Posted by: Makakai | August 23, 2016

Pre-Expansion Welcome

ImBackCasual readers may have noticed that I took a very long sporadic hiatus from my blog. The Real Life boss caused a pretty serious wipe and getting back to a point in which I could post regularly was pretty rough. Well… I’m Back!

I’ve finished up the Dungeon Healing 101 entries from the last of Warlords of Draenor and as with many of you readers I’m ready to jump into the Legion content. I’ve been enjoying the Invasions and with 1 week left until the expansion is released I’m excited and ready to begin. I’ll be keeping up with the Tuesday posts right through Legion and hopefully you’ll enjoy the content I have planned. Feel free to send me a twitter message or email at greenbarspec at gmail dot com.

Posted by: Makakai | August 16, 2016

Shadowmoon Burial Grounds Healing 101

300px-Shadowmoon_Burial_Grounds_loading_screenThis final Warlords of Draenor Healing 101 WoW dungeon guide covers a level 100 dungeon. Shadowmoon Burial Grounds is located in the center of Shadowmoon Valley and has both a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are four bosses in this dungeon but minimal trash packs. There are a few mechanical differences between Normal and Heroic modes that will be called out for each fight in the guide below. One difference in my Draenor guides from previous guides is that the gear called out after each boss are limited to pieces of particular note from among all of the drops in this dungeon.

There are three achievements to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement: What’s Your Sign?,  Icky Ichors, and  Souls of the Lost.

Sadana Bloodfury
Sadana Bloodfury is a two ‘phase’ fight that cycles between the two phases. She starts out in the center of a circular platform ringed with purple runes, which if you step on during the encounter can do a significant amount of damage. The first ability to watch out for is Daggerfall, which is a targeted small AoE effect we’ve seen in Wrath dungeons; just move out from under the falling dagger. Secondly, she has an ability called Dark Communion, which summons a Defiled Spirit add that rushes toward Sadana. If the Defiled Spirit reaches her, she heals and gains a damage buff, so assisting your party with stuns and slows (druids you’ll not be able to use roots) can really help. The second ‘phase’ is called Dark Eclipse, in which she corrupts the runes on the floor and does a high damage AoE. You’ll want to run to the circle of moon runes to gain a Lunar Purity buff during this ‘phase’.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand under the dagger. Stand on the moon rune during Dark Eclipse and help to kill/slow the Spirit add.

Gear
Sadana’s Grisly Visage – +Crit/Haste Offhand
Necks and Capes drop from this boss.

Notable Trash: Leading up to and within Nhallish’s encounter area, there are a large number of very faint ghostly barrows. Stepping on or near these barrows releases Exhumed Spirits. Some tanks will clear the barrows on the way to the next boss, but if not be prepared for some unexpected adds when members of your party accidentally step on a barrow.

Nhallish
Nhallish is another repeating two-phase encounter. During the first phase you’ll want to watch out for the Void Devastation pools and use your AoE healing CDs for Void Vortex as it tries to suck you in. The second phase occurs during Soul Shred, in which players will be transported to a void realm and must recapture their soul by defeating a Possessed Soul and looting the corpse. Each player will need to quickly defeat their own soul to gain the Returned Soul buff. Healers, your Holy and Nature damage will be a little extra powerful so you shouldn’t have too much difficulty.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand on or in any purple stuff on the ground. Quickly kill your Soul add and click the portal.

Gear
Chests drop for Druid, Paladin, and Shaman and Bracers drop for Paladin, Priest, and Shaman.

Notable Trash: Plagued Bats do a nasty little disease debuff called Plague Spit that stacks up to 5 times. Monks, Paladins, and Priests you’ll want to dispel as quickly as possible. Druids and Shamans you’ll probably need to pull out your tank cooldowns.

Bonemaw
Bonemaw despite the name has no relation to the ICC boss and instead resembles a worm from Dune. There are three main mechanics to this fight that require a little coordination otherwise it’s just an execution fight. First, Body Slam will target a cone area of the platform that you’ll want to move out of to avoid getting knocked off the platform and into the water. If you do get hit, there are water jets near the bridge to his platform. Secondly, he will spit out Necrotic Pitch pools through out the fight that will target a ranged player. You’ll want to place them carefully in preparation for Inhale. During Inhale, Bonemaw will begin to suck players toward him, heavily damaging or outright killing any players captured. You can resist this suction by standing in the Necrotic Pitch pools. Finally, throughout the fight he will dive into the water and resurface at a different location on the platform.

Heroic: After the first Inhale, the two Worms you fought on the bridge will join the fight, appearing on either side of the platform. These worms have the Body Slam and spit abilities that the boss has, so you’ll have the damage coming from multiple directions. Make sure a melee player is nearby each of the worms to avoid extra damaging attacks.

Quick Tactics: Avoid the Body Slam cone effect. Stand in Necrotic Pitch during Inhale to avoid the suction.

Gear
Waists drop for everyone and Hands drop for Monks and Priests.

Ner’zhul
The Ner’zhul fight is mostly a straightforward fight with three key abilities to negotiate. First, Omen of Death similar to the Daggerfall ability from the first boss, will cause continues AoE damage in an area surrounding it. Secondly, the tank should point Ner’zhul away from the party due to his cone ability called Malevolence. It stretches the radius of the platform so you’ll want to be aware of the direction he’s facing at all times. Finally, Ner’zhul summons a Ritual of Bones in the form of a wall of shadowy skeletons from one of the four cardinal directions (N, S, W, or E). A member of the party should be designated to pick the target to focus damage on, clearing a space in the advancing wall of shadow skeletons and allowing the party to pass through. There is minimal damage so as a healer you should assist the party during this phase.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in it. Kill the shadowy skeleton target and move through the space in the wall.

