This is the first of a series of posts going over some strategies for healing the encounters in ICC as a resto druid. I’ll go over both normal and hard modes, highlighting optimal spell choice and the best glyphs for the encounter. I focus on 25-man raiding, but most suggestions can be applied to 10s as well.
Marrowgar is a two-phase fight. The damage pattern changes dramatically between the two phases.
Phase 1 healing:
During phase one most of the damage will be focused on the three tanks. One tank will be getting hit with normal melee swings and all three will be taking damage from Bone Slice. During phase 1 there will also be Bone Spikes which damage 3 random players at a time, and Coldflame, a line of fire which will go in a straight line from Marrowar to his ranged target. Most strategies involve having the raid stay in his hit box so the only people in danger of getting hit with Coldflame in this phase are tanks and hunters.
- Keep Regrowth and Rejuvenation up on all three tanks
- Throw in a Swiftmend or Nourish when any of the tanks start to get low on health
- When Bone Spikes hit, target Marrowgar and cast a Wild Growth (I’m assuming that the raid is standing in his hit-box). Targeting Marrowgar for the WG is optimal as both tanks and non-tanks will be in range. I usually set the boss as my focus target so I can do this easily.
- Spikes should go down rather quickly, but feel free to cast an extra heal on Bone Spike targets if it’s taking a bit longer, or if anyone missed your WG.
- If a hunter is spiked cast a Regrowth and/or Rejuv on them as they will be out of range of AoE heals, and their spike may take longer to go down.
Phase 2 healing:
In phase 2, Marrowgar stops hitting the tanks, casts Bone Storm and starts spinning around the room. Bone Storm inflicts damage on everyone in the room; the closer you are to Marrowgar, the more damage you take. This lasts ~20 seconds. Coldflame behaves differently in phase 2. Each time he starts spinning in place, he will send out 4 lines of Coldflame in 4 different directions. The fire will stay on the ground for 3 seconds.
- Cast Rejuvenation on yourself
- Hit Barskin. It will not last through the whole phase, so you might want to wait to see where he goes before using it. If he starts spinning close to you, pop it; if he goes to the other side of the room, you can wait until he comes back your way.
- Because of the damage reduction of Barkskin, I find it is easiest to stand in one spot (unless you need to move out of fire) for this phase. Pick a position close to the middle so you are in healing range of as many people as possible.
- Go crazy with Rejuvenation
- Regrowth if anyone is getting really low on health.
- Continue to cast Wild Growth on Marrowgar to give extra healing to the people who get caught too close to him, or the melee who insist on continuing to dps through this phase.
- When phase 2 is almost over, start putting your HoTs back up on the tanks.
The differences in hard mode are:
- Marrowgar has more health and deals more damage
- He will continue to cast Bone Spikes throughout phase 2
- Bone Storm lasts longer
- Coldflame stays on the ground for 8 seconds, rather than 3
Marrowgar is a fairly difficult fight on hard-mode, the damage ramps up a lot in phase 2 and positioning becomes very important. Be sure to Innervate yourself early and often on this fight. Phase 2 is very mana-intensive, especially when you’re learning.
Phase 1 healing:
- Keep Rejuv and Regrowth up on all three tanks
- Use Swiftmend and Nourish liberally to keep the tanks topped up
- When Bone Spikes hit, target Marrowgar and cast a Wild Growth. Targeting Marrowgar for the WG is optimal as both tanks and non-tanks will be in range. I usually set the boss as my focus target so I can do this easily.
- You may have to cast additional heals on the Bone Spike targets.
- Don’t forget to toss some extra heals to hunters who are bone spiked.
- When the timer shows that Bone Storm will happen in ~20 seconds, I start casting HoTs on the raid. I’ll cast Regrowth on the squishier people until ~10 seconds to Bone Storm then start spreading Rejuv around. This provides a nice buffer for the start of phase 2. I try to get one HoT up on each of the healers and ranged dps.
- A few seconds before Bone Storm starts, run to your phase 2 position (my guild splits the raid into 2 groups who go to opposite sides of the room – your strategy may differ)
- Make sure you have both a Regrowth and Rejuv on yourself at all times
- Barkskin when Marrowgar is headed to your side of the room. Having talent points in Improved Barskin is very useful on this fight.
- Unlike normal mode, you cannot afford to stay put if Marrowgar is close to you – there’s too much damage.
- Keep Rejuv up on everyone on your side of the room and cast WG on cooldown.
- When someone on your side gets spiked, load them up with HoTs, and Swiftmend or Nourish when necessary.
- If someone gets spiked and is in close proximity to Marrowgar, you’ll need to spam heals on them. Their health will drop very quickly.
- When Bone Storm is about to end, start putting your HoTs back up on the tanks. A quick Swiftmend or NS/HT will often be a lifesaver as the rest of the raid is running back into position for phase 1.
Glyph of Nourish – Phase 1 consists mainly of tank healing, so this will certainly come in handy. I also use Nourish a fair bit on the spike targets in phase 2.
Glyph of Swiftmend – During phase 2, everyone is taking damage. You don’t want to waste any GCDs refreshing HoTs if you don’t need to.
Glyph of Wild Growth – The extra target can be helpful during P1 bone spikes as a well-placed, well timed WG can hit all three tanks and all three bone spike targets. This will also get a lot of use in phase 2.
I don’t recommend Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation for this fight. Although I used it for my first couple hard mode kills, I find being able to have rejuv up on as many people as possible in phase 2 beats the faster ticks.