Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Battleground Healers - Druids and Paladins

So, I've always found myself to be a big fan of battleground healing. So I'm looking forward with interest to the changes that the incoming patch are going to bring. With my shaman and my priest both being recent level 80's, they have the fewest HK's and the least PvP gear of any of my level 80 healers at this point, so I have a lot more experience when it comes to druid or paladin healing.

On my battlegroup at least, Horde-side, healers are in very short supply, so having one or two good healers in a group seem to be able to turn the tide of the battleground overall. For some reason, I find that a lot more satisfying than whatever HK's I can accumulate on my warlock.

From the standpoint of druid and paladin, there are aspects to both that I've always enjoyed in battlegrounds. For the druid, particularly in those large scale battlegrounds like Wintergrasp or Alterac Valley, the ability to heal large numbers of people at once and keep Rejuv's up on a ton of different people can make an enormous difference. The other advantage to the druid is with a few more instant cast heals, their healing mobility can often make a big difference. If you think about a pocket healer for a flag carrier in Warsong Gulch, Eye of the Storm or the capture the flag style battleground coming in Catalcysm, being able to heal while on the run with a flag carrier can make a huge difference.

As I look to the talent changes coming for druids in Patch 4.0.1, there is quite a mix in there from a PvP healing standpoint. First, the talent tree seems to have shifted a bit towards main tank healing, with more things, like Replenishment, proc'ing off of Lifebloom. Nourish will also refresh the duration of Lifebloom. On the other hand, not being stuck in tree form and having the flexibility to cast Wrath, Starfire, Entangling Roots or Cyclone without having to switch in and out of form will provide us with some interesting variety.

I'd be interested in pairing myself with a couple of warriors, death knights or ret paladins and seeing how many folks I could keep stacks of Lifebloom going on while refreshing them regularly with Nourish. Could be a complete wrecking ball to run into.

From a paladin standpoint, the huge attraction for me on battlegrounds has always been the big heal. Being able to bring someone that is almost dead almost completely back with the press of one button has to be a huge demoralizer for any enemies in the area. Paired with beacon of light, so that you're doing that twice, it's really a huge difference maker.

Where the paladin has sometimes fallen short in battlegrounds has been on AoE heals and on mobility. From a mobility standpoint, we've always been reliant on Holy Shock, and hoping that sometimes generates an instance Flash of Light. Now, our Holy Shock, in addition to being a big, cheap, instant heal, will also generate holy power for us. At three stacks of holy power, we can kick off Word of Glory, another big cheap instant heal. And, as a bonus, Holy Shock also has the chance to generate a free instant exorcism.

Later this week, I'll talk a little bit about Shaman and Priests.

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