Tag Archives: blackwing descent

How to Heal: Maloriak (25H)

Maloriak is a very fun fight to heal. There’s bad stuff to run away from, big damage on multiple tanks and huge AoE raid damage to heal through. It’s a very long fight so it’s important to manage your mana and get the most of your cooldowns.

The differences between hard mode and normal mode:

  • There is a new Dark Magic phase
  • Ablities hit harder, boss and adds have more health
  • 12 minute enrage timer

When I heal Maloriak I am generally on the raid.

Dark Magic Phase :

This phase has lots of raid damage and some tricky tank damage.

  • Keep full Lifebloom stacks on a tank (either the Maloriak tank or the add tank, whoever you think needs it most).
  • Keep a Rejuvenation on both the Maloriak and add tanks.
  • After the Vile Swills have spawned, use Tree of Life and roll Lifeblooms on both tanks.
  • Use Wild Growth on cooldown on the people taking damage from Dark Sludge.
  • Use Swiftmendon cooldown to put down Efflorescence – the add tank is a good target for this.
  • Use Rejuv and Regrowth to spot heal those who are taking a lot of damage. I find I use Regrowth on this fight a lot.
  • Use Barkskin when Dark Sludge starts piling up.

Red Vial Phase

This phase has huge raid-wide damage. Consuming Flames will usually hit twice, but on occasion it can hit 3 times.

  • Keep LB on the main tank.
  • Make sure everyone is topped up before the first Scorching Blast.
  • Rejuv anyone who gets Consuming Flames.
  • Use Wild Growth on cooldown.
  • Keep a Rejuv on yourself which you can Swiftmend for optimal Efflorescence placement.
  • Use Tranquility on this phase after the 1st or 2nd Scorching Blast to top people up quickly.
  • Use Barkskin before Scorching Blast. Do not use it right when the phase starts, the first Blast doesn’t happen for a while.

Blue Vial Phase

This is the easy phase where you get to regen some mana before the next, more damage-heavy phase.

  • Keep LB and Rejuv on the tank.
  • Use the occasional Wild Growth around the melee to counter Biting Chill.
  • Regrowth and Swiftmend those who get hit with Flash Freeze.

Final Phase

This phase has the same mechanics as normal but everything hits a whole lot harder.

  • Keep LB and Rejuv on the tank.
  • Watch out for Absolute Zero. It can one-shot you in heroic.
  • Cast Wild Growth and keep an Efflorescence down during Acid Nova. Use Tranquility during this if it’s up.
  • Spot heal the raid with Rejuv and Regrowth.
  • Use Tree of Life if it’s available and stack LBs on all tanks.
  • Use Barkskin during Acid Nova.

Happy healing!

Tier 11 Retrospective

With Firelands on the horizon, Tier 11 raiding is coming to an end and I’ve been thinking about how this tier measures up.


Tier 11 served as a huge wake-up call after Tier 10. I played with a number of people in ICC who I thought were fairly competent raiders. Then we stepped into BWD. With no 30% buff to back people up, all of a sudden they didn’t seem so competent anymore. Spending 6+ months being completely overpowered for the content we were doing certainly made raiding in Tier 11 a challenge to start with. Everyone had to remember how to play again.

I really liked the step-up in difficulty. Normal modes were doable, but most had at least one or two tricky mechanics to overcome. Nefarian and Al’Akir were much more challenging (as end-bosses, they should be) though I found Cho’gall to be a bit of a disappointment.

I’ve only done half the available hard-modes, but overall, I’m very pleased with the difficulty there. Halfus makes a good stepping-stone into the world of heroics and I feel like there really is a progression – some bosses take only a night or two to master while some take many, many attempts and lots of trial and error.

Atmosphere and Aesthetics

Blackwing Descent was nothing we hadn’t seen before. It looks and feels very much like the rest of the Blackrock Mountain instances and raids. The lava pit where you fight Nefarian is the most interesting part of the instance as far as looks go. I did enjoy Nef’s introductions to the boss fights, it helps to tie everything together from a story perspective.

