150711 - V1.4 - patch 3.0
TABLE OF CONTENTS
III. 10 High-Yield Tips
A) Healing Skills
B) Support Skills
C) DPS Skills
D) Heavensward Skillset; important changes
VI. Gear and STATS
This guide will focus on white mage (WHM) skills and healing, specifically on leveling WHM who struggle with learning how to use these skills in a way that better suits them, and should not be applied to end-game Scholars (SCH) or Astrologians. There are many ways to play as a healer; this is one of them. I hope you find the way that best fits your own play style.
** NOTE - current content/gear (patch 3.0) into Alexander do not apply to some strategies listed below. Assume content listed rapplicable up to iLVL 170. There have been major changes to the WHM class with the addition of Heavenward; I will try to make all the adjustments to this guide as I am able - please alert me of any major issues with the overhaul, as you find them.
The WHM offers you a unique skillset for both high potency single and AoE-targeted cures. While many consider the WHM to be a “reactive” healer, compared to SCH, their play styles are remarkably different – and to say that WHM and SCH are “reactive” or “proactive” healers is a bit disingenuous to the roles that each can fill in a party. In the sections below, we will briefly go over the WHM skills, and I will outline how I have come to use them. Some people may find this useful, while others may find their utility better placed elsewhere. You are free to decide this for yourselves – and in fact, I hope you do.
By way of introduction, I have leveled all of the casters to 50+, which I would encourage you all to do – if ONLY to acquire the complete set of possible cross-class skills from both thaumaturge (THM) and arcanist (ACN). I have NOT, however, leveled any of the tank classes… and this would be advisable for healers, if only to better learn what to look for in your tanks as you heal them, depending on which buffs they are using.
III. 10 High-Yield Tips:
1. Do not get discouraged when you start to learn how to heal; we all need to learn our jobs, and just as you will have to be patient with new tanks or DPS, they can be patient with you. Just let them know you’re new and need help. This is most useful for the tanks who will need to modify how large they pull. If you all die – it’s ok – dust yourself off and learn from that experience!
2. Be very careful where and when you use regen or medica 2, they generate a lot of enmity if mobs see your healing tick before the tanks establish hate. Sometimes you may want to pull hate, but often times you will not. It’s best, as you learn, to watch the aggro meter displayed next to the monsters’ names and slow down on your healing while the tank re-establishes his or her hold on them.
3. Shroud of saints is a useful way to regain MP, but should not be used as a last resort or saved for aggro mitigation. [EDIT: MP recovery for WHM has been greatly improved on for HW, please see discussion below for further details]. As a rule when new to fights, I will try to use my Shroud when my MP is down to roughly 50-60% of the maximum, unless I know the fight well and plan my MP accordingly. The biggest mistake I see new WHM make regarding Shroud is just NOT using it… and that’s a common theme among many of our support skills. In my opinion, using shroud to control hate is a waste of this skill, and should be avoided at the beginning of pulls when, often, you happen to be seen first. The tanks should have no trouble with pulling hate back from you, and truly should not be struggling too much with you if you are mindful of your casts.
4. You absolutely MUST get swiftcast. If you don’t have it, get it NOW. It is just simply inexcusable (in endgame) to not have swiftcast available for medica, stoneskin, holy, or raise. If you don’t have it by the time you are gearing up for lvl 50+ content – stop reading – close the guide - get on your THM and get it, now.
5. Macros with <t> and <tt> can be very useful for WHM who would like to heal and dps without losing your targeting on the main tank. I’m not big on grouped macros linking skills together, as I like to control them. But I do find some macros to be more useful than others. The target <t> and target-of-target <tt> macro command, I find, are invaluable. I would STRONGLY encourage you all to add this into your macro list, and get used to this ASAP. For more information on these macros, see the FAQ below.
6. Macros that announce your desire to [PROTECT] or [STONESKIN2] the party at the beginning of the fight or before large pulls are useful. The absolute worst thing is to run after your party to cast a protect or catch-up on heals, so if you announce your intentions to the tank/party (depending on the tank) you will likely be less frustrated. See my macro examples below in the FAQ section.
7. Planning your endgame stats can be useful but everyone plays differently, and do NOT fall victim to someone else’s bias about spell speed, piety, determination, or critical. The best thing to do is to play with these yourself and find which you prefer. Your most important healing stats are weapon strength and mind; the rest is fluff and personal preference. See my GEAR discussion below; but prepare to be underwhelmed.
