Help Simone: Heroic Northrend Beasts


Meet Simone.

She’s the new healing lead and she needs your help. None of the other healers wanted the job of organizing and assigning healing. The raid leader doesn’t understand enough about healing to confidently handle it himself. Simone has decided to take initiative and do it.

But she needs your help!

Scenario: Heroic Northrend Beasts 25
Tanks: Warrior, Paladin, Death Knight
Healers: 2 Resto Shamans, 1 Holy Paladin, 1 Discipline Priest, 2 Resto Druid (1 optimized for tank healing, 1 optimized for raid healing)

What you know

Terrence has given Simone the tank assignments. On Gormok, the Paladin starts first, followed by the Warrior and then the Death Knight. It’s been timed in such a way that the Warrior will end up tanking Gormok until he falls over. With the twin snakes alive, the Paladin will be getting Dreadscale while the Death Knight is picking up Acidmaw. After Acidmaw is taken down, the tanks are in free for all mode on Dreadscale as it largely depends on who has the fire debuff and who doesn’t. It’s safe to assume that the Warrior will be the one tanking Icehowl when he comes out and will do so for the rest of the fight.

We can assume that her raid group is reasonably competent and are able to get out of fires fast enough. We also know that they all have excellent awareness skills and can dodge Icehowl’s trample. In fact, the raiders are so good that they spread out so well and are able to minimize Acidmaw’s poison debuff so that only one player will get it at any time. The healers are smart players and they won’t need Simone to micromanage their big cooldowns for them this time. That might change in the future when new players are brought in, however.

What would you do?

This is where Simone turns to you for help. You’re the only person she knows that’s handled healing assignments before. This is what she wants you to do:

  • She needs 3 healers on the tanks on phase 1. Which ones should she choose?
  • She needs 2 healers on each snake-tank on phase 2. How should they be distributed?
  • She has 2 Shamans and 3 tanks. How should she assign the Earth Shields throughout the fight?
  • On the Icehowl phase, Simone is worried that all the healers could get nailed by Icehowl’s Arctic breath. What solution would you give to her to calm her fears?

Remember, there is no wrong answer. This is just an exercise to see how you would handle it and what you would do.

27 thoughts on “Help Simone: Heroic Northrend Beasts”

  1. ***Note – I’ve never done a ToC 25 Heroic (just 10s), so this is based purely on napkin math and anecdotal information.

    For P1 healing use your Paladin, Disc Priest, and your Tank Tree, with your shaman working CH through the tanks to help with the bleed damage. Your shields and BoL will help keep the OTs up, and your tree’s HoTs will smooth out the damage.

    Acidmaw tanks get the Paladin and a tank Tree, with BOL on a Dreadscale tank.

    Dreadscale gets the disc preist (with x-bubbles on Acidmaw’s tanks) and a shaman..

    In P1, the shamans rotate ES – so that a new ES is popped on the taunting tank, while the old ES sits on the tank with the bleed still ticking. P2 each tank gets an ES. P3 the warrior gets an ES.

    Assign healers to clock positions if they aren’t smart enough to spread out around Icehowl.

    Let the wipes begin.

    .-= adgamorix´s last blog ..Getting upset over strange things =-.

  2. Scenario: Heroic Northrend Beasts 25
    Tanks: Warrior, Paladin, Death Knight
    Healers: 2 Resto Shamans, 1 Holy Paladin, 1 Discipline Priest, 2 Resto Druid (1 optimized for tank healing, 1 optimized for raid healing)

    Phase 1: Take the Tank Healing Druid, Holy Pally, and Disc Priest. Tank druid will have a stream of points going in. Holy Pally will have the bomb heals for large spikes of damage. Disc Priest has the shields to smooth out the damage lines. There will be some spill over from shaman chain heals into mele.

    Phase 2: Assuming it’s a focus Acidmaw down first strategy, place the Disc priest, tank druid, and shaman on Dreadscale. All others on Acidmaw/Raid. Boo

    Earth Shields: P1 Main tank obviously. P2: Put it on the DK and the main tank of dreadscale. P3 Main tank

    Phase 3: Have disc priest toss out shields whenever possible, get everybody spinning up HoTs just before the Crash to help people out a bit. P{
    .-= Hasteur´s last blog ..Interesting screenshots =-.

