Thursday, August 18, 2011

[WAR] Ehone: The Pudding Healer

If you're not a fan, replace pudding for any other edible of your preference as long as its squishy. Like a soggy biscuit.

What is this? I don't even...
Over the past few days (read weeks) I've been trying my best to hone my skills and become the best healer I could ever possibly be. A few questions arose during that time. Like, why the hell does my face look like a dog-like thing? More important ones stuck with me: survivability. How much should a healer bet on survivability? Let me tell you my point of view.
I, for one, have a meager 1400 armor on my Zealot and I'm living with it just fine. I never stacked toughness so its more or less negligible. The only survivability related stat I have bet on is wounds. It makes sense to me that, if I have more wounds, not only does it take longer for me to go down but I also have more hp to heal back up. Healing more means more renown so win-win.

The reason why I neglect armor to begin with is that the things that hit me that I cannot avoid are mdps and tanks. Those can either bypass a percentage of my armor or ignore it completely. So why should I bother with it in the first place? A radical approach, maybe, but it has served me well and my play style has adjusted to it just fine. As far as ranged damage goes, I just put some distance in between or, ideally, a tree. More often than not I'll be throwing HoTs running around a tree after a BW. A detaunt and a cleanse don't hurt either.

Of course, there are a few other skills I use for surviving. I can't stress enough how Embrace the Warp can be a real life saver when you sense an assist train closing in. It won't save you for long without a guard but the best part of it is it makes one unsetbackable (although this feature has failed me once or twice lately, which I frown upon. See that? I'm frowning!) so you can keep spamming your DoP or switch to the single target Elixir on yourself until help arrives. Another thing a full Sovereign healer has handy is Absolute Preservation, which makes your party immune to critical hits for 10 seconds. Good for protecting against morale bombing that may include increased critting abilities.

You're doing it wrong.
Winds of Insanity is another skill I recently acquired that I also find intriguing. If you're not familiar, it's the whirlwind that bounces enemies off a Zealot repeatedly and spoils pursuit plans. It's not a life-saver by any stretch of the imagination given that melee range in this game is something that should really be refined but it's... entertaining. Deep breaths, it does not grant CC immunity although if a target is already immune it has no effect. Well it deals a small amount of damage if your harbinger is turned off and fairly good damage when you're out in the world PvE exploring. It's great for firing off in bridges if anyone wants to pass by you. The most interesting thing about it is how a Zealot can disrupt his own Winds of Insanity. The skill supposedly roots you in place as a drawback for knocking people away. It's supposed to be a gamble (that can grant enough time for other healers to get away, if you're feeling altruistic) but if a Zealot casting it disrupts it, it can walk around freely knocking things away at will. You have to admit. It's at least interesting if not the most useful of skills.

Another discovery I made (I know, I should read patch notes more carefully) is that my favorite Morale in the game, Eye of Sheerian, was modified. They kept the animation, which was indubitably the best part, and changed the effect. Instead of being a HoT that ticked for 300, it's now a reverse Tzeentch's Talon. While TT strips 1xxx armor and 5xx resists, EoS now grants your party 1xxx armor and 5xxx resists. I will use it if we're in trouble and I'm still far from morale 3. It's pretty good, if you think about it. It's like a DoKs 1001 Dark Blessings only without the upped block, parry, fantasy bollocks part and its right at Morale 2 instead of 4. A good trade, if you ask me. 

So what tactics fit in this remarkably soft do-or-die play style? Restorative Burst (the extra AP makes DoP spammable), Blessings of Chaos (a career defining tactic for every Zealot as it makes all healing 25% more effective; with so many heal debuffs flying around, you're gonna want this), Discipline (since I'm wearing full Sovereign I can't mix and match to cap willp) and Manipulation

Now, Manipulation is purely for the lols of it. It has a 25% chance to deal 25% of a direct heal as damage to my offensive target. I've stolen many a deathblow with it and it is a fairly intriguing tactic. I have never seen it blocked or disrupted or suffer any kind of avoidance. If I critically heal, the damage it deals is, as expected, greater but, in addition to that, Manipulation can crit on its own. So, inadvertently, I can be dealing 700ish damage on a tank every 2.5 seconds on a purely healing build. Just for the lols.

Sample of Manipulation and Windblock while pure healing.
The one other thing I use for damage is Morale 4, Windblock. I have been using this forever now because... well... It's useful in funnels, no matter what side you're on. It deals 1800 damage all around you and places a 50% heal debuff. The animation, on the other hand, might be one of the worst in the game. I heard it called the "papier-mache wings" once and it couldn't be more accurate. Although giving me wings to kill off my opponents seems like a marvelous idea, I have to wonder why Alter Fate (something I have yet to see ANY healer use) has such a cooler animation than Windblock.

Anyways, for my effort I was rewarded with rr 83 and I'm well on my way to 84. Also, I was actively asked for advice on healing which always makes me happy. I must be doing something right. But take everything I say with a fistful of salt. Or don't. That would be nasty and unhealthy.