“The SnakePlar” Healsthefeels End-Game PvE Healing Guide

“The SnakePlar” Healsthefeels End-Game PvE Healing Guide

My name is Healsthefeels, also known as The Snake, I’m the core healer in Blind Luck raiding guild, I’m also raiding with the Late Night Dungeoneers (LND) and the Danish Guild. This is my end-game PvE Healing guide,

Welcome to Healsthefeels “The SnakePlar” end-game PvE raiding healer guide. I have been getting a lot of questions from newer players to the game, and veteran Healers on my setup in various trials. This guide  is designed purely for the most optimal setup in a raid environment, but will be providing some alternatives and solutions to non-optimised groups.

Please note, you should not use any builds in this guide without reading the guide first because you need to have an understanding behind the build choices made, the abilities and passives used that provide the most depending on raid scenarios. The guide will give you an explanation and hopefully an understanding on why certain decisions have been made when it comes to sets and abilities used.

Contents

Race

Unlike tanks or DPS, a healer is one of the roles in the game with a diverse choice of races, even among the top end game teams you see a diverse cast of race choices. The top three race choices that I would recommend are the following:

  1. Breton (recommended) – super high survivability great sustain
    1. My reason to choose Breton is the spell resistance; basically, this will get you a ton of survivability in a lot of trials such as Maw of Lorkhaj Hard Mode, Halls of Fabrication HM and Asylum Sanctorium Hard Mode. Since fire is considered spell damage, you can get away with being a Vampire up to stage 3, this Vampire stage will give you a huge sustain boost in line to an Altmers sustain.
  2. Argonian – super diverse, forgiving, harder to sustain
    1. Argonians on the other hand make the best healers for teams who are not mechanically strong, such as PUGs. The extra healing will help you if for whatever reason your healing is weak, and the extra stamina will help you tank through mechanics like The Hulk screams.The extra health points will also help if you’re face tanking meteors or any of the other unnecessary incoming damage. This race will be the best choice for 80% of players. There is an extra burst of magicka coming from pots due to their racial passives, but often you will be over compensated, and this will be redundant, though using a pot at 0% will be more efficient than on other races.
  3. Altmer – best sustain but very punishing for mistakes

All the three above races bring something different and unique according to your playstyle. Firstly, all content in the game can be cleared with all the above races, there is no obvious good choice for each trial or boss, the only difference is that for some fights a certain race will be better than the other.

Since we are using the Asylum staff in this build, the sustain will be so great that the race choice is down to what you like to ERP with.

Mundus stone for all races is The Atronach.

Champion Points

The Lord The Lady The Steed The Tower The Shadow The Lover The Atronach The Apprentice
19 Quick Recovery 49 Elemental Defender 27 Spell Shield 56 Warlord 16 Tumbling 75 Arcanist 9 Staff Expert 100 Elfborn
  49 Hardy 66 Ironclad 3 Sprinter 5 Shadow Ward 75 Tenacity 14 Spell Erosion 100 Blessed
  20 Thick Skinned            

This is the section that many people use to just straight out copy and paste, please keep in mind CP is very much based on your playstyle. For the red tree, play around with Hardy and Elemental Defender, so that you can be the judge of what works best for you depending on the content you are doing. 

Please note that I will rarely use these exact CP for everything, and will especially, depending on the trial, reduce Elfborn and Blessed, since stacking CP is never great. The aabove setup is a good start to work from. 

Sets

The primary ‘go to’ set healers cannot go without using is Spell Power Cure. The other interchangeable secondary set, depending on the trial and boss, are Worm Cult, Master Architect, Jorvuld’s Guidance, Sanctuary and Mending.

 Spell Power Cure (SPC)

Spell Power Cure is the main set to be used for healing in all content. There is not a single setup where I don’t use this set. I recommend getting all 12 pieces of this set as you have more flexibility for other 5-piece sets. Why is this set mandatory for healers? Well, your primary aim as a healer in competitive end-game raiding is to buff your group as much as possible, and the secondary aim is to heal and keep your group alive.

Master Architect

I use Master Architect for most content as of CWC patch.

This set will make it harder to play as a healer, since your positioning will mean much more than it did before. The uptimes that this set provides (Major Slayer) isn’t great, but when this set is used on a healer you will always proc it in combination with Major Force and your DDs (damage dealers) are guaranteed to get Major Force and Major Slayer at the same time making for insane boss burst on classes like Stamina Sorcerers.

