Using World of Logs to Analyze Priest Healing

Using World of Logs to Analyze Priest Healing

The second in our series in using World of Logs to analyze healing, the purpose of this article is to provide basic to intermediate considerations for Discipline Priest healing through a World of Logs report. The idea is to provide you the means of understanding what to look for in a report so that you can help any Discipline Priest you may know, including yourself, improve their game and thus help your raids succeed. It also a good idea to point them here so that they can self-analyze. If you have additional considerations, please share in a comment so that others may benefit from your knowledge. If you see anything that needs correcting or clarifying, please let us know. Check out the Druid and Shaman articles if you haven’t already.

A special thanks to the Priests over at PlusHeal for providing insight and further considerations.

Using World of Logs to maximize the performance of your healing Priests first requires a basic understanding of the unique roles that Priests can fulfill. Priests are the only healing class that offer two different healing specs. Discipline priests are strong single target healers and are the masters of damage mitigation. Holy Priests offer versatility by being able to effectively switch between single target and multi-target Chakra states; but it is as a pure raid healer where Holy Priest’s shine the brightest.

In this article I will guide you in your assessment of a Discipline Priest via World of Logs reports; and will help you to determine if they are performing at maximum efficiency for the betterment of your raid group. I can not stress enough the importance of using these numbers as a ‘rough’ baseline throughout your assessment. Keep in mind that spell usage and healing output will vary a great deal depending on the play style, nature of the encounter, and the other healing classes that surround the Disc Priest.

This is not a guide on how to heal as a Disc Priest, rather indications on what to look for if and when issues arise. Spell usage may vary from the numbers that I propose and your raid and healing team as a whole may be performing at an efficient level. If this is the case, these numbers are irrelevant. It is when you are struggling and are looking for areas of improvement where this data may be considered and utilized to tweak performance.

**I will not be assessing the Archangel/Atonement/Evangelism Discipline sub-spec, rather the more traditional spec without the use of ‘Smite Healing’.

When breaking down a Discipline Priest’s “Healing by Spell”, there are 4 major abilities that when added, should account for roughly 75% of the healing done. These 4 abilities will change slightly depending on whether the Discipline Priest is strictly tank healing or whether they are capable of assisting the raid healers depending on the encounter.

When Tank Healing:
Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Mending, Penance, Greater Heal

When Raid Healing:
Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Mending, Prayer of Healing, Divine Aegis

Discipline Priests can do far more than just tank heal. Keep in mind that when you are 3 healing 10 man encounters or are in a 25 man setting, using other tank healing classes such as a Holy Paladin or another Disc Priest will allow the Discipline Priest to perform at his highest level. It is in these cases that you will see more multi target spells being utilized in an efficient manner since they will not have the burden of being solely responsible for healing the raid, but will also not be forced to strictly heal the tank(s) in the process. A Discipline Priest can truly excel in this capacity and when given a looser healing assignment. It is when given this opportunity that the Discipline Priest can shine in all their glory with shields and powerful multi target damage mitigating abilities.

Power Word: Shield

  • Should account for roughly 40% of the healing done, although this number can range between 25-50% and higher depending on the encounter as well as the Disc Priest’s healing assignment(s) and ability.
  • Over healing by Power Word: Shield should not be higher than 25% consistently.
    Should typically have an uptime of around 60-70% when strict tank healing and 70-80% when assisting in a raid healing capacity.
  • Previously, Discipline Priests would raid heal by simply spamming Power Word: Shield on as many targets as possible before incoming AoE damage. Due to recent nerfs on Power Word: Shield including an increased mana cost and a reduced duration (from 30 to 15 seconds), ‘bubble spamming’ is mostly a thing of the past.
  • If World of Logs identifies over healing on Power Word: Shield in excess of 25-30% and/or your Discipline Priest is constantly complaining about mana issues, it is possible that they are over utilizing this ability.

Prayer of Mending

  • Should always exceed 10% of the healing done when both tank healing and raid healing.
  • Should have an uptime of at least 80-90%.
  • Do not worry about the over healing numbers as Prayer of Mending is a ‘smart heal’ and will jump to and from random raid members as they take damage. It’s the uptime that’s important.

