Tag Archives: Firelands

Barkskin in the Firelands

Damage mitigation is not just for tanks or PVP. Good use of your damage mitigation abilities make for happy healers and happy raid leaders.

Barkskin is a druid ability that is completely full of win:

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

It costs no mana and triggers no global cooldown so there’s really no excuse for not making the most of it.

Here are some ideal times to use Barkskin for each boss in the Firelands raid. Most of these situations are also good times to use Divine Protection if you are a Paladin since the two talents are quite similar.


There isn’t a whole lot of raid damage on Shannox. You have two options for when to Barkskin. Either you can save it for Face Rage (if you get targeted), or you can use it whenever Shannox uses Hurl Spear. You only need to Barkskin this if you are in 50 yards of the spear target.

In phase 2, you should use Barkskin for every Magma Rupture.

Heroic: Use Barkskin any time you are targeted by Rageface, whether it’s a Face Rage or just melee attacks. You can also use it for Hurl Spear if it’s in 50 yards of you.


Use Barkskin on every Venom Rain. These happen approximately every 80 seconds.

In phase 2, use Barkskin whenever you can to counter the repeated Ember Flares.

Heroic: You can use this at the same times as in normal. If you are responsible for intercepting Broodlings though, you may want to use it just before hitting one to reduce the damage from the Volatile Burst and the poison left on the ground.

Lord Rhyolith

Barkskin before as many Concussive Stomps as you can. You’ll likely only get time to use it once in phase 2, use it whenever you can to counter the constant Immolation damage.

Heroic: Same uses as normal.


Use Barkskin straight off to counter Firestorm. During phase 1 all of the damage is avoidable, so you shouldn’t really need Barkskin. If you get clipped by a Lava Spew or a Brushfire, the best thing to do is just run away immediately. You could use Barkskin on cooldown just to be safe (in case you cop a Fieroblast or something).

During phase 2, pop Barkskin as soon as the Fiery Tornadoes spawn, just in case.

There’s no damage taken in phase 3, but phase 4 has constant AoE damage. Use Barkskin when Alysrazor reaches ~80 Molten Power to counter the damage from both Blazing Buffet and the Full Power that happens at the end of the phase.

Heroic: Same uses as normal.


If you’re a healer you shouldn’t take any damage during the Baleroc encounter so there is no need for Barkskin. However, if you’re a dps and are tanking a Shard, use Barkskin to lessen the Torment damage.

Majordomo Staghelm

During Scorpion phase use Barkskin whenever you can. If he will be in Scorpion form for 9 or 10+ Flame Scythes use it once before the first scythe and then again when it’s off cooldown.  During the phase when Searing Seeds are active, use Barkskin just before yours goes off.

During Cat phase, the damage is not predictable and is mostly avoidable so there’s not much use for Barkskin. However, when Burning Orbs are active, you can use it if you end up tanking one of those.


During phase 1 the only predictable damage is from Magma Trap Eruptions. Use Barkskin just before a trap is triggered. It should be usable twice during this phase.

During transition phases you can use Barkskin on cooldown as you will likely be getting hit by random Lava Bolts fairly often.

In phase 2 use your Barkskin just as Molten Seeds spawn. It should still be up as they are exploding.

Phase 3 doesn’t have any avoidable damage, so Barkskin is of limited use. Save it for if you get caught in a Lava Wave or Engulfing Flames.

To the Ground – Aftermath

I, like many people, was very opinionated on the topic of the Firelands nerfs when they were first announced. I didn’t know the exact extent of the nerfs, or how they would affect me but I was mad, dammit! Now that I’ve actually seen the nerfs first-hand, my opinions have changed slightly.

Let’s start with normals.

Normal Shannox, Beth’tilac and Rhyolith got 15% reductions to health and damage done while Alysrazor, Baleroc, Majordomo and Ragnaros were nerfed by a rather massive 25%. There were also a number of small mechanic tweaks, such as Alysrazor’s tornadoes being slowed down.

