You could be the absolute best damage build in existence. You could kill thousands of opponents. Your bombs could generate enough ultimate from Combat Frenzy that you could chain them back to back and keep killing forever. The only problem is, you have a finite amount of health, and you won’t be able to do any of this if you’re dead. Too many bombers and DPS players seem to think that they are the be-all and end-all of PvP. Many don’t realise that they wouldn’t be able to do anything without the healers and support roles that keep them alive, keep them moving, keep them purged, and keep them buffed with a myriad of benefits.
Raid healing may seem simple, and I’ve heard many people say things like “get a set of Seducer and just spam Healing Springs and Efficient Purge”. In reality, raid healing takes more awareness, predictive assessment, better reaction times, and a higher degree of coordination than most damage roles. A group leader will call for ultimates or some damage skills, but rarely will a raid leader make healing related calls other than “big heals” or some variant thereof. Raid healers will need to coordinate their gear, their movement, their skills, their timing, their ultimates, and may not be able to take advantage of voice communications (the purview of the group leader making calls).
In this guide / post, my intent is to give an overview of what different gear, skills, and styles should exist for Templar raid healers so that your group can better plan and optimise (min/max) how you’re going to keep your DPS and bombers alive. If you’re a solo player or a small group player, while the information here might be interesting it won’t apply significantly to your play style. Note that while the focus here is on Templars, other classes can be viable raid healers as well. The information presented here is also focused on the premise that the healers in group will be coordinated and will want to min/max as a group rather than as individuals. Individual healers playing in a group (as opposed to the aforementioned coordinated healers) will often want to use a higher regen or sustain set rather than one that will complement the group (such as Shroud of the Lich or Alteration Mastery).
As a main 5-set, most Templars will be very happy using Kagrenac’s Hope. This set has been a staple for many years, and gives a bit of everything: health, magicka, magicka regen, spell damage and the always important speed resurrection. Some Templar healers who need more survivability and prefer to block more can using Impregnable (to maintain good impenetrable levels) with the Sturdy trait (reduced block cost), Heartland with the Impenetrable trait (less damage from AoE bombs), or one of Plague Doctor / Green Pact for more health pool (the goal being to run about 30 k health these days). The survivability that these sets give is very nice, though healers need to understand that they will be outputting less healing than if they were using sets with maximum magicka or spell damage. It’s up to the individual and group to determine what is most appropriate.
For a second 5-set, there are a few options as listed below. While this is not an exhaustive list of all the good possibilities, and there are a lot of niche builds for small man that are very different, these are the main sets that raid healers should be running:
When you heal a target with a healing over time ability, grant them 1304 Critical Resistance for 20 seconds.
|This is the absolutely critical set that is required for one healer (preferably a Templar). As you can see in my impenetrable calculations sheet, the Transmutation buff mitigates almost 20% of extra critical strike damage. Every healer should have a set, and only one healer needs to run it in any given raid. In order to keep this buff applied to everyone in critical times, a Templar can simply drop a ritual in a location (such as a breach) where everyone is expected to take damage. Dropping ritual continuously (not quite spamming) for the purge synergy while moving in close to the head of the group is also a valid play style to keep this buff active.|
Reduces the cost of Magicka abilities by 4% for up to 12 players (including you).
|The more that players can cast abilities, the more damage and healing that they will do. Cost reduction was removed from the Champion trees a few patches back, and players are feeling the pain of not being able to cast as much anymore. With a lot of builds relying on high resource pools and low regeneration, every little bit of casting efficiency will help.
Note that this set will only affect 12 players and you can not control which ones will benefit from it. If you want the buff applied to a full raid of 24 players then two sets will have to be worn in the group.
Increases your healing received by 12% for up to 12 players (including you)
|The healing received from this set is not a major or minor buff, so can stack with those! 12% may not seem like a lot, but every little bit counts and if you consider how much healing is done over the course of a fight, 12% is quite a lot! While not critical, this is a very important set to have in group.
Note that this set will only affect 12 players and you can not determine which ones will benefit from it, so if you want it applied to a full raid of 24 players then two sets will have to be worn in the group.
Critically Healing an ally grants them a 8195 Damage Shield for 8 seconds. This effect has a cool down of 6 seconds.
| This can proc every 6 seconds on every player. Keeping in mind that you can not crit a shield, a healer with a lot of outgoing heal procs (such as with healing springs spam, necrotic orbs, and a ritual up) can help with the shields from this set when being bombed by an opposing group. The healer running this should have higher crit, so running mage light, and an alternate set like Julianos or Mother’s Sorrow is reasonable.
It’s not worth it for a second healer to run this set, as the cool down is based on the player who is healed, and not the healer.