In an organised and optimised group, good damage dealers will keep their eye on Warhorn percentages and ensure that they have their DOTs (Damage Over Time) up, and ensure their ultimates are timed for when Major Force is active. Adding in Major Slayer with Major Force on two DDs from the healer, will give your DDs amazing burst. But this is dependent on whether DDs in your group can take advantage of this type of playstyle.

Jorvuld’s Guidance 

This is one of those sets that seems extremely good on paper as you get an extra few seconds on Major Force, it makes it easier holding up Minor Berserk from Combat Prayer. In addition, the 2, 3 and 4-piece bonuses look great and ideal for a healer. This is without a doubt an amazing set that comes in between the extremely aggressive set Master Architect and the more defensive sets such as Mending and will be one worth grinding for.

It is however important to understand that what makes Major Force great is the timing of when and how your DDs take advantage of said buff. 40% extra uptime is not going to get you 40% extra damage from it. The reason for this is because Major Force excels in high burst damage situations, and these situations happen on the burst of a boss fight or when DDs have ultimate’s ready. If you aim on having as much Major Force uptime as possible, you will be losing out on other quality sets which may be counter-productive to your group DPS.

For a solo healer in a trial like Aetherian Archive, consider putting this on or if you’re doing Maw of Lorkhaj HM, this can help hold a better uptime on Combat Prayer. Please note that this set does not scale well with the Asylum Restoration Staff, since you will be missing out on the extended duration of Minor Berserk due to casting Combat Prayer too frequently.

Jorvuld’s Guidance in the context of a potential Nightblade meta:

With the recent changes to off balance from the PTS and Nightblades skill lines, we might see stamina Nightblades being very popular, giving that Nightblades often bring Major Slayer to the group, Jorvuld’s Guidance might potentially be a good option. As a rule, you do not want more than 3 Major Slayer’s in the group because Major Slayer does not stack, and you will often find Major Slayer’s stacking with so many in the group resulting in a waste of this buff. With good positioning you might get away with four Major Slayers. Find out before raid how many people are using Major Slayer.

Another reason this set scales well with a Nightblade meta is the nature of their ultimate rotation, rather than holding on to a burst ultimate to time with Major Force like Ballista, the Nightblade base ultimate Death Stroke (Incapacitating Strike and Soult Harvest morph) procs roughly every second rotation and are more frequent. Though Major Slayer uptime and procs will be great on Nightblades, without Jorvuld’s Guidance there may be an odd scenario whereby the Major Slayer isn’t used with Major Force. With Jorvuld’s it will almost be impossible for Nightblades to miss Major Force and Major Slayer active at the same time.

Consider using this with the 5th piece bonus on the back bar if you find that you have good uptimes on Combat Prayer, if that’s the case this will give you a free slot to use Iceheart or another monster set. I consider all other uptimes boosted by this set a quality of life improvement over min-maxing. Though if you do not have good uptimes on Combat Prayer/ Minor Lifesteal (provided by Force Siphon from the Restoration Skill line) then this sets 5 piece bonus is worth using on your active front bar. Good uptimes of Combat Prayer are anything above 90%, after each boss fight check with your damage dealers what their Combat Prayer uptime was and how much of that came from you and other healer.

Builds

All builds consist of Spell Power Cure (SPC) as the main set to be used in combination with other secondary sets. This section explains each set setup, which trials the builds combinations should be used in and why they are good. Please note that two healers almost never should be wearing the same set, so make sure that you and your healing partner communicate build usages before raid.

Worm Cult:

Body Piece Set Armor Type Trait Enchant
Head SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Shoulders SPC Light Divines Magicka
Chest SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Hands Worm Light Divines Magicka
Sash Worm Light Divines Magicka
Feet SPC Light Divines Magicka
Legs SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Necklace Worm Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Ring Worm Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Ring Worm Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Weapon 1 The Asylum’s Perfected Restoration Staff Decisive Shock  
Weapon 2 The Maelstrom’s Lightning Staff Infused Weakening  

This set is great if you have 4 or more magicka DDs, usually this set will be combined with the other healer using Master Architect. If you have less than 4 magicka DDs in the trial, the benefit from this set is minimal and should not be used since it will be a waste. Pros to this set is that it’s easy to farm, it can be found in Vaults of Madness on normal and veteran, it’s great for every trial, the main thing that depends on the usage of this set is how many magicka players there are in your group.

