Last week, we had a lovely little chat about tracking your cooldowns and how they have become much more important than in the previous tiers of content. Some great addon suggestions were made in the comments, and as a result, I'm even giving TellMeWhen a try this week in raiding.
This week, I thought we would talk about something involving a considerable amount of fire. If you're a raiding restoration shaman, chances are good that this past week you got to set foot in the land of fire and giants that are set on fire. I'm talking, of course, about the Firelands raid. Healing in the new instance has been both fun and hectic all at the same time, and I've personally been having quite a bit of fun learning the encounters. Besides, what better way to fight fire than with the element of water! This week's image is supplied by the wonderful MagicalMelonBall, inspired by my love of Indiana Jones and hatred of spiders.
This is not intended to be an all-inclusive raid boss guide. Please check out Ready Check and the WoW Insider Guide to Cataclysm for more detailed information. We will do a brief overview of the bosses, and then process to tips and tricks for restoration shaman.
The encounter Lord Rhyolith is one of the oldest elementals in existence, and with that age comes what you would expect from any crotchety old man -- a slow-moving gait and burning hatred of us much younger mortals. There's not a log of mechanics for you to be wary of, unlike that for our enhancement brothers and sisters, but there will be a ton of damage to contend with.
The fight is divided into two phases. The first phase occurs while Obsidian Armor is active, and your raid will focus on driving Lord Rhyolith around. There are a few abilities that deal direct damage to the raid that you need to be aware of: Concussive Stomp, Volcano, Crater, Fragment of Rhyolith and Spark of Rhyolith.
The stomp will deal unavoidable fire damage and cause a knockback to anyone within 20 yards of him when he puts his foot down. Nothing you can do about it except heal through it. After the stomp, he will create a few volcanoes. Volcanoes will eventually begin casting Eruption, which will deal raid-wide damage and a stacking debuff on anyone damaged by it, increasing fire damage taken by 10% per stack. This complicates things when combined with the stomp. Again, there isn't much you can do here but heal through it.
Crater will summon lines of fire that will shoot forth from any volcano that the cranky elemental has stepped on; simply move out of the fire to avoid damage and a knockback. Fragment of Ryholith and Spark of Rhyolith will summon two different types of adds. Fragments will be smaller, low-health mobs that will deal damage every 30 seconds to a random player in the raid, based on their health totals. Keep an eye out for spike damage during this time. Spark will summon a larger add that pulses fire damage in an area around it. Just don't stand near it -- easy as that.
For this phase, you need to make maximum use of Healing Rain, Chain Heal, Riptide and Earthliving. Trying to get your group to hang together lets you keep everyone in range for your group heals, which helps you handle the spike damage on players in the group easier. It also helps when the group as a whole is together to avoid the damage from things like crater. Roll Riptide throughout the raid, and don't forget to give the melee driving the boss some love with HR and CH. Also, make use of Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem up as much possible here. It also helps to keep down Healing Stream Totem and have it glyphed to reduce incoming fire damage. This phase is all about survival while your DPS handles everything going on around them, so any damage you can shave off of yourself is key. Save Spirit Link Totem as an emergency out in case Eruption stacks get too high to heal through.
Phase 2 begins when Lord Rhyolith reaches 25% total health remaining. This is the burn phase. If you've made it this far, it is time to really hit the boss hard. Use Hero/Lust and heal hard, because he will still be doing a ton of AOE damage. Keep the DPS alive as long as possible using every trick you have left, including any remaining SLTs, to give them the time to drop this boss.
The reward Breaking this old-timer's hip nets you some fairly nice rewards.
The encounter Spiders... why did it have to be spiders? Well, while I stifle a shudder, this matriarch of all things flaming and spider-like sits in her web just waiting for you to come along. Where's a giant asbestos shoe when you need one?
The fight is largely divided into two phases. In phase 1, Beth'tilac goes to the top of her web and starts things off by summoning a group of Cinderweb Spinners, which hang from a thread and lob fireballs at the raid until they are ripped down from their webs and stepped on, repeatedly. She will also summon a Cinderweb Drone that will be picked up by an off tank and moved to a corner to be kept busy. Occasionally, she will also summon Cinderweb Spiderlings that will make a beeline for the drone in an attempt to sacrifice themselves to heal the drone. If you're on top of the web in this phase, you'll have to contend with Ember Flare and Meteor Burn. In this phase, there isn't really much healing to be done once the spinners are down and crushed, unless you're on top of the web.
If you're on the ground, keep HR down and roll CH until all the spinners are pulled down and stomped into little spidery pulp. After they're no longer lobbing fireballs, there's really not much to do except throw the occasional heal on the tank with the drone, or whoever the drone has focused at the time. Your DPS will be trying to burn down the small spiderlings before they can reach the drone, while attempting to down the drone before the next one spawns. You can help out by dropping an Earthbind Totem in the way of the adds to keep them slowed while DPS works on them. Keep an eye out for when the drone uses Seeping Venom on a random raid member, and make sure to give them some solid healing until it wears off. If you can, I also suggest making use of Telluric Currents and Lightning Bolt on the drone to keep your mana up. You'll certainly need it for the final phase.
If you are picked to go up to the top of the web, use your single-target healing like HW, HS, GHW and Riptide to keep up the melee and tank who go up with you. They will likely be spread out, making your group healing less effective up here. Dodge meteors and avoid holes until it is time to drop back down to the ground level. This phase continues until Beth'tilac reaches zero fire energy and starts to cast Smoldering Devasation. The web group will then rejoin the raid on the ground level, and the phase will reset to the beginning. New spinners will spawn and must be dealt with. This happens a total of three times before it finally switches over to phase 2.
After you've survived phase 1 resetting twice, phase 2 begins. Beth'tilac drops down to the ground level and summons any remaining spiderlings to her. Any that reach her will cause her to regenerate 10% of her health at a time. She will no longer summon any drones, spinners or spiderlings in this phase, though, and it now becomes all about survival and burning the boss down. She will continue to cast Ember Flare but will also gain a stacking buff called Frenzy. Every time she gains a stack, her damage will increase by an additional 5% until she is finally killed. Save all your cooldowns for this phase.
Your raid should be grouped up behind the spider queen, so keep HR down and roll CH like it is going out of style. This is also a fantastic time to cast Hero/Lust to help burn through her health that much quicker. Coordinate with your other healers as to when to use your defensive cooldown, and make use of SLT when the time comes. I suggest waiting until after she's hit about 60% health before you start using your defensive cooldowns. Since tanks will be occasionally be swapping who is tanking the giant arachnid, I also urge you try to use the cooldowns whenever you complete a tank swap. When you notice healer mana getting low, pop your Mana Tide Totem. Do not stop healing through this phase if you can help it, and just keep your raid alive as long as you possibly can until the boss is so much fiery goo on the ground.
The reward For playing the Orkin Man role, you have a chance to pick up the following swag. videos here.
Totem Talk: Restoration will show you the basics of endgame resto shaman play as well as how to find the expansion's best reputation gear for resto shaman and tips for easier leveling. Happy healing, and may your mana be plentiful!