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Raids & Healing in 3.0 (as a priest)


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#1 constantius

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:34 PM

Since the Compendium is mostly about specs, and theorycraft, I thought it might be nice to have a thread similar to Snowy's, where priests can talk about specific fights, and how they heal them. No theorycrafting allowed -- just questions, discussion, and analysis.

If you have a WWS/Stasis parse to go with your question, absolutely post it. Ideally, questions in this thread will not be simple enough to be answered in the Simple/Simple thread. If it's one line, put it there. If it's about a fight in 3.0 (Naxx/Sarth/Malygos), put it here. Be sure to explain what role you are asking about -- it's very different describing healing a tank vs raid on Sarth+3, for example. Also make sure you list what spec you are, so the responses can be tailored to your playstyle.

I'll start it off with a general Sarth+3 'discussion' (10-man). I was working on it this past week with a suboptimal group, and was healing the drake+add tank. The spike damage from dual shadow breaths + dual melee swings (2 drakes up) was absolutely brutal. Anyone have any suggestions for predicting that damage, or mitigating it? As most of you know, I raid as holy; GS-spec atm. We were running as HPaladin/HPriest for our 2 healers; drake tank was a warrior.
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#2 Newpriest

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 06:25 PM

I'll start it off with a general Sarth+3 'discussion' (10-man). I was working on it this past week with a suboptimal group, and was healing the drake+add tank. The spike damage from dual shadow breaths + dual melee swings (2 drakes up) was absolutely brutal. Anyone have any suggestions for predicting that damage, or mitigating it? As most of you know, I raid as holy; GS-spec atm. We were running as HPaladin/HPriest for our 2 healers; drake tank was a warrior.


I was tank healing on 3-drake Sartharion (25-man) this week. It may seem like stating the obvious, but with a warrior tank we were trying to coordinate Shield Wall followed by Guardian Spirit to counteract the breath (we later found this out to be a poor strategy and will be having our druid tank Sartharon tomorrow night). Predicting when it's incoming might be a bit tricky however.

On 10-man, discipline might potentially be a more ideal spec, since Power Word: Shield will be absorbing a lot more damage, and Pain Suppression would also potentially be more useful than Guardian Spirit. Not sure if you'd be willing to respec for a 10-man, though.

#3 constantius

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 06:46 PM

I was tank healing on 3-drake Sartharion (25-man) this week. It may seem like stating the obvious, but with a warrior tank we were trying to coordinate Shield Wall followed by Guardian Spirit to counteract the breath (we later found this out to be a poor strategy and will be having our druid tank Sartharon tomorrow night). Predicting when it's incoming might be a bit tricky however.

On 10-man, discipline might potentially be a more ideal spec, since Power Word: Shield will be absorbing a lot more damage, and Pain Suppression would also potentially be more useful than Guardian Spirit. Not sure if you'd be willing to respec for a 10-man, though.


I was referring to healing the *drake* tank; healing the Sarth tank is an entirely different task. And yes, as you said, it's all about rotating cooldowns in that situation (and hoping your raid gets Shadron dead *fast*).
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#4 Isin

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 08:13 PM

My one bit of advice as a healing priest from a raid fight that I wish I had known earlier- Even though Patchwerk 25 is a lot of tanks taking damage, it's really best to just single target heal on that fight (at least from my experience). I think what was hurting our raid early on is we were having some shammies chain heal and I was using COH if all the tanks were down a little. I think what this was doing though was bumping the Hateful tanks up just a tiny bit over the melee dpsers, but not topping them off before the Hateful strike came in.

When we changed our assignments around and just had shammies and priests solo-target heal, we 1 shot him.

#5 kolboi

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 09:35 PM

Could start precasting GH and cancel cast pretty late so that if he doesn't need healing you don't waste mana. Also try keeping a PoM up and renew eventhough it's not the most efficient way it sure beats losing the tank. Also maybe try following up GH with a flash heal incase you canceled then the tank gets pummeled. You could always cancel that cast as well.

#6 Sinndir

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:31 PM

My one bit of advice as a healing priest from a raid fight that I wish I had known earlier- Even though Patchwerk 25 is a lot of tanks taking damage, it's really best to just single target heal on that fight (at least from my experience). I think what was hurting our raid early on is we were having some shammies chain heal and I was using COH if all the tanks were down a little. I think what this was doing though was bumping the Hateful tanks up just a tiny bit over the melee dpsers, but not topping them off before the Hateful strike came in.

When we changed our assignments around and just had shammies and priests solo-target heal, we 1 shot him.


