Discipline BFA Alpha Changes [Master List]

by | May 8, 2018

LAST UPDATED: May 16, 2018

This post has been converted to a “master list” of changes in the Alpha to make it easier to follow what is changing. I’ll elaborate more as to what direction these changes will likely take us and hopefully make sense of these changes for you guys and gals. To make things a little easier to follow, I will try to keep a running list of changes from build to build so if you’re just learning of these changes for the first time from this article, you will know what happened previously.

Most recent build (284416)

May 15, 2018
  • Grace  Increases your non-Atonement healing and absorption by 30%20% on targets with Atonement.
  • Contrition healing increased by 40%
  • Divine Star healing increased by 40%
  • Halo healing increased by 40%
  • Orison healing increased by 40%
  • Penance healing increased by 40%
  • Power Word: Radiance healing increased by 40%
  • Shadow Mend healing increased by 40%
  • Power Word: Shield absorb increased by 40%
  • Luminous Barrier absorb increased by 40%
  • Smite absorb increased by 40%
  • Atonement healing increased by 37.5%

TLDR: All healing was increased by 40% in this build, except for Atonement which was only increased by 37.5% so this could be seen as a slight nerf to Atonement.


Previous build (284232)

May 8, 2018
  • Atonement   Plea, Power Word: Shield, Shadow Mend, and Power Word: Radiance also apply Atonement to your target for 15 sec.
    When you deal spell damage, you instantly healYour spell damage heals all targets affected by Atonement for 40.0%40% of the damage done.
  • Mastery: Reverence   Increases the damage of Penance, the absorption of Power Word: Shield, and the healing of Shadow Mend by 12.0%.Your healing and absorption is increased by 10.0% on targets with Atonement.
  • Power Word: Shield   Shields an ally for 15 sec, absorbing [Spell power * 0.9 * (1 + Versatility) * 11.1 * (1 + Versatility) * 1 * 1] damage, and preventing damage from delaying spellcasting.
Talents (2)
  • Contrition   When you heal with Penance, everyone with your Atonement is healed for (20%16% of Spell power).
  • Power Word: Solace   Strikes an enemy with heavenly power, dealing (100%120% of Spell power) Holy damage and restoring 1% of your maximum mana.

Previous build (26522)

April 30, 2018
  • Mastery: Reverence  Increases the damage of Penance, the absorption of Power Word: Shield, and the healing of Shadow Mend by 11.0%12.0%.
  • Penance  Launches a volley of holy light at the target, causing
    [(47.5%40% of Spell power) * 4]
    [(47.5%40% of Spell power) * 3] Holy damage to an enemy or [(75% of Spell power) * 3] healing to an ally over 2 sec. Castable while moving.
    Cost changed from 2.8% of base mana to 2.2% of base mana
  • Power Word: Shield  Shields an ally for 15 sec, absorbing [Spell power * 0.9 * (1 + Versatility) * 1 * 1 * 1] damage, and preventing damage from delaying spellcasting.
    Cost changed from 2.3% of base mana to 2.5% of base mana
  • Luminous Barrier   Create a shield on all allies within 40 yards, absorbing [Spell power * 1.5 2 * (1 + Versatility)] damage on each of them for 10 sec.
Honor Talents
  • Strength of Soul   Your Power Word: Shield instantly heals targets for (187.5% of Spell power) and reduces all Physical damage taken by 20% while the shield persists.

Previous build (26476)

April 20, 2018
  • Pain Suppression Cooldown changed from 4 min cooldown to 3 min cooldown
  • Power Word: Shield was nerfed:
    • Shields an ally for 15 sec, absorbing [Spell power * 10.9 * (1 + Versatility) * 1 * 1 * 1] damage, and preventing damage from delaying spellcasting.
  • Shadow Mend was nerfed:
    • Wraps an ally in shadows which heal for (187.5%160% of Spell power), but at a price.
      The ally will take [(187.5%160% of Spell power) / 20] damage every 1 sec, until they have taken [(187.5%160% of Spell power) / 2] total damage from all sources, or leave combat.
  • Shadow Word: Pain was buffed: Cost changed from 2.2% of base mana to 1.8% of base mana.
  • Smite absorbs had a minor nerf:
    • Smite absorbs the next [(Spell power * 5640 / 100) * (1 + Versatility)] damage dealt by the enemy.
  • Divine Star was buffed from 30% of Spell Power to 40% of Spell Power.
  • Halo was buffed from 87.5% of Spell Power to 110% of Spell Power.
  • Purge the Wicked was buffed quite a bit:
    • Cleanses the target with fire, causing (20%30% of Spell power) Fire damage and an additional (100%165% of Spell power) Fire damage over 20 sec. Spreads to an additional nearby enemy when you cast Penance on the target.
    • Cost changed from 2.0% of base mana to 1.8% of base mana

