Gearing Up for Healers

There is a sudden rash of gear wishlists appearing on the blogs I read regularly. I’m going to sidestep the trend.

Not least because I’m in a situation I realize may not be uncommon. See, I respec – a fair amount, and worse not just within holy or disc or shadow. I’m talking major swings here. And what this means is that a lot of really nice quest gear is unavailable because I had to decide if I was taking the shadow or the light version. As a consequence, I’m a bit more flexible. Oh, I still have wishlists, but they’re a bit different.

I actually start with deciding where I want to be. That’s stats and bonuses – and maybe on top of that some ‘extras’. My current main is on the edge of being Kara keyed, so my current objective is Outland Raids Level 1. (That is, 5-man raids, er, heroics, and Kara up to about the Curator). For reference, I presently have four levels of ‘raids’ — since that’s mainly based on theorywork and listening to people, that’s liable to change with experience. Level 2 is Kara post-curator and Gruul, level 3 is SSC/Tempest Keep through early Mount Hyjal, and level 4 finishes MH and goes to the Black Temple. Again, that’s nominal ‘so far’ – though I’ve gotten hints BT should actually be lower on the levels. Anyway….

In my eyes, a healer for Level 1 Raid needs to have minimums of:

  • Heal bonus – not less than 1000 as backup, 1200 for main
  • Health Pool/armor – 7000 at 10% armor mitigation, adjusted +/-100 per percent change in mitigation. Absolute minimum 6000 (20%) or 5% (7500).
  • Mana Pool – base min 9000, adjusted by mana regen, absolute min 8000.
  • Mana Regen – while casting base min is 100 mp5, with an absolute min of 90. For change of 1 your mana pool needs adjusted by 100 – so at 90 regen your mana pool minimum should be 10,000, while if you want to get by with 8000 mana pool your regen rate has to be at least 110 mp5. Due to the nature of raids, you can do SOME substitution of 5SR regen — for every 10 5SR regen above 250, you can reduce 5SR by 1 – never lower than 75. IN OTHER WORDS: you could have 75 mp5 in combat IF you have 400 mp5 O5SR WITH a 10,000 point mana pool. If you increased your O5SR to 500, you could reduce your mana pool minimum to 9000 — but your in combat mp5 is already at the floor and cannot be further reduced.
  • Minimum Extra – You want at least one more Greater Heal. Whether it’s the ability to do one more for free (mana) or some sort of haste that lets you get two off in the time of one or a mix thereof, I consider this the minimum ‘extra’ you should have available as a ‘use’ type trinket.

You see I devoted a lot of time to mana, and a fair amount to health/armor. Let me expand, not least because this will let you plan your gear at lower levels. And yes, I want this to work for people who aren’t level 70 as well.

Level 1 raid trash will do about 2000-2500 damage per hit against 10% mitigation. What I’ve set as minimum is a 50% chance of surviving one hit and one crit. Which also happens to be about one hit – no crit – from the majority of bosses. What this guidance means is that you can use the nominal damage of a hit from generic trash of your level of instance the same way. If they hit for 100 at a shot, then you need 300 health. 600? 1800 health. You get the idea. And armor mitigation rules apply pretty much the same.

Mana is a bit more complex, especially for lower levels. That’s because MP5 gear is higher level gear. So below 45 what matters is your 5SR regen. My guideline is: I want to generate enough mana for a greater heal inside 30 seconds. I am really working to get enough 5SR regen to make it with only 90mp5 in combat in level1 raids, but with the extra mana I’m requiring in balance it’s… possible. If you’re running most azeroth instances — and for that matter most non-raid outland instances — you can expect to get at least 50% of the time doing the Five Second Waltz, which means you can use your O5SR rate divided by 2 to guesstimate how many seconds it’s going to take to get the mana minimum.

So in the end, you need enough health plus armor to not die right off the bat, and enough mana and mana regen to not be OOM before the battle is over. That last depends on how long you expect the battles to last (four minutes at level 20? 10 at level 70?) and how many of what spells you expect to cast over that time. And that… deserves another post, or you spending time reading some other really good other bloggers, or both.

Next to last point — I think I have pretty much the LOWEST minimums of those I’ve seen. Frankly, this assumes you are a really, really good healer – and that you’re not going to be the primary healer, and that you have a really good tank. If any of those are not quite so true, raise the numbers. And even if they’re all true, these numbers are minimums, which means that there is no slack. If anything AT ALL goes wrong, you are in deep trouble – expect to die, and expect to risk a party wipe because of it.

Final point – Shadow is slightly different, but I think I’ll put it in a different post.

Oh – and don’t forget that all these numbers are guidelines. Don’t let them ruin your fun.


~ by Kirk on August 30, 2007.

9 Responses to “Gearing Up for Healers”

  1. Oh – and don’t forget that all these numbers are guidelines. Don’t let them ruin your fun.

    Excellent caveat. I can imagine a newly-minted Level 70 priest coming here, seeing those numbers (if her eyes don’t glaze over first *grin*), and hitting Esc – Delete Character – D E L E T E. 😉

    Seriously, good rules of thumb, and a good measuring stick for any heal priest to see if they have what it’s going to take to be effective in the “end game.”

  2. Now would you consider those numbers base stats or raid buffed? Because even now my health is around 6.7k unbuffed. But toss in all the goodies and I’ll hit a little over 8k.

  3. @Kestrel – I think anybody who reads more than one message will realize I’m an apprentice to the sandman (grin). Seriously, rule number one for this game is ALWAYS “If it’s not fun, don’t do it.”

    @Matticus – base stats. That is, what you have that doesn’t need a constant refresh/renewal. That you are 6.7 K is both encouraging and frightening – every other priest that’s your level (or higher) to whom I’ve spoken would be staggered at how ‘low’ your health is.

    On the other hand, bouncing it by 1.3K is pretty impressive. I get the impression that most of the aforementioned priests expect the buff to wind up in the 8K range, which means you’re getting MORE buff.

    I’ll be interested to see what we hear from other commentors as they drop by.

  4. […] off, some benchmarks are in order after reading Kirk’s ideal stat requirements for holy priests, I must respectfully disagree. Mind you, my guild is 3/6 SSC with Mag and VR on […]

  5. *grumble* Totally forgot to look at Osprey’s stats last night (as soon as I logged in, my tank said “Coilfang?”). But now with Matt’s article in hand too, I’ll do some analysis tonight. I’m afraid I’m going to find out I’m a bit of a gimp.

  6. 6k unbuffed at raid level 1 is probably fine. You’d expect to gain ~1k from PW:F, 200 from Mark of the Wild, and another 500-1k from Kings (if available). Plus you can use a stamina food for another 200 if you need.

    In SSC/TK I generally run around 8.5-9k buffed (with kings), and I find that works out pretty well.

  7. […] Two wipes later, we trekked back to Hydross. A colleague over at Priestly Endeavors published his own suggested requirements for raiding in terms of individual player stats.  At first I disagreed with him at the amount of […]

  8. […] Gearing up for Healers In my eyes, a healer for Level 1 Raid needs to have minimums of: […]

  9. […] Two wipes later, we trekked back to Hydross. A colleague over at Priestly Endeavors published his own suggested requirements for raiding in terms of individual player stats. At first I disagreed with him at the amount of […]

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