Posted by: Makakai | November 11, 2014

Healer Misinformation

Both True and False with selected checkboxes

I’ve started writing this post a dozen times since I began my blog and invariably Blizzard changes healer balance or a new patch comes out with new content that changes the point of the post and it lingers in my backlog. However, two concepts have lasted through most of the last expansion or so, therefore, I thought I’d share them during this twilight time before the next expansion and discuss what types of healer misinformation we might see in Warlords of Draenor.

Armor Specialization

I see so many times a healer joining a group at maximum level in a mixed set of gear including pieces that are not the correct armor class. At lower levels this is less of a critical feature, but at maximum level it’s hurting yourself and your group. Why is this such a problem, you might ask? Well because of a passive ability each class has called Armor Specialization (for druid, shaman, paladin, and monk). This ability provides 5% of your primary attribute based on your specialization. This means that all healing characters will gain 5% additional intellect and consequently all of your healing spells will heal for more. I’ve included a nice table that shows the base mana and the potential increase at different levels. Intellect increases the mana pool by 15 mana points for each point of intellect (except from the first 20 points of Intellect that provide 1 mana for each point). So unless that cloth piece on your druid is providing 5% more intellect than the leather piece you had on…you’ll want to wait for a proper upgrade.

Level Base Mana
1 50
10 200
20 600
30 1300
40 2200
50 3300
60 4200
70 8200
80 17000
90 300000

 Stacking Healing Classes

I recently had to explain to my raid group why more than one discipline priest will actually hurt the raid. They of course thought I was being classist, even the priests in the group. Well, what is wrong with multiple disc priests you might ask? A key component of disc priest healing is that the majority of their healing is in the form of mitigation through shields. Unlike heals, only the shield of one Priest can be active for any given time. No other shields can be applied on an already shielded player unless Weakened Soul wears off. Why is this a problem though, as you can just shield someone else in the raid? This problem is particularly important because of two abilities, Rapture and Borrowed Time. Since you can’t apply your shield, you don’t regen mana as efficiently and you don’t have the haste bonus for penance. This makes it even more difficult to keep the tanks ‘healed’ particularly after they take spike damage and to keep their health as stable as possible. Additionally, in a 10-man raid group with 2 disc priests they essentially reduce their potential targets to 5 players each. However, many raid groups don’t have a lot of choice as to which healing classes they bring, in which case clear communication becomes extremely important. Working with multiple Disc Priests, each one has to talk to the other and outline specifically which Priest is covering which target full time. What I basically told my raid group was that having 2 disc priests is not optimal but still better than no healer at all.

So what type of healer misinformation might we expect to see in Warlords of Draenor?

Here are a couple of things that might introduce a lot of confusion to the healing community:

  • Loss of Mana regen for healing classes except for select spells such as the Mana Tea spell for Monks and the Mindbender talent for Priests.
  • Changes to stat priorities and the loss of haste breakpoints.
Posted by: Makakai | September 7, 2014

Exploring the Beta: Warlords of Draenor

WoDScreenThanks to a contest on an awesome fan site (Thanks wowhead.com!) I won a Beta key to the new Warlords of Draenor Expansion testing. As a multi-healer I’m definitely taking the opportunity to explore and test the different components of this new expansion. Over the next several weeks I’ll be posting a comment post covering different features of the expansion as I encounter them.

Starting off, I’ve copied over my tauren druid (herbalism/alchemy and maxed secondary professions) and created a pre-made blood elf priest.  I’ll copy over additional characters and create additional pre-mades as the testing continues to explore different features in more depth as needed.

The first testing I did was to explore leveling as a healer on the priest. The pre-made priest ‘K’ I spec’d discipline/shadow. I leveled about 33% from 90 to 91 and much of the content was easily completed as discipline, even the quest ‘bosses’. There is some phasing and the garrison is very buggy still so an extensive look will have to wait until the next update.

The second feature I did some exploration of is the profession content. The pre-made character is herbalism/alchemy for garrison leveling purposes, so I was limited on my primary professions. I recommend following a profession specific blog/site for additional detail, but the biggest surprise was how dependent the initial level of alchemy is on fishing.

Stay tuned for more from the first zone which I’ve dubbed the land of ‘Frost and Fire’ as much of it is froze with areas of lava around the garrison.

