The flip side: Resto Shaman Craziness

Normally, I present info from the uni-directional point of view of da tank, and tank alone.

I certainly try and keep an open mind and look at things from different angles, but until I’ve been there, it’s hard to have specifics.

This time, I’ve got a few things that playing a new healer in heroics has brought to my attention that I thought would be fun to discuss.

First, I’m not really new to healing. I dual-specced my Druid quite a while back, got setup with Tree healing, and I love it. It is the absolute perfect accompaniment to the Bear tanking mindset; highly mobile, pre-emptive, heal them before they even know they needed it kind of healing.

As a Bear tank, one of our strengths is the mobile AoE. We like to run and gun. 🙂

As a Tree healer, our greatest strength (in my opinion) is the predominance of instant cast HoTs. We can also run and gun. We’re all about running and.. well, and leafing along. Why look… synergy.

As a Tank in instances, if I see I have a Tree healer, I know that I can remain mobile and healing can continue as normal. I’m not irritating the healer by always being on the move. I watch mana levels on the party as I pull, but I know that I won’t be leaving a swearing healer in my wake.

I’ve got a Priest that I had healed with a few times back in Burning Crusade before I went Shadow, so I know about that a little bit. And Cassie has a max level Paladin that she plays Ret and Holy in groups, and who has raid healed a few times, so I know a bit about that healing style from watching her and hearing her side of things. I know that being a healer whose main healing spells have relatively long cast times can be annoying, and even stressful if the tank doesn’t take that into account on things like Culling of Stratholme.

Now, I’ve just completed a slew of heroics as a new Shaman healer to give me a fresh perspective.

Here is the one suggestion I’d like to make when you go in to tank with an unknown healer; remember that not every healer uses instant cast spells.

Yes, every healer can follow along and keep up when tanks hustle through instances. Tree healers have an easier time of it than the others, but just taking the Shaman as an example, Lesser Healing Wave is pretty darn powerful, and with appropriate levels of haste on your gear, it’s relatively speedy. Riptide is a nice instant cast, and Nature’s Swiftness plus Chain Heal or Healing Wave gives you another big instant hit if things are moving fast and you just CAN’T take 2.5 seconds minus haste to get a normal Chain Heal off.

But the thing is, while all healing classes can heal on the run and do it very well, remember that there is a timing sequence here, and as has been pointed out by so many people, tanks set the pace of the run.

Everything flows from the tank. The tank runs fowards, the rest follow along. We’ll not linger overlong on DPS that run forward to attack before the tank does to hustle things along, okay? There is a special place in hell reserved just for them.

The tank runs forward, as I said, followed by the DPS who engage the mobs, followed by the healer, who catches up, stands still and remains poised to heal. Or immediately launches into healing and healing and healing.

If the healer has long cast time heals they want to use, they may begin pre-emptive casting, and then move at the last moment to interrupt their own heal so as not to waste mana.

Mana on a long cast is spent when the spell goes off, and not at the start of casting. As I’m sure everyone knows, you can begin casting your 2.5 second long heal while everyone is still at full at the start of the pull, and if the target just happens to take damage, you can let it go off looking like a healing genius… and if the target’s still at full, you can hop in place and break your own cast to save mana. No harm done, right?

I’m only bringing this up because if you, the tank, run up and grab mobs, then the DPS runs up and opens up on them, then the healer runs up and stops and begins casting… if the mobs are dead 2 seconds later and the tank takes off again, that 2.5 second cast time heal ain’t going off before your butt is out of range. At the very least, if everyone runs off the millisecond that the mobs are dead, and the mobs die like they have been from the uber-DPS people have these days, then sometimes not everyone is healed back up from party damage. Ya’all take off while the healer was still casting his second spell.

Now the healer has to start running again to catch up, not everyone is at full, and start falling back on super fast casts and instant casts only to try to get folks topped up before the next pause, or start out at a negative on the next group.

Does it matter? 90% of the time, no. But it can be stressful, and why should you stress the healer for nothing?

When it does matter is when the tank grabs tons of mobs because, oooh look, I’m a rock star, the DPS gleefully blows them up, and then the tank, at 50% health, Feral Charges himself directly at the next big pack, or packs, or even better rounds a corner and charges the boss when you were still trying to get your long cast off. 

