Ulduar Nerfs and Bugs

Looks like there were some undocumented changes made to Ulduar.

Check out this post on Main Tankadin. (Thanks Honors).

Here’s a quick summary from various sources (Forums, direct observations, things I heard second hand).

Flame Leviathan

  • Seems to be bugged. Doing FL with 2 towers is fine and dandy. But FL still has the 3rd tower buff on him even though there’s only 2 towers up.
  • Vehicle targeting reticule looks really good.
  • Gnomes have been busy. Enhanced the handling of vehicles. They turn much better.
  • Choppers can pick up Pyrite and drop them wherever they like.

XT Deconstructor

  • Deconstructor seems to spawn a bajillion ads. Look at the main tankadin post above for a screenshot.
  • Now throws Light and Gravity bombs during tantrums.

Thorim

  • Chain Lightning only blows up 2 targets.

Freya

  • Iron roots: You can trinket out of them. You can blink out of them. Hand of freedom. Bring a Shaman with Earthen Power and call it a day. Shapeshifting works. Anything that can get you out of snares will work.
  • Sunbeam visual effect seems to be missing. But the debuff on players is still there.

Mimiron

  • Phase 3: Don’t have to place the mines. The player loots it, uses it, and the head will automatically drop down. Mimiron has upgraded to smarter magnets.

General Vezax

  • Vezax’s health reduced by 10 million.
  • Saronite Animus health reduced by 2.5 million.
  • Animus spawns after 6 clouds instead of 8.

Check the comments for other nerfs. I’ll try to update this post with extra information.

Ulduar Fights Where It’s Just Not the Healer’s Fault

I’ve experienced just about type of death in Ulduar. I’d die to Constrictor tentacles. Early on, I’d get rocked by Hodir’s Flash Freeze. Sometimes I’d get unlucky with a Rocket Strike.

Today’s post is designed to help you identify under what situations a healer is at fault and when it is simply out of their hands. Keep in mind there are several exceptions. In most cases, tanks are the one that will be bearing the brunt of these abilities. If they die, odds are good they weren’t at full health. If it were any other player, well let’s take a look shall we?

This is a really long post. I’d consider using it as a reference when trying to troubleshoot your raid to see if there really was anything that could have been done to keep players alive.

Flame Leviathan

Nothing much here. I don’t send healers onboard the tank. I usually send up hybrid DPS who are able to heal in addition to DPS.

Razorscale

You died because of:

  • Devouring Flame – Your fault. Should not have been standing in them. It’s the blue stuff on the ground.
  • Flame Breath – Your fault. Don’t stand in front of Razor when this happens. Tanks are an exception.
  • Fireball – Our fault. It’s only 11000 damage or so. However, there are times when a player does get gibbed by these. I’ve been hit by this twice in a row in the span of a half second. I happened to have a shield up which saved me with a 15% health left.

Ignis

You died because of:

  • Scorch – Your fault. Why on earth would you stand on a big giant tower of fire?
  • Flame Jets – Our fault. Players should be in the green when Flame Jets connect.
  • Slag pot – Our fault. You can help even more though if you can. I cast Lesser Healing Wave on myself when I play my Elemental Shaman to help the heals out.
  • Construct explosion – Your fault. Run the heck out before it gets detonated.

Deconstructor

You died because of:

  • Gravity Bomb – Neither. It’s the job of the guy who got Gravity Bomb to get clear. If he’s too close, he pulls you in and detonates. Bomb guy’s fault.
  • Light Bomb – Both. It’s the Light bomb’s duty to also get clear. But the raid will take 2 or 3 ticks of Light Bomb damage. Our job is to heal that up. Requires effort on both parts.
  • Tympanic Tantrum – Our fault. We should be able to outheal the damage done by Tympanic Tantrum.
  • Bomb bot – Your fault. Should not be within proximity of these things when they explode.

Iron Council

You died because of:

  • Fusion Punch – Our fault. Unless none of the healers are dispellers. Then it’s the dispeller’s fault. That debuff has to come off quick.
  • High Voltage – Our fault. Steelbreaker’s aura. Everyone gets hit by it no matter what. It just has to be out healed.
  • Rune of Death – Your fault. Shouldn’t be standing in it.
  • Chain Lightning – Both. It depends on how much damage you take. If you die to a chain lightning, check to see if you were properly spaced up. You can stay with 1 or maybe 2 other players nearby. That type of damage is survivable. If your health was too low for a period of time, then its our fault for not getting you back in the green quick enough.
  • Lightning Whirl – Both. It should be interrupted. It’s normal to see 1 or 2 ticks slip through. Most players should be able to survive that. If you didn’t survive it, then chances are you weren’t topped either.
  • Overload – Your fault. When the little guy stops moving and starts doing his Kamehameha move, run out of the blast zone.
  • Lightning Tendrils – Both. It’s difficult to outrun this. Some players are going to get caught in them. At the same time, a concerted effort should be made by those not being focused to run away from it, not run towards it. Focused players are taking 3000 – 5000 damage per second. It’s possible if its one or two players. It’s a nightmare if it’s five or so.
  • Melee hit for 30000 – Not our fault. Ideally a cooldown will be popped. I know when I see Steelbreaker on the tank, I’ll drop a Pain Suppression reflexively on the tank to buy some extra time to get him repositioned. Sometimes Murphy likes to come along and crap on your raid with a Rune of Powered up Fusion Punch. One word: Screwed.

