[Resto] Gearing for Specific Encounters
It is my intention to gather our collective wisdom and share it with other Shaman and Raid Leaders to help them work through content. This will be a collation of encounters with tips/advice on each. I don't want this to be for strats, but more along the lines of: "Kel'thuzad: Reaction speed is key, but healing is not difficult. Haste recommended." I think this is more appropriate for a forum thread than a wiki article since this is opinion as opposed to facts/mechanics.
Please contribute your thoughts so this list can overcome any faults in my style or experience.
We all know that gearing a healer is not the same for every fight, and having the right gear for the job on hand will give you a greater shot at victory.
In general, if you're having mana troubles, use more Longevity gear (Int, MP5). If you're not putting out enough healing in time, use more Throughput gear (Haste, Spellpower).
Here are starter points for the encounters. your mileage may vary.
Archavon: Not much healing needed. DPS race. If anything, a set of hit gloves would be good for the occasional shock.
Obsidian Sanctum -
Sartharion: Balanced gear.
Sartharion with Drakes: When attempting this your gear should be focused on Chain Heal throughput via Haste and Spellpower. The fight starts slow and ends slow, with a frantic heal-fest in the middle. Keep your mana up by casting efficiently during the opening of the fight so you can still be (near) full when Drakes start to land.
Anub'Rekhan: Balanced gear.
Grand Widow Faerlina: Burst healing may be needed, some Haste is good.
Maexxna: Burst healing again, some Haste.
Patchwerk: Longevity gear. Steady heals and cancel casts.
Grobbulus: Balanced gear.
Gluth: Balanced gear.
Thaddius: DPS race, not much healing. Hit gloves again.
Instructor Razuvious: Balanced gear.
Gothik the Harvester: Haste is helpful at saving dps, not much mana regen needed due to built in downtime.
Four Horseman: Longevity gear.
Noth the Plaguebringer: Wear anything you like.
Heigan the Unclean: Balanced, maybe some extra stamina while you're learning.
Loatheb: Burst. Throughput.
Sapphiron: Longevity. Frost Resist if it doesn't gimp you too bad. (WotLK epics). FrR totem if you don't have a paladin keeping the aura up.
Kel'thuzad: Reaction speed is key, but healing is not difficult. Haste recommended.
The Eye of Eternity -
Malygos: Again, boosted Chain Heal is your best bet. Breaks will allow you some decent regen time. You want to make sure you have the speed and output to make it through.
Malygos is a long enough fight that regen stats should be good, but because of the lack of instant spells to use during vortex and the frequency of incoming bolts in both phases (water shield) makes it almost impossible to run out of mana in a 25-man scenario.
Sartharion with drakes has a quite short insense period. The period that starts when Vesperon lands, and ends soon after Shadron dies, requires a lot more healing throughput than the rest of the fight. The periods before that (from the point where tenebrom lands) and after that (until vesperon disciple dies) is a lot less demanding, and when no drakes are up at all your mana should be moving upwards. If your mana doesn't last for that period you could run into big problems though. I'd say spellpower, haste and int are the best stats for the fight.
I would also really recommend against the use of hit. You will still be healing 90% of the fight, and spellpower isn't that much worse even when using shocks... If the encounter is easy enough that you don't have to heal at all and can just dps, you should specc elemental and wear damage gear. If you can't be bothered because it's easy anyway, you should play naked for extra challenge.
I don't know how necessary a guide for gearing to certain encounters is. I just use a guideline of if Chain Heal is the vast majority of my healing for a fight, and I am not having mana issues, I put as much haste gear on as I have. Malygos fits this bill perfectly. With enough haste I can pop a couple of Chain Heals after the storm and have time to throw a riptide on the tank or someone else before the next storm during p1, P2 is mostly CH spam too with a riptide often thrown while running between shields.
