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[AM] Heal guide

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Posts: 17

[AM] Heal guide

Post#1 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:05 pm

Archmage healing and you. A practical guide.

This is the first guide I've ever written, so bear with me. The information here is based upon my own experience in game and lots of talks with other Arch mages. I'm always happy to have a talk about our class with both experienced AMs and newcomers to the class. Since AM's currently a bit of a pariah class I think we also need to have a talk about which way to best utilize our class. Hopefully this post will help this along.

Standard healing tips
Like in many other MMORPGs there are a few core concepts that are equally important here. I wont focus so much on these general concepts but give a small description on how they apply to an AM.

Positioning: Staying alive means you can heal more. Try to stay out of harms way and simultaneously are able to res people safely so they have an easier time staying alive, especially since you cant heal them first 3 seconds after the res, this also helps so that you wont get rushed while being res stunned. Staying too far away makes landing spells like EoV harder to land however.
Hiding can also be a part of this. This can either mean hiding from view like standing in a bush or cannon, hiding in your teams blob or even hiding in the enemy heal backline.

Triage: Knowing whom to heal and res, and in what order, is key. Other healers, tanks and dps are usually the best order to go about this. Try not to let people die because you want to land a res. And remember that sometimes you have to let someone die to save another. Often you can lose all your minions if you try to save them both. Letting one die, focus heal the other then res, can be a perfectly viable strategy and something all healers should be aware of.

To be a bit controversial your biggest assets are not your heals! Mistress of the Marsh (slow puddle), instant res and to a lesser extent AOE cleanse are what will get you in the more selective groups. Dont get me wrong the healing helps and you will still take up a healing slot but what you bring to the table are more utility compared to numbers. There are of course some who will say they get great numbers as an Arch mage but my counterpoint is that they would usually heal even more on another healer, unless we are talking about a very one sided fight/city/sc.
To be a successful AM you will have to focus on more than health bars. Know when to land those puddles, know when and who to res. And then, if you get a spare moment, you can land those other debuffs.

Mistress of the Marsh: This skill can be used in a multitude of ways. You can use this offensively to, for example, splitting a warband in two so your warband can fall upon the stragglers, giving an important edge in the beginning of a fight. See a lot of green mushrooms flailing their arms like inflatable balloon men? Land a puddle under them and see them struggle to chop anything then. Make a funnel even harder by landing a puddle in it, seeing them struggle even more to enter where you dont want to enter. It is also possible to use it as an escape but that is tricky at best since most that catches up with you can slow you as well. Its better to not be where the enemy is but of course if its up and you are getting focused its worth a try.
I cannot state the importance of this spell enough.

Gift of Life: Your res is another very spell that becomes unique if you use the tactic for instant res. Instant casting of this offers a lot of options for fast resses, which can be key in a war of attrition, and a few other things. Like being able to res while jumping. This makes you res people that die in otherwise unressable places. And can be used to res while jumping to or in safety. Like for instance ressing in air and then landing behind a pillar. Experiment with this and learn all the nifty little tricks you can do with it.

Energy of Vaul: This spell is the heal with the highest potential (and possibly in the game), even when just hitting one enemy it is worth using and obviously the more friends you hit the better. The downsides is that it can be a little microintensive to use to the fullest, you have to be somewhat close to the enemy and the cooldown that makes it not spammable. However if grouped with an SM that gives you whispering winds, there suddenly aren't any cooldown on it at all, making it deliciously spamable, just remember to keep your tranquility up for the lowered cast time and cast while moving.

Law of Gold: This spell silences your opponent for 5 seconds. Sounds great right? Not really no. First of all in endgame it only lands about 1 in 3 against the targets you want to silence. That means you spend 3 GCD to land a 5 second silence. Surely your own time could have been spent on something more productive? Secondly it also gives cc immunity which is something you have to be careful about giving.

Cleansing Light: This spell cleanses your target and gives that target a little shield absorb. Can be enhanced by two tactics. Isha's encouragement gives the cleansed target a HOT on top of the cleanse. Apotheosis in the Path of Isha makes the cleanse group aoe in a medium circle around the target. Note that these two tactics does not stack, however the absorb does work with Apotheosis.
With ww you can spam the cleanse, which works nicely for the HOT tactic since it stacks.

Lambent Aura: After latest patch this is really good for padding your fluff heal stats. It wont save anyone but you will do a lot of heals on the side when you spam this to increase your mechanic for landing EoV bombs.

So which heals are best to use? That is again very situational but a feel for which of your heals that heals the most is useful. I made this little chart showing what HPS your various skills have:
Be aware that these numbers are with the build described below and my measured GCD of 1.25 (I can reliable do 9 instant cast over 10 seconds. Meaning there are 8 GCD in 10 seconds. 10/8 = 1.25).
If this GCD is wrong I would like to know but since there are very varied information on it here on forum and in game, I'm using what I can measure reliably.