Previous build (26433)

April 13, 2018
  • Desperate Prayer had a minor tooltip change “and instantly heals you for 25%. that amount.
  • Power Word: Shield had an additional modifier added [Spell power * 1 * (1 + Versatility) * 1 * 1 * 1]
  • Shadow Word: Pain  was buffed:
    • Discipline:
      A word of darkness that causes (15% of Spell power) Shadow damage instantly, and an additional (105%120% of Spell power) Shadow damage over 14 sec.16 sec.
  • Schism was buffed again:
    • Attack the enemy’s soul with a surge of Shadow energy, dealing (130%150% of Spell power) Shadow damage and increasing damage that you deal to the target by 40% for 9 sec.
    • Spell power mod was changed from 1.3 to 1.5.
    • Cost changed from 2.5% of base mana to 0.5% of base mana
  • Trinity (honor talent) was modified to Power Word: Shield instead of Plea

Previous build (26367)

April 3, 2018
  • Rapture For the next 10 sec, Power Word: Shield absorbs an additional 200%.
  • Body and Soul Can now only occur once every 6 seconds.
  • Power Word: Solace Strikes an enemy with heavenly power, dealing (87.5% 100% of Spell power) Holy damage and restoring 1.00% 1% of your maximum mana.
  • Schism Attack the enemy’s soul with a surge of Shadow energy, dealing (106.25% 130% of Spell power) Shadow damage and increasing damage that you deal to the target by 30% for 6 sec. 40% for 9 secCooldown changed from 6 sec cooldown to 24 sec cooldown
  • Shield Discipline When your Power Word: Shield is completely absorbed, you restore 1%0.5% of your maximum mana.

Previous build (26287)

March 23, 2018
  • Mastery: Absolution removed
  • Mastery: Reverence added.  [Increases the damage of Penance, the absorption of Power Word: Shield, and the healing of Shadow Mend by 11.0%.]
  • Shadowfiend  duration increased from 12 to 15 seconds.
  • Clarity of Will  was removed and replaced with the new talent, Orison [Power Word: Shield instantly heals the target for (50% of Spell power).]
  • Power Infusion was removed and replaced with the new talent, Luminous Barrier [Create a shield on all allies within 40 yards, absorbing [Spell power * 1.5 * (1 + Versatility)] damage on each of them for 10 sec.]
  • Desperate Prayer  is now available for Discipline!
  • There are also some artifact trait changes that we’re not 100% sure how they will be implemented, but I will list them here none-the-less:
    • Aegis of Wrath 3% decay will occur every 5 seconds instead of 1 second.
    •  Power of the Dark Side now includes healing done in addition to additional damage. Procs per minute changed from 1 to 1.5.

Previous build (26231)

March 15, 2018

Spell Commentary

Power Word: Shield: Cooldown was removed on this ability, but Plea was also removed. This change simplifies our rotation a bit and aims to supplant when we would normally cast Plea with casting PW:S instead as an Atonement applicator. Sigma (class designer for healers) mentioned that the power of PW:S is meant to remain low and not be meant as a spammable absorb.

Atonement: This is now locked at a 40% transfer rate. Due to our old Mastery being removed and replaced with the new Mastery, we’ll increase our Atonement healing through increasing our damage (more Spell Power). This isn’t really a surprising change and isn’t really going to affect how we play the spec.

Power Word: Fortitude: It’s back! We got our Stam buff back, which means Priests will definitely be worth bringing along for M+ runs for the added health.

Holy Nova: We now have a spammable AoE DPS/Heal ability, however, it’s rather weak and costs too much mana to merit spamming it too frequently. This is more of a quality of life ability that we could potentially use in Dungeons on 4+ mobs, questing, and clearing old content.

Rapture: Now buffs the power of PW:S for 10 seconds making it absorb much more damage. This talent feels much better than it did in Legion and makes it quite useful in a pinch for dungeons, as well as making it a great raid CD for absorbing incoming damage.

