I’ve almost finished my personal quest to reach level 10 on all champions. Other than Rook (who I despise to play as), I saved healers for last because I find them the toughest to play — so at the time of writing this post, I’ve mostly been playing healers over the past few days.
And let me tell you: it’s a tough role to play.
Look, I know that a lot of people are saying that supports are overpowered right now. I’m not here to argue for or against that. What I am saying is that supports are more complex. They have to do everything that non-healing champions do PLUS keep their teammate alive.
And that’s harder said than done. A lot of players, especially those who have never tried healing before, overestimate the healing prowess of support champions. The truth is that healing isn’t as easy as it looks, and a good teammate can make a huge difference in how well a healer heals.
In other words, a healer can only support you if you also support them. So here are five tips that you may want to keep in mind the next time you’re playing alongside a healer. (Note that I play non-healers a lot, so all of these tips apply to me too!)
1. Stay Within Sight Range
This clip should be enough to show you why this is so important:
Healing projectiles cannot pass through walls. If you ever disappear behind a wall and block your healer’s line-of-sight, you won’t be getting any heals. Period. Sirius is the only healer who can heal past walls, but even he won’t be able to heal you if he can’t physically see where you are. Blind heals are just a waste of charges.
I get that this can be tough in the heat of battle. When someone like Ashka or Taya is bearing down on you, it’s tempting to duck behind a wall just so you can get some relief from their attacks. Sure, this might be fine as a last resort tactic, but you should really try to avoid putting yourself in that kind of situation to begin with.
If an enemy jumps over a wall, don’t chase after them — especially if it means wasting one of your defensive cooldowns to do it. At best, you’re forcing your healer to blow their own defensive cooldowns to chase after you. At worst, the enemy turns around and takes advantage of your vulnerable state and beats you down.
And perhaps most important: your healer’s healing charges reset faster when you’re within sight range! I highly recommend reading Onin’s explanation of heal charges. Here’s the relevant bit:
The tooltip says that having an ally nearby reduces the cooldown by 1.5 seconds per nearby ally… [and] walls block your line of effect. If there is a wall between you and your ally, they don’t count as “nearby” no matter how close they are.
So not only are you putting yourself in a worse position, but you’re actually reducing your healer’s ability to heal if you leave their sight range (by making their heal charges take longer to reset).
For these reasons, I consider this to be the worst thing you can do. Make sure your healer can see you at all times and stay close to them! Otherwise don’t expect any heals.
2. Back Off and Heal Up
Here’s the thing about Battlerite: heals can’t outpace damage.
Pearl and Poloma can heal about 24 HP per second while Lucie, Oldur, and Sirius can heal about 28 HP per second (a bit more if you include things like Revitalize and Spirit Link) — and this assumes perfect aim. Most DPS champions can cause more damage than that if they know what they’re doing. And don’t forget about healing charges on all supports except Poloma, which further limit how much they can heal.
In short, you can’t tank a face full of damage and expect your healer to keep up with you.
In my view, most supports in Battlerite are burst healers. When you lose health, you need to retreat and allow your healer to top you off with a few quick heals. Then you can go back into combat while the healer’s charges reset. (Obviously the healer should heal you while you’re fighting too!)
The key is to back off before you lose too much recovery health. That way you can retreat, recover back to full, and re-enter without any permanent health loss.
3. Stop Dodging Heals
This happens a lot to me. Maybe I’m just bad at aiming, but sometimes when my partner backs off from a fight and returns to me, they move back and forth while waiting for heals.
Of course I end up missing two out of three heals and he stays injured while I wait for my charges to reset — and those precious few seconds can sometimes tip the round against us.
Is it always your fault? Absolutely not! Like I said, maybe the healer should learn how to aim better… but you should also make it as easy as possible for your healer. Minimize the risk by moving predictably, or if you can, by staying still.
4. Protect Them If Necessary
In a recent game, I was playing Lucie and getting wrecked by an enemy Shifu. I made every mistake in the book: missed my Panic Bolt, accidentally Clarity Potion’d the Shifu back towards me, even Rolled into a wall (lol). Thankfully, my Ashka partner used a tactical Flamestrike and Firewall to rescue me and give me some breathing room to recover.
It doesn’t always play out this way. Often, my partner runs off to fight 1v1 somewhere while Shifu beats the crap out of me. One could argue that I should be able to handle myself against one opponent — and that’s true, I definitely wasn’t faultless — but in a situation like that, one or two mistakes could be the difference between living or dying.
A bit of help is always appreciated.
So whenever you’re playing with a healer, keep an eye out. If your Poloma saves you with an Other Side and then whiffs her fear (Spirit Rift) against the Bakko attacking her, she’s going to be very vulnerable for about 8–10 seconds. Try to help her out by putting some pressure on the Bakko and giving her some space to breathe.
The healer helps you. You help the healer.
5. Grab the Runes and Orbs
In tip #2, we talked about how healers have limited healing output. Due to the charge mechanic, supports are actually better at burst healing than sustain healing (Poloma being the only exception). This means that you need to supplement your health in some other way, either by taking less damage or grabbing more orbs.
That’s why orbs and runes are so important. Yes, even when you have a healer on the team!
When you’re constantly injured, that puts a lot of pressure on your healer. Not only do they have to watch you (which means they can’t watch the enemy as intently), they have to spend time casting heals — if they’re busy casting heals, they probably aren’t putting out as much offensive pressure as they could be. The better you can survive on your own, the less pressure your healer will be under, so they’ll perform better.
And don’t forget to share the orbs! I’m guilty of this myself, but if your healer is hurt more than you are and they’re within range, let them take the health orbs. If they’re using all of their healing charges on you, they won’t be able to heal themselves. One or two orbs can go a long way, and breaking the rune is even better.
What Are Your Biggest Gripes as Healer?
If you play healers a lot, let me know if you have any other tips that you’d give to people who don’t know what it’s like to be in your shoes. What are your biggest pet peeves when playing as healer? What’s the best thing someone can do to make your life easier?
And if you play non-healers, feel free to share what bugs you the most about healers. Or on a more positive note, what kinds of things do you do to make your healer’s life easier?