Kologarn

You died because of:

  • Shockwave – Our fault. No player should be that low when Shockwave connects. Otherwise they’re dead.
  • Stone Grip – Our fault. Gripped players just have to be kept alive until the arm takes enough damage.
  • Focused Eyebeam – Your fault. On the one hand, your health should be high enough to eat a tick or two if necessary. On the other hand, if you have several seconds to run and kite the beam before you start registering damage.

Auriaya

You died because of:

  • Seeping Feral Essence – Your fault. It’s basically a void zone. Get out of it.
  • Sonic Screech – Neither. Some players weren’t stacking up when it went off. Obviously if you’re at 5% health when it hits, you’re probably going to die. Should be in the green as much as possible.
  • Sentinel Blast – Our fault. It’s healer duty to heal up the initial parts of the blast. The faster the interrupts, the less we have to worry about it.

Hodir

You died because of:

  • Biting Cold – Your fault. Keep jumping. Keep strafing. Keep dancing and moving.
  • Flash Freeze – Your fault. Weren’t fast enough getting into a snow drift.
  • Icicles – Your fault. You can see the blue runes on the ground. You know where they’re coming from.
  • Frozen Blows – Our fault. There’s nothing you can really do to avoid it. It’s up to us healers to play triage on the whole raid.

Thorim

You died because of:

  • Charge Orb – Your fault. Should be standing near the center of the room to avoid this when in the arena.
  • Smash – Your fault. Should not be standing in front of the Rune Giant in the gauntlet.
  • Shockwave-like ability – Your fault. Dodge them.
  • Rune Detonation – Your fault. You see the fire shield above the target, get clear of them.
  • Chain Lightning – Both. Don’t stand with more than 2 other people. There’s only so much space in the room and you do have to dodge Lightnign Charges.
  • Lightning Charge – Your fault. When you see the streams coming from the wall towards Thorim, break off quickly.

Freya

You died because of:

  • Detonating Lashers – Our fault. Unless your raid manages to precisely kill all of them at the same time.
  • Nature Bomb – Your fault. When you see these big green balls on the ground, that’s your cue to move.

Mimiron

You died because of:

  • Napalm Shell – Our fault. We have to be able to heal this through.
  • Plasma Burst – Our fault. Tanks and healing cooldowns must be used so that they can live.
  • Shock Blast – Your fault. We can’t outheal 100000 damage all at once.
  • Proximity Mine – Your fault. No comment.
  • Heat Wave – Our fault. Shouldn’t be a problem healing this up.
  • Rapid Burst – Out fault. No good reason why we’d die to this either.
  • Rocket Strike – Your fault. Stand out of the red stuff on the ground.
  • Laser Barrage – Your fault. Nothing we can do about this either. Up to you to make a run for it.
  • Bomb bot – Neither. These things do a lot of damage when they explode. By now, your raiders should be able to survive at least one of these with you at full health. Hopefully the rest of your raid can kill these before they become an issue.

General Vezax

You died because of:

  • Shadow Crash – Your fault. Outrun these. We’ll do what we can to heal up the player or two that gets hit by it.
  • Searing Flames – Neither. Someone missed an interrupt. This should not be going off at all.
  • Surge of Darkness – Neither. Depends on the strategy. With defensive cooldowns, it shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Mark of the Faceless – Neither. Again, this requires the efforts of both. The target has to run out fast. Those nearby need to be healed up quickly.
  • Saronite Vapors – Your fault. Be very careful about staying in too late. As a Priest, I Prayer of Mending on stack 6, and Shield myself on 7 and escape with about half my health. Others may not be as lucky.

Yogg-Saron

You died because of:

  • Shadow Nova – Our fault. Unless your raid killed like 5 guardians at the same time.
  • Death Ray – Your fault. These green beams start off harmless at first and don’t move. When you see them, get clear. It amazes me how many players still stand there after it’s been there for several seconds. Drop what you’re doing and move.
  • Crusher Tentacles – Your fault. Shouldn’t be in melee range of these. They will kill with one blow.
  • Brain Link – Technically our fault. But run towards each other quick!
  • Squeeze – Our fault. We have to keep you alive long enough for the DPS to break you out.
  • Sanity – Your fault. There is nothing we can do if your sanity reaches zero.