  3. Please enlighten a fairly noobish post Lich King Priest that would like to know more about other classes: What is a tank healing specialized resto Druid and does that mean this Druid is better on tank healing than a resto Shaman?

    • @rulez: I asked Syd about this a while ago, but there’s two variants of Resto Druids. Theres a certain spec that allows a Resto Druid to be insane with tank healing. The Resto Shaman can do either. But would you rather him do that or would you rather him cover the raid?

  4. P1:

    Resto Shaman, Disc Priest, Paladin on current tank.
    Tank Druid running HoTs on all three tanks, and focusing previous tank.
    Resto Shaman and Resto Druid on raid.
    Put Sacred Shield on one tank, and Earth Shield on the other two.

    Key here is ensuring that Inspiration is always up on the current tank. The Resto shaman can Chain Heal through the current tank and the bounces will help take care of melee.


    Paladin beacons one tank, heals the other.
    Disc priest takes one tank.
    Tank Druid focuses the other, but HoTs both.
    Resto Shamans and Resto Druid heal the raid and hit the tanks.


    Paladin, Priest, Tank Druid on tank.
    Resto Shamans and Resto Druid hit the raid.
    Everyone spreads out.
    .-= Rohan´s last blog ..Dragon Age: First Impressions =-.

  5. P1: Tank specced druid, Holy Pally (beaconing the previous tank with impales) and Disc with priest popping pain suppression on the taunt when rising anger is its strongest.

    P2: Holy pally and one of the shammies (whichever is more comfortable with tank healing) on acidmaw tank (since shammies chain heals can hit melee if they get hit with the poison bile all at the same time within the tank group). Disc priest and druid on Dreadscale assuming the tank is usually the first to get the burning bile and the priest’s PW:S and if available PS would work wonders. Pally should move in healing dreadscale tank as well when Acidmaw dies.

    Earth Shields: P1 I would put the poo shields on the warrior tank and the DK since they will be doing the bulk of the tanking during rising anger and would need the extra protection. P2 refresh on whomever is tanking at the time assigning one of the shammies to certain tanks, P3 on Warrior of course.

    As for Arctic breath, she can ask her healers to spread out enough that they won’t get hit by the breath. If the healers aren’t particular amazing at coordinating this themselves then assigning a group of healers on each side of the boss should do it (spread out on each side of course). (Oh and humans have that great ability to EMFH out of the block and continue healing)

    That’s what I would do, although it could be incredibly wrong for all I know….
    .-= Napaeae´s last blog ..The Bench: Our Saviour =-.

  6. * She needs 3 healers on the tanks on phase 1. Which ones should she choose?
    Put the Discipline Priest, Holy Paladin, and the tank-healing Druid on the tanks. Or what she could do is just have the Disc Priest and the Holy Pally focus on whichever tank is currently tanking and have the Druid HoT as necessary.

    * She needs 2 healers on each snake-tank on phase 2. How should they be distributed?
    Put the Holy Paladin on one and the Disc Priest on the other with Druid supporting.

    * She has 2 Shamans and 3 tanks. How should she assign the Earth Shields throughout the fight?
    If her raiders are as good as you say they are, she doesn’t need to assign Earth Shields. I’m sure the shamen will work that out for themselves. I know ours do.

    * On the Icehowl phase, Simone is worried that all the healers could get nailed by Icehowl’s Arctic breath. What solution would you give to her to calm her fears?
    Spread your healers out. Assign directional places for them to stand during the fight, that way if Icehowl breathes to the left there will be healers on the right who are unaffected and vice versa.
    .-= Lilitharien´s last blog ..Circle of Healers (It’s Going Around) =-.

  7. 1) This is a cool article style.

    2) If I understand Heroic correctly, you need 3 tanks for Gormok because the Impale lasts on a tank through a full 3-tank rotation. Thus, you can’t have healers all switching to the then-current MT with 1 healer for the most recent tank, because then the least recent tank will still have 2x impales (and presumably needs to be full health and ready to take the worms after the second round of switches).

    3) Here’s where I reveal my lack of experience with the fight – do you need 3 raid healers for Gormok? Between Levitate and the exercise’s admission that the raid is good at moving out of fire… How threatening is Stomp and a couple ticks of fire? At least on 10s, we really only had half a healer on raid damage and were never close to being overwhelmed.

