3. General Raid healing Advice
General advice on healing raids.
Read part 1 of this guide about how our healing spells work, as there is a lot of advice specific to each spell in each description. Your talents and how much responsibility you have with regards to tank healing will also modify your healing strategy. I will update this strategy section once we have seen more level 100 healing strategies emerge.
General healing strategy change for level 100:
They greatly increased health pools relative to the size of your healing spell output. They also reduced the amount of burst damage that people take. This means that when we are running 5-person groups with our guild’s Death Knight tank, the best health level we’ve found to keep him at is around 75% (where his own survivability tools are more helpful, he’s not in true danger of death, and risk of over-healing is lower). Keeping our Death Knight tank topped off at 100% all the time (when he is using his tanking cooldowns) tends to just drain healer mana and create healer stress for no real good reason. If you are with a tank who isn’t using their cooldowns, however, this places a lot more stress on the healer – and the healer has to work harder to compensate (at which case, you may need to keep the tank at a higher health total to compensate for them failing to do their job).
In raids, a similar mana-related problem will likely happen at lower gear levels. Your healers generally can’t afford to keep all raid members at 100% health all the time in terms of their mana pool, and they are not rewarded for the super spammy healing style, anyway. Thus, Heal Over Time spells are particularly powerful when they are getting more time to tick on wounded players (rather than ticking and over-healing after people are constantly topped off). Resist the temptation to spam direct healing spells over your HOT spells, as you want to avoid wasting mana for tons of needless overhealing. Instead, allow your HOTs to do the bulk of your healing, and save direct heals primarily for tanks or people below approximately 70% health who need to get boosted out of the danger zone (though this ‘danger zone’ health % number will vary from encounter to encounter). This change in healing strategy is also why I dislike Genesis as a healing spell – it produces burst healing that tops people off (if they had enough rejuv ticks left on them), but comes at a cost to the sustained HOT healing that is the druid “bread and butter” for the expansion. So, genesis is more likely to postpone a wipe than save the day in many circumstances.
When it comes to druid healing, the best way to stop stressing out is to be comfortable with people sitting around 80% health some of the time, and treat a HOT on them as preferred to using regrowth or healing touch to boost them up to 100% quickly. Most people shouldn’t be taking more than 30% of their life in a single hit (unless your team is under-geared or is generally playing poorly). In encounters with more burst-style healing, you of course want to prioritize keeping people alive. However, trying to keep everyone at 100% all the time in the current expansion will make life a lot less fun (particularly when mana is a limited and precious resource). The goal is, instead, just to keep people alive and taking sustained HOT healing all the time to keep them out of the danger zone.
Druid-specific advice related to spell usage:
- Use ironbark on your tank during times where the tank is taking heavy damage – you can coordinate this some with your other healers and the tanks.
- Place your single lifebloom on a tank (this no longer stacks to three), or someone else taking heavy damage. While your direct heals will refresh lifebloom, the bloom is now much more useful as a burst heal if your tank is low.
- Put Rejuvenation on your tanks and use rejuvenation on wounded targets in your raid group. You should use rejuv proactively to try to get several rejuvs sprinkled around the raid group on people likely to be taking damage in the near future (and to set up who you may want to swiftmend). The new germination talent allows two rejuvs to be placed on the same target, which is particularly powerful for most situations.
- Use wild growth as often as you can afford to depending on your mana, particularly if there are at least three damaged targets to heal.
- Swiftmend works well as an emergency direct heal to save someone from dying, similar to how we use Nature’s Swiftness combined with Healing touch (a NS+HT macro can be useful). This also works well for activating your harmony mastery.
- Your regrowth is mana-expensive, so the preference is to use this when omen of clarity procs. However, if you can afford the mana, regrowth is a stronger direct heal than Healing Touch if Regrowth crits. Healing Touch is a long cast time, so it saves on mana, but heals slower.
- Healing shrooms should be placed somewhere that 3 or more people are standing still for 30 seconds (if possible) so that you can get the full HOT effect. If people do move, you can move the shroom circle around as needed, but moving it early comes at a mana cost.
- Tranquility is also nice to use for heavy burst phases, since you should get several uses per boss fight during heavy AOE times. You can coordinate raid cooldowns in raid encounters.