Posted by: Makakai | February 23, 2014

The Empty Vessel

inv_crate_07 “As empty vessels make the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest blabbers.” Thanks to the early English authors William Baldwin and William Shakespeare the sounds of world of warcraft are my topic today, I’ll just blabber on about it for a bit…

Probably my favorite quote from the game is one that is not easily found on Wowhead, but you will hear it if you go through the quest chain. Morgor <Hero of the Warmaul> will yell “Mogor not impressed! Skra’gath wuz made of da air and shadow! Soft like da squishy orcies!” during The Ring of Blood quest chain. I have a rez macro on my healers that I don’t usually use that goes something like “Makakai is not impressed! %t wuz made of da air and shadow! Soft like da squishy orcies!” I used it some with all guild runs because they knew it’s reference, but in pugs it could cause some hurt feelings.

There are so many sound bites from World of Warcraft that make the game so meaningful to players, yet many turn off or don’t use sound in their regular game play. With sound on, it is quite possible to do many of the dungeons and raid activities based on sound effects (i.e., not requiring DBM). One of the most obvious was Ozruk’s “Break Yourself” from The Stonecore dungeon. This sound was critical to warning players that Elementium Bulwark is about to be cast so that players could apply a reflected dot to themselves and prevent Paralyze.

Most recently I’ve spent a lot of time in Garrosh’s Inner Sanctum listening to the beating of a heartbeat, namely Y’Shaarj. I can’t seem to find this sound file outside of the game, but it definitely gives you the creeps after a couple of hours of listening to it…

Today I leave you with the soundbite you’re probably thinking after this post, from YouTube.

Happy Healing!

Posted by: Makakai | February 18, 2014

Gate of the Setting Sun Healing 101

Gate of the Setting Sun Loading ScreenThis last of the new dungeons for my Pandaria Healing 101 WoW dungeon guides will cover one of the last dungeons you’ll see during your leveling process. Gate of the Setting Sun is a 5-man dungeon located the border of Vale of Eternal Blossoms and Dread Wastes. This dungeon has a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon with four bosses to defeat. There are no differences in mechanics between Normal and Heroic modes. The only differences are increased health and damage done for all bosses and enemies. There are three achievements and 1 step to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement Glory of the Pandaria Hero: Bomberman, Conscriptonator, and Mantid Swarm. The third boss in this instance is needed for the achievement Polyformic Acid Science.

Saboteur Kip’tilak
This first fight with Saboteur Kip’tilak is based on the bombing you just encountered with the trash and is probably the easiest fight in Pandaria dungeons. When he casts Sabotage on a player, they will explode after a few seconds. If the fire hits a bomb it will cause it to detonate, which can be used to your advantage to clean out the room before the bombs become too many to dodge. Stay away from the Stable Munitions, otherwise it’s going to go off in the same cardinal directions as you experienced in the trash leading up to it. When Kip’tilak reaches 70% and 30% health, he will detonate all the Stable Munitions currently in the room with World in Flames.

Quick Tactics: Try to avoid the lines of fire. If you get Sabotage, you’ll fire out fire north, south, east and west – try and use this to detonate other bombs. At 30% and 70% he’ll blow all of the bombs, so be prepared for some heavy healing.

Gear
Fallout Filter – Cloth Helm +Haste

Striker Ga’dok
The most important aspect of the fight is Strafing Run, which happens twice, when Ga’dok reaches 70% and 30% health. During Strafing Run Ga’dok engulfs half the platform in flames twice (first from west to east, and then from north to south). Stick with the group if you can, if you get separated from the group by the flames, be ready to top the group up when the flames go down. In addition to that, you need to be aware of Acid Bombs, which create pools of poison on the platform’s surface.  Finally, pay attention to Impaling Strike and Prey Time, as Impaling Strike will require you to keep an eye on the tank and Prey Time will be a targeted DoT on a party member.

Quick Tactics: Stay together, move away from adds’ AOE. Move out of fire but don’t get split from the group.

Gear
Airstream Treads – Leather boots +Haste
(Heroic only) Bomber’s Precision Gloves – Cloth gloves +Crit/Haste (no spirit)

Commander Ri’mok
During the fight, Ri’mok has to be kited along the ramparts to prevent him from standing in the poison pools that he creates with Viscous Fluid. Viscous Fluid will stack a buff (up to 5) on Ri’mok that increases his damage dealt and reduces his damage taken. Stay out of the front of the boss as he does a cone attack called Frenzied Assault. Finally, Krik’thik Swarmers and Krik’thik Saboteurs will regularly join the fight and need to be killed. Watch for Bombard to do some AoE damage.

