Tag Archives: Strategy

XCOM2 Tips and a Strategy Game Question

XCOM2 is out! I basically play this 12 hours a day now, I’m having so much fun with it. I thought I’d parlay all that time played into a video with 10 tips to get you started with the game. Here it is:

I got a comment on the video, which I haven’t responded to yet, that asks what it is about XCOM that appeals to me. They go on to say that in their experience women aren’t very in to the strategy genre but have a seen a ton playing and talking about XCOM2 and they wonder what about it appeals to women moreso than other strategy games.

First, I obviously am not a fan of sweeping generalizations about what genres appeal to each genre. Second, women are not a monolith so aside from the fact that XCOM features just as many women as men, which I think is a draw, I can’t really say why anyone else is attracted to the game. Third, my experience is contrary to the commenters. I know lot of women who play and talk about strategy games like Civ, Crusader Kings, Banished, Cities: Skylines, Warcraft, Starcraft, but when I fangirl out about XCOM it’s mostly men who respond in kind.

Lastly, I tried to think of some common denominator shared between the strategy games I love. I like the alien and sci-fi aspect of XCOM – but also like high fantasy strategy games and the semi-realistic nature of Civilization. I love that I can micromanage the tactical combat in XCOM, as opposed to just building and placing units and letting them do their thing – but not being able to do that doesn’t turn me off the others. I like that in Civ I can get cultural and technological victories rather than fight – but I’m also good with the all military, all the time nature of XCOM.

Which brings me to my questions for you. Do you like strategy games? What draws you to the ones you like? Alternatively, if you don’t like Strategy games, why not?

Heroic Yor’sahj (25)

Heroic Yor’sahj is my favourite encounter to heal in Dragon Soul so far. It has some random elements, so you need to be on your toes. It has periods where everyone takes damage and you need to spam heal your bark off, and it has periods where you need to heal smartly, lest you blow up the raid.

Yor'sahj the Unsleeping

Heroic Yor’sahj was also the first fight I had to help coordinate as the new healing lead for Apotheosis. At first keeping track of everyone’s cooldowns and doing callouts while trying to figure out how to heal the fight myself made my head explode a little, but after a night or two or attempts we had a pretty good grasp on the healing. Here’s how we handled healing assignments and cooldowns, along with some specific tips for healing this fight as a resto Druid.

The Oozes

In heroic mode, you will always have 3 oozes up at a time. Here’s what they do:

Purple – Gives everyone (except pets) Deep Corruption. Every time someone is healed, they get a stack. If they reach 5 stacks they explode, doing massive damage to the raid.

Red – Yor’sahj will cast Searing Blood on 8 random raid members, doing more damage the further away they are.

Green – Yor’sahj will cast Digestive Acid, which does moderate damage to random targets which will splash to everyone within 4 yards of them.

Yellow – Gives Yor’sahj Glowing Blood of Shu’ma which makes him attack 50% faster and use his abilities twice as often.

Blue – Creates a mana void. This will drain everyone’s entire mana pool. When it is killed it will explode and return the mana to everyone within 30 yards.

Black – Spawns small adds which will focus on random targets and use Psychic Slice.

Which Oozes do you kill?

There are only 6 possible combinations of oozes that will spawn.

1. BlackBlueGreenPurple
Kill Black

2. BlackBlueGreenRed
Kill Green

3. BlackBluePurpleYellow
Kill Yellow

4. BlackGreenRed Yellow
Kill Green

5. BlackPurpleRedYellow
Kill Yellow

6. Blue – GreenPurpleYellow
Kill Yellow if no adds are up. If adds are up kill Green.

Healing assignments

The groups were set up like so:

Group 1 – 2 tanks, 3 healers
Group 2 – 5 melee
Group 3 – 1 healer, 4 ranged/melee dps
Group 4 – 1 healer, 4 ranged dps
Group 5 – 1 healer, 4 ranged dps

We had a holy pally and disc priest (in group 1) on the tanks. A second holy pally healed groups 1 and 2. Then we had the other 3 healers (some combination of 2 resto druids/1 holy priest/1 resto shaman) responsible for the group they were in. These healing assignments were very strict for any phase with the purple ooze active. When there was no purple ooze, there was a lot of cross-healing.

