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 Fallen Protectors, the second encounter within Siege of Orgrimmar, is a fast paced encounter that reminds us of any “council” type fight, while the Heroic encounter presents some interesting difficulties.
From my experience, I typically find these council type fights to be my least favorite fight to heal, having a complicated number of mechanics that all intertwine with poor RNG to make the job harder than it needs to be. Fortunately for us, from our perspective this encounter is literally the exact same as its normal-mode counterpart, with the only real difference being the mechanical severity of the encounter actually matters now.
The fight will be discussed following two routes: the first being the “main phase” with all three pandas active, and then an individual explanation of the 3 “split” phases, where the adds from each panda come.
Understanding the Healer’s Role –
When first coming through this fight, you will likely find it to be quite a challenge as a healer. This is because in normal mode, the damage most of the mechanics did was so trivial that you could just cast your AOE spell on the largest density of player for the entirety of the fight with no real recourse.
This changes immediately, as ALL the mechanics the fight offers have the potential to wipe you at any time. This is important for the healers as well, as keeping yourself alive is mandatory to be able to heal others, but also because the DPS will be bogged down with multi-target dps and will inevitably take a barrel to the face, or be stood in poison at least once.
DBM will remind you of your spacing on this fight, and it’s for a good reason. It is extremely important as a healer to find a place where you will be in range of all other players, but also safe enough to only have to deal with mechanics that target you, so you can focus on healing. This will be step one of the encounter for every healer, as when the damage ramps up later on, if you are all bunched up you will find it impossible to heal.
In terms of actual sources of damage, let’s examine the middle mechanic each panda presents constantly. The first of the three is Rook’s “Corrupted Brew” projectile, which does the same thing as it did on normal, but will hit you for 425k health, likely well over 3/4ths of anyone just starting heroic progression. The complication here is that it targets the ground under players, so if you see multiple people stacked up, be ready to heal them or yell in them at vent to spread out. The mechanic itself becomes quicker as the fight goes, until he “splits” and it will be very obvious when people take damage from it, so be alert.
The next mechanic on the list is Garrote, which will attribute to a solid portion of the incidental damage that makes the fight a quick-paced encounter from a healing perspective. No real preparation is needed for this mechanic, as it will be a steady source of incoming damage, but it’s important to understand the incoming sources of damage in order to be able to react to them properly. Note it is a bleed, so this is likely the only use for a Holy Paladin’s BoP on the encounter. Use them wisely!
The third mechanic on the “constant” checklist is the most important for the healer. The mechanic is known as Shadow Word: Bane, a Damage over Time Dispellable magic debuff. The debuff deals 135k Shadow Damage to each player with it, of which there will initially be 6 at once. The catch here is, it will spread each time it deals damage. Now, this is how it is in normal as well, but the damage these dots do is sizeable, and the jumping effect further makes this a problem.
The only logical solution is to simply have all six healers waiting to dispel immediately. It’s quite often that 1-2 will spread, but it’s not the end of the world. However, if all 6 tick and spread, you are now in quite a bind, as the 8 second dispel window will prevent this from ever being dispelled entirely again unless outside sources are used, or it falls off. If at least 3 are dispelled immediately, than the other 3 that do spread will equate to another 6 that should be dispellable within the 8 second window.
It’s quite easy to forget about this mechanic, especially when the Desperate Measure phases happen for the other two, but if you have learned anything here, let it be that this is PRIORITY NUMBER ONE! The damage from the debuff will be too high if it’s not dispelled and once it’s out of hand you are forced to simply heal through it.
Now that we have beaten that to a pulp, let’s move on to the three big mechanics that will happen periodically. Like the first set of three, these mechanics may pose a variety of issues if people are not aware of them, but unlike the first set they happen at a large interval, so as a healer this is your time to shine!
The first on the list is Rook’s Clash. The ability will essentially emulate the Brewmaster Monk’s clash to a T, and be followed up by a super-charged spinning crane kick variant. He will pick a random person to do it, so when you see it happen this is your queue to not only move away from, it but be prepared to heal those caught in it, which is inevitable, at least for a tick or two. The bigger complication is when it happens during Sun’s stack-up, as it can drag the kick right into the middle the pile and nearly wipe the raid. This is on the leadership to figure out and make sure it doesn’t happen, but if it becomes an issue, as healers it will be your job to overcome it.
Next mechanic to understand is He’s Gouge. This should only ever become an issue if a tank makes a mistake, but weekly we have one of our tanks complain that he handled the mechanic correctly, yet it still punished him. Once it happens, it is now the Healer’s problem, and if handled properly, deaths can be avoided. I’ll explain in more detail in the class specific section, but the long and short of it is make sure the new target’s health doesn’t reach zero before the tank has recovered. (Fast forward to the specific part for some ideas on the matter. )
The final, yet most devastating mechanic of the three is Sun’s Calamity. This ability does a tremendous amount of magical damage, specifically 30 percent of your health in shadow damage. This is complicated as the more times it happens before she pushes to her Desperate Measures, the damage increases by 10 percent more. So theoretically, this mechanic can one shot the entire raid, but if it gets past 50 percent you might be doing something wrong either way.
