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Raid Rx: Raid bosses that brought healers to their knees - Part 1

Matt Low

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related. Ever wondered what were the hardest fights to heal in the game? Based solely on my opinion and experience, here's a list counting down from number 10 to number 6.

Different raid bosses had different ways to challenge healers. Tanks and DPS players had to worry about their own position, damage output, threat, and other abilities. Healers were focused more on keeping the rest of the raid alive through varying levels of damage and attacks.

This is a multi-part article where I take a look at some of the most tear inducing raid bosses that the game has to offer. This week features number 10 to number 6!

Number 10: Buru

The first fight we'll take a look at comes out of the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj. It's better known as AQ20. You can find Buru in the Hatchery portion of AQ20 near a mini-lake of sorts. Buru was responsible for overseeing the hatching of the Silithid armies. He was one of the bosses you could you could get to after taking down General Rajaxx.

Fight synopsis

Buru was practically immune to damage. The only way he could be hit was by blowing up his precious eggs. A good mechanic comparison is phase 1 of Yogg-Saron. Sara could not be hit directly as the only way she could be damaged was by bringing Guardians to her proximity and blowing them up.

This pesky bug worked the same way. He had to be brought to an egg. As soon as he was over top of an unhatched egg, the raid had to detonate the egg for him to take any sort of damage. I don't remember the exact number of eggs that had to be blown. Once the raid exploded an egg, a little hatchling would spawn that would have to be dealt with.

Oh, not only that, but I believe Buru was the first fight in the game that featured the focused chasing mechanic. Yeah, you know what I mean. The one where a boss ignores his threat table entirely then zeroes in after a player and starts chasing them without abandon?

And man, this sucker could run. He would continue to gain speed over time until a mini-me of his would explode with him nearby. If he caught up to a player, the lucky one would gain a stacking bleed effect that dealt ~1200 damage every couple of seconds. We scoff at 1250 damage now but back when we were all young and level 60, 1250 damage was considered serious business. The average health of raiders was around 3000 – 4000

Once Buru hit the 20% mark (or less), he leaves his protective shell and starts taking damage like any normal boss would. The raid also has a soft enrage timer to kill him as they'd slowly take increasing damage over time from a debuff that's applied to everyone. Sorry! No way to remove it!

Why it sucked

At the time, there were players who had difficulty grasping the concept of stopping everything they were doing and running like mad men. I've seen fellow raiders get focused and just stand there as if they've lost all sense of what to do. Those were problems outside of our control, unfortunately. All the same, there were legitimate reasons as to why they'd get caught.

Kiting Buru was the fun part. Did I mention the encounter partially took place on water? Yes, there were times players had to kite through deep water which slowed them down. I was one of the lucky ones. As a Priest, it was easy to levitate across the deep end. Other classes were not as fortunate.

Anyway, assuming the raid was coordinated enough to transition Buru into his 20% phase, that's when healing became fun. The soft enrage added an enormous amount of strain to the healing required. It was common for raiding guilds to require Nature Protection Potions to help buy a few precious seconds of extra DPS time.

I really hate bugs.

Number 9: Leotheras the Blind

And now we head over to Outland. Specifically, we'll dive deep into Zangarmarsh and enter Lady Vashj's realm of Serpentshrine Cavern. There were a number of different ways to get to Leo. he was accessible without even having to kill Hydross (you just had to be very careful when tiptoeing past him). After fighting through various Naga trash, you had the option of taking the right fork to Morogrim Tidewalker or going left to Leo.

Pretty challenging for a blind guy the first time I fought him. He seems like an innocent Blood Elf at first. In actual fact, he's got a Blood Elf form and a Demon form that just erupts from him.

Fight synopsis

Leo has three phases. Okay, technically he switches between two of them until the third. He alternates in two forms between his Blood Elf version and his Demon form. Once his health drops below a certain percentage, he acts like a banana and splits. Now you fight his Blood Elf and Demonic counterpart at the same time.

Each form had it's own distinct abilities. In Blood Elf form, you had to contend with Whirlwinds that completely demolished melee players in range. Anyone hit by it would suffer a dangerous bleed effect.

In Demon form, up to five players would have to fight their inner demons. If a player failed to kill their demon within a certain amount of time, they would be mind controlled for the rest of the encounter.

Thankfully when Leo splits, the raid didn't have to deal with their inner demons anymore. Blades of death elf was still a force to be reckoned with.

Why it sucked

Guys, you have to understand something. There was a time early in the expansion when spell damage and healing were two different stats altogether. There were specific caster weapons for Mages and Warlocks and specific healer weapons for Resto Druids and Holy Priests. Healer weapons actually went to healers and spell damage weapons went to casters. Armor worked the same way as well.

So what did this mean when dealing with inner demons? I only dealt something like 800 damage with my Smites, if that. Healers had a very difficult time killing their inner demons. The extra damage taken from Holy and Nature school spells helped, but sometimes it just wasn't enough. This was one of the earliest fights where I had to drop DKP on two (or possibly three) pieces of spell damage gear to equip them in order to handle inner demons.

Thank goodness spell power came along and unified the two stats.

Don't get me started when five healers were stuck dealing with their inner demons. You had to have seven healers. The two healers untouched by inner demons would have to jump on the Warlock tank immediately and pray they were within range. Not only that, they had to keep up the other five healers as they were busy working on their inner demons!

Dealing with players that got tagged by Whirlwind was horrible. It took a lot out of healers just to keep them alive. Sometimes they weren't lucky and would eat whirlwind hits three or four times in a row.

After tipping Leo into his final forms, it was a test of endurance to stabilize the raid while they tried to kill him amidst dealing with AoE fireballs on the Warlock tank and whirlwinds.

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