Category Archives: Healing Tips

Healer Coordination

In Wrath of the Lich King, an abundance of healers seems to have emerged. Regardless of raiding 10 or 25 man content, hard modes or normals, you work with at least one other healer out of at least 9 other people. Even though being in a successful raid requires coordination, something else goes into a successful healing team. Not only does it take coordination but it takes understanding and teamwork. Healing isn’t about generating threat or pressing the right buttons in the right order, it takes control and a particular level of understanding and attitude.

Healing Assignments

As much as people like to argue that these aren’t important, they are; even more so with inexperienced healers. They may not be needed for some who instinctively know what role to take, but for others they are a crucial point in understanding their role as a healer. Typical assignments allow for holy paladins and discipline priests for tank healing; shamans, druids, and holy priest are typically shifted towards raid healing. These are not concrete but are a standard “healing niche” that the class/spec falls into.

Regardless of spec or class, gear can also play a significant part in the role that someone is elected to fulfill. For example, 3 holy paladins in a 25-man, the lesser geared of the three is typically shifted to raid healing. I am a firm believer in skill > gear but it is true that it usually happens this way. If the run is with a set group of people, i.e. a guild, then take into consideration a healers strong suit when assigning their role as well; this theory is a little more difficult in PuGs.

The Attitude

You have to have the right attitude to work well with other people…for anything. Don’t ever think that your way is the best and only way! Don’t even let the words “it’s my way or the highway” form in your mind. Don’t ever say “You…do this.” Specifically, “You beacon so and so while I do this”. Why? Because you are stepping on the toes of their healing style. You’ve not taken into consideration anything about how they feel comfortable healing. It is also rude to assume they don’t know how to do their job. This type of attitude is also detrimental to encouraging new healers. Don’t push them to addons or macros, explain ways to better themselves but never push it. I do just fine without mouseover macros or healbot and I am sure they can too.

I beacon the tank I am healing so that I can always be situationally aware (which I will get to in a minute) and not falter on my specific job. Now there are fights that this is flexible for, like Dreamwalker, but for the most part, I do great doing it my way and for another paladin to push his/her way onto me makes me anxious, hasty, and falter a little.

There is an appropriate way to handle situations where things like beacon coordination is important but being an ass isn’t it.

There is also an appropriate way to encourage and help inexperienced players have better tactics but slamming them with orders and no explanations and not caring is not it either.

Compromise and coordination are important here; this allows for the shared ability of both people allowing comfort zones and a smaller window for error. Use your words to open up the discussion with the other healer(s).

Situational Awareness

I am not saying that having an addon here is required because the standard UI has them built in, but as a healer unit frames/windows are extemrely important. You should know where the tanks are in the frames as well as other healers. When a healer is having trouble keeping the raid up, it allows for you to spot cover them (benefit of beaconing your own tank), if a healer falls you know about it, etc. These frames allow you to know what is happening in your raid.

But you also have to be aware of what is happening in your immediate zone. Healers shouldn’t DIAF, stand in a frozen orb, etc. They should be able to know to move and heal accordingly. As a healadin, when you’re standing in a fire, holy shock is a great on the move…move. It allows you to go straight back into what you were doing before moving. It’s also spectacular for Marrowgar’s Bone Storm. The last thing you want to do is be so engulfed in healing that he eats you up and you get stuck in his teeth.

The Healing Role

It is important, that before you engage in healing, you understand some of the simple facts of healing. It is your own job to remind yourself that you are important, without you, the raid would inevitably die; but I can assure you, healing is a thankless job. Be prepared to face the “What happened there healers?” and the “OMG HEALZ PLZ!” or “MOAR HEALS!” You will be taken for granted. If not all the time, or if not in your guild, someone somewhere will make you feel like a failure.

It is important to know your class, know your spec, and know your role. It is even more important to be PROACTIVE than reactive. Be prepared and you will be good. Be willing to adjust and work well with your healing team you will be great.

