The Reality of Healing Heroics and Tips for Holy Priests

The Reality of Healing Heroics and Tips for Holy Priests

heroics

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.
- Newt Gingrich

I’ve scheduled a tentative 10 man Naxx on Saturday. We’re projected to have around 8 players that are capable of reaching that level by then. After that, I’ll have no choice but to pug the other 2 slots.

Since I’ve hit 80, I’ve started working my way through a few heroics to try and get some badges.

Let me tell you, it is not easy.

It has been such a long time since I had to work this hard to heal. I have to drink after every pull. Every cooldown needs to be noticed and taken into account. Every spell cast needs to be carefully thought out. I’m sitting at ~470 mana regeneration with a few quest and instance blues. The rest are filled out with T6. There are times when you have no choice between letting a player die to prevent an overall wipe. It’s absolutely tough.

Over the past few days, I had the opportunity to heal Halls of Lightning and the Occulus (on Heroic since they were the dailies). There’s a few things to remember:

  • We don’t outgear the instance: It’s a fresh start for everyone. The playing field has been leveled. I’ve resorted to using consumables to help finish off my old stock of TBC food. This goes the same for tanks.
  • We’re going in blind: We don’t know the instance. I don’t like going into a fight without knowing what I’m up against. I keep WoWhead open and WoWWiki to understand what abilities bosses uses and develop a counter for it. Two things to watch for is debuffs and any special animations on the ground or spells that the bosses use. Watch for the in game boss cues. It’s a hard lesson to learn every time.

One thing that most Priests (or all healers) will find when healing any sort of high end instance is that they’re running out of mana. Don’t forget that it takes more Spirit now then it did back at 70 to reach the same level of mana regen. The amount of Spirit required to reach ~1000 mana regen is much higher then it was at 70.

Here’s a few tricks to help out:

  • Hymn of Hope: It’s an 8 second channel spell and you’re going to be hard pressed to find time to use it. Observe the boss and find a pattern. See if he has a long cooldown for an ability. Put a shield on the tank, a Renew, and a Prayer of Mending. Top up the rest of the party as best as you can. Hit your Hymn and pray to the highest deity you know that you can maximize the use out of it. You can break it early. I set my personal limit to around 50%. If the tank reaches 50%, I’ll break my Hymn and start healing.
  • Shadowfiend: Since it’s a 5 minute cooldown, this is the first trick in the book I’ll use. In the event we wipe, I should have it up for the next attempt.
  • Runic Mana Potion: I’ll typically blow a potion in conjunction with Hymn of Hope after it’s cast. I don’t try to save it. I try to be liberal with their use.
  • Guardian Spirit: Don’t think of it as a healing bonus spell or a way to prevent the person from dying. Think of it as an instant 50% health return. Gauge how much damage the tank takes roughly per hit. If they take 5000 damage blows and your tank is at around 7500, slap the GS up there and stop healing. Watch as the tank’s health rockets back up to 50% while you spend precious seconds just regenerating mana.
  • Pain Suppression: A lot of beginner Priests like to use Pain Suppression when their tank is really low on health. I don’t advise this since they run the risk of tanks dying. I drop Pain Suppression when tanks have near full health. I can stand there and mana regen knowing that my tank is taking reduced damage buying me more time to get more mana.

I’ve spent an average of nearly 3 hours per heroic dungeon. I’m way in over my element. But hey, that’s how Matticus rolls! I’ve always been a front line player!

Still looking for Mages, Warlocks, Hunters, Shadow Priests, Shamans and other healers! If you know of any that want to progress, tell them to drop me a line!

3 Reasons Why I Pick Blackened Sporefish over Golden Fish sticks

3 Reasons Why I Pick Blackened Sporefish over Golden Fish sticks

People choose the paths that gain them the greatest rewards for the least amount of effort. That’s the law of nature."
Dr. Gregory House

I wanted to highlight another one of my oh-so-important thought processes today on why I decide to do some things one way and not another. My debut column at WoW Insider generated fairly positive responses. Obviously I didn’t escape much in the way of scrutiny. I clearly spelled Naxx incorrectly and my eyes are literally glued to my raid frames that are 2 inches in from the left side.

It does make eating rice rather difficult when raiding. But that’s an entirely different story.

A number of comments here and there mentioned golden fishsticks as their delicacy of choice when raiding.

Before the most recent patch, I was a bigger fan of the sporefish than the fish sticks as well, Ego writes. With the new changes to mana regen, I have yet to test the various kinds of food.

And I am very much in the same boat. The patch did bring about several important formulaic changes. I can’t even make my own calculations about the different bonuses and the like (and yes, mathematically challenged Asians are a rarity).

Here you have your Golden Fish Sticks and your Blackened Sporefish. Below you can see an image comparison of where you can acquire these yummy fish from. I won’t get into details about which fish is better than the other. Suffice it to say, Golden Fish Sticks reign supreme in the post 2.4 world. But here’s why I will continue using Sporefish.

 

Affordable opportunity-cost

What I mean about opportunity cost here is the fact that the overall effort required to catch Sporefish is easier than Fish Sticks. There’s a large difference in fishing skill required to fish between the two areas. It takes longer for me to empty out a Highland Fishing pool than a Sporefish pool. Couple that with the fact that it’s easier for me to kill a level 61 hydra as opposed to a level 71 water elemental.

Maybe it’s karma from all the sushi I’ve been eating recently.

PvP Problems

I play on a PvP server. I’m also a Priest in a marked guild. A holy priest sitting in Skettis with nothing but a fishing pole equipped may as well just be holding a large neon pink "GANK ME NOW" sign. It is tough competition especially when the pools are scarce enough as is.

Quantity

Zangarmarsh has four large lakes which have numerous fishing pools. There’s a lot more potential Sporefish pools out there. There are only 3 mid-sized lakes to fish from. I’m not disciplined enough to fly around all three Terrokar lakes to get said fish.

By the way, as a follow up, my Guild has retrieved the lost Hearts of Darkness and epic gems from the perpetrator. According to the GM, that player has had "justice served".