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Shifting Perspectives: Balance druid guide to Dragon Soul, part 1

Tyler Caraway

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Balance news comes at you every Friday -- learn how to master the forces of nature, and know what it means to be a giant laser turkey! Send questions, comments, or requests to or @murmursofadruid.

Overall, the first four bosses of Dragon Soul are a fun lot that focus more on your ability to raid overall and less on your specific capabilities. There is a solid chunk of movement in them, so you should be prepare to deal with that. Practicing how to drop Mushrooms while on the move is a huge asset in this raiding tier. Styling this week's advice after McCurley's 5-second strats, I'll briefly detail the encounter and any tricks that you should know about heading into the game. Keep it simple, after all.

  • Morchok should be tanked relatively where he stands. After each Blood phase, the tank can just pick him up where ever he happens to end up. No real positioning is needed unless you start to wander too far to the sides.
  • The raid team should all be grouped up within 25 yards of the boss as often as possible.
  • A dedicated group of ranged DPS should run out to every crystal that spawns. You need seven players for this in 25-man.
  • Run and head behind spikes once they've spawned, positioning yourself either between two spikes or just at the side of one so that you can continue to DPS.

As the first encounter, Morchok is super simple, so there isn't all that much gaming that needs to be done in order to maximize your DPS. For the most part, you'll merely just be standing there going about your normal DPS rotation without much of a worry. The tricky parts really only come into play if you happen to be on crystal duty, which you probably will be in most cases.
  • Try to wait to cast DoTs until you are moving. It's better to have them fall off for a few seconds than to have to recast them again once you start moving.
  • Also try and save Shooting Stars procs for when you need to move as well. Even if you're just about to hit a Lunar Eclipse, using the proc on the move is a good deal.
  • If nothing else is left, plant Wild Mushrooms. You would normally try and wait until you hit a Solar Eclipse to explode them, but it's better to just go ahead and do it once you get all three down, as you'll probably be able to plant more.
  • Remember that the crystal does knock you into the air, so be ready to use Shooting Stars or apply DoTs again when it happens.
  • Make sure you have DoTs running on the boss just before he pulls you in for a Blood phase, as you'll be stunned for a short period of time.
  • Use Travel From to get behind spikes faster, and resume normal casting as quickly as you can.
Warlord Zon'ozz
  • Tank the boss where he stands.
  • Have two groups, one of melee and tank healers and the other of ranged plus remaining healers.
  • Bounce the ball between these two groups. The ranged group should start it. You want to bounce a total of five times. The melee players run out after their second bounce.
  • Once the ball hits the boss, everyone collapses in on him. Use cooldowns to help mitigate the damage and survive through the phase.
  • Dispel the debuff from players as soon as they get it and have full health.

Zon'ozz isn't that bad -- pretty much a straightforward fight, all told. There actually aren't any encounter-specific tricks that you need to be on the lookout for. A vast majority of the fight is focused on your standing in one place waiting for the ball to hit you. Just apply basic movement principles.
  • If the ball is about to hit Zon'ozz, then wait until you start to collapse in on him before you refresh DoTs.
  • If you already have DoTs up, drop Wild Mushrooms when you have to move; wait until a Solar Eclipse to detonate them.
That's really all there is to it! The fight itself is pretty simple.

Yor'sahj the Unsleeping
  • Once more, the boss is tanked right where he stands, with the raid all stacked on top of him.
  • Once oozes are summoned, you kill one based upon the priority of purple then green then yellow.
  • Use raid cooldowns if you have yellow and red together.
  • Kill anything that spawns as a result of the oozes: mana voids, faceless ickies.
  • If you have a green ooze reaching the boss, then spread out around him and be 4 yards from people.
Yor'sahj is pretty much my favorite encounter of this tier. I love that it's slightly different every time that I do it and there's a good bit of quick thinking involved with it.

Following a basic priority on oozes is great, but if you really wanted to, you can add so many exceptions to the priority rules to make the fight easier. For example, purple and blue together is one of the easiest combinations, despite purple's usually being the one you kill first. There are a few other tricks to take note of on this encounter too.
  • Any time that you get the black ooze reaching the boss, you need to make sure that you hold your Solar Eclipse, especially if you get a black/yellow combination.
  • Any time that you get the blue ooze reaching the boss, try to stay just on the edge of getting any Eclipse buff before the mana void comes out. You'll only have enough mana to cast one or two spells once it drains you.
  • Red/yellow is some seriously hefty damage. You may need to Tranquility to help out the healers.
  • Remember your DoTs and mushrooms on the boss as you run off to deal with the oozes.
Hagara the Stormbinder
  • This may come as a shock, but tank Hagara right where she stands. The rest of the raid can just be loosely around her.
  • Tanks should run out from Focused Assault.
  • Frost tombs should all stack in a specific location; to one side of the boss is probably best.
  • During Frozen Tempest, run to the outside edges, kill the orbs, and avoid getting hit by frost walls.
  • During Lightning Storm, bring the add over to a conductor, kill it on top of the conductor, then split the raid in half with one running around the ring in one direction, the other in the opposite, and meet back up on the last conductor.
Hagara is relatively simple even for being the last boss that you encounter within this section of Dragon Soul. That doesn't make her any less fun, though -- she's still a blast of an encounter just like the others are. Again, most of the encounter is just standing still and going through the motions, but there are a few things to take note of.
  • Ice tombs should all be stacked in one location. Use Wild Mushroom and DoTs on all of them to break the ice.
  • Try to hang on to an Eclipse during Frozen Tempest, but it isn't all that important. Focus more on getting the orb that you start on as low as possible. As you run, use DoTs, Mushrooms, and Typhoon for damage; don't use Starfall.
  • I think you can still Travel Form during Lightning Storm, so at least keep it in mind when running.

Every week, Shifting Perspectives: Balance brings you druidic truth, beauty and insight ... from a moonkin's perspective. We'll help you level your brand new balance druid, tweak your UI and your endgame gear, analyze balance racials and abilities, and even walk you through PVP as a balance druid.

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