Healers just love it when you start a boss fight when everyone is still at around 50% health or less, and the healer has been chain casting to catch up.

Again, it’s not a big deal, no reason to whine, most healers will be bored if you slow down too much.

There is a lot of satisfaction to be felt in running at top speed as a healer, keeping everyone alive and near full all the time without needing a pity break. It’s something the healers I know take pride in, in not needing everyone to be waiting around on the healer.

But it’s something to be aware of if you’re the tank, and the only thought in your mind is “Gotta get the aggro. The aggro. Gotta get the aggro.”*

You may be having a great time running around grabbing lots of stuff, and holding aggro, and having a fast run. The DPS may be loving the pace.

But the healer may just be feeling a little stressed having to chain cast long cast time spells non-stop, and not getting a moment to catch their breath because if they ain’t casting, they’re drinking for two seconds before getting up and running along after you again.

Really, all it takes is saying, “Hey, if my pace is too fast, just let me know, okay? I can hold off for a second for mana or heals. No problem.”

I bet if you say that, then again, you’ll almost never hear anyone say anything. But at least the healer knows you give a shit.

And it can also help you identify asshat DPS that throw a hissyfit at the very idea you might pause for anything, anything at all. I like to know who they are for my ignore list. 🙂

For the record, I’m not going to post my Shaman’s name or a link just now, because while it’s not any big secret (or all that hard to figure out), my gear right now ain’t anything anyone needs to see.

I ran a bunch of heroics, but I took most of yesterday off to do something else; level Enchanting on my Shaman from 0 to 315, on my way to 350.

I got stopped by the need for a gazillion Arcane Dust, but since none of my gear had been enchanted yet after just dinging 80, I just cast them on myself over and over.

I really don’t need somebody following a character link, and then being an asshat because I’ve got a +1 Stam enchant on my bracers, or a Mana Prime on my chest piece, ya know? I’ve been buying the big ticket end game enchants on gear that’s going to last, like my Zom’s shield, but that’s about it.

Once my enchanting is done, yes I’m sure I’ll replace those enchants. If I was in all epics, then I might leave them just to freak people out, but when my gear is all starter stuff, I don’t have any room to have stupid enchants as a goof.

Anyway, I did have a lot of fun healing on my Shaman, and aside from my very first run, they were all smooth as could be. Well, aside from a Drak’theron Keep run, bt that was mostly due to some mid-run sillyness and joking. 🙂

It was pretty amazing, how much of a difference there is in a tank’s pace. A little pause between pulling big groups of just a second or two, no more, makes a huge difference on a healer with long cast times in staying on top of everything without feeling too rushed.

Halls of Lightning, Oculus a couple times, Utgardt Keep, Utgardt Pinnacle, Gundrak a few times, Drak’theron Keep… I saw a nice range of places, and they were all fun. None of them were any problem at all, but tank pace and placement counts for so much in making the difference between a fun run and a stressful one.

More updates will follow… after my Enchanting gets better. 🙂

*For those that remember those old Dunkin Donuts commercials with the old guy that walked around in a daze waking up to go and make the donuts… “Gotta make the donuts, the donuts, zzzz”

26 thoughts on “The flip side: Resto Shaman Craziness

  1. When my schedule precluded me from raiding much on my tree I decided to roll a few new alts, one of which is a resto shaman. I found healing as a raman to be quite fun and similar enough to my tree healing that I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the learning curve. My approach was to associate similar spells to the same keybindings (ie a left click on my druid is rejuvenation, a left click on my shaman is earth shield). Other similar spells were abolish poison = cleanse spirit, nourish = lesser healing wave, swiftmend = riptide, wild growth = chain heal, lifebloom = gift of the naaru, innervate = mana tide totem and so forth. Healbot is also handy because using the standard and group skins it shows an icon for your earth and water shields on the player’s gridbox as well as how many charges are left. One other thing I’ve found helpful while doing a lot of 5 man dungeons is to use nature’s swiftness + chainheal instead of the standard nature’s swiftness + greater heal. If you’re keeping riptide up on the tank this is a freakin awesome combination that heals the tank a good chunk and will avoid squishy melee deaths like when the dps choose to stand in the whirlwind/fire . . . of course that never happens anymore 😛


  2. Hey Bear,

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Shammy healing! I can’t think of anything more fun than that, at the moment, though blasting stuff on an Arcane Mage comes close. (No offense, but until I get a little further up in levels – I’m only 32 right now – Druid tanking has been a real… um… er… bear. I hope I can get a little more used to it in the future, ’cause I think I’d like that – it would be really a departure from tanking on my DK.)

