Focus Casting: Macros And You

Focus Casting: Macros And You

I had a revelation last week. It’s one I’m not afraid to share because I suspect there are a lot of players in the same position as me.

That position is peering out from round a corner with a bemused grin and crimson cheeks, watching the macro users of our raid do ten things at once while showering the raid in light and laughing at the boss. We’re cautious because they’re clearly performing some kind of common folklore which all players should know, right? And we shouldn’t even consider asking about macros?


If you’re in that position of knowing nothing about healing macros then we have something in common, you and I. Maybe you’ve just started a new healing class and know nothing about it. Maybe you’re looking to improve your WoW playing generally. Maybe you’re a raid leader, like me, and have been getting into macros via raid leading and now want to see if this macro malarky can do anything for your healing. Whatever the case, read on.

If you do know something about macros then have a read anyway – some of these might be basic to you, but you might pick up something that saves your skin, bark or cow-printed hide.


1. Buffs up quicksmart

/castsequence [target=focus] Beacon of Light, Sacred Shield

  • This macro will put both of your essential healing buffs up on your focus, which is likely to be the tank.
  • TIP: you can use the addon Need To Know in conjunction with this setup. It’ll give you permanent timer bars for those buffs regardless of whom you’re targetting.


2. Easy judging

/cast [target=focustarget] Judgement of Light

  • Casts your judgement of light which both does healing and gives you a powerful haste buff
  • It won’t cause you to overaggro when casting your judgement as you’re using it on the tank’s target
  • Means you don’t have to mess around with tab or mouse targetting a mob to cast it on. You may need to re-target your tank but that’s less trouble than having to target everything manually.
  • TIP: you could use the addon Clique, which will allow you to set up mouse and key bindings for anything you could wish. Want to heal the tank? Sure, click the <insert mouse button here> and you needn’t retarget them after using your JoL macro.


3. Catch-all Holy Shock

/cast [mod,target=player] [nogroup,target=player] [target=mouseover,help,nodead] [target=targettarget,help,nodead] [] Holy Shock

  • If you have an enemy targetted it will automatically holy shock you
  • If you have *anything* else as target and a friendly unit as mouseover (or target) then it will holy shock that friendly unit


Priests – holy and discpline

1. “oh noes” button

/console Sound_EnableSFX 0
/cast [combat,@player] Power Infusion
/cast [combat] Inner Focus
/cast [spec:1,@mouseover] Penance; [spec:2,@mouseover] Greater Heal
/console Sound_EnableSFX 1

  • It works for priesties of both healing flavours. Yep, you read right, It’ll work by casting one of the spells, based on whichever spec you’re in. This saves you having two separate macros for holy and discipline
  • You could also add commands to pop your trinkets (/use 13 and /use 14) but be careful of the macro character limit.


2. Holy single target “oh noes” button

/cast [target=focus] Guardian Spirit

  • For you holy priesties. This is an “oh noes” button if you’ve been focussing on the raid and see that your focus, probably a tank, is wilting a bit and needs help now.


3. Discy Pain Suppression management

/cast [target=mouseover] Pain Suppression
/sw 8
/script Stopwatch_Play();
/say Pain Suppression Up!
/in 8 /s ***Pain Suppression depleted***

  • This is most useful for keeping track of PS cooldown and alerting you when it’s ready again – useful in fights where you need to time cooldowns and don’t have time to keep an eye out for them ticking down
  • TIP: this one may not work off the bat for you. The ‘in’ command is said to be provided through an addon, possibly the Ace3 library, though various people with various addon setups have got the macro working.


4. Discy raid-healing insta-bomb

#showtooltip Divine Hymn
/cast [target=player] Power Infusion
/cast Inner Focus
/cast Divine Hymn

You’re a discy priest so you’re probably healing tanks most of the time, right? That might be so, but sometimes you’ll be on raid anyway, and sometimes you’ll be on tanks watching the raid take heavy damage – and we all know how comfortable that isn’t. This macro will help you help the raid recover and soak up damage.

  • Try to have Borrowed Time proc’ed too for the (extra) haste
  • You’ve just given yourself power infusion which both reduces your cast time and mana costs
  • Bubbles! Bubbles everywhere! Your increased critical effect chance from inner Focus should mean more chance of divine aegis’ popping up.



1. Rolling Lifebloom
/target TankName/cast [modifier:shift] Rejuvenation ; [modifier:alt] Regrowth ; Lifebloom
  • Make a macro for each tank in the raid and you’ll be able to keep them all rolling on 3 stacks of Lifebloom, lag and catastrophe notwithstanding
  • This particular macro also has modifiers which give you flexibility in HoTs. Got a bit of extra time? Throw Tank1 a Rejuv. by pressing shift. Everything refreshed and got a couple of seconds? Stick Regrowth up by holding down alt


2. Quick response to tank death

#showtooltip Rebirth

/castsequence reset=600 Nature’s Swiftness, Rebirth

/run c=”Don’t release! I got ya.”if UnitInRaid(“player”)then SendChatMessage(c, “RAID”)elseif GetNumPartyMembers()>0 then SendChatMessage(c, “PARTY”)end

  • This is your “oh noes tank’s dead!” macro
  • It’ll immediately get him back on his feet and announce what you’re doing.