8. Take the time to go over the Tank skills, learn their utilities, and their icons. You will learn when and how to best make use of certain skills depending on the situation at hand – and often you will know why some tanks are taking more damage than others even with similar gears. This is also useful, because some warrior tanks will be very annoying with macro demanding an esuna (or leeches) for their pacification. However, this debuff only lasts 5 seconds. If they need that 5 seconds for a critical skill, then this is reasonable… but if your attention is better spent healing a DPS (or yourself)… you need to know that that’s ok.
9. Esuna is a high utility skill. You will use it a lot. The trouble is, you wont always know what for. Positive (good) status effects point up, while negative (bad) status effects point down. It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these as you progress, and know which of these can (AND SHOULD) be esuna’d ASAP. There are bleed effects, heavy effects, and poison effects, as well as odd doom or damage increased effects, or disease effects (decreased healing given or received). Being mindful of this will greatly increase your utility.
10. WHM are godly when played well, don't be discouraged if you feel like you’re struggling. We all learn! Humility and generosity go part and parcel with learning how to navigate Eorzea – so stay positive, have fun, and you will go far in this job/class.
I am going to break down these skills based on utility and not based on lvl, job or class. I find that guides who do the latter often have trouble relating them to each other in an effective way.
A. Healing Skills:
CURE1, CURE2, CURE3
---* heavensward skills (PLEASE SEE DISCUSSION IN SECTION IV.D)
CURE1 is your basic heal. In contrast to Blackmages (BLM) who use proc’d Fire3 and Thunder skills to increase DPS, the WHM must often rely on proc’d heals to maximize their MP efficiency. While MP regeneration is less of a problem at higher levels, the mid-level WHM is very reliant on this fact.
To appreciate how potency affects cure efficacy, there is a fantastic derivation of WHM healing from B.L.I.T.Z.B.A.L.L. Your heals are affected by your weapon strength and MIND statistics, with a smaller modification by DET (~6 DET = 1 MIND). You can enter your stats and gear and estimate what your cures will look like for each.
- For earlier content, Cure1 should always be your go-to healing spell to spam, unless you need the stronger potency heal from Cure2. This will allow you to conserve MP over time, and benefit from stronger heals at reduced costs.
- Cure2 is stronger than Cure3, however, Cure3 has a small AoE centered around the target and will do MASSIVE healing to clustered party members.
How does this work? Spam [CURE1] to proc FREECURE: [CURE2], and watch for proc’d OVERCURE: [CURE3] when you are hitting cure2. When you are dealing with large pulls that do AoE or cone damage to melee, sometimes it really pays to hit the tank with a cure3 to bring everyone up. Also, there are many fights in which clustered party members are best healed with a cure3.
How do I do this? Well, I usually know in advance when I will need to bring everyone up after large area attacks and will have planned and targeted myself. When I cast cure3, this accomplishes 2 things: 1) I always know I’m going to get the benefit of this heal, and 2) I can run right to where I want my AoE to hit. My name is first on the part list, usually right above the MT (who I usually hold on target), so cycling up to my name is relatively easy. Some EX-Primals and Coil fights make excellent use of this strategy.
Regen is a high utility healing-over-time skill used to give added HoT to a tank, or to assist struggling DPS. The benefits of an instant cast with a strong HoT potency make this an ideal skill, for many situations.
However, there are a few downsides for newer WHM worth pointing out - while a fantastic HoT skill, the burst healing potency is minimal, so overuse of this skill for burst healing can burn a lot of MP. The second risk is that it places your other MAJOR heals on global cooldown, which can leave you short if you’re struggling to make the healing check. I often use this skill as my heal of choice to keep some HoT on the tank, as well as a bridged heal while I look for my off-cooldown skills (see FAQ for my example of a speed healing rotation).
The final (and potentially greatest) risk of overuse of this skill has would be in a dungeon setting where the tank does not remove it from his or her active buffs prior to starting their next pull. You will learn fairly quickly that this gives you immediate aggro when the next “healing tick” occurs before the tank established hate, which depending on your comfort level (and gear) can be something you either tolerate or dread.
The one great thing about WHM is the powerful AoE heals. It’s worth noting that Medica is a MUCH stronger “burst” heal than Medica2 (!!!) so much so that it pains me when I see WHM spamming medica2 not realizing this, casting a weaker burst heal at a higher MP cost. If you are looking to swiftcast an AoE cure because your party is low… swiftcast Medica (if the party is dispersed) or Cure3 (as above, if the party is tightly clustered). Medica2 is my HIGH UTILITY “rolling cure” that lasts for 30sec (!!) that I will ONLY place up after the tanks have established hate. In long fights where I know the DPS will be taking raid-wide unavoidable dmg or dodging lots of attacks, it’s nice to have a small buffered healing-over-time (HoT). SCH have more access to these sorts of strategies that mitigate damage, but I find that a rolling Medica2 can go a long way to saving you from needing to spot check the DPS with regen (as noted above). In tight healing situations, I might consider swiftcasting a [Medica] or [Cure3] followed shortly after by a [Medica2].
