Light & Leafy

Archive for the ‘shaman’ Category

Last week I wrote a post looking at the lower spire of Ice Crown Citadel from the perspective of a holy priest who occasionally likes to be discipline. Now, because I promised, here are some tricks and tidbits I’ve picked up while healing on Sairyn and Fluffikins. Again, if there are any other tricks you can think of (and I’m sure you can!), please post something in the comments! I’m still learning the in’s and out’s of healing with leaves, so any other suggestions are highly welcomed!  For organization’s sake, each fight follows the format of what both shamans and druids can do, then druid specific tips, then shaman specific tips. Oy vey.

The Trash to Lord Marrowgar

Like I’ve mentioned before, the trash to Marrowgar is pretty simplistic, but there’s always something you can do to make these fifteen minutes of rep go smoothly

Hotting up the melee. It’s kind of like being a priest spreading out the renew love. Only it’s better on a druid because you can toss around hots faster than those shiny necklaces at Mardi Gras. I swear, the first few times I did the trash in ICC I didn’t even realize the packs of skeletons exploded because the druid had the melee so hotted up. Usually I go with a rejuv and 1 to 2 stacks of lifebloom, depending on how many melee dps I have in the group.

Or, you can just chain heal. No matter how hot your healers may be (oh oh, I went there!), normally your group will want to make sure each of the exploders die individually. I have my chain heal set up as a mouse over macro so that I can keep an eye on the current target’s health, with my trigger finger ready to go as soon as the skelly’s health gets to about 10%.

Interrupts! Sure, you can chain spam shackle undead to interrupt the Nerubian’s from casting their dark binding spell. But what if you have no priests?! The heals shouldn’t be so demanding that you can’t take your eyes away from grid/vuhdoo/x-perl for a moment to catch a interrupt or two. I feel a lot of the time we forget moves that don’t come into play in our day-to-day instancing/grinding. Now’s the time to work on your Wind Shear muscle memories.

Instant casts are teh best! By this point, we know the big guys will try to interrupt our spells. To those big guys I say, eat my instant casts! The only sure fire way to not be locked out if you can’t be bothered to pay attention to your boss timer warnings is to cast spells that can’t be interrupted.

Lord Marrowgar

Keep a rejuv/riptide on yourself. It’s common knowledge that Marrowgar has a crush on my druid. So, every time I see that his bone spike is coming off cool down, I plan ahead to have a rejuv on myself. Worst case scenario is that I did a bit of over healing. Best case is that the other healers don’t need to worry so much about their limp tree impaled next to Marrowgar’s butt. I’ve started to do the same with Sairyn’s riptide just in case Marrowgar decides that draenei are just as cute.

Stick to single target healing. It gets a little messier here. I admit freely that maybe my raid teams are just not as coordinated as others’. If you all manage to stay pretty close together during the whirlwind phase, please feel free to skip this and move on. If your team also runs around like litter of kittens during bath time, this might bear mentioning. On fights where everyone is taking damage, it’s instinctual to cast one spell to heal them all. Your intention is admirable, but the reality is that even if you have 5 people within your heal radius, it is unlikely they are going to be close enough to one another to bounce a chain heal all 4 times or to receive the splash of a wild growth. Generally is just simpler and more effective to hit each individual player with a quick heal and be done with it.

Guess what has the same length cool down as BOOONEEEE STORMMMMM? BARRKKK SKINNN! Not quite as epic as I had hoped. Oh well. You can still pop your skin at the beginning of his whirlwind phase in order to get safely away from his twirling axe. And it’ll be back up and ready to use the next time Marrowgar decides to bring out his inner ballerina.

Tanks aren’t the only ones who can use Earth Shield. Yes, you’ll want to keep it on one (generally the squishier tank) while Marrowgar is standing in place and saberlashing, but think of where it could be most effective during his whirlwind phase. Is there a certain dps who seems to lag a bit getting out of the way of the cold flames? Or a clothie who always gets caught behind one of the candelabras? Maybe they would be better candidates for a little earthy loving than the tanks with stacked armor and quick cold flame reflexes.

Totems are tasty.   Choosing the right totem is a topic for an entire post, but I’ll share 2 I love for this fight as a resto shaman: Frost Resistance and Stoneskin. Now, the way I see it is this: you can either use both totems throughout the fight, or you can plan ahead a little bit and set up 2 of your totem calls – one for the stationary phase and one for the whirlwind phase. Since no one’s really doing much damage during the whirlwind phase, there’s no reason to keep Flame Tongue and Strength of Earth down.  Use your second call to give your raid a little extra frost resistance and armor until Marrowgar settles down again!

