Every once in a while, I’ll try to take a detailed look at a specific element of the raiding game. Today in the spotlight: Heroism.
Matticus in his column on WoWInsider recently espoused the value of communication, specifically between healers and tanks. Just as a priest needs to let tanks and other healers know when he plans to use cooldowns, such as Guardian Spirit, communication between the DPS can be equally beneficial. This is especially true with regard to Heroism, probably the single most important spell cast in any given boss encounter. The timing of this spell can make or break a fight.
My guild leader often calls for (and uses, he’s a Shaman) Heroism to help the healers out at clutch moments. For example, if Iron Constructs start to get out of hand late in the Ignis encounter, that combined with flame jets can call for a lot of healing. Since the math has been done proving that timing it for execute effects (see this article over at Blessing of Kings, or if you’re math inclined, you can look here) doesn’t increase its effectiveness, when is a good time to pop Heroism? There are a few options:
- Pop Heroism at the beginning of the fight when everyone has their DPS cooldowns/trinkets available
- Use it at a clutch moment, such as a Heart phase on XT-002 (on any fight with short phases where it’s beneficial to have a large burst of DPS it is best to use this option)
- Choose when to pop Heroism on a per-fight basis
The last option is what my GL uses, in combination with the 2nd when appropriate. The downside to this option is that DPS can’t be sure that their cooldowns will be up which somewhat reduces the effectiveness of Heroism. However, I still think that this is the best option. Blindly using Heroism at 35% doesn’t necessarily benefit healers the most. With Blizzard’s new design philosophy of having varying types of healing necessary in a single encounter (compare the heart phase of XT with adds to the duration of Tympanic Tantrum), making an intelligent, informed decision about when to use Heroism benefits healers more than any other option. Sometimes fights are a DPS race, and others based more on endurance.
That said, the raid leader should inform the raid as to what his plan for using Heroism is so that the raiders can prepare accordingly. Good communication between shamans, raid leaders and other raid members is the best way to maximize its effect.