Tag Archives: bastion of twilight

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: Halfus Wyrmbreaker (25H)

Halfus is the first fight that most guilds tackle on heroic. He’s arguably the easiest hard mode, though it can be a challenge for healers, especially at the start. Here are some tips for healing the fight as a resto druid.

Halfus Wymbreaker

The difference between hard mode and normal mode:

When I heal this fight I generally focus on one tank and heal the raid as well. This is one of the fights that makes me love playing a druid. With all our HoTs and some clever cooldown use we can put out healing on the entire raid and help support all the tanks during the harrowing first minute of the fight.

Phase 1:

The damage on this fight is front-loaded. At the beginning you’ll have multiple tanks taking heavy damage along with substantial raid damage. As drakes are killed, the incoming damage is reduced and the fight gets easier. Remember to Innervate yourself early and often – you’ll likely need your first  one 30-40 seconds into the fight.

  • Stack Lifebloom and cast a Rejuvenation on your assigned tank before the pull.
  • When the pull happens, Halfus’s first Shadow Nova is likely to get off and damage the whole raid. Be ready to cast Wild Growth as soon as it happens, along with a Swiftmend on your assigned tank. You can also use Barkskin right off the bat to help reduce the damage on yourself.
  • Once all the tanks have picked up their targets use Tree of Life. Cast Lifebloom and Rejuv on all the tanks and use WG on cooldown to counter raid damage. Use OoC procs on instant Regrowths for your assigned tank (or someone else if your tank is stable).
  • Heal your assigned tank with Swiftmend, Regrowth and Healing Touch as needed.
  • Try to keep the Lifebloom stacks up on all the tanks for as long as ToL lasts, but don’t let your target die in order to do so.
  • After ToL has faded keep Lifebloom on your assigned tank along with direct heals when needed, Rejuv on all tanks and support the raid with Wild Growth.
  • Use Swiftmend on whichever tank is on the current kill target to keep an Efflorescence under the melee.
  • When raid damage gets heavy, usually during a Scorching Breath, cast Wild Growth followed immediately by Tranquility. Try to do this fairly early on in the fight so it will be available to use again in phase 2.
  • Keep up a healing pattern of LB, Rejuv, direct heals on your tank target, RJ on other tanks and WG/Efflo on the raid until phase 2.
  • Don’t forget to Barkskin before Scorching Breaths and use Innervate once it comes off cooldown.

Phase 2:

All the drakes should be dead before Halfus reaches 50% and enters phase 2. There should only be one tank to heal at a time, but the tanks will be switching due to having to let the Malevolent Strikes debuff wear off. Halfus will cast Furious Roar 3 consecutive times every 30 seconds which will stun and damage everyone. As long as the raid moves out of Fireball Barrage and Shadow Nova gets interrupted, phase 2 is a piece of cake compared to phase 1.

  • Keep Lifebloom stacks and Rejuv on the current tank.
  • Heal the raid with Wild Growth, Rejuvenation, Regrowth and Swiftmend to keep an Efflorescence under the melee as much as possible.
  • Be prepared for the Furious Roar. When you see it will happen soon:
    • Refresh the tank’s Lifebloom and Rejuvenation so they will last throughout the Roar;
    • Make sure everyone in the raid has enough health to survive the Roar – try to ensure everyone is above 75% health;
    • If possible, cast a Wild Growth on the raid and a Swiftmend on the tank just before the Roar happens.
    • Use Barkskin.
  • Tranquility should be available for use again in phase 2. Use it either 10-15 seconds before a Furious Roar, if multiple people are low on health, or after the Roar in order to get people topped up quickly.

Happy healing!

Barkskin in Bastion of Twilight

This is the second post on Barkskin in tier 11. To read general information about Barkskin and why it’s so awesome, see my first post on Barkskin in BWD.

Here are some of the best places to use Barkskin in Bastion of Twilight and Baradin Hold. This applies whether you are resto or dps (I won’t presume to tell bears when to use Barkskin).

Bastion of Twilight

Halfus Wyrmbreaker

The beginning of the fight is the most hectic part, so it’s a good idea to use Barkskin straight off. It will help reduce damage from the proto-behemoth’s abilities or any Shadow Novas that get cast. Continue to use Barkskin on cooldown until Halfus reaches 50%.

Once Halfus reaches 50%, use Barkskin before each Furious Roar, as everyone gets stunned and is unable to heal.

Valiona and Theralion

While fighting Valiona, use Barkskin when collapsing for Blackout. It can also be used if you get caught in Devouring Flames (but try not to).

While fighting Theralion, Barkskin should be used on cooldown. Between Meteorites, Fabulous Flames and Engulfing Magic, you’re likely taking damage through most of the phase.

Twilight Ascendant Council

During phase 1, use Barkskin when Feludius starts casting Aegis of Flame.

In phase 2, use it before Thundershock or Quake. If you find yourself with the wrong buff (because the tornado and spawned right on top of each other, or you had to run away because you were the lightning rod), Barkskin can help you survive.

When you reach phase 3 the whole raid will start taking increasing amounts of damage, use Barkskin on cooldown.


In phase 1, there is only one source of unavoidable damage on the raid. When Cho’gall has Shadow’s Orders up, the raid will be taking shadow damage on each of his melee strikes. Use Barkskin to mitigate the damage from this.

In phase 2, damage will begin to ramp up as your Corruption increases. Cho’gall will begin using Corruption of the Old God which will do damage to the whole raid every 2 seconds. Use Barkskin on cooldown throughout the phase.

Baradin Hold


Use Barkskin just before you get hit with Meteor Slash.

And now, a rant!

I read a comment about Barkskin the other day that really made me mad. The comment questioned how useful Barkskin really was for druids, and claimed that they rarely use it because they can survive without it.

My mind, it was boggled.

I know that some people don’t use Barkskin because they forget. It never became part of their playstyle, and they just don’t think of it. That is very unfortunate, but is an innocent mistake (though they should really work on it). To say “I rarely use Barkskin because I can survive without it” is awful. In my mind it’s no better than saying:  “I could run out of this fire on the ground immediately, but I can survive a few ticks” or “I could interrupt this spell, but it’s not going to kill anyone.”

When you’re in a dungeon or raid with other people, every little bit counts. When faced with the option of taking 60,000 damage or using Barkskin and taking only 48,000 damage, the correct course of action should be extremely obvious.

Happy Barkskining!