Greater Heal – Hello Old Friend
Patch 3.3 is just around the corner, but before it drops and things get crazy, I wanted to give y’all an update on some of the stuff I have been experimenting with of late.
As you may be aware, I have been bucking the trend of stacking crit and spellpower that most raiding Disc Priests have been following, in favor of haste and mana regeneration. On Sunday, I picked up Illumination from our weekly faceroll through 10-man ToC (sadly we still haven’t broken through the ToGC barrier yet), which put me over 22% haste self-buffed.
So on our last forray into 25-man ToC, I decided to see if I could work Greater Heal back into my spell list. And just to make it more interesting, I elected to forgo the use of my standard Flask of Pure Mojo as well.
I started off keeping my normal spell priority intact, but substituting a Greater Heal immediately after casting Power Word: Shield on my tank. With the Borrowed Time buff, I was getting the GHeal off in about 1.4 seconds. Most of the time, however, I was reapplying PW:S as soon as the Weakened Soul debuff wore off the tank, and the following GHeal wasn’t really necessary from a health of the tank standpoint. Oftentimes it would crit though, which did yield a larger Divine Aegis bubble.
I used this casting sequence on Northrend Beasts and Lord Jaraxxus, and didn’t notice any issues with mana. I was healing Karinthanis for both of these fights, who MT/OT swapped through NB, and tanked Jaraxxus. There weren’t any ‘oh shit’ moments in either fight, even though we did manage to lose both of the other tanks in NB.
For the Faction Champs, I was dispelling and raid bubbling, so there wasn’t an opportunity to do much healing besides PoM and Penance.
Karinthanis tanked one of the Twins in the next fight, but he never really took enough damage for me to need to bust out the GHeals. I did a lot of raid shielding in that fight, and cast a lot more PoHs than I normally do. With my improved haste, I didn’t get that ominous feeling that someone was going to die because I choose to cast an aoe heal instead of a single target heal like I normally do. Nor did I eat any opposite colored orbs due to being immobile during a long spellcast. The cast time on PoH was so quick that I could actually substitute it for a Flash Heal on the tank, and top off / DA the other members of the tank’s party.
The real test for GHeal came on Anub’arak though. Karinthanis was tanking 2 burrowers on a patch of ice when we hit phase three, and Leeching Swarm went off.
For those not familiar with the fight, a tank in this situation loses 10% health every second from Leeching Swarm, while being hit by two mobs, with 50% melee haste, and taking 225% damage from 9 stacks of Expose Weakness.
Pain Suppression was on cooldown, so I dropped Power Infusion on myself, and let loose with GHeals instead of Flash Heals between Penance casts. While PI was up, my GHeals were going off every 1.5 seconds, and I managed to keep Karinthanis on his feet until the burrowers submerged (about 2 seconds before we killed Anub’arak).
Although I cannot be certain, I strongly suspect that I could not have saved the tank using another build or combination of spells.
So while GHeal spamming probably isn’t necessary for the majority of fights currently in the game, stacking haste and regen will enable you to do some truly amazing healing in the clutch.
Welcome back Greater Heal.