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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Raid Rx: Healing heroic Morchok

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

The recent nerf to Dragon Soul with the release of patch 4.3.2 means more players are now within striking distance of Morchok on heroic modes. He's a boss that serves as an execution check for your raiding group more than anything else. If your raid group mastered the art of healing through him on normal, then it should have no problem doing it again on heroic.

Just be prepared to do it twice.

The biggest hard mode change is that Morchok clones himself. His clone has the exact same abilities as Morchok prime, except the timing will be off. Your raid will be splitting in two and pulling the two bosses away from each other. You can envision the fight as two pseudo 10-man groups fighting (or two 5-mans, if you're in a 10-man raiding group).

Come into the raid with six to seven healers, if you're a 25-man raiding group. Actually, I'd consider bringing seven if it's the very first time. For 10-man, it is not uncommon for groups to bring in up to four healers for the first time. You'll need them, due to the amount of damage being dished out to the raid. Ideally, try to insist that when your raid leader splits the raid into two groups, the players will show up in your raid frames in different groups. Having all of the players in group 1 and 2 on one side with groups 3 and 4 on the other can be beneficial. The side that is tanking Morchok is the one that could benefit from the extra healer, as it seems more damage is done on that side.

I strongly recommend bringing in tanks with their four-piece bonuses, because they will be an incredible asset.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Raid Rx: How to be the world's worst healer

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Time to take a break from trying to be an awesome healer. It just feels much easier to be the best at being the bottom of the barrel. Without any concerns, you can simply play however you like with no fear. There are multiple steps on the road to being an excellent healer for your raiding guild. As you might expect, the same applies to being the worst healer.

Note: You shouldn't actually do any of these, as they're the exact opposite of the way you should be playing. I would like to add that I've seen parts of this list in action throughout the years in my experiences.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Raid Rx: Higher-level healing starts with your mind

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

"Wipe it!" my raid leader bellows. I whip off my headset in disgust and sink back in my chair, burying my face in my trembling hands and tuning out the usual post-wipe Mumble drivel. After collecting myself, I pull up any logs and try to figure out what happened. Could I have done anything to change the outcome? In most cases, the answer is a yes. There is always something that any single player could have done differently in the moments leading up to a fateful wipe.

Last week's column about pushing healing performance seemed to have struck a chord with several readers. I wanted to take a moment and examine some of the commenters' approaches to rankings, meters and healing logs.

If you want to play at a higher level than you are now, you must start with your mind. Blaming other players because you are being outplayed is not going to help you get any better.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Raid Rx: Start ranking on healing without even trying

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

It was a Thursday night. For the past few weeks, I've done Ultraxion as shadow for additional DPS time. I'm usually the swing player who can spec into both healing and DPS. Mind you, I'm not the great at shadow. This time around, we were using five healers on Ultraxion because our other regular healer wasn't able to make it that day. On 25-man, Ultraxion has six healing crystal buffs. Using five healers meant that one of the crystals would not be in use. I opened up with red crystal before sneaking the blue crystal later. I think this was the second or third time I've actually healed Ultraxion.

Alas, I was not able to catch our resident holy paladin, who aced me on the meters again. One of these days, I will catch him. I don't have a clue how. Circle of Healing and Prayer of Mending used on cooldown while dropping Prayer of Healing nukes every chance. I'm even waiting until the last possible second on Hour of Twilight before triggering the phase out (which is very dangerous, mind you, and I wouldn't recommend it unless you have the dexterity and reflexes of a hockey goalie).

It wasn't until well after the raid that I noticed we used only four healers on that encounter. Looks like our other priest didn't get the memo and stayed shadow the entire time.

Eventually, your raiding group will reach a stage where you can simply heal full tilt. You can take shortcuts and bigger risks that lead to additional payoffs (like quicker raids and personal satisfaction from ranking, for example).

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Raid Rx: Why healing rotations spell death for your raid

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Are you going through your healing rotation properly?

