>The forums have been blown up recently and Disc priests everywhere are in a state of panic. In a recent hotfix, Blizzard decided that the recent increased mana cost and spell power coefficient to Power Word: Shield wasn’t enough to prevent Discipline priests from utilizing the “bubble spam” method of raid healing and immediately raised the cost by another 33%.
But wait! What about Holy priests who use the spell for our precious Body and Soul talent and maybe to save a raid member or two? Have no fear, Blizzard thought this through and didn’t want Holy priests to shy away from using PW: S and added a mana cost reduction to the Body and Soul talent.
As a Holy priest, I utilize Inner Will for raid healing duties. This further reduces all of my instant cast spells mana costs by an additional 15%. With the additional reductions from Body and Soul, and with the addition of Inner Will, my PW: S mana cost has plummeted to a mere 2600, down from 3800. And if I forgo 2 points in the Darkness talent (but still maintain my 12.5% haste) and put them into “Improved Power Word: Shield” I get about a 20k shield from a 2600 mana cost. That’s about an HPM of about 7.6 making Power Word: Shield more mana efficient than Prayer of Healing.
I think you realize where I’m going with this. As Oestrus pointed out on her blog, Holy bubble spam might possibly be the new sexy way of healing until Blizz figures out something. Discipline is just a mess now. Spamming bubbles isn’t even viable anymore. And with Prayer of Healing being extremely weak for Discipline compared to Holy, Discipline isn’t even a competitive raid healer anymore. As of this moment, Discipline is only competitive with tank healing.
On top of all this, Rapture is pretty much broken. It costs more mana to cast PW: S than the return gives. Discipline priest’s PW: S now has an HPM of 4.1, making it one of the least efficient spells available. It’s actually more efficient to cast a Greater Heal with 3 stacks of Grace.
There are a few ways to fix this problem:
1. Make Soul Warding a Disc-only talent and raise the cool-down to 8 seconds.– This would make spamming less viable for Holy priests due to the high cool-down. It would also still cause PW: S to have a 4 second CD so spamming it isn’t viable for raid healing compared to Prayer of Healing during extremely heavy raid damage fights. A combination of PW: S and Prayer of Healing would give Disc a viable slot in raids.
2. Revert the initial mana cost back to what it originally was before the hotfix for PW: S and get rid of the B&S mana reduction fix.– This would make PW:S attractive again for Disc priests to use and still decent for Holy priests for PvE and PvP.
3. Priests need dispel resistance.– I know Blizz doesn’t want to go this route, but its inevitable to keep the game balanced. With the increased CD on PW: S, we would use it less often. Therefore, we need some type of dispel resistance, or there needs to be a CD on all offensive dispels.
4. Or maybe just get rid of Soul Warding all together.– This would cause PW: S to have a base CD of 4 seconds. Revert the mana changes and change the Soul Warding talent to a PvP Dispel resistance talent.
Just my 2 cents.