Glow's branches

Ramblings of a resto druid

Tag Archives: magmaw

A close look at mana potions

Managing mana is one of the fun things about healing that I’m glad Blizzard have added back into our game.

There’s a school of thought that any mana left at the end of a fight is mana wasted, and that if you’re managing your mana well you should be using every consumable, cooldown and trinket available to you to squeeze every last heal out by the end of the fight.

Well. The main game is beating the boss. Our role in that is to keep people alive, but if I can’t do that because I’m doing my utmost but running out of mana then I need to take stock of the consumables and cooldowns I’m using and make sure I’m optimising that.

So a close look at the three mana return potions available:

  • Mythical mana potion
  • Mysterious potion (alchemists only)
  • Potion of concentration

I’ll review these below, using their raw numbers, not adding in any alchemists bonus in order to keep it simple and generally applicable. It doesn’t change the *relative* value of these potions.

The options

Mythical mana potion: Restores 9250 to 10750 mana. (1 Min Cooldown) (Average = 10000 mana)

The stock-standard mana potion. As with all potions, useable once per fight. It doesn’t matter when you use this, as long as you have a deficit of at least 10750 mana and you aren’t in the middle of an innervate (or mana tide or similar) that will overfill your blue bar.

Mysterious potion: Restores 1 to 30000 health and 1 to 15000 mana. (1 Min Cooldown) (Average = 7500 mana)

This is an alchemist-only potion, and in any case unless you are after an instant health boost as well, doesn’t seem worth it. Also, as the range of possible returns is so large, it’s not something you can rely on. And reliability is a huge factor when we want mana back and want it back now. (But it is cheap to make if that matters to you.)

Potion of concententration: Puts the imbiber in an elevated state of concentration where they can restore up to 22000 mana over 10 sec, but they are defenseless until their concentration is broken. (1 Min Cooldown)

This delivers more than twice as much mana as the standard potion…. but what’s all of the defenselessness about?!

Concentration

The concentration potion puts you to sleep for 10 seconds. Anything that would break spell casting, like moving, being stunned, silenced etc will break the effect. While you sleep you regenerate 22000 mana. If your concentration gets broken half way through, you will have regenerated about half of that. Clearly the best way to use this potion is to get 10 seconds worth of sleep out of it, and hence the full 22000 mana.

“But hang on, Glow!” you’re saying. “When can I afford to sleep for ten seconds?! The raid will burn to death, the tank will die, and the other healers will point at me in rightful indignation!”

This is a good question. When can you afford to sleep for ten seconds?

When to sleep

Any time that you don’t need to move for 10 seconds, and your heal assignment isn’t taking much damage. If it’s a possibility for another healer to cover for you in that time, chat with them about it before the pull and see if it’s okay, then call over Vent when you’re about to take the potion.

Some specific times I use mine:

Magmaw: During vulnerability phase. This is a no brainer. Raid damage can be heavy on magmaw, plus I keep HoTs rolling on the tank, so I often have mana issues on this encounter. I innervate early on, and usually use my concentration potion in the second vulnerability.

Maloriak: During a blue phase. This will depend on your role and the random order of the phases. My role for the fight is healing the add tank, and off-healing the raid. If the second round of blue/red has blue first, my add tank will not have adds yet, and the raid damage is light, and I don’t need to move, so I can safely sleep knowing the other raid healer will cover the iceblock targets.

Chimaeron: During feud. Yes, you read that correctly, during feud. I’m tank healing for Chimaeron (I’m guessing lots of druids reading this are too). For the first feud I pop WG Tranquility WG and innervate myself. For the second feud our shadow priest pops hymn and PoHs. I throw a WG, sleep for 10 sec and then start hotting up the tanks.

Snoozing during Feud

I haven’t used Potions of concentration in Bastion, all of the bosses there have so much movement that I haven’t seen a good ‘window’. Open to suggestions though 🙂

In summary

If you haven’t tried sleeping during raids yet – it’s time to start! Quite a few of the BWD fights have healer ‘downtime’ phases where movement isn’t critical, so look for an opportunity to use a Concentration potion. And discuss it with your other healers, you might find it helps to coordinate when you’re each sleeping. Nothing like a nap rotation 🙂

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 🙂

Magmaw kill video – tank pov

Our guild’s latest Magmaw kill, from a main tank’s point of view. A bit messy, parasites in the raid at one point, but no deaths 🙂

 

(Don’t tell @magmaw I posted this >.> )

Magmaw is on twitter

Yes, our favourite anelid is tweeting about life as Nefarion’s captive.

Read his daily rants and concerns, he answers questions and loot requests, including:
– “Now back to me- now back to you. Back to me- back to you. Back to Mangle.”
– “Halfus just told me plate mail is not biodegradable. Great. NOW what will I do with my leftovers? #ItsNotEasyBeingGreen”
– “I suppose the hallmark of civilization is forgivene- WAIT, WHAT’S THAT IN YOUR GCALENDER?!”

But how does he tweet?
– “My handlers are kind enough to apply a spike to my forehead daily, which I then use to type out messages.”

Read his tweets: http://twitter.com/magmaw

Follow him: @magmaw

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.