Gear
Portal-Ripper’s Staff – +Crit/Haste Staff
Boots, Rings and Helms drop for everyone.

Posted by: Makakai | August 9, 2016

Grimrail Depot Healing 101

Grimrail Depot Loading ScreenThis next Warlords of Draenor Healing 101 WoW dungeon guide covers the first level 100 dungeon for this expansion. This is probably my least-favorite dungeon of this expansion so my personal comments will probably be more pessimistic than usual. Grimrail Depot is located in the northern part of Gorgrond and has both a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are only three bosses in this dungeon and minimal but hard-hitting trash packs. There are a few mechanical differences between Normal and Heroic modes that will be called out for each fight in the guide below. One difference in my Draenor guides from previous guides is that the gear called out after each boss are limited to pieces of particular note from among all of the drops in this dungeon.

There are two achievements to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement: This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things and No Ticket. Also, players that were working on the legendary ring quest-line needed to remember to pick up their Core of Iron.

Railmaster Rocketspark
Railmaster Rocketspark is accompanied by Borka the Brute in this first encounter. The fight will start off with Rocketspark flying around the room, launching VX18-B Target Eliminator missiles at two random targets. You’ll need to continually step out of the red targeting circle to avoid the damage from the missles. Meanwhile, Borka will be Slam-ing the floor in front of him, doing a decent amount of damage to your tank. Throughout the fight, Rocketspark will rise up into the air and channel a stream of X21-01A Missile Barrage. The tank should point Borka at Rocketspark such that Mad Dash knocks him down, so you’ll want to move out of the way. If for some reason, Rocketspark dies before Borka you’ll need to use all of your cooldowns to keep the tank alive through Unmanaged Aggression.

Heroic: Slam will also disrupt spellcasting, so watch for the effect from Borka.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in Missile targeting circles. Use cooldowns on the tank if Rocketspark dies first and AoE heals if Borka dies first.

Gear
Rings drop for Druid, Priest, Shaman and Waists for Druid, Priest, Shaman.

Nitrogg Thundertower
The Nitrogg Thundertower encounter starts out in a small space at the front of a train car, and begins as fairly straight-forward tank-and-spank encounter. The two main abilities you’ll want to avoid are Blackrock Mortar and Blackrock Grenade, that are basically straight-forward fire damage. At 60% health is when Nitrogg gets into his Assult Cannon and the fun begins. Throughout this phase of the fight he will call reinforcements that the DPS will need to be dealing with. They should be prioritizing the reinforcements as Boomers > Grenadier > Infantry. You can help out the party by placing DoTs or otherwise attack the Assault Cannon between waves of reinforcements. The key to the fight is to loot the Boomer’s body to gain a Blackrock Mortar Shell, as about three of them when used in the Turrets should be enough to take out the Assault Cannon. He will also target players with Suppressive Fire, which you’ll want to break line of sight for by ducking behind a pillar or a large stack of crates. Once the Assault Cannon has been destroyed, Nitrogg again joins the fight and the party can finish him off.

Heroic: Nitrogg’s Assault Cannon gains Slag Blast, which will cover a section of the train car in fire. You will also gain an additional reinforcement, Gunner. Gunners drop Shrapnel which can be used in the Turrets to quickly kill adds.

Quick Tactics: Line-of-sight the Suppressive Fire and assist with DoTs on the Assault Cannon. Don’t stand in Fire!

Gear
Chests drop for Druids and Shaman and Necks for Druids, Priests, and Shaman.

Skylord Tovra
Skylord Torva is mostly a “don’t stand in it” fight for the healer. Torva throws out Freezing Snares which will do moderate damage and root you in place. Secondly, she does a Spinning Spear effect that do targeted whirlwind type damage. She is accompanied by Rakun whom flies overhead and casts Thunderous Breath periodically creating Diffused Energy over a portion of the rail car.

Heroic: In heroic, Tovra will now target random players with Hunter’s Mark, after 6-seconds, she will then launch an Explosive Spear at the player’s location. Move around to avoid dropping the Spear on your party.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in the bad stuff.

Gear
Torva’s Lightning Repository – +Int/Mastery Trinket
There is also a weapon that might be useful for healers is you still need an upgrade.
Gloves drop for Priest, Druid, Monk, Shaman; Legs drop for Paladin and Priest; and Bracers drop for Priests.

Posted by: Makakai | August 2, 2016

Upper Blackrock Spire Healing 101

Upper_Blackrock_Spire_loading_screenThis next Warlords of Draenor Healing 101 WoW dungeon guide covers the first level 100 dungeon. Upper Blackrock Spire is located in Blackrock Mountain in Burning Steppes (Eastern Kingdoms) and has both a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are five bosses in this dungeon with some complex trash packs and routes. There are a few mechanical differences between Normal and Heroic modes that will be called out for each fight in the guide below. One difference in my Draenor guides from previous guides is that the gear called out after each boss are limited to pieces of particular note from among all of the drops in this dungeon.

There are four achievements to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement. The first three include:
Bridge Over Troubled Fire, Magnets, How Do They Work?, and Dragonmaw? More Like Dragonfall!. This instance is of particular note due to it’s relevance to Leroy Jenkins fans; in fact, you can pick up the Jenkins title here by completing Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy…? (also needed for the meta-Achievement).

