Heroic Hagara is a really fun fight to heal. It can be frustrating and stressful when you’re learning it – especially before people get the hang of the lighting phase – but once people start mastering the mechanics, it’s a blast.
Here’s an overview of how Apotheosis tackles this fight, along with tips for druid healers.
There are 4 damaging abilities to worry about in the main phase.
Focused Assault – The tank will take a large amount of damage over a 5 second period. Unlike normal mode, the tank can’t just sidestep this ability. This occurs every ~15 seconds. Cooldowns will need to be used. Usually we handle this using a rotation of: tank cooldown, Hand of Sacrifice, Pain Suppression, Guardian Spirit.
Tree tips: Keep Lifebloom and a Rejuv rolling on the tank for the entire phase. Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Touch can come in handy during the Focused Assault if you see the tank’s health drop dangerously low.
Ice Lances – These do damage to the person in their path every second and apply a stacking debuff that increases frost damage taken. We assign 2 ranged dps to cover the Ice Lances in each quarter of the room, along with a healer to keep them healed and soak the Ice Lances when necessary (because one of the dps is dead, or tombed, or lost). The Ice Lance soakers swap every 5 stacks.
Tree tips: If the soakers are swapping correctly every 5 stacks, they shouldn’t need too much healing. Usually a Rejuv followed by a Regrowth on the soaker will do the job. Follow it with a Swiftmend if they take an extra stack or two. If you need to step in and soak the lances, make sure to use Barkskin.
Shattered Ice – Will deal a large amount of damage to a random target and reduce their movement speed. When people have stacks from Ice Lance, they will take more damage from this. This will also leave a debuff that slows movement speed.
Tree tips: Try to keep people topped up and dispel the debuff when you can.
Ice Tombs – This will trap 6 targets in ice blocks and do damage every second while they are entombed. All people targeted by Ice Tombs stack up on a marker near the middle of the platform, as close together as possible. The tank keeps the boss near the Ice Tombs to make the most of splash damage while the tombs are being broken. Ice Tombs do not occur on the initial phase of the fight.
Tree tips: Make sure you can see the people targeted by ice tombs on your raid frames. You can’t cast heals on people when they are in the tombs, so try to get a Rejuv on as many of them as possible and toss out a Wild Growth just before the tombs hit so they receive some healing. The tombs will cause line of sight issues, so make sure you’re not in a position where the tombs are between you and the tank.
Lightning phase can go two ways. It can last 30+ seconds and become horrendously painful and make healers want to tear their hair out. Or, with proper setup and execution it can be quick and relatively painless. When Apotheosis does this fight we use a cross formation to conduct the lightning quickly to all 4 crystal conductors. (Yes, I know this is a picture of Al’Akir’s platform, not Hagara’s).
The dps kills the elemental then runs quickly to their assigned spot. We use 4 lines of 5 people, standing approximately 9 yards apart. The 5 people who are not assigned a spot stay spread out to avoid chaining lightning unneccessarily. Each of the raid healers is assigned to heal one line and the two tank healers take care of the unassigned group and help with those taking the most damage.
The damaging abilities during this phase are:
Lightning Storm – This damages the raid every 3-4 seconds for the duration of the phase. It also applies a stacking debuff which increases nature damage taken, so the longer the phase lasts, the more it’s going to hurt. Nature resistance is helpful for this (Aspect of the Wild or Glyphed Healing Stream Totem).
Lightning Conduit – This does damage to anyone who is chaining the lightning from the crystal conduit once the elemental has died. It generally hits for about 20-25k per tick, depending on how many stacks of the debuff people have.
Storm Pillar – These create a spell effect on the ground and do damage to anyone standing in them after a few seconds. The easiest way to deal with these? Don’t stand in them.
Tree tips: This phase is the perfect time for using Tree of Life. Run to your spot, pop tree, then start casting Lifeblooms on the people in your line. You should be able to get a couple applications on the whole group before damage starts getting heavier. Apply Rejuvs when needed and use your OoC procs for instant Regrowths. Use Wild Growth on cooldown, targeting the person in the middle of the line. Use Barkskin after the elemental dies and you start taking damage from conduit.
General tips: The line beside the conduit that is overloaded first (the one the elemental dies beside) will generally take the most damage throughout this phase as they will take damage from Lightning Conduit the longest. Put people with decent cooldowns in this line. We use people like: DKs (AMS, IBF), paladins (DP), me (Barkskin), rogues (can use Feint if they are positioned in the center close to Hagara). The healers who are not assigned to a specific line should keep an extra eye out on this one.
A few seconds before ice phase starts our tanks starts dragging Hagara to the edge of the room so all the dps can switch to one of the Frozen Binding Crystals as soon as they spawn. The melee runs around the outside to damage the crystals while all the ranged dps and healers stand in the center of the Watery Entrenchment.
The abilities you need to worry about during this phase are:
Ice Wave – This will one-shot most players and can’t really be healed through. The ranged stays outside near a crystal until the ice waves are out, then runs into the watery entrenchment, so they are able to avoid them completely. Melee has to be careful to always stay ahead of the ice wave and should feel free to go into the center to avoid them if they find one catching up to them.
Icicle – These do frost damage and knockback. There is a large graphic on the ground where they are going to fall (like on Hodir), so they shouldn’t be too hard to avoid. Though the damage isn’t terrible, the real danger is that they can knock you back into an ice wave.
Watery Entrenchment – This does damage for 15% of everyone’s maximum health for as long as they are in the bubble. Everyone in here needs to stack up to make the most of AoE and ground-based healing and use damage mitigation cooldowns when they can. The ranged dps can reach all the crystals from the center to burn them down. This is where most healing cooldowns are used, such as Tranquility, Divine Hymn, Power Word: Barrier and Spirit Link Totem. Aura Mastery, unfortunately, does not work here.
Tree Tips: This is the most healing intensive part of the fight. Keep up a roation for maximum raid healing on the group in Watery Entrenchment – Wild Growth and Swiftmend on cooldown, Rejuvs and Regrowths on those getting low. I like to keep Lifebloom stacked on myself for this phase so I don’t have to worry about my own health too much. Tranquility will be used in this phase. This is also a good time to Innervate, especially if you have your 2T13 bonus. Use Barkskin. The melee will not require much healing in this phase. In my experience, they’re either at safe levels of health or dead because they’ve clipped an Ice Wave. Feel free to toss them Rejuvs if needed when they run into range.
Frostflake – This is applied on random players and will slow down their movement speed. This is mostly a danger to the melee, who are out running away from ice waves. When Frostflake is dispelled it leaves a patch on the ground that slows the movement speed of anyone who runs through it. Because of this, any melee who gets this debuff should run into the watery entrenchment before they are dispelled, as it does not leave a frost patch in there.
Tree tips: Make sure you can see both the Frostflake and Watery Entrenchment debuffs on your raid frames. Only dispel when both are present. Dispelling those who are in the Watery Entrenchment full time isn’t that high of a priority, but be sure to get the melee dispelled asap when they have both debuffs.