Prayer of Healing

  • Should generally account for a minimum of 10% of the healing done by the Priest when raid healing.
  • It is not unusual to see over healing in excess of 60-70% for Prayer of Healing as it is most often used to proc Divine Aegis. When you are approaching 75% over healing and higher for this ability, your Disc Priest is utilizing it inefficiently.

Divine Aegis: Should account for a minimum of 10% of the healing done when raid healing and tank healing as it procs off of Prayer of Healing as well as critical strikes. It then absorbs roughly 5k of incoming damage depending on gear level.

Greater Heal: Will often account for over 10% of the healing done when tank healing but will be less than 10% when raid healing.


  • Should rarely exceed 10% of the healing done unless there simply is not much damage to heal.
  • Heal is priest’s ’cheap heal’ and is used when in conservation mode. It will also remove 5 seconds from the Weakened Soul debuff (the 15 second debuff that is applied after a target receives a Power Word: Shield.)
  • You should generally see Greater Heal being utilized more than Heal, but this can vary if there is not a lot of heavy single target damage for the encounter.
  • If your Disc Priest is frequently using Heal more than Greater Heal, has absolutely no mana issues, and you are failing on the encounter due to a lack of single target healing, he is most likely over utilizing this ability.


  • Should be greater than 10% of the healing done when tank healing and will commonly be less than 10% when raid healing.
  • Do not worry about over healing on Penance as it is a very efficient heal and is often used as a method of accumulating 3 stacks of Grace on the target – typically the tank.


  • Is a proc that stacks up to 3 times when the target (most commonly the tank) is on the receiving end of any of the Disc Priest’s direct heals. It lasts for 15 seconds and is refreshed when that target receives another direct heal from the Disc Priest.
  • It is an essential ability for tank healing and is what makes the Disc Priest such great single target healers – especially when maintained on the same single target over the duration of the fight.
  • It is essential that Grace has an uptime of at least 80-90% when tank healing. It is also very possible to maintain this uptime when raid healing or assisting other tank healers. The exception is for encounters that require an unusual amount of movement where stacks of Grace will be falling off.
  • If your Disc Priest is not maintaining an 80-90% uptime of Grace or greater, he is most likely focusing too much on raid healing and/or other unnecessary elements.
  • Tracking Grace uptime is a good way to assess your Disc Priest’s raid awareness and ability to manage more than one healing assignment.

Flash Heal and Binding Heal

  • It is a general rule that neither of these spells should be used more than any other direct healing spell during an encounter, largely due to their inefficiency.
  • Using Flash Heal and Binding Heal as ‘go to’ spells is highly discouraged. However, as mentioned above, playstyles will often vary and depending on skill and gear level, a Discipline Priest may be able to use these spells more often than recommended and in an efficient manner. If your Discipline Priest is having serious mana issues and you see this spell being used more than 10-20 times throughout the duration of an encounter, you may want to talk to them about whether using other spells as an alternate is possible.

Divine Hymn

  • This is the Priest’s version of the Druid’s Tranquility but is weaker in its current state.
  • This is best used to top raid members off before or after large amounts of AoE damage.
  • Has an 8 minute cooldown so it will only be used once during an encounter.
  • You may want to check if your Disc Priest is using Power Infusion right before using Divine Hymn, as increased haste gives increased ticks resulting in more healing done.

Power Infusion

  • A buff with a 2 minute cooldown that provides increased Haste and reduced mana cost for 15 seconds.
  • Should be used quickly around each cooldown on either the Priest himself or another DPS target that utilizes haste for increased DPS/Healing – usually a Mage.

Power Word: Barrier: An ability with a 3 minute cooldown. Should not be used on each cooldown, but rather in a strategic manner around cooldown intervals to mitigate large amounts of incoming AoE damage – Valiona & Theralion’s Blackout, Nefarian’s Crackle, Magmaw’s Lava Spew, Magmatron’s Security Measure, etc.

Pain Suppression

  • Instantly reduces a friendly target’s threat by 5%, and reduces all damage they take by 40% for 8 sec.
  • Is an awesome extra tank cooldown as long as they have stable aggro. It can also be used on a DPS that has accidentally pulled aggro and is taking damage from their target.
  • This should be used often on the tank to help handle large bursts of single target damage – Magmaw’s Mangle, Fury of Chogall.
  • Make sure that your Disc Priest is using this ability on the tanks appropriately.

