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Shifting Perspectives: Druid healing strats for Icecrown Citadel, part 2

Allison Robert

Deathbringer Saurfang

Allie: This guy's a lot smaller than I expected.
Hunter officer: Don't worry, Allie, he gets bigger.
Half the raid (in unison): That's what she said!

General strategy: TankSpot has a very good guide here.

Placement: Specific placement doesn't matter too much as long as: a). you are at least 12 yards away from everyone else, because one of Saurfang's attacks (Blood Nova) can chain to nearby players, and: b). you can reach everyone in the raid (or almost everyone, assuming the people you can't reach have healer coverage). In other words, spread out, but make sure the heal team is scattered for even coverage of the raid.

Boiling Blood
: A debuff cast on 1 (in 10-man) or 3 (in 25-man) players that does damage and gives Blood Power to Saurfang every 3 seconds. This isn't particularly tough to heal.

Blood Beasts
: How your raid handles these (and Mark, below) will make or break the encounter, but it's your DPS who has to worry about them (usually by way of Frost Traps, Earthbind Totem, and knockbacks). However, you should be prepared in the event that one aggros you. This is a distinct possibility as you're likely to be running HoTs on Boiling Blood targets and the tanks. If all else fails and one's crawling your way, Entangling Roots will prevent Saurfang from gaining Blood Power off your unlucky hide. Because DPS will be focusing the little beasts down (and thus damaging them way beyond what Roots will hold), chain-cast Roots until it's dead.

Mark of the Fallen Champion
: Saurfang will cast this upon a player after reaching 100 blood power, and the damage is intense; essentially, he's chaining a portion of his melee damage to a player who's not a tank. Plan on running full HoTs on the person in question, and even then, you're going to need some help at present levels of gear unless you can devote all of your attention to that one person.

However, it's very common for raids to deliberately allow the first Marked player to die, and DPS through the 5% heal that will subsequently occur to Saurfang. It's usually worth it, because Saurfang will cease gaining Blood Power from a Marked player who's died, and -- assuming a competent raid -- only gains Blood Power slowly from other sources. If you're going after I've Gone and Made a Mess, this is the way to do it. Sensible management of the Blood Beasts and good DPS will typically result in a kill before (or shortly after) the third Mark.

Whatever else you do, do not battle-rez anyone who dies to a Mark. They will only resurrect with the Mark still on them, almost invariably die to the next tick of damage (unless you've spent a major glyph slot on Glyph of Rebirth), and then heal Saurfang for another 5%. Assuming that your heal team is half-awake, no one in the raid is in any real danger of dying to anything else on this encounter, and you will not need either the DPS or healing output of the first Marked player. Subsequent Marked players will need massive heals, however, and the increasing difficulty of keeping up multiple Marked players becomes a sort of soft enrage on top of Saurfang's hard enrage at 8 minutes.

Is this a good fight for trees?
: It's not so much a bad fight for trees as it's an amazing fight for Discipline priests. A good Disc priest can singlehandedly cripple Saurfang's ability to generate Blood Power through smart shielding. Otherwise, there's really not a lot of damage to worry about here. The encounter is really about your DPS' ability to handle the Blood Beasts while maintaining high raid DPS overall.

Every week, Shifting Perspectives treks across Azeroth in pursuit of truth, beauty, and insight concerning the druid class. Sometimes it finds the latter, or something good enough for government work. Whether you're a Bear, Cat, Moonkin, Tree, or stuck in caster form, we've got the skinny on druid changes in patch 3.3, a look at the disappearance of the bear tank, and thoughts on why you should be playing the class (or why not).

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