Tag Archives: Healing

A First Look at Resto Raid Healing

Apotheosis officially started raiding last week. We finished the week with 4/6 bosses killed in Mogu-Shan vaults so I thought it would be a good time to take a look at how resto Druids (or more specifically, this resto Druid) are doing in raids.

After the ease of healing all the heroic dungeons, the normal mode raids were a step up in difficulty. Mana was definitely a concern at times. When I fought my first raid boss, when Mogu’Shan Vaults opened I had about 4500 spirit. This was not enough. I’m now sitting around 6000 spirit, which feels much better.

The Stone Guard

Stone Guard on Tuesday was probably my best performance of the week, healing meter-wise.

I assigned myself to heal our Monk tank, who was tanking 1 add. Here’s what my healing breakdown looked like:

49% of my healing went to my assigned tank, 14% went to another tank and the rest of the raid split the rest of my healing.

Lifebloom did some really strong healing, mostly because I was the only healer assigned to my tank, I think, so it had the chance to heal (rather than overheal) a lot. Rejuv also did a lot of healing as it was constantly rolling on my tank and was used to spot heal the raid. Regrowth was my main direct heal. Because I used Regrowth so much, and was focused on tank healing, Living Seed had a good showing (comparatively), doing 4.3% of my healing.

Overall, there’s nothing too surprising here. The HoT portion of Swiftmend did very little healing as the raid is spread out for most of this fight. I also tended to use SM on my tank so he would benefit from it rather than try to place it so it would heal more people. Wild Mushrooms, as expected, are complete shit. I used them once on this fight and this week I will avoid them altogether. I used Healing Touch 7 times – 4 of those were in combination with Nature’s Swiftness, while the rest were out of habit. This week I will work on not hard casting HT at all, as it is inferior to Regrowth.

Sadly, I had an Amethyst Pool spawn under me just as I started channelling my first Tranquility, so that got interrupted after only one pulse.

Here’s what my buffs cast tab looks like:

As expected, it’s really easy to keep Harmony up 100% of the time. Boo. I’m happy that for the most part, I was good about using my new abilities. The fight lasted 5:46 and I used Ironbark on my tank twice. I used Symbiosis on a Monk and I remembered to use Fortifying Brew twice as well. I could up my Nature’s Swiftness uses a little bit. The one big omission I see here is a lack of tier 6 talent use. This tells me that I probably forgot to switch HotW (which I use in dungeons) for Nature’s Vigil before this fight started. Oops.

Besides a few small things regarding spell use that I can improve on this week, I was happy with my healing on Stone Guard. I felt very strong as a tank healer, much better equipped to handle it than I was in Cata.

Feng the Accursed

Feng is the boss that gave my raid the most trouble. It’s also the fight that hurt my mana pool the most. We ended up using 7 healers for this to compensate for all the damage going out in phase 3.

Those darn Monks. Our entire raid was stacked on top of each other for at least half of this fight, so Spinning Crane Kick and Chi Burst kinda destroyed everyone else in terms of healing. Still, I don’t think I did too bad.

I was raid healing on this fight, so my healing breakdown is a little different, a lot less of my healing comes from direct heals. The Swiftmend HoT is performing much better on this fight since we’re stacked up so often. I did use Mushrooms a couple times on this fight, but only because there are parts of phase 1 and 2 where there’s nothing to heal, so I wasn’t losing anything by setting them up. Still though, they hit for an average of 3500 (before overheal), that’s not even a drop in the bucket.

The only reason Harmony isn’t at 100% here is because I died near the end of the fight. Tree of Life and Nature’s Vigil were really useful on this fight, as there are so many times when the raid damage is incredible. I made sure to use them once in phase 1 and then again to help handle phase 3. Nature’s Vigil also did 750,000 damage to the boss, not a huge amount, but every bit helps. My NS and Fortifying Brew use could have been better and I didn’t use Ironbark at all, which is awful. And goddamn it, I need to stop interrupting my Tranquility cast.

This was a tough fight. I had to make sure I was conserving as much mana as possible in phase 2 in order to be able to handle phase 3. Having two big output increasing cooldowns (and Tranq) for phase 3 is really useful.

