A new month and a new patch means new raid bosses to learn! It means new mechanics to learn, new players to work with (for some of you) and new challenges. I'm pretty sure that it's safe to say most of us were getting a little ... burned out on Firelands.
The opening bosses should present a nice warmup for the rest of the instance. We'll start with quick healing setups for Morchok and Warlord Zon'ozz. The Raid Finder iteration of these bosses shouldn't be a problem for you if you already have a history of raiding. Normal versions might present a bit of a step up.
I'm not planning to do any full breakdowns of the different bosses you'll face within Dragon Soul. What I will do is offer specific healing advice and tips that you need, as you generally don't have to worry about anything too challenging.
Morchok is an extremely straightforward encounter to heal. If you've managed to give this boss a shot in the Raid Finder, then you'll already be familiar with most of the abilities. The main difference you can expect between the Raid Finder difficulty and normal raids is the fact that there is going to be a little more damage involved. In my experience, one tank healer is usually enough to keep the tanks alive and sustained. With the close proximity of the melee to the tank, incidental AoE healing should also help with the healing.
When Morchok pulls off his AoE earth grip (and pulls the raid toward his position), start standing behind the nearest spike. Make sure that spike is in between you and him. Back off a few yards in case you need to. I've seen first hand players still getting hit with the black slime stuff, even though the spread moves quite slow. The point is to keep those shards between you and Morchuk so that you don't get affected by the stuff on the ground. This is a great time to heal the players around you and recharge with mana cooldowns if you need to.
Once Morchok drops down below 20% health, he'll start attacking way faster. Great time to burn your healing cooldowns. Your raid should have enough options to get you over the top. Shouldn't take you more than a couple of attempts.
- Petrified Fungal Heart This is a great neck for every healer.
- Robe of Glowing Stone Personally, I may use these for my priest and pass on the tier chest for a bit.
- Mycosynth Wristguards Solid bracers for our druid friends (as well as bandage spec rogues).
- Vagaries of Time It doesn't have any spirit or anything but could still serve as a decent upgrade, especially off an opening boss.
- Pillarfoot Greaves Boots for paladins!
You think this guy is easy? Wait until you get to hard mode. You'll be getting more Morchuk, if you know what I mean.
Once you take out Morchok and head into the ruins of Wyrmrest, you have your option of heading either to Warlord Zon'ozz or to Yor'sahj the Unsleeping. I'd suggest taking down the Warlord first, but either boss will do the trick.
Once you parachute in and clear out all the trash, you'll be staring down the Warlord himself. Most raid groups will divide the raid into two groups to bounce the large void ball. Make sure the Void Diffusion doesn't hit the outer walls, or your group will be in for a real hurt.
Place half the healers with one group and the other half of the healers with the other. You can get away with having one healer on the tank, but just watch out for Focused Anger. It may be wiser to add a second healer as the encounter goes on.
Handling Disrupting Shadows This ability is a bit of a pain. While it is trivial in the Raid Finder version, Disrupting Shadows can be lethal depending on when it is dispelled. Note that it'll deal around 60,000 damage to affected players and knock them back. Make sure you heal up the player before you dispel them (or if you're an awesome priest, throw a shield on them before the dispel).
I may have killed people this way.
Definitely an accident, though.
Once the Void Diffusion runs into Zon'ozz, you will trigger a shift in the encounter and start phase 2. Collapse and merge with the other group, and start healing your butt off. You're going to need it. All in all, you should only experience four to five of these types of phases. Plan your raid cooldowns around that. This phase lasts about half a minute before it promptly boots you to the first phase again.
- Grotesquely Writhing Bracers These are for our shaman. Sadly, other than tier pieces, there aren't that many healing pieces that can be obtained off of this boss.
- Seal of the Seven Signs This is an awesome trinket. Congratulations to those of you who manage to score one! I'm jealous.
- Finger of Zon'ozz No spirit here, but the haste and mastery means you don't need to burn any points on buying a wand (or at least, not until you get other important pieces).
That's all there is to it! Next week, we'll take a closer look and summarize any healing-relevant notes on Yor'sahj and Hagara.
Need advice on working with the healers in your guild? Raid Rx has you covered. Send your questions about raid healing to firstname.lastname@example.org. For less healer-centric raiding advice, visit Ready Check for advanced tactics and advice for the endgame raider.