There are two particularly interesting fights in early-mid 10-man Normal Dragon Soul for healers; Warlord Zon’ozz and Ultraxion. Both of them require fairly high DPS and have short enrage timers to match, and both are made significantly easier to finish by moving from a 3-healer setup to a 2-healer setup, which is something that Harvest Moon haven’t succeeded with in the past. However, they’re certainly challenging with a 2-healer setup so I thought this would make an interesting post.
So I was so impressed by our new healer on Monday that I started talking to him about tactics and it quickly came down to a discussion about 2-healing Dragon Soul. Since we followed through last night and executed both fights perfectly, I’m going to list some do’s and dont’s for 2-healer setups in Dragon Soul.
Important Points in general
1) Don’t rely on the extra DPS making the fight easier for you. It will, but if you’re relying on it you probably can’t take the hit to your healing team in the first place
2) Organize your Healing team so that you know who will be dropping cooldowns and approximately when – make sure everyone is able to communicate via [your favourite VoIP service] and routinely does so. Communication is key to success in low-healer setups and you are extremely likely to fail if you all drop your CDs at the same time.
2.5) Discussing before the pull if and when each of you will be easing up to regen mana is also important. It lets the other person know when they should be watching out for extra health dips. We didn’t find this so useful on Zon’ozz but on Ultraxion this is a must.
3) Make sure your healers know that you will be 2-healing it, and that your DPS are aware that should they do something stupid [like not standing in the nice swirlies] they will die and be laughed at forever.
4) Don’t ever panic. Panics lead to wipes.
5) Designate a person to stack on so that everyone knows where they should be. It’s best to make this someone who doesn’t usually stand in fire.
6) Sometimes your raid will be using tactics which make it more difficult for you as healers to do the encounter. Talk to your raid leader about your problems and see if you can work out a strategy which works better for you. Good example; ooze kill orders on Yor’sahj the Unsleeping.
Strategies for Zon’ozz
You can use almost exclusively ground targeted AoE heals in the ball-bouncing phase. Just leave them on permanently and save your mana for bursting on the tank and for people who took Disrupting Shadows. Most of the real meat goes on in the 30-second stack phases so save the majority of your mana for then.
This would seem rather obvious on the face of it but it’s important: get those damn dispels in immediately – I’ve seen many a wipe or a close call because the dispels have been too late, and when you’re 2-healing the encounter the problem only becomes more pronounced. Do not fail at dispels. Important.
3-minute cooldowns can be cast on the 1st and 3rd or 2nd and 4th stacks if you time it right. Examples are Spirit Link Totem, Mana Tide Totem, Power Word: Barrier, and Improved Tranquility. The best way to time it is a damage prevention CD should go in as soon as the stack comes together and Tranquility should happen about halfway through. You can then usually use it on cooldown in the next-but-one stack.*
Any cooldown less than 2 minutes can be used on every other stack almost without fail. Use them, you’re gimping yourself if you don’t. Good ones are Aura Mastery and Spiritwalker’s Grace (with the T13 4-pc set bonus).
Finally, if you have a Resto Shaman who isn’t using plenty of Mastery, slap them. Hard.
Well that’s it for now. I expect to write an Ultraxion post in the coming week and concatenate it onto this post. Maybe if I waffle on for long enough it’ll make its own post.
* – proof
Note: this is using the 3-stacks strategy, if your raid is using more than 3 stacks of Void Diffusion then you can easily time it, and will certainly need it more!