Posts Tagged ‘guide-to-paladins’

by Chase Christian

 

Holy paladins have come a long way from the days of five-minute Blessings and WhisperCast. There’s a good kind of complexity that comes from being given choices, and there’s the bad kind of complexity that comes from busy work. The developers are constantly streamlining the game and removing outdated mechanics, and I can’t complain. Even though addons like PallyPower made our lives easier, the new Blessing system is so simple that we don’t need any external help to handle it.

Today’s holy paladin has different addon needs from the healer of yesteryear. Three of the most important holy paladin addon concerns are unit frames, holy power management, and raid-specific alerts. In Dragon Soul, there are plenty of important things that we need to keep track of. Raid encounters are only going to get more and more complex and chaotic, and we need to be able to quickly get the information we need.
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by Dan Desmond

 

Well, here we are, the first two of the final four bosses of the expansion. That is, we thinkDeathwing is the final boss of the expansion — it is still unclear whether Blizzard will pull another We’re not done with the next expansion yet! raid on us like it did in Wrath with Ruby Sanctum. Regardless, we have a raid that needs a conclusion and a guide to go along with it, so let’s get started!

Please note that this guide, like many others I have written, is for the normal version of each encounter. Some mechanics, like Fading Light and Twilight Sappers, either work differently or have been removed on the Raid Finder difficulty.
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by Chase Christian

 

Despite any arguments to the contrary, I don’t feel that spirit is a true secondary stat. I know you can reforge in and out of it and that it’s not as ubiquitous as intellect, but it’s actually closer to being our fifth primary stat. In Mists of Pandaria, intellect will no longer grant additional mana, making spirit the only game in town for improving longevity. Because of the way holy paladins function with the new Judgements of the Pure regeneration mechanic, spirit has gone from a good choice to a must-have stat.

When we start talking about the true secondary stats, we realize that there’s a lot of baggage here. Haste rating was the de facto champion due to its ability to affect all of our heals, critical strike rating was avoided after the removal of Illumination, and our master rating has gone through more iterations than any other spell in Cataclysm.
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by Dan Desmond

 

Now that everyone has seen plenty of Dragon Soul, I think it’s perfect time for a raid guide! In all seriousness, I’ve always enjoyed looking up other strat ideas and little tidbits of useful information on things that I had already been doing, and there are still plenty of people out there who are either just starting Dragon Soul due to holiday schedules or something similar, so there we go! This week we will take a look at the first four bosses of Dragon Soul: Morchok, Warlord Zon’ozz, Yor’sahj the Unsleeping, and Hagara the Stormbinder.
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by Matt Walsh

 

With some of the buffs from 4.3 (specifically the buff to Seal of Truth, when Judged) along with ever-increasing stats and item levels, our rotational priorities have changed as well. In order to keep everyone up to date on the latest theorycrafting being brought down from Mt. Sinai from Theck over at Maintankadin (as well as a refresher for the rustiest among us), this column today will look over single-target and AoE threat rotations and talk about what is the most optimal way to roll face.
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by Chase Christian

 

If you’re a holy paladin with a pulse, there’s no reason not to be raiding Dragon Soul. The Raid Finder allows us healers to find groups in minutes, with no strings attached if you have to leave early. The normal versions of the bosses are all accessible for guilds across the spectrum of dedication levels. Healing a raid in Dragon Soul gives you access to the best gear available and provides us with the greatest challenge we can face today.

I was looking at my World of Logs parses from the old days, and I was surprised to see how bad my HPS looked then when compared to more recent parses. The first step in preparing yourself to heal in Dragon Soul is to realize that the instance isn’t built like Bastion of Twilight or Firelands. While the Ascendant Council repeatedly punished the raid for clumping and Baleroc crushed our tanks, many fights in Dragon Soul involve tight stacking and tons of AoE healing. Optimizing our AoE healing has become a key to succeeding in Dragon Soul.
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by Matt Walsh

 

Three down, five to go. Or, four, if that’s how you prefer to count it. The difficulty is starting to ramp up at this point, and you’ll soon find that it’s all uphill from here. Hagara will test the awareness and mobility of your raid team, and Ultraxion will provide the first major gear check for the raid. Both will set you up for the pursuit of Deathwing and the closing out of the raid.
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by Chase Christian

 

While Ultraxion is definitely the most unique fight for healers in this tier, Yor’sahj the Unsleeping is a close second place. The boss’ abilities are simple for the DPS classes and tanks, but healers will constantly be reacting to the summoned oozes and their various effects. These globules cause us to shift our healing strategies with each new wave, and learning to handle the globules will be the key to mastering this encounter.

Every raid group is going to handle the ooze packs differently. You need to familiarize yourself with what each ooze can do, and then combine the effects based on your raid leader’s preference. You’ll be faced with three oozes at a time on Raid Finder and normal difficulties, with the option to kill one ooze out of each wave. On heroic difficulty, there are four oozes per wave, for a total of three effects on the boss after you’ve killed one of the oozes.
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by Matt Walsh

 

In the previous weeks, we’ve talked about getting prepped for patch 4.3, how to hit the ground running, and what pieces of gear should be on your hit list. Now we’ve come to the main event: the Dragon Soul raid. Deathwing’s forces are assaulting Wyrmrest Temple, and it’s up to you and your allies to knock them over and finally put a stop to his perfidy. The fights ahead will test your skills and the limits of your survivability. You’ll also be taunt swapping like you’ve never taunt swapped before (which is its own kind of exciting).
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by Chase Christian

 

As the fifth boss of Dragon Soul, Ultraxion is the gateway boss to pursuing Deathwing and stopping the second cataclysm. While Thrall and the dragon aspects are busy with the Dragon Soul itself, we’re tasked with defending Wyrmrest Temple from Ultraxion’s assaults. Simple, right?