I really disliked Bastion of Twilight. There wasn’t anything interesting about how it looked, it was just a bunch of generic rooms and corridors and no real scripted events or story infused into the place.

Throne of the Four Winds was gorgeous. It’s certainly the best raid in terms of looks. It was a very nice change to have a raid in the great outdoors with pretty, bright colours and interesting architecture.

Tier 11 was pretty weak in this category. Though TotFW was very pretty, the raids overall weren’t that impressive in terms of atmosphere. Compared to the wonderfully detailed, varying and lore-infused raids like Karazhan, Ulduar, Black Temple and Mount Hyjal, Tier 11 fell flat.

Staying Power

I love that we had 3 distinct raids to work in, it really helped to prevent boredom.

I think the length of Tier 11 was good. I began raiding in January, meaning I spent ~6 months raiding this content. Though there has been the occasional time where I wished for new content already, it has managed to keep my interest. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind it if Firelands were pushed back a bit and I got to spend a few more weeks with this content. I think there are one or two more hard modes that are doable for both my guilds.

The Bosses

This is the most important part. How were the bosses? Were the mechanics interesting? Were they fun and challenging to heal?

Bastion of Twilight

I feel like Bastion of Twilight as a whole was weak. I can’t put my finger on the problem exactly, but whenever BoT is on the raid schedule I don’t feel nearly as excited as I do about spending a night in BWD. Perhaps it’s the trash. I think I’ve been killed by the first trash packs and the awful elementals before Ascendant Council more than I’ve been killed by any boss in there. Perhaps it’s the atmosphere – gloomy, with very few interesting things to look at.  Maybe it’s the bosses – there are only 4 of them and none of them stick out as particularly exciting or fun to heal. Or maybe it’s the uneven difficutly range of the hard modes. Most guilds kill Halfus as their first hard mode, then ignore the other BoT hard modes completely while they master 4 or 5 others in BWD and possibly Throne. Coming back to kill normal V&T, AC and Cho’gall always seemed like a let-down compared to the rest of the boss fights available.

Throne of the Four Winds

This raid instance is quite polarizing. Some people love it while others never want to step foot in it again. I enjoy the place for the most part. Conclave of Wind and Al’akir have new, interesting mechanics and can be quite challenging. I do have a few complaints though.

Conclave of Wind

I found this fight unique and a lot of fun, especially on heroic. There are a lot of mechanics to master, a lot of bad things to avoid (damn you Wind Blast) and a lot of coordination needed between platforms. Heal, heal, run away, heal,  fly through the air, heal, heal, move, heal, heal, jump. This fight really keeps you on your toes. It does have its downsides though. Because of how far apart everyone was, I often felt helpless. People would die on other platforms and I knew I couldn’t do anything to stop it – it was quite frustrating. However, when you finally master the fight it feels pretty fucking amazing.


Though this fight is interesting and I learned it can be fun (after many, many, many wipes) I don’t think this encounter was successful. The first phase is too RNG dependent. Too many bad things converge at once and you’re pretty much out of luck. Phase 3 is frustrating. There are some players who just aren’t good at navigating through 3 dimensions. I even found it difficult to judge my position correctly on this fight, which I found surprising since I thought I had mastered that back in my Dreamwalker portal days. I know very few people who look forward to repeat kills on Al’Akir once they’ve gotten the one they need for their title.

Blackwing Descent

I think BWD was the high point of Tier 11 raiding. Each boss fight tested something different: healing, tanking, dps, awareness, damage avoidance, coordination.


I love healer checks, so I loved this fight. More than any other boss fight, Chimaeron made me change the way I healed. I couldn’t rely on Rejuv and WG to heal Caustic Slime damage, I had to use direct heals, and I had to use them fast. I really appreciated that. Healers develop certain patterns for healing and Chimaeron made you reconsider those to adapt to the fight. Variety is always a good thing.


