Sunday, November 21, 2010

Healed heroic Halls of Reflection, done it all

Well folks, I finally did it. I healed Halls of Reflection with my discipline priest. I've always been afraid of this, the pinnacle of Wrath 5-man dungeons. As a dps I've died many times in there but we all know by now that in order to be successful in this dungeon you need to have some very serious dps, among other things.

Thanks to the elemental invasion, I managed to get my hands on some nice ilvl 251 items. I also got some practice healing these new mini-bosses which are actually tougher than many heroic bosses. And then, after acquiring some more Justice Points by running several heroics as shadow dps, I bought a few ilvl 264/245 items from the Emblem of Frost and Triumph vendors.

Afterward I chain-healed almost a dozen heroics and found out that I can really do it.

My problem, of course, was the lack of gear. A healer in <= ilvl 200 gear isn't gonna do a great deal in a heroic unless he's very talented (and I can't claim that I am). Now that my gear is up to speed (average level is 233), I feel very confident in healing any heroic thrown at me.

In all fairness though, Halls of Reflection didn't seem as tough as I'd imagined it to be. Trial of the Crusader and Azjol'Nerub (both of which I healed subsequently) felt more difficult. It's true that in HoR we had really good dps and a good tank so everything went smoothly. I even gained the achievement to finish the gauntlet quickly. On the other hand, for the two other dungeons mentioned (ToC and A'N) some of the people were standing in poison and other crap (so I had to heal like crazy) and they also pulled too many mobs a few times (so I had to heal like crazy).

My main tool as a discipline priest remains Power Word: Shield which currently absorbs a little over 5000 damage self-buffed. What's nice is that at this point mana has ceased to become an issue, meaning that after 90% of fights (including boss fights) I'm left with 90% mana. Occasionally when someone screws up or they're not geared enough, I'll go down to 50% or so but even then I manage to pull through.

My biggest issue as a healer - and this probably comes as a consequence of not being very experienced - is that I often forget about more powerful spells that I have at my disposal. For example I always forget to use Power Word: Barrier which is an awesome spell especially for those moments when there's heavy damage incoming.

I've also been trying to use Smite in combination with Evangelism/Archangel, not that I need the mana but in preparation for Cataclysm. My feelings about this are mixed. On the one hand, it's a nice thing to be able to do some damage (no matter how puny) during downtime, and also heal a group member for 100% of the damage done thanks to Atonement. Now on the other hand, when the fight is frantic and I'm struggling to keep the group alive, there's no time to Smite and the whole concept becomes worthless. And then there's the third issue which is more of a personal one, and that is laziness. As a discipline priest I'm cool with popping PW:S and then taking a break.

At any rate, we'll see how all this comes together in Cataclysm, in a couple of short weeks. Until then I will likely continue to heal some heroics, especially since one piece of my gear is still a lousy ilvl 187 (my bracers).


Dave Cushley said...

I am a healer in a fairly serious raid guild and I hate that instance. All you need is one idiot not doing it right and you're dead, no matter how good or geared you are, especially if it's a class that can dump aggro, since generally they all come for you frothing at the mouth. There is a limit to what even an incredible tank can do to group them up with idiot dps around.

koalabear said...

Do you have the tailoring pattern from TOC for the bracers? They are better than the Valor bracers.

Darth Solo said...

@Dave yeah I'm aware of that. I've wiped in there many times with my hunter and paladin :) 99% of times not through my fault but most often due to weak dps. Oh and the people not killing the mobs in the correct order.

@koalabear nah... but at this point I don't know if I'll be able to get a pair of nice bracers before Cata.

mrfenris said...

Grats! I used to be really nervous healing this when I switched to a priest. It's kinda a badge of honor for tanks and healers.

I think the best spell a Priest has in HoR is Shackle Undead.

Short shooty Dwarf. Shackled.


Snippy splitting Mage. Shackled.

As an aside, I hate tanking/healing in the alcove. I'd much rather do it in the middle of the room and use the altar for LoS. The alcove just packs everyone so tight for that flamestrike and the NPC Priest fear/explosion/thingy.

I hate not being able to cleanse that poison from the Mercenary too.

Darth Solo said...

Thanks mrfenris. To be honest it didn't even occur to me to use Shackle. Bad habits die hard I guess. Cata should teach us to use some CC.

I have that alcove too. I've never seen any tank use the altar before though I'm sure it's a good idea.