In keeping with the theme of creating relevant posts that are meant to help newer players who are on the path to reaching the level cap, I have decided to start a series of guides that will help you figure out how to spec and perform with each of the various healing souls in Rift. Because I tend to play a Cleric more than anything else, the first few posts will revolve around how to heal as a Purifier, Sentinel, or Warden at the lower levels, followed by how to heal as a Chloromancer, if you are a Mage.
At this time, I don’t have any immediate plans to cover healing as a Bard (if you’re a Rogue) or covering the ever popular Senticar spec (a combination of the Justicar and Sentinel souls). That’s not to say that either of those two choices are not viable, because they are. It’s just that I would prefer to ease people into the more basic souls first, before I start to bring Support roles with healing capabilities into the mix.
Let’s start things off with the soul that I have spent the most time playing, the Warden soul.
Levels 1 – 25
Why those talents:
5/5 Aquatic Affinity because having 10% more mana is extremely helpful, especially when you don’t have enough talent points to put into Cascade yet.
5/5 Surging Rapids because most, if not all of the heals that you will be using are instant cast and this talent will increase their effectiveness by a healthy 15%.
5/5 Fluidity because most, if not all of the heals that you will be using are heal over time abilities, in addition to be instant cast. This talent will increase their effectiveness by 10%.
This tier has nothing that you will be placing talent points in.
5/5 Still Waters because you want to lower the cooldown of Deluge, so that you can use it when needed, if a full string of HoTs on the tank is not enough to keep them up.
1/1 Orbs of the Stream because this an extremely helpful and mana efficient ability. The tank should always have Orbs on them. If they expire, re-apply them the moment this ability comes off cooldown.
1/1 Ripple because it is an affordable and powerful way to heal up your party, at the same time that you are healing your tank.
2/2 Tidal Resonance because this talent tends to have a high uptime, which ties in nicely with how mana efficient the Warden soul is, in general.
1/5 Diona’s Gift because this will increase the effectiveness of Tidal Surge, which is one of the few emergency cooldowns you will have at this level.
Healing Spray – Refreshes the ally with a spray of crisp ocean water for, healing them for 71 health over 12 seconds.
Healing Current – Gathers the healing energies of a mighty river, healing the ally for 53 to 56 health, and an additional 37 health over 14 seconds.
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.
Cleansing Waters – Cleanses the ally with the essence of a gentle brook, removing 1 Curse, Disease, or Poison.
Healing Flood – Summons a rejuvenating flood, healing up to 5 party or raid members within 20 meters for 137 health over 12 seconds.
Deluge – Immerses the ally, healing them for 96 to 100 health. In addition, Revitalizing Water heals the ally for 20 health for each active heal over time effect on the ally cast by the caster, up to a maximum of 6.
Orbs of the Stream – Surrounds the ally with 3 orbs. When the ally takes damage, an orb explodes, healing them for 190 to 195 health.
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.
Well of Life – Brings the fallen ally back to life and restores 20% of their health and mana. This ability cannot be used in combat.
Soothing Stream – Conjures the power of a vigorous mountain stream, healing the ally for 73 health per stack over 12 seconds. Stacks up to 4 times.
Healing Breath – Instantly heals the ally for 54 to 68 health.
First and foremost, be very careful about “pre-HoTing” or placing HoTs on the tank before the pull. There is a very strong chance that you will pull aggro and mobs will come straight for you. I have seen this happen with even the best of tanks.
I highly recommend letting your HoTs fall off between pulls, rather than refreshing them and generating more aggro for yourself. The healing that comes from Orbs of the Stream will also generate aggro, so be careful when you apply those, as well.
– Start off by placing 4 stacks of Soothing Stream on the tank.
– Cast Orbs of the Stream.
– Apply Healing Spray.
– Cast Healing Current.
– Refresh any of the above HoTs, if they are about to fall off. Usually, I will refresh them when there is about 1 or 2 seconds left, to get the most healing possible. If you find that this is cutting it too close to the wire for you, feel free to refresh them sooner. The point is that they should not fall off unless you want them to.
– Cast Deluge as needed. If you find that a full string of HoTs are not doing enough to keep the tank up, use Deluge to supplement the healing. You want to make sure you have the most HoT effects on them, to get the additional healing from Deluge. Each HoT present will increase the healing that Deluge does by a set amount. Try not to use Deluge if you don’t have any HoTs already on your target, as it won’t do as much healing, otherwise.
– Use Healing Breath. If Deluge is on cooldown and you need a fast heal to help keep the tank up, cast Healing Breath. Healing Breath also works well with Tidal Surge as an emergency heal.
There are a number of ways that you can tackle the task of keeping the rest of your party healed, if you find they are taking damage.
When one or two people are taking damage, feel free to use Healing Breath or a stack or two of Soothing Stream. If the target needs more healing, add additional stacks of Soothing Stream or Healing Spray. They shouldn’t need more than that, unless they are standing in something they are not supposed to or the group is having issues with threat.
For situations where most of the group is in need of healing, use Healing Flood first. If that doesn’t work, target the tank and cast Ripple, then quickly refresh or re-apply your HoTs. This will, in turn, apply the HoTs you just cast on the tank to nearby party members and heal them, too.
In closing, the Warden soul makes a great soul for lower level characters, as it is extremely mana efficient and it gives you a number of spells that you can cast while on the move or that help you react quickly to incoming damage. It is also a flexible soul, which has strong tank healing abilities and can also provide large amounts of group healing, too.
Admittedly, having to keep track of your HoTs can take some getting used to. But, once you get some more experience healing with the Warden soul in dungeons, it should become much easier to keep an eye on your HoTs, while not losing sight of other things that are going on.
In the future, I’ll get into where you will want to place the rest of your talent points, as you make your way through level 25 and towards level 50.
If you have any questions or would like some more tips on playing a Warden at the lower levels, feel free to leave a comment or a suggestion down below.