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Ramblings of a resto druid

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Healing Atramedes 10 man – resto druid thoughts

Atramedes has two phases, a ground phase and an air phase. He starts out on the ground, and this is the most healing intense phase. He stays on the ground for 80 seconds then takes off. His air phases lasts for 40 seconds, and in general that will be a good regen phase for us healing. He then lands again and repeats this until he dies.

Atramedes has an unusual mechanic in that he is a ‘blind’ dragon and uses sound to feel out his prey (us!). When you engage him you get a sound indicator showing if you’ve tripped any of his sonar pulses, and the higher your sound indicator the more damage you take from his attacks (because he knows more accurately where you are… or something.) If you reach 100 sound, he knows exactly where you are and erases you with his magical fire (or something… anyway – you die.) So the aim is to avoid as many of his sound based attacks as possible.

We position like this:

Atramedes - ground phase positioning

The  yellow circle is Atramedes, the skull is Atramedes’ face munching on our main tank. We have a tight ranged camp shown in the green circle and a loose melee group ranged around Atramedes’ rear quarters.

When I heal this fight, my role is raid healing and keeping hots rolling on our tank.

Phase 1:

Atramedes during his ground phase has a number of abilities that you’ll need to watch for as a raid/tank healer.

  • Modulation: this is a room wide aoe pulse. Everyone will take about 40k damage and gain a little bit of sound (7 sound level). I throw out a Wild growth after each modulation, and a RJ on anyone that’s really low.
  • Sonar Pulse: 3 or 4 little disks of sound will emerge from Atramedes and travel fairly slowly radially otwards. They are aimed at a player when they spawn, but they don’t deviate from there path once the player moves. We have the melee fairly spread to make it easier to avoid theirs since they are close, and the ranged staying tightly bunched so we can side step the pulses pretty much as a group. This positioning is also to help us with his next ability:
  • Sonic breath: this is a breath weapon that targets a specific raid member. Atramedes turns to face the Sonic breath  target, then after a second or so starts breathing sound at them. This is a bad bad thing to stand in. We have range targets of the strafe right, while the rest of us step left a little. I throw a RJ on the strafer as they run off, in case they get a tick of sound/damage. This is the main thing that causes wipes for us, when things go wrong with the breath kiting, sound levels of the raid can get very high.
  • Searing flame: (I like to call this “Searrrring FLAME!!!” because Atramedes has a funky voice) this is a raid-wide aoe that is interrupted using the gongs. Be aware that one or two pulses of this can go ou depending on the latency of your gong-ponger.  Also, it does more damage to those whose sound is high – so it helps to know who in the raid have high sound and throw them an extra heal going into the Searing flame.

I tend to save my tranquility for when the raid damage is high and you’ve just had a sonic breath/sonar pulse so you know you won’t have to move.  Use treeform early though, you’ll probably get 2 or three opportunities to go tree, depending how long your kill takes.

Phase 2:

Once he takes off, we scatter to the edges of the room, like this:

Atramedes - Air phase positioning

In this diagram, X is the initial sonic breath target, and star is the designated gong-ringer.

Duting his air phase, Atramedes continues to try to ‘locate’ (ie: kill) your raid, using these abilities:

  • Sonar pulse: more pulsing yellow circles to avoid, this time indicating where a sound missile is about to land. Everyone needs to stay out of these as much as possible.
  • Sonic breath: he targets this at a raid member a couple of seconds after taking off (variously reported to be the person with the highest sound, but this is hard to predict).  Again, the breath needs to be kited, but unlike his ground phase, he doesn’t stop casting it, AND it gets faster and faster AND it leaves a trail of fire on the ground. The fire does a bit of damage, and leave a (dispellable) dot. The fire is not a major worry unless people are already low on health, and there are lots of gaps in the fire trails. However the Sonic breath IS an issue.

In the air phase, the Sonic breath is interruptable by a gong, and our strategy is to have another designated gong-ponger that has a form of speed boost. We have variously used a rogue, a shaman or a druid or a worgen (or combinations thereof). As a druid, I can’t use Dash on every air phase, as it has a 3 minute cooldown, but the air phases are two minutes apart. So when we use druid kiting, we alternate with another kiter for each air phase.

