Useful things to know: A Healer’s Perspective

I thought of writing this up after a series of unfortunate random heroics.

Cataclysm is hard. This is a bold new world full of mana issues, hard-hitting mobs, and punishing boss mechanics. In ages past everyone was able to speed through heroics in 15 minutes due to gear, skill, and the way things wound up working. However in this latest expansion that is not the case anymore.

The Healer’s Mantra was:

If a Tank dies, it’s the Healer’s fault,
If a Healer dies, it’s the Tank’s fault,
If a DPS dies, it’s their own fault.

But the above just doesn’t work anymore. Sometimes tanks die because of their own mistakes, sometimes healers die because they weren’t paying attention, and sometimes DPS die because the healers couldn’t save them intime.

So without further adieu, here’s a few useful things the various roles should know for this expansion.


Hey there tanks. First and foremost thanks for taking the punishing blows to defend your group. Now as a healer, I’ve generally been pretty lucky with my tanks I get for Random Heroics. There are a few bad apples and here’s a list of things a healer wants their tank to know.

1) Tanks do not dictate the speed of a heroic. In a world where mana matters, where people have to sit down to eat/drink to recover, it does no one any good to claim this just because you are the tank. Work with your group so that your dungeon moves along smoothly and as quickly as able. Coordinate with healers and dps to create a smooth pace that everyone can stick with.
 1b) This includes no chain pulling without asking first. Most healers mana pools can’t handle chain pulling for more than one or two additional packs. This can lead to a wipe. Keep an eye on your healer’s mana pool to see if they are low or not.

2) Use cooldowns. Even though it’s just a 5 man dungeon, cooldowns are still required sometimes. Boss mechanics are fairly punishing now. If your health is dipping low, you have the resources to mitigate more of that incoming damage.

3) Use the groups resources. This includes crowd control mechanics. Take the time before a pull to mark up the next pack of mobs and assign the various crowd controllers to them.
 3b) If Crowd Control is being used, please be mindful of your AoE abilities. If your consecrate/thunder-clap/etc. breaks the established CC, then things are only going to get more hectic.

4) Bring food to eat. Innkeepers sell stacks consumables that will bring your health back up. With the large health pools that tanks have, it’s both annoying and unfair to wait at 30k hitpoints for your healer to bring all of your health back. Sit down and eat some food please :)


DPS’ers do the job healers don’t. They dish out the damage while we try to heal it up. In the previous expansion AoE’ing down dungeons worked, it does not anymore.

1) Crowd Control. Almost every class has them, get to know yours and when to use it. In most heroic dungeons now, Crowd Control is required in order for encounters to move smoothly. Just because you’ve never used it before is no excuse to not learn now.
 1b) If Crowd Control is being used, please be mindful of your AoE abilities. Cleaves, Explosions, DoT’s, Pets, all need to be watched in order to ensure a smooth running dungeon or raid.

2) Boss mechanics are punishing now a days. You have to move out of them. Standing in them will only cause you to take a pile of damage or maybe just die. It’s your own responsibility to take as little damage as you possibly can.
 2b)Use cooldowns. Even though it’s just a 5 man dungeon, cooldowns are still required sometimes. Boss mechanics are fairly punishing now. If your health is dipping low and you have the resources to mitigate more of that incoming damage or outright avoid it then do so.

3) Follow the kill order. Keep damaging the mob until it is dead and then move to the next assigned mob. If your tank hasn’t marked a kill order, kindly request him to do so in the future and simply assist off him in the present.

4) Like with the tanks, Bring food to eat. Innkeepers sell stacks consumables that will bring your health back up. Sit down and eat some food please rather than waiting for a healer to bring you back up :)


We all know what our job is. We take pride in what we do, and

1) The name of the game is Triage. Due to our limited resources now a days, it’s no longer best to keep people at full health. As a general rule of thumb, try keeping everyone health at least at or above 50%

2) Be vocal. You know your limitations. If the group is moving too fast, or is taking too much damage then speak up. Give advice for when tanks should use their cooldowns, ask the dps to be quicker about avoiding things, be heard.

3) Healing is not a competition. This is for healing raids. The job of the healer is not to beat the other healers numbers, but to keep the group alive long enough for the encounter to go down. Respect your fellow healers, don’t deviate from your assigned task.

For Everyone:

1) Watch the mechanics of the fights. Everyone has things to avoid (ground slams, shatters, chain lightning, etc.) Be observant, be helpful in pointing out mechanics.

2) Be patient. Everyone is getting geared up, the mobs have a lot of health now, dungeons aren’t simply push-overs anymore. Take the time to make sure it’s done right the first time.

3) Be nice to your group. We are all here to play the game together and have a good time. Respect your group and they will respect you back. Let’s all have fun playing this game :)

On a separate note, armory, twitter, and blogroll up :D Need more things to put on the blogroll, if anyone has a suggestion about good healing or good shaman blogs to read, let me know :)

This entry was posted in 5 man, Healing, Opinion. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Useful things to know: A Healer’s Perspective

  1. Bimini Asheye says:

    I’m so glad to have found a good resto shaman blog. Do you realize how rare this is? Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

  2. Onebaddude says:

    Ohh my kurenai
    Wold of maticius
    Life in group five

    I spell like crap sorry.

    • Laerith says:

      It’s no worries at all :) Being new to the blog scene and really the whole using the internet for wow research in general I didnt know about totemtalk. Matticus is somewhat famous but I forgot to put it on the blog roll so thank you :)

  3. Pingback: What Do You Forget In Dungeons? | MMO Melting Pot

  4. Stubborn says:

    Great Post, Laerith. I like how you’ve really clearly broken down the most basics of the game that some newer players who haven’t faced serious challenges before may be totally unaware of.

    For example, I was recently in a Wrath dungeon with a friend of mine who was somewhat inexperienced on the last boss in Utgarde Keep, I told him to move away from the Dark Smash ability. He’d never been told to do this before. It was such a weak, unimportant boss mechanic that it had just never registered on him to avoid it. I told him that he probably didn’t really need to, but that he should learn to do dungeons the “right” way, even if it wasn’t necessary due to the easiness.

    I want to point out to that so many of your points really have to do with good communication. By marking adds, asking for chain pulls (or not), letting people know you need to drink, etc, you’re encouraging a lot of talk, which I think is one of the key elements in successful pug (or even not pug) dungeons. Great post.

  5. Bimini Asheye says:

    I should rephrase my earlier comment… it has been difficult for me to find good restoshaman blogs that are not blocked by my work’s network. None of those listed by Onebaddude are accessible to me at work, where I do my blog-reading. :P

  6. Zuraia says:

    Great post! I have to be honest, your blog is making me want to dust off my Shaman!

    I currently play a Disc Priest that just recently dinged 85, and I have to say. I have A LOT of bad habits to break from Wrath content. I really need to remember that triage is the new way to heal and that I just can’t possibly keep everyone at full health anymore. The perfectionist in me screams every time I see someone drop below 70%. I’m working on that though :)

    • Laerith says:

      Yeah I still fight when I see health bars not at full. It’s like… Muuussssttt Heeeeaaaalllll….

      Glad to hear you want to dust off your shaman! Shamans are awesome :D

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