Lady Deathwhisper

Curses are the most important thing ever! Both shamans and druids can remove curses. And the curse of torpor is no exception. Essentially, it will increase the cool down of spells cast by the inflicted player. Imagine my surprise when my regrowth had a cool down associated with it. If you are cursed at the same time as another player, be sure to remove your own first. If there are multiple players cursed, follow a hierarchy: healers then tanks then dps.

Hex and Entangling Roots can be used in the 25 man version of the fight. If you see a mind control running towards you, a hex can be a great way of preventing your team mate from smiting you into oblivion. Entangling roots are also a useful tool, but try to root your rather large friend somewhere away from other players so she doesn’t start slapping people around.

Purge, baby, purge! Kind of like how I mentioned priests could dispel the buffs from the purple short wearing monstrosities, only with purge! I think it might be a little harder for restos, though, because purge isn’t generally a spell I expect to be using (then again, I rarely pvp). Just a friendly reminder though: if you have a mage, give him a little time to steal the buff before you purge it. If he still hasn’t and it’s been a good 5 seconds, it’s probably a good idea to remove it before you tank ends up sprawled out on the floor.

Use heroism/blood lust when you’re on the verge of breaking her mana shield. You have 24 seconds until the next set of adds, and Lady’s mana shield is sitting around 16%. Now is the time to heroism and pop cooldowns to help you easily transition into her second phase. Don’t worry about wasting it on the shield and not on the Lady herself; if you’ve made it to phase two, you’re likely to succeed.

Frost resistance is great for phase two. If you have a paladin, an aura is wonderful to help mitigate the damage her aoe frost bolt does to your group. Luckily, you don’t need a pally to provide the resistance if you don’t happen to have one kicking around. Drop a totem, forgo the flame tongue buff, and be happy when you’re chain healing through the frost damage that people aren’t getting hurt more.

All hands on the poop deck! (hehe I wrote poop in my blog. I have the mentality of a 4 year old. /shame)

If you’re on the main boat, stand near the edge so you can heal the jumping tank as he careens towards your ship. If you’re set to be standing on one boat anyways, it pays to be somewhere you can reach both tanks. You’ll be able to spam heals on the tank who’s getting axes chucked at him as he tries to safely land back on your ship.

Trees should probably stay on the main boat. Ok, maybe I always turn into a bear so I can have the rocket butt bear. But generally speaking, I don’t bother flying over from one boat to the next. I stay on the edge of our boat to help heal the tank handling Saurfang, but unless it’s dire, I refuse to jump from one boat to the next because the jumps always switch me out of tree form. It gets expensive after awhile, and for whatever reason it lags me to hell when I’m on the way down. It’s just easier, and a bit safer, if I bounce (rocket-free) around the deck of one ship.

Honestly, shamans, I don’t have much else for you here. Sorry. *averts gaze bashfully*

DBS (Does Bake Snickerdoodles? Hrm not quite right. I need to work on effeminizing Saurfang’s abbreviation).

Healing through Marks. Typically, I assign one healer per mark. There’s not too much you can do to get through the damage except to time your cool downs to the duration of the fight, and focus on your assigned target. Marked players will require heavy healing, and even the slightest distraction could mean death. On my druid, I normally roll all of my hots, followed by nourish spam and swift mend on cool down. On my shaman, marked characters get my earthshield and lesser healing wave spam. Sometimes, if the mark happens to be near another player, I will bounce a chain heal off of him to help keep the raid topped off. On both characters, I save nature’s swiftness for that oh-dear-lord moment that usually occurs near the end of the fight.

Helping your ranged dps, one root at a time. I found that healing really wasn’t intense the first half of this fight, no matter which character I was on. So, I took to keeping my druid in her caster form to help root the blood beasts, buying the ranged dps a little more time for kiting the adds. You’ll just need to be careful to make sure no one is in melee range while the add is rooted, or the beastie will turn to nomnom on your friend.

