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4.2 Firelands: Tier 12 Raid Resources for Patch Week

June 27, 2011

I’m very pleased to report that I have finally received an e-mail asking a question!

Tdiddy wrote:

What resources are you guys using for (Firelands) raids?

The lessons from T11 have been learned – to be competetive you must be prepared with a plan and use the raid time effectively.  This is especially true if you are only raiding 6 hours per raid lockout.
These are the resources I have been using to study up so far:

Fire from the lava to the sky - Firelands 4.2

Icy Veins

First, I would recommend checking out:  http://www.icy-veins.com/firelands-raid
Firelands (7/7)

Icy Veins does a good job with an introduction to the whole raid instance and even presents a suggestion of a progression order on the first 4 bosses:

  • Shannox;
  • Lord Rhyolith;
  • Alysrazor.
  • Beth’tilac;

My own investigation on forums has since discovered that Beth’tilac was once overtuned and now can be completed with T11 normal gear level so that moves it into second spot.

Shannox is suggested to die first because it’s a fairly simple tank and spank fight with adds.  The trash leading up to it will also save your raid time if you can clear it first.

Alysrazor has simple mechanics compared to Lord Rhyolith, (dodging fire compared to steering). edit:  The mechanics aren’t really that simple at first glance but will be easier once learned.  Think Ascendant Council mixed with Al’akir.  Check out the Ivy Veins guide for a breakdown of the 4 phases and role responsibilities.

The final order I have suggested for us is:

  • Shannox;
  • Beth’tilac;
  • Alysrazor.
  • Lord Rhyolith;

Learn to Raid

My second resource is L2R http://www.learntoraid.com/category/raid-guides/
Raid Guides

They include both 10 and 25 raid stat videos from the PTR.  It also features a nice forum.

25man.com

Next, we have 25man.com.
http://25man.com/firelands

But it’s for 25 mans?  As we saw in T11, studying up even on larger scale guides can give us ideas for tactics to employ in our raids.

Tankspot, et al.

Lastly, as always we should be reading what we can from forums various class/role forums.

Cataclysm Tier 12 Raids at Tankspot.com has a thread started for each boss.

If you have time, try to study up on at least two of the first fights.  Tankspot has the Dungeon Journal entries posted for the bosses and have handy wowhead links of abilties.  Some members who have experience on the PTR are posting as well.

For healers, check out Firelands at Plusheal.com (at the moment of writing there are no boss relevant threads started).

Maintankadin and Totemspot, are other sites that I frequented for information in T11.  (currently light on T12).

What resources are you using for raids?  How are you preparing for Firelands?  What is your game plan for the first week of Tier 12 raiding?

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Resto Shaman raid boss drops from Firelands, 4.2

June 10, 2011

Lord Rhyolith - Firelands

Hey there my fellow resto shaman!  Wondering when 4.2 is coming?  MMO-Champion is guesstimating a June 21 patch release.

It’s time to start planning for our next upgrades.  Just remember you don’t need a boss to drop an item for every single gear slot – there will be plenty of 378 and greater rewards from Valor (relic, ring, neck, WRISTS! – plus t12 chest, hands, legs)  and Rep Vendors (cloak, belt, trinket, ring).  Tier 12 level crafted epics are being added.  Also don’t fret the lack of weapons below.  There will be a shaman/pally specific axe caster weapon (Eye of Purification) and a nice little dagger raid trashdrop (Chelley’s Sterilized Scalpel).

Beth’tilac

Thoracic Flame Kilt (crit/spirit legs)

Flickering Shoulders  (random enchantment, appears to be agi mail)

Ward of the Red Widow (haste/spirit shield)

Funeral Pyre (crit/mastery staff)

Lord Rhyolith

Lava Line Wristbands (haste/spirit wrists)

Heartstone of Rhyolith (mastery/spirit neck)

Alysrazor

Craterflame Spaulders (crit/haste shoulders)

Clawshaper Gauntlets (mastery/spirit hands)

Wings of Flame (crit/mastery back)

Eye of Blazing Power (+int throughput trinket)

Shannox

Goblet of Anger (haste/spirit offhand)

Crystal Prison Band (crit/mastery ring)

Treads of Implicit Obedience (crit/spirit feet)

Baelroc

Gatekeeper’s Embrace (mastery/spirit chest)

Majordomo Staghelm

Flowform Choker (haste/mastery neck)

Jaws of Defeat (+int regen trinket)

Ragnaros

Ko’gun, Hammer of the Firelord (haste/spirit mace)

Crown of Flame (haste/spirit helm)

 

source: Patch 4.2: Firelands Boss Loot (WOWHEAD NEWS)

Resto Shaman on Chimaeron 10HM

June 2, 2011

2nd First Kill of the Evening for Dirty 5/29/2011. The blue circle held strong.

