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Lightwell is a Raid CooldownFrom LOLWell to Raid Saver

We’ve talked about Lightwell a little bit in the past, and by now we’ve all come to love and respect Lightwell. Lightwell is our friend. Lightwell has come a long way from the, “Why did you waste a talent point on this spell?”.

Lightwell is a raid cooldown.

What do I mean by that? While, yes, Lightwell is a great tool to plop down and enable your raid to heal themselves, it is more than just that. Lightwell can be used as a raid cooldown– Much like Divine Hymn, Tranquility, Power Word: Barrier, and Divine Sacrifice. Lightwell isn’t the same as these aforementioned spells in every sense, however it is a cooldown that smart holy priests (and by proxy their raid members) can use to add to the survivability of their raid.

Many of us toss a Lightwell down right as the fight starts or just before a pull. This is a perfectly great way to use this spell, and by no means a bad usage. It gets the Lightwell out there and (assuming you placed it in a good position) it provides healing for raid members who can click it, bringing their health back up from the damage that might have gone out. Lightwell Renew showing up on healing meters/reports always makes me smile. It let’s me know that the other member’s of my raid are taking responsibility for their own well being.

However, we need to keep in mind that so many of the fights available to us right now have periods of phases that have massive amounts of raid damage.  More likely than not, as a Holy Priest, your job is to raid heal and to recover your raid from these big surges of AOE damage. (Feud Phase of Chimaeron,  Cho’gall’s last phase , or Phase 2 Nefarian). We can use Lightwell as a raid cooldown during this time; Lightwell can be applied to and healing members of your raid while you are casting other spells. No other spell can do this in the manner that Lightwell can and we should use this to our advantage.

I do have a Power Aura that alerts me when Lightwell is off cooldown and is ready to be cast, however before I cast it I need to think to myself: “Is this the best time to put Lightwell out?”. Sometimes the answer is, “No”. Before you cast a Lightwell you should also be asking yourself:  ”Does my raid NEED a Lightwell now?”.

Should I Cast Lightwell?

We need to remember that Lightwell has a 3 minunte cooldown and a finite number of charges (10 or 15 when glyphed). Will, in those 3 minutes, all the charges be used up? If so, will the raid need them before the cooldown is up again?

Know When to Hold Them:  You need to know the encounter. Sometimes you will want to hold off casting Lightwell- waiting for a phase transition or waiting for big damage to be coming in might be a more appropriate time to plant your Lightwell. You don’t want to waste it!

Know When to Fold Them:  Sometimes the best use of Lightwell is to just put it out there. Many fights have constant damage going on, and the best use of Lightwell is to just have it present in the raid and to let your raid use the charges as the damage goes out. Not every cast of Lightwell has to be a “raid saver”. While this statement is contrary to a bulk of this article, it is important to remember that any healing is good healing– and Lightwell is a spectacular source of healing.

Know When to Walk Away: Now that we’ve spent all this time training DPS to use the LIghtwell, we need to train DPS to know when they really need the heal. Sometimes DPS is so anxious to help out/heal themselves, they wind up using a charge at a point when they don’t need it.

Know When to Run: Positioning! You should never have to run to a Lightwell. Poor positioning of a Lightwell is at the fault of the casting Priest. If you know a fight is about to have a positioning change and it will put your raid out of reach of the Lightwell… you need to have the foresight to plant the Lightwell in a place that will be beneficial to the raid.

Many server first guilds (Dark Pact included) will call out on vent if a Lightwell is down and it is an appropriate time to use it as a cooldown. “Lightwell down”, “Click the Lightwell!”, “Lightwell, Lightwell, Lightwell…”. Think of it as managing the inventory of available Lightwell Renews. Cast the spell smartly and know when your raid will be in high demand the supplementary heals; it will be up to you be to certain that Lightwell will be available (and within range).

Examples of Lightwell as  Cooldown

Feud: Chimeron – Your raid should NOT be taking Lightwell heals in Phase 1. Placing the Lightwell near your Feud collapse location is a great use. Have your raid use Lightwell to assist you in healing up the damage needed before the next wave of Acid. If you have more than 1 Holy Priest in your raid, especially on 25 man, you may want to stagger usage for alternating Feuds.