    Some keys to remember that helped me out a bunch… Use Riptide a lot. PowerAuras your Tital Waves effect so you can tell when you’ve got hasted Healing Waves. Use Chain Heals primarily on the melee – use Lesser Healing Waves and Healing Waves on the ranged unless you know they’re close to each other.

    Power Auras your Earth Shield. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget that, especially if you have multiple shammy healers in a raid, even with an addon like Healbot. Oh, and macro your Earth Shield and spell power trinkets together to put up one-button ‘Supercharged shields’.

    Chain Heal spam is dead. Long live priority systems. Tidal Wave hasted Healing Waves are good! Don’t ever let anyone tell you you don’t use Chain Heal enough. (My Resto Shammy ex-raid leader used to tell me that. The other Resto Shaman in our raid – who was better than the RL – told me to heal as I was comfortable, and as long as my charges were still standing at the end of combat, I did fine. Now I have a good balance, and my mana efficiency is much better than my ex-RL’s ever was.)

    Have a great DPS spec, too. My greatest asset in my raids is the ability to swap to Elemental and provide both an extra buff or two (Totem of Wrath, and I still have Bloodlust), for those fights (usually trash, but Saurfang also comes to mind) we only need two healers in our 10-man raidforce. I can heal, and do pretty well on the DPS side, so that makes me extremely versatile to our raidforce composition.

    Coordinate your totems with DKs, Paladins, Hunters, and other Shammies. Be efficient – try not to overlap whenever possible.

    Last, don’t be stingy with Mana Tide Totem. Use it liberally, based on the fights at hand, and try to set up close to mana users so they can all benefit from it. Like I call out to our Druid healer for Innervates from time to time, expect to hear casters call for Mana Tide.

    And check out Shields Up! I know the site’s not being updated, for the most part, anymore, but they have a great article on Mastering Resto Shaman Healing. It did wonders for my playstyle.

    It’s a fun class to heal in. I’ve not much experience in others, yet, but I have a blast on my Shammy. Can’t wait to see how Druid healing compares, and maybe I’ll work on a Pally or Priest? Healing just seems to be in my blood.

    Oh, wait, so is tanking. Can’t wait to get to more advanced Bear Tanking, too.

    Good job on 80, BBB, and good luck out there as a Resto Shammy.

    My 2 yen,

    .-= Akiosama´s last blog ..Does (or Does Not?) Play Well With Others =-.


  3. Regarding speed runs: I think it’s a lot of fun on my tree healer in places I know well. The best example I have is Ugarde Keep because I know it so well. The first two pulls speak volumes about how well the group will do.
    Like someone wrote above, there are signals of readiness. If it feels like it’s going to be easy and a speed run, I usually run just a little in front of the mobs around the tank signaling that I’m ready to go. Tank pulls, dps AoEs, I put heals on all five of us …. and run just a little ahead of the pull and wait. When the tank runs on, I”m beside and then stop cold before he runs in. I jump too sometimes but don’t want to signal impatience.
    For the records, I like a tank who stops for a moment before the pull. It somehow shows consideration or respect for the game. And a peeve I have is to see that skull pop up on the target to be downed after the pull has begun, sifting through a pack of mobs to find the skull is a pain. As a healer, I’ll sometimes put the skull icon on the first Chaotic Rift in Nexus to remind everyone; if they choose to respond it is their own business.
    I enjoy this thoughtful blog and try to read and keep up with the thoughts and philosophies of the Big Bear Butt Blogger.


  4. Kayeri — But what if you were bored and wanted to go faster? I often find myself bored in the first round of heroics, and wouldn’t mind having the pace picked up a bit. At least he asked!!

    Now, if you had already asked someone to slow down and they don’t that’s a whole ‘nother thang.