Rawr! I’mma big scary bear! If you’re confident, you can shift into bear form and taunt a blood beast to you to get it away from the tanks and melee. Because you’re not normally a bear, it’ll be easy for the ranged dps to pull the beast off of you. You can also use this in an emergency if you see a beast ready to chow down on someone in range. If you do taunt the blood beast though, remember to start running away. It’s not doing your team much good if you’re allowing yourself to become a snack to an overgrown blood worm.  This can also be a useful strategy if you’re running with a very low amount of ranged dps.

Let’s talk about rebirth: don’t use it if you don’t know how they died. If a person died because of a Mark of the Fallen Champion, it’s pointless to battle rez them. They’ll only come back to life with the debuff again, and likely die to the amount of damage done in the seconds it would normally take to fill their life bar. This means Saurfang gains an additional 5% of his health back, and it’s a risk that’s usually not reasonable to take. There is an alternate strategy using a paladin that I’ve heard rumor of, but as I have not tried this myself, I’d rather not recommend it to any of you. If you’ve heard anything about the divine intervention strategy, I’d love to know if it was actually a plausible strategy or not.

More totem talk? Right, this probably seems like a no-brainer. But I want to remind you that you can use Earthbind totem to control the blood beasts, much like a druid’s entangling roots.  I recommend placing the totem between the stairs and your kiting dps so that it likely will not be trapped anywhere near something it can gnaw on (i.e. your teammates).

So, I believe I’ve covered everything I’ve thought of in the last few weeks. Clearly, I don’t have as many tips for my shaman friends as I do for my trees, but I’m  hoping to see more Sairyn action in the upcoming weeks, and if I find any new tricks, I’ll be sure to update. Also, apologies for the wall-o-text. I tried to cut it up a bit for the sake of space, and that plan backfired on me.

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A few days ago, Professor Beej posted a guest post at World of Matticus asking readers which of the healing classes they chose, and why they felt it was the right match for them. The answers were insightful, and got me thinking.

Do I feel like any of my healers suite me better than others?

I couldn’t really answer this question. There are some I feel more comfortable with, sure. But if I were to go with familiarity, well then Edainne in her discipline spec would probably be on par with Nesme. My reaction time feels about the same for both, and I’m still forgetting some spells that I really should try to use more consistently.

“Why I love healing” is a topic for another post another day. Simply stated though, I do. And though I’m not sure if I can ever suffer from “healing burnout,” I think one of the things keeping healing fresh for me is the ability to switch from one healer to another and have a completely different experience. In the end, I’m just using a different spell to keep the green bars verdant, but haven’t we always been told it’s not about the destination but about the journey?

My healers can reflect my mood, my inspirations for playing at any particular point in time. They each bring something unique to the table, and have lessons to teach me.

Edainne

She is indisputably my main, and as far characters go, I’m most comfortable with her. I like keeping her holy spec versatile so that I can fill whatever role is most needed at the time. She has all my really exciting achievements, all my nostalgic mementos. When I created her, I put a lot of my heart into the process. Before I even got the game, I researched names that would be appropriate (hers is a re-spelling of a Celtic goddess of healing), created her back story and a central idea for the character, and decided that if she was going to be a healer, I was going to pick the class that had the most options (this was before Wrath when most of the healing classes had only a few spells while the priest had, like, a bajillion).

When I’m on Edainne, I love that I have the versatility to do, well, anything! I can blow bubbles, I can punch people to heal them, I can even jump around casting holy nova! Sure, she’s hella squishy in PvP, but I like to think that it was just encouragement to react more quickly than they could kill me.

I learned to heal on Eda. She was my springboard, and as a character she still has loads for me to learn and improve on. Right now, learning to play as a discipline priest has got me thinking about healing in a completely different way: prevention is as important, if not more so, than response. I’m learning to expect damage instead of just fixing it after the fact. I feel like it’s a nice correlation to outside the game experiences. And because of being that priest who always takes lightwell and that priest in Burning Crusade who took Circle of Healing rather than spec into Divine Spirit, I’ve learned to be ok with being different, that I can be just as effective and knowledgeable without being the same as everyone else. Funny how a video game could teach a life lesson…

Sairyn

What I love about Sairyn is that I feel like I could heal through any kind of AoE damage if I casted chain heal fast enough. I love that I can make pulls easier just by knowing which totem is the best for the job. Also, chain heal just LOOKS fun. And the idea of healing everyone by linking them together just fits my mentality nicely.

