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Discipline Priest Healing Guide for PvE

discipline priest PvE healing

Discipline uses magic to shield allies from taking damage as well as heal their wounds. This guide is intended for the raiding Discipline Priest. If you’re looking for PvP, leveling, or the other specs then see the links in the “contents” section.

Discipline Priest Contents

This Discipline Priest guide is primarily intended for use at max level. However, some of the principals will still apply during the leveling process. If you’re looking for advice on leveling your Priest, check out our Priest Leveling Guide.

If you want the same in-game step by step leveling guide that we use to get to the level cap as fast as possible, take a look at our favorite in-game Shadowlands leveling guide.

Other Priest Guides: 


Race Choice for Priests

See our Overview of the Priest page for all of the available races, including the allied races.


Discipline Priest Healing Talents

There will be times when you want to switch talents. Fortunately, this is easy. Just click the new one in your talent pane, spend one tome, click “learn” and you’re good. Don’t forget to adjust your key(s.)

The selected talents are an overall good pick, but there will be times when you want to switch them around. With the proving grounds it will be easy to test new talents and glyphs. Our picks are checked: Best talent. Descriptions are below the image.


Tier 1, Level 15

  1. Castigation
  2. Twist of Fate
  3. Schism

Tier 2, Level 30

  1. Body and Soul adds a nice speed boost to our Power Word: Shield. If your targets of PW:S typcially also need the speed boost, then this is your pick. If the target is in a group that had to stay together while kiting whatever, then they might get annoyed with you.
  2. Masochism
  3. Best talent Angelic Feather is ideal for providing on demand speed boosts to one player at a time. Very flexible. Not as expensive to cast as Power Word: Shield (under Body and Soul,) but requires proper placement and it’s easy for the wrong player to trigger it, especially when they’re stacked up. But then again, in those situations you probably won’t be using it on them anyway.

Tier 3, Level 45

No clear winner here, grab whichever works best for you. If your Mana is good then grab Surge or Solace, depending on your needs.

  1. Shield Discipline
  2. Best talent Mindbender boosts Shadowfiend, increasing our mana regeneration, which isn’t bad at all. THis is the pick on the assumption that you need the mana. Take solace if you’re doing damage, Surge otherwise.
  3. Power Word: Solace – Take this if you want to add to the team’s damage and you don’t need the extra mana of Mindbender. PW: Solace does return some mana.

Tier 4, Level 60

Doesn’t matter much which one you grab. All three of these are situationally useful at best and unlikely to add much to a fight.

  1. Psychic Voice
  2. Dominate Mind is exactly what it sounds like. Note that dominated targets will attack you when the domination wears off.
    1. The Macro:
    2. /cast Dominate Mind
    3. /run PlaySoundFile(“Sound\\Creature\\LichKing\\EH_LichKing_Greeting2.wav”)
    4. (the sound says “Your will is not your own.”)
  3. Shining Force

Tier 5, Level 75

All of these will add to your overall effectiveness, but Power Infusion gives you a burst when you need it.

  1. Sins of the Many
  2. Contrition
  3. Shadow Covenant

Tier 6, Level 90

Cascade is better for larger groups, Halo for smaller groups, and Divine Star should be skipped.

  1. Purge the Wicked
  2. Divine Star is a cheap heal with a short cooldown. Best if your raid group stacks up or forms small, tight groups. It can pull adds if they’re too close or you miss. Prayer of Healing is better than Divine star, to skip this one.
  3. Halo is the better choice when your raid is really spread out and your need to heal a number of targets at range. Expensive heal, but if that’s how your group tends to stack up then it’s the best pick. Not recommended in a dungeon full of aggressive trash.

Tier 7, Level 100

Depends on who you’re healing…

  1. Lenience
  2. Luminous Barrier
  3. Evangelism


Discipline Glyphs

Useful glyphs went away some time back. Now they are all cosmetic.


Discipline Stat Priorities

  1. Item Level (with Int)
  2. Primary: Intellect – this is your spellpower
  3. Secondary: Haste > Critical > Mastery (see note on Crit, below) > Versatility

Crit – A commenter says, “Divine Aegis doesn’t just come from prayer of healing. It actually procs on critical heals. Instead of healing 200%, you get 100% heal and a 100% shield. High crit disc priests are a viable build.” PW Shield is also affected by Crit, but not by Divine Aegis.

Mastery and Crit are more or less equal, depending on your spell usage. Make note of which spells you’re actually using all the time and experiment a bit. Look at your healing meters, mana usage, and how people are surviving. Experiment a bit until you have a good plan. Mastery and crit play well with each other. You should prioritize Crit, but keep Mastery close.

Haste speeds up your casts, how fast your HOTs tick, and so on. It also helps you burn mana faster.

Versatility adds to your healing, damage, and your damage reduction.



