Avoiding Damage as a Druid Healer

100 Tauren Druid
8695
Hi all,

I've been healing heroics now on my level 80 druid for a few months now. I still find myself a bit overwhelmed by what's happening at times, and if the group goes down, half the time it's because I'm taking damage, I have a mob on me, or am standing in goo and don't realize it. Especially if I have an add on me, I go down pretty fast, but get annoyed because if I heal myself it adds to my agro. Granted some of the times, this is avoidable, or because I have tunnel vision, but sometimes I just feel squishy.

So I thought I'd poke around here to see how you work around the squish. As a Druid, what tactics do you use to "push through it" or get better control of a hectic situation? Since the grass is always greener on the other side, I see priests with low-agro shields and fade, paladins with good mitigation and bubbles, and shamans with taunting/shielding totems and better mitigation. Barkskin is my friend, but it doesn't seem all that potent, and I recently just talented "Nature's Ward", hoping that will help some. I've also thought more about using Instant Entangling Roots, or Nature's Grasp, as well as Cower in Cat Form, but those seem a bit more difficult becuase I give up a glyph, have to be hit, or have to have a target selected to make it work.

Thanks for the advice, it's greatly appreciated. :)
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100 Blood Elf Priest
11095
If you get agro run to the tank so he can taunt the mob off you. Its amazing how many healer just stand there or run away from the tank.
Edited by Rowit on 12/1/2010 1:02 PM PST
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80 Tauren Druid
4740
My usual reaction is to pop barkskin if the dmg is heavy enough and heal through it, but you have a few options:

1. Run to the tank while casting instants.
2. Root the mob using Nature's Grasp or Insta Roots if you have the glyph.
3. Shift to bear and start tanking!
4. Shift to cat and sprint.
5. Shift into a tree and heal the crap outta everything.
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85 Tauren Priest
5875
I would suggest using Nature's Grasp (if it's a 5-man or something), or popping Barkskin and healing through it (if it's perhaps a ranged mob whaling on you).
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100 Tauren Druid
17695
The basic methods for avoiding damage are about the same for all healers.

You --- DPS Pile - Tank -- Mobs

That should be the picture most of the time. As long as the tank is between you and the enemy, the tank can pick things up. If something comes at you, you should have more than enough time to Root or Cyclone if the tank hasn't picked it up, or use Nature's Grasp to root it when it does hit you, then run for the tank. Cyclone, in particular, is pretty awesome as it's short term and prevents threat increases - the only problem is that it could cause the mob to be immune to a taunt. However, it gives you plenty of time to move which should allow the tank to get a pick up after.

You should be set up such that you can heal easily while still looking at your character and the world in general, so you can see when bad things are under you or coming for you. Use your HoTs to your advantage - learn the fights, know when damage is coming, drop a couple Rejuvs ahead of time so you can constantly keep your eyes up and out of the health bars.

Treeform gives you a major Armor boost in addition to the +Healing boost and spell changes. Pop that if a melee mob is after you. That will also allow you to heal on the run fairly well with instant Regrowths, so you can bring the mob back to sit in the tank's cleave zone.

outside of that, there's no reason you should be pulling aggro off the tank unless the tank is terrible, the DPS are causing problems, or you're doing something strange (e.g. doing a lot of damage early on to a mob like you're a bad DPS before you start healing).
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100 Tauren Druid
8695
Thanks for the replies all, perhaps I've been focusing too hard the the green bars, trying to utilize every GCD in some of the more ugly fights, and not using my innate mobility and the new tree form to my advantage, I wasn't thinking about it as a damage mitigator and heal on the run talent.
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I've had that problem as well but you do learn and realize what you need to do in situations. I have my ui/name plates set up to alert me of any aggro and I hover over barkskin ready to use it and immediately start running to tank. Usually the tank catches it and gets them but if not you are already on your way to tank or on top of him/her and the next AoE cast he/she does will get them away. It's also ok to stop healing as long as you have Lifebloom on tank and maybe a rejuv since those usually keep the tank up. Of course you have your "oh crap" buttons if the tank starts losing health like crazy when you were doing your avoidence maneuvers. Sometimes you can't get them off and just try to heal through it with the loss of a DPS or two and making sure you and the tank are staying alive at least. Sometimes DPS will see you getting attacked and will come to the rescue but don't count on that all the time.

Also, for ground goo you shouldn't stand in. I found this awesome addon called GTFO. I use curse client but I'm sure you can go to client website and get it if you want whether you use client or not. It alerts you to stuff you shouldn't stand in and you can determine if you need to move asap or can last through it. There's different alerts to how much damage you are taking and it's loud and recognizable. You never see me move so fast when that alarm starts going off lol

I know I was kind of late in this post and everyone gave good ideas but I hope I gave some extra info with my experiences.

Edit1: Fixed spelling error.
Edited by Démòn on 12/2/2010 12:58 AM PST
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80 Human Priest
13500
Also, for ground goo you shouldn't stand in. I found this awesome addon called GTFO. I use curse client but I'm sure you can go to client website and get it if you want whether you use client or not. It alerts you to stuff you shouldn't stand in and you can determine if you need to move asap or can last through it. There's different alerts to how much damage you are taking and it's loud and recognizable. You never see me move so fast when that alarm starts going off lol


It's always great to see my addon help people out!

Download GTFO from the addon site of your choice:
http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/gtfo.aspx
http://wowui.incgamers.com/?p=mod&m=7000
http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info17996-GTFO.html
http://gtfo.dilutionguild.com
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100 Tauren Druid
8695
Thanks for the great replies so far. I had more success last night in PoS by using applying nature's grasp during big crazy pulls, and being more liberal with my use of treeform. I tell you, that that tunnel still drives me nuts, especially when our tank starts running before I got the HOTs ticking. I'm still using the default interface, but will try one of the suggested mods soon. The new raid frames in 5-man heroics are great, but it would be nice to be able to move my button bars around and to set up some mouse-bound heals.
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85 Human Death Knight
3600
I tend to root though my druid isn't 80 yet. I like stopping the mob and running to tank to give them time to realize. If you're with a group that knows what they are doing then running to the tank works... if your a lower level like me and are in a group of hot shot know nothings.... then running to the tank gets you dead and yelled at. Though at 80 this is probably less of an issue.
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