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The Light and How to Swing It: Healing against Alysrazor

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

My 10-man raid team has three healers, but none of us has an off-spec. Once we mastered the fight, Alysrazor feels like an encounter that only really requires two healers. We loved having three healers while learning, but now that it's on farm, I decided to try out a shockadin hybrid build for this encounter. I actually spent the majority of my time spamming Exorcism on the adds and Rebuking their casts. The reason that I'm able to be in melee range of the casters is Beacon of Light's massive 60-yard range, which allows me to heal a tank even when I'm way past any other healer's effective range.

When you first engage Alysrazor, your entire raid is knocked back and blasted with fire damage. I immediately assumed that the encounter was going to revolve around heavy AOE damage, and I readied myself to use Holy Radiance on cooldown while bracing myself for a good crying session once it was over. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Alysrazor actually doesn't require that much AOE healing outside of her final phase. For the majority of this fight, holy paladins get to focus on what we do best: single-target healing. I like to use a Divine Favored Holy Radiance to counter the opening AOE blast, as Divine Favor will be up again for the AOE phase later on.

Healing on the run

The best part of Alyzrazor is that we get to live like shaman and druids for the majority of the encounter. As Alysrazor flies through the center of her nest, she drops feathers because she's Molting. Her fiery plumes, if picked up, allow you to cast while moving and boost your movement speed. Be sure to snag one of the feathers on the ground early, as the extra mobility is crucial for healers on this fight. You'll be running all over the place on this encounter, so being able to cast while moving is what lets you keep everyone alive.

Your air crew will be picking up three feathers each and then attacking Alysrazor from the sky, so don't worry about healing them; they'll be out of range. Your goal is to keep the tanks alive as they handle the Voracious Hatchlings. The hatchlings aren't too threatening by themselves, but they can go into a deadly Tantrum if your tanks don't feet them the Plump Lava Worms that spawn around the room. Communicate with your tanks so that you know when a Tantrum is occurring and can provide extra healing.

Beacon of Light has a 60-yard radius, and because Alysrazor will fly through the center of the nest and cleave anything in her path, I like to stand toward one particular side while healing. Being near the edge allows you to run over and interrupt one of the adds that your DPS will be handling, if necessary, and you can also dispel any stacks of Fieroblast that your clueless rogues pick up. I am often tasked with running over to an add, using Rebuke, and then running back to the tanks. The Plump Lava Worms also spew out a deadly fire attack, so being outside of the center allows you to dodge the fire breath more easily. The key is making sure that you move when you need to in order to always stay in range of your tanks.

Gushing Wound: The real threat

Your tanks aren't going to die easily to the Voracious Hatchlings if they're playing their cards right. Most tank deaths occur when the tank forgets to move his add to a Plump Lava Worm or when he stands in front of the worm and takes massive damage from the Lava Spew. The only unavoidable threat to your tank's survival is the Gushing Wound debuff. It will get applied to your tank every so often, causing him to bleed profusely until he falls below 50% HP.

While Gushing Wound itself won't kill the tank, it will sap your mana as you'll constantly be healing to counter the damage. You want to remove Gushing Wound, but you also don't want to let your tank die.

The solution is to coordinate the next worm gobble with the tank's HP dropping below 50%. If you allow your tank's life to dip right after the hatchling eats a worm, you're guaranteed not to see a fatal Tantrum for at least 15 seconds. Save up 3 holy power points for a Word of Glory to bring your tank's life back over 50% quickly, and feel free to follow up with a Flash of Light.

I should mention that mana isn't really that big of a concern on this encounter, as you get brought back to 100% mana after each burn phase. Be generous with your healing.

Surviving the tornado onslaught

After a few minutes of flying around in the air, Alysrazor decides to use her ultimate attack, Fiery Vortex. Your job is to dodge the Fiery Tornados on the ground while simultaneously healing any DPSers who stand in the fire. With your Molten Feather, you can cast while moving, so just spam Divine Light on anyone taking damage while you run around. You don't need any mana going into the next phase, so feel free to burn it all in order to keep people alive.

You can use both Divine Protection and Divine Shield to mitigate or negate the Fiery Tornado damage in this phase, so don't ever feel like you're dead if your life dips low or you make a misstep. If you're really concerned about this phase, just keep running and spam Flash of Light on yourself the whole time. It's not pretty, but if you keep healing, you shouldn't die.

Time to spam Exorcism

Once the boss explodes and lands in a Burnout, you get to start spamming Exorcism and Holy Shock on her collapsed form. Every Exorcism or Holy Shock blast restores 10% of your maximum mana, and you'll be back at full mana after just a few casts. Be sure to get yourself and the raid into good positioning for the next phase, remembering that you can still cast Exorcisms while moving because you still have the Molten Feather bonus active. Enjoy all that free mana!

Pick a role

As Alysrazor begins to reignite, she'll start beating up your tank and nuking the raid with the AOE damage that you just knew was eventually coming. You can choose to either focus on the raid with Holy Radiance and your other heals to keep them alive, or you can just start dropping Divine Light bombs on the Alysrazor tank.

Considering how potent we are at single-target healing and the fact that Holy Radiance and Aura Mastery only take a single global cooldown to use, you'll probably get tasked with keeping the tank alive. Pop a Divine Favored HR and an AM, and then focus on the tank. If you only use one tank here, this is a good time to use throughput cooldowns like Avenging Wrath and Guardian of Ancient Kings as well.

Rinse and repeat

Alysrazor will fully reignite and fly off into the air, and the fight begins again. Be sure to grab another feather from the center of the room where she leaves them, and pop Divine Plea immediately after she takes off to recover any mana you spent keeping the tank alive a few moments ago.

There won't be any incoming damage until the Voracious Hatchlings spawn, so you have plenty of time to regenerate any spent mana. The raid will be weakened from Alysrazor's takeoff damage, but you have a ton of time to heal that life up, so just use Holy Shock and Holy Light to do it efficiently. From here on in, you basically have your entire mana bar to burn between just the first two phases, so always choose to splurge. It's better to waste a bit of mana than to let someone die because you were being thrifty.

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy helps holy paladins become the powerful healers we're destined to be. Find out just how masterful mastery healing can be, gear up with the latest gear, and learn how to PVP as a holy paladin.

Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

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