Lunar Guidance, Macros, Spells and Talents
I’ve covered a couple of uses for the /focus command in the past in such articles as Hibernating via Focus Target and Healing via Focus Target. However, there is so much more that can be done with this highly versatile command, and I wanted to demonstrate just one more fun and interesting adaptation I discovered over the weekend: debuffing your focus’s target.
The basic idea behind this technique is to set up one or more macros that cast debuff spells on your current focus’s target. In my case, I created a macro that would ordinarily cast Insect Swarm on my focus’s target and Faerie Fire if I hold down CTRL. If a focus target cannot be found (as it cannot when I am soloing), the target defaults to my own target instead. My macro looks like this:
/cast [modifier:ctrl, exists, target=focustarget, nodead] [modifier:ctrl] Faerie Fire;[exists, target=focustarget, nodead]  Insect Swarm
When in a 5-man group, I set my focus to my group’s tank and am able to debuff his current target’s hit chance by 2% (decreasing damage taken and needing to be healed) while also decreasing its armor by 610. This means the mob dies quicker and does less damage on the way out. It’s also a great use of the time in between stacking up 3 x Lifebloom when it’s not necessary to get your stack rolling as quickly as possible. This technique is also a great compliment to mouseover-based healing since those who use mouseover aren’t generally as comfortable clicking to select targets, and it’s more convenient than having to set a separate assist key.
In addition to the macro described above, you will want to set up a focus target window so that you can monitor what your tank is actually targeting. (But be careful not to cast Insect Swarm on a target that’s crowd controlled or needs to be!) Most of the better unitframes addons such as Pitbull and Ag Unitframes include the ability to display these frames. For my UI, I set up a panel beneath the place where my Focus Target frame appears when I do have a focus set. That way I can tell at a glance whether I’ve remembered to focus my tank and if both of my debuffs are currently running on the target. You can see a preview of this setup at left, using Andrige’s lovely Heart of the Wild UI as a backdrop.
So far, I’ve employed this technique in both normal and Heroic Magister’s Terrace. I’ve been told that it seems to make fights easier (though admittedly it doesn’t get much easier than grouping with a Paladin tank on AOE pulls). If nothing else, I feel more proactive than simply pressing my heal buttons, and it’s nice to see my name actually show up on the damage meters, even if it’s only for the paltry amount from Insect Swarm. Just remember not to use Faerie Fire if your tank happens to be a Druid, as I know most like using the Feral version for extra threat.
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