My first experience with the normal-mode nerfs was Alysrazor. I must say, I was rather shocked. We went in with our normal comp of 6 healers and there was very little to do. There were no Fieroblasts going out (because they are cast so infrequently now). The Initiates would die well before the next set spawned. On our first phase we ended up with 2 Lava Worms alive at the end because the Hatchlings had died so fast*. The tornados now moved so slowly that running into the back of the one you were chasing became the only real danger. We probably could have killed her shortly after the first ground phase, except someone was doing part of their legendary quest and we needed to draw out the fight for 2 full phases. There was very little for me to do. I had no choice but to amuse myself by healing Kurn’s tank whenever he had Gushing Wound so it never fell off, causing her to yell at all the healers.

*This is the problem with blanket nerfs like this. A 25% reduction to health can break a fight. People shouldn’t have to throttle their dps on the Hatchlings so they’re not killed too fast. Melee dps shouldn’t be left twiddling their thumbs when an Initiate dies and the next one doesn’t spawn for 20 seconds. This has happened on other fights too. Majordomo’s Flame Orbs are no longer a concern – he dies before they have a chance to spawn. The health nerf has effectively removed an entire mechanic from that fight.*

Since that night, I’ve seen all the bosses on normal mode with the exception of Shannox. They all follow the same pattern. For a group who has done the fights before they are ridiculously easy and even if people screw up, you can just brute-force your way to a kill. That said, I don’t really care that much. I can see where people are coming from when they say the kills now feel cheap and hollow, but to me they’re just repeat kills. I know that my raid teams and I worked hard to get those first kills (before nerfs) and I’m proud of them. Not having to work so hard for the 3rd, 6th or 12th kill doesn’t upset me. The normal mode nerfs have had no impact on my personal enjoyment of the game.

As for the heroics, all bosses got a 15% nerf to their health and damage done.

I had killed Shannox a few times before on heroic. It wasn’t a terribly challenging fight for either of my raid groups to begin with, so the nerfs just made it a little bit easier. There is now more margin for error. In my druid’s first post-nerf kill Jagged Tear never dropped on the Shannox tank and it didn’t cause too much of an issue (where I’m sure it would have killed him and resulted in a wipe before). However, the fight wasn’t a complete joke. On my priest’s first experience with post-nerf Shannox it actually took us a few tries to get him down. People getting caught in crystal prison traps or not breaking Face Rage can still lead to wipes. Likewise, I learned on my Druid last night that Shannox gaining Separation Anxiety can still lead to much death and destruction.

The second boss I had experience with was Rhyolith. Apotheosis had put in 40 attempts on him with our best try getting him to 16%. After the nerf it took us another 7 attempts to get the kill. I thought the nerfs made the fight, especially the adds, much more manageable and a little less punishing for bad Volcano spawns. 15% was probably a bit too much though. I think an even 10% nerf would have helped a number of raid groups to get their first kills while still retaining a bit more of the challenge.

The rest of the heroics I never saw before they were nerfed. I’m actually thinking this is a good thing. It means I won’t have a sense of disappointment when I see how the fights have changed. They’re all new to me, nerf or no.

Apotheosis killed Beth’tilac for the first time last night. Even with the nerfs we put in 37 attempts before we killed her. As much as I might feel badly for not killing her before the nerfs, I also shudder to think of how many attempts that would have taken – 75? 100? Perhaps I’m getting soft, but I can’t say I really want to spend 100 attempts on a boss. I’d be okay with that on an end-of-tier boss, but not one of the underlings. Though I’m sure heroic Beth’tilac is now a pushover for those who have killed her before or those who were close to a kill pre-nerf, for my guild who had no experience with her before, she was still reasonably challenging. My priest buudy Kal also wrote about what she thinks of the nerfs now that she’s experienced them.

Arm of Hades has attempted a number of heroic bosses since the nerfs, but has not spent significant time on any of them. My team spent 7 or 8 attempts on Beth’tilac, which still seemed quite challenging. Figuring out how to deal with all the adds is something that’s going to take practise and trial & error. We also spent some time on Baleroc. Our best attempt got us to about 12%, but we hit the enrage timer. One of our other 10-man teams attempted Alysrazor and managed to get her down in only a dozen or so attempts. That seems a little fast to me.

