Monday, September 30, 2013

[5.4] Discipline Healing Changes

Hey, everyone, long time no see. I fell into a bit of a rut, and, well, as you can see, I haven't been writing. But anyway, I'm back for 5.4, and it's one hell of a patch.

In case you've been healing all along, here's a quick rundown of what's changed. On the other hand, if you're new to Disc, I should have a new Discipline Basics guide up next week.

What's new for Disc in 5.4:
  • Rapture doesn't scale with spirit anymore. It now just gives a flat 13725 mana. This is exactly PW:S's mana cost in Discipline spec without Inner Will or Lucidity. With either of those things, you can still gain mana from PW:S.
  • Spirit Shell now only gives you 10 seconds to cast your shields. The shields themselves still last 15 seconds after they're applied. So, aim to activate Spirit Shell 15-25 sec before large raid damage spikes.
  • Around 540-550 item level, Crit gemming begins to preform better than Int gemming. If you make this switch, it will mean less damage from Atonement, slightly more overall healing, and a larger portion of your heals as absorbs.
  • More raid-wide damage and less random single-target damage means AoE healing is more valuable relative to Atonement. Atonement-focused healing simply can't meet the healing demands of most current raid bosses anymore. You should still feel free to use it during downtime, but its main function now is to enable Archangel and to trigger Twist of Fate.
  • Talents:
    • Angelic Feathers got buffed again. It's now even more powerful, and may be worth switching to if you're a stubborn Body and Soul-user. It's particularly useful for certain movement-heavy fights such as H Lei-Shen and Thok the Bloodthirsty.
    • Mindbender now grants 20% more mana. Solace is still better if you're running mostly Atonement, but you probably shouldn't anymore. Mindbender is now a good option for mana.
    • From Darkness, Comes Light now procs off of Penance, Prayer of Mending and Prayer of Healing. This is a pretty big buff, but most of the SoO fights don't have much use for single-target heals. Because this makes the heal instant, it may be useful for PvP, Thok, or other situations where you're facing interrupts.
    • Twist of Fate now activates when hitting something below 35% HP. This is a huge buff, particularly coupled with all the adds we see in SoO. I can't think of a good use for either of the other two talents anymore. Always run Twist of Fate.
    • Divine Star, Cascade and Halo all got a massive buff. Divine Star and Halo no longer have AoE diminishing returns, and cascade now hits 31 targets, up from 15. In 25mans, these talents are now the backbone of your healing output. In 10s, they're still VERY powerful, if not the majority of your heals. Carefully think about how you can use each talent on each fight, and switch to the one that's most useful to you and your raid group.

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