 Last Sunday after downing Heroic Magmaw on the 4th attempt, we went over to H Chimaeron and gave him a beat down as well.  H Chimaeron was much easier for us than H Magmaw.

We knew all along that H Chim would be easier than H Magmaw but the plan for the week was to try to kill them both.  To be able to do both on the same raid lockout we had to kill H Magmaw first.   The day of wipes was well spent because the cooldown coordination required by H Magmaw gave us some good practice to deal with red phase on H Maloriak.

The biggest question we had going into the H Chim attempts was how we were going to deal with Tank Swaps.  And in all honesty, how you deal with the tank swaps and getting them the cooldowns and healing they need is the most challenging part of this fight.

Most 10’s H Chim strats recommend using 3 tanks.  2 alternating Feud/Double Attack tanks and 1 tank who is the MT and will take all of the stacks of Break.

If you have read my other Resto Shaman strats you know that for most encounters my guild has been blessed with a favorable, dare I say “stacked”, lineup.

Tanks:

MT/Break tank – Frost DK in DPS Gear and in Blood presence(for threat)

OT 1 – Prot Pally

OT 2 – Bear Tank

We had a few wipes with this configuration so we also attempted the standard normal mode two tank rotation using only the Pally and Bear.  That didn’t work either so we settled on the DK going full tank in Blood Spec and tank gear for the kill.  (note: We had enough DPS to do this but with practice having the Break Tank as full DPS should work!)

<Dirty> "Blue Circle of Power" strat in Spread-Out position.

On the map here you can see there are three tanks.  The center tank is directly in front of the boss.  The center tank is the Break Tank and they have an Offtank on each side.  The tank whose turn it is to take the double attacks and feud is always to the left and outside of the circle.  The arrows on the map indicate how the offtanks switch positions after feud ends.

When Feud begins, the Feud tank will stay outside and the entire raid will collapse onto the healer at the center of the circle.  That center Healer doesn’t move to be able to bomb big heals on the tank (who should ideally be already topped off before this happens.  If they aren’t, there is a good chance that they will not survive.)  All three healers will begin to cast AOE heals once the tank is stable and they are in a stacked position.

Feud phase: Raid stacked on the Resto Shaman with Feud tank outside

It’s very important that none of the other tanks pull aggro or taunt at the wrong time because one of them could die and healers’ mana will be wasted.  At the same time, the double attack/feud tanks need to coordinate their cooldowns or call for external cooldowns if needed to keep themselves alive.

Healers:

Resto Shaman, Resto Druid, and Holy Priest*.

*There is some benefit to having a Disc priest on Mortality phase because in Heroic mode Nefarian adds a shadow dot that will slowly bring the raid’s health down to zero.  Since you can’t heal in mortality phase, spamming PW:S can buy the DPS more time to finish the job.

I arranged the groups to give passive healing to both of them.  The tanks go in Group 1 with my mastery fueled healing stream totem.  Group 2 has a DPS shaman HST and a Shadow Priest embrace for passive healing.

We don’t usually do strict healing assignments for 10’s but because time is of the essence in H Chim we use them. The priest and the resto druid are each assigned a group and the resto shaman is focused on healing tanks.

It is of vital importance to know which offtank is the active one.  As soon as systems failures happen they will be in dire need of heals.  The Feral tank gets Guardian Spirit and the Paladin rotates Ardent Defender and Lay on Hands.

The raid will need to be topped off after the last Massacre before Mortality.  That’s a good time to use druid tranquility.

Resto shaman specific:

High priority- keep Break tank above 10k, keep Double attack tank topped off before taking double attacks.

Medium priority- keep Healing Rain down to keep healing on 7 of the 10 raiders in the “blue circle of power” (see images above!).  Keep earth shield on the Double Attack tank for Nature’s blessing.  Keep those 3 riptides rolling.

Lower priority- help with caustic slimes.  Unleashed weapons, Riptide, or tidal waves hasted Healing Wave.

Keeping Healing Rain down and constantly casting is pretty mana intensive so I looked at a few ways to economize on spells.

  • Know when Massacre is coming.  There is no need to waste mana bringing up a tank to full health with expensive heals right before Massacre happens.
  • Spread your mana out.  You don’t need to bring Double Attack tank up by yourself.  1 GHW and Riptide should do the trick – let yours and other’s hots do some of the work.
  • Mana tide on Feud after tank is stable.  You will have more free global cooldowns at this point and less likely to lose someone while you are playing around with totems (dropping and replacing).

Shaman tricks on Mortality phase

On Mortality phase, we stack on active tank and use Spirit Link totem to even out the raid’s health and to heal up the tank.  The holy priest shields on cooldown and you as a Shaman should use Fire Elemental totem, use glyphed Stoneclaw totem on cooldown and DPS like mad.

