Assessing the Performance of Your Discipline Priest

Recently I’ve been concerned about my own performance. So much so that I have begun to wonder if my aging fingers and brain are simlpy not up to the demands of HC raiding in Mists of Pandaria. The reason is that I have been getting my backside handed to me by a rookie druid healer who has slightly worse gear than myself. All the podcasts I listen too that mention healing by druids always say that the druid simply cannot compete with the disc priest’s imba shield. My experience however, was not backing this up.
I started to do some digging around and could find no real concrete evidence to confirm or deny either belief was the right one. While this didn’t please me it gave me some hope. I therefore decided to look around and find out performance enhancing threads around on various forums and blogs regarding the healing output of disc priests to see if I could apply the diagnosis to my own play.
Overall what I discovered was encouraging as it showed that while I wasn’t perfect I was far from the mark and, if I’m brutally honest, told me what I should have known just by looking at my combat logs.

The list of a what a perfect combat log should contain is here:
  • Six casts of  Penance per minute either damage or healing depending on the fight;
  • Six casts of Holy Fire/Solace per minute;
  • Six casts of Prayer of Mending per minute;
  • Five PW:Shields per minute to ensure Rapture procs on cooldown;
  • Using the level 90 talent spell on cooldown (4x Divine Star, 2x Cascade or 1x Halo);
  • Three casts of Prayer of Healing, ideally used with Spirit Shell)
  • Two casts of Archangel per minute;
  • Inner Focus used at least once per minute (again used with Spirit Shell);
  • Spirit Shell used at least once per minute (to allow for effective timing);
Over a minute that means your casting 34 spells if you ONLY stick to the above list (I’m assuming you have Divine Star). In my 570ilevel healing gear, have a 1.4 second GCD which means in total I can cast a maximum of 43 spells per minute not allowing for spells like Prayer of Healing and Penance that range between 1.6 and 2.1 seconds and Penance (between  depending on Borrowed Time.

Lets assume the worst and say I never utilise Borrowed Time and not forget that Inner Focus and Spirit Shell are OFF the GCD:

  • Six Penances = 6 x 1.9 seconds = 11.4 seconds;
  • Six Holy Fires = 6 x 1.4 seconds = 8.4 seconds;
  • Six x Prayer of Mending = 6 x 1.4 seconds = 8.4 seconds;
  • Five PW: Shields = 5 x 1.4 seconds = 7.0 seconds;
  • Four x Divine Star = 4 x 1.4 seconds = 5.6 seconds;
  • Three x Prayer of Healing = 3 x 2.1 seconds = 6.3 seconds;

This means my must cast spells consume 47.1 of the available 60 seconds which means I have 12.9 seconds left of my minute which is enough for 9 Smite’s or 6 Prayer of Healing’s and 0.3 seconds of downtime in my imaginary minute.

Because of the number of instant casts and the fact that I use Glyph of Penance means movement will have minimal impact on the number of spells cast.

What I discovered in my spell list was too many Smite’s not enough Holy Fire’s, Penances, PW: Shields and possibly a bigger crime of not enough Spirit Shell. So now I know where I need to focus my attention and as long as I am getting close to the 39 spells per minute below I’ll be happy that even if I am getting out healed, I’m doing the what is needed of me.

  • 9x Smite;
  • 6x Penances;
  • 6x Holy Fires:
  • 6x x Prayer of Mending;
  • 5x PW: Shields;
  • 4x Divine Star:
  • 3x Prayer of Healing;

If you’ve found this post useful or even if you think it is all wrong, I’d love to hear from you either by leaving a comment below or sending an email to evlyxx at evlyxx dot com.

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