2a. Intuitive-res macro

#show Rebirth

/cast [@mouseover, combat, dead] [@target, combat, dead] Rebirth; [@mouseover, dead] [@target, dead] Revive

  • This is a similar one for other “oh noes” times – specifically when key people have dropped like lightbulbed flies. If you’re in combat it’ll try to use combat res, if you’re not it’ll use revive
  • Just be sure you’re out of combat after a fight’s ended before you use this, for fear of wasting your combat res.

3. Easy poison cleanse


/cast [target=mouseover, help] [] Abolish Poison

  • This is a time saver anywhere there is a lot of poison kicking around. Its utility is simple: it allows you to cleanse your mouseover target without having to target them then retarget your healing target
  • TIP: I reckon this one works for all healing classes for their various cleansing duties.


1. Earth Shield ease

/cast [target=focus] Earth Shield

  • Very, very simple way of refreshing earth shield on the tank, providing that your tank is your focus.
  • TIP: you can also get the addon Shaman Friend to support this macro by playing a sound when ES runs down. Alternatively you could have it in place of the macro: it can be setup to provide a focus button for earth shield refreshing, and a box which visually tracks ES stacks so you don’t miss it falling off.


2a. “Oh noes” button version 1

#showtooltip Healing Wave

/cast Nature’s Swiftness

/cast Tidal Force

/cast Healing Wave

  • Any resto shaman worth his salt has some form of this macro. Some shamans prefer not to attach a healing spell to it so they can choose whether to fire off a single target spell or a chain heal after nature’s swiftness. You could make both of those options achievable by altering the macro slightly, to this:

2b. “Oh noes” button version 2

#showtooltip Nature’s Swiftness


/use 13
/use 14

/cast Nature’s Swiftness

/Cast Tidal Force
/cast [mod, help] [mod:shift, target=mouseover, help] Chain Heal; [help] [target=mouseover] Healing Wave

  • This version will cast healing wave after blowing your cooldowns or, if you hold down shift, it will cast chain heal. It also uses your trinkets (/use 13 and /use 14) for extra “oh noes” aversion value.

In both of these you could also add a command to tell party chat or a specific target that you’re averting catastrophe this time by blowing all your cooldowns, and so won’t necessarily be able to save the day again. At least for a few minutes.


External links:

There look to be quite a few sites out there with musings and help on macros, ranging from forums to class-specific blogs to macro specific-all class sites. Some of them are better than others. Here are the ones I found to be either most useful for digging these macros up or, in the case of the third link, just a Very Good Idea:

  • Arena Junkies – Arena Junkies macro forum – for your PvP macro needs
  • Elitist Jerks’ various guides, forums and threads have some useful macros squirreled away.
  • Macro Explain – does what it says on the tin. You paste in a macro, it explains each line of the macro. The website also has links to other macro resources and addons.
  • PlusHeal – plusheal’s macro forum – you’ll find good discussions and very helpful folks here.
  • WoWWiki – WoWwiki’s section on macros has links to class specific macro pages.


Most of these macros have been tested but let me know if any of them make things go boom. Or worse still, make nothing happen at all. I hope these do work and help you have more fun healing. Perhaps it’ll even bring about that myth us healers have heard whispered about – less stress while healing.

What do you think? Are you a macro-newbie and had been afraid to admit it? Feel free to do so! Share your tales of macro learning experiences. Also let me know if any of these prove really useful or otherwise. Likewise, if you’ve been hit by inspiration and have just spent thirty minutes writing some new healing macros or perfecting existing ones, do share them!

This is a post by Mimetir, an oversized owl of a raid leader on The Venture Co (EU). You can find my twitter feed here.

(Macro image created by Emrank @Flickr, used under CC)

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  1. re: your Judgment macro, there’s a useful macro command


    which, if you add it to that macro, should allow you to hammer it whenever you feel like it without having to manually reclaim your healing target. NB: I’ve not tested it personally yet.

  2. Almostaraider says:

    I was just about to mention /targetlasttarget

    I use it for my shackle and sheep too!

    my Shackle is something like this: ( I have two)
    Watch it! (I use this one first to establish my focus target, for places like ICC(5’s) where I’m the only person in the group who can cc it helps)
    /cast shackle

    Stay!!! (I then use this one, to actually keep shackling them)
    /target focus
    /cast shackle

    (that way it works for both shadow and healing)

    I may have my wording a bit off, but I’m putting it out from memory
    .-= Almostaraider´s last blog ..Altaholics Anoymous! =-.