Furious Roar: Halfus – Even with the 30% HP rule on Lightwell falling off, Lightwell can be a lifesaver during Furious Roar (especially Hard Mode) since you can click the Lightwell even while stunned. Once you enter the Final Phase of this fight, you’re in the home stretch and you’ll want (and need) as much of your DPS to survive the Roar (and post-Roar damage) to meet the DPS requirements on his enrage. What you don’t want to happen is to have the Lightwell charges consumed by heal-hungry DPS who have taken damage in earlier phases. If at all possible, pre-emptively cast Lightwell charges should be saved for Phase 2 or dire situations in Phase 1. (The fight is long enough to get off 2 Lightwell casts). This can take some training of your DPS to know the mechanics of the fight, and to know when Lightwell Renew will be most valuable. Now, I am not saying that no one should take heals from it in Phase 1— but in Phase 1 your healers are not stunned and your raid shouldn’t be dying to the AOE damage that is going out– it is the Furious Roar that is the most dangerous. Remember – your tanks should also be trying to take Lightwell heals during Furious Roar.

Nefarian: Phase 2 – Your Healers are split up, you’re rotating regeneration abilities, and you’re standing with a group on a pillar surrounded by lava… all while Nef is bombarding you with Shadowflame– awesome. You’ll need to have certainty that your Lightwell will be off cooldown and ready for consumption in Phase 2. Protip: With correct line of sight, you can place the Lightwell atop the pillar in Phase 1, so it is ready for consumption (and comes off cooldown for a second use) during Phase 2.

Remember, I by no means am suggesting you should always wait to cast Lightwell. No, absolutely not. By now, most of us have reached a point where most people are comfortable seeing Lightwell out during raids and are clicking them for heals. It is now time to shift some of the responsibility back to the priests: Know the fights so you can cast Lightwell smartly. Know when your raid will need Lightwell. Position Lightwell in a place that your raid can use it. Consume Lightwell when your raid needs it most.

Have you found any good places to strategically use Lightwell in your raids? Share them here in the comments!

Written By: on January 18, 2011
  1. What are your thoughts on Lightwell during Valiona & Theralion? I felt that the ranged were too spread out to use it and then I tried to use it during the Theralion ground phase, when we were all moving as a group and that didn’t help, either. I can’t seem to find a place for it to shine on that encounter.

    I loved your suggestions on the other encounters and found it particularly useful on Halfus. I plan on trying the Chimaeron strategy this week, as I realized I had it in a bad place last time and that was completely my fault.

    Great post! I will certainly link this in the healer thread on my guild forums for an additional plug.


    1. Double Dragons can be rough with placement, particularly since there is just so much movement involved in Phase 2. This fight could just be one of those fights “know when to fold ‘em” and just put it out and say “any healing is good healing”. (just try to cheat it forward into your path.

      Personally, I put it out in P1 near the collapse point for Blackout. Get a click on your way back out after the dispel.

      1. We currently do not have a collapse point, though it has been strongly suggested that we use one. We were just running towards the person and I think people are realizing that doesn’t work too well.

        I will certainly push for that to happen, knowing the Lightwell can be of more use in that situation.


        1. Tip: use melee as the collapse point. Keeps their DPS uptime higher, and watch the Blackout timer to know when its coming.

          1. Melee collapse point is a great place to drop a lightwell if you have to because people are going to be around it a lot. The deep breathe can really bite you in phase 2, but my group has had some success with it.

            In phase 1 we collapse for blackout right behind valiona. Again, this is a good spot to drop a lightwell because everyone in the raid should be here quite often (or at least more than near enough) and valiona shouldn’t be moving to much in phase 1.

  2. It’s such a 180 on the line of thought held during WotLK, but yes, Lightwell can be an amazing way to quickly blanket the raid in hots and even out the burst damage that’s prevalent in so many encounters (in addition to those that you mentioned: Maloriak’s fire breath, Cho’gall/Council Phase 3, Magmatron’s AOE). I’m still amazed every time a non-healer asks for it during an encounter. And the more strategic our holy priest gets with his placement, the more we actually look for it during those burst damage periods.

    I never thought I’d say this but … yeah, I think I might be just a tiny bit jealous of the lolwell. ^_^

  3. This is a huge pressure point in my guild right now: training DPS to use healthstones and lightwell respectively for encounters.

    One pull on Chimeron comes to mind where an enhancement shaman pulled the boss without the bot out with the excuse: “I was trying to click the lightwell.” This infuriated me more than the accidental wipe – why would you use up an already limited resource when it’s entirely unnecessary? It is my own fault for putting it out early and not timing the encounter, but it’s a learning curve for everyone – and many are not ready to admit that.

    Great post. Gives me some great feud ideas for Chimeron.

