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Spiritual Guidance: A Priestly Primer to Black Temple - Part 1

Matt Low

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is now Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus. This week, unforeseen and uncontrollable forces have delayed the column by a week and a few days. For the next few weeks, I'll be taking a look into the depths of Black Temple from a Priestly perspective starting with Naj'entus, Supremus, and Shade of Akama.

Black Temple used to be the most challenging raid instance in the game. Now that honour belongs to the Sunwell. This week, I will help guide you through the trials and tribulations enroute to Illidan. I wanted to write this column for a while but I did not feel it was appropriate since I had no Illidan kill under the belt. We killed him last week and I want to share what I've learned to Priests that are fighting and progressing their way through this milestone instance. I'm only going to list stuff that's relevant for Priests to know about.

Before going in

Depending on a multitude of factors, Black Temple raids will typically last between 4 - 9 hours. Be sure to plan your schedule around accordingly.

Gear Preparation

Shadow Resistance gear is not important until you reach Mother Shahraz, who is the 7th encounter within the instance. Try to aim for around 270 Shadow Resistance with buffs. The gear is a little expensive to create and gearing the entire raid group will take some time (like months to gather the Hearts of Darkness). However, if you're just starting to work your way though Black Temple, do not feel pressured to rush out and get the Shadow Resistance gear right away.


On progression nights, be sure to bring your usual cocktail consumables:

High Warlord Naj'entus

Before even trying the boss, be sure you have at least 8501 health after buffs. You want to survive the spike if you get hit by it.

The gimmick: Naj is a repeating two stage encounter. Phase 1, he hurls spikes around at random. These will deal damage to the initial target and splash out to others around him (known as Needle Spine). One of these will literally impale a player, paralyze them, and cause them to lose health over a period of time until they are dead (known as Impaling Spine). Technically, you don't have to go after a spike if it hits a player near you, but I like to do it anyway. I have trust issues.

When phase 2 strikes, a shield goes up where he slowly regenerates health (known as Tidal Shield). And the only weapon that can bust this shield? You guessed it. The spine that you looted has to get thrown back at his face before it goes down. It's an item located in your inventory so be sure to organize your bag space accordingly to reach it with ease. When the shield buckles, everyone in the raid takes 8500 damage and then phase 1 resumes with the random spikes and such. It's important for healers to get themselves and the raid up as quick as possible before a spike manages to kill someone.

This is the first boss you will meet. Naj has been widely dubbed as a healer check. Entry level raids may wish to consider bringing about 8 to 9 healers.

Things to remember

As Priests, our AoE heals will shine here quite nicely. I find myself using Binding Heal frequently in order to get myself up along with my targets. If you're already starting to work your way through Black Temple, then I don't think I need to tell you to continue spamming Prayer of Mending. Rest assured, that spell will run its course within 10 seconds no problem.


The gimmick: Make like the Beegees and stay alive. This is another endurance type of encounter as the enrage timer is over 10 minutes. Phase 1 is a textbook tank and spank. The onus on you as the Priest is to ensure that you're outside his massive hit box as much as possible.

Why might a Priest be caught inside his hit box?

Because in phase 2, he will gaze a player at random and walk towards them. If he gets within melee range, rest assured that player is done. As a Priest, feel free to place up one wave of Shadow Word: Pains on him if you have the opportunity.

Things to remember

A frequent problem that I've always encountered facing Supremus is that I would end up on the wrong side of him. The tank would be on one side and I would be on the other. I solved this by ensuring that the raid would have 4 healers on one side and 4 on the other. Being on the main tank, I would communicate over Ventrilo that either I was in range of him or that I wasn't. This is a cue to other healers in range so that they are aware of whether they need to switch focus or not. The rest of our tank healers did the same thing.

Another problem is death from the volcanoes. For progression and learning fights as a Priest, I mixed in a few pieces of PvP gear to increase my health slightly. All this meant was that it would take me 4 shots to die instead of 3. Don't underestimate the severity of volcanoes. If you see one spawning beneath you or near you, stop what you are doing and move.

Shade of Akama

The gimmick: Shade is the first fight in Black Temple where outlasting the boss isn't going to earn you any brownie points. This is a straight up DPS burn and crowd control fight and our ability to influence the outcome is going to be severely mitigated. In the first phase, various mobs will stream into the room that will have to be controlled or tanked accordingly. In the second phase, the Shade of Akama is released and will engage the real Akama.

Things to remember

There isn't much for us here. Keep the players around you alive as best as you can and keep an eye on what threat you generate. Have Fade on standby in case you happen to pull. Typically, there will be a tank picking up the Ashtongue Defenders that are coming in so do keep an eye on that player.

Two sets of groups are set up on both sides controlling incoming mobs. Position yourself in a way that you can hit the tank tying up the Defenders as well as the tank and players CCing the other sets of ads coming in.

When phase 2 kicks in, feel free to switch off as necessary and contribute with Smite on the Shade. Remember that you only have 60 seconds before Akama dies. Every bit of damage counts.

Next week, I'll help you help your raid get over the humps that are Bloodboil, Reliquary of Souls, and Teron Gorefiend.

Want to find more great tips for carrying out your Priestly duties? Spiritual Guidance has you covered with all there is to know!And don't forget to check the WoW Insider Directory for more priestly info!

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