No question has raised my wrath more than that. The idea of a healing rotation is my ultimate pet peeve. I once had a ret paladin ask me what my healing rotation was. Not even his bubble could protect him from my stony glare that penetrated his monitor.

Healing is all about a priority system. It's about who needs what healing spell when. So as you're progressing through all the normal and heroic modes that Dragon Soul has to offer, learn to cultivate smarter healing habits. Find out what you need to focus on. Figure out what crappy habits you need to break.

Coincidentally, Mike Gray wrote about the DPS side of spell priorities just the other day. He goes into great detail about the history of the DPS rotation and what developers were witnessing from the players. With healing, though, no real rotation exists. It's all about priorities. Two types of priorities exist: spell choices and healing targets. For players who are just getting started with healing, let me go into further detail about each type.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Raid Rx: Top healing moments of 2011

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

This was a fun year for me as a healer. Granted, I had to learn how to heal again, but I do enjoy this expansion's model of healing (although a part of me does miss The Burning Crusade a little when all I had to do was pound Circle of Healing repeatedly). There were many memorable moments that I experienced during raids, and there are others that affected many more of us.

Announcing the monk Undoubtedly the best news for healers this year is this. BlizzCon 2011 unveiled a ton of news and announcements. The biggest one for healers was that there would be a new healing class for players. You guessed it, I guessed it, and I'm pretty sure half the world guessed and hoped for a monk class. These leather-wearing bears are set to help heal in the upcoming challenges that Mists of Pandaria will be throwing our way. While we don't have a complete look on the full range of abilities that monks can do, we do know that they rely heavily on mobility to get their spells out.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Raid Rx: Healing the Spine and Madness of Deathwing

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

This is it. This is the final encounter of the expansion. Everything you've ever worked for and fought through has led to this point. This is the moment you get to help rid the world of Deathwing. First, we need to ground this oversized lizard. Immediately after the conclusion of the gunship (part two), you'll be parachuting onto Deathwing's back. We'll go over the different obstacles and what you and your healers need to do to get over the proverbial raid hump. (To the raiders who do 10-mans, you'll have to adjust the numbers a bit. I'm not as well versed on 10s, so you'll have to bear with me as I draw up assistance for the 25-man version.)

To attack the Spine of Deathwing, we need to peel off those metal plates on Deathwing's back so that we can really weaken him further. Our healing goal here is to ensure that our tanks live. Apparently, Deathwing has all sorts of little defenses that he'll use to try to shake us off; there are several threats on this fight that healers need to be aware of. You're on an extremely narrow field of battle here, so movement's going to be really limited.

What did you expect, though? You're fighting on the back of a former dragon aspect.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Raid Rx: Healing Ultraxion and Warmaster Blackhorn

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

In every expansion, there's always been at least one raid boss that's really defined healers. In this expansion, we had Chimaeron back in Blackwing Descent. We've got another one in Ultraxion over in the new Dragon Soul raid in patch 4.3. This guy is a (literal) beast. After that, we get another crack on the next gunship encounter.

Setting up to heal Ultraxion

When you're setting up for Ultraxion, there are a few things you need to do. Decide on the number of healers you wish to use. I would highly recommend opening with five healers. The DPS requirements on normal encounter can be a challenge to match.

The next step is to figure out your buffs. There are three different healing buffs you can get. On 10-man, you get one type of crystal; on 25-man, you get two sets.
  • Gift of Life This comes from Alexstrasza. It'll be the first set of crystals that spawn. These should be handed out to priests or druids.
  • Essence of Dreams The green buff from Ysera duplicates your direct healing done and distributes it to the rest of the raid. I've found this to be extremely powerful for restoration shaman.
  • Source of Magic The last buff you'll get is my personal favorite. Reducing mana costs by 75% and increasing spell haste by 100% is really juicy especially for priests and paladins.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Raid Rx: How to heal Yor'sahj and Hagara

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Ready for a trip back into the Eye of Eternity? Oh, don't worry, you'll get your chance to reminisce. This week, we're going to look at the next two bosses within the Dragon Soul raid instance. Some movement will be required -- hope you have your running shoes equipped. Last thing you want happen is to complain to your raid leader that your feet are in pain.