So I guess you could say I’ve calmed down a little since last week. I still think there are better ways to make bosses more killable (changes to specific challenging mechanics, not blanket nerfs) but I’ve come to terms with the nerfs and will do my best to make the most of them and beat all the hard modes.

I’ll also keep my fingers crossed that the upcoming Looking for Raid “easy” difficulty will solve the raid accessibility problem so nerfs like this will never happen again.

How to Heal: Majordomo Staghelm (25N)

This is a Druid healing guide for the Firelands raid instance. Though it’s written from a 25-man perspective, most of the tips should apply to 10s as well.

Majordomo is a really fun fight to heal as a druid with periods of intense, raid-wide damage to heal through.

If you’re not familiar with the general tactics of the fight, check out the Icy Veins guide.

Debuffs you want to be aware of:

Majordomo Staghem - Searing SeedsSearing Seeds – On every 3rd form shift Majordomo will use a special ability. When switching from cat to scorpion he’ll cast Searing Seeds on everyone. These will last between 10-60 seconds and will explode to do fire damage to anyone within 12 yards when they wear off. You’ll want to see when people’s debuffs are wearing off as they will need extra healing.

Majordomo Staghelm - Burning OrbsBurning Orbs – When switching from scorpion to cat Majordomo will summon 5 Fiery Orbs (2 on 10-man) which will do stacking damage over time to the nearest target. The people with this debuff will require healing.

When Apotheosis does this fight we start with Scorpion phase. Our general phase swaps go like this:

  • Scorpion to 11 stacks of Adrenaline
  • Cat to 6 stacks
  • Scorpion to 5 stacks (Searing Seeds happen here)
  • Cat to 5 stacks
  • Scorpion to 4 stacks
  • Cat to 4 stacks (Burning Orbs happen here)
  • Scorpion to 3 stacks
  • Cat to 3 stacks

I will be listing the specific times I use my cooldowns, but based on when your guild triggers the form changes, your mileage my vary.

General Tips

  • Set Majordomo as your Focus Target so you can watch his energy bar. When his energy bar reaches 100, he will use Flame Scythe (if in Scorpion form) or Leaping Flames (if in Cat form). You want to get people up to safe health levels before he reaches 100 energy and hits people again (especially when he’s in Scorpion phase).
  • As Majordomo gains stacks of Adrenaline his energy bar will fill faster – 20% faster for every application – so his special abilities will come closer and closer together. When he’s at low stacks, don’t panic. Let your HoTs tick people up to full and conserve mana. As his stacks get higher you’ll need to put out more healing, faster.
  • You should be able to use Tranquility multiple times on this fight. I use it on second scorpion phase and 4th scorpion phase. You should also be able to use Tree of Life multiple times. I use it early on the first scorpion phase, on the 2nd scorpion phase and if possible I use it a third time whenever it comes off cooldown.
  • This can be a very mana-intensive fight, so Innervate early and often. Potions of Concentration can also come in handy. The best time to use these is right after Staghelm changes forms. If you pop it right away you’ll have time to gain the full benefit from the potion and be back in action before the first special ability hits.

Scorpion Phase

During scorpion phase the whole raid will be taking significant damage.

  • Stack Lifebloom on the tank. Keep a Rejuvenation rolling as well.
  • Cast Rejuv on yourself in preparation for the first Flame Scythe.
  • Use Wild Growth and Swiftmend to trigger Efflorescence immediately following the first Flame Scythe. After this, use Wild Growth and Swiftmend on cooldown.
  • As Adrenaline stacks increase start using Rejuv and Regrowth to top up those lowest on health.
  • Use Barkskin to reduce some of the incoming damage. If you’re taking the first scorpion phase for ~10 stacks of Adrenaline you should be able to use it twice. Use it once near the beginning and then again when it’s off cooldown, just before a Flame Scythe hits. Using it later should mean it’s active for at least 2 scythe hits.
  • On the first scorpion phase I use Tree of Life early (around 3 stacks of Adrenaline) so it will be up again for the second scorpion phase. Spread Lifeblooms around the raid and use all OoC procs for Regrowths (along with Efflo and SM on cooldown).

