10 Seconds with Sartharion 3 Drakes

I’m the type of player that likes to relentlessly playback previous events (or wipes) in my head. I try to see if there’s anything I can do better from my perspective or anything I should have done differently. Here’s a 10 second mentally recalled highlight reel moment of a time that happened all too often.

We run a 6 healer setup and I’m the only one on the Sarth tank.

0:00

Vent call: Firewall, move!

*Casts Shield, Renew, and dives narrowly avoiding a wall*

0:02

Vent call: Vesperon landing!

*Casts Penance*

0:04

Sarth tank: I have the debuff!

*Casts Flash Heal*

0:06

*Casts another Flash Heal*

0:08

His attack animation stopped and he’s raising his head.

WAIT! HIS HEAD IS RAIS-!

0:10

Sarth tank: I’m down!

Reflections

Thankfully, that was just earlier on in the night. After I settled in more and got into the groove, I was able to get my timing down perfectly. The problem with me was that I ended up being off in my timing.

The timing was off enough to get our tank 1 shot.

But I managed to fix it. I figured that I was zoomed in too close on my character that I had to adjust my camera more to keep my sights on Sarth. That took up precious time and added increased risk.

I managed to solve it by maxing out my camera distance so that no matter where I ran, I’d still be able to keep an eye on his head.

FYI

I use his head as an indicator for when he’s about to breathe. When he tilts back, that’s the time to use the Pain Suppression.

What’s killing us

We lose 1 or 2 people to void zones in the beginning or to a Firewall. There is a bit of inconsistency. Some attempts, the raid group is able to blast through the first drake with no problem. In other cases, people are just getting sloppy or we have bad lag luck (like a player dying to a void even though they’re 15 yards away from it).

The second problem occurs when the third drake lands. Players are killing themselves. Going to see if that can be fixed by having Paladins “tactically bubble” at certain times to lessen the overall raid damage with that Shield talent thingy.

As for me, the 10 attempts where the raid lived long enough for Vesperon to touch down, I was able to squeeze off Pain Suppression fast enough for 7 of them.

That’s a 70% save percentage.

Not good enough Matt. Not good enough.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. Sartharion with 3 drakes is my anti-happiness. 🙁

    We’ve had the same Void Zone kind of deal, and we found that jumping out of it sometimes leads to still dying… better to strafe or move forward, but definitely not back pedal.

    Yeah, that Twilight Torment (aka “kill yourself”) thing is a headache… we’re still trying to transition into the 3rd drake without getting panoolied.

    Also, I focus on Sartharion so I see the cast bar for flame breath before our tank calls it out. Lag is an issue sometimes, so I can’t go off of animations all the time (I use the Blizzard UI).

    And lastly, I <3 Pain Suppression.

    Kittss last blog post..So Close, Yet So Far

  2. Other ways to keep Sarth tank alive:

    Quartz’s focus casting bar. Keep Sarth as your focus target. You don’t have to watch him move and you can keep your eye on your healing target. It’s a pretty light addon if you only install the focus casting bar and position it someplace convenient. You can time your cast precisely with that.

    Get a paladin in your raid to use Hand of Sacrifice. That’ll eat another fire breath for you, plus it lasts 12 seconds. Room for error, plus focus casting bar again to help time it perfectly.

    Hope that helps.

    Asheraen

    The Renamed / Argent Dawn

  3. Void zones are terrible >.<
    Even with spell detail on minimun it’s very hard to see and move fast enough, ’cause there are a lot of things happening.
    And with lag, its almost impossible, you think you are on a safe spot, but you aren’t =(

    wowgirls last blog post..As Instances que (ainda) não aconteceram

  4. Matt,
    We haven’t tried it yet but sounds like a pretty typical attempt for any major and difficult boss attempt. I’m looking forward to our attmepts. Believe it or not, your article makes me anxious to try.
    I see you went Disc, like me. In the Disc spec, do you find crit more valuable than spell damage? Do you know of a crit cap with diminishing returns?
    Thanks

  5. Zeebaeatah says:

    Dunno if you’ve already done this (kudos if you knew) – turn the spell detail down. With all the AOE (especially DK stuff on the ground) – it’s really hard to see the void zones. With Spell Detail down you can see them better and yet our rule of thumb is to still move a good character size (usually a screen inch) – two if you’re a gnome – away as the zones’ radius is still a bit larger than the animation.

    Also, the waves have been buffed – I could usually be lazy enough to easily Shield + Disperse out of a single wave hit but now that’s still a 95% death sentence. Marking off safe zones for the Melee and Casters ahead of time with smoke, totems or Lunar Lights (much like teaching raiders how to dance with Heigan 😉 can be a useful reminder.

    Random tips: Fire Protection pots can work better than health pots when communicated to the Disc priest so shield/Pain Suppression can be coordinated. We’ve been successful with stacking tenacity hunter pets using Roar of Sacrifice as well.

    Have you guys downed 3D yet? Or is this still a guild attempt in progress?

  6. Have a paladin healing also MT, using hand of sacrifice and beacon on light on himself, if that pally is overgeared (or if you have a boomkin/ele shaman) he can spec into divine guardian.
    This fight is won or lost in the 1st 3 minutes so if your raid can manage it and focus then its a kill.
    Also try to go with 7 healers (2 on MT when Shardon lands) until you can get the hang into the fight

  7. Yea, the key to the fight imo is tank cool down management and adds management. We have 3 cooldown classes in rotation on the tank. We have healers for drake tanks and a healer (me) for the adds tanks. Then we have a raid healer float where needed. It might help you to have a DK tank this fight because his anti-magic shield is awesome in this situation. We have also had SUPER high health druid tanks do it (50k+ health) and warriors with multiple cooldown healers.

