Let’s go over the top mistakes Healers make in arenas and exactly how to fix them. No matter what rating you are, you are bound to make some mistakes as a Healer. Even pro players in tournaments like myself. However these players often know the mistakes they are making and exactly how to fix them. Chances are you are making mistakes you don’t even know you are making.
Healing is really demanding especially now with burst damage being so high. It can be hard to keep track of everything going on and so it is easy to make mistakes. Some healing classes are really unforgiving. One mistake can cost them the game.
By far one of the biggest mistakes Healers make in the arena is misusing their PVP trinket. You should treat your trinket like a major defensive cooldown. It is an important defense resource that needs to be used efficiently. It should not be used randomly but instead to deflect enemy kill attempts. With this in mind, there are two huge mistakes Healers make. The first is overlapping trinkets with other major team defensive cooldowns or even trinketing at the same time as their partners. In almost every match up, it is good to space out your defensive cooldowns. Prioritizing your biggest cooldowns to deny the enemy with conditions. Oftentimes Healers will see their partner dropping low while they are in CC causing them to panic trinket. In many cases, this is often a waste especially when their partner has defensive cooldowns available. Sometimes you can just wait out CC without needing the trinkets so long as your partner has defensives available. You should try and keep defensive options open for future set ups. Overlapping cooldowns removes two defensive options at the same time and leaves you vulnerable to future kill setups.
On the other hand, another big mistake Healers make is holding on their trinket for too long even when their partners do not have defensive cooldowns. If a defensive cooldown is unavailable for your team during a go, you need to trinket in order to save your partner/s.
ENEMY POSITIONING AWARENESS
The next biggest mistake many Healers make is being unaware of enemy positioning during an arena game. Admittedly there is a lot to keep track of during arena. You have to be looking at health bars, monitoring cooldowns, checking your mana and so on. One area the Healers often ignore is keeping track of enemy positioning. This is especially important against classes that have instant cast close range CC. Like Paladins with Hammer of Justice and Priests with Psychic Scream. It is really easy to avoid these forms of CC once you start monitoring and repositioning. If you see a Paladin mounted up running towards you, your first instinct is to immediately be avoiding the Hammer of Justice. The same concept applies with AOE CC. If you see a priest running at you then you should anticipate a Psychic Scream. What this means is that you should try and avoid the CC if possible. If you can’t you should preemptively work around it.
KITING YOUR PARTNERS
The next mistake is most often made by inexperienced Healers. Sometimes Healers think they are doing a good job kiting enemy DPS but they wind up kiting their partners in the process. This is true if you are playing with a caster DPS and especially true if you are playing a spell cleave. In order for your teammates to support you they generally have to be in line of sight or in range of view. If you kite enemy melee away from your team you often wind up kiting your teammates in the process putting you in dangerous situations. By kiting in line of sight and in the range of your partners, you allow them to peel for you and even reverse pressure with damage.
There are a few mistakes many Healers make when it comes to using their dispel. One of the biggest problems Healers encounter is not knowing who to dispel when both of their partners get CC-ed at the same time. The solution to this problem is to think about which of your partners has more tools to save your team. Usually this means prioritizing dispelling hybrid DPS if you are playing with a hybrid class. An Elemental Shaman or Shadow Priest has more tools to save your team than a Rogue or a Hunter for instance. Elemental Shamans can Wind Shear, Grounding Totem or offheal. While classes like Rogues of Hunters can’t really do much. Sometimes the choice can be hard such as when you are playing with Ret Paladin and Arms Warrior. Both of which have a lot of tools to save your team. It is impossible to cover every single situation but your main concern should always be prioritizing your dispels on your partner with the most team utility.
Another dispelling mistake Healers make is waiting too long to dispel spammable CC. Many Mages will chain polymorphs onto enemy DPS in order to delay the game until their wind condition comes back up. Usually this means that they will wait until a polymorph ends to recast the polymorph on the same target. One mistake Healers make is not dispelling the first polymorph fast enough but instead dispelling late only for their partner to get immediately put to another polymorph. If we think in terms of value, the value of dispelling of full duration CC is two times greater than the value of dispelling a half duration CC and four times greater than dispelling a quarter duration CC. You get the most out of your dispel when you use it the moment a full duration CC lands. If you wait too long to dispel you lose a lot of its value.
There is one final dispelling mistake that is a bit more advanced but is something you definitely need to be aware of. Some really good teams will often bait your dispel in order to set up a kill. For instance a Shadow play team might use a polymorph to bait a dispel from the enemy healer in order to put the kill target into a Hammer of Justice. With the dispel on cooldown from a polymorph, this gives them a free kill attempt on the kill target. Now this is a very new situation that you will probably not encounter too often but it is something you should be aware of when you play against Paladin-Mage teams. You should be monitoring the cooldown of Hammer of Justice, prioritizing saving your dispel to remove the stun instead of being baited into dispelling something else like polymorph. Many Paladin teams will try to stun on cooldown meaning it is easy to predict when they will be executing their kill attempt. All you have to do is monitor the cooldown of Hammer of Justice. This situation actually happened in a recent AWC game showing that this bait can even work on the best players in the world.
There are a few mistakes Healers make when it comes to drinking. The first of which is waiting too long to drink. Many Healers are misled into thinking that they only need to drink once they are OOM. The problem with this is that once you are out of mana you might not have the appropriate resources to even go for a drink. Instead you should not wait until you are completely out of mana to drink but instead find opportunities in the middle of the game to prevent you from going OOM in the first place. Healers going OOM is a fairly common problem and even happens at the highest levels of competition.
There are two conditions that you should use in order to find time to drink. The first is when your team has defenses available. If your teammates have enough defenses to survive damage and are free to drink they can trade those defenses in order for you to find an opportunity to regenerate some mana.
Another good time to drink is during your team’s offensive push. If your team is playing aggressive, this usually means the enemy team is forced to play defensive and passive. Kiting away and avoiding damage. Because of this there is likely not going to be much damage happening on your teammates. Opening up another opportunity to drink. If your teammates apply enough pressure, you can use your team’s momentum to sneak away and return some mana. In any case you should always communicate drinks to your partners. This will allow them to track your positioning betterand to stop enemy players from interrupting your drink.
0:00 – Intro
0:52 – Trinketing
4:26 – Enemy Positioning Awareness
7:05 – Kiting Your Partners
9:26 – Dispelling
13:40 – Drinking