As the fifth boss of Dragon Soul, Ultraxion is the gateway boss to pursuing Deathwing and stopping the second cataclysm. While Thrall and the dragon aspects are busy with the Dragon Soul itself, we're tasked with defending Wyrmrest Temple from Ultraxion's assaults. Simple, right?
Ultraxion is an incredibly simple fight for tanks and damage dealers. In fact, it's already being called the Patchwerk-fight of this tier. Aside from a few extra button presses, non-healers are simply tasked with bringing Ultraxion down as quickly as possible. Healers, on the other hand, play a very special role in this fight. We're fighting against rapidly increasing AoE damage to the raid, and the aspects themselves step in to help us accomplish our task. Ultraxion is the healer-centric fight of this tier, like Baleroc and Chimaeron before him.
Fading Light and Heroic Will
The fight's basic mechanic has nearly everyone in the raid pushing their newly found Heroic Will button every time they pick up the Fading Light debuff or Hour of Twilight goes off. You can read up on the fight's particulars, or ask your raid leader about how to handle this. The key takeaway is that your tanks will be swapping on a fairly regular basis and that you might be out of commission for 5 seconds every so often if you're targeted by Fading Light.
You should be proactively casting heals on the tank who's going to be taking over tanking Ultraxion, as they'll be swapping back and forth regularly. I don't depend on Beacon of Light on the off tank for this, as once the current tank uses Heroic Will, he isn't targetable for heals. It's better to Beacon the current tank and then heal the upcoming tank, as that ensures that both will get the healing that they need. This encounter isn't particularly punishing to tanks, so don't worry too much about them. Their defensive cooldowns have their durations doubled and cooldowns halved by Thrall, so they're more than capable of handling whatever damage Ultraxion throws their way.
Raid healing: A holy paladin's worst nightmare
The above header would've been accurate at any point over the past several years, but not today. Holy Radiance is everything we've ever wanted out of an AoE heal and more. The entire Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn cycle is so clean and so effective that I don't know what we were doing without it. Why weren't we asking for this all along?
Ultraxion is going to be pounding everyone in the raid fairly regularly, at increasing speeds for every minute the fight goes on. The whole raid will be stacked up nice and neat, so the situation is optimal for Light of Dawn and Holy Radiance. You can typically handle the incoming damage with your cheaper, regular heals as the start of the fight, and then transition into more Holy Radiance usage when the damage comes more quickly. You'll be using your entire toolbox to keep the raid alive through the increasing damage, but eventually the damage will overwhelm even the most potent healers.
The powers of the aspects
In order to counter Ultraxion's massive incoming raid damage toward the end of the encounter, the aspects give healers a boost. The aspects create crystals in the middle of the room, and when those crystals are activated, we're imbued with a powerful buff for the remainder of the fight. Each aspect's buff is different, and so choosing which healer is assigned to which buff becomes critical.
Alexstrasza is the first aspect to grant us a gift. The Gift of Life boosts the healer's output by 100%, doubling all healing done until the fight is over. Because of the intense focus on AoE healing as the fight progresses, you want this buff to go to a healer who already has potent AoE healing. Giving this to someone with poor AoE healing doesn't help you beat Ultraxion. I find that restoration druids and priests are good choices for this blessing, as their AoE healing is already quite good.
Ysera give us the second bonus, the Essence of Dreams. This effect causes all of our single-target heals to also splash that same healing out across the raid. Think of the old Glyph of Holy Light, but on steroids. It replays the entire heal and splashes it across the entire raid. It effectively doubles your healing done and enables single-target healers to heal the raid as well. Holy paladins do well with this buff, and we definitely would've been relegated to the green crystal in the past. Any healer can benefit from this buff, as even AoE healing is replayed across the raid.
Kalecgos gives us the final buff, which becomes active much later in the encounter. His Source of Magic blessing cuts our mana costs down by 75% and gives us an extra 100% spell haste. This is the buff that you want to beg your raid leader for. The Source of Magic is so incredibly good for holy paladins that any reasonable raid leader should assign it to you immediately.
Druids see very little benefit from the Source of Magic, as they don't have any castable AoE heals without cooldowns. Shaman are limited to Chain Heal when it comes to chain-casting AoE heals, but its potency is seriously lacking. Priests are able to spam their Prayer of Healing spell quite effectively with the Source of Magic buff, but that spell only affects one group at a time.
Only holy paladins have a spammable AoE heal with no restrictions, and it's incredibly powerful to boot. In fact, Holy Radiance scales better with haste than any of its competitors, as haste both increases the number of Holy Radiances we can have active and also increases the healing of each individual Holy Radiance cast. The only thing preventing us from spamming it all the time is its high mana cost, which Source of Magic also addresses.
There's a reason that the Ultraxion healing meters are dominated by holy paladins. The Source of Magic buff turns Holy Radiance into the best healing spell in the entire game. We literally spend the entire remainder of the fight cycling Holy Radiance between raid members. I just go up and down my raid frames, casting Holy Radiance on each one as I move my mouse over their name. With Firelands-quality gear, you won't run out of mana, and your HPS will be more than enough to keep the raid healthy.
Here's your argument to your raid leader: Holy Radiance is one of only two true AoE healing spells that can take advantage of all that haste, and it outscales the other one several times over. Holy paladin AoE healing has only one throttle, mana, and Source of Magic removes that throttle. There's no other healer that can compete with us in this space. It's actually kind of funny, because as the fight gets harder for the other healers, it gets easier for holy paladins once we pick up Source of Magic. We simply spam Holy Radiance across the raid, basking in its light.
The Light and How to Swing It: Holy helps holy paladins become the powerful healers we're destined to be. Find out just how masterful mastery healing can be, gear up with the latest gear, and learn how to PvP as a holy paladin.