Raiding with an Alt character

I just received clearance from my GM to raid in SSC with Saphfira. I know the last couple of posts had me express disappointment in my class, but that’s not the case. Mallet is my favourite character out of all of them. Let me explain the situation here. It only recently occurred to me that Carnage raids with four active Priests. Three of them are Holy and one is Shadow. I’ve never really played a DPS class at all throughout my WoW career. Even right now, Saphfira is Restoration specced. We only have one Shaman and she’s Enhancement. We’ve been sharding a ridiculous amount of mail healing gear. Last night in SSC, 3 mail healing items dropped (also 5 of 6 SSC bosses dropped within 3 hours which is a big plus in terms of progression).

Luckily, Maeve understood the point I was trying to make so I didn’t have to waste my breath explaining my situation. But here was the argument I was going to make: Three Holy Priests means theres going to be more competition for gear. Having a Resto Shaman would increase the diversity of the raid and not allow healing loot to be wasted. It’s basically another group getting totem buffs. Healing power isn’t going to go down a whole lot. It’s not like I’m requesting to swap Mallet for an Elemental Shaman. So it’s a pound for pound trade of healer for healer.

Is this something I really want? No, because I absolutely love playing my Priest. But having three Holy priests in the raid means its going to take three times as long for us of them to get geared up.

But we spent so much time gearing up Mallet and he’ll be wasted

Well no, it’s not an either/or situation. Mallet is clearly a superior healer in comparison to Saphfira in every respect. I think there may be certain encounters where having a Wrath of Air totem and a Mana Spring might provide some extra punch. It’s not like I’m going to stop raiding with both of them. Healing has always been my calling. Even back when I played Guild Wars, I had a Monk/Elemental (In PvP, I’d make an E/Mo which still cracks me up every time I see it). It’s also not like I’m going to be competing with another Resto Shaman in raids for gear either. There isn’t that much of a loss that’s occurring. It will be a huge benefit for everyone else because then I will be spending my DKP twice as much.

That’s another interesting ethical question that I’ve also had to wrestle with. How do I deal with gear? I’ve always been for progression. There will be mace and shield drops and that there is direct competition against Paladins. I’m fairly certain that I have more DKP then they do. But it wouldn’t be right for me to exercise option and bid. Damn all of these morals and ethics courses they make us take for Criminology.

I’m worried that there might be some contempt or that raiding with Saphfira would raise a few eyebrows here and there. I sincerely hope not. Really though, I’d rather prefer to raid with Mallet if I could. But raiding with four Priests made me think that could I not be utilized better if I brought a Resto Shaman instead.

In any case, it will still take some time before she’s up to SSC status. Here’s the highlights of her gear right now:

  • 3/5 T4 (head, gloves, shoulders)
  • Nightbane’s Healing Staff and Neck
  • 5/5 S2 Gear (Just for the pants)
  • Netherspite’s Mail Chestpiece
  • Gruul’s healing trinket

Saphfira presently sports approximately 1550 +healing. That is nowhere near high enough for Mag+ raids. There are some improvements that can be made:

  • A better mace to go with the Chess Shield (Essence Focuser)
  • Honor Hold head enchant
  • 81 Healing enchant to weapon

That should shoot her + healing to around 1660 and should last against encounters such as Mag, and VR.

Has anyone else had similar cases where they wanted to raid with alts? Did your guild shoot you down or guilt you into not using your alt? I’m lucky to be playing two support classes. I’m also lucky to be in such an awesome Guild where the leadership can understand what it is that I’m offering.

This brings up another question. How do Guilds handle alts for loot? Do they draw from the same character (IE, both Mallet’s and Saphfira’s DKP are cumulative) or are they separate (Both Mallet and Saphfira earn separate DKP and are exclusive from one another).

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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.


  1. Back in the days of 40-man raiding and DKP, my guild used to do separate points for mains and alts. These days we don’t even bother with DKP in my 25-man, but alts get second dibs after mains. But we actually swap characters in and out during the raid, so there are more alts on farmed bosses, and hardly any on new bosses unless the raid makeup demands it.

    Generally speaking, I think it’s courteous for someone swapping to their alt to pass on gear for for their first few runs, especially if your alt isn’t already optimally geared from 5 and 10 mans. A lot of times a better geared character’s marginal upgrade will get passed right back to you because people realize you’ll get much more use out of it, but it’s a nice gesture that will win you some goodwill from your fellow raiders as you make the swap.

  2. Oh absolutely I agree. Saphfira, with the exception of the Lower City Prayer book, is completely geared in purples from Karazhan and Gruul’s. I would totally pass on items that would get utilized better by other players on their alts. The situation here is that we don’t have a raiding Restoration Shaman.

  3. Doc Holiday says:

    Matt you underestimate your Shaman so badly You are clearly ready for SSC

    That is our top Resto Shaman
    1713 Bonus Healing
    181 Mana regen while casting

  4. Doc Holiday says:

    What you need to work on is Mana Regen NOT bonus healing

    Chain Heal gets 125 percent of your bonus healing right that puts you at 1940 for Chain Heal

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