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Raid Rx: Blackwing Descent healing playbook

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related.

No, this isn't the playbook that will help you secure your dreams and fantasies. This playbook is designed to act as a quick reference guide for normal mode bosses on 25-man. It can be nerve-wracking to organize six to eight healers in a 25-player setting. Sometimes you forget things. Sometimes you're not sure which player or which class is optimal for a given role.

If you don't know where to start, then start here. (Note: The playbook assumes that the raid group has a basic understanding of encounter abilities and assorted phases.)

Magmaw

There are two ways to go about one of the first introductory bosses in the instance. The giant worm here will be a test for healers. For healers just getting started, you'll want to position three healers near melee and three more players following the ranged. There is going to be some flexibility here. You'll want one of the melee healers on the tank exclusively. Depending on tank gear and healer gear, the second tank healer may have periods when he can ease off and assist with any melee damage.
  • 3 healers on the ranged group
  • 1 healer stands in melee range, healing melee players
  • 2 healers stand in melee, healing the Magmaw tank
The alternate strategy calls for the use of a tank with a shield; I don't know the exact reasons. Anyway, that shield tank is busy taking the abuse from all the little worms that appear.

Yeah.

That tank is going to be taunting and controlling them. He won't be able to survive too many of them at a time, though. That tank will need to be vocal in calling in AoE spells.
  • 3 healers on the range group; 2 healing the ranged players, 1 healing the off tank
  • 1 healer in melee range, healing melee players
  • 2 healers in melee, healing the Magmaw tank

Omnotron Defense System

As this is more of a reactive fight than anything else. I like to use positional healing and make sure that every part of the room is reasonably covered with healers.
  • Front left
  • Front middle
  • Front right
  • Back left
  • Back middle
  • Back right
Six healers are positioned around the room. Just picture two rows of three healers in the staging area where the Omnotrons are. They won't be assigned to heal any specific person. Instead, they will need to rely on the priority system.

Healers prioritize tanks in range before switching and healing up the rest of the raid.

Optional: Possibly consider using raid-wide defensive cooldowns during Magmatron.

Maloriak

The dicey parts here will be when a large number of aberrations are active and beating on the tanks. Keep something in the back pocket in the event too many aberrations are up.
  • Healer on add tank 1
  • Healer on add tank 2
  • Healer on Maloriak tank
  • 3 healers on raid
Optional: Coordinate raid-wide cooldowns for the two red phases. When Maloriak unleashes his flaming breath, that's your cue to use one.

Atramedes
  • 3 healers standing on ranged side
  • 3 healers standing on melee side
Put one dedicated healer on the main tank and a secondary raid healer also on the main tank (HoTs, lower priority, covers in case dedicated healer has to run). Both stand on melee.

Chimaeron

Chimaeron isn't exactly my favorite group to set up. I like to keep my tanks in group 1 and all my healers in group 5. Every healer has specific groups to cover after a large AoE attack. This leaves the raid extremely vulnerable, even if for a few seconds.
  • 2 healers on the main tank and group 1
  • 1 healer each on groups 2, 3, 4, 5
With group 5 as the healing group, the player covering it needs a sense of the urgency. If one healer dies, the rest of the raid will eventually buckle. Once you get to the final phase, just unload everything on Chimaeron.

During Feud phases, you may wish to establish set defensive cooldowns. I type out the exact order in which we'll be using our cooldowns so that everyone is on the same page.

Nefarian

Here is an exceptionally tough boss. Multiple-phase events are enough to rock anyone.

Bring seven healers to start with. Especially if you're learning the boss, that extra player comes in handy.

Phase 1
  • 2 healers on Onyxia tank
  • 1 healer on the bone constructs tank
  • 1.5 healer on the Nef tank
  • 2.5 healers on the overall raid
Onyxia healers get frequently swiped. Their priority is to stay alive at all cost.

Phase 2
  • 2 healers on northwest pillar (one must be a priest); first Crackle: Barrier; second Crackle: Divine Hymn
  • 2 healers on northeast pillar (one must be a priest); first Crackle: Barrier; second Crackle: Divine Hymn
  • 3 healers on south pillar
I take no chances in this phase. Any pillars that have two healers instead of raid seem to deliver a standing performance anyway. I figured I'd put a priest on the pillars with two healers instead of three. Extra cooldowns on this will be useful.

Phase 3

You are almost home free. Keep your raid alive a little longer. Keep an eye out for the pesky Crackles, and have someone verbally announce those things. They have stoned us more than you can believe.

Phase 3 is a complete and total burn phase. It is also one of the more challenging places for gamers as far as the AI goes.
  • 1 healer on Onyxia tank
  • 2 healers on the bone constructs tank
  • 1.5 healer on the Nef tank
  • 2.5 healers on the overall raid
And that's the playbook.

Need advice on working with the healers in your guild? Raid Rx has you covered. Send your questions about raid healing to mattl@wowinsider.com. For less healer-centric raiding advice, visit Ready Check for advanced tactics and advice for the endgame raider.

Filed under: Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing), Raid Guides

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