Healing in Ulduar

25 06 2009

I see a lot of guides on line about how to tank, or how to DPS a boss in Ulduar, and while this helpful for the DPS and tank, it doesn’t do much to let you know about the kind of damage that you can expect from a boss. I also have a lot of druids that I’ve seen ask for what the approximate level of spellpower you need before you can step into an instance.

The following is a start of a series to provide a handy guide to both, and hopefully someone will take interest and I can answer some questions for druids out there.

First and foremost, lets get that Spellpower chart out of the way, the following is not exact, and it may vary depending on your style of healing, but I’ve found it to be the best guide for where a druid is on the scheme of things. I use spellpower as a guide because its the one thing that will scale with all healer gear [Spirit / Mp5 aren’t so good about that, and sometimes when you don’t have the luck of choosing gear, you’re just left with what’s best from the pot]. So with Spellpower, it gives us a steady guide, and goes up with all caster and healer gear. Note, that real healer gear for a druid will feature 5 very important things.

First as leather it will have +Spirit, this is your big sign that its healer gear and not boomkin [though they share a lot of our gear]. It’s also a massive sign that your rogue doesn’t need it. And lucky for you Paladins/Shamans don’t need it either, as they get almost nothing from spirit. And if you see your Paladin roll against you on a +spirit ring [as I did once] verbally abuse him over vent for being a moron.

Next up is Spellpower, nearly all caster gear should have this, so the only real sign is that it will be leather. If it is leather and has spellpower, it belongs to you or a boomkin, so that’s rather indeterminate, but to really make a difference, Boomkin gear will also feature Hit, where as ours will feature Mp5 . Thanks to strange itemization hand outs, most Leather gear will feature neither prominently, which leaves the two last stats you find hanging out all over our gear.

Haste and Crit Rating, I don’t really find either to be that desirable, and usually make a judgment on the basis of spellpower, spirit and the weather or not mp5 is present on the item. But if it’s between the two, at early Resto Gearing stages I always aimed for Haste over crit rating [up until about 300 / 330 ish ] because Haste has far more impact on our ability to heal than crit does [right now HoT’s do not crit, though blizzard has stated that they would like to make this a feature]. As such, the only 2 spells you’ll be getting off that often that do crit are Swiftmend and Regrowth, and thanks to talents Regrowth crits all on its own accord [or did rather, it has sense been nerfed]. So with haste having that nifty side effect of helping with the Global Cool down, you can doll more heals out in a shorter amount of time, and should you need to cast Regrowth [or god forbid Healing Touch] than you can do so without feeling to much pain as we are so used to casting a spell on an instant basis.

As for that chart.
1000-1200 Spellpower [Auction House / level 75-78 Instances]
1200-1400 Spellpower [Level 80 Instances]
1400-1600 Spellpower [Level 80 Heroics]
1600-1800 Spellpower [10 Mans Naxx / Sarth / VoA [Stone Watcher]]
1800-2000 Spellpower [25 Mans Naxx / Sarth / VoA [Both] / Maly / 10 Man Ulduar]
2000+ [25 Man Ulduar]

Again, I would like to stress that there are various factors that can throw this chart off, but its a wide blanket to give you an idea of where you are at, and where you need to be. If you want a more serious look at your gear, sites such as WoW-Heroes will provide you with a more level headed representation based off ilevel of your gear etc.

As for where to start getting gear, when I switched from Feral to Resto at 80, the first thing I did was drop about 3000g on the AH [a little less than that, but still a substantial amount]. You have to remember that I had no healing gear at all up to that point, and so getting it was going to be a bit rough.

I started by buying the Earthliving set [a useful little booste, and nice easy epic piece to get that is almost always on sell on the AH]. I also found a Putrescent Bands laying around the Auction House, they drop off of 10 man Grobbulus and aren’t all that hard to find. In addition to that, there are several level 80 heroics that drop BoE items that aren’t to hard to come by. These include the Re animators Cloak: http://www.wowhead.com/?item=37799 which drops in Drak’Tharon keep on heroic difficulty, so one should be laying around the AH somewhere. About the only thing that won’t be readily available are Helms and maybe trinkets. For the Helm, I went ahead and put some money towards a mage hat: [Hat of Wintery Doom] which is useful because of its meta / red socket, and like I said, when you’re on a budget or just starting you can only be so picky about the products you are buying

Once you have some AH Blues / [maybe some Greens] you can probably truck it off to some heroics. If you have a miserable tank, this will be a horrible experience, and I advice new druids to try and find a Tank who is at the very least defence capped, or you will be spending the entire time wondering why you can’t keep tanks up [This becomes easier to keep them up as gear improves, but if you’re just starting, it can be very hurtful to moral].

But you’re not hear for that, you’re here for boss Strategies!
And Tonight’s boss is one of the very first in Ulduar: Razorscale.

Razorscale from a healing prospective much like any other fight can be a nightmare if the other members of your team don’t know what they’re doing. Tanks should be keeping all the adds that wills spawn, and DPS should be stunning those that cast Chain Lightning, if they aren’t stunning those adds and keeping those chain’s from going off, the fight can be that much more miserable.

Other than that, just cast Wild Growth and Rejuv, your tanks [save spinning Vikings of doom] shouldn’t be taking that much damage. Be sure to avoid Flames and prep a swiftmend for folks who are going to get a nice fireball to the face every couple of seconds.

Once the adds are down, Razorscale will land, giving your guild time to hit her, and attempt to bring her down to 50% [we assume its a she]. If they can, she will stay grounded, if they can’t the cycle continues until the guild can get her to 50% or she enrages. The damage while she is chained down is close to non existent, so it should give you time to drop from tree form and drop a few spells on the dragon to help out with the Damage that needs to be done.

She will shrug off everyone just before she takes off, so I find this a very good time to drop a couple rejuvinations and wild growths just before going to tree form again.

Once Phase 2 is active and she is on the ground, your tanks are going to have to trade her off. As their armor starts to get slagged, you’re going to want to stop worrying about anyone but the tank [if the tank is doing their job, there shouldn’t be much raid wide damage]. The Tank with the debuff is going to start taking massive damage, so get full hots going on him [if you are having mana trouble, instead of DPS’ing while the dragon is grounded, take the time to let your Full MP5 help with regen]. I use Nourish, as usually by this point DPS should be able to down the dragon with relative haste, that way the mana spent isn’t to bad on my overall mana pool. Innervate as needed, and keep a potion ready once the tanks start to really stack up that debuff, especially if the tradeoff goes badly, as you will see spike damage soar to nearly insta gib proportions.

And that’s pretty much it, take it easy phase 1 [if its tough on you, try to have your DPS focus on stunning things, and avoid the blue flames], DPS when the dragon is down on the ground, and than a DPS race like a very easy patchwerk when you cross 50%

Good Luck!

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