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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.