Is healing your passion? Do you think about healing even when you are DPSing? If so, then perhaps healing is what you should do : )
Healing is about - keeping your group mates alive. Once you have made sure they are alive and not going to die anytime soon - you start giving them buffs! Lots and lots of buffs. Some of your buffs double as healing skills so it makes the job of keeping the group alive a little bit easier. This guide i will try to go over most things you might need to know while healing. The things mentioned here are good for Dragon Bones patch.
Another thing to note is that healing always happens in pairs. The healers builds should always be thought of as a team - not individually.
Thank you my friend @Americanfunguy & my wonderful healing partner @Mrs.Sweets that have contributed this knowledge.
Sets you need to have in your inventory and be able to wear together with Spell Power Cure (your base set):
Jorvuld's Guidance Set
Infallible Aether (with the off-balance nerf, this set has once again become desirable)
Masters Restoration Staff
Asylum Restoration Staff (Perfected or non-perfected doesn't matter. Difference is minimal)
Situational Sets for specific purposes that you might need, but not required (together with SPC):
Master Architect (for a nice burst to help kill an enemy)
Twilight Remedy (I dont use this but it might come back)
Sanctuary (When you need extra healing such as vMoL HM or vHoF HM execute)
Sets that I just have for like one boss fight (together with SPC):
(optional) Monster Helms you should have in your inventory:
Most healers dont wear a 2pc monster set these days. Instead you might wear a 1pc of chokethorn for the regen, or kena for spell damage. Or most commonly - no monster pieces at all.
Weapon Traits, Enchants & How to use them
I keep 2 restoration staves on my character with 2 different enchants/traits.
Infused resto with weakening enchantment is what I run normally. Most trials.
Powered resto with weapon dmg enchant is a backup staff i keep for moments when i know i will need to do some extra healing.
My lightning staff (backbar) is charged trait with shock glyph enchant. When you use blockade of shock with this staff, the off-balance will proc like crazy.
Enchants on your armor - for large pieces have prismatic enchant (with hakeijo glyph), and for small pieces a max magicka enchant. Traits for large pieces - chest, legs and head is infused. Rest - divines.
Enchants on your jewelry - find your perfect balance between spell cost reduction and magicka regen. I have multiple versions of each ring/amulet with either enchant so i can combine them in a way that feels good or adjust it if i seem to be lacking resources,etc.
Skills you should level and have available
Since there will be so many different variations on your bar setups, here is a list of skills you should work on leveling as a healer in an order of importance (somewhat). Try to level the essential skills first, then move on to more optimal skills as you gain more skill points, invest in your character, and so on.
Essentials (level these ASAP!):
Healing Springs (restoration staff, 1st skill) - your first healing skill - most accessible #1 priority.
Combat Prayer (restoration staff, #3 skill) - buffs your party by increasing their damage by 8% and gives them resistances against damage
Breath of Life (restoring light, 1st skill) - your "oh shit" button basically
Elemental Drain (destruction staff, 4th skill) - debuff your target and gives magicka back to your allies
Energy Orb (undaunted, 5th skill) - a skill of multiple applications. It heals, gives resources back and the heals tic for every half a second. best heal in game! Orbs is love. Orbs is life.
Aggressive Horn (alliance war > assault, ultimate) - also known as "my horn", this is probably the ultimate you will be using 99% of the time. Essential!Even if you don't like PVP, just suck it up and go get this skill. Super important.
Solar Prison (dawn's wrath, ultimate) - the other ult that you need to have. you will use this as you are learning, but as your group becomes better, you will use this less and less. it reduces damage done by monsters by 30%
Luminous Shards (aedric spear, 4th skill) - gives resources back. similar to orbs. also provides a synergy for tank. stays put. this skill and orbs share a cooldown for synergy use. you can only cast one shard at a time.
Extended Ritual (restoring light, 4th skill) - this morph lasts longer than the rit of retribution morph so i prefer it.
Blockade of Storms (destruction staff, 2nd skill) - provides off-balance for your group
Important to have:
Efficient Purge (alliance war - support #2) - There are many instances especially with newer content where there are a lot of purgeable damage over time (DOT) going out to your group. Sometimes a healer can’t purge it all and tanks need to help. Make sure to get this skill.
Quick Siphon (restoration staff, 5th skill) - provides additional healing to the group
Ward Ally (restoration staff, 4th skill) - another "o shit" button for harder trials such as vMoL HM or vHoF where a large burst of damage can occur and you need to save someone within a split second
Stalwart Guard (alliance war support #2) - nice to have on some bosses to either give a dps buddy a boost. use this in fights where you are confident you can take the extra damage.
