Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Are you ready to heal Heroics and Raids?

Part 1: Gearing Up

When you first ding 80 the first thing people want to do is jump into LFG, or guild chat and shout I'm 80 now! Lets do a heroic! Sometime it is raid night, and you get an invite. Does that mean you are ready? Not really. I would like to preface this post with a disclaimer I do not believe healing is any harder or easier than DPS'ing or Tanking. It is different from the other roles in it's own ways.

When you are a tank it is pretty easy to know if you are ready for a Heroic or Raid (not accounting for skill). There are two pretty easy metrics to measure against. Are you Def capped? and do i have enough health? There is a few other things like mitigation, expertise, block etc. But those two are pretty much what you need for Heroics, Raids are another story, and I haven't been a tank in a long time.

When you DPS it is even easier to know when you are ready, and you can even be carried by party members that out gear the encounter. Basically all you have to worry about is do I have enough health to survive whatever AOE the boss spouts out. If you are not being helped by a guild that is willing to carry you until your gear is up to par you also have to worry about can I do X DPS?

When you first ding 80, before you get your first Heroic group you will want to look at a few things.

1. Is my bonus healing high enough? (Spell power) When looking at this do not forget your Earthliving on your weapon, and drop your totems. I would shoot for 1200-1400 spell power for your entry Heroics. (CoT: Strat, VH, UK) 1600+ for your advanced Heroics. (everything not in that first list)

2. Do I have enough mana? (Intellect) Intellect is an awesome stat for Shaman not only do we get (I think) 15 mana per point for every point of Intellect we have we get a bit more crit. The more Intellect the better. To start heroics you are going to want 13k-15k mana.

3. Can I regen enough mana to make it through a boss fight? (MP5) Just throwing out a number, I think I started heroics with around 150 MP5. This was acceptable, but got a little scary on some of the more mana intensive bosses. This in conjunction with Water Shield, a mana pot and a well timed ManaTide should get you through any heroic boss. (Maybe not HToC, Black Knight is a pretty long fight, with LOTS of burst damage at the end)

While the skill > gear > skill debate will rage on forever. There is no denying that even the most skilled healers will never clear Ulduar in greens. You NEED certain stats to survive an encounter, to have enough mana to continue casting your spells, and frankly to keep people from laughing at you.

Later this week I will discuss how to heal, in my scathing two part expose on Shaman Healing.

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