Welcome to WarcraftPriests Discipline Priest Guide. This guide is updated to patch 9.0 World of Warcraft Shadowlands. This section will specifically cover Spirit Shell and which abilities to ramp for per boss in Castle Nathria.

Spirit Shell

Spirit Shell is gaining considerable popularity due to its sheer strength via absorption, easier gameplay and boss ability timings tailoring to it extremely well (While not exactly being healthy to the healing environment). This style of healing is only this potent due to our legendary Clarity of Mind and soulbind conduit Exaltation.

What is Ramping?

This is a phrase coined quite some time ago due and has stuck around since. It simply refers to the playstyle of building up a large number of Atonements in preparation for damage and executing damage into this high count for significant burst healing. For more in-depth details regarding ramping head over to the main gameplay guide and head to Spirit Shell raid healing.

The go to talent build for Spirit Shell is:

Your main ramp needs to begin a good 20 seconds before the known incoming damage and will consist of the following sequence:

Atonement Phase

  1. Apply/refresh Shadow Word: Pain / Purge the Wicked.
  2. Apply 5-8 Atonements via Shadow Mend or Power Word: Shield.
  3. Use 2 charges of Power Word: Radiance.
    • If you're fortunate to have an Innervate, make sure it is active during these radiance casts.
  4. Cast Spirit Shell, Mindbender
  5. Use a trinket such as a Badge.

Damage Phase

  1. Cast Schism
  2. Mind Games (Venthyr)
  3. Penance
  4. Mind Blast
  5. Smite's

Between the Spirit Shells - Beware of Mana

Mana can become extremely volatile if you are spending it on too many non-ramp Atonements. In-between the shells is the time for you to be as conservative as possible and only apply Atonement when it is necessary. If at any point you have mana troubles you must cut back on single target Atonement applications.

  • In-between your main ramp you will have one spare Power Word: Radiance charge and you simply use it on the next incoming ability.
  • Make sure your charges do not cap at 2 as this could delay your next main ramp (unless you intend to hold both until the next ramp).
  • Always make sure you have Schism available for this spare charge. There will, of course, be times you cant pair them, but always try and plan to. Make sure to use it 24 seconds before your next main ramp.

Castle Nathria Bosses

A lot of the information below is derived from Warcraftlogs, which is a great tool for analysing performance. Checking timings of incoming damage and seeing where others time their CD's is an extremely useful skill to have. Please note that all timings highlighted below can vary from pull to pull, but are usually consistent.

Shriekwing

For all difficulties, the only ability to be aware of is Wave which deals Damage and applies a DoT for 12s.

Damage Pattern

The pattern will always have a set of four Wave into an intermission and repeat at the below timings. You have different ways of approaching your Spirit Shell timings as you will only be able to cover two per set.

To cover the first Wave in each set you will need to begin your ramp pre pull and slightly before the end of the intermission. Which option you go for can be worked around your other healers and when they will use CD's.

Option 1

Option 2

Intermission

There should be very minimal healing to do during this phase as good management of the lantern will only give your raid a minor DoT via Blood. Keep in mind that the boss is not targetable, meaning you cannot provide any Atonement healing.

Raid Frame Setup

  • Echo - Spell ID 342077
  • Exa - Spell ID 328897

Huntsman Altimor

This boss consists of a couple of abilities to be aware of which occur at different points throughout the fight. These are not the easiest to ramp for as the damage is inconsistent and relatively low impact until the last phase. Be aware of the following abilities:

  • Lunge + Wound - A stack zone to spread the damage which leaves a DoT.
  • Sin - Randomly targets three allies.
  • Unstable - Caused after Rip and pulses AoE damage to the raid whilst the Soul is alive.
    • If the tank handles this well it won't need to be healed much. Subsequently, meaning there won't be much to heal on the raid.
  • Shattering - This damage comes out later once Hecutis joins the fight.
    • Caused by movement of the add when it has stacks of Crush

Damage Pattern

  • Cover the first Vicious lunge that comes at around 25s with Spirit Shell + Power Word: Radiance x2
  • Always use your spare Power Word: Radiance x1 + Schism to cover damage in between your main ramps. for example, you can stand near the three targets of Sinseeker to use yourself as the Atonement spreader.
  • Your second Spirit Shell + Power Word: Radiance x2 will come on a Rip Soul add.
    • Which ones you cover will depend on your time spent in this phase and how many you expect to have. The usual guidance will be to ramp the first and third.
    • If you know that your tank is receiving externals and the rip soul add won't be around for long. It will be worthwhile adjusting for a different rip soul for your main ramp.
  • Your last ramp will fall in line with Hecutis and his movement. Make sure you can see the stacks of Crush. If these stacks are high the tank is likely to move and you should ramp before this moment.
    • Alternatively, you can ramp and request that your tank moves as you have shields out ready.