Mending

Body Piece Set Armor Type Trait Enchant
Head SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Shoulders SPC Light Divines Magicka
Chest SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Hands Mending Light Divines Magicka
Sash Mending Light Divines Magicka
Feet SPC Light Divines Magicka
Legs SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Necklace Mending Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Ring Mending Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Ring Mending Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Weapon 1 The Asylum’s Perfected Restoration Staff Decisive Shock  
Weapon 2 The Maelstrom’s Lightning Staff Infused Weakening  

This set is one of two very defensive sets to be used as a healer. This set is great for training trials and for newer healers as it allows them to get away with mistakes while learning to become a healer. Mending offers a lot of reduced damage to the group, and especially the tank. For mob packs this set is even more powerful. As you progress through endgame, you will see this set used less and less, this is because your DDs and Tanks are expected to stay alive without this set and more aggressive sets like Master Architect will be used in its place. 

Though on hard boss fights such as Maw of Lorkhaj HM and Halls of Fabrication HM, many groups still prefer this set. I don’t often personally use this set, though on the 4th boss Halls of Fabrication this set can be great for debuffing bombers if your group has issues surviving them. The set can be found in Aetherian Archive.

Sanctuary

Body Piece Set Armor Type Trait Enchant
Head SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Shoulders SPC Light Divines Magicka
Chest SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Hands Sanctuary Light Divines Magicka
Sash Sanctuary Light Divines Magicka
Feet SPC Light Divines Magicka
Legs SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Necklace Sanctuary Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Ring Sanctuary Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Ring Sanctuary Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Weapon 1 The Asylum’s Perfected Restoration Staff Decisive Shock  
Weapon 2 The Maelstrom’s Lightning Staff Infused Weakening  

This is the second of the two defensive sets. Like Mending, Sanctuary is great for training trials. Sanctuary offers increased healing to the group, it’s very powerful since it not only buffs your own healing done as a healer, but all sources of healing. I or the second healer use this set on first boss of veteran Halls of Fabrication.

First boss Halls of Fabrication provides one of the most damage intense fights in the game, though the damage source is from the spheres and can therefore not be reduced by Mending. Other fights where this set is popular is veteran Maw of Lorkhaj Hard Mode. Please note that Halls of Fabrication Hard Mode is one the few cases where both healers can be using this same set. The set can be found in Banished Cells 1 and 2.

Jorvuld’s Guidance Double Bar

Body Piece Set Armor Type Trait Enchant
Head SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Shoulders SPC Light Divines Magicka
Chest SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Hands Jorvuld’s Guidance Light Divines Magicka
Sash Jorvuld’s Guidance Light Divines Magicka
Feet SPC Light Divines Magicka
Legs SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Necklace Jorvuld’s Guidance Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Ring Jorvuld’s Guidance Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Ring Jorvuld’s Guidance Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Weapon 1 The Asylum’s Perfected Restoration Staff Decisive Shock  
Weapon 2 The Maelstrom’s Lightning Staff Infused Weakening  

This setup is great for keeping higher up-times. The one-piece monster set is not much off a loss, compared to what is gained on the front bar.  Fights where I would use this setup would be first boss Halls of Fabrication with Sanctuary, the increased uptimes means I have to cast less Combat Prayer and can focus on Purging the group.

This set can be found in Scalecaller Peak.

Jorvuld’s Guidance Back Bar

Body Piece Set Armor Type Trait Enchant
Head Iceheart Heavy Divines Prismatic
Shoulders SPC Light Divines Magicka
Chest SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Hands Jorvuld’s Guidance Light Divines Magicka
Sash SPC Light Divines Magicka
Feet SPC Light Divines Magicka
Legs SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Necklace Jorvuld’s Guidance Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Ring Jorvuld’s Guidance Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Ring Jorvuld’s Guidance Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Weapon 1 The Asylum’s Perfected Restoration Staff Decisive Shock  
Weapon 2 Jorvuld’s Guidance Lightning Staff Infused Weakening  

This is the more aggressive setup for this set, and will likely not be successful for most players This due to the loss of front bar buff up-times that the 5th piece bonus of this set gives. The 5th piece bonus will then only be used on backbar to take advantage of Warhorn duration. This is the setup that I will potentially be running on all bosses expect for first boss Halls of Fabrication (mentioned why above).

I will be using this setup whenever rule 2 of Master Architect build applies, specified below.

