Light & Leafy

Assigning Healers One-oh-Two: Knowing Your Classes

Posted on: June 23, 2009

Ever find yourself wondering what it would be like playing all of the 5 healing specs? (I say five because Discipline and Holy Priests are two different creatures). Of course you do! Some of us don’t always have the time to be reading countless wiki-guides or perusing talent point calculators. Never fear! Now your (incomplete) guide to classes is here!


1. Healing Priests

Let’s just start with the basics. We’ll separate the two trees later with their specialties but here are some spells every priest will have:

A. Greater Heal – A large single target heal with a 2.5 cast time(talented, though both discipline and holy priests will usually take this talent to move to the second tier in holy). Great for using on those with low hp.
B. Flash Heal – A smaller single target heal with a 1.5 second cast time. A quick fix for people who are loosing smaller amounts of health, or are being healed constantly by many people.
C. Renew – Instant cast spell that heals the target every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. Nice as a buffer for constant damage or as a heal for a player who is not expected to take more damage.
D. Prayer of Mending – An instant cast heal that will heal the target upon being hit. It then jumps to another target in range, until that target is also hit. Can heal up to 5 players/player’s pets. 10 second cool down. Good for buffering tank damage and on fights were there is constant raid damage.
E. Prayer of Healing – A 3 second cast that heals all members of a target’s party. An expensive multi-person heal.
F. Divine Hymn – A 6 second channeled cast that heals the 5 players in a raid with the lowest amount of effective health. 10 minute cool down. Good for raid healing during intense fights.
G. Power Word: Shield – Technically not a heal. A bubble of protection surrounds the target, absorbing damage. Target cannot be shielded again for 15 seconds (when the Weakened Soul debuff has worn off). The shield will absorb more damage based on the priest’s spellpower.

In addition, Priests can dispel magic effects and diseases.

Discipline Priests
Discipline Priests can function wonderfully as single target healers, keeping up shields and using the powerful Penance spell to keep damage mitigation buffs on tanks. A discipline priest who enjoys party healing can also be useful, keeping raid damage to a minimum by using well timed Renews, Shields, and Flash Heals

A. Penance – A channeled spell that heals every second for 3 seconds. 8 second cool down. Great single target heal. Can also be used as a damaging spell against enemy targets.
B. Improved Power Word: Shield – Increases the amount absorbed by the Shield. Every shield cast will also grant the entire raid with a buff called Renewed Hope, reducing all incoming damage by 3%.
C. Divine Aeigis – Critical heals create a protective bubble around the target, absorbing damage equal to 30% of the amount healed. Lasts 12 seconds.
D. Pain Suppression – Reduces the target’s threat by 40% and also decreases all damage to the target by %. 2 minute base cool down.

Discipline priests also can cast Power Infusion which increases spell haste by 20% and reduces mana cost by 20% for 15 seconds. 2 minute cool down.

Holy Priests
With multiple party healing techniques, Holy Priests can be easily used as raid healers. They can also make excellent tank healers in a pinch because of talents that increase the healing done by their larger heals.

A. Guardian Spirit – The priest casts a guardian spirit on the target, increasing healing done to the target by 40% for 10 seconds. In addition, any blow to the target that would otherwise kill them will sacrifice the spirit, saving the target from death and restoring 50% of their effective health. 3 minute cool down. Costs %mana.
B. Circle of Healing – An instant cast spell that hits 5 raid members within 10 yards of the target.
C. Spirit of Redemption – Upon death, the priest turns into a Spirit of Redemption for 8 seconds, allow the priest to continue healing all allies in range of their corpse. No mana cost or cool down.
D. Lightwell – A well is placed for allies to click on to restore health. Last 3 minutes or until 10 charges of the well are used. 3 minute cool down (from when the well was created).

Holy priests can also spec into the talent Empowered Renew, which adds an instant burst heal to the beginning of their heal-over-time spell.

2. Holy Paladins
Holy Paladins were long looked upon as the strongest single target healers in the game with their large single target heals. While this still can be true, their quick Flashes of Light can easily allow them to heal multiple raid members quickly and efficiently.

