Category Archives: Raiding and numbers

“RNG” and “bad luck” and my blood pressure…

RNG WHAAAAAAT?

Right. I intended to post about this long time ago, pretty much since I read the post over at Paragon site by Lazei. While I agree with Lazei on all points almost completely, some of the reactions to his post were rather negative and in a “STFU you elitist” manner. So I thought I’ll take on the very same topic from the point of view of casual passionate raider. For those of you, not familiar with the post and not really into reading it, allow me to quote the basic thesis of the post:

I’m going to rant here a bit because every time I see someone mention bad luck (or RNG) it makes me angry. I’m pretty sure most raiders hear “bad luck, couldn’t have done anything about it” multiple times in a single raid and I just want tell you that almost every single player who blames bad luck for wiping is a fucking idiot.I hate when people blame luck and that’s the end of it. Somehow the general attitude seems to be that shit happens and there is nothing you can do about it when the players’ attitudes should be “FUCK! That’s not supposed to happen! How can we survive this? Could this have been prevented?”.

Now, I completely and totally back that statement up. As “my” raiders found out, nothing gets my blood pressure up as much as hearing “bad luck” or “RNG”. Why? I’ll explain soon.

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4.1 from 10M raider and raid leader PoV

Well, the long-awaited patch hit us yesterday. Well, it hit U.S. Us who live in Europe still have to sit and wait while our servers are being patched. I must say, it was like the night before Christmas yesterday (and no I don’t mean I got visited by ghosts of patches past, present and future) – that’s how excited I was about this patch. And not only as your generic resto shaman 3485732 but as well as 10M raider and raid leader. This patch brings (asides from more healer balancing/nerfing/changes) long-time needed tuning of some 10M hardmode encounters and makes them challenging instead of impossible. Yes, we are talking about the high-end encounters like Nefarian, but even for the average Joe raiding guild like ours is the Atramedes change is very welcome, the Bile-o-tron change is great as well as far as lining up cooldowns for offline phases goes in 10M hard and so on.

But, this patch brought a lot of Shaman changes too, so let’s take a close look on those related to restoration talent tree and what could they possibly mean or whether we should be pissed such a change went through in first place.

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Blueberrry raiding: Poisonous BiS malarky

yay, angry babies are back!

BIS diapers or bust, biatch!

As the title gives away, this by all means won’t be positive post at all. Quite the contrary, it’s supposed to be the rantiest rant that you haven’t seen here for long time (which given that this blog was dead for long time is not surprising, or hard to achieve really). Anyways, back on track – “BiS” aka “Best in slot lists” are lists of maxed out gear. That’s quite simple isn’t it? Yeah, indeed it is. They truly are the best gear composition you can attend running the related content. Now, EJ diehards get your tar and feathers, let me make on this clear – I don’t hate those lists nor do I belittle the people who make them – quite the contrary putting the work into making the list, doing the math, simulating the weightings and all that stuff and the putting it all into forum post (those who ever made any gearlist understand) is hard work and sacrifice. Lists per say are fine and great thing – the perception of the lists is what is flawed and wrong.

But Rah, this is not my BiS item!

As a raider and raid leader, I heard all the varieties of this sentence way too many times and in my books it’s one of the sentences that should never come from anyone who considers themself a raider. See, the trouble with best in slot list is, that it’s not best in slot unless you have all the items. Got it? Let me repeat it.

It’s not BiS unless you have all the items.

All the items.

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CH@ICC10(N)

A 10M restoration BiS popped up on PlusHeal recently and it surprised me it didn’t mention getting 4T10, it has been even implied 4T10 is not worth it for all the crap stats on it (mp5). Let’s see what fights we Chain Heal in 10M.

As you probably don’t remember, I was actually not that big fan of 4T10 for 10M raiding back when the bonuses were announced and I was fairly skeptical as to what use will Chain Heal actually have.

It turned out that I was right and Chain Heal is not really the spam-all spell for 10M healing by default.

However, if you have capable people in raid, Chain Heal gets more and more use over time as people tend to pay attention to maxing out it’s use and well, overgearing and overbuffing content makes you worry less about some mechanics. As well, the more you fall into routine on your kills, the better you can estimate how it will be effective to Chain Heal.