  5. Well… all of that kind of feeds back into what I mentioned before as the ‘power’ of a healer… If I think the tank is going too fast and he is ignoring a polite request to slow down a bit so I can loot, well… he’s been warned, if he gets out of my range it’s HIS problem, not mine, I’ll heal him when I get there and if he’s dead by then, well… maybe he’ll have learned that tanking without your healer in your back pocket is not a good thing! These days, tanks can honestly get through quite a few trash pulls with no heals, so we rarely have an issue. I was getting really annoyed with a pug tank in a H-Nexus one day several weeks ago, and then he actually asked if I was bored because he could go faster! I told him, “You go faster, and I wont be there to save your sorry hide.” He shut up after that and remarkably, the pace even slowed a bit. 🙂


  6. On my Holy priest (now dual-spec Shadow cause I needed to actually kill stuff doing the Hodir rep grind, and have grown to love the spec), I use a stopcasting macro on my heals instead of the jump, or Esc method of stopping a big heal from finishing

    /cast Greater Heal

    do the same for Flash Heal, and you can decide to let the big heal fly, or start it again instantly (not having to wait the 0.5 seconds it takes you to land), or you can fire off the quicker Flash Heal if the target is heading south at a rate of knots. Not sure if this is possible with Vuh’du.

    But these macros don’t help you keep up with a superstar warr tank who charges his way from one end of CoS to the other and wonders why he’s not getting any heals when he arrives 10 seconds before you do.


  7. I ❤ my healy shaman! 🙂

    One thing that irritates me as far as tank pacing goes, is when they pull a bunch of mobs, then the instant they're dead, run off and don't give you time to loot any of them. At all.

    Some of us actually do have a reason – leveling tailoring, for instance, or just not liking to do dailies so those few silver from each mob add up to several gold by the end of the run.


  8. Hey Bear, welcome to, from what I’ve seen, is the most fun option on healing available. Hopefully you’ll remember the instance runs that we did with my priest, and as disco I was close to the feeling, but when I started healing on my shaman, it all fleshed out. The franticness of Shaman healing. It is AWESOME. I love the feeling of racing the death of the tank with my gigantic heals, especially in places like H HoR and in IC10. That’s good times right there. Of course, dumping instant cast 20k heals feels friggen awesome too.


  9. If you’ve just set up a new heal mod like vuhdo or healbot, or just new to healing period, jump into a battleground to work out the kinks (I prefer AV). Much less stressful for all involved because hey, they expect to die anyway 😉


  10. Nice blog ive just turned feral tank/resto on my druid Jackgoff on Azjol-nerub EU servers. I also have a few other 80s a paladin which is Tank/Holy and a Dk witch is tank/dps and a Disc/holy priest. Im currently leveling a shaman witch ive just hit 37 and im bored out of my mind. I cant decide wether to delete it or go and buy the resto/elemental gear and duel spec that way instead of resto/enhance. I dont know how people leveled shamans there so repetative, i guess in tbc before the nerf to windfury they were alot more fun. Just wanted to say nice blog and the only advice i can give you for new healer – is to blow ur regen cooldowns when its possible more than oftern slightly before you need them, i VERY rarely need to hit innervate on druid, usually i use it on a mage if theres one in the group that also helps keeping things moving more dps they squeeze out less you have to heal. Its not just all based on the tank and healers these runs are hugely effected by rogues using tricks of the trade and hunters using miss direct that can profoundly increase the speed ur running thru heroics. Most of the time on my hunter i reach 6-7k dps and when a tank sees you pre emptivly feigning death and miss directing every other pull you get a whiper or 2 saying thanks for the run at the end.

    @Asara if ur thinking of trying healing on your priest to get some gear up then i would seriously tell you to start off as Disc spec you will not go oom its pretty much impossible and since they made changes to remove the cooldown on shield you can mitigate most incomming damage to dps aswell by just shielding them before most bossfights, you will be able to give out 20 % haste buff to ur caster making the run go quicker my gears not amazing look for Speshul on armory if you want ideas on spec/glyphs. You will also notice i gemmed alot for +int on that gear ive logged out on for you that means a hell of alot of regen from repleneshment. Id advise the same for paladins but not druids 😀


  11. I started as a bear tanking with my friends (yes – I play with friends) and went tree to accommodate some of my friend’s desires to alternate roles. Have enjoyed both immensely. My alt is an enhanced shaman that I recently dual specced resto. WHAT a difference in healing! I am totally comfortable tree healing regardless of the tanking speed/uber dps group while the shaman healing experience is TOTALLY dependent upon the group.

