Mopping the Floor With Your Healers on the Meters

Mopping the Floor With Your Healers on the Meters

Image courtesy of buzzybee

Although Wyn and I have debated on the usefulness (or uselessness) of meters before in the past, we both agree that it does have some use if used properly. Today’s post isn’t another followup discussion of that. I think we’ve exhausted it to death. Today, I’m here to tell you how to abuse the meters. It’s time to unleash the greedy beast of a healer within. There’s a reason why pride is one of the seven deadly sins, but we’re going to give into that instinct today.

It’s time to have a little fun on trash pulls! Let’s go over a few ways to increase your healing. Remember that mana is not a primary concern since we can drink quickly between trash pulls.

Flash heal often: This is our fastest spell. It’s not the most efficient in terms of healing per mana, but we want to hit our guys as fast as we possibly can.

Take damage on purpose: Stand in the AoE. Eat a cleave. Shadow Word: Death often. But don’t do that if you’re going to die in one stroke. Extra damage you take means more heals you need to do.

Ease off the Renew: Normally, Renew is a great stabilizing spell and I frequently apply it to my targets before they take damage. However, it takes 15 seconds for it to run its course and your target will get brought to full before all the Renew ticks are utilized. Be greedy and flash instead!

Binding Heal: This is the big brother version of Flash heal. Not only does it heal your target, it heals you at the same time. So eat a bit of damage and Binding Heal someone else in the raid. It’ll add extra numbers and pad your meters further.

No Shields: Power Word: Shield prevents damage and they don’t count towards healing. Letting the damage through means you can heal more instead.

AoE heal at every opportunity: Specifically, use Circle of Healing. There are very few instant heal spells in the game. The ability to instantly heal 5 people for ~1000 health screams abuse. Use it often when you can even if it’s only a mage who took glancing damage. Yes, that’s right, use an instant cast spell to heal 1 player who took minor damage! You want to beat that Resto Shaman, don’t you?The one that’s been taunting and teasing you every raid? The one who said you weren’t buck? Yeah. That’s right.

Maximize trinket use: Most trinket cooldowns are 2 minute use (actually come to think of it, I think all of them are). That means you can use your trinkets 30 times every hour and increase your healing done by that much. Since we’re concerned with going all out, it’d be crazy not to use them every chance.

Respect chain heal: Respect the Resto Shaman. Chain Heal is unbelievable. The Shaman sets the initial target while the last 2 jumps from Chain Heal are automatic based on the health of nearby members. They’ll always go to the players with the lowest health within range.

Be a thief: Building upon the last point, what is Chain Heal’s greatest weakness? It’s the 2.5 second cast. Of course with increased spell haste, that cast time will go down fast. The Priest answer to Chain Heal is Circle of Healing. Be sneaky and set your local Resto Shaman as your focus. When they wind up their Chain Heal, beat them to the punch with a tap from Circle of Healing!

I wouldn’t advise using these tips on progression trash nights. But farm trash mobs are entirely fair game. DPS players love to use meters to show case their e-peen and it’s about bloody time for healers to do the same. Don’t just top the healing meters, dominate them, eh?

Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!
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.


  1. Except that DPS meters mean something, healing meters don’t. (Tank here btw, in my mind the damage taken meter is the cool one since I top it every time :P).

    DPS meters are useful, they show the % of damage done by each player and its distribution, DPS isn’t a team sport its a solo sport where you try and get your % of the damage on the boss and get him down. Healing is a co-operative sport, even if you only cast 1 heal in a fight, if that 1 heal stops the tank dying then you were worthwhile bringing along. Healing meters are also subjective, which targets? types of damage? aoe? tank healer? avoidance streaks? DPS is a raw number that makes some sense because everyone is generally focussed on the same goal and in the same way, you don’t know if one healers overhealing was infact 0.01s lag and their heals land just after another healers every time, you can see that with dps.

    I wouldn’t game the meters, anyone sensible knows they mean nothing, only the Boss dead meter counts, and it only has 2 settings.

  2. When we are doing farm raids, I tend to try to play the meters and see how high I can really get. As a hunter in a raid that generally runs 5 hunters strong, it can become quite a competition, sometimes coming within 10 DPS of each other by the end of the raid!

    However on progression fights, I know that the meters aren’t so important. There are a lot of things to think about, and I don’t put as much weight on the numbers as I do on things like how well the player moved around and followed the strategy.

    2ndNin – Just one point: I would say that sometimes DPS is a team sport. I am not the SV hunter in the raid, but I know she sacrifices her place on the meters to provide the raid with the extra DPS from Expose Weakness.

  3. Yes, as a raid its a team sport, but you still expect your non-utility dps to come in pulling their weight, I don’t expect a healer on the OT to come anywhere near the MT healers (and if they do or are healing outside of their area I would like to know why, especially if the OT dies, its like Hyjal, I die when the healers decide to ignore me and heal the DPS / Melee, leave their healers to that and keep the tank standing).