If everyone is alive going into this phase and your dps is competent (at both staying alive and bringing the deeps!) this boss should go down.

Leave a comment or a question below.

Resto Shaman on Magmaw 10 HM

May 31, 2011

Magmaw HM brings out the best in your resto shaman - Dirty 1st kill May 29, 2011

 We logged 20 attemptson H Magmaw last Wednesday and I found myself having a blast.  Magmaw 10 HM may just be the most fun boss in current content to wipe to.  Or perhaps it’s just because I’m a Resto Shaman.

The strat we used plays to the strengths of our class and hides its weakness, unlike some fights such as Al’akir and ODS.  We don’t have to move much and can stay in a clump.  This is where Resto Shamans are the most comfortable and powerful.

Like Nef, we use two tanks and a kiter.

MT – Prot Pally (Pyritee)

OT – Feral Tank (Juanpablo)

Kiter – Frost DK (Kagya)

The second tank is used to tank the skelton adds (Constructs) that join the fight periodically for the first 70% of Magmaw’s health.  The last 30% of the fight is a burn phase because Nefarian shoots Shadow Blasts at people which splash damage everyone within 6yds of impact.  These are the two differences between Heroic and Normal Modes.

Mangle-

The main tank is on Magmaw and in HM he hits pretty hard.  Mangle in Heroic is especially deadly.  Our Prot Pally, Pyritee, rotates Divine Shield, Hand of Protection, Ardent Defender, and then calls for any external cooldowns (Pain Supression).  Communication is key on this so that healers can know when big heals are needed or not.

Pay attention to your feet-

The strat that we use depends greatly on having a kiter able to kite the adds to free the dps to be able to worry about killing the Constructs as priority and then getting DPS on Magmaw.  We have a hunter at range who misdirects the new skeletal adds to the bear in melee range of Magmaw.  (This is safer than the tank leaving and entering melee range on boss.)  Having the add in melee range is beneficial because the tank will also be in safety zone of cooldowns and AOE ground heals.  Magmaw can also be cleaved at the same time the dps is working on the add.

One of the biggest dangers in this fight is having  someone get a little too close to the melee group or someone get too far away from Magmaw.  You need at least three people outside of melee range at all times so that the raid group will not get targetted by Meteor (the landing of the Constructs and leaves a dangerous fire zone on the ground) or Pillar of Lava (where the Parasites spawn from).

Melee group:

MT, OT, 2 Healers (Resto Shaman, Resto Druid,) and assorted DPS: Arcane Mage, Enh Shaman, Shadow Priest.

(Don’t forget to assign two of these DPS to jump on chains!!!)

Range group:

Kiter, Hunter (to misdirect Constructs to OT), and the 3rd Healer (Disc).

It’s very important that the three people at range don’t get hit by any parasites or fire because they will be out of the safety zone of AOE ground heals and protective zones such as PW:Barrier or Spirit Link totem.   If they take any extra damage they can easily die to Lava Spew.  It’s always nice to have the battle rez available just incase they MT dies in a Mangle.

Lava Spew-

Lava Spew hits the raid hard and besides healing tanks the damage caused by it will be the main focus of your healing.   You will be getting 4 lava spews between headphases and they are on timers so plan ahead and start triage before it begins.  You will need to make sure everyone is at high enough health before they get hit or they could die.  Focus on the 3 people at range because they are the most vulnerable.  You must also make sure not to lose any tanks so use Nature’s swiftness if necessary.

It’s helpful to setup a cooldown rotation for the lava spews.  In our group we have a Power Word: Barrier, Spirit Link totem, Divine Guardian as our main ones.  Outside of the cooldowns, I always have a Healing Rain down for the 7 people in melee range to stand on. The druid is free to use throughput cooldowns as seen fit but it’s a good idea to plan to have them off cooldown for the last 15% or so.  Keep in mind if your dps are slow at getting chains applied you could be eating a 5th lava spew.

Spirit Link totem is extremely good on this fight.  If you time the last hits of Lava Spew with the first hits of Mangle you can get a 2-for-1 on your Spirit Link totem.  Use it as either a raid cooldown or a tank cooldown, whichever your raid needs more.

Headphase –

Telluric Currents (TC) is awesome on this fight.  Just remember you can regen almost an entire mana bar during headphases so make sure to burn your expensive spells between them.  Headphase is also a great time to put down mana tide totem since it’s the only safe time for the healer with the range group to come close enough to benefit.

The off-tank is usually tanking 1 add at this time so once I have a full mana bar I tell the other healers that I am taking over heals for the rest of the Headphase duration so that they can continue regenerating their mana.