If Searing Seeds are up during Scorpion phase:

The above advice still applies, but in addition to that:

  • Keep an eye on people’s seed debuffs. Try to get a Rejuv on those with <5 seconds left as they will be running out of range of many of the AoE heals. These people may also require a direct heal to get their health high enough to survive the next Flame Scythe.
  • Use Tree of Life if it is available.
  • Use Tranquility just before a Flame Scythe hits so everyone is high on health and continues to get heals afterward. Just watch your own Searing Seed debuff. Don’t start casting Tranquility if you’re going to have to run out in a couple seconds and interrupt it.
  • Use Barskin just before your searing seed explodes.

Cat Phase

Damage during this phase should not be nearly as intense as scorpion phase. If your raid is spread out, no more than a few people should be taking damage at a time.

  • Keep LB and rejuv on the tank
  • Keep an eye on the boss. Watch to see which way he’s facing as his energy bar fills up. If he targets you (or someone near you) for Leaping Flames you can start moving beforehand to minimize the damage you take.
  • If only one person gets damaged by the Leaping Flames, top them up with a Rejuv or direct heal (slow heals are fine when adrenaline stacks are low, use faster heals as they get higher).
  • If multiple people get damaged, use Wild Growth and RJ/SM to get Efflorescence under those people.
  • At the end of Cat phase when you’re switching to Scorpion, cast a Wild Growth as you’re running in along with a Swiftmend on the tank to get Efflo down. These will do a fair bit of healing while the raid is momentarily frozen (after the first cat phase).

If Burning Orbs are up during Cat phase:

The above advice still applies, but in addition to that:

  • Burning Orbs increase the amount of healing needed in this phase considerably.
  • Keep Rejuv up on anyone in range who is getting damaged by an orb.
  • Use Wild Growth and Efflorescence if multiple orb tanks are close together.
  • Use direct heals to keep these people topped up as well.
  • Use Barkskin if you are targeted by an orb.

Happy Healing!

To the Ground

I really, really didn’t want to write this post. I hate to be a part of the WoW angst machine that gets upset about any change that gets introduced. But this time, I just can’t help myself.

Yesterday the following was posted on the WoW site:

With the final showdown against Deathwing approaching, we’ve been keeping a close eye on players’ progress through the current Firelands raid content. Before patch 4.3 is released, we want groups who are working on Heroic-difficulty content to be able to get as close to Ragnaros as possible, and we want players who are tackling normal progression to be able to experience as many of the encounters as they can. To achieve these goals, we’ll be toning down the difficulty of both normal and Heroic raids through hotfixes in the coming weeks. In general, we plan to reduce health and damage of all raid bosses in both normal and Heroic Firelands by around the same percentage we brought difficulty down for the original Cataclysm raids when Rage of the Firelands (patch 4.2) was released.

We’re looking forward to seeing more groups of players face off against the firelord in the weeks ahead. However, before we make these changes, we want to give everyone a final shot at the bosses at their current difficulty level — so this is a heads up that we’re planning to apply the difficulty hotfixes beginning the week of September 19.

Stay tuned to the Patch 4.2 Hotfixes blog for these and other live updates to the game as they happen.

What the hell?

This, to me, is both puzzling and infuriating. Puzzling because it’s coming at a very strange time. Tier 11 didn’t get nerfed until after Tier 12 came out (and it was only the normal modes). Tier 6 got nerfed just before the Wrath of the Lich King expansion came out. Why are they nerfing all T12 content only 3 months in? When the PTR for T13 is nowhere in sight? I don’t get it. And we’re getting a whopping 1 week notice before the nerfs happen.

Infuriating because this is a lazy, inelegant way of making the content more accessible. I think my guildie Majik said it best on this week’s episode of Blessing of Frost when he said they’re using a machete instead of a scalpel to fix things.

I’m not against nerfs altogether, but there are better ways to do it.

Where are the progression problems coming from? Do most guilds get stuck on Alysrazor because of tornados? Reduce the damage on those, or slow them down a smidge. Is the biggest sticking point on Ragnaros killing the sons before they get to the hammer? Reduce their health, slow them down or remove one or two of them. Make the biggest problem areas just a little easier – don’t make sweeping damage and health reductions to everything.