Since apparently you cant make tables here, I provide a picture instead:

A few things immediately springs to mind after reviewing this list. First of all the basic aoe heal is useless for single target heals but that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. However group aoe heals are naturally the best hps if they heal an entire party. Vaul especially have a crazy potential and brings being able to move and cast to the table. It does require you to be close and hit multiple enemies and friends in order to be truly effective however. Vaul is just about the only spell where the class mechanics actually matter, since you can cast it on the move and reduce cast time if you have just 1 tranquility.
Vaul's tooltip also seems to be somewhat bugged and I do not get the numbers that the tool tip suggest. With class ability you get a cast time of 1.2 and the heal bonus before the leech is a lot higher. Around 1072 for me. The leech part seems about right.
Blessing of Isha, the standard AoE heal, is decent HPS when it heals 2 fully and great when it heals 3 or more, compared to the other standard spells.

Secondly transfer force seems to be a great spell in theory but practice leaves it lacking a bit. Since it requires an enemy, that enemy can die or disrupt and reduce damage making the actual healing a lot lower than expected.

Also note that Funnel Essence is a bit lacking which is a great disservice to heal AM. It does bring one good thing to the table that we dont otherwise have and that it is one of the few(only) panic buttons we have, since it front loads heals and doesn't require us to wait until cast time is over for heal to land. In most other games healing are based around those panic buttons and their usage at critical time but not here.
Like EoV the tool tip seems wrong here as well as it seems to think there are 3 ticks and not 4. I updated the graph to reflect this.

Selecting which heal you need to cast is of course critical. If no one is getting focused you can prepare with hots or AOE as situation demands.

Arch mages actually have it tough here but only because there are so many good ones. The most note worthy ones are:
  • Desperation. I havent talked to a single AM that doesn't bring this along. Use it and love it.
  • Hurried Restore. In my opinion the class feature. Instant rez brings a lot of utility in many different situations. Ressing some that otherwise couldn't be ressed at keeps. Getting people up fast in cities. Res jumping.
  • Restorative Burst. Gives AP. Whats not to like? Its useful to bring at least one AP generating tactic no matter which build you are using.
  • Master of Tranquility. Crits provides bigger numbers and combines well with other tactics. Shines the most in a heal based build.
  • Apotheosis. Group AoE cleanse. Quite good and very useful for organised fights.
  • Wild healing. More AP is good. Very good but I personally prefer to use restorative burst and save the mastery point.
  • Bolstering Boon. Morale pump. After rework it is a very good tactic and worth bringing in most situations. Using this of course means that you'd want to boost your crit heal even more.
  • Isha's encouragement. If only because it turns your cleanse into one of your most efficient heals. The effect stacks and coupled with SM's WW it can deliver a lot of hots.
  • Run between worlds. I like to joke that cities are a survival horror game for AMs, this can potentially help with that. A very strong option if you find you need more survivability.
Your choice of tactics and mastery points will change the way you play your class. The two main different AM's are utility and heal based. Both have their uses but dont forget that many groups expect AM's to bring utility as well as heals.

Using whats described above here's the build I usually bring to cities: - Archmage

This is the old build, which I linked to previously, but I now mostly use the build linked above: - Archmage

However once you get to be able to use that you probably already have so much experience and gear that you dont need my meager guidance anymore :)

Until then you need to decide which tree you want to focus on. I recommend getting slow puddle as soon as possible however. But after that you need to decide between Funnel Essence and Energy of Vaul since you cant get both until you have a lot of renown and gear, At least not without sacrificing too much in the process. If you want to see big numbers go Energy of Vaul, if you want to be able to save a single target and have a bit of a panic button go Funnel Essence.

Here are a few example builds for lower renown. Note that these are just examples. You can easily switch them around so you for instance make a heal focused Funnel Essence build. Before level 40 your best option is to stick with Isha since it improves your basic heals and gets you mistress of the marsh. I wouldnt recommend switching to Funnel Essence before being able to get both that and slow puddle.

Utility - Funnel Essence: - Archmage - Utility

Heal - Essence of Vaul - Archmage - Heal focused

Your biggest concern is to stay alive, therefore my recommendation is a build that focuses on just that. Max deft defender and futile strikes and put the rest in heal crit. If going for a more heal intensive build I suppose you could try and focus on max crit and fill the rest in futile strikes (with leftovers in deft defender). The new Trivial Blows could of course replace heal crit and some deft defender if focusing on pure survival but for now I would probably suggest staying with the previous choices.
Last edited by leafaele on Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:13 pm, edited 25 times in total.