(following also asumes you are stuck on raid heal or heal all duty)

Lord Marrrowgar

At first, I didn’t see any use for Chain Heal on Marrowgar (being often raid healing with paladin on tanks) and I was right. Marrowgar is not really a Chain Heal friendly boss if people are properly spread and all. It’s as well tricky on Bonestorm phase where it’s very tempting to mend the raid with beam, but people are constantly moving so they will most likely be out of range before you finish casting. So there.

Riptide and both healing waves will dominate this fight, even in the high movement phase you can dish out better healing with 2 fast paced LHWs and take few steps between them.

PS: If you happen to be single healing it, Chain heal actually rocks. It saved tanks countless times yesterday.

4T10 feel: worthless

Lady Deatwhisper

Definitely a Chain Heal friendly fight. People may start out spread wide all over the room, but the constant running from left to right through boss will clutter them all in middle over time, spreading only on Death and Decay hits – which for example Grid with debuffs will show before it lands so you have split second to precast and land it on all caught in it while they move away. As for phase two and Frostbolt volleys – it rocks.

Riptide, pre-casted Chain Heals and Cleanse spirit rock this fight.

4T10 feel: relieves a bit of stress after volley, but nothing much

Gunship Battle

Uhm. Well… yeah. Aha. For normal mode? No way you will need that. For hardmode? It might be useful I guess, but I believe the long cast is major drawback to Chain Healing there. Besides, a single paladin can heal this fight alone.

4T10 feel: go dps.

Saurfang

Not a Chain Heal fight. People aren’t standing that far apart, but there is really no need to heal more than one person at a time. So just leave Chain Heal resting there and regaining strength. If you are solo healing it, then the odd Chain Heal through tanks actually does wonders. By default though it’s not really the best Chain Heal fight out there.

Riptides and LHWs all the way here, sorry to burst your bubble. Chain Healing here is waste of resources from mana to casting time.

4T10 feel: worthless, unless you heal solo or tanks.

Stinky and Precious

Pulsing AoE, Decimates. Do I really need to say more? Just make sure you make your raid to clump up for these dogs to make most use of your Chain Heal. Precast. Dominate.

4T10 feel: priceless

Festergut

Chain Heal use yes and no. It’s priceless for melee healing and keeping up with the damage over time, 4T10 rocks in there. Healing ranged people with Chain Heal is quite waste, as they are standing well apart.

As usual for Chain Heal it’s untamed situational beast half time and worhtless piece of crap rest of the time. Use it wisely and judge your spells properly. The mix will be more biased towards single target healing.

4T10 feel: very solid bonus early into the fight, gives you some breathing room

Rotface

Before buff and gear I would not say Chain Heal has a use there. You know, the tactic where people actually had to dodge the spit as quickly as possible. I was proven wrong, Chain Heal landing after people got back into positions was great tool and managed me to smooth out the edges.

4T10 feel: gets only better with gear and buff

Professor Putricide

This is very frustrating fight from CH perspective. The only moment you really NEED the spell is when dps slacks on the slime and you need to heal back the shared explosion damage. Yes. When everyone gets tossed all over the room. D’oh. Phase 3 is more CH friendly, as people will have to stack as the slime poodles will push them to it. But still, vast majority of the fight requires high mobility so you don’t really have time – a comparison to FireFighter comes to mind.

4T10 feel: not really a CH friendly fight, so worthless most of the time

Blood Prince Council

On this fight, I usually end up healing both Fire and Shock tank so I go in full LHW mode (glyph and totum) and therefore can’t really say anything for CH use, however I’d estimate it’s use to very situational and good only if you have great raid awareness, know your co-raiders and can predict their movement or lack thereof so it’s not wasted cast.

4T10 feel: can’t really say, but I guess slim use and benefit.

Blood Queen Lanathel

I have to admit, I ignored CH on this fight most of the time as I thought people are too spread for it. And I couldn’t been more wrong. Even people in range are perfectly positioned for Chaining the golden links of awesome and early in the fight is the HoT component priceless. If you for any reason hesitated about CH on Blood Queen, go ahead and try it.

4T10 feel: godsend bonus on CH tailored fight. Gotta love it.

Valithiria Dreamwalker

Well, of course not if you are healing Vali and taking portals. If you are outside though, you will be CHing quite a lot. Sure, you will need some spot-on single target healing too, but with the amount of raid damage coming in left and right and the raid being clumped up in middle around you, CH has it’s place.