So with this in mind, it’s important to establish some reduction rotation. The first one in each cycle is the least volatile, so it can be skipped if you are getting more than 4 each cycle, but we have it line up so that it happens 4 times roughly every 2.5 minutes, while she resets every 3rd. Since the first is staggered, this means that if I use my CD on the first, and our 2 other paladins take subsequent, we will have gotten all three in the first set, and then get three out of four in the final sets.
Suggestions for this include Devotion Aura first, as it will hit everyone in the room easily. Next is Barrier, as it will reduce the most damage, but will be tough to place, as most of the group won’t be near it. And finally we have spirit link as the third best option, for the same reason as Barrier, but worse as it will contribute less either everyone around the same health.
We are lucky enough to have 2 holy paladins and a retribution paladin, so we are satisfied with that in terms of reduction, but it’s important that the healers with raid-wide throughput use them properly as well. If it lines up so you do not have quality reduction CDs in your 25 man raid, then have a druid, monk, or holy priest step in with their CD. Tranquility, Divine Hymn and Healing Tide Totem are used best defensively, so begin to channel them the 2 seconds before the damage begins, so people are as close to max health as possible when it happens, and are healed up immediately afterwards. With a designated combination of abilities it should be easy to survive, but if you aren’t using these at all, it will become extremely obvious towards the end of the cycle.
Desperate Measures Phase and Implications -
These phases should change little about the way you approach the encounter, but some good planning will help both your raid as a whole, and yourselves as healers.
The main point of discussion here is a reminder on Sun’s Desperate Measures. If you recall the discussion pertaining to CD usage for the Calamity, this should go hand-in-hand with it. Essentially, any CDs you choose to not designate for those times should be used here. This phase will happen twice in the encounter likely less than 3 minutes apart, and last for a good 20-30 seconds depending how quickly you can get out of the phase.
With this in mind, be liberal with your CDs. I would also recommend paying attention to the “Clash” timer, as if it does end up in the middle of the bubble, you’ll want to use a CD as it happens to reduce the chance of deaths. Regardless, no CD should go unused, and after multiple attempts you should know where you need what and when. Remind others to be careful of the poison on the ground that may be residual from previous phases again.
As for the other two Measures, neither should present a challenge that needs to be prepared for, but once again it’s important to remember that the dispelling will need to remain 1st priority. If you slip up one of these sets, have a Calamity coming up, and are dealing the damage from the Measures, you will quickly find yourself behind the 8-ball, using CDs where you don’t need to be.
Class Specific Tips –
Holy Paladin: BoP off the Bleeds, Salv or sac those who receive the boss if tanks get gouged. Freedom can clear the movement speed debuffs, but likely too situational to rely on. Should receive the mark of anguish whenever possible; take for 3-4 seconds with DP and self-heals, then bubble. Beacon tank that is furthest away from group, especially in Sun’s Measures. Great fight for Light’s Hammer, lines up perfectly for AOE healing/dps to adds in Sun’s Measure. Devo best CD for Calamity.
Resto Shaman: Healing Rain is godlike, be sure it’s placed correctly. 3 different types of CDs mean lots of options, coordinate with group. Mana Tide is a must, especially in low gear this fight will tax the mana pool. Spam heals on fixated target after gouge to give them the health they may need to survive a melee from the boss.
Resto Druid: Efflorescence attached to Mushrooms and down in the right spot will rival Healing Rain’s efficacy. For Calamity, use Tranqulity to top people off 1-2 seconds before the damage, as it is near lethal without reductive CD. Tranq used in Sun’s Measure is best used to negate damage from a potential kick mishap. Ironbark on the fixated target of the gouge can save his life.
Holy/Disp Priest: Life grip may save lives! Can be used on fixation target if gouge happens to buy enough time. Divine Hymn follows same rule as tranq, and barrier is best saved for Sun’s Measures if you have at least 3 Devos, as it will hit a low percentage of the group.
Misty Monk: (Do not currently have a monk healer in our progression.) GREAT aoe fight for dps/healing double and triple dipping. 90 talents can shine with the amount of cleave that is possible. Revival can be used to dispel all debuffs as well as top people off before or after Calamity. Life Cocoon on the fixated target after Gouge can save a live.
TLDR Recap –
Dispel above all else. Coordinate CDs for Calamity as well as Sun’s Desperate Measure stack. Be ready to catch people’s mistakes and correct them with appropriate spells and utility. Keeping a player alive after a mistake WILL be the reason you do or do not land your first kill. Calling out CDs for Calamity and other mechanics will help keep the team focused during a fast-paced, hectic encounter where you see the same mechanic many times. Pay attention to DBM timers for Gouge and Calamity – anticipate, don’t react! Rinse + Repeat = Loot!
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!