Priest Healing Tips

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A healer's job is to keep the party alive and well with timely and efficient use of their healing spells. Healers include Holy or Discipline Priests, Restoration Shamans, Holy Paladins, and Restoration Druids.

Purpose: To heal party members and keep them alive.

Healing Tips

  • Always pay attention to party members' hit points. You don't want to be in a situation where party members die and you could have saved them if you were paying attention.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts to heal people faster. One common method is using the Function keys to select party members and the number keys to cast your array of healing spells.
  • Become completely familiar with your entire healing arsenal so that you know exactly what spell to use in any given situation.
  • Don't burn through your mana too fast, use timely healing so that you don't waste mana from overhealing.
  • Prioritize your healing targets when things get rough - you will likely want to prioritize the tank above all other members.
  • Always try to learn and accept tips from others on becoming a better healer.

Be Prepared
Always have the necessary tools of the trade on hand - reagents, mana potions, and water. Every healer will find himself or herself in need of some extra mana on occasion - having a potion ready could mean the difference between victory and a wipe. In addition, have at least one stack of the highest-quality water you have access to. The group only moves as fast as its healer, and having lower-quality water (or not having any at all) greatly slows down your mana regeneration between fights, and thereby the entire group.

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* Tweak the user interface to your liking and make sure you can select targets and cast heals with ease and speed.

* Be familiar with the Five Second Rule as explained in the FAQ section. It is better to cluster heals than steadily cast every few seconds, when possible. Instants like Renew and Prayer of Mending work best the moment a heal with a cast time completes.

* Learn to cast-cancel. If a Greater Heal is not yet needed, canceling it before it finishes will help keep you out of the Five Second Rule. Either move, jump, or hit Escape. You can also put /stopcasting in a macro with Greater Heal and just tap it to restart the cast. On boss fights which both strain mana and cause uneven damage to the tank, cast-cancelling can keep a big heal ready in less than the usual cast time.

* PW:Shield, Binding Heal, and Holy Nova are options to produce less threat than usual per hitpoint healed. Otherwise, threat will always be the same for repairing a given amount of Health; you can only delay such threat by not yet healing. Overhealing never counts as threat.

* On pulls, it can be a good idea to wait then cast Greater Heal to let the tank establish aggro. Depends on the tank and whether any Hunters or Rogues are misdirecting threat. PW: Shield cast before combat is threat-free, but see the FAQ about absorption and tanks.

* Greater Heal should be your primary direct heal; it is big and mana efficient. Flash Heal is less efficient but finishes one second earlier. Penance starts healing immediately -- combining the strengths of both -- but is on a cooldown. Binding Heal is like two simultaneous Flash Heals for less mana.

* Keep Renew on tanks to smooth out incoming damage. Use it to patch up other players who aren't in immediate danger.

* Prayer of Mending is very efficient when multiple charges are used. It will keep selecting the lowest Health target in range. If Mending bounces back to you, SW: Death will send it on its way.

* Set boss mobs to Focus, then watch the Focus Target frame to keep track of their current target. Alternatively, target the boss mob and use mouseover macros or click-casting. This is important for bosses with secondary targeting and for any tank switching scenario.

* Turn on 'Show Friendly Name Plates' (Shift-V by default) to see health bars over nearby friendly targets; the bars themselves can be clicked. Tab through enemies, then heal their targets. Both are especially useful in PvP.

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