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The Light and How to Swing It: Healing against Majordomo Staghelm


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

Illuminated Healing is a tricky mastery bonus to quantify. I've talked about how it's still our weakest throughput stat, even after the most recent round of buffs. We've also discussed how some holy paladins are completely changing the way we're able to heal by stacking as much mastery rating as possible. Mastery's biggest weakness is that it only works with a handful of our heals, limiting its flexibility. Illuminated Healing can be a valuable ally when facing Shannox or Baleroc.

Illuminated Healing is nearly worthless against Majordomo Staghelm. The Majordomo encounter favors holy paladins who stack haste rating. You'll be especially potent if you can break 1,860 haste rating, which is the breakpoint that grants you an extra Holy Radiance tick when you don't have any special buffs active. The Majordomo fight will challenge both our AOE healing throughput and our reaction times. While our mastery bonus has its uses, it simply can't compete on a fight where AOE healing is paramount to our raid group's survival.

Majordomo Staghelm is a shapeshifter

The Majordomo Staghelm can be distilled down to two basic phases, distinguished by the animal form he takes for each phase. When he's in Scorpion Form, he'll be cleaving your raid for a massive amount of fire damage, while he prefers hopping from target to target and beating up your tank when he's in Cat Form. Your job as a healer is to switch your healing style with each phase, ensuring that you're using your cooldowns appropriately. You can typically sneak a Divine Plea in whenever Staghelm switches phases, which will be critical to maintaining your mana.

Scorpion Form stresses our AOE capabilities

Flame Scythe is the type of attack that would've had me in tears back in Wrath. Holy paladins have never been more competent AOE healers than we are today, specifically after patch 4.2's buffs to Holy Radiance and Holy Light. Holy Radiance is our one-button wonder, allowing us to dole out a massive amount of AOE healing with a single global cooldown. Holy Light's new 100% Beacon of Light transfer rate ensures that we can use Holy Light to top off our injured raid members without leaving the tank with adequate healing. Aura Mastery allows us to nearly negate an entire Flame Scythe, buying our raid precious DPS time.

You want to pop your Holy Radiance immediately after Staghelm uses his Flame Scythe. Obviously, HR isn't going to be up for every Flame Scythe, especially since he'll be casting FS faster and faster as the phase goes on. Let your other healers know when HR is available, and ensure that your entire raid is stacked up tightly so that HR grants its full healing amount to everyone. Divine Favor obviously comes in handy here as well.

I like to use two HRs during my guild's initial Bloodlust phase, and then I use another one during my Divine Favor. Once you add Aura Mastery, Avenging Wrath, and Guardian of Ancient Kings into the mix, you realize that a holy paladin can help to both mitigate and heal through several Flame Scythe blasts. The tank doesn't take that much damage during this phase, and Beacon of Light can usually handle keeping their health bar in the green.

You should personally be using glyphed Divine Protection to save yourself from one of the later Flame Scythes, allowing the other healers' smart heals to target other players in need. Light of Dawn can actually be a good use of your holy power points here, even in 10-man difficulties, since your entire raid will be stacked up. Your goal is to survive as many Flame Scythes as you can before pushing Staghelm to his Cat Phase, so try to save your big cooldowns like Aura Mastery for the later Flame Scythes.

The FS blasts come faster and faster as Staghelm stacks up his Adrenaline buff, so the healing needs will increase as his time spent in Scorpion Form increases. My raid group can typically survive eight Flame Scythes before breaking, especially since my Aura Mastery nearly completely negates the eighth blast. To force Staghelm to switch forms, simply have your group spread out.

Cat Form requires catlike reflexes

While Staghelm is in Cat Form, your tank and your raid will be in danger. Staghelm will be hopping around the room, pouncing on a random player and leaving a dangerous blaze on the ground. If Staghelm targets you, you need to vacate your spot immediately. Don't bother using Holy Radiance or Divine Protection for the Speed of Light bonus, as you don't have to run that far. Get yourself out of the blaze's edge, and then stand as close to it as you can. You want for any future blazes to overlap as much as possible, as that maximizes the available space in the room.

As Staghelm hops on your raid's ranged players, you'll need to heal them up quickly from any blaze damage they took. If Staghelm hops on someone twice and you don't heal him in the interim period, there is a good chance that he'll end up dead.

Your tank will be taking a decent amount of damage from the shapeshifter himself, but the real danger comes in the form of the Spirits of the Flame. Staghelm will be spawning these throughout the fight, and they actually hit really hard. Your raid group should be nuking them down quickly, but expect your tank's life to dip while these are active. You need to be incredibly vigilant during the Cat Form phase; you need to watch for Leaping Flames, you need to heal the Leaping Flames target quickly, and you need to ensure that the tank gets extra healing when there's a Spirit of the Flame up. Again, your job is to simply survive for as long as possible and then swap back to the Scorpion Phase for another round.

Seeds and orbs are wild cards

When entering your second Scorpion phase, Staghelm will plant a Searing Seed into every one of your raid members. The seeds explode after a random amount of time, varying for each player. As any given players' seed timers wind down, they'll run out of the group to let it explode. Make sure you heal them as soon as their seed pops, as they need to be at full life to survive the upcoming Flame Scythe. Your raid will also take slightly more damage per player from Flame Scythes, since there will be people outside of its range when it goes off. Once everyone's seed has expired, you can go back to healing as usual.

On your third Cat phase, you'll be faced with some deadly Burning Orbs. The orbs are nearly identical when compared to the crystals on Baleroc, where a player needs to stand near them to attract their attention. They'll start burning up the closest player, stacking a fiery DOT on them with each tick. You'll want to have a rotation of at least two players taking turns letting their DOT build up and then swapping positions.

I like to sit and take a ton of stacks from one of the orbs, using Divine Protection to buy me a few extra seconds. Once the stack is untenable, I'll use Divine Shield to clear the stacks and start over. Staghelm should be dying in this final Cat phase, and so your job is to keep everyone alive until they can finish them off. Make sure you're keeping plenty of healing on your tank, as Fury will cause Staghelm to hit progressively harder as the fight progresses. Feel free to unload any healing cooldowns you have available, as this final phase can get chaotic.

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy helps holy paladins become the powerful healers we're destined to be. Find out just how masterful mastery healing can be, gear up with the latest gear, and learn how to PVP as a holy paladin.

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