    4) Regarding Simone’s last question, I think assigning a healer to each quadrant may help. Really, though, it’s just a matter of emphasizing spread out-ness, or maybe even small clumps with significant distance between them.

    I think the most dangerous moment is as soon as Icehowl comes out of his stun, because there is less than half of the playing field for the raid to work with. Also, the fact that people often need to run in from across the arena causes them to stop as soon as possible, and often this leads to half the raid being bunched up in Cone formation. Healers need to remember that during the stun, when there is no critical need for immediate heals, they can take the time to get to the correct position, which may include up against the wall.

  8. P1 tank healers:
    Disc priest, tank-healing druid, holy paladin

    P2 tank healers:
    Team 1 – tank-heal druid, resto shaman
    Team 2 – holy paladin, disc priest

    Earth Shields – paladin & warrior during p1, paladin & DK during p2, paladin & warrior during p3

    Assign regions of the arena to each of the healers so that no 2 healers are standing on top of each other, minimizing the risk.
    .-= Josh´s last blog ..The 3.2 Ret FAQ =-.

  9. Hi all.

    Im sorry im not contribute fairly well with this exercise, im bear tank, i just can say i ‘feel’ more confortable when a hoyl pally heal me in almost all scenarios.

    Please, throw me a link to check out the spec for the druid resto specialized in tank healing, my guild seems a little forest, so i would like my personal tree =P

  10. Actually going to chime in here with what our guild does. Perhaps it’s not the “optimal” balance, but we’ve had success with the following healing assignments :

    Tanks – Druid, Paladin, Warrior in that order. Druid takes 3x impale. Successive tank rotation switches at 2x impales. Tank coming off tanking duty runs out of melee and stands “near” the raid healers to stay topped off during impale ticks. ((Obviously could be done with a DK instead of druid))

    Healers – Holy Paladin, Disc Priest, 2 Resto Shamans, 2 Druids

    Phase 1 – Both druids raid healing to keep snobold-ed healers up, HOT the tank sitting with impales, and save our ranged dps from fires. Holy pally and disc priest on the tanks. Both shamans chain healing off the tanks to keep melee up for stomp and extra tank healing.

    Phase 2 – Holy pally and disc priest on the Acidmaw tank. Trees raid healing. Shamans on the Dreadscale tanks (including the one with bile — CH off him to heal the melee / ranged running for cleansing).

    Earth Shield Assignments – Druid is our strongest tank. One shaman ES on the warrior, one on the paladin.

    Phase 3 – Assign the buddy system! Stack a ranged dps with a healer throughout phase 2 and phase 3. Ranged dps is responsible for staying with their healer. Assign healers to cardinal directions – N, NE, E, S, SW, W. ((We found this particularly helpful to mitigate the acid and bile spray mechanic in phase 2 … no matter how much I call to spread out we’d inevitably end up with too many hit. Simply carry the strat over into phase 3.))


    Note — As a side note, which ever tank is picking up Icehowl from his stun needs to be ready to pop his / her cooldowns. We tend to lose tanks in this early transition before heals really get rolling and when aggro might be a bit wonky. Our tanks call out on Vent who will be picking him up.

    Additional note — Because we were without any priests for a period of time, we actually ran this successfully with the following healers : 1 holy paladin, 2 resto shamans, 3 trees. Simply sub in the tank – spec’d / glyphed tree for the disc priest on the tanks.

  11. Tell Simone to spank tanks…
    Tell one shaman to respec dps
    Get paly/war setup to tank in 2 – 4 – 4 – 2 – 1 order tell them to get arround 30-33K armor before doing 2 man setup. When they are taking 4 stacks impale tanking it’s very important that they use CD before 3rd impale, with cooldowns lasting 12 sec.
    Now healing…
    2 druids speced in raid healing – spamming everything around them including tanks
    Resto shaman primary focus on melee, they will be hurt from stomp.
    Paladin and priest focus on tanks.

    Don’t get me wrong… Simone will be fine with her setup… but your 3 tanks will not have as much buffs and constant healing and while looking much better on paper – damage taken on 3 tanks is much more then damage taken on 2 tanks if they are healed all the time – remember all procs healing gives today…

    • @Padre: Not every raid is going to have every combination of healers. The point here is to work within the confines of what you have, and that’s a lesson for any healing lead. You don’t always get to pick and choose your roster. You’re not always going to have the ideal group. As healing leads, we have to work with what we have and it’s not always the most ideal.

