I’ve been sitting on this post for some time but thought I may as well just get it out there. Worst case I’ll be wrong on the Internet.
I thought I’d have a go at an introduction to WoW healing. Some of this originally appeared as a comment to a post of but I thought it was worth fleshing out.
With each of my healing classes I try to work out which set of spells work best for healing the tank, for healing incidental damage to the rest of the group and for dealing with larger group damage. After that it’s just practice.
But before getting to that point I needed to figure out a few general healing principles.
While it is no longer in the game, some of you may remember the Trauma quest that was needed to get First Aid beyond a certain level. If you have never done it and have 225+ first aid, head to Hammerfall for Horde (and somewhere else for Alliance, I presume) and give it a go. It’s not needed anymore but still exists.
Basically, you have to bandage wounded NPCs. Each NPC spawns with an injury level and the more injured they are the faster they will despawn. You can let minor injuries wait a bit but need to get on critical ones pretty quickly.
In the process I learned some things that apply to healing:
(** many caveats apply)
Maybe these things are more obvious to others than they were to me when I started playing but I found healing much easier once I thought about these principles.
That got me a reasonable way towards being a (hopefully) competent healer but I still hadn’t done much systematic thinking about how to heal until patch 3.1 came along and with it the great Lifebloom nerf.
Like many druids, Lifebloom has been a major part of my healing since it was added to my spellbook at level 64. I would sometimes try if I could keep three stacks rolling on the tank for an entire instance (sometimes successfully).
Patch 3.1 drastically changed lifebloom such that this approach was no longer feasible. This got me thinking, “Well, what is this spell for, anyway?” This got me thinking the same thing about my entire spellbook.
What I then did is come up with some cases and then picked the set of spells that seemed to fit them. I have found the add-on DrDamage useful for working out approximate throughput and mana-efficiency of various spells but I also recommend spending time casting spells on yourself and looking and the numbers.
- If Clearcasting comes up and you don’t urgently need to cast something else, cast a lifebloom, either adding a stack to the tank or instead of a rejuv on someone else. While I mostly don’t need the free mana it’s a good habit to get into for long raid fights.
- Nourish cast time is roughly the same as the GCD so don’t be afraid of the cast time unless you need to move
- Try not to cast Nourish on a target with no HOTs.
- I can’t make Tranquility useful. I’ve even tried putting talent points into it and I still can’t find cases where I’m convinced it is the best thing to cast. Any feedback on why this spell doesn’t suck is more than welcome.
- Keep up Regrowth, refreshing after it ends
- Keep up Rejuvenation, refreshing after it ends
- Keep up Lifebloom, refreshing before it ends if at 1-2 stacks, after it ends if it is at 3
- Nourish if more than 10K/25% health below max
- Swiftmend if more than 20K/50% health below max and it is available
- Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch macro if below 20% health and it is up
Single non-tank healing:
- Start with Rejuvenation.
- If they are still slowly losing health (e.g. to a slightly serious DOT) add a Lifebloom
- If they are in the 50% health range and you expect more damage soon cast Nourish
- If they are in the 20%-30% health range and you expect more damage soon cast Swiftmend if available or Nourish otherwise
Minor Party or Raid healing:
Major Party or Raid healing:
All numbers are rough and I go by feel more than anything, but it gives a sense of the kind of planning I find useful.
Please note that the vast majority of healing that I’ve done in raids has been as a raid-healer so tank-healers may have additional / different principles.
If anyone finds the class-specific parts of this guide useful I can do a similar thing for Paladin healing. I’m working on levelling a Disc Priest and a Resto Shaman but I haven’t played them enough to feel confident in my spell usage.