And the Threat is gone!

August 14, 2009 at 7:03 pm (5 mans, Fade, Grouping, Healing Mechanics, Raiding, Spells)

Dying to Auriaya?

Pesky Hunter’s Feign Death getting you down?

Tank can’t keep the mobs off you?

All these problems and more are solved by the new Threato-matic Wonder Fade! Get yours today whilst stocks last!

It was not that long ago that Fade was considered the most useless spell in the Priest arsenal and Improved Fade was the worst Talent in the Priest Tree (including Wand Specialisation). Nowadays it’s really good and yet people aren’t really talking about it.

The old Fade decreased your threat by a set amount (a few hundred “points” of threat) for a certain amount of time, after which you gained that threat back. This meant the chances of you actually losing aggro on a mob after pressing the Fade button were rather small. In a boss fight a tank would have hundreds of thousand of points of threat, and if you got aggro, dropping 500 was unlikely to make a difference.

The new Fade on the other hand has a much more useful design. When you press Fade you drop to the very bottom of the Threat List for every mob for a certain amount of time. So it’s similar to a Hunter’s Feign death, the only difference being that you are still on the aggro list. The boss is still thinking about you, but you’re the last thing on his mind.

This means that it is a truly effective aggro dump. If you get aggro from Thorim’s little minions whilst healing the arena, you can hit Fade and reliably be free of getting beaten up. You can even feel good about doing it because as a Priest, and possibly a healer, you are the squishiest player in the raid and are playing one of the most valuable roles. So it really is better for those mobs to go off and hit anybody apart from you. The paladin healer, the rogue DPS, the tank, another priest (who probably isn’t as good as you). These are all better options.

I haven’t even got to the best part of Fade. When you Fade not only do you lose aggro, but during the time you are Faded you don’t generate any aggro. Once Fade wears off any aggro you would have generated comes back as soon as you cast your next spell, but this means that pressing Fade gives you a nice window of healing free of aggro worries.


Nowadays aggro really isn’t the issue it used to be. Tanks just generate so much more threat than they used to and, once the fight is under way, there really is no chance of you getting aggro on anything the Tank is hitting. The only time you have to worry is right when a mob is first pulled. At this point, the tank has very little aggro, and any Miss, Resist, or overaggressive healing by you can pull threat.

If you do pull aggro then you can happily press that “Fade” button and watch the mobs all run back to the tank. However, it’s possible that in that split second you have aggro the mobs might start casting a spell at you, or charge you, or get out of the tanks reach. Or you might just be slow. I can think of a number of times, particularly on Auriaya in Ulduar where the boss runs around the corner and smashes the tank. The healer has tried to heal him and instantly pulled aggro because the Tank doesn’t yet have good threat. Chances are you aren’t fast enough to Heal the tank, then see you have pulled aggro, then Fade before the boss just turns and thumps you.

This is the glorious bit: You can Fade before the pull. As soon as the Tank starts to pull you Fade. Now, for a limited time you are effectively generating zero threat which means you can heal to your heart’s content. You don’t have to hold off on healing until the Tank has aggro. Doing so might cause his health to drop dangerously low. Instead you can Fade and then go crazy with Shields, Penance, Greater Heals, whatever, right away and not have to worry about aggro. So long as the tank has good threat in 10 seconds time when the Fade ends (which he certainly will) everything is fine. This way of doing things you never get aggro, even for just a split second which avoids a lot of danger.

You will save your raid a few wipes, and save yourself a few deaths at the same time.


1 Comment

  1. Shared Boss Mechanics « Spot Heal said,

    […] without worrying about the tank perhaps missing his first swing. For more information on Fade see this. Every healer can contribute to the pull whether they are Raid or Tank healers, and this strategy […]

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