  4. Nice post :) )
    I play disc myself as main spec and so wish I could have lightwell too !

    Right now im trying to convince our 2nd Holy priest to spec into Lightwell as the guild are pretty good at clicking it when they need to.

    Lightwell on chimeron is awesome…I spec Holy specifically for that encounter – have my lightwell on one side of the stack point for feud and the other holy priest puts his the other side. Lightwell renews healed over 1.8mil damage on our last 25man kill.

    Nice tip about Nefarion lightwell placement..will have to get them to give it a go.

    1. Getting LOS on it can be tricky. But if you go to WoW Interface and look at the screenshots of my UI, you’ll see it there.

  5. It is a wonderful little golden bowl our lightwell.

    With my guild, lightwells will be preplaced at the start and if they are needed for a specific moment the call goes out on vent “save lightwell for X”, then when X occurs remind them to use it. For us that seems to work very well, Lightwell gets used at the correct time (though I’ve noticed the tanks often sneak a charge or two ;) ) and it gets maximum uptime during the fight!

    However, I think if you have a raid that just can’t wait to have a drink from it. Or you are not entirely sure of the position then saving the cooldown for a prudent moment is going to be best.

    I like the concept of staggering lightwells for feuds at Chimaeron, we run it with 2 or 3 holy priests usually, shall give it a shot next week!

  6. Using Lightwell, good.
    Getting the raid to use Lightwell, better.
    Making a post about Lightwell and incorporating the chorus from “The Gambler” as the defining theme, priceless.

    Now I’ve got the song stuck in my head. :)

  7. Funny thing when I’m raiding, a lot of times when I place the Lightwell, I do it also for myself. Since ofcourse priests take damage, and getting that free heal from the Lightwell is so much better and cheaper in the lenght than using Binding Heal all the time.

    I agree though that there have become a bigger and better focus on it now, that it got buffed and is considered the most effective healing spell in the game if you look at heal vs. mana cost.

    One interesting point though is that I do also belive that it got buffed at the right time and setting. With the Cataclysm healing, triage healing got introduced and is playing a big role in the game at the moment, and that is what I mean, that Lightwell fits perfectly for that environment where the healer can’t always afford maxing all to 100%.

  8. Never did a lot of raiding myself, but I used to drop lightwell next to a warlock, she loved me for it!

  9. With part of the raid, I’m still in the education phase. However, I have gotten some people to the point where they ask where the lightwell will be. A couple of dps without healer alts have been using it regularly. I find that tanks, healers, and people with alts who are either are much more willing to see the merit in lightwell than someone who just has a dps toon and dps alts.

  10. Best thing is to train the raid leaders….my raid leader has been known to place a raid marker for where the lightwell will be !

  11. Maybe I’m a lucky one. Everywhere I look, people are saying it’s difficult for melee or tanks to use lightwell. My tanks BEG for it. Our tank on Chimaeron likes to use it to help get himself above the 10k threshold. The problem we have is that when we stack for Feud, all the dps want to help the healers out & click it! So when the tank is relying on the lightwell after the Feud, it’s long gone.

    I have to say, once you train your raid to use lightwell, they crave it. It’s the beacon of hope >>.

  12. Nice tip regarding the use of Lightwell during the Rawr phase at Halfus. We’ve just started BoT and were having issues at this point. Will definately implement it.

    Does the lightwell heal tick benefit from the 40% Guardian Spirit buff?

    1. Yes it does so even in WotLK.My Lightwell renew ticks at around 7k-ish at ICC gear so now that the stats and their ratings are way higher than it was in WotLK you can expect a lot with Lightwell Renew + Guardian Spirit. I have tested and experimented with much of the viable builds back pre 4.0 patch where you can do Hybrid build. From an experienced and well versed talent build enthusiasts, the 41 talent point is a concise hybrid build that all the three specs can benefit from.

  13. It was such a pain to get the DPS to NOT use the Lightwell on Chimaeron in P1 -.-
    I really was about to yell at them. In fact i did, when it was demanded to place the well somewhere near the melee DPS, who feared for their lives. Only 10k hp people…
    I like to place it near the main tank before the fight starts so the cooldown is ready on the second Feud phase.
    Like you said, it’s a long road to get the DPS to use it wisely and at the right time.
    I’m still struggling where to put it in the first phase of the Ascendant Council. :/
    P3 is pretty obvious but I’d like to give it a proper use in P1 as well.

  14. Do you have some lovely macros or addons for Lightwell?

    1. Take a look at RSA. I discussed it in last week’s post.

  15. Second phase of chogall has also helped heal up and or keep raids health up

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