I tried for a long time to force Sairyn into being my damage-dealer. Everyone else was going to be a healer, but Sairyn just HAD to be elemental; I think I truly felt that people would think I was crazy if all I did was heal on each character. Through lack of practice, no doubt, whenever I dps’d on her I felt like she was underperforming. So, I wouldn’t play her as often, which would lead to her gear falling behind, which would lead to even more performance issues. A pretty nasty cycle I had gotten myself into, no?

Just before 3.3 came, I decided it was time to stop pretending that I was some well-rounded, can play anything well sort of player (like Osy is). I’m happiest when I’m tossing chain heals, and that’s ok.  Sairyn encouraged me to be honest with myself, and I appreciate her so much more for it. I no longer toss her to the side to play with other characters first, which also helps me deal with guilt I felt after abandoning her at 70 until Wrath came out.

Fluffikins

Fluffi never fails to make me smile. She was the first character I leveled completely by myself, and I’m really proud of that. When I started playing her, I thought moonkins were the most adorable thing in the game, and I couldn’t help but want one. Around 70, though, I had watched Osy’s druid heal for long enough to know that I wanted a tree too!

After playing a priest for so long, having multiple hot’s and instant casts was something I really had to get used to. Fluffi taught me the value of having patience, and I learned a lot about timing. She gave me a lot of experience in preparing for in-coming damage since I could hot everyone up before a pull even began.

I think I enjoy party healing the most on her. I feel almost as versatile as I do on Edainne; Fluffi has tremendous capacity for healing output, even if her gear isn’t as tricked out as others’. And having tree form lets me focus on healing 100% time; the cost of shifting in and out of tree form is too great to want to dps while bored.

Then, of course, there’s the bouncing. And the fact that everything I heal with looks like a flower. But, oh god, the bouncing!!!!! I feel like I’m a little kid again skipping down the cold, Scourge infested hallways of Ice Crown!

Nesme

Nesme is kind of like the final piece of an abstract jig-saw puzzle: with her, I can finally see the entire picture, though I still might not understand exactly what I’m looking at. She has helped me understand that paladining requires so much more than binding holy light to every key then unceremoniously rolling my head against the keyboard. Which of my spells will save the person with aggro? Which will save the person entombed? How fast does my holy light actually get after I’ve casted it the first time, and how long until my haste buff wears off and I need to judge again?

She makes the game feel new to me again. I know nothing about paladins, really, except that I can spam holy light on a tank like nobody’s business. And that Patchwerk becomes the most funnest fight evar when you’re a holy pally. Hellooooo beacon!

I’m not comfortable playing with her yet (zomgwings!), but that’s what makes her such a breath of fresh air every time I do. I have to work to save people from their own stupidity! And it made me give much more credit to other pallies who I thought had the easiest job in the world.

Maybe I’ll play Eda when I need to have the fast reaction time, or Fluffi when I’m exuberant and just want to bounce. Maybe Sairyn will come out when I’m feeling kind of enchanted by nature, and Nesme when I want a challenge and learning experience. Each of my healer’s has a special place in my heart. And I’m lucky enough to feel that, in some way or another, they’re appropriate for me.

I’m luckier still to have enough friends to let me heal on as many characters as I want. ❤

So, what about you? Does a particular character, healer or not, resonate more with you than others?

My neglected shaman is finally getting some love and attention! Honestly, the new dungeon finder and disenchant options are giving her a new life (and actually allowing me to enchant her gear afforadably!).
 
Sairyn was my only real alt in the Burning Crusade. I leveled her to 70, and then abandoned her on Lethon when Edainne switched realms. Around the expansion’s release (once my old guild on Lethon switched servers, as well), I finally got around to transferring Sairyn and convincing the boyfriend to let me level with his boomkin. Sairyn had never gotten out of her Outlands questing blues and greens, so it was easy to gear her up everywhere we went. She hit 80, and was back-burnered again so I could focus on growing my tree.

Finally, Sairyn is getting the attention she always deserved. I’ve collected a ton of badges (enough to buy a few pieces of her tier 9 set), only I’ve noticed a small problem.

You see, Sairyn was always intended to be a dps’er. Before dual-specs, she was an enhancement shaman. Once Wrath came around, she was elemental, with a resto off-spec in case I wanted to try healing on her (this is before I made up my mind that I wanted one of each healing spec/class).

