a similar benefit for our overall healing output. Consequently, if you’re looking for a specific stat ratio that is going to magically improve your numbers, you won’t find it. If you aren’t casting the right spells at the correct times stats aren’t going to help you. The first course of action should be to analyse logs, seek advice, read guides, understand different damage patterns and movement patterns.

Stat stacking is not something that is ever advised. Whichever stat you stack, the more valuable the other stats become. Due to intellect being far more impactful, we advise going for Ilvl over everything in most situations. There may still be cases of balancing out secondaries through the use of rings/enchants/gems (this information will be updated if this changes going forward into BFA).

What makes individual stats great?:
  • Intellect – There is more on every single piece of gear compared to secondaries (except jewellery) and increases all of our spells raw numbers.
  • Haste – Reduces the GCD, increases PTW/SW:P tick rate, reduces Power Word: Solace CD, reduces the cast time of all spells, increases PotDS proc rate.
  • Critical Strike – Simply multiplies a spell by two if it crits, more rating increases the chance of this happening. Interestingly if your damage crits, the following Atonement heal will also be a crit. Atonement cannot crit independently so there no double crits.
  • Versatility – Multiplicatively increases both damage and healing whilst also providing damage reduction (does not double dip as far as Atonement healing is concerned).
  • Mastery – Similarly to versatility it multiplicatively increases our healing but requires Atonement on the target. This increased healing effects both direct and Atonement healing.
Stat Ratings Per 1%

All stats have individual ratios of how much rating will give you 1% of the stat. Below are the ratios at level 120.

Secondary Stats
  • Haste – 68
  • Critical Strike – 72
  • Versatility – 85
  • Mastery – 60
Tertiary Stats
  • Leech – 41.4
  • Avoidance – 19.8
  • Speed – 14.4
Stat Weights

Item Level (Intellect) > Haste > Everything Else

All stats are very close together in terms of value. With the total amount of secondaries available being very low, haste pulls ever so slightly ahead (This does not mean you will be dropping ilvl for haste).

Note: As we gain access to higher levels of intellect secondaries are shifting to be ever so slightly more valuable than intellect. That being said, intellect scales up so much higher on gear that it does not shift priorities.

It is recommended to take intellect gems where possible (may shift to your most valuable secondary stat at high intellect levels). Otherwise, all other gems/enchants/food, if your current haste is quite low, can be haste.

Gear

Best in slot lists are still not a thing due to the randomness on gear upgrades. If you would like to see all of the available gear to us Disc Priests check out the following spreadsheet.

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Essences

for information about how this system works and a full list of all essences available with their various acquisition requirements head to Icy Veins here.

Everything you see below is largely still a work in progress. PTR testing has been very limited and we need to wait for log information to get a better idea. Below are our best predictions at how each essence will weigh up against each other. A lot of the Essences are still going to be tuned and tweaked over the next few weeks. Luckily the better looking ones are fairly easy to obtain Rank 3.

Major

Great
  • The Ever Rising Tide:
    • Overcharge – Overcharge your mana for 10 sec, causing each spell you cast to increase your healing by 4% stacking. While overcharged, your mana regeneration is halted, and you gain 10% haste.
  • Life-Binders Invocation:
    • Life – Implant 40 Seeds of Eonar divided over allies within 30 yds. Seeds that expire unused reduce the cooldown of this ability by 2 sec.
  • The Well of Existence:
    • Well – Release all healing stored in The Well of Existence into an ally. This healing is amplified by 50%. The Well will not release more healing than needed to fully heal the target.
Good
  • Crucible of Flame:
    • Crucible – Blast your target with a ball of concentrated flame, dealing Fire damage to an enemy or healing an ally then burn the target for an additional 75% of the damage or healing done over 6 sec. Each cast of Concentrated Flame deals 100% increased damage or healing. This bonus resets after every third cast.
  • Memory of Lucid Dreams:
    • Memory – Clear your mind and attune yourself with the Heart of Azeroth, increasing your Mana generation rate by 100%, and your Leech, for 15 sec.
  • Vision of Perfection:
    • Vision – Your spells and abilities have a chance to activate Shadowfiend for 35% of its base duration. When the Vision of Perfection activates, you and up to 2 other nearby allies gain Haste for 10 sec.
  • Artifice of Time:
    • Artifice – Create a time vortex around a friendly target, absorbing damage and healing for 6 sec. When this expires, the absorbed damage and healing is delivered over 10 sec, and the damage is reduced by 20%.
Average/Niche
  • Worldvein Resonance:
    • Vein – Concentrate energy into the Heart of Azeroth, immediately causing 3 Lifeblood Shards to erupt from the nearby ground for 18 sec.
  • Conflict and Strife:
    • Conflict – While you are stunned, the defensive benefit from your Versatility is doubled. Dispelling, interrupting, or applying a loss of control effect grants a stack of Strife. Versatility granted by Strife is doubled for the next 5 sec. Teaches you Premonition, and allows its use against all enemies of Azeroth.
  • Vitality Conduit:
    • Vitality – Direct the Vitality Conduit toward an ally. Every 0.5 sec for 6 sec, they transfer health from the highest-health ally within 30 yds. If the target reaches full health, jumps to the lowest-health nearby target for the remaining duration.
  • Ripple in Space:
    • Ripple – Create an Azerite beacon at a target location. After 2 sec, the Heart of Azeroth will relocate you to this beacon and deal Fire damage to all nearby enemies.
      For 10 sec after being relocated, you take 10% reduced damage.