As a sidenote – cleansing totem beats healing stream hands down

4T10 feel: I don’t think it is crucial. Sure it does help, but it’s manageable without just fine

Sindragosa

Let’s get the facts right. Raid bunched up. Periodical damage on 3 targets and then everyone. Do I have to say more? It¨’s almost a prototype of CH fight. Just look around for other healers getting debuff so you know when to cover on tank. Other than that, CH like you mean it!

4T10 feel: solid bonus. You will be casting CH here a lot and the extra healing it can do through the HoT comes in handy when rushing for cleanest kill possible.

The Lich King

Due to our strategy (spread out in semi-circle) I wasn’t really considering Chain Heal as valid spell, but the truth is you can max out it’s use. You just need to know where is who standing so you don’t kill the bounces on second target and you should do your best to precast for Infest. Throughout the fight the usefulness of Chain Heal declines a bit as you need to heal more mobile, still stays the Infest-precast awesomeness though.

4T10 feel: Not bad thing. I will most likely not help you heal up Infest direct damage, should slow down the Infest DoT damage if you fail to top others on first go.


So, how do you (Chain) heal ICC10N?


Halls of Reflection

Okay kids, I told you the story of how to clear Forge of Souls and Pit of Saron. What I didn’t tell you is that the last dungeon of this trinity will cost you your sanity. You know, back in 2010, Halls of Reflection were pretty much THE shit to do if you were hardcore enough. And I should really drop my How I Met Your Mother marathons. Anyways, Halls of Reflection.

*just an insert – names used for this guide are Alliance related. So if you play Horde, please replace Jaina with Sylvanas. Thank you.

Halls of Reflection is pretty short and not large dungeon, all there worth it is the wipe ensuring first room with two bosses, a little “woo I am a giant and I will stomp you” intermezzo and then the hasty escape from Lich King himself aka we’re not retreating we are just advancing in opposite direction.

Generally, this instance is pain to heal. It’s a bit better as a shaman, but still probably the most fucked place to heal. I even recall arguing with my real life friend who said it was harder to tank it than heal it (bear) and then went on to try and heal it on his paladin. He said that he can tank it any day, but he’s never going to heal it again. Take that with grain of salt though, as I can’t imagine worse class to heal here with than holy paladin.

The first room encounter

As soon as you enter, you will stand in a hallway entering this round room with two alcoves to the left and right. In middle of the room is an altar. There is this sissy human mage Jaina Proudmoore too who will start the encounter. The encounter starts with Lich King coming in and retrieving his Frostmourne in order to kick ass and take names in Icecrown Citadel later on and is not part of the encounter. The ghosts and champions he makes to spawn however are. These ghosts spawned around the room will in waves attack you. There is a grand total of 10 waves, wave 5 and 10 being boss fights (Dark Portal, Violet Hold). There are three usual ways how to deal with the waves, the door tactic, the middle tactic and the alcove tactic. I will break these down in a second with their pros and cons. Now though, let’s look at the mobs we will be healing against:

  • Ghostly priest: Shadow Word: Pain: 2,500 shadow damage every 2 seconds for 8 sec. Circle of Destruction: : 3,194-3,806 shadow AoE + knockback. Cower in Fear: 4 second fear. Dark Mending: Heal for 51-59k; these chaps don’t pose direct threat, you have to consider the SW:P healing, but other than that they are rather paper dolls and burn quickly. Lower priority.
  • Phantom Mage: Human. Fireball: 6175-6825 fire. Flamestrike: 5625-5375 + 8000 over 8 seconds. Frostbolt: 5225-5775 frost. Chains of Ice: 6 sec root. Hallucination: Summons in a hallucination with same health as mage. Mages are quite annoying depending on tactics. They either are all over the place nuking everything, or spamming your space with Flamestrikes. Worth to be on the look out of them and Wind Shear them to tank. Medium priority.
  • Phantom Hallucination: Human. Summoned by the mage at ~50% with same health/abilities as mage. Explodes for 10k damage when killed. Annoying bastards these guys. If you are lucky, those tend to spawn when there is quite some control of the fight established. Medium priority.
  • Shadowy Mercenary: Human rogue. Deadly Poison: 1065 nature every 3 sec for 12 seconds. Shadowstep: 7,000 damage. Envenomed Dagger Throw: 1065 nature/3 sec, -15% movement speed for 12 sec. Kidney Shot – 3 sec stun. Probably the most annoying feckers in the packs. Shadowsteps, rolling poisons and debuffs those should die first. Cleansing totem pwns for those bastards!
  • Spectral Footman: Human warrior. Spectral Strike: 100% weapon damage, ignores armor. Shield Bash: 20% weapon damage, 4 second interrupt. Tortured Enrage: +100% melee attack speed for 8 sec. Those keep pretty much just bashing on the tank so they are not that much annoying. Two of those at the same time can give you hard time with tank healing though, so pay attention! Medium priority, they often die in the collateral dps.
  • Tortured Rifleman: Dwarf hunter. Shoot: 4163-4837 damage. Cursed Arrow: +50% incoming magical damage for 15 sec. Ice Shot: 5700-6300 damage, 2 sec stun. Frost Trap. Avoid the traps, and watch out for the debuffs – the cursed arrow makes the mages suddenly deadly. If people can move and don’t do stupid things, these aren’t as dangerous. Medium to Low priority.

