Playstyle & Rotation
Discipline Priests throughput relies on their ramps and their burst windows, so let’s break those down:
Normal ramps are the period of time, where you apply atonements. The more atonement buffs you have, the more mana efficient your healing through your atonement transfering damage abilities will be. Ideally, you will be applying atonement through Power Word: Shield after first casting one Shadowmend, to players who do not already have it. You apply 7-10 atonements in a row and follow it up with Power Word: Radiance times two. This should ideally leave you with 17-20 atonements.
After ramping, you will be pressing either Spirit Shell (With the Clarity of Mind legendary) or Evangelism, increasing all your active atonements by respectively 3 and 6 seconds. It is very important you make sure before you start ramping, that you will have two Power Word: Radiance charges available by the time you are going to cast them. Also make sure to refresh Purge the Wicked right before starting your ramp, so you do not have to do that during it.
After spreading atonement on as many players as possible, it is time to cash in and create throughput from all the mana you’ve spent. A burst window usually goes like this:
- Mindbender or Shadowfiend
- Power Word Solace (If talented)
- Mind Blast
- Smite until atonement from Power Word: Radiance falls off
Outside of your ramps, you generally want to keep DPSing the boss by the following rotation:
- Make sure Purge the Wicked does not fall off
- If there is more than 24 seconds to your next burst window, Schism
- Power Word Solace
- Shadow Word: Death in execute where the backlash will not put you in danger
It is not recommended to use Mind Blast outside of your burst windows due to the high mana cost.
As your mana allows it, you can apply some atonements between your ramps - usually through Shadow Mend due to its high healing on top of applying atonements. Keep track of your Radiance charges, try to always plan around using two at once - but not at the expense of not having two available for your next ramp. As you gain more experience on an encounter, the better a feel you will have for how much mana you can spend between ramps.
When you have Rapture available and you want to ramp, you usually cast rapture + Power Word: Shield until the Rapture buff runs out. When Rapture runs out, you will want to use two Power Word: Radiance charges and then go straight into your Burst Window. It is recommended that you do not spend Shadowfiend on a Rapture Ramp, but keep it only for Evangelism. Much like a regular ramp, make sure to refresh Purge the Wicked before starting your ramp, to save you a global during your ramp and burst.
Damage Reduction cooldowns
Discipline Priest possesses two of the strongest external damage reduction abilities, namely Power Word: Barrier which is a 25% damage taken reduction to all players within it, sometimes allowing the raid to survive mechanics they usually would not be able to.
Secondly, Discipline also has Pain Suppression, which is a single target 40% damage reduction.