Notable Trash:
The entrance of this instance begins by taking out the trash packs located in the alcoves around the room, each containing a rune that must be deactivated. The runes are deactivated by killing trash, so none of these packs can be skipped. The trash packs can consist of a combination of the following: Black Iron Grunt, Black Iron Berserker, Black Iron Leadbelcher, and Ragemaw Worgs. Kill order should be Leadbelchers > Warcasters > Grunts > Berserkers & Worgs. Leadbelchers will activate the cannons outside of the alcoves, which can lay down some heavy AoE if not taken out first.

Orebender Gor’ashan
Gor’ashan is located up on top of a platform surrounded by Rune Conduits. Deactivate the Rune Conduits to start the boss fight.  Players should stack on the platform or the ramp leading up to the boss to avoid Lodestone Spike. Throughout the fight Gor’ashan will randomly activate the Rune Conduits to empower himself and lightning. One of the DPS should jump down from the platform, avoid the Electrical AoE and click on the Rune Conduits to deactivate them. The Electrical Pulse AoE moves very quickly and can easily be a one shot on low geared players if they move slowly or don’t get out of the pulse. Healers should be ready to use cooldowns and extra heals on the Conduit player.

Quick Tactics: Stand on the platform with the group and adjust your position to keep your Conduit deactivator topped off.

Gear
Boots for Shaman and Druids and your Cloaks drop here.

Kyrak
Kyrak is the main boss and is accompanied by two Drakonid Monstrosities. The two Monstrosities should be killed first and then on to the boss. Throughout the fight Kyrak will target players with Vileblood Serum; move out of these pools. He will target a random player with Dibilitating Fixation which should be interrupted by your dps and tank. At 50% health he will begin using Rejuvenating Serum to heal himself. Priests and Shaman should be using offensive dispels when possible. The damage in this fight is front loaded so use more cooldowns at the beginning and add in dps as the damage tapers off.

Heroic: Kyrak also targets a random player with Salve of Toxic Fumes, move away from your party members. It is a poison effect and can be removed.

Quick Tactics: Use cooldowns early as needed and don’t stand in poison.

Gear
Finkle’s Flenser – +Crit/Mastery Dagger
Paladins, Shamans, and Druids will find some Nice Shoulders and of course your Rings drop here.

Lanticore (Heroic Only Rare Boss)
This rare boss is only available in Heroic Mode and would be located near Kyrak in the old Rookery when he’s present. Drops the Lanticore Spawnling pet if you see him. The tactics suggest that you can just heal the tank through the melee damage.

Commander Tharbek
The Commander Tharbek encounter starts right after a trash gauntlet. The trash gauntlet consists of three waves that begin right after approaching the gate at the far end of the room. Each wave consists of various combinations of Leadbelchers, Summoners, Dreadweavers, Engineers, Berserkers & Worgs and all of the waves will be accompanied by Vilemaw Hatchinglings that fly around and spit poison at everyone. The ranged DPS should be handling the Hatchlings and concentrating on the Summoners and Leadbelchers, interrupting as many abilities as possible.

Once the trash waves are cleared, Commander Tharbek makes his appearance riding his Ironbarb Skyreaver. Commander Tharbek is primarly a single phase fight with lots of extraneous damage and a charge ability called Iron Reaver. When Commander Tharbek reaches approximately 50% health, an old friend, Awbee will join the fight. Awbee doesn’t do a lot of damage but can add that last little bit to get him down. Throughout the fight you’ll want to avoid the Imbued Iron Axes (spinning around the room), Noxious Spit puddles, and Incinerating Breath.

Heroic: On Heroic difficulty, Commander Tharbek will dismount from his Skyreaver at around 50%, and you’ll need the extra cooldowns to bring down the skyreaver as well.

Quick Tactics: Avoid standing in any of the extraneous damage and keep heals rolling on your tank and the Iron Reaver target.

Gear
Tharbek’s Lucky Pebble – Spirit + Mastery (Use) Trinket
Gloves for Priests and Paladins and Chest for Druid, Monk and Shaman can be found here.

Son of the Beast (Optional Boss)
Son of the Beast is a reference to the old instance boss The Beast. He does Fiery Charge which if you encountered his father, you’ll remember the knockback. This is accompanied by Fiery Trail that is left behind in his path. Additionally, he will use Terrifying Roar to disrupt the melee pile.

Ragewing the Untamed
Ragewing the Untamed appears from below as your party steps onto the bridge toward the Spire Throne. His fight is basically composed of two phases. During the first phase, Ragewing will target ranged DPS and healers with Magma Spit that you’ll need to place strategically as it will remain on the ground fro a period of time. This is important because Ragewing will also sweep Engulfing Fire from one of the bridge to the other. The flames will disorient and deal heavy damage to any player caught in the path. Players should run to one or the other end of the bridge away from his starting point to avoid the flames (e.g., if Ragewing faces the far end of the bridge, you’ll want to stay near the Furnace end of the bridge). At 70% and again at 40% health, Ragewing will fly above the bridge for phase 2. During phase 2, Ragewing will target the bridge with Fire Storm and Ragewing Whelps will attack the party. After the 40% health phase, Ragewing will land on the bridge and gains Burning Rage. This is an enrage effect and can be soothed or dispelled.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in fire. Hug your tank during phase 2 to keep the whelps off you.

Gear
Neck pieces and Legs for Priests, Paladins, and Druids can be found here.

Warlord Zaela
Zaela, the final boss of the encounter requires strategic placement and burst dps. The first ability to watch for from Zaela is Black Iron Cyclone, a whirlwind fixate. You should kite her away from the party when targeted. At 60% health, she flies away on her drake and Black Iron Wyrm Riders land on the platform. They can cast Chain Pull which will yank you into the melee pile.  Throughout this phase, Emberscale Ironflight drakes will hover at the outskirts of the platform and cast Burning Breath. Burning Breath will cover the third of the platform that the drake is facing. You can watch the drakes as they swoop down to predict which area to avoid. After about 40 seconds, Zaela will return to the platform and resume the first phase. The Emberscale drakes will continue targeting the platform for the rest of the encounter.

