Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

filed under Guides, Healing, Raiding, Shaman
Shaman, Heal Thyself?
comment 8 Written by on March 17, 2008 – 8:25 am

delphi2 *

So The Game Dame asked an excellent question in a comment on my previous post: Things You Should Know About Shaman. She writes:

What’s your opinion on whether or not a shaman should be expected to heal himself if he is not the designated healer?

Honestly? It depends. For the most part though, I would say no – with some exceptions.

In a 5 man group, hybrids tend to be more hybrid-y, so I see a non-healing shaman doing more healing in that situation, particularly in heroics. With so few people, the roles of hybrids are more fluid, and so an enhancement shaman might step out to heal himself (or toss a heal) on a particularly heal heavy fight – that’s part of being flexible. This also includes a quick lesser healing wave on herself after a knockback or some such mechanic – again, adapting with flexibility to the fight.

In a raid, however, this is usually not the case. Roles are typically MUCH more rigidly defined, at least fight by fight, if not for the entire instance. If you brought a shaman as an offhealer for certain fights (with his knowledge, I’d hope) , then my expectation would be that he would heal (himself or anyone else) during those fights and not during the others. Just because a class *has* heal buttons doesn’t mean that they don’t need healing from the healer group when they are filling a DPS (or Tanking) role. Expecting them to heal themselves takes them away from the raid role that they are currently filling.

And then there are the exceptions. After a shatter in the Gruul fight? Absolutely I would expect a shaman (of any flavor) to heal herself. The 15 seconds while Leotheras argues with himself at his split near the end of the fight? Heals are on the menu. During a dive phase of the Lurker Below? Sure – as an elemental shaman I would very likely toss a chain heal or two – though as an enhancement shaman it would be more variable, as I might (depending on position) be able to continue DPS.

Situations like that, where the healers are already taxed or VERY spread out are times when a spot heal on yourself/your neighbor can keep you alive – and alive shamans do more DPS than dead ones. These are usually similar to when you’d expect a rogue/mage to pop a health potion or a bandage – situations when you are explicitly making things easier for the healers because of fight mechanics. Basically, be aware of the fight and what’s going on around you.

The rest of the time, though, I’d generally think not. For two reasons:

  1. If there is not a lot of raid damage going around, then the shaman that took damage will stick out, and as a healer, if someone spikes, I’m likely on it quickly as it is my job to keep an eye on the DPS, particularly in melee.
  2. If there *is* a lot of raid damage going around, the healers will likely be prepared for it and will have someone assigned to heal the DPS.

Basically, much like a Druid in Cat/ Bear/Lazer-turkey mode or a Paladin in Tank/Smash mode, I’d expect him to heal if and only if it were an instance of life and death. Because otherwise – if he is healing himself, he is not doing the role that the raid asked him to fill.

Of course, she can’t fill that role when she’s dead, so this is a balance each shaman will have to figure out for herself. (Again with the caveat that this is MUCH more flexible in 5 man groups).

Situational awareness, FTW!

*the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, where one would find the inscription “Know thyself

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8 Responses to “Shaman, Heal Thyself?”

  1. A great post! Fortunately, there are a couple of hybrids in my guild (a feral druid and an enhancement shaman come to mind) that are very good about healing themselves up after mass slow damage (such as Shatter). But it is certainly worth noting that in situations where only a handful of raid members are taking non-life-threatening damage, DPS should rely on a healer to take them up and continue putting out the DPS instead of wasting GCDs casting gimped heals on themselves.

  2. Thanks for this article. I had not yet formulated the question but you cut me off at the pass and answered the question I would have had.

  3. Pookies – Hybrids like that are, to me, people that really take on what it is to play a hybrid class. It can be a tough pair of shoes to fill, since you’re constantly having to adapt, and finding people that do it in amazing ways really are worth their weight in badges of justice.

    Dammerung – Glad you found it helpful!

    By Anna on Mar 17, 2008 | Reply
  4. Thanks for the great post! I often pose the question right away when I group up with people I don’t know, because I would rather worry about pumping out damage. Still, when you’re not the tank it can be hard to resist healing yourself when that health begins to drop!

  5. again, great post. I am an enhancement shaman, I almost always heal myself, out of combat and what not. I toss around my chain heal like its going out of style, then I laugh when I am on the healing meter.


  6. Possible thought on this one is to write a macro to switch on a healing weapon and shield before you cast your healing spell. They’ll still be super gimped but at least a little bit better.

    You’d have to remember to switch back before you continue to DPS.

    I don’t know if the weapon switch eats a GCD but I don’t think it does.

    By Shammy on May 28, 2008 | Reply
  7. The initial question reminds me of a common problem i had with my Warlock when he life taps. Healers take weird approaches to me purposefully reducing my life and quite a few of the PUG healers we find just don’t heal me. I’ve learned to always whisper the healer and ask them if they mind healing me or if they would rather I be conservative with life tap. Once I ask them, we are both on the same page and we both know how to adjust our playstyle.

    By Ben on Feb 23, 2009 | Reply
  8. @ Ben, Anymore and as a healer, I get annoyed when i see a warlock out of mana. I mean, there are certain times to know, “Oh damage spike incoming… shouldn’t lifetap at the moment.” But otherwise, I really dont mind keeping hots on a warlock or three. It is just that much more DPS they can do!

    By Monauchus on Jul 6, 2009 | Reply

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