Monday, January 4, 2010

Honors Heals

I thought I'd start off by regaling you with the story of Honorshammer healing.
We've really dialed back the raiding over the holidays, but most days I'd get on to run the daily heroic. I was getting pretty bored with tanking these heroics that I've been tanking for over a year, so I decided I'd dust off the healing set.
Now I haven't healed on Honorshammer since late tBC and that was under protest. I didn't want to heal back then, but I was forced to. My other option was not raiding. So for Council and Archimonde I healed.
Wrath of the Lich King brought many changes to Paladin healing and most of them I wasn't familiar with.
I did a little research and found a nice Holy/Prot Bubble spec and made sure my gear had some gems and enchants. It was a mix of 200 to 219 gear that I had picked up in Raids. I spent some Emblems to shore up the particularly weak points of the Cloak, Trinkets and Rings, and grabbed the weapon from the Argent Tourament.
There's a real dearth of Holy Paladin Basic Training on the web. Holy doesn’t' have a set 'rotation' like Ret or Prot, but what I came up with was Beacon of Light on the Tank, Sacred Shield on the Tank, Flash of Light to start the Heal over Time and heal whoever took damage. Most of the time I'd just Flash of Light to get them back to full, and rarely use Holy Light or Holy Shock.
I didn't want to subject some poor random Tank to my Holy newbness so I somehow convinced Blueshield to tank a run for me. Blue plays an Arms Warrior in our Raid and is our 3rd tank. We grabbed a couple of DPS from the guild and headed off to Gundrak with one Random who turned out to be an Elemental Shaman. Donk, our Arcane Mage, was very happy about that.
Blue did a great job tanking and our DPS took down mobs in no time. I managed to get the Less Rabi achievement thanks to Blue and the random Shaman having all those stuns and interrupts. I never let Blue die although I did lose Donk a time or two.
With that experience under my belt, I decided to go alone into the LFG as a Healer. No one in this group would know I was an extremely inexperienced healer. This time we got Drak'Tharon Keep. The Tank was a Deathknight and our DPS consisted of a Shadow Priest, Hunter, and Enhance Shaman.
We managed to clear the place with only a couple of deaths. For some reason the Enhance Shaman did almost as much 'tanking' as the DeathKnight. I didn’t have any trouble keeping the party alive and the run was over in short order. I don’t think anyone had any clue I was healing for basically the second time. I never had any issue with mana and most of the time I’d have about 60% over heal. Towards the end I started to try to see how low I could let the DK get before I healed him to prevent the overheal. My Holy Light could heal him for nearly half his life, but I was pretty nervous letting him get that low, so I stuck with mainly Flash of Light.
Paladin healing isn't as bad as I remember it. It's actually a different look at these heroics. I learned some new things like to stay away from the Rhinos at the end of Gundrak because they silence you and that's rather bad when you're the healer.
I've also learned that if you queue as Tank or Healer, you will get assigned to tank.
Every. Single. Time.
If you queue as Healer or DPS, you will get assigned to heal.
Every. Single. Time.
What might be fun now is to get into one of those 'PST with Achieve and GS' PuGs. I have every Achievement they could be looking for, and a decent gear score. Of course, I've never healed one of those raids in my life. I've tanked them all, but Tanking a raid and Healing it are two very different things.
Generally, I would get my two Emblems of Frost on Honorshammer, and the Hunter, and then spent the rest of my playtime leveling my Druid, who is now up to Level 75.
Speaking of the Druid, I'm finding that I enjoy Tree Healing much more than Paladin healing. Ultimately, what I'll do is have Honorshammer for tanking, the Hunter for DPSing and the Druid for Healing.
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