Quick Tactics: Stand toward the center of the platform to be able to avoid the Burning Breath. Avoid the whirlwind fixate damage.

Gear
Waist for Priest, Druid, and Shaman, and Wrist for Monk and Paladin, and Helm for Paladin can be found here.

Posted by: Makakai | July 26, 2016

The Everbloom Healing 101

EverbloomThis next Warlords of Draenor Healing 101 WoW dungeon guide covers the first of our set of level 100 dungeons. The Everbloom is located in northern Gorgrond and has both a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are four bosses and one optional boss in this dungeon with a significant number of trash packs. There are a few mechanical differences between Normal and Heroic modes that will be called out for each fight in the guide below. One difference in my Draenor guides from previous guides is that the gear called out after each boss are limited to pieces of particular note from among all of the drops in this dungeon.

There are two achievements to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement: Water Management and Weed Whacker. Players working on their legendary ring will want to kill the extra trash to pick up the Core of Life.

Witherbark
The first boss, after you make the jump up the hill and over to his spot is Witherbark. Witherbark cycles between two phases, one with ground effect damange and the second with adds. During the first phase, the primary ability to watch out for is Unchecked Growth. Kite the vines away from the water and toward the back hill, then step out of the vine puddle once it explodes. The tank will be taking extra damage from his cone attack, Parched Gasp, and may need extra healing during this phase. You will begin Phase 2 once his energy bar reaches 0 energy. During Phase 2, Witherbark will take extra damage so a dot or other occasional damage spell is particularly useful here. Secondly, he will be summoning Aqueous Globules from the water that should be killed before they reach a pool of Unchecked Growth. The entire party will be taking AoE damage each time an Aqueous Globule is killed so cooldowns may be needed. This phase ends and you are returned to Phase 1 once his energy bar reaches 100%.

Heroic: During the entire fight, the water will target players with Agitated Water, a whirlpool effect will appear under you that you should move out of.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in Unchecked Growth (and Agitated Water if in heroic). Use cooldowns if needed during Phase 2.

Gear
Back or Hands may be available for healers, so watch for your preferred stats.

Ancient Protectors
Next up are the Ancient Protectors after you’ve maneuvered another jumping puzzle. This fight consists of a set of three bosses, Life Warden Gola, Dulhu, and Earthshaper Telu. The kill order will be Gola, Telu, then Dulhu to avoid excessive outgoing damage. Since the early part of the encounter when all three bosses are alive is the most healing-intensive, user your cooldowns as soon as it looks problematic. The main ability to watch out for is when Dhulu performs Rending Charge and the targeted player(s) will take DoT damage. Finally, move out of Earthshaper Telu’s Bramble Patch quickly. Shamans and Palidans should use their interrups on Telu’s Bramble Patch if possible. Priests should use their dispel on the boss to help remove Rapid Tides or Briarskin.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in Bramble Patch, dispel and interrupt if able to, and use cooldowns early as needed.

Gear
Leaf of the Ancient Protectors – +Spirit/Versitilty Trinket
Interloper’s Mossy Skull – +Haste/Mastery Off-Hand
Legs and Belts may be available for healers so watch for your preferred stats.

Archmage Sol
Archmage Sol may be next unless your party chooses to visit the spider den. Archmage Sol uses key abilities representative of the three mage specializations, Fire, Frost, and Arcane. The tank and dps should be carefully choosing when to interrupt Parasitc Growth to determine when she moves to the next specialization. Sol will start with Fire specialization in which she will summon Fireblooms (yes, they look just like the herb) that will then explode in expanding rings of flames. These expanding rings should just be jumped over to avoid taking damage from them. Next, in Frost specialization, Sol will target and area with Frozen Rain, that you and your party will need to move out of. In Arcane specialization, Sol will cast Arcane Blossom, causing a heavy damage Area of Effect hitting the entire party. If your group is not controlling the casts of Parasitic Growth you will need to use cooldowns for this specialization, so save them for the end as needed.

Heroic: In Heroic, the abilities persist from one specialization to the next. Secondly, each time Parasitic Growth is interrupted Spore Images will be summoned that may cast Fireballs, which should be dispelled if over 2 stacks on a player.

Quick Tactics: Jump over fire rings, move out of Frozen Rain, and use cooldowns toward the end if needed.

Gear
Helms and Wrists may be available for healers so watch for your preferred stats.

Yalnu
This encounter begins as soon as the party passes through the portal so keep up with the group. The main damaging ability is Colossal Blow, which is a cone attack targeted at a player that also does moderate party-wide damage. Move out of the cone portion of the ability to avoid the damage and stun. The targeted player of the Swift Sproutling adds will gain a stacking bleed and will probably need healing cooldowns. Finally, Yalnu will cast Genesis in which he summons Feral Lashers on the ground. Speed buffs are useful to quickly move over the flower sprouts to prevent them from spawning additional adds..

Heroic: Yalnu will occasionally target players with Entanglement, and the affected player will need to be broken out quickly by the dps. The player will take heavy damage while Engagled so extra healing will be needed.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in Colossal Blow and run over the flowers.

Gear
Hoof of Yalnu – +Mastery/Versatility Mace
Rings, Necks, and Shoulders may be available for healers so watch for your preferred stats.

