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Totem Talk: Cataclysm raiding as a restoration shaman, part 4

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.

We took a brief break from boss battles last week to answer some reader questions, but this week, we're right back into the thick of things. Part 1 covered the easy bosses, part 2 let us play with fire and golems, and part 3 was full of hot air and maniac dragon things.

This week, we'll dive into the last pieces of Blackwing Descent and The Bastion of Twilight to finish up some loose ends before we take on the final bosses of the tier. So -- a blind dragon, a two-headed hydra thing, and their four friends walk into a mountain ...

As with the previous installments of this guide, this is not intended to be an all-inclusive raid boss guide. Please check out Ready Check and the WoW Insider Guide to Cataclysm for more detailed information. We will do a brief overview of the bosses, as well as some tips and tricks for restoration shaman.


The encounter I'm fairly confident that Atramedes would love to compliment us on our raiding attire -- if he could, that is. You see, like Richard Pryor in See No Evil, Hear No Evil, he's quite blind. He not defenseless, though, and his keen hearing and sonic abilities help him keep track of his prey. To that effect, the encounter incorporates a sound meter into the fight. Pretty much every time you take damage from one of Atramedes' abilities, you'll gain sound. Get enough sound, and you'll become his next snacking target.

The fight is divided into two phases, a ground phase and an air phase. Both phases are really about not standing in harm's way and ultimately not standing in fire. In phase 1, watch out for Sonar Pulse, which will send out discs of sound towards the raid. Strafe out of the way, and continue your healing. Modulation will deal damage based on players' current levels of sound and will then increase their sound totals. Keep an eye out for this and have a Healing Surge ready in case you need a fast top off someone who caught a few discs. During this phase, Atramedes will also target the player who has the highest sound with Sonic Breath; the more sound they have, the faster the fire moves towards them. If you're targeted and you have Ancestral Swiftness, pop into Ghost Wolf and run away from the raid. If you aren't talented into instant ghost wolf, just run away like Little Red Riding Hood. Other than that, just continue to avoid discs and not stand in fire.

In the air phase, Atramedes will continue to target a random member of the raid and chase him with fire (in this case, Roaring Flame Breath). This time, it will leave a lovely fire trail behind it, so if you're targeted, make sure to run away from the raid in direction that no one is standing. Roaring Flames will leave random patches of fire around the room, so avoid that. Atramedes will also place discs on the ground that you will need to move out of; if you do not, you'll get hit by a projectile that will deal damage and increase your sound. This phase is all about movement, so keep moving and make use of Spiritwalker's Grace to keep healing on the move when needed. After 40 seconds, he'll go back to phase 1, and you will repeat until he is dead.

The reward The blind dragon drops a couple pieces of loot that a resto shaman can use.

The encounter This is one of the more healing-intensive fights you'll encounter in this tier of raiding, but luckily, it is one that restoration shaman tend to have little to no problem with. The fight has an interesting mechanic to it in which you will have help in the form of a little robot called the Bile-O-Tron. It will give you a buff called Finkle's Mixture, which will keep players who are above 10,000 health from dying to the boss' abilities and will instead reduce them to 1 HP. Massacre will deal massive damage to the raid, likely killing anyone who is not above 10,000 health and has the buff.

Healing Rain
and our Deep Healing completely own this part of the fight. Because of Massacre, no matter how good players are at the fight, they will still be at incredibly low health totals, which allows us to make full use of our mastery unlike in any other fight. Drop a Healing Rain on your group that you're assigned to heal and keep it down, and as long as they gather on it, no problem! They'll be healed up back past 10k health in a few short ticks.

Through the phase, this lovable, two-headed squishy will cast Caustic Slime, which will deal a ton of nature damage when it ticks off. Use a fast Healing Surge to bring the target of the slime above 10k health before it explodes! Rolling Riptides and Unleash Life when you can will also help keep people above the 10k mark. Occasionally the Bile-O-Tron will break down; during that time, everyone in the raid will group up for maximum group healing until the bot is back up and running. Lay your HR down and break out the Chain Heal to help keep people alive until you can spread back out. This will repeat until Chimaeron is brought to 20% health.

At that point, he will go into the Mortality phase. He will take more damage but will become immune to taunts. As an added bonus, healing done in this phase is reduced by 99%! When you reach the burn phase, drop those water spells and break out the Lightning Bolts and Flame Shocks and get him down as soon as possible! It's a very fun encounter for shaman to heal through and one of the very few that really lets us use our mastery.

The reward From the corpse of your fallen enemy, you have a chance to gain a very nice piece of loot.
Twilight Ascendant Council

The encounter By your powers combined, I am ... a lot taller! This is a three-phase fight, unlike the others before. Phases 1 and 2 both have two bosses for you to deal with at a time, ending when one of the bosses in the set reaches 25% HP. The final boss will have the remaining health of all four initial bosses.

In phase 1, you'll be facing Feludius and Ignacious, or water and fire. What you have to be aware of here are a couple things. First, Feludius will cast Heart of Ice on a random raider, and it will deal increasing frost damage until it's removed. Ignatious will cast Burning Blood, which will do the same thing but with fire damage. While the spells have a tactical advantage for the raid, our general rule is count to about 8 and then use Cleanse Spirit. Also have some group healing ready for Aegis of Flame, as your raid will likely need some healing from the damage the shield dishes out.

Phase 2 consists of Arion and Terrastra, or air and earth. The trick in this phase is to make sure that you get the right buff to counter the bosses' abilities. You'll notice a tornado hanging around the room and a giant gravity well. When touched, the tornado gives you a levitate-like effect called Swirling Winds that negates any damage from Quake. The gravity well gives you Grounded, which lets you avoid damage from Thundershock. Keep an eye out for anyone who takes damage from these and ready a fast heal to keep them alive. Also keep an eye out for people targeted with Lightning Rod, as they will not only be the target of a Chain Lightning. Not only will the player targeted take damage, but every time the chain bounces to someone nearby, it does even more damage. Have CH and HR ready to handle that.

In phase 3, all four bosses will combine into a super-boss. This is basically just a DPS race of a phase, and you will have to heal through an onslaught of damage. Electric Instability will deal constant nature damage to the raid, while Lava Seed will fill the room with exploding balls of fire. Gravity Crush will select random raid members lifting them into the air, only to slam them into the ground causing them damage, and Cryogenic Aura will cause a puddle under the boss that will deal damage to anyone standing in it and grow if the boss is left in contact with it. Spirit Link Totem is a great emergency cooldown for this phase to keep DPS and even tanks alive while moving around the room. Fast heals to top off people picked up by Gravity Crush and a Glyphed Healing Stream Totem to cut down on some damage with resist will help round out the fight and get you to victory.

The reward For besting this failed boy band, you can look forward to a couple pieces of loot.
These bosses are a ton of fun to heal because they force you to move and heal, as well as take advantage of your mastery. Next week, we will talk about the final three bosses of normal tier 11 raiding.

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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