Gara’jal

Gara’jal was by far the easiest fight for me to heal. I was assigned to one of the groups that goes down into the spirit realm. The spirit realm was simple to deal with. The first time I went down I used Tranquility to heal everyone up. The 2nd time I just tossed out WG and a few Rejuvs then spammed Regrowth.. Tranq was back up for the 3rd. Because of the mana regen buff you get in the spirit realm, mana wasn’t a concern and I could spam my little heart out.

Because of phasing, the overall healing meters are worthless on this fight, but here’s how my healing breakdown looked.

Pretty standard for raid healing.

I felt really good on this fight. Tranquility was excellent for the spirit world. Ironbark (which I used 3 times on this) was very nice to put on a tank who had Voodoo Doll to prevent some incoming raid damage, and I thought that my HoTs dealt with Voodoo Doll on the raid quite nicely.

Spirit Kings

This was another fight that was relatively easy to heal, mostly because my raid did an amazing job at avoiding everything that could be avoided.

Those Monks… This is another fight where the raid is stacked up for 50% of the encounter. The combination of it being a single-tank fight, plus our raid avoiding all the damage meant there wasn’t a whole lot to heal.

The fact that Tranquility is was my highest healing spell is absurd. That, along with the HUGE amount of overheal on Rejuv and Lifebloom tell me 6 healers is too many.

There’s something a little odd about these numbers – pretty sure Living Seed didn’t have 100% uptime. Spirit Kings is a long fight with a 10 minute enrage, so you can use your cooldowns at least 3 times each. Nature’s Vigil did 850k damage to the boss. Hoever, now that I’ve seen how little healing is needed when things are done correctly, I’ll probably try using Heart of the Wild next time to see if I can help even more with dps.

Overall

Overall, I thought druid healing was fun and effective my first week in Mogu’shan Vaults. My new cooldowns were fun to play with and interesting to find the best timing for. Though it was a little disconcerting to see myself anywhere but on top of the healing meters more often than not, I never felt like I wasn’t equipped to handle the incoming damage. There are a few spots where I can improve my spell use and hopefully increase my healing.

Goal for this week: beat those Monks!

Comparison of Healing Spells by Class

A while back I wrote a post and made a whole lot of charts that compared each healing class in terms of what type of heals and abilities were available to them. People seemed to find it handy, so I’ve made a new charts for Mists.

I hope they will be helpful if you’re thinking of starting a new healer or just want to better understand the capabilities of the rest of your healing team.

Unfotunately, the charts are far too wide to fit into a post, so you’ll have to go to the new page I created here:

Comparison of Healing Spells by Class – Mists of Pandaria

Dragon Soul Retrospective

We’ve been raiding in Dragon Soul for almost 8 months now. I thought I’d take a look at how enjoyable (or not) the instance was as a healer.

Bosses

My guild cleared the raid on normal within 3 weeks of the instance being released, so I’m mostly going to focus on the hard modes. To give a sense of perspective, I’m including the nerf level the instance was at when we defeated each one.

Morchok

Heroic mode killed pre-nerfs

Morchok was disappointing. The first boss should be the easiest, but not *that* easy. Walking into DS for the first time and one-shotting him was not expected.

In heroic, Morchok wasn’t a whole lot harder, and was certainly easier than a number of the later normal mode bosses. The healing wasn’t particularly difficult, and the Black Blood of the Earth phase was more of an annoyance than a challenge.

Enjoyment factor: 3

Hagara

Heroic mode killed pre-nerfs

Normal Hagara wasn’t tuned to be very difficult, but I did enjoy the components of this fight. I liked that every phase was distinct and that there was a lot of movement (hey, I’m a Druid I like to run around in circles). My biggest problem, which is a complaint I have about most normal modes, was that there wasn’t enough damage to heal.

Heroic Hagara was interesting, but many of the mechanics could be brute-forced. Focused Assault should have made this a 2-tank fight but with enough cooldowns (and a DK) it could be single tanked. Frost phase should have required everyone to run around and dodge Ice Waves but it was easier for all the healers and ranged to stand in the middle and heal through the Watery Entrenchment. The one part of the fight I did find challenging was lightning phase. The damage got pretty intense if the lightning wasn’t quickly chained, and this was definitely a challenge to heal through while learning the fight.