Another option would be doing it the ICC way. Use gradual nerfs (or buffs to players) over time. It is possible this is the way the T12 nerfs will go since the post mentions hotfixes over the coming weeks. However, there’s still the problem that no one knew this was coming. The fact that we’d be getting the Strength of Wrynn buff in ICC was known before the raid was even released. I don’t believe the specific date of the first buff was revealed, but everyone knew that buffs were coming.We knew we had a certain amount of time to complete the fights as they were created before they’d get a little easier.

These nerfs are completely unexpected. I assumed (and I’m sure many others did as well) that normal modes would be nerfed when T13 was released and hard modes would be left alone, just like they did for the last tier. Learning that everything will be nerfed while we’re still in there feels like I’ve been hit by Sulfuras.

I really don’t understand the obsession with accessibility and seeing content. I want to see the content, but I want it to be challenging. The normal and hard mode dichotomy was supposed to address the rift between those who just wanted to see the content and those who want to have to work hard to complete it. It certainly hasn’t been a perfect system, but now it’s becomming even worse.

I personally don’t have a strong opinion on nerfs to normal modes – they don’t have much of an effect on me – so I’ll leave that argument to those who are affected. But leave the hard modes alone. I want to wipe on fights until the mechanics are perfected. I want to have to put 100% effort into a new boss kill. I want a challenge. I don’t think a 20% nerf to everything will make all the heroic bosses complete push-overs but it will make them easier than they are supposed to be. Every new kill I get will feel like a pity kill. I’d feel more accomplished with 4/7 hard heroic modes than 6/7 nerfed heroic modes. (*paragraph edited to reduce jerkiness factor – original quoted in comments*)

Last night when the nerfs were announced my guildie Sara said something on Twitter that made me feel extra awful (though I’m positive that wasn’t her intent):

I don’t get why people get mad at nerfs – if we hadn’t been so slow on normal FL we’d be well into pre-nerf heroics.

The first thing I thought was, man, I hate being slow. Though I do think Blizzard is making a mistake pushing unexpected nerfs onto heroic content mid-way through the tier, what she said was true. I’m only at 1/7 heroics in both my guilds. To me, based on what I hope for and expect of myself, that is slow. I’ve always considered myself a very good player, but maybe I’m not so great. And if I’m not so great, I feel like a giant asshole for writing this blog and telling others how to play. Or maybe my expectations based on the amount of time I’m willing to put into the game are too high. Either way, this is the first time in a long time (maybe ever) that an announcement about a video game has made me feel this shitty.

I hope Blizzard will reconsider nerfing the content that is supposed to be challenging by so much.

What do you think of the Firelands nerfs?

How to Heal: Lord Rhyolith (25N)

This is a Druid healing guide for the Firelands raid instance. Though it’s written from a 25-man perspective, most of the tips should apply to 10s as well.

Lord Rhyolith is…an exercise in frustration. I really don’t know how else to describe it. There’s a little bit of raid awareness needed, two bad things to not stand in and the amount of healing needed will depend almost entirely on the dps driving the boss and how fast they can stomp active volcanoes.

If you’re not familiar with the general tactics of the fight, check out the Icy Veins guide.

Debuffs you want to be aware of:

Eruption (Lord Rhyolith)Eruption – Every time a volcano activates, Eruption will be applied to a random 6 players every 2 seconds until the volcano gets stomped. The debuff will increase fire damage taken by 10% per stack. Every new volcano will put up a new stack. I’ve found it pretty difficult to keep track of other people’s stacks, since multiple stacks can be up at once, but I try to keep an eye on my own stacks as a general guideline on how much damage people will be taking.

I’m usually assigned to heal the ranged on this fight.

Phase 1:

Damage during phase 1 starts out very low but ramps up quickly as volcanoes are spawned. Rhyolith is not tanked in phase 1, but there are Fragments and Sparks (adds) that need to be tanked.