Posts: 17

Re: [AM] Heal guide

Post#2 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:06 pm

Gear, talismans and stats

Honestly there aren't much here that will make your life easier or that different from gearing other classes. Try to get the best gear you can and keep heal crit bonus as long as you can. Depending on how you level conq can be skipped since you can get vanq medals and gear from bags. Try to get genesis jewel set when you can and get either bag staff or from scenarios if you like doing them. For SC i would strongly recommend going with a premade and not solo (yes i did solo to get my oppressor staff but it would have been a lot easier had I gone with premades). For endgame I personally use 6 pieces of sov + 3 pieces of sentinel for use with the sentinel ring (with crit heal bonus from the soul).
For talismans most I've talked to recommend getting armour or toughness. Keeping in line with what I said earlier it keeps you alive. I suppose you can get wounds instead for a bigger health pool. I do not recommend getting wisdom since you gear should get you more than plenty. At sov level 100 more wisdom means your Funnel Essence ticks for 20 more heals, meaning it heals for 80 more over the 3 seconds it lasts.

Effects of Willpower and healpower can be seen here

Slotting +160 wp tactic gives around +6% heals. Is that worth a tactic slot?


M1: Here there are two decent options. You can either go with Divine Favor or Isha's Ward. Divine favor offers a decent enough heal but since the only time I use M1 is when things go wrong I prefer to use Isha's ward for the bigger effect.
M2: This is your toughest choice for morale. There are 3 good options here that all have their uses. Focused Mind offers survivability and speed casting. A good solid choice and very strong for small scale. Rampaging Siphon are for some other healing classes the preffered option for recovery after enemy morale dump and you can do that as well here but the proximity to enemies can be dangerous but and requires solid placement. Not for the faint of heart and requires you to be very confident with your ability to be in the thick of action. Blinding Light can be used both offensely and defensively. The effect can seriously annoying attackers as it removes their ability to move and attack at the same time (or in some cases make it a lot slower).
M3: The only real choice here is Divine Protection
M4: Since there are little benefit in any of the trees to go up to M4, there's only the default option here. Most times you will be using M2 and m3 sue to this.

Morale timings:
Without Bolstering Boon
M1 after 20s of combat
M2 after 40s of combat
M3 after 1.30min (90s) of combat

With Bolstering Boon (imperfect uptime but still mostly on. So could be faster but this is probably closer to an average number)
M1 - 13 seconds
M2 - 25 seconds
M3 - 57 seconds
Last edited by leafaele on Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:14 pm, edited 9 times in total.

Posts: 898

Re: [AM] Heal guide

Post#3 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:13 pm

EoV is 1,2s cast time, as you got your class mechanic.

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Re: [AM] Heal guide

Post#4 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:18 pm

Yes I know about EoV casttime. See the written text. However this doesn't change anything that I've written.

I actually had a second spreadsheet for the group healing including all the variations but since it didn't change a single point that I had written I decided not to include it.

The only thing worth nothing is that EoV requires you to hit about 3 friends and 2 enemies to be as effectual as Blessing of Isha. HPS wise that is.

I did update original post with a lot more numbers.
Last edited by leafaele on Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Posts: 738

Re: [AM] Heal guide

Post#5 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:52 pm

Good post overall!

The good thing about AM is that he has quite a few equally good tactics to pick from (which your post made clear). This gives you some variety of pick depending on your personal preference and/or group demand or enemy setup. And thumbs up for pointing out the flaws of bolstering boon! We are more than morale pump bots :D
I personally think that ishas encouragement is super strong. You usually should cleanse on cooldown anyway and the hot stacks.

Posts: 108

Re: [AM] Heal guide

Post#6 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:31 am

Saving for higher RR.

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Posts: 101

Re: [AM] Heal guide

Post#7 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:42 am

this is fantastic and all but without an amour talisman build you just melt ,and we all know the prices are beyond rediculous.

Posts: 17

Re: [AM] Heal guide

Post#8 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:05 pm

Rapture wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:31 am
Saving for higher RR.
I'm a bit sorry to see that. There should be plenty of information here about your AM even at low renown.

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Posts: 19

Re: [AM] Heal guide

Post#9 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:44 pm


Thanks for the great guide! It's super helpful for a noob AM like me :)

I was wondering if you had an recommendations for general priority? I'm only CR22/RR30 right now. If I'm understanding what you wrote, when healing I should be mainly throwing up Shields, Boon of Hysh, Magical Infusion, Blessing of Isha (if at least 2 or 3 people in my party need healing) and then HoTing if there is any downtime? Throw in Cleansing, AP drain and Rezzing (if it won't result in others deaths) for good measure. Sound about right?

Thanks again for the awesome guide!

Edit: a word

Posts: 17

Re: [AM] Heal guide

Post#10 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:09 pm

Cormeister I dont recommend boon in general but that is not to say i never use it. It is mediocre in almost every way. It stops you from moving and doesn't really provide good value for either cast time or healing per second. It is spamable however, so there's that. And if it lands it does do a noticeable heal.

I am loathe to recommend any sort of priority since healing can be very fluid and not like a dps rotation. But if I were to say I have any kind of priority you should look at the numbers above. At 22 CR you dont have a lot of options available to you yet, so at that level boon might be your only option in many cases.

Shield and magical infusion aren't spamable so I prefer to hold them until needed. They are both high value however. I do recommend that you try to land the hots on dps before the fight start. That way they are already running.

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