PvE Discipline Priest Talents, Builds & Glyphs

PvE Discipline Priest Talents, Builds & Glyphs
  • Author: Luxrah
  • Date: May 15, 2024
  • Updated: May 17, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

With the arrival of Cataclysm, the talent system received a massive overhaul, changing from the 71 talent points system to a more compact 41 points system. As such, many of the old talents were either completely removed or changed, resulting in fewer possible build variations. One key aspect of the new system is that you must use at least 31 points in your main specialization to use the remaining 10 points in a secondary specialization.

Talent Builds

cataclysm pve discipline priest atonement talent build
Link to Talent Build

Discipline Priests have a few options to customize their talent build, but the Atonement-based build above is a good starting point. Even if a particular encounter isn’t very well suited to fitting in a Smite here and there, you won’t get much by dropping the talents that improve it.

The main decision in the Discipline tree is between Soul Warding and Train of Thought. With Rapture and Borrowed Time, it’s usually optimal to space out your shields, but there may be times when you want to throw them out in rapid succession, such as before a heavy AoE goes out. But it’s just as likely that the default 3-second cooldown on Power Word: Shield will feel just fine, in which case Train of Thought is a better choice than wasting talents on a cooldown reduction you don’t need.

Inspiration can be dropped if its effects are already covered by another healer (a Holy Priest or Restoration Shaman). You then have your choice of where to put those two points:


Prime Glyphs

  • Glyph of Prayer of Healing
    With this glyph, your Prayer of Healing also adds a six-second HoT to each target. You’re making one of your most-used spells even stronger, so most of the time you’ll want to use this glyph.
  • Glyph of Penance
    This glyph lets you use Penance more often, which is great for both tank healing and spot healing.
  • Glyph of Power Word: Barrier
    In addition to its already-powerful damage mitigation effects, this glyph causes Power Word: Barrier to buff all healing done to targets standing inside it. Great for any fight where you need to be prepared for heavy incoming raid damage.
  • Glyph of Flash Heal
    This glyph buffs your Flash Heal‘s crit chance when the target’s health is low, making your emergency heal more potent. This also makes it more likely to proc Divine Aegis to even further protect a target who’s taking heavy damage. Unfortunately you’ll get more mileage out of the other glyphs above in most situations, leaving this as a niche glyph at best.

Major Glyphs

  • Glyph of Smite
    Another glyph that should only be used for an Atonement build. This one makes your Smites do extra damage to targets affected by your Holy Fire (which also buffs your Atonement healing.)
  • Glyph of Holy Nova
    I don’t doubt there will be niche situations where you want to spam Holy Nova, but it’s unlikely to be a good idea in most raiding content.

Minor Glyphs

  • Glyph of Levitate
    With this rune, you won’t have to worry about carrying around a bunch of Light Feathers anymore — or jumping off a cliff only to realize you ran out of feathers and forgot to buy more.
  • Glyph of Shadowfiend
    Although hopefully your Shadowfiend won’t be dying in the first place, it’s nice to know that if it does, you’ll still get some mana out of it.


About the Author


I've been playing World of Warcraft on and off since vanilla, usually as a healer or caster and often as a guild leader. I play both retail and classic. I also love RPGs, sandboxes, and sims.
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