Xeri’tac (Optional)
Xeri’tac is the optional spider boss in the cave after the Ancient Protectors fight. Xeri’tac’s fight begins with sets of trash packs, that should be killed in order of Gorged Bursters, Toxic Spiderlings, then Venom Sprayers. The tank should be taking the majority of the damage during this phase so conserve mana for the boss fight itself. Once Xeri’tac fully descends and lands, the trash packs will continue to spawn, but the priority turns to killing or crowd-controlling the Venom-Crazed Pale Ones as she will attempt to devour them for healing. Again the tank will be taking the majority of the damage, but poison effects are a slow ticking time-bomb, so dispel Venomous Sting if you can.

Quick Tactics: Drag adds to the tank, dispel if possible.

Gear
Dessicated Husk Shield – +Haste/Multi Shield
Chest and Boots may be available for healers so watch for your preferred stats.

Posted by: Makakai | November 20, 2015

Skyreach Healing 101

221px-Skyreach_loading_screenThis next Warlords of Draenor Healing 101 WoW dungeon guide covers the level 97-99 dungeon while leveling. Skyreach is located in the Spires of Arak and has both a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are four bosses in this dungeon with some complex trash packs and routes. There are a few mechanical differences between Normal and Heroic modes that will be called out for each fight in the guide below. One difference in my Draenor guides from previous guides is that the gear called out after each boss are limited to pieces of particular note from among all of the drops in this dungeon.

There are four achievements to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement:
Ready for Raiding IV, Magnify… Enhance, I Saw Solis, Monomania. This is also the instance in which players working on the legendary ring quest-line should remember to pick up their Pure Solium Band.

Ranjit
Ranjit is primarily a ‘don’t stand in it’ fight as he casts several targeted abilities that the group needs to stay out of. Healers can be targeted with Windwalls that they will need to stay out of throughout the fight. Watch your distance to the rest of the party when the Four Winds are cast so that you can reach them for spot healing. Move out of the way for Piercing Rush to avoid the targeted damage.

Quick Tactics: Don’t get hit by any of the windwalls and watch for heavy damage on the tank or dps that don’t move fast enough.

Gear
Sharpeye Gleam – +Crit/Mastery Shaman Helm
Bloodfeather Girdle – +Haste/Mastery Druid Belt
Rivet-Sealed Waistplate – +Crit/Multi Pally Belt

Araknath
Arkanath is a straightforward tank-and-spank encounter with a soft-enrage making it mainly a dps race. His main ability is a Burst AoE that will deal increasing damage to the entire party. Secondly, throughout the fight one (or two on heroic difficulty) Energize beams will be focused on the boss, healing him for every second that the beam is allowed to hit him. Players should be standing in these beams to block their path. If you are soaking an Energize beam during Burst use a personal cooldown.

Quick Tactics: Use your AoE healing strategically to recover from Burst and stand in Energize to prevent the boss from healing.

Gear
Wavesurge Choker – +Crit/Spirit Neck for Paladins and Shaman
Healing Leaf Necklace – +Haste/Spirit Neck for Druids
Pendant of Purifying Mists – +Multi/Spirit Neck for Monks
Blackwater Boots – +Haste/Mastery Druid Boots
Morningscale Treads – +Crit/Mastery Shaman Boots
Spire of the Furious Construct – +Crit/Mastery Staff backup weapon for Shaman

Rukhran
Rukhran is probably the most difficult boss in this instance for players to learn. This fiery bird requires careful add management in combination with targeted abilities from both the boss and the adds. The Summon Solar Flare adds appear from the Piles of Ash targeted by a Sunburst. The Summon Solar Flares can be stunned, snared, and kited so staying in the safe zone between the Piles of Ash will help out your team.

Heroic: Throughout the encounter, Quills will be cast, dealing heavy AoE damage. This damage can be avoided by hiding behind the pillar in the center of the platform.

Quick Tactics: Strategically kill or kite the Summon Solar Flare adds and line of sight the Quills by standing behind the center pillar.

Gear
Bloodfeather Grips – +Haste/Mastery Druid Gloves
Leafmender Wraps – +Multi/Crit Monk Gloves
Rockhide Gloves – +Crit/Mastery Shaman Gloves
Rukhran’s Quill – +Haste/Spirit Trinket for Druids

High Sage Viryx
High Sage Viryx, the final boss of the encounter requires strategic placement and burst dps. The first ability to watch for from Viryx is Cast Down, in which a random non-tank player is picked up and carried to edge of the platform to be dropped. The Solar Zealot can be snared, stuned, and rooted to give the dps time to get it down. If you’re being carried you can still use your abilities to help out the dps. The second ability is Lens Flare, focusing a player with a beam of light that will leave pools of fire on the ground. Slowly walk the fire out to the edge of the platform to give the team room to maneuver.

Quick Tactics: Stand in the center-front of the platform to give room to kite Lens Flare and time for the dps to kill the Solar Zealot.

Gear
Leggings of Swirling Light – +Mulit/Mastery Priest Pants
Bloodfeather Leggings – +Crit/Multi Monk Legs
Morningscale Leggings – +Haste/Mastery Druid Legs
Morningscale Spaulders – +Crit/Mastery Shaman Shoulders
Goldsteel Legplates – +Crit/Multi Paladin Legs
Seal of Vindication – +Haste/Spirit Ring for Druids
Signet of Crashing Waves – +Multi/Spirit Ring for Priests and Monks
Band of Growing Leaves – +Crit/Spirit Ring for Paladins and Shaman

Posted by: Makakai | January 12, 2015

Auchindoun Healing 101

loadscreen_auchindoun_wodThis next Warlords of Draenor Healing 101 WoW dungeon guide covers the level 95-97 dungeon while leveling. Auchindoun is located in the center of Talador and has both a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are four bosses in this dungeon but minimal trash packs. There are a few mechanical differences between Normal and Heroic modes that will be called out for each fight in the guide below. One difference in my Draenor guides from previous guides is that the gear called out after each boss are limited to pieces of particular note from among all of the drops in this dungeon.

