- Author: Amery
- Date: August 16, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
The Stat Priority of a Discipline Priest is more to the liking of a holy paladin instead of other healers.
- Haste rating (until cap)
- Cap: 154 rating (Read below)
- Spell power
- Crit rating
- Haste rating (above cap)
- Mana per 5
Haste increases the speed at which we cast spells and how quickly our Global Cooldown recovers (to a minimum of 1 second). For every 32.79 Haste Rating you gain 1% Haste. At 50% Haste you will have reached the Global Cooldown cap of 1 second, meaning that further haste will be less effective, not effecting your Global Cooldown further.
As Discipline Priests, we have 2 inherent haste boosts: Enlightenment and Borrowed Time. This makes reaching the haste cap extremely easy for us, as we only need a further 434 rating, without any other spell haste buffs. With just this much haste, we can cast 1 Power Word: Shield every second, which is the absolute fastest you can pump shields out. Reaching the haste cap will be your first goal when gearing.
In raids however, you will have haste buffs provided by other classes: the 5% spell haste buff from a Shaman’s Wrath of Air Totem, and the 3% haste buff from a Retribution Paladin’s Swift Retribution or a Balance Druid’s Improved Moonkin Form. These reduce the amount of haste rating you need to cap, as shown in the list below:
- No raid buffs, only Borrowed Time (25%) & Enlightenment (6%): 434 (13.208%)
- 3% haste buff: 325 rating (9.910%)
- 5% haste buff: 257 rating (7.817%)
- 3% & 5% haste buff: 154 rating (4.676%)
As you can see, the haste cap is pretty easy to reach with just your gear (and perhaps a couple of gems) alone. Most raids will have both of these haste buffs, so you’ll likely only need 154 rating for your haste cap.
There is one more cap we could consider: getting Flash Heal down to a 1 second cast time without Borrowed Time. This would take 1361 haste rating without any raid buffs, or 1010 haste rating with both raids buffs — which is simply too much, and is thus not worth trying to reach.
Spell power is the core stat of any spellcaster, and that includes us Discipline Priests as healers. Simply put, it increases the damage of your offensive spells, the healing of your healing spells, and the absorption amount of your Power Word: Shield.
After you have reached the haste cap as explained above, you should go all-in on spell power, aiming for the most powerful shields you can offer. There isn’t a certain amount of spell power you want to have — the more you have, the better.
Crit rating increases your chances of getting a critical heal. You gain a 1% increased chance to crit for every 45.91 crit rating you have.
Crit rating may seem like a fairly weak stat for Discipline Priests, as Power Word: Shield, our main spell, cannot crit. However, Penance, Flash Heal and our other heals can, with crits of such spells activating our Inspiration buff, and a portion of our crit gets turned into a shield thanks to Divine Aegis. This makes crit a decent stat for us, albeit not one we would pursue over spell power or haste.
Haste rating over the soft cap (1 second cast time & global cooldown for Flash Heal and Power Word: Shield) increases the cast speed of your other healing spells, like Penance, Binding Heal and Prayer of Healing. This means it’s not completely useless, but it’s significantly less valuable than spell power or crit.
Intellect is never something we aim for, but it is almost always on our gear. It increases your maximum mana and also very slightly increases your spell crit chance, at a rate of 166.67 intellect per 1% spell crit chance.
As a Discipline Priest, you’ll need a healthy mana pool in order to sustain your expensive Power Word: Shield spam. This will naturally come with better gear, and once you get there, you never really have to worry about intellect as a stat anymore.
Spirit in Wrath does that it has always done: it increases your mana regeneration rate, but only when you haven’t cast a spell in the last 5 seconds — known as the “5 second rule”. We will always be casting in raids, meaning spirit wouldn’t activate normally, but talents like Meditation enable a percentage of your spirit-based mana regeneration to continue even if you have cast a spell in the last 5 seconds.
Spirit is a decent stat for us, as mana regeneration obviously helps you heal more, particularly during longer fights. However, you’ll never really want to chase it as a stat — it’ll just naturally be on some of your best gear.
Mana per 5 (often referred to as “mp5”) is one of the most straight-forward stats in the game: you regenerate a given amount of mana every 5 seconds, no matter what. This makes it incredibly similar to spirit, as mana regeneration is key for healers. However, at higher gear levels spirit will provide superior mana regeneration than an equivalent amount of mp5, due to the way the mana regeneration formula works, so you’ll want spirit more than you want mp5. It’s never a bad stat to have, however.