Now, I’m not a particularly great dps, but I still wanted to keep her primarily as a pew-pewer. With the new LFD system, I’m given a choice : I can either group up as a healer and get groups quickly, or I can stand in the queue for 15+ minutes as a pure dps. Clearly, I’ve been choosing the former. And I’ve realized two things:

1. I like healing on the class I used to scorn as healers (seriously, I swore she’d never have a resto spec and that 3 heals were booorring).
2. I’m a much more effective healer than I am a dps’er.

I think my problem is I want her to have both a rocking dps set and a rocking resto set, but I’m ashamed to admit it. She was my ticket out of people making fun of me for always playing a healer (“Look! She’s elemental! I really am not a one trick pony! Honest..“).

The turning point on all this, was this past Monday night, when her random heroic daily dungeon was Halls of Reflection. I went in scared shitless, thinking that I wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure in that instance, especially since I had trouble on Eda and Fluffi (even though I’m really confident when it comes to healing on my priest and my druid). We breezed through it. The tank and dps even complemented my healing, which honestly shocked me. This might be a thought for a later post, but it amazes me that I did so much better on the character I was least experienced playing as healer.

So, my little shaman, I shall heal on you. And when I have guild groups, I shall practice dpsing (and I’ll play on the practice dummies because I find that oddly soothing). And you will have triumph gear for both your resto and elemental set. Because despite all the ambivalence I used to carry for you, I am now in love with your lava bursts and chain heals.

Project for tonight/tomorrow: Take another look at her resto spec and see if it’s how I think it should be, and set up her glyphs so they’re competitive and not just whatever I happened to have lying about.

Last night, while doing my Argent Tournement dailies (I want a unicorn, dammit!), a friend whispered me. Originally, I excitedly thought he was going to invite me to Vault on my resto shaman when he wanted to make sure I had one, but that was quickly put to rest with his next queston: “how do you play a resto  shaman?” Because I knew he had a discipline spec on his priest, I went directly to specifics (keeping up earthshield, chain healing, etc.). But then it struck me that he might not have been asking for himself. His girlfriend had recently gotten her shaman up to level 80 and decided she wanted to try healing. I started to consider what would be good suggestions for anyone playing a healer for the first time….

Know your healing priorities
Getting used to being a healer can take some time. You’re not always going to have a lot to do, and you’re always playing to suit the needs of the group. Unlike dps, you can’t always focus on one target and then move to the next. I find it helpful to keep in mind a heirarchy of heals, especially during times when the pull may not have gone as smoothly as you would have wished.
      1. Tanks – If the tank dies, it’s not a done deal that everyone around you will die. But, it will make healing a LOT harder on you, and everyone may in fact die, especially if the tank is dead soon after the pull. In a raid situation, you may not be assigned to be a tank healer, but even so it’s a good habit to keep track of their health bars and help out if you notice them hovering close to death or if their healers have died.
      2. You! Yep, you’re the second highest priority when it comes to healing. A lot of healers, old hats included, often forget to heal themselves. Maybe their player bar isn’t in a place they normally look, or they’re so focused on their target that they neglect themselve. No matter how you look at it though, if you die, no one is getting your heals. And that can lead to a lot of wiping, especially in 5 mans.
      3. DPS. You DO want them alive. They sure do make killing things easier. But if you heal them at the expense of killing yourself or the tank, you may want to reassess your priorities.

Mana Regeneration Tools!
Every healer has them. And most are really good about making the most out of using them. But in the heat of battle, it can be really easy to forget to use them. I like having Scrolling Combat Text’s sound turned on to give me audio warnings, but you can also pay attention to your mana bars just as much as you pay attention to health bars. The cooldowns, no matter which healer you play, are in the 3 minute – 5 minute range, so there’s really no excuse for saving them for any particular fight. I’m not advocating wasting them every time they’re off cooldown, but if you’re sitting at a quarter of your maximum mana at the beginning of a pull, it probably behooves you to get some of the pretty blue stuff back quickly. And don’t be shy to ask for mana regeneration tools from the druids and priests in your party; even if they’re dpsing, they can still innervate you and cast hymn of hope.