I really like the sound mechanic in this fight. It enforces that everyone is in charge of their own survival. Screw up and everyone sees you get pelted by massive fireballs that can’t be healed through. If that isn’t a deterrent to standing in bad things, I don’t know what is.


Nefarian is everything an end of dungeon boss should be. It tests healers, tanks and dps. It tests coordination, kiting ability, interrupts, running out of fire, and each raider’s ability to jump out of lava and onto a pillar (which can be the hardest part of all). It took my 25-man guild ~65 attempts to get our first Nef kill, and that seems to be a fairly common number. The fight required a lot of practice and hard work and made for a very rewarding kill.


Overall, I think Tier 11 was strong. Through Bastion of Twilight fell short for me, Throne was interesting and gorgeous and Blackwing Descent was a very strong raid that kept my attention for a full 6 months. It wasn’t the best tier – it doesn’t compare to the awesomeness that was Tier 6 (Black Temple & Mount Hyjal), but I think it’s been more enjoyable than any tier in Wrath (Ulduar-lovers will likely argue with me on that).

What do you think? Does Tier 11 still amuse you after 6 months? Any bosses you love or hate?

How to heal: Chimaeron (25H)

Chimaeron puts a lot of pressure on healers. At different points of the fight healers need to be able to make twitch-decisions to heal multiple people very quickly, put out massive AoE healing and keep up with fast and frequent tank switches.

The differences between hard mode and normal mode:

  • Nefarius will interrupt Feud, meaning Chimaeron will continue to melee the tank while the Bile-o-tron is offline.
  • Throughout phase 2, the whole raid will take damage from Mocking Shadows.
  • Boss has more health.

When I heal Chimaeron I am generally on raid healing, but I do help out a bit on the tanks as well.  We use 3 tanks: a Break soaker and 2 tanks who alternate tanking the  Double Attacks and Feud phases. For this fight I use the Glyph of Regrowth and I always have 3/3 points in Nature’s Bounty so Regrowth almost always crits. The most important things for this fight are:

  • Knowing the timing (look here and here)
  • Know who is tanking and when the swaps will happen
  • Plan your cooldown use for the Feud phases. I generally like to do:
    Feud 1 – Tree of Life, Feud 2 – Tranquility, Feud 3 – ToL and then a 2nd Tranquility to top people up before phase 2 starts.

Phase 1 :

Everyone stands at least 6 yards apart when the fight begins. While the Bile-o-tron is up, the Break tank (and the rest of the raid) only needs to be above 10k health. The Double Attack tank is the only one who needs to be topped up.

  • Keep full Lifebloom stacks on the Double Attack tank – remember to switch your Lifebloom target when DA tanks switch.
  • If you have the mana for it, keep a Rejuvenation on both the Break and DA tanks.
  • Heal the people who get hit with Caustic Slime with Regrowth. If you are assigned to a particular group, heal them first. If no one, or only one person, in your group gets hit help out on healing others. If you’re using the Glyph of Regrowth you can also use Swiftmend if someone with the Regrowth HoT on them gets hit.
  • After 3 rounds of Caustic Slime there will be a Massacre. Everyone will be brought down to 1 health. After a Massacre, it’s possible the Bile-o-tron will be knocked offline, so try to queue up a Healing Touch that will hit the Feud tank right after the Massacre hits.

If the Bile-o-tron is NOT knocked offline:

  • Don’t freak out. You have 15 seconds before more Caustic Slimes are cast and other healers to help get people over 10k (not to mention things like Healing Stream Totem and Vampiric Embrace) – don’t drain your mana on this.
  • Use Wild Growth immediately after the Massacre (target Chimaeron so it will reach the maximum amount of people), and a second time when it comes off cooldown.
  • Nourish or Rejuv those who are still under 10k or haven’t been hit by your Wild Growth.

