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!