Dear Fellow Disco Priests,

  Don’t drink the “Heal” Kool-Aid that Blizz has forced on you!

I used to get so upset when I couldn’t keep a tank up and I was going OOM nearly every pull. The reason is the spell “Heal”. It seems innocuous enough – a cheap slow heal that can be spammed until the cows come home. But, there is a dark side to this spell.

With the talent “Strength of Soul” we get with our 2 points: “When you heal a target with your Heal spell, the duration of the Weakened Soul debuff on the target is reduced by 4 seconds”. The talent Rapture states (with 3 points): “When your Power Word: Shield Is completely absorbed or dispelled you are instantly energized with 6% of your total mana. This effect can only occur once every 12 seconds.” The Weakened Soul debuff lasts for 15 seconds.

So let’s do some simple math:

Cast PW:S on the tank – 15 seconds of Weakened Soul. The bubble is instantly consumed giving me back 5043 mana. The bubble itself costs about 3912 mana to cast – I’m making 1131 mana when it breaks. I now have a 12 second CD on Rapture so any bubbles that break on a DPS (or me) will not give me any mana back – I’ll just have to eat up the cost of casting it.

If I were to cast “Heal” now that would subtract 4 seconds off the tank’s Weakened Soul. It takes at least 2.14 seconds to cast the “Heal” spell. So really, I’ve taken off 7 seconds of Weakened Soul by the time “Heal” has landed. Weakened Soul is now down to 8 seconds and Rapture’s CD is now at 6 seconds.

Now to leave it like this would be good because you would get another Rapture proc the next time you would cast your bubble. But in Cataclysm you have to keep a constant stream of healing on the tank so what do you do? You cast “Heal” again because it’s cheap and mana is tight. You just took the rest of the Weakened Soul debuff off your tank and Rapture is still on CD when you cast PW:S again. It gets absorbed immediately and you have no Rapture proc.

Rapture is now off CD. You have the choice to bubble a DPS and hope for the best or wait to bubble the tank again for a guaranteed Rapture proc. You aren’t going to waste 4K mana on a DPS that isn’t taking damage just for the shot of getting 1K mana back so you wait to bubble the tank again – starting the vicious cycle over again.

“Heal” is not as awesome as we have been led to believe. It can seriously mess with our regen if not used properly. Rapture procs account for a lot of regen during a dungeon run. One thousand mana may not seem like a lot on trash pulls but over a 5 minute (or more) boss fight it really begins to add up.

In this expansion of seriously evil trash (Millhouse Manastorm) and even more evil bosses (Heroic Altarus), we need all the mana we can get our grubby hands on but we don’t need to be forgetting we have other spells than “Heal”.

We still have Penance, Greater Heal and Flash Heal in our arsenal. They didn’t take those away they just made them “less attractive” than they were before. We can still use them if we manage our mana better than we did before.

I used to spam “Heal” because I thought Flash Heal was too expensive. And guess what happened? The tank died because I could not get them “Healed” up quick enough. I chose to use the slow, baby heal when I should have been using the expensive, quick heal. I have never seen “Heal” hit for more than 12K but last night I was getting 35-37K flash heals. A Greater Heal hit for 43K. Penance can hit for 21-25K. That is a shit ton of healing we have seemingly forgot about.

We just cannot sustain a tank with a 2 second “Heal” that hits for 1/3 as much as our other heals. We cannot afford to let the tank die. If you see the tank drop like a rock, Flash Heal or Penance if it’s off CD. Full mana at the end of the fight is wasted mana, especially if the tank is eating the pavement. You are going to sit to drink after each or every other pull anyway – blow it all. Go for broke on each pull.

Let’s all remember that healing isn’t a cakewalk like it was a few months ago. I can’t bubble the group and then read WoW Insider on my laptop while they do all the work like I used to.

A good dungeon run is dependant on several factors not just the healer. Both the tank and the DPS need to be on the ball, as well. If the DPS takes the time to CC a target the tank needs to know how to react to that. If the tank asks the DPS to CC then they need to know what to do. Dungeons are now designed to let everyone take responsibility equally. A geared healer isn’t able to carry an under geared tank and a healer’s mana pool won’t be able to carry low DPS, either. All of the pieces of the puzzle must be in place for success.

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