If the Bile-o-tron IS knocked offline:

  • You have 15 seconds to get the raid healed up as much as possible, but the tank will take melee damage after only ~5 seconds.
  • Hopefully you’ve landed a big heal on the Feud tank right after the Massacre as mentioned above.
  • If you are using Tree of Life for this Feud, use it immediately.
  • Cast Wild Growth as you run to the collapse point, along with a Rejuv on yourself.
  • Swiftmend when you are in position for optimal Efflorescence placement.
  • If you are using Tranquility for this Feud, use it now.
  • Use Barkskin before the first Caustic Slimes hit. Remember that they don’t start hitting until 15 seconds after the Massacre, so don’t waste it by using it too early.
  • Throughout the Feud phase use Wild Growth and Swiftmend on cooldown, keep Rejuvs on the people in your assigned group, and use Regrowth on anyone who gets really low on health. If you are using ToL, you can also spread Lifeblooms around.
  • Remember to keep Lifebloom and Rejuv on the current tank.
  • Spread out when the Bile-o-tron comes back online and be prepared for another Massacre.


  • Raid healing through Feud phases is a huge mana drain.
  • Innervate at 80% and then everytime it’s off cooldown.
  • Potions of Concentration are excellent for this fight. The best time to use them is right after the Massacre that follows a Feud. Make sure you’re properly spread out, cast a Wild Growth, then pop your potion. You’ll wake up with a lot more mana and a few seconds to spare before Caustic Slimes.

The fight keeps a predicatable pattern of 3 rounds of Caustic Slime, followed by a Massacre. The only thing that is not predicatable is how many Massacres will happen in between Feuds.

Transition into phase 2:

  • Phase 2 begins when Chimaeron reaches 21%.  You want to get as many people as high on health as possible before he flips, as healing is reduced by 99% in phase 2. It is extremely helpful to have someone calling out before he hits 21%.
  • It helps to have people grouped up for heals as he’s being pushed into phase 2. Use Wild Growth,  Rejuv/Swiftmend, followed by Tranquility to top people off. If he hasn’t hit 21% yet, start spamming Regrowths on DPS players.
  • When you are affected by Mortality stop healing and start dpsing.
  • Use Barkskin whenever you can.
  • If ToL comes off cooldown pop it and start spamming Wrath.
  • If Innervate comes off cooldown use it on a caster dps who’s running low.
  • Do NOT do anything to drop your threat (Shadowmeld, Cower). It’s much better for healers to die early than DPS.

Happy healing!

How to heal: Atramedes (25H)

Atramedes is the first heroic I’ve done that doesn’t seem any harder to heal than normal mode. I actually found it a bit easier to keep people healed since the raid is so tightly grouped up. For a healer the mechanics are all the same as normal, they’re just a little more unforgiving. The most important thing is to get as little sound as possible.

The differences between hard mode and normal mode:

  • Periodically throughout the fight an Obnoxious Fiend will jump on a raid member’s back. They need to be killed quickly and Obnoxious casts need to be interrupted.
  • Most mechanics cause increased sound generation and damage.
  • Sonar Bombs fall much quicker.
  • Boss has more health.

This fight requires a ton of movement so it’s perfect for resto druids. Prepare to show off your fabulous healing-on-the-move skills.

Ground Phase:

When my guild does this fight we all group up togther (besides the tank of course) and move back and forth between 2 set spots every time sound discs spawn.

  • Keep full Lifebloom stacks and a Rejuvenation on the tank throughout the phase. Refresh Lifebloom with direct heals if the tank is not at full health.
  • Use Wild Growth after every Modulation or Searing Flame.
  • Keep a Rejuv on yourself which you can Swiftmend for optimal Efflorescence placement. Be aware of when you will have to move.  Don’t use Swiftmend right before discs spawn. The best time to use it is right after you’ve moved.
  • Fill in the gaps on raid members with Rejuvs and Regrowths.
  • Pay attention to the raid’s sound levels. Those who are highest take the most damage, so give them extra heals to top them up before Modulation.
  • It can be very tricky to get off a full Tranquility because of all the movement in this fight. Try to use it when you have 6-8 seconds before the next discs or Sonic Breath. If you have to move and interrupt your cast it’s not the end of the world. Better to get some heals out of it than none.
  • Use Barkskin before Modulation happens as much as you can.
  • Tree of Life should be usable once per ground phase. People will generally take the most damage from the last Modulation before Searing Flame is cast (before sound levels get reset). That’s a good time to have Tree of Life up.