Using HoT’s/Shields
Using your heal over time and shielding spells can be one of the more difficult skills to learn as a new healer. Even though I had been playing my priest for over 2 years, when I started healing on my druid I found that I was constantly renewing my HoT’s much sooner than I needed to and was wasting a ton of mana in the process. On my shaman, I started having the same problem with my earthshield, but when I tried to stop the unnecessary overwriting I started to have periods where the tank didn’t have it at all. What this boils down to is creating a way to track your set-it-and-forget-it heals. I found setting up Power Auras and Grid for those specific spells  made it move visible to me to keep track my heal-over-times , but just keeping a sharp eye on  the buffs in your regular party frames also can do the trick. Patience, above everything else, is key to using spells that do not instantly heal your targets. I know it can be nerve-wracking to see people slowly regenerating health, but if you’re tossing the HoT’s around and then using larger single heals immediately after the fact, you’re probably overhealing a lot and not being very efficient with your mana consumption.

Dispel!!!!
Healers come with dispels. Depending on the class you play, you can only dispel certain types of the four dispellable debuffs (poison, magic, disease, and curses). Druids can dispell poison and curses, priests get magic and disease, shamans get poisons diseases and curses, and pallies have poison, disease and magic effecs. A lot of healers I know don’t usually think about dispelling diseases; they just heal through the damage. That’s  not necesarrily a bad thing I take that back. It is a bad thing. These debuffs aren’t always just things you can gloss over by healing people through. Sometimes they’ll leech mana or explode doing damage to everyone nearby. Knowing what you can dispel and dispelling it quickly can keep you from having to heal so hard and it can get rid of nasty debuffs that can mess with other people’s playing (slowing their attack/movement speed, interrupting them, draining their power source, etc.). Granted, there are a few things you DON’T want to remove (Grobbulus’ poison injection, a warlock’s unstable affliction), but those are exceptions to the general rule of dispelling everything to make your job and the jobs of your teammates, easier.

Yay for spell books!
If you have your spell descriptions turned on, you might find that reading them through will give you a better understanding of what you have in your arsenal of heals. Take some time to really look at all the spells you can use and think a little bit about how each might be valuable in a combat situation. When would you use rejuvination over regrowth? If only the tank needs a heal, is chain heal really the best spell to use? If the entire party is taking damage, when’s a good time to use circle of healing and when’s a good time to use prayer of healing? Getting to know your tools is kind of like getting to know friends; it might take some time, but when you really need them, you can count on them.

Cooldowns are important!
A lot of the really powerful, save your patootie spells have cooldowns. You probably won’t use them frequently, but they do exsist and you should be mindful of them. It might be worthwhile for some of them to see what glyphs and talents are out there to reduce the cooldowns and get you to use them more. Even if you were to keep them at their standard cool downs, it’s still pivotal to learn what each of your “special” moves can do and make sure you have them easily accessible in case you do need to use them.

Start small and move up!
Chances are if your a new healer, the first instance you go into should not be something like Trial of the Champion. The level 78-80 dungeons do have a bit of a ramp for players to practice in. Utgarde Pinnacle and Gundrak are a bit easier, while Culling of Stratholme, Halls of Ligthning and Trial of the Champion are a bit more difficult. Starting in a place with a lot of trash can also help you warm up before you start healing through boss encounters. Once you’re comfortable with these, moving onto heroics shouldn’t be a problem. It’s easy to get into heroics now that you don’t have to be keyed, but learning to walk before you run has its benefits. The same thing can be applied to raid healing. You may be a pro at healing 5-man dungeons, but sometimes it takes a lot of getitng used to when you start healing in raids. Even if you’ve geared yourself up nicely from an assortment of badges, you might want to step into a Naxx10 or Naxx25  before you go into Onyxia or Trail of the Crusader just to get the feeling of what its like relying on other healers as your teammates, rather than being the single person responsible for the lives ove everyone around you. 

Take some time to gear up!
When you first hit 80, it may be a good idea to try to find a group you can dps in to get your gear a little more situated before you start healing yourself. Another way to optimize this “gear” time would be to try to run with a healer of the same class and watch them as they heal. They may provide you with insight before you start throwing around heals yourself. =)

Like with any kind of new role, you’ll get better at healing the more you practice it. Playing with friends and guildies can help you overcome some of the anxiety it can bring (it is a pretty big responsbility) and can provide you a safe place to practice without others having high expectations of how the instance should run. Recognize that sometimes others will die, no matter how hard you try to save them, and don’t be too hard on yourself while you’re still learning. Every other healer had to start at square one as well, and with time and practice became the talented players they are now.

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) .