    Of course certain builds have lower dps, and if specced that way for the raid its acceptable, however if you have 3 BM hunters, 3 Destro locks and 3 Mages (no idea their end game raiding spec, seems to change) I would expect them to come in a small group of each or interlaced (likely locks > hunters + mages due to the scaling of locks atm). If you have 1 of them doing more / less than the rest then the DPS meters matter, the reason we have dps is to 1) provide utility, 2) provide dps. Its not like a healer, if you are pushed to the wall and need that 1 heal then a slack healer / emergency heal can cover it and they are worth the slot, if a slack dps is present you can likely replace them, or make the fight last slightly longer and have others make up for it, there is less of a sense of urgency in DPS than in healing.

    Really what I mean is that DPS meters can mean something if read right, but healing meters really don’t because you can’t without reading the combatlog what really happened, whether that over heal is a tiny fraction of lag, hots ticking or whether that 1 heal that saved the tank got through but they are low because they are cast-cancelling when its not needed. A DPS meter ranks people in terms of dps, and ideally every DPS should be doing something like (Raid Damage / DPS classes) damage during the fight (tanks will steal some), less or more is worth looking at, and any outliers, so your SV hunter gets looked at because her dps is lower, but will get the concession that its lower because of the utility and so isn’t berated, your 97 BM hunters in the raid (don’t ask why so high, they seem to pop out the woodwork) should all be similar though or we need to start asking questions.

  4. “DPS isn’t a team sport its a solo sport where you try and get your % of the damage on the boss and get him down.”

    I’m a pally healer. I once was in a Shade of Aran fight where near the very end something bad happened and we started to wipe. In a last desperate effort, just as the last person went down and I was the last one left, I charged Shade, dropped Consecration, hit him with Holy Shock, and threw my Hammer of Wrath. He went down.

    Don’t tell me DPS is not a team sport.

  5. We’ve actually had a discussion about healing meters before in the past. I think it was a month ago. This article isn’t about the relevancy are usefulness about meters. It’s about how to manipulate them just for fun.

    I hope you can take a step back and realize that for a moment that this is not meant to be a serious article.

  6. Brunnor says:

    Ya playing the healing meter game is great. A druid and me ( also druid ) play the overhealing meters on trash pulls. So far he has manage to hit the 50% overheal mark while I hit like 35-40 mark.

  7. kyrilean, was that really a team sport, did you co-operate with the other DPS to cover each others weaknesses, down time and suchlike, or did you all simply throw your dps into the pot and pray?

    From my experience it tends to be the latter, sure there are times when you move shamans into the right group for Heroism, you arrange cooldowns and shots to maximise things (such as kick or counterspell orders), but in general each DPS puts up their buffs at a time appropriate for them, or their debuffs kick up randomly, there isn’t a co-ordinated interaction between DPS to the extent there is with healers.

    I have yet to meet a Warlock that has said “I should cancel this shadow bolt and go for a curse instead because Timmy is casting a shadowbolt right now” (unless there is a boss with rotating spell shields that you would need to agree a spell rotation on them… and that would be a horribly interesting fight, needing to rotate 3-4 spell damage types at a time to avoid reflections or immunity). I have however seen healers doing this, cancelling their casts to allow prevent overhealing, cancelling to dot, cancelling for an instant heal, in short you require much more awareness and self sacrifice as a healer to perform the role well than you do as a dps.

    Matticus, I know the post is tongue in cheek and about cheating the system, but I dislike people posting healing meters (I post the damage taken meters in response), DPS meters I can see, but the way healing is typically assigned and the type of damage in the encounters makes such a huge difference to the meters that its typically useless for any purpose other than E-peening melee healing shamans. Its not that its not useful if correctly interpreted but rather than the interpretation of it is often reduced to “why is your healing low and overhealing high” rather than “omg your heal landed in that 0.5s gap that would otherwise have left a smeared tank” way.

    I play a protection paladin, I am a dps tank (well on trash, I often enter the top 10, on bosses its much lower) simply due to the way I tank, I also have my warlock, and I have played at being a healer with my paladin. The difference I tend to find is that as a tank I care what everyone else is doing, as a dps I ignore everyone else (they have little to no impact on my role), and as a healer I spam flash of light and basically ignore the whole healing / overhealing / cancelling because I don’t know the other healers style and don’t have mouse over heals etc.

    Simply I reduce myself to fol / hl spam (hl when I need to get the tank up) and tend to focus on the tank because I don’t know the group dynamic, but I know for a fact that my healing is often ineffectual because I don’t fit into the overall healing pattern (and tbh I don’t want to spare the time to do so, I am not a healer, I like to tank). In the dps roll I can afford to ignore everyone else, as a healer I do so to my and the groups detriment, however as a “spare” healer due to it being a case of simply a tank healing for something to do in fights I am not tanking.