Quick Tactics: Tank needs to kite boss out of green slime. Get out of front cone when he does frenzy. Watch for the AoE damage from bombard.

Gear
Leggings of the Frenzy - Cloth legs +Haste/Mastery (no spirit)
(Heroic only) Viscous Ring – Ring +Haste

Raigonn
After defeating Commander Ri’mok, the Mantid will break open the Gate of the Setting Sun, giving a chance to Raigonn, the giant Kuchong, to enter the gate’s courtyard. This final boss encounter is a two-stage fight. During Phase One, the dps will have to break Raigonn’s carapace, all the while the tank will dealing with a number of adds. Throughout this phase, he keeps battering the rampart to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms by using Battering Headbutt. Each time Raigonn uses Battering Headbutt, he throws all enemies attacking his weak spot on the ground, and damages everyone within 10 yards of the impact. Meanwhile, the DPS will be using the launchers along the perimeter of the courtyard to launch onto him and break his Impervious Carapace by attacking his Weak Spot. You’ll need to keep up with the tank as they round up the adds that are continuously spawning. The three different adds will have abilities, but the main one to watch out for is called Engulfing Winds. These tornadoes deal proximity damage within 3 yards and should be avoided.

After his carapace has been broken, Raigonn enters Phase Two. During this phase, he will use Fixate on a random player. Players fixated upon must kite him away from other party members because he regularly casts Stomp. The adds will no longer be spawning, but you may have some remaining from Phase One.

Quick Tactics: Phase 1: Stick with the tank who is taking adds, DPS use cannon to get on boss’s head and attack Weak Spot. Phase 2: Fixated player kite, stay away from Stomp.

Gear
Swarmbringer Chestguard – Plate chest +Mastery
Shield of the Protectorate – Shield/Off-hand +Haste
Carapace Breaker – One-handed mace +Haste/Spell Power
(Heroic only) Frenzyswarm Bracers – Cloth bracer +Mastery

Posted by: Makakai | February 11, 2014

Siege of Niuzao Temple Healing 101

Siege of Niuzao Temple Loading ScreenThis next post of my Pandaria Healing 101 WoW dungeon guides will cover another mid-level dungeon, the next level bracket after the Monastery and the Palace. Niuzao Temple is a 5-man dungeon located in Townlong Steppes and has a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are four bosses in this dungeon. There are no differences in mechanics between Normal and Heroic modes for the Mogu’Shan Palace. The only differences are increased health and damage done for all bosses and enemies. There are three achievements and 1 step to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement Glory of the Pandaria Hero: Return to Sender, Run with the Wind, and Where’s My Air Support?. The first boss in this instance is needed for the achievement Polyformic Acid Science.

Vizier Jin’bak
The fight with Vizier Jin’bak revolves around the yellow-orange Sap Puddle in the center of the room. The Sap Globules that  Jin’bak summons periodically throughout the fight need to be killed before they reach the Sap Puddle, because they cause it to grow in size. To shrink the Sap Puddle, you can stand in it, but this does Sap Residue damage, so try to get the Sap Globules killed. The size of the Sap Puddle determines the damage done to all party members by Detonate, so you’ll want to use your cooldowns toward the end of the fight.

Quick Tactics: Kill globules before they reach puddle. Stand in the puddle if you need to make it smaller. When he casts Detonate, party will take damage depending on size of pool.

Gear
Hood of Viridian Residue – Leather Helm +Crit
Girdle of soothing Detonation – Plate belt +Crit

Commander Vo’jak
Commander Vo’jak is essentially a two phase fight, the first dealing with adds and the second phase with the boss. During Phase One, Li and Lo Chu, will position and prepare mantid tar kegs for use in the battle. Players can throw the kegs of Caustic Tar onto the steps leading up to the platform to slow and damage the adds. The little pots along edge of the platform can be clicked on, then use the targeting circle to click and throw the caustic tar onto the adds. Target a little ahead of the adds to get them with the tar. A good group will have only the elite adds actually make it up to the platform. Throughout this phase you’ll also have a Sik’thik Amberwing regularly bombing the platform, so you’ll need to move around for that. Once his forces are down, Commander Vo’jak will engage the group. Someone in the group can use the caustic tar to remove Rising Speed from Vo’jak, a stacking attack speed increasing buff. Stay at range from the boss if possible (you too monks) to avoid Thousand Blades. He will also do a Dashing Strike, that will do significant damage and knock back a player. If you see someone go flying, ready your big heals.