Minor

Great
  • Memory of Lucid Dreams:
    • Memory – Your spells and abilities have a chance to refund 50% of the Mana spent on them and immediately heal you. When Lucid Dreams refunds some Mana to you, gain Versatility for 8 sec.
  • The Ever Rising Tide:
    • Tide – Your heals have a chance to grant either Intellect for 10 sec or mana. Chance of receiving mana increases with your missing mana. 20% chance to gain both effects.
  • Life-Binder’s Invocation:
    • Seed – Your heals have a very high chance to implant a Seed of Eonar in the target, causing healing every 1 sec for 15 sec.
  • The Well of Existence:
    • Well – 15% of your overhealing is stored in The Well of Existence. When you heal a target under 50% health, the Well releases its stored healing into them. When the Well contains less than a specific amount of healing, it absorbs healing twice as quickly.
Good
  • Worldvein Resonance:
    • Vein – Every 1-25 sec, a Lifeblood Shard erupts from the nearby ground for 18 sec.
  • Conflict and Strife:
    • Strife – Your spells and abilities have a chance to increase your Versatility for 14 sec, stacking up to 8 times. Being the victim of a loss of control or movement impairing effect also grants a stack of Strife.
  • Crucible of Flame:
    • Crucible – Your spells and abilities have a chance to cauterise your target for Fire damage over 10 sec or healing an ally for over 10 sec, stacking up to 3 times.
Average/Niche
  • Artifice of Time:
    • Artifice – Your heals have a very high chance to grant the target Haste and Speed for 8sec.
  • Vitality Conduit:
    • Transfer – Targets of your heals have a very high chance to transfer health from the highest-health ally within 30 yds. Health Transfers leave a damage absorb shield on the target for 5 sec.
  • Vision of Perfection:
    • Vision – Reduces the cooldown of Shadowfiend by X% and increases your Versatility. When you activate Shadowfiend, immediately heal for 5% of maximum health.
  • Ripple in Space:
    • Ripple – Your movement speed is increased by 5%, and when you move more than 25 yards within 4 sec, gain primary stat for 20 sec. This can only occur once every 30 sec.

 

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Azerite Traits

Important note: Any traits with additional healing/damage/stat will stack. All other mechanical parts to traits will not for example, duration/stack build speed/atonement extension. Traits that increase our baseline spell damage will transfer through to Atonement. Traits that deal their own damage will not transfer through to Atonement.

All rankings below can be found within our spreadsheet found here

Outer Traits

All Traits Ranked

These traits are ranked by their overall estimated healing per second values. The primary focus of this list is for raiding. The rankings do transfer over to M+ but they change heavily depending on what you need to focus on.

 

