Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"I know what you're thinking, but Naxxramas was merely a setback"

Thank you everyone for all the kind emails and kind words. Services have been concluded and now it's time to way of the totem to be updated once more.

Today we'll take a quick look at the last two bosses in this zone. Sapphiron and Kel'thuzad. Sapphiron is one of the best fights from the 40 man era you'll ever get to see. As you port up to the room you first see a pile of bones strewn about. As you cross the threshold you will be treated to an amazing boss animation as Sapphiron rises to full height. The fight itself is easy in concept. It's a dragon with a 180 degree cleave. Avoid the head, avoid the tail. And spread out. On 10 man you will NOT need any Frost resist, his aura will only hit for a couple hundred at a time. As a healer you have two duties here. First, Stay out of the damn blizzard! I mean, seriously, stay out of it, avoid it, run away. Secondly, Decurse decurse decurse! Soon as you see Life Drain active, start dispelling. This is incredibly important as if left unchecked will heal Sapph for a noticeable amount. That's all phase 1 is, dodge falling ice, decurse, heal. Not bad really. Phase 2 is the interesting part. In phase 2 you need to stay spread out, Sapphiron takes to the air, and beings to rain death upon you. Eventually Sapph will target two people and cast Icebolt on them, encasing them in an iceblock. After two raid members are encased you need to gang pile up behind the blocks. Literally on top of each other. You cannot be exposed at all. Sapph will then cast Frost Breath which is literally an ice bomb. Now while you are behind the blocks, please keep healing. Once the bomb goes off, the blocks will break and you resume phase 1. That's it. That's the entire fight in a nutshell.

As a Resto Shaman you're going to be using a lot of Lesser Healing Waves and Riptides by default. I would however like to take this chance to point out an alternative. If you're like me and you've been stacking haste, the recent patch made a change that will see a very attractive option to us. Healing Way got buffed to apply the full talent bonus on first cast. So, you cast one Healing Wave and you get the full 18% bonus to yours (and all other shamans) Healing Waves on that target. Now when you combine that with a health dose of haste (we'll say 400 which brings the cast time down to 2 seconds with raid buffs and talents) and a Healing Wave Glpyh which heals you for a percentage of your heals. Now this doesn't seem like a lot, but your average Healing Wave crit will be somewhere between 12-15k (based on a sp healing of 1800). That's a return to yourself 2400- 3000 healing on yourself alone. So you can top off the lowest raid member and help keep yourself up at the same time. Think about it. Without trying you more then likely have close to 20% crit. That's not included any boomkins in the raid or any mages kindly enough to give you a bit more crit. I think this should be cosidered as an option for this fight. I will discuss the patch and healing changes / options more in depth in my next post.

Here's a video of the Sapphiron fight.

Sapphiron loves casters. loves them so much that his loot table is chalk full of goodness. Helmet of Innner Sanctum is incredible for dps and healing. Circle of Life gives us all our lovely delicious stats for healing we could want and like the helmet, the Shroud of the Citadel can pull double duty for us. Saph also drops the Key to the Focus Iris Which is your attunement to go play with Malygos. It also starts a quest who's reward is a neck piece, for us casters it's Torque of the Red Dragonflight decent stats and a socket to boot. If you can get it you might as well =)

Now wipe the dragon bits off your armor, time for the main event.

Kel'Thuzad isn't a bad fight at all. He's a bit of an emo child with some really good lore behind him. For us as healers there's a couple things of note that we'll need to watch for.

First up is Detonate Mana. This ability can see us drained pretty quickly. Make sure your mp5 is good and make sure you keep your cooldowns on your Mana Tide and Mana potions ready for when you are getting super low.

Second is Shadow Fissure. This, like most of BC raiding, requires raiders pay attention and move out of the affected area. However as has been and always will be true... Someone will always stand in the fire... ! This one hits between 6-8 k damage on normal. Be aware and have your Nature Swiftness + Healing Wave ready. Most importantly... make sure you're not the one in the fissure!

Next up is Frost Blast. This ability deals damage to someone while encasing them in a block of ice. You need to be aware of this and snap heals on that person ASAP. Toss a riptide to give you a couple seconds of breathing room and don't let the target die. It's easy to heal through, so make sure you don't fail! =P

Lastly is Chains of Kel'Thuzad. This mind control cannot be dispelled, so the person must be trapped / poly'd. This is where Hex comes in incredibly handy. Hexing the person gives time for the raid to move away and for more cc to get into position to keep them occupied. I suggest Hex as the opening cc for two reasons. 1 is the cooldown. 45 Seconds is a long time. 2 it doesn't break on damage. This means that accidental AE wont break it.

Other then that, it's really just keep the tank / raid up and topped off as much as possible. Last all three phases and he turns into a little black ball.

Here's a video of the fight.

After you're done bagging up the pile of bones you can sift through the remnants and hope for your Protector Helmet token but he also drops a pretty slick little mace. The Hammer of the Astral Plane has all the right stats (minus mp5) to make a shaman drool. This again is a great piece to heal and dps with. With those same stats in mind he also drops a cloak that we can use as well.

That's it for Naxx! I hope you found the tips I've provided useful. Happy healing and good luck on Phat lootz!

~ Lodur.

Next post we'll deal with a hotly debated topic among Resto Shamans. Crit vs. Haste.

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