A healer technique into which I stumbled

I am, as I’ve noted before, not the top heal-person in my guild. And as I’ve also noted, we’re… surprisingly heavy in healers (in a lot of ways, with some peculiar exceptions such as the “heavy” is paladins). Anyway…

Because we’re so heavy in paladins, there’s an interesting development which has, for lack of a better word, “happened”. Basically, Healadins get assigned to Tank Heal – not least because they are unsurprisingly resistant to the consequences of getting too close. (And if they pull aggro, they don’t … squish as easily.) We’ve also got a couple of healing Druids. So here’s what happens…

Healadins have The Tanks, plus a bit of watch on others nearby. Druids have the Big Group. And me, the priest? I am – shockingly – the safetynet. I cast almost zero Greater Heals. It’s all speedwork to hold the fort till the other guys catch up.

I was in a raid the other night, and almost 3/4 of my casts were renews. One of the biggest reasons for the renew was a lot of damage was DOT damage. I wasn’t really healing anyone from the damage of which the DoT was a followon. What I was doing was holding the line till the other healer could fix the rest of it.

Most of the rest? Flash. Plus tossing the occasional frisbee to the main tank. A prayer of mending once or twice.

Now there happens to be two very, very nice benefits to this tactic as well as a couple of frustrations. Benefits first.

a) My aggro level was tiny. I, the squishy healer, only got touched by randoms or AoEs. (When a mob spawns next to you just as your four renews tick, you ARE George. It’s something on which I’ll have to work, later.)

b) I had a huge manapool remaining later in the battle. Sure, I’d do flurries of spam-renew, but then I’d be dancing the five second waltz. And since I use a lot less mana for renew than GH, the dance didn’t need to go as long before I was ready again. Which meant that when one of the frontliners gave a LOM/OOM call, I was able to hold for a bit till they re-upped. Of course, since they were getting these bumps from my renewals they weren’t going out as fast, either.

Altogether a very viable technique. As I said, there are frustrations.

a) numbers always matter to some people. Little heals means little numbers means… teaching certain decision makers that Quality of heals is -for healers – more important than Quantity. Which is harder since Renew inevitably has an overheal. Slightly countering this? My overheal rate for renew was under 10%. The AoE and DoT and other spread damage was coming frequently enough to make renew’s later ticks used instead of wasted.

b) I really, really want Circle of Healing, even as gimped as it is. It fills a desperately useful supplement for this technique But to do so I would have to give up Improved Divine Spirit, and the casters have come to be really fond of the extra spelldamage. Even more important, giving it up would cut deeply into my mana regen. 23 in Disc and 41 in Holy is 64 is, well, three talent points too many. mutter. mutter.

Anyway, feel free to share techniques you’ve done, used, or encountered. Or improvements, or…

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~ by Kirk on September 17, 2007.

4 Responses to “A healer technique into which I stumbled”

  1. Do it Kirk! Spec Circle of Healing! :D You might like in raids, you never know until you try. Unless you’re the only Priest with Imp. DS in which case, fights might go 10% longer then they would otherwise. Oops.

    But yeah, isn’t it great to just sit there and renew with your mana maximized? The lack of aggro grain is also to die for. You’re sitting in there with tank aggro at some obscene high number like 113k while yours is at 40k or something.

    While you’re right on the fact that our numbers may never surpass a Paladin’s in terms of healing, at the end of the day, the boss is dead, right?

  2. I hear ya on the CoH! I’d love to have it, but I just can’t give up Imp DS. I’m the only priest… :-(

  3. On the raids I’ve run, I’ve been sole priest about 75% of the time. And when there are two of us, the other one has had CoH.

    So sadly, I’ll refrain. Because for raid and for personal, the utility of IDS is slightly better than that of CoH.

  4. Honestly, I would love to have a priest go CoH. Paladins and druids specialize in covering tanks. But there are a lot of fights where many people take splash damage, and having someone good at cleaning up splash damage for multiple people at a time is ideal. Shamans with chain heal or priests with CoH are awesome at this.

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