Player Spotlight: Moadmoad
Hello and welcome back to the RaiderIO Player Spotlight series! My name is Samantha aka Vitaminpee and with this series, I aim to highlight amazing players in World of Warcraft regardless of their chosen class, spec, language, and/or region. I hope to bring you valuable information and help you learn more about your favorite top players or discover new ones who you may not know.
This week, we chat with Moadmoad, the #1 world ranked Discipline Priest who has defied the healing meta for the past two seasons, reaching a whopping 5,162 Raider.IO score in Season 4 and is still climbing. Coming from a PvP background as a former rank 1 Gladiator in his first competitive season of PvP, Moad has a unique style of play that utilizes PvP-style macros for focus, assist, and targeting rather than using traditional mouseover macros or addons such as Clique or Vuhdo to heal in PvE. In this article, Moadmoad shares detailed insights and tips on what makes Disc Priest viable in Mythic+.
“Learning your surroundings and planning out your defensives ahead of time are essential tools to your success as a Discipline Priest. There are lots of instances where you have to map out your defensives, (and sometimes even hold defensives), to be able to make it through certain pulls.”
VitaminP: Hi Moad. Thanks so much for taking the time for this interview during a push week! Can you please tell us a little more about yourself?
Moadmoad: Hi, my name is Chris, but you may know me better as Moadmoad. I am from the Netherlands and I’ve been playing Disc Priest since Wrath of the Lich King and I still enjoy it. I’ve taken lots of breaks throughout the game and came back in BFA after not playing in Legion. Since then, I’ve spent a little too much time in-game and originally did lots of PvP. In Season 1 of BFA, I spent my time grinding up the ladder and managed to obtain my Dread Gladiator title. After Season 1, I had less time to play the game and, in Season 3, I started playing Mythic+ hardcore and ended as the top rated Disc Priest that season. At the start of Season 4, I transfered over to the Horde from Alliance side. I’ve gotten to play with lots of great players and I’m enjoying my time here a lot. On my stream you can find lots of high-end Mythic+ Disc Priest gameplay and occasionally 2v2 action!
VitaminP: In the history of my Player Spotlight series, I’ve never interviewed a Disc Priest and, up until Season 4, we haven’t seen very many able to push high Mythic+ let alone over 5k io score. What utility and benefits does a Disc Priest bring to a Mythic+ group?
Moadmoad: Disc Priests’s biggest strength is the ability to prevent and mitigate hard-hitting incoming damage. Their externals are crazy good, but they must all be used proactively rather than reactively. They have some niche utility like Shackle Undead and Leap of Faith, a disease dispel, offensive purge, Mass Dispel, Mind Control, Fear and knock. The Disc Priest toolkit is overall very nice, but since most of it isn’t mandatory in keys, it is often overlooked. Additionally, they have decently good single-target damage and decent AoE damage.
VitaminP: What are your go-to builds for talents, essences, and corruptions for Mythic+? What variations do you make depending on comp or affix combos?
Moadmoad: The biggest changes in talents occur in the first two rows. Generally speaking, I’ll always play Schism in Shrine of the Storm, The Underrot, and Atal’Dazar, and Twist of Fate in all other dungeons. I’ll play Masochism in Tol Dagor and Temple of Sethraliss to add extra tankiness for boss fights and survive the Upheavals/explosive bursts and to add extra damage when soaking a beam on Galvazzt. Keep in mind that Twist may not proc from certain boss mechanics, which makes Schism a better choice on lower keys. On high keys, there are a lot of mechanics which will proc Twist of Fate and help you to heal the party up properly (and often more mana-efficiently). Examples of this are the Fulminating Zaps on the last boss of Mechagon: Junkyard, the Giga Zaps on King Mechagon in Mechagon: Workshop, and the first and last boss in The MOTHERLODE!! These boss abilities will proc Twist almost all the time on high keys because they will put players under 35% health which procs Twist and, with this proc, you can recover the entire group.
The remaining talents should always be: Solace, Shining Force, Sins of the Many, Purge the Wicked and Lenience. At least, that’s what I run with and feels best for me.
As per Essences, I generally always select Spirit of Preservation, Conflict and Strife, and Vitality Conduit for my minors. Conflict and Strife is generally the best overall value of the minors. Spirit of Preservation and Vitality Conduit both help you fix the class’s weaknesses in single-target healing and recovering from spiky damage.