Okay. That’s the first room mobs. Before we start on the three tactics, please bear in mind using Crowd Control on this fight does not make you a wuss, it makes you survive. Do not be shy to ask for CC, traps, shackles, repentances, ask the dps DK to yank strain casters. Most importantly, don’t panic. Especially waves 7-9 are hard as hell to heal through, you will fall behind on global cooldowns and people might die. It happens. Prioritize your heals, do your best. But don’t panic. Now, the tactics.

The Door Tactic:

The very early tactic. It’s quite simple as to the idea of it – everyone stands near the entrance to the room and with smart use of interrupts and CC the mobs come in. You nuke those that come and then run out after the CCed or not pulled in range are to be nuked. Collapse back and repeat. It works well for the first four pulls and if people get into the right pace and do okay with the CC and interrupts there is good chance you will manage through waves 6-9. The pros are having enough open space and room to manoeuvre, the cons are the need of CC and lack of any LoS breakers.

The Alcove Tactic

Probably the safest, bruteforce tactic. Everyone hides around the corner of the alcove. With people disciplined enough, you are able to pull everything in melee range (which almost never happens as people tend to break the LoS cover upon first contact with enemy). This is tactic that will make us shine as you can squeeze the maximum juice from your Chain Heal, everyone is in range of totems and there is way less CC or interrupting needed to get some control in. However, staying in such tight spot means not much room to move and that you will have to move often, as all the AoE will land and cover more than half of the alcove. Pros: easiest to bruteforce, natural LoS breakers, allows for easy force-control of encounter. Cons: Little room to move, lots of AoE flying down and damage at the same time. And it’s the most boring one, all you do  is spam heal without much thoughts, just to keep everyone topped off.

The Altar tactic

This is the most advanced and fun tactic that relies on everyone’s skill and ability to max out their performance. Usually prefered by warrior tanks due to their extreme mobility. As you probably guessed, the tactic is about keeping everyone in the middle and rounding up the mobs or killing them as they stand. Now, this needs great tank first and foremost. The tank must be able to pick up everything, there must not be any loose aggro. However, it’s really the most fun you can get out of the encounter and I suggest you try it in guild run or something if you already haven’t. A very important note – the little moronic altar serves as LoS breaker – which is great to pull mobs close but not so great when it cancels out your heals. Have that in mind. Pros: Lots of room to breathe and most fun. Cons: You really need good party to pull this off. If you’d compared this tactic to the alcove one, it’s like comparing heart surgery to wood chopping.

Frost resistance and Cleansing totems are great help here if you have no other means of Frost resistance. Nature resistance totem is optional.

Fine, that’s waves tactics. Let’s see the two champions we will fight there too. Repeating again, instead of Wave 5, Falric will come. That’s the one on the left side. Ending the encounter instead of Wave 10, Marwyn will come. That’s the one on the right side.

Falric

Falric is the annoying guy. You can’t counter any of his abilities so all you gotta do is to heal like mad to compensate. The main annoying mechanic of the fight is Hopelesness – a stacking spell that reduces damage and healing done by party members by 25%, stacking up to 75%. Which means your heals will be miserable at the end of the fight. He does an instant strike at tank reducing tank’s dodge chance by 20% (magical debuff), a stun that if not dispelled will make you cower in fear for another 6 seconds and the very annoying fear (Tremor does not work) that will spread people all over the place and make them almost dead. You have to heal that up as soon as possible. If you can’t, prioritize. You, tank, best dps. It’s okay if people die as long as it’s not a wipe. There will be time to ress and drink after fight. Heroism is quite a good idea here as you really want to max out the dps to counter the buff. Don’t forget Healing Stream totem.