When you heal a friendly target, you have a 10% chance to grant them Major Evasion, for 6 seconds.
|This is one of those highly debated sets. Some people like it, others believe that it’s of no value. Major evasion allows a player to mitigate AoE damage. It can proc every 6 seconds, and has no internal cool down so can theoretically stay up indefinitely. Testing in real combat situations, it tends to be up about half of the time. This is an absolutely critical set for groups, and you should have one healer running Gossamer for every 6 players in raid (as it will only apply to 6 players at a time).|
|Spell Power Cure:
When you heal a friendly target that is at 100% Health, you have a 50% chance to increase their Weapon and Spell Damage by 258 for 10 seconds.
|MOAR DAMAGE! Spell Power Cure is a great set, and giving both your healers and DPS more spell and weapon damage is of great benefit to the group. If you’re not certain what the next healer should use as their second set, SPC is definitely a good choice.
Note that the SPC buff can only be applied to six players per healer, so one healer running SPC for every 6 players in group (4 healers running SPC for a full raid of 24) would be required for full coverage.
There are a few other sets that could be of value to a group, though they tend to be more situational and depend on the conditions in which you’re playing:
When an ally activates your synergy, they heal themselves for ~ 19 k Health over 10 seconds and gain Minor Force, increasing their Critical Damage done by 12%.
|This set can be exceptionally good, though it will depend on how many spells the player can cast that have synergies, as well as the lag conditions – which affect whether synergies can even be seen or used.
There are some niche compositions and interesting conditions in which this set can be of value.
|Brands of Imperium:
When you take damage, you have a 10% chance to grant you and your allies within 8 meters a damage shield that absorbs 12 k damage for 6 seconds. This effect can occur once every 15 seconds.
|The value of this set is to help mitigate damage when your group is being bombed. If your group has a turtle capability (eating multiple bombs and live through it), then this set can help in very situational fights.|
The monster 2-set completing the healer’s gear list could be Earthgore, Symphony, Troll King, or others that provide value to the group – rather than damage. Many healers in 5 light armour prefer Blood Spawn for the added defence stats (during proc) and ultimate return to be able to spam more healing ultimates.
I’m a firm believer in all pieces having tri-stat enchants on all pieces. If you’re low on gold, then put tri-stat enchants on your major pieces (head / chest / legs), and the trait that you need most (probably magicka) on your minor pieces. Your goal for resources between gear set bonuses, enchants, and character points should be about 28k health, at least 30k magicka, and 15k stamina. Some groups will want to run more health (from 30 to 35k), and in that case using a set like Plague Doctor is probably the simplest way of reaching the health goal. My preference for stamina is to have enough to break free, dodge roll, sprint for 2 seconds (to be back in your position in the group), and be able to break free again just in case. Considering that magicka Templars tend to have low stamina regen, about 15k is the right amount to cover this.
The jewelry enchants that will probably be best for most healers are two magicka regen and one magicka cost reduction, though there are some builds where three magicka regen are best, and others where one magicka regen, one magicka cost reduction, and one spell damage are best. As a healer, you need to know how each of the main skills that you use are affected by your spell damage vs maximum magicka (how much more healing or damage they do), and get a feel for how your group requires heals. If you’re continuously spamming spells, cost reduction is advantageous. If you have some delay in between casts and you have more casting down time then regen is likely best. There is no one true way, and each player needs to determine what is most efficient for their role and responsibilities. If you’re the type who doesn’t want to think about it and just wants to run something “good”, then go two regen and one cost reduction.
One of your bars will need to be a resto staff. As to which resto staff you should run, your options are as follows:
- A resto staff that completes a 5-set bonus (to run two 5-sets all the time).
- A Master’s resto staff that will restore stamina to those in your healing springs.
- A Maelstrom resto staff that will help restore some magicka, though only if you plan to use regeneration or mutagen. This is more for smaller groups, and not for large raid healing.
- An Asylum resto staff that will reduce the cost of other heals when you use blessing of protection or combat prayer. This is a great heal, and is very under rated by most PvP players as it requires very good positioning.
My personal preference is for the Master’s resto staff as stamina management is always a challenge for many people.
Your other bar will be a sword and shield, two swords, or a destro staff (probably ice). Here’s the comparison of dual wield vs sword & board:
|Two Swords||1H & Shield|
|It’s rather obvious that for most situations in group, two swords are preferable over sword & shield. If you’re in a situation where you know you’re not going to be as mobile, or you intend to be a tanky healer in non-AoE situations, then 1H & Shield will be more appropriate.
The use of the ice destro staff on your back bar is for elemental blockade, which provides a great slow when fighting in chokes or on breaches. If you have the free skill slot, then this can significantly help your DPS by giving them more casts of damage rather than having to pump out their own snares.
