Discipline Priest talents guide

Patch 10.0.5 Last Updated: 2nd Feb, 2023
Crazy Discipline Priest Author
Crazy

Class Talents

The class tree for Discipline Priest is a mixed bag in terms of that there are some must have talents, and some situational talents that can be swapped depending on different situations. A lot of the time you’ll be picking talents based on which way will be the path of least resistance in terms of how many points you’ll have to spend to move further in the tree, rather than the talents' own merit. The class trees are split into three tiers where you need to fill out a certain amount of talents in each tier to move onto the next. Let’s talk about them and when you’ll want to pick them up, tier by tier.

Tier 1 Talents

First let’s talk a bit about talents that you’ll most likely always be taking as Discipline. Shadow Word: Death and its following node Death and Madness will always be taken. Now that Shadow Word: Death is able to heal through Atonement it is an incredible tool in both dungeons and raid, as it is able to put out incredible damage and healing in execute ranges, as well as be an activator for Twilight Equilibrium outside of it. 

To path downwards through the middle you'll want to pick up Improved Flash Heal, Protective Light, Angelic Feather and Leap of Faith.

Improved Flash Heal is just a baseline healing buff and the only option that allows you to go further towards Protective Light.

Protective Light will always be taken due to its synergy with a talent later in the tree, Binding Heals, allowing you to heal others and having the 10% DR (Damage Reduction) still apply to yourself when casting Flash Heal on other targets. Having an on demand 10% damage reduction is incredibly helpful, as Discipline is spread thin in terms of strong defensive options so any DR helps.

Angelic Feather has been a must pick for Discipline through the entirety of Shadowlands and this is not changing since it is still our strongest option for on demand movement speed. Even though we got the addition of Body of Soul these two do not stack, and Angelic Feather is simply better as it allows you to boost your movement speed more often and for no added mana cost.

Lastly we have Leap of Faith. In the right hands this spell, often referred to as grip, can be a lifesaver or save a lot of time in many situations. This spell is one of the spells that is synonymous with the priest class and for good reason, as it has infinite applications so be sure to look out for moments where you can help out your team by gripping them to safety or saving time by taking them to your location to name two examples.

This leaves us with 2 extra talent points in the first tier. For raid you will most likely path down to the left through Holy Nova to pick up Spell Warding, as for priests a 3% magic damage DR is nothing to scoff at. In dungeons or if you think you don’t need the 3% DR in raids you have 2 points to spend on situational talents, let’s talk about those.

Many bosses and mobs have the ability to apply magic buffs to their minions or themselves making Dispel Magic an excellent pick if you are facing mobs that apply these types of buffs since you’ll be able to remove them at the press of a button. Some mobs and bosses will also apply dangerous disease type debuffs to your teammates so picking Improved Purify is very nice to have to be able to remove them and make your job easier. 

Shackle Undead, Sheer Terror, Void Tendrils and Psychic Voice are all talents allowing you to expand or improve upon your ability to CC (Crowd Control) enemies. Depending on the exact type of content you are doing these talents can be situationally useful.

Phantasm in the right situation can save your life, as being able to remove all snares and slows instantly has many applications in different types of content.

Holy Nova can be picked in situations where there is little to no incoming damage for what you’ll be doing and the target count you are facing is quite high.

Mind Control and Dominate Mind are two interesting talents. Some dungeons and raid bosses in Dragonflight include some powerful mobs that can be mind controlled or dominated so that you yourself can take advantage of their own abilities. As the expansion progresses we will figure out which mobs are worth picking these talents, so this choice node can have some incredible value if used on the right mobs.

Prayer of Mending is simply not worth a point in raids or dungeons, so picking it up is a waste as you do not have the mana pool to be casting this enough to warrant its talent point. Sadly this talent has no interactions with the Discipline kit like applying Atonement, so it is purely used for its raw healing.

The two talents I have not mentioned, Rhapsody and Focused Mending are simply not worth spending a talent point in, as they don’t give you any meaningful increases in terms of healing and damage.

Tier 2 Talents

In the second tier your goal in a lot of builds will be to move through this section and be able to pick up all the three “end-nodes” of this tier Unwavering Will, Twist of Fate and Throes of Pain as they allow you full access to the final tier. Most of the time you will want to do this with no more than 20 points, as you would like to enter the final tier with as many talent points as possible to pick up some much needed defensives and other great talents. 

On the right side if we have picked Death and Madness we can find the talent Tithe Evasion. This talent is incredibly useful, as it will remove the risk of dropping dangerously low whenever you are using Shadow Word: Death. Due to this you will want to pick this talent almost always unless you are really stretched thin for talent points and require them somewhere else.

Power Infusion + Twins of the Suns Priestess are always taken, as they represent a massive increase in throughput and helps out your desired Power Infusion target a ton. It also allows you to get to Twist of Fate, which makes these choices a no-brainer. From here you’ll always pick up Twist of Fate, no matter which build you are playing.