Medica2, like Regen, offer you an additional benefit that extends after the initial burst heal. So, while the initial heal has a lower potency than medica or cure (respectively), they make up for this with a more powerful healing over time (HoT). Take my discussion about the utility of these spells with a grain of salt, as their individual utilities are largely situational.
When NOT to cast medica2: BEFORE ANY ADDS. If you don’t want to immediately take hate when the incoming mobs see your “healing tick” before the tanks take enmity, know when to cast this spell, but more importantly know when NOT to. Now, there are occasions where I will, actually, plan to take hate on ALL of the adds, and hit a divine seal followed by a medica2 and maybe even throw in a cure3 to the tank or over myself to become the most hated thing on the screen… but those situations are few and far between. (eg. Garuda HM for sisters to burn boss, T4 for spiders to drag to dreadnaught, SV HM to grab adds to kill farther from boss, etc…).
This is the holy grail of heals, for an instant 100% health to your target. Aside from the long cooldown, the biggest downside is actually the instant cast that sometimes hits a small delay. This delay, if not anticipated correctly, will see you losing the tank (or intended target) and wasting an otherwise invaluable skill. You don't want that. You will need to learn how to plan to use this spell, and get comfortable with how much of an HP buffer you give to your tank before you lay down the loving.
Personally, I use Benediction in two ways. Primarily, I use this spell as a last resort or rescue if the tank or target is taking more damage than I can reasonably heal without losing them. This is often the case when your tank has all of his or her skills on cooldown, or is not skilled at taking or planning large pulls. I don’t like to use this skill in this way, because these situations are always avoidable. It usually is the result of poor planning, either by the tank or you. If you find yourself using benediction as a rescue heal in this fashion, look carefully at the conditions under which you are using this spell… and see if you can avoid needing this in the future.
Otherwise, I will use benediction as my DPS heal to cast while in the middle of a holy spam, to bring the tank up to 100% while I continue to DPS. For a full example of how I do this, please see the FAQ below. Some tanks are not keen on watching their HP go down to a scratch from death, but so long as you plan to take them up in time to avoid the delayed cast, you can remain in cleric stance (CS), reset the tanks HP, and continue to destroy your enemies with Holy, one of the more overpowered AoEs in the game. If your tanks are planning large pulls, they are likely accustomed to this, but knowing when and how to dance in and out of CS is an art in itself.
This spell has a terribly long cast, so not having swiftcast (again, shame on you) available can often lead to interrupted or failed casting, or dead healers.
- Several suggestions: A) GET SWIFTCAST and B) consider using skills like [PRESENCE OF MIND] or [SURECAST] to take the burden off of these limitations.
Furthermore, I would also strongly suggest you create a macro (see below) to alert the party (and the other healer) about your intentions to raise a given player. Communication is critical to minimize your redundancy, but that goes beyond raising or healing. However, - worth mentioning again - I do not macro-in a swiftcast here, becuase I like to maintain control over when my skills fire. I find the /wait command glitchy, but to each their own.
I will not be discussing this to any great extent, other than LB1 or LB2 is really a bad use of this party skill, unless your party is full of bards and people are struggling (either due to mechanics or experience). LB3, however, is a full party RAISE + FULL HEAL, and can save the day. The trouble is, most people stop paying attention when they think the fight is a wipe, and healer LB3 is often rapidly followed by another wipe. The very first thing the off-healer or casting healer should do following a healer LB3 is swiftcast a [PROTECT] and/or [MEDICA2] and pray that your party isn’t out to lunch.
B Support Skills
EYE FOR EYE
PRESENCE OF MIND
SHROUD OF SAINTS
---* heavensward skills (PLEASE SEE DISCUSSION IN SECTION IV.D)
Damage Mitigation: Protect and Stoneskin
Who says WHM don't have damage mitigation? Protect is a CNJ skill, and we shouldn’t lose sight of that! Along with stoneskin/stoneskin2 which can and should be applied to all party members either prior to starting off any pulls or on-the-go as needed. The greatest difficulty with these two spells is that some people don't appreciate what that does for the WHM who needs them in the same way that a SCH uses skills to mitigate incoming damage.
