Healing might not be the most fulfilling role for folk who prefer to deal damage in World of Warcraft, but there are a lot of reasons why it can be fun and impactful.
For competitive raiders, healing can be a pretty intense ordeal compared to other roles. For Arena players, getting crowd-controlled or repeatedly attacked can be stressful, but it shows how essential Healers are for PVP.
Learning how to start healing in Dragonflight can be a little complex, as there are lots of different classes to get to grips with. In this guide, we’ll look at the general tips and tricks for Healers to consider in order to start on a strong foot.
What is the Role of a Healer?
The role of the Healer is self-explanatory, to a degree. There are other things to consider besides just keeping your team topped up, though.
The Adventure Guide will cover what specific mechanics a Healer needs to deal with, but there are other mechanics in raids and dungeons that players need to deal with that will often fall under the Healer’s jurisdiction.
For example, the Sun King’s Salvation boss in Shadowlands needs the Healers to heal Kael’thas as a unique raid mechanic. If the Healers heal too fast, the boss might trigger with the adds still alive.
But in contrast, either Healers or DPS can deal with the seed mechanic in the Artificer Xy’mox fight depending on what the team needs.
Other than following dungeon and raid mechanics, your goal is to keep your group alive at all costs. You’ll need to keep your priorities in check when the situation becomes dire.
The job of knowing the fight applies to everyone, but Healers will often need to develop a better level of situational awareness. Not every second calls for healing, so you will be able to get a good feel for the raid and the room. For dungeons, it can be a bit different, but you will still need to understand the fights on a new level.
After some practice, you’ll find it a lot better to learn mechanics as a Healer. Other than these secondaries, you should always look to keep the raid up at all times.
You should also look at debuffs on party members. As a Healer, it is your job to dispel them, but you need to understand the mechanics as well. A lot of mechanics involving dispelling can have a dangerous effect on the raid. It is best to read about these mechanics first, or you might wipe the raid or dungeon.
In PvP, Healers are almost the core of key Arena compositions or Battleground teams. While it is possible to have an all-DPS team, having a healer makes sure that some mistakes can happen, and it relieves the pressure on your team to take damage.
However, the gameplay for Healers in PvP settings is more proactive than reactive. You want to know when big damage is going to come and prepare for it.
If you are more reactive, you might find yourself a step behind, as there will be constant pressure on you to keep yourself or your teammates up at all times.
You also need to time your crowd-control abilities for your teammates. When it calls for you to do some damage as a Healer, you can also help with that as well.
General Rules for Healers
Know the Strength of Your Class or Spec
Classes and specs have varying strengths when it comes to healing. Some are good at healing big raid damage, some are good at healing the tanks, and some are good at PvP because of additional utility abilities.
Apart from these strengths, you should also learn your talent trees and where you can improve on a single raid fight or even a high M+ dungeon run.
For example, as a Resto Shaman, you want to strengthen your Chain Heal on your talent trees to improve raid-wide healing. If you are going for M+ dungeon runs, you can go for single-target heals like Riptide.
Changing specs and talents is a lot easier now compared to vanilla WoW. There is actually an incentive to learn multiple talent builds in order to adjust to certain situations. Knowledge is power, and being prepared for any situation will help you with healing a lot.
If you aren’t in an exclusive guild raiding group and aren’t using any voice communication, you should focus on keeping priority members up in a fight.
Firstly, Tanks are always prioritized in healing as they keep the threat on them in order to keep others alive. While Tanks do have abilities to keep them alive longer, as a Healer, you need to know when to use emergency heals in dire situations.
Since other Healers are also high on the priority list, you need to keep them alive as well.
The priorities can change a lot depending on the situation. If a DPS has a big role for mechanics or if there’s a need for huge damage, you can focus on them as well.
This is why the role of the Healer is also to know what is happening in the raid at any given moment. The knowledge helps a lot when it comes to priority healing.
When you are raiding as a guild, you can even synchronize big healing cooldowns, but it does require some preparations. Using WeakAuras, which is one of the best addons in the game, can help players in the raid remember their timings.
Healing Cooldown Timings
Every healing class or spec has a big healing cooldown to do a lot of healing for a short amount of time.
If you have a big raid with multiple Healers, it is a mistake to use multiple healing cooldowns in one situation. When everyone’s HP is low, a single Healing Tide Totem or Tranquility can do the trick.
Combining two or three healing cooldowns will be hard, as you won’t have a reserve for other big damage in the raid. A lot of randoms will try to pad the healing meters, but you want to focus on the end goal or think long-term during the fights.
For dungeons, you can be a bit more reactive with your healing cooldowns. However, it is still best to be reactive to big group damage.
For PvP, it is basically a given. Use your main healing cooldowns when the enemies are using their big offensive cooldowns.
Bring Mana Potions
As a Healer, it is almost mandatory to bring mana potions to help you heal more during a battle. There will always be emergencies where you will run out of mana because of your healing output or inefficiencies.
Tips & Tricks for All Healers
Healbot or Addons for Dispels
This is not mandatory, but addons do help you see debuffs better.
The Healbot addon has more perks than just changing the unit frames. You can select keybinds to go with key healing skills, such as dispels and emergency instant cast heals.
If you press the keybind while hovering on a player’s unit frame, it instantly uses the spell without you needing to use your original keybind for the skill.
Learning how to use addons does take time, but it does help. It is like having an extra quick cast button at your disposal.
Preserve Your Mana When Needed
When your raid group is taking a lot of damage, you will need to remember that there are other Healers in the raid too.
The situation might call for a healing cooldown, but when there are none available, it will take a lot of mana to keep everyone in the raid up.
If you miss your healing cooldown timings or your raid is just taking unnecessary damage, you should always look at your mana while thinking long-term. There might be a lot of unavoidable raid damage in the future, and you need to pace yourself.
Learn More About Tank Defensive Cooldowns
When we talk about healing priorities, Tanks are numero uno. However, these Tanks do have ways to keep themselves up or mitigate damage to help the Healers keep other players up.
If you are playing with random players, it is sometimes up to you to know about their defensive cooldowns.
For example, Guardian Druids have a lot of damage reduction skills with lower cooldowns. Protection Paladins have a lot of self-healing abilities, while Protection Warriors have fewer.
With experience, you will know their timings and be able to identify the key skills when they use them. You can even heal other players having a hard time instead of the Tank.
Precasting Healing Spells
If you are wondering how some Healers keep topping the HPS (healing per second) charts, it is not only because of sheer luck or gear difference. It is mostly because of this tip.
When you know a fight well, you know when big, unavoidable damage is on the way. As the damage goes off, you should already be precasting big AoE spells.
These spells usually take a long time to cast for almost every class or spec. However, if you time it correctly, you can top up the raid in an instant.
When you are progressing through raids, you will learn the timings, especially when you have wiped more than a hundred times already on a specific boss.
For dungeons, you can use the same logic. There are certain powerful mobs or bosses that do a lot of damage too. Precasting powerful healing spells will reduce the pressure on your party members.