COoldowns

There are 6 possible combinations of active oozes you will have to deal with. From most hurty to least hurty, they are:

BlackRedYellow
BlackBlueRed
BlackPurpleRed
BlackBluePurple
Blue – GreenPurple
Blue – PurpleYellow

I set up two separate cooldowns orders based on how much damage was going out and whether or not the purple ooze was active. To make things easier for everyone else, I would track the cooldowns and call for them as they were needed over Mumble.

Black – RedYellow
Black – BlueRed

These are the most hurty combos. Throughput cooldowns are great here, but mitigation helps as well. Good cooldowns for these combos.

  • Aura Mastery
  • Divine Hymn
  • Tranquility
  • Frenzied Regeneration (with 4-set bonus)
  • Vampiric Blood (with 4-set bonus)

For BlackRedYellow the cooldowns had to be chained. For BlackBlueRed the damage is not so intense so they can be spread out more.

BlackPurpleRed
BlackBluePurple

These combos don’t hurt quite so much, but they are difficult because the purple ooze means that AoE healing can’t be used. Here mitigation cooldowns that don’t cause stacks are the way to go:

  • Divine Guardian
  • Shield Wall (with 4-set bonus)
  • Power Word: Barrier
  • Spirit Link Totem

For BlackPurpleRed the cooldowns are chained. For BlackBluePurple you generally will only need 1 or two for the whole phase.

BlueGreenPurple
BluePurpleYellow

No cooldowns are needed.

How to Deal with each Ooze Combo

BlackRedYellow

With this combo you’ve got adds beating on random raid members, and a huge amount of damage coming from the Searing Blood, which is hitting twice as often as normal due to the presence of the yellow ooze. On the bright side, everyone can stack up in the boss’s hit box and you can make the most of group/ground heals.

Cooldowns will be needed with this combination. The cooldowns we use here are:

  • Aura Mastery (we usually have 2 in a row)
  • Tranquility
  • Divine Hymn

We’d use four cooldowns, back-to-back.

Tree tips: Heal all the things! Keep up your maximum throughput rotation: use Swiftmend and Wild Growth on cooldown, keep a LB rolling and fill in the gaps with Rejuv and Regrowth. Use Barkskin.

BlackBlueRed

This combo has damage from adds, searing blood and the raid’s mana gets drained. The damage during this is significant, but not nearly as bad as Black – Red – Yellow above. We use the same types of cooldowns (AM, Tranq, Hymn), but spread them out more. Generally we can get through this phase using only one or two of the cooldowns.

Tree tips: This is a good combo to use Tree of Life on. You can get out a lot of Lifeblooms and Regrowths on OoC procs while your mana is low, and the 15% extra healing helps too. I generally do not use my Innervate on the first blue phase. I will save it for an emergency (like not being close enough to mana void when it dies).

BlackPurpleRed

This combo has pretty heavy damage from the red and black, plus the healers have to be careful because of the purple. Everyone must only heal their assigned groups.

On this combo we use cooldowns which prevent damage and don’t cause stacks:

  • Divine Guardian
  • Power Word: Barrier
  • Spirit Link Totem

We’d generally need to use all 3 cooldowns during this phase. I found Spirit Link to be especially awesome. It was so nice seeing people close to death being brought up to safe levels of health without getting extra Deep Corruption stacks.

Tree tips: When you first encounter the purple ooze it can be a little freaky. You don’t want to be the one who heals too much and blows up the raid. But I have to say: Don’t be afraid to heal (as long as you stick to your assignment). The Deep Corruption debuff only lasts 25 seconds, meaning it will reset midway through the phase. With this combo I will cast a Wild Growth and get an Efflorescence on the ground just before the oozes reach the boss. Once the oozes hit then you need to start being careful. I will generally cast a Rejuv on those in my group who are being targeted by an add and use Regrowth as a spot heal. I will also use Swiftmend when it’s available as Efflorescence causes no stacks. If you want to be really cautious you can cast Rejuv/SM on a pet so you get the benefit on the Efflo without causing stacks on anyone, but I never found this was necessary. Do not use Wild Growth here.

BlackBluePurple

This combo has damage from adds, a mana drain and Deep Corruption. The damage isn’t too bad, but using one or two mitigation cooldowns can be useful. Everyone stays grouped up and healers must stick to their assignments.

Tree tips: This is a fairly easy combo to heal. The tips from Black – Purple – Red above apply here as well.

