Healing the Plague Quarter

July 31, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Posted in Healing | 3 Comments
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Marked Readers –

The Big Bear Butt had a funny (as usual) and interesting (as always) post a few days ago about healing the Plague Quarter in Naxx.  For those not in the know, BBB has picked up healing recently and I’ve enjoyed his thoughts on the process. 

His post got me thinking about the plague quarter, though and how to heal it.  Well, how to heal Heigan and Loatheb specifically.  The rest is a relative cakewalk (aside from those damn gargoyles). 

I think Heigan and Loatheb both play up a druid’s strengths tremendously.  By that, I mean these fights let HoTs really shine.   How?  We’ll start with Heigan. 

During Phase 1, Heigan has a debuff that makes it last 8x longer to cast a spell.  This is a horrid debuff because even though Heigan doesn’t hit very hard, the tank does need some heals.  But this debuff doesn’t really impact the druid all that much.  Whenever I notice it on me (usually by seeing the cast bar for Regrowth stretch out waaaay to long), I just cancel the spell and refresh my HoTs.  It’s lovely because 8x instant is still instant! 

We also shine during Phase 2.  Or rather, we can if we want.  We can through out Lifeblooms and Rejuv’s liberally as we run the gauntlet (and sing Diana Ross’ “Last Dance” over vent).  Just make sure to keep an eye on one or both of your tanks.  To tell you the truth, though, I don’t heal very much during Phase 2.  I’ll try to throw out one per person or so, but no more.  Some folks just can’t do the dance.  While that’s fine, I’m not going to waste my mana delaying the ineveitable.   Yes, it’s harsh, but I love being the arbiter of life and death!

Loatheb highlights the pure joy it is to be a tree as well.  Being able to heal for 3 seconds every 20 sucks, but I also think it’s an interesting mechanic and forces us to concentrate on how we place our heals accordingly.  We want to get the maximum amount of heals done during those 3 seconds.  There are two key elements to making this happen:

  1. You want your lifebloom stacks to expire during this time.  This is key because a big portion of the healing benefit from LB comes from the bloom (is it 50%?  I’m not sure).  To have this happen, you need to make sure your last stack is applied when there is 7, 8, or 9, seconds left before the debuff resets.  Why?  Because then the bloom will trigger at 1, 2, or 3 seconds before the reset, or in other words, when the healing window is open.  Remember, this is only the last stack.  If you want a full 3 stack bloom, you need to start casting around 15 seconds or so (depending on haste) to get all 3 up in time.  Keep in mind, though, that each stack resets the timer, so you can cast one, do something else for a few seconds, then cast again.  Just make sure to get the last one in time! 
  2. Cast Regrowth so that the initial heal lands during the open window.  This is kinda like the opposite of  Lifebloom.  Here you need to start your casting 1.5-3 seconds before the window opens (depending on your haste, test this out before the fight starts). 

If you’re able to do this, you get the most out of your heals and can still get in a Nourish during the or Wild Growth as well.  Finally, remember to cast rejuvs whenever you’re not doing anything else (usually between your last LB and your Regrowth).  You should be able to fit 2-3 in on random raid members (don’t forget you self)!  

Do all that, you will keep your tank alive and go a long way towards keeping the raid up as well.



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  1. My strat for Loatheb is basically:

    1. Wait a few seconds and then start throwing some rejuvs around, so that when the window is up, a bunch of people will hopefully take a tick of Rejuv. (You can’t start immediately, because the length of Rejuv will mean that the first few people lose theirs before the debuff is up – which is a waste. Alternatively, you can use these few seconds to put a Regrowth on someone with low health as this WILL last the distance)

    2. As you mentioned, I use the Lifebloom bloom, so (usually on the tank) I toss a couple of LBs on him so they are timed to bloom at the right time. Sometimes this is hard to time though.

    3. (continue Rejuving people)

    4. With 3 seconds to go, I stop with the Rejuvs, and start casting a Regrowth on the tank (or anyone else with the lowest health), so that the heal lands just after the healing debuff lifts.

    5. Mash WG OR use this spare second to quickly Swiftmend someone who is very low – this changes according to how low the raid is getting. You can also hit WG just *before* the debuff is up – if you want to have time to cast something else next – but obviously the earlier you put your WG up, the less it’s going to tick for when the debuff is off.

    6. Finally, when Loatheb is getting low and the damage is getting high, I’ll do 1-4 above, but just before the debuff lifts, I hit Tranquility to bring my group up to full. I try not to waste it early on because it is far more useful to use it towards the end when it may be getting hard to keep up with the damage.

    (ignore the Inexorable tag.. lol)

    As you can see, Rejuv is doing a lot of my healing, and Wild Growth too, with those well-timed mashings! 😛

    • I’ve read somewhere that some folks try to actually time the ticks of their HoTs to get the biggest advantage. Fortunately we’re not that borderline gear-wise to need that level of exactitude.

      Good point about Tranquility. I love that spell, it’s like a health reset button. Just remember to let the other healers know it’s coming so they don’t use their big AOE heal at the same time.

      I’ve not used wowmeteronline, Keeva. Is it better than the other options?

      • I think wws had some big issues at the start of WotLK. WMO is really quite excellent – very easy to use and interpret.

        Plus, it has PIE CHARTS!

        Everything is better with pie.


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