Quick Tactics: First phase avoid bombs, use Caustic Tar to slow adds. Second phase use caustic tar to remove buff on boss, get out of the Blades. Heal up the target of Dashing Strike, as they will take lots of damage.

Gear
Bombardment Bracers – Cloth bracers +Haste
Chestwrap of Arcing Flame – Leather chest +Crit

General Pa’valak
The basic fight with General Pa’valak is pretty straight forward, it’s the Add portion of the fight that can trip up a group. Pa’valak’s two general abilities are Blade Rush and Tempest. Don’t stand near him for Tempest and move away from his sword target for Blade Rush. The important mechanic that everyone needs to pay attention to occurs when he reaches 65% and 35% health. At these points he puts up Bulwark and summons waves of Sik’thik Soldiers. Throughout these waves of Soldiers, the Amber-Sappers will be throwing bombs onto the field. Click on them within the first 3 seconds after they touch the ground. You can then throw them to kill the Soldier waves. If you don’t click on the bombs right away move at least 7 yards away from them as they will explode. Once all of the soldiers are dead, Pa’valak will join the fight again. Note that the adds will tend to target the healer (HoT aggro you know) so you’ll want to stick close to the tank.

Quick Tactics: Kill adds by picking up bombs and throwing them at them. If you can’t click a bomb, get away from it. When boss throws sword, get away from it.

Gear
Breezebinder Handwraps - Cloth gloves +Haste
Siegeworn Bracers - Plate bracers +Crit
Vial of Ichorous Blood - Trinket +Int (on use spirit)

Wing Leader Ner’onok
The last boss fight with Wing Leader Ner’onok is my favorite one of the Mists of Pandaria dungeons. Ner’onok essentially has two sets of abilities he uses. The first set is his main attacks, Hurl Brick, Caustic Pitch, and Quick-Dry Resin; the second set is when he takes off and flies to the other end of the bridge and casts Gusting Winds. Watch your tank damage for Hurl Brick, don’t stand in the Caustic Pitch puddles, and if you get Quick-Dry Resin, jump up and down to prevent being encased.At 66% and 33% health, Ner’onok will fly to the other end of the bridge. Once he gets there, he will channel/cast Gusting Winds. The idea here is to reach Ner’onok at the other side of the bridge and interrupt a cast of Gusting Winds, which causes him to resume fighting. The small walls that you noticed walking up to him will block the wind allowing you to reach him on the other side of the bridge.

Quick Tactics: If you get Quick-Dry Resin, jump to remove it. When he flies to other side of the bridge, get to him using walls to get in the way of his winds and Pitch puddles to prevent you moving, and interrupt him.

Gear
Airbender Sandals – Mail boots +Haste
Belt of Totemic Binding – Mail waist +Haste
Breezeswept Hood – Cloth helm +Haste/Mastery (no spirit)
Gustwalker Staff – Staff +Mastery/Spell Power
Whisperwind Spaulders – Cloth shoulders +Haste/Mastery (no spirit)

Posted by: Makakai | February 8, 2014

Battling Travel

International air travel
So my Elder post for this week got hung up since I didn’t set a publish date within my dashboard for my blog. I claim travel fatigue from this past week. I live in the snow zone of the U.S. and travel during the winter will tire out even the most stalwart heroes…

Since I’ve spent part of this week on an airplane I’ll chat about Flying; well Flying Battle pets actually. Let’s start with the Battle pet basics. If you’ve not done any pet battling I recommend reading an introductory guide to get you started because there’s a lot more to it than just grabbing any old three battle pets and talking to a trainer. THE best resource for companion pets, Warcraft pets, has great resources and information about battle pets. One thing that seems to be a very basic concept that new folks starting out don’t always grok is the whole idea of Strong and Weak Attack/Defend bonuses. I actually leveled a team of 3 pets to 25 and was working through the tamer quests before I realized there was something I was not following correctly and I’m not the only player that has stumbled through this. There’s even a couple different infographic representations of this stuff folks!

Once you start the battle pet quests and start battling higher level tamers the Wowhead Dailies guide will give you a quick cheat sheet on recommended pets for the battle, location of tamer, and info about the pets that you’ll be battling. The bags you get from some of the tamers, or even a wild pet battle during the collection stage might drop a Battle-stone, to find out the best order of pets to use your stones on I recommend the guide to Battle-stones and you.