The last 30%-

The shadow bolts won’t begin until the head is up so what we did is we held DPS on Magmaw at 32% and waited another for another headphase to push under the threshhold.  Once the head was down, the mage Timewarped and we blasted Magmaw down.   This is a good time for Greater Fire Elemental.  DPS as much as you can and then get the raid ready to spread out for the shadow bolt damage.

But remember what Rhii said:

If spreading six yards (or 8 yards or 10 yards) is good, spreading 30 yards is NOT better. Filling up the entire available space in a boss room does not make you safer. It makes you undisciplined and sloppy.

You can see in the above screenshot that I am pretty close to the original spot using my AOE heals on the tank and whoever else was smart enough to stay close to me 🙂  .

Please leave a comment if you have anything to add or a question! 

Blizz still doesn’t get why people don’t want to queue as that role

May 27, 2011

My alt Reddfoxx bringing the deeps in Dungeon Finder "Taste the Rainbow!"

Usually, I’m not one who wants to jump on the beat the dead horse bandwagon to post on “hot” topics around the WoW player community.  And it’s usually because I dont have a strong opinion on the controversy or because I am in agreement with the Blizzard stance.

This is one issue that I feel they could come up with a simple solution to a major source of complaint for a lot of players.  I’m talking about these two blue-post responded threads on the official forums.

us Anti-Ninja Loot System

eu Bashiok post in response to a ninja

Right now I am interpreting the official stance to mean that they have no plans to enforce a Main-spec before Off-spec loot priority system for the random dungeon finder.  And in my opinion, that’s a huge mistake!

Here’s why:

Blizzard wants to encourage casuals to raid.

They are severly nerfing the current tier (tier 11) when 4.2 is released.  They hope to make it easy enough for very-casual groups/ pugs to be able to experience the content and to give them something to do besides new dailies and questlines.

The MS>OS loot priority is already part of community enforced culture.  Most guilds would have a hard time running raids if this wasn’t the general rule.  Extending that rule into dungeons only makes sense as a way of teaching and cultivating that culture.  Your role determines your loot priority.

Blizzard wants tanks and healers to queue for dungeon finder.

Blizzard gave us the Call To Arms to encourage more players to queue in the high-demand roles for dungeons.  When you actually want to dedicate yourself to that role and get geared to move into the more difficult troll dungeons and pug raids, there is nothing more unmotivating than having Deahtgrippz and Icelancerlol take your spirit and avoidance gear.  When that happens enough times, not even a goodie-bag can offer enough motivation to queue-up.

“They keep taking my gear so I’m gonna take theirs

Especially after CTA satchel was implemented getting many DPS plate-wearers to check the Tank role box, a new culture in the community is forming in the absence of a MS>OS priority.  I call it Herod’s Law.  (Taken from the mexican book and movie called La Ley de Herodes.)  In the movie the only the law of the land is explained to be:  o te chingas o te jodes – translation: Either you fuck yourself or you get screwed.

Herod’s Law grows into  a screw them before they can screw you attitude.  This can happen when people have been wronged many times before and now they are preemptively wronging others so that they can avoid feeling like the victim again. Anonymity among people from other servers helps, too!

Just as I wouldn’t want to experience this in society (why I don’t live in a failed-state), I don’t want this in my game.

Yours truly,

Alacran (resto / ele shaman 85)

and my plate-wearing, dual-specced alts

Reddfoxx (fury/prot warrior 85)

Reddfox (blood/ frost dk 85)

Reddphoxx (prot/ holy paladin 84)

Guest post by writer and professor Lyn Fuchs: The Prayer-Hogging Shaman

May 24, 2011

THE PRAYER-HOGGING SHAMAN 

by Lyn Fuchs

lynfuchs.blogspot.com

The Haida people live on a group of islands off the Alaska coast. This is the story of my experience with a shaman there. It comes from my book Sacred Ground & Holy Water: Travel Tales of Enlightenment, which is available from Amazon.com.

I sat with a group of elders as a longhaired shaman mixed tobacco, cedar, fungi, and leaves in an abalone shell bowl. He then lit the concoction. As it smoldered, aromatic wisps rose in phantasmal helixes. Waving an eagle feather over each of us in turn, this “skaggy” administered a baptism by smoke.

Shallow buckskin drums took up a fast, thunder-like rhythm. Whistles and chants burst from otherwise stoical faces. Frenzied dancers emerged, wearing masks that transformed them into mythic beings from killer whales to cannibals. Physical and spiritual dimensions were merged in ways I couldn’t fully understand. What I did see clearly was that my culture has abandoned both superstition of and connection with nature. In embracing a scientific worldview, we’ve lost our instinctual mystic vision.

