Playstyle & Rotation
Firstly, we’ll take a brief look at each spell disc has, then we’ll go through how to tie them all together.
A low healing Atonement applicator who’s mana cost scales with the number of Atonements you have out. PW:S (with SD) is more efficient at 2 stacks, Radiance at 6 and Shadowmend at 7, there is almost no situation where pressing Plea with more than 6 Atonements out would be the correct decision.
Power Word: Shield
Not only does PW:S apply a considerable absorb, it’s also one of the most mana efficient ways of applying Atonement, you should be pressing this as close to cooldown as you can manage, ideally on a target that will be damaged soon to maximise Aegis of Wrath value.
A mid strength single target heal and the most inefficient way of applying Atonement. For the majority of raiding encounters only press this if someone is going to die if you don’t. An interaction to be aware of is with a high ilevel Amalgams it approaches the mana per Atonement of Radiance. This makes it less punishing to spam in spread single target scenarios where you can’t reliably apply Atonement beforehand or Radiance during, on the correct people.
Power Word: Radiance
A expensive spell that applies Atonement to the target you cast it on and the two nearest players without Atonement. This is your primary method of applying Atonement quickly and to a large number of people for when you want to output a lot of aoe healing. Although the targeting mechanics are 100% predictable it can be difficult to know with certainty in a cluttered raid fight who exactly the 2 Atonements will hit. If you alternate the cast between range and melee players you’re far less likely to have it overlap. If you do queue the next Radiance and they get the Atonement from the previous one, you should cancel the cast and target someone else, it’s too expensive to lose ⅓ the value.
Purge the Wicked / Shadow Word: Pain
Keep this up on the boss at all times, has a chance to proc Power of the Dark Side (this doesn’t increase if you have more dots out) and provides a lot of passive tick healing for a very low mana cost. If there are multiple targets multi-dotting it’s worth doing and is efficient. If you have at least two targets stacked, you can bounce the dot back and forth between them with Penance so you never need to reapply it.
9 second cooldown, if people are damaged and have Atonement on them, it's almost always the correct decision to cast this. Never delay Penance for longer than a few seconds if you’re going to get some amount of healing out of it.
Only cast when Penance is on cooldown and enough damaged people have Atonement present, the weakaura in the weakaura section can help with this decision making. Puts a small absorb on the boss that will reduce the damage of the next attack they deal.
1.5 minute damage cooldown that deals more damage the more Atonements you have active when the cast finishes. It has a travel time and will only heal Atonements active when the spell impacts the boss. Because of the scaling nature of the spell it’s best to only cast this with a high number of Atonements out, at 15+ a crit will basically top the entire raid regardless of health.
3 minute cooldown, summons a pet that will attack the target for 12 seconds, all damage the pet deals will proc Atonement. Having Shadowfiend out while you damage the boss is an immense amount of healing in that window and should be treated as a raid CD and assigned the same as tranq or tide.
Power Word: Barrier
25% damage reduction in a small radius, with the Barrier for the Devoted trait you will do 100% increased Atonement healing to all targets within.
Gives PW:S no cooldown for 11 seconds, extended by relics. It may seem underwhelming at first but this lets you get out extremely mana efficient healing. With the 4 set you’ll want to try to time Rapture to cover 2 damage events to get good value out of the extended Atonement duration.
40% DR, strongest castable damage reduction in the game. With the current state of tank damage they shouldn’t need this for every fight, so be aware of when you can use it to help out a dps soaking a mechanic or standing in something.
Aggro drop on a 30 second cooldown. With the Vestments of Discipline trait this will give you a 10% damage reduction for 6 seconds as well, this is Discipline’s only personal damage reduction cooldown and you should use Fade exclusively for the DR in a raid setting.
How to Heal
Almost regardless of situation:
- Keep Power Word: Shield on cooldown and on people that will absorb the full shield.
- Keep Purge The Wicked on at least the main target at all times.
- Roughly 12 seconds before the aoe damage you want to heal start applying Atonement to raid members.
PW:S → Power Word: Radiance → Power Word: Radiance→ PW:S is the best way to apply Atonements for players just getting to grips with the spec. This leaves a small gap between the Power Word: Radiance casts you can use to re-target if your previous Power Word: Radiance puts Atonement on a person you had targeted next. For damage events where you’re going to use a cooldown like Light's Wrath or Shadowfiend, you want to have as many Atonements out as possible to take advantage of the huge healing they do, in these cases you can cut a Power Word: Shield or two for more Power Word: Radiance casts. If Rapture is off cooldown you should apply Atonements with that, adding a Radiance at the end if you want greater Atonement coverage.
Just as the damage is happening, precast Halo if it’s off cooldown, then Penance and spam Smite until your Atonement has dropped off or people are topped off, whichever happens first.
In an extended aoe damage scenario you’ll need to reapply Atonements during the damage actually happening. Weaving damage and Atonement application spells is the best way to do this as it maximises value of Borrowed Time. Keeping PW:S and Penance on cooldown is still the priority in these situations, but you never want to cast two damage or Atonement application spells back to back.
During low damage phases it’s okay to do nothing but cast PW:S, Plea, Penance and Ptw, you don’t need to fill every global if there isn’t healing to be done. Disc has no zero mana filler dps spell like other healers, so Smites or Penance casts purely for dps while there is no healing available are reducing the healing you can do later in the encounter.
If only a few people are being damaged and you can’t use Radiance to effectively target them, Plea and Shadowmend will be your primary ways of applying Atonement depending on how many you currently have out.
How many Atonements you should have out is mainly dictated by the damage pattern of the fight and as such there is no generic rule.