    We had to practice to get to where ZERO people died from void zones and lava waves. Someone has a mod that shows what people get hit by and we post it after every attempt. Once we got this down, the real fight can begin. We always call out lava waves as “middle” or “back”.

    We try to kill each drake before the next one lands.

    Sarth 3D is harder now since the patch, because the twilight damage is increased. So, with 2 drakes up at once, the raid is taking a crapload of damage…you don’t wanna even think about handling 3 on the ground at the same time. Try your best to kill each drake quickly. Bloodlust early into the first drake and it will help a ton.

    I hope this helps.

  8. apokteino says:

    it sounds like you’re doing the most important thing for a healer to do on this fight: own your mistakes and fix them. it’s pretty hard to do this because you can find a whole lot of excuses as to why you let the tank die. it’s a pretty intense fight.

    you said you run with 6 healers which sounds about right. i guess my biggest question is how many tanks do you have? we usually do it with 3 tanks: one for sarth, one for the 3 drakes, and one for the adds that spawns. at first it’s a little difficult for the drake tank to pic up vesperon because of where he lands, but if the raid is paying attention you should be able to get the hang of it. even if you have four tanks (2 picking up the adds) you should be able to split your healers up better so that you have 2 people focus healing the sarth’s tank.

    when vesperon lands and summons a disciple it is imperative to have 2 healers on the main tank. if you don’t either you will miss your cooldown and the tank will take 55k spike dmg and die or you will get your cd off in time but the tank won’t be capped and will still die (or you will get extremely lucky and pull it off one breath). i strongly suggest having another healer go over and help you out on the main tank. he can do spot healing on the add tanks too while the portal is down.

    the drake tank will take ridiculous amounts of damage and need an incredible amount of healing. you should probably find a good healadin who has the mana pool to cast at least 150 holy lights. even when our main warrior tank (who sits about 40k raid buffed) can get dropped in about 2 seconds.

    that leaves 3 healers to keep the raid and off tank(s) up. we generally only send one healer down in the portals. unless the dpsers are really messing up bad (or the add tanks are doing a bad job) the raid damage shouldn’t be so heavy that people die.

    anyhow… best of luck and let us know when you down him!

  9. Both of these happened in the 4 hours before kill,

    3rd drake down. Arggh fire wall right on me and no boss call. MT healer down, mt down.

    10% on 3rd drake , use Bubble and bos on tank. Void zone move— oops time to bub.. mt down. Why I just didnt bubble on the void zone I have no idea but the automatic reaction to move got processed before the need to bubble to lower damage on mt.

  10. Hi Matt, I’m surprised that you have to watch the animations at all 🙂

    It’s very responsible of you, considering that most healers need to/are very used to watching mainly health bars, but in the end, I’d say that the job of watching for breath cooldowns should in fact fall on the tank.

    As my guild’s druid tank on Sarth (we’ve downed 3D), even before the fight, I establish player orders for the cooldowns we’re using. When Vesp lands, I call for the first cd-user to “prep” (usually all my healing pallies and priests). When I see the breath animation, I call for the prepped player to use his cd. Then I call for the next player to prepare. And so forth.

    My healers just need to macro their cd to me and be in range, that’s all, and I take the burden off them so they can -visually- focus on their heals, while dodging lava walls and void zones. As the one player facing Sarth’s bigass head all the time, it’s the least I can do. Since your Sarth tank obviously has a mic, why not suggest that he do the same?

    I hope this has been useful 🙂

    • Rivendael: Both of us do actually! It’s better to keep two pairs of eyes on it instead of just one. I listen for the Vesperon touch down call. Then I keep my head up and watch his head. The use of a HuD allows me to watch my target’s health, my health, and his head.

      He cues me when he sees the head and I do the same. This “double affirmative” helps us a tremendously in that we both know that we’re either both right or both wrong.

  11. apokteino says:

    unless they changed this with the patch, sarth’s breath is just a little over a 1 sec cast. when you factor in the tank’s reaction time, lag from vent, and then the healer’s reaction time, it seems like you are cutting it extremely close if you are calling out the actual breath.
    it’s nice for someone to call out when vesp lands and when he opens a portal, but my guild always has whoever is using their cd just sitting there, not even casting, so that they don’t mess the timing up. i’ve gotten caught just starting a Holy Light cast and even though i stop-cast it, i didn’t have enough time to get my cd up b/c of the gcd.

  12. While I have lately been preferring Disc, I spec GS for this fight since the “protection” lasts 10 seconds and flat out prevents death, while GS only mitigates 40%, so you better be sure the breath doesnt come too soon near a flame wall, as your tank may be at lower HP. Since GS is now OFF the GCD, its generally superior than PS on this fight IMO.

    Following the animation is win.

    Derevkas last blog post..3 Drake Sartharion

  13. We mostly rely one the Sartharion tank to announce us when he’s out of CDs to survive, when that happends this little macro come in verry handy

    /target Sartharion
    /assist
    /run local t=”target” if (UnitName(t)~=nil) then SendChatMessage(“GUARDIAN SPIRIT ON”,”WHISPER”,nil,UnitName(t)) end
    /y Guardian Spirit on %T
    /cast Guardian Spirit

  14. That target-macro isn’t 100% good though, it can easily target Sartharion Twilight Whelp as well (I found out the hard way). Change “/target” to “/targetexact”.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Matticus once wrote that he didn’t need to be warned over vent when it was time to activate Pain Suppression before Sartharion could breath fire all over their tank on their Sarth3D wipes – he could see the animation change leading up to that particular boss ability. He could see that giant dragon head lifting up and know that Sartharion was getting ready to take a deep breath. […]

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