For the last couple weeks, we've covered some of the concerns of shaman in our Q&A, discussed our new healing spell casting animations and even had a lengthy discussion of the future changes to our healing ability in the upcoming patch. The last one caused quite a lengthy discussion on how those changes will really affect us. I'm hoping we get to have more of those discussions, because it was awesome to hear all of your opinions on the topics. For anyone who emailed me over the last few weeks, rest assured that I will reply to you. There's just been quite a bit to answer.
With all the talks of the future and the changes right around the corner for patch 4.0.6, our attention has sort of drifted a little bit away from the here and now. There is still content to devour now, and you aren't exactly going to wait for the patch to do it now, are you? There are still heroics to conquer and raids to prepare for, so today we're going to start right back in where we left off and talk about healing through The Stonecore.
Located above the Temple of Earth in Deepholm, The Stonecore was once holy ground for those that dwelled in the plane of earth. Now, though, it has been taken over almost completely by the Twilight Hammer cult. As heroes, it is our job to clear out this infestation from the heart of the plane and restore balance. What awaits you inside, however, may shock and appall you. The Stonecore is an instance most players will experience around level 83. It offers fun mechanics and good boss fights to heal through, as well as some pretty good healing loot.
Corborus is a rather large gyreworm who robs us of a much-deserved moment of retribution against the once-illustrious Millhouse Manastorm. After destroying the diminutive despot, the worm takes an interest in the new party of heroes as lunch. Overall, Corborus is a pretty easy fight on both normal and heroic mode and shouldn't be too bad for you to heal through. The fight really only has a couple of things to watch out for in both phases.
Dampening Wave will deal shadow damage to anyone close enough to the boss, but the main problem is that it will cause a debuff that will absorb 4,000 healing on normal and 15,000 healing on heroic. This only increases as you gain stacks of the debuff, making your job as a healer much harder. Make liberal use of Cleanse Spirit to remove the debuff as it is a magical effect, and hopefully you have some points in Cleansing Waters to make use of the free heal you get from the dispel.
Crystal Barrage targets a random member of your group dealing damage to the target and everyone withing 5 yards of the target. Make sure to get your rear out of there ASAP. In heroic mode, the shards left behind by the attack spawn adds if not DPSed down fast enough. It is likely you'll get some snap healing aggro, so be prepared to run them over to the tank so he can pick them up and you can keep healing.
In the second phase, Corborus will burrow into the ground and will summon a series of adds. While the adds themselves don't have much health, try to keep them near the tank if you can so that you aren't trying to heal through a constant barrage of damage and pushback. The giant worm will also cause a cloud of dust indicating where it will do its impression of Shamu. Make sure you're avoiding standing in the path of the cloud so you don't die. This phase will have you moving around quite a bit, so it's a great chance to make use of Spiritwalker's Grace.
Sadly, this boss does not drop any restoration shaman loot.
In patch 4.0.6, there will be a slight increase in the warning time in phase 2 when Corborus leaps out of the ground, and the spots from which the adds spawn in phase 2 will be much easier to spot.
This stone dragon awaits you very shortly after Corborus. He's pretty easy to heal through but still has a few things you should look out for. Like Corborus, this fight is divided into two phases.
Sand Blast will deal massive amounts of damage to anyone in front of the boss. When the dragon uses this ability, be ready to move out of the breath path and drop a few bigger heals on the tank as necessary.
Also in this phase, he will summon pools of lava beneath the feet of a random player. Watch for this, as you will certainly want to move out of the fire as soon as you see it.
In phase 2, Slabhide will take to the air collapsing the ceiling. This causes stalactites to rain down on the party. While players should be avoiding the patches of the ground marked with a dark circle, you need to be aware of where they are in relation to the rest of the party. These stalactites persist back into phase 1 and act as line-of-sight blocks. You will need to move accordingly. A little trick I've been using to get around the LoS block is to cast Healing Rain on a spot on the ground near where the tank will be. This will allow the spell to heal the tank long enough for you to move into position for more direct healing.
On heroic, the boss will occasionally cast Crystal Storm. This spell deals a lot of AoE damage every 0.5 seconds for 6 seconds. You can avoid this damage by hiding behind a stalactite from phase 2. You can use the method above for dealing with LoS with HR, but you can also use Chain Heal to bend healing around the stalactites as it moves from player to player.