Marwyn

This boss is quite fun really. Your party needs to be spot on about moving from void zones, as they quite hurt and there already is enough to heal in the fight. Again, he does Obliterate which is instant strike supposedly to hit for 30K on heroic (before armor I believe). As mentioned above, he will spawn small purple circles, just move away and throw a little heal on people who moved out. The fun abilities are Corrupted Flesh, which is a debuff lowering target’s hitpoints to 50% – can be cast on anyone. Second is Shared suffering, a shadow debuff dealing 10K damage every 3 seconds for 12 seconds. It’s healable through and can be dispelled, when dispelled all party members share the remaining damage. Use your own judgement on dispelling the thing – if tank has debuff and there is obliterate coming, you can’t nuke heal two targets at once, so just dispel, save tank and then save the party.  Again, put a Healing Stream totem for a good use here.

Gatekeeper intermezzo

So, after you killed Marwyn, ressed, buffed and refreshed, you are ready to head deeper into the instance. Up front you see Jaina fighting Lich King but before you reach them, you need to kill Frostsworn General. This is huge Vrykul giant that will A) throw a shield with stun at random party member sweeping everything on it’s way, so spread mmkay? and B) summon a mirrors of your party that explode when you kill them. So stay spread, mmkay?. Anyways, this is easy but rather long encounter – the twat has like 440K hitpoints plus the images. Quick spot on healing and some chain soothing when mirrors explode, what up?

Lich King gauntlet

When you arrive to room with Lich King, feel free to whack him for good measure, chances are you won’t be able to punch him in Icecrown Citadel for quite a while. After few seconds, Jaina will Iceblock him or whatever and nudge you to leave. She will then stand near the exit from the room and wait for you to talk to her to start the encounter. So take it easy, eat up, drink up, iron your kilt and polish your shield, this will be a bumpy ride. You will run on this ledge trying to escape Lich King who will pursue you and launch waves of his undead minions at you. While Jaina breaks the Ice walls that he will spawn to block your way, your task is to keep party alive while they sort our the adds. If at any point Lich King catches up, game over. Oh and for god’s sake, don’t try if there is “invisible wall” at the edge of the ledge. There isn’t. Trust me, saw it happen. The rogue missed his Frosts that run. Okay, let’s see the adds:

  • Raging Ghoul: is a ghoul. So it is very likely to come in large packs, hit like baby on steroids, leap and well serve mostly as rage / proc build up till some serious stuff comes.
  • Risen Witch Doctor: is a nnoying. Ranged caster, shadow bolts and shadow bolt volleys. Especially tha later ones hurt a lot and having two overlapping is almost end to the party. Pay attention to the volleys and lock on secondary Witch Doctor to Wind Shear the crap out of him. These have to be killed first, as there is the highest risk Arthas will catch up with you on them.
  • Lumbering Abomination: is a bomination. It does cleave so no one but tank should stand in front of them and they should be faced away from party. Moreover, they do this diseasy belch that hits enemies in their frontal cone. What was it? Oh yes. Keep those turned away. Cleansing totem helps if you don’t have better results with Healing Stream (ie if only tank is getting belches, HST wins. If dps is retarded, you need more cleansing).

If I recall correctly, there will be four walls coming up. Save heroism for third or fourth, as you should not have problems earlier. Yes, as anywhere else, the waves get stronger and stronger, and even if you pop heroism halfway through last wall, it will still be used to the fullest. Once the last wall is down, get the hell away and enjoy the cut scene.

Congratulations, you just completed the current hardest heroic out there. Be proud! Learn from your mistakes and stop shaking. You did it!

And can anyone explain to me how come a few boulders can stop Arthas from kicking our asses all over Icecrown? Seriously, what is he thinking there?

“Crap, boulders. Now I am fucked. Oh well, let’s get cup of warm cocoa.”

Man up for god’s sake.


Pit of Saron, mon!

Moving on! Yesterday a first instance guide for the Icecrown Citadel was posted here (omigod really???) and by now we reached then end of Forge of Souls and are ready to jump through the pink swirly thing called portal and voila, here you are. Or there.