Turn Undead (fighters guild #2) - can be used in high damage scenarios to help the group. Tank will rarely if ever be running this, however, nice to have.
Inner Light (mages guild, #1) - used for extra crit and max magicka. I slot this when i have a spare spot on my bar.
Channeled Focus (restoring light, #5) - helps with survivability and resource management in intense fight scenarios
Passives you need to level:
All of your class passives, all 3 trees
All restoration staff and destruction staff tree passives
All light armor passives
All vampire passives except the first one
Medicinal use, alchemy passive
All your racial passives
Alliance war > support - magicka aid passive
Skills with situational uses but nice to have:
Power of the Light (dawn's wrath, #3) - these days a stamplar in your group will run this skill. however if there is no stamplar in your group - you can run it as a healer. it debuffs the enemy and also helps with your ult regen. this skill doesn't stack so usually only one person runs it.
Crushing Shock (destruction staff, #1) - interrupt skill. in case you need to interrupt a caster. occasionally a group leader might have you do that as a healer.
Rapid Regeneration or Mutagen (restoration staff, #2) - mostly used in PVP or in veteran Asylum where you are far away from the group as a healer.
Harness Magicka or Absorb Magic (light armor only active skill) - healers hardly ever use shields so i never use this. but you can level it if you want. who knows.
Mist Form (vampire, 2nd skill) - useful in vAS for the kiter. but not necessary.
Barrier (alliance war > support, ultimate) - occasionally useful for saving your group.
Not enough skills? You can level these too…
If you feel like you can level echoing vigor in the off chance you might want to run Powerful Assault. Or propelling shield, which you will most likely never use. Unless as a magicka dump in vSO or to help with twins fight in vMoL.
Rotation as a healer basically means, you keep up your buffs, HoTs (heals over time) and make sure nobody dies. Below are things you should keep up at all times, in somewhat of an order, but not exactly, since as a healer your rotation is very situation based.
Skills, Buffs, Debuffs (things to keep up at all times):
Minor Magickasteal / Major Breach - This is usually applied by elemental drain. It debuffs the enemy, allowing your allies to do more damage and at the same time returns them magicka.
Healing Springs - Your main HoT, heal over time.
Combat Prayer - This gives a set of three buffs to your group members. It increases their damage by giving them minor berserk, as well as reduces their damage they receive.
Extended Ritual - A long lasting heal over time you can put down, as a background heal or SPC (spell power cure) application helper.
Energy Orbs - I usually send these out every rotation or so. These are not only one of the best heal in game, but they also return resources and stick around for a long time. Plus they look beautiful.
Lightning Blockade - After making sure your allies are well topped off on the healing, drop down a blockade to help with dps and offbalance. Especially this patch with it nerfed into the ground, every little bit helps.
Spammables & things to do while buffs are up:
Orbs and Combat prayer are great things to spam to help out.
You can also use quick siphon instead of elemental drain. You should always coordinate with your healer partner which skills each of you is running.
You can use Vigor if you are one of those weirdos that like running Powerful Assault set. (me sometimes)
Shards! A static resource return. It appears ZOS on accident unlinked orbs and shards (not sure if this will stick around) so now we as healers can spam even more synergies for that precious Alkosh uptime.
The way I personally like to do my rotation (when using asylum restoration staff) is something along these lines:
Combat prayer > orbs orbs orbs orbs orbs > extended ritual, ele drain, wall of elements > combat prayer > orbs orbs orbs..... you get the idea. Use springs when needed and channeled focus when needed.
Q&A and notes and stuff
I am out of Magicka, HELP!
You should pretty much never be out of magicka. If you are - use channeled focus and heavy attack. In future, learn how to manage your resources. Put on another regen glyph. Don't skimp on that citrus filet. Joking but reallly, you should never run out, ever.
I put most of my attribute points into magicka, while making sure i have around 18k health without ebon. That seems to work for most situations and trial scenarios.
Atronach - for magicka regeneration.
Your character’s race is kind of important in ESO. Even as a healer. At the moment the two most optimal races for healing are Breton and Argonian. Some also like High Elf.
Witchmother’s or the new Clockwork Citrus Filet are BiS for healing with this particular setup.
Potions: Spellpower potions. Use on cooldown pretty much.
Be a vampire. That magicka regen is sweet and the damage you gain from being a vamp doesn't matter in most cases since you can outheal it. If absolutely needed, use the Bloody Mara food and go down to stage 3.
There is a great addon called "Healers group frame" which helps to see everyones shields/regen/health.
Purge Tracker addon is useful to have in many of the trials.