Master Architect

Body Piece Set Armor Type Trait Enchant
Head Iceheart Heavy Divines Prismatic
Shoulders SPC Light Divines Magicka
Chest SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Hands Master Architect Light Divines Magicka
Sash SPC Light Divines Magicka
Feet SPC Light Divines Magicka
Legs SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Necklace Master Architect Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Ring Master Architect Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Ring Master Architect Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Weapon 1 The Asylum’s Perfected Restoration Staff Decisive Shock  
Weapon 2 Master Architect Lightning staff Infused Weakening  

I will be using this set on all bosses that are not specified above. Though there are two rules that makes me decide whether to drop this set.

Rule 1. More than 4 or above Magicka DDs. In this case Worm Cult will be used, if the other healer uses Worm Cult this rule is to be ignored.

Rule 2. If there are 3 or more Major Slayers in the group and rule one does not apply, Jorvuld’s Guidance Back Bar build is to be used instead.

This set can be found in Halls of Fabrication.

Infallible Aether

 

Body Piece Set Armor Type Trait Enchant
Head Iceheart Heavy Divines Prismatic
Shoulders SPC Light Divines Magicka
Chest SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Hands Infallible Aether Light Divines Magicka
Sash SPC Light Divines Magicka
Feet SPC Light Divines Magicka
Legs SPC Light Infused Prismatic
Necklace Infallible Aether Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Ring Infallible Aether Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Ring Infallible Aether Arcane Magicka Recovery  
Weapon 1 The Asylum’s Perfected Restoration Staff Decisive Shock  
Weapon 2 Infallible Aether Lightning Staff Infused Weakening  

This set is used by one healer in Aetherian Archive on first and second boss.

Jewellery Enchants:

3 x Magicka Recovery

The reason I am using 3 x recovery is because the reduce cost does not scale very well with the Breton Magicka Mastery passive. If you were to choose another race, you could diversify these enchants a lot more, but for a Breton healer this is the most optimal enchant. Though, be aware that you have other sources of reduce cost such as Evocation from the Light Armor tree, and Restoring Spirit from the Templars Dawn’s Wrath ability tree.

Bar Setups

Front Bar: Perfected Asylum Restoration Staff

The Master’s Staff currently has a negligent effect on the group, before the Clockwork City patch The Master’s Staff gave 1000+ maximum magicka and Infused would have an impact on the amount of stamina given. The Master’s Staff was never great, but it was the best option, however now with Clockwork City there is a new option: The Asylum Restoration Staff.

This staff is not great if you don’t work your play style around the buff, what I love about this staff is that it allows the use of Illustrious Healing, a very powerful morph of grand healing, and to never have to use heavy attacks. While it is possible to sustain good up-times without this staff, with this staff you don’t have to make choices between using that extra Breath of Life or using an extra hit of Combat Prayer due to resource management, you are provided more freedom with this choice.

Another benefit with the Asylum staff is the ease in which you can get it. The non-Perfected staff drops in normal Asylum. You can farm it in less than an hour. The non-perfected staff is more than good enough till you one day get your hands on a perfected version.

Trait: Decisive

This weapon trait provides faster Warhorn regeneration and more Warhorn availability. This is again a super aggressive choice of trait that ultimately is there to boost the DPS of your DDs. 

I often switch trait choice when healing groups other than the Blind Luck core team. This is because lesser organised and optimised groups take more unnecessary damage and the healing in these types of groups needs to be more consistently available and potent.

  1. For punishing execute phases, such as Halls of Fabrication last boss, Precise trait is the best option since Crit heals in these types of scenarios can provide the difference in your groups survivability.
  2. Powered trait is extremely powerful and should be used for high incoming damage fights such as first boss Halls of Fabrication.
  3. Infused trait is to be used if Crusher and/or Weakening uptime are lacking behind. Up times of these enchants depend entirely on different bosses but a generic target to aim for is anything above 50% is decent-ish. In optimised end-game raiding groups, depending on the boss, Crusher should be above 90% and Weakening should be above 70%If uptimes are below 50% on these two enchants, Infused should be used as a healer. But, do not override this trait choice in important boss fights where trait choice matters, such as execute phase of Halls of Fabrication last boss where you should use Precise, per the example above. 

I wouldn’t recommend running other traits on front bar other than the ones mentioned above.

Enchant: Shock

Shock enchant helps to keep up off-balance on bosses. To be optimised with this enchants application, make sure that you weave light attacks between abilities on trial bosses.