  12. Phase 1:
    The tank damage is extreme, and there is very limited raid damage, except for people standing in fire and predictable AoE damage on the melee just after the silencing stomp. Generally, you want everyone healing the tanks most of the time in this phase. You didn’t mention how many paladins are in the raid, but you have at least 2, so the easiest thing to do is just BoP the tanks to remove the impale stacks after each tank switch.
    -Paladin should beacon the tank taking the first impales, and spam heals on whatever tank has aggro. He can move beacons on tank switches, but that may be mana prohibitive.
    -The Disc Priest should heal the tank taking damage, and just keep renews on the tanks after tanks switches
    -Have both druids keep a full stack of HoTs on all 3 tanks, and then heal the raid – people that get hit by fire, and the melee after the stomp. Wild Growth alone used on CD is probably enough to heal fire damage as long as people aren’t being stupid and not moving out of it.
    -Have both shamans heal the tanks, bouncing chain heals off them after the AoE damage.
    -Put the Earth Shields on the DK and Warrior; have the Paladin tank keep Sacred Shield on himself, and have the Paladin healer put Sacred Shield on whatever tank has aggro.

    Phase 2:
    -Paladin – Beacon the Paladin and follow the DK around. As long as they don’t get more than 60 yds apart, he can easily heal both tanks at once, counting as one healer on each tank
    -Disc priest – Heal the DK tank
    -Tank specced Druid – Heal the Paladin tank
    -Other Druid – Focus on healing the range
    -Shamans – Focus on bouncing chain heals off the melee.

    Phase 3:
    This is simple; you want everyone healing the tank, with the raid healers (1 druid and 2 shamans) breaking off to heal the raid after a frost breath or after the massive crash. Key thing is to split the healers up so everyone isn’t frozen at once. Ideally, you want to stand on the small points of the star during P3 so when you get thrown back against the wall you don’t get thrown into a corner or doorway. There should be two small star points within range of Icehowl. Put 1 tank healer and 2 raid healers on one of them, and 2 tank healers and 1 raid healer on the other. That way, no more than half of your healers ever get frozen.
    Phase 2:

  13. Phase 1, Holy pally, shaman and the resto drood tank healing spec on main tanks, disc priest always bubbling the tanks, the other rest drood healing raid and the OTs with melee and disc priest bubbling melee too. The other resto shaman just healing the OT’s.

    Phase 2, DK must tank acidmaw, dreadscale should be tanked by the pally and the warr. Healers, pally and a shaman on the Dreadscale tankes, pally with beacon on the DK tank. Healer for Acidmaw tank should be the other shammy and the resto drood. the raid heals, priest, drood, etc should be hotting melee and the tanks, just to prevent the burning bile explosion on melee.

    2 shamans 3 tanks, just keep the earthshields on the Main tank of each phase and the OT of each phase.
    Example: Phase 2, earthsield on the tank tanking acidmaw and on the dreadscale tank, the OT of dreadscale without shield, after the OT of dreadscale switch places with the MT, change the shield with him.

    Phase 3
    Depends how are they tanking icehowl, if they tank it in the north wall, just divide the healers in a mid circle, each taking a safe spot just to be in range of the other healers and never be stacked with another healer.

  14. Phase 1:
    MTs: Resto Shaman, Disc Priest, Resto Druid (MT Opt)
    Raid Left: Resto Druid (Raid Opt)
    Raid Right: Resto Shaman
    Raid Center: Holy Paladin (Rolling Beacon on Current MT)

    Phase 2:
    Acidmaw Tank: Resto Druid
    Dreadscale Tank: Holy Paladin, Disc Priest
    Raid: Resto Shaman, Resto Shaman, Resto Druid

    Phase 3:
    MT: Holy Paladin, Resto Druid, Disc Priest
    Raid: Resto Shaman, Resto Shaman, Resto Druid

  15. Gormok:
    This really depends on the gear level of your tanks. Assuming a 3 stack rotation and tanks that are NOT going to get instagibbed by RNG (it happens and its 100% based on gear level) it is actually irrelevant which tanks are in which order, except tank 1 is the squishiest, and tank 3 is the best geared/highest HP/best CDs. Ensure Tanks are calling taunts so healers can prepare

