Yesterdayâ€™s post on hybrids spawned a great discussion on when it becomes useful for DPS players to switch out to different roles. Today, I wanted to expand it further and delve into the topic of Priests.
Now according to the Rules of Raiding #77:
DPS and tanking players should not have to heal.
Itâ€™s a good rule that states that if youâ€™re in a DPS position or in a tanking position, there is no reason for you to have to change your role to heal. For one thing, you donâ€™t have the spec or the bonuses or the gear to pull it off long term in an encounter.
If youâ€™re a Shadow Priest, all you need to do is simply wail on the boss.
Unfortunately, itâ€™s not always that simple. Rule #10 for instance states:
Every possible course of action should be considered by every player no matter what they do in order to beat the encounter.
In a case where rules may clash, rules that are lower on the scale will supercede the ones above it.
Letâ€™s apply it.
Shadow Priests will almost never be called upon to drop their Shadow form to heal. Itâ€™s inefficient and often times unnecessary. But a Shadow Priest is still a Priest and they have access to some valuable cooldowns.
There is one in particular called Divine Hymn.
Donâ€™t shy away from using it if you have to. As one of the healing leads, I look and see what cooldowns are available. I wonâ€™t hesitate to ask for Shadow Priests to Divine Hymn. I wonâ€™t hesitate to ask a Ret Paladin to use their bubble-sacrificing abilitiy. Feral Druids know that my Priest is the Hummer of healers in the guild and that I am one heck of a mana guzzling machine when I hit the accelerator. Yet Iâ€™m playing a hybrid class, right? (Thatâ€™s a joke).
Anubâ€™arak is a stressing fight for healers. This oversized frost beetle ramps it up a notch when he hits the 30% mark and everyone in the raid starts taking damage. A quick glance at the cooldowns available is followed by me barking out names and abilities. They respond with either an affirmative or a negative. This isnâ€™t the time to debate why their cooldown isnâ€™t up. Maybe a Paladin had to bubble earlier in the fight to survive. Stuff like that gets discussed after the fact, not during.
I run a total of four Priests during raids. Two are Shadow and the other two heal. Shadow Priests know theyâ€™re not going to be asked to drop form and heal (usually). But four Priests means access to four Divine Hymns which is extremely powerful during a a phase with high incoming damage.
The final point I want to stress is that a Shadow Priest isnâ€™t required to keep the raid alive for long periods of time. Thatâ€™s not their job. But they can help keep the raid stable enough for everyone else to stay alive and pile on their damage.
If youâ€™re in a top 100 worldwide raiding guild, your Shadow Priests might not have to do it. For the rest of us, every option needs to be considered.