Now that you’re a Battle pet pro, you’re probably leveling the 30+ pets you need to take on the Celestial tournament right? If not here’s a great guide to Beating the Celestial Tournament. Based on this information you’ve been leveling your Amber Moth, Sandy Petrel, and Wildhammer Gryphon Hatchling, right? Don’t worry you didn’t need to use a Battle-stone on any of these fliers (just these fliers), so they were ready to go right out of the gate.

So I leave you with my favorite flying companion pet, mostly for it’s difficulty to acquire than it’s abilities or model: Hyacinth Macaw.

Happy Healing!

Posted by: Makakai | February 1, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again

undeadhorseblack So I’m back to officially updating my blog. I’m aiming for twice a week updates; with a Tuesday/Wednesday “Elder Post” and a Friday/Saturday “Fireside Chat” post. The Elder posts will often be new updates to my class guides, dungeon guides or pieces like my Addon posts. My Chat posts are my chance to branch out and talk more about my favorite parts of the game.

My last fun post was almost 2 years ago. Wow the times they have changed. In this interval, the guild that motivated me to start my blog went extinct, I had a lot of life changes (job relocation, family, etc.), and the game itself has changed significantly. But the last couple of months I’ve settled into a new guild group, my life changes have settled down, and we’re at the end of an expac. It’s a perfect time to start back with my blog.

From my archives you can probably guess I like companion pet collecting, raiding, and pvp so expect quite a few posts about those topics. In fact, one of my favorite activities in game is raiding. I’m definitely not top end progression, but I am in a progression raid group with the most progressed horde guild on my server. That isn’t saying much compared to where most progression is in the game right now so if I do end up with a post on raiding it’s probably targeted as a reminder piece with some diagrams on my raid team’s strategy to a boss fight with a mix of humor and seriousness.

On that note I leave you with the humor of the one and only Doodlegnome: Kibble & Bit

Happy Healing!

Posted by: Makakai | January 28, 2014

Mogu’Shan Palace Healing 101

moguLoadingThis next post of my Pandaria Healing 101 WoW dungeon guides will cover another mid-level dungeon; the ones you always seem to get when you queue for random dungeons. Mogu’Shan Palace is a 5-man dungeon located in Vale of Eternal Blossoms and has a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are three bosses in this dungeon and some difficult trash packs. There are no differences in mechanics between Normal and Heroic modes for the Mogu’Shan Palace. The only differences are increased health and damage done for all bosses and enemies. There are three achievements and 1 step to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement Glory of the Pandaria Hero: Glintrok N’ Roll, What Does This Button Do?, and Quarrelsome Quilen Quintet. The first boss in this instance is needed for the achievement Polyformic Acid Science.

Clan Leaders of the Mogu/Trial of the King
This encounter is similar to the Beasts encounter in Trial of the Crusade in Northrend. The three bossess will activate in a random order.

Kuai the Brute activates along with his pet quilen, Mu’Shiba. Kuai’s main ability is Shockwave, avoid standing in front of the boss. Meanwhile, Mu’Shiba will randomly pounce on players and put a DoT on them called Ravage. The dps should be killing Mu’Shiba first, in the meantime you’ll need to lay some heavier healing on the Ravage target.

Ming the Cunning is the most straight-forward of the three bosses. He has two ‘don’t stand in it’ abilities, Whirling Dervish and Magnetic Field. Ming’s main damage will be on the tank, so most of the healing will be on your tank.

Haiyan the Unstoppable is a stack-spread-stack fight. The party should stack for Meteor, which is a shared damage ability similar to the meteor used by the Four Hoursemen in Naxxramas. Haiyan also will randomly target a player for Conflagrate; move away from the targeted player to prevent it from moving to you. Finally, Haiyan will also put a DoT on the Tank which will reduce healing by 50% for 5 seconds.

At the end of the fight there is a set of stairs inset into the floor behind one of the clan groups, where the loot chest appears, you will need to take the stairs to get to the next fight.

Quick Tactics: The 3 bosses come in random order. Ming: Dodge tornadoes and don’t stand near him. Haiyan: group for meteor, run away from group if you have Conflagrate. Kuai: big heals on the lion’s target.

