Assigning Healing Strategy – Part 2: Double Shifting Healers

Image courtesy of hkarl

Welcome to the second in a 5 part series here on World of Matticus. For the next several weeks, I’ll be covering the rare topic of assigning raid heals. No one really wants to do it but it’s the most important job in the raid and I’ll provide a basic overview of the process and some advanced tips!

In case you missed it:

  1. Week 1: Recognizing Class Strengths

Throughout your raiding career as a healer, you will find that the measure of being a good healer is underscored by one question:

Do you keep your target up?

When you start approaching T6 content in Hyjal and Black Temple, keeping a player alive indefinitely (or at least, 5 minutes) is not just a good skill, it is a virtual requirement. Your healing boss should be able to put any healer on any tank for any trash pulls and not have to second guess their decision. This is the personal standard by which I base my healers on.

So what’s the next step?

Find out if your healer can keep up two targets.

As the healing stratician, I get the pleasure of doing all the assignments for all the bosses. Sometimes it has to be done on short notice and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one in the game that has to to pull off a hail Mary. Unfortunately, I don’t get much say in who stays or who goes. I can’t pick my lineup because I never know what crew I have to work with on any given week! This is a challenge unto itself because certain classes are optimized for different roles and I have to be really creative in order for our group to find success. We raided all of SSC and nearly all of TK without a Resto Druid. It’s doable but it’s tough.

Double shifting the Healer

There are going to be times where you can get away with not having a full healer’s attention on a tank. The reason for that is because there are other healer’s on said tank. I often feel uneasy having only two Paladins on a main tank. I know I would feel more at ease if there was at least one more. However, I also know that due my personnel, I can’t spare another player on them full time.

What I can do is split a healer’s attention between two tanks. If I don’t have a Druid, I’ll put a Priest on it. Generally speaking, a Druid would be my top choice due to the nature of the class. Barring that, I’d take care of it myself personally. If I’m not able to, I’ll flip a coin and pick a Paladin or a Shaman.

The principle here remains the same. What we’re doing is taking a healing class and assigning them two different players to keep alive. In the end, we’ll have something that looks like this:

Alpha Tank
– Pete the Paladin
– Paula the Priest
– Darren the Druid
Bravo Tank
– Pierce the Paladin
– Pavol the Priest
– Darren the Druid

Understand that in most boss encounters, only one tank is necessary. But also understand that there are some fights where the boss encounter requires more than 1 tank to eat damage or to tank a different NPC. Here’s a few player examples of when double shifting is a good idea:

  • Covering a player 2nd on threat
  • Highest person with health gets a Hateful Strike
  • Multiple tanks on multiple mobs

Hopefully you’ll be able to understand the message I’m trying to convey here. Fights will become more complicated for you as you progress through the game and double shifting healers is one way of answering the challenge. Sometime early next week, I’ll illustrate in further detail how a Priest can double shift in terms of spells and things to watch out for (might use that for a WoW Insider post actually).

How about some concrete examples of which bosses to double shift on? Pulled from WoWWiki we have:

  • Supremus: Hateful strike – ~7 – 10k melee damage to the target with the highest current health inside melee range.
  • Gruul: Hurtful Strike – Always hits the second highest aggro target within his melee range; therefore essential that any melee DPS classes maintain their aggro level not only below that of the MT, but also below that of the OT.
  • Magtheridon: Phase 1 – It is theoretically possible for a moderately geared healer to cover the first two tanks on the Warlocks especially now that the encounter has been considerably nerfed.

Next week, we look at the pivot healer! See ya then!

7 thoughts on “Assigning Healing Strategy – Part 2: Double Shifting Healers”

  1. Interesting to see the mechanics of healing assignments broken down too far. I usually just think “ok, we have these tanks who will be taking this damage, plus the raid group, who’s going to be getting hit there?” and just deal out the assignments (when I’m filling in :-P) accordingly. I never thought so specifically about double shifting, it was just what each healer could do from their class and personally. Great stuff!

    Avonars last blog post..Priests have pets!


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