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Monday, April 20, 2009

WoW Guide: Handling Incoming AoE as Discipline

The first week of Ulduar is almost done! For those in there, how far have you managed to go? I've found it to be a test and a challenge for not only myself, but for the crew I raid with. Thank goodness for dual spec as it's saved me both time and money for switching between different roles.

I wanted to share a few tip I picked up in my experience so far as a raiding Discipline Priest.

The mass shield technique

I admit that it took me a while to break this habit. I knew that Power Word: Shield didn't have a cooldown anymore on the cast. Yes, Weakened Soul is still there. But having the 4 second limit dropped (Soul Warding) and being able to cast rapid fire shields on players around me?Heck, I got so trigger happy I even threw some on a Ghoul and Succubus just for fun in Warsong Gulch!

That's just made pure awesome wyn.

Especially in a fun AoE raid damage filled instance like Ulduar where my ability to massively heal groups is limited, I feel I can still contribute in some way.

Let's apply it to a raid boss. For those of you that have managed to work your way up to Deconstructor, you'll know what I mean.

Tymapnic Tantrum – 10% health lost per second for 12 seconds. That's a lot of raid damage being handed out.

If I feel a Tantrum is about to hit the raid, I'll start shielding as many players as I can around me. It's a whole field of bubbles that can mitigate enough damage to allow healers to play catch up! Keep this technique in mind when you anticipate a number of players about to take hits. Granted, it's not wise or feasible to shield the entire raid. It's not logistical either since some players will be too far away from you.

But if you're standing with a group of 5-8 players, it's a technique that should be considered.

Are there consequences?

Power Word: Shield costs 532 mana (for me as Dwarf). Shielding 5 targets will set me back ~2500 mana. When Rapture kicks in, I'm only getting back ~600 mana (assuming I have a mana pool of 25000). I don't advocate using this the whole time. You'll run out of mana trying to keep active shields up on everyone. Used sparingly and in anticipation of incoming damage, it will buy enough time for the rest of the healers in your group to pitch in.

But let's not read too much into this! I'm not going to lie, I've felt the mana pinch too while healing. Stocking with Flask of Pure Mojo and other mana regen goodies have helped soften the blow.

Other thoughts

I did set up my dual spec when I had the opportunity. I did grab Holy as my 2nd spec for the time being. I'm starting to wonder if that was the right thing to do. In order to effectively play Holy, I have to completely rewire my gear. New enchants, gems, and different pieces of gear are going to be needed in order to play Holy at the level that Ulduar needs.

Perhaps what I should've done was spec in a similar Disc like fashion with a different set of glyphs. Let's hope I figure something out soon before I lose my mind.

Good luck and good fortune to players continuing to work their way through Ulduar (both via easy or hard mode)!


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