Air Phase:

The most important thing to remember in air phase is to keep moving.

  • Shift into cat form immediately after Atramedes takes off. If you get targetted by Roaring Flame Breath you can use Dash. If someone near you is targetted you can help them out with Stampeding Roar.
  • If any healing is needed, cast only instants so you don’t have to stop moving. There should not be much healing required in this phase.
  • Stay away from Sonar Bombs. Stay away from the breath kite path and the area where the boss will be tanked so fire doesn’t spawn there.
  • As the phase is coming to an end make sure people are healed up as a Modulation will occur soon after Atramedes lands.

Happy healing!

Heroic Chimaeron – Still about the timing

People seemed to find my last post on Chimaeron useful, so I thought I’d expand it a bit to cover heroic Chimaeron. The basic timeline for the fight is almost the same as normal (go read about the normal timeline if you aren’t familiar with it).

There is one major change: Nefarian will dispel the Feud and Chimaeron will continue to melee the tanks while the bile-o-tron is offline. Because of this, heroic Chimaeron requires 3 tanks:

Tank 1 – Main tank and Break-soaker while the bile-o-tron is active (this can be a dps like a ret pally, dk or warrior)
Tank 2 – Double attack tank
Tank 3 – Tank for the regular attacks while the bile-o-tron is offline.

Alternatively, Tank 2 and 3 can alternate tanking the whole Feud phase, including the Double Attacks.

Here’s what the Feud phase now looks like along with tank rotations:

Tank 1 is tanking
1:00  Feud
1:00  Massacre
1:02  Bile-o-tron is deactivated
Tank 3 taunts
1:05  Feud is dispelled
1:05  Melee attack
1:10  Melee attack
1:10  Break applied to current tank
1:10  Chimaeron gains double attack buff
Tank 2 taunts
1:15  Double attack occurs
1:15  Caustic Slime cast on raid
Tank 3 taunts
1:20  Melee attack
1:20  Caustic Slime cast on raid
1:25  Melee attack
1:25  Break applied to current tank
1:25  Chimaeron gains double attack buff (this attack never happens as he casts Massacre instead)
1:25  Caustic Slime cast on raid
1:26  Bile-o-tron back online
1:30  Massacre
Tank 1 taunts
1:35  Melee attack

If you wanted to do it the other way, Tank 2 would tank the Double Attacks before the Feud, then the entire Feud phase. Once the Bile-o-tron is back online, Tank 3 would tank the next Double Attack and entire Feud phase. Tanks 2 and 3 would switch roles after every Feud phase.

Just like in normal:
1. The first tank (the Break-soaker) will only be tanking while the Bile-o-tron is active. He only needs to be at 10k health while he is tanking.
2. The double-attack tank needs to be topped up before a double-attack.

So where does the difficulty lie?

First trouble spot, right after the Feud starts:
1:00  Massacre
1:02  Bile-o-tron is deactivated
Tank 3 taunts
1:05  Melee attack

The Massacre takes the whole raid down to 1 health and the bile-o-tron goes offline. You have 5 seconds to get Tank 3 up to an acceptable level of health before he takes a melee swing.

How do you keep the tank from dying?
1. The tank should use a cooldown
2. Healers should be ready. There are lots of ways to get the tanks health up fast if you plan ahead:

  • Druids can cast a Rejuvenation on Tank 3 right before the Massacre and Swiftmend immediately after.
  • Priests can cast PoM on Tank 3 right before the Massacre and a PW:S immediately after.
  • Shaman can cast an Earth Shield on Tank 3 right before the Massacre.
  • Paladins can have full holy power and use a Word of Glory on Tank 3 immediately after the Massacre, or Beacon tank 3 and cast Light of Dawn on the raid.
  • The Massacre has a cast bar – any healer can time a big heal that will land right after the Massacre.