Rip Soul

While our mana efficiency would be hit harshly trying to heal these up, be mindful of their health and help out if it is a consistent issue in your raid that these hit the boss.

Raid Frame Setup

Hungering Destoyer

There is plenty of things to cover on this boss and you typically benefit the most by simply getting as many Spirit Shell ramps in as possible. Absorbs are particularly potent on this fight due to certain allies being immune to healing through Glut. The main damage sources are:

  • Glut - Occurs throughout the fight and deals damage to anyone soaking the circle to heal their allies.
  • Desolate - A simple AoE burst to the entire raid.
  • Expunge - Another AoE burst to the entire raid but requires movement to the edges of the room to place orbs in a safe location.
  • Consume - Raid wide AoE damage where the whole raid will likely opt to stack near the entrance of the room.

Damage Pattern

The pattern will always go as follows: Desolate -> Expunge -> Desolate -> Expunge -> Consume -> Repeat.

  • There is plenty of debate surrounding which timings you want to use on this boss.
  • You could opt to try and cover as many Expunges as possible as this is generally the time where most deaths will occur. This is due to the raid being spread at the ages and specific allies still being healing immune (absorbs still work).
  • Spirit Shell will do the majority of the heavy lifting here. Only use PW:S as an emergency absorb measure to save them from dying.

Below is a popular set of timings to use for your Spirit Shell + Power Word: Radiance x2 ramp.

  • Desolate 1 (25s)
  • Consume 1 (1:33)
  • Desolate 4 (2:37)
  • Desolate 5 (3:37)
  • Consume 3 (4:40)
  • Desolate 8 (5:45)

Your spare Power Word: Radiance charge and Schism in-between ramps will simply be used on the next incoming ability.

Raid Frame Setup

  • Glut - Spell ID 329298
  • Ejec - Spell ID 334228
  • Essence Sap (Mythic / optional) - Spell ID 334755
    • This may be handy to track as it will allow you to see who will take more damage if they are at high stacks.
    • Can lead to frame bloat as it will be on a lot of allies at once.

Sun King's Salvation

When tackling this boss on normal or heroic, it is completely fine to play as Disc and timings will be highlighted. If you are progressing this on mythic, unfortunately, you must switch spec to Holy.

Normal/Heroic

Damage Pattern

The goal of this fight is to heal Kael'thas as much as you can. Whilst you can put in some main ramps for the damage events highlighted above (timers will vary considerably). The majority of your mana will be spent casting Shadowmend into the boss.

Mythic

Unfortunately, there is no debate here. Switching to Holy is the absolute best option simply due to Guard. This ability combined with the talent Spirit grants a gigantic healing increase for all healers onto Kael'thas. Similarly Divine will also increase healing onto Kael'thas.

If you aren't already utilising all your other soulbinds or have spare energy. It will also be worthwhile substituting in a conduit that increases the Guard value even further. The conduit is Lasting.

Lady Inerva Darkvein

There is consistent damage throughout the entire fight. Ultimately, the goal is to get Spirit Shell used as often as possible. Interestingly enough, this fight requires less healing on Mythic. A good portion of your shields is likely to overheal due to lack of damage intake.

It is entirely possible to get targeted with Shared (always targets one healer) during your ramps which can interrupt/ hinder how effective it will be. You will have to run to the orbs and line up correctly in order to remove them.

Damage Pattern

Combine your main Spirit Shell + Power Word: Radiance x2 ramps with when canisters are opened. The timings for this will vary but each canisters total anima is shown in a display so you will at least be aware of when they need to be opened. Alternatively, you can ask someone to open it as you have shields rolling.

Mythic

As there will be no canister openings you can freely do your main ramp as often as you possibly can, which means your first Atonement applications will begin pre-pull.

Line up your spare Power Word: Radiance charge in between ramps for Bottled Anima soaking where possible.

Raid Frame Setup

Artificer Xy'mox

This fight has relatively consistent damage output with extrapolated damage events.

  • Aura - Persistent AoE damage through the fight.
  • Hyper - Drawn out AoE damage to the raid as it jumps between players.
  • Glyph - Large AoE to the entire raid, damage falls off depending on the distance to the tank that's exploding.
  • Anni - Strong pull in effect which deals tremendous damage if you are within its inner circle.
  • Withering Touch - Major ticking damage to whoever has the debuff (there will only be two out as one time).
    • This will be a cause of many deaths. Even though your mana will hate you, it will be worthwhile to keep them healthy with Shadowmend or at least have Atonement on them.
    • Tanks wont need externals during this fight so freely use Pain to reduce their damage intake (especially useful during Annihilation).

