Penance Priest

Discipline Priest Blog

I’m not a big fan of yellow sockets. They throw me for a loop. And from looking at other disc priests, it seems there’s plenty of disagreement about what to put in your yellow sockets.

Here’s what I’ve got in my yellows right now:

2 runed
1 reckless
1 luminous

And I just socketed over one potent. What gives?

Lucky for me, I’m only interested in one thing at the moment: 25-man bubble-botting discipline. Poor Dawn, having to recommend gems for all purposes, all playstyles. I have it easy!

But first, a blog post

I wrote my last post right after giving up on guilds on my server. The one guild of interest to me hadn’t responded to my app after two weeks, so I interpreted that to mean “no thanks.” Well, the day after I posted I got a tell from their recruitment officer, and 15 minutes later had a ginvite. Many thanks to my future wife for going to bat for me. (She doesn’t know it yet, shhh.) So now I’m back to raiding, doing 7/12 hard modes. Sweet!

And my move across country is pretty definite, but won’t happen for another five weeks. So I have some quality raiding time before…well, I don’t know what will happen then.

Stats for bubble bots

Wait, haven’t we covered this before?

Why yes, yes we have. I apologize if this is redundant for you. The following analysis only applies to 25-man bubble-spamming disc priests. No other healing scenario lends itself to this kind of oversimplification. Under normal circumstances, you’ll be casting 9 shields and PoM, rinse & repeat. Obviously you’ll cast the occasional Penance, or Pain Suppression, whatever. So this is not exact, but it gives a fine approximation, which is enough for our purposes.

Do not try this for holy. Do not try this for 10-man disc healing. Or for any other healing spec. Healers are not like DPS classes; we cannot be reduced to Patchwerk-style simcrafting.

Haste: Because of the way Borrowed Time works, bubble-spamming disc priests need about 150 haste rating to reach the soft cap, which is where your GCD hits its minimum of one second. You probably had this much haste the day you hit 80 and are scary past that now. Therefore haste has zero value for a bubble bot.

Crit: Power Word: Shield can’t crit. But its glyph can. So you get 20% value for crit. PoM bounces can crit, of course, but you get five bounces (at most) per nine shields. So we’ll boost the value of crit by half to 0.3. Good enough for science.

Spell power: Your shields grow by about 1.5 hit points for every point of spell power. (Yes, that’s where all of our talent points are going!) This is our super-stat for super-sized shields.

So, to sum it up:

Spell power = 1.5
Crit = 0.3
Haste = 0

And you can fill in your own stat weights for intellect & spirit.


I’ve been using Halion for the last week or so. It matches nicely with my other crit/haste gear, of which I have a ton. It also looks awesome.

The thing is, once I got it I started OOMing on every fight, 10 or 25, with or without replenishment. (That’s because I’m always casting!) Even doing my best to abuse the Rapture bug, I still popped more mana pots and begged for more innervates than I have in a long time. Thanks to Matron for indirectly kicking my butt.

So I gemmed full luminous in all my red and yellow sockets. And did not regret it one bit, despite the insane amount of conformism and peer pressure amongst disc priests to gem runed only, ever.

What’s the numeric value of luminous? It only has value if you need the mana. If you don’t, it’s obviously the wrong gem to use. In fact, last night I got a new staff, Heroic Dying Light. It has so much additional intellect, and an ungainly amount of spirit, that after using it for a few fights (including LK25) I’ve decided to drop my luminous gems for runed. So far so good. (And yes, I am still always casting!!)


There are two reasons to socket haste: First, haste is an excellent stat for 10-man tank healers. If you do both 10 and 25 seriously then reckless is a viable gem to use.

The second reason is that haste is the best yellow stat for shadow priests. Any piece of gear you share with shadow will likely have reckless in it.

For bubble-bots though, haste is useless. If those two conditions don’t apply to you, reckless is kryptonite. Don’t touch it.


Crit is also an excellent stat for 10-man tank healers. And for bubble-bots, well, it’s not terrible, but it’s still not very good. It has about 1/5 the value of spell power, which means you’d need an unreasonably good socket bonus before using a potent gem for your bubble-spam role. Bottom line: probably not.

(This article is required reading if you want to know the relationship between crit & haste for disc priests.)


As you can see, a lot depends on what you do when you’re not bubble-botting. If you have more than one job, you’ll need to prioritize your gemming towards one or the other.

And remember, gemming is a minor component of your healing!

Full-time bubble-bot: You have only two choices. Runed or luminous.

Bubble-bot / 10-man: You have three choices: Runed , luminous, or reckless. Potent is also acceptable.

Bubble-bot / Shadow: You have two choices: Runed or reckless.

Ah, the flow chart!

Blue sockets?


Exercise for the reader.

(8) Comments

  1. 5/21/2010 3:16 PM Aftersox

    Best gem flow chart ever.

    But it can be simpler:

    Are you a Disc priest? ---yes--> Runed
    +----No---> GTFO

    5/21/2010 3:57 PM Sinespe

    "Many thanks to my future wife for going to bat for me. (She doesn’t know it yet, shhh.)"

    Which part of that sentence does she not know? I am intrigued.

    5/21/2010 8:46 PM Nymarie

    That flow chart is awesome Paolo, and hilarious.

    5/21/2010 10:42 PM Bragnae

    So what about the pure int option. for the big carpeters?

    now as of late I've been going as the only healing priest in our icc25hc raids most of the time, this leaves me carpeting and ..well.. filling in where it is needed at any given time. I've found going for pure int in yellow sockets lets me have the mana capacity to do this while keeping activity as high as possible.

    5/21/2010 11:46 PM Paolo

    @Aftersox: I hope you read my section on luminous!

    @Sin: bbiab, eloping.

    @Bragnae: If you're at the point of needing full int gems, you're probably not terribly concerned with socket colors at all. Extend my luminous suggestions to brilliant and you're g2g. The point is: do what you need to for mana. Always.


    Also: Note that I didn't account for any bonuses to PWS in my calculations. Add in 5% for the set bonus and (currently) 15% for the ICC zone buff and you're looking at an even stronger case for spell power. Treat it more like 1.8 instead of 1.5. That's only if you're even thinking about using a reckless or potent gem, not luminous.

    5/22/2010 10:17 AM Sinespe

    You're so romantic.

    5/25/2010 7:45 PM Aur

    The flow chart is pure win.

    6/11/2010 8:56 PM swampfox27

    Hi I don't know how to email you so I thought I'd leave a comment. Maybe you can email me back....

    I have a disc priest named Swampfoxx on the Anetheron server. So I love this info, it's great. I have been playing PvP alot lately and my latest trucik is throwing people off of cliffs via Mind Control and using Shadow Word: Death get out of a Mage Poly. Anyway, I would love to do a blogroll exchange. Let me know


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