Friday, October 31, 2008

Thinking inside the box: Healing dps-spec?

The counter to my two posts about off-spec healing, how to spec in the healing tree(s) and maintain a decent dps?

If you want to spec into a healing tree, you already know that you aren't going to pick up a lot of dps-talents. In most cases, at least. There are a few, though. I'm using this to base some of my claims in my next post.

I'm skipping talents which improve mana efficiency.


I begin with one of the easiest covered classes, shaman. Why is it easy to cover? Because the restoration tree contains only three spells that increase your dps.

  • Tidal Mastery: 5% more crit on lightning spells. Not bad, but not superb either.

  • Blessing of the Eternals: 4% more crit (with a secondary heal-aiding effect), but for only 2 talent points. Much better. In addition, affects shocks in addition to lighting spells.
    Nature's Swiftness: A bit of burst on a 3 min cooldown.

And that's all folks.


Almost equally easily covered is the druid. The big difference here is that there are some talents which improves melee dps (and thus feral-levelling) and other which improve spell dps (and thus caster-levelling). Because spellpower aids both healing and caster-dps, I find it most likely that a healer will focus on the latter. However, each to her own choice.

Talents that aid your feral dps:

  • Naturalist: 10% more damage? Yes, please. So good, in fact, that you'd be a silly kitty not to pick it up.

  • Master Shapeshiefter: The ability I based my previous less successful blog on. 4% more crit as kitten, or 4% more damage as bear? Again, yes, please.

  • Omen of Clarity: For a caster (healer or dps), this is a mana-conserving talent. For a feral, this is extra energy/rage which can be converted into damage, and thus a dps talent. Handy.

Meanwhile, the following talents will aid your caster dps:

  • Nature's Focus: Because it reduces the pushback on Wrath, and your CC spells, which less time lost to reduced cast time from being hit.

  • Nature's Swiftness: Since druids doesn't have a big damage nature cast-time spell, this is less than the shaman version. But quite handy with crowd control spells, though, especially speaking from a PVP view.

  • Natural Perfection: 3% more spellcrit.

In addition, the two talents Furor and Master Shapeshifter aid your dps while in Moonkin form, if you've dumped 31 points into the balance tree. Furor because of synergy with other abilities in balance, in addition to the minor spell crit increase.

Phaelia from wrote an article about levelling and healing builds which I recommend.


Now we're getting somewhere. The paladin holy tree contains some juicy talents which helps. The fundamental difference between a paladin and the other three different healer is that you can't play a caster dps as a pally. You need to be in melee to damage your enemey beside your Judgement and Holy Shock, which are both on cooldowns. There are also Hammer of Wrath and Exorcism/Holy Wrath, but all of those are circuimstancal.

The bright side is that stacking spellpower will increase the damage of several seals, whichever you prefer to solo with, and seals deal damage on every melee hit. Good thing you don't need to rebuff them on every judgement anymore.

  • Seals of the Pure: 15% more juice from several of your seals and judgements. Not bad, as long as you use one of those seals while soloing.

  • Holy Shock: Now on a 6 second cooldown! A sure way to burn down your mana fast. Ignoring that, further improved by Sanctified Light.

  • Holy Power: +5% crit. Good enough.

  • Holy Guidance: free spellpower from int. Good synergy with Divine Intellect, in addition to the minor crit it gives.

  • Enligthened Judgements: The increased range of your judgements is handy enough, but the +4% hit is what really makes this a useful dps talent
  • .


And now for something different. Not, not really, but unlike a paladin, a priest can be pure casts and unlike a shaman and druid, the healing trees contains a bunch of dps talents. In addition, they're the only class with two different healing trees, which can both (at least now) work on their own.



  • Holy Specialization: 5% more crit on Smite, Holy Fire, Penance and Holy Nova. I've never used the latter to solo enemies, but it could potentially be good if paired with a good critrate and Surge of Light, further down the tree.

  • Divine Fury: Two of your nukes just got faster. This is a talent I'll pick up anyway for the healing effect.

  • Searing Light: 10% more damage on your nukes for 2 talent points is solid. Also improves Penance, but that'd require you to be lvl 80 first.

  • Holy Reach: Longer reach means you can hit them more before they're in your face.

  • Spiritual Guidance: Turns spirit into a spellpower stat. Very handy, since this also improves healing. Spirit of Redemption provides a minor spirit buff which there is no reason to skip for 1 talent point. Makes it worthwhile to pick up (Improved) Divine Spirit in discipline as well.

  • Surge of Light: A solid talent now that it also affects healing. There's no reason to pass up on this talent if you're this far down the tree.

As you can see, there's a big difference between the healing talent trees of the different healing classes. I'll cover that in the next post.

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