Ultraxion is an incredibly simple fight for tanks and damage dealers. In fact, it’s already being called the Patchwerk-fight of this tier. Aside from a few extra button presses, non-healers are simply tasked with bringing Ultraxion down as quickly as possible. Healers, on the other hand, play a very special role in this fight. We’re fighting against rapidly increasing AoE damage to the raid, and the aspects themselves step in to help us accomplish our task. Ultraxion is the healer-centric fight of this tier, like Baleroc and Chimaeron before him.

Fading Light and Heroic Will

The fight’s basic mechanic has nearly everyone in the raid pushing their newly found Heroic Will button every time they pick up the Fading Light debuff or Hour of Twilight goes off. You can read up on the fight’s particulars, or ask your raid leader about how to handle this. The key takeaway is that your tanks will be swapping on a fairly regular basis and that you might be out of commission for 5 seconds every so often if you’re targeted by Fading Light.

You should be proactively casting heals on the tank who’s going to be taking over tanking Ultraxion, as they’ll be swapping back and forth regularly. I don’t depend on Beacon of Lighton the off tank for this, as once the current tank uses Heroic Will, he isn’t targetable for heals. It’s better to Beacon the current tank and then heal the upcoming tank, as that ensures that both will get the healing that they need. This encounter isn’t particularly punishing to tanks, so don’t worry too much about them. Their defensive cooldowns have their durations doubled and cooldowns halved by Thrall, so they’re more than capable of handling whatever damage Ultraxion throws their way.

Raid healing: A holy paladin’s worst nightmare

The above header would’ve been accurate at any point over the past several years, but not today. Holy Radiance is everything we’ve ever wanted out of an AoE heal and more. The entire Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn cycle is so clean and so effective that I don’t know what we were doing without it. Why weren’t we asking for this all along?

Ultraxion is going to be pounding everyone in the raid fairly regularly, at increasing speeds for every minute the fight goes on. The whole raid will be stacked up nice and neat, so the situation is optimal for Light of Dawn and Holy Radiance. You can typically handle the incoming damage with your cheaper, regular heals as the start of the fight, and then transition into more Holy Radiance usage when the damage comes more quickly. You’ll be using your entire toolbox to keep the raid alive through the increasing damage, but eventually the damage will overwhelm even the most potent healers.

The powers of the aspects

In order to counter Ultraxion’s massive incoming raid damage toward the end of the encounter, the aspects give healers a boost. The aspects create crystals in the middle of the room, and when those crystals are activated, we’re imbued with a powerful buff for the remainder of the fight. Each aspect’s buff is different, and so choosing which healer is assigned to which buff becomes critical.

Alexstrasza is the first aspect to grant us a gift. The Gift of Life boosts the healer’s output by 100%, doubling all healing done until the fight is over. Because of the intense focus on AoE healing as the fight progresses, you want this buff to go to a healer who already has potent AoE healing. Giving this to someone with poor AoE healing doesn’t help you beat Ultraxion. I find that restoration druids and priests are good choices for this blessing, as their AoE healing is already quite good.

Ysera give us the second bonus, the Essence of Dreams. This effect causes all of our single-target heals to also splash that same healing out across the raid. Think of the old Glyph of Holy Light, but on steroids. It replays the entire heal and splashes it across the entire raid. It effectively doubles your healing done and enables single-target healers to heal the raid as well. Holy paladins do well with this buff, and we definitely would’ve been relegated to the green crystal in the past. Any healer can benefit from this buff, as even AoE healing is replayed across the raid.

Give me some of that blue stuff

Kalecgos gives us the final buff, which becomes active much later in the encounter. HisSource of Magic blessing cuts our mana costs down by 75% and gives us an extra 100% spell haste. This is the buff that you want to beg your raid leader for. The Source of Magic is so incredibly good for holy paladins that any reasonable raid leader should assign it to you immediately.

Druids see very little benefit from the Source of Magic, as they don’t have any castable AoE heals without cooldowns. Shaman are limited to Chain Heal when it comes to chain-casting AoE heals, but its potency is seriously lacking. Priests are able to spam their Prayer of Healing spell quite effectively with the Source of Magic buff, but that spell only affects one group at a time.

Only holy paladins have a spammable AoE heal with no restrictions, and it’s incredibly powerful to boot. In fact, Holy Radiance scales better with haste than any of its competitors, as haste both increases the number of Holy Radiances we can have active and also increases the healing of each individual Holy Radiance cast. The only thing preventing us from spamming it all the time is its high mana cost, which Source of Magic also addresses.

There’s a reason that the Ultraxion healing meters are dominated by holy paladins. The Source of Magic buff turns Holy Radiance into the best healing spell in the entire game. We literally spend the entire remainder of the fight cycling Holy Radiance between raid members. I just go up and down my raid frames, casting Holy Radiance on each one as I move my mouse over their name. With Firelands-quality gear, you won’t run out of mana, and your HPS will be more than enough to keep the raid healthy.

Here’s your argument to your raid leader: Holy Radiance is one of only two true AoE healing spells that can take advantage of all that haste, and it outscales the other one several times over. Holy paladin AoE healing has only one throttle, mana, and Source of Magic removes that throttle. There’s no other healer that can compete with us in this space. It’s actually kind of funny, because as the fight gets harder for the other healers, it gets easier for holy paladins once we pick up Source of Magic. We simply spam Holy Radiance across the raid, basking in its light.








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