And there you have it! Use this list only as a rough guideline. There are always exceptions to everything. Look into the context of what happened before making a judgment. You don’t always have to assign fault. But it is important to find out what happened so you can make sure it doesn’t happen again. You’ll notice that a lof of these deaths are easily preventable by healers. But there are some rare cases where there’s just nothing we can do short of a psychic Guardian Spirit on a player.

Yes, you’ll notice I didn’t add any comments on Algalon. I haven’t engaged him and it won’t be for a while.

Tip: Inner Focus and Divine Hymn

Just a quick tip for new Priests who don’t know about this powerful spell combination.

Inner Focus

Instant
3 min cooldown

When activated, reduces the mana cost of your next spell by 100% and increases its critical effect chance by 25% if it is capable of a critical effect.

Divine Hymn

63% of base mana

40 yd range

Channeled
10 min cooldown

You recite a Holy hymn, summoning the power of the Divine to assist you in your time of need. Heals 3 nearby lowest health friendly party or raid targets for 3024 to 3342 every 2 sec for 8 sec, and increases healing done to them by 10% for 8 sec. Maximum of 12 heals. The Priest must channel to maintain the spell.

Individually, these abilities are great. Inner Focus helps provide a free spell every so often. Divine Hymn can be an emergency heal that helps stabilizes raids.

But combined together?

You get a free smart heal that automatically targets the weakest 3 friendly players and hits them with heals that have a 25% chance to crit.

It’s great for fights such as:

  • Mimiron Phase 2
  • Hodir’s Frozen Blows
  • Deconstructor’s Tympanic Tantrum

Usable every 10 minutes. But still a cool setup regardless.

Save 10 Minutes on Mimiron Trash by Skipping it Entirely

I just discovered this pro tip yesterday from a Resto Druid app. He mentioned to me as we were clearing out Mimiron trash.

If you want to shave some time off in your raid, work the first trash pull and secure a Spider bot as quickly as you can. Then have that player power jump over the rest of the mobs all the way to the tram. He activates the tram, heads over to Mimiron, and then starts the encounter. That player has to die.

At that point, the teleport at the Spark of Imagination should now be active enabling the rest of your raid to enter in.

Some of you guys probably know this. But for the rest of us that didn’t, it’s a neat trick that should shave some time in your raids. We used this method in the last trash pull to gauge exactly how much space was needed. It might take you a trash pull or two to get used to the range. But it can be done.

On a side note, you’ll notice things have been slightly shaky around here. The server move has been complete. A very special thanks to our sponsors (and hosting partner) Byte Me Gaming. The contact forms are not working at the moment and I’m trying to resolve that. So I apologize in advance if you’ve sent in anything recently. Use my personal email for the time being in order to get in touch.

Fixed.

13 Express Methods to Wipe Your Ulduar Raid

13 Express Methods to Wipe Your Ulduar Raid

header-ulduar-wipe

It’s been done. Your main tank is dead. Your healing corps is decimated. It seems as though your stealthers continue to be found and shredded. Plate armor is sundered and scattered across the battlefield. The clothwearers torn apart with nothing left aside from their robes.

It’s a wipe.

What’s the best course of action you can take to assist your raid?

Suiciding yourself and wiping along with them.

Don’t give me the rallying cries of “Mimiron will never take me alive!” either. You can’t solo a boss unless he’s within one or two spell casts of death. How many times have I witnessed a player single handedly declare victory against a raid boss? I can count that number on one hand.

So don’t be a hero unless you can actually do it. Here’s how you can make yourself useful when a wipe’s called. Ever wondered what the fastest way to die on each boss was in Ulduar?

Oh and a special note to healers. When a wipe is called, there is thing that you have to actually do that can help hasten the process.

Stop fracking healing!

Flame Leviathan

Wipes when: You’re down to 3 choppers, no tanks, and maybe a few demolishers. Unless the bucket of bolts is at a ridiculously low level, you’re done.

Methods: Jump out and close within melee range of the boss. If the Flame Vent doesn’t get you, the rockets will.

Ignis

Wipes when: Main tank is dead with no other alternatives or when a Construct gets pulled into the raid and gets stupidly detonated taking out the entire crew.

Methods: Jump into a scorch. Cast a spell before Flame Jets connects. Hug a Brittle construct before blowing it up.

Razorscale

Wipes when: No tanks are alive and that big honkin’ Titan guy does what Right Said Fred sings by doing more than a little turn on the catwalk. Yes, I’ve seen pickup raids demolished by that one trash mob. Also consider a bailout when an off tank isn’t able to tank quick enough and the debuffs continue to stack too high on the main tank.