  3. get rid of one of your shackle macros and use

    /focus [@focus,noexists][@focus,dead]target
    /cast [@focus]Shackle

    it sets your focus to your current target if your current focus does not exist or is dead and casts Shackle on your focus without losing your current target if you had one. /target and /targetlasttarget aren’t needed then


    if you ever want to check your macro, Fitzcairn’s is the badger’s nadgers

  4. For druid decurse/poison cleansing I actually use this macro:

    /cast [modifier, target=mouseover, help] Abolish Poison; [target=mouseover, help] [] Remove Curse

    It uses dated terms (like target=) which could be updated but it still works. The reason I really like the macro is because in order to cast Abolish poison I need to actually hold down shift/alt/ctrl. this makes the abolish poison more of a conscious decision because the spell will cast each time it’s cast and trigger the GCD. Remove curse on the other hand can be spammed all over the place and if it doesn’t actually find a curse to dispel you can keep right on spamming and not have your GCD triggered.

  5. Thanks for those. I have always been terrible with macros so I don’t tend to use them much. I’ve gotten used to playing my shaman and druid with mostly none (except for my “oh noes” macros) but I will have to try the ones for holy pallies. I am horrible at remembering to judge and getting beacon/sacred shield put up with one click would be great.

  6. My own entry into the world of macros came back when we were getting destroyed by the Iron Maiden — err, Maiden of Virtue — back in Kara. I needed to be able to keep Blessing of Sacrifice on the tank so the Big B wouldn’t put me to sleep and kill the tank while I was dozing, and to be able to very quickly cleanse Holy Fire off of everyone else. So I learned to focus, do a target=focus macro, and a mouseover macro for my Cleanse. I currently have an action bar full of mouseover macros for raiding. Very helpful.

    I’ll suggest that for any macro, test it as thoroughly as you can BEFORE going into the raid. I found out the hard way that my mouseover Cleanse wouldn’t work when I tried to use the Alt key to self-target the way my ‘normal’ spells did. I sheepishly admit that I panicked and failed to mouseover myself, causing a wipe.
    .-= jeffo´s last blog ..‘I’m Just Sayin’ and Other Words of Hate =-.

  7. I can’t understand, with mods like Healbot and Clique/Grid, why it would ever be necessary to actually target the person you’re healing. If someone can explain that to me, I’m all ears.

    I have always had the boss or another enemy targeted when I heal (maybe this is influenced by the fact that I PVP’d a lot before I ever entered a raid). How else do you see what they’re casting? It’s no wonder most PUG Healers are awful at anticipating damage like Burning Breath, Pungent Exhale, and Whiteout. They can’t even see what the boss is casting (and most probably aren’t smart enough to focus the boss and watch his cast bar).

  8. Priesties:

    Shadowcrawl abitlity on shadowfiend!

    off the top of my head:
    #showtooltip Shadowfiend
    /cast Shadowfiend
    /pet attack
    /cast Shadowcrawl

  9. All the “target=” can be replaced with “@”, it was introduced a few patches ago and saves a lot of macro space.

    In addition, using a castsequence macro for Beacon/Sacred Shield is only beneficial without the Glyph of Beacon of Light. And to be honest there are plenty of times I Beacon and SS separate targets, most paladins I know do the same, making this a redundant macro, at minimum requiring 3 iterations: one for SS, one for Beacon, and one combo.

    The JoL macro should read “/cast [@focustarget] [] Judgement of Light”. The addition of the [] means it will still cast even if you do not have a focus set. Personally I find it unintuitive using this macro anyway, as some fights I keep a certain mob targeted to watch for a cast bar, and it’s not always the one being tanked by the MT/focus.

    Just because you can write a macro, doesn’t mean you should write a macro.

  10. Also any time you include “/use 13” etc, you should include the [combat] conditional.

    /use [combat] 13
    /use [combat] 14

    This stops you blowing trinkets before a fight.

  11. @Phaythe

    When I am healing (as a disc priest) I prefer to target the person that I know will be taking the most damage (i.e. the main tank or my assigned off tank). I use a certain set of spells on them (PWS, PoM, Pennance, etc) using keybindings, and reserve Healbot for casting spells on people other than my main target.

    Also, because I use Pitbull, I can quickly switch between the enemy’s target (if for instance, the tanks swap due to a debuff of some sort), because I have it set up so that I can view my target, my target’s target, and my target’s target’s target all within a space that is about 2 square inches.

    So, what I am saying really is it matters both on personal preferences and how your UI is set up as to why you would need to target someone.
    .-= Spazmoosifer´s last blog ..What’s in a Name? =-.

  12. I don’t personally suggest using the Beacon of Light/Sacred Shield macro. When you put the two up at the same time like that, you’re locking yourself out of healing for 2 full GCDs plus the cast time of your next heal. That means you’re looking at 3+ seconds without any heals on the tank(s). Staggering the casts means that it’s only 2+ seconds without a heal, which can make all the difference in the world during heavy tank damage fights.
    .-= Codi´s last blog ..Healer Metagems – Let’s be frank =-.

  13. Nice list. I’d like to add for Shamans that if you’re an Orc its well worth adding Blood Fury into your “oh noes” button.

    Also, I personally use the “oh no” without HW as an autocast, because on some boss fights an insta-CH is great for saving a melee group. You could do this with a modifier. I use the macro keys on my G15 keyboard.



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