Show Some Bubble Love

EDIT: Post PoH nerf, disc raid healing on many fights is…well, much more of a bitch.  But I’ve still managed it, so as long as your raid isn’t undergeared…it’s an interesting take on things.

A Look At Disc Priest Raid Healing in Ulduar 10

I bet you’re reading that and going, “Wait, what?” but it’s true.  I’m a disc priest, and I raid heal in Ulduar.  It does not cause the frothing rage that holy paladin “raid healing” used to, because I actually have any number of tools at my disposal to cope with the AoE damage that runs rampant in Ulduar.

First-how did I end up raid healing?  Well, it’s simple.  Currently in the Brotherhood of Oblivion, we have what I liked to call a “whacked out healer core”.  We have 2 holy paladins, 2 disc priests, 1 resto shaman, and a small stand of trees.  Please note the complete and utter lack of holy priests.  The most reliable healers of the lot (attendance wise) are the holy paladins and disc priests, meaning we have to get creative with our Bubble Crew.  If you’re going to ask a single target healer to raid heal, it had better be the disc priest.  As warm weather beckons and players wander away to get skin cancer in the great outdoors, many guilds will find themselves coming up short on raid night and getting creative with what they have and so: disc raid healing.  If you happen to be working with two disc priests, pick the one that is the most raid-aware for the job.  If your disc priest always stands in the fire, this is probably not a good idea for them.  I recommend that you beat that player with a stick.  One with spikes on it.

Anyway…

The Main Points of Disc Raid Healing

1) Many fights in Ulduar have AoE damage that is predictable- XT’s tantrum comes to mind.  In that circumstance, your path should be clear: pre-bubble.  Bubble yourself, anyone who seems to be low on health, the tank, and your raid’s resident floor eater, as every raid has at least one.  Maybe it’s your rogue who manages to die every single fight.   Lacking any obvious targets, pick someone you like that week or your fellow healers.

2) If someone is the focus of one particular attack (Ignis’ Vibrating Crotch Pot, anyone?), bubble then and use penance if necessary.   This is merely an extension of raid habits you should already have…only now the entire raid is your responsibility, not just the tank.

3) Bind Inner Focus to Prayer of Healing if you haven’t already, and don’t be afraid to use it.  Same with Divine Hymm.  Yes, it’s on a 10 minute cooldown, but if shit goes to hell and it can spare everyone a wipe, use it.   If you’re running with another priest using PoH, you might split up groups before hand so that you’re not wasting the spell (ie, say you’ll take group 1 while they watch group 2). 

4) Pay attention to your tank and his healer.  Is your tank healer being chased all over hell and back by eyebeams?  Heal the tank for him until he’s back in place.  Is the boss doing something extra ouchy to the tank?  Bubble, penance, and perhaps even Pain Suppression.   This is different than in Naxx, where  I could usually handle the tank by myself.  In Ulduar, the occasional support of another healer is sometimes crucial (see: aforementioned eyebeams, crotch pot, etc).   I can’t tell you how many wipes I could have prevented on Kolgarn last week if only I’d realized that he was repeatedly targeting our holy pally with eyebeams.  Die if a fire, RNG.

5) Use penance to your advantage.  Is the mage suddenly taking a shit ton of damage all of a sudden?  Penance!  The rogue?  Penance!  It’s an excellent, “omg omg omg no don’t die” clutch heal. 

There you go!  Now go forth and get purples, even when the only people that show up to raid are you and two holy pallys.

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  1. #1 by Wikwocket on May 13, 2009 - 2:37 pm

    I agree that Disc can be quite good for raid healing. I will sometimes swap to Holy for raid healing, but if there’s benefit to be gained from big shields or penance, or any OT in my assignment, I will often stay Disc.

    Our amazing shields, with no cooldown, are great player-savers and are also great for damage prevention as you mentioned. And we still have PoM and Binding Heal, and PoH (which is a super fast cast when used with Borrowed Time).

  2. #2 by Isiene on May 13, 2009 - 2:55 pm

    It’s true! I’m a disc priest, and I do quite a bit of raid healing in Ulduar. I run with an awesome, awesome group of 9 other players in Ulduar 10 with a tree, a resto shaman and a disc priest (me!), and there are definitely those times when I bubble everyone like mad (like tantrum as Amber mentioned, Hodir’s frozen blows, that stupid arena portion in phase 2 of Thorim, etc). I even throw the occasional PoH.

    It’s worked out very well so far (everything is pretty much 1-shot except for Thorim, Freya, Mimiron), but I do need to remember to use Divine Hymn more often! In those crazy moments, my mind always conveniently forgets that it’s there as a panic button, but the one time I remembered to use it during the end of Hodir when one of our healers went down — holy crap was it nice. Everyone went from 30%-50% health to full. I kicked myself thoroughly for never using it before when I saw that!

  3. #3 by Isiene on May 13, 2009 - 3:00 pm

    Eeek! Edit to the above! We also definitely do NOT have the last three bosses (Vezax, YS, Alg) on farm (although I wish we did for the purpleeees!). Shows me right for speed typing!

  4. #4 by kavika on May 14, 2009 - 10:13 am

    Not playing your holy pally much these days? : (
    I haven’t even logged onto mine for more than 2 hours since 3.1…makes me sad. I used to love my holy pala. Of course, I used to love this game, but that’s sort of taken some AoE damage as well. CoD’s been mind-numbingly fun lately…

  5. #5 by Hidebound on May 14, 2009 - 12:08 pm

    I’ll testify to the power of the Disc Bubbles. More than once our resident Disc priest has saved my hiney from certain doom by a well timed bubble.

  6. #6 by Ambrosyne on May 14, 2009 - 2:02 pm

    @kavika: She’s not even talented right now. :( I just…I dunno, I find priest healing so much more interesting that the idea of going back to HL spam makes me saaaad.

  7. #7 by Paldasan on May 15, 2009 - 7:41 am

    Here’s fun, healing a 25 man with 3 holy pallys, a ret pally (JoL), throw in a prot pally, 2 trees and 2 holy priests. As the 3rd holy pally, i pretty much cast the odd FoL on my OT and well thats it really.

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