The Ultimate Healers Guide to World of Warcraft

Want to be the best healer you possibly can be? Get back to the basics with this ultimate guide to healing.
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Your Target - href="#have">
Have Faith - href="#forget">
Forget the
Meters - href="#be">
Be Aware - href="#use">
Use Preemtive

You Can't Save Them All
- href="#manage">
Manage Your Mana - href="#understand">
Understand Your Class

to Ten Ton
Hammer’s Ultimate Healer’s Guide. The information
you find here will help to begin to mold you, and your character, into
the best healer you can be. You may be wondering how this guide can
pertain to all healers when each healing class is so uniquely
different. The fact of the matter is, no matter which healing class
you, there are certain basic principles that pertain to all. Below you
will find these principles laid out in detail.

Thinking you can just skip over
the basics? Think again. Healing can be one of the most intense and
demanding jobs in game. The entire course of an instance or raid can be
ultimately determined by how well the healer can heal. If you make a
mistake, everyone will know it. While we here at Ten Ton Hammer
can’t guarantee that you will instantly become the perfect
healer, by reading over the basics tenants found below you can at least
give yourself a strong foundation on which to begin.

Your Target

As a healer you will
undoubtedly be assigned to heal somebody, or a group of somebodys known
as your target(s) or healing assignment. Knowing who this person (or
persons) is, is one of the most basic yet most

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vital duties. 5-man
instances leave little room for error, as the healer is immediately
assumed to
be responsible for the lives of the entire party, including themselves,
but once you venture into larger instances things can become slightly
more complicated.

In this case as a healer you
need to find out who your healing target should be. To do this you
should either ask the other healers in the group, or if available seek
out the person in charge of handing out healing assignments (usually
another healer). If a healing “leader” has been
established be sure to pay attention to what they have to say. Missing
a sudden change in healing can be disastrous.

Once you have your assignment
it is important to remember it, especially if there is a delay between
when the assignment is given and when you will need to heal again. Do
this by repeating it in your head, type it out on notepad, write it on
a post it note, or scribble it on the back of your hand (just avoid
using permanent ink). And once you have your assignment in your head be
sure to stick to it!


You may feel you are the best
healer in Azeroth, and you may think you can handle everything, healing
an entire 25 man by yourself. While you may very well be the best
healer in Azeroth it may be time for a hard cold dose of reality
concerning healing a 25 man yourself. Even if it was possible, in all
likelihood, unless you continuously run 5-mans you are going to be
rubbing shoulders, and sharing heals with several other healers.

Thinking that these other
healers are inferior, or cannot do their jobs even before they get a
chance to try, and therefore you must do their job for them is a nasty
notion that this writer has experienced throughout his healing career.
This line of thinking is not only flawed, but can have deadly results.
Learning to trust and rely on the other healers around you, even if you
have never healed with them before, is a necessary part of the game. By
doing this you will not only ensure that the raid runs smoothly, but
you will also be able to focus on what is most important you own
healing assignment.

Relinquishing control and
allowing others to take the wheel when you would much rather be the one
driving is never an easy task. This is especially true if you think
another healer may be struggling or a raid member close to death. While
it may be tempting to throw out a few extra heals in this situation, be
warned that by doing this you are not doing anyone any favors,
including yourself.

Taking other healer’s
burdens as your own is not only insulting to healers who can actually
do their job and do it well if you would just let them, it also leaves
open the possibility for your own target to die, leaving no one to
blame but yourself. Or you may be covering up an ongoing problem by
assisting a so called “weak” link healer and if no
one realizes the problem, thanks to your extra heals, it can never be
addressed and fixed. So do yourself (and those around you) a favor,
resist the urge to “help”, and stick to your own
target instead.

It should be noted that in
certain situation the above statement does not hold true. Helping out
is acceptable when you are asked to do so by your healing leader or the
raid as a whole.

Forget the Healing

Healing meters are an essential
tool used in almost every instance group and usually some competition
stems from these reports amongst the healers all of which
want to see

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their name in the top spot. Some healthy competition between healers
can not only hone healing skills but make general game play and
down a boss even more of a thrill. However, being the
“best” can become an all consuming obsession and
actually hinder rather than help your instance group.

An example from my own personal
experiences recalls a Priest who topped the healing meters every single
raid. Everyone was impressed with the Priest’s supposed skill
and he himself never missed a chance to point out his excellence.
However, unknown to many around him this Priest gained his spot at the
top of the healing meters by neglecting his real duties and instead
healing whomever was taking the most damage so he could consistently
come out on top. Eventually after many, many tank deaths thanks to his
irresponsible behavior and the raid finding itself at a complete
standstill in the raid instance this healers antics were finally
noticed. Only after he was pushed to do his correct assignment did the
raid make any further progress.

So as you can see, being the
best is not always best. That’s why I take the standpoint
that while the healing meters are a useful tool, they should always be
taken with a grain of salt and should be the very last thing any healer
is worried about. As long as your assigned target(s) are staying alive
then who really cares where you are on the meters? You are doing your
job and because of this the raid will eventually defeat any foes that
stand in its way and that my friends is what really matters in the end,
not your position on a meter.