Within 1 GCD of the Massacre the tank can be back up to a decent amount of health and the healers will have another 4 seconds to get them up even higher.

Second trouble spot: the double attack while the bile-o-tron is offline.

The tank  will be taking a double attack and a hit from Caustic Slime right around the same time. They will need a damage reduction cooldown, there’s no way around that. They will also need to be close to full health beforehand.

There is a ton of damage going around during the Feud phase, but if you’re ready for it, you can heal it.

The second change to heroic Chimaeron is that the whole raid will be taking damage during phase 2 from Mocking Shadows. This means everyone needs to be topped up as much as possible before he hits 21%.

The best time to push him into phase 2 is at the end of a Feud phase, after the Massacre has happened and the Bile-o-tron has come back online. Though he will continue to melee the tanks, you’ll have 15 seconds before he starts using Caustic Slime again. Use all your big healing cooldowns to get the raid as topped up as possible before pushing him over.

Good luck!

Chimaeron – All about the timing

I posted this on my guild forums a while back which seemed to help a couple of the raid groups that were having trouble with Chimaeron, I thought other people might find it useful too.

Chimaeron is a fight that is all about timing. As a healer, it’s easy to freak out a little when the tanks are taking massive hits and the raid is often sitting at 1 health. However, with a clear understanding of Chimaeron’s abilities and timing the fight becomes very predictable and the healing becomes quite simple.

Tank Damage

Chimaeron has a 5 second swing timer. The things that make this fight difficult for the tanks and their healers are Break and Double Attack.

Here’s what the timeline on those abilities looks like:

0:00   Fight starts
0:00   Melee swing
0:05   Melee swing
0:05   Break applied to current tank
0:05   Chimaeron gains Double Attack buff
0:10   Double Attack occurs
0:15   Melee swing
0:20   Melee swing
0:20   Break applied to current tank
0:20   Chimaeron gains Double Attack buff
0:25   Double Attack occurs

One important thing to note is that the Break (which increases damage taken) will only stack up to 4 times. Because of this, the easiest way (for the healers anyway) to handle the tanking is for the first tank to tank for the majority of the encounter and take all the Breaks, while the second tank only taunts when the Double Attack buff is gained, takes the double attack, then the first tank taunts back.

What does this mean?

  • The Double Attack tank must be topped off after each Double Attack.
  • The main (Break) tank only needs to be kept above 10,000 health during the non-Feud phase.

I know that as a healer it’s tough to let a tank sit at such low health, but you’ll save yourself a lot of time, effort and mana by doing it this way.

Raid damage

The basic timeline for raid damage looks like this (numbers are rounded slightly):

0:00    Fight starts
0:15    Caustic Slimes cast (2 in 10man, 5 in 25)
0:20    Caustic Slimes cast
0:25    Caustic Slimes cast
0:30    Massacre
0:45    Caustic Slimes cast
0:50    Caustic Slimes cast
0:55    Caustic Slimes cast
1:00    Massacre
1:00    Feud
1:15    Caustic slime cast on raid
1:20    Caustic slime cast on raid
1:25    Caustic slime cast on raid
1:30    End of Feud
1:30    Massacre

Most of the fight is constant and predictable:

  • Chimaeron will start casting Caustic Slime 15 seconds after being engaged
  • Caustic Slime is cast on 2 people at a time (5 on 25), every 4.5 seconds.
  • After 3 rounds of Caustic Slime hits, there will be a Massacre (4.5 seconds after the last slime).
  • Feud will start at approximately the same time as a Massacre.
  • 15 seconds after the Feud starts, Caustic Slime will be cast on the raid every 4.5 seconds. It is cast 3 times.
  • 4.5 seconds after the third Slime, the Feud will end and a Massacre will happen.
  • 15 seconds after the Massacre, he will start casting Slimes again.

The only thing that is not constant:

  • How many Caustic Slime ‘cycles’ will happen in between Feuds. Sometimes you’ll get 1 cycle of slimes and then the Feud will hit, sometimes you will get 2 or 3.