A. Holy Light – A large single target heal with a 2.5 second cast time.
B. Flash of Light – A smaller single target heal with a 1.5 second cast time.
C. Illumination – A critical heal will refund 60% of the spell’s base mana cost.
D. Beacon of Light – A target becomes the Beacon of Light. When the paladin heals any other player within a 40 yrd radius of “The Bacon(as we call it),” the beacon of light will also be healed for the same amount. Lasts one minute.
E. Holy Shock – An instant cast single target heal that is slightly larger than Flash of Light. 6 second cool down.

Paladins also can cleanse Disease, Poisons and Magic Effects. Blessing of Protection will remove their target from immediate danger, and Divine Intervention will save a player from dying (and also remove them from combat) while sacrificing the paladin.

3.Restoration Druid
Known for their heals over times, Resto druids can easily “HoT” up entire raids or keep tanks fairly stable while other healers handle the larger hits. In a pinch however, druids can toss around large heals if the demand is there.

A. Rejuvination – An instant cast heal over time that lasts 15 seconds.
B. Regrowth – A 2 second cast burst heal that also adds a heal over time to the target which lasts for 21 seconds.
C. Life Bloom – An instant cast heal that can be stacked up to 3 times, each stack increasing the amount of healing received. Last 10 seconds. At the end of 10 seconds, if not reapplied, the spell will bloom, healing for a large amount (based on the number of stacks) and refunding the druid 50% of the mana cost.
D. Swiftmend – Consumes a Rejuvination or Regrowth spell, instantly healing the target for the equivilent of 12s. of a Rejuvination or 18s. of a Regrowth.
E. Wild Growth – Instantly heals 5 party members every second for 7 seconds. The healing is applied quickly at first and slows down as the spell reaches its full duration.
F. Healing Touch – Large single target heal with a 3 second cast.
G. Nourish – A smaller burst heal with a 1.5 second cast. Will heal for an additional 20% more if the target has Rejuvination, Regrowth, Lifebloom or Wildgrowth active.
H. Living Seed – When a target is critically healed with Healing Touch, Swiftmend, Regrowth or Nourish, they will receive a living seed equal to 30% of the amount healed. The next time they are attacked, the seed will bloom, healing the target.

Druids can also dispel curses and poisons, as well as Innervate fellow players who have ran out of mana. Tree of Life Aura also increases healing done to all raid members by 5%. Nature’s Swiftness also allows the druid to make any of their spells an instant cast (3 minute cooldown.).

4. Restoration Shamans
Shamans would typically get the message “chain healz ftw. spam plox” in B.C. Raids. While Chain Heal is undeniably powerful, they also are adept single target healers and their purge (dispelling a favorable effect on an enemy target) can be highly useful in new content.

A. Healing Wave – A large single target heal with a 2.5 second cast.
B. Lesser Healing Wave – A smaller single target heal with a 1.5 second cast
C. Chain Heal – 2.5 second cast. Heals the targeted friendly character, then jumps to another nearby party member. Heals up to three targets, with the amount healed decreased by 50% on each jump.
D. Earth Shield – A protective shield enclosing the target. When the target is attacked, a charge of the shield will be used to heal the target; this will only proc once every few seconds. Lasts 10 minutes, or until 6 charges are used.
E. Rip Tide – Instantly heals the target, and also adds a heal over time that lasts 15 seconds. The next chain heal cast on the target will consume the heal over time, but will increase the amount healed by the chain heal by 25%.

Shamans can dispel poisons, diseases and, when talented, curses. Heroism is always a welcomed raid buff, and their Mana Tide Totem can give an advantage to particularly draining encounters.

Please note this quick overview does not cover any of these spells under the effect of glyphs.

While this overview is nowhere near a complete list of all the beautiful things healers can bring to the table, it can be used as a springboard for discussion. Everyone has different and exciting spells, making them all welcomed additions to a balanced raid.

If nothing else, it gave me an excuse to do a quick refresher about what all the healers I work with have in their arsenal. b(^^b) Kirby gives it 2 thumbs up!

Also, thanks to Anday (holy pally), Kalya (resto druid), Blackthumb (resto shaman) and Dyrum (discipline priest) for letting me use their specs to write this article (and to help me spec my all my healers but my priest’s holy spec =D) .

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