For my major Essence, I’d use either The Crucible of Flame if the key is relatively easy or I feel comfortable healing the key without a need of extra HPS. I use Memory of Lucid Dreams if the dungeon has very long boss fights that are mana intensive, such as the last boss in Temple of Sethraliss, the last boss in Mechagon: Workshop, and the last boss in Mechagon: Junkyard to name a few examples. I play The Ever-rising Tide as my major Essence in Waycrest Manor because more healing throughput is needed and things can get extra spicy in that dungeon. To counteract the mana cost of all this, I play with the Forbidden Obsidian Claw and the Peerless Alchemist Stone, which gives increased strength on your healing potions and mana potions. In general, I’ll always play the Forbidden Obsidian Claw, and alternate between the alchemy trinket and my socketed 475 Humming Black Dragonscale. I have yet to try the Vita-Charged Titanshard, since sadly I don’t have one yet.
For Corrupted gear, I do what I feel comfortable with. My general rule of thumb is to go for as much damage as possible to speed up the key without interfering with the group’s ability to sustain DPS. What this means is that, if your talent choices lead to DPS players having more downtime, you are having a negative impact on dungeon speed and should alter your build. For example, I can play the Alchemy Stone trinket in Motherlode since we might chain-pull more often and, by using the Alchemy Stone, I can get a fat mana potion to increase uptime of the DPS rather than going oom and making us drop combat so that I can get a drink off. Also, if my healing output isn’t enough because of gearing/talent choices I make, the DPS might have to get out of the group and kite a mechanic to minimize their risk of dying, which is also a DPS loss.
So for a more healing-intensive build, you’d want to enhance your haste and crit stats. For more damage, play damage corruptions like Gushing Wounds, Twisted Appendages (Mindflay), and potentially Twilight Devastation. If you need more externals to give to your group, play Ineffable Truth, but don’t overdo it—think about how much damage corruption you actually need or how often your externals will need to be pressed in a particular dungeon.
VitaminP: How do you think Essences and Corruption have affected Disc Priest’s viability in high Mythic+? Have Disc Priests always been viable, or have the introduction of these two systems made it more possible for Disc Priests to work around their class?
Moadmoad: Disc is great at group healing, but single-target...not so much. The buffs to the Vitality Conduit minor and Spirit of Preservation have really done wonders for Disc Priests’ single-target healing this season. On top of that, tanks have become more self-sufficient and are less reliant on their healer to crank HPS into them. Since Disc Priest’s biggest weakness is single-target healing, increased tank self-sufficiency is great news because it allows us to push keys higher than were previously possible. On top of that, Corruption gives you more creativity in what to choose, so in some keys such as Waycrest Manor, you may want to opt for Ineffable Truth since you’ll find that you need more frequent external cooldowns to give to your teammates, and this corruption enables you to get more uses from these externals.
VitaminP: Continuing on that, what weaknesses or challenges does a Disc Priest face in Mythic+? Are there any affix combinations or situations where Disc really shines, or are there many weeks where Disc struggles? One of the first things that comes to my mind is, how do you deal with Bursting week as a Disc Priest? Given that Disc heals through doing damage to enemies via Atonement, what do you do (or does your group do) to counter this issue?
Moadmoad: Disc Priest is obviously best when there are no affixes that particularly counter the class. And believe me, there are many. There’s Raging (which requires a Soothe from a Druid or Hunter), there’s Grievous (which basically hampers your ability to push keys and makes mistakes extremely unforgiving), and there’s Bursting (which is often a problem in lower keys). Especially with the introduction of a proc-based AoE damage corruption such as Twilight Devastation and having a key where the group does not use voice comms, it can be extremely unfortunate to play as a Disc Priest in Bursting weeks when pugging. You can only prepare for X amount of Bursting stacks and set up for them accordingly. If your DPS players refresh the Bursting stacks over and over, there’s nothing else you can do than use a health potion and potentially a Warlock healthstone. If there’s 6 Bursting stacks incoming, I’ll try to pre-Rapture. If there’s a pack where 10 mobs are going to die simultaneously, I’ll try to set up a Barrier + Darkness, which depends a bit on your group's utility and your cooldowns. Think ahead if there will be Bursting and use cooldowns accordingly. There’s not much more you can do. On lower keys, it might be a good idea to spec into Shadow Covenant so that there’s a tiny “emergency button” you can press if needed, but I don’t see it being a superior choice in a controlled environment.
