A Realistic Look at Level 80 Raid Healing


I’ve kept myself mum on this topic for quite a while. You’re aware of Wyn’s thoughts and no doubt others have expressed their opinion around the community. It’s my turn to tell you what how I feel about being a Holy Priest and healing.

Before I do that, I want to make one thing clear:


Got that? Good. The opinions and thoughts I’m about to tell you are my honest, unbiased feelings about the subject. I’m not going to hide behind math or spellpower theory because I don’t know much about it all. If I were to list my one weakness, it’s the lack of mathematical Matticus power. I can’t begin to tell you the coefficients relative to the modifiers based on the exponential percentage of the sum off of this spell which is affected by the Earth’s tangent to the Sun (I don’t think that last sentence made any kind of sense).

I can’t theorycraft to save my life, but I just creamed a bunch of bosses in Naxx with 2 other healers and a group that’s sporting the same level of gear as I am. No ounce of theorying would’ve helped.

But in this case, it’s a good thing.matt-priest-com-1

Because I just knocked out 7 bosses in Naxxramus in one night on my Holy Priest in PvP gear without knowing anything about what I was getting in to.

There’s a point I’m trying to make here. I participated in a successful raid with less than optimal gear in a class that’s supposed to be rendered extinct due to poor design choices by the class designers.

My fellow clerics, let me reassure you that not all is lost. We lose our unique racials, yes. We lose the ability to downrank, yes. We get slapped left and right, back and forth with the giant nerf bat with no end in sight, yes.

Yet we still heal. It’s our duty. Don’t lose sight of that. They remove our powers and abilities and empower us with new ones. Raiding mechanics have changed. The entire gamescape has changed. This isn’t World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade. This is Wrath. The encounters are being tuned to suit what we can do and open up the number of options we have in terms of classes.

What changes?

What has changed exactly? I said it before, and I’m going to say it again. And this time I really mean it. Whatever you learned before Wrath, throw it out of the window. It’s no longer relevant or important.

Biggest change thus far?

I’ve cast Flash Heal more times than Greater Heal which goes against every Priest handbook in the game. Let me paint you the circumstances. My Flash Heal lands for 4500. The typical tank will have approximately 28000 health or higher. Greater Heal will do over well 9000 (and this isn’t just a cheesy Dragon Ball Z reference). Tanks are taking damage between 2000 – 5000. Instead of simply spamming downranked Greater Heals, I have to actually pay attention and Flash or Greater accordingly.

I guess this is going to cut into my hockey time.

Let me bust your objections so I can save you some time from voicing them.

It’s not the gear guys

Everyone’s on equal footing because I’m doing this on the Murmur Beta server (say hi to Miyone!). The vast majority of players are playing on premade characters relying on PvP blues and a few PvP epics. I have more mana regen right now on my level 70 T6 Priest then I do on my level 80 PvP T0.5 set sporting Priest.

Can’t be the group either

I worked alongside a Resto Shaman and a Holy Paladin. Weren’t people complaining that all the healing classes were getting nerfed? So by that logic, if all the healer classes get nerfed, then aren’t we all then at the same level? Are they going to bring in Rogues and Hunters to heal for us now? Healers will always be in high demand. It’s not like our raid size got nuked from 40 to 25 again.

I’m not as skilled!

Let’s not go there. I am not the best Priest in this game. There are other way better Priests than I and one of them happens to also contribute to this blog (and this is the ONLY time I’ll ever admit that ;)). So what makes me so special? I’m always present at raid times. I read up on strategy ahead of time. I do whatever I can to make my character the best it can possibly be in terms of augments (enchants, gems, and now glyphs) and consumables. I’m ruthlessly efficient and don’t like to waste time. I understand and follow directions like a 6 year old dying to go to a bathroom. That’s what makes me so special.

Would I consider my class expendable? You could make that argument. I wouldn’t know how to argue against it anyway because I’m not a theorycrafter. I’m a valuable asset not because of my class. I’m a valuable asset because of who I am as a player not because of what my class can do. If you’re working hard right now in BC raiding, there is no reason for you to feel threatened in Wrath.


Everyone is going to have to relearn how to play their class. Your skill is going to be affected by how openly you embrace and learn what needs to be learned in the expansion.

Naxx is EZMODE

I’m using a flawed instance as an example because it’s way too entry level. You’re right, I am because it’s all I’ve done so far. Right now, we stack Shamans and CoH Priests for Sunwell because it helps ease the burden we have doing it. There’s no sense in thinking too far ahead in Wrath and being worried about actual end end game healing. Go with what we have now and have faith that we can do what we need to do as we progress up the ladder.

I’m thankful I don’t have to learn about how to use HoTs, AoE Heal, or other forms of specialized target healing. I didn’t get a lot of new toys to play with this year from Santa? Good. Less of a learning curve for me and I can spend more time on important things such as learning how to heal raids in post Wrath.

