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Luumis' Exodus: The 5.2 Healer Evaluations

Article originally posted on Manaflask

Drum roll please...this week I have the pleasure of presenting to you my 5.2 healer evaluations! Before I go too deeply into them I thought that presenting some general guidelines, rules, or a manifesto on what it takes to be in the healing core at the progression level would be good.

One of the most integral parts of a hardcore raiding guild is the healing core. Having been a top tier raider for most of my WoW career, I understand how much turnover these types of guilds encounter.  More likely than not, you will. That means it’s pretty unlikely that we’ll see much more in the way of changes. Anyways, without much further ado, let’s get to it.


Luumis’ Healing Manifesto

Consider the following a guideline on how to to successfully heal in a raid. This is a summation of my experience as a healer since the Vanilla WoW days.

1. Do whatever you can to keep your raid alive.
2. You heal as a team.
3. Be vocal.
4. Understand what is going on with each encounter.
5. Healers carry raids, so play like it.
6. Be efficient with mana and activity.
7. I don’t care about your hps, don’t let your raiders die.

I could go into more details such as how HPS meters don’t matter but adhering to those 6 rules will give you better perspective and performance in raids. I’ll probably further elaborate since this is a work in progress. I mean come on, manifestos usually are pretty detailed and long.



5.2 Healer Evaluations

It is about time for me to give you my thoughts on the status of healers as of the current build on live servers. When you read this ranking/evaluation, please keep in mind that I have been limited to only 25 man normals so far with limited 25 heroic testing. I have seen what the boss mechanics are like and so can get a pretty good idea of what to expect. When I go over each class, I’ll talk about how each healing class will fare with current gear and with the next tier. In most top progression guilds, healers aren’t given gear since gear on dps has a greater impact. As healers, we’re expected to make due with what we have at the start of progression including friendly/honored reputation valor items and the gear we got from the previous tier.

1. Holy Paladins - Having seen every fight and knowing what they can bring to the table, I can without a shadow of a doubt say that holy paladins are the top dogs this tier. The impact they have on the raid comes three-fold. First, no other class can tank heal as well as a holy paladin, and most of the encounters in the Throne of Thunder are high tank damage types of fights. Second, the hps that they can push can be pretty ridiculous. Without going into strategies too much, Blossomz described holy paladin healing as great damage buffers. Finally, the utility they bring to the raid can be life saving since there is almost always a good instance where they can Sac/Purity/AM to save someone.

2. Priests - Basically the priest class only falls short to paladins because they can’t push the same amount of tank healing, but the rest of the priest kit is amazing for the Throne of Thunder. The crazy thing is that holy will also be be quite viable, especially with the acquisition of the priest 2 piece bonus, which makes your Prayer of Mending heal for 10% more with each bounce. When you combine that with Divine Insight for holy, you’re talking about a lot of throughput. I’ve had priests tell me they were pushing 150k hps with no raid encounter buffs/mechanics that could influence the numbers. This was on a fight where other healers could only push 80-100k hps. Those are some crazy numbers. If you take into account that holy does have plenty of throughput tools in Circle of Healing and Divine Hymn and you’re talking about a pretty beast throughput raid healer. If your raid doesn’t need that raw healing throughput, then of course you can always revert back to discipline, and we all already know how beastly discipline priests are at the moment. Disc throughput comes from damage prevention from all of the shielding they can do. Disc also has major cooldowns for both the raid and the tank in the forms of Spirit Shell, Barrier, and Pain Suppression.

3. Mistweaver Monks - To be honest, I found it hard to decide who was the better healer between Monks and Druids. In the end, I felt that the raid saving dynamic/gimmick of revival and high mobile hps the mistweavers have pushed them over the top. Honestly, I feel safer knowing I have a monk in my healing core over a druid. In my mind, Uplift is the same as Swiftmend, but heals 10 targets and is spammable. Mistweavers have pretty amazing raid healing capabilities, but their tank healing is pretty lacking. The other thing mistweavers lack is a major raid cooldown aside from revival. Don’t get me wrong, revival is awesome. You can clear the raid of a crippling debuff instantly or save a lot of people from death, but it’s not Divine Hymn, Barrier, or Spirit Link Totem. Oh, also another edge that mistweavers get is their high mana sustainability making it easier for them to spam high cost spells.

4. Restoration Druids - This tier druids saw an improvement to their kit from last tier where they were bottom of the barrel in the form of new mushroom blooms and a 10% increase to their healing across the board. What druids lacked before was a better aoe heal to immediately increase health of multiple targets. It sucks to have to sit there and pray that your hots will tick quickly enough to get their hp to the safe zone. The new mushroom bloom, while not super amazing, does alleviate that problem, especially if you’re good at planning ahead. If you plant your mushrooms in a location you know your raid will be at in 10 seconds, you’re talking about a huge impact heal. While druids fall short of most other healers overall, they’re still pretty viable in a raid setting. Their mobility healing is still very good and the tank and raid healing a druid can push is competitive as well. At least competitive enough to do the job given to them. The flexibility druids have in talent and glyph selection make them a great flex healer.


5. Restoration Shamans - Although I rank shamans last compared to other healers, I would rank them 1st overall if the raid can sit in one spot and not move. The problem, though, is that most of the encounters in Throne of Thunder are high movement fights or require the raid to scatter and stay spread. That put a huge damper on our highest hps spell Healing Rain. The other issue is a lot of our throughput is tied to our cooldowns. If a shaman wants to be a scumbag and heal as he pleases to pad meters, we probably could top healing meters easily, but obviously doing so would deprive your raid of a Healing Tide or Ascendance when it’s actually needed. Also, the other huge problem for us this tier is that aside from the short time given to us by Spiritwalker’s Grace, we can’t heal well on the move. It’s okay though, we are still the kings of the major raid cooldowns.


Final Stuff

I know I got pretty wordy this time around, and one probably could consider a lot of it ramblings but the 5.2 healing evaluations are done! I do feel the need to say that ALL healing classes are capable of healing a raid. I’ve only ranked them how well I saw they fit for this tier in the Throne of Thunder from a bleeding edge guild point of view. Of course people are welcome to disagree with me, and I’d love to read them so comment below. Maybe something you say makes sense and we can incorporate it during progression! I’ll definitely give you a shout out then.

I want to wish everyone good luck this raiding progression cycle. It’s going to be fun. Blizzard has already gone out and said that they want Lei Shen and Ra-den to be super hard. It sounds pretty promising. Also to the bros over in Method, you guys better watch out! We have A LOT of talent in Exodus now. It’s time to break the EU lock on finishing first every progression!

Finally, shout out to Entio, we’re going to miss you. Best of luck in school and I hope you stay in touch. Affiniti, if you find time during one of your adderall fueled moments of focus, please delete Luumisaurus on Mal’ganis so I can get my alt’s name back (although I think Nidaluu is pretty good for a druid name).