For part 2 we are going to focus on all the Healers. Paladin, Shaman, Monk, Priest (Yes even disc!) and Druid. I will also give Blood Death Knights an honorable mention here, but you know you don’t count really. People always ask questions about which class is the best, what addon can you get that can make it easy for you. You are a class that runs DIRECTLY inverse to DPS, you have to keep that health bar full and since the beginning of the game it’s felt like every non healer you encounter was just trying to make you struggle and have an arrhythmia.
Which Healer is the best ?
- According to current parses Restoration druids Edge just a bit ahead of the other classes. The Difference from the top healer and the bottom ranked healer is very minimal. Any healing class is currently extremely viable. In my opinion there is not a specific Specialization that I feel strongly out performs any other. Individual player skill will be the deciding factor here much more than a class design.
- Don’t let an overall lower healing potential devalue a class or spec, Utility in a class is not as easily weighted and can sometimes offer a greater benefit than just raw healing ability can. For raiding get a strong mixed comp, apply some of the advice below and you will see Raid Progression.
Healer’s have different specializations
- Restoration Druid: Lots of HoT’s hitting lots of targets, really strong at keeping the overall raid team alive, Smaller single target and direct healing, weak tank healer.
- Holy Paladin: Very focused Healer, Fast powerful single target spells with their effects “splashed” onto 1 or 2 other raid members thru beacon. Strong Tank healer, suffers in raid healing.
- Mistweaver Monk: Versatile here, depending on talents can be an effective tank healer but is more tuned to Raid healing.
Holy Priest: Strong in tank healing and Raid healing but not both at the same time, limited ability by talent choice.
- Restoration Shaman: True hybrid class, unique cooldown’s offer utility to a team that no other class can, good at both tank and raid healing.
- Discipline Priest: Yes, disc is a healer and it can be quite a good one. Offers a truly unique play style mixing moderate DPS with moderate healing. In most ways Disc will never out perform another Healing class or spec but still fills a very unique spot and is viable. In a raid setting a disc priest can easily fill an open healer spot
Tips for standing out as a strong healer
- Pay attention to overhealing
- Overhealing is a Tracked number, it’s the amount of healing you do when your target/s are already over 100% health. You cannot heal past full health, it will be an HPS loss and a very poor way to manage your mana.
- Anticipate raid damage
- CLEANSE CLEANSE CLEANSE!!!
- Not enough healer’s cleanse in a raid environment. Over and over again in LFR or other groups I will see a cleansable debuff go out and just be left on a player to deal damage instead of being properly removed. A proper cleanse can do a lot lower incoming damage for the team.
- Communicate with the Raid Leader and the Healer Team. It is important to alert everyone to big raid cooldown’s like Tranquility, Aura Mastery, Revival, Spirit Link Totem, Healing Tide Totem, Barrier, Hymn of Hope – Really any spell that has a long cooldown (more than 1 minute).
- These big heals or utility effects can act much like a reset switch to keep the team alive
- More often than not you don’t want to use more than one cooldown at a time, it often works much better to chain one cooldown into another to maintain increased healing onto the raid team or just reducing damage the team is taking.
- Manage your mana to make it through the entire fight
- Proper usage of spells will really effect how fast you go out of mana. Every class and spec has a heal or HoT that is considered “mana efficient” for the healing, typically a slower cast or a slower healing spell that cost’s very little mana for it’s effect. At the same time these slower and smaller heals will often fail to provide enough healing when more raid damage starts to go out. In higher damage situations you will have to transition to casting your less efficient but stronger spells. It is very important to find the balance in your healing so that you can effectively heal through an entire encounter.
- Choose carefully between Mana Potions and when to use them.
- Healers will often have to use some sort of Mana Potion:
- one being a quick click potion that gives a decent amount of mana OR take a sleeping mana potion that will take you out of commission for several seconds but refill a larger amount of mana. Both of these potions are viable. The sleeping potions take a lot more raid awareness, it is a high risk high reward option, if you use this incorrectly you will have to cancel it early and lose some of the benefit OR someone on the raid team may suffer from a loss of their life.
- Healers will often have to use some sort of Mana Potion:
- Lastly, DON’T TUNNEL
- I feel like healer’s suffer from this more than any role. It is very easy to get consumed by an array of health bars and the desire to keep everyone at max. Tunneling is focusing on something so hard you ignore a mechanic, stand in fire or get caught out in a bad position. This will cost you your life and it will either burn a team’s battle rez or you will just be a loss for the team instead. I cannot state how important not tunneling is to succeeding in a team.
- First and foremost: Dont Stand in FIRE!!! (seriously..i cant say this enough.. also FIRE in this instance is a metaphor for literally anything that does damage to you that you can NOT stand in if you apply a little awareness)
- Use Personal cooldowns intelligently.
- Don’t just depend on your healer to keep you alive. Avoid avoidable damage (makes sense right?!) Mitigate what damage you can. Nearly every class and spec has a way to lower incoming damage or apply some self healing to soften incoming hurt.
- When you are debuffed or tanking a mechanic for the team, it is helpful to announce your name as well as “taking X effect damage”
- Sometimes a healer won’t be aware that you made the choice to handle a mechanic or that a debuff was put on you that will make you take drastically more damage and not put that extra focus on you to keep you going. It is the most dissatisfying feeling in the world to properly do something and die for it because the Healer/s did not know it was happening.
- If you are capable of healing sometimes it is better to lend a hand at that than it is to DPS the target.
- Many classes have retained the ability to heal in other specs. Not near the capacity of a primary healer but still can contribute in a pinch. Personally this fact is what gave me and my team our first Lich King kill as an enhancement shaman and Elemental shaman forsook all DPS to keep our tank alive in the last moments of the fight. If you are not at full strength or just for a moment the Healer/s are not able to keep up lend a hand to them. It is a bigger help than you think.
- It is easy to blame a healer for you dying, it takes a lot more to evaluate your own part in that. Always do everything you can to survive. It is nearly always better to lose SOME dps and live than to do more DPS and die.
Useful addons and links:
- VuhDo, Healbot EtcA strong healing addon that when configured can do a lot to smooth out healing
- A pretty substantial change to the UI, very diverse layout options and extremely customizable
- A great addon to track cooldowns. Very versatile addon with a bit of a learning curve. Many sources of pre-configured “auras” are available
- Icy Veins
- Website with detailed guides and an active forum base
- Line of Sight or Fatboss Guides will go a long way towards showing you a fight encounter and help you learn to anticipate where in a fight increased damage to your team will occur.
Thank you for reading this article. If you liked it you are welcome to look at the previous part in the series with a more specific focus on DPS.
Or check out these awesome articles from some of our other writers!
Lastly any questions you may have for me or if you would like a post on a specific subject please feel free to track me down on Twitter @WoWMojoTips
Mathew Zent is an avid warcraft fan, Raid and Guild leader in a semi-casual guild.