Using the Log Browser
Since damage mitigation is the Disc Priest’s forte, shielding alone is not self-sufficient; rather, strategic use of Power Word: Shield, Divine Aegis via Prayer of Healing, and Power Word: Barrier are key to the Disc Priest’s success (or lack thereof). Here are the steps in using the World of Logs Log Browser function to assess whether your Disc Priest is using his/her abilities in a proactive manner.

  1. 1. Go to Dashboard -> Log Browser
  2. 2. Remove “Show all Events” from the Query Builder
  3. 3. Click on the “Add Query” button.
  4. 4. In the field titled “Spell” type in the damage mitigating ability (either Power Word: Shield, Divine Aegis, or Power Word: Barrier) and click the “Save“ button. Note – this is case sensitive.
  5. 5. You can repeat the process for all 3 damage mitigating abilities or narrow your Query to one ability alone. This is up to you.
  6. 6. Click on “Add Query” and in the “Spell” field, type in the boss’ ability that you wish to assess. You can repeat this step if you wish to assess more than boss ability simultaneously.
  7. 7. Once complete, click the “Run” button to see an updated log.

You want to be looking for whether the Disc Priest’s abilities were used before the boss’ abilities and were resulting in absorbs with little over healing – hence the Disc Priest’s proactive approach to increased efficiency. I recommend using this knowledge to experiment with the Log Browser, as the time line of events is very critical when assessing a Disc Priest’s performance.

Assessing Healing Assignments
When assessing performance, it is beneficial to check whether the Disc Priest was actually healing their assigned target(s) as well as what spells they were or were not using. To do so, you want to do the following:

  • Go to Dashboard -> Analyze
  • Select “Healing Done”
  • For source, select “By Target” and the source would be the healer’s name.
  • Click “Go”

In order to assess what spells the Disc Priest is using, you would change “By Target” to “By Spell”. The Source would be the healer’s name and the Target would be the tank.

I hope that as a Raid Leader you find this article to be beneficial and that it delivers some merit for the Discipline Priests of the world in their own assessment. As always, assessing healing performance is a continual ‘work in progress’. The age old debate of the true measures of performance for healers will continue on regardless of our (or anyone else’s) efforts. This article should at least assist you in getting more acquainted with World of Logs and its never ending plethora of functions and assessment tools. In doing so, you will be better equipped as a Raid Leader to tackle the rigors of progression.

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12 Responses to Using World of Logs to Analyze Priest Healing

  1. Chronic says:

    I would like to make a correction in regards to Prayer of Healing. You should shoot for over healing numbers no greater than 50%; however, it is possible that over healing can be greater than 50% and no issues are present. If over healing is upwards of 75%, it can be used in a more effecient manner.

  2. Lightvision says:

    By saying this: I will not be assessing the Archangel/Atonement/Evangelism Discipline sub-spec, rather the more traditional spec without the use of ‘Smite Healing’.-,
    you have lost already alot of credibility in my eyes as this is by far the best ability that gives discipline priest their versatility which makes them strong.

    Disc isnt about trying to be tophealer anymore. Is there sufficient healing by the other healers in the raid? If yes, use smite/holy fire for extra dps. By doing this you will most likely still heal your tank/melee for a decent amount. Does the amount of healing required goes up again? Then you switch to your “traditional” healing again.

    Raidbenefit > hps benefit.

    • Lument says:

      The consideration of not covering it bears no correlation to “Smite Healing” being good, bad, beneficial, or any kind of positive/negative connotation. The idea here was to present basic to intermediate considerations on things to look at on WoL. Smite Healing is a limited application approach that goes a step beyond the basic. It is more likely that a raid team implementing such a strategy is already familiar with WoL and would know what to look for.

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  5. Dobedobedu says:

    Thank you for this great breakdown. All of these WOL tutorials will really help me more effectively lead my healers. Is there a plan for following up with a Holy Priest one?

    • Lument says:

      Yes! Next week (20 July) will be Paladin healing and the following week (27 July) will be Holy Priest. We experienced some difficulty in boiling down Holy Priests because the toolset is diverse and doesn’t have relatively clear cut numbers to look for.

