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Healing in PVP: How to Keep Others Alive

By on Apr 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm, in Editorial, Guides, RIFT  |  Comments: 1 comment

Healing in PvP can be stressful at times, especially if you’re using an incorrect build. This article is going to discuss and analyze healing souls for PvP, and discuss the synergy between different souls. We will also touch briefly on how to counter healing, as well as avoiding these counters as a healer. In a later blog I will discuss the PvP soul for each class, but for the time being, we will just be talking about soul specific PvP talents.


All 3 of the cleric healing souls have very strong 51 point abilities, but are often not ideal for PvP due to long cooldowns or selective usage. This leaves us a lot of points for us to put in other tree(s) to make us perform better. For most cleric PvP healing builds you should put 26 points into Sentinel because it offers the most efficient heals for PvP. That leaves you with 34 points to spread into another tree(s) of your choosing, which is completely based off your play style.

Since Sentinel is included in most PvP builds, we will discuss this soul first. The signature move of Sentinel is Healing Breath, which happens to be the most effective heal in the game for PvP. The spell is instant cast, has an 8 second cooldown, and has massive healing. Other abilities to mention from Sentinel tree:

  • Serendipity – When you Critically Hit with a heal, the cast time of your next heal is reduced by 1.5 seconds (Passive)
  • Healer’s Covenant – Grants the ally resistance to pain, reducing damage taken from all sources by 40% for 10 seconds (2 minute cooldown)
  • Divine Call – Spontaneously heals up to 5 party or raid members within 20 meters (1 minute cooldown)
  • Empowering Light – Bathes the area surrounding the Cleric with holy light, removing 1 Curse, Disease, or Poison from up to 10 party or raid members within 15 meters (45 second cooldown)
  • Touch of Light – Emboldens the Cleric with righteous alacrity, causing the next healing spell the Cleric uses to be cast instantly. Does not trigger a global cooldown. Lasts 30 seconds (45 second cooldown)

Serendipity is arguably the most useful passive ability of any soul in the cleric tree for PvP. It allows you to get off quick casts when under pressure, and can change the tide of a fight. Healer’s Covenant is perfect for PvP because of its quick damage reduction and short cooldown. Divine Call is good in group situations, because it can spike heal up to 5 party or raid members. It uses the smart healing system, which recognizes what targets are taking the most damage and will only apply the heal to them. Touch of Light is another extremely useful spell for when you need to get a quick heal off in a pinch. A macro is recommended for using this ability optimally. With one button press, you’re macro will apply Touch of Light, and then make the 3 second cast Healing Invocation, instant cast for a huge burst heal.

#show Touch of Light
cast Touch of Light
cast Healing Invocation

Here are some examples of some soul specializations:


Warden is a HoT based healer and functions best in groups. This is mainly because Warden’s best healing comes from spreading HoTs on multiple targets. The problem with a full Warden specialization for PvP is they lack the burst healing to keep a target alive during a focus fire situation. Some key AoE abilities from Warden are:

  • Healing Flood – Summons a rejuvenating flood, healing up to 5 party or raid members within 20 meters for health over 12 seconds (No cooldown)
  • Ripple – 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 (45 second cooldown)

Warden also offers a really good defensive move called Dissolution, which breaks all snares/roots and makes you immune to them for 8 seconds. With just 20 points into Warden, you can pick up Ripple, Healing Flood, Dissolution, as well as the granted abilities. Some Warden PvP granted abilities:

  • Crushing Wave – Slams the enemy with a powerful ocean wave, dealing Water damage, in addition to knocking them back (15 second cooldown)
  • Tidal Surge – Calls on the power of the tides, increasing the effectiveness of the Cleric’s next healing spell by 50%. Does not trigger a global cooldown. Lasts 30 seconds (45 second cooldown)
  • Drown – Floods the enemy’s lungs with sea water, dealing 36 Water damage over 12 seconds, in addition to Silencing them for 3 seconds (30 second cooldown)

Here are some examples of soul specializations:


Purifier has the best single target healing in the game, and can become extremely potent when mixed with Warden or Sentinel. The Purifier tree is based around absorb shields, casted heals and Blessing spells. Blessings spells allow for greater mobility and instant burst healing output.

  • Healing Blessing – Calls on benevolent spirits to heal the Cleric the next 3 times they are attacked. Only 1 Purifier Blessing can be active at a time. Lasts 1 minute
  • Caregiver’s Blessing – Causes the next 3 single-target healing spells the Cleric casts to shield the ally for 10 seconds, absorbing damage. Only 1 Purifier Blessing can be active at a time. Lasts 1 minute

Purifier also brings damage mitigation with absorb shields, which when timed correctly, can turn the tide of a fight. They can be used to prevent damage, or when you need time to hard cast heals.

  • Shield of the Ancestors – (Shields the Cleric for 30 seconds, absorbing damage)
  • Ward of the Ancestors – (Shields the ally for 30 seconds, absorbing damage. Cannot target the Cleric)

The playstyle of Purifier isn’t meant to fit all players, its largely based off predicting and preventing damage. It synergies very well with both of the other healer souls, but is much more potent with Sentinel.

Here are some examples of soul specializations:


Justicar has a much different playstyle than the rest of the cleric souls because they must keep doing damage to be able to heal. The main healing is done with Doctrines which consume Convictions. Convictions can only be gained with by using life based damaging abilities. Healing also comes from damage dealt through the passive buffs Reparation and Salvation. The healing from Justicar can greatly help a team but is reliant on them actually sticking on a target to earn convictions. When forming a support build for PvP, it’s important to take your groups composition into account. Using a Sentinel off soul will grant access to more healing spells and passive abilities to buff your Doctrines. Using a damage off soul will grant you with more support from damage and more passive healing from Reparation and Salvation.