As a pipe passed around, prayers were offered to the Creator. They acknowledged four directions: North, South, East, and West, with four elements: earth, wind, fire, and water, then four colors: red, yellow, black, and white, symbolizing four peoples: Americans, Asians, Africans, and Europeans. The circle concluded with the pronouncement: “Everything is related.”

We feasted to celebrate the fall equinox then retired to a sweat lodge. The elders told me that a pipe stem represents man, a pipe bowl represents woman, and a sweat lodge represents the womb of life. (So, I wondered, what the hell were we doin’ suckin’ on the pipe stem?)

The sweat lodge seemed more tomb than womb. Searing hot rocks were piled in the center using antler tongs. Then the door closed, trapping us in crypt-like darkness. Even after focusing, my eyes saw nothing but the faint glow of these “grandfather stones.” The shaman sprinkled them with herbs, emitting sparks, pops, and a scent palette ranging from wild celery to marijuana. Finally he doused them with water, flooding the air with suffocating heat.

For an unbearable two hours, I sat, struggling against drowning, fainting, and an ever-rising heart rate. It was crazy, but we all have our cherished quasi-virtues and “death before dishonor” is mine. When the door opened at last, it was only to insert more rocks. Yet, for a brief moment, I was a prisoner allowed a window, a diver reaching the surface, just until light, air, and hope were again mercilessly snuffed.

For another two hours, we gasped, howled, drummed, and prayed. On the last round, I deliriously tallied the number of voices yet to supplicate. I concluded I could make it without passing out, if the skaggy didn’t go again at the end. He did. Damn that prayer hog!

Final conscious reflections: ancient man slept in dark caves, my ancestors homesteaded dark forests, I can barely survive this dark super-sauna, most of my peers can’t stand a dark evening without TV. Yet, all of us, alike, are herded into that ultimate dark hole, from which there is no escape, which humanity’s earliest writings call “sheol”—the grave.

Praying ceased. The door opened. I prepared to dive for that shining portal, but had to wait my turn, like the last varmint out of a hole. My turn never came.

I came to, five feet outside the door with everyone standing over me. Slimy grime covered my skin. Grimy slime came from my nose—a swollen, blood-trickling nose. Must have fallen on my face (literally and figuratively). All dignity abandoned, I searched my arm for less-muddy places to wipe pinkish snot in front of near strangers.

Someone handed me a half-peeled orange, in which I buried my face and my pride. Someone else told me that those who endure the sweat lodge till blacking out are considered heroic. I wasn’t buying it. My body had refused to support my pretensions to immortality. In the game of Haida-and-seek, I was the first man out.

Resto Shaman on Atramedes 10 HM

May 23, 2011

You know how the saying goes, “If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball!”  It’s very true for Heroic Atramedes.  If you are very quick you can dodge just about all of the mechanics and if you are good you won’t kill your teammates in the process.

Dirty first kill on H Atramedes 5/22/11

I won’t go so far to say that I have an eay way to kill this boss like I did with Nefarian.   (Actually, last night it took us 7 attempts to repeat first kill on Nef 🙂  Here’s the basic outline of the strategy we planned to slay the dragon with.   We ended up trying 3 different setups for the ground phase over our few nights of progression.

Our raid time is limited to 6 hours/week so you can understand that if we have any setbacks during the farm content clear that can severly limit us on the number of attempts we have for progression.  (I’m looking at you Al’Akir!!!)  Prior planning outside of the raid can save precious time for attempts.

Our initial fail strats

Our first attempts we used an everyone stack on one position (on the tank) and then dodge discs by moving to the right strat.  Person with Sonic Breath goes left.  This strategy felt great for a resto shaman healing because after each disc dodge, I could place a Healing Rain on the ground for the raid.  There was a problem, however-  People kept dying to Sonic Breath because of someone moving slowly or going the wrong direction!

After the first night of attempts, I asked my twitter friends for help. ” How do you get people to run in the correct direction?” Totemforest.com’s Jadiera answered with “browbeatings over vent until morale improves.”

The raid leader, Juanpablo, decided that we could try it the same as our normal strategy with everyone spread out across the map.  This was very difficult to heal and due to range issues, people were dying left and right.  The lesson for raid leaders is: If you have a resto shaman in your group, any strategy that involves clumping plays to their strength.  The more spread out the raid is,  the more you will see the Resto Shaman’s achilles heal.

25’s strat for 10’s?

I talked to Juanpablo about changing our strategy again to one that I liked from a Tankspot video.  Juanpablo said that he had initially only considered strats and videos based on 10’s raid size.   I liked this strat-  There was still a clumping element! The group would end up moving more often (bad) but it would be much less likely to get hit by mechanics (Great!).

