A Dummy’s Guide to Healing Heroics
Screaming “HEAL ME, HEAL ME!” Friedlichxx and Elnoriah went down once again, contributing to their massive gold repairs for a single H OK, why you ask? Well, the dps was not great to start, but the healer was just atrocious! Our hero would tank a few mobs only to be dead the next and have Fried pick them up and get beat down in an instant!
You know, I never actually thought you could ever mess up healing a heroic, but somehow people do! For instance, that great example above was just one more sure reason to get me on a rant fest that day, so as my newly self-appointed position of educating the public, it would now be my job to give you priest want-to-bees some pointers!
Your Holy Spec and You: Okay, so if any of you read World of Matticus you really should know all about the priest specs and the like, especially the Holy spec where they team over there has thoroughly gone through and dissected on numerous occasions. For a fact, I know I can not ever do any better so head over there to read some. However, I will touch upon some basics for you all! For the usual Holy spec, you will want to put 14 points into your Discipline Tree. The rest really should go into the specific spots of your Holy Tree, but for more information, check out this post over at World of Matticus where they will inform you upon all the talents in the tree better.
Learning Your Spec: No matter how many times that Pally healer could call me a bad tank it did not matter, sure there were some mistakes made by me, but there isn’t much I can do when I am face planted to the floor! Yes, you kiddos just learned of a good holy build thanks to the great people at WoM, but just having the spec won’t make you Jesus-Healer. If you are new to this spec, or just a new 80 healer of any class for that matter. Do not try pugging a heroic right when you ding, yes sure most likely you will be fine and the group will be decent, but why would you want to be carried? To limit this, make sure you do a few normals for two good reasons. First for a learning experience for healing, and secondly of course for gear, and once you are confident start off slow with an easy Heroic Violet hold, Heroic Nexus, or even a Heroic Utgarde Keep.
Healers have to do something!???: Well duh, you are one of the most important members of your 5 person group! You keep everyone alive, especially the tank! Ever since I started healing there has always been a single rule for me, which is “under extreme circumstances, keep the tank and you alive before everyone” argue with or whatever, but keep both you and the tank up especially. Losing one dps makes the grind a little bit slower, but you will be able to down that boss despite the loss, whereas a lack of tank and heals your group most likely will not succeed! What I am saying here is, if you are very low on mana, and only have enough to heal you, the tank, and maybe 1 or 2 dps, don’t kill yourself or the tank in order to keep everyone alive. The sacrifice is heroic, but a dead healer is not very useful. In all honesty though, a priest should not need to resort to this kind of situation, we have a nice amount of MP5 along with some strong AOE heals. As the holy spec, we get Circle of Healing which is an amazing instant cast multi-target heal, and we also have Prayer of Healing for the times a specific group needs some lovin’. Along with the spell Prayer of Mending which is a 5 (or 6 with T7 set bonus) charge heal that bounces from player to player and heals every time that player is hit. Keep this spell on cool down, as it is a strong heal and can help your tank! Point being, priests like you and me have a good amount of spells that can heal more then one player at a time, so we really should have no problem with keeping 5 people alive for one boss fight. For all of you guys and girls out there that would like a short summary, it’s this. Keep yourself and the tank up as your highest priority when healing, don’t forget to give some lovin’ to the dps but make sure you’re tank isn’t dieing!
Eldadres, what spells do you generally use?: Okay well for healing you have to be quick, you have to be smart, and you have to make so many quick decisions you will never remember most of them, but all of them counted in the end. For me, I always keep Renew on the tank at all times (this goes for raiding as well). Once the tank starts taking some damage I will throw a prayer of mending on him, which as I explained earlier, jumps from target to target depending on how much damage and such is taken. Constantly keep renew up and make sure you throw some prayer of mending on the tank once and awhile. Oh no, tank is taking some damage and is losing a good chunk of health, instant casts won’t save you that much right now, but still keep them up. Flash Heal is your bread and butter, it’s a quick heal that does a good amount of healing, in my opinion I would not spam it rather then not keeping HoTs up, but you know, when you need a heal use that one. Greater heal is really not my best choice for a heal, yes it’s big, but it’s slow and mana costly. Basically I call it the SHIT button, like when a tank needs a huge ass heal, but honestly I prefer to use my flash heals still. Your AoE heals are Circle of Healing and Prayer of Healing, circle is instant cast so use that one more often then prayer. Circle is really when I see like 3 group members at 70% or lower health to give a little boost up. Where as prayer of healing, like Greater Heal, is your SHIT button in terms of multi-person healing.
Is there anything I should need to bring for Heroics?: Okay, for raids you know everyone would say flasks go! Heroics? No one you talk to thinks heroics are Hardcore or whatever so don’t go worrying yourself over that. Mana potions would not be a bad idea however to have maybe 5 of them in your bag for those just in case moments, besides which, they’re pretty cheap so who cares? Other then that, make sure you have some ice, cool, waaater in your bags, vending machines mages are only a luxury, so be prepared! Generally I always have cooking food, but I’m a cook anyways so *shrug* (hint hint, do cooking and fishing, it’s well worth it!).
Anything else?: The number one thing any healer should do, is to have fun! I enjoy healing thoroughly, so shouldn’t you. It’s not a job so much as it is a past-time for me, it feels good for me to heal as it would some dps to gain 1k dps from getting that new piece of epic gear. So be safe, learn, and keep doing those heroics!
-Your Friendly Neighborhood Holy Priest, Eldadres!
Writer’s Update: Okay, it’s official, Nance from Alterac Volley/Wow Headlines was awesome enough to post me under the DK section for WoW Headlines… Up to come, some juicy DK tanking/PVP topics! Stay Tuned!!! *note* I still will write about the healer, but in all honesty, my DK is just so much more fun to write about