Enjoyment factor: 5

Yor’sahj

Heroic mode killed at 5% nerf

Normal Yor’sahj was a complete bore. It was another fight that we one-shot our first night in Dragon Soul, and to me, it was even easier to heal than Morchok. It’s been a while since I’ve done the fight on normal but I remember there being very little healing to do. I was hard-pressed to even find a time to use ToL and Tranquility because there was so little damage going out through the fight.

The difference between normal and heroic Yor’sahj is night and day. Heroic Yor’sahj is my favorite fight in Dragon Soul. It’s amazing the difference an extra ooze (and a whole lot of extra health and damage) can make. Heroic Yor’sahj is a dynamic fight and required a lot of coordination. It was  really fun and challenging when we started learning it. I remember trying to work out cooldowns for the fight and having 2 groups of CDs to use, based on whether or not purple was up, and calling them out when needed. RNG could make the fight extra challenging as having a red-black-yellow phase followed by a red-black-blue could easily use up all the cooldowns and leave you with none for the next set. I also really loved how each combination required you to heal in a different way. One combo required you to put out as much HPS as possible, while the next required planning and control. The purple ooze was a really nice challenge. Though I never found using ‘tricks’ (like Swiftmending pets) necessary on the fight, I liked how it made me heal differently than normal. Not using Wild Growth is harder than it sounds.

The one downside to Heroic Yor’sahj is that the increasing nerfs really killed everything interesting about this fight.

Enjoyment factor – 9

Zon’Ozz

Heroic mode killed at 5% nerf

I don’t have a strong opinion on the normal version of this fight. It was a step up in difficulty from Morchok and Yor’sahj, but it was rather simple. The biggest difficulties usually came from bugs with the void ball. I did like that the fight involved some dispels, which had been absent through most of tier 12.

Heroic, on the other hand, was a lot more fun. The first phase isn’t too challenging, as long as you had enough people capable of bouncing the void ball without dying. Black blood phase is where things got interesting. There were many adds to deal with and a ton of raid damage going out. What made this part enjoyable for me was that people were spread out all over the room. Where much of the healing in Dragon Soul amounts to “group up in one place and use all your AoE and ground heals,” phase 2 of Zon’Ozz made you do something different. Healers were each responsible for their own group. Since my group consisted of 2 melee, 2 ranged and myself, I got a chance to flex my single-target healing muscles.

Enjoyment factor : 7

Ultraxion

Killed at 10% nerf

This was the epitome of a tank and spank fight and it was pretty dull. The only complication was having to use Heroic Will, and healers got the simplest job of anyone as we didn’t even have to deal with Fading Light.

Heroic Ultraxion, from my healer perspective, wasn’t much different from normal. I don’t have any damage mitigation cooldowns (besides Barkskin, which isn’t really good enough) to allow be to be a soaker, so my job didn’t change. The huge problem with Ultraxion was how inconsistent it was in terms of outgoing damage. The first 3-4 minutes could be easily 2-healed. But once you get to Timeloop, you need 5. The transition from dull to nerve-wracking was jarring.

This fight was interesting for me in one way though. When we were working on this fight at the 5% nerf, it was still a very tough dps check for my raid. This pushed me to put out as much damage as I possible could during the first minutes of the fight when little healing was needed. It was fun to tweak my spec and glyphs in order to do as much damage as possible, while making sure I could still put out as much healing as possible at the end of the fight. A few million damage from a healer could be the difference between a 0.2% wipe and a kill.

Enjoyment factor: 4

Blackhorn

Killed at 15% nerf

I really can’t even remember normal Blackhorn. I have so much time and so many attempts on heroic Blackhorn, I think it has erased all my memories of normal mode. DBM shows I’ve only wiped to this on normal once, so it couldn’t have been too difficult.

Heroic Blackhorn was one of the most frustrating fights in DS for me. First because of how buggy it was. We got to see (or rather not see) invisible monsters one-shoting people on the pull. We had to distinguish between real deck fire and fake deck fire. And I can’t even count the number of times deck fire continued to spawn all over the boat during phase 2, making Shockwaves all but impossible to see and leaving us nowhere to safely stand.

Second, soaking barrages really showed my raid’s flaws in terms of movement. We had so many sub-30 second wipes called after a handful of people died to barrages almost immediately. Blackhorn made it really easy to play the blame game when you ended up dying because you solo-soaked a barrage. Not fun.