Methods: Go die in a fire. Literally. The blue fire will do the trick. Give big honkin’ Titan guy a hug. If it’s phase 2, the plan is to try to pop a breath mint into Razor’s mouth by getting in front of him. I’m sure he’d appreciate some juicy fruit when you’re being blasted with his Flame Breath.

Deconstructor

Wipes when: Completely pounds the crap out of your main tank. Or when Joe Paladin forgets to run out of the raid with a light bomb. Also happens when Deconstructor wolfs down some grilled repair bot burgers. Oh yes, and if your raid forgot to eat their wheaties this morning and managed to close in on the enrage timer.

Methods: See that guy that’s glowing white? Give him a big hug. Let’s not forget the guy in black and purple either. Run to him! Tantrums, when they occur, will auto-slaughter the raid.

Iron Council

Wipes when: One of the tanks gets Falcon (Fusion) Punched. Raid eats a green rune and is too slow getting out of it. Anytime those Iron Council folks are basking in blues of glory. There’s a multitude of causational factors that could lead to a wipe.

Methods: Do everything I mentioned in the last paragraph. Oh, and hug the small Iron Dwarf. He’s the lonely one of the bunch. Gets frequently picked on all the time. When he’s doing that Overload thing, he’s just trying to unload his problems. It doesn’t hurt.

Much.

Kologarn

Wipes when: Eyebeam fail. Stone grip fail. Tank-falls-off-ledge fail. No one in melee range of Kologarn fail.

Methods: Just repeat everything above. Stand in beams or jump off the ledge or run far away from him.

Auriaya

Wipes when: Not enough players absorb a sonic screech. Alternatively, difficulty with the pull. If you can master the pull you can master the boss. But the pull is what gets to raids.

Methods: Just get eaten up by the various cats. Stand in the void zone.

Hodir

Wipes when: Frozen blows dominates your entire raid. Tank dies. Raid doesn’t know how to either keep moving or watch for camp fires.

Methods: Stop moving. Avoid the big snow drifts and get flash frozen. Stand under falling icicles.

Thorim

Wipes when: Either the arena team doesn’t hold out long enough or the gauntlet team is too slow. In phase 3, it happens because a taunt’s not quick enough.

Methods: During the second phase, if you’re gauntlet, do run into the line of fire. Do stand next to the guy with the fire shield icon above him. If you’re in the arena, make some friends. During the third phase, dive into the lightning streams.

Freya

Wipes when: Have you heard the phrase:

“Oh what the frack. Who killed the Stormlasher/Snaplasher/Water elemental before the others were down?”

Yeah. Happens to us. Too anxious on the trigger finger. AoEing detonators is also a very bad idea…

Methods: …But AoEing detonators leads to a speedy death. If it’s on ‘shrooms, look for the player who is flashing lightning and stand next to them. Lashers are a bit of a pain to die to however. Freya’s one of the worse bosses to wipe on because it can take a while for everyone to die.

Mimiron

Wipes when: I don’t even know where to start. Missing tanks? Nuked healers? Not enough DPS? It could be any number or combination.

Methods: Here’s a quick list.

  • Phase 1: Run into land mines
  • Phase 2: Get up close to the boss. Let the fires engulf you or have the entire raid stand in one direction and simply eat the arcane guns.
  • Phase 3: Run into any bots you see. Bomb bots are great for this.
  • Phase 4: Run into land mines.

General Vezax

Wipes when: Healers run out of juice with no Saronite vapors around. Lack of interrupts on Vezax. Tank faces a super saiyan General Vezax who dishes out 50000 damage. Yeah. Happened to us before too. Not pretty.

Methods: Stand in a Saronite vapos for more than 7 ticks. Hug Vezax without interrupting anything. Let him warm you up some.

Yogg-Saron

Wipes when: Anything bad that can happen will happen. Players become magically blind to the color green. It happens.

Method: Run into clouds and run into the green beams emanating from Yogg-Saron.

Healing Ulduar: Thorim

Healing Ulduar: Thorim

thorim_31_phixr

For other bosses in Ulduar, check the Ulduar Healing Strategy Page.

“Interlopers! You mortals who dare to interfere with my sport will pay… Wait–you… I remember you… In the mountains… But you… what is this? Where am–”

Thorim is the lord of storms, and brother to Loken. He is one of the Keepers of Ulduar.

The fight  is broken down into 3 phases, with phase 2 having two parts. First, lets see what Thorim can do.

Abilities

Sheath of Lightning – When the encounter begins, Thorim will coat himself in an almost impregnable sheet of lightning.

Charged Orb – Charges an orb in the arena with the power of storms. The tower will discharge Lightning Shock which can chain to multiple people in close range to eachother.

Lightning Shock / charged Orb Example:

lightning_phixr2

Storm Hammer – Thorim throws his hammer into the arena causing Deafening Thunder. It can interrupt your casting and places a debuff that increased casting times by 75% for 8 seconds

Summon Lightning Orb – Sends a ball of lightning down the corridor towards the players, laying waste to everything in it’s path.