Discipline Abilities and Rotations

Buffing Up and Being Even More Useful

You have certain useful abilities, in addition to your heals. Keep in mind that buffs do not stack with similar buffs that others bring to the table.

  • Power Word: Fortitude: +10% Stamina to the entire party. This also gives you a brief 40% Haste Boost from all Haste sources. You also get the same effect from PW: Shield, which you’ll be using a little more often.
  • Fear Ward:the next fear against the target will fail.
  • Purify: Removes all disease and magic effects from an ally.
  • Dispell Magic: Removes a useful magic effect from the target.
  • Mass Dispel: Does the same, but to a 15 yard radius and removes harmful effects from your pals. If glyphed it also removes an otherwise undispellable effect.


  1. Spirit Shell (1 min CD) if you took it can be used to build up an absorption effect on your target if you anticipate them suffering a heavy amount of damage.
  2. Power Word: Barrier is a raid defensive cooldown best used when your raid is stacked together so they can all benefit from the damage reduction effect.
  3. Pain Suppression is another survivability cooldown you should generally save for use on a tank in advance of heavy damage although it can also be used in emergency to save anyone who requires high damage mitigation.
  4. Shadowfiend (from your Mindbender talent, if you took it) should be used on cooldown for extra mana regeneration and a minor amount of DPS.

Single Target Healing

  1. Penance on the tank, or a secondary target, and as it recovers from cooldown.
  2. Power Word: Shield on the tank or other target needing it. Using this ability will trigger Borrowed Time which adds 15% spell haste to our next spell cast, this buff lasts for 6 seconds.
  3. Prayer of Mending on the raid. It should be applied to a target at all times as it will jump to other players as they take damage.
  4. Heal as needed. It has a very low mana cost but a moderate cast time and healing effect. Use this as much as possible to conserve mana.
  5. Flash Heal is faster to cast, but requires more mana. Save it for when that faster cast is more important than the mana cost.
  6. Apply Renew to your target if Prayer of Mending is unavailable and they have Weakened Soul and therefore cannot have Power Word: Shield cast on them.
  7. Binding Heal heals both you and the target and should be used in the event that you need to heal yourself at the same time as someone else.

Area/Group Healing

When AoE healing you will primarily be using Prayer of Mending, Power Word: Shield, and Prayer of Healing.

  • Prayer of Healing applies the Divine Aegis effect to everyone you heal with it, granting them additional survivability and should be cast as often as is necessary as well as perhaps prior to a period of heavy damage to build up the absorption effect of Divine Aegis.
  • Holy Nova is useful when the raid is taking less damage and/or you have to move around.

Variations on a Theme

Atonement healing requires that you damage enemy targets to heal your allies as Holy Fire, Smite and Penance will heal a nearby friendly target within 15 yards for 100% of the damage dealt. You, the caster, will only be healed for 50% as much.

Evangelism stacks build up when you deal direct damage with Penance, Smite or Holy Fire, stacking up to a maximum of 5 times. Each stack increases the amount of damage done by your Penance, Smite and Holy Fire spells by 4% and reduces their mana cost by 6%.

Archangel consumes all your stacks of Evangelism, increasing the effectiveness of your healing by 5% for each stack consumed for 18 seconds.


Tier 3 Talented Abilities:

  1. Surge of  Light procs will allow you to instantly cast Flash Heal with no mana cost. The charges of this proc stack up to a maximum of 2 times and so should be used as often as possible to avoid wasting charges.
  2. Mindbender simply enhances your Shadowfiend and is best used if you need the mana. Dump it when your mana regen is fine without it.
  3. Power Word: Solace can be used for damage and extra mana regeneration.

Tier 5 Talented Abilities:

  1. Twist of Fate is a passive effect that grants 15% increased healing and damage for 10 seconds after you damage or heal a target below 20% health.
  2. Power Infusion is a cooldown you should save for when immense healing is required, it also reduces the mana cost of your spells making them more efficient.


Discipline Priest Videos


Discipline Priest Gems

Your Priest bonus adds to any Int gem bonuses, making them worth 5% more Int, that bonus does not add to other stats. Note that there are no Int gems for Warlords gear.

In pre-Warlords gear Gemming should be for Spirit first, until you can last an entire fight without running out of mana. Running low during or at the end of a fight is fine, running out is not. Gem and gear appropriately.

In Warlords there are no Spirit gems.

Before level 91… gem for Int and Crit/Mastery.

Some warlords Notes:

  • Gems sockets are actually few and far between. They have a (small) random chance to appear on level 100 gear. Also, there are no meta gems or sockets, there are no socket bonuses, and all sockets are “prismatic,” which means that they will take any available gem.
  • The gem themselves are actually available. They are all prismatic, meaning they fit into any socket. None have Int, they all have secondary stats (Mastery, etc.) Apparently there are no Meta sockets or gems.
  • Older (Mists of Pandaria) gems work until item level 600, but the item squish cut them down a bit. What used to be 160 Int is now 10, for example. The new Prismatic gems are 50 points of Crit or whatever.
  • Older gems (Mists of Pandaria and lower) that used to code for Hit now do Crit, gems that had Expertise are now Haste.