    1. Blightborne Infusion – Your spells and abilities have a chance to draw a Wandering Soul from Thros to serve you for 14 sec. The Soul increases your Critical Strike.
    2. Person-Computer Interface – A secondary stat of your choice is increased while using the Pocket-Sized Computation Device. Stat is chosen based on equipped Logic Board.
    3. Anduin’s Dedication/Sylvanas’ Resolve (PVP) – Your abilities have a chance to increase your primary stat for 10 sec. If an ally dies nearby, you gain this effect.
    4. Swirling Sands – Your spells and abilities have a chance to conjure Swirling Sands, increasing your Critical Strike for 12 sec. Your critical effects extend Swirling Sands by 1 sec, up to a maximum duration of 18 sec.
    5. Relational Normalization Gizmo (Engineering) – Your spells and abilities have a chance to grow or shrink the world. Shrinking the world grants you primary stat and extra maximum health for 10 sec. Growing the world grants you Haste and 50% movement speed for 10 sec. 
    6. Loyal to the End – Your Mastery is increased by X, plus an additional Y for each ally also affected by Loyal to the End, up to Z. When you die, your allies gain Critical Strike, Haste, and Versatility equal to their Mastery bonus from this trait.
      • Please note this ranking is based off of 4 allies also running the trait. It can drop in value a lot when less in your group are using it.
    7. Unstable Catalyst – Your spells and abilities have a chance to leak Azerite on the ground around you. Standing in the Azerite increases your primary stat for 8 sec.
    8. Enduring Luminescence – Power Word: Radiance restores additional health, and applies Atonement for 70% of its normal duration.
      • It is only desirable to pick up one of this trait as the atonement duration is a fixed 70%.
    9. Depth of the ShadowsShadow Word: Pain deals damage, the healing of your next Shadow Mend is increased, up to a maximum. Atonement applied by Shadow Mend lasts an additional 2 sec.
      • Stacking speed does increase with multiple DoTs out.
      • It is only desirable to pick up one of this trait the atonement duration is a fixed 2 sec.
    10. Meticulous Scheming – Your spells and abilities have a chance to grant you Meticulous Scheming for 8 sec, which transforms into Seize the Moment! after you cast 3 different spells, granting Haste for 20 sec.
    11. Death Throes (2 targets) – Shadow Word: Pain deals additional damage. When an enemy dies while afflicted by your Shadow Word: Pain, you gain 5 Insanity.
      • While this is a shadow trait, it still increases our Shadow Word: Pain damage which also goes through Atonement.
      • To select this trait you must be in Shadow spec.
      • Its value will vary considerably depending on your DoT uptime/ usage.
    12. Clockwork Heart – Once per minute while in combat, gain Haste, Critical Strike, Mastery, and Versatility for 12 sec.
    13. Glory in Battle/Liberator’s Might (PVP) – Your spells and abilities have a chance to grant Critical Strike and Haste for 10 sec. Attacking a member of the opposite faction significantly increases this chance.
    14. Secrets of the Deep – Your spells and abilities have a chance to create a Surging Droplet nearby. Collecting it increases your primary stat for 18 sec. Rarely, a Void Droplet will be created, increasing your primary stat for 18 sec instead.
    15. Sudden Revelation – Power Word: Radiance has a 50% chance to cause your next Holy Nova to deal additional damage and reduce the cooldown of Power Word: Radiance by 3 sec.
      • Power Word: Radiance cooldown reduction is fixed at 3 seconds.
    16. Tradewinds – Your spells and abilities have a chance to grant Mastery for 15 sec. When this effect expires it jumps once to a nearby ally, granting them Mastery for 8 sec.
    17. Arcane Heart – Every 1500000 damage and healing done you gain Omnipotence, increasing your highest stat for 15 sec. You heal for 5% of all Arcane damage taken.
    18. Ricocheting Inflatable Pyrosaw – Your spells and abilities have a chance to hurl a R.I.P that bounces among 4 enemies, dealing Fire damage to each. Beneficial spells have a chance to hurl a Mechanized External Needle Dispenser, healing up to 4 allies.
    19. Incite the Pack – You occasionally loose a tremendous roar, increasing your Mastery and granting Mastery to up to 2 nearby allies. Lasts 20 sec.
    20. Blood RiteYour spells and abilities have a chance to increase your Haste for 15 sec. Killing an enemy refreshes the duration of this effect.
    21. Last Gift/Retaliatory Fury (PVP) – Your spells and abilities have a chance to grant Mastery and absorb damage for 10 sec. Taking damage from a member of the opposite faction has a chance to activate this effect.
    22. Weal and Woe – Healing an ally with Penance increases the damage of your next Smite. Damaging an enemy with Penance increases the absorption of your next Power Word: Shield.
    23. Death Throes (1 target) – Shadow Word: Pain deals additional damage. When an enemy dies while afflicted by your Shadow Word: Pain, you gain 5 Insanity.
      • While this is a shadow trait, it still increases our Shadow Word: Pain damage which also goes through Atonement.
      • To select this trait you must be in Shadow spec.
      • Its value will vary considerably depending on your DoT uptime/ usage.
    24. Combined Might/Stronger Together (PVP) – Your abilities have a chance to plant a factional banner for 6 sec, empowering yourself and up to 4 allies with the spirit of the Horde/Alliance.
    25. Contemptuous Homily – Penance deals an additional damage and extends your Shadow Word: Pain by 1 sec per bolt.
      • This trait adds very minimal damage and saves an extremely small amount of GCD’s spent applying our DoT.
    26. Collective Will/Stand As One (PVP) – Your abilities have a chance to drop a Horde/Alliance Banner for 6 sec, increasing primary stat and maximum health for yourself and up to 4 allies.
    27. Undulating Tides – Your damaging spells and abilities have a chance to crash a wave upon your target for Frost damage. When your health drops below 50%, gain a shield absorbing damage within 8 sec. When this occurs, Undulating Tides cannot trigger again for 45 sec.
    28. Moment of Repose – Pain Suppression applies Atonement to the target and instantly heals them.
      • Adds an extra life saving component to this already powerful CD. However, it is still tied to a 3 minute CD.