    Forge of Souls (the ramp) and Hall of Reflections (the waves) chew my shaman up. Getting better at them but it’s always a challenge. Conversely, it’s calm, cool and collected as a tree. Perhaps there’s a clue there for me…


  12. I started healing on my shammy last night, too! While my character has been geared for it (I wouldn’t do it until I had a full set of T9 healing gear + shield from Pit of Saron + enchants etc etc), I’m a prot pally main and have been playing enhancement as a shaman, it wasn’t something I figured would be a big deal. In my mind, I figured I’d queue for a normal, then my heals would be big enough to keep the party up no problem, bing bang boom right?

    Oh, then I got Forge of Souls.

    I cursed under my breath when we got in. I warned the tank I had never healed before because my main’s a tank, and he offered to go slow for me. The run was smooth — though I learned a few things. One, I need to take a better look at my heals, because I was casting whatever would get the job done and not necessarily what was the best heal for the time. Two, I’m REALLY not a fan of healbot, so I might need to give vuhdo a try.

    It’s been a lot of fun though. 🙂 Think I’ll try more tonight.


  13. Part of the problem, as I am sure you are aware, is that a lot of tanks see a shaman healer and proceed forward as though they are dealing with a raider, rather than someone who is still gearing up. My haste has reached the point where I can drop a Healing Wave on you for 20k in 1 second – so the tank CAN barrel along without a thought in the world about whether I can keep up or not. For a new healer, however, that heal will take 2.5 seconds – and will not hit nearly as hard.

    Also – before anyone goes off and merrily copies the most popular shaman builds, etc, please remember that the really popular ones will likely be raider builds – and assume a minimum level of gear. As one of the biggest problems facing a newer shaman healer is mana regen, one of the biggest suggestions that I can make is get your hands on the watershield glyph – the one that increases regen – and use that until your actual regen hits a high enough level that it is no longer necessary. Likewise, take some time considering whether you want to buy the enhancement weapons talent from the enhancement tree over some of your other options – this particular talent is pretty marginal when you’re raiding because of the stats you will have already acquired, but when you are just starting out it can make a big difference.

    The Resto shaman tree is one of the talent trees that requires different approaches to gearing as your gear improves. Once you start acquiring T9, you’ll likely subscribe to the NEED MOAR HASTE crowd, but remember that until you hit a minimum gearing level haste is not your most desireable stat.


  14. On levelling enchanting: don’t forget you can buy vellums (or have a friendly neighborhood inscriptionist make you some). Low level enchants do actually sell on the AH, and it never hurts to have stacks of them around in the guild bank for the hordes of levelling alts sure to come in the expansion.


  15. When I’m tanking a 5 man, I always wait for the cue that the healer is ready. All the healers have one. Priests have Prayer of Mending, maybe PW:S, Shammies have poo shield, Pallies have Bacon and Divine Shield, and usually Druids will toss a rejuv at me. I always check healer mana before I pull, and wait for one of those indicators.

    I love it when overzealous DPS decides to pull before I do. I make sure to protect my healer, but I NEVER take their mobs. If they pull them, they can tank them. Best thing ever is when it’s a Hunter/Rogue who tries to MD/Tricks me. They forget you can click the buff off. MD/Tricks is great for threat when you use it after I pull, but if you pull that crap on me, be prepared for a face full of pain.


  16. Heheh good catch Sarabian, that was it, “Time to make the donuts”… blame it on my old brain. As soon as I saw you write that, I knew you had it.

    Asara, for you and anyone else that is thinking of picking up healing for the first time in a long time and is nervous, here is my recommendation no matter what class or spec you want to try;

    First, and I can’t stress this enough, go to Curse and install the Talented addon. It looks like a simple “show all your talent trees at once” addon, but it’s great strength is in allowing you to /inspect someone else, and it automatically saves their current talent spec as a template. You can view those templates, and even save them, edit, them, whatever you’d like. YOu can also go to Wowhead of the WoW armory, go to the talent spec of your choosing, and by copying that link, import that spec entirely into Talented and save it. There is an “import from wowhead/wow armory” feature that works perfectly.

