Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related.
Arguably one of the most unique encounters in the entire game, Valithria Dreamwalker is one where the success of the raid rests entirely on the shoulders of healers. After some more practice and attempts, I can pass on several aspects of the fight that I learned onto you.
To start with, your raid group isn't going to need more than 7 healers. Your DPS and tanks play an important role in keeping the pesky trash mobs that come in off your back side. You can get away with 5 or 6.
The portal teamAs the portal team, your job is to swim up and tag as many of those healing clouds as much as possible. Each one that is popped within close proximity grants you a 10% healing buff and it is possible to stack these buffs to 100 (Emerald Vigor). Is it likely to happen? Probably not. The portal team does not rotate with other players. You want the same crew going in and jumping out to continue building up their buffs. To my knowledge, the last encounter which revolved around building up buffs on dragons was Malygos.
The ideal healing classes to send in would be holy paladins, resto druids or resto shamans, then priests. As much as it hurts me to say it, priests are better suited for healing the team of raiders on the outside instead of staying purely on Valithria here.
There is an exception. Ideally, as the encounter starts winding down, your portal teams will want to start hitting the 30+ or even 40+ buff stack range. At that point, your big heals should start hitting well into the 80000+ amounts.
So while those classes are the ones I would suggest going in, reality says though that you should send in your best players. Yes, send in those players who will do everything in their power to not let those stacks fall off. If they can manage that, then they're gold. I myself only managed to hit 17 or 18 before the stacks fell off. It just boils down to practice and repetition. Lots of practice. There is a lot of movement required in the X, Y, and Z axis as you navigate the emerald dreamscape.
There's a few things I learned in order to maintain stacks:
- As you enter the portal, hit your space bar so that you immediately swim up. With luck, you'll hit one of them right away and prevent your current stack from falling off.
- The portals take a few seconds to spawn. So position yourself next to one and make sure that it isn't being claimed by anyone else around you. Heck, if you want to take it a step further, assign a specific part of the room to each healer going in. This way, you can guarantee that no one's going to get screwed over by portals. Thank goodness the portals here aren't as complicated as Yogg.
- Either have everyone get as many clouds as they need before camping beside one and using that last one to refresh their stack before they exit into reality or...
- ...meet in a preset spot, have a healer marked and just play follow the leader. If players stay close enough to each other, they should all be able to gain the buff.
One more thing. As you're approaching the final stages before the enrage encounter, load Valithria up with a Guardian Spirit and light up a Bloodism (or Herolust) for super heals. Any other paladins may wish to unload Lay on Hands. Other players who can heal, even if they're not main specced to heal, are encouraged to do some healing at this point.
Note: If you happen to get hit with a Frostbolt Volley as you enter the portal, it'll affect your movement and could slow you down resulting in a dropped stack. So make sure those are cleansed off as soon as possible.
The outside teamIt's possible to heal the players fending off the waves with no more than 2 players. The big threats to watch out for are the Mana Voids generated by Risen Archmages. If not spotted, it can drain your mana at a fast rate. If your DPS has fast enough reactions (and high enough DPS), then the Lay Waste spells from Blazing Skeletons won't be that big of a deal. Your raid will suffer at most one tick.
Stay near the middle as close to Valithria as you like. You can heal both sides of the raid as they fend off incoming mobs fairly easily. Stay away from any Glutonous Abominations as the Rot Worms they spawn can wreck you quickly (and make sure you're not standing in front of them either as their Gut Spray is rather annoying).
With luck (moreso practice really), you'll be able to get this boss down.
Want some more advice for working with the healers in your guild? Raid Rx has you covered with all there is to know! Need raid or guild healing advice? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could see a future post addressing your question. Looking for less healer-centric raiding advice? Take a look at our raiding column Ready Check.