There is only one achievement to complete in this Heroic dungeon that counts toward the meta-Achievement: …They All Fall Down. However, players working on the legendary ring quest-line should remember to pick up their Corrupted Blood of Teron’gor.

Vigilant Kaathar
Vigilant Kaathar is primarly a ‘don’t stand in it’ fight as he casts several targeted abilities that effect the outgoing damage. The first is Hallowed Ground, which starts as a large golden area of effect that gradually shrinks to a small point and will only be triggered if a player stands in it. Secondly, he creates fissures directing outward from a central point toward a ranged party member called Sanctified Ground, which is a pretty obvious ‘don’t stand in it’ ability. Finally, throughout the fight, Kaathar will also cast Consecrated Light, which deals very heavy party-wide damage that you will need to line-of-sight by standing behind the Holy Shield that he targeted a party member with. Be careful standing too close to the outside of the room, the Holy Shield will land on you and could be too close to the barrier to allow the party to move behind it.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in Hallowed Ground or Sanctified Strike fissures. Hide behind the Shield when he starts channeling.

Gear
Band of Growing Leaves – +Crit/Spirit Ring
Seal of Vindication – +Haste/Spirit Ring
Signet of Crashing Waves – +Multi/Spirit Ring
Frost-Touched Cord – +Crit/Mastery Cloth Belt
Bloodfeather Girdle – +Haste/Mastery Leather Belt
Sharpeye Belt – +Crit/Mastery Mail Belt
Rivet-Sealed Waistplate – +Crit/Multi Plate Belt

Soulbinder Nyami
Soulbinder Nyami is all about add control. She frequently summons adds with abilities similar to the trash packs leading up to her fight. There will be heavy party-wide damage if interrupts aren’t timely, but if you have a competent tank and/or a dps in the party with good interrupts there shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Throughout this fight she will also periodically cast Radiant Fury, which can be avoided by standing in Soul Vessel which looks like a purple swirl. If you are having trouble keeping up with the healing, dispel the Shadow Word: Pain debuff she will occasionally cast on a party member.

Heroic: Dispel Crusader Strike from the tank as often as possible.

Quick Tactics: Dispel debuffs as needed. Stand in the safety of Soul Vessel.

Gear
Wavesurge Choker – +Crit/Spirit Neck
Healing Leaf Necklace – +Haste/Spirit Neck
Pendant of Purifying Mists – +Multi/Spirit Neck
Chestguard of Burning Focus – +Multi/Crit Leather Chest
Crystalbinder Chestguard – +Haste/Mastery Leather Chest
Morningscale Chestguard – +Crit/Mastery Mail Chest

Notable Trash: There are several trash packs of various demons leading up to Azzakel. These are particularly difficult trash pulls and can one-shot a dps that pulls aggro. Have your cooldowns on hand here particularly with packs containing Blazing Tricksters and Cackling Pyromaniacs.

Azzakel
Azzakel is a two-phase repeating fight. The first phase, is a straight-forward kill-the-boss fight. During this phase, the party should remain spread out at least 5 yards from other players to avoid spreading Curtain of Flame. In the second phase, Azzakel is now immune to damage while he summons a group of adds. Avoid the Blazing Tricksters and assist with interrups, stuns, and crowd-control where possible. Don’t stand in the Fel Pools.

Heroic: Azzakel’s Fel Pools will now radiate lines of yellow-green flame. Avoid moving through these lines as they will deal heavy damage.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand near a player with Curtain of Flame and don’t stand in Fel Pools.

Gear
Frost-Touched Wristwraps – +Crit/Mastery Cloth Bracers
Leafmender Wraps – +Crit/Multi Leather Bracers
Bloodfeather Grips – +Haste/Mastery Leather Gloves
Rockhide Gloves – +Crit/Mastery Mail Gloves

Notable Trash: Shaadum does a wirlwind that will often catch melee standing in it. So have a cooldown ready for your melee. Gul’kosh will apply a dot, Unstable Aflliction, on party members. Don’t dispel this dot.

Teron’gor
Teron’gor is a straight-forward fight until he reaches 75% of his health. At this point he drains the soul of a nearby ghost and gains the abilities of one of the warlock specs. Fortunately, he will emote the name of the ghost he will be taking the aspect of: Iruun (Demonology), Joraa (Destruction), or Elum (Affliction). Move out of Rain of Fire, Demonic Leap (if Demonology aspect), and Chaos Wave (if Demonolgy aspect). Dispel the various curses and diseases as you are able, just don’t dispel Unstable Affliction as it will detonate and silence you. You may need to focus healing on the player affected by Seed of Malevolence (if Affliction aspect).

Heroic: Teron’gor will also have Summon Abyssal. The Abyssal will Fixate on a random target and chase them for 12 seconds before switching to a new target. They have too much health so they must just be kited the entire fight. They are susceptible to snares, knockbacks, roots, and stuns. Druid healers, just keep them rooted the entire fight to save your party and your sanity.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in the bad stuff, and dispel as you are able, just not Unstable Affliction.