Atramedes takes flight

Breath kiting:

Kiting is fun! When I kite, just before Atramedes takes off, I pop into kitty form and wander over to a gong on the far side of the room (eg star in our diagram above). Atramedes’ breath target is announced, and I watch that person run away from the big laser beam of death. When I think they are getting a bit close, I use the gong beside me and start moving off around the edge of the room.

The beam takes a while to get to you, but it will ‘appear’ where you were, so I don’t wait for it, I start moving as soon as I click. I’m zoomed a fair way out so I can see how close it’s getting. Once I feel it’s starting to catch up, then I pop Dash, and keep running around rim of the room.

As a guide, if I ring the gong where star is in my example diagram, I’m usually around about where X is before I pop Dash. And I’m usually around to where the green tank symbol is by the time Atramedes lands again, and the beam is getting a bit close, but not dangerously.

Phase 1 again:

So now it’s back to ground phase, with the added complication of that fire from the air phase still being on the ground.

Our ranged once again cluster up, finding a ‘safe spot’ fairly clear of fire. If we need to kite Sonic breath through existing fire, sobeit. Make extra sure you have a hot or two on the breath kiter in ground phases from now on, as they may be taking extra damage.

That’s it! Rinse and repeat three or four times and you’re done.

The Atramedes experiment fails

Magmaw drakonid trash

The double drakonid pull just before Magmaw is pretty brutal. I’ve briefly described how we handle them in my Magmaw post here – but as I’ve had a few folk ask specifically how we handle them I thought I’d describe this pull in more detail here.

Excuse the Maths, but this pull is all about the geometry.

We set up in an obtuse isosceles triangle arrangement, as shown below. the Skull and the Cross are the two drakonids, the yellow circles are the radius for the thunderclap; only the tanks and melee should be damaged by this. The red ‘plus’ and blue ‘fire’ is the ranged/heals camp.

Positioning for double drakonid pull

The rationale and details for this positioning:

The drakonids will each charge the furtherest raid member from themselves, and you want that to be the tanks rather than a squishy cloth person. If you set up as shown, the distance between the each drakonid and the other tank is greater than the distance between a drakoid and the ranged group. See below:

Obtuse isosceles triangle

We mark a reliable ranged dps and tell the ranged and the healers “stack on the mark”. It’s important to be fairly tightly stacked, if you wander too far back you may end up further away from a drakonid than the other tank. If you wander too far forward you will start getting damaged by the thunderclap.

When the drakonids charge, they will stun their tank for a few seconds, so healers will need to heal their tanks hard right after a charge. Also, this often brings the drakonids slightly closer together, so the tanks may need to take a couple of steps backwards once the charge-stun wears off, or the range may need to edge back just a bit to avoid the thunderclap.

The drakonids enrage once their parter dies, so we dps the skull mob down to around 15% health, then switch to kill the cross mob (before he gets really cross, har har) and then dps back to skull to kill him quickly. Healers should be aware that skull will be hitting the tank fast and hard at this point, so both tank healers should be healing the remaining tank.

And that’s it! I have a video I took of this last night that I’ll upload once I’m back home from work, but hopefully the diagrams are helpful.

Edit, Video: this isn’t a clean kill, and I screwed up towards the end so my tank dies. And then the other tank dies… but that happens 🙂 Hopefully it will show the positioning and shuffling I talked about above 🙂

Healing Maloriak 10 – resto druid thoughts

Having twice defeated Maloriak in 10 man, I’ve started to get my head around this encounter a little, and feel the need to put some of this to paper.

My role has been healing the add tank, we have a holy pally healing the main tank, and a shaman healing the raid. Of course our tank healers help out with raid healing as needed as well.

We used one tank on the adds, and let out 9 gradually during red/blue phases. There was clearly some complicated plan involving interrupts that I never really followed, mainly I listened on vent for our MT (who was looking after the abberation release interrupts) calling ‘next wave of adds’ for our OT. Then I knew I needed to ramp up my heals on our OT.

Our positioning for the blue phase had the healers fairly central to the room and the ranged down the sides.