On the left side of this tier, how you move through it depends on whether you picked Spell Warding or not, which usually depends on if you are doing raids or dungeons. If you are raiding you’ll want to pick up Words of the Pious, as it provides a decent boost to your smite damage after casting Power Word: Shield. However if you are doing dungeon content or a Mass Dispel is required for a raid boss you’ll be picking this spell up instead. If you are doing anything that requires a lower cooldown than 45 seconds on Mass Dispel you’ll also want to pick up Improved Mass Dispel, and this also allows you to skip a point in Inspiration. If you are not picking up Improved Mass Dispel you’ll want to take Inspiration, as it is the option that gives you the most general value and allows you to move down to Unwavering Will which you will always take.

To finish off the tier you’ll want to pick up Vampiric Embrace or Sanguine Teachings and San’layn to path downwards. To path to these talents you will need to pick up either choice-node above, even if you have no use for their utility. With Vampiric Embrace being taken off the global cooldown it is now a great choice for dungeons and even a contender for raiding builds. However currently Sanguine Teachings will be the default recommendation for raiding. Throes of Pain will always be picked in both areas of PvE, as we’ll want to grab Mindgames in the final tier. The mana returns from this talent can be really great if utilized correctly in dungeons or in raid encounters where additional mobs spawn frequently.

The rest of the talents in this tier are rather situational or just straight up not worth the points. Move with Grace and Body and Soul can be situationally useful if your team needs some help moving around, but mostly these talents can be ignored. Apathy will never be picked in a PvE setting, as it is just too niche and isn’t even guaranteed to work on a Mind Blast cast as it requires you to get a critical strike. Void Shield is outperformed by Vampiric Embrace / Sanguine Teachings + San’layn so for that reason it will not be chosen.

Tier 3 Talents 

In the final tier are a mix of throughput and defensive options. On the far left of this tier we find the most powerful of these with the first being Binding Heals. This talent has incredible synergy with the Discipline Priest kit through applying two Atonements from one cast, as well as being able to activate Protective Light while casting on others. This makes it a must have, as having an almost permanent Atonement on yourself is fantastic. Surge of Light is also quite useful, as it lets you save a decent amount of mana when you want to cast Flash of Light, as well as letting you cast it on the move. These two talents are quite good on their own but their true power comes from letting you access the end-row talent Power Word: Life. In both dungeons and raids this talent is a must pick, as it lets you cast an incredibly potent heal on targets that are in danger on a 10 second cooldown if played correctly, and it barely costs any mana!

The Divine Star / Halo choice node will always be picked, as it gives you a choice of two great tools to put out healing and damage. In raids the default choice will be Halo, as it interacts with your mastery, Mastery: Grace, giving you some good damage for ramps as well as great healing. However if your raid is almost always stacked and heavy damage is coming in more often than every 40 seconds there is an argument for picking Divine Star as it can pull ahead of Halo in some situations. In dungeons you’ll always want to go with Divine Star since it just does more damage in most situations and since you only have 4 other party members that are usually pretty stacked it is much easier to get full value from the star.

With its current tuning Mindgames is not picked in raids and dungeons since its damage is lackluster. Even though Shadow Covenant is used, our 7 second window is already congested with much better spells like Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death, so picking up Mindgames is not recommended.

Crystalline Reflection is a returning Shadowlands legendary and is an incredible source of passive damage whenever you are casting Power Word: Shield, as well as giving you a small heal whenever you shield on top of the damage. That makes this talent another lock-in talent, as its value is just too good to pass up. You can expect it to make up around 5-8% of your DPS.

Lastly we have the defensive options available in the final tier. Translucent Image is a returning conduit from Shadowlands and is now even stronger, as it lasts the full 10 second duration of Fade instead of only 5 seconds. This makes it a must take since Discipline needs all the help it can get when it comes to defensives. Out of the remaining defensive options Angelic Bulwark is the one that will be most of the time, as it is the only passive option. Having access to this talent can save your life whenever you are caught off guard, while other options require preemptive planning.

If at this point you have one additional talent point left that is not needed elsewhere it is now time to decide between Light’s Inspiration and Improved Fade. Which one of these you pick often depends on how often you need access to your Fade. If you are taking heavy damage more often than every 30 seconds you’ll want to pick up one point in Improved Fade, but if you are more in need of a big defensive every 1 min 30 seconds you can shift that point into Light’s Inspiration.

Void Shift is the last option we have to talk about, but there is really not much to say. With its 5 minute cooldown as well as having overlapping usage areas with Power Word: Life you pretty much never take this. The only situation I can imagine this being useful would be in a particularly niche case where your target or you are dealing with the Necrotic affix from M+ or a niche boss fight dealing with healing absorbs. Outside of that Power Word: Life just does what this spell is supposed to do but better, and with a lower cooldown.

