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Cleric Healing 101, Part 1

By on Feb 28, 2011 at 2:10 pm, in Editorial, Guides, RIFT  |  Comments: No comments yet

While other classes are capable of healing, the Cleric appears to stand as the best pure healing class. While one of the truly great things that the soul system of Rift offers is a myriad of choices on how to play your character, certain souls seem match well with a play style. Further examining the main healing souls can help with creating the healer you want. The big 3 of the healing souls would be Sentinel, Warden, and Purifier. While the Justicar does offer some melee damage healing that would be a great asset in raid, let’s focus more on the 3 casting healer souls.

Sentinel

Sentinel is a great direct healer that also has a few helpful group heals. Healing Invocation looks to be the best single target healing spell the Cleric has and when boosted with 5/5 Lasting Invocation it also adds a heal over time effect. It has a relatively long cast time at 3 Seconds, but it can be paired with Touch of Light to make it an instant cast if a tank is taking a huge damage spike and needs a big heal quickly. Healing Breath is a great instant cast heal and when you take the added bonus of 3/3 points in Enraptured Breath it heals 3 party member’s total.

Putting 31 points into the Sentinel soul unlocks Healer’s Haste which reduces the cast time of your next 5 spells by 30% which is great for healing through huge damage spikes. There is also a great spell for damage mitigation for tank healing; Healer’s Covenant which reduces damage an ally takes by 40% for 10 seconds.

Healing Communion and Divine Call gives the Soul solid group heals but it does come with high mana costs. These group heals seem to be best used sparingly if you want the mana to make it through longer fights. Group heals is really not where the Sentinel soul is at its best. If you are willing to put 51 points in the soul you can unlock Healing Benediction, a huge group heal, healing an ally and up to 5 additional party or raid member for 1712 health over 6 seconds. It does carry a heavy mana price tag of 45% of your mana, so it seems to serve as more of an emergency heal and forces most of your points to be focused in Sentinel tree only.

A huge tool in this soul is Life’s Return which allows the Sentinel to bring an ally back to life while in combat. This is a huge ability to have but does require 32 points to be spent in the Sentinel soul but as stated earlier you need 31 points to unlock Healer’s Haste so if you grab that, 1 more point shouldn’t be hard to spare.

This Soul makes a great single target healer with a lot of flexibility to heal through burst damage and also has a few solid group heals. In its current state it holds up well mana wise for longer fights but the use of group heals will greatly diminish that.

Here is a look at the Big 5 direct heals the Sentinel brings to the table (at top rank):

Spell Cast Time Cooldown Mana Cost Description
Healing Breath Instant 8 seconds 67 Instantly heals ally for 368 to 373
Healing Invocation 3 seconds 101 Fills the Ally with healing light, Healing them for 598 to 605
Healing Grace 2 seconds 63 Heals the ally for 368 to 373 health
Touch of Light Instant 45 Seconds 4% mana The next healing spell the Cleric uses to be cast instantly. Does not trigger a global cooldown.
Vigilance Instant 2 minutes 94 Focuses a vigilant light on the ally for 10 seconds. If the ally’s health drops below 20% during that time, they are healed for 875 to 883 health.

Warden

Warden excels at Heal over Time spells and group heals. While being very much capable of single target healing the Warden soul is built for group healing.

The Warden’s instant casts Heal over Time (HoT) spells are Healing Spray and Soothing Stream. Soothing Stream is capable of being stacked up to 4 times on a player. There is also Healing Current which is a HoT with a 2 second cast time. A great tool at the Wardens disposal is Deluge, a spell that heals for a base amount, and then ticks an additional heal for every HoT stacked on the player.

All those HoT spells are great maintenance heals and when paired with its group heals it really shows it healing potential. Healing Flood heals up to 5 party members with 20 meters, Orbs of Tide puts 3 orbs over a player and when they take damage an orb explodes and heals up to 5 part members within 10 meters, Ripple turns any single target water based heal into a group heal, healing up to 5 other players within 15 meters and it lasts 6 seconds.

Now the crowning jewels of group healing in the Warden soul will require 44 and 51 points in the soul respectively. This is a heavy investment into one soul tree but does offer truly great group healing. At 44 points spent, you unlock Healing Cataract which heals up to 5 party members within 15 meters for 352 to 358 health. At 51 points spent in the Warden soul you unlock the best group heal, Downpour, it heals up to 10 party members within 15 feet for 1573 health over 6 seconds. The one drawback of using Downpour is it will take 45% of your mana to cast. While having the identical mana cost and talent points as Healing Benediction, Downpour heals twice as many group members. This will no doubt make it great to use in raids.