Below are traits that lost relevancy due to item level caps on Azerite from previous tiers

  1. Treacherous Covenant –  Your primary stat is increased while you are above 50% health. You take 15% increased damage while below 20% health.
  2. Endless Hunger – Your Versatility is increased. Moving near an enemy’s corpse consumes their essence, restoring health.
  3. Bonded Souls –  Your spells and abilities have a chance to trigger a Soulbond for 15 sec. During Soulbond, every 5 sec you and your nearest ally are both healed and gain Haste for 5 sec.
  4. Ancients Bulwark – Standing still grants you Deep Roots, increasing your Versatility by. Moving instead grants you Uprooted, healing you every 1 sec.
  5. Shadow of Elune – Your spells and abilities have a chance to increase your Haste for 15 sec. At night, you also gain 10% movement speed for the duration.
  6. Seductive Power – Your spells and abilities have a chance to conjure Bwonsamdi’s spectral visage, beckoning you closer. If you approach him, gain intellect for 5 min, stacking up to 5 times. If you fail to heed his call, lose 1 stacks.
  7. Apothecary’s Concoctions – Your damaging abilities have a chance to deal Plague damage over 6 sec, and your healing abilities have a chance to restore health over 6 sec. These effects are increased by up to 100% based on the target’s missing health.
  8. Archive of TitansYour armour gathers and analyzes combat data every 5 sec, increasing your primary stat, stacking up to 20 times. The data decays while out of combat. Enables Reorigination Array within Uldir.
  9. Champion of Azeroth – Your spells and abilities have a chance to increase all secondary stats for 1 min, stacking up to 4 times.
  10. Laser Matrix – Your spells and abilities have a chance to release a barrage of lasers, dealing Arcane damage split among all enemies and restoring health split among injured allies. Enables Reorigination Array within Uldir.
Damage Traits

These Traits are not included in the rankings as they do not benefit healing.

  • Dagger in the Back – Your damaging spells and abilities have a chance to fling a dagger at your target, causing them to bleed Physical damage over 12 sec, stacking up to 4 times. Stabbing them in the back applies 2 stacks.
  • Filthy Transfusion – Your damaging abilities have a chance to invoke a tainted swamp beneath the target, siphoning health from them over 6 sec.
  • Rezan’s Fury – Your damaging abilities have a chance to call a Child of Rezan to viciously rend your target, dealing Physical damage and causing them to bleed over 12 sec.
  • Ruinous Bolt – Your spells and abilities have a chance to draw a Wandering Soul from Thros to serve you for 14 sec. The Soul blasts a nearby enemy every 2 sec, dealing Shadow damage.
  • Thunderous Blast – Dealing damage has a chance to call down a Thunderous Blast, dealing Nature damage to the enemy and increasing the damage of Thunderous Blast by 20%. At 100% increased damage, Thunderous Blast will critically hit and reset this effect.
  • Tidal Surge – Your damaging spells and abilities have a chance to release a tidal surge, dealing Frost damage to your target and slowing their movement speed by 20% for 6 sec.
  • Synaptic Spark Capacitor (Engineering) – Your spells and abilities have a chance to cause the target to become a Spark Coil for 10 sec. Enemies within 8 yards of the Spark Coil take damage every 2 seconds and deal 5% reduced damage to you. 
  • Barrage Of Many Bombs (Engineering) – Your spells and abilities have a chance to fire a bomb at your target, which when in proximity breaks into 5 smaller bombs. Upon hitting the ground, each smaller bomb deals damage to all nearby enemies. 
  • Battlefield Focus/Battlefield Precision (PVP) – Your abilities have a chance to apply 20 stacks of Battlefield Focus to an enemy, increasing damage taken from members of the Horde/Alliance. Applying Battlefield Focus to a member of the Alliance/Horde grants an additional 5 stacks.