As far as I have witnessed, in 25-man Patchwerk he will not attack a melee who has full health unless a hateful tank dies or unless the melee pulls aggro (we actually had a warrior do this sustaining high 6k+ DPS).

Depending on your healer setup, I find as a priest it is always better just to continually cast GH and let them land, overheal or not. I have enough regen I don't even cancel anymore as I prefer the chance to get a crit to get a chance for IHC as well as for inspiration uptime to be good as well. I have also seen/heard priests predominantly using flash heal on that fight. PoM also works wonders on that fight.

#7 Woozle

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:36 PM

As far as I have witnessed, in 25-man Patchwerk he will not attack a melee who has full health unless a hateful tank dies or unless the melee pulls aggro (we actually had a warrior do this sustaining high 6k+ DPS).

Depending on your healer setup, I find as a priest it is always better just to continually cast GH and let them land, overheal or not. I have enough regen I don't even cancel anymore as I prefer the chance to get a crit to get a chance for IHC as well as for inspiration uptime to be good as well. I have also seen/heard priests predominantly using flash heal on that fight. PoM also works wonders on that fight.


This has been my experience as well. The benefits of PoM aren't only the healing it does, but the increased uptime of inspiration between multiple tanks to mitigate damage.

#8 Sinndir

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:47 PM

This has been my experience as well. The benefits of PoM aren't only the healing it does, but the increased uptime of inspiration between multiple tanks to mitigate damage.


Absolutely, and if you are Surge of Light spec'd keeping a SoL proc in the bag incase you get behind. Though after a couple weeks doing 25-man Naxx and your healers grabbing some loot, Patch becomes very easy.

Definitely our optimal spells for Patch are: PoM, then either GH or Flash depending on your setup.

#9 Thelyna

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 12:38 AM

As far as I have witnessed, in 25-man Patchwerk he will not attack a melee who has full health unless a hateful tank dies or unless the melee pulls aggro (we actually had a warrior do this sustaining high 6k+ DPS).


Confirmed, Patch's HS is now whichever of #2 and #3 on threat have highest health. Consequently, if your third tank is a Fury warrior that's trying to use a 3.4spd 2H axe to build threat with, your melee are going to have to watch themselves.

Anyone confirmed what happens if a ranged person moves into #3 on threat? Curious if he'll run over and smack them, drop to the third person in melee range, or just hit OT1 again (and presumably kill them).

Ahem, anyway, Sarth+2 (Tene/Vesp), 25-man (as holy) - I was assigned to heal the DKs on whelp/blaze duty, but it seemed every other flame wave they (the blazes) would get enraged and start beating the snot out of the DKs - do we need another healer to help on the add tanks, better movement from the tanks, or something else? (we had a rogue with Anesthetic Poison keeping the blazes de-enraged as much as possible, but it seemed like if they got enraged it was 50/50 if the tanks would get spiked before I could do anything about it)

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#10 Lambi

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 12:57 AM

...

I'll start it off with a general Sarth+3 'discussion' (10-man). I was working on it this past week with a suboptimal group, and was healing the drake+add tank. The spike damage from dual shadow breaths + dual melee swings (2 drakes up) was absolutely brutal. Anyone have any suggestions for predicting that damage, or mitigating it? As most of you know, I raid as holy; GS-spec atm. We were running as HPaladin/HPriest for our 2 healers; drake tank was a warrior.


It's a terribly hard fight for 2 healers at that point since you'll have raid damage from the add downstairs, you'll be constantly fearing for your MT getting huge hits (3rd drakes add puts up a horrible debuff), and you'll have to keep both the spawn tank, add tank and the raid up.

To properly help you out I need you to explain to me how you cope with the portals and adds downstairs (I suspect you ignore them until 2nd drake is down?) and what is tanking the fire spawns etc?

Beacon is essential, personally I feel it's best used on the fire spawn tank since that means you don't have to focus on him too much.

My best advise for you is to glyph for PoH, put the drake tank, spawn tank and the 2 DPSers most likely to take the most damage in your group. Tell the spawn tank and drake tank to stand very close to each other so you can PoM bounce them (this is one of the few encounters where a 6 bounce PoM actually is good), PoH whenever the tanks are on "steady" hp, follow the PoH with a quick CoH if needed or a SoL proc on a tank if that's needed. Tell the tank you're healing to use last stand for the first breath they do, GS the 2nd breath (this is the breath where lots of raid damage is incoming together with fire spawns, wall and so on...). When GS is up you focus on healing the rest of the raid, you actually want the tank to get saved and healed by GS, and after this he should shield wall.

