Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. If you're looking for more healing advice, check out the Plus Heal community.
Now that you've taken down the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel on normal mode, what's next? The heroic versions of the bosses, of course! You're ready for the next step. Plus with the 30 percent buff active, you'll have a bit more breathing room and leeway. This week, I'll give you a quick walkthrough on all of the bosses in terms of healing expectations.
Except maybe the Lich King. Haven't quite solved him yet, and the guy is worth a post of his own in the future.
I like to utilize a triangle setup on this boss during his Bone Storm phase. By placing the raid in three isolated groups apart from each other, you'll make the old bone lord travel more. The more he travels, the more time he eats up during this phase when he isn't destroying someone. Group your tanks as one unit and divide your raid (and healers) evenly into two others. Your tanks won't be in jeopardy, anyway.
You know it's over when: It takes 16.9 seconds to break you out of a Bone Spike. Seriously, if you can keep someone alive through that with multiple Coldflames searing through him, you deserve a medal.
Two main obstacles in this encounter are the mind controls and the ghosts. Once your crowd control becomes trained to the point that they can snap crowd control, you'll be in good shape for the first half of the fight. The second half is the one that really gets to you. You might be able to survive a single Vengeful Blast from a ghost explosion, but it's almost impossible to survive two. I can't stress how important it is to dodge ghosts. Keep your raid-wide cooldowns ready though in the event someone gets clipped by one.
You know it's over when: That one rogue gets mind-controlled and he doesn't get crowd-controlled. Guess who he goes after? You. Before you know it, you're on the ground wondering what happened and why there wasn't a Cyclone up from a nearby druid.
The heroic version isn't any different than normal. You have to try to wipe on this encounter. Enjoy your free heroic Althor's Abacus! If you want to have a bit of fun, though, keep your tank on the opposing gunship and have him stay there. See how many stacks of Battle Fury Muradin or Saurfang can build up before your tank dies. Right now, the record for us is 61 stacks.
You know it's over when: Half the raid AFKs watching videos on YouTube, checking their email or reading their favorite blogs.
If your raid has difficulty finding room to spread out, you can park a few healers within the melee group. Priests would be a good choice due to their ability to Fade. Assign a specific list of healers for Mark of the Fallen Champion as it comes out. This can be a tough healing fight depending on the rate at which those marks come out. Don't forget that a single paladin can keep two marked players alive on his own with Beacon of Light.
You know it's over when: There are no hunters to drop slowing traps and the Blood Beasts rocket out of the gate, charging you down, because you just hit a big critical heal on the tank.
The big difference here is that the professor likes to throw Malleable Goo from the ledge. With that in mind, instead of tanking him in the middle, tank Festergut against the wall farthest away from the platform to maximize the amount of time people have to spot for the green pool. It took me a few attempts to spot it. As a healer, though, you might be better off healing backward so that you can see where the bouncing goo is going.
You know it's over when: Players run towards the green ooze puddle on the ground thinking it grants them a buff. Sorry to disappoint, but no, it doesn't!
Depending on the number of ranged players you have, you might need to park a few healers outside of the middle area. If there aren't enough people "soaking" the Vile Gas that Professor Putricide throws around, he'll target the melee instead. When we do this, I like to keep paladins and shaman in the middle; druids and priests are free to run around on the outside. You'll want to get your middle healers to remove the Mutated Infection (since they'll be able to hit anyone at range).
You know it's over when: OH NO! GETTING OVERWHELMED WITH SLIMES! I CAN'T DISPEL FAST ENOUGH! AUGH!
Healing this encounter can either be really easy or really difficult. The problem is that you don't really have control over it. It's up to the rest of the raid to not get hit by Malleable Goo. Believe me when I say it ends up being one of the most frustrating things in the world watching someone gets nailed by two of them at the same time. I only just got this guy down last week on 25. It took a lot of time and practice.
You know it's over when: Players with the Unbound Plague start panicking and chaining it all over the place. Deep breaths, stay calm and have an exit strategy. Oh yeah, bouncing green balls of slime are bad.
Blood Princes Council
Some fancy positioning work will need to be done. Position your healers in such a way that they can cover the most area across the room. You are allowed to move around a bit if you need. Pay special attention to the tank on Kelseth, in case that person is behind on resistance. Do your part to keep Kinetic Bombs in the air if you notice one near you (until another player can take over).
You know it's over when: Empowered Shock Vortex is about to hit and you're surrounded on all sides. Hope you're a paladin with a free bubble.
Blood Queen Lana'thel
Lana'thel does the same things on heroic as she does on normal; the difference is that she hits much harder. Highlight moments will be when she goes into the air phase. Keep a priest handy to fire off a Mass Dispel to remove Fear when she takes to the air. With two air phases, you'll want to stagger your cooldowns. I place a druid in each group for Tranquility. On the first air phase, I use a raid-wide Divine Sacrifice from a paladin and a Divine Hymn from a priest. On the second air phase, everyone fires off survival cooldowns (Ice Block, Deflection and whatever cooldowns haven't been used yet).
You know it's over when: Someone gets mind-controlled due to a missed bite early in the encounter.
I like to overload the portal realm with four healers. It'll be up to your DPS on the outside to keep suppressors to a minimum and interrupt Frostbolt Volleys. It'll drain 2,000 mana if it connects (and yes, that hurts the outside healers if left unchecked). Portal team, gather up as many Twisted Nightmares as possible (and make sure you keep yourselves alive in the process). They don't respawn, but do your best to time it so that you don't lose the stacks. Other than these points, this encounter is the same as normal! Hope you can spot the red portals, since there aren't any lines that lead to them.
You know it's over when: Players have trouble focus-firing or interrupting.
I've only managed to do this encounter successfully on 10-man. Designate specific positions for healers to go to when they gain Unchained Magic; you really don't want that going off in the raid. I've also been advised to bring a whopping eight (eight) healers. If it normally takes you five healers to keep the raid alive, then that's the minimum you need. Three healers will always get locked out by that debuff, anyway. Work on the line of sight, too.
You know it's over when: People can't dodge Frost Bombs. Good game.
I got nothing. You're on your own for this one. If you have done it on heroic, I'd love to hear from you, as I'm about to get there fairly soon.
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? Email me at email@example.com 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.