I convinced JP that he would be able to shred with this strat and he seemed sold based on that.  In the video, the group is 90 degrees from the tank.  JP wanted to change it up to put us at 180 degrees to make sure that everyone could attack from behind (i.e.  so he could shred).  I warned about healing range issues with the tank but nobody seemed worried about it.  (Actually transitioning from Air -> Ground is where the range issues with the tank appeared but 6 months of Sindragosa practice allowed me to adjust as needed)

Resto Shaman specific

Ground phase: 

Tank Healing:  Keep Earthshield and Riptide up on the tank as they will be taking a beating compared to normal mode.  Use your Tidal Wave charges for Greater Healing Waves on the tank.  Use Nature’s Swiftness as needed to respond to emergencies.

Chain Healing: Keep a riptide rolling on one or two raiders in your clump that you will be able to chain heal off of after pulses.  Be careful you don’t chain heal someone outside of the group (the person hitting dwarven shields or the person running out of sonic breath.)  GridStatusChainHeal works great for this fight.

Healing Rain:  Keep Healing Rain on the ground but plan where you are going to place it.  It is a waste of mana if you are just going to instantly move out of it.   If you will need to move, work with Chain Heal.  It’s ok to interrupt a cast rather than getting hit by a disc.

Instant Ghost Wolf is a great help on this fight.

Mana tide between Searing Flames and watch phase timers.

Keep an eye on your Gong clicker. (Triven did an awesome job on this)  Put a riptide on them if you can before they leave group to go click.

Airphase:

Stay away from everyone else.  Airphase is perfect time to regen with telluric currents and spirit walkers grace.  I’m excited for the new primal glyph for this encounter.  Stick and move, stick and move.  Just like Punch Out.

Plan raidcooldowns for Searing Flames. (shaman chain heal harder!)  Be prepared to save people with high sound. (ask your other healers for help)

Good luck on this fight!  Let me know if you have any specific questions about Resto Shaman 10’s HM Atramedes.

Resurgence on the 4.2 PTR

May 14, 2011

Last night when I logged onto the 4.2 PTR for the first time, I looked for the announced Resurgence reworking of the Improved Water Shield talent.

What I found was the Same ol’ IWS talent as always.

Tonight when I logged on, I saw that Resurgence was now in the talent tree in the place where Improved Water Shield was last night.

Resurgence:

While Water Shield is active, you recover mana when your direct healing spells have a critical effect.  You regain 2293 mana from a Healing Wave or Greater Healing Wave critical, 1376 mana from a Healing Surge, Riptide, or Unleash Life critical, and 764 mana from a Chain Heal critical.

The surprising thing to me was seeing Unleash Life and Riptide  included under the “faster” spells category alongside Healing Surge.  That’s a nice buff.

Chain Heal receives less mana per crit but each jump that crits will award mana.

I played around with reforging a little bit and picked up quite a lot more crit rating on my gear at the expense of Spirit and a small amount of Mastery.  I didn’t reduce my Haste from Alacran’s 4.1 levels.  On live, I run about 2300 Spirit (not including trinkets).  Expect to be able to reforge around 5% more crit onto your gear.  (My Live Armory link is to the right side bar for comparison purposes).

When I logged onto my Copied character, my talents had been reset.  Now I have to decide if I will take points out of TC or BotE in favor for Acuity.  I might take 1 point out of each or just leave my Acuity the way it is with 1/3.

I plan to pull up one of my WoL parses and calculate how much mana I would gain from the new Resurgence based on these numbers.  If it is greater than TC + IWS, I can probably spec out of it for 10’s purposes.

Other notes from PTR:

  • Firelands Instance was down so I wasn’t able to get in.
  • There were some people working on the PTR for adding the new Hyjal quests to Wowpedia.org.  I didn’t do any of the quests however.
  • Encounter Journal is very cool so far but it isn’t complete yet.
  • I had a new title available which I selected and gathered quite a bit of attention with:  Avenger of Hyjal.
  • The new cast-lightning bolt-while-moving Prime Glyph doesn’t seem to be on the PTR yet.  I am interested in possibly using it for TC.  😉

Nefarian the Easy Way (10N strategy)

May 13, 2011

If you can jump out of lava you can do Nefarian.

I haven’t written much about Nefarian and that’s because he died for us the first night of attempts.  We 4 shot him.   For us, a casual 10’s raiding group (casual 6 hours of raids a week), it was the easiest end boss we encountered in T11 Cataclysm.

While looking up strats on the different player forums,  I found a great number of people looking for advice on how to do Nefarian 10N.  My poor old guild, still doing 25s, have been on Nefarian for quite some time now –  So I know it’s a hard fight for a lot of people on both 10’s and 25’s.

I hope to give you a Resto Shaman / healer point of view of how to do Nefarian 10N the Easy Way.

To start with, this is the strat post I posted on our guild blog.