  • Stack Lifebloom on the tank who will be grabbing the Fragments, as they will spawn first.
  • The first thing Rhyolith will do is cast Concussive Stomp. Counter this with Wild Growth and a few Rejuvenations. He will stomp every 30 seconds.
  • When the Fragments are about to spawn, stand on top of the tank who will be picking them up. Your healing aggro will help to round them up (and make it easier for the tank to get them before they hit you in the face too much).
  • Use Rejuv and Swiftmend to get Efflorescence under the tank and any other people near the Fragments.
  • Shortly after the Fragments die, a Spark will spawn. Stack Lifebloom on the Spark tank if you can. Do not stand near the Spark, as it has a constant Immolation aura.
  • The Fragments and Sparks will continue to spawn all through phase one.
  • Heal up your assignments with Wild Growth, Rejuvs and spot heal with Regrowth.
  • Get Efflorescence on the ground whenever people are grouped up.
  • When damage gets higher (due to many Eruption debuffs) use Tree of Life and cast Lifeblooms throughout the raid and Wild Growth on cooldown.
  • Tranquility is great in phase 2, so you want to make sure it is up for that. If you don’t find a use for Tranq within the first 90 seconds or so, save it.
  • Innervate early and often.
  • Use Barkskin often. A good time to use it is right before a Stomp.
  • Don’t stand in MagmaFlow.

Phase 2:

When Rhyolith reaches 25% health he becomes Superheated and does Immolation damage to the whole raid every second. He does require a tank at this point. Everyone else should stack up behind the boss. This phase goes extremely quickly. If most of your dps is still alive, he’ll likely die within 30 seconds so don’t worry about mana conservation.

  • Stack Lifebloom and Rejuv on the tank.
  • Use Wild Growth and Swiftmend on cooldown.
  • Use Tranquility when he gets to around 10% health.
  • Use Barkskin if it’s available.

Happy healing!

How to Heal: Alysrazor (25N)

This is a Druid healing guide for the Firelands raid instance. Though it’s written from a 25-man perspective, most of the tips should apply to 10s as well.

Alysrazor is a test of awareness, movement and not standing in the bad.

If you’re not familiar with the general tactics of the fight, check out the Icy Veins guide.

Debuffs you want to be aware of:

FieroblastFieroblast – This spell is cast by the Blazing Talon Initiates. It should be interrupted by the dps but if it gets off, it does a chunk of fire damage and leaves a DoT. If you have Nature’s Cure, dispel this. If not, you’ll need to heal through it.

Gushing WoundGushing Wound – The Voracious Hatchling will put this on the tank (and anyone else silly enough to stand in front of it). It will do damage every 0.2 seconds for 1 minute or until the target reaches 50% health.

As usual I’m assigned to raid healing on this fight. However, for phase 1 the majority of my healing goes on one of the Hatchling tanks.

The Pull:

  • As soon as the pull is made Alysrazor will do big damage to the whole raid plus a knock back and then 10,000 damage every second for 10 seconds. I like to pre-cast a Rejuvenation on myself so I can Swiftmend and put down an Efflorescence immediately after the knock back (this won’t work on the first pull of the night because the RP is too long, but will work on subsequent pulls).
  • After the knock back you can also use Wild Growth and Tranquility – Tranq may seem like overkill, but you won’t need it in the next 3 minutes, so may as well make use of it.

Phase 1:

  • Once the Firestorm is finished get out of the center of the room, as Alysrazor will fly through, using Blazing Claw. You’ll want to avoid the center of the room for most of the fight.
  • You’ve got about 15 seconds to orient yourself before any more damage goes out.
  • Pick up a Molten Feather when you can, which will give you the ability to cast while moving and increase your movement speed. You should likely pick up a Feather the second time they are dropped as those going into the air and the less mobile healers should get them first.
  • The tanks will begin taking damage after Alysrazor drops two eggs in the middle of the arena which will hatch. Stay away from the eggs, as the Hatchlings will imprint on the first person they see.
  • Stack Lifebloom and roll a Rejuvenation on your tank. Spam direct heals to keep them topped up. Remember that you can cast while moving if you have a feather – if you often use movement to cancel casts, that won’t work anymore.
  • Cast Thorns on the tank as often as possible. The extra damage will help to kill the Hatchling.
  • Shortly after the Hatchlings, Lava Worms will spawn. They will rotate 360 degrees and cast Lava Spew in a cone in front of them. The Lava Spew will kill anyone who stands in it quickly, so you need to find a safe place to stand.
Alysrazor Lava Worms positioning

Positioning of Lava Worms (approximate) - Don't stand in the yellow circles.

