5.0.4 was now 2 weeks ago and so far I have been incredibly quiet about it. The reason for this has been many but now I’m pleased to say I’m breaking my silence.
My initial reaction was one of sheer horror, as a Disc Priest I felt incredibly weak straight away. My heals were amazing but my mana regen was completely inadequate. The first thing I did was to remove Flash Heal
out my arsenal as even out of combat I couldn’t chain cast it for more than 30 seconds before I was out of mana. Seems Disc Priests need to stack spirit as a primary stat once more. The cost of PW:Shield
is also ridiculously high and that combined with the nerf to Rapture
is a major problem too. It does seem that Disc is meant to rely on Divine Aegis
and the Spirit Shell shield
for our absorbs rather than PW:Shield
Which brings me nicely to Spirit Shell. Initially I was very disappointed with Spirit Shell for 2 reasons, the first is that it wasn’t the castable spell I was expecting that replaced Greater Heal and provided a shield that if not absorbed would then heal the target for the remaining amount of absorb left in the shield. The second was that the new incarnation felt very unintuitive at first and to be honest I’m still not 100% sure how it works.
My understanding is that as you cast spells it applies a stacking buff on your target(s) that will cap out at 60% of your HP and last for 15 seconds which is extended every time your would be heal lands on your target. This can be great I agree but you can also waste a lot of healing and therefore mana if your target fails to use any of the shielding in the 30 second window. What would be great was if it would apply any unused shield as a heal when the Spirit Shell shield
expires. Don’t get me wrong though it is situationally extremely powerful especially if you’re able to cast Prayer of Healing a lot and on Ultraxion I out healed my counterpart using this method (despite forgetting to get the crystal buff) this week.
It can also be great to buff up a tank pre-pull and also as a single target cooldown using the following combo which can result in a 100% shield from Divine Aegis and the Spirit Shell shield
It can also cause other healers to panic heal the target(s) up as their HP doesn’t rise as a result of your healing which can result in them wasting a lot of mana when they could actually be using their big slow efficient heals to regain the missing HP.
I am now getting to grips with it and I’m sure that mastering the timing of when to use Spirit Shell
will occur between now and the first raids in Pandacraft.
I’m also hoping that the big mana concern I have right now will be washed away when 90 is reached because compared to other healers disc seems very mana inefficient, especially when emergency healing is needed. Even Holy seems way more efficient in my disc focused gear which is a complete turnaround from pre-5.0.4. Overall though I still think disc is extremely viable even if initially I had huge doubts. So I’m glad that I bit my tongue and didn’t whine here before giving the new stuff time to settle in.