As we all know,
a dead healer
is a useless healer. One of the cause of healer death’s is
what I like to call red bar syndrome. Red bar syndrome happens when

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in fire is very, very bad.

healer becomes so immersed in the red health bars of their healing
assignments that they forget the world around them. In order to avoid
this nasty syndrome healers must live by the words of one Mad Eye Moody
and practice constant vigilance.

To do this the healer must
be aware of their surroundings. Know at all times where the boss is
located and where he could be potentially be moved to, the locations of
your healing assignment(s) in regards to yourself, and also be aware of
any other potential threats such as falling boulders, waves of fire,
lightning bolts and the like all while continuing to perform your
healing duties.

This is a difficult task, and
the ability to focus not only on your healing targets, but also on the
world around you while doing so can mean the difference between being a
good healer and being an amazing healer. While this is mostly a learned
ability that simply takes practice to make things a bit easier be sure
to keep your screen as clutter free as possible making it easier to
spot potential disaster. Find raid and party frames (even if they are
just the standard Blizzard U.I.) and place them in a location where you
can easily see while at the same time being able to keep an eye on
everything around you. And finally, be sure to be ready to move in an
instant. This means don’t be tempted to cast one last heal
before you move out of the way of a deadly attack, instead move right
away and live to heal another day.

Use Preemptive

Preemptive healing, or in
simpler terms, healing before actual damage is done to your target is
something that all healers should consider taking part in. This way
your cast (or HoT) is already prepared and will finish or begin ticking
just as damage lands on your target, or shortly after, greatly reducing
the chance of a sudden death.

An example of a great time to
use preemptive healing can be seen as Hodir (a boss located in Ulduar)
will cast a spell called Frozen Blows. This spell not only increases
his physical damage causing massive amounts of damage to the tank, but
also does huge amounts of raid damage at the same time. However,
despite its devastation Frozen Blows is damage that is completely
predictable. This means that a healer who is paying attention can
figure out when Frozen Blows is incoming and dish out HoTs or wind up a
huge heal for the tank making healing through this rain of damage far
more manageable. Remember, that while HoTs cannot be cancelled when
cast, if you find that your target did not take the damage you
expected, bigger, and usually more expensive heals, can easily be
cancelled by jumping or any other movement saving you mana that can be
used later in the encounter.

You Can't Save
Them All

Healing before Cataclysm was,
in many minds, a proverbial walk in the park compared to what healers
are faced with now. But perhaps the biggest change to healing is that
Blizzard has finally taken some of the load off the healer's shoulders
and dropped it where it should be located; on the rest of the party or

Healers today need the
cooperation of the rest of their party or raid in order to be
successful. In fact it is near impossible for any healer to heal
through another player's utter stupidity. This means that any player
who decides it’s a super awesome amazing idea to stand in
fire, void zones, or take other unneeded damage and dies as a result
completely and totally deserve to die.

In the past the blame for the
death of a party or raid member was usually placed directly on the
healer, regardless of what said person was doing to cause their death.
However, in Cataclysm all that has changed. Healers in Cataclysm will
find that they will need the rest of their group to be playing smart
because they simply cannot keep up with damage that is taken thanks to
sheer stupidity.So don’t sweat it if that dude who is
inexplicably drawn to fire dies seventy times in one instance, because
the blame lies totally with him.

Your Mana

Mana is the life blood of every
healer, and is one of the few things every healer has in common.
Without mana a healer cannot cast, leaving them and their healing
target high and dry with little to no hope of survival. You could in
this case choose the rather unorthodox method of dashing madly around
bandaging everyone in sight, or you could instead prevent yourself from
becoming a useless lump instead.

Below are several methods you
can employ to be sure that you rarely find yourself without mana:

  • Always keep at least one eye
    on your mana bar.
  • Try to reduce overhealing.
  • Anticipate incoming damage
    so you can create a plan on how to spend your mana.
  • Understand all the heals you
    have in your spell book, how much mana they cost, and decide when is
    the best time to use them.

Your Class

While most of us are seasoned
players, it never hurts to brush up on your class mechanics. Each class
has various strengths and weaknesses as well as different heals and
healing styles. Becoming intimate with the details of your class such
as the best spec, best enhancements, and what spells are available can
play a major factor in how well you play your class.

To learn more about the basics
of the various healing classes visit one of our awesome guides here at
Ten Ton Hammer:

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Are you a healer? What are some
of your most cherished tips? Share them with us in the comment section

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About The Author

Amunet, also fondly known as Memtron, is an organic life form best known for its ongoing obsession with Blizzard Entertainment's numerous properties. To that end, Amu has authored hundreds (thousands?) of the most popular World of Warcraft guides, editorials, and Top 10 lists on the planet. When not gaming and writing, Amu is busy chasing after her three children in a perpetual loop of ongoing disaster.

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