To get around this barrier, I use a macro that very clearly lets the tank know I’m casting an AoE for the party. It looks like this:
/macroicon “stoneskin II”
/p “Hey, latex won’t cut it anymore, please come here and put on your stoneskin!” <se.4>
/ac “stoneskin II”
I put this stoneskin2 (SS2) macro on my main hotbar, which is limited to actions while my weapon is sheathed. This then puts me into my unsheathed skillbar where PROTECT can be cast using the same pad command (L2+RIGHT). I cast protect after SS2, which is often the one thing tanks will wait for prior to charging off into stupid. So it’s a win-win.
Now, if I need to recast SS2 after a boss or before a big pull, and I don’t think the tank will wait for me, I hit SWIFTCAST, sheathe my weapon and then instant cast SS2 on the party.
Stoneskin (SS), however, is now better used in combat, when you want to put up some damage mitigation, or to counter certain mechanics. A swiftcast SS is part of my speed run healing rotation (see below in FAQ) but SS becomes a VERY important skill in endgame content where the tank or AF target will need this added protection (eg T5, T8, T9).
Damage Mitigation: Virus and Eye for Eye
You’d be making a serious mistake if you thought you could avoid taking these two skills. They are incredibly useful crossclass spells available from the ACN base class, and very worth the time to acquire them. First off, they both ride on the off-cooldown list, so if you plan accordingly, you can work to cast these while you have your global cooldowns recharging. This saves you time and tanks.
Of the two, I find a greater use for [EYE FOR EYE] with my large speed run pulls (see below), as this skill will take a fraction of the hits taken by the target and reduce that damage for a short period of time. I tend NOT to use this skill if the tank has a single target. And personally, I think this skill often wasted if you use it when the tank is locked in with a boss or single target who only has a few large hits (ie Twintania); to demonstrate this, while running T5 it would be far better saved for the snake add phase when healing the tanks becomes far more challenging. When I see healers (or summoners) use eye-for-eye on a tank prior to a boss fight… I cry a little inside.
[VIRUS], also, is very useful, and more useful on a boss fight or hard-hitting mob prior to a very hard skill. Play around with runs and experiment for yourselves where a virus can reduce your healing requirements. As an important aside; virus does create some immunity in the target, and in parties with mixed ACN (SCH/SMN) their virus is more potent. It would be advisable to let your SCH friends virus a target if given the choice.
For BOTH of these skills, I place them on a <t> and <tt> based targeting macro (see below for examples), to direct my skills based on the situation. Some people will build macros to place both eye for eye on the tank and virus on the boss with a single key stroke, however I like to have greater control over how and when I use these skills – so would not do this, myself. Again, I advise you all to get used to <t> and <tt> macros, if this is not already part of your play style.
Casting support: Presence of Mind, Divine Seal and Shroud of Saints
When I first started healing as a WHM, I never understood how to make the best use of these support skills. In gross overview, Presence of Mind (PoM) increases your casting speed, Divine Seal (DS) increases your healing potency, and Shroud of Saints (SoS) both increases your MP recovery and decreases your enmity. I use all of them, now, whenever and however I can…. Because they are the three skills that will elevate a good healer to an exceptional or godly healer.
PoM effectively doubles your SpS statistic for 15 secs, which sits on a 150 sec cooldown. I use this skill in 1 of 2 ways, to either 1) boost my DPS (w/ holy) or to 2) enhance my chained heals during large speed runs. This skill can be invaluable when stacked with the SCH buff [Fey Glow]. This skill sits on your off cooldown list - and should be one of the first skills you consider hitting if you find the tank taking more damage than you are able to easily cover.
DS, on the other hand, is a temporary 30% boost to your healing for 15 secs, which sits on a relatively short (1min) cooldown. I use this skill whenever I can, unless I know that I will need it for a big pull. WHM do not want to rely on crits for our already large heals, but knowing when large damage is about to come in, or in times when you find you are struggling to keep the tanks up; DS is and should be the first thing to hit while your cure2 is coming off cooldown. If you time it right and hit both PoM and DS before your next cure is up, you can regain control of your healing requirements.
To combat all this MP drain, we should be grateful for SoS. It is the single greatest skill, by far, available to WHM who want to explore their full potential. While it does come with an enmity reduction, this is NOT where and how this skill shines, however. Planning for large bursts in HOLY spamming or massive healing, assisted by SoS, is an awesome way to recover your MP. Often times, I will cast SoS (again, off-cooldown!) when I see that my MP is at 60% especially if I know a Holy spam is around the corner, but there are good argements to consider using it earlier.