Still don’t buy it?

If you think I’m full of crap, by all means I understand. Either a) You know a lot more than I do in theory or b) You’re a really pessimistic player whose looking for an excuse to quit the game. But before you start ripping into me about theory, proofs, and other technical stuff, all I ask is that you run a level 80 raid first. Because that’s what I’m basing my experience, my opinions, and my thoughts on Priest healing from.

And honestly? It’s not that bad.

Image credits: just4you

PS, expect to see some Naxx healer guides really shortly.

13 thoughts on “A Realistic Look at Level 80 Raid Healing”

  1. “unbiased feelings ” <- does not compute. Sorry, but opinion cannot, by definition, be unbiased. You should be proud of the fact that it is not if you’re going to weigh in on the side of “not a theorycrafter”.

    i.e. “I feel my class hasn’t been horribly nerfed, it feels comfortable and I think I can still fulfill my role *despite* the number crunching showing I’m being reduced in x, y or z manner” which is what you’re basically saying 😉

    That aside, there are some valid concerns facing other classes at the moment who’ve also gone through Naxxrammas. Although I’m square in ‘the sky is not falling’ group, I will be a little concerned about my class until I see for myself, in action, how I do.

    Spirit is ‘the’ stat in Wrath and, obviously, druid and priests have this as part of their baseline so I’d like to hear how well your resto shaman and pally got on both regen and healing wise 🙂 ?


    Auriks last blog post..Sunday Screenies – Capital Idea!

  2. Almost every community has those who express the “Blizzard hates our class. We are horribly broken and will be extinct in Wrath.”

    I’ve heard it from Mages, Warriors, Paladins, Priests, Shamans, etc.

    Nice perspective here. I wonder how many of them have actually raided level 80 anything.

    honorshammers last blog post..Say Chesse!

  3. The mages are idiots if they think the class is extinct in Wrath.

    If nothing else, we have the best raid wide debuff that has ever existed in the history of everything. 10% more spell crit, raidwide? I DARE you to find something better.

    That said, the healers seem to be the most borking mad out off all the communities I troll. More tears from them than anyone else, even mages and warriors.

    Even resto druids. This has to be the first time I’ve ever seen druids legitimately QQ about anything (Legitimate here meaning actual QQ. Druids have complained and such, but it’s never been actual QQ).

    Euripedess last blog post..Ignite: the New Blink!

  4. Hehe, Aurik pointed out that your feelings are by definition biased before I could. This also feeds into your little hat-tip to me. But, I’ll take it – you made me grin this morning.

    Anyway. Of course we’ll still heal. And you made some great points. I’ll just sit tight, and as soon as it becomes apparent what I need to do to be the best healer in my raid, guild, or server, I’ll start working toward it. Making it there is the question, but that’s always the objective.

  5. This whole expansion thing kind of makes me think of NASCAR. (Wondering if I might be the only WoW-playing NASCAR fan out there.. lol)

    But, when the Car of Tomorrow (now the “Car of Today”) was first introduced, there was all the whining about the changes and how it was going to be awful. Then they started racing it, and the complaints continued about all the horrible problems with the new car. Now, they’ve been racing it for the full season this year. There’s still some complaints here and there, but for the most part, people have accepted it and are adjusting their game to the new car.

    Change is inevitable – adapt, and move forward and life will go on just fine.

  6. Ow! My branches still hurt from that big smack with the nerf bat that druids got last week. You’re right, Matt, we’ve all been nerfed. So I suppose it’s time for a big group hug and a collective effort to learn to play (again) in our new environment.

    I have my moments where I declare that the sky is falling. Well, even if it is, good reliable players of any class and spec will always be useful in raids.

  7. Oh, and for durids–Regrowth spam is apparently back (It’s only “back” for me. I used to spam regrowth on tanks back when I seriously needed to L2P, i.e. in Karazhan days). Oh my, that’s as much of a revolution as the new prominence of Flash heal.

  8. Day of repeated comments:

    My opinion on grammar, as a college writing teacher, mind you, is that meaning is more important than form. I don’t nitpick my students on small points as long as their grammar errors don’t interrupt the important process of making meaning :). There are bigger fish to fry.

  9. As a recently turned 80 priest with semi decent gear I have yet to be out healed in any raid I have been in.

    Im supporting a Deep holy crit spec, focused on raid healing and popping flash heals.

    (I switch between holy and disc for arena, still a lot of work to do in arena!)

    Its not uncommon for me to be +10% more total heals than the closest healer, to do this I spam COH every 6 secs (using the +1 COH gylph), throw renew on all tanks, throw prayer of mending at one tank, and use prayer of healing whenever required (using the POH hot gylph) – Topping up tanks with flash heals when something crit proc’s – Its mana efficent, im healing at 2500-3500 hps for the entire raid with about 10-20% over heals.

    If this interests anyone I can go into further detail and provide some macros I use.


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