    1 pally healer (tanks) – coast for the first tank, get other healers keeping the tank up, then bacon tank 1, start HLing Tank 2. Bacon tank 2, HL tank 3. Use DP early. Holy pallies should be smashing healing meters on this section, as this is a fight really designed to make holy pallies shine.
    1 Tank specced tree – MH the current tank.
    1 raid tree – hots on current MT, Hots on snobold target/fire people
    1 disc priest – bubbles on MT, bubbles on snobold target, general raid healing
    1 resto shammy – melee
    1 resto shammy – general topups/melee

    Bop the last tank to remove impales.
    Pally – A pally in 245 gear should be able to almost solo heal the 2 MTs. Bacon the DK (on acidmaw) and heal the current MT on deadscale (as that MT should be rotating to get the acid off the raid)
    MT Tree – Hots and heals on the 3 tanks.

    In this phase there is a metric butt load of raid damage going around, so most everyone else should be busy keeping the raid alive. Hots and bubbles on the tanks whenever possible. Raid healers should keep an eye on people with the poison debuff (and there should be mo more than 1 ranged with it or 3ish melee with it at a time, any more than that and healing gets too stretched). Lots of talk from healers about who is stuck with poison is required. Be fast, be flexible. SPREAD OUT!

    OK the hard work is done.
    Keep the MT up (everyone pitch in) Pally and tree stay on MT heals the entire time.
    Fast switch to heal anyone encased by ice.

    .-= brangwen´s last blog ..Random guild status update =-.

  16. Phase 1. You dont need 3 healers for starts, a holy light spamming beacon on OT paladin with a druid assisting should be all you need. If there is extra raid damage during that phase it is raid incompetence and shouldn’t be occuring to begin with. BoP the first two stacks of impale off tanks then make sure the paladin tank is the last tank to hold gorehowl. Whether this means GSing or PSing him or a raid wall, either way make it happen so it can bubble off the final stack of damage. Total healers that actually need to be healing for that phase. Max 4.

    Phase 2. Get the druids out of tank healing spec, that really hurts the ability and the dynamism of a healer that can break 9000 hps on any given fight on any given sunday. holy paladin on fire worm, with a disc priest for the inspiration buff. Shamans on the other with one of them hucking an ES over to the other tank. Make sure it has spell alert.

    She shouldn’t be running 3 tanks, the fact that shes running 3 tanks is making it necessary. the more dps you have the easier the fight becomes. BoP impales and you wont need 3 tanks you’ll need two and the ability to live on a prayer.

    phase 3 Mark your healers if any of the shapes overlap or get near, point it out. Most fights are exercises in the “Spread out Don’t suck” mentality and icehowl is no different.

    Read more:

  17. Gormok –

    The Holy Paladin should heal the first tank, and use beacon on a second tank. Try to get beacon onto a tank that still has impale stacks on them. Be ready to bubble a tank to remove impale.

    The Disc Priest should focus on maximizing mitigation on the Tanks, and healing Gormok’s current target. Be ready to use pain suppression when its called out for by the tanking coordinator (our MT has all the stacks worked out and knows when he wants a pally bubble or a PS/GS from a priest, usually on himself when he gets 4+ stacks on the first rotation).

    The resto Druid can roll hots on all the tanks, and heal Gormok’s current target.

    A resto shaman should also be assigned to help out with the tanks.

    Two raid healers will be enough to deal with the relatively minor amount of raid healing during this phase.


    Have the Disc Priest, Holy Paladin, and the Tank-Spec Druid assigned to tanks, and the rest spread out and heal the raid. Watch for the AE burning bile that Dreadscale casts when he’s in the ground, especially if it lands on the melee, and also Dreadscale’s enrage on the tanks when Acidmaw dies. Acidmaw’s debuff is the responsibility of the Tank who gets Burning Bile, the healer’s job is to make sure both of them live long enough to meet up. People with acid pretty much need focused single target heals (ie, flash heal). Be ready to use cooldowns if positioning becomes a problem. Its really important to keep as many DPS alive as possible because the enrage timer is pretty tight. If you’re on raid heals, you probably were cross-healing the tanks during Gormok. Now you need to focus on the raid to stop as many preventable deaths as possible.


    Same assignments as Jormungar, be ready to use cooldowns in case of an enrage. Try as much as possible to spread out so that a minimum of healers get frozen by his breath. You need to top everyone off before a crash. Otherwise, this is probably the easiest part of the fight to heal.


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