Posted by: Kro | April 6, 2010

Clique+Grid and Multi Class Healers

I’d like to extend a salute to those players similar to myself who play more than one healing class. (Specific nods to Eranthe, Antinoob and Rhylie who I’ve witnessed healing on at least 3 different classes.)There are certainly many others who come to mind that deserve respect as well. That being said, I’ve been interested in how such players are organizing their spells as they relate to multiple healing toons.

For me I think the key is to try and tie the spells as best as possible to their counterparts in the other classes. If you count all four classes and five specs of healing you have many types of overlapping categories of spells. Big heals, efficient heals, quick heals, heals over time, cooldown heals, middle range cooldown heals, housekeeping (rotation spells/buffs/heals), absorbs, area effect heals and long cooldown heals (OH S buttons) make up the wider menagerie of restorative and protective spells in the healer arsenal.

Many of the spells that overlap are the bread and butter of one class but are seldom or never used for another. Getting an exact formula for where those spells should go based on their job becomes a problem in that you can’t place them based on what they do, but how you use them compared to other classes.

I’d like to first go over my personal binds for the different types of heals and which spell I have them assigned to. (I’ll first mention that I have very little experience as a holy priest other than one dungeon leveling to 80 or resto shaman in the post Burning Crusade era but I’ll make estimated guesses)

Right Click – this is a staple, easy bind. I put hots and big heals here, anything that I use a decent amount of or would like to have while moving or using one hand to play (eat, drink, and vape.. /facepalm). Right click is my holy light, lifebloom, healing wave, and renew.

Ok first issues come up. Lifebloom over rejuv? Renew over greater heal? Yes, lifebloom doesn’t make a lot of sense because generally we use rejuv more. I may switch to rejuv at some point but currently the reason is because in a 5 man or 10man when you are capped on people that actually need healing the usefulness while missing a hand is diminished where as lifebloom can be applied up to 3 times on targets taking damage. Renew > Greater Heal makes more sense in that GH is not often used by either healing priest spec.

Left Click – I leave this to targeting. Inevitably you will not use a certain spell very often and you wont have a bind for it. Hopefully you at least know where it is and you’ll have to use it the old fashion way, point and click, but if you cant target the person you can’t help them.

Shift + Right Click – This is my fast heal. A good amount of my time on all my healers is using Shift Right Click. Flash of Light, Rejuv, PW: Shield, Chain Heal. These are all my triage spells. I use them to patch up as needed or blanketing the raid. They are generally my bread and butter. Chain heal could be replaced with Lesser Healing Wave as that is the natural shaman fast heal but LHW was not often used when I healed in BC as we had so much haste that chain heal was nearly as quick and better all around. Today I hear that LHW is used more in tank heal with some glyph that interacts with earth shield target. Maybe that is a question I could bring to Borsk of

Shift + Left Click – This is my short cooldown heal, Holy Shock, Flash Heal, Nourish, and Riptide. Holy Shock and Riptide fit because they … have a short cooldown. The thing is I mostly use them to move for a gcd if I need to get around or out of something. Flash Heal and Nourish would make more sense at Shift Right Click with the fast heal but the difference is the purpose I use it for. Nourish I hardly use, only when I have rejuvs on everyone that is taking damage and at least a rejuv but usually a regrowth and/or lifebloom as well on a tank. Since I sparingly use nourish it ends up being less of a fast heal and more of short cooldown since I have conditions for its use. Flash Heal is the same way. As disc (in my limited experience so far – 100 badges worth of heroics, Sarth 3d, and ignis/xt weeklies) I don’t often use flash heal unless everything else is cooling down. If everyone taking damage or likely to take damage has weakened soul, penance and prayer of mending are cooling down, and there are no groups worthy of prayer of healing then I will triage with flash heal. The heavy conditional use of flash heal and nourish turn them from fast heals to short cooldown heals in my arsenal.

Alt + Left Click – This is sort of a middle power/middle cooldown bind. Swiftmend, Sacred Shield, (Penance will have this bind though currently it is mouseover 3)

Alt + Right Click – This is a housekeeping bind. Beacon, Earth Shield, wild growth, and Prayer of Mending reside here. Things I want to keep on cooldown generally and all are “set it and (temporarily) forget it. It is mostly for beacon/earthshield but wild growth and PoM are somewhat similar in that I want them on cooldown in multi target damage situations. Even though wild growth is much more situational than the others it seemed to fit best here.

Alt + Shift + Mouse 4 – This is my close mouse thumb button and my somewhat “comfortable” bind that I will never be able to accidentally fat finger. This is Hand of Protection, Pain Suppression, Tranquility, Guardian Spirit, and Heroism. Throwing out a BoP while on my pally where I’m often hovered over a tank is not an option. Heroism is a similar no no since it needs to be used at precisely the correct time. The other cooldowns are better not to accidentally use since you may need them later.

Middle Mouse – This is my go to dispel. Paladin/Shaman all in one cleanses and the single cleanses for Druid/Priest (Decurse/Defensive Magic Dispel)

Shift + Middle Mouse – These are my abolish spells.

Shift + Mouse 5 (Far thumb) – Lay on Hands, Natures Swiftness + Healing Wave/Healing Touch. Greater Heal is also Shift + Mouse 5 because it fits with these other spells power even though it is not instantaneous. The macro I use for natures swiftness makes the cooldown and spell cast different lines so Shift+ Mouse 5 can be used as a healing touch, or healing wave with a cast time if NS is still cooling down. This helps GHeal integrate further with this bind.