The other thing that made Blackhorn less enjoyable was that by the time we got through our kinks in phase 1, phase 2 was a complete pushover. When we killed this at the 15% nerf we really didn’t even need to use our cooldowns properly in order to survive any Roars.

Enjoyment factor: 4

Spine of Deathwing

Killed at 20% nerf

Spine is the first normal fight that provided a healing challenge. The Searing Plasma debuff was something new to worry about and it was fun learning how to deal with.  But once you got beyond that, this fight was very long and repetitive.

Heroic Spine was the most difficult fight in the instance. The healing, even when the fight had been nerfed quite a bit, was very challenging. Combining the debuff, bloods bursting, grips, heavy damage on up to 3 tanks, and the Superheated damage meant the healers not only had to put out enormous healing, but also had to correctly prioritize who they were healing. I actually really enjoy healing this fight, and don’t dislike it as much as a lot of people do. It has it’s downsides – it is too long, and too repetitive, and the difficulty scales up incredibly on the 3rd plate, but I like to be challenged, and this fight challenged me.

The one major thing I would change about this fight is the tendon burn phase. As a healer it’s not something that really effects me, but I sympathize with the dps having to respec and reforge for maximum burst for one tiny portion of the fight. It really disrupted raid continuity.

Enjoyment factor: 7

Madness of Deathwing

Killed at 20% nerf

Like Spine, Madness is very long and very repetitive. The mechanics on normal aren’t terribly interesting. The 4 platforms felt almost exactly the same and that got boring fast.

On heroic, Madness was a letdown. My raid had to work long and hard to get Blackhorn and Spine down, and Madness took about a quarter of the time that Spine did to defeat. Very anti-climactic for the last boss of the expansion. The Impale mechanic was a bit of an annoyance. It seemed like a test of how many damage mitigation cooldowns you could throw at it and as a healer without any, made me feel a bit powerless.

The worst part of the fight for me was that the first 3 platforms were simple, the 4th platform was more challenging to heal, but barring large screw-ups, not too bad. Then the final phase was exponentially more difficult. When learning the fight we were seeing wipes happen around the 12 minute mark. It was very frustrating to have to go through 12 minutes of the fight just to get a little bit more practice on the last phase, which required the most coordination and effort. That said, I do enjoy the last phase of the fight. It’s very stressful to heal – I’m a little in awe of those raids who did this fight at the 5% nerf. After 12 minutes of fighting Deathwing, you’re running low on mana, you’re getting a little tired, and both the tanks and the rest of the raid start taking crazy damage. I felt like the last phase of the fight really pushed me to put out at much healing as I possibly could, pushed the rest of the raid to mitigate as much damage as possible (“use your goddamn Dream!”), and I still breathe a sigh of relief every time we finish the fight.

Enjoyment factor: 5

Atmosphere

I’ve heard many people complain about the recycled environments in Dragon Soul, but I really didn’t have a problem with it. I liked having Wyrmrest Temple as a backdrop for Morchok and Ultraxion, it gave it an epic feeling. Not all the boss areas were as impressive however. Zon’ozz and Yor’sahj were in rather boring areas. I think the two Deathwing fights could have been done much better but at least the environments were unique.

The biggest issue I had with the Deathwing fights was a problem of scale. Fighting on a dragon’s back should have been amazing but the actual fight area and camera angles made it very difficult to tell what was going on. Similarly, Madness was disappointing because you couldn’t really see Deathwing. It didn’t feel like you were fighting an awesome, fear-inducing, world-destroying, dragon because you could only see parts of him at a time – a wing here, a tentacle there. I think it was a huge misstep that we never got to encounter Deathwing in his human form – it’s an amazing model, and we never got to see it. Rades wrote an excellent post about lore disappointments in Cataclysm and how the way Deathwing was presented was one of the most disappointing things. Had Deathwing been better presented (both in character and in the form he takes), fighting him at the end of Dragon Soul would have felt much more exciting. The area where you fight Madness, surrounded by the dragon aspects, is kind of cool when you have the time to look around, but during the course of the fight you really don’t.

