Welcome to WarcraftPriests Discipline Priest Guide. This guide is updated to patch 9.0.5 World of Warcraft Shadowlands.

This section goes over our spec identifying ability known as Atonement and will cover many nuances in relation to its use.

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Atonement Application

To start out its essential 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. Due to this we typically value our atonement applicators for the Atonement duration and not the initial heal/absorb they come with. The number one issue many newer players face is trying to apply a large number of inefficient single target Atonements and running their mana dry. The baseline transfer of damage to healing through Atonement is 50%.

  • Power Word: Shield - Cheapest single target applicator that can be applied on the move.
    • Minimal overhealing unless the shield is not consumed.
    • Incurs a single GCD (1.5s) which means it is front-ended Atonement as it's applied on the cast.
    • Typically only used to apply Atonement if your target is at full health, you need to move or you have Rapture active.
  • Shadow Mend - Doubles up as our main direct heal spell for single target. Cannot be cast on the move.
    • Cast time is the same as a GCD (1.5s)
    • Atonement is applied on the end of the cast meaning its back-ended Atonement
    • Usually the most preferred method of applying Atonement on a single target.
  • Power Word: Radiance - 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.

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Healing / Damage Modifiers and How they Interact with Atonement

Below are two calculations including Twist of Fate to illustrate how both our damage and Atonement healing is calculated:

SpellTypeCalculationActual
PenanceDamageSpellpower * Intellect * ToF * Vers0.4 * 1000 * 1.2 * 1.05 = 540
PenanceHealing - AtonementSpellpower * Intellect * ToF * Vers * Atonement Transfer * Mastery0.4 * 1000 * 1.2 * 1.05 * 0.5 *1.25 = 315
Assumed values: 1000 intellect, 5% vers, mastery 25%.
  • 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, Soulbinds and Conduits 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 / Mind Sear will do healing through Atonement but only on the first instance of damage.

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