Gear
Hurricane Belt – Leather belt +Mastery

Gekkan
This fight consists of the main boss and his four followers, creating a combined boss, plus four mini-bosses fight. Many tanks will just jump over the balcony railing to start the fight, so hop over and be ready for an intense alpha strike. A good group will either use crowd-control on Glintrok Ironhide or kill him first. However, if that doesn’t happen the fight will take much longer, so use your mana recovery early and often. Additionally, the other three followers (Glintrok Skulker, Glintrok Oracle, and Glintrok Hexxer) have casted attacks which should be interrupted. The Hexxer’s Hex of Lethargy can be dispelled if he gets a cast off. Once the four followers are dead, Gekkan will have four stacks of Reckless Inspiration. With Reckless Inspiration, he will melee attack twice as often; this is heavy damage but concentrated on the tank.

Quick Tactics: CC Ironhide and keep him CCed. Use interrupts if you have them. Big heals needed on the tank after the four followers are dead.

Gear
Hexxer’s Lethargic Gloves – Mail gloves +Mastery
Glintrok Sollerets – Plate boots +Mastery
Cloak of Cleansing Flame – Cloak +Crit/Mastery (no spirit)

Notable Trash
The lions before Xin the Weaponmaster can and should be pulled separately from the boss. They have a pounce ability, which means they can be cc’d mid-leap for extra laughs.

Xin the Weaponmaster
This fight is mostly a don’t stand in it fight, so just watch where you are standing and move out of everything. There are only two sources of unavoidable damage, Inciting Roar and Death From Above!. Inciting Roar is an AoE damage, that hits for a moderate amount so keep everyone topped up if you can. Death From Above! causes arrows to target a player, so extra heals needed on the target(s). There is a common strategy wherein the tank will pull Xin into the door alcove with him facing one of the corners. This concentrates several of his abilities on the tank. You’ll still have to avoid some stuff and the tank will take increased damage.

Quick Tactics: Dodge whirling axes, lines of swords, and cirlces of fire. At 33% health, Death From Above! activates arrows that will randomly focus-fire group members.

Gear
Mind’s Eye Breastplate – Plate chest +Crit
Regal Silk Shoulderpads – Cloth chest +Mastery
Firescribe Dagger – Weapon if you still need an upgrade +Crit/Haste (no spirit)
Mindcapture Pendant – Neck +Crit
Soulbinder Treads – Cloth feet +Crit/Haste (no spirit)

Posted by: Makakai | January 25, 2014

Shado-Pan Monastery Healing 101

Shadowpan Monastery Loading ScreenThis next post of my Pandaria Healing 101 WoW dungeon guides will cover the mid-level dungeon, that you always seem to get when you queue for random dungeons. Shado-pan Monastery is a 5-man dungeon located in Kun-Lai Summit and has a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are four bosses in this dungeon and some difficult trash packs. There are no differences in mechanics between Normal and Heroic modes for the Shado-pan Monastery. The only differences are increased health and damage done for all bosses and enemies. There are three achievements and 1 step to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement Glory of the Pandaria Hero: Hate Leads to Suffering!, Respect, and The Obvious Solution. The first boss in this instance is needed for the achievement Polyformic Acid Science.

Gu Cloudstrike
The fight against Gu Cloudstrike is a 3-phase fight. During the first phase, Gu casts an AoE Invoke Lightning so you need to be spread out to limit it’s damage. Additionally, the Azure Serpent will target a party member with StaticField which should be easy to avoid. This phase ends when Gu reaches 50% health. During the second phase, Gu becomes invulnerable and you have to kill his Azure Serpent. The serpent will cast a frontal cone Lightning Breath that should be easy to avoid. The second ability, Magnetic Shroud creates a healing absorption shield on all party members. Stack up and heal a party member (for 50,000/75,000) until the shields break. When this phase ends, Gu will activate again with an AoE ability called Overcharged Soul, which he casts more frequently as his health lowers.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in lightning. In phase 2, stack up for Magnetic Shroud and spam big heals onto one player.

Gear
Leggings of the Charging Soul – Mail legs +Haste/Crit (no spirit)
Heroic only Star Summoner Bracers – Leather wrists +Mastery

Master Snowdrift
The Master Snowdrift fight is also divided into 3 phases. During Phase One, he casts two abilities, which are mostly of concern to the tank and melee. However, if they don’t move out of the way you may need some quick heals. This phase lasts until Snowdrift reaches 50% health. During Phase Two, he creates images of himself in the two front corners of the room. These images keeps appearing and disappearing. When they are active, all they do is cast Ball of Fire, which creates a traveling ball of fire that damages players in its path. This phase lasts until the images are destroyed completely. The final phase introduces 2 new abilities. The first, Tornado Slam causes Snowdrift to fixate on a random party member and chase them. Run away! The other ability, is only of concern to Monks if they are fist weaving. In which case, hold of on your damaging spells.