Desperate Prayer: We now have Desperate Prayer, which was originally just for Holy Priests in Legion. This provides us with a great personal cooldown and much needed for M+, as well as raids now that we will be losing Fade as a damage reduction personal.

Mastery: Reverence: This is the biggest change, and most impactful to the spec. In Legion, our secondary stats have been rather balanced with some variation. Haste was more important earlier on, but as we got more gear other secondary stats became more important (7.2.5 changes also impacted this obviously). With the changes to Mastery still being in flux, it’s hard to say where it will land. One of the major issues with Mastery is that it requires so much Mastery rating for it to out value other stats that it’s almost not worth taking right now. There were some buffs made to the spell in a recent build (as of this update on 5/2) but issues still remain.

Smite not being part of Mastery allows for the potential that Mastery stacking later in the expansion could lead to a playstyle that would consist of not casting Smite, and filling with PW:S casts instead. The mana cost of PW:S would prevent it from being spammed, but this means that we may even just opt to not cast Smite even if that means standing around casting nothing. We’ll see if Smite is added to Mastery or what changes take place in future builds here.

As of May 8, 2018 our Mastery is now in quite a good spot. The Mastery was changed to be a scalable version of the Grace talent. Another way to think of this change is being our current Mastery, but also affecting PW:S and Shadow Mend (as well as Halo or any healing talent). Our damage spells are still a bit weak, but that could be something that could be fixed in a tuning pass later on.

Talent Commentary

Castigation: Nothing has changed for this talent. It will remain a good choice for situations where the extra bolt of Penance will be beneficial since it’s a flat buff to our most powerful burst ability.

Twist of Fate: No changes here and we would still use this Talent to provide us extra healing when we can ensure a higher uptime, or more importantly, optimal uptime. The goal with Twist of Fate is choose it in situations where you know people will be dropping below 35% health either on a frequent enough basis to provide healing, or in very specific parts of an encounter where you need additional healing to help the team survive through an ability. ToF is also very potent in M+.

Schism: This talent was changed quite a bit. It now provides a higher buff to damage and a longer duration but comes with a longer cooldown. As it currently stands, its duration is just too short to get in two Penance casts making it less than ideal for use in either raids or dungeons. I’m hoping the duration can get increased by a couple of seconds to help provide a needed buff for it to be relevant as a nice increase to our burst healing potential and make our level 15 talent row quite competitive in terms of selection.


Angelic FeatherAs far as movement speed increases go, Angelic Feather is probably going to remain our go-to in BFA.

Body and Soul: This talent seemed like it was going to be pretty broken (in a good way) going into BFA, but there was a change in one of the builds that put it on a 6 second internal timer. This makes the talent essentially worthless. I’m hoping they reduce the internal CD of this to make it competitive with Angelic Feather.

Masochism: This talent has always been an odd-ball in this tier since it provides a survivability increase for you instead of a movement speed increase. Masochism would actually be worth taking for any content where you don’t need a movement speed increase and where you need a little bit of personal survivability.


Power Word: Solace: Even with some of the buffs it received in previous Alpha builds, this talent still doesn’t really come out from beneath the shadows of the other two choices. As in Legion, Shield Discipline and Mindbender will always be better options for PvE content. I think Power Word: Solace could have a place in our toolkit as a more mobile friendly damage spell on movement-heavy encounters. The damage from the ability would need to be increased, cooldown decreased or mana return increased to make it worth choosing. Solace is now in a more competitive spot (numbers-wise) but still hard to see where we could fit it in currently. Taking up several more GCD’s is a concern with this talent, but with the numbers change it at least is in a better spot than it was.

Shield Discipline: Changes were made to the amount it returns in mana (went from 1% to .5%) but even with that change, the potential mana savings is actually slightly higher due to the removal of the cooldown on PW:S. The reason for that is due to the previous version of PW:S in Legion having a 6 second cooldown, you could potentially cast PW:S 3 times in the same time frame in BFA, which would result in a .5% mana return increase. Obviously we won’t be spamming PW:S for an entire encounter (not should we), but the potential for Shield Discipline to return more mana than Mindbender is definitely the case going into BFA.