Overall

Overall, I’d say that Dragon Soul was okay. There were some disappointing bosses, but there were also quite a few that I found really fun to heal. I like that the environment varied – it was a nice change after Firelands where everything was red (and on fire). The worst thing about Dragon Soul was the nerfs. While I’m grateful for some nerfs (my guild never would have killed a fight like Spine without them), they come too fast and go too far. There were a number of fights – Yor’sahj, Ultraxion, Spine – that I felt we could have killed with just a little more time and effort, then the next level of nerfs came in and they were a cakewalk and much less satisfying to conquer. At 25% we’re pretty much stomping over everything, and next week the nerf is going to 30%. It’s gotten to the point where the mechanics don’t even really matter. One positive thing I can say about Dragon Soul is that I’m not nearly as sick and tired of it as I was of Icecrown Citadel at the end of Wrath. Of course, if you ask me again in another 2 months, that may change.

Resto Druid Changes (Mists of Pandaria build 15799)

Resto Druids haven’t received a whole lot of attention in the last Mists builds, but this most recent one sure changes that. A number of Druids have been concerned that with all the ‘maintenance’ spells we need to cast, we will be GCD capped and it will making healing well difficult. Blizzard seems to have answered, by increasing the duration of both Lifebloom and Harmony considerably. Full build notes can be found on Wowhead. I’ve also posted a slightly abridged version of my feedback on the beta forums.

Lifebloom

Lifebloom: Heals the target for 109315*1 over 15 sec. When Lifebloom expires or is dispelled, the target is instantly healed for ((8150 + $SPN * 0.752) *). This effect can stack up to 3 times on the same target. Duration refreshed each time you cast Healing Touch, Nourish, or Regrowth on the target. Lifebloom can be active only on one target at a time.

Lifebloom will now last 15 seconds, up from 10. The amount of healing per tick should not change any (it now lasts 33% longer and heals for 33% more). At first I was worried about the PVP ramifications of this, but that concern was quickly assuaged when I saw the changes made to the new glyph introduced.

Glyph of Blooming: Increases the bloom heal of your Lifebloom when it expires by 50%, but its duration is reduced by 5 sec and your Healing Touch, Nourish, and Regrowth abilities no longer refresh the duration of Lifebloom.

Not only does this take care of the too-long duration of Lifebloom for PVP, it also got a nice buff by now increasing the amount of the bloom by 50%, rather than 20%.

So, I’m generally happy with the increased duration of Lifebloom. I really didn’t have much of a problem keeping it up at 10 seconds, but the extra time will give raid healing druids a bit more breathing room. This, combined with the older change of having all 3 applications transfer when you change your target make Lifebloom much less cumbersome to use. These are nice quality of life improvements.

Harmony

Mastery: Harmony: Your direct healing is increased by an additional 0% and casting your direct healing spells grants you an additional 0% bonus to periodic healing for 20 sec.

Harmony now lasts 20 seconds, up from 10. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I’m not too thrilled about this change. There are a few reasons for this.

  • I don’t understand people’s aversion to using single target spells with a cast time (Nourish, Regrowth, Healing Touch). Yes, Druids are HoT-based, but in my opinion, that doesn’t mean that we should only be casting HoTs. Variety makes things interesting.
  • Since Harmony can now be kept up 100% of the time using only Swiftmend it’s going to increase the number of players who think its appropriate to cast nothing but Rejuv in between Swiftmend and Wild Growth cooldowns.
  • I really enjoy the mini-game of keeping Harmony and Lifebloom active as close to 100% of the time as possible. I like having to work to make my healing as powerful as possible and plan properly to ensure it is. With 15 seconds on Lifebloom and 20 on Harmony, that’s not going to be much of a challenge.

Honestly, I think that having Harmony be easily sustainable by only casting Swiftmend (which we want to cast close to every cooldown because of all the healing Efflorescence does anyway) trivializes the entire mechanic of having to keep it active. I thought the reason for the 10 second duration was to ensure we cast a direct heal every once in a while, but that no longer applies. They may as well just go all the way and make our Mastery something that is active all the time, like it is for every other class.

Wild Mushrooms

Wild Mushroom: Bloom: Grow a magical mushroom with 3 health at the target location. After 6 sec, the mushroom will become invisible. When triggered by the Druid, all mushrooms will bloom healing all allies within 8 yards for 6074 to 7348. Only 5 mushrooms can be placed at one time.

