In this post, we will talk about playing a Healer Mage to around level 40. Click here for our review and list of tips.
Since skill points can be reset for free until level 25, your Healer Mage build isn't specialized until after that level.
The two main skills to aim for here are Suntoria and Thunderer. At level 24, the skills I recommend are:
- Mana Master 1
- Rain of Fire 2
- Thunderer 1
- Suntoria 1
- Castinador 1
In practice, you are really only using Thunderer against the World Boss, and may never get to use Delphic Thunder Frenzy. Against mobs, use Rain of Fire if you can spare the Rage or if you have the reduction from Castinador active (which would net you a positive gain in Rage after casting).
When fighting the world bosses, ONLY have attack skills active if you do AFK mode, since the AI will pick healing skills even when it is useless.
If you are manually controlling your character against the World Boss, you may want to cast the big moves only when Castinador is active. Otherwise let your Rage accumulate and spam the boss with your biggest moves when it's nearly full (or when the boss is almost dead and you might as well use up all your Rage).
The Restoration skill can be tricky to use. Try not to wait until the last moment to use it as you can't always predict who will receive it (e.g., the unit you hope to heal might get wiped out before you cast, or another will be injured more; and you can no longer abort your skill use). Once you get Suntoria, this will be a backup healing skill for emergencies, and even then, you will find that the amount it heals will be barely a band-aid and not worth the significant cost. Whenever you can, choose Suntoria instead of Restoration, especially when adventuring with significantly stronger allies since Suntoria works on a percentage, so no matter their level relative to yours, it will always be very useful.
Whereas Restoration is somewhat wasted if you cast it too early, Suntoria is wasted if you cast it too late. With Suntoria, you are casting it not as a band aid or emergency heal, but with the aim to end a fight with everyone at full health. Keep this in mind as we discuss how to use it.
Whenever you can accumulate Rage from one fight to the next, start with Lightning Bolts in your first battle to build Rage, and try to end your first battle with 30+ Rage. On subsequent fights, you will generally open with Suntoria IF your allies will be taking a lot of damage. While the long cooldown is active, use Lightning Bolt to recover your Rage. Meanwhile, your allies will have a reduced rate of taking damage because they are healing with every attack they make (up to 5 turns, anyway). Keep Suntoria up throughout if you can, to avoid having to patch anyone with Restoration.
Ideally you will want to have Suntoria active at the very end of combat, so that your allies will get in the last blows and be fully healed when combat ends. This way, everyone consumes as few resources (healing potions) as possible for each fight. Healing Potions are quite easy to come by unless you burn through them very quickly, in which case you can buy them from Guild Stores -- where your contributions are better spent on Guild Skills instead, so try to be fully healed after each fight and conserve your potions.
The hardest situation for coming out fully healed is actually when you can easily run over the enemy. Before you can recover all your Rage from casting Suntoria, the fight might be over and you might not have Rage reserved for the next fight. In such a case, you might actually want to NOT cast an area effect spell like Rain of Fire, simply to prolong combat a turn or two and get that healing and Rage accumulation. Also think ahead to whether you will need to open with Suntoria soon (e.g., boss fight coming?).
When your PDEF is near-to or higher than that of your troops, you may want to put your hero in front since their gain from Suntoria (which works on a percentage of total health) will be greater, and will slowly begin to be greater than the net damage received each turn unless you are fighting very high level enemies. With this sort of win-by-attrition, you can solo some hard maps whereas other character classes will have to rely on quick damage output. At level 33+ (depending on your supporting gear, guild skills, astrals, and technology) you can solo the Delphinian Swamp or Undead Swamp without troops, for example. If all the enemies are melee and can't (or can rarely) hit the rear row, having your hero in front to shield weak troops and continually healing yourself will really show the power of winning by attrition. I could do the aforementioned areas with level 20 Paladins who really had a mostly token role in the Delphinian Swamps (killed too quickly by archers) and a good support role in the Undead Swamp (only the Tauren boss could, at random, hit the back row).
Generally Suntoria will run out before the cooldown ends, unless you get the +2 turn bonus from doing the QTE (keypress sequence) at skill level 2. For this reason, it is not recommended that you leave Suntoria at level 1, although you could if you just wanted minimal healing and to balance your mage with a bit more firepower. You only need Suntoria 1 to get Blessed Light 1.
We could pick up Purification, but it is not very useful even into early level 30 because whenever you do use it, the AI enemy is generally able to simply restore their debuff on your allies faster than you can accumulate Rage and certainly before the 30 second cooldown. Nevertheless we will need to level it up to get Blessed Light.
Before you get to level 26, reset your skills (free -- afterwards it will cost Balens or Vouchers) and reconfigure for the long-term. Your skills will now be:
- Mana Master 2
- Lightning Bolt 1
- Suntoria 1
- Meteoric Destroyer 1
You should have 3 out of 13 skill points left, but DON'T spend it all since you will only have 1 (maybe 2) points left at Level 34 once you get Blessed Light. You could, if you like, put 1 point in Rain of Fire and use that as your primary area of effect attack instead of Meteoric Destroyer. You *can* do without it if you are not into PvP Arena, BUT you have very few points to spare, so definitely read the next sections before spending any spare points.
