Will Flash Heal Become Mainstream? 4 Points

Will Flash Heal Become Mainstream? 4 Points

school-thought I woke up this morning to a crisp chill and a great question posted on Twitter by @Knurd (of Raid Hunter).

@patyomatt What makes you think we are headed back to flash heal spamming?

Granted he answered his own question after doing a bit more reading, but I’m still going to explore the topic in a little more detail (because Twitter is EXCELLENT post fodder).

In my previous post, I mentioned that I’ve started to Flash Heal more often than Greater Heal. Until I’m proven otherwise, I firmly believe that Priests will be trending towards Flash Heal and here’s why:

Down ranking gone: The current technique right now is that we use down ranked heals to minimize spell impact on our mana pool and to reduce over healing. We’ll use a rank 3 Greater Heal to restore the same amount of health as a near max rank Flash Heal. We save a couple of hundred mana at the cost of 1 extra second of cast time.

With down ranking removed, we can no longer utilize this technique. A Greater Heal costs 1000~ mana with the appropriate talents in place. A Flash Heal costs 600~ mana. It’s no longer a question of efficieny or bang for buck. It’s a question of what’s cheaper, which is Flash Heal.

High health tanks: Tank buffer has increased by a ridiculous amount. Their health has increased by 50% which turns them into pseudo-raid bosses. At the same time, they won’t be taking massive hits on some encounters. There’s no reason to bust out the massive 10000~ Greater Heal to restore 5000~ health unless they drop dangerously low. But by then, you’re going to be praying to the RNG gods that the mobs miss or they parry or something so that your bomb heal lasts. Might be better off getting the heals off quickly instead of going for the bomb heal. Leave the bomb healing to the Paladins.

Overhealing: It sort of ties into my last point, but 80% of the Greater Heals you cast will result in massive over healing because that crafty Resto Shaman next to you blew his Nature’s Swiftness Chain Heal, or the Paladin manages to Holy Shock crit, or the Druid happens to… do his Druid thing.

Mana Management more important than ever: If you have a hard time handling your mana resource now as a player, you’re going to be in for it in the expansion. During my forays into Naxxramus, I was hitting the floor with my mana pool. It was getting dangerously low while the bosses were in the single digit percents. I had to learn really fast when to burst heal and when to ease off the pedal to restore my mana.

Obviously, we do have access to our specialized heals. This is just a comparison between our direct heals based on my beta experience. I have no doubt another Priest will come along and come up with new ideas for Wrath.

Keep the mind open and let the healologists do their work. Now is not the time to shoot down ideas. It’s time to generate them.

Image credits: ckgd2

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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. “But by then, you’re going to be praying to the RNG gods that the mobs miss or they parry or something so that your bomb heal lasts.”

    We tanks aren’t helpless as you make us out to be. We (the 4 tanking classes) all have a bevy of tricks in our toolkit we can use to allow you time for your heal to land. We pop trinkets, our Walls (Shield Wall, Bubble Wall, Bezerek, DK stuff), and can give you time you need for the heal to land.

    honorshammers last blog post..Say Chesse!

  2. @honorshammer: When you drop to 10% and the next blow that lands has a surefire chance to kill you, it really gets interesting at that point for us.

    But oh my god is it ever scary.

  3. I dunno, Matt. I’m thinking leave the Flash-ing to the Paladins with their super-efficient Flash of Light, and bust out the Greater Heal for when HP levels drop. That way, both classes are playing to their mana regen and efficient heals. Paladins can spam all day with FoL, and using Greater Heal and then casting Renew, Prayer of Mending, Shield, etc. and allowing for gaps to let Spirit regen kick in seems like a more sensible way to go about it.

    So, use the paladin as a human HoT, let the druids stack their HoT’s on the tank, have the shamans and priests watch the raid, and one priest can be assigned to “bomb” a Greater Heal when times get tough.

    Of course, I R RET PALADIN and a) haven’t been in beta, b) haven’t set heal assignments on a regular basis since September ’07, c) have never played a priest, druid, or shaman in a raid, and d) might be way off base. So, there’s your grain of salt.

    Joshs last blog post..Why Paladins Make The Best Lovers

  4. *The end of my first paragraph (if you can call it that) reads a little awkwardly. What I meant to say was let the paladins spam their efficient heal, and then the priests can use all their tools and then let spirit kick in to regen, and bomb the Greaters in times of distress, going back to utility stuff and regen when the threat abates.

