Welcome to Metro’s 25 man Heroic Healing guides for the Siege of Orgrimmar! It is important to understand that these guides are first aimed at helping healers understand their role, and then helping them maximize their play. Each will feature a general overview of the mechanics that matter to the healers, and conclude with a class-specific discussion. Let’s begin!
Understanding the Encounter -
The opening encounter of the final tier is quite a mixed bag for the healing role, most relatable to the Tsulong encounter, but honestly unlike anything we have completed before.
The mechanics that matter to a healer come in two phases, as does the encounter. In the first phase, we see massive tank damage, incidental damage from people standing in their puddle for too long, and then the heroic-only addition – a damaging debuff, plus adds after some time – both of which will be discussed further shortly.
The second phase commonly referred to as the “split” phase or “add phase,” is essentially no different from the normal equivalent of the encounter, minus the multiplication of the numbers dealt. If one were to look at the dungeon journal, the mechanic at the very bottom may seem like something that the raid or healers need be conscious of, but unfortunately this is another case of poor execution of a mechanic that could have been much more.
The mechanic itself is known as “Sha Pool,” and is a heroic-only addition that claims that whenever a puddle (the adds) reaches the boss, the pool expands. More so, the journal states that the pool deals increasing damage to anyone stood in the area, but doing so causes it to shrink. Long story short, this never comes into effect for any group killing any amount of adds, and even if it does touch a few people, it does so little damage its quite irrelevant.
Understanding the Healer’s Role –
Now that we know the theory behind the encounter, let’s talk basics for the healing core. The general strategy demands the room be split evenly in the add phase, but the heroic-only adds and debuff suggest that you stack to easily deal with both. This means each healer will need to employ speed boosts to reach their location in the split phase to maximize their uptime.
With this split in mind, it’s also important that the tanks have dedicated healers. They will take an enormous amount of damage in early gear levels, so two strong single target healers should be deployed, one of each side so as to maintain an even split.
In the main phase, the healers not handling the tanks will focus on aoe healing as many ranged or melee as possible. They will be taking consistent damage, either from mistakes or the debuff. The debuff itself can be dispelled, and should be as it deals increased damage for every tick, however is on 18-20 people at once, so it is also less important than it seems. If you feel it is worth the global, then feel free, especially if you are targeting some one particularly undergeared or already low-health.
From here, the heroic-only adds are the final complication of the phase, and marks the end of the “stack.” The initial issue we had here was keeping them off healers, so depending on how many tanks you have free or what type of dps you expect, its best for a paladin healer to “anchor” them with Righteous Fury, and then simply Hand of Salvation himself as they begin to reach him. This is likely not required or feasible in many groups, but something that I have found an integral part of fights with multiple priest and druid healers. (see Tortos bats!)
Provided the healers can keep the adds from all grouping up on them, and all the DPS have eyes, the first phase should end without incident and the transition to the split phase should begin. Use a speed boost to find your place asap, and begin to prepare to heal your area’s Contaminated Puddles. The approach to this is no different than it was in normal, but I will include some options for individual classes that should help put it in perspective.
The final challenge to overcome as a healing unit presents itself as the fight grows close to completion. You will notice the final two sets of “explosions” caused by the adds reaching the boss to deal quite a hefty amount of damage, and with everyone spread out it’s not as feasible as on other encounters to prepare for “raid-wide” cooldowns. At this point, it’s important to understand how much damage you expect people to take, and use what you have reactively. Obviously, the second to last will be the most important to heal everyone up quickly from, so use throughput CDs like tranquility then, whereas the final will be the most damage, and it’s irrelevant if you are healed up after, as the fight ends. However, with this final blast, it’s quite possible the entire raid could be wiped out, and on our first kill we had this happen, leaving only me bubbled, and one tank alive to loot the chest. For this reason, save cds like Devotion Aura, or Power Word: Barrier to be used as the bulk hit.
Class Specific Tips –
Holy Paladin: Can anchor adds with RF to prevent healers without threatdrops from threating many adds. Hand of Sac can be used on the tanks right as the blast happens to save their lives, should you be focused on tank healing. Speed of light is extremely useful for getting across the room quickly. Lay on Hands should be used on a puddle towards the end of the encounter. Stagger three throughput CDs for each split phase to maximize your efficiency. Devo best used for the very end to save as many people as possible, despite limited range. Make macro to /tar Contaminated Puddle /cast Beacon of Light. Will automatically put beacon on the target to build holy power on, especially useful with it off the GCD.
Resto Shaman: Ghost wolf and Spiritwalker’s grace can be used to quickly get to the room while not losing much. Tough to refresh Earth shield, as you will likely be far away from the tanks when it needs to happen. Chain heal on 4-5 puddles is likely the best option, but may not be enough as they begin to get farther apart. Be sure to have Rain down so they pass through it for the maximum time. Healing stream is underrated here, and will be quite efficient for healing people who need it as you concentrate on the puddles. Healing Tide best used on the final sets of explosions to quickly heal others up before the final split. Spirit link can be used to save lives as the explosions happen, but can also be used to split the health of a few puddles if one gets topped quickly.
Resto Druids: Cat form and sprint makes travelling across the room easy. Hots are king, spread rejuv to as many people as you can before you all spread out; other healers may lack movement healing to get them all topped before the puddles become priority. Druids have the most efficient heal in the game for the puddles, that being charged mushroom explosions. Have seen charged mushroom heal 4-5 puddles to full instantly before I can even start casting. Spreading hots and using genesis is likely the second best combo in the game as well. Ironbark will be useless, as you’ll likely never be close enough to the tanks when it matters; use it on dps that need it. Tranq needs to be used on the second to last explosion in order to assure everyone around you is topped for the final set.
Holy / Disp Priests: Strong AOE heals for when multiple puddles spawn towards the end. Divine Hymn or Barrier can be used to tremendous effect. Use Hymn second to last explosion, barrier for the final to save lives! Disp is arguably weaker here, as absorbs in no way contribute to the puddles. Void shift as potent as Lay On Hands, plus a glyph that turns you into a puddle!!! Puddles can be Life-gripped!
Misty Monk: (Do not currently have a monk healer in our progression.) Roll can be chained to make the room seem much smaller. Renewing mists may be unreliable with players eating charges. Single target heals seem to be best option here. Try placing healing orbs? Can’t confirm. Life Cocoon + renewing mists and uplift on the final sets can be tremendously effective. Fistweaving the dps puddles may double dip enough to merit as an option. Revival can be used to heal everyone up on second to last explosion, or perhaps better used to clear all debuffs at once in main phase? Can’t confirm.
TLDR Recap –
Tanks will take massive damage, and incidental damage will happen consistently to remainder of raid. Stack healers in main phase, spread out evenly in split. Be sure to have big raid-wide CDs available for the final explosions: Throughput cds (tranq, tide etc) for the second to last blast, Reduction CDs (Devo, barrier etc) for the final explosion. Have a definitive plan for your class’s approach to healing puddles, and make /tar macros to help facilitate. Keep yourself and others alive over the puddles if needed – can always make up ground later.
As always, this guide is from the perspective of a Holy Paladin in 25 man heroic raid leadership perspective. Experience is limited when it comes to priest and monk healers, so if you have input feel free to join the conversation! Otherwise, if you have any questions feel free to ask! Enjoy SoO!