SoS sits on a 3 min cooldown, so using this skill earlier will both keep your MP as close to 100% longer with more of a cushion after an MP-intensive phase. Entering an intensive phase at 85-90% MP would forestall excessive MP, and still provide a valuable cushion to raise or continue to heal, with earlier access the skill off CD with a safe ammount of MP in reserve. This might not be true if you waited (as I suggest above) until your MP gets down to 50-60%, where you may find your MP less forgiving for rescue raises or heals, if you don’t plan for such. (** Credit: GeekMatt/Stormaggedon - Brynhildr)
[EDIT: MP management in HW has been greatly improved on; here is a very useful link (http://redd.it/3b59zj) to look at stat weighting for MP recovery with shroud at level 60. The MP regeneration of SoS has effectively increased by 250%, and assize (read in HW section IV.D below) make MP recovery less tenuous for WHM, imho.]
Casting Support: Swiftcast and Surecast
I think I’ve beat the horse dead on swiftcast: get it. [SURECAST], however, would be worth discussing a little bit more. This skill can obviate the need for you to dodge or precast during a raid-wide attack that would otherwise interrupt your cast. When you find that you need to modify your casts to accommodate these mechanics, consider surecast as a good way to ensure this isn’t the case.
You are the WHM on T5 with a SCH who is manically fighting to keep the tanks HP up – and unfortunately you have been targeted by the dreadful fireball when a conflaguration is not up… you’re screwed if you want to both heal the party (and yourself) in time for the next conflaguration, which is sure to follow. Easy-peasy… cast [SURECAST], target yourself and then cast [CURE3] while the fireball is coming for your face. You are hit, everyone in your cuddle soak puddle almost dies, then BA-BAM(!!) Cure3 is like a magical fart of love, and you are all topped off RIGHT before you see that conflag icon go above your head. Phew… close.
Chose your favorite primal, right before their party-wide damage attack hits, precast [SURECAST] then hard cast [MEDICA] or [CURE3] to rapidly recover from the blow. This will avoid many wipes once you get a handle on this.
C Damage-per-second (DPS) Skills
---* heavensward skills (PLEASE SEE DISCUSSION IN SECTION IV.D)
As a very brief introduction to DPS-ing as a WHM, I think it’s very important to say that you should make or have a dedicated DPS bar for times when you are going to go into Solo content (either PvE, or Storyline instanced missions). This will free up the very important space for your healing skills, which are more important… and aside from a few DPS skills, are not critical, while you heal.
I play on a console and use a long-hold crossbar to add an additional skillbar to my setup, so in this way have very rapid access to DPS skills that I use while I am running content in a party, specifically: Stone2, Aero2, Holy, and Cleric Stance. If I needed to think about using Blizzard2 or Fluid Aura for crowd control (CC), I can swap into my DPS bar… but honestly, this is not usually required.
** It should be noted that I use ALL of these skills, but find some of them more situational than others. Especially noted for FA and Aero, which while both are instant casts come with a cooldown or positional limitation (discussed below).
DPS Basics: Cleric Stance
To start off any conversation about DPS as WHM, you need to first understand that CS is the first thing that must cross your mind when you want to do any real damage as it swaps your INT and MND stats for the duration of the CS effect. If you want to LOLDPS or simply make use of an emergency HOLY to stun enemies… that might be one reason to not CS, however, any desire to remain in DPS without CS is a waste of DPS and MP.
The biggest downside to CS is the cooldown to come OUT of it. There is also a horrific delay until this falls off your status effects, so in the heat of the moment you may feel that you didn’t hit the key right and hit CS again, only to watch the icon disappear and then delightfully RE-appear as you wait for the slow cooldown to drop back out of it again. This often occurs when you MOST need to be healing… and tanks die, and people cry… and the blame is rapidly (and correctly) squared on the WHM for making a poor decision to DPS or heal with CS on. It happens, hakuna matata… so, be mindful. When I need to get out of CS, to best avoid this glitch, I stop what I’m doing (usually HOLY spamming) and literally move my cursor to slightly reposition myself (and interrupt any casting) and then swap out of CS. This also places me a little away from the monsters/tanks so my very needed cures will not be interrupted, and/or I can either BENEDICTION or heal, or delightfully swap back into CS to resume my HOLY onslaught.
DPS Skills: Stone, Stone2, Aero, and Aero2
[STONE] is replaced (in large part) by [STONE2] once you acquire it. The heavy effect from stone (which is more important as crowd control for PvE and solo play) is not as useful, unless you need it in T5 for the DK adds. I do NOT use stone, in general. Stone2, however, is my single target DPS skill of choice, often over a background of some DoT (Aero/Aero2).
[Aero2] is a low potency attack with some DoT, which is nice… but given the 2.5sec cast time, if your target has low HP or going to be burned quickly, it would be better to cast an [Aero] or Fluid Aura (or) go straight into STONE2. Once geared, your STONE2 will do (on avg) 800-1.5k crit damage, per hit - which is often why I, personally, will save the casting/cooldown time for other skills and favor STONE2 to squeeze out DPS on single targets. If you’re close enough to get a Fluid Aura in (to be discussed below) this can give you a nice burst of DPS provided the target isn’t pushed back; but knowing when/how to cast this skill can be tricky, at first.