BlueGreenPurple

This combo is the only one the raid needs to be spread out for. I find the hardest part about this combo is making sure you’re in range of the mana void when it dies while still being 4 yards apart from everyone to avoid splash damage. Other than that, this phase isn’t too tough. Healers must stick to their assignments.

Tree tips: This is a fairly easy combo to heal. I will generally cast a Rejuv on anyone taking damage in my group and use Regrowth if anyone’s health gets too low. Swiftmend is also useful, though usually only one person will benefit from the Efflorescence.

BluePurpleYellow

This isn’t a combo we saw often. It only happened when Blue – Green – Purple – Yellow spawned and there were still adds up from a previous phase. We would kill Green rather than Yellow so that we could stack up to finish off the adds. This isn’t a healing-intensive combo.

Tree tips: This is a fairly easy combo to heal. The tips from Black – Purple – Red above apply here as well.

The Tough Parts

How do you handle mana voids?

When we get a mana void for the first time in the fight, we use all the group mana returns (Hymn of Hope, Mana Tide Totem) after it drains our mana. Then we have 2 hunters work on bringing it down, but don’t kill it until the next time a mana void spawns and drains our mana. This way we get our mana back almost immediately for the second and subsequent blue oozes. Be sure you are in range of the mana void (30 yards) when it is killed, or you get nothing.

Who heals the non-active tank?

We have both our tank healers on the active tank. However, the non-active tank is still taking significant damage from the Void Bolt DoT and any other raid damage going on during the phase. We found the best way to deal with this was to have our raid-healing paladin look after this tank. They have a lot of tricks to use (Beacon, Word of Glory) that don’t cause any stacks.

What happens when the next wave of oozes spawn and there are still adds up?

Run after the dps as they head towards the ooze. Continue to heal the people in your group who are being attacked or they’re going to die.

What happens when you’re out of cooldowns?

This sometimes happens. I have certain cooldowns assigned to more than one ooze combo each. We have, for example, seen a BlackRedYellow, used all of our output cooldowns, then had a BlackBlueRed immediately afterwards. When this happens, you need to improvise. I’d start calling for the damage mitigation cooldowns in this case, then mentally plan ahead for what we’d need and what would be off cooldown for the next hurty phase. A cooldown monitor (like the one in ORA3) is extremely helpful.

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!

How to Heal: Beth’tilac (25N)

This is my second 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.

Beth’tilac is generally the second boss raid groups tackle in Firelands. I giant fiery spider with a lot of adds to manage. The first phase of the fight isn’t too difficult from a healer perspective but the second phase has huge, always-increasing raid-wide damage.

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:

Fiery Web SilkFiery Web Silk – This buff is applied to anyone who goes up on Beth’s web during phase 1. It’s not 100% necessary to be able to see this, but if you’re healing on the ground I find it helpful to be able to see who I won’t be able to heal. If you’re healing up top it will show you who you need to heal.

Widow's KissThe Widow’s Kiss – This debuff is applied to the tanks in phase 2. As soon as you see it applied to one tank, expect the other to taunt.

When I heal Beth’tilac I am generally on the raid and I do not go up on the web.

Phase 1 :

This phase is about add control. A small team consisting of a tank, a couple healers and possibly some dps will go up onto Beth’s web to engage her while the rest of the raid stays on the ground to fight adds. Raid-wide AoE damage will begin almost immediately after the pull and persist until people go up on top of the web.

  • Before the pull, cast a direct heal to trigger Harmony and stack Lifebloom on the tank who will be going on the web.
  • Once the boss has been pulled, cast Wild Growth as you are running into the room along with a Rejuvenation on yourself. When the raid is situated, Swiftmend to place an Efflorescence.
  • Use Barkskin.
  • When you see/hear that the tank is going on top of the web, refresh their LB stack and put a Rejuv on them to give them a bit of a buffer for the initial damage. You may also want to Rejuv any dps/healers that are going up the web.
  • The Venom Rain will stop once the tank is up there.
  • Once your LB has expired stack it up on the Drone tank along with a Rejuv. Use direct heals when necessary.
  • The raid will be taking random damage from Burning Acid so spot heal people with Rejuv, Regrowth, Wild Growth and try to keep Efflorescence down for the people who are grouped up.
  • I like to use Tree of Life and Innervate approximately 1-2 minutes into the fight so it’s up again for phase 2.
  • Approximately 1:20 after the web group goes up, Beth’tilac will begin casting Smoldering Devastation meaning they all need to jump back down to the ground.
  • At this point Beth will start casting Venom Rain again.
  • Use Barkskin.
  • Use Tranquility on the first Venom Rain so it is up again for phase 2. Use Wild Growth and Efflorescence as much as possible.
  • After this, the web team will go back up and the phase will repeat.

