Healing Tips for 25-Man Raiding: WoW Insidered, Matt Reviewed

I woke up this morning and decided to check my grades to see how I did this semester. Turns out I got an F in Cognitive Science. Now I’m really depressed about it, but I’m working on a plan to address it next year.

Anyway, aside from that I was catching up on a little bit of light reading on WoW Insider. One of the columns featured is that on 25-man raid healing by Marcie Knox. The article essentially summarizes the tips and tricks that healers can pull off in order to succeed in end game content. Let’s see if WoW Insider experts and I agree:

You need at least one of each healing class. Yes, even a holy priest and the rare resto druid. No matter what you’ve heard, running with all paladins really won’t get you very far, nor make the journey pleasant.

Disagreed. Ideally it would be nice to have all four healing classes, but sometimes it simply isn’t possible. Can you do some 25-man content with all Paladins? Yes. Is it recommended? No. But you do not NEED a Resto Druid, Shaman, Holy Priest and Paladin. If you set it as your goal to recruit one of each healer before trying your hand at raiding, you’ll be stuck for a long time. Carnage is incredibly stacked on Paladins and Priests. We have one Resto Shaman and no Druids (WE COULD USE ONE THOUGH SERIOUSLY). We went from Karazhan to Kael since we started back in June.

You have 6-8 raid slots for healers to work with. Start with 7 and make adjustments as you go.

Agreed. Typically, I would start with 7 and work my way up or down depending on the following:

  • The encounter
  • The gear of healers
  • The skill of healers

You’ll only need to do this the first few times when you’re working on a boss. After a while, when bosses can be done with no effort, you can remove healers as necessary to speed up the fight.

All healers must have the following information instantly available at all times:
a) Raid Health Monitor
b) Range Indicator

Kinda. I do keep the raid health monitor window open but I never make use of it. I’m not sure if Knox refers to the health of the entire raid as a percentage or the health of each individual raid member. Regardless,everyone’s health bar should be on the screen. Don’t just have your party window open in a raid.

As for the Range Indicator, it’s a good idea to have one. I’ve grown accustomed to my Priest that I can visually tell whether or not I’m in range of my tank. If I’m able to, I do a quick range check before a boss by lighting up a Prayer of Mending to ensure line of sight is not an issue. It’s a good tip for Alar when you’re not sure if the ledge the tank is standing on is going to interfere with your LOS heals. If your tank isn’t, a quick bark over vent should move them an inch or so over.

Have at least 2 people willing and able to handle the healing assignments.

Agreed. When I run my pickup Magtheridon, I make a deal with my partner. He runs the strats and I take care of the healing. He tells me whose tanking what, and then I pick out the healers who’re going to cover each tank.

In Carnage, our healers take it one step further. The raid leader puts up icons and calls out which tank is on which trash mob. Our healers take a more active approach and type in our healer channel which tank we’ll cover. Here’s an example for Hydross:

  • Resto Shaman: Raid
  • Holy Paladin 1: Water Tombs
  • Holy Paladin 2: Active Tank
  • Me: Active Tank
  • Holy Priest 2: Melee DPS
  • Holy Paladin 3: Elemental Tanks
  • Holy Paladin 4: Elemental Tanks

Active tanks refers to the one who is currently tanking the boss. Remember Hydross needs to be alternated between two tanks. This way, our healers are much more alert and everyone is accounted for. We have clearly defined our roles to ourselves and to each other.

You’ll need a way to do healing assignments. Here’s some common methods:
Macros – Easy, in-game, and nothing to download; this is what I use
Text File – WoW crash-proof, alt+tab then copy/paste into chat; Notepad, etc. (Watch for the multi-line limit)
Text Addons – Like a text file but in-game, good if you have 1k macros already; Notes (Is it still around? Can’t find it.), etc.
Assignment Addons – Fill out a form

Agreed. Typing it by hand sucks. Typing it again because someone was AFK sucks more. Personally, I use macros. Example:

/rw HEALING ASSIGNMENTS:
/rw —
/rw Tank 1: Healer A, Healer B
/rw Tank 2: Healer C
/rw Tank 3: Healer D
/rw Tank 4: Healer E
/rw Raid: Healer F and G

I mainly use this one for my own pickup raids on Mag and it spits out nice lines and alerts everyone.

Set up a healing channel to broadcast the assignments or use the Guild Info window if you’re an officer

Agreed. A typical channel name is GuildHeal or something. Just type /join GuildHeal and type / followed by the channel number. Usually it’s something like /5.

