Raid Rx: Raiding meets Patch 2.4

Marcie Knox
M. Knox|03.27.08

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Raid Rx: Raiding meets Patch 2.4

Raid Rx is designed to encapsulate and cure the shock and horror that is 25-man raid healing. Ok, so it's mostly horror... Anyways, if you're a big fan of X-TREME Whack-A-Mole (or are being forced into it against your will) this is the column for you. I need a T-Shirt that says "I came, I saw, I forgot to stand inside the circle and got locked out of the Kale Fight." /bonk

So some of my diehard fans (hi mom!) might notice that this week I've deviated from my normal Tuesday posting to bring you all the latest healer gossip... err... tips from the newest 25-man raid scene. My goal is to do a compilation of all the major raiding changes reported since the patch went live. After that I'll get into the things I learned the hard way last night on Kalecgos. Join me after the break!

I always like to start out with a disclaimer, mainly to irritate the comment trolls. There was a hotfix last night and probably another one on the way, so take what I'm about to say as a moving target, capable of changing by the time you read this. Also, all of my knowledge of the changes of non-Sunwell Plateau raids is via sources found on the interwebs. I'll link where I got them, but if you need specific info, hopefully our readers can help you out.

25-Man Raiding Content Bug Summary
Besides turning Magtheridon into the next Onyxia by giving him a 20-slot bag drop, it's been reported that he's also been hit with the nerf bat. Only one Infernal spawns per Channeler (down from 2), Mind Exhaustion's timer has been reduced by 60 sec so you only need 1 team of clickers, and phase 3 starts when Mags hits 50% health instead of 30%. So the fight has become more about tanking and healing, and less about doing a cube dance of death.

The biggest news to hit people in the T5 range is that Void Reaver has lost his Loot Reaver status. Basically he no longer targets the recipients of Orbs or even turns towards them, so it's pretty easy to have one sneak up on you if you're not visually aware of what's going on. Along those same lines, some orbs are apparently invisible and VR doesn't seem restricted to only firing one at a time.

Also in TK, Kael seems to be bugged in Phases 4 and 5. What used to be the hardest part of the fight has become ridiculous in nature with limited-to-no MC's, Pyroblasts, Phoenixes, and Gravity Lapses. So once that happens, there's not much else to do other than tank and spank. Add to that the ease of getting to Kael now (only need to clear some trash) and every healer at this level should be sporting the T5 chest pretty soon.

Supremus of BT fame has decided that his hit box needed to be bigger. He also reserves the right to one-shot anyone in melee range, whether you have the most hp or not. The Kool-Aid man brings it with a vengeance.

Reliquary of Souls joined the list of potentially bugged with his/her/its refusal to cast Deaden and only limited Rune Shields. This means the main tank's job is a bit easier and the Locks' dogs get a break. The downside is if there's no Deaden to reflect, there's no additional spell damage debuff on the Essence of Desire. Your dps is going to have even more of a race on their hands with the current situation. Use your Heroism/Bloodlust well, my friends.

Sunwell Plateau (SP) 25-Man Raiding Content
Last night was my guild's first attempt on the SP and I'm going to cover what I learned from a healing perspective. First off is raiding addons. The new version of Omen has yet to be fully fixed. They are working on the situation but as you can see to the right, they have a bit to sort out. A number of dps reported getting errors to the point they had to disable the mod entirely. You'll want to check for a new version daily until things are resolved.

Beyond that, be sure you update any addon that could potentially use the new combat log. For me, that meant Grid and Scrolling Combat Text. Unfortunately, I had issues with the new SCT and had to turn it off. All of my settings reset when I installed it and it would error every time I tried to open the menu to fix them. At least I learned I still don't like the default one.

You'll also want the latest boss mod. After testing both BigWigs and Deadly Boss Mods on Kale, DBM was far and away the winner. BigWigs consistently called out the wrong person portalled if they happened to click on the portal towards the end of its cycle. In other words, if Bob was ported and Dan was slow to click on the portal to go with Bob, Dan would also be called out as being ported. This lead to a lot of confusion. I'm sure BigWigs will get this fixed, but for now we're going with DBM. They have their own website now, so I'd check there first for the latest version.

After the raid got buffed, healers began to notice a big change in their mp5 while casting amounts, especially the spirit users. The Resto Druids were at about 400mp5, while the Holy Priests sported about 450mp5. The Shamans and Paladins trailed at about 300mp5 and 200mp5 while casting, respectively. And what we soon learned was we were going to need it.

The trash up to Kale is no joke for healers. Much like in the early days of MH, the mobs give 0 rep. Be sure you have a Mortal Strike indicator ready to go on your raid frames because the Sunblade Vindicators love to use it on tanks. You'll also want to be prepared for some serious raid damage from the Green Robots of Doom and their crazy Chain Lightning. As a Pally, I found myself opting for Lights in a lot of cases and one Shaman commented that he now understood the importance of Haste gear. I have to agree. A lot of people take significant damage and it feels more like a million miniboss pulls than trash.

There's a lot of speculation as to what WotLK and 10 more levels will bring. Maybe the Sunblade Dawn Priest is a look at things to come. They sport Holyform which gives a 25% healing effects increase while reducing melee damage by 20%. It also looked pretty cool as a sort of gold glow/sparkle. If these mobs are glimpses of the future, I'm not so sure I want Locks that can summon more than one imp, though.

I'm not going to go into the gory detail of the Kalecgos fight. We used the strat off WoWWiki plus a video off YouTube. Our best attempt last night was getting both versions to about 30%. You want to have everyone use their SR Neck from BT. It really reduces the raid healing load in the demon phase. With them on, the decursers could wait about 20 sec before removing the curse.

We paired our Priests/Druids and Paladins/Shaman so each portal side had a group heals available. We brought 2 of each healing class for a total of 8 healers. The thing to remember is if you want to increase the number of healers, you'll need to add at least 3 so there's a min of 1 more healer guaranteed per portal side. Thus you're probably pretty much locked in with the 8 you have, since 11 healers would most likely impact your dps.

My final note from last night is one of our healadins got to test out the [Vial of the Sunwell] from Heroic Magisters' Terrace during the raid. He would let it charge to full then pair it with a Divine Favor+Holy Shock for a near-instant 6k heal. Pretty sweet if you ask me.

So what other raiding changes have you noticed? Any tips on the Sunwell Plateau?

[Thanks to Rorrim for the tip on VR!]

Marcie Knox has been healing lead for over a year, including old school AQ40/BWL/Naxx. She has suffered through holy priest and now basks in the glory that is healadin. Her pally is currently wondering how she could loose 2 rolls in a row for [Study of Advanced Smelting]. If this is what SP is going to be like, she's doomed.

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