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Totem Talk: Cataclysm raiding as a restoration shaman, part 1

Joe Perez

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, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and co-host of the Raid Warning podcast), shows you how.

You've done all your prep work, and the time has come to step into a raid. You've got your gear shined up and ready to go. You've got your gems and enchants in place, and you have chosen your raiding spec and glyphs. You're here to chew bubblegum and down raid bosses ... and you're all out of bubblegum.

Now, while you may be prepared to step into the ring and take on Ivan Drago, preparing yourself with some boss knowledge is always good. We're going to start by taking a look at all the bosses in this tier's raiding content in order of what is largely considered to be the standard progression path. I'll talk about them them roughly in order of easiest to hardest difficulty, with emphasis on what you should know as a raiding restoration shaman for these fights.

This and subsequent sister posts are not intended to be all-inclusive raid boss guides. Ready Check and the WoW Insider Guide to Cataclysm already have some wonderful guides on the raid content available, so if you want more detailed information, please check them out. Instead, we'll do a brief overview of the bosses, as well as some tips and tricks for restoration shaman.

Argaloth, Baradin Hold

The encounter This lovable imitation of Edward Scissorhands waits for your raid group if your faction wins control of Tol Barad. He is to Cataclysm what Archavon the Stonewatcher is to Wrath of the Lich King. The encounter is divided into two phases.

In phase 1, your raid group will split into two groups to stand on either side of him. During this phase, he will cast Consuming Darkness and Meteor Slash, while still dealing melee damage to the tanks. This phase is largely a tank and spank. In the second phase, he will cast Fel Firestorm, which will force the raid group to scatter and (a lesson we've learned over the many years of raiding) not stand in the fire. After the fire is done, the raid will collapse back to original positions, and we start over again into phase 1. Fel Firestorm occurs when Argaloth is at 66% health and 33% health, so the time between phases depends on the DPS of the group.

In phase 1, make sure that you have your Cleanse Spirit ready, because you want to get rid of Consuming Darkness as soon as possible. It is a nasty little DoT that will deal damage every 0.5 seconds and if left unchecked could lead to disastrous results. When Meteor Slash is cast, everyone in the group will take damage, as well as receive a debuff that will increase the fire damage taken by the afflicted by 100%. The damage is spread out among everyone in front of the boss, so it shouldn't be too bad. Start your cast of Healing Rain before he casts his slash, and if you're using a boss mod with timers (you should be by now), try to start the cast right around 3 seconds before the slash. Another added bonus here is that since everyone is grouped up, it's a great chance to let that Chain Heal loose.

Phase 2 is a great opportunity to use Spiritwalker's Grace. Since you're pro at dodging fires, you'll be moving quite a bit. So to heal those less dexterous than yourself, make use of SwG so that your heals aren't interrupted while you dance around fire.

The reward Like Archavon, Argaloth drops a veritable cornucopia of PvP loot and has a chance to drop two tier pieces.
Magmaw, Blackwing Descent

The encounter This lava-born parasite has a face I'm not even sure a mother could love! One of the first two bosses accessible in Blackwing Descent, at first glance, this boss looks like part of an encounter where there is a lot going on all at once. For the most part, though, it's fairly easy to manage, if you break down the fight and your possible roles.

This fight is divided into two phases; the boss will remain stationary in both. In phase 1, Maggles will constantly cast Magma Spit and Lava Spew. There will be quite a bit of raid-wide damage going around to deal with. He will also cast Pillar of Flame targetted at a random member in the raid group, which will deal damage while throwing the player into the air, and spawn Lava Parasites. He will also cast Mangle on the main tank, which will deal a large amount of damage every few seconds. Immediately after casting mangle Magmaw, he will cast ignition, which will set half the room on fire and must be avoided by running to the other side.

The second phase really begins when Magmaw casts Mangle on the tank, as his head will be low enough for players to jump on his back. Players who jump up will get an ability icon for constricting chains and must use it and then target the spike in the floor to bring the beast's head down. Once down, the exposed head of Magmaw will take 100% extra damage, and the boss will not deal damage to the raid during this time.

There are really two jobs here: standing within melee range while healing the raid, or moving with the ranged add kiters and healing them. If you're standing in melee range, your job is fairly straightforward. Keep Earth Shield up on the Magmaw tank, and make liberal use of Riptide, Healing Rain, and Chain Heal if you're on group healing. Feel free to go all out here, because phase 2 will give you a great opportunity to regen a lot of your mana.

In phase 2, make use of Mana Tide Totem to help regen everyone's mana totals, and feel free to combine it with Potion of Concentration. This is one of the few fights that gives you a perfect and clearly defined place to use it, as there is no raid damage to deal with it. If you have Telluric Currents, you can also chain cast Lightning Bolt for some serious mana returns.

If you're running with the ranged, Riptide is worth a fortune. Use Healing Surge for quick top-offs and Spiritwalker's Grace to help you heal on the move. Once you get into position, you can go back to normal heals, but it isn't so bad. Just keep your head about you, and you'll exterminate this parasite in no time.

The reward This fiery worm actually has a couple of very nice restoration shaman pieces.
Omnotron Defense System

The encounter This is actually a boss fight comprised of four separate mini-bosses and is one of the first two bosses accessible in Blackwing Descent. At first glance, the encounter looks complicated -- but really, as far as healing goes, it's really not too terribly bad. There are, however, a few things you should look for with Olmec and his four little helpers.

Magmatron is the golem of fire -- shocking, I know. He has a raid-wide damage in the form of Incineration Security Measure. This is easily healed through if you can convince your raid group to stand on your HR while throwing out some CH. Avoid anyone marked for Flamethrower and make sure to toss them a heal or two.

is all about the shock treatment. Electrical Discharge will throw a chain lightning into the raid, so be sure to toss heals on anyone who gets hit by it, and watch for Lightning Conductor. Avoid anyone with the debuff, and if you get it, run out of the raid.

dreams of being a real mage someday, but in the meantime, it's just an arcane golem. What you have to look out for when he's active is Power Generator. This is a swirling blue circle that will appear on the floor below him. When the tank drags him off of the effect, you should stand in it. Yes, I know, I'm telling you to stand in something -- crazy, right? Well, the effect will increase your mana regeneration by 250 mana per .25 seconds. There will be a lot of damage going around, so anything you can do to help get mana back is good.

Lastly we have Toxitron, a veritable prince of slimes and nature damage. Watch out for Chemical Bomb, which will put a cloud on the ground. Just don't stand in the cloud -- easy as that. When he casts Poison Protocol, he will summon oozes that will fixate and follow a raid member. If they reach the person, they explode for massive damage. You can help out by making use of Earthbind Totem. It helps slow down the oozes and means players are less likely to explode.

The key to the fight really is just keeping your cool and your wits about you. While two golems will be active at a time, just heal normally. Pay attention to which one is up and which abilities are being cast, move accordingly, and you'll win the day.

The rewards If you make it through the hidden temple in one piece, you get a chance at some pretty nice drops.These three bosses aren't too bad and really help get your raiding feet wet. There's nothing too complicated, and the key really is to pay attention and keep your calm while healing.

Totem Talk: Restoration will 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. Happy healing, and may your mana be plentiful!

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