The combination of HoTs and group heals make the Warden an ideal group healing tree, while it has abilities to make it passable as single target healer it lacks the firepower of the Sentinels soul to heal through heavy damage fights.
Here is a look at the Wardens big 5 group heals (at top rank):

Spell Cast Time Cooldown Mana Cost Description
Healing Flood Instant 224 Summons a rejuvenating flood, healing up to 5 party or raid members within 20 meters for 380 health over 12 seconds.
Orbs of Tides 2 Seconds 300 Surrounds the ally with 3 orbs. When the ally takes damage, an orb explodes, healing up to 5 party or raid members within 10 meters for 398 to 404 health.
Ripple Instant 45 seconds 17% mana Weaves rippling waves into the Cleric’s spells, causing any single target, Water-based heal over time spells they cast to affect up to 5 additional party or raid members within 15 meters. Does not trigger a global cooldown. Lasts 6 seconds.
Healing Cataract 2 seconds 8 seconds 68 Funnels the massive force of falling water, healing up to 5 party or raid members within 15 meters for 368 to 373 health.
Downpour Instant 1 minute 45% mana Channels torrential healing rains, healing up to 10 party or raid members within 15 meters for 1573 health over 6 seconds.

The Purifier

The Purifier is a strong Single target healer with good concentrated heals and very strong damage mitigation, but it is very lacking in group heals.

The Purifier’s Damage Mitigation is mainly drawn from several instant cast shields like Ward of the Ancestors, Rite of Ancestors, and Spiritual Conflagration. Spiritual Conflagration should be noted Heals over time on top of shielding the ally.

Damage Mitigation healing can be very effective but can require a lot of concentration. A big part of their arsenal that helps that balance is Healing Flare which is an Instant Cast heal with no cool down. While no being very powerful, healing at max level for only 183 to 188, having an instant cast heal to use in conjunction with shields helps the Purifier quickly manage health bars. Healing Flame offers a more powerful and more mana efficient heal then Healing Flare with only a 1.5 Second cast time.

The other major card the Purifier keeps up its sleeve is its ability to buff, causing its own heals to critically hit and buffing other players. Flashover causes the next spell the cleric casts to hit Critically, Surging Flame allows whenever you heal an ally past their maximum health, 70% of over healing is spread out among 5 party members within a 7 meter range, Latent Blaze can be placed on a target and if that target is taken below 30% health it will automatically heal them, and Caregiver’s Blessing which makes the next 3 single target healing spells cast on an ally to also cause them to absorb damage.

The Purifier’s ability to mitigate damage a target takes, use buffs to both strengthen and heal, combined with its quick heals make it a no brainer for a main tank healer but its complete lack of AoE and group heals makes fights where the whole party takes damage difficult to heal. The combination of a lot of instant cast heals and relatively low mana costs make this a very fast paced healer, able to respond quickly.

Here is a look at the Purifier’s big 5 damage mitigation spells (at top rank):

Spell Cast Time Cooldown Mana Cost Description
Ward of Ancestors Instant 30 seconds 50 Shields the ally for 30 seconds, absorbing 831 damage. Cannot target the Cleric.
Rite of Ancestors Instant 2 minutes 54 Each time the ally takes damage over the next 15 seconds, a shield forms which absorbs 831 damage. Shield will not form more than 1 time every 3 seconds. Cannot target the Cleric.
Spiritual Conflagaration Instant 60 seconds 7% mana Channels a powerful inferno into the ally, healing them for 1172 health over 4 seconds, in addition to shielding them each second, absorbing 831 damage.
Caregiver’s Belssing 2 seconds 2 minutes 4% mana Causes the next 3 single-target healing spells the Cleric casts to shield the ally for 10 seconds, absorbing 337 damage. Only 1 Purifier Blessing can be active at a time. Lasts 1 minute.
Latent Blaze 3 seconds 45 seconds 99 mana The next time the ally is taken below 30% of their maximum Health, they are healed for 811 health. Cannot benefit from Latent Blaze for 2 minutes after being healed by it. Lasts 5 minutes.

All 3 of these souls can be viable on their own but thankfully with the superb soul system Trion has created you can mix and match to create the healer to best suit your play style.

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