You can now place 5 mushrooms, up from 3. The range on the heal has been reduced to 8 yards, down from 12. I don’t like the whole concept of Mushrooms as a heal to begin with. I’m not sure what problem these changes are attempting to solve, but it looks like it’s a step in the entirely wrong direction. 5 mushrooms?! When will we ever have time to place 5 mushrooms? That means seven clicks (or button presses) and 5 GCDs in order to set up and then activate the heal. The range reduction is an extra kick to the shins. None of the problems with Wild Mushrooms as a heal have been addressed:

  • it takes too long to set them up
  • if the raid moves, the mushrooms you’ve set up become useless
  • having to target the ground to place them is cumbersome
  • the range is (once again) small

At this rate, I don’t see this spell getting a lot of use aside from the Mushrooms we can set up pre-pull. I’ve heard people suggest that we don’t have to use all 5 mushrooms, we could only place 1, or 3, but I don’t put any stock in this. Players want to optimize, they don’t want to cast something that is less powerful than it could be. The days of downranking spells are long over.

Since I don’t want to just complain and not offer any alternatives, here are some of my ideas for fixing the spell.

Option 1:

Grow a magical mushroom on the target player. When triggered by the Druid, all mushrooms will bloom healing all allies within 10 yards for 6074 to 7348. Only 3 mushrooms can be placed at one time.

This would solve all of the problems I have with the spell. Casting the mushrooms on players would solve the issue of awkward ground targeting. I use VuhDo, I like to be able to cast my heals by clicking on raid frames. It also solves the problem of player movement quite nicely. A mushroom on the ground is likely to heal no one if players move. A mushroom on a person will always heal at least one even if they are a dope who goes and stands in a corner by themselves.

Option 2:

Grow a magical mushroom at the target location. After 6 sec, the mushroom will become invisible. When triggered by the Druid, the mushroom will bloom healing all allies within 8 yards for 18022 to 22044. Only 1 mushroom can be placed at one time. 3 second cast time.

This isn’t a perfect solution, but i think it would be an improvement. I’d find having to hard cast 1 mushroom much less cumbersome than having to place 5. The downside would be that you couldn’t spread them out, but spreading them out makes them even more awkward to use anyway and reduces the amount the people in range will be healed.

Tier 14

The new tier set name and bonuses have also been released in the new patch.

Vestments of the Eternal Blossom

2 pieces: Reduces the mana cost of your Rejuvenation spell by 10%.
4 pieces: Reduces the cooldown of your Swiftmend spell by 3 sec.

First, pretty name! The 2-set isn’t an exciting bonus, but I’m sure it will be appreciated in the first raid tier as we’re having mana struggles and getting used to the new mana model. The 4-set is awesome. This looks like a significant increase to our healing output with all the extra Efflorescence healing we’ll be able to do. The only downside is that it will hurt to break this bonus when tier 15 rolls around.

What do you think of the latest changes?

Best Swiftmend Targets for Raid Healing

The bigger your Swiftmend is, the more your Efflorescence heals for. In order to make the most of Efflorescence, you need to choose your Swiftmend targets wisely. This means not only choosing a target who is grouped up with other people, but also choosing the person in that group who will take the most healing. Some specs have talents or abilities that cause them to take increased healing, so they make the best choices for who to Swiftmend when you’re trying to get out as much group healing as possible.

Here are the classes and specs who receive increased healing.

Constant Increased Healing Effects

Some of the talents mentioned here may not be part of standard specs. Be sure to take a peek at any of these classes pre-raid to see if they have them.

Feral Druid
2 points in Nurturing Instinct will give a feral 20% increased healing effect while in cat form.

Beast Master Hunter
2 points in Spirit Bond makes both the hunter and their pet take 10% more healing.

Paladin
3 points in Divinity makes a Paladin take 6% more healing. This talent is reachable for any spec, but you’re more likely to see Prot and Holy Pallies with full points in this talent.

Assassination Rogue
2 points in Quickening makes a rogue take 20% extra healing.

Restoration Shaman
3 points in Spark of Life increases a shaman’s healing received by 15%. This talent is reachable by all 3 specs, but unlikely to be taken by anyone but a resto.

Warrior
2 points in Field Dressing gives 6% extra healing received. This is obtainable by any warrior spec.

Increased Healing from Abilities

Some classes have abilities that cause them to take increased healing for a short period of time. Add these abilities to your raid frames so you can see when people are taking extra healing.

