Best Disc Priest Covenant for Raiding
Kyrian and Venthyr are both strong picks for raiding due to the new Tier Set available with the patch, and can be swapped depending on the encounter/required healing coverage.
Since the Spirit Shell nerf (from 60 seconds to 90 seconds cooldown), and the fact that Evangelism will be used way more frequently, the Venthyr ability Mind Games lost a bit of interest at first with its 45 seconds cooldown, whilst the Kyrian ability Boon of the Ascended can be used every two ramps. The ramp without Boon will be covered with Shadowfiend instead, allowing you to use a different 3 minutes-cooldown for every one of your ramps.
But, the T28, while not being very good on its own, will allow us to make use of the Venthyr covenant once again while playing with another specific legendary (see the legendaries section for more details). This will prove useful for some other encounters, where you’ll need to cover some specific damage patterns that the Kyrian won’t be able to cover that well (45 seconds-windows, or 90 seconds-windows in need of a heavy bursty-healing requirement each time).
Kyrian in detail
Boon of the Ascended - when pressing this 3 minute cooldown you gain access to two new abilities to press: Ascended Blast and Ascended Nova for 10 seconds. After these 10 seconds Ascended Eruption will occur, which is a final explosion of healing and damage and the release of the Boon of the Ascended stacks that the two active abilities build up when used.
Ascended Blast replaces Smite and is an extremely hard hitting, instant spell. As an example to prove its power: Ascended Blast does about three times the damage of Smite (without factoring in damage modifying conduits). It gives 5 stacks of Boon of the Ascended per usage and has a 3 second base cooldown which scales with haste.
Ascended Nova is an ability similar to Holy Nova, an instant AoE spell that does moderate damage, but it does give a stack of Boon for each enemy hit which makes the final explosion of damage and healing bigger.
Ascended Eruption is the final release of all the stacks of Boon of the Ascended that you have built up and does more damage the higher the stacks.
What makes these three new abilities extremely powerful for the Discipline class is that the damage done is converted into Atonement healing.
Since the cooldown of Spirit Shell was changed to 90s instead of 60s in patch 9.1, Boon of the Ascended has climbed in power. Instead of being available every third big ramp, it can now be used every second one. It has since the start of the expansion been a very potent ability in terms of healing power, but previous to patch 9.1, Mindgames fit the damage patterns in Castle Nathria better as well as being available on every Spirit Shell ramp.
Phial of Serenity - Kyrian members get access to a servant which hands you a potion with 3 charges that restores 20% health and removes all diseases, curses, poisons and bleeds affecting you. Phial of Serenity works like Healthstone and can be used once per raid fight, but resets if you die. It has a 3 minute cooldown.
Best Disc Priest Covenant for Mythic+
The Best Disc Priest Covenant for Mythic+ is Kyrian.
Boon of the Ascended is a very strong 3 minute cooldown. The damage from the two abilities you gain when using this ability will be transferred into atonement which makes it amazingly strong if you radiance before, and then refresh the atonement duration between the Ascended blasts later with another radiance.
Since Ascended blast will have a shorter CD the more haste you have, you can combine this ability with any haste bonus, such as an on use trinket, Bloodlust or Power Infusion to make yourself a turret healer. Every Ascended Blast you use you will top your whole team.
In 9.1 two things were added that enhance Boon of The Ascended in both power and cooldown reduction, one of them being a covenant specific trait.
At Renown 48 you can craft the legendary Sphere’s Harmony, which reduces Boon of the Ascended’s cooldown by 2 seconds (up to 60 sec), for each stack of Boon of the Ascended consumed by Ascended Eruption.
At Renown 57 trait Effusive Anima Accelerator, which the soulbind Mikanikos gives, becomes available. When you activate Boon of the Ascended and press Ascended Blast or Ascended Nova, a blast of arcane damage hits the target’s location, dealing damage split between all targets over 8 seconds. The cooldown on Boon of the Ascended gets reduced by 12s for each of the enemies hit (up to 60 seconds).