In patch 4.0.6, the ground phase of the fight will last longer and will have fewer stalactites for players to deal with.
Defeating the boss gives you a change to earn a Rose Quartz Band (normal/heroic), and if you're super-lucky, you might walk away with a new mount.
Ozruk is a pretty standard fight as far as healing goes, at least in normal mode. There are a few things you need to be aware of, but for the most part, you'll just have to roll your heals through the group as necessary.
Shatter will cause a row of ground spikes to flow from the boss. If you see the dust markings on the ground, you should run out of their path.
Elementium Spike Shield will cause any melee attacks made against the boss to result in a stacking bleed effect that will whittle away at melee attackers' health. If you see any melee players get the debuff, you'll need to make sure to give them a little special attention for the duration of the bleed.
Elementium Bulwark has a chance on normal to reflect any spells cast against him back at the caster. This changes to a 100% chance in heroic mode. Just be aware of this, in case casters need a little help. In heroic mode, I highly suggest throwing a Flame Shock on the boss and letting the effect tick on you. Also, in heroic mode, be sure not to dispel any magical DoTs on your party. This is because of the next ability you will see on heroic.
Ozruk will occasionally cast Paralyze, which will lock you in place. It will, however, break if you take any damage. This is why it is important to let any damage effects tick on you and your party before dispelling them, so Paralyze will break. If the spell is allowed to run its full timer, it will explode the target, dealing massive arcane damage.
The boss also has an Enrage, so be aware of that and really pour on the healing when you see the notification.
In patch 4.0.6 Ozruk will do more damage in melee, but will also have a ground visual to show how far away you need to be from him for shatter.
The stone giant's defeat has a change to earn you Tendrils of the Burrowing Dark (normal/heroic).
High Priestess Azil
The final boss of the zone has two phases, a boss phase and an add phase. While it's not too bad of a fight from a healing standpoint, there is quite a bit going on.
Curse of Blood should be removed immediately. Any target affected by it will cause the physical damage taken to be increased quite a bit. While the boss doesn't hit particularly hard, any adds left over from the add phase who gang up on a player with the curse can cause massive amounts of damage and will likely kill their target.
Watch out for Force Grip, as players targeted by it will be dealt damage that is unmitigated by armor. This will likely happen to the tank multiple times, so just be prepared for it.
The boss will occasionally cast Gravity Well, which creates a void zone on the ground. If you find yourself close to the void zone, you will get pulled in toward the center of the void. The closer players are to the center, the more damage they will take. The good news is that the adds the boss summons can also be sucked in. As the healer, you'll likely have snap aggro, so try to position one of these between you and the adds to make quick work of them.
In the second phase, gravity wells will remain active, the boss will float back to her platform, and packs of non-elite mobs will be summoned to aid their master. The boss won't rely solely on her lackeys, though; she'll throw Seismic Shards at random players in the group. Watch for the dust clouds, and avoid standing in them.
Heal normally here, but since there is a lot of movement, make use of well-placed Healing Rain and Healing Stream Totem, and make liberal use of Spiritwalker's Grace.
Not much changes between normal mode and heroic mode, but everything hits much harder. The good news is this boss has quite a few pieces of restoration shaman-friendly loot.
In patch 4.0.6 she will be quite a bit bigger, gravity wells will kill the adds faster, force grip will get a bit of cast time increase and you'll get more warning for the area targeted by seismic shard.
Book of Dark Prophecies (normal/heroic) is a great relic, packing haste and spirit. Prophet's Scepter (normal/heroic) is a good pickup if you are still lacking a shield or other off-hand. Cowl of the Unseen World (normal/heroic) is a casting shaman's helm that will hold you over for a while. Tear of Blood (normal/heroic) gives you a good amount of int and a healthy dose of spirit when it procs.
The Stonecore is a fun instance to heal, without being too easy or too hard. It definitely lives up to the Deepholm theme. Have fun with it, and hopefully you'll get some good loot for all your hard work!
Totem Talk: Restoration will show you the basics of endgame resto shaman play as well as how to find the expansion's best reputation gear for resto shaman and tips for easier leveling. Happy healing, and may your mana be plentiful!