Yor'sahj is one of the bosses that some raid groups may have some difficulty with. I know that green and red slimes up can be the hardest combination to deal with. We'll go over how to handle those. ... Could always ask Greatfather Winter for a hand! I'm sure he'd be happy to help with some brand new raid loot.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Healing Morchok and Warlord Zon'ozz

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

A new month and a new patch means new raid bosses to learn! It means new mechanics to learn, new players to work with (for some of you) and new challenges. I'm pretty sure that it's safe to say most of us were getting a little ... burned out on Firelands.

The opening bosses should present a nice warmup for the rest of the instance. We'll start with quick healing setups for Morchok and Warlord Zon'ozz. The Raid Finder iteration of these bosses shouldn't be a problem for you if you already have a history of raiding. Normal versions might present a bit of a step up.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Raid Rx: Checking out level 90 talents

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

That new Mists of Pandaria talent calculator is out. Had a chance to look through it? You might've been alarmed at the fact that several key spells appear to be missing from the list of skills and such. Not to worry, though, since Bashiok clarified that it was still under development. Anything missing is (hopefully) unintentional. A few classes are given previews of new skills trainable past level 85. The classes that don't have their stuff created yet are presumably still being worked on.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Raid Rx (Raid Healing), Mists of Pandaria

Raid Rx: A new balance for intellect and spirit in Mists of Pandaria

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

One of the proposed revamps coming in Mists of Pandaria is the way intellect and spirit interact with each other in regards to healers. For the new healer, understanding the current formula for mana regen can be a little daunting. To make it really easy, let's just say that it plays off both your spirit and your intellect. However, your intellect has a gradually increasing impact on how much mana you gain back in combat situations as your gear improves.

It appears that will no longer be the case heading into the next expansion. Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) helped shed some light on the issue in a blue post earlier in the week.

The highlights?
  • Intellect becomes a sheer throughput stat
  • Spirit controls the rate of mana regen
  • Mana pools will remain fixed

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raid Rx (Raid Healing), Mists of Pandaria

Raid Rx: Class balance and design Q&A panel looks at healing

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Manage to catch the class Q&A earlier this week? If not, there are some pretty interesting things going on for patch 4.3 and for Mists of Pandaria. You can either go check out the full transcript or read on for only the healing relevant ones.

Highlights include:
  • Discipline priests get a new spell.
  • Intellect won't directly increase mana pool size.
  • Restoration Druids get a castable Barkskin.

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Filed under: Druid, Priest, Raid Rx (Raid Healing), Monk

Raid Rx: How to stop worrying about healing

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Annnd the BlizzCon hangover continues. I think we should have two BlizzCons a year. Perhaps one out in the east (or maybe a separate one in Europe)? I think it'd be neat! But alas, I'm digressing. This week in how to maintain your healing sanity, I wanted to discuss a problem that most healers have experienced at some point in their healing careers. Ever go to bed sweating stressing about your healing? Felt particularly bad about your performance because you just kept dropping the ball? Have that sinking feeling in your stomach after a particularly bad night?

If this happens to you consistently, then you just might be suffering from worry!

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Raid Rx: Thoughts on the next expansion and healers

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Wow, what a truly fantastic BlizzCon! Had a blast at the WoW Insider party meeting all of you. I want to take a moment to fire some shout-outs to everyone who approached me just to say hello. It's quite humbling!

With the new Mists of Pandaria expansion on the horizon, has anything really changed for healing? We didn't really experience much in terms of a philosophy change. In fact, healing itself was hardly even addressed at all. So what gives? What can we expect for healers going into 5.0? Not much, sadly, but read on anyway.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

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