This finally gives the Discipline Priest a great legendary to use in M+ that will have a meaningful impact on your runs. When executed properly, there will be a 1 minute cooldown on your strongest healing and damage throughput cooldown, down from 3 minutes in Season 1. This gives more frequent and overall more throughput value to your group compared to previous season.
Kyrian potion, or Phial of Serenity which is its actual name, is amazing in M+. You can use it as an extra healing potion, or use its remove bleed, disease, curse and poison utility for reducing damage taken or to do some pretty interesting moves.
Take Echelon, the second boss in Halls of Atonement for example. If you do not have any curse dispellers you could use your Phial of Serenity to remove the curse that stuns you after 5 seconds. After that you can use your Leap of Faith right after Echelon finishes his Stone Shattering Leap, to save your group member from taking the huge ticking damage over time ability: Shattered.
Soulbinds and Conduits
Pelagos will be the best soulbind choice for Kyrian overall since encounters’ patterns are not that well-suited to use Mikanikos Effusive Anima Accelerator trait (Renown 57), which gives Boon of the Ascended a cooldown reduction up to 60s, unfortunately.
In term of traits, you’ll obviously pick the path where you have 3 potency conduits, and will take Better Together near the end of the tree.
Theotar will overall be the best soulbind choice for Venthyr. It grants you an excellent mastery buff (if you’re lucky enough to proc it during your ramp), on top of its very valuable Token of Appreciation, extra-tertiary stats, and a juicy +3% stats (it can be ANY stat except Mastery).
Once you unlock Effusive Anima Accelerator trait at renown 57 Mikanikos is your choice of soulbind. Until then Pelagos is the recommended choice. Just as with raiding you pick the paths where you get 3 potency conduits.
For fights where you will be dispelling or mass dispelling a lot it may be worth it to swap an Endurance Conduit for the Finesse Conduit Clear Mind to reduce the mana cost of those spells.
Disc Priest Raiding Legendaries
Clarity of Mind - As explained in the level 50 talent row, empowers your Spirit Shell to work as a pseudo Evangelism, extending your active atonements by three seconds, which does not sound like a lot but Spirit Shell being off the GCD (Global Cooldown) unlike Evangelism makes it sufficient to ensure your hardest hitting abilities will do atonement healing to everyone. It also reduces the mana cost of your damage-dealing abilities during your Spirit Shell window.
When picking the Evangelism talent in this row and using Rapture, the increased atonement duration for your empowered Power Word: Shield allows you to do a reasonably sized ramp (you’ll be able to do a 20 people set-up very quickly) without expending Evangelism. A Clarity of Mind buffed Rapture will mostly add a couple of Smite to your atonement healing window.
The Penitent One can be useful too while playing Venthyr, AND with the T28 4pc bonuses. While being RNG, it can allow you to buff your Penance a lot and will, on top of that, buff your small ramps too. Unfortunately, you’ll lose some precious seconds on your ramp and won’t be able to heal the whole raid for 10+ seconds as you do with Clarity of Mind. Therefore, the required set-up is quite a niche but can still see a good value depending on the encounter.
To summarize the legendaries you can use in a raid (applicable if you only have ONE legendary):
While playing Evangelism:
1 - Do I need to heal every 1min30 at minimum, or 3mins?
===> Kyrian, with Clarity of Mind
2 - Do I need to heal a lot every ~2mins (can be a bit less or more)?
===> Kyrian, with Sphere’s Harmony, can be an option (you may want to increase a bit your haste in that scenario)
3 - Do I need to heal every 45secs or every 1min30 while amp-ing a lot of my small ramps?
===> Venthyr, with The Penitent One + 4pc T28
While playing Spirit Shell, you’ll use Clarity of Mind no matter what.
Disc Priest Mythic+ Legendaries
Sphere’s Harmony - At Renown 48 you can craft the legendary Sphere’s Harmony, which reduces Boon of the Ascended’s cooldown by 2 seconds (up to 60 sec), for each stack of Boon of the Ascended consumed by Ascended Eruption.
Note that this legendary can be used too in the raid if the damage pattern of the encounter matches its utility (meaning, strong damage with 2 minutes-windows, and ideally where you want to heal for less than 10 seconds the whole raid).
