Ok, so I ran ZA a few times with the 10/51 Earth shield, Crit, Lesser Healing Wave build and I have some interesting things to report. First, as usual I have only personal observations based on HPs, Mana usage and raid deaths to go on and don’t have the “hard” numbers to show how good/bad this build is. Second, in our guild I am one of the main healers, and consistently have been a tank healer so I have some experience in this roll already.
First, here is a break down of how I healed each fight in ZA.
Bear Boss – Chain heal focused on the two tanks with a LHW cast to catch up if the tanks have taken a large amount of damage, especially after the silence. Riptide then cast on the raid member who was charged to proc tidal waves.
Eagle Boss – Chain heal melee that are taking electrical damage. Riptide and LHW then cast on the raid members who are being dropped or attacked by birds. Chain heal then cast while the electrical storm is taking place to top off the raid.
Lynx Boss – Chain heal the tanks and Riptide and LHW the raid if hit with electrical damage. If the raid members are close enough, I would normally use chain heal on the raid but I like to get a couple of cast of quickly to get my focus back on the tanks.
Dragon Hawk Boss – LHW heal the main tank, riptide/LHW or chain heal the raid during fire damage based on raid member’s location and then chain heal those taking on the hatchers/birds. I then normally use LHW to top the raid off during happy fun ball time since the raid members are scattered at this point.
Hex Lord – LHW the tanks the chain heal and LHW the raid during spirit bolts. I try to start casting chain heal just before spirit bolts so I get one heal off just as the damage starts and for the tidal waves to proc so if I have to LHW someone who is near death I can. Otherwise I chain heal as normal.
Zul’Jin – Chain heal the tanks and raid for most damage through out the fight. The one spot this build shines is during the eagle phase (did I mention how much I hate the eagle phase?) Since the eagle phase requires so much moving around, the riptide and LHW combo make this part of the fight bearable. Keep in mind that you will have to heal yourself as you are healing the raid. The one thing you will need to look at is mana usage. This seems to be the one fight where I consistently have mana issues.
The first thing I noticed is with improved water shield, mana stream totem and the Totem of the Thunder Head, the mana returned from a crit on LHW makes this heal very viable not only on the main tank, but on any member of the raid that needs a quick heal. Granted a lot of this is based on luck of the dice roll and if you get a string of LHW without a crit your mana pool will start to drain pretty quickly, which it is why it is recommend to have a large mana pool for this build (roughly 12k un-buffed, at the lowest).
Another bonus I found was that after 3.0.3 went live, Riptide now procs tidal waves. This allows for you to top anyone off in the raid and then move to the tank as needed. This really helps the speed healing when people are not in range of chain heal.
One thing I did find annoying with this build though is the constant need to recharge water shield, which most of the time is not that bad, but when you need to cast it in the middle of a fight, the use of the global cool down might cause you to miss a heal when you need it the most.
Overall I am happy with this build for now. It seems to do the job very well at 70 and will probably do well for the next few levels, but from what I have read from those in the beta, this build and tactics may not scale well to the new end game. For now though, I will enjoy the ability to be a mobile healer for once.