Depending on DPS you only have 1 drake left now, if not you'll have to put use of those lifesaving cooldowns when you feel the raid is taking the most damage or when you have to move awkwardly. Safest is ofcourse just to use 3 healers and save you from as much randomness as possible... even with 3 healers it's a rather random and hard fight depending on the type of tanks you're using.

#11 Bjork

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 02:05 AM

Running two healers is playing RNG if you ask me and you should expect some instagibs. You obviously don't have any choice if your DPS can't keep up with three healers, so here's a few tips from my experience running two healer setup.

1. Make sure that beacon doesn't fall off (work on tank positioning).
2. If you have a DK in the raid, use Devouring Plague and make sure he spread it on the whelps during first drake - you want all the DPS you can have and you should easily be able to regen the mana back. It will tick for 1k+ on all whelps.
3. Enter the critical phase with everything up and 100% mana, your paladin should be fine anyway. Then just GH > CoH > PoM, rinse and repeat, just spam it. The only way you can keep up is burning 200% of your mana pool in 45 seconds. Also Lightwell for DPS is golden and you should use early in the fight so you can have two when you need it. It doesn't matter really if your're oom after that anyway, you've won the fight. I suggest going really, really OOM a few times so you know your limits before conserving.
4. Threat will be a problem, only fight in the game I reccomend specing Silent Resolve.
5. Do not spec SoL, it's a HPS decrease and it's all about numbers there.
6. I didn't use much PoH, mainly because I wasn't in the tankgroup. If i was in the tankgroup I might consider it, but as you say ... you can't really take your eyes off the drake tank for a long time. With some haste a PoH will mean that you're off the drake tank for 2,5 + 2,0 seconds - which is too much.
7. Make sure your elemental tank consumes PoMs. He should be on the drake aswell for DPS and just pick them up. If your elemental tank is running around in the middle instead of staying on the drake, you will need to use a lot more time keeping him up.

The drake tank obviously needs to use every CD aswell to keep up, communicating SW or even make a plan for it can be very helpful. If you know your tank will use a 15 seconds SW (4p t7) when 3rd drake lands, it can save you a lot of work. Save LS for double breaths.

#12 Ayreon

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 02:07 PM

I'll start it off with a general Sarth+3 'discussion' (10-man). I was working on it this past week with a suboptimal group, and was healing the drake+add tank. The spike damage from dual shadow breaths + dual melee swings (2 drakes up) was absolutely brutal. Anyone have any suggestions for predicting that damage, or mitigating it? As most of you know, I raid as holy; GS-spec atm. We were running as HPaladin/HPriest for our 2 healers; drake tank was a warrior.


On our kill we used the same healer setup (holy priest + holy paladin - with elemental shaman helping out with healing the raid after Tenebron was killed - we simply couldnt kill him in time with 3 fulltime helaers) but we had the priest (me) healing Sartharion tank (unholy DK) and the paladin healing add tank (warrior) and drake tank (druid) in order to make full use of beacon. He didn't really have any difficulty keeping them up (and since healing Sartharion tank is a full-time job, especially when disciples are up, I couldn't help him with anything else but an occasinal PoM). Overall, this fight is definitely the most challenging stuff I have healed to date.

#13 Lambi

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 05:55 PM

On our kill we used the same healer setup (holy priest + holy paladin - with elemental shaman helping out with healing the raid after Tenebron was killed - we simply couldnt kill him in time with 3 fulltime helaers) but we had the priest (me) healing Sartharion tank (unholy DK) and the paladin healing add tank (warrior) and drake tank (druid) in order to make full use of beacon. He didn't really have any difficulty keeping them up (and since healing Sartharion tank is a full-time job, especially when disciples are up, I couldn't help him with anything else but an occasinal PoM). Overall, this fight is definitely the most challenging stuff I have healed to date.


Wow that's really impressive that you managed to pull the healing off when you were on the Sarth tank. How did you manage to keep the DPS classes alive?

Edit: I'm stupid, you clearly stated that the elemental shaman kept them alive. Well done :)

#14 Caggy

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 05:06 AM

Well I think one thing is as it is, DK tanks have bad damage spikes due to how their mitigation works. Until the next patch hits, I'd figure a DK main tank is gonna be an interesting heal.

#15 nterr0r

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 06:02 AM

Any tips for healing Sapphiron in a 10 man Naxxramas?