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Filed under Healing Tips, Holy Paladin

Recycle A Post: Gylph Analysis

Since the release of 4.0.1, this information is outdated and you can find the current information by clicking here.

In light of Earth Day, Zelmaru has encouraged us to Recycle A Post. I have chosen my glyph analysis. It wasn’t a playful article but was one of my first informational posts for the holy paladin and I got some great tips on how to organize it. I also have received more insight on the use of the glyphs, so I wanted to rework these a little bit based on my expanded noggin! I hope this turns out better than the first one! I will also highlight (in green for Earth Day!) the changes that have been made for those who may have already read the original!

*******

The glyphs I use personally will be marked with **. I certainly hope that this helps people who are having a hard time making the glyph decision.

Majors

Glyph of Holy Light**: This glyph turns your biggest heal (Holy Light) into an Area-of-Effect (AOE) heal. I love this glyph. We are the only healing class that doesn’t have one and therefore are designed as tank/bomb healers (even though raid healing is possible). The glyph heals friendly targets within 8 yards for 10% of the holy light effect. It isn’t a lot but can make topping off the party while healing the tank a cinch. Furthermore, depending on your spec, should you be a HL spammer, this glyph is a must have.  Further analysis results in this glyph being highly valuable for the Valithria Dreamwalker fight. By using the Beacon on the boss, healing others, she also receives splash healing. This is highly recommended for all degrees of PVE healadins.

Glyph of Holy Shock: Coming back to this glyph I have had a change in thought. Holy Shock is a  part of my healing rotation, occasionally it can land for almost 11k with a critical effect. However, it isn’t so integral that 1 second makes much of a difference for my style; it can for others. It can also be paired well with the Libram of Binding Light. This is only recommended for healers who find themselves moving a lot, are dependent on Holy Shock, and have the libram.

Glyph of Flash of Light**: With this glyph your Flash of Light spell has an additional 5% critical strike rating. I no longer stand to feel this is a universal must-have. Today, so many paladins have 30k+ mana pools that mana effieciency doesn’t seem to be a problem, therefore limiting them to the spam of the Holy Light. With that in consideration, Flash of Light is no longer used making this a wasted glyph for some. However, for the PVP healadin, it is all but required as FoL is a central (if not only) focus.

Glyph of Seal of Light**: One of the paladin’s defining abilities is seals+judgements. As a holy paladin, judging to proc the talent Judgements of the Pure is a must! When it increases your spell haste by 15%, why wouldn’t you? Therefore, it is important to use an appropriate seal for healing. This glyph adds an extra 5% healing effect to any spell that you cast; it also has an appropriate counterpart (Glyph of Seal of Wisdom) that reduces mana costs of all spells by 5%. Depending on your heal style and your mana conservation abilities, either one of these glyphs should be required. You are already using a seal…why not get a buff from it? In addition, if you are a constant SoW user, I have been told that switching to glyphed SoL is extremely helpful in the Valithria Dreamwalker fight.

Glyph of Judgement: I know I said that judging as a healadin is important for the haste buff, but that doesn’t mean you need a damage buff to how much damage you are doing with a judgement. It isn’t your job as the healer to do the damage.

Glyph of Cleansing: Without this glyph, Cleanse costs 6% base mana to cast each time; the glyph reduces this by 20%. To show you a little math, I have 30,034 mana but I only have (last I looked) 7449 base mana. It takes (at 6% a cast) 447 mana to cast Cleanse. With the glyph it would take 358. In the grand scheme of things, it is about 1% of my total mana to cleanse. In raids, I run with many other healers who can abolish disease, cleanse, cleanse spirit, decurse, etc. The sole burden of cleansing (or even fights that don’t require cleansing), does not rest on me so much that I should worry about <100 mana cost. ((I am pretty fond of this in-depth analysis!))

Beacon of Light: Even though I do not use this glyph, I would say that it is still useful. A standard cast of Beacon of Light lasts 60 seconds. This glyph adds 30 seconds increasing the buff to a minute and a half. If you find yourself forgetful to re-cast Beacon, I strongly suggest this. However, as it does nothing else and you find you have excellent buff management ((see my addon post for help with Beacon timing in NeedtoKnow)), you may find other glyphs more suitable.

