So I’ve been sucked back into MUDs and have only been playing WoW a bit every now and then between raids – my guild is now up to 3/6H MSV, 6/6 HoF and 4/4 ToES! Huzzah! I intended to post this ages ago, but it might still be helpful for other teams given how 5.0 raid content will still remain semi-viable for gearing in 5.2.
Spirit shell is, in my opinion, the best trick up discipline priest’s sleeves right now. I loved the spell since the moment we got it, even with all of the initial wonkiness and awkward feeling it first had for use. It rewards intelligent foresight, which I think is a core aspect of discipline priest play – we don’t just heal reactively, but we also use our knowledge of the fight and our raiders to blanket the raid before the damage hits.
So, here’s my quick breakdown of the best spots to pop spirit shell in each fight this tier:
- Stone Guards – Excellent to use before an overload if your tanks identify that they are going to be unable to execute a juggle with the dogs. This can and does prevent a wipe. I ran holy for this fight due to the better mobility until I got better gear (plus disc was bad off back then), but spirit shell can have moderate use here. For heroic, the mines do enough damage that using it whenever you have a free CD can mitigate raid damage – however I saved mine for when I had From Darkness Comes Light procs and used it on tanks due to the immense amount of damage they take.
- Feng – Perfect for every phase of the fight. If your tank missed grabbing an interrupt, use it for epicenters where nullification barrier is off CD. Use it at the start of draw flame that nullification barrier isn’t eating (draw flame damage ramps up, so starting the shell at the start of draw flames is good timing). For phase 3, use it for the arcane velocities that are not mitigated by nullification barrier. For heroic, you can use it for a general damage blanket during throw shield (though the damage is a bit spotty, so atonement covered that quite nicely).
- Gara’jal – Spirit shell is stupid awesome in this fight. Voodoo doll damage almost always starts at the tank, so use bubble and spirit shell to absorb that damage off the bat with spirit shell and flash heal (even better with From Darkness Comes Light procs, but remember to save 2 for when you go in totems). The other voodoo dolls with take minimal damage.
- Spirit Kings – Great right off the bat to absorb Qiang’s massive attacks. Spot heal until Meng is active and use spirit shell before maddening shout.
- Elegon – Use early on to mitigate damage from Total Annihilation. A good timer for this is to start blanketing right after the celestial protector spawns. Atonement is amazing in this fight because of the dps and hps boost, so smite and offensive penance are your prime heals for most of this fight (especially since THOSE heals can reach the other side of the platform during draw power, whereas your direct heals can’t reach). I usually toss in another shell (or do a hymn of hope) while pillars are being taken down, just to absorb any splash damage from adds. Finally, in the last phase, spirit shell is obviously useful against the constant damage – try to get it out during that moment your team is grouped up at the console, so everyone goes in blanketed in absorbs.
- Will of the Emperor – Use right before titan gas, obviously. However, there is time for 2 shells between titan gas phases, so I pop shell when I get FDCL procs to give the tanks extra absorbs.
Heart of Fear
- Vizier – AMAZING before force and verve. For timing, I do instant holy and 4 smites to get full Archangel and then shell and prayer of healing. Timing is perfect to eat most of the force and verve – follow with a cascade or halo during the active F&V.
- Bladelord – If you can get the timing down, this is great to use before unseen strikes. It makes a huge difference and can prevent wipes if people are slow to stack. Also, start shelling around 25-23% of the bosses’ health to give your team a night blanket that absorbs nearly all of the damage from storm unleashed (during which you can’t heal!)
- Garalon – Start shelling when your pherome carrier is around 15 stacks, assuming you switch in the early 20s. Or just shell whenever it’s off CD, since the constant raid damage is just that nuts. The trickiest part of this fight is being able to heal people in range, since there is a lot of movement from the melee DPS. Bonus points – stand in the blue ring and smite/penance the legs. 200k heals for each penance tick? Yes, please!
- Windlord – Shell before rain of blades, especially in the later parts of the fight. The trick to this is that the DBM timer shows you the ability’s CD, not actually when the ability is about to happen (the actual ability is several seconds after that) so shell once that CD is at 0, instead of anticipating having a shell up at 0 on the timer.
- Amber Shaper – Use bubble and shell, especially with FDCL procs, on people afflicted with parasitic growth (and tell your other healers to stop freaking healing the people). In the later stages of the fight, this can and does save lives! Also be very wary of atonement if parasitic growth is up during phase 3, due to the smart-heal nature – a quick shell, however, can ensure that the person with growth remains with higher health than others, allowing you to smite away!
- Empress – Shell is excellent to blanket the raid before a dissonance field pops. You can also use shell to absorb damage from cry of terror when targets are inside the dissonance field. For phase 3, damage is fairly constant, so you can just use it on CD.
Terrace of Endless Spring
- Protectors of the Endless – The best use of this (especially if you are going for elite, which you should! It’s especially doable with a disc priest!) is to eat the increasing raid damage from corruption. Use it more heavily as the fight goes on and the damage builds up.
- Tsulong – Simply use on CD during night phase to mitigate constant raid damage. Bonus points – during day, save your inner focus and 1-2 FDCL procs for sun breath. Start casting greater heal shortly after he begins casting sun breath (so your greater heal casts RIGHT when he starts breathing). You can get several million healing each breath this way.
- Lei Shi – I use my FDCL procs with spirit shell to give tanks extra absorbs, especially during the spawn elementals phase. Ideally I’d use this for get away, but it’s really impossible to predict when that’s coming. 😦
- The Sha of Fear – UGGGHHHH. Hate this fight. I use spirit shell when I’m on the main platform to give extra absorbs in case people get hit by the adds’ bolts.
I’ll write up a version of this for the next tier, once we start raiding. Happy priesting!