[AERO], while not as potent a DoT as aero2, is an instant cast. The one upside to sneaking this skill in your rotation is that it stacks with aero2, and you can cast it as you move or dodge. That’s about it… otherwise, I almost completely replace aero with aero2 if I am switching over to DPS in CS, but you might consider the DoT potency (25 for 18sec vs 40 for 12sec) to be less of concern and still prefer Aero. If I had space on my main skillbar, I would probably use it more - but I do not. Typically, on DPS, I cast Aero2 > Stone2 > Aero (to dodge/reposition).
DPS Crowd Control: Fluid Aura, Repose and Blizzard2
Crowd control is, and can be, a very useful component of your DPS as a WHM, but is often not something I do outside of low-level dungeons, or in PvE/solo play. [FLUID AURA] (FA) has a powerful (potency 150) knock-back bind, which can be useful in the right situation, but is otherwise seriously frowned on my tanks or melee who need to run over to the monster to continue their DPS, or casters who have their casts interrupted if the monster goes out of their field of vision. At it’s worst, FA is a terrible trolling skill. I do, however, use it when I am targeted with a hard hitting monster, or if the BLM/ARC grab unintended aggro and would otherwise not survive a few hits. Again, this use is VERY limited, and aside from PvE where I am going to be in melee distance to my target, I do not use this skill.
This generates some controversy, actually, to discuss the utility of FA in DPS. It’s a free cast, it’s instant, it does decent DPS… great. Use it if you can squeeze some DPS in, but if you find target getting repositioned/bound, and your party is running after it… it was probably net DPS lost for the party. If your target is immune to the push-back, it’s ok. It has more utility as an interrupt cast, which is important to note. Outside of very specific situational uses (Golems in T9, etc…), I largely ignore this skill while I’m healing a party.
I know… REPOSE isn’t a DPS skill, per se, but it is a pretty lackluster crowd control skill, and worth mentioning. While it lacks the glorious AoE effect of the BLM skill, it can be a very useful CC skill for solo-leveling WHM. You can make a macro that lets your party know you are sleeping mobs on trash pulls if you think it will help… otherwise, I largely forget about this skill in higher content.
[BLIZZARD2], however, is a fine skill at lower levels, and will shred groups of monsters or serve as better CC to bind them while you (or DPS) reposition away from aggrod mobs. The next time you run Copperbell Mine (normal mode), watch as the spriggen are obliterated by your blizzard2, and feel the envy of your peers as you both heal and DPS like a champ.
DPS: Holy crap… what is this overpowered nonsense???
[HOLY] is… by far… in a league of its own for overpowered DPS that can almost destroy clustered enemies as wonderfullly as a BLM with flare. Put the two together, and it’s magic. I would say that holy is only off-set in utility by its casting time and MP cost… but again, once you get the gear to support this… you will see that a holy spam is about as delicious as it gets for healer-based DPS. I’ve had party members with parsers confirm this for me that I do as much, or more, damage than some DPS simply by getting all up in the mob pile, and launching into a holy spam with or without PoM. I can cast 6-7 HOLY in the time that a BLM can cast 2 flares (or 3 with pots), and have each holy do 1-1.5k dmg per monster, per cast. It’s overpowered, and let us pray it remains so. Wow.
[EDIT; patch 3.0] Sadly, the utility of HOLY drops precipitously at higher levels due to it's MP cost. At level 60, this skill will cost you 1700 mp to cast, as the DMG output has been STRONGLY nerfed. It will hit the first mob for 100% dmg, the second for 90%, the third for 80%, with each additional target taking 10% less damage, reaching a basement of 50% damage per mob per hit. This makes HOLY a lot harder to abuse, as DPS support for large dungeon pulls.
I still use HOLY extensibly for large pulls, but more as a support skill to stun monsters and add a little to the DPS. But, I only do this now when both SoS and Assize are off cooldown. Please see my HW rotation examples below for further detail in Section IV.D
Holy also comes with an added stun effect which will slow down or limit the dmg your tank is taking while you help to shred the field. If you are smart, you can also, as stated before, watch the tanks HP and drop a [BENEDICTION] in-between casts to continue your assault, at NO additional cost to your MP.