Glyph of Divine Plea: I know that as a holy paladin, you are probably popping Divine Plea every cooldown. But that doesn’t mean this glyph is for you. The reduced damage effect makes this a tank oriented glyph. I have also recently been asked about the efficiency/need to use Divine Plea; is it worth it as a healer? Of course, mana conservation is needed at all levels of healing. As a healer, the glyph is worthless, but try using Divine Plea + Avenging Wrath; this will help mitigate some healing percentage loss. Also, to avoid using this ability as much, utilize Divine Illumination to the best of your cooldown ability!

Glyph of Divinity: Lay on Hands gives the target burst health based on the casting paladin’s health and it also “…restores 1950 mana”. The glyph applies the same mana gain to you as it does the target. 1950 mana is barely over the cost of Holy Light. This glyph may also encourage you to use LoH as a mana regen ability which could later prove to cause a lot of trouble.  There are worse ones to have, but there are significantly better as well.

Minors

Glyph of Blessing of Wisdom**: This increases the buff timer of BoW on yourself making it 30 minutes. This is considerably helpful when running with another paladin who wants Blessing of Might. How? If you cast Greater Blessing of Might on the two of you, you can replace your own with a standard Blessing of Wisdom and still have a 30-minute buff. They can cast Blessing of Kings and everyone is happy. If you are leveling Holy and find your mana bringing a lot of downtime but you buff yourself with Kings, try using this and save some Symbols of Kings at the same time. I personally find this considerably handy as I begin to run with fewer paladins.

Glyph of Blessing of Kings**: Blessing of Kings is the most universal buff we have and unlike BoW, this glyph reduces the mana costs of BoK by 50%. The lowered mana cost can make buffing during a wipe recovery go considerably quicker. There aren’t many minor glyphs to choose from and even though you don’t get much from this, I still recommend it. In addition, when running with druids and making use of the battle resurrections, rebuffing the risen with the least amount of mana use is important. This is highly valuable for those in a progressive raiding guild.

Glyph of the Wise: “Reduces the mana cost of your Seal of Wisdom by 50%”. Even if you had to cast this in combat, it is a onetime deal and you have the buff though you usually buff before combat when you can regain your mana with water. Furthermore, if you don’t even use Seal of Wisdom, this is a useless glyph for you. The argument could be made that one switches from Seal of Light to Seal of Wisdom often, which is unnecessary. You should use the seal that you are glyphed to buff and alternate judgements rather than seals.

Glyph of Lay on Hands**: Get it. Don’t think twice about it. Unlike a reduced Holy Shock CD (1-sec, see above); 5 minutes on your Lay on Hands could make or break a fight. This glyph paired with the talent Improved Lay on Hands reduces the cooldown to 11 minutes.

Glyph of Sense Undead: If you want to waste a glyph slot, don’t do it with this. This could be a helpful leveling glyph while you are in Icecrown but it is not viable for end-game content as it is a damage buff to undead. Okay, I still don’t recommend it but I am going to change my stance that it is worthless. I still put my heart in soul into the 3 that I have but I am also a miner by trade. I NEVER use my Sense Undead ability. But if you do because you can track nothing else, it is okay to have this glyph. I put stock into using the others even if you don’t have mana concerns and especially if you have a higher damage output off-spec but if you want it, go for it.

When you are making the decision to glyph your holy paladin you should always have your play style in consideration. Ask yourself: “What kind of healer am I?” “How is my mana conservation and regen?” “What spells and abilities do I use the most?”  These questions will help you eliminate some of the choices making it an easier decision.

Reworking most of these, I have changed my opinion on some of them but stand strong and steadfast in the use of most of them. I still believe that you need to consider your personal playing style when trying to choose as well as your ability to manage cool-downs and mana.

The original post was written in February so I feel I have grown in writing, in healing, in everything and I hope this republishing helps those that still face this decision!