Mindbender: Right now in beta, this talent is rather strong (stronger than Shadowfiend). The difference between Shadowfiend and Mindbender is the duration and number of attacks during it. The increased mana return and longer duration duration on Shadowfiend might make it more ideal on longer encounters or more specifically where the boss abilities line up with the cooldown of Shadowfiend. Mindbender would excel in situations where mana isn’t as important (likely a shorter encounter) and where you need to line up a sustained 10-12 second burst every 1 minute 15 seconds or more.

In short, this tier didn’t really change drastically in terms of how we’d decide which talent to choose. Maybe with some changes to Solace, we could have a competitive tier of talents.


Psychic Voice: This talent can be nice to use as a disorient effect in dungeons mostly since it reduces the cooldown on Psychic Scream. It can interrupt casts on packs of mobs and help control the group of mobs a bit better than the other two talents.

Shining Force: Great ability for knockbacks, specifically on certain affixes in M+. This can help get mobs out of pools of Sanguine or push mobs back away from a tank that has high Necrotic stacks. In Legion, specifically on the Aggramar encounter, this ability provided a much needed knockback to adds as well.

Dominant Mind: This talent is great to use in M+ where you have one mob that can create havoc. It will allow you to control your own character (to heal the group) while using Mind Control on one mob.


Lenience: This talent would likely be taken for raids 100% of the time. The talent is also… how do I say this… boring. There really isn’t any choice being made as a Disc Priest when going into raids of which talent on this tier is best, Lenience takes the cake (in terms of utility for the raid) but doesn’t actually provide much of any increase in (actual) throughput or provide any added benefit besides a passive damage reduction.

Orison: This talent seems weak right now, but the concept is fine. Might need a numbers buff before BfA goes live, but because it’s in the same tier as Lenience, we’re not likely to take this in raids (unless we just wanted to improve our parses I guess). It does seem to have some value for dungeons however.

Contrition: I had high hopes for this talent, but it seems to be the new “Shadow Covenant”. We would only take it for Bursting or Grievous affixes in M+ at this point since you’d almost never want to give up using offensive Penance to heal through Atonement if you have a target to attack. Contrition will scale with our new Mastery, and as such, it received a moderate nerf to balance the ability. It’s still a great talent to take for dungeon content and we would still use it defensively if chosen, but it allows other talents in that row to be competitive.


Purge the Wicked: Nothing much has changed with the ability in terms of usage. We’d still want to select this talent in situations where we have the potential to cleave the DoT to multiple add’s on encounters with constant damage.

Divine Star: Divine Star would fit into an encounter where you have the raid stacked for a majority of the encounter with frequent bursts every 15 seconds or so to maximize its use. Pulling off hitting every target twice with every cast of Divine Star isn’t easy nor possible in every encounter, making Halo just easier to use in a similar situation. There are too many variables that would make Divine Star more difficult to get benefit from, but I think reducing the mana cost for Divine Star would make it more likely to be used, and generally balance out this tier.

Halo: Halo is great for burst healing on encounters where you may not have multiple adds or sustained damage to cover. Dungeons might be trickier to fit Halo in since there is a potential you could pull mobs if you’re not careful.


Luminous Barrier: The idea behind this talent is sound, giving us an option to use this talent choice as an option in encounters where we are spread for most of the encounter. It’s also good in groups larger than ~18-20 people, so for LFR/Normal/Heroic content it might be worth considering. However, there are a couple major concerns regarding it, of which make it almost never taken in any competitive content (Mythic specifically). Firstly for raids, it needs to beat out Evangelism; this alone is a tall task and unlikely to happen. Secondly for raids, Power Word: Barrier needs to have little to no place to be used. This also is unlikely, but still more common than Evangelism not being worth taking. For dungeons, Grace is still our go-to and Luminous Barrier seems to be a weak choice for 5 man content. If they manage to buff this talent to be better than Barrier+Evangelism it would likely be brokenly overpowered since Evangelism itself is already borderline OP itself. The issue with this talent is it’s either ridiculously good, or terribly bad and used in niche situations (that may never happen).

Grace: Nothing has changed here; it’s still our defacto dungeon talent. Direct heals on Atonement targets getting a 30% buff is ideal for dungeon content since we heal less through Atonement and more through PW:S and Shadow Mend.

Evangelism: Same as with Grace but for raiding; nothing has changed and it’s our defacto talent choice. Even with the loss of Velen’s in BFA, this talent is very powerful and provides us with the potential burst of Atonement healing every 1 minute 15 seconds.

Author Mend
Categories Discipline News


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