Posted by: Makakai | January 6, 2011

Vortex Pinnacle Healing 101

In my second Healing Cataclysm Installment we visit Vortex Pinnacle. I’ve selected it as the second Healing 101 instance because from a heroic standpoint it is probably easier than Throne of the Tides. I’ll continue with the boss by boss rundown with any notable trash to watch out for as a healer (there is always that one nasty trash mob that will take you completely by surprise). A reminder that most of my tips are from the perspective of a druid (my first to 85), but if there is anything notable that might be more difficult or easier for another healing class I’ll note it in my discussion. All gear linked is from normal for easier list compilation.

Grand Vizier Ertan
This boss fight feels like a game of hokey-pokey, with “Put all the party inside…put all the party outside…”. Ertran summons a ring of whirlwinds that the party needs to stand inside of when they expand outward and outside of when they collapse inward. Finally, the Lightning Bolt ability jumps between party members and produces some AoE damage to watch.

Heroic Mode
Not really a significant difference between normal and heroic besides higher damage numbers to heal through.

Not much for healers, but possible upgrades if needed:
Stratosphere Belt – Priest Waist
Fallen Snow Shoulderguards – Shaman Shoulders
Biting Wind – Main Hand Weapon

Probably the most difficult to understand boss in the encounter due to the visualization of the “wind”. The main mechanic of the fight is for the dps and healer to stand “upwind” of the dragon. The buff you want to look for is:
The wind moves across your screen in clouds, that you want to reach you before they reach the dragon. My poor scribbled version based on a quickcap from a random web-video to highlight just how difficult it is to recognize the clouds:

Finally, the Chilling Breath doesn’t seem to do a lot of damage as long as the rest of the party stays behind the dragon. This is also the location of 2 orbs for the Extra Credit Bonus Stage achievement so guild groups may want to grab the orbs for the achievement before giving it a serious attempt.

There are now multiple whirlwinds to knock party members all over the place. Hopefully, by this time your party knows how to stay away from whirlwinds otherwise they may be knocked right off the platform (resulting in death). Continue staying upwind of Altairus and it’s quite possible to do this boss with just a tank and healer (but it’ll take 10-20 minutes).

Mantle of Bestilled Winds – Druid shoulders
Amulet of Tender Breath – Healing Neck

Notable Trash
There are a couple of trash pulls in which a “Grounding Field” is present, one of which can be really damage intensive if your party doesn’t have any ranged silence abilities available.
Also, the Skyfall Stars have a really large aggro radius and do a considerable amount of damage if not killed quickly.

Surprisingly easy boss if the party is paying attention to his abilities. When Asaad begins casting Unstable Grounding Field, the entire party (including tank) need to run to that area and stand within the triangle formed by the lightning. During that time Asaad will be casting Supremacy of the Storm, inflicting massive damage to anyone standing outside the grounding field. Finally, Chain Lightning does not seem to be avoidable so just expect some AoE damage incoming, although spreading out helps minimize it.

Same abilities and dance, but Asaad now casts an ability called Static Cling which roots players and needs to be cleansed quickly, although not before he begins casting Unstable Grounding Field. Druids can shapeshift out of it and some other classes may be able to remove the debuff from themselves (ask your paladin, warlock, and warrior friends how comfortable they feel about using their tricks).

A couple of spell hit pieces drop here, so if you don’t have a caster dps in the group they may serve as a temporary upgrade:
Lunar Halo – Paladin Helm
Leggings of Iridescent Clouds – Priest Legs
Ring of Frozen Rain – Another good ring if you still need to upgrade
Shadow of Perfect Bliss – A DPS Back
Captured Lightning – A DPS Relic

Additional Zone Drop Gear
Rainsong – A great healing trinket



  1. Mages can also blink out of the Static Cling.

    Also, there is a useful healing trinket, Rainsong, that is a zone BoE drop from here.

    • Thanks for the additional info about mages. I’ve edited my post to include the info about the trinket too!

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