Unless you've been hiding under a fragment of Val'anyr for the last month, you'll know that disc priests are the all the rage in arenas right now. FotM even. We got some huge buffs in 3.1 that increased our survivability in PvP tremendously. If you have enough resilience, it's actually fun to PvP as a priest nowadays.
I've done a ton of BGs, but until recently I didn't have good enough gear (or skills, I'll admit it) to even consider venturing into arenas. And now that I do, I found it very difficult to find out the right way to get started. How do you gear up? What sort of talents? Trinkets? Comps? Should I focus on crit or regen? In order to figure out how to best spend my honor points, I decided to consult the experts. The winning priests. And instead of trying to convince you that I actually know what I'm doing, I'm going to show you what they are doing.
I looked at 10 of the top priests in the 2s bracket (as listed on Arena Junkies). I looked at what gear choices they made, what talent choices, gems, professions, enchants. It's called a meta-analysis — instead of doing my own field research, I collated the results of the research that others did. You won't find me saying "here's the perfect/correct PvP build," because there is none. But you will find out what the pros are doing, what they find works.
YMMV, of course. What works in the 2700 bracket of 2s may be irrelevant in the entry-level 5s team you just started. And what works for someone with years of experience in arenas might not work for someone who's never PvP'd before. So everything here comes with a ton of salt. In fact, this is just a snapshot of what are certainly 10 works in progress. Some of these folks have probably already changed their builds or gems to adjust to changing circumstances.
Just to emphasize, this is not my opinion. My opinion doesn't count, since I don't have enough experience to act as any sort of authority. So unfortunately, I'm not the right person to ask "why?".
(By the way, I started this research for a thread on Wowhead. There's a lively discussion happening over there; check it out.)
I hope this sets you off on the right foot! Enjoy arenas, fellow priests, 'cause this is our time.
I've linked talent specs here as well. A summary of specific talent points is below.Bilian (Talents)
The CompsSeven partner with rogues. Two with ret pallies. One with a feral druid.
Ok, here's where things get interesting! I haven't tallied every single piece of gear. But I was particularly interested in several gear choices:
- Main hand weapon
- Gems (especially meta gems)
- Set pieces
Main hand weapon
9 Medallions (one human, of course)
For the second trinket, interesting choices were made between defense, offense, or regen.
Meta gems leaned heavily towards regen.
For other gems, here is the total number of points allocated to each stat:
+317 Spell power
+120 Hit rating
+40 Spell penetration
Every priest had 5 set pieces, mostly Deadly of course. I did not consider offset pieces (cloak, rings, etc) for this analysis.
EnchantsFor now, I just looked at the enchant choices on chest and bracers:
All 10 priests were disc/holy, anything from 57/14 to 60/11. Rather than list every single talent, what I've decided to do was present only those talents which are confusing or debatable, and see what our experts chose. You won't see Penance listed below; that's a given. But Absolution? Here you'll see that 16 points out of a total of 30 were chosen. Since it's a 3-point talent, if every priest took it in full you'd see 30/30. The 16 points means that it was not universally considered required. Some took 2 points, some 3 points, and some zero. I haven't correlated anything here, so this just gives you a sense of how essential each talent is considered, nothing more.
If you wanted to look at a "template" build, look at Shator. It's a good place to start.
Silent Resolve - 30/30
Improved Fort - 11/20
Martyrdom - 6/20
Meditation - 30/30
Inner Focus - 10/10
Absolution - 16/30
Mental Agility - 30/30
Improved Mana Burn - 20/20
Reflective Shield - 18/20
Focused Power - 20/20
Enlightenment - 20/30
Focused Will - 30/30
Power Infusion - 10/10
Improved Flash Heal - 3/30
Renewed Hope - 16/20
Divine Aegis - 15/30
Grace - 19/20
Healing Focus - 19/20
Improved Renew - 21/30
Holy Specialization - 20/50
Spell Warding - 8/40
Divine Fury - 40/40
Desperate Prayer - 10/10
Blessed Recovery - 2/30
Range: 1312 - 1493 (wide)
Notes: Median health was 20480, which includes (for some folks) a +hp chest enchant that doesn't show in the stamina value.
Range: 729 - 762 (narrow)
Notes: Median mana pool was 14638. Other than one person who stacked int, all priests had int values within about 15 of each other.
Range: 561 - 742 (wide)
Notes: Median regen (out of 5sr) was 315.
Range: 1799 - 2069 (moderate)
Notes: The priest who stacked int also stacked heals; she is the high value in both stats, and the lowest value in regen and stam.
Range: 90 - 122 (narrow)
Range: 0 - 110 (moderate)
Notes: Turns out the Torch of Holy Fire, the best weapon in the game (pre-Ulduar), has exactly 48 haste. Hmm. Only two priests had other haste pieces or gems above the amount on the Torch, so this stat was definitely not a priority for our panel.
Range: 0 - 109 (moderate)
Notes: If you consider how much crit a PvE disc priest will stack (in the neighborhood of 700 crit rating), the numbers here are so close to zero we might as well just call them a wash. Another non-priority stat.
Resilience (did you think I forgot?)
Range: 802 - 1115 (wide)
Notes: The lowest and highest values are both extreme outliers. If we remove those two from consideration, the range is actually very narrow: 905 - 928 for all the remaining priests.