If you are part of the team that goes up onto Beth’s web in phase 1:

  • Make sure the tank has Lifebloom and Rejuv before they go up the web.
  • Make sure the tank goes up before you (unless you like being smacked around by the boss).
  • Keep LB and Rejuv rolling on the tank at all times. The tank will be taking considerable damage, so use a lot of direct heals as well.
  • Use Wild Growth on cooldown to counter the damage the rest of the group is taking from Ember Flare. Use Beth’tilac as your target to ensure it hits everyone.
  • Use Rejuv on anyone who needs extra healing, and use Swiftmend on cooldown to keep Eflorescence up.

 Phase 2:

After Beth has cast Smoldering Devastation 3 times, she will come down off her web and phase 2 will start. During this phase Beth’tilac will cast Ember Flare on the raid every 6 seconds or so. She will also build stacks of Frenzy, increasing her damage done by 5% per stack. The longer this phase lasts, the more intense the raid damage becomes.

  • Group up on the boss’s butt.
  • Stack Lifebloom on the current tank. When the tank gets The Widow’s Kiss be prepared to swap your LB to the other tank.
  • Use Wild Growth and Swiftmend on the raid every time they are off cooldown.
  • Use Barkskin on cooldown.
  • Mana may get tight on this phase so Innervate as soon as you need it and a mana pot will be helpful as well.
  • Use Tree of Life and spam Lifebloom on the raid along with Regrowths on every OoC proc to conserve your mana pool (along with WG/SM on cooldown).
  • If ToL is not up, toss Rejuvs on those with the lowest health.
  • When the stacks of Frenzy get high (~15) use Tranquility.

Happy healing!

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!

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!

Healing ICC: Blood Queen Lana’thel

blood-queen-lanathel

Blood Queen is a fun fights for resto druids. Everytime I see my HPS at the end of the fight my head swells a little. As much as I dislike the raid blanketing, rejuv everyone without really thinking playstyle, it’s very effective on this fight. Healing is heaviest the beginning of the fight, with the whole raid taking significant aoe damage. As more people get bitten, and start healing themselves with the damage they do, raid healing becomes easier.

Normal Mode

  • Keep Rejuv and Regrowth on the main tank and the soaker
  • Start rolling your Rejuvs on as many people as possible. I tend to focus on the ranged dps and healers.
  • Use Wild Growth on cooldown. I usually cast it on the boss so it hits the melee and tanks. I will also sometimes use it on the people effected by Pact of the Darkfallen as they come together.
  • Make sure the person with Swarming Shadows has a Rejuv on them.
  • The dps who get Essence of the Blood Queen heal themselves for a portion of the damage they do. They should need the least healing.
  • Use Swiftmend or Nourish when anyone gets too low on health. I end up mostly using these on the tanks or people with Pact of the Darkfallen.
  • Use Barkskin when during the air phase. You can use Tranquility during one air phase to top up your group. Mostly I prefer to just keep my HoTs up and rattle off some quick Nourishes to keep people up during this phase. Focus on the people who have been bitten first. Losing one of the bites to Bloodbolts can cause a wipe.
Heroic Mode

Hard Mode

The differences in hard mode are:

I really never noticed a difference between normal and hard from a healer point of view. The raid damage increases as the fight goes on, but the healing strategy doesn’t change. I recommend the exact same healing method outlined under normal mode.

Optimal Glyphs

Glyph of Swiftmend – As always.
Glyph of Wild Growth – This is a must to help counter the heavy raid damage.

Third glyph is a bit of a toss up. If you healing with another resto druid, you’ll probably want to use Gylph of Rapid Rejuvenation. If you’re the only druid, I’d suggest skipping it so you can cover as many people as possible with Rejuv. Nourish won’t get used much so Glyph of Nourish isn’t great.You could try Glyph of Rejuvenation is you’re really struggling with this fight – I’m generally not a fan of it, but there aren’t really any other decent options.