The7½ Commandments of Cataclysm PvP healing
Cataclysm is here and with it, your very own welfare ilvl365 Vicious Gladiator epics. Whether you’re an arena master or a dungeon hero, the healing gear is both easy to get and a viable upgrade for pre-raid items. Healing has changed since WoTLK but the tenets remain the same. As resilience increases we will see less and less of the all-dps rushdown teams. So learn to heal. Now.
1 Thou shall choose your bracket wisely
2v2 is either about getting zerged down by double dps or standing by a pillar and casting a PvE rotation of heals/CC/damage. Fun with a friend or if you have a flavour of the month setup that can truck through the opposition for easy wins.
Rated BGs are about popping every CD on cooldown and trying to shout over the top of everyone else on vent for peels, and once getting them, standing there, feeling more vulnerable than a newly dumped prom queen in a ghetto, casting your 2.5sec heals on random teammates. I think it’s called triage.
3v3 is both of those things at the same time, while also having to balance on a unicycle and trying to train a WoTLK Kingslayer to not hit sheeps in heroics.
I meticulously scienced this graph to show what’s most important in each bracket.
RBGs would be fun if it wasn't such a pain getting 10 people to attend. They should scale it down in numbers. And maybe make it revolve around kills not objectives. And make the maps smaller. Oh wait...
2 Thou shall know when to play offensive
Play offensive whenever your teammates aren’t a big heal away from death.
Playing offensive means putting out more pressure on the other team than is being put out on yours. It means not standing 40 yards away hoping that the mage will be too slow to counterspell your fast heal. It means not standing in a group trying to decide on who to go for when the other team’s rogue is making his way to sap your healer, cheapshot the squishie and blind the other guy, effectively forcing 2 trinkets.
If you’re a PRIEST, it means using mana burn and mind control every chance you get, forcing the other team to use their interrupts on your shadow tree so you can free cast that much needed greater heal a few seconds later.
If you’re a SHAMAN it means sticking with the dps target, purging the life out of them, giving all and any casters PTSD by repeatedly shocking their casts.
If you’re a PALADIN it means popping those long cooldowns to keep your teammates from running to a pillar or having to kite. Pop that stuff and keep them topped so they can stay right in the middle of it, demolishing the opposition.
If you’re a DRUID it means going tree early to keep pressure on, using that CC to stop the damage coming in. If you’re casting more heals than cyclones, you’re doing it wrong.
You want to avoid the herp derp position. Standing there increases your opponents' skill by 20%
3 Thou shall know what a pillar does
Pillars save lives. Ranged can’t swap to something hugging a block of granite. Mages can’t sheep through cement. The biggest difference between a good healer and a great healer is using a pillar to simultaneously keep in LoS of your teammates and keep out of LoS of any mother-in-law wannabe who would want to control you.
PALADINS have no reason to ever leave a pillar outside of HoJ.
DRUIDS should be travelforming from one pillar to the other if the battle moves out of cyclone range.
SHAMANS are advised to stick to a pillar due to how easily they can get tunnelled.
PRIESTS, in their current sorry state, have bigger things to worry about. Being the only healer with 0 mobility once snared, in possession of woeful mana efficiency, a pillar is no replacement for offensive in-your-face play.
If you don't know what pillars are, you might like RoV
4 Thou shall keep up the pressure
It is easier to maintain momentum than to regain it. Being proactive is better than being reactionary. Pop those cooldowns while you’re winning. Work out an opener against the teams that stand around at the start. It’s their bad. Use your opener every time. Rush in against rogue teams. Use short (1min) CDs in your openers, get your team to do the same. When they come up a minute later, the opponent won’t have their trinkets up. Pressure means that enemy CC go onto your teammates to stop their damage, not to stop you healing. Develop a kill rotation with your team (e.g., Deathcoil>throwdown>pet silence>bear bash).
This means PALADINS HoJ early, PRIESTS fear bomb at the start, DRUIDS stealth>dash>cyclone, SHAMANS hex.
(Not seen in image: all the cooldowns your team is popping to keep up pressure)
5 Thou shall make awesome game-winning calls
So many healers are happy to just sit there, healbotting and letting the dps decide what to go on, when to switch, what abilities to use. They all play in the 1500 bracket.
As a healer you have a unique vantage on the battlefield. You know how much damage is coming in, what you can and can’t heal (what happens next time that rogue/mage do a Deep Freeze shatter into Smokebomb?), and most importantly, what the other team’s healer is feeling right now. You can put yourself in their shoes more easily than your warrior who’s mashing his buttons into the bear druid. Because it is so hard to top teammates up right now, healer switches are EXTREMELY potent. Even if you don’t get a kill, chances are, that feral druid you switched from wouldn’t have regained 100% of his HP.
Once your teammates have switched onto the healer, he won’t have a lot of globals to dispel his teammates. This is where they are open to all of your CC, meaning you have to heal less and your team won’t get peeled. Most healers will LoS while trying to survive too, so if you time it right there will be a nice big pillar between the healer and the guy he is trying to get fear/roots/hex/HoJ off.
If you have trouble making the calls, put your teammates on speed-dial
6 Thou shall know your comp
For 2v2, pick the current OP class and make sure they have good gear. Sorted.
Rated BGs, emoquit if there are less than 3 healers. Except if your team is amazing, you’re going to die with less than three. A lot.
3v3, unless you and your two best friends are the only ones on the server, chances are you will have options for your comp. Know this:
Melee/melee/healer puts a lot of pressure on the healer. Standing in wrong spot? Full fear, someone dies. Get counterspelled at bad time? Some one dies. Getting trucked down? Ask for peels – oh wait – your team don’t have much crowd control. You die. You have to be awake to do well at this (unlike the two melee you’re playing with). Get a warrior and deathknight for max profit.
Caster/caster/healer can feel a bit more defensive depending on the comp, especially against melee teams. Work to allow both of your teammates to freecast so something can inexplicably die. Frost mage and shadowpriest is all the rage at the moment.
Melee/caster/healer is hit and miss but potentially the most fun to play with a good balance between the constant pressure a melee provides and the burst and control of a good caster. Warriors are in great shape and do well paired with a lock or mage.
If it doesn't work out, check forums again. You might have missed a thread.
7 Thou shall have right attitude
Don’t give up easily. Many healers succeed in 2v2 only to go into 3v3 and fail miserably. This is not a new phenomenon, or your fault, or because you play with mentally deficient teammates. All three brackets require a different skill set, one that is not necessarily transferrable in a couple of dozen games. Practice in new brackets with people you enjoy playing with. Drink beer when you lose. Be extremely drunk by end of arena session.
At 1550, declare yourself godlike and quit PvP.
7½ Thou shall not die in a global
Get some resilience already.