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"I realise that I'm not the first person to do this, but I figured it was worth a post regardless," Prrancer begins his recent post on the EU Priest forums, "mostly because I keep seeing people insisting that it's impossible without an offhealer. So here it is: I solo healed the entire Naxxramas without anyone helping on any fight.
"Okay, that's a lie. We had Vampiric Embrace, and we used Judgement of Light on Sapphiron -- only Sapphiron, though. But neither our Boomkin, Enhancement Shaman or Shadowpriest cast a heal at any point during combat. The Protection Paladin did use LoH twice, although he didn't have to. (He just forgets to use Lightwell.)"
Thus begins the story of Prrancer of Liquid Courage on Jaedenar-EU (H). This is a player who likes to push the limits – and from the looks of things, he's doing a darn fine job of it.
Main character Prrancer
Guild and server GM of Liquid Courage, Jaedenar-EU (Horde)
Gaming background Playing on/off since late 2005 with a focus on PvE raiding. Past experience with other Blizzard games (Starcraft and Warcraft)
Prrancer Solo Heals Naxx 10: The Videos
- Abomination Wing You Tube Filefront
- Military Wing You Tube Filefront
- Sapphiron You Tube Filefront
- Kel'Thuzad You Tube Filefront
15 Minutes of Fame: Give us the straight stuff on solo healing Naxx – because technically, you did have some other forms of healing besides what you did during the run, right? How did that healing impact what you were able to accomplish by yourself?
Prrancer: The other forms of healing that were used were Vampiric Embrace, which was used on all bosses, and Judgment of Light. JoL was only used on Sapphiron. Sapphiron would have been considerably more difficult without JoL. I have to admit that the overall damage on Sapphiron caught me by surprise. I didn't think it would be that difficult to keep up the tank while healing the raid. With better positioning from the casters, it wouldn't be impossible to do the fight without JoL though -- not at all.
Also, the Paladin tank used Lay on Hands twice, neither of which was necessary. He used it once on Maexxna, while Guardian Spirit was already on him, and he used it on Thaddius while tanking the add. Had he used the Lightwell on his platform he wouldn't have had to use the LoH.
What was the hardest fight to heal by yourself?
The hardest fight was definitely Sapphiron, with Patchwerk coming in second. Sapphiron was just difficult because of the high amounts of damage flying around.
Patchwerk, on the other hand, wasn't so difficult once I got into the swing of things. It just took a few seconds to adjust to the amount of damage the tanks took. I almost lost the offtank multiple times during the first 15 seconds, because the damage caught me off guard. I should mention that even after I had adjusted, it was still vital to get everything right in order to keep the tanks alive. I had to use pre-emptive Greater Heals for the offtank, Flash Heals for the maintank, Renews on both and Prayer of Mending on every cooldown. If I messed any of this up even the slightest, one of tanks would have to use a cooldown.
Was there anything that you had anticipated would be very difficult but turned out to be not so bad after all?
I honestly thought Kel'Thuzad would be a lot harder than he was. Sure, we lost some people, but not because it was difficult -- simply because I was too slow. The healing in general, even with the adds up, was extremely easy.
The boss I was dreading the most, and the only one I wasn't sure if I could heal, was Patchwerk. Turned out alright though, as described above.
Did you have to ask the other players to make certain adjustments for you? Were there new strategies or positioning for certain bosses based on your being the only healer there?
I made up alternate strategies for most of the bosses. Some of them just involved different positioning; others were more complicated. I also prepared back-up strategies in case things went sour or in case the first one just didn't work.
A good example of this is Gluth. I decided to have just one tank on Gluth and the other on the zombies. The Gluth tank would have to stay alive until the first Decimate, which means 15 seconds with 10 stacks of the debuff. When the Decimate then hit, the tanks would switch places and I could take my time healing up the raid again. That is a lot different from how we usually do Gluth.
Four Horsemen was also a completely new strategy, made up from scratch, as is evident in the movie.
We see you're a Lightwell user. How important was the oft-maligned LOLwell to the success of the raid?
Lightwell played a major part during the run. I used it a lot, but I dare say it is not a necessity. On Gothikk, we could have stacked even more DPS on the living side and made Prayer of Mending jump through the fence, thus eliminating the need for Lightwell. On Four Horsemen it was never needed; it was just so that I didn't have to heal the raid after the Thane's meteors. Thaddius is the only point where Lightwell is a necessity if your raid isn't very well geared. If you have high DPS and well geared tanks, you can combine cooldowns with HoTs to make sure the tank doesn't die when he's on the opposite platform.
How many deaths did you have? Did you find yourself prioritizing and purposely sacrificing players in order to keep key others alive?
I actually never had to sacrifice anyone. The healing was surprisingly easy on every fight, bar Sapphiron.
We lost three people on Instructor because the mind controllers screwed up and got an add killed without telling me in advance. Other than that, we didn't lose anyone until Kel'Thuzad, where we had one wipe due to the main tank's standing in a fissure. On the second try, the kill, we also lost a few people due to my being too slow at healing the offtank when he got Frost Blasted while tanking the adds.