    Then, you can clear your current spec at the trainer, and then choose to “apply spec”, instantly speccing how you planned in advance. Seen someone named as top DPS raid rogue on MMO Champion? Go to see him at WoW Armory, copy his talent spec, import it into Talented, and study it in comparison to yours, or apply it, whatever you’d like.

    The next thing I’d suggest is view one of the websites that pulls talent tree and glyph information from WoW armory and ranks them based on most popular.

    The one that I use is WoW Popular, but there are others as well. You can go to WoW Popular, choose class and spec, and even style (like PvP or PvE) and it will give yo a list of talent specs ranked by most used, and going down the column it lists how they vary one from the other (3 points lost, here, gained there, etc). And it also provides WoWhead spec links.

    So if you want to start somewhere, have no idea whats up, you can install Talented, go to WoW Popular, put in Shaman – Resto – PvE, click the link on the top used spec to go to WoWhead’s talent trees, copy that, import it into Talented and apply it at once… or compare it to yours to see how their choices compare to what you did or intended to do.

    WoW Popular also lists Glyphs by rank.

    Finally, install Vuh-do or another healing helper of your choice, line up a list of all your appropriate spells, and figure out which ones you’d want the handiest and make those easiest to trigger quick. Practise on your self, or on your spouse/guildies doing a couple quests to get the hang of whether you feel comfortable popping Lesser Healing Wave x 4 then popping Chain Heal, and if you need an oh shit Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Wave combo, that they flow very well together and you will be able to pop them when under stress in a rush, which is when you’ll find you need it.

    Does this replace knowing what you’re doing and performing your own research?

    Good lord, no!

    In fact, it could be HORRIBLE!!!

    What this does is just give you what the herd is doing… and you’re putting your faith in the idea that everyone else knows what they’re doing.

    Yeah…. sends chills down your spine, doesn’t it?

    But when you are an empty vessel wondering where to start… at least this gives you a solid place to start. Want to know how to spec your PvP Frost Mage? You can get the most popular Frost PvP mage spec, apply it, and then study what they’re doing to reverse engineer the why… and decide if you agree or not.

    Nothing can replace using your head and knowing how things work, but it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

    I spent more time messing with Vuh’do, lining up all my potentially useful spells and sticking them where I felt they would be as accessible as I needed them than anything else, and then practising until I was confident that when the situation called for Chain Heal, by gosh they got a Chain Heal, and when Earth Shield dropped I could pop it back on instantly, and that my Cleanse was right where I wanted it.

    Only thing I hadn’t got set up in a friendly fashion at first was Water Shield refreshes… it kept dropping off me, and only by looking at my portrait could I tell.

    I eventually found Curse had a Water Shield addon, and all it did was give me a window on my UI that I could mopve around that showed me how many charges my shield had left in big bold colored text. I stuck that window right in my bottom center field of view, and by gosh I don’t ever have Water Shield go away anymore.

    Kinda like my Viperwatch addon for my Hunter… sometimes, I just need a club upside my head to stay on track.


  17. I already made the donuts!

    My priest hit 80 recently, and I’ve been thinking of breaking out of Shadow to try healing on her. It’s the only part of the game I really haven’t tried yet, apart from some at-level dungeons on an old alt waaaay back in the day. I thought I was nervous about learning how to tank on my paladin, but that pales in comparison. I’m not sure if I have the mentality for it, but again, I thought the same thing about tanking, and as much as I still prefer to DPS, I do enjoy getting beat in the face quite a bit too.

    Perhaps I’ll get hubby to walk me through VuhDo and give it a whirl. It can’t hurt to try, right?


  18. This post really resonates with me. I dinged 80 on my paladin saturday and re-specced my secondary talent tree from prot to holy, as I’ve never had a healer and want to try it out. So I respecced, threw on holy friendly quest greens and blues that I’d accumulated from 70-80, set up my action bars and glyphed myself out with the best holy pally glyphs. But I never actually did a dungeon because I was having a little anxiety about my first ever healing pugs with literally no healing experience. I plan on conquering my anxiety tonight and doing a few normal runs. Once I’m confident in my healing abilities and have gotten a few gear upgrades I’ll brave the crazy fast paced world of heroics.