Chain Lightning – Thorim casts a lightning bolt into the party that increases in damage the further it jumps.

Lightning Charge - Thorim absorbs the power of a nearby lightning orb and then discharges it in a cone back towards the orb he siphoned the power from. After the charge Thorim will hit faster and harder. This is a stacking buff, and acts as a passive enrage in phase 3

Lightning Charge example:

lightning-charge_phixr

Unbalancing Strike – Reduces the tanks defense by 200.

Enrage – When you start phase 2 you have 5 minutes to reach him before he enrages and clears the raid out.

Adds

Thorim has a lot of friends who want to play with you.

Runic Colossus

Ancient Rune Giant

Those two are like mini bosses. They don’t hit too hard.

Dark Rune Warbringer

Dark Rune Evoker

Dark Rune Champion

Dark Rune Commoner

Waves of trash will consist of these mobs.

Execution

The fight itself has 3 phased, with phase 2 having two parts.

Phase 1:

You enter the arena to see a giant Jormungur facing off against opponents of the opposite faction.

thorim_phixr

They are easily dispatched and don’t really hit hard on tanks. Clean them up and get ready for phase 2.

Phase 2:

Phase 2 is split into two sections, a Ramp/Gauntlet group and an Arena / pit group. We’ll talk about the ramp group first.

The Ramp group will normally consist of one tank, seven DPS and two healers. Speed is the biggest factor here. The faster you get to the end of the hallway, the sooner you can start phase 3. For healers you want someone who can snap big heals, or heals on the move. We found that druids and holy paladins work incredibly well for the ramp group. Large effective heals and lots of mobility.

There will be three groups of Warbringers along your way and a giant golem at the end of the hall that sends death down one side at a time. We assigned someone to call out which side to move to. As a healer, don’t worry about keeping someone who stands in the line of fire from the golem alive, they’re going to die. It’s pretty easy to heal the Gauntlet, just keep the tank alive and burn through as fast as possible.

The Arena group has a it’s own tree of woe to deal with. The aforementioned adds will be flooding into the arena to get a piece of us would-be adventurers for ruining their entertainment. Easiest way to do it is have tanks set up an AoE pit in the center of the arena. We use three tanks (bear , paladin and warrior just for reference). The druid and the paladin tank the vast majority of the mobs while the warrior pulls the champions off to the side slightly (see triangle on the diagram) to keep them from whirlwinding the dps.

arena

Healers (blue circles) should spread out around the AoE pit to minimize the impact of the Storm Hammers. Priests should be ready to mass disspell the Runic Shield from the evokers. Group healing helps a lot in this part of the fight.  CoH, Chain heal, glyphed Holy Light and even Wildgrowth will help keep the dps in the AoE pit up. Just keep an eye on aggro happy AoE damage dealers though, sometimes warlocks like to explode without warning here. Healers that are spread out should watch for Lightning Orbs and be ready to move quickly, least they chain the damage to other players. If you get snap aggro from adds through healing, you should run through the AoE pit to give your tanks a chance to snag them with a taunt or even just Consecrate / Death and Decay to grab them. Continue to burn down the pit, picking off Evokers and Champions as you can until your ramp group reaches Thorim and starts phase 3. Name of the game is survival. Heal your rear off! keep everyone up, especially tanks and you’ll be good to go.

Phase 3:

Once you reach Thorim’s platform he jumps down into the arena. A tank has to pick him up right away while everyone else works on adds. Thorim hits reasonably hard when he connects so it is suggested to have a few healers on the tanks. Normally We put 3 healers on the two Thorim tanks, Druid, Paladin and a Disc priest have been wonderful for evening out damage and making Unbalanced Strike transitions easier.  As the fight goes on, Thorim hits harder and harder, much in the way of Gruul the Dragonslayer, but three healers should be enough to keep the tanks alive. The rest of the raid and healers need to be spread out around the room, more then 10 yard away from someone if you can. When Thorim Chain Lightnings, it can have disastrous results.

While you’re healing keep your eyes peeled for a white pulsing line going between him and one of the pillars. At this point, you want to run away from that line as quickly as possible. After the line is done energizing him, he will cast an arch of lightning in a 60 degree cone  towards wherever he pulled the power from. If you’re caught in it it will hurt. Stop your casting and move fast and then resume healing. The tanks will keep rotating so make sure they are topped off while your raid healers keep track of everyone else. Tank healers have to be careful to make sure they switch to the new tank quickly otherwise you run the risk of the new tank eating two large strikes back to back later in the fight.