Quick Tactics: Get behind him during Fists of Fury and away from him on Tornado Kick. Dodge the balls of fire. Watch your damage in Parry stance.

Gear
Quivering Heart Girdle – Plate waist +Mastery

Sha of Violence
The Sha of Violence has two main abilities that he uses throughout the fight: Smoke Blades and Sha Spike. Smoke Blades will ultimately buff melee player’s damage and healers/ranged will be too far away to be affected. The second ability, causes a spike to appear at the location of a random player. It also summons small add that attacks the group for 30 seconds (it can be killed). Move away from the ‘sha’ puddles when the ground beneath you starts vibrating. Discipline Priests and fistweaving Monks may find killing the add simpler than ignoring it, however, they explode upon death, so move away as they die. In addition, the healer and the tank need to be aware of Disorienting Smash, which regularly deals heavy Shadow Damage to the tank. This ability is dispellable and should be taken care of pretty easily.

Quick Tactics: Dispel disorient if you have time. Run from whirling smoke and move out of ‘sha’ puddles before spikes appear. Adds should die after only 30 seconds so ignore or smite them. He enrages at 30% health; use cooldowns if needed.

Gear
Gloves of Enraged Slaughter - Cloth gloves +Haste/Mastery (no spirit)
Heroic only Necklace of Disorientation - Neck +Mastery

Taran Zhu
Although not a difficult fight, the encounter with Taran Zhu has several different mechanics that will likely build up to a wipe if not handled well. The main mechanic is your Hatred bar, which fills as you take damage from the boss (and some is unavoidable), so you will have to empty it. To remove your hatred, you need to use your special action button, Meditate. This is a channeled ability, so you will kneel in a pool of light for a few seconds while it resets your Hatred.

There are three sources of hatred cast by Taran Zhu. The first, Rising Hate randomly targets players, but the cast can and should be interrupted. The second ability, Ring of Malice surrounds Taran Zhu with a Shadow ring for 15 seconds, which only damages players that touch it’s borders. Stand either inside or outside the ring, don’t cross it. Finally, Sha Blast is only cast when the Ring is active, and will deal a high amount of damage to the tank. So this is when you’ll need some extra heals ready.

The final mechanic is that of the Gripping Hatred. Throughout the fight, Taran Zhu will periodically Summon Gripping Hatred, which need to be killed as quickly as possible by the ranged dps. Melee should stay on the boss, as they have a damaging Sha zone underneath that players will be pulled into if they are not killed. Move out of the Sha zone if/when you are pulled into it.

Quick Tactics: Use Meditate early and often when the fight’s going well to empty your Hate bar. Help the ranged DPS kill Gripping Hatred ASAP. When ring appears, be either in or out – do not cross.

Gear
Blastwalker Footguards – Mail boots +Crit/Mastery (no spirit)
Mindbinder Plate Gloves – Plate gloves +Mastery
Darkbinder Leggings – Leather legs +Haste
Heroic only Robes of Fevered Dreams – Cloth chest +Crit/Haste (no spirit)
Heroic only Ring of Malice – Good ring if you still need one (no spirit)

Posted by: Makakai | December 20, 2013

Stormstout Brewery Healing 101

Stormstout brewery loading screenNow for second post of my Pandaria Healing 101 WoW dungeon guides. This is the other dungeon you encounter when you start your Pandaria leveling. Stormstout Brewery is a 5-man dungeon located in Valley of the Four Winds and has a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are only three bosses in this dungeon, but a lot more trash than you encounter in Temple of Jade Serpent. There are no differences in mechanics between Normal and Heroic modes for the Temple of the Jade Serpent. The only differences are increased health and damage done for all bosses and enemies. There are four Achievements to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement Glory of the Pandaria Hero: Hopocalypse Now!, How Did He Get Up There?, and Keep Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’. The last one is also an achievement you can complete at the end of the run to net a pet: Ling-Ting’s Herbal Journey.

Ook Ook
He will only appear after you have filled the progression bar by killing a total of 40 Hozens. Once you start the fight, beer barrels will be thrown down at your party, you don’t want to get hit by them. However, you can click the barrels rolling around to ride them into Ook Ook. This will help kill him faster and since you can cast spells while on a barrel it will not effect your healing. Ook-Ook will periodically cast Ground Pound at the tank, which is a frontal cone attack. Watch that you don’t stand in front of him when he casts this.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in front of the boss for Ground Pound and roll barrels into him.

