Seri sez: 0/2 IDS: It’s not just for noobs anymore.

January 15, 2009

spirit-weekThe popularity of Divine Spirit rises and falls, but most raid groups agree it is a Good Thing To Have™ even if Spirit isn’t quite the Holy Grail it used to be for certain healing classes/specs. I remember, with wry fondness, the days when a Priest had to fall on their (buddy’s) sword and spec Hybrid to provide the raid with Divine Spirit. 23/38 wasn’t a very fun spec to play for most of us, but we did it when we drew the short straw for the betterment of the group.

Now that Discipline is a more viable PVE spec, this isn’t as much of an issue. Discipline Priests are welcome in raid groups far and wide as more and more raid leaders come to realize the potential benefits of damage prevention, particularly on boss fights that involve debuffs decreasing healing effectiveness.

Improved Divine Spirit is an awesome talent that makes Divine Spirit useful for every spell casting class, not just the Spirit-friendly healing types. Back in the days of yore, when shaman employed hamster balls to raid heal (wait, bad example) and trees had to shapeshift to run at normal speed (there we go), you did not take Divine Spirit without Improved Divine Spirit unless you wanted to be mocked heavily by your peers. Trust me, I had a peer once (we’ll call him Felix) that purposefully did not have Improved Divine Spirit and I never hesitated to mock him openly. Sadly, I think Felix thought I was joking… it never really seemed to sink in.

At any rate, that was then and this is now. With the changes to buff stacking in Wrath, we now find ourselves in a quandry because the spellpower bonus from Improved Divine Spirit doesn’t stack with any of the raid-wide spellpower buffs granted by other classes. Demonic Pact? Nope. Totem of Wrath? Nope. Flametongue Totem? Nope. So, unless your raid group doesn’t run with any Demonology Warlocks or Shaman you’re not getting the spellpower bonus from Improved Divine Spirit in raids.totems

Divine Spirit itself remains on top as the best Spirit buff in the game (the trump-er rather than the trump-ee, if you will) so it’s definitely worth having in your Discipline build. But Improved Divine Spirit? Hrm. Maybe my days of mocking 0/2 IDS noobs are coming to a middle. It seems to me that if your raids consistently have a Shaman or Demonology Warlock you can probably reclaim the two points from Improved Divine Spirit and spend them elsewhere. I know there are a few spots in the southern end of the Disc tree where I might like to spend a couple more points, how about you?

On the other hand… I like my spellpower buffs, and having a little extra oomph while soloing or when the shaman is taking (another) dirt nap has a certain je ne sais quoi. (Yeah, that’s right… I just spoke French. I have layers!)

In the end, this is one of those rare situations where I will say: Where you choose to put your points is up to you. It’s not that I don’t like telling you what to do (especially when you do it), but… IDS is now more of a situational/personal preference sort of talent than it used to be.


  1. Do keep in mind however that you’ll be less likely to have an overlap in that particular buff in the 10-man and heroic dungeon settings, and the fact that, because IDS is a character buff rather than an aura, it will always be available as a back up even if a fight requires you to stand/run out of range of that lovely little totem. While that’s not an issue in Naxx, a brief trip down memory lane will recall any number of fights where there was no guarantee you’d be able to park yourself in totem town, and I’d expect a few of those in Ulduar due to the scale of titan architecture.

    Harm kept it for primarily those reasons, rather than its admittedly nice solo-benefits. It’s definitely no longer a must-have if you’re going more than 20 into disc, but I think a lot of people undervalue it.

  2. IDS is tricky. A Disc priest is already dealing with a very bloated tree (especially at the bottom of the tree), so using up 2 points for IDS can sometimes be hard.

    For 10 mans IDS can be very helpful, however, in my experience in 25 mans, IDS is often overwritten 95% of the time. DS though = om nom nom

  3. IDS is kind of like Kings for paladins now. You want someone with it, but you’d kind of like those points to put elsewhere, too. While you might ‘need’ points in it for 10 mans, where there’s less likely to be buff overlap, you probably don’t for 25 mans.

    So you have it right, whether or not you have it depends on what you’re running and with who. I currenctly specced my disc priest back into it because she’s leveling, and because I know that even at 80 our guild doesn’t always run with a shaman. My paladin is specced for Kings, imp wis, AND imp might, just so that I’m ready for any whacked up group combo we have. Oh no, I don’t have those extra couple of poitns in ret for more crit! But the DPS is doing better thanks to my buffs, so maybe I don’t need said crit anyway!

    I think there’s going to be a little more variation in ‘cookie cutter builds’ and ‘must haves’ all around.

  4. Apparently, it’s on the to-do list for the developers. As much as I don’t like the official forums, I occasionally go to see what Ghostcrawler has to say. When answering a question about IDS he had this to say: “I would be surprised if this portion of the Discipline tree looked the same in 3.1. I’ll leave it at that.” So… Keep your fingers crossed? ^_^

  5. my priest will start out with IDS, at least while i’m running heroics for gear. Once I get geared enough for our 10 man raids we’ll see…

    I actually enjoyed running 23/38 in BC… I never used CoH much when i spec’d into it. it’s weird now that suddenly i find myself using it all the time and shaking my mace at blizzard over the obnoxious cooldown they are giving it.

    I’m probably going disc after i collect the gears (i’m all holy’d out currently)… i’ll probably plop my two points in Aspiration at that point.

  6. @raivyne – Actually… You may want to rethink that. I won’t, lol, I really just like the Discipline style way too much. I’m no theorycrafter, but word on the street is that Disc scales really badly. I mean, Holy has the talent that improves the Greater Heal, Flash Heal, and Binding Heal coefficients, while Disc only has one that improves the PW:S coefficient. =] Just an attempt at a helpful fyi.

  7. well i’m a respec freak i think. i’ll spec from disc to holy and vice versa, but what really gets me is the tweaking of the spec i just did after a day or so. i just have to play out all the possibilities yanno?

    i don’t know what i’ll settle on eventually; i have equal love for disc and holy and enjoyed raiding with both in BC. I do appreciate the info, i hadn’t thought much about scaling with gear yet…

  8. Ok, I’m happy most commenters have refined this post to focus on Imp DS perhaps being viable for 5-man or possibly 10-man content. If we would be talking about the full scale raids I would have to pull the OMG! srsly R U joking?-card out of my sleeve. If you even think about spending your points there, stop. Consider swimming through lava and plague and do five million searches for an elemental shaman first. You really should go with one already but if you don’t… cancel raids for a day and get one. They do exist. Why, you ask? You like to provide something to the raid. Well i do too but until Blizzard decides that we deserve something better we simply can’t compete. We are not even close. With 2/2 in Imp DS we provide 80 extra spellpower. The shaman with totem of Wrath provides 280 spellpower. Two-hundred-eighty. Even if he would only use his not as good Flametongue totem he would give the raid an additional 165 spellpower (specced into 3/3 Enhancing Totems, otherwise the still strong normal 144 spellpower). I’ll say it again only because I like to sound convincing – 280 – That’s like having the raid drink an extra Flask of the Frost wyrm and munch on a Fish Feast. Whereas our buff is like… meh. Get the normal spirit buff though. That is certainly a lot more <3.

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