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Raid Rx: How to prioritize combat resurrections

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading on the Matticast.

Before I get into anything today, I've been getting a few emails from people all asking various forms of this question: "How can I convince my guild leader that I should get Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest?"

Look, as much as I love legendary weapons, that's not a healer weapon. It's coming with patch 4.2. Don't even think about making a play for it. Its benefits are maximized for your guild as a whole if it gets awarded to a DPS player. Even then, if you're not sure if there's anyone in the guild who does deserve it, you still have a few months before it can even be completed, anyway, due to all the stuff that's required for construction.

Scott Andrews wrote a brilliant piece for leaders who are deciding who gets Dragonwrath. Even though I joked about it a little bit in the comments, it's not for Smite priests, either.

Dragonwrath is not a healer weapon. Do not give your guild leader a headache by trying to insist it is.

As much as I'd like to spend the entire column copying and pasting the previous statement, I can't. We've got death knights who can bring up dead players now -- and not just in ghoul form. It's time to sort things out: What's the priority order?

When it comes to calling for player resurrections in combat, I tend to rely on druids to do that job. Battle rezzes have been one of their staple spells throughout most of the game. It wasn't until recently that warlocks and death knights were able to do the same (and shaman, to an extent). Other than Rebirth, we now have Soulstone and Raise Ally.

I don't like planning around deaths. As a priest, I don't get Spirit of Redemption because it means I benefit when I die. But planning for combat resurrections is a shrewd thing to do for any savvy healing team or raid leader.

In the right place

As the main guy who calls for combat resurrections, I need have an idea of where the dead player lies and where my resurrect-capable players are. It doesn't make sense for me to ask a balance druid on one side of the room to hustle all the way to the other side of the room to revive a dead player if there's a death knight a few yards away. Think of the convenience of your entire team. Find a way to handle battle rezzes without disrupting their flow (or at least, while minimizing it).

My guild recently scored a heroic mode kill against the Conclave of Wind. It most certainly was not a breeze. One of the key factors that aided us in our attempts were the combat resurrection spells. Not so useful if players get blown off the the platform -- but with events like tank deaths and healer deaths on platforms, it was great to have them there. Even though I have three druids available to me, I didn't have to stress as much about their positions. With two warlocks and a handful of death knights, I could ensure the platforms had enough options for combat resurrections and not worry about it.

However, there was a day where I only had two druids, one death knight and one warlock. I had only one death knight on Rohash's platform, and the other players were loaded on Anshal's platform instead. It didn't occur to me until a few wipes in to move a warlock over.

What about our buddy Nefarian? There's that one phase when the raid needs to be split into different groups. It's best to ensure that every pillar has at least one player who can revive on the fly. We can afford to do that now.

At the right time

If position isn't a problem, then it's time to think about minimizing raid impact. It's a tough choice when you mix in role and class combinations in addition to energy consumption.

Tanks
  • Death Knight
  • Druid
If they're tanking something important, very bad idea to rely on them to revive players in the middle of combat. Their efforts need to be focused on tanking bosses.

But there is an exception. If the tank is in a phase when there's a tank switch or if he's off tanking another mob that happens to be dead or has not spawned, I'll generally pick that tank first. Tanks generally have a little breathing room to spare during an encounter before switching back to tank and taunt duties, anyway. I'd say the druid first, over the Death Knight, for energy-related reasons.

DPS
  • Druid
  • Death knight
  • Warlock
The warlock Soulstone ability has 15-minute cooldown. I'd rather save that one as a last resort, due to the longer timer. I'll rank druids at the top of my list, as they generally have the mana available to fire off a resurrection (in either cat or bird druid form).

The thing with death knights is that I'm never sure if they have the resources available to spare. I need my resurrects to be used as quickly as possible. Time is a valuable thing, and sometimes it isn't worth it to wait for death knights to recharge. Obviously, if I have no choice, then I just have to suck it up, wait until it is ready and adjust tactics around that.

Healers
  • Druid
I'd rank healers toward the bottom. They might be one step higher than tanks, the reason being that I still have nightmares over the years of calling for a resurrection, only to see the rezzer's assigned healing target die right afterward.

If you're looking for an addon to help you track the cooldowns, I'd suggest using DBM Spell Timers. Note that you might need to customize it in order to add Raise Ally and Create Soulstone as a tracked spell (I can't remember if the version I had installed already had it listed; I just remember listing it myself when the changes were made).

Oh, one last thing before I forget ...

The Matticus UI

Numerous people have asked about it on my previous posts regarding Beth'Tilac, Lord Rhyolith and Alysrazor. I'm using Real UI for raiding and healing purposes. The great part is that it's useful across my other characters. It totally does the job.

Last warning: Dragonwrath is not a healer weapon.

Need advice on working with the healers in your guild? Raid Rx has you covered. Send your questions about raid healing to mattl@wowinsider.com. For less healer-centric raiding advice, visit Ready Check for advanced tactics and advice for the endgame raider.

Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

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