By design the new class talent trees are made to change depending on what you are doing and how you want to do it. Experiment with different talents to see what works best for you. For those wanting a template you can build from, I have made a class tree suitable for each of the different builds that will be available in the next section of the guide. Don’t use these builds as a cheat sheet, but rather build upon and change them depending on what you need for your current situation.

Talent Builds

Raiding Builds

In Dragonflight raiding for 10.0.5, the primary competitive build for progression content is the Default build. Additionally, there is an alternate build that is intended for players new to the Discipline Priest class, which may not provide the highest level of performance. This second build simplifies the playstyle by omitting talents such as Twilight Equilibrium, Shadow Covenant, and Expiation, which can add complexity.

Both of the builds have the same sort of baseline structure. In the first and second tier, as well as some talents in the final tier you will see a lot of similarities between the three builds. There is a reason the builds look similar, and it is simply because some of the talents outperform the others by a mile. However, there are others like Abyssal Reverie that can be taken advantage of if you are building into their strengths, while not always being picked.

Which build you play will also change your ramping rotation quite a bit, so make sure to take a look at the Rotation & Playstyle sections to see how each of the talent builds play out to get the most performance out of each of these builds.

Discipline Priest Default Spec Tree

BAQA16pR6xQxvK1VWhXk+w0/GAAk0SkQaRkWERLlkkkAAAAAAAAAAAAAJpRaJhIFiEEBFplICKB

For Discipline Priests in raids, I recommend a talent tree that will provide the best overall raid performance. It is the first one we will discuss.

We’ll be picking up Twilight Equilibrium here as it is a great consistent throughput tool that gives you a 15% buff to all damage spells if played correctly by weaving between light and shadow spells. Protector of the Frail is one notable talent you can pick up if you need it. Getting two charges of Pain Suppression and lowering its cooldown can be invaluable on specific encounters; however, you will have to make a sacrifice somewhere to get it. My recommendation on what to drop is Painful Punishment, as it doesn’t severely impact you in any way. Another talent swap to take note of is that if you are playing a purely single target raid encounter, you can remove the point from Revel in Purity to pick up one in Pain and Suffering to get 3% more damage on your DoT.

In the class tree, you’ll want to drop points to pick up Mass Dispel and/or Dispel Magic for fights in the raid where they are needed, such as Broodkeeper Diurnia, where you can dispel the Flamebenders. The best points to achieve this goal is firstly Words of the Pious and then either Angelic Bulwark, Tithe Evasion or Spell Warding depending on what you feel you need the least.

New to Patch 9.0.5, we’ll now also be picking up Shadow Covenant, Power Word: Solace, and the newly added Dark Indulgence and Abyssal Reverie. Firstly to play with Shadow Covenant, you’ll want to activate it right before casting your most damaging shadow school spells. You’ll usually use it during your Rapture / Evangelism ramps to increase their potency even more. Power Word: Solace is replacing Shield Discipline, and you will now need to be actively casting this spell to keep your mana sustained. The best time to do this is right after a Penance cast since we will be using Weal and Woe so that you can maximize the use of the talent.

Discipline Priest Wrath Unleashed Spec Tree

BAQA16pR6xQxvK1VWhXk+w0/GAAkIRSSaJBQ0SJJJJCAAAAAAAAAAAAJpRaJhIFiEEBFplICKB

The main reason to use this build is that it is much simpler than the default option to pull off in terms of playstyle. However, it is weaker compared to the recommended build. Protector of the Frail is one notable talent you can pick up if you need it. Being able to get two charges of Pain Suppression and lowering its cooldown can be invaluable on specific encounters. However, you will have to sacrifice somewhere to get it. My recommendation on what to drop is Painful Punishment, as it doesn’t severely impact you in any way while using this build.

                                        

Dungeon Build

BAQA16pR6xQxvK1VWhXk+w0/GAAkUIJQSkWSSaSJJJCAAAAAAAAAAAAkkGpkEi0IkEERpFJSCA

For Discipline Priests in dungeons there is currently one build I would recommend. With this build you will pick up Mindbender, Inescapable Torment and Void Summoner as your core last row talents. The build is similar to the default raid build so we’ll be picking up many of the same talents as that build.

In dungeons you will much more often encounter situations where enemies drop below the execute threshold, allowing you to get massive value through Death and Madness combined with Expiation and Inescapable Torment.

Due to this build being extremely talent point starved, there are other options you can explore that are competitive if you want to try them out. The best swap if you are looking to try something new, would be swapping the point in Twilight Equilibrium for Power Word: Solace. With this swap you reduce rotational complexity as well as give yourself a bit more mana sustainability, which can add up over the course of a dungeon. If either of those things are something you are looking for, then it is definitely something I would recommend trying out and I will have an alternate import string for this swap included.

Dungeon Build (Solace Alternative)

BAQA16pR6xQxvK1VWhXk+w0/GAAkUICkEplkkWLlkkIAAAAAAAAAAAAQSakSSISjQSQElWkIJAA