Pit of Saron

Pit of Saron is open-air instance featuring Saronite mines and Saronite miners, drakes and bosses. The single most important thing about that fact is that you can mount up and stroll around on your pretty mounts. Which as well means that often your tank will be way ahead of you getting himself killed while you still look around and do “ooooh” sounds about the instance. Be prepared! Let’s go with some general tips for the instance:

  1. There is really no need to play any other Water totem than Cleansing. And even if you do, it’s highly advised to use it on the upward slope after Ick and Krick. The mobs do some heavy fire damage and put up diseases, so both counter-totems compete for a Water slot, however from my experience even with lack of other source of fire resistance, the disease hurts more and you want Cleansing there
  2. Speaking about the slope, it’s the part with the highest wipe percentage of the whole place – you start with heavy nuke adds spread around (half of them casters) and the dps usually goes all out and someone often pulls two groups. In such cases, be prepared to loose people or wipe. It’s not your fault. It’s just tough to heal.
  3. There isn’t really much of your non-healing spells to utilize, all dispelling will be done by totem and there really is no need for interrupts or purges, but at times the healing will be pretty intensive. This instance does not test your all-round shaman skills like Forge of Souls, it will test your spot-on healing and judgement. And cooldowns. Don’t forget cooldowns!
  4. Seriously, if you don’t have Nature’s Switftness and Tidal Force macroed together and keybound in convenient place, do so now. For real.

Okay. That’s pretty much it I guess. There are no significant mobs or situations to pay attention to. Well maybe the dragon riders who tend to throw their axes around make them spin and chop. But if you have eyes those shouldn’t pose a threat to your group at all.

Forgemaster Garfrost

Okay, this boss is pretty much retard check. You’d say that the concept of breaking line of sight to clear debuff is quite simple, yet people fail it. Rule of thumb – people with more than 12 stacks don’t deserve heals. Especially if healing them puts the tank in danger. On the other hand, if you let them die, you’ll be called names. Get used to it, it happens.

  • Forgemaster is a Deathknight that will run away to runeforge his weapon to deal more frost damage. It happens at 66% and 33% of his health. You won’t notice the difference on decently geared tank though. He will run away at that point, and two things happen – wise people hide behind boulder, braindead startle after him to dps!
  • The main mechanics of the fight is the Permafrost. A stacking DoT debuff (similar to Keristarzsa in Nexus) that does not break with moving, but by breaking line of sight with boss. You do that by hiding behind Saronite boulders.
  • Time to time, he will happily toss huge Saronite boulder at random party member. It doesn’t do much damage, but it has some AoE knock back effect upon landing, so clear the area or get bounced. When you hide behind the boulder, your Permafrost stacks reset. Mind you, breaking LOS to boss means breaking LOS to tank!
  • Frost resistance is crucial. Do not hesitate to sacrifice the Flametongue spell power to Frost resistance, unless you have another source of Frost resistance present in group. Everything from boss direct attacks to Permafrost ticks deals frost damage here.
  • Oh, using Heroism is advised on this boss, I usually pop it after he gets his first rune weapon. It will fall off before you reach last boss.

Krick and Ick

After clearing all the slime-thing dragging abominations in area, you are facing Krick and Ick. Or, in short, the Ugly thing. By now either your whole party knows how to move out of slime poodles, or you know who is slacker and needs more healing. Make that mental note, it will be needed. This fight is shorter than Garfrost, but the Ugly thing’s abilities make it rather eventful. Get ready for some death blame if people fuck up. Happens here too.

  • As expected, he will spawn poison poodles all over the place. Move out or die, simple as that. The “acceptable” slack time is like two seconds. By that everyone should have spells finished and free to move. That as well means  quick LHWs might be needed to cover this slack.
  • He does this funny Pursuit thing – he will target random party member and start pursuing them (who would’ve guessed), increasing his damage but decreasing his speed. Why is that important to you? I’ve seen tanks taunt him back and tank him through that damage increase.
  • Poison Nova aka “just blame the healer if you are melee” ability. He will stop moving, attacking and everything and start casting Poison Nova. Yeah, your reflex is right. It’s NOVA spell so you get the hell away! It’s pretty much one-shot spell. And if the person caught in it survives by any chance, the following DoT component is bound to kill them. PS: Rogue’s Cloak of Shadow does not cut  it here. Just so you know.
  • The biggest test of your spot healing comes with this ability – Explosive barrage. To illustrate how it looks – he will start spawning growing arcane bubbles under every party member. Those bubbles grow while dealing damage to anyone near them and their only goal in their short lives is to explode and deal some more damage. Yeah. Staying away from those means pretty much constant movement. Fun fact: 8/10 dps personnel is absolutely sure this is healable through just fine and they don’t have to move more than once per two or three bubbles. Remember, you can’t heal stupidity. And even if you do, you will just end up blamed and tired.

