With lots of folks away over Christmas/NY, our guild has only really started raiding Cata in January, and we only raid 2 nights a week. Consequently we aren’t as progressed as other guilds are, so I’m sure there are some great guides out there already for healing this encounter. Rather than a ‘guide’, this post is just my thoughts so far about healing this as a restoration druid. (Having said that, I think we’ve done really well to have killed Maloriak on our 8th night of raiding. Love my guild.)
My role in the encounter has been to heal our warrior tank, and our holy paladin has been assigned to the DK tank. We have a shaman raid healing. Of course we’re all cross healing a bit as well, as there is lots of unexpected/spike damage.
But my discussion is assuming you are mainly tank healing and a bit of off-raid-healing. Some of this may still be helpful if you’re raid healing exclusively, but I haven’t done that yet on this encounter.
Here’s my healing from our latest kill:
Healing on Omnotron defense system
Firstly, I have to say I’m surprised by how big my RJ heal component is. As I’ve said, I was primarily tank healing, but throwing around RJ and WG as needed. I don’t roll LB on both tanks, just my assigned tank. (Lots of reasons apart from the incoming nerf, but primarily I find that I needed to abandon the second stack so often that I just stopped stressing about it and let myself remain flexible with my other GCDs.) I guess the high level of RJs is telling me there is a lot more raid damage to cover than I realised.
Secondly, we lost one of our tanks on the final transition, so I switched into HT spam mode at the end there. My mana was bleeding, I can tell you!
Not enough mana... Not enough mana...
For me, the difficult times to heal this are threefold:
- Transitions: this is the time we most often lost our tanks. Watch your tank carefully as the 50% energy marks are called. If your tank’s target is gaining their shield, be ready in case they accidently hit their mob and need a dispel or if there’s extra healing needed. If the tank is transitioning to another target, beware that they may be moving in a way that lowers their mitigation, or they may actually spend a couple of seconds tanking two mobs while one powers down. Be prepared for the transitions: be in a safe spot yourself, have the tank fully hotted and be ready to throw some HTs.
- Magmatron’s Incineration Security Measure (his raidwide AOE fire attack): It’s not a huge damage spike on the tank, nonetheless when we were learning this encounter we often lost a tank during this attack. I’m surmising that the reason for this is that the amount of raid damage we needed to cover resulted in a dip in tank healing. Be ready for this while Magmatron is up. He will cast this AOE three times while he is active (shielded or not) so be ready with swiftmend on the tank if needed. Barkskin yourself when you can, save your WG for when the AOE is going out, only help top people up once you’re sure your tank is fine (treeform can help with the raid top-up).
- Poison Bombs: If you get targeted by a poison bomb during Toxitron’s active phase, you need to avoid getting hit by it. The best way to do that is to position yourself at max range from Toxi while still in range of your tank/the raid. If you are positioned well, you won’t have to move when your name is called for an ooze target. Likewise, keep alert for other healers being called, so you know to throw extra heals to cover them if necessary. A safe ranged spot is the best/safest strategy for Toxitron’s phases.
- Poison Bombs again: If a tank gets targeted by an ooze, then there’s also the possibility of them moving, losing some mitigation depending upon facing, going out of range, or getting cut off iff there are poison clouds nearby. Be extra alert during this phase of your tank getting targeted. Even if they don’t get hit, Bad Things can happen(tm). (Yes, this is four things.)
Mana was an issue for me, if I didn’t use Aracanatron’s puddles. Try to use these whenever you can, but don’t sacrifice your safety to do so (of course). I started to really feel the squeeze if we didn’t get Arcanatron pop till later in the fight.
Cooldowns: I tried to save healthstones/barksin/lifeblood for Magmatron, or for Aracanatron if I was Arcane Annihilated and ended on low health. Treeform I either used to help top up after Magmatron’s security measures, or at any time I needed to keep tank healing on the run. I Innervated early if we didn’t start with Arcanatron (either myself or another raid member).
UI: You might want to set up warnings for some of the critical moments in this fight. I set up two custom debuffs in Grid for Magmatron’s eye beam of death: I set my centre icon to indicate the ‘Acquiring Target’ debuff and also for the ‘Flamethrower’ debuff. That way I can see who is being targetted immediately and throw them some extra healing. You could also set up icons for ‘Toxic Bomb’. For more information on setting up custom debuffs in Grid, see my post here.
Finally the key to this fight is looking after yourself. The fight involves a lot of moving, so druid healing really shines.