MIddle Traits

All Traits Ranked

These traits are ranked by their overall estimated healing per second values. The primary focus of this list is for raiding. The rankings do transfer over to M+ but they change heavily depending on what you need to focus on.

  1. Blessed Portents – Your healing spells have a chance to apply Blessed Portents for 20 sec. When the ally falls below 50% health, Blessed Portents is consumed and instantly restores health.
  2. Concentrated Mending – Your healing effects have a chance to grant the target additional healing every 2 sec for 12 sec. This effect doubles every 2 sec.
  3. Overwhelming Power – Your damaging abilities have a chance to grant you 25 applications of Overwhelming Power. Each stack of Overwhelming Power grants Haste. An application of Overwhelming Power is removed every 1 sec or whenever you take damage.
  4. Earthlink – Azerite energy courses through you, reaching 54 primary stat and then diminishing down to 9 primary stat, cycling every 6 sec.
  5. Blood Siphon – Increases your Mastery and your Leech.
  6. Elemental Whirl – Your damaging abilities have a chance to grant you Elemental Whirl, increasing your Critical Strike, Haste, Mastery, or Versatility for 10 sec.
  7. Woundbinder – Your healing effects have a chance to increase your Haste for 6 sec. Healing lower health targets will grant you more Haste
  8. Unstable Flames – Your damaging abilities have a chance to grant critical strike rating for 5 sec. This effect stacks up to 5 times.
  9. Bracing Chill – Your heals have a chance to apply Bracing Chill. Healing a target with Bracing Chill will heal for an additional 1,155 and move Bracing Chill to a nearby ally (up to 6 times).
  10. Synergistic Growth – Casting your multi-target healing spell grants you Mastery for 10 sec sec. This cannot occur more than once every 30 sec.
  11. On My Way – Increases your Versatility and your Speed.
  12. Ephemeral Recovery – When you go below 20% mana, you gain mana. Can occur once every 3 min.
  13. Savior – Your heals on targets below 35% health have a chance to heal an additional amount.
Damage Traits

These Traits are not included in the rankings as they do not benefit healing.

  • Azerite Globules – Your damaging abilities have a chance to implant an Azerite Globule on your enemies. When an enemy collects 3 Azerite Globules, they explode, dealing Fire damage to nearby enemies.
  • Gutripper – Your damaging abilities have a chance to deal Physical damage to the target. Gutripper occurs much more often against targets below 30% health.
  • Heed My Call – Your damaging abilities have a chance to deal Nature damage to your target, and Nature damage to enemies within 3 yards of that target.
    • This trait provides very potent damage within M+.

Inner Traits

All Traits Ranked

These traits are ranked by their overall estimated healing per second values. The primary focus of this list is for raiding. The rankings do transfer over to M+ but they change heavily depending on what you need to focus on.

  1. Resounding Protection – Every 30 sec, gain an absorb shield for for 30 sec.
  2. Personal Absorb-o-Tron – Taking damage has a chance to call your Personal Absorb-o-Tron, absorbing the next damage you take over 1 min. 
  3. Sanctum – When you cast Fade, absorb Magic damage for 10 sec
  4. Auto-Self-Cauterizer – Taking damage has a chance to unleash your Auto-Self-Cauterizer, healing you, removing most* bleed effects, and snaring nearby enemies by 30% for 5 sec.
  5. Impassive Visage – When you take damage, heal. Cannot occur more than once every 6 sec.
  6. Death Denied – Leap of Faith absorbs the next damage to the target within 10 sec. While the shield holds, Leap of Faith cools down 200% faster.
  7. Self Reliance – While no enemies are within 20 yds, you heal for every 3 sec.
  8. Twist Magic – When you successfully Dispel Magic, heal yourself and 4 injured allies.
Unranked

These traits have not been ranked due to being highly situational or providing no direct healing benefits.

  • Longstrider – Increases your movement speed by 14% of your highest secondary rating, up to 4%.
  • Azerite Fortification – When stunned, immobilized, or knocked back, you heal.
  • Gemhide – When dealt damage greater than 10% of your maximum health, gain Avoidance and Armor for 10 sec.
  • Bulwark of the Masses – When you are surrounded by 4 or more enemies, gain a shield that absorbs damage. Cannot occur more than once every 15 sec.
  • Vampiric Speed – When an enemy you harmed dies, you heal and gain Speed for 6 sec.