My other guideline, is that if I am primarily using a riptide,LHW,LHW, open GCD type rotation, I stack as much crit as I have to get some good IWS procs, some good AA healing, and just plain old big crit heals. I rely on this in fights like Kel'thuzad since the raid is too spread out for CH to be effective. Most other fights fall somewhere between these two extreme examples of pure healing style. I look at WWS religiously to see what my healing is made up from to adjust my gear choices, and always pay attention to how much mana I am staying around. Kel'thuzad, Sapphiron, and Patchwerk are pretty much the only fights I get below 30% mana on anyway. I have only done Sarth with 2 drakes up successfully so far, but I went with as much haste as I could muster, including 40 haste food beause the healing is just so hectic in the middle portion of that fight and the damage is everywhere. It calls for a very diverse healing style for me so far. I use every trick I have, CH'ing the raid, LHW and riptiding tanks, Nature's swiftness, the whole bit. But I would still favor haste gear on this one personally. Longevity did not seem to be a factor with 2 drakes, it might be moreso with 3. I hope to find out this week.
I would think haste and spellpower would be the way to go for Malygos. Between vortex in phase 1 and running from bubble to bubble in phase 2 I haven't found myself ever below 50% mana.
My personal recommendation for Sartharion with 3 drakes up or even 2 or 1 depending on progression, would be to maximized longevity. I have personally geared myself for CH spam and mana efficiency, focusing more on mp5 and haste with a larger than average mana pool. Average fight length for a 3drake Sartharion kill is 6-8 minutes depending on DPS, so gearing for ~5 minutes of intense healing is ideal.
For other fights in Naxxramas and Malygos, I prefer to keep Tidal Waves up with CH rather than riptide and rely on riptide to refresh it for hitting someone with a fast heal or two(should I follow the riptide with LHW). CH has worked out to be 60-70% of my current healing for raiding and I find LHW to be very situational.
Perhaps I should further my previous post by stating that I do not use Tidal Wave charges every time they are up, as currently my gear forces LHW to cast faster than the GCD and I do not like having to stutter for that second LHW while I wait for the GCD to finish.
Unless you wait after the chain heal to start the next spell, The buff will not register before you start the cast and the spell will not be hasted. If you wait for the buff to register, well, you're not really gaining anything anyway.
What it really comes down to is your reaction to raid positioning at a given time. If you know that your Chain Heal won't bounce, you can rely on Riptide, hasted LHW, and AA procs.
I find that maintaining a balanced itemization will get the job done since some more complex encounters (3 Drakes in particular) require very dynamic healing strategies based on the current situation. In the early and late portions of the encounter, when raid damage is very spread out, I find that LHW (crit-based) healing is faster and more efficient than CH spam. During the more intense parts of the encounter, CH (haste-based) is much more effective.
This idea also applies to Kel'thuzad, where the melee groups would be tightly packed for easy CH, while the rest of the raid is very spread out. Reaction time is still very important, but I still find that the amount of haste I use (400+) gets the job done.
We have a few different playstyles in the discussion, which may make the original goal of the thread moot. I'm still hoping that there will be a general consensus to report.
So far I'm seeing a good argument for a Throughput based setup for Drakes and Malygos. I'll give it some more time before editing the original thread in hopes of getting more input. Also, if there's an argument against something else in the original post, I'd be glad to hear it. I'm not sold on ignoring hit for dps races yet. If you're still working on the encounter, I think it's helpful even if you're only contributing dps 10% of the time.
In all honesty, the difficulty of the current Heroic content is easier than the gear it provides. You don't need -any- tier pieces to heal well in darn near any situation. You can acquire enough gear to heal all standard Heroic content without much difficulty after an average iLvl of 200. Around 1900 SP, 75 mp5 w/o WS, 20% crit, 18k mana, and 250 haste (all unbuffed) is when I stopped really needing to improve gear to feel effective.
The healing challenge right now is in multi-drake Sartharion, and low healer raids. Those types of encounters may require the min/max gear that is being discussed here, assuming skill or playstyle is irrelevant. To that end, let's break this discussion down to the specific situations that are actually a challenge. I'm not trying to disparage your list, Handyhoof, but pretty much everything except:
2-3 drake Sartharion
Any other Heroic raid with 5 or less healers
Throughput fights with zero Replenishment
*Only because of vortex, which I'm not sure we can do anything about through gear.
