On socket bonuses
The following are recommended gems for priests.
As I said earlier, the long-term value of throughput and regen stats is hard to determine this early in the expansion. At first glance, mana is the biggest limitation healers have in PvE content. I expect most players will have these concerns for at least the first six months of Cataclysm
, so I recommend prioritizing regen when you gem and activating socket bonuses with that in mind. Having discussed mastery earlier, yellow sockets will be the least desirable to activate, but you can still activate them with an orange gem or possibly even a green gem.
You may end up with a bit of a mishmash of different gem types on your gear trying to get your socket bonuses and the gems you like, but at the beginning of an expansion, this isn't a big deal since each of our desirable stats is lacking, anyway.
For meta gems, the following will be the most useful to a PvE discipline priest.
- Ember Shadowspirit Diamond For players who don't want to use a Wrath meta gem, this will probably be the meta of choice. This gem provides a nice buff to intellect as well as mana pool.
- Revitalizing Shadowspirit Diamond This gem provides throughput through additional crit effect (this is not the same as additional crit rating) and spirit. Definitely appealing to disc priests who find themselves high on crit and want to see a bit more out of their crit healing.
- Insightful Earthsiege Diamond This Wrath meta gem did not see an upgrade in Cataclysm, but with mana being in short supply, I expect to see many priests defaulting back to this dated gem. The proc chance is really low (5 percent on a 15-second internal cooldown), but it returns 600 mana when you do get lucky. Definitely appealing in Cataclysm.
Players considering the increased run speed meta gem
should keep in mind the effect does not stack with our buff Inner Will
Reforging gear isn't too necessary on discipline priests because we currently use all our stats in some way. If you have an undesirable stat like hit, then definitely reforge that, but overall, you won't need to do too much reforging if you want to stay balanced. If you are having trouble in one area, though (mana, more than likely), then reforge whatever you can to spirit. For secondary stats, tend toward what you think you are lacking, as well as your role and playstyle.
With the new glyph system, you can stock up on all the glyphs you may potentially use and swap between them whenever you please. The glyphs below are glyphs you should learn as a discipline priest.
- Glyph of Penance Always keep this glyph inscribed, as it reduces the cooldown of one of our strongest heals. Probably the only truly mandatory glyph disc priests have.
- Glyph of Power Word: Barrier A must-have for raiding disc priests, this glyph increases all healing done underneath the barrier. That means the heals of other healers, as well. In 5-mans, this can be very beneficial, but since you're the only healer putting anything out, you can pass if you prefer something else. Mandatory for raiding, optional for 5-man.
- Glyph of Power Word: Shield The free heal from this glyph can and does add up. Not necessarily mandatory, but very close.
- Glyph of Flash Heal Using this glyph is going to be dependent on how often you use Flash Heal. Optional.
- Glyph of Prayer of Healing The new changes to Divine Aegis and Prayer of Healing gives incentive to cast Prayer of Healing, which means this glyph is great, especially in 5-mans where it serves as a strong alternative to Glyph of Power Word: Barrier. Optional.
- Glyph of Dispel Magic This is an incredibly strong glyph. You have to cast Dispel Magic anyway, so to toss in a decent-sized, free heal, you'll get a much more rewarding spell in your toolbox.
- Glyph of Divine Accuracy This glyph is mandatory if you want to use Evangelism and Archangel.
- Glyph of Holy Nova This is a circumstantial glyph because the mana efficiency of Holy Nova is so poor. If you have something you need to spam down or up with Holy Nova, then this is your choice.
- Glyph of Mass Dispel Dispelling is very important in the expansion, so if you find an encounter that needs it, this glyph is what you want to use. However, this Mass Dispel is quite costly and the Glyph of Dispel Magic heals individual targets. If you only need to dispel a few people, it's better to individually dispel them.
- Glyph of Psychic Scream This glyph is helpful but not mandatory. It makes using Psychic Scream much safer in a dungeon, but when do you use Psychic Scream in a dungeon? Circumstantially: either to counter a specific mechanic where an instant cast crowd control works best, or when there is an emergency and you want to go above and beyond to help out your group.
- Glyph of Fading Though you won't be using Fade very often, when you do this glyph will reduce the amount of mana it costs, which is quite handy in a mana strapped world.
- Glyph of Fortitude Similarly to the reasoning for taking the last glyph, Glyph of Fortitude will cut down the cost of buffing. This is really important if someone dies, is battle rezzed, and needs buffs. If you have a shadow priest in the raid, it's generally better to have him buff, but if you're all the group has you'll want this.
- Glyph of Levitate This glyph is now actually quite important as opposed to a novely. Cataclysm has added a vertical plane to combat, which means you can now jump or Levitate over certain mechanics. Mobs in Stonecore, for example, have an earthquake attack you can avoid by levitating your party. Also, in Throne of the Four Winds, you can use Levitate to quickly move over the blizzard patches in the fight against Al'Akir without taking damage.
- Glyph of Shackle Undead You can inscribe this glyph when you need it, and only when you need it. At level 85 I've used it a lot in Shadowfang Keep since there are lots of undead mobs there.
That's it. I plan to periodically come back to this article and make small adjustments as needed. None of my conclusions are particularly concrete, just based on past experience, current observation, and a little foundation from our friends at Elitist Jerks. There are a lot of different directions priests can go from here, and they need to be explored and tested. There could be a far better way to do things than what I've laid out in portions of this guide, and as the discussion continues, I will try to adjust for that. If you have feedback, suggestions, or anything else to improve upon this guide, please leave them for me in the comments.
Want more tips for carrying out your priestly duties as a discipline priest? Spiritual Guidance: Discipline has you covered. Check out our beta roundup to find out what's new for priests in
Cataclysm, and then review our article on working through levels 80 to 85 as a priest.