Blood Death Knight
Vampiric Blood gives the DK 25% extra healing received for 10 seconds. If they have this ability glyphed they will receive 40% extra healing.

Feral Druid
Glyphed Frenzied Regneration makes a bear take 30% extra healing for 20 seconds.

Holy Priest
With 2 points in Blessed Resilience the priest takes 30% increased healing for 10 seconds after taking damage that is more than 10% of their health.

So the best targets are…

The three on-use/proc abilities listed above will result in the biggest increases to healing done. If people are grouped up near someone under one of these effects, Swiftmending one of them will give you the most bang for your buck.

If these abilities are not up, an Assassination Rogue with Quickening or a Cat Druid with Nurturing Instinct will be your best Swiftmend targets in melee. A Resto Shaman with Spark of Life will be your best Swiftmend target at range.

If you don’t have these, a Pally with Divinity or a Warrior with Field Dressing will do. They only provide a 6% bonus, but it’s better than nothing.

One last thing

I just wanted to clear this up as I still see people who are a little behind the times on how Swiftmend works.

The size of your Swiftmend is in no way affected by the size of the HoT being consumed (or not consumed, because it’s glyphed). It doesn’t matter:
– Whether your Swiftmend target has a Rejuv or Regrowth on them
– How much your Rejuv/Regrowth heals for
– The amount of time left on the Rejuv/Regrowth

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.

Heroic Hagara (25)

Heroic Hagara is a really fun fight to heal. It can be frustrating and stressful when you’re learning it – especially before people get the hang of the lighting phase – but once people start mastering the mechanics, it’s  a blast.

Hagara the Stormbinder

Here’s an overview of how Apotheosis tackles this fight, along with tips for druid healers.

Main Phase

There are 4 damaging abilities to worry about in the main phase.

Focused Assault – The tank will take a large amount of damage over a 5 second period. Unlike normal mode, the tank can’t just sidestep this ability. This occurs every ~15 seconds. Cooldowns will need to be used. Usually we handle this using a rotation of: tank cooldown, Hand of Sacrifice, Pain Suppression, Guardian Spirit.

Tree tips: Keep Lifebloom and a Rejuv rolling on the tank for the entire phase. Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Touch can come in handy during the Focused Assault if you see the tank’s health drop dangerously low.

Ice Lances – These do damage to the person in their path every second and apply a stacking debuff that increases frost damage taken. We assign 2 ranged dps to cover the Ice Lances in each quarter of the room, along with a healer to keep them healed and soak the Ice Lances when necessary (because one of the dps is dead, or tombed, or lost). The Ice Lance soakers swap every 5 stacks.

Tree tips: If the soakers are swapping correctly every 5 stacks, they shouldn’t need too much healing. Usually a Rejuv followed by a Regrowth on the soaker will do the job. Follow it with a Swiftmend if they take an extra stack or two. If you need to step in and soak the lances, make sure to use Barkskin.

Shattered Ice – Will deal a large amount of damage to a random target and reduce their movement speed. When people have stacks from Ice Lance, they will take more damage from this. This will also leave a debuff that slows movement speed.

Tree tips: Try to keep people topped up and dispel the debuff when you can.

Ice Tombs – This will trap 6 targets in ice blocks and do damage every second while they are entombed. All people targeted by Ice Tombs stack up on a marker near the middle of the platform, as close together as possible. The tank keeps the boss near the Ice Tombs to make the most of splash damage while the tombs are being broken. Ice Tombs do not occur on the initial phase of the fight.

Tree tips: Make sure you can see the people targeted by ice tombs on your raid frames. You can’t cast heals on people when they are in the tombs, so try to get a Rejuv on as many of them as possible and toss out a Wild Growth just before the tombs hit so they receive some healing. The tombs will cause line of sight issues, so make sure you’re not in a position where the tombs are between you and the tank.

Lightning Phase

Lightning phase can go two ways. It can last 30+ seconds and become horrendously painful and make healers want to tear their hair out. Or, with proper setup and execution it can be quick and relatively painless. When Apotheosis does this fight we use a cross formation to conduct the lightning quickly to all 4 crystal conductors. (Yes, I know this is a picture of Al’Akir’s platform, not Hagara’s).