I like to change the color of all the text in the healer channel to something bright so that it stands out. To do this, right click on the tab above your chat window (General). Mouse over to Channels, then there should be a red square next to the name GuildHeal. Click the square and a color wheel should pop up. Drag the circle to any color you like.

Get set up to record your combat log and parse it via WWS.

Agreed. Post raid analysis is always important when you can’t seem to do a boss properly. You need to troubleshoot and diagnose the problems in order to fix it. For in game, I suggest an addon called Recount. I’m going to post an indepth guide to it later on in the week when I start accumulating some screenshots.

Well for the most part, it looks like we do agree and emphasize the same things (except for the first point). Knox’s healer is in Mount Hyjal. My Guild’s working on Kael. Who knows? Maybe I’ll radically change my views once I get into Hyjal.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. I agree with your analysis. You don’t need 1 of every type of healer, but it is nice. For awhile we had no 5 priests and 3 druids doing the heals. Didn’t stop us from numerous SSC kills, but it did kind of hurt our tier loot (with 2-3 shadow priests, 2 ferals, a moonkin, 2 prot warriors in the raid aswell… yay for 16/25 people with the same token!). As we made more and more progress though, it was easier to recruit more of the needed classes, and we now usually run with a very balanced raid, using just about every spec except for an ele sham. (Yes, we have moonkin, prot and ret palys, enh sham, fury warrior, all of which were in our first Kael kill). Having the balance in healer class is very nice, but by no means absolutely necessary.

    For monitoring health/range, I use the Grid addon, which I have set up to show everyone’s health bars, my lifebloom timers on each person, an indicator that shows if they have other HoT’s on them, poisons/curses I can dispell, and whether or not they are in range. All in a fairly compact and simple looking box. I have all my heals set to mouseover macros, so just mousing over the person’s bar in the grid and pressing the hotkey gives a heal without needing to click/change targets.

    The rest of what you said I pretty much agree with word for word, just wanted to put in a couple things I’ve experienced.

  2. I found that my ideal raid setting for healers was:
    1 CoH priest
    1 Imp DS Priest
    3 Paladins, 1 with kings / imp conc aura
    2 Resto Druids
    2 Resto Shammies

    Sadly we don’t get that usually, but when we do, our runs are flawless. 🙂

  3. Kulrayk, NINE healers? Whoa. That’s a bit… much, I think. But I guess it depends on the encounters.

    I’m still waiting for a Guild that has the guts to run a Disc priest. Haven’t yet found one. I want to find out their experiences.

    Masato, I’ve been so used to using XPerl to heal I’m almost afraid to switch to Grid in the event that it would hinder my performance. I have heard great things about it, however and I would recommend it to those who who’re looking for an addon.

  4. I’m also a Grid user. I love it.

    We run with 7 healers, we often make do with 6 but we don’t do it intentionally. Obviously we sometime try to bring in more if the boss fight we’re currently working on warrants it but we don’t often seem to have that luxury.

    The main thing I wanted to comment on is that I’m glad we don’t start cutting healers when the fights get easier. We just let the healers muck around and will have a couple of us dps’ing instead of bringing in extra dps. It gives us the chance to participate anyway.

  5. QSS runs with 7 healers typically, and when sign-ups permit I always try for at least one of each class. We have 4 raiding resto druids, 3 raiding holy priests, 3 raiding holy paladins, and 1 raiding resto shaman. Go figure. I love our trees though…. we’ll often have 4-5 druids in a raid, which provides a wonderful amount of battle reses.

  6. To all those whining about raid healer variation and how Holy Priests suck and nobody wants more than 1 in raids and what not…

    Tell it to the five Holy Priests in my guild that are in practically every raid. And the 1 Resto Druid we have.

    We have so many Priests its ridiculous. Soon we will conquer the world! MWA HA HA HA HA!!!

    And we’re 4/6 and 2/4 in the Tier 5 instances, soon to be 3/4 in TK.

  7. Doc Holiday says:

    You dont need Holy Priests or Resto Druids really. You could get away with 4 Pallies and 3 Resto Shamans healing and I have raided BT and Hyjal with such a group.

    Really geared Resto Shamans chain healing is quite an advantage

    Why dont you recruit Kilmster matt

  8. Doc, I talked to him about it already. Our raid times aren’t convenient for him.

  9. Good post Matt. I completely agree that a raid doesn’t have to have one of each healer type. Though, some fights really are ment to be healed a certain way(like some bosses force you to put HOTs on the tanks :P)

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