While not a healing intensive encounter, the boss is easily one of the most annoying to do in the instance. The annoyance isn't due to the DPS race factor or the damage that needs to be out healed. It's possible to have the best tanks and the best healers and still fail on the boss due to players unfamiliar with Gorefiend's unique ability.
The gimmick: Simply put, the Shadow of Death ability of Gorefiend can easily frustrate many players. In short, if you receive the debuff, you have around 55 seconds left before you die (literally). When you die, you turn into a Ghost (with combat abilities) and four Shadowy Constructs are spawned around you that can only be dealt with by Ghosts. Left unchecked, Constructs will rampage through and tear up the remaining raidmembers who are still alive.
Player Abilities to Note
Note: The number next to the ability corresponds to the position of the spell on your pet bar by default.
Spirit Lance (3): Your main nuke which slows down your target (stacks).
Spirit Chains (4): The equivalent of a Frost Nova from a mage.
Spirit Volley (5): Damaging AoE ability.
When you're working on Gorefiend, and the dreaded debuff is placed on you the first thing to do is not panic. You still have lots of time. Keep your Renews, Power Word: Shields and Prayer of Mending up until the last possible moment. At around the 15 – 20 second mark, withdraw to the far corners of the room (like going left or right when you first walked into the chamber facing Gorefiend).
The key here is to slow down the Constructs as much as you can. If you're just starting to learn the fight, then I strongly suggest opening with Spirit Chains. If you're advanced enough, you can try opening with a Spirit Volley instead before following up with Spirit Chains to get some initial damage done. Once they're frozen in place, dart out ahead of them a little bit before spinning around and slowly backing towards the raid. I like to double tap (or drop two Spirit Lances) each Construct before dropping a Volley and a Chains. Again, if you're not comfortable, you can tab target your way around all four Constructs and apply the slowing debuff to all of them.
Things to remember: Don't forget he does incinerate players periodically throughout the encounter. Since the debuff is a magic, it's up to Priests and Paladins to ensure that the debuff gets removed at the earliest opportunity. I suggest assigning a Paladin on Cleanse duty.
If a player receives a debuff, don't stop healing them. Even though they are still scheduled to die, an early death means the Constructs will spawn in the raid instead!
Buff Shadow Protection on the raid before engaging.
The next big hump in Black Temple is this pseudo-abomination of a boss (okay he's a Fel Orc and not a real Abomination). Expect to log some serious hours learning this healing intensive fight. Priests will definitely shine here.
The gimmick: Bloodboil is another 2 stage heavy healing encounter. The first phase (Bloodboil stage) involves the five players furthest away from the raid taking 600 damage per second for 24 seconds. Set up 3 groups with 5 players and arrange them accordingly in the raid so that each set of 5 players are in the same group. You can't shrug off Bloodboil when you get it so grind your teeth and heal through it. In fact, I encourage having a Priest in each Bloodboil group. Repeatedly casting a Rank 3 Prayer of Healing helps mitigate just enough damage done by Bloodboil.
The second phase (Fel Rage stage) involves a buff (or debuff depending on how you look at it) given to a player at random. The player with Fel Rage is the player who has Bloodboil's full attention. A Priest with Fel Rage is expected to drop what they're doing and start healing themselves as fast as possible. Use whatever cooldowns needed to stay alive (Stoneform, Desperate Prayer, Healthstones, etc). Once this phase finishes, it's back to the Bloodboil stage.
Things to remember: When your raid leader calls for your group, run to the designated point where the bloodboil groups are supposed to stand. Once you acquire the debuff, run back in towards the main raid before starting to heal.
Inner Fire yourself and refresh it when required. Maintain Prayer of Mending as it will run through its course throughout the raid.
Don't forget to spread out after the fifth Bloodboil in phase 1 is handed out to avoid splash damage from Acid Geyser.
Reliquary of Souls
Classic WoW raiders will recognize that the trash leading to Reliquary of Souls is reminiscent of the Suppression Room in Blackwing Lair. RoS is a 3 stage encounter which offers an interesting challenge in all respects to DPS, healers and tanks. Bring a Shadow Protection Cauldron.
Phase 1: Heals do not work. Do not try to heal players with direct heals, heal over times, or any kind of regenerative type spell. It's up to Priests to try to mitigate the damage being dealt to whichever player happens to be tanking. Try to work with your raid and establish an order of who is tanking first, second, third and so forth. Keep up Dispels on players to remove Soul Drain. Be very liberal in your use of Power Word: Shield as in between phases, you get mana back fairly quickly.
Phase 2: Keep an eye on your mana here as your overall pool decreases by 5% every 8 seconds. The raid has a little under 3 minutes to get through this phase. Healing increases by 100% but the raid is taking slightly increased damage from their own spells. Whatever you do in this phase, do not use a mana potion. Feel free to use trinkets to help regenerate mana.
Phase 3: The entire raid takes copious amounts of damage. Remember when I told you not to use a Potion? Use your Shadow Protection potion after about 20 – 30 seconds in to phase 3. It will help mitigate some of the Shadow damage being dealt.
Things to remember: Not much! Shield in phase 1, don't use a potion in phase 2, use a Shadow Protection potion in phase 3 and pray!
Next week, I'll wrap up the last 3 bosses of Black Temple with a look at Mother Shahraz, Illidari Council, and Illidan himself.
Oh and a shameless plug for Plusheal, a new healing community moderated by a few of your favourite healing bloggers from Resto4Life, Banana Shoulders, Lume the Mad, Chick GM, Too Many Annas, Spirit is Your Friend, and yours truly! Hope to see you around!
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!