    Joshs last blog post..Why Paladins Make The Best Lovers

  5. @Josh: I tried that in Naxx. In order to pull that off, it means we really need to dial down our healing a lot. We’ll be shifting from proactive to healing to reactive healing and I think that’s whats going to get me. I’m still cycling off PoMs, Renews, and Shields and all that for sure. I still find that I have to squeeze in a few Flashes here and there.

    But when I bomb heal, I BOMB heal. Who knows? Its going to take more time and playing. I’m basing this off of several 10 man runs. Haven’t tried the 25s yet.

  6. Interesting that you’ve hardly mentioned renew and prayer of mending – or CoH. I’d personally generally rather toss hots onto a tank than use an expensive flash heal. How does that work in the beta?

    Avonars last blog post..Victorious!

  7. Ohhhhh, this is in 10s. My thinking was for 25-mans, when you’ve got 8 healers working in concert and you’re almost guarenteed to have a complete heal roster.

    For 10-mans, the utlity/reactive approach will likely get tanks killed. Ignore everything I just said.

    Joshs last blog post..Why Paladins Make The Best Lovers

  8. @Avonar: THose should still be in use. I mentioned that its a strict comparison of Flash Heal vs Greater Heal. While we do work in our shield, renew, PoM cycle, Priests are still expected to use direct heals. This post is meant to put down on the table which direct heal we ought to be using more of in the expansion. It’s assumed that raiding Priests will still be using “the cycle”. That hasn’t changed at all.

    Bottom line: Keep using the cycle but adjust direct heals accordingly.

  9. @Josh, paladins may be better for bomb heals on the tanks in Wrath. With talents, a crit Holy Shock (which got its raid utility for tank healing boosted tremendously for Wrath) leads to an instant Holy Light, our bomb heal. cue that up with Divine Favor, and in my current gear I could instant cast a 7500-8000 heal, on a player I already have targeted.

    This would free up the priest in your scenario to patch up targets of boss secondary abilities (off tanks who take hateful strikes, people randomly targeted with some painful debuff, etc). With a good understanding of the fight, the priest should be able to Power Word: Shield, Renew, Prayer of Mending during the opening moments of damage, wait a bit for the player’s health to start to dip some, then start casting their bomb heal. By the time that lands, their health should be down enough that the big heal was worth it, assuming some druid, Circle of Healing priest, or shaman hasn’t jumped the gun on you.

  10. All this loss of efficiency because of overhealing leads to the fact that the other healers don’t trust you.

    If you’re the one assigned to the MT, and some shaman keeps throwing chain heals at the tank, chances are pretty good that shaman doesn’t trust you to keep up the tank.

    I’ve seen this lots, especially in larger guilds, where the healers keep second guessing each other.

    Solve that, and most of the overhealing issue simply disappears.

    This is only helped by 10 man raids – smaller raids, smaller raid guilds, smaller, tighter circles.

    Euripedess last blog post..Ignite: the New Blink!

  11. Does Serendipity change this in any way? If GH costs 1000 mana and Flash Heal costs 600, an overhealed GH costs 750 (an overhealed FH is less likely). Much closer in cost, and less risk because GH heals a mountain.

    GoWs last blog post..Game > Lore

  12. @GoW: Actually, yes, it’d make a difference. How substantial, I don’t know. Right now, Serendipity appears to be bugged. The effect is non-existent, it appears.

    The reason we used Greater Heal right now in Burning Crusade is because of the fact that we can still down rank. With the loss of that ability, we have to alternate more between greater healing and flash healing accordingly. One I failed to mention was the numerous talents that augment Flash Heal (Surge of Light, for one). It’s too early to say right now, but even then. It’s still something.

  13. I haven’t healed in beta myself, but what I have seen from many posts is that we will go back to a -slightly- more reactive way of healing again. With crushing blows removed I expect tanks to be less spiky (can you confirm?). Also, isn’t chain/stopcasting GH a better idea than using flash heal? If you just cancelled your GH and the tank suddenly spikes for 15k, it will probably a better idea to flash heal and patch him up. But if you had a GH in the pipeline and it spikes right before you were going to cancel, I’d say you’re being very mana efficient ;).

    On another note, it’s still my impression that people care too much about healing meters, a very false perspective on a persons’ performance. When I’m assigned to raid healing on encounters where there is many raid damage (cfr hex lord) it’s quite normal that i surpass the paladins’ healing, who is yet worried about his stats and thus starts to heal dps also. It’s a shame things like this happen, but unfortunately I see one too many raid posts with healing/dps done :(.

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