If you’ve been running trials or PvE healing, you know that the Powered trait will probably do slightly more healing than others. In PvP, the options for weapon traits that healers should use will tend towards Powered as in PvE, Precise for more crit (some specific builds), or Nirn for more spell damage. Very few healers are only ever going to cast healing spells and do zero damage. There will always be some other spells in your repertoire, you may want to use the same weapons when in smaller groups, and you may need to run hybrid healing/damage if your group is heavy on healers and light on damage. Optimally, healers should be running powered resto staves in a min/max group. My preference for small or medium groups is for healers to run Nirn on their weapons. Nirn provides spell damage, and the difference in healing output from Nirn to Powered is not enormous with damage spells also benefiting from Nirn. Considering that most Templar healers run at least one of purifying light, vampire’s bane, unstable core, radiant oppression, or puncturing sweep – and will often use the same sets when running in smaller groups with more damage on their bars, Nirn should be a good choice for most. I tend to keep one of each in my inventory, so that I can swap to powered for large group, use Nirn for small group, or Sharpened for MurderPlar expeditions.
Rounding out stats on your healer will be your Mundus stone. My preference is The Atronach for magicka recovery, though The Ritual for increased healing is likely the most efficient if your build and play style has sufficient magicka management. Other viable options could be The Mage for maximum magicka, or The Apprentice for increased Spell Damage.
Once you’ve worked out which sets you’re going to use, gotten your equipment, gotten the right traits on everything (Impenetrable on armour with few exceptions and Powered on weapons with few exceptions), you will need to determine which skills to use. Depending on how many healers you have in group, you should be able to determine if you’re going to need to spend most of your time spamming healing, or if you’ll be able to cast many other skills as well. The following table lists some skills and my suggestions on how to run them:
|Healing Springs||This is the staple of most groups. Almost every healer should be running this as their main skill. It should not take long to get the hang of casting the Springs where the group is going to be a second or two later rather than where the group is now – as if the group is moving, a Springs cast on them won’t likely get more than one tick of healing.|
|Hasty Prayer||This is a relatively large heal, and can be cast while moving at full speed. One of the staples of all Templar healers.|
|Ritual (Both Morphs)||Extended Ritual removes 5 negative effects and lasts longer. Ritual of Retribution does some damage to opponents (removing stealth from gankers). There are benefits to both, with my personal preference being Extended. This is a staple for applying buffs that proc on healing (such as Transmutation) and giving your allies a method to remove all 20+ debuffs that they have applied to them in big fights.|
|Efficient Purge||The heal from the Cleanse morph is very nice, though with the limited number of targets hit, the added magicka cost becomes challenging to manage. Considering that most players in combat will have MANY negative effects on them (about a dozen is normal in big fights), the main benefit of Purge is not the removal of two, but the buff that is applied to players you purge that reduces the duration of further negative effects by 50%.
Having one player in a significant resource management (cost reduction and regeneration) build spamming purge (4/5 casts) is an enormous benefit to the group. This shouldn’t be a healer, though if there is nobody in a magicka support purge-spamming build, and the magicka DPS aren’t able (or willing to run purge on one of their bars), then it will fall to the healers to cover for this. I used to call this player “The honourable purge-monkey” and at least once per hour everyone in group would thank the purge-monkey for running this rather boring build.
|Breath of Life||This skill used to be a lot better. It used to heal three targets instead of two. It’s still a good heal, though the magicka cost is rather high. This is the emergency “need a big heal on one or two players NOW” skill, but should definitely not be how you do most of your healing.|
|Radiant Oppression (Jesus Beam)||If you don’t have this on your bar, you’re missing out on a lot of fun. Remember not to beam players who are at full health!|
|Eclipse||Reflecting single target spells can be very irritating to opponents. Placing this on NPC guards can also help the rest of your group avoid damage. One Templar running this skill to place it on key targets can be of great benefit, though remember that healing should usually be a priority. In a small group this skill can be great when fighting other small groups.|
|Purifying Light||This is a very underrated skill. When you place it on an opponent, it will explode based on how much damage that opponent takes in the next few seconds. It is absolutely amazing to get it on a few critical targets just as your group starts bombing, or if you don’t have anything else important to do (like healing), put it on any opponents in the area. After it explodes, it will heal your group members if they’re in range, so if there’s a big mess of a fight, spamming Purifying Light on as many targets as possible can also help with AoE healing!
Note that an opponent can have multiple lights on them at the same time, so coordinating them on a single target can ensure an easy kill.
|Luminous Shards||The amount of damage from this spell is minimal. The synergy however can be amazing for players in your group.|
|Toppling Charge||Gap closers may seem odd on a healer, though consider that Templars healers tend to be slow, not have as many escapes, and can often get separated from group due to their predisposition to stand slightly off in case of a negate. Using a gap closer can help get back into position much more easily. The main alternative to a gap closer is to run Elusive Mist form (which is my preference in a larger group).|
|Aurora Javelin||This is one of the best knock backs in the game. While it doesn’t do a significant amount of damage, it’s great to get that pesky gap closing NB off of you, or interrupt a stamina ganker’s attempts to kill you in 2.5 seconds of unloading all their damage.|
|Repentance||The extra 10% regen is nice, the healing from dead bodies is very nice, and the stamina return is amazing.|
|There are many other skills such as Healing Ward, Combat Prayer, Regeneration (both morphs), and others that can be of benefit to the group. When working on group composition for healers, ensure that you have coverage of as many buffs and benefits as possible.|