In my opinion the hardest part of this encounter is phase 2 for arena healers. There is just a lot going on. There’s a ton of movement, a ton of raid damage and a ton of situational awareness needed to make it through. Heads up Healing comes in very handy in the arena as it lets you move before you’re splatted. It also helps you when you can see the mobs turn to go take out that AoEing warlock before they actually hit her (looking at you Jahadura!) and splatter their remains all over the arena floor. Once you get this part down, the rest of the encounter is no harder then anything else you’ve faced so far. Now for the good stuff.

Healer Items:

Once you free Thorim and he’ll leave behind the Cache of Storms, here’s some goodies he has

T8 Helm token

Scale of Fates – Trinket (Haste/Spellpower)

Pauldrons of the Combatant -Shoulders (Shamans)

Wisdom’s Hold – Shield (Paladins, Shamans)

Leggings of Lost Love – Legs (Priest, Druid)

Also a little poll here. My guild leader things Thorim sounds like Patrick Stewart, I think my guild leader is very mistaken. What do you guys think? Does Thorim sound like Patrick Stewart?

Until next time, Happy Healing

sig3

Healing Ulduar: Kologarn

Healing Ulduar: Kologarn

kologarn

For other bosses in Ulduar, check the Ulduar Healing Strategy Page.

Kologarn is the sentinel that stands in the way between your raid group and the rest of Ulduear. He is a challenging boss guilds that are new to raiding. Like Deconstructor, victory lies in the ultimate ability of individual players.

Abilities

Eyebeams: Two ways to handle this. Run out the door or run circles on the right side of the platform. More on this later.

Stone grip: He’s going to pluck three players in to the palm of his hand and attempt to squeeze them to death until they get broken out. The only way to break players out is by DPSing the arm. Once it takes 380000 damage, the players are released.

Execution

DPS priority is going to approach the boss in this order: Right arm, Elementals, torso. When any arm is destroyed, the torso loses the same amount of health.

It’s best to call out right arm health at 5% intervals starting from 20 so your tanks know when to switch. After the right arm falls, elementals will spawn.

Two tanks are needed to hold Kologarn’s attention. He’s got a Gluth-like debuff that requires two tanks to taunt off each other. Otherwise, the debuff becomes flat out unbearable.

kolo-beams

Dodging eye beams

When you get focused by twin green beams, you have around 2 seconds to start hustling before you get rocked. There’s two ways to handle avoiding them:

Out the door

Make a beeline for the door and down the stairs. The upside is that it presents minimal risk to the players in your raid group. The down side is if the player is too slow, they might die due to line of sight issues. As healers, we don’t have to worry about this.

Laps on the right side

Have beam focused players run circles along the right side of the room. The pros and cons are the exact inverse of the bailing-out-the-door method. Focused players are well within range of healers. But poor kiting can lead to multiple casualties.

Whatever solution you choose, drill it in the heads of the rest of the raid to immediately get out of the green. The beams are extremely hard to miss. Keep your head up.

The Elemental Tank

It’s happened before. I’ve seen the off tank gain aggo of all ads and get focused by beams at the exact same time. As a tank, he’ll live for a few extra seconds but not anymore after that. Use whatever saves you can on him to help lessen the blow. Pain Suppression, Guardian Spirit and Blessing of Sacrifice work admirably.

Healing strategy

Around 6-7 healers is a good number to start with. Expect an enormous amount of raid damage being doled out. His left arm sweeps the entire raid for around 15000+. Pick two of your strongest tank healers and assign them to the main tank (this will vary as they’re taunting off each other). Be sure to have Kologarn’s target up so you can see which tank he’s presently on.

If you have access to two Resto Shamans, they can anchor the Stone Grips quite easily.

Healer items

Ironmender – OH (Priests, Druids)

Gloves of the Pythonic Guardian – Gloves (Paladin)

Robes of the Umbral Brute – Chest (Priests)

Unfaltering Armguards – Wrists (Paladin)

Abusing General Vezax as Discipline

The Conquest strike team reached General V on Monday evening. In the final hour remaining in our raid night, we spent most of the time identifying the environmental elements of the fight.

What did the Saronite Vapors look like?

What’s Shadow Crash?

How do we deal with Mark of the Faceless?

More importantly for healers, how do we manage our mana while being truly unable to gain it back unless it’s from said Vapors?

One of the aspects of the fight that I noticed early on is Shadow Crash.

"”Fires a shadow missile at a target. Upon impact, it leaves an energy field that lingers for 20 seconds, increases magical damage dealt by 100%, increasing casting speed by 100%, reducing healing done by 75%, and reducing mana costs by 70%.”

The primary strength of Discipline Priests lie in their powers of mitigation. Shadow Crash affects a healer’s mana cost, cast speed, and actual healing done. You can see where I’m going with this.

Power Word: Shield is instant. The casting speed debuff won’t have an effect there. It’s also not technically a heal. It’s a damage absorption. Finally it does reduce the cost of shields by 70%.

