By now I'm sure you're already knee deep into the patch, working through new and exciting dailies, taking on Dinomancers hunting down itty-bitty Toenibblers and Footslashers. There's also this whole new raid thing that people are talking about, the Throne of Thunder, that you may or may not have stepped foot in yet. By the time you're reading this, the Looking For Raid version of Throne of Thunder will just become available, and will grant you access to the first three bosses of the zone. If you haven't been able to get in a normal raid, I would highly recommend queuing up and giving it a shot.
Whether you are already a seasoned vet heading back into ToT, or just queuing for the LFR for the first time, I can tell you that for me, this raid zone is amazing fun. It combines some of my favorite aspects of raids like Ulduar and Karazhan, with modern raid building ideas. The story is awesome if you're into that type of thing, and the bosses are more about the mechanics than anything else. That said, resto shaman do have a few things we can do to help make these bosses go down that much quicker and easier for our raid group.
This is not intended to be a complete guide to the boss, but a quick overview with items that I have personally found useful in completing the encounters.
Jin'rokh the Breaker
I'm still not entirely convinced that he's just not in need of a good old giant hug. Honestly though, Jin'rokh is your first boss in the Throne of Thunder. He is a pretty straight forward lightning summoning troll with only a few things that you as a healer really should have to worry about. It is a single-phase fight that revolves around players using Conductive Water and the subsequent buff Fluidity to the fullest potential. These pools appear starting at 30 seconds into the fight when Jin'rokh uses Thundering Throw and tosses your tank into one of the statues. After that, it is every 1.5 minutes. The buff increases your healing by 60% while you're in the black pools of awesome. There is however a downside that while you get this awesome buff to healing you do also take 50% increased nature damage, which is pretty much all the damage the boss does to the raid. The key is to move out of the water if you get targeted by Focused Lightning, and before the boss casts Lightning Storm. After the storm, the previous pool of healing bonus wonders becomes electrified and unusable and stepping back into it will kill you. So you will just have to wait for the next throw and the next pool.
For this fight I prefer to use Stone Bulwark Totem, Call of the Elements, Echo of the Elements, Healing Tide Totem and Primal Elementalist. I use SBT to help mitigate personal damage from Static Burst, and CotE to bring SBT off cooldown if needed when Focused Lightning is on myself. Save HTT until at least a couple of pools are on the ground just in-case you need to pop it to help any stragglers caught by Lightning Storm survive as they get out of the pools. Use one of your elementals when you get into a pool to give yourself another healing bonus, and I personally also like to use Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem. Bringing the cooldown to 3 minutes, and rotating between Fire Elemental Totem and Earth Elemental Totem you can have an additional healing bonus for at least three pools if you time it right. Keep Healing Rains on your group, especially when stacked in the waters, and use Healing Stream Totem on cooldown. The damage if fairly predictable, so you shouldn't have too much of a hard time healing through it.
So, the giant dinosaur of stomping and death is more of an add fight than anything else really. While it technically has Five phases, it really is just a two phase fight. With adds, and then without adds. When it first starts out, the main crux of the fight is to not stand in front or behind Horridon much like you've learned from dragons over the many years. Double Swipe is a cone effect that will kill you if you are caught standing in it. Normally this is easy to avoid, but Horridon will Charge towards a random player in the raid group, and immediately cast a Double Swipe when he reaches the location. The rest of the fight adds will be summoned from the various troll tribes until their gates can be crushed to a pulp and sealed off. Each of the tribes, The Frakki, The Gurubashi, The Drakkari, The Amani and The Zandalari all have a selection of adds that will continue to stream forth one tribe at a time until the gates can be crushed. While each has it's own element, they all share certain aspects. AoE damage, a deadly ability that can be avoided, and lots of warrior adds. While there are some differences between them, that's really what you need to know.
The big abilities to look out for are Sand Trap from Farraki Wastewalker, Living Poison from Venemous Effusion, the Drakkari Frozen Warlord's Frozen Orb and Lightning Nova Totem from the Amani'shi Beast Shaman. There's no real big tricks here beyond your normal healing. Healing Rain, Chain Heal, Riptide and all the usual suspects will be used like normal. The best time to use the big cooldowns like HTT and Spirit Link Totem for the final phase when War-God Jalak drops down. He does a lot of damage to the entire raid and has a stacking damage buff. Try to time is so that you have Ascendance up for this phase as well. Combining Ascendance with SLT is a great way to deal with the damage from Jalak, and if you place it right you can get it on a tank can also help handle the stacking Bestial Cry, or if necessary the Rampage after you kill Jalak. For the add phases you can lend an extra hand with Earthgrab Totem and Capacitor Totem add a little extra AoE CC. It's not a hard fight once the add mechanics are figured out, the damage is once again fairly predictable.
The first two bosses in the Throne of Thunder are actually fairly straightforward, but also a lot of fun. They set the tone for the rest of the instance quite nicely, and are great introductory encounters into what my guild has been calling Trollduar. I'm looking forward to exploring the other encounters now that they are live.
Totem Talk: Restoration lends you advice on healing groups, DK tanks and heroics and mana concerns in today's endgame -- or take a break and look back at the rise of the resto shaman. Happy healing, and may your mana be plentiful!