Mouse 4 – Interrupt. This is mostly for my dps classes/specs, hammer stun as ret, mind freeze, counterspell, and spriest silence. Interrupt can also be important for healing though. Paladin healing on Lich King requires your stun to be on a bind so you can get a val’kyr stunned next to the other 2 for better splash damage. On my shaman it was important to interrupt heals from that belf chick in the council before Illidan. This is also my aoe fear on my priest while disc or holy, again for interruption, and bash on my druid.

Shift + Mouse 4 (close thumb) – This is my universal offensive dispel. Spellsteal, Priest Magic Dispel, and Purge are all here. Somewhat similar is cyclone in that you can cancel out the effect of a spell by cycloning through its duration (does this still work? I haven’t pvp’d on my druid since season 4) and also freedom. Yeah, freedom is a defensive dispel but I already have a defensive dispel bind on my pally and this seemed the most fitting last resort for a class with no semblance of an offensive dispel.

Mouse 5 – This is my go to taunt bind. I use this mostly for tanking on my dk/druid/paladin but I also use it for healing. Taunting Deformed Fanatics on heroic Lady Deathwhisper, or on a boss about to go berserk as I’m running away from it, or to taunt a stacking debuff mob and run away and bubble so the remaining tank can drop his stacks are all ways to make use of taunt as dps or healer class. This was also frost shock which was a threat shock in BC. I used this for pulling adds off squishier dps or for kiting. (I also got to tank Karazhan on my shaman once with a near full 4th set of Enhance t6/t4 enhance gladiator gear for crit cap, gemmed and chanted for tanking as well as Bulwark of Azzinoth and lots and lots of armor potions). I’m not sure if frost shock threat is still true but if I were to level my shaman to 80 I would likely make this wind shock to pair with my priest who also uses it as an opposite taunt with fade.

This is a pretty comprehensive list of 95% of my abilities using combinations of shift, alt, and 5 mouse buttons.

I also use 1-5, R, and F. Some of these are back ups or dps talents.

1. Judgement, Prayer of Healing (Mouseover), 4 Totem drop, entangling roots

2. Divine Plea, Binding Heal (Mouseover), Lesser Healing Wave (Mouseover), Innervate (Mouseover)

3. Avenging Wrath, Penance (Backup, Mouseover), lightning bolt, starfire

4. Illumination, Prayer of Mending (Backup, Mouseover), chain lightning, moonfire

5. spell power trinket if applicable

R. Consecration, Holy Nova, Magma Totem, Hurricane

F. Execute Hammer, Wand, Searing Totem, Wrath

I don’t often have trouble bouncing from healer to healer and keeping track of my spells, but sometimes you do get in a grind or you’re wiping a whole lot and your mind starts to slip. When this happens it is really helpful for me at least to go on instincts while my fingers just find the bind for the type of heal I’m looking for. Using instincts to find spells leaves a whole lot of room for situational awareness and room to pull off some clever trickery to get around a hectic attempt. Taunting mobs, healer interrupting, soaking, and kiting are all a lot more difficult if you’re heals aren’t second nature especially when you have several healer classes you play regularly. Even if the heals I have similarly bound are as different as rejuv and flash of light, flash heal and holy shock, or renew and healing wave I still have urges to use them in similar situations based on class mechanics and spell preferences.

I don’t claim to be a master of all healing classes. In fact, I revel in being a jack of all trades. I love pushing hybridism even further, distinguishing hybrid play from not only different roles but to different classes of the same role. The problem that crops up is it is hard to keep up with the cutting edge of every class. I welcome suggestions from other multi class healers or single class healers who have mastered their craft to help me better fulfill my ultimate goal, keeping all my healers (and other alts/roles/specs) less than a few weeks of gear/know how away from being able to step into main raids as the need arises.

Do you set up your binds in a different way? Disagree with how I lump different class spells together? Notice something I’ve missed or am under appreciating? Let me know about it!



  1. Hah! I do the same thing – try to bind “similar” abilities to the same keys so it’s easier to shift from one toon to the other.

    I only have a 3-button mouse, but let me share my keybindings with you. I have played druid, priest, and shaman as my mains, and I have limited experience with pally up to lvl 30ish.

    I have NOTHING on the left, right, and middle without a modifier. I like to use right click for the menu option.

    Shift left click = short heal (Nourish, FH, LHW, FOL)
    Shift Middle click= “weird” heal (binding heal)
    Shift right click = long heal (Regrowth, Gheal, HW, HL)

    Control left click = HOT (Rejuv, Renew, Gift of the Naaru)
    Control middle = “weird” (POM)
    Control right = “bubble or hot” (lifebloom, pw:s, earth shield, pally bubble thing)

    Alt left click = Single target powerful heal w/ cd (Swiftmend, Penance, Riptide, holy shock)
    Alt right click = OH CRAP! (single target) (NS+HT, Pain Supp, NS+HW)

    Now, I’m running out of buttons, so I do more complex bindings:

    Control+Shift+left click = one dispel/cleanse
    Control+Shift+right click = another dispel, if applicable

    Control-alt-left click = Standard aoe spell (WG, POH, Chain Heal)
    Control alt-right click = Oh crap! (aoe) (Tranq, D.Hymn, NS+CH)

    Hope these groupings help. Unfortunately, I’m not a pally expert so I don’t have a lot of binding experience at high levels.

    • Ah yes, the menu with right click, I use xpearl for targeting and have clique turned off for xpearl to get around that. All of my clique binds only work on grid, which sometimes bugs me if I use a focus target with xpearl but I think I can just turn my bindings on for individual portions of xpearl such as focus frame but I use it so infrequently that I haven’t bothered to just yet.

      You do bring up a good point though, using Control. I just can’t bring myself to relearn using control for spells since I have my vent set to control. Not exactly optimal, but I’ve been using it for 4 years lol.

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