  • Safe places to stand are the edges of the room or directly in between two Lava Worms. If you stand in one of these place, you shouldn’t ever have to move to avoid the Lava Spew. Find a place where you are in range of your tank and sit there until the tank moves. Just watch for Brushfire, you’ll still need to move to avoid those.
  • Watch the dps and other healers on your side of the room. Dispel any Fieroblast and top up those who get hit by Fieroblast, Brushfire or Lava Spew. All of this damage is avoidable, so you the dps should not need much healing.
  • When the tank gets Gushing Wound, stop healing and let the debuff fall off. Be sure to have a big heal ready for when it falls off to quickly top the tank back up. Swiftmend or Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch works well.
  • Watch out for the Hatchling’s Tantrum (they will get big and red). The tank will need big heals when this happens.
  • Innervate when you hit 80% mana and whenever it comes off cooldown. You can be fairly loose with your mana during this fight as you will have a chance to gain it all back during phase 3.

Phase 2:

Alysrazor will use three abilities that must be avoided. Stay away from the center of the arena to avoid Fiery Vortex. Stay away from the edges of the arena to avoid Harsh Winds and run around in circles to avoid Fiery Tornados. This phase lasts 30 seconds.

  • Make sure you’re not near the middle or edges of the room as this phase begins.
  • Use Barkskin.
  • As soon as the Tornados spawn, start running. I find the easiest way to avoid getting hit is to chase the Tornados. Wait for one to pass you and then chase it. When it starts getting far ahead, wait for another one to pass you and turn around to chase it.
  • If your tank’s Hatchling is still alive at this point, you will need to heal them. Try to stay in range of them while avoiding the tornados (just change direction more often so you don’t move too far away). Remember that you can still cast on he move at this point.
  • Toss out heals (Wild Growth, Rejuv, Swiftmend) on the raid as you run around.

Phase 3:

This phase has no incoming damage and allows you to regenerate all of your mana.

  • All dps and healers should group up.
  • Pop Tree of Life and start casting Wrath at Alysrazor, which will regen your mana through Essence of the Green.
  • When Alysrazor’s Molten Power (energy bar) hits 50, the phase will end.

Phase 4:

This phase has high damage to the whole raid. Blazing Buffet deals 15,000 damage per second to everyone. She will also do damage to the tanks. This phase lasts 25 seconds.

  • Use Rejuv and Swiftmend to get Efflorescence down immediately.
  • Cast Wild Growth on cooldown.
  • Use Barkskin.
  • Put Lifeblooms and Rejuv on the tank.
  • Fill in the gaps on the raid with Rejuvs.
  • Use Tranquility when Alysrazor reaches ~75 Molten Power.

After this, the whole fight will repeat. She’ll do a big knockback dealing 50,000 damage to everyone then go back to her phase 1 abilities.

A few important notes about the fight:

  • Alysrazor will only repeat these phases 3 times. If she’s not dead after the third Phase 4, she will stay on the ground and continue to cast Blazing Buffet on the raid. This acts as a soft enrage. If she doesn’t go down quickly the healers will likely run out of mana and it will be a wipe.
  • The fight can be won in Phase 1 even if everyone on the ground is dead. It is possible for the dps air team to kill her on their own. As long as they don’t come too close to the ground they should be able to stay in the air without taking damage.

Happy healing!

How to Heal: Baleroc (25N)

This is a Druid healing guide for the Firelands raid instance. Though it’s written from a 25-man perspective, most of the tips should apply to 10s as well.

Baleroc is a healer test. There are buffs you need to manage in order to increase the power of your heals to keep up with the tanks’ massively inflated health pools.

If you’re not familiar with the general tactics of the fight, check out the Icy Veins guide.

Debuffs you want to be aware of:

TormentTorment – This debuff appears on the person standing closest to a Shard of Torment. It causes stacking shadow damage every second. There are 2 shards up at a time, so this debuff will be on 2 people.

