WoW Basic Healing Guide
MMORPG.com WoW Correspondent Warren Hawker writes this introductory guide to healing as a Priest in Blizzard's hit game.
When you go into a group as a holy priest most people will want you to heal (unless they already have a healer). As the main healer in a group, you have the number one responsibility to keep everyone alive. Although you should keep this basic principle in mind, there are exceptions where you have to sacrifice a person in order to keep the group going and win a fight. In this guide I will try to explain the basics of healing with a priest, the spells to use when and suitable gear. Please bear in mind that this guide is designed for healing in PvE end-game raids, not levelling or PvP.
The healing spells you will be using at level 80 are (note all cast times are base cast times before talents are added):
Flash Heal (1.5sec 40yards) – This is your basic fast heal. In 5-man instances this is better not spammed on the tank as it will drain your mana very quickly. It should only be used if you think the tank will die in the time it takes to cast Greater Heal or for healing non-tanking players with too little maximum health for Greater Heal to heal its full amount.
Greater Heal (3sec 40yards) – This is your main big heal. This should be used to top up the tank’s health or spammed on hard hitting bosses. Although slower, it is more mana efficient than Flash Heal so if time and health allow, always use it in favour of Flash Heal.
Prayer of Healing (3sec 30yards) – AoE heal with a high mana cost. To be used when 3 or more people have taken damage. On more than 2 targets, it is more mana efficient than using a flash heal on each 1, and is faster.
Renew (instant 40yards) – HoT spell that ticks every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. More mana efficient than flash heal and is best used constantly ticking on the tank and to heal non-tank players if you know they won’t take any more damage
Prayer of Mending (instant 40yards) – this is 1 of the most mana efficient healing spells in the game. With talents it can easily crit for as much as a non-critting flash heal and at a quarter of the mana cost. The other bonus of it is that the threat generated by the spell is applied to the person receiving the healing and not the priest. This makes it an excellent spell to help the tank gain aggro at the beginning of the fight. PoM heals the person with it on after they take damage so put it on the tank before they enter battle and by the time it heals them, the cooldown (CD) of the spell will be finished and you’ll be able to put it back on the tank again. After PoM heals the person it’s on, the spell will jump to another person in a 20yard radius and do the same. PoM jumps up to 5 times which is alot of healing for the amount of mana you spend.
Binding Heal (1.5sec 40yards) – this spell heals yourself and your target for around the same as one flash heal, at a higher mana cost. This is useful if only you and another person in the party have taken damage
Magic and diseases - As a priest you are able to cure diseases and magic debuffs from your raid and party, as well as dispelling buffs off enemies. You have 4 spells in which to do this; Cure Disease (single target, curing 1 disease), abolish disease (single target, cures a disease once every 5 seconds for 15 seconds), dispel magic (single target, cures 1 magic debuff from ally or 1 magic buff from an enemy) and Mass Dispel (AoE curing 1 debuff from each ally within 15yards). As far as diseases are concerned I would take abolish disease over cure disease since it dispels more than once for no extra mana cost. If more than 3 people have a magic debuff in a close area then Mass Dispel is more mana efficient than Dispel Magic, and does it faster. If however only 1 or 2 people have a magic debuff, then it’s better to use Dispel Magic over Mass Dispel.
A Word about Renew. This is a great spell to you not only on the non-tanking party members but also on the tank himself. It is far better to put a renew on a target than to spam flash heal. The reasons for this is renew is instant cast which means you can put it on the target then straight away go back to healing the tank, it costs less mana to use renew than to use flash heal and renew gives threat over time instead of all in 1 go like flash heal.