Heroic Hagara - Lightning phaseThe dps kills the elemental then runs quickly to their assigned spot. We use 4 lines of 5 people, standing approximately 9 yards apart. The 5 people who are not assigned a spot stay spread out to avoid chaining lightning unneccessarily. Each of the raid healers is assigned to heal one line and the two tank healers take care of the unassigned group and help with those taking the most damage.

The damaging abilities during this phase are:

Lightning Storm – This damages the raid every 3-4 seconds for the duration of the phase. It also applies a stacking debuff which increases nature damage taken, so the longer the phase lasts, the more it’s going to hurt. Nature resistance is helpful for this (Aspect of the Wild or Glyphed Healing Stream Totem).

Lightning Conduit – This does damage to anyone who is chaining the lightning from the crystal conduit once the elemental has died. It generally hits for about 20-25k per tick, depending on how many stacks of the debuff people have.

Storm Pillar – These create a spell effect on the ground and do damage to anyone standing in them after a few seconds. The easiest way to deal with these? Don’t stand in them.

Tree tips: This phase is the perfect time for using Tree of Life. Run to your spot, pop tree, then start casting Lifeblooms on the people in your line. You should be able to get a couple applications on the whole group before damage starts getting heavier. Apply Rejuvs when needed and use your OoC procs for instant Regrowths. Use Wild Growth on cooldown, targeting the person in the middle of the line. Use Barkskin after the elemental dies and you start taking damage from conduit.

General tips: The line beside the conduit that is overloaded first (the one the elemental dies beside) will generally take the most damage throughout this phase as they will take damage from Lightning Conduit the longest. Put people with decent cooldowns in this line. We use people like: DKs  (AMS, IBF), paladins (DP), me (Barkskin), rogues (can use Feint if they are positioned in the center close to Hagara). The healers who are not assigned to a specific line should keep an extra eye out on this one.

Ice Phase

A few seconds before ice phase starts our tanks starts dragging Hagara to the edge of the room so all the dps can switch to one of the Frozen Binding Crystals as soon as they spawn. The melee runs around the outside to damage the crystals while all the ranged dps and healers stand in the center of the Watery Entrenchment.

The abilities you need to worry about during this phase are:

Ice Wave – This will one-shot most players and can’t really be healed through. The ranged stays outside near a crystal until the ice waves are out, then runs into the watery entrenchment, so they are able to avoid them completely. Melee has to be careful to always stay ahead of the ice wave and should feel free to go into the center to avoid them if they find one catching up to them.

Icicle – These do frost damage and knockback. There is a large graphic on the ground where they are going to fall (like on Hodir), so they shouldn’t be too hard to avoid. Though the damage isn’t terrible, the real danger is that they can knock you back into an ice wave.

Watery Entrenchment – This does damage for 15% of everyone’s maximum health for as long as they are in the bubble. Everyone in here needs to stack up to make the most of AoE and ground-based healing and use damage mitigation cooldowns when they can. The ranged dps can reach all the crystals from the center to burn them down. This is where most healing cooldowns are used, such as Tranquility, Divine Hymn, Power Word: Barrier and Spirit Link Totem. Aura Mastery, unfortunately, does not work here.

Tree Tips: This is the most healing intensive part of the fight. Keep up a roation for maximum raid healing on the group in Watery Entrenchment – Wild Growth and Swiftmend on cooldown, Rejuvs and Regrowths on those getting low. I like to keep Lifebloom stacked on myself for this phase so I don’t have to worry about my own health too much. Tranquility will be used in this phase. This is also a good time to Innervate, especially if you have your 2T13 bonus. Use Barkskin. The melee will not require much healing in this phase. In my experience, they’re either at safe levels of health or dead because they’ve clipped an Ice Wave.  Feel free to toss them Rejuvs if needed when they run into range.

Frostflake – This is applied on random players and will slow down their movement speed. This is mostly a danger to the melee, who are out running away from ice waves. When Frostflake is dispelled it leaves a patch on the ground that slows the movement speed of anyone who runs through it. Because of this, any melee who gets this debuff should run into the watery entrenchment before they are dispelled, as it does not leave a frost patch in there.

Tree tips: Make sure you can see both the Frostflake and Watery Entrenchment debuffs on your raid frames. Only dispel when both are present. Dispelling those who are in the Watery Entrenchment full time isn’t that high of a priority, but be sure to get the melee dispelled asap when they have both debuffs.

Happy healing!