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Ramblings of a resto druid
Shadowfang keep is a longish instance, but two bosses are skippable if your group is just there for their valor points. I enjoy it, and since a number of nerfs it’s certainly more apporachable to pugs than it once was. (I’ve been in a pickup group that cleared it (all 5 bosses) in under 30 min.) It’s a fun instance to heal with lots (and lots) of opportunites for clever dispelling and making full use of HoTs and cooldowns.
The NPC ghost just inside the entrance will teleport you deeper into the dungeon if you wipe after one of the later bosses and need to run back.
Most of the trash in the instance is undead, especially the early groups, so unless you have a priest or a hunter in your group it’s unlikely you’ll be able to CC much. Because of this, some of the group pulls can be a little nasty, be prepared for this on the pull, have your tank pre-hotted and be ready to spam some big heals till things are under control.
The trash before the first boss is often a bit messy. Watch your line of sight to the tank. And be aware that only the Elite ghouls hit very hard and the geists run fairly helter-skelter but aren’t elite, so it’s not a disaster if you get a few adds.
The ghosty humans later in the instance love casting drain life. If you’re specced for this you can dispel it…. but to be honest they spam it like it’s going out of fashion, so I have tended not to dispel it unless it’s a real issue (and it won’t be if your party’s DPS is reasonable).
After Commander Springvale, in the bat handling room there is a mob that will turn a party member into a living mob. This is magic, so dispel it if you can. If noone can dispel it, this party member will need to move off to a space alone to blow up, or they’ll AOE their party members. =Boom=
The two groups of three undead just before Lord Godfrey hit quite hard. It’s best if you can CC one of them if you’re having trouble keeping the tank up. You could suggest entangling a melee mob if your group has no traps or undead CC.
Lastly, the faceless one before Lord Godfrey throws out a nasty poison to a random party member. Dispel this and throw the target a rejuv and they will be fine.
The Baron is a simple fight, but it’s all about interrupting at the right time, and the healer not panicking.
He starts out fairly tank and spank. He channels a magic dot called Pain and suffering that should be dispelled or interrupted. (I usually just dispel this and leave the interrupters to worry about his AOE heal.)
Don’t bother topping anyone up during the first phase – I just keep LB rolling on the tank, everyone else will be fine.
After maybe 40 seconds or so he’ll asphixiate the whole party and lift them into the air, and as he channels this he brings everyone to 1 health. As soon as he drops everyone he starts channelling an AOE heal. This heals the party (yay!) and himself (boo!) so this needs to be interrupted, but it’s best if it’s allowed to tick once or twice so the party is not left sitting on 1 health point.
Then it’s back to phase one again. This time your party should all be fairly low on health. This is FINE.
This is hard to do and not panic so I’ll emphasise it. Your party is FINE on low health for this boss. DON’T TRY TO HEAL EVERYONE BACK TO FULL.
I like to keep everyone at around 20-30% and that’s enough. Assuming your interrupts were timed well, and as long as the Pain and suffering is dealt with, you can throw out a Wild Growth every now and then and your party will be good. If interrupts were early and everyone is on low heath, throw out a Tranquility – but this spell is best saved for the final phase.
I still keep a fairly standard tank rotation going for light damage – LBx3+RJ and the ocassional Nourish as needed to keep the tank at around 50%.
When he hits 20% he flips specs from holy to shadow and goes into Dark archangel form. He starts pulsing aoe shadow damage that gets worse and worse as he stacks a shadow damage debuff on the party as well. You should have HEAPS of mana at this stage, because you weren’t panicking in the first phase and topping people up un-necessarily.
Once he goes into Archangel, I pop barkskin and then tranquility. If he’s not dead by the end of Tranq (he usually isn’t) I then go into Tree form and start a LB rotation across the group, hitting low health targets with Regrowth. If you’ve already used Tranq from a munted interrupt early, don’t panic. Just Rejuv the whole group, keep Wild growth off cooldown and spam Regrowth/Nourish as needed.
Don’t be afraid to burn all of your mana now, this is a DPS race phase, so hit those expensive heals like you mean them. 🙂
I found this fight very difficult the first time we encountered him, but it was mainly getting over the hurdle of not topping people up, and just relaxing with all those nasty empty health bars.
