Totem Talk: Revitalizing the Ruby Sanctum

Joe Perez
J. Perez|07.06.10

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Totem Talk: Revitalizing the Ruby Sanctum
Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration will show you how, brought to you by Joe Perez, otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and the For The Lore podcast

There has been a ton of excitement this past week with the announcement of the Cataclysm beta starting. Everyone has been refreshing their emails and logging into their accounts compulsively checking for invites. I can't say I blame them; I know Rich and I are doing the same. So while everyone has been getting excited about Cataclysm, we have almost forgotten that we have some new content to play with.

Ruby Sanctum was released and it marks not only the last official raid zone of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, but it is also a part of the prequel events leading up to Cataclysm. The Ruby Sanctum is the sacred grounds of the red dragons, and it has been invaded by the Twilight Dragonflight. You and your friends must travel forth into the sanctuary of the red dragons and purge the invaders from its insides. We have already discussed drops that a restoration shaman could find useful; now let us talk about some strategy and healing. So grab your totems and get ready to drub some dragons!

As you enter the sanctum, you will see the lush green setting of a mountain valley. As you look around, you can see the fallen bodies of the red dragonflight defenders laying limp and lifeless. In their place are the agents of the black dragonflight.

Baltharus the Warborn

This big fella resembles one of the drakonids we used to see summoned by Nefarian in Blackwing Lair and that we can now view standing guard in front of each respective chromatic portal in Wymrest Temple. As a healer, he has a few tricks up his sleeve that you need to be aware of.

Blade Tempest
Baltharus spins his blades with fury and causes all those around him to take damage. This ability inflicts 70% of weapon damage to everyone within 15 yards every second for four seconds. It is like a giant whirlwind. Be ready with a Nature's Swiftness and a Chain Heal, because melee will take a lot of damage in a very short period of time. Being prepared to snap a fast heal off can help save them from some untimely deaths.

Repelling Wave When dragons get angry, they tend to smash things. Baltharus is no exception here. Repelling wave is a large area of effect knock back that deals damage, and stuns you for three seconds. When you see the warnings for this, make sure to refresh Riptide, Earth Shield and Healing Stream Totem, because you want to make sure you have enough HoTs going to last your airtime, and the three-second stun. It might not seem like a lot, but in those three seconds, someone can die -- so be prepared.

Summon Clone
At 75%, 50% and 25% health totals (50% in the 10-man version), Baltharus will summon an exact copy of himself. A tank has to pick it up fast or a healer can very easily aggro and splat. Your job as a healer should be to stick an Earth Shield on the new tank. Believe it or not, this has helped immensely keeping the tank up, and because it's not a direct heal, you have little chance of getting snap aggro before the tank can move in and grab the add.

Enervating Brand and Siphon Might Enervating Brand reduces all damage and healing done by 2% per stack on Baltharus' target, while Siphon Might increases the dragon's damage by 2% per brand stack. This can add up very quickly, so have your Healing Wave nuke heals ready.

After all that, he's pretty much a tank and spank, so just keep the heals flowing and be mindful of the area effect damage and you'll find he's not too hard.

Saviana Ragefire

Saviana fits the bill for most drakes in form and function. She is a fairly simple and easy mini-boss to deal with, and most groups will not have much problem with her.

Flame Breath A frontal cone attack that deals a decent chunk of fire-based damage. As a healer, just be aware of anyone caught behind the tank when this goes off. Chain Heal is your friend in those situations

Enrage Be mindful of the rage, as it will increase her attack speed by a large amount. Keep your big heals ready for the tank and make sure to keep Riptide refreshed.

Fire Nova This AoE has a 100-yard range and will deal a decent chunk of fire damage. Make sure to break out the Chain Heal and roll heal with Riptide and Lesser Healing Wave to top people off.

Conflagration This ability causes the affected players to temporarily do fire damage to all nearby allies. This is an old dragon favorite; just make sure to have you group heals ready for players running through groups to get clear of them while conflag wears off.

All in all, it is a simple fight. She should not give you too much of a hard time.

General Zarithrian

This dragon lord is also pretty straightforward. The general doesn't have too many surprises for you.

Cleave Armor Reduces an enemy's armor by 20% for 30 seconds. This effect stacks up to five times. Expect tank swapping every two to three stacks, so make sure to keep Earth Shield handy to put it on the new tank as they trade aggro.