  19. Small FYI – It was “Time to make the donuts”

    I agree with you on your points as well. I have tanks and a shaman healer. The main thing that made me a better tank? Having a healer. Main thing that made me a better healer? Having a tank.

    Nice writeup, Bear.


  20. I run as a bear tank primarily but I always like to refresh my view on what it is like for other people in a group. My original main was a holy priest but I haven’t played him as anything other than shadow for 3+ years now. I broke him out of mothballs recently figuring I could get him some gear and see what healing is like in northrend. I go out and buy my second spec (yes it has been that long hehe) and spec him holy. I buy some boes on the AH to get started (giving me something like 3300 gearscore) and select a random heroic. My nightmare was that the first one to come up was Trial of the Champion…/cry. I was amazed how much damage that everyone in the group takes. I would go oom halfway through a fight and then people would just die. After a couple of wipes and my sincerest apologies to the group on several occasions, we managed to finish off the instance but wow that was stressful. I know that most of it was probably that I was just really rusty at healing and was slightly undergeared (I think) for that instance, but I never remember having that much aoe damage going around before. Needless to say I have a newfound respect for today’s healers. It is way harder than I remember it.


  21. I’m raising a pally healer—level 72 now. A group that moves too fast on a Holy Light specced Paladin is a group that won’t be up for too long. Fortunately, at the pre-80 level, most groups can’t outpace me, but there have been more than a few times where I’ve had to resort to Divine Favor’d Holy Shock > instant FoL just to keep somebody up while they move. It’s also important to remember that even if a healer can stand still long enough to throw off a heal, if you cut it too close, the first silencing/charging/mortal striking mob you come across may lead to a wipe.

    Communication between heals and tanks is what’s important here. There’s never any harm in asking the tank to slow down.


  22. When I’m tanking on my death knight, I will -always- stop for a second or two after a pull. The DPS might complain I’m going too slow, but really? I don’t care. The only time I rush through pulls is if the healer is the one telling me to “Gogogo”. (Which actually did happen the last run I was in >.>)
    .-= Sarai´s last blog ..Got a post around here somewhere… =-.


  23. I’ve found that the mobility issue is a large factor in how comfortable I feel healing in general. I have a holy priest & a holy pally, and sometimes I get downright frantic with the pally. Sure, the cast times aren’t LONG, but they’re long enough to have to stand still. If you get out of range, first my cast errors, then I have to move to you, then I have to start casting again. What normally happens is I stop to recast when I’m in range, but by the time the cast goes off, they’re out of range AGAIN. With my priest I feel I can reposition more favorably because on the way I can bounce some heals.

    I think my biggest pet-peeve in the tanking/healing relationship that occurs in 5-mans is that tanks can sometimes take it as an OFFENSE to ask them to slow down so you can get mana, buff, rez, top people off, etc. I’ve literally had a tank get disgruntled that I needed to rez someone who died because they forgot to tank something. I swear I’ve seen more tanks who think the casters in the first pulls of Old Kingdom will tank themselves.


  24. I also have a resto druid who I sometimes bear/kitty with and a relatively new resto shammy. I totally agree with you on the mobility aspect, its why I love my druid. Actually just last night I was healing Blood Princes for the first time (I was the only pugger in a guild run) and I was able to heal the range tank much more effectively than the guild resto shammy, despite being specced/glyphed for raid heals, because the tank had to run all around the large room picking up orbs.

    Some things though I’ve found were much easier to heal on the shaman. AN for example is a breeze compared to druid (I used to refuse healing AN on my druid at lower level gear) and also I found HoR easier on the shammy with a combination of cleansing totem and chain heal.


  25. In leveling my healer I’ve been running a lot of the same instances over and over. It’s amazing the difference the tank makes from a healer’s point of view. Some runs I don’t have to stop to drink, except maybe just before a boss fight to top off. Running the same instance again 5 minutes later, I am out of mana on every pull and often losing one or two DPS.

    Tips for new tanks from a healer:
    1. Make sure you’re in your tanking spec / stance/ form / aspect
    2. After finishing the classic instances, at least aim for the defense cap for the content you’re tanking.
    3. Say something if you’re new to tanking. I can plan my heals appropriately and maybe, possibly, theoretically the DPS will hold back a little so you can cement aggro.
    4. Have an idea of your threat rotations for single targets and AOE pulls.


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