Holy can be cast with a swiftcast, as many do… but HOLY has a relatively long cooldown, and seems longer when done this way. Personally, I find my holy will cast, and in the time that it takes for the animation to go off, the skill is already OFF cooldown. This is NOT the case if you swiftcast. If I must swiftcast holy, I will plan to hit PoM while the skill is coming off cooldown and then enjoy the short burst in casting time - pair that with the SCH buff [Fey Glow] which stacks nicely with PoM, and your cast times will seem nearly instant.
Well,... in all honesty, the chances are that if you made it this far as a WHM you will NOT need this section. I had debated re-writing larger portions of this guide, and may end up doing so if people feel this would be better, overall... but aside from a few (MAJOR) structural changes to our pre-HW skills, there is little here that would make/break someone's appreciation of our role as a healer in party content.
Asylum - low potency HoT; while not good at curing party members this is an exceptional skill to place on the field to mitigate damage while or assist with additional HoT to a tank (in addition to regen and/or med2). While it sits on such a short cooldown; it's a good idea to get used to dropping this on your tank/DPS in large pulls or difficult boss fights.
Assize - a HIGH potency cure (or) DPS skill; depending on your CS toggle; with an additional 10% MP regen. Man... you cannot ask for a better skill. This is amazing, and the addiction is real. If you are struggling with how to use this skill in your rotation, please see my HW rotations (below).
Tetragammatron (i.e. baby-Bene) - this is a pretty spectalular instant cure, which (honestly) feels like WHM borrowed from the SCH skill set... and i'm not complaining. It sits on a relatively short CD - I use this skill (AND BENEDICTION) now like a high potency or instant CURE2. I do not have to "save" them for emergencies anymore... and I use them almost as soon as I see them off cooldown.
Stone3 - this skill replaces stone2. There is no reason to keep this on your skill bar, unless you are queueing for low level roulette and need to resync to a lower level.
Aero3 - powerful AoE DoT, stacks with Aero2 and Aero. It's a lovely animation. I use this as often as possible in single target and party pulls.
The new stat-weighting with increased DoT and HoT from SpS makes placing DoTs by SpS/WHM very useful. I find that getting my DoTs up on targets is highly beneficial to single target pulls in PvE, and hope that I am adding to party DPS while doing so on pulls.
My full single target rotation is a variation of this:
CS> Aero3> Aero2> Aero> Stone3 x2> Fluid Auro (interupt cast)> Stone3> Virus> Stone3> Aero3> Stone3> Aero2> Stone3> Aero> Stone3> Swiftcast/Stone3.
My multi-target DPS rotation, for large pulls:
Stoneskin on tank> E4E as soon as this falls off> Asylum (when tank stops)> DS/regen> CS> Swiftest/Aero3> PoM> HOLY SPAM (x4-5)> Assize> benediction (if needed) --OR-- CS> Tetra> SoS> Regen> resume curing or dance back to CS for Stone3 spam.
I find using assize more beneficial as a DPS-tool then as a rescue heal, and it comes with 10% MP recovery at the end of a HOLY spam -- which now is very useful. I do save ASSIZE for rescue heals in endgame content.
V. LEVELING PRE-50:
I actually feel very strongly that WHM should prioritize leveling through the Duty Finder (DF), while they complete any job/story quests or hunt logs. This is due to 2 things: 1) leveling a DPS (ie BLM or SMN) with the story missions is more useful as the queue times are excessively long and 2) WHM need to become good healers FIRST… and it’s NEVER a surprise to me when I meet a WHM leveling up on Fates or Leves who struggles with healing harder content. If you want to DPS… then DPS! If you want to heal… then HEAL!!! And there is no better way to get this practice then running lots and lots of low level dungeons and trials!!!! End.
I feel so strongly about this point, that this section is going to be that short.
EDIT: LEVELING 50-60 (HEAVENSWARD)
If you are continuing your grind as a WHM, congratulations!!! It's a hard push to 60, but if you keep to the main story, and complete the available area quests, you should be ok until you get to level 56; after 56 I would suggest you tailor your runs/pulls in the Aery, Vault, and Library until you get your LVL 60 skill, and finally open up the new endgame-optional content.
VI. GEAR and STATS:
There are some excellent calculators out there for how to determine how strong your heals will be based on your gear and stats here, from B.L.I.T.Z.B.A.L.L.
TL;DR: your healing potency is almost entirely dependant on your weapon magic attack (MA) and mind (MND) statistics. Also every 6 points in determination (DET) is roughly equivalent to 1 point in MND… so DET can greatly add to your heals, but in the end of the day, you want to prioritize any and all gear based on these two stats (MA and MND).
All end-game content provides players with the ability to mix and match different armor sets to get at their desired critical hit (CRIT), Spellspeed (SpS), DET, Piety (PIE), etc… but there is no major disadvantage to taking a mix of these secondary stats as they will all balance out. Play with your own STATs and determine for yourselves which stat you, personally, favor.