The bottom line: ~200 mana costing shields. Very nice.

Heh, I’m not going to jinx the week by predicting whether or not we’ll obtain a kill. I had an internal progression timeline for Ulduar when it came out and we’re right on schedule.

Hybrid it up on General Vezax

Hybrid it up on General Vezax

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This is a guest post by Paladin blogger Honorshammer of Honor’s Code.

General Vezax is the the last boss you must down before you cross swords with Yogg-Saron himself.

The General is one of most challenging fights in all of Ulduar due to his Aura of Despair. What is it that this lovely gift from the Developers does?

From WoWWiki (http://www.wowwiki.com/General_Vezax) we find:

Aura of Despair – Prevents mana regeneration throughout the fight by all means, except for Judgments of the Wise, Spiritual Attunement, Aspect of the Viper, Thrill of the Hunt, and Shamanistic Rage. Note that unlike the Play Test Realm version of this encounter Mana Potions and active abilities such as Evocation and Life Tap will not function.

My guild recently downed General Vezax. I was Retribution for the fight, but when one of our healers went down; I jumped in and started throwing some heals on the tank. That’s when I discovered the power of Judgments of the Wise for this fight. By Judging and stopcasting I was able to take over the 3rd healer role and concentrate on helping to keep our Main Tank alive, and do it on a Ret Paladin’s mana pool.

What exactly does Judgement of the Wise do?

Judgements of the Wise Rank 3 – Your Judgement spells have a 100% chance to grant the Replenishment effect to up to 10 party or raid members mana regeneration equal to 0.25% of their maximum mana per second for 15 sec, and to immediately grant you 25% of your base mana. (Source)

The replenishment aspect is useless. After reviewing the WoW Web Stats, I can see that I never gained Replenishment. However I did gain over 100,000 mana from Judgments of the wise! Because it works off base mana, it would restore the same amount regardless of the current mana pool of the Paladin.

We know that for a Level 80 Paladin, Holy Light cost 1,274 mana. So with a little napkin math, we can conclude that I regenerated enough mana from Judgments of the Wise to cast over 70 Holy Lights. That’s without the use of any Saronite Vapors at all.

How practical would it be it for a Holy Paladin to get Judgement of the Wise? Let’s look at a talents build that allows a Holy Paladin to get Judgement of the Wise, and the tradeoffs it makes to get there.

The most popular Holy Paladin build according to TalentChic is 51/5/15. Let’s look at what is needed to turn that into our hybrid build.

First off, the 5 points in Divinity have to go. Divinity is a really strong Tier 1 talent, but we simply won’t have room for it in our build. It doesn’t matter how hard the heal hits if you don’t have the mana to cast it.

Those 5 points move into Sanctity of Battle and Pursuit of Justice. Sanctity gives you even more crit for your Holy spells which should offset some of the loss of Divinity. There is a ton of movement on General Vezax so Pursuit of Justice is really nice as you move away from a Shadow Crash or into a Saronite Vapor.

Then we take the points out of Beacon of Light. This is one tank fight. Let the other healers handle the Raid; you can stay on the Tank so Beacon is a minor loss. You are going to lose the Haste from Judgments of the Pure and Infusion of Light. You will also have to heal from melee range because you won’t have the range increase from Enlightened Judgments. We had our Resto Druid healing from near melee range, so we could just have just as easily had a Holy Paladin there.

You won’t have the mana reduction from Divine Illumination. Based on General Vexax’s enrage timer, you would only be able to fire Divine Illumination more than 3 times during the fight. Are those 45 seconds of reduced cost worth the mana you can get back from Judgments of the Wise?

Assuming a little haste from gear, we’ll call Holy Light a 2 second cast. In those 45 seconds, we can get off 22.5 Holy Lights. To give every advantage to Divine Illumination, we’ll call it 23.

Holy Light costs 1271 so half it’s cost is 635. So we’ve saved 635 mana times 23 casts or about 15,000 mana. It’s about 10% of what Judgments of the Wise gives you. So Divine Illumination is gone as well. Bu-bye!

Our final move is to take 2 points out of Holy Guildance which will result in about a 4% loss of spell power from Intellect. The rest of the Holy Paladin build is pretty much intact.

With these points freed up, we continue to ascend the Ret Tree. The next point taken in Ret is Sanctified Retribution. This will increase all damage done by everyone near us, even if we are running Concentration Aura.

We want to pick up Improved Judgments so we can judge as often as possible, and trigger Judgments of the Wise as often as possible. Now we need two ‘filler’ points to move into the next Tier. There aren’t any great places to put them. I chose to put them in Crusade to increase the damage of Judgment by 3%. This build relies on judging often, so you might as well have them hit a little harder.

On the next tier, we grab Divine Purpose. The 4% spell miss will act as increased resistance to Shadow Crash and Searing Flames should one get through your interrupters.