So what do we learn from this?

Healing before the Feud:

  • If you are healing the people hit with Caustic Slime during the non-Feud phase, you must use your fast, direct heals (Regrowth for druids, Flash/Binding Heal for priests, Flash of Light/Word of Glory/Holy Shock for pallies, Riptide/hasted Healing Wave/Healing Surge for shaman)*. You only have 4.5 seconds before the next slimes hit, so you need to be able to get a couple 10K+ heals off in this time.
  • You have 15 seconds to get the raid healed up to 10k after the Massacre.

Healing through the Feud:

  • In normal mode, the tanks are not getting hit by melee attacks, so they don’t need any special attention – all healers should be healing the raid.
  • Use AoE heals to heal everyone through this. Remember that he won’t start casting slimes on the raid for ~15 seconds after the Massacre, so don’t waste your damage mitigation abilities (Barkskin, Power Word: Barrier) by using them immediately.
  • Plan your cooldown use ahead of time so you have some kind of large group heal or group damage mitigation up for each Feud (Tranquility, ToL, PW:B, Hymn of Hope).

Have fun storming the castle!

*Updated, with thanks to Kurn and Alacran.

Moving on to heroic mode? I’ve got stuff to say about that too.

Barkskin in Blackwing Descent

It’s that time again…time to talk about one of my favorite topics: damage mitigation! Druids of every spec have a fantastic damage mitigation ability in Barkskin.

The druid’s skin becomes as tough as bark. All damage taken is reduced by 20%. While protected, damaging attacks will not cause spellcasting delays. This spell is usable while stunned, frozen, incapacitated, feared or asleep. Usable in all forms. Lasts 12 sec.

Barkskin is not just for tanks or PVP. The ability to reduce your incoming damage is always a good thing. When I see a druid die in a fight and later see from the stats that they didn’t use Barkskin once, it makes me sad. Even if they don’t die, seeing druids who don’t use Barkskin at all makes me sad. If you aren’t using Barkskin, you are taking damage that is unnecessary and avoidable and taking heals away from others.

Barkskin costs no mana and triggers no global cooldown so there is really no excuse for not using it.

Here are some of the best places to use Barkskin in Blackwing Descent. This applies whether you resto or dps (I won’t presume to tell bears when to use Barkskin, as it’s one of their tanking cooldowns).


All of Magmaw’s raid damage happens while his head is up. Between Lava Spew and Magma Spit damage is a little unpredictable. Use Barkskin on cooldown.

Omnitron Defence System

The most predictable damage on this fight happens when Magmatron is up. Use Barkskin while he’s casting Incineration Security Measure. Alternatively, you can save Barkskin just in case you get Acquiring Target, but you’ll prevent more damage overall if you use it often.


Use Barkskin during the red cauldron phase to mitigate damage from Scorching Blast. Just remember that he doesn’t start using it until about 10 seconds after the phase starts, so wait a bit before you use it.

Once you reach phase 2, use Barkskin on cooldown to help out with any incidental damage from Acid Nova or Absolute Zero.


Assuming your Searing Flame interrupter is on the ball, Modulation will be the biggest source of damage taken. Try to have Barkskin up during as many Modulations as possible, especially as your sound gets higher.


Use Barkskin every time the Bile-o-Tron goes offline and the raid collapses and gets pelted by Caustic Slime.

Lord Victor Nefarius

Every time Nef’s health goes down 10% he casts Electrocute which does massive damage on everyone in the raid. Try to have Barkskin up for as many of these as possible. Hit it as soon as he reaches a new tier of health (90%, 80%, 70%, etc.).

You might want to save Barkskin for the transition into phase 2. Between Magma, Shadowflame Barrage, and any Blast Novas that get through while the interrupters are getting into position, there is a lot of damage going out.

In addition to all these uses, it’s also always a good idea to use Barkskin before you channel Tranquility to prevent you from getting spell pushback.

Coming next: Barkskin in Bastion of Twilight.