Totem Talk: Resto shaman healing in Blackrock Caverns

Joe Perez
J. Perez|12.28.10

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Totem Talk: Resto shaman healing in Blackrock Caverns
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. 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

So last week, we talked about spending some time on the nice, cool, wet ocean floor. The Throne of Tides is a great starter instance for Cataclysm, and it really helps you get your feet wet in the new healing world. It's also a pretty cool heroic. Today, I thought we would pull up next to a cozy fire and dry off a bit.

Blackrock Caverns is the new instance inside of the Blackrock Mountain. It is another early instance that offers some very good challenges for the new Cataclysm healer, and it has some pretty solid rewards as well. The caverns themselves are a series of tunnels created by the Twilight's Hammer clan in order to gather Ragnaros' minions and transport them back and forth to Mount Hyjal, as well as to a laboratory in which to perform horrific experiments where they try to transform the worthy into dragonspawn. In other words, it isn't Disneyland.

Rom'ogg Bonecrusher

The first opponent you face is a rather large ogre. It would seem that Rom'ogg has captured Raz the Crazed, and it is our job to take him out. All things considered, this is a pretty straightforward fight with a few things to be aware of.

Chains of Woe will draw all of your party members in and hold them in place until the chains are DPSed down, at which point everyone has to run away. Even as a healer, you should be helping out here. Toss a Flame Shock on the chains, at the very least. The reason it is important to burn the chains down quickly is because our good friend Rom'ogg will be casting The Skullcracker. Anyone caught in it will take a serious chunk of damage, and on heroic this can (and will often) spell death to those caught in it.

He will also periodically cast Quake, which will show up as a a cloud of dust under the feet of every member of the party. It deals roughly 9k damage per second if you stand in it and is a good way for someone to die. Fast, efficient heals are good here, and Healing Wave is quick and effective to help recover any damage taken from this.

In heroic, the boss will also summon 5 adds. Once the tank picks them up, he will be taking quite a bit of damage, so be sure to ready a Greater Healing Wave or two in order to keep the tank alive while DPS burns down the adds. You should also be mindful of Wounding Strike. It reduces the healing effectiveness on the target by 25 percent, so when the tank gets this debuff, they'll need a little extra loving.

After the boss is killed and Raz freed, you can look forward to these potential items:

Torturer's Mercy (normal / heroic)
Manacles of Pain (normal / heroic)

Corla, Herald of Twilight

Unfortunately for us, she's not exactly a happy-go-lucky kind of person. She likes to make other folks very big and very mean. This fight is all about the gimmick, really.

As the fight starts, you will notice that she is casting Drain Essence on a dragon and using its energy to transform her faithful disciples by triggering an Evolution. This happens when the adept's buff stack reaches 100. The beams can be intercepted though by players, but if a player reaches 100 stacks, he will suffer a Twilight Evolution, causing him to turn into a dragonkin, lose his mind, and generally make things not so good. I mention this as something to be aware of because on heroic mode, the stacks ramp up very quickly, and it is likely that you will be working in part to block the beams. So watch your stacks.

At some point in time, you will be facing down one of the cultists now turned dragon-like. They hit pretty hard in normal but hit like trucks in heroic. Make sure to have a chamber Healing Surge for a quick healing buffer while the rest of your group works on burning them down.

Corla also has a fear effect called Dark Command. While the effect only lasts for 3 seconds, you should still consider keeping a Tremor Totem down for the chance that it will line up correctly and break the fear early.

She doesn't have any mail healing caster gear, but it's still a fun fight.

Karash Steelbender

He's big and scaly, and he likes to set things on fire. It's a recipe for win on any other day, but today, he stands blocking your way to the next boss. He starts out the encounter with molten metal Quicksilver Armor around him that reduces all damage take by 99 percent. To break his armor, the tank will run him under the lava flowing from the ceiling. At that point, it becomes Superheated Quicksilver Armour. Every second he's under the lava, he gains a stack of this debuff. The more stacks, the more group-wide damage he deals every second until the debuff wears off. You need to pay attention to this because it will affect your healing workload. If possible, try to get everyone in the area for a Healing Rain. That, combined with Healing Stream Totem and Chain Heal, will pretty much get you through this part of the fight.

Well to be honest, that pretty much is the fight. He's not very complicated, just a lot of group damage to respond to while trying to get the most out of your mana. The fight is pretty hard on the tank, so make sure you are paying attention to his health.

After the giant lizard is dead, you get a chance at some pretty solid healing loot:

Quicksilver Amulet (normal / heroic)
Heat Wave Leggings (normal / heroic)


This Beauty is quite a beast. No, really, she is! (Lots of Disney references lately). This corehound mother sits in a nice, cozy cave with her puppies. In normal mode, you can pull the puppies individually, but in heroic mode, they will all pull with her. The puppies will leave little puddles of molten lava on the floor that you shouldn't stand in and that the tank will be moving her and the puppies out of. Be ready to move with the group. Also make sure no one kills her puppy Runty. He's the smallest of the bunch, but his death will result in an enraged mother and a dead group.

Other than the puppies, she's pretty much your standard tank-and-spank fight. She will occasionally Berserker Charge a random group member, knocking him down and dealing damage. She will cast Magma Spit on a party member, which deals damage over time and then explodes when the ability has been removed or timed down, and she will occasionally breathe fire in the form of Flamebreak, which will also knock back anyone affected by it. She also has a fear in the form of Terrifying Roar that, at the time of this article, can be ended early by Tremor Totem or removed by the upgraded version of Cleanse Spirit, as it is classified as a magical effect.

Once you've put the pup down, you can get a chance to dig through her corpse for an upgrade:

Kibble (normal / heroic)
Beauty's Favorite Bone (normal / heroic) I've included this because if you're hurting for an off-hand you can reforge the hit to something else, like spirit.

Ascendant Lord Obsidius

The last boss of the caverns is a bit of a strategist. You see, he goes into battle with a few shadow forms of himself to help keep himself alive. Fighting him is a lot like trying to fight an Agent in the Matrix. After a while, he will shift himself from his main form to that of one of his shadow buddies, essentially swapping places with them. Everyone will have to move to accommodate the new positioning of the boss. As a healer, you should watch where he is so you can move accordingly to keep the group in range of your heals.

In normal mode, he will have two adds, but in heroic, he will have three. The adds reduce the healing done on their target, and while they do little damage themselves, it's much safer to have a DPSer kite them and keep them off the tank. Be mindful of whoever is assigned add duty, as he will likely move out of your range at times. While the adds don't hit hard, keeping Riptide up on the mobile team member can help a lot. The key is being a mobile healer in this fight. Fast heals and making sure you're moving with the party helps quite a bit.

He has a Stone Blow, which increases damage dealt, and knocks the target down. He also has a Thunderclap that will slow folks down and Twilight Corruption that will deal damage over time on those affected. It's a fairly straightforward fight to heal, so you shouldn't have too many surprises.

After you pummel this elemental lord into dust, you can go rooting through his bags:

Witching Hourglass (normal / heroic)
Crepuscular Shield (normal / heroic)

This is a solid instance, offering some great lore, interesting boss fights, and some pretty good loot to boot. Definitely something you should make a point to see at least once.

Show your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk: Restoration. We'll show you the basics of endgame resto shaman play as well as how to find the expansion's best reputation gear for resto shaman and tips for easier leveling.

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