Buffs you will get that you want to be aware of:

Vital SparkVital Spark – When you cast a direct heal on someone being damaged by Torment you gain stacks of Vital Spark (1 application per 3 Torment stacks on the person).

Vital-FlameVital Flame – When you cast a direct heal on someone with the Blaze of Glory buff (the tank) your healing on them will be increased by 5% per stack of Vital Spark you have. This lasts for 15 seconds.

Only direct heals will cause these buffs to trigger: Regrowth, Nourish, Healing Touch and Swiftmend. HoTs will not trigger them. You want to get your Vital Spark stacks as high as possible so you can keep up with the tank’s rising health pool and damage taken. It is very important to note that while you have Vital Flame, you cannot build more stacks of Vital Spark. Vital Flame needs to run out before you can build spark stacks again. Casting a direct heal on the tank will refresh the duration of Vital Flame. I use Beru’s Power Auras to track these two buffs.

Since healing strategies for this fight can vary, I’m going to share the one we use in Apotheosis:

  • We use 6 healers who get paired up for healing assignments.
  • We use 2 tanks, one who tanks most of the encounter and one who only taunts for Decimating Blade.
  • For the first shard the healers rotate assignments every 15 seconds – this is so everyone gets some stacks of Vital Spark at the beginning in case the boss uses Decimating Blade at the start.
  • After the first Shard we switch to 30 second rotations.
  • The healer rotation always follows the same order: Healer group 1 heals tanks, then melee Torment targets, then ranged Torment targets (repeat). Healer group 2 heals melee, then ranged, then tanks. Healer group 3 heals ranged, then tanks, then melee.

The Fight :

The toughest things about this encounter is keeping on top of your healing assignment as it rotates and keeping an eye on your Vital Spark and Flame buffs.

  • Before the pull, cast a direct heal to trigger Harmony and stack Lifebloom and Rejuvenation on the tank who will be pulling.
  • Heal the tank until the first Shard of Torment spawns.
  • When the shard spawns make sure you are not standing near it. There will be a purple glow in the spot it’s going to appear. If you’re near it, move. Getting the Tormented debuff will reduce your healing done by 50% and make things very difficult.

Healing the first Torment target

  • I try to get my Vital Spark stacks high as fast as possible when healing my first Torment target. As soon as the first Shard spawns I pop Tree of Life and spam instant Regrowths on them.
  • When the target gets to 12 Torment stacks Swiftmend them for a few more instant spark stacks.
  • If your mana is under 80% after this (it most likely is) Innervate

Healing subsequent Torment targets

  • Your goal should be to build as many Vital Spark stacks as possible without going oom.
  • Roll a Rejuvenation on the Torment target.
  • Chain-cast Nourish. As the Torment stacks get higher you may need to cast Healing Touch or Regrowth. Use Swiftmend for a quick 3 sparks when the person gets to 12 stacks.
  • You can refresh your HoTs on the tank while healing Torment, but do not cast any direct heals on them. Stick to your assignment.

Healing the Tank

  • When you’re switching from healing Torment targets to healing the tanks, you want to get a direct heal on the tank as fast as possible to trigger Vital Flame. Use Swiftmend if it’s off cooldown or Regrowth to do this.
  • The healing on the main tank isn’t too demanding. Just keep up your HoTs, and chain-cast Nourish or Healing Touch.
  • Healing the Decimating Strike tank is where things get tougher. Roll a Rejuv and chain-cast Healing Touch, along with Swiftmend when it’s available or Regrowth if you want a faster heal. Be ready to use Nature’s Swiftness here if you have it. Pop Tree of Life for the second time during Decimation Blade.
  • When you’re getting ready to switch back to healing Torment, keep a very close eye on your Vital Flame timer. When the time left on the buff is down to 2 or 3 seconds stop casting direct heals on the tanks. Just refresh your HoTs and get ready to swap targets. If you have the Vital Flame buff you will not be able to build Vital Spark stacks.

Other spells

  • Since there should only ever be 3 people taking damage at a time Wild Growth and Tranquility don’t have much use in this fight.

Happy healing!