The second Baron in the instance, and this encounter is basically a tank and spank fight, with adds.
We usually fight him in the middle of the room, and I stand close to the tank so that the adds are easy to pick up.
He throws out a short duration AOE magic healing reduction debuff. I dispel this from the tank and keep healing him. I don’t bother dispelling it from the party, it doesn’t last long. Once it falls from the group I throw out a WG and a quick RJ to anyone a bit lower, then go back to healing the tank.
If the tank is picking up all the adds and they are burned down fairly fast, this fight is pretty simple.
This boss was really tough for us when we started out and our gearing was low. He’s another tank and spank with adds, but his adds heal him and give him more unholy power, so they need to be CCed/killed quickly.
He starts off with two adds, then periodically calls two more; they spawn just outside the two side doors and run in. The usual drill is to burn the Officer and secondly CC/dps the Guardsman.
As I have HoTs rolling, the adds make a beeline for me when they arrive. That’s handled in a number of ways.
One brute-force but successful way I’ve seen is to have them all tanked in the entrance doorway alcove with everyone stacked, so that the adds all funnel straight to the group and the tank can pick them up easily. This spot leaves no room for movement, so you will need to heal through the desecrate, and run through the boss if you’re in a bad spot when he casts his frontal unholy AOE.
The more conservative approach is to tank him on or near the platform he starts on. Everyone (including the tank if they’re watchful) moves out of the desecrate, and I stand near the tank so the adds are easy to pick up. Again, everyone needs to stay fairly close to run through the boss if they are in his Unholy AOE breath of death, but this spot gives much more space for avoiding stuff.
Periodically through the fight, Springvale also debuffs a random target with ‘Word of shame’ which deals periodic damage constantly and can’t be dispelled. Keep track of who has that so you can keep a HoT ticking on them and they’ll be okay. By the end of the fight you’ll probably have 4 or 5 party members with this debuff, so if you generally have issues with mana, it’s good to innervate yourself early in this encounter.
A classic ‘avoid stuff’ encounter, Lord Walden is a fast and furious fight.
He throws random concoctions out into the room:
- frost mixture: just does damage
- poison mixture: you should dispel this one from anyone affected, usually just one person at a time
- red mixture: everyone needs to stand still for the duration of the red mixture. This still hurts when stationary, but auto-crits when you’re moving, so don’t move!
- geen mixture: this does damage if you’re stationary, so move or jump for the duration of this one. It stacks the longer you’re still, so stay on the move till he stops casting. A good time to be a druid healer 🙂
- icy shards: avoid the glowy white spots on the ground
Remember: red means STOP, green means GO!
That’s it, he randomly throws these mixtures around, so this fight can be chaotic, and poeple CAN take lots of damage if they don’t react quickly… but don’t be afraid to burn mana because this fight is usually short. If things get really bad, wait till you get a red mixture and throw out tranquility.
If you’ve just killed the preceding four bosses, Lord Godfrey will be simple.
The two main things for you to watch for are his Pistol barrage and his Cursed bullets.
He’s basically tank and spank. It’s best if the tank pulls him down to the ground floor somewhere, so you can arrange to heal from a spot where you have a clear view of Godfrey and which way he’s facing.
Periodically he’ll randomly shoot someone with a Cursed bullet. It does damage; dispel the curse and give the hapless target a HoT or heal them up.
And then the biggie. A few times during the fight he’ll summon ghouls. They are easy to kill and don’t do much damage, but they are your cue to watch for his facing. A short while after the ghouls, Godfrey will cast Pistol barrage in a tight cone in front of him. This does a massive amount of damage. Watch his facing and strafe out of the barrage as soon as possible. All of your party needs to avoid this, including the tank.
He stacks a mortal strike debuff on the tank, but if the tank is stepping back away during Pistol barrage, the debuff should be dropping off. I’ve never found that to be an issue, but it’s something to keep an eye on if you’re having troubles keeping the tank up.
A bit of an anticlimax considering how difficult some of the early bosses are 🙂