Gear
Bracers of Displaced Air – Cloth wrists +Haste/Mastery
Heroic only Empty Fruit Barrel – Trinket with +Spirit

Notable Trash
A gauntlet event starts just as you exit the fight with Ook Ook and ends when you reach Hoptallus. There are three types of Virmen along this gauntlet: Hoppers, Hoplings, and Boppers. The Boppers carry a hammer that they drop when they die; click on it for a 2 to 3-charge hammer buff. The hammer will knock the Virmen into the air, one-shotting Hoplings and Hoppers, and heavily damaging the Boppers. Your tanks seem to love running through the gauntlet gathering up all of the Virmen and killing them in a large pack. This leaves a lot of opportunities for healers to get aggro on the Virmen, so be sure to have your aggro-drop abilities handy (e.g., Fade).

Hoptallus
Hoptallus is a single phase fight with adds and two don’t stand in it abilities. The first of the don’t stand in it abilities, Furlwind, is a whirlwind that deals light damage to players caught in its effect. Just avoid him and it should be easy to avoid taking any damage, but be ready to heal slow dps or tanks. The second don’t stand in it ability is Carrot Breath, in which Hoptallus shoots an orange stream from his mouth and slowly rotates in place. You can avoid this entirely by remaining behind him. Finally, we will periodically call down Vermin similar to those encountered in the gauntlet event, pick up the hammers from the Boppers and use them on the packs of Vermin.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand near the boss and avoid the Furlwind and Carrot Breath abilities. Pick up the hammers to keep the Vermin down.

Gear
Bottle of Potent Potables – Off-hand +Haste/Mastery
Heroic only Cloak of Hidden Flasks – Cloak +Mastery

Yan-Zhu the Uncasked
After defeating Hoptallus, you will have to fight your way to the top floor of the brewery by defeating a number of Alementals. Yan-Zhu will use three abilities, chosen as one of two possible choices, based on the ads you fought before him. The first set of adds is 2 of either the Bloated or Stout Brew Alementals, the second set of adds is 8 of the Bubbling or Yeasty Brew Alementals, and the third set of adds is 4 of the Fizzy or Sudsy Brew Alementals.

The first set of abilities are a debuff power, either Blackout Brew or Bloat. Blackout Brew debuffs the entire party with 3 stacks of a debuff. While it cannot be dispelled, moving around (but not jumping) has a chance to remove a stack. If it reaches 10 stacks, you will fall into a deep slumber and are stunned for 10 seconds. Manage your stacks and make sure you move by the time it reaches 6 stacks. Bloat is cast on a random player (the tank is a valid choice), causing beer to spew out of the player’s ears, dealing moderate damage and knocking back any other players nearby. Simply spread out and try to avoid standing in line with any other players’ Bloat. Note that melee and tank are notoriously bad at avoiding this, so keep an eye out for them.

The second set of abilities will spawn adds, either Bubble Shield or Yeasty Alementals which cast Ferment. Bubble Shield reduces the damage Yan-Zhu takes by 20% for each bubble in the shield (there are 4). These bubbles have very low health, so you can assist your party in killing them. Ferment heals the linked Alementals. You should stand in the path of the orange beam to block it, preventing it from healing the Alementals and allowing it to heal you instead.

The third set of abilities are AoEs, either Carbonation or Wall of Suds. For the first he will create pools of Carbonation at a random player’s location, dealing very heavy damage to anyone standing within the pools and silencing them. For Wall of Suds, jump over the walls of beer that sweep the room with your newly found super jump buff (he applies it to you). If you have high latency, move to where the “X” intersection of the 2 walls will cross by and jump just before the X reaches you, and you should go right over both walls with 1 jump.

Throughout the fight, Yan-Zhu will cast Brew Bolt at players when there is no-one in melee range. Brew Bolt hits very hard and leaves a debuff behind that increases magical damage taken by 10%; this should be dispelled quickly, and then the player should be healed up.

Quick Tactics: Move out of the AoE abilities. Help kill the bubble shields or stand in the healing beam. Spread out for Bloat or keep moving for Blackout brew. Heal up players hit by Brew Bolt.

Gear
Uncasked Chestguard – Shaman chestpiece +Haste
Fermenting Belt – Priest waist +Mastery
Sudsy Legplates – Paladin legs +Mastery
Heroic only Alemental Signet – Good ring if you still need one (doesn’t have spirit)

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