28 August 2009

Holy v Discipline

Without meaning to, my last post seems to have hit a nerve. Who'd have thought there was such animosity between our healing brethren? I love a good cat fight so let's do it properly. Give me your reasons for going holy or going discipline. What do you bring to your raid, what are your key strengths, what are your weaknesses, and how do you overcome them? Basically, which one wins? It's the ultimate showdown, no more whispering behind each other's backs, pointing at that lolwell or scoffing at those holy nova twitches. Spirit of redemption - glorious embodiment of your faith or a great big flashing FAIL sign? Does the sight of a Tauren in a shield fill you with hope or give you the giggles? Let's get it all out in the open...


Ho Ho said...

Never played holy before, only disc as dualspec

disc pluses:
* 3% damage reduction for entire raid, stacks with blessing of salvation
* shield = extra 6-8k hp boost, excellent for spamming before/during big aoe damage. Holy shields are at best half as good and with 5s cooldown. Having half the raid shielded before big aoe (tantrum, flame jets) is huge amounts of damage avoided
* neverending mana. Well, not quite but certainly you won't have to worry about it too much
* great synergy with crit through bubbles and keeping melee damage reduction up, tons of extra crit from talents.
* pohs hasted with borrowed time give great throughput
* targeted mini-shieldwall on short cooldown
* single-target targeted mini-bloodlust on short cooldown. Excellent for throwing on some mage with storm buff on Hodir
* you can use your shadow gear for disc without replacing anything, doing so as holy will leave you mana-starved
* penance is incredibly strong spell. It's first tick is instant, it's pretty much three flash heals casted in <1.5s.
* Great burst healing with shield->penance->(pom->)gheal combo, all get +25% haste from borrowed time

* spells heal for less than holy if no grace is on target, critbubbles somewhat balance it out.
* somewhat lower spellpower thanks to no spirit->sp conversion
* aoe healing is more mana-intensive
* aoe burst is a bit lower, poh followed by coh is tons of raw healing

Well, that's what I've been seeing at least :)

SolidState said...

Holy healing is about healing throughput. Huge healing throughput, I'm talking serious numbers here :)

In my book, there's simply no comparison between Holy and Disc, thus no "one vs. the other". They are different specs with different gear choices and a different healing focus.

Disc is a hugely powerful single-target healing spec, you can shield your target, blast-heal her with Penance (with chance to proc more bubbles), cast Pain-suppression to reduce damage even further, etc.

Sure you can bubble targets one after the other if you're going for that "raid healing" effect... good luck actually bubbling enough people to make it count with the GCD slowing you down between each cast. Now along comes your Holy specced priest, having kept up his 3xSerendipity stack and blows a 1.6s PoH following by an instant CoH. Add the improved PoM (so can be cast more times inside every AoE dmg) and you've got some serious healing numbers when it's time to put the metal to the pedal.

On the other hand, there's nothing that can keep a tank alive like a Disc priest, except maybe a really good druid. Plus, having the 3% dmg reduction for the entire raid is a huge plus. Finally, as Ho-Ho's combat logs show, you can top healing meters - it's hard to tell of course whether that's because Ho-Ho is a much better Disc priest than most, is better geared than the other healers in his raids, or just because conventional wisdom is wrong and Disc really is good for raid healing (not really if you ask me ;p).

/shrug. I've played both Disc and Holy and currently I OS as Holy. I like it, but I liked Disc too in the past. I guess it comes down to what your guild needs and what feels better for you. If your guild already has a Disc, another will be slightly wasted. If they don't, a Disc will probably be more than welcome,

Anonymous said...

I am Disc spec and love it! The damage mitigation and quick healing is definitely a bonus. The only thing I don't like is that there is no way to factor mitigation in on the meters - I have been told more than once that I wasn't healing enough and had to explain how Disc works *sigh*
One thing I would disagree with is that Shadow gear can fill in as Disc gear. As Disc I have to focus more on Mp5, rather than spirit because I am casting all the time. Spirit doesn't do nearly as much for mana regen because I am not usually just standing and waiting to heal. (I am speaking of the way stats are right now, not what they will be when the next expansion comes out.) Shadow and Holy are actually more interchangeable because there is a need for spirit in both specs.
I just respeced my OS from shadow to holy and I have to say that I definitely prefer Disc :) I am sure this is because I have not had enough experience with holy, but I miss my pewpew lazers when they're not there!

Anonymous said...

I offspec disc because of the gear. Shadow and disc both prioritize spellpower, haste, crit , and intellect over spirit, and the only gear I need to swap out is my +hit gear. Plus, single target disc healing is almost like a dps rotation, which fits with my playstyle.

Disc is ridiculously easy to farm heroics with for badges, with a halfway decent tank you can just shield, throw a renew, throw a prayer of mending, and sit back and wait. And since it is so much easier to get in to a heroic group as a healer than as a dps, that is my primary reason for carrying the dual spec.

Cassandri said...

My offspec of choice is Discipline.

I love Power Word: Shield. I think it's the most iconic Priest ability out there. Right alongside Shadowform. And Discipline is about making that very priesty part of us stronger.

I associate Holy healing with Circle of Healing and Hex Lord Malacrass in Zul'Aman. I usually had to respec to do this fight. And we still wiped alot on him. Never much liked Holy since then. And I did try it again when Ulduar came out.

I love that Discipline is all about shielding the right person at the right time - preferably before they take damage. Makes me feel like a psychic when I get it right :)

crysana said...


I know that we've all given up hope and gone healy but theres an interesting post regarding Shadow scaling on the offical forums that got a non condesending Ghostcrawler response - No answers or fixes, but at least it didn't feel like he dismissed the concerns straight away...

Matt said...

Eh I just offspec shadow pvp, whooooo!