While Aunaka is off having a wedding inspired meltdown, the lovely and talented MarthaPie is stepping in to tell us all how to be better at healing Heroic Madness as Resto Druids. Please kids give her your attention and remember that while Aunaka is away she’s in charge.
Take It Away Martha!
When my group was working on this encounter a couple of months ago, I researched the interwebs for a guide from a tree’s POV. I found guides for 25-man and guides for other classes, but nothing for a resto druid in a 10-man group. So when Aunaka asked me if I’d like to write a guest post, I knew just the topic.
The heroic version of this fight can be brutal for many reasons. You can have a glitchy death while jumping from one platform to the next, or you can have an unfortunate death in P2… and it’s a long fight. But trust me, once the former Earth-Warder falls, it will all be worth it!
If you are reading this, I assume you know the basics of the heroic version. While I will briefly mention how we attacked certain mechanics, I will mostly describe what I do as resto.
Let’s Get Started
If you don’t already, I highly recommend tweaking both your spec and reforging for this encounter. This is the spec I use for both Spine and Madness. For the first fight our disc is on dispel duty, so I use that point in Nature’s Growth. (If you are working on Spine, please convince your raid leader that someone else is better off on dispel duty!) There is nothing to dispel on Madness so you can keep this point out of it.
I’d also like to remind you to please spec out of 2/2 Blessing of the Grove for all fights! I see too many restos specced into both points. The second point does next to nothing. Speccing 0/2 or 1/2 is up to you.
As for gear and reforging, you may find a regen trinket to be helpful. Most restos use at least one for Madness and I’ve even seen some use two (overkill IMO). Sadly I never got heroic Jaws or any version of the Spine trinket (sadface), but our natural regen is amazing. So I use normal Windward and heroic Seal, and just reforge my spirit to slightly higher (around 2600-2700) and spec one or two points into Furor for the extra boost to Innervate. Use this early, around 70-75% when Power Torrent procs, and your mana should be fine. Have pots handy if need be.
My mastery is usually around 20-21 for this fight, so it’s even more important to make sure your Harmony uptime is as high as you can! I created a Power Aura to help me remember this (shows a big paw print right above Grid/Healbot). If Harmony is not active, it will let me know. Here is the import string:
Version:4.23; icon:Spell_Nature_HealingWay; buffname:Harmony; x:-40; texture:29; combat:true; y:-156; inverse:true
Before I get into healing specifics, I’ll address two things. First, since we had two melee and two tanks our first kill, we actually placed the parasites 10 yards away from the corruption, so they could cleave. I know the popular strat is to place them in the Time Zone, so you’ll need to just mess around with that and see what works. By now we kill the corruption before the second parasite is out, so we’ve been placing it near the tentacle instead. Second, a popular question is when to pop lust/hero. Some groups pop it at the beginning and then again during P2. We actually pop it on the 4th platform to avoid a 3rd impale, since we do not use dps to soak any of them.
Phase One, It’s Platforming Time!
The first platform is not very healing intensive, so I don’t use any cooldowns. Just concentrate a bit more on the parasite target and players who’ve been crushed (everyone should be loosely spread out). Most importantly, make sure the tank is topped off before impale. If you are using two tanks, keep your Lifebloom on the impale tank, switching when needed. Remind everyone to use Dream during cataclysm and you should be fine.
Side note: I like to throw down mushrooms before bloods come out for extra damage. Just make sure to pop them after they’ve regened to full HP. Even as resto, this ability still packs a punch. I don’t see many trees dealing damage on this fight, and that’s a shame! On our first kill I dealt 5m damage myself, thanks to shrooms and spellweave. Feel free to use Thorns on the blood tank. Every little bit helps!
We head over two more. The second platform is pretty much the same but with more damage. When the tentacle reaches around 15-17m HP, I pop tree form and lifebloom all the things. Cataclysm may end before your tree form does, so you’ll have a few seconds to wrath spam the tentacle on the 3rd platform.
Make sure your dps does not bring this third tentacle too low, or Burning Blood will be difficult to heal. Cataclysm will be intense. I pop tranq right around 40% and then tree if I need it (you will have to judge for yourself).
Next comes the 4th platform, which IMO is the most difficult part of the fight healing-wise. You have the unpredictable damage from Crush, the huge burst from the Bolt, and the intense AOE during Cataclysm. If you land on this platform and your mana is running low with Innervate not off cd anytime soon, feel free to use a concentration pot (but only immediately after landing, otherwise use a mythical pot).
Crush damage just needs to be healed up quickly (use Nature’s Swiftness off cd!). For Bolt, my group stacks up at a marker near the tentacle and our disc uses Barrier. A cd like that should be enough so that you don’t have to use one of yours just yet. As soon as Bolt hits, spread back out. Keep the raid healing up, and stack back up on Tentacle when the Corruption dies. You will definitely need tranq and possibly tree form for this Cataclysm. DPS should use their pots here, and remind everyone to use any personal defensive cooldowns they have. This is the most healing-intensive part of the fight, so remember to just breathe, go hard on heals and pray your other healers are doing the same!
Phase Two, It’s All About The Head
You are now in Phase 2; success from this point depends largely on dps and timing. Healing isn’t as bad anymore, but keep your tanks topped off. Keep a look out for where the Corrupting Bloods will spawn, so if you have time, you can throw down shrooms in their path. You can detonate them as a last resort if they get too close. Tranq/tree should be available for when Deathwing reaches 8-9% so feel free to pop these. Shrapnel targets MUST use dream about two seconds before it goes off. Make sure they are topped off or close to it. If you do this and they still die, they most likely didn’t use Dream, so make sure they do not tunnel-vision.
Basically this is how P2 goes for us: bring DW down to 15.5-16%, kill fragments then terrors, and bring DW below 15%. Kill the first set of bloods, bring DW down below 10% and kill the second set of bloods. Ideally you want to kill two sets of bloods before the second fragments are out. By this point in the content with the nerfs, you could probably take your time with it, you should have plenty of time before enrage. This is just what we’ve always done.
If all goes well, he will die and you can finally breathe knowing you’ve saved Azeroth. I hope this helps you in your progression on this fight. Good luck!