Gear
Drape of Iron Sutures – +Crit/Spirit Cloak
Mistwoven Windcloak – +Multi/Spirit Cloak
Cloak of Mending Magics – +Haste/Spirit Cloak
Sandals of Arcane Mystery – +Crit/Mastery Cloth Feet
Bloodfeather Leggings – +Crit/Multi Leather Legs
Crystalbinder Legwraps and Blackwater Boots – +Haste/Mastery Leather Legs & Feet
Morningscale Treads – +Crit/Mastery Mail Feet
Goldsteel Legplates – +Crit/Multi Plate Legs

Posted by: Makakai | January 9, 2015

Iron Docks Healing 101

221px-Iron_Docks_loading_screenThe next Warlords of Draenor Healing 101 WoW dungeon guide covers the next dungeon in the leveling progress that opens up when you hit level 93. Iron Docks is a 5-man dungeon located in Gorgrond and has a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are four bosses in this dungeon and few mechanical differences between Normal and Heroic modes, which I’ll point out for a given fight in the guide below. One difference in this guide from previous guides is that the gear called out after each boss are limited to pieces of particular note from among all of the drops in this dungeon.

There are three achievements to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement: Militaristic, Expansionist; Expert Timing; Take Cover!.

Fleshrender Nok’gar
Fleshrender Nok’gar is the first boss as you move into the dockyard. This boss is essentially two bosses in one, as Nok’gar is riding Dreadfang. Nok’gar cannot be defeated until after Dreadfang is defeated or reaches 50% health on heroic. Discipline priests and Mistweaver monks should be careful attacking Nok’gar as he applies Intimidated when attacked. Move out of the Burning Arrows and watch your slow-moving and stationary DPS.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in Burning Arrows and heal the slow-moving party members still standing in the fire.

Gear
Band of Growing Leaves – +Crit/Spirit Ring
Signet of Crashing Waves – +Multi/Spirit Ring
Seal of Vindication – +Haste/Spirit Ring
Gutwrench Goreaxe – +Crit/Multi One-Hand Axe
Crystalbinder Chestguard – +Haste/Mastery Leather
Chesguard of Burning Focus – +Crit/Multi Leather
Morningscale Chestguard – +Crit/Mastery Mail

Notable Trash: The trash before the Grimrail Enforcers is part of a gauntlet and will require killing pack of trash mobs in between running out of an AoE damage spell. Skulloc, from the bow of the warship, will begin to rain a Cannon Barrage down on one of three regions of the dock which will cause very high damage to the party. However, party members standing behind shipping containers will be safe. The party must wait until the Cannon Barrage is no longer firing on the area immediately in front of them, then run quickly to the next set of shipping containers and hide behind them while fighting the trash pack.

Grimrail Enforcers
Grimrail Enforcers is a council fight and the suggested kill order is Ahri’ok Dugru, then Makogg Emberblade, and then Neesa Nox. If you are dealing damage, don’t damage the enemy effected by Sanguine Sphere. Move out of the way of Ogre Traps and the Lava Sweep waves. Dispel Tainted Blood if possible.

Quick Tactics: Party damage decreases as the number of enemies reduces so strong heals early on. Don’t stand in Traps or Lava waves.

Gear
Healing Leaf Necklace – +Haste/Spirit Neck
Pendant of Purifying Mists – +Multi/Spirit Neck
Wavesurge Choker – +Crit/Spirit Neck
Hood of Arcane Mastery – +Crit/Mastery Cloth
Sharpeye Gleam – +Crit/Mastery Mail

Oshir
The main mechanics of this encounter are Time to Feed and the releas of two different adds from the cages around the room. The player targeted by Time to Feed will take heavy damage from Feeding Frenzy and you’ll need to use a personal cooldown if you are chosen. Party members in Oshir’s path as he travels between cages and targets will take heavy damage from Primal Assault. Avoid Acid Spash puddles.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in Oshir’s path when he goes to open a cage. Use personal cooldowns if targeted by Time to Feed.

Gear
Frost-Touched Wristwraps and Frost-Touched Cord – +Crit/Mastery Cloth
Streamslither Belt – +Crit/Multistrike Mail
Rivet-Sealed Waistplate – +Crit/Multi Plate

Skulloc
The final boss in Iron Docks. Skulloc is accompanied by Koramar and First Mate Zoggosh, and the encounter is most difficult while all three are active. Players should kill Koramar initially, then focus their damage on Skulloc, while avoiding Zoggosh’s Rapid Fire attacks. The player targeted by Rapid Fire will need some extra healing, and you should move away from the group if targeted. Skulloc’s only mechanic is Cannon Barrage which will knock players back to the other end of the ship and then lay down cannon fire across the ship. Players must line-of-sight the cannon fire behind boxes and barrels on the ship’s deck while moving forward between breaks in the barrage and doesn’t stop until a player re-engages him. Druids and Warriors can leap forward to engage Skulloc to stop the barrage sooner. Also, travel form works to move between the box safe-zones.

Quick Tactics: Heal up Rapid Fire targets. Move between safe-zones to get out of Cannon Barrage.

Gear
Felflame Spaulders and Lightbinder Leggings – +Crit/Mastery Cloth
Crystalbinder Legwraps and Spaulders of Burning Focus – +Haste/Mastery Leather
Bloodfeather Leggings – +Multi/Crit Leather
Morningscale Spaulders and Rockhide Gloves – +Crit/Mastery Mail
Goldsteel Legplates and Gutcrusher Shoulderplates– +Crit/Multi Plate

Posted by: Makakai | January 5, 2015

Bloodmaul Slag Mines Healing 101

Bloodmaul_Slag_Mines_loading_screen

This first post of my Warlords of Draenor Healing 101 WoW dungeon guides will cover the starter dungeon that will be the first dungeon when you visit the new ‘Outlands’. Bloodmaul Slag Mines is a 5-man dungeon located in Frostfire Ridge and has a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are four bosses in this dungeon with some optional ordering. There are a few mechanical differences between Normal and Heroic modes that will be called out for each fight in the guide below. One difference in this guide from previous guides is that the gear called out after each boss are limited to pieces of particular note from among all of the drops in this dungeon.