In Warlords you should gem for Crit.


Discipline Enchantments:

Short on gold? If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Zygor Addon can do about about fixing your poverty.

In BFA you can only enchant your rings and weapons. At lower levels other items can be enchanted.

Weapons, Main & Off-Hand



Consumables for Discipline Priests

All food buffs last one hour and disappear if you die. Pandarens get twice the food buff.


Elixirs: In Warlords there are no elixirs that give stats.


Potions: If you pop one immediately before combat you will be able to pop another during combat.




Professions for Discipline Priests

Even the gathering professions have some value, though you might be better served by using those to build a larger gold stash.

In Warlords there are no professions bonuses. No special stat boosts that characters without the profession cannot get. The only profession that provides a stat buff, to yourself or anyone else, is cooking (feasts will feed the raid for +75 to their best secondary stat.)

Professions now are for the gear and/or the gold. Most have something that can be used as starting raid/pvp gear or sold, such as ilevel 640 gear pieces. Leveling a profession can be done quickly and relatively easily once you get the Draenor version. As far as gear goes you might be better served by using those to build a larger gold stash.

Some of the professions, eg: Engineering, have really useful items for leveling and world events. They’re not usable in raids, however (sigh.. no firing rockets at the boss…)

Blacksmithing Mail and Plate armor and weapons. Keys for locks.
Engineering has lots of interesting toys, some of which have situational use.
Jewelcrafting Useful rings and neck items, pretty gems, gemmed mounts.
Inscription Glyphs, some trinkets, caster weapons, fortune & Darkmoon cards, and more.
Alchemy Chemistry is fun, unfortunately you can’t make acids or bombs. You can make flasks and potions to boost stats and cause other interesting effects.
Enchanting Enchant all those items and cast illusionary enchants.
Tailoring Cloth armor, flying carpet, murlock chew toy.
Leatherworking Leather and mail armor
Skinning For gold gathering and for leatherworking
Herbalism For Inscription, Alchemy, and gold gathering
Mining Making gold and powering Blacksmithing and some engineering.





How to Get your Priest to the Level CapASAP

Zygor's for the fastest Priest LevelingPriest leveling is easy, especially for Shadow. Holy and Disc. can level in PvP or Dungeons and Shadow can do all of that and quest effectively. Then you hit the tops and the game changes. And then you have those other alts you want to level though those 120 levels (60 in Shadowlands.)

With the thousands of quests to the cap and a bazillion mobs to kill (not to mention other players, but they don’t count here) sorting out which quests are best and which series of quests will get you maxed the fastest is important, which is why we highly recommend Zygor’s Guide.

Zygor’s is an in-game guide and it nearly automates the whole leveling process: you just pick your starting point, at any level, and the guide tracks which quest you’re on, tracks the quest objectives, and automatically advances and updates as you complete your tasks and quests. In addition, a waypoint arrow is set automatically, so you never have to wonder where to go. All of the important quest info is included in the guide so you never have to wonder what to do. You’ll find that it’s vastly superior to the in-game questing help.

Playing with Heirlooms and/or Recruit a friend? Gaining a few levels in the dungeons or in PvP? Zygor has your backThe guide knows what level you are and will correctly suggest where to go next and will let you dump all of your obsolete quests. You will probably never need to look at your quest log again.

Grab your copy here and get to 90 as fast as possible, or read our review, first.

Like this page? How about recommending it and/or commenting?

7 thoughts on “Discipline Priest Healing Guide for PvE”

  1. love this page even thought it might be out dated but whatever, can u tell me how u casted spirit shell so fast like that? looked way easy to do

      1. sorry if I wasn’t clear, just looked like u casted spirit shell on one guy for the entir grp and at same time casting POH, just trying to improve my healing skills. so I didn’t know if it was a macro or something else.

  2. Divine Aegis doesn’t just come from prayer of healing. It actually procs on critical heals. Instead of healing 200%, you get 100% heal and a 100% shield. High crit disc priests are a viable build.


  3. I always enjoy your guides. Thank you very much for doing them =)
    I want to ask what heirlooms i should get? I am currently lvl 20.


    1. Hi Analune, If you have a high level main, I recommend you first get your level 20 Discipline Priest:

      These increase your XP gain and don’t require Justice Points. You just need gold & Guild rep to get these.

      Next, use Justice Points to pick up:

      It’s really up to you whether you complete the armor set or get the weapon first. The weapon will increase both your healing and damage, while the armor will give you bonus XP.

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