Damage Pattern

You want to be using all your main ramps for Glyph. Below is an example of timings that are very effective; It comes in too frequently to cover each with a Spirit Shell. Be prepared to completely ditch your ramp if you get targeted with Fix or Tear.

The timings below can vary quite considerably. Later into the fight, you can use Anni as a good indicator of your timings. Glyph of Destruction usually follows shortly after the pull stops, which is a good time to start a main ramp.

Raid Frame Setup

  • Wither - Spell ID 340860
  • Fixate - Spell ID 327902
  • Tear - Spell ID 328448 and 328468

The Council of Blood

The timings of this boss are incredibly volatile due to timings that each boss is pushed to 50%, triggering the Dance. Mythic introduces a significant damage taken increase and changes the damage pattern. Mythic will rely very heavily on well-coordinated raid CD's for each Dancing Fever.

Something very important to be aware of is Shield. When a Dutiful Attendant spawns the lowest HP council member will receive this shield until the add is killed. This shield will prevent all healing via atonement as it is a full immunity to damage. When this happens and you need to heal, the best bet is pre-switch to another member.

  • Dancing (Mythic) - Extreme burst damage to the raid (applies 3 stacks to 5 players).
  • Oppressive - Stacking aura DoT on the entire raid whilst fighting the council. Stacks drop during the Dance.
  • Throw - Randomly targeted damage to raid members. Damage increases towards the end of the fight.
  • Dark - This is likely to cause plenty of deaths. It can't really be countered by healing as it's entirely up to individual play and tends to be a one-shot if done incorrectly.

Damage Pattern

The pattern should always be very similar. Boss 1 to 50% -> Dance Macabre -> Boss 1 to 0% + Boss 2 to 50% -> Dance Macabre -> Boss 2 to 0% + Boss 3 to 50% -> Dance Macabre -> Boss 3 to 0%.

Normal/Heroic

The best thing to be ramping for at these difficulties is Oppressive. You want your main Spirit Shell + Power Word: Radiance x2 ramp to land as you get to around 3-4 Stacks. Some rough timings are shown below:

  • 3 Stacks Oppressive Aura (30s)
  • Dance Macabre
  • 3 Stacks Oppressive Aura (2:02)
  • 3 Stacks Oppressive Aura (3:02)
  • Dance Macabre
  • 3 Stacks Oppressive Aura (4:54)
  • 3 Stacks Oppressive Aura (5:53)
  • Dance Macabre
  • 3 Stacks Oppressive Aura (7:36)

Mythic

Mythic timings are completely changed up as you want to ramp for every single Dancing; rough timings shown below. Ramping needs to begin around ~14s pre pull to make sure you have absorbs building for the first Fever. Similarly, each time you do the Dance Macabre you will need to ramp during. As you get to 5 stacks of Fancy you will want to begin your ramp. Positioning can be tricky whilst attempting a ramp if you are placed far back in the room.

Oppressive stacks typically line up with the last two out of the set of three in-between the Dance Macabre. So your Spirit Shell will likely always be used up if you mis time it.

  • Dancing Fever 1 (5s)
  • Dance Macabre
  • Dancing Fever 2 (1:40)
  • Dancing Fever 3 (2:40)
  • Dancing Fever 4 (3:40)
  • Dance Macabre
  • Dancing Fever 5 (4:55)
  • Dancing Fever 6 (5:55)
  • Dancing Fever 7 (6:55)
  • Dance Macabre
  • Dancing Fever 8 (8:15)
  • Dancing Fever 9 (9:15)

Raid Frame Setup

Sludgefist

This is a nice short fight with a predictable damage pattern and persistent damage to the raid. You can choose different abilities to cover which depends on preference, kill timings and other healer CD usage.

  • Roar - Frequent strong AoE damage and pushback to the raid.
  • Impact - The boss will charge into a pillar and cause massive AoE damage to the entire raid.
    • The boss is stunned for 12s after and takes 100% increased damage (this does not increase your healing via Atonement).
  • Crumble - After a pillar has been destroyed the entire raid will receive a minor DoT which stacks on further pillar destruction.
    • Collapse - A much deadlier DoT is applied if the boss slams into a wall instead of a pillar.
  • Chain - Half of the raid will be marked and linked to one another applying a minor DoT to them.
  • Seismic Shift (Mythic) - The raid needs to be spread 4 yards of each other to avoid the damage from this ability.

Damage Pattern

The "triple" pattern always goes as follows: Roar -> Roar -> Impact -> Repeat

The first roar in each sequence is usually the least impactful in terms of the possibility of deaths; The very first roar is also impossible to ramp for efficiently. The second roar or impact are the best options for your main Spirit Shell + Power Word: Radiance x2 ramp. Once you have selected which you want to ramp for, you simply ramp for that in every single "triple" pattern.