Centre Trait

The most difficult decision to make within World of Warcraft, may the light be with you.

  1. Azerite Empowered – Increases the item level of this item by 5.

Rankings Visualised

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Consumables/Enchants/Gems

There are lots of new buffs you can obtain which you’ll want to get your hands on. All of which are listed below. As mentioned above, intellect is our best stat so take intellect buffs wherever possible. Otherwise haste is a very good option. If your haste is already high take whichever buffs your lowest stat.

Food

Light Buff Food

Large Buff Food

Larger Buff Food

Feasts

Large Feast

Enchants

Rings

Better Rings

Weapons

Flasks/Potions

Intellect

Better Intellect

Mana

Gems

Small Gems

Big Gems

Bigger Gems

Other

Runes

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UI/Addons/Macros

There are many different ways of setting up your user interface. Due to personal preference, the end look will always vary from person to person. While they are not mandatory, Addons and Macros can make your time as a healer both easier and more efficient. Discipline spends a lot of time dealing damage to enemies for Atonement healing. As a result, newer players quite often switch their active target from enemies to friendlies continuously. This style of play can be very inefficient and cumbersome to achieve.

I strongly recommend that your UI is set up in such a way that means you never need to switch off of having an enemy targeted. This can be achieved through the use of mouseovers which cast a spell on the target below your cursor without the need to switch active target. All healing spells should be cast on mouseover while damaging spells cast on active target.

Mousebinding Mouseovers

This simply means that you have all your helpful spells bound to various mouse keys with shift/ctrl/alt modifiers. Unfortunately, WoW is not very user-friendly when it comes to this method as any mouse bindings are not usable over any frame (unless specifically re-bound in the default keybindings). This is very simple to overcome through the use of Clique as it allows you to intuitively bind all spells without the need for macros. The downside to this is that it will only work on frames and not on any player model. The raid frame addons called VuhDo and Healbot have their own versions of Clique built in by default.

Keybinding Mouseovers

This simply means that you have all your helpful spells bound to various keyboard keys with shift/ctrl/alt modifiers (for example Q,E,F,X can be used). The various macros you can use to compliment this style will be shown below.

Addons

There are a lot of addons that do very similar things but look and set up differently. Which to go for is down to preference. I will highlight below the various popular addons below. Addon management is made considerably easier with the Twitch Desktop App. Ones which we recommend are highlighted with a .

UI

  • Elvui – Full UI overhaul
  • Bartender – Custom bars, easy re-sizing and keybinding
  • Weak Auras – Display a large variety of different graphics
  • Quartz – Casting bars
  • Z-Perl – Unit frames overhaul

Raid Frames

  • Elvui – Full UI overhaul
  • Grid 2 – Party/Raid frames
  • VuhDo – Party/Raid frames
  • Z-Perl – Unit frames overhaul
  • Healbot – Party/Raid frames
  • Clique – Used to supplement the above addons for mouse clicks (except for Healbot and VuhDo)

Tracking

Nameplates

Boss Mods

Macros

There are numerous ways you can write macros to do specific things that you need. If you can’t find what you’re looking for below feel free to check out Elvenbane’s Macros here. Alternatively, he is always around in discord to help.

Simple Mouseover

Mouseover only (help/harm depending on the spell)

#showtooltip Shadow Mend
/cast [@mouseover,help] Shadow Mend

Mouseover > Target (help/harm depending on spell)

#showtooltip Shadow Mend
/cast [@mouseover,help] [] Shadow Mend

You cannot cast Angelic Feather, Mass Dispel or Power Word: Barrier with a mouseover.

Penance

It’s strongly recommended keeping Offensive and Defensive Penance components separated (i.e use a macro with modifiers or use two separate keybinds with harm/help modifiers).

Self (alt) > Mouseover Harm (mod) > Mouseover Help > Target

#showtooltip
/cast [mod:alt,@player] [mod,@mouseover,harm,nodead] [@mouseover,help,nodead] [] Penance

Harm Only

#showtooltip Penance
/cast [harm] Penance

Help Only

#showtooltip Penance
/cast [@mouseover,help] Penance

Due to the way Penance works, when you try to queue another spell during its cast you can accidentally interrupt the last bolt of Penance. To avoid this apply the following condition to specific spells that cause it the most for you: “nochanneling:Penance” example below.

#showtooltip Smite
/cast [nochanneling:Penance] Smite
Angelic Feather

To self-cast Feathers directly on yourself without using the targeting reticule use the following macro.

#showtooltip
/cast [@player] Angelic Feather

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