VitaminP: Why do you think people have a stigma against Disc Priests in high Mythic+
Moadmoad: A lot of Disc Priest’s perks are kind of hidden, since the addon Details doesn’t factor damage mitigation into the healing meter, sort of like how a Protection Warrior’s Spell Reflection does not show on the Details damage meter either unless you use the WeakAura that enables this. Lenience gives a flat 3% damage reduction to the tank/anyone with Atonement up, and the flat group-wide Priest stamina buff Power Word: Fortitude gives 3% extra health to the group, converting into possible increased Twilight Devastation damage. The 3% damage mitigation over people’s health pools adds up over the course of a whole key and can prevent nasty scenarios and make your tank a bit more tanky. On top of that, learning to direct your single-target damage into the correct targets is incredibly valuable, since your damage as a Disc Priest is almost purely single-target, rather than a Paladin's fat AoE damage through Glimmer, for example. Priest doesn't do crazy overall DPS, but that isn't really the role of a healer. The pull doesn't end before the highest HP target dies, so it speeds up the key tremendously if you think carefully about what target you're damaging. A good example would be in the gauntlet room in Kings’ Rest after the first boss. When you engage the biggest pack of the room, there's a few skeletons in that pack surrounding one big, important mob called King A’Akul. Everything around it dies faster than the King, so it's useless to dot those mobs with Purge the Wicked, since those mobs will already die to cleave from the DPS players. Just Smite and Penance and Power Word: Solace the King and you will speed up the key more. Even though you won't do the most overall damage by the end of the dungeon, this priority damage is extremely useful, rather than just “padding” the meters by doing more overall yet less important damage. This also comes with a bit of experience, since the more practice you get in keys, the more you know which targets need to die first in each pack, such as the Feral Bloodswarmers in The Underrot.
VitaminP: What ideal comps do you like to play with or that work well with Disc? What does a group have to do (if anything) to accommodate Disc’s weaknesses or healing style and play towards its strengths?
Moadmoad: Disc priest likes tanks that self-heal a lot and can make good use of Disc’s externals. A Vengeance Demon Hunter is a prime example. They are either extremely tanky, or super squishy. The downtime in their mitigation is a perfect time to give them an external cooldown and they will heal themselves up just fine after that. Of course, it requires some coordination between tank and healer to maximize the usefulness of your externals. Other than Vengeance Demon Hunter, other tanks that work great with Disc Priest are Blood Death Knight, Guardian Druid, and a well-geared Brewmaster Monk. I find that Protection Warrior’s lack of self-healing can sometimes make mistakes very punishing, but with good coordination, Warrior + Disc can work great too. I haven’t played with Protection Paladins much this season, but from what I’ve experienced so far, they don't feel great to heal as a Disc Priest. Prot paladin is my least favorite tank.
Other than that, I like to have poison dispel in my group, but not many high key groups have a tank or DPS that can poison dispel, since most DPS spots are filled with Rogue, Havoc Demon Hunter, and X (mostly a Fire Mage or a Hunter). Since Disc Priest is notorious for struggling to recover a situation, it’s extremely important to help call for the defensives of your group (personals like Cloak, Blur, etc.) in whichever way you think is most useful. Healing potions and healthstones are also wonderful things. Basically, the better the group is, the more playable a Disc Priest becomes. The spec is decent—it’s good when everyone is playing properly, but when things go wrong, people have to help you out a bit more than with a healing class that can crank people to full health in a flash.
VitaminP: What cool things can Disc do that you won’t see from the other healing classes? One of the more interesting tricks we’ve seen from you is when you Mind Control the Tinkerers in Mechagon: Workshop to use the squirrel damage on enemy forces. Can you talk to us about how to use this particular trick and maybe any other cool things you’ve found?
Moadmoad: There are lots of things that you can do with Mind Control. For example, a high health (HP) enemy that is surrounded by very hard-hitting, low HP enemies can be Mind Controlled to make them turn on their fellow friend. In the example above, it’s perfect because, as soon as I release the first squirrel, I Mind Control the second Tinkerer and I can spawn the second squirrel. And by releasing the second Tinkerer quickly after releasing the second squirrel, the second Tinkerer will also take the squirrel damage from the first squirrel explosion. Performing this trick at top speed trivializes this pack. Here’s another example:
In the clip above, I Mind Controlled the Hired Assassin in Motherlode, which then causes the surrounding mobs to turn on their former friend, consuming their once-casted Throw Wrench. Throw Wrench is a very hard-hitting ability by the Off-Duty Laborers, but it is only casted once per laborer, so when this ability is used against enemy forces, it will basically kill the mob for you. When the Assassin soaks all of the Throw Wrenches through your Mind-Control, it will almost kill the Assassin itself, allowing the group to chain-pull more mobs, thus speeding up the key significantly. However, when using this trick, don’t forget to ‘’tag’’ the mob before it dies! If a mob dies whilst mind-controlled, you will not get enemy forces count!
Although Mind Control seems to be crazy good, you have to be very careful because it also causes an insane amount of threat on the Priest. One taunt from your tank won’t solve the issue entirely. Your tank needs to be aware of what’s going to happen and someone needs to get ready to stun the mob once you exit the Mind Control or your tank needs to go in and get threat back immediately once you exit. Be warned!
