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Totem Talk: Healing Hagara the Stormbinder and Ultraxion

Restoration shaman in ugly sweater
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and co-host of the For the Lore and Raid Warning podcasts), shows you how.

The siege is, by now, well under way, and now that you're done playing with slimes, it's time to move forward. Your next opponent is Hagara the Stormbinder, a shaman who has fallen under the sway of the aspect of death and now works toward the destruction of the world. Luckily for you, she's an enhancement shaman, so she's pretty easy to deal with.

The major theme for this boss is movement. Every major ability that Hagara has boils down to your moving in the correct manner in order to avoid what would be absolutely lethal damage. Moving and healing has never really been a shaman's strong point, but if you use your abilities wisely, you'll have her down in no time. (For full details of the encounters or full raid strategies, please read Ready Check for WoW Insider's boss guides.)

Hagara the Stormbinder

Honestly, Hagara isn't a very difficult fight as long as your group is coordinated. The vast majority of her abilities can be negated by simply moving out of them, moving in the right direction or moving to a collapse point. So let's cover the abilities you need to worry about.

First on the list is going to be Ice Lance. Hagara will conjure crystals that will target random raid members and deal frost damage to them. It's not an insignificant amount of damage, and it will cause an AoE splash when it hits the target. Make sure you give a good, solid heal to anyone targeted. Healing Surge if you're stuck for time and they're close to death or a Greater Healing Wave should do the trick. If you notice that the damage is not being contained to one target (as in people are standing too close together), you can also let fly a Chain Heal on the primary target of Ice Lance and be just fine.

While we're talking about ice, keep an eye out for Shattered Ice. When it hits a target, it reduces movement speed for a few seconds, but with the importance of moving, make sure you Cleanse Spirit on the debuff so your raidmates can move at full speed when they need to. Her last ice-themed ability is Ice Tomb. Much like Sindragosa's ability, it will freeze random members in the raid in a tomb, slowly killing them while keeping them immune to healing until broken free. The general goal is to get the tombed people to group up for easy breaking of the tombs, so keep your eyes open and if you're marked, move to the collapse point.

Frozen Tempest will allow Hagara to protect herself from all attacks or damage and to summon four Binding Crystals around the platform. Until the crystals are destroyed, she will remain protected. Now, it's not just as simple as running around and killing the crystals, as the boss will summon Ice Waves at four equidistant points around her that will slowly sweep over the platform while raining down Icicles at random places.

To avoid the ice walls, you will have to run away! You'll be moving to stay ahead or behind a way through this phase, but the good news is that's pretty much all you have to worry about here. If someone touches the ice wall, it's pretty much an instant kill, so there are no worries about healing them. Anyone who gets too close to the boss' protective shield will suffer from Water Entrenchment and take massive damage until they die or move far enough away. Personally, I use this phase as a mana regen phase. I load up Lightning Bolt with Glyph of Unleashed Lightning to make use of Telluric Currents while running around the platform taking out the crystals.

Lightning Storm is exactly what it sounds like, and the boss summons a giant storm to shock all the players to death. Also, the boss will summon four Crystal Conductors to secure herself in an impervious bubble. She will also summon a lightning elemental that must be killed on one of the conductors to charge it. Once charged, it will arc lightning to players near it; the goal is to chain the lightning from player to player around the platform until all of the conductors are charged.

While you handle that, you'll also have to watch for Storm Pillars, which do the same thing as icicles but with lightning. This is the time to break out the Spiritwalker's Grace and heal on the move. There's a ton of damage in this phase to contend with, so use every heal you have while running around to keep everyone up until the phase ends. That's pretty much the entire fight, you just repeat it until she drops. Afterwards, you have the chance to loot some pretty decent swag.

Ultraxion

Ultraxion is simultaneously a DPS check and a healer check for your raid. The thing is, though, while he is a healing-intensive fight, there's not a whole lot that you need to worry about as a healer.

First thing to note: This is a group-up fight. Due to abilities like Unstable Monstrosity and the fact that the damage increases as the fight goes on, your raid will be grouped up together in one spot for the duration of combat. As a result, Healing Rain and CH are absolutely kings of this fight. Make sure you have your Earthliving Weapon active and that you're rolling your Riptide throughout the raid.

Every so often, the purple dragon will cast Hour of Twilight, which will will deal massive amounts of damage to everyone in the raid. This damage is unresistible shadow damage and will kill players without some form of mitigation. Luckily, there is lovely button you can push, Heroic Will, that will pull you back into the normal realm from the Twilight Realm while Hour of Twilight is casting. Raid healing should be enough to stabilize anyone who had to soak Hour of Twilight, but keep a fast heal ready just in case they need to be topped off.

Aside from hitting the heroic will button at the right time, there are several healer-specific buffs that will be available to players through the course of the encounter. Each buff is a gift from one of the aspects and gives a very specific bonus.

  • Alextrasza will give you the Gift of Life. A red crystal will form near the players; once right-clicked, it will increase the healing done by 100% for the duration of the fight or until the player dies.
  • Ysera will grant you the Essence of Dreams. A green crystal will form near the players; once activated, it will cause all healing done by the player to be duplicated and distributed evenly among all friendly targets withing 50 yards. The buff lasts until the fight is over or the player dies.
  • Kalecgos will provide the Source of Magic. A blue crystal will form near the players that will grant anyone using it 100% spell haste and reduce the cost of all spells by 75%.

The case could be made that each buff is good for every healer, but some are better for certain healer classes than others. For restoration shaman, your best two are going to be the green buff from Ysera or the blue buff from Kalecgos.

When it comes to the green buff, every single one of our heals counts for it. So with HR and CH going, Earthliving and Riptide constantly up, and yes, even Healing Stream Totem down, this buff will roll into the healing done by the green buff echoing your heals. It can result in some very large healing numbers and surprisingly stable raid health.

The blue buff is good for us simply because we scale so well with haste, and anything that reduces the cost of your healing spells by that much is just insane. Having this buff active is like being back in the glory days of shaman healing and stacking nothing but haste and MP5.

The trick to Ultraxion really is just never stop casting. Use your mana regeneration abilities, like Mana Tide Totem and Telluric Currents, whenever you can to keep your mana totals up to keep healing. Grab your crystal when your color comes up, and save your Spirit Link Totem until after the 5-minute mark when damage gets really rough. For your healing workout, there are some pretty nice rewards to be had. The fights aren't bad at all; they just require you to stay on your toes. Ultraxion rewards your shaman healing by encouraging your raid group to stack together. It plays well with our strengths, and if you can get your hands on a green or blue buff, you can tear up the healing charts.

Totem Talk: Restoration lets you Ask a Shaman about the tricks of the trade. We'll introduce you to the very latest pre-raid gear and show you how to manage your cooldowns. Happy healing, and may your mana be plentiful!

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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