There are many arguments for many builds. Personally, I went with a SpS/DET-minded build on my relic weapon and look for these in my accessories and gear… BUT, that doesn’t mean I don’t want or enjoy a little boost to my CRIT or PIE!!!!
A great example of where crit comes up on WHM is when you compare the Shiva weapon (Shiva Extreme) to the Thyrus Nexus. The Shiva weapon (iLVL 115) has an insane amount of crit!!! Personally, that would scare me, because I feel like I would grab aggro from tanks too easily with modest to slightly aggressive heals. So, NO… I don't want that…. But,… some people might… and do. Are they better healers because they crit more?? Hmmm… that’s not really the point of this guide. Maybe I would favor the Shiva weapon when I plan on doing a lot of speed runs… but for basic heals, within the context of how I play, I would not.
1. What are funny and dumb macros for WHM?
/ac “Raise” <t>
/p Wakey wakey <t>, hands off snakey!! <se.4>
/ac “Benediction” <t>
/p Filling <t> with my luv <se.3>
/e Ready to fill more ppl with luv. <se.6>
/macroicon “Stoneskin II”
/p “Hey, latex isn’t gonna cut it anymore! Come over here and put your Stoneskin on! <se.4>
/ac “Stoneskin II”
2. What are useful macros for WHM?
/macroicon “Your Favorite Skill” (Virus, Eye for Eye, Stone II, Aero II, etc…)
/ac “Your Favorite Skill” <tt>
/ac “Your Favorite Skill” <t>
/p Filling <t> with my luv! <se.3>
/ac “Benediction” <t>
/echo Benediction available <se.1>
3. Can you give me an example of your speed run healing strategy?
Start run, and keep close behind tank and wait for him to stop running
If he or she is not taking an excessive amount of damage, you can carry on… if they are taking a lot of damage to start, I will swiftcast a stoneskin on them.
**the very last thing you want to do while they are pulling is to hit them with a regen as you will pull all new aggro, - HOWEVER - regen is a last resort to temporarily grab aggro and then hit SoS when the tank stops to setting into the burn. If you need to drop a SoS this early, I will usually not Holy Spam – and let the DPS burn slowly.
Once you stop, the fun starts:
If I haven’t swiftcast stoneskin, I will likely need to do this now if we are really doing a massive pull.
NEXT – GET READY. You will see a massive spike in the damage when all of the tank’s buffs drop off… so, if you aren’t ready the tank WILL die. The first thing I do NOW, is:
*[EYE for EYE] <tank> (off cooldown)
*[Presence of Mind] and *[Divine Seal] (off cooldown)
*[CURE1] or *[CURE2]… (spam… keep the heals hard and be careful as this is often when the tanks fall. The DPS has one job… soften up the mob and kill as many of the low level trash as possible.)
*Virus (if one hard hitter, IF currently targeted by tank – which you can see in his targeted bar)
*[Shroud of Saints]
*[BENEDICTION] (when tank near death)
then resume *HOLY (or) *stance out and resume CURE1 as your MP recovers.
4. How should I spec my Thyrus Novus?
There are some great threads for relic theorycrafting - the one I used most is here. http://redd.it/2p362l
I will let you decide this on your own. Personally, I wanted to minimize tier IV material to save money and still wanted to maximize on my STATs with the Zodiac upgrade:
My Thyrus Novus was DET 25 (+3)/ PIE 14 (+1)/ SpS 36 (+4)
5. Should I DPS as a WHM?
If you just started reading this guide, yes.
Knowing when and how to DPS as a healer is something we all learn, especially as we get into endgame content where our job becomes more about fight mechanics and damage mitigation, but there are times when a well-placed WHM DPS can make a large difference.
For dungeon roullette, technically you will not NEED to DPS, but can do so to make speed runs go faster. So once you are comfortable with a run, you will know when and how you can best add to the party DPS. For trials/raids/bosses - this is very situational, and in some cases may be required. Breaking your party out of titan’s gaols, stunning golems, burning adds - all of these little DPS-check mechanics can benefit from your DPS, so do it! Just keep in mind, your primary role is to heal and keep the party alive - so long as that happens, I think you could make as many gentelmanly poses as you like, if it gets the job done.
Verson1.0 – written 1/24/15, FFXIV ARR patch 2.5
Written by HERMES, HERMES BELCOUR on JENOVA Server
Edited by NAJLA (ADAMANTOISE), TURGON (JENOVA)
WHM Guide by Hermes
Casual guide for leveling WHM for initial endgame; patch 2.5