Lineup –

The real secret to doing Nef the easy way is by bringing a 4th healer.  You might have a couple hybrid classes that can change from DPS to Heal, Tank to Heal, or Dps to Tank.  Flexibility in your lineup is key to progression on limited raid time in 10’s.  If you don’t have a hybrid or two that can help out, does one of your DPS have a geared Healer alt?  In our case, the Warlock has switched mains to his geared Shadow Priest for our raid group.  For Nef, he specced Holy.

Another big help is to have a DK who can serve as the kiter for ph1.  In my opinion, a Frost DK with Chillblains is one of the most helpful utility classes you can have in your lineup.  I imagine a DPS specced Warrior with Piercing Howl and in Definsive Stance could also work in a pinch.

If you have a good kiter for adds in Ph1 and a 4th healer, Nefarian should be quite easy.  (Assuming your raid can interrupt and jump out of lava.)

Our healers consist of a Disc Priest, a Resto Druid, a Resto Shaman, and a Holy Priest (4th Healer).

Our tanks consist of a Bear, and a Prot Pally.

Our DPS consist of 2 Hunters, a Mage, and a Frost DK (kiter).

As a shaman, you will probably want to have tanks and anyone else who will be on your Ph2 platform in your group with you.  I always ask for a raid assist so I can change the groups for Healing Stream totem coverage.

Healing Ph1 – what I did

Because the multiple tanks are not always in range of each other, in a rare T11 moment, healing assignments were given.

  1. Disc Priest on Nefarian Tank and kiter when in range,
  2. Resto Druid focus on kiter with cross heals when in range of other tanks,
  3. Resto Shaman and Holy Priest on Onyxia tank.

Our healing assignments are very loose.

As a resto shaman, I healed as little as possible, trying to keep tanks topped off for electrocutes and trying to drop healing rain where it would hit most of the range/ healers.  I mixed in some Chain Heal where I could to top the range clump off.  I had time to regen my mana with a few lightning bolts.  I kept Riptide on cooldown to always have charge of Tidal Wave available to quickly respond to incoming tank damage with Greater Healing Wave.  I used Stone Claw Totem (glyphed) to ensure my survival on electrocutes.

In our strat, we took Nef down through two electrocutes and then switched to quickly kill Onyxia.  I dropped Mana Tide near the end of Phase 1 and when Ph1 ended Nef was at approximately  75% health.

Healing Ph2 –

We had the platforms preassigned and raid marked to make sure that interrupts and heals would be covered on each platform.

There are thee platforms, and you will want to put 3 raiders on two of them and 4 raiders on the 3rd platform.  The platform which has 4 on it will have two healers.  In our case, I was healing one platform, the disc priest was on another, and the holy priest and resto druid were on the 4th platform.

The hunters switched to Nature Resist aspect for the electrocutes and I had the other two players that would be on the same platform as myself in Group 1 with me so that they would benefit from Healing Stream totem.  It made healing the platform trivial.

After moving over to the platform at the transition from Ph1 to Ph2, I dropped Healing Stream totem so that we would get some free healing and fire resistance as the lava started to fill the room.  The prot pally kept his health up pretty well with WoG and cooldowns.  The mage required more healing but even iceblocked once to help out.  I kept Riptides rolling on us and Chain Healed for some very mana effecient healing.  I used my Tidal Wave charges from RT and CH to use more expensive heals if someone dipped low.  It would be possible to regen some mana with Telluric Currents but I didn’t feel the urgency as I was being extra careful not to loose anyone to the infamous and feared “Crackle”.  Again, I used Stoneclaw Totem for Electrocutes.

I felt very competent healing the platforms, probably because of my gearing focus on Mastery and the recent 4.1 changes.

We kept 1 platform add alive longer to push Nefarian’s health lower in Ph2.

Healing Ph3-

Ph3 was pretty easy even though the healers were running out of mana towards the end.  The Bear Tank was on Nefarian and the Pally Tank was tanking (not kiting) the adds, freeing the DK to DPS fulltime.  The Resto Druid was assigned to the Pally Tank along with the Holy Priest and the Disc Priest and myself focused on healing the Bear.  I was able to get another Mana Tide totem down in Ph3.  We probably could have done a little bit better job of rotating raid and healing cooldowns for Electrocutes.  This phase felt like it was basically a burn phase with pressure on the DPS to kill him before the 4 healers ran out of mana.

Additional Notes:

We wiped a few times by not being able to jump out of the lava and even losing people on platforms.  I really don’t know why.  When I asked over vent how people died, one healer replied “Their health bars went to zero.”  Not very informative…  Next attempt was the first kill so whatever the problem was it got fixed.

We didn’t have any issue with missing interrupts or bad kiting.  Or maybe if there were mistakes on kiting the 4 healers covered for it?  That’s the advantage of bringing 4.