Scourgelord Tyrannus

Hooray. After the upward slope pain and rushing through tunnel (seriously, the most entertaining parts of the instance, innit?) you end up on the terrace with Scourgelord Tyrannus flying around on Rimefang (‘scuse me but wtf is dat name?). Again, this is general awareness fight and does not need you to heal like mad. Or it does. The base mechanic of this fight is Overlord’s brand. Link-like spell that either reflects all damage back at the linked person, or heals the boss for amplified amount of your healing. Be ready to save the dps before they realize they got the debuff, but if they keep on going, feel free to let them die.

Correction as submitted by Rades – I am wrong, he is right!

Hi Blueberry, I’m pretty sure that the Overlord’s Brand does not reflect damage back to the Brand target, but rather any damage done by the Branded character gets reflected to Tyrannus’ target (the tank). It’s like the opposite of the Devourer of Souls debuff, except worse I guess – instead of lazy DPS blowing up a random teammate by mistake (Devourer) they instead blow up the tank…which means wipe.

(Really, it’s the same principle though for DPS. Got debuff? STOP ATTACKING! /sigh)

This fight needs quick judgement and reaction from you. If you get the Overlord’s brand, you need to renew ES on tank as quickly as possible and toss a Riptide on them which should cover it for the most part. Resist the urge to top everyone and the tank off during brand, rather think about your spell and target priority once the brand is gone. Same goes for when you are in tomb – if you get targeted, stay clear od others, ES+RT on tank and get tombed. First heal after tomb must always land on you.

  • Forceful Smash – instant melee attack that deals quite a lot damage and knocks the tank back. Is often followed by:
  • Unholy Power a self-buff that increases his damage done by 100% (which can be very lethal). By reaching the boss, you should have rough idea what you and the tank can take. Should either one of you be rather squishy, kiting during this buff is highly advised. And just in case, extreme single target spam should commence.
  • Rimefang, flying above you, will make the fight even more interesting. He will rain down snowballs that will deal damage and snare people in them, so you want to avoid those. He will as well target people to encase them in Ice tomb – those will have a hunter’s mark like icon above them. As far as I know, Ice tomb can be chained, so stay away from people getting in. It’s not really dangerous, a single RT before the impact will most likely do the trick.
  • Go heroism at the start (when he actually jumps down) and kick in fire elemental. Frost resistance is nice to have here, but not crucial. And healing stream totem smooths out the edges.

Congratulations, you just cleared Pit of Saron. I really hope there were no rough bumps along the way and if there were, take them easy. This is probably the first or second instance on the “just blame  it on healer” instance of all times. And don’t worry about lewt – Jaina will just port you to the cave for a while. Get ready to enter the mayhem of Halls of Reflection. Seriously, the place has Lich King and Frostmourne, it’s awesome place to be. Till you try healing it.


Forge of Souls

Right, I decided that after the last rant on the topic, I might as well give it a go and supply fresh restokins with a little piece of advice on these dungeons. So for now, we will let the best advice (Do not go there unless you have good non braindead group) be and let’s focus on the somehow useful info for the three instances.

As a general rule – be prepared to bring your best game. Things can go very messy all of a sudden even for skilled and guilded group, and it may get even worse with PuGs. Be prepared for some quick totem twisting, be ready to interrupt, purge, pre-heal, quickly responsively snipe-heal, be ready for big fluffy pink rabbits to be shooting from cannons at you. Okay, I made the rabbits up. But it may happen! I guess.

As well, for the purpose of this guide, we will assume that at least 2 of 3 dps you run with are either morons or undergeared. Or, in worst case, undergeared morons. Wait, that’s not the worst case. Worst case are undergeared morons who act like they are the single most important thing on Azeroth. And hate pink fluffy bunnies.

