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Totem Talk: Restoration and the Throne of Thunder, Part 2

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 content creation at InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

The first foray into the Throne of Thunder being over, it's time to dive deeper into the realm of the resurrected Mogu emperor. There is, however, a few more obstacles that lay before us as we take out the last of the Zandalari standing in our way. Once those pesky Zandalari are gone we can go further. The problem is those pesky trolls never stay gone for good or for long, but we can at least give them a few punches, kicks and some lightning to the face to remind them of their past follies.

This will not be a comprehensive boss guide, instead this will be a quick run down on things that you, as a resto shaman, should be aware of or tips to help make your healing of the encounter easier.

Council of Elders

Gara'jal the Spiritbinder promised us that we would be seeing him again very soon. Well, he didn't wait very long to cause us grief. I mean, he waited until exactly the third boss encounter of the new raid zone to come back and bother us, which is distinctly shorter than a certain Eleven Lord. This time though he has not one, not two but four troll leaders for us to tangle with. Each one has their own abilities and things to watch out for, but if that wasn't enough, Gara'jal keeps instigating throughout the fight. Lingering Presence happens when Gara'jal takes possession of one of the four trolls. Not only does it increase their damage done, but it also gives them an additional augmentation to their powers. This is signified by the boss that looks like they have taken on Shadowform. While he is in them, he also increases the rate at which they gain Dark Power until your group does enough damage to force him into the next body.

Kazra'jin the green troll with orange hair, or as my raid group calls him Blanka, really only has a couple things to worry about. First is the fact that he doesn't really get tanked so much as ball up and zip around the room towards people with Reckless Charge. This is marked by a black liquid like line that will show the path he will follow. You need to pay attention to this line because if you are caught under it, or standing next to the end point when it lands on a person, you will be knocked up and your casts will be interrupted. When he's empowered, this ends with Overload, which will reflect 25% of the damage done to him back as nature damage. Be mindful of your DPS when this happens. Because people will likely be spread out, consider using Glyph of Chaining to make sure your Chain Heal hits everyone.

Sul the Sandcrawler, aptly named because he looks like he's made out of sand, only has a few things to really watch out for. Sand Bolt will deal a decent amount of nature damage to the target, and anyone within 5 yards of the target. Just be aware if people clump, they'll need a little love. There are two things to really watch out for on this boss. Quicksand, or to be specific, Entrapped. If someone sits in the quicksand too long they'll get rooted and be unable to move and will take a ton of damage. You can Cleanse Spirit this, and it shows up on all unit frames by default, so if you see it, get rid of it quickly. The other one is Sandstorm. This one is a massive bit of AoE damage to the whole raid. Most strategies call for everyone to group up for healing, so make use of your Healing Rain, roll those Riptides and make use of your CH. Also, this is the perfect time on this boss to utilize your Healing Tide Totem and Spirit Link Totem. Also pair up Ascendance with SLT for maximum effect. I also like to use the Fire Elemental Totem or Earth Elemental Totem with Primal Elementalist during this phase.

Frost King Malakk is large and blue and looks like he likes to freeze things. Basically he's a troll based off of those children's holiday movies. Biting Cold and Frostbite when empowered are the things you really have to worry about most. Biting Cold is a pulsing AoE damage that centers and follows one player. Be mindful of their position and when they run near people. Frostbite however, forces you to stand with people, otherwise it just hits like a truck. If you get targeted by either ability, I suggest using Stone Bulwark Totem and Call of the Elements to help you survive while tending to other people, or while waiting for your allies to stack with you. You can actually survive for quite a while with those two if you get hit with Frostbite.

High Priestess Mar'li is an interesting boss. She is a priest and pretty much constantly spams smite, or in this case Wrath of the Loa. but still needs to be tanked away from the group. The spell is single target, deals a decent amount of damage to the tank, and can be interrupted. If you get assigned to heal the tank that is handling Mar'li, you can actually help with interrupts with Wind Shear and reduce the damage she does by a considerable amount. I usually set the Mar'li tank as my focus and use the following macro to help out.

/tar [@focustarget, exists]
/cast Wind Shear
Simple and effective. Just watch for her hands to glow, pop the macro and done. Doing so saves you a ton of mana on healing the tank. You could add a /tarlasttar in there if you really want to, but I haven't found it necessary personally. The other thing is that she will summon a Blessed Loa Spirit to run off and heal her friends. It can be stunned and slowed so you can use Earthbind Totem or Earthgrab Totem to help slow it down. When she does get empowered she does turn into a shadow priest and starts throwing around shadow bolts and a Shadowed Loa Spirits. These, however, don't heal her friends but instead explode yours into tiny little loa sized edible chunks. So make sure you're helping slow them down when she's empowered.

Sum of the parts

This is a hectic, but in my opinion a very fun fight. You'll likely be relying mostly on your single target heals like Healing Surge and Greater Healing Wave more often than not due to how people are spread out for the majority of the fight, especially if you have to fill the gaps between CH if you glyphed it. Group heals are things that you'll be saving until sands storm or frostbite, or if people really just like to hug each other during and encounter.

Totem Talk: Restoration lends you advice on healing groups, DK tanks and heroics and mana concerns in today's endgame -- or take a break and look back at the rise of the resto shaman. Happy healing, and may your mana be plentiful!

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