The Impact is notified on boss timers by Hate.

  • Roar 1 (7s)
  • Roar 2 (37s)
  • Hateful Gaze -> Destructive Impact 1 (56s)
  • Roar 3 (1:09)
  • Roar 4 (1:45)
  • Hateful Gaze -> Destructive Impact 2 (2:04)
  • Roar 5 (2:17)
  • Roar 6 (2:54)
  • Hateful Gaze -> Destructive Impact 3 (3:12)
  • Roar 7 (3:25)
  • Roar 8 (4:02)
  • Hateful Gaze -> Destructive Impact 4 (4:21)
  • Roar 9 (4:34)
  • Roar 10 (5:10)
    • Hateful Gaze -> Destructive Impact 5 (5:28)
    • This will hit a wall. Big damage. Big ouchies.

Stone Legion Generals

This boss has extremely inconsistent timings and abilities that are just too short to be able to ramp for every single one. The goal for us on this fight is to ramp as many Pulv's as possible.

  • Laceration - Applied periodically to random targets throughout the encounter. Painful DoT that is permanent until removed by the Crystalize.
  • Meteor - Triggered by Crystalize. Those hit have their stacks of Laceration cleared.
    • The subsequent circle spawned afterwards needs to be soaked by the raid to spread the major damage.
    • Occurs just under a 1minute timer meaning you ramp for every other (sometimes the cast is delayed due to spell-queueing).
  • Echo - Ground DoT that must be soaked by a singular player when it's about to explode.
  • Rend - A Strong, dispellable, DoT effect placed on random targets.
    • Once dispelled or expired applies Heart to the same target. This DoT is very deadly and will need attention (only dispel when you intend to give that target additional healing attention).
    • Make sure to have Atonement rolling on either DoT effect and even Shadow Mend to keep them alive where necessary.

Damage Pattern

  • While there are many damage sources going on, the above is what's most important to our ramp timings.
  • You want to cover as many meteor hits as possible.
  • A small tip here on Mythic is to cast Mind Blast before the add casts Feast to help reduce the blow.
  • As you won't be able to cover all meteor's you will have two spare charges of Power Word: Radiance to use in between ramps. Example timings are shown below:
Meteor #Heroic TimingMythic Timing
133s40s
21:231:36
32:142:32
43:034:39
53:545:39
64:506:38
75:467:34
86:389:34
97:3110:19
108:2211:21

Raid Frame Setup

Sire Denathrius

This fight has three phases which has different abilities for us to focus on in each. This boss can vary considerably depending on how fast you push into phase 2 and then into phase 3.

  • Blood Price - Large AoE to entire raid whilst nobody can control their characters.
  • Cleansing - Frontal damage that must be soaked by selected raid members to clear their stacks of Burden of Sin.
    • Burden DoT applied to the entire raid at the start of the encounter.
    • Painful are adds that spawn for each ally that removes a stack of Burden of Sin. They inflict AoE damage to the entire raid.
  • Crimson - Cabalist's are summoned and channel AoE damage to the entire raid.
  • Hand of Destruction - Major AoE damage dealt to the raid that is reduced by increasing distance from Denathrius.

Damage Pattern

Once again, there is a lot of other damage sources going on during this encounter but the above is the focus for our ramps.

Phase 1

The goal in this phase is to use our main Spirit Shell + Power Word: Radiance x2 ramp on every Blood Price

  • Begin your first ramp here around 5s pre-pull.
  • Try to time your Mind Games (Venthyr) alongside the Feeding damage dealt.
    • This is because the healing done to Denathrius will also be reversed and added to your Atonement healing.
    • Usually occurs shortly before the Blood price.
  • Blood Price 1 (27s)
  • Blood Price 2 (1:25)
  • Blood Price 3 (2:23)

Phase 2

The ability to cover in this phase is Crimson. The damage intake is at its highest as soon as the adds spawn.

As soon as you land for the first set and as soon as the two cabalist's spawn for the second set is the time to begin a ramp.

If your transition timing meant you had just cast Spirit Shell before coming down you are going to miss out on a lot of healing on the first Chorus.

  • Crimson Chorus 1 (3:05)
  • Crimson Chorus 2 (4:30)

Phase 3

The main ability to cover in this phase is Hand of Destruction. Similarly to phase two, if your transition timing meant you had just cast Spirit Shell, you may miss out on healing for the first cast.

As the timers are a little tricky and shorter than Spirit Shell's CD you may just need to opt to ramp at different timings. Another good ability to cover is Fatal pool soaking.

  • Hand of Destruction 1 (7:00)
  • Hand of Destruction 2 (7:33)
  • Hand of Destruction 3 (8:19)

Raid Frame Setup

  • Fatal - Spell ID 332797 and 332794