Notice that we have lost Rain of Fire, which is actually a very good attack skill. As a Healer Mage, let your allies do the damage and keep them comfortably healed, or use Suntoria to continually regenerate your health and pound the enemy with Lightning Bolt.
With Meteoric Destroyer, because of the high cost, try to use it only to open combat (when you have lots of time to rebuild your Rage) and/or when you will definitely kill one or two weakened units so that your allies don't waste big attacks on them.
Tactics otherwise remain the the same overall.
This is the earliest you can get Blessed Light. The skills I recommend are:
- Mana Master 3
- Lightning Bolt 1
- Suntoria 2
- Blessed Light 1
Castinador 2 is an interesting option if you feel the basic 6% doesn't show up enough as the extra 2% could either be not significant or make it appear enough times for your liking. In any case, It helps with all spells, and your healing spells already cost 30+.
Also, after the 1.45 patch/upgrade, you no longer have to have the full Rage cost to cast a spell if Castinador is active. For example, previously, you still needed 30 Rage to cast Suntoria when the bonus from Castinador was active. Now you only need (30 - 20 discount from Castinador) = 10 Rage.
Before you decide anything, think ahead to what you really want to do with your character. More on this later.
Blessed Light is costly to cast, so like Restoration, save for emergencies if you can and try to rely on Suntoria. The main advantage over Restoration is that it helps everyone because sometimes you really don't want to heal your almost-dead-troop and want to direct that healing to yourself.
In the arena or against the cloned party from Summoner encounters on Multiplayer maps, you might end up opening with Blessed Light in round 2 after both sides have exchanged a big volley (using runes to get the Rage you need, if necessary). Otherwise, overall tactics haven't really changed (boring, I know).
If you are basically doing a dungeon solo (e.g., a multiplayer dungeon on your own, or a single player dungeon with weak troops in rear formation), switch Blessed Light to Restoration and use that cheaper spell to focus healing on yourself.
This said, getting Blessed Light at level 34 is probably too early and you would do better to get Rain of Fire level 3 or Thunderer instead, and pick this up much later, if at all. I took this still right at level 34, and until level 37 used it maybe 3 times in total in highly specific situations (e.g., hedging against a bad outcome early in a Summoner encounter). Probably the earliest you will find Blessed Light useful is against the final boss (Eye of Yaros) in the level 40-45 "Void" multiplayer instance. Even then, you may be able to scrape by with Suntoria, or better still, by adventuring with higher-level companions who can quickly mop up the last boss.
You don't always need Purification in your quickbar. In fact, I recommend leaving it out until you actually get your ass whooped by something that has a strong debuff, then put it in and try the fight again. If the map is relatively easy, swap out Restoration for another attack power (if you have it) so that you have something to spend your Rage on.
Toward Level 50
Think about where you want your Mage in the long term. Past level 25-30 your level progression starts to slow down a lot and you'll be lucky to get 1 level per day, so we're looking at very long term planning. We're not even going to think about L80, although you will ultimately get there. However, since resetting your skills cost a lot, you'll want to think about your character as early as level 24 when you can still reset skills for free.
- To maximize healing, you will be aiming for Blessed Light level 2, BUT this is a significant investment in prerequisites and the gains may not be significant enough for you. Also, if you go this route you are more or less locked in till level 50 in terms of skill points and that is a very long way to go with basic attack spells.
- You need Suntoria 3 and Purification 3, which also means Restoration 3 and Meteoric Destruction 3. And you won't get Blessed Light 2 till level 50. That's probably a month of gameplay away unless you accelerate your character advancement with the advantages only money can buy. In which case it's even more important to think about your long-term skill tree.
- Meteoric Destroyer is stronger than Rain of Fire but requires more Rage and has a longer cooldown. Rain of Fire has a net positive Rage gain when Castinador activates.
- You could decide to leave Blessed Light at level 1 and abandon the healing specialization. Because Blessed Light 2 is so far away, and you might find very little use for Purification, I recommend this. Leave Meteoric Destroyer at 1 and start boosting your attack power in more Rage-efficient ways:
- Rain of Fire gets a big damage boost at level 4. Also, with Heart Elemental 2, after two Lightning Bolts you can immediately throw one out (cost is 16 Rage). And if Castinador is active, that Rain of Fire will net you +2 to as much as +8 or more Rage from being free thanks to Castinador and earning Rage from Heart Elemental.
- Compared to Blessed Light 2 at level 50, you could get Rain of Fire 4 and have 2 points left over, which could get you Thunderer 1 if you wanted.
- Using Thunderer is probably racing for damage instead of winning with attrition. You can heal yourself and your allies or you can burn Rage for damage and try to rush a win. If you wanted to do the latter, you would probably not have bothered building a team player healer in the first place. In that case, you really need to back up to level 24 and re-think how far down the healing skills you really want to go -- Do you even want to go past Suntoria 1? If you're bypassing Blessed Light, you can also skip Castinador 1, Meteoric Destroyer 1, and Purification 1 and instead aim for Thunderer early.
- You could also aim for Thunderer 2 (QTE for +25% damage) but you won't have enough points to get Thunderer 3 at level 50. You'll also need nice gear and runes to keep up a Thunderer spam to take advantage of the 2 second cooldown.