Our blue phase positioning- MT centre, add tank roams door side of the room

For the blue phase while healing my tank, the main thing I watched for was the flash freeze target. When the target is frozen they take 60-70k damage, then when they are broken out, they take another 40-50k damage, so you need to be fast getting that person above 60k health or so or they will die. The cooldown on this seemed to be about the same as swiftemnd, as I always managed to get a RJ/SM on the flash freeze target, but I was also desperately watching it slide off cooldown every time. A ‘Flash Freeze’ debuff warning on your raid frames will help here.

If your addtank gets Flash Frozen, this gets very tricky, especially if dps are extremely alert and pop him out very fast – you’ll get a very sudden 120k damage on your tank so heal hard to get them back up, even letting LB bloom if it helps. You may also want to pop barkskin, as you may end up with an add beating on you while the tank is stunned.

For the red phase, everyone except the offtank collapsed to stand behind the main tank, the target of consuming flames strafed off to one side to avoid Maloriak’s conal fire breath. Be aware that if that person is a bit slow the fire breath will hurt them a lot, so try to throw them a RJ as they move away. Also, if your offtank or yourself get the consuming flames, you might have range issues if you aren’t aware of where each other are.

Finally, by the time you get to the green phase, damage on the off tank is at its maximum, and as Maloriak transitions to the door side of the room, movement will be bringing its own inherent risks, so be alert and heal hard. As the adds die in the aoe, the add tank takes less and less damage, and the risk of the main tank being hit hard goes up with the number of adds left…. so I would hot the MT and then switch to Hurricane once I was sure the offtank was safe. YMMV on that one 🙂

The other risk in this transition is that you may have an aberation beating on you that the tank hasn’t managed to pick up yet. We collapse loosely to the door, but if you do have adds on you, make sure you run them right into the aoe, they’ll soon get picked up that way – and also any adds left over at the end of the green phase are BAD. I didn’t want to be the one responsible for adds outside the aoe hehe.

And then there’s the last 25%, when Maloriak gets a wee bit more upset and starts shooting fire jets and ice bubbles all over the room. I kept healing my add tank who picks up the two prime suspects, as well as trying to help out on the main tank as much as possible. Keep at range and your camera facing Maloriak at all times, if he stares in your direction too long he’s going to shoot a fire jet your way, so time for a judicious strafe. 🙂

Here’s my healing for our kill last night:

Healing breakdown on Maloriak

Again, I was mainly tank healing, so I’m surprised how much Rejuvenation I’m actually throwing out. I also have a screenshot showing my Mastery stats using the awesome Druid Mastery mod, and some screenies of the actual encounter, but they’ll have to wait till I’m home.

Edit:

Druid Mastery is an interesting and thought-provoking mod that calculates howmuch of your healing is affected by your mastery. You can download it from WowInterface: http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info19274-DruidMastery.html

Here’s the output for my healing 2/3 of the way through raid last night:

Druid Mastery, addon output

Useful to analyse how much you’re ‘making use’ of your mastery. How much that’s possible is quite encounter/role specific, but it’s great food for thought.

Healing Omnotron 10 man – resto druid thoughts

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Powering down...

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.

Magmaw 10 man – resto druid healing thoughts

Intro

As we levelled our characters from 80 – 85 and started to hit the new instances, it was becoming painfully clear that our guild was suffering a healer shortage. Lots of our tanks were levelling and happy to forge ahead into the new content and new CC paradigm… but it seems that most of our healers kind of drifted away – either levelling a dps/tank toon to 85, or just not resurfacing after the Sundering of Azeroth.

With that in mind, we had 21 people on last night, and only two fulltime healers. So with our usual ‘lets give it a go and see how we fare’ approach (which I love) we forged into BRD with two healers and hit up Magmaw.

It was hard going. I hoped it would be hard going in any case, as this is the New Raiding. (I quit Wrath after two weeks @ 80 because the face-rolling that was revamped-lvl80-Naxx made me cry deep tears of blood. We smashed it in our greens and lvl 70 epics, and AOE packs down that took us hours to clear back at 60. It tore me up.)

Back to Magmaw.

Trash

First pull is a single drakonid.  This guy has a frontal smash attack (that may be avoidable by sidestepping) a stun and a bleed. Your tanks will take fairly spikey damage, especially when stunned. They need to be kept topped up to make the bleed fall off.