  6. Ikuri says:

    “I will not be assessing the Archangel/Atonement/Evangelism Discipline sub-spec, rather the more traditional spec without the use of ‘Smite Healing’.”

    Would you consider an addendum where you do assess this style of play? I found the article overall to be really informative, but being a Disc Priest that relies on this spec, I sometimes struggle to know if my performance is where it should be – or not – and I was disappointed that it wasn’t addressed because I was so excited to find this article series. Any insight into using WoL to analyze ‘Smite healing’ would be greatly appreciated. :)

    Thank you!

  7. Chronic says:

    As much as I would love to be able to help you, unfortunately I do not have enough experience with the ‘smite healing’ spec to give you sound and solid advice.

  8. Chronic says:

    To add to that, I leveled and completed the first set of heroic 5-mans in Cataclysm via ‘smite healing’. However, when we really began raiding it was more beneficial to my raid team that I not worry about adding a bit of DPS and stick to pure Disc healing.

    I found ‘smite healing’ to be really fun – just not as useful for my team. I would check out the guys over at Elitist Jerks or the forums for more information on serious ‘smite healing’.

  9. Estherion says:

    I am a bit confused here when you talk about PW:S being our top heal and PoH is somewhere between PoM and Penance. As a disc priest who is currently two healing firelands with a pally, I find that “overhealing” to stack DA on the entire raid is far superior to PW:S. Not only do I top the entire raid off, I stack DA on the entire raid, which not only increases my hps in raid healing situations, but maximizes my mana usage to a point that I do not have mana issues, period. If I am using 40% PW:S in a twin healing ragnaros situation, I can expect to be oom by the time he is at 25%. The only people lucky enough to get PW:S from me are the tanks and the dps in love with the shiny fire. Otherwise I rely on stacks of DA to do a similar job, costing roughly the same amount of mana, and getting the bonus of really actually topping the raid off.

    My raid healing usually looks like this: DA, PoH, (Those two swapping lead), PW:S, penance, GH, and then PoM. I would love to see PoM be up there more, but for the life of me I cannot figure out why it sits so low on the heal chart. Oh yeah, and heal has not even been on my toolbar since Cata, despite the T11 “bonus” if you want to call it that. I basically just skipped that useless bonus and played a bonusless tier set until my T12. If I relied on heal for anything, I would have a dead raid, period.

    Understand that I am interested, not dismissing your informative breakdown. I am finding more and more that the traditional roles of the disc priest are being re defined and am interested in how to get the most from the spec.

    Additionally, thanks for not including smite disc in here as a topic of healing raids. Although there are disc priests out there that swear by it, I believe that it is not a viable raid healing spec, and my sentiment is echoed by the top disc priests on my server. I am also starting to become convinced that people say they are using it just to try and prove how “elite” they are. You have a poster who talks about using it for dps. I find this laughable, especially in ten mans, because it simply is not a viable source of dps for a raid, and should never be thought of as such. The dps is only there to get your stacks, period. It’s fun, awesome for five mans, but falls way short of the mark for healing a ten man encounter, actually being LESS mana efficient than traditional disc specs. That, and you gotta love how it cannot be used on ragnaros with any effectiveness….way to go Blizz, thats all pro.

    Anyhow thanks for the breakdown. WoL makes for better raiders, and every raider looking to improve should know how to use it. +1.

  10. Chronic says:

    Thanks for the reply Estherion. You make some excellent points. Playstyles vary and stacking DA before large amounts of predictable AoE damage is an absolute awesome way to keep the raid stabilized.

    Since PW:S spamming is not as effective as stacking DA on the raid when raid damage is occurring, I try to make it a general rule of thumb not to use PW:S in succession without taking advantage of Borrowed Time. So I recommend using PW:S followed by a PoH, rinse and repeat until the AoE damaging ability is over.

    Even when used in this fashion, it is not uncommon for PW:S to still be the top healing spell, especially with the Tier 13 4 piece bonus giving us “double bubbles” :-)

    This article is a bit outdated and things have changes a bit since I wrote it. I’m glad it is still receiving views and comments to keep the material viable and interesting to those reading it.

    All comments whether you agree or disagree are encouraged. I love seeing input from other Disc Priests out there and what you look for in World of Log reports.

    Keep em coming!

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