After some weeks in Patch 9.2, you’ll be able to unlock a second legendary. This legendary will grant you your covenant’s legendary power, on top of another “normal” legendary that you’ll have. At first, you’ll be able to unlock it via the Cord of Unity. However, you will be able to get Unity in the future, which will allow you to craft it on any other piece of gear.
As a Discipline Priest, this will enable some very good combinations depending on your covenant choice.
- Kyrian will let you play with Clarity of Mind + Sphere’s Harmony, granting you the ability to all-in your healing burst every ~2mins. In such a case, playing Mindbender can be an option too.
- This burst can cover many types of damage patterns and will be your main set-up overall through the raid.
- Venthyr will let you play with Shadow Word: Manipulation + The Penitent One. This combination is very good for your 1mins30 bursty ramps + strong small ramps every 45secs, as long as you’re able to wear the T28 4pc too. This scenario is a bit more specific but is nonetheless a very viable thing.
In Patch 9.2, you’ll be able to, once again, wear a powerful Tier Set, which grants you 2 bonuses when you wear 2 and 4 parts.
- 2pc From Dusk: Casting Power Word: Shield of Shadow Mend has a 15% chance of making your next cast of Shadow Mend without cost or cast time.
- 4pc Til Dawn: Power of the Dark Side increases the effectiveness of Penance by an additional 45% and is triggered when Power Word: Radiance is cast.
Do note that your 2pc can stack, and that each Shadow Mend used that way will grant 2 extra seconds of Atonement on the target (meaning 17 seconds instead of 15).
Do note, too, that this bonus will allow you to stack Power of the Dark Side twice.
Overall, these bonuses are not significant in a raid environment, let’s admit it. You can’t really use your 2pc while ramping since you’ll prefer to cast Power Word: Shield instead of Shadow Mend during your Rapture, and you’ll very likely have an Innervate on you during that time, annihilating the benefit of this bonus. It’ll spare you a minimal amount of mana outside of your ramp, but it’s still VERY minimal.
The 4pc isn’t that great, too, because, unless you’re playing with the trinket from The Nine (we’ll talk about it in the next section), which is already very specific, you can’t cast two Penances during your Schism. That means you’ll have to cast one Penance before your Schism, which is kinda weird. The benefit will still be minimal outside of the Venthyr-shenanigan-RNG-variant covered in the Legendaries section.
This 4pc is the only reason Venthyr can be a thing (with its other requirements, such as the legendary, and maybe even a specific trinket), but is very poor while playing Kyrian.
Soulletting Ruby - This trinket is one of the best you can use while playing with Sphere’s Harmony since it will match your big ramps every 2mins with its use. Remember that you have to use it BEFORE your ramp since the soul has a travel time, and you’ll need to target the target with the lowest health to maximize its value.
Scrawled Word of Recall - Okay, this trinket is VERY specific (even more since you won’t be able to have it with more than 252 ilevels, which may seem relatively small compared to the Sepulcher items). It can be used while playing Venthyr, with The Penitent One legendary & your T28 4pc, to be able to throw two Penances during your Schism in your ramps. Those Penances will be massively buffed by everything else, and, for once, the trinket will have a good value.
You, unfortunately, will have to keep it off CD for 30 seconds after each use, for it to be available for every one of your ramps.
The Instructor’s Divine Bell is still usable and strong despite its nerf, and can see some play on 1min 30 healing patterns.
Resonant Reservoir - This trinket is insane in M+, granting a huge amount of DPS. Try to be vocal with your tank while using it, since it takes some seconds to proc the effect after using it, so your tank will have to hold his ground during this time.
Other good pieces of gear to grab
Regarding the other interesting pieces of gear you can grab in season 4, especially thanks to Dinars, here is a list :
- Maledict Opus will be your best weapon, due to stats & ilevel
- Soulwarped Seal of Wrynn is by far the best ring to grab (even better than Mechagon’s rings) thanks to its effect
- Cabalist’s Hymnal as your flat stats-trinket
- Drape of Shame will grant you a unique healing bonus without taking any stat away from the item’s stat budget