Forge of Souls

Forge of Souls is the first of the three dungeons you will encounter.  It’s the one you will really, really need to bring the best out of your situational awareness and support role and abilities. Here are some very basic guidelines what to expect in the instance:

  1. Packs of just two mobs with big kick ass axes tend to cast bubbles on themselves. These bubbles don’t absorb damage, they reflect spells. Your i232 arcane mage is completely able to immediately kill themselves halfway through Arcane Missiles. Whenever you see the shield coming up, quickly pay attention to any spells flying back into the ranged cluster, identify type of spell on the go and bomb that person with RT+LHWs. There is no time to waste.
  2. Packs of 3 or more adds nicely spread around will need your best interrupting possible. Help your tank to round them up, ask which one to bring close if you want to. Tanks will totally appreciate that. And it helps you. Seriously, it’s better if everyone eats the tank than if there is loose mob attacked by and attacking everyone. PS: Those packs are often packed with AoE damage, so feel free to position yourselves to max out the Chain Heal use (I often stand in melee to get the melee lazor heal and spot heal ranged, or the other way round if the party is full of ranged of course).
  3. There are these flying skulls that will aggro random person, follow them, stop and explode. It hurts. You can somehow avoid it by waiting for it to stop and start the explosion while you get away, however not many other people will. It is especially nasty if you get the explosion coupled with some AoE (see point 2), that’s when it gets pretty lethal.
  4. The spirits in the end of the instance are really, really nasty. AoE that hits quite a lot, the damage on tank is heavy as well and there is some decursing to be done. Stand in CH range to at least two people, else you won’t have enough time when it hit the fan.

Now, let’s do the bosses. There is pretty much nothing you can do about those bosses, it all depends on how the rest of the party controls the fight. Be prepared that in average PuG you will loose a person or two on the last boss and it will rarely be your fault. Don’t be dickward if it was your fault, but don’t take the blame for deaths you couldn’t prevent by any means.

Bronjahm

First boss in Forge of Souls essentially has two phases. It’s quite easy boss to do especially for a shaman healer, but it can get quite lengthy if the spawn control is not good enough. As well, remember to kick off your fire elemental and heroism in phase two. It won’t be ready for second, final boss, but using it there is suicide anyways.

  • Phase one is quite easy on you – all you have to heal is the damage being inflicted and if you have the global spare then throw a spell at the add to nuke it before it reaches Bronjahm.
  • The add: player with debuff called Corrupt Soul or something like that has to move away from the boss as far as possible and everyone should nuke the Soul when it makes its way back to boss. It will heal him for something like 120K, which is not really nice.
  • For phase two, everyone needs to hug the boss. If there is anyone who doesn’t do it, they deserve to die (as they mostly will even if you healed them like mad). Important is to heal people feared away, because the further from boss into the vortex they will run, the more damage they will take. The phase starts with him at 30% and emoting something, that’s when you come close, pop fire elemental, tremor totem and heroism.
  • A totem twisting is advised here. Flametogue – Earthbind (slows adds) + Tremor (fear for P2) – Healing Stream – Wrath of Air / Windfury depending on party.

Devourer of Souls

This boss can easily wipe your party if your dps left their brain at the door. It does shitloads of damage per se and to add to it, it shares damage with targeted person upon casting. Lucky for you, all these abilities are emoted by Devourer so you have time to prepare and they are as well quite visible not to miss them.

  • Phantom blast is spell cast on tank, can be interrupted and deals some 18Kish damage, shadow damage.
  • Well of Souls is created when the Devourer jumps over at someone and creates a purple poodle under them. The tick of the poodle on heroic is something between 4-5K shadow damage and kills quickly. Often is put under melee without boss being moved, be vocal!
  • Unleashed souls – Devourer spawns heckload of adds that will start munching on party. The best advice is to move away from any purple poodles, refresh Water Shield often and spot-heal everyone else. The only dangerous thing about this ability is that you might start to panic. Don’t, it looks worse than it really is.
  • Wailing souls is nice spell very similar to barrage that Mimiron does. What does it do then? Well the Devourer fixates himself in spot and direction, and starts turning around spraying the area in front of him with heavy shadow damage and knockback spell. Almost impossible to heal through, possible to save someone who is late on moving out.
  • Last but not least, the most important spell – Mirrored Soul. As you might’ve guessed, this is the shared damage spell. And if people don’t stop dps as soon as they see it, the targeted person is in trouble. You have to be really quick in identifying the target and spamming them while keeping up the tank. Oh, pray it isn’t you on the first go. Chances are by the second time he casts it, there is one dps less. In all seriousness, this is the source of dying even with good group or as a geared healer. Be prepared for it, even various bleed effects and dots can give you hard time while ticking on boss with this debuff.

Anyways, hope you will have fun in the place. It’s the least stressful of the three and although it has only two bosses, it’s quite fun. And it’s short. As always, post your comments and stories below and stay tuned for Pit of Saron and Halls of Reflection.


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