We also had enough DPS to allow bringing a 4th healer.  If you are not able to kill Onyxia before she kills you, try only doing 1 electrocute and see if that helps.  If that doesn’t work you probably have DPS problems, not healing.

I hope you found this strategy helpful.  If you have any specific questions, please leave me a comment below!

Crit for 10’s Resto Shaman

May 11, 2011
potions of mysteriousnessness

Tip: Cut out some visual distractions by getting a nice blur effect from drinking alcohol in WoW, this allows you to focus more on your healer unit frames

At the beginning of Cataclysm, many 10’s resto shamans were favoring a heavy crit build much more than in 25’s.  This was, in my opinion caused by how three crit-based talents work.

First, the mana regen produced from single target healing crits (Improved Water Shields) made it attractive while gear levels were still low.   Chain heal crits also proc IWS mana but that spell is not widely used in 10’s raids in T11 content.

Second, single target crits also proc a free smart heal (Ancestral Awakening) that heals the lowest health percentage target in range.  Because it’s a smart heal, it usually produces very little overhealing.

Finally, there is a 10% damage taken reduction buff that both priests and shamans can provide.  Shamans apply it by critting with a heal.  (Ancestral Fortitude).  In a 10’s raid, crit on gear ensures a good uptime % on this important tank buff.

Now, five months into Tier 11, the three reasons for us to gear crit no longer really apply or there are simply better options.

Many resto shaman are better geared than they were in December and the large amount of INT & SPI on their gear afford them to favor better throughput stats (Haste, Mastery) without needing to gear crit for IWS returns.  At our current gear level, according to many theorycrafters, spirit is a better throughput stat than crit.

Ancestral Awakening also is not accounting for the healing done that people expected and shaman in 25’s are even beginning to spec out of it.  In 10’s, it’s still probably worth the talent point investment because of our spell selection.  For example, it still accounts for about 6% of my healing done.

Ancestral Fortitude in 10’s can maintain a pretty good uptime even with low crit rating on gear.  I raid 20% crit fully buffed and this number will continue to increase as my INT improves in T12 and beyond.

There are better options

Now, I wouldn’t go so far to say that crit is a bad stat, I will only say that we currently have better options in secondary stats.  We also must remember that Mastery has been buffed twice since 4.03.  It received a buff in 4.06 (increased to 3.0% per point, up from 2.5%) and in 4.1 Mastery was made to include all heals.

Not even Haste includes all heals done by shamans!

Mastery will boost your healing done the most when you need it the most.  Crit is still a roll of the dice.  It’s either a crit or it’s not.  In a game based on RNG, a little less RNG for throughput is a good thing.  Mastery will always be there when you need it.

I have been speculating since 4.06 buffed our Mastery, Deep Healing, that the developers are committed to making all of the secondary stats “compelling choices”.  Between Spirit, Haste, Mastery, and Crit, Crit is the least desirable and I have expected that there would be a future effort to make crit more sought after.  My speculation was that they would change how IWS or AA worked to make crit more attractive, but it seems that Blizzard might actually just actually buff what the stat does by making it heal for double instead of 150%.

A Dev Water Cooler on Crit source by Ghostcrawler April 19, 2011

In Cataclysm, where healer mana matters more and even big heals can’t trivially top someone off, crits are more valuable. But they aren’t valuable enough. Getting 10% haste allows you to get a heal to a target 10% faster. Getting 10% crit allows you to heal a target 5% more. Is it any wonder that crit tends to get devalued for most healers? Resto shaman like it, but look at how many talents they have that make crits better for them. We’re strongly considering just letting all heals crit for double, just like most attacks.

As a solely throughput stat, comparing haste to crit, there is also a much steeper ratings cost to get 1% of crit as compared to 1% of haste.

This proposed change by Ghostwalker would make crit paired with mastery very powerful and at least give 10’s raiding resto shaman something to scratch their heads over while at the Arcanist or on the stats editor of AskMrRobot.com.  If this change goes through, my next speculation would be that for 10’s, Spirit will be reforged to Crit as we move into T12 and beyond.

(edit:  It appears that while I had this post in draft for over two weeks, between finishing it today and yesterday, some big changes were announced for Crit.  🙂  Now on the PTR:

  • All healing critical strikes now heal for 2 times a normal heal (+100%), up from 1.5 times a normal heal (+50%).

Restoration

  • Improved Water Shield has been redesigned and renamed Resurgence. When Water Shield is active, Resurgence causes critical direct heals to restore mana (Resurgence rank 2 is roughly equal to 150% of the old Improved Water Shield value when a Healing Wave or Greater Healing Wave critically hits, and scaled down accordingly for faster or multi-target spells).
  • Mana Tide now grants 200% of the caster’s Spirit, down from 400%.

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