  8. DocHoliday says:

    Death Meters

    Mallet Over 9000
    everyone else 0

  9. DPS players love to use meters to show case their e-peen

    A lot of DPS types only look at Damage Per Second. That’s a bad stat, since it only counts when you are in combat. Damage Done is a better measure of contribution. Why is this important? Because certain caster types (particularly Mages) will score higher on DPS than Damage Done.

    Let’s say that two players both do 25,000 damage in a single fight. One player was in combat was in combat for 30 seconds while the other player was in combat for 25 seconds. The first player did 833 DPS, while the second player did 1000 DPS. Now consider that the difference between the two was simply casting time and moving into position. The first player was melee and entered combat prior to an attack as the Tank pulled. The second player spent those first moments of the fight casting a big long cast (like Pyroblast) and technically doesn’t enter combat till the Pyro lands. Over the course of lots of trash pulls, this type of thing adds up very quickly and DPS is a lot more inflated than Damage Done.

    The other thing that blows about meters for damage contribution is OVER-damage. Pyroblast a mob with 100 health for 5K and you get 4900 damage added to your score. Likewise, Fury Warriors who crit Executes at 1% health do a ton of overdamage. I remember lobbying the guys who write Violation and the Ace libraries that parse the data to account for it (like overhealing) but couldn’t convince anyone to work on it.

    Anyway – my point here is that Damage Meters lie all the time. They are good barometer for your personal performance but using them for epeen is pretty wacked. Although, I’ll say it’s LESS wacked during boss fights where things tend to be more consistent over a long fight. The 5 second difference doesn’t matter that much when you start talking about 300,000 damage over a 5 minute fight.

    sid67s last blog post..Does WoW Criticism = WoW Hate?

  10. Raschel says:

    I have to disagree about Renew. Keep it up on any tank that is actively tanking during trash. Because they are constantly taking damage, you will get ticks in while the tank healers are casting. It adds up.. and if the tank is particularly well geared it will annoy the tank healer by giving them even less to do. 😉

  11. I’ve found going against every rule here is how you do it on MH trash waves.

    Renew every tank and kiter, Greater Heal on that first atomic bomb of damage the Tankadin takes and keep doing it until another tank pulls one off, and always be the one to apply the Weakened Soul debuff.

    5% lead over the raid’s CoH priests, staring at their group frames instead of the incoming waves! 😀

    (Hey, when I didn’t do this the tank would get trampled.)

  12. Don’t forget, if you have a Warlock friend, ask him to Life Tap for no reason. It’ll give you more heals for you to pad your meters.

  13. WOOooooowww.

    Who knew you’d hit such a sore spot, matty?

    I have to disagree with you about Renew for cheats, though. Make sure you keep renews on the Warlocks and the Spriests for trash. They’ll take damage from SW: D or LifeTap, and your Renews will be the fastest snipes. In fact, if you can train your warlocks to tell you WHEN they lifetap, you can get a few extra ticks in.

    Oh, while we’re on the subject of ‘Locks, if you’re CoH spamming, and two parties have taken equivalent damage, heal the warlocks first. Why? Fel armor means your heals will be bigger. Let the sucker healers get the smaller “commission” off the tanks or melee. The exception to this is if a party with a lot of pets is taking damage. Check and see if your meter records pet-healing as effective. If it does, don’t forget to spam the hell out of the hunters.

    Oh, and Prayer of Mending… now that it counts on Recount, it’s worth using. A Lot. Always bounce it off whoever has aggro, and get a ProM tracker, so that if it goes to someone less likely to use it (like a mage) you can cast it again. Make sure you overwrite the other Priests’ ProM, too. (Tip: LifeTap will NOT bounce Prayer of Mending, but SW: D will.)

    (The truth is, this is why I like having Recount open for trash. I can see what any new-recruit healers are up to… and if they’re gaming the meters, I’ll know – I’ve seen it ALL.)

  14. dilfred says:

    concentrate on healing warlocks

  15. Yggdrasil says:

    As a Druid I simply throw up HoTs on anyone taking consistent damage, particularly Lifebloom. A key I think is to throw up every HoT you have, even if they aren’t very needed. The second step is to begin HoTing someone up BEFORE they take damage. Nalorakk? Start throwing up the HoTs on the 2nd tank right before the tank switch. These things alone tend to keep me at, or close to, the top of healing done.

    I tend to eat it on fights like Shade, though, because I can’t predict in any way who he will attack next, until he’s attacking them.

    For those that say it doesn’t matter…it does matter. Raiders are constantly evaluating other raid members. If you aren’t putting up the numbers of another healer, eventually someone will notice, and they’ll start looking for another healer. Everyone talks a big game about the “boss dead meter”, but don’t be perceived to be the guy that will get between someone and their purple pixels. You’ll find yourself getting sat out for someone else, who can pot up better numbers.

Speak Your Mind