PS. Feel free to comment and let me know if you agree or disagree.

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Filed under Healing Tips, Holy Paladin, Paladin Guides

Beacon Who?

A Healadin’s Guide to Beacon of Light

As a Holy Paladin, you possess several defining spells and abilities that make you a strong healing force.  Many of the healing abilities are shared among all specs, but holy has one attribute that sets them apart: Beacon of Light.  In my journeys as a healing paladin, I have found that there are several different tactics in the use of Beacon and fights that require a particular use for the staple ability.

It is first important to understand what Beacon of Light actually does and why it is one of the most important spells in the holy paladin’s arsenal.  The in-game tooltip explains the spell effect as, “The target becomes a Beacon of Light to all members of your party or raid within a 60 yard radius.  Any heals you cast on party or raid members will also heal the Beacon for 100% of the amount healed.  Only one target can be the Beacon of Light at a time. Lasts 1 [minute].”  How does this translate to laymen’s terms? Simple; every, single point of healing done to one target also heals the Beacon for the same amount.  This ability also counts over-healing towards the beacon target as well.

This may not sound very flashy but this spell recently received an overhaul.  Prior to patch 3.2, Beacon of Light would only apply the effective healing done on a target.  The effective healing being only what is counted to take the target to full health, while anything over that is counted as over-healing. When the Beacon of Light went from effective to over-healing, holy paladins could see their Beacon targets healed for several thousand more than what was previously thought of as standard.

This change made a significant difference in solo healing instances and tank healing raid bosses.  As a paladin, finding the most comfortable way for you to use your Beacon is very important. Whether you find it helpful to Beacon the main tank, off-tank, or even yourself, there are certain fights that you may find beneficial to use it in a particular way. Knowing these will also be significantly helpful for the budding healer.

Garfrost in Pit of Saron 5-Man

Healing Garfrost the first time can prove to be quite a complication. There is a heavy combination of DPS always breaking line-of-sight and the tank running out of range to the forge.  As a paladin healer, should you have any doubts, need to Beacon the tank in this fight.  When he runs to the forge and is 20 feet away but bordering a flat line, you can break to heal yourself and attribute 100% of that effect to him. For that, it proves helpful to mark the tank with a vibrant raid mark so you can easily tell if he/she is in your LOS; the healing percent doesn’t apply if they aren’t. Tip to all: If you stack your debuff to 20+, you shouldn’t expect to stay alive.

Patchwerk in Naxxramas

Typically, as a healadin, you will find yourself assigned to heal a tank during this fight (or any fight for that matter).  When tank healing Patchwerk, it may be helpful to beacon the opposite tank of the one you are assigned to heal.  The reason for this is that in this fight, you are not healing anyone that isn’t your tank. Given this situation, your target will not benefit from Beacon heals.

Emalon in Vault of Archavon

I’ve seen Beacons used a variety of ways in this fight.  This is an adaptive placement fight so knowing where your tanks are in correlation to you is very important.  Occasionally, the tanks will bring the adds so far away from each other that it is impossible to heal both in emergencies.  If you are on the MT, your beacon is the only thing that can and will reach your far-out-there OT.  If you notice that his healers aren’t keeping the appropriate pace and he constantly taunts death, it is considerably efficient to Beacon him. However, if you are that far apart but your Beacon heals are just dumping into overheal, at this time you may find it helpful to Beacon yourself. Why? It seems that no matter where you go, if lighting nova doesn’t find you…chain lightening will. You should know to stand 10 yards from anyone…they probably don’t however and you are going to get slammed. Therefore, while never taking your aim from the tank you’re topped off again. It is also important to note, that in some occasions, raid healers think other healers should take care of themselves. I know, I know….

I hope that this small insight into successful Beacon use helps anyone and everyone.  I’ve been through a lot with its use from people telling me who to Beacon to other holy paladins thinking they are better than me.  But sometimes, you have to do what is right for your healing style, catastrophe could be waiting if you don’t.



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Filed under 5-Man & Raids, Healing Tips, Holy Paladin