Here again we find ourselves two points short of the next tier and not really any good place to spend them. I opted for Vengeance. Maybe you could get a stack going and hit those Judgments a little harder. It’s a filler choice so anywhere you want to throw two points will probably work.

Finally, we open Judgments of the Wise.

Here’s the final 38/0/33 build in the WoWhead tool.

General Vezax is a challenging fight. Specing for a specific fight is something that used to be fairly common in late Tier 6 and Sunwell. We didn’t need it for Tier 7 raids, but as we near the end of Tier 8, it may be something to consider again.

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Healing Ulduar: Hodir

Healing Ulduar: Hodir

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For other bosses in Ulduar, check the Ulduar Healing Strategy Page

Hodir is a fight that requires a lot of movement. This boss is a big cuddly snowman who likes to spread the love, and the iceblocks. This fight will keep you on your toes. 

Notes about the fight:

  • Lots of movement
  • Raid wide damage

Abilities

Biting Cold – This is an aura like affect that pulses through the entire raid. This is much like the ability from Keristrasza in the nexus, you need to keep moving to keep it from stacking up on you. Each stack increases the periodic damage it deals. 

Freeze – This deals about 5k frost damage to all players within 10 yards of the target, it also roots the targets in place.

Flash Freeze – This encases the entire raid in blocks of ice. This is prevented by standing on snowdrifts. 

Icicle – Occasionally giant blocks of ice will fall from the ceiling. These deal 12,000 damage to anyone hit and have a knock back component. You can see which areas will be hit by a small circular glyph on the ground. If you are having trouble seeing the glyphs, go into your video settings and turn on Projected Textures. Before a flash freeze, a larger glyph will show on the ground before the ice falls and will leave behind Snowdrifts which must be used to avoid flash freeze. 

Frozen Blows – Reduces Hodir’s physical damage but adds a frost damage component to his attacks. This also has a raid wide frost damage effect. 

Enrage – Hodir has a 9 minute Enrage Timer 

Ability Examples:

ice      

 Icicle

 snowdrift

 Snowdrift

 freeze

 Freeze

NPCs

Hodir also comes with a selections of NPC’s that must be broken out of their icy prisons. There will be four on normal and 8 on heroic. The npc’s consists of the following. 

2x Druids: The druids are hard to miss, they’re in boomkin form. When you break them out they DPS Hodir but also cast Starlight which increases the attack speed of anyone standing in it by 100%

2x Shaman: The shamans DPS Hodir elemental style and will occasionally cast Storm Cloud on a raid member. This ability lets you buff several raid members with Storm Power which increases their critical strike damage by 135%

2x Mages: The mages will help try to break fellow NPCs out of ice blocks and will cast a Toasty Fire. The fire is literally a camp fire on the ground, but it fights off the effects of biting cold. Falling ice and Flash Freeze will wipe out the fire. 

2x Priests: The priests will smite and occasionally throw out a heal, but most importantly they will cast Dispel Magic to free players from the effects of Freeze

Execution

Your raid will head in following the Main Tank. The tank will take Hodir back towards the rear of the room. DPS will begin by breaking out the NPCs. After all the NPCs have been broken out, DPS can start in on Hodir. When DPS first engages Hodir it is a good time to blow Heroism / Bloodlust. Healers should move into position to be near the Main Tank while everyone else needs to move into position around the raid. DPS continues on Hodir until he is about to cast Flash Freeze. Everyone needs to move to the Snowdrifts to avoid being frozen. After the Flash Freeze any raiders who were frozen should be broken free ASAP. DPS will then begin on the NPCs again until all are free, and then will resume DPS on Hodir. Rinse and repeat until the big guy is done. 

Healing Hodir

Healing Hodir has two major components, 

Main Tank – Three healers should be assigned to the main tank. They should be in close proximity at all times and moving with the tank as needed. Grace from a Disc Priest helps even out the damage from Hodir. 

Raid – The rest of the healers should be spread out along the outside of the raid to cover as many raiders as possible. 

All healers will be moving quite a bit during this fight, dodging falling ice and shaking off the effect of bitting cold until the NPC’s are broken loose. Shamans will be using a lot of Riptide and Lesser Healing Wave, Druids will be right at home rolling HoTs, Paladins will be using quick Flash Heals, as well as priests utilizing renews and quick heals. It is possible to toss out a longer cast heal such as Greater Heal or Chain Heal and move before biting cold stacks, as long as you can find yourself a rhythm for move and cast. Your main goal as healers should be to find a Toasty Fire close enough to the raid to sit on. If you have the Toasty Fire buff, you can spam heals without worry of stacking Biting Cold. Since the rest of the raid will be moving around though, be prepared to move to keep people in range. Once you learn to balance the movement and the heals the fight is pretty straight forward.

Until next time, Happy Healing.