Long ago, back before Dire Maul, back when Scholo and Strat were raids, Altoholic played a mage. I’d run instances with an arms warrior tanking and a shadow priest healing. Sometimes a mob would get loose and run towards the healer. I’d nuke it, pull it back to the warrior, frost nova, and blink away (and hope I woudn’t fall through the world… again).
These were my first experiences protecting a healer. This weeks shared topic over at Blog Azeroth is all about protecting healers.
First thing I have to say is that a healers safety isn’t just on other group members but the healer as well. Healers have to help themselves, too.
Tips for healers to stay alive:
- On muti-mob pulls, let the tank get agro before healing. For every point of health you heal, you get threat, if a tank pulls multiple mobs and gets hit by all of them and doesn’t have a chance to hit them before your heal lands, those mobs are going to try and eat your face.
- Stick Together. For rapid respawn situations or massive amounts of adds that need to be AOEd, or where you think you might get agro (gauntlet of CoT Strat is a good example, as are Onyxia Whelps) you should stick close to your tank. Standing in the consecrate / death and decay or simply nearby means it’ll be much easier for a tank to pull something off of you.
- Don’t panic. If it’s beating on you and you can manage, run to the tank. The easier it is for the tank to get mobs off of you, the faster they’ll go away, the longer you’ll live. Don’t panic or yell though, because no one likes to get yelled at and be told to do their job (when they’re likely already doing it). It’s the equivalent of people yelling for heals.
- Move. If an out of control mob is beating on you and a DPS roots it, move away or it’ll just keep slapping you silly.
With that out of the way, there are ways that DPS can protect healers.
- Kite the mob back to the tank. Many classes can do this, though some are better than others. Using a high threat ability like distracting shot or searing pain will expedite the process and boost the tank’s threat on the mob when the tank taunts it off of you.
- Crowd Control. If the mob can be crowd controlled, do so. Crowd control includes but is not limited to Freezing Trap, Polymorph, Banish, Enslave Demon, Hybernate, Chains of Ice (to a lesser extent), Scatter Shot, Wyvern Sting, Shackle Undead, Mind Control, Entangling Roots, Cyclone, Kidney Shot, Gouge, Hex, Charm, and so on.
- If the situation allows, fear and knockbacks may be acceptable but be careful.
- Pet classes could have thier pet growl or taunt and temporarily manage a mob until it can be acquired by the tank. Likewise a shaman could throw down a Stoneclaw Totem to distract a mob.
Protecting your healer in an instance or raid is always a good idea. With no heals there’s a good chance that an encounter will be a wipe and running back to an instance and repair bills are never fun.