L2Discipline: How About Them Stats?
Gear—the first thing you should know about gear is that it has these things called “stats” on them. These stats determine your gear selection, limit your choices, and help you figure out what’s an upgrade and what’s not. (That’s right, it doesn’t matter how pretty the color of that robe is, or how shiny those shoes are!)
As a Priest, especially one who heals, the main stats you worry about are spellpower, intellect, spirit, stamina, haste, crit, and mp5. Agility, strength, and anything else I didn’t mention (such as hit and armor penetration) need not apply.
Without much explanation, it’s easy to tell what this stat does for you. The more spellpower you have, the more healing your healing spells will do and the more damage your damage spells will do. But what’s interesting about spellpower and the Discipline Priest is that it also increases the amount of damage absorbed by Power Word: Shield thanks to this lovely talent called Borrowed Time. It is also the only stat that does this, so it’s very important as shields are a big part of what being a Discipline Priest is all about. There’s also no such thing as too much spellpower.
Another thing to note about spellpower: Currently every single healing class/spec besides a Disc Priest gets a spellpower boost from a base stat such as intellect (in the case of Holy Paladins and Resto Shaman) and spirit (in the case of Holy Priests and Resto Druids). Thus, we only get spellpower from spellpower.
It makes you smarter! No, not really… sometimes, I wish it did. What intellect really does is increases your mana pool and also gives you a bit of crit and mp5, all of which are essential. The bigger your mana pool, the more spells you can cast and the larger your mana returns will be from Rapture and Replenishment. Currently intellect is slotted as the best stat to stack for mana regeneration—However, there can be such a thing as having too much intellect. The majority of the time, this is not a stat you really need to worry about since all cloth caster gear has intellect on it. If a piece of gear has more intellect on it than what you are currently wearing but less of everything else it is not an upgrade. There are many more factors that determine what is an upgrade and what isn’t than just how much intellect it has.
Stacking intellect is not a bad thing, but it has it’s consequences. You’ll be sacrificing other stats such as spellpower, haste, and crit in order to do so. In my opinion, it isn’t the best idea especially since it doesn’t give you spellpower. I’ll give you an example. Compare my spellpower, haste and crit to my friend Matticus. Currently we’re both raiding ToCr/ToGCr on 25-man every week and are wearing gear from those places. However, Matt uses trinkets that have intellect on them whereas I have one with intellect and one with spellpower. Matt also gems solely for intellect whereas I go with intellect/spellpower depending on what color the socket is. (More on gemming in the next article if you’re wondering what I put in blue sockets.) Here’s how our numbers factor out:
As you can see, Matticus has 155 more intellect (for ~2,300 more mana) than me but lacks about 370 spellpower. Sure, he’s able to cast more spells than me… but if you really think about it 2,300 mana is not that much of a difference. Most spells cost between 500-1,000 mana. That means he’s only able to cast between 2-5 spells more than me in any given fight (if there were 0 mana regen, of course, because I like simple math) Even so, his healing spells are not hitting for as much as mine are and his shields are absorbing less.
Spirit vs MP5
The great debate. Should you focus on one or the other or use both? Which is better? Which gives more regen? Well, I’m going to tell you this: For you, they’re pretty much the same. Spirit is a stat that increases your mana regen, and MP5 is just a raw mana regen number. Because we don’t get spellpower from spirit like Holy Priests do it isn’t as important a stat and it doesn’t really matter if you tank a piece of gear with MP5 instead. All of the current cloth caster gear has spirit on it, the only things you’re going to see with MP5 are trinkets, rings, neck pieces, and weapons/off-hands. Thus those are the only items you’ll even have to worry about this debate for.
While spirit is not equal to MP5 it comes very close. In order to get the most out of spirit, you have to have a ratio of it to intellect. Zusterke has a table and a calculating tool to help you figure stuff like that out. Spirit also has the benefit of stacking with buffs like Blessing of Kings. However, I have found that even fully raid-buffed my regen values from spirit have been slightly lower than the MP5 found on similar gear (based on numbers produced by the addon RatingBuster in my comparison tooltips). If you find yourself in a situation where you have two pieces of gear with the exact same stats as eachother except that one has spirit and one has MP5, I would choose the MP5. I would also gem for MP5 over gemming for spirit for the hybrid colors green and purple. (So, int/mp5 green gem instead of int/spirit.)
Haste vs Crit
The second great debate, and for this there’s no real right answer besides “it depends on your play style.” Both haste and crit are amazing stats to have as a Discipline Priest, and while you can choose to focus mainly on one I wouldn’t recommend it. Your best bet is to have a good amount of both, evenly dispersing your gear between the two.
Haste increases your casting speed and lowers the global cooldown (GCD). While the GCD can never become lower than 1 second your spellcasts can. So, if you find yourself with a Flash Heal that casts faster than 1 second (with Borrowed Time) you are not saving yourself any more time by stacking haste. It’s also good to remember that you will already have a base 6% haste due to the Enlightenment talent (which does not show up on your character pane in the haste tooltip). A good number to aim to keep your haste at is at least 10%, so 4% from gear. Currently I have a total of 15% haste with talents and gear and my Flash Heal takes ~1.2 seconds to cast without Borrowed Time. (With it it’s a little under a second, something like .942 seconds.)
Crit increases your chance to cast a critical heal which will heal for 150% of your spell instead of 100%. Crit also does one key amazing, amazing thing for Discipline Priests: It procs Divine Aegis. Thus the more crit you have, the more chances you have to proc DA shields and the more damage that will be absorbed. Unlike haste there’s really no such thing as too much crit. For T7 I aimed to keep my crit between 20-25% and in T8/9 between 25-30% for healing spells. (Which is 15-20% and 20-25% from gear, respectively.) Obviously raid-buffed these numbers will be higher.
Next up in L2Disc: How to make your gear choices, including enchants and gems.
Tagged as Crit, Discipline Priest, Gear, Haste, Intellect, MP5, Spellpower, Spirit, Stamina, Stats + Categorized as Discipline Priest, Discipline Priest, L2Discipline