Front Bar: Restoration Staff – Decisive Trait – Shock Enchant

For 90% of the content in the game, my front bar will look like this:

Good consistent examples for when I switch bar setups is on first boss of Halls of Fabrication where I have purge on my front bar, instead of Orbs. As a result, my back bar flex spot is taken up by Orbs, and if I am using Guard then I will replace it with Orbs which will result in dropping both flex spots on my back bar for Guard.

Back Bar: Lightning Staff – Infused Trait – Weakening Enchant

If you’re not using Master Architect, a Maelstrom Staff will of course be Best in Slot, but don’t rush to get your hands on one.

Other traits that might work out would be:

Charged – for higher off balance.

Vampires Bane is one of the most underrated flex spot skills in the game. Prism, a passive under Dawn’s Wrath tree will proc every time you cast this spell because in an optimised group, healers won’t be using Power of the Light, this is the best way to get access to this passive. On top of Prism, you will proc the Illuminate passive from the Dawn’s Wrath tree, this passive proc gives Minor Sorcery to the group. This already has a high up-time due to Stamina Templars running Power of The Light, but for larger boss fights, such as veteran Halls of Fabrication and veteran Asylum Sanctorium, this will help your group gain higher up-times. 

Again, check buff and debuff uptimes in training raids, if up times are lower than 90% Vampire’s Bane is an amazing option.

I would recommend using Vampire’s Bane on all bosses.

Rune Focus is the first of the two flex spots to drop, this ability is never used on any of the builds specified above.

Please note in the above bar setups only one healer runs Quick Siphon and the other healer uses Elemental Drain. If you drop Quick Siphon, Inner Light is a good ability to replace with, if you’re looking to swap out an ability on your back bar, always swap out Rune Focus.

My Thoughts on What It Takes to Be a Good Healer

Healing in ESO is the easiest out of all roles. You don’t have fixed rotations, you have access to tons of survivability. Still a lot of healers have a hard time keeping the group alive and surviving. This section aims at providing some insights into fixing some common issues that can be avoided and provide success to healer roles.

In ESO you have access to more healing than what is needed, that is why all healers are wearing Spell Power Cure. The healers main job in group should be keeping uptimes up as high as possible. As a healer it’s really important to know and anticipate when damage is coming in before it happens and have all your HOTs (Healing Over Time) up, otherwise you will find yourself spamming Breath of Life, panicking and or getting into unnecessary bad situations. The best way to land HOTs with the Asylum staff is to use Combat Prayer as a weave in between your other HOTs.

As a healer the understanding of positioning is key to your success. Take the Minor Berserk buff given from Combat Prayer, this ability only procs on 6 people that the cone hits, this means that you should have separate groups, so the same person doesn’t get Minor Berserk twice resulting in another DD missing out on the buff because of bad group positioning. You want to hit 90-100% uptimes of Minor Berserk on your DDs. 

As a rule, I want to be in a position where I can quickly cast Combat Prayer twice on 2 groups of damage dealers, and this results in high Minor Berserk uptimes on your DDs. Not to mention that Combat Prayer is always good for burst heals. If you have one big stack, there’s no guarantee that 6 new people will get the proc for each cast of Combat Prayer as the same buff (Minor Berserk) can be applied to the same damage dealer before the buff runs out. This means that if you do two Combat Prayer casts, some damage dealers in your group will be missing this buff because that buff will be given to someone who already has the buff active. One way of resolving this issue is to try and talk with your damage dealers or raid leader about positioning of group so that the group is split evenly to ensure that everyone gets optimal uptimes. Another way is to monitor the uptimes in your raid group and discuss what can be done to increase said uptimes. 

If you want to be an end-game raider and be competitive then such discussions need to occur, all it takes is one conversation to improve how your group performs. As a healer, I always want to know how I do with uptimes, like how DDs use Combat Metrics as a metric to track how well they did with DPS and how well they were buffed.

For trials I recommend having an addon like AlphaGear:

http://www.esoui.com/downloads/info1534-AlphaGearLives.html

This is the best way to never forget a bar setup and switch builds in between bosses.

Credits

Youtube Link:

Twitch Stream:

Thank you to everyone who helped make this guide possible:

  • @ChaosAD2077 – for being my healing partner in PUG raids and providing valuable discussions and insights with the builds above 
  • Karma (@CristianoRonaldo) – for editing, authoring, and providing insights to a DDs perspective relative to a healer’s role
  • @Susanne1 and @Ferovium – proofreading

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