Intimidating Roar The general roars at nearby enemies, paralyzing them with terror for four seconds. This has a 40-yard range, so make sure to keep at maximum distance so you can back up if you see it coming. As of Monday's testing this, Tremor Totem appears to break the root/fear.

While you fight the general, adds will spawn on either side of the area he is standing in the middle of. So as tanks switch between the mini-boss and adds, be prepared to switch your healing focus. Tossing Riptide up on the add tank and throwing a few bonus heals can help keep them alive while Cleave Armor wears off.

Again, he's not a very difficult fight; just keep on your toes and keep the healing flowing and you will claim victory.


After defeating his three underlings, you're ready to face the big nasty of the zone. He is big, purplish-pink and really angry. We here at have done a fantastic guide to Halion, but I thought we could talk about what to expect as a restoration shaman. Halion is a three-phase fight that has quite a few things you need to keep track of and pay attention to.

Phase 1

In phase 1, you will fight the physical form of Halion. This phase will last until Halion has been brought to 75% health. Throughout the fight you will have to contend with Twilight Precision, which is the Ruby Sanctum version of Chill of the Throne.

Flame Breath Frontal cone fire damage that does a large amount of damage to everyone in the affected area. Big heals are needed here when anyone other than the tank wanders into it and is not instantly vaporized.

Fiery Combustion This is a big, nasty time bomb. It deals damage over time every two seconds. For each tick it produces, it accumulates a charge. At the end of the duration of the spell or if it has been removed from the player, it explodes, dealing damage proportional to the amount of stacks on the afflicted person. Be prepared to group heal just in case this breaks before someone can move outside of the range of other players. Chain Heal and Nature's swiftness are great to use here to top people off quickly.

Meteor Strike Deals 18,750 to 21,250 fire damage to enemies within 12 yards. After it's cast, it takes about five seconds to hit the ground. After it lands, it will fire flame into four random directions. Watch for players caught off guard and in the flames, and make sure top them off fast. Riptide, LHW and Tidal Force are useful here to very quickly top off the raid. Try to stay somewhat mobile to make sure you are not caught in the fire.

Also, like all dragons, Halion has Cleave and Tail Lash. Watch for people caught in front or behind him and top them off quickly. A well-placed Riptide or Healing Wave can go a long way to get people topped off.

Phase 2

This phase begins when Halion reaches 75% health. Halion will open a portal to the twilight realm. Main tank and MT healers will stay outside of the portal while the rest of the raid charges into the portal. Halion retains Cleave, Tail Lash and Twilight Precision from phase 1.

Shadow Breath Similar to Flame Breath, except it deals shadow damage instead of fire. It is also a frontal cone effect. Same rules apply here. Keep the big heals ready just in case someone wanders too far in front.

Dusk Shroud Every two seconds, this will pulse to deal shadow damage to anyone within 40 yards of Halion. Keep group heals going. Chain Heal on the melee is a wonderful way to keep them topped off.

Twilight Cutter Orbs will be summoned that will circle the raid. They will blast people with a laser of twilight energy, dealing a decent amount of damage. Stay mobile and make use of fast heals like Riptide and LHW to keep people topped off.

Soul Consumption Like Fiery Combustion except that it deals shadow damage instead of fire damage. It will build charges every two seconds until it is dispelled or times down, causing an AoE proportional to the number of stacks. Keep on your toes and top off anyone unfortunate enough to explode.

Just stay alert and keep your wits about you and you will get through this phase easily.

Phase 3

When Halion reaches 50% health, phase 3 begins. In this phase, Halion will simultaneously exist in both the real world and in the twilight realm. He also gains an ability called Corporeality. If you do more damage in the real world, Halion will become less corporeal, doing more damage and requiring more healing in the twilight realm. If you do more damage in the twilight realm, this reverses. So in this phase, he uses all of his abilities. Pay attention to what side you are assigned to, and it should not be too bad. Pay attention to which side is taking more damage, as you may have to hop a portal to help things out.

It's a fairly simple fight -- not nearly as complex or technical as the Lich King fight -- so good luck and have fun on the last boss of the expansion.

Show your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk. Whether it's Mike Sacco's elemental edition, Joe Perez's coverage of restoration or Rich Maloy's enhancement edition, we have you covered.

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