VitaminP: How do you think your background in PvP has helped you think up (and execute) creative strats in Mythic+ like your Mind Control on Tinkerers in the clip linked above? I’d love to hear some parallels between playing high level PvP and high level M+, such as focus macros, awareness, etc.
Moadmoad: My keybinds are different, I work a lot more with a focus target. I use keybinds to swap targets, rather than using mouseover macros. I have a slightly different playstyle when moving and healing than most and, all in all, it just feels smooth to play this. It may be very personal, but it works for me. As for how I learned the tricks for mind-controlling mobs, I literally went into every single dungeon, mind-controlled every single mob, tested the abilities, thought of potential uses of the abilities, and found a few really cool tricks this way! Since I’ve been the highest ranked Priest in Mythic+ the past two seasons, I had to venture out and start mind-controlling stuff myself in order to innovate for the class as a whole. Sadly though, the mob abilities with numerical values will always do Mythic level 0 base damage. Those with percent-based effects are generally the only ones with potential use in Mythic+, of which there are unfortunately very few.
Other than that, I think the ability to “trade cooldowns’’ has transferred over well from PvP to Mythic+. A good example of this would be the Heartsbane Triad boss in Waycrest Manor, where there is one phase where I Rapture, (versus heaving incoming group damage where you have to move), and then after that, there’s the Witch that casts Jagged Nettles, which can be counteracted by your Pain Suppression if the target’s personal cooldown won’t do. Having your defensives mapped out ahead of time is something that is of extreme importance in both PvP and Mythic+l.
VitaminP: Are there any funny or cool moments you’d like to share with us from your Mythic+ endeavors?
Moadmoad: In the clip above, this Stoneshield Potion cast from the Crazed Incubator add that I mind-controlled basically gives a 90% damage reduction on the tank (if you cast it on the tank). This will practically make the tank immune to incoming damage on a big pull in that room. However, this trick needs disclaimers because you’re still limited by poison spits going out onto the group during this timeframe, which you’ll need to keep in mind and work fast. When you mind-control the Incubator, you’ll generate a filthy amount of threat on it, so when you exit, you will need proper communication with your tank because he/she will need to be aware of threat loss because their threat plates will most likely mess up at this time. This trick is very cool, but niche and pug-unfriendly. I worry about showing stuff like this because there’s so many disclaimers and I don’t want Priests to just go out and randomly Mind Control lots of stuff that their group doesn’t even know how to deal with or what it does! So if you’re going to use some of these tricks, please make sure you and your group know how to work together to do them effectively. I don’t often show tricks like this on stream because there’s a LOT that can go wrong, such as Quaking, Volcanic, the tank having no clue what the Priest is doing, or if a Lightning in a Bottle cast gets off and you are standing in the Lighting that goes on the ground from it while you’re channeling, etc. It’s a bit of “gamer stuff”, but it’s super fun and useful when pulled off!
“Playing high Mythic+ is just as thrilling as high-ranked arena games since everyone on the team has to play the game to the fullest extent.”
VitaminP: Lastly, what advice do you have for aspiring Disc Priest in Mythic+? Would you like to inspire more PvPers to try high Mythic+ or vice versa? Feel free to talk about your Disc Priest guide here too!
Moadmoad: Learning your surroundings and planning out your defensives ahead of time are essential tools to your success as a Discipline Priest. Like I described earlier, there are lots of instances where you have to map out your defensives (and sometimes even hold defensives) to be able to make it through certain pulls. Learning which pulls will give you or your comp the most trouble and learning to deal with them accordingly will put your mind at ease and keep to the task at hand. Sometimes there’s no serious damage in a pack, so there’s no need to apply Atonement on more than one person. Other times, it’s crucial to get Atonements and multiple dots running early. Knowledge is power. Learn as much as you can!
To my fellow PvP players, I want to tell you that Mythic+ is fun. You get to experience the fun side of Corrupted gear without having to play against it. The Corruption system isn’t as bad when everyone with Corruption gear is on your team! Playing high Mythic+ is just as thrilling as high-ranked arena games since everyone on the team has to play the game to the fullest extent. Sadly though, you need to do all your dailies and raid in a Mythic guild in order to be able to compete in high Mythic+ with the right gear, but it’s worth it.
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About the Author
Vitaminpee mains a Brewmaster and loves to do competitive Mythic+. She is the Social Media Manager for Big Dumb Gaming and is attending Graduate School to pursue her Masters of Business Administration. She is a partnered Twitch streamer and Discord Partner specializing in tanking classes and loves pushing keys with her friends. Feel free to message her via Twitter for any business-related inquiries.