The group I've been going with understands the fight mechanics quite well but when trying to keep up the raid from the frost aura damage, there comes a point where I find myself running out of mana fairly quickly. I've also been trying to maximize using my Shadowfiend, Hymm of Hope (for what its worth), and cheating the OO5SR with Inner focus.

In terms of gear I know where are many upgrades I can get but drops have been very unlucky for me and I am wearing the best I can until I get upgrades.

#16 Morakk

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 06:16 AM

One thing to remember with the raid damage on Sapphiron is that it's very predictable (any damage not from the aura involves people being bad), so you don't have to be that aggressive topping people off, and can afford to be pretty mana efficient. You don't have to overextend yourself early in the fight.

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 06:45 AM

Any tips for healing Sapphiron in a 10 man Naxxramas?

The group I've been going with understands the fight mechanics quite well but when trying to keep up the raid from the frost aura damage, there comes a point where I find myself running out of mana fairly quickly. I've also been trying to maximize using my Shadowfiend, Hymm of Hope (for what its worth), and cheating the OO5SR with Inner focus.

In terms of gear I know where are many upgrades I can get but drops have been very unlucky for me and I am wearing the best I can until I get upgrades.


The couple tips I can think of off-hand are first; use Prayer of Mending every cooldown. It limits your fsr time, but especially on Sapphiron is easily the most efficient spell available at numbers well over 30 HPM. Circle is useful for topping people up behind ice blocks, but Prayer of Mending should be your primary choice. Renew and Flash Heal are also good choices in this fight for somebody who is a bit low, assuming you're raid healing.

If you end up as the tank healer, what I do is stand in front of Sapphiron, close enough to the tank to ping-pong Prayer of Mending back and forth, but far enough away to avoid the cleave. The goal here is to maximize prom and keep from having to take gcds to heal myself in this situation. Between Prayer of Mending cooldowns, cast-cancel Gheal and keep renew on the tank.

Other than being very efficient in your spell choices, you might look at a spec with mental agility if mana is that much of an issue - 10% off all instant casts will make a huge difference on Sapphiron, as will your dps getting more gear/speeding the fight up. And the last tip is, you don't have to heal all the damage yourself. There are other healers there, and letting them shoulder some of the load helps your mana as well.

#18 Lhyssa

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 07:42 AM

Any tips for healing Sapphiron in a 10 man Naxxramas?

The group I've been going with understands the fight mechanics quite well but when trying to keep up the raid from the frost aura damage, there comes a point where I find myself running out of mana fairly quickly. I've also been trying to maximize using my Shadowfiend, Hymm of Hope (for what its worth), and cheating the OO5SR with Inner focus.

In terms of gear I know where are many upgrades I can get but drops have been very unlucky for me and I am wearing the best I can until I get upgrades.


If mana is continuing to be an issue, a few tweaks to gems and enchants (and making sure you have a Replenisher in the raid) could make a huge difference. +16 int to bracers, and a few Int/Spi/or combo gems in place of the spell damage ones could help a bit. Darkweave Embroidery on the cloak, and finding a Heroic drop meta socket hat when you can for the Insightful can do a lot for you as well (there's one from the second boss of CoS, which is pretty easy if you have the time to run a few times).

If your problem can be solved with a better rotation, I wouldn't suggest regemming and all that for one fight, of course.

#19 Lhyssa

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 07:44 AM

Other than being very efficient in your spell choices, you might look at a spec with mental agility if mana is that much of an issue - 10% off all instant casts will make a huge difference on Sapphiron, as will your dps getting more gear/speeding the fight up. And the last tip is, you don't have to heal all the damage yourself. There are other healers there, and letting them shoulder some of the load helps your mana as well.


Healing Prayers could help too, as so much of that fight can be healed with PoM.

#20 Bekah

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 08:04 AM

My biggest annoyance with PoM on Patchwerk is that it keeps getting stuck on the ret paladin using seal of blood when the other tanks are topped. It usually falls onto him by the third or fourth bounce. Seal of Blood doesn't bounce it back off though so it's stuck. Just an annoyance though since we don't have any problems with the fight.

Sapph- make sure you have resistance aura or totem unless you're specifically gunning for the achievement. A clown in our 8man Sapph decided frost aura wasn't necessary and 2 healing with no aura was much more rough than we expected. Just keep the pom bouncing- everyone it touches will bounce it back off with the next aoe tick. Also, your dps's ability to stay the hell out of blizzards can seriously complicate the healing. We occasionally get lazy on blizzards and I cal always feel it. As far as they're concerned the damage might just be melting off with ease while you're going through heroic efforts so they can be lazy. Don't let them do that =/
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