Second pull is two of these. They will charge and stun the furthest target, so the tanks position 30-40 yards apart, yourself and the ranged should be between-ish, in a loose triangle, so that you are 20 yards back out of their thunderclap but not further away than the tanks are from each drakonid. The drakonids will cross-charge to the tanks periodically.

They will enrage if one of their friends dies, doubling their damage and giving them a haste buff. This is bad. Too avoid this, the dps take down one drakonid to about 10% and then switch to the other. Keep your NS/SM cooldowns up your sleeve ready for charge-stuns, as the tanks take a lot of damage when they can’t dodge/parry. Also, once the first one is dead, you will need to spam big heals to keep your tank up through the enrage. This won’t last long, so don’t worry about mana. Either the drakonid dies or the tank does.

That’s it, those 3 drakonid then Magmaw. The drakonids respawn after 2 hours.

Magmaw

We started out two-healing this; we switched to three-healing when our MT bravely offered to put his healing pants on for us and our then OT beccame MT.

In any case, here’s my approach to the healing, for what it’s worth. It’s not a guide to the Magmaw fight – but rather to my druid healing experience of the encounter.

Healing

With two healers in the guild at the moment, we’re pretty used to each other’s style, and know we can rely on one another. With that in mind, late in Wrath we rarely set ‘heal assignments’ though we’d sometimes chat about who to focus our heals on in specific encounters.

But after feeling very uncomfortable AOE healing in heroics, I suggested I tank heal for Magmaw, leaving Epiaa throwing her rain, chain heals and other shamany heals around the raid. We both helped each other out of course, I was throwing WGs and RJs around during the savage AOE and she was helping me bring the tank up during intense moments.

(I’m not sure if I *am* better at tank healing than raid, and I’m not sure that she wouldn’t be the better tank healer. I think we’ll just have to switch it around a bit as we progress to see how it pans out.) In any case I was mainkly tank healing with raid heal on the side, and Epiaa was mainly raid heal with tank healing on the side. 🙂

Basically I stuck to my ‘5man-heroic’ tank healing strategy: 3xLB and RJ up at all times, rolling LB but here I  let it bloom if it helped cover a spike. I started out mainly using Nourish to refresh LB, but I found myself ramping up to HT spam quite often, especially as we were single tanking it, the mangled tank can take a lot of damage while being chewed upon.

During this, I was also throwing a RJ up on anyone being spat on my Magmaw. If they got low, I *sometimes* also SMed them, but I avoided having Efflourescence up when the fire pillar/parasites were about to spawn, as I didn’t want to hide the ground effect for that. ALSO during that time, I tried to save my SM for healing our tank on the run. I also threw out a WG every CD, either on the range group or the tank, but our range camp was fairly close to the tank/melee, so WG seemed to get both groups on most occasions.

During the moving portions, while running from the parasites or the steam, I made sure RJ was up so I could SM if needed, and let LB bloom. I actually didn’t use treeform all night, and while re-hashing the nights events with Shigeko I realised that the moving moments were an ideal time to pop treeform if the tank was low, as I could throw RGs on the move. Something to consider for next time.

During the Nomnom phase, when the tank is being eaten, if you are standing in the ranged camp you WILL need to move forward 5-10 yards to maintain range, as Magmaw leans back and forth holding the tank above the raid. This was the most dangerous time for me. Spamming HT to keep the tank up meant standing my ground a lot – and if there are still parasites up and moving towards you, you can’t afford to do that. with blinkers on. Keep an eye on your surroundings and yell for the tank or a priest/pally to use mitigation CDs on the tank if you get stuck out of range.

Mana

Finally, after the Nomnom is over, and the tank is released, that’s rest time for me. If you have heaps of mana – you can pewpew the boss, but I found myself using a concentration potion on the first or second vulnerable phase, and just chilling/regenning otherwise. By the end of the night I was giving away my first innervate to someone else as early as I practibly could, and using my second one myself, so mana wasn’t a desperate problem for me.

In summary

Fun fight! It was great to have an encounter where mana mattered, but once we had 3 of us on board I didn’t feel strangled by it like I thought I might.

Magmaw down

We all know how this story ends, because our raids wind up at 11pm.
Tired. So just photos:

Well, hello Magmaw



First attempt... not so pretty



Last attempt of the night...



A whole lot prettier

Will post my healing thoughts tomorrow :0)

Gratz LoLs, you guys rock.