Here are some examples of soul specializations:


This is quite possibly the most unique class in the game mainly because it’s a mana-less healer. The Bard brings everything to a team that a pure healer cleric cannot, and this includes massive AoE healing, amazing buffs, and effective cc. I won’t go into the abilities too much due to the amount of motifs and simplicity of Bard healing.

As a bard, there are many options for your second soul, and it all completely depends on your group composition and your play style. Many bards use Riftstalker as their second soul, mainly because it offers them defensive cooldowns when they are focused. You also get added perks like Guardian Phase and Stalker Phase. These are both extremely good tools but need to be maintained and switched depending on the situation. For instance if you’re just healing your team with Cadence and not being focused, you would not want to be in Guardian Phase, because it decreases your damage by 30%, which would decrease healing with Cadence by 30%. You’ll also gain Boosted Recovery (increases all healing by 6%), Planar Refuge (reduces all damage by 30% for 10 seconds) and Shadow Shift (15 yard teleport)

If your group or premade has one or more clerics then using Riftstalker as your second soul wouldn’t be recommended. Using one of the more offensive souls will be more beneficial, which really could be any other rogue soul; it all just depends on your play style. Each one will give you beneficial things, but I’ve found the best were Nightblade and Marksmen. Some benefits of Nightblade are Twilight Shelter, which reduces damage taken by 80% for 8 seconds on a 2minute cooldown, Conceal (stealth) and another 8 second duration CC (Lost Hope, Incapacitate) on a different Diminishing Return then your bard mesmerize.

Marksman brings a different play style to a bard, with way more kiting abilities. With this off soul you’ll gain access to On the Double, which is a 70% sprint on a 30 second cool down, and with Getaway talent, you’ll be immune to snares and roots for 5 seconds when On the Double is activated. You’ll also get Keen Eye, which increases your ranged attack range by 5 meters, and this effects bard moves as well. Other moves to look for are Repelling Shot (knockback) and Static Shot (root).

Here are some example of soul specializations:

Mage (Chloromancer)

Chloromancer brings the most utility of all the pure healing souls in the game. The mindset you must have when playing Chloromancer is Damage = Healing. The play style is based around keeping Healing Spores on any target taking damage and assisting your team with damage spells. Bloom and Flourish are your only heals that do not come from doing damage, and they both have cooldowns.

  • Lifegiving Veil – Causes Life damage dealt by the Mage to heal up to 5 allies within 20 meters for 50% of the damage done for 1 hour. All other spell damage dealt by the Mage heals allies for 5% of the damage done. Spells that damage more than one target have healing generated by Lifegiving Veil reduced by 80%. Life based damage over time effects heal allies for 60% of the damage done by the first damaging tick of the effect. The Mage cannot receive healing from other Lifegiving Veil effects while affected by this buff.
  • Wild Abandon – Removes all root and snare effects from the ally and grants immunity from root and snare effects for 8 seconds (30 second cooldown)
  • Synthesis – Bathes an ally in the Mage’s group or raid in light, increasing healing they receive from Lifegiving Veil by 150% for 1 hour. Cannot target the Mage. Can only affect 1 ally at a time.
  • Natural Conversion – Causes the next single target damaging spell cast by the enemy, within 30 seconds, to heal the enemy’s target for 200% of the damage done by the enemy’s spell (1 minute cooldown)
  • Nature’s Touch – Blasts the enemy with energy, dealing 86 to 89 Life damage. If the Mage is affected by Lifegiving Veil, the ally, within 20 meters of the caster, with their Synthesis buff is healed by 100% of damage dealt (6 second cooldown)

Picking a secondary soul while playing Chloromancer is extremely difficult because of how many options are available to you. If you’re solo healing a group, Elemental Summoner will be very effective, because if offers an absorb shield, mana return and a root. When in a group, your secondary soul will probably change depending on what your group’s composition. Warlock, Dominator and Archon are all very good off souls when playing Chloro in a group.

Looking at all these amazing spells and soul combinations makes you think, is there any way to actually kill someone through all this healing? The answer is Yes, and it just requires a little coordination. Focusing a healer in a group situation can be dangerous, because you’re allowing his partners free roam to do what they want. Sometimes a better option is killing the person that presents the most threat to your team. This could be a specific person who is focusing your healers, or someone CCing your team. While doing this, throw some CC onto the healer. This causes them to use Break-Free and other cooldowns to keep teammates up, and leaves then susceptible to a hard switch.

You can go a different route if you have access to a Void Knight or Dominator, and have them try to drain the healer’s mana (ineffective against Bard for obvious reasons). This technique will work extremely well against an unorganized group, but if the team has coordination it will be more difficult to pull off successfully because their team will peel for the healer. If you or your team composition has access to a healing reduction debuff, that would be ideal to put on any target that is under focus, because it will cut healing by up to 50%. Some examples of different healing debuffs are:

  • Lingering Wounds – Critical hits reduce the healing received on the target by 50%
  • Fell Blades – The Rogue enchants their weapons with Death magic. Each weapon attack has a 20% chance to deal 30 Death damage and adds a curse on the enemy that lasts for 15 seconds, reducing healing taken by 50%. Lasts 1 hour. Only 2 weapon enchantments can be applied at a time.
  • Essence Link – Reduces any healing the enemy receives by 30% for 60 seconds. Causes undead pets to heal the pet owner for 9 health each time the pet deals damage

I hope this helped all you healers make a strong build for PvP. One thing to always remember is, have fun! If you’re not enjoying the current play style of your healing, try something new! The options and play styles open to you are endless.

  • John Pence

    These links no longer seem to be working…