There are three achievements to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement: Come With Me If You Want to LiveIs Draenor on Fire?A Gift of Earth and Fire.

The initial trash packs should be pulled quickly but carefully as the patrols move very quickly and can easily escalate a fight.

Slave Watcher Crushto
Slave Watcher Crushto is the first boss if you go right from the entrance. Stay behind the boss to avoid Earth Crush. If the dps don’t get the interrupts successfully on Ferocious Yell then you will need to do some catch-up healing. Move out of the way of Crushing Leap. Slow dps moving out of Crushing Leap will need extra heals from the additional damage from the Captured Miner(s). Crushto occasionally adds Captured Miners to the fight. The Hostile miners introduce a dot to a random player, so watch your dps for low health. The friendly miners add dps, so turn on your friendly health bars so you can add some extra healing their way.

Quick Tactics: Stay stacked behind the boss. As long as interrupts happen for Ferocious Yell, dispels are timely for the Miner’s dot, and the adds are killed, this fight is pretty straightforward.

Gear
Crushto’s Runic Alarm – +Int/Crit Trinket
Lightbinder Leggings and Frost-Touch Wristwraps – +Crit/Mastery Cloth
Leggings of Swirling Light – +Mastery/Multi Cloth
Crystalbinder Legwraps – +Haste/Mastery Leather
Bloodfeather Leggings and Leafmender Wraps – +Mulit/Crit Leather
Streamslither Bracers – +Crit/Multistrike Mail
Goldsteel Legplates – +Crit/Mastery Plate

Forgemaster Gog’duh (Magmolatus)
Forgemaster Gog’duh is the first boss on the left from the entrance. This is a two phase fight with different ‘bosses’ and sets of adds in each phase. The first phase starts with Forgemaster Gog’duh, Calamity, & Ruination. Gog’duh’s main ability is Magma Barrage, which can be interrupted. Don’t stand in the AoE Rough Smash or Shatter Earth cast by Ruination. Dispel Dancing Flames. The second phase introduces Magmolatus and his Molten Elemental adds. The add cannot be tanked, but they are immobile so don’t stand near them. Don’t stand in the AoE Slag Smash cast by Magmolatus or Gog’duh’s Volcanic Tantrum. Dispel Withering Flames and Choking Ashes.

Quick Tactics: Two phase fight with different adds. Don’t stand in the AoE damage and dispel all the things. If the dps are on top of the interrupts then additional damage should be minimal.

Gear
Chestguard of Burning Focus – +Crit/Multistrike Leather
Bloodfeather Grips and Crystalbinder Chestguard – +Haste/Mastery Leather
Morningscale Chestguard and Rockhide Gloves – +Crit/Mastery Mail

Roltall
Roltall is a elemental that is standing at the end of the bridge and must be defeated to get the final boss. Roltall summons a series of Fiery Boulders that roll down the bridge, damaging everyone in their path. A circle will appear where the boulder will start, indicating it’s path with plenty of warning to move out the way. After the Fiery Boulders, he calls a Heat Wave to damage all players and push them down the bridge. Use your healing cooldowns and instant cast spells to keep everyone up during this point of the fight. Move out of Burning Slage that ignites the bridge for the remainder of the fight.

Heroic: On heroic the Fiery Boulders return back up the bridge in the order they went down the bridge. The key to this fight is to remember the order of the set of three boulders (e.g., left, middle, right) and move out of the way in the reverse order for their return path (e.g., right, middle, left).

Quick Tactics: This is primarly a don’t stand in it fight. You’ll need to use some cooldowns and instant cast heals for Heat Wave.

Gear
Drape of Iron Sutures – +Crit/Spirit Cloak
Mistwoven Windcloak – +Multi/Spirit Cloak
Cloak of Mending Magics – +Haste/Spirit Cloak
Roltall’s Brutal Crescent – 1-Hand Axe +Mastery/Multi
Sandals of Arcane Mystery – +Crit/Mastery Cloth
Blackwater Boots – +Haste/Mastery Leather
Morningscale Treads – +Crit/Mastery Mail

Gug’rokk
The final boss in Bloodmaul Slag Mines. Don’t stand in Magma Eruption, which appear as small magma pools under everyone’s feet. If the dps aren’t interrupting his Molten Blast and he reaches 3 stacks of Molten Core, you will need to use extra healing cooldowns for Molten Barrage. If the Unstable Slag reach the kiln, use extra healing cooldowns for Empowered Flames. On Heroic he introduces a new ability Flame Buffet, which increases fire damage taken, dispel quickly.

An easy strategy for this boss is to stack the melee on the tank and the ranged together and move in a coordinated arc across the room, dropping the Magma Eruption and still standing in range of the Unstable Slag adds.

Quick Tactics: If your dps are good with the interrupts and killing the adds, then most of the fight should involve not standing in Magma pools and dispelling Flame debuff.

Gear
Band of Growing Leaves – +Crit/Spirit Ring
Seal of Vindication – +Haste/Spirit Ring
Felflame Spaulders and Hood of Arcane Mystery – +Crit/Mastery Cloth
Spaulders of Burning Focus – +Haste/Mastery Leather
Sharpeye Gleam Helm and Morningscale Spaulders – +Crit/Mastery Mail
Gutcrusher Shoulderplates – +Crit/Multistrike Plate

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.

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