**7 healers is easy, 6 can be challenging if not geared correctly or no replenishment
Is not really worth the effort of maintaining a different gear set. If we can all agree on what actually requires putting our stats under a microscope, then we can start establishing the min/max baseline. If there are 7 healers in the raid, every single encounter is easily healed except 2-3 drake Sarth, and some could argue that 2-drake Sarth is more a matter of the raid getting out of the swirling red vortexes of death, and avoiding the slow-moving walls of liquid hot magma, and less about good healing. At 6 healers, they all need to have quality skill, but beyond that you don't need superlative gear.
I would say five healers is a solid challenge to most standard heroic encounters, and the point at which you can use the list in the first post as a guideline for selecting gear.
As for the rest of my list -
This is doable with 6 healers without much alteration in gear. I think 5 healers would be very tough, especially if you bring more than 1 shaman. This isn't a matter of gear, though, as much as it is a lack of shaman spells to counter Vortex damage. There is [Living Ice Crystals] that drops in this encounter that could allow an advantage. With the exception of Chain Heal for Deep Breath in phase 2, shamans are just not as useful as the other classes.
Honestly this is often not a matter of gear as much as setting up the heals correctly. There has been more than one occasion where healers were assigned one way and we wiped over and over. One small change in the heal assignment and he was dead that attempt. This is certainly possible with 5 healers, but I wouldn't want to try it. There is more than gear to advise on if you want to lowball your healer count. Typically, though you want high mana regen and haste. High SP is still useful, but faster is better, and keeping your mana up is as well. This may not be possible with 5 or less healers without at least one holy paladin and 100% replenishment. I would be impressed to say the least if it happened.
2 Drake sartharion:
This is the most I have accomplished in this encounter, so I won't speak for 3-drakes. This is another "pick the right healer for the right job" encounter more than gear stats. The raid has to perform as a unit to get this done and I'm not really sure the healing gear is remotely as important as everyone performing to their top game. That said, I'd consider haste to be the most important stat here to make up for those raiders who do not measure up and for emergency heals.
If you can't get replenishment... stack mp5 if you tend to run out of mana. Not that complicated.
We've been doing the undermanning over Christmas, did a 20 people/5 healer run. 2 Shaman, 2 priests, 1 tree. Mana just wasn't an issue, even with only 1 replenishment in the raid. Druid on MT, Shaman+Priestsx2 on OT1, me on OT2.
I received 0 ticks of replenishment, the other healers received varying amounts (about 12-13k total mana for the 5 healers).
Malygos we also did with 5 healers (23 in the raid). 1xtree, 2xpriests, 1xshaman (me), 1xpaladin. We had our prot paladin and elemental shaman throw a couple of heals at various times (from looking at reports), but mostly trivial amounts.
Our gear is pretty good (most people in 3-4+ T7.5 gear), but we're a fair bit from "best in slot for all pieces".
Sorry if this came across as an "e-peen" piece, it's intended to be informative about what's currently possible by somebody who's just been through it. We're not Top100 type guild, we're a fairly progression Top500 type guild.
I've been gearing with SP/Int, or SP/Mp5 in most slots and not worrying about haste. I have a couple of spare pieces that I move around to get a bit more haste, or a bit more regen.
For a lot of what I'm doing, especially 2 man healing of the 10 man raids (amusingly with another resto shaman), I find that abusing LHW with a big mana pool and about 30-35% crit raid buffed works better than chain heal for most of the encounters. I keep up riptide and ES (normally on the tank) and then blast out LHW. This proc's off WS which gives back 7-10k per fight. On our 10 mans, we never have replenishment (only 1 ret paladin, 0xSP and 0xSurv Hunters in the guild)
We have been doing our first attempts at malygos with a setup of 2 priests and 3 shamans. Neither did we have a paladin online at the time (keep in mind that we have only recently started and are stepping up from 10s to 25s). I am a firm believer that this fight can easily be done with that setup, though it depends a lot on the skill of the individual healers. If your raid has 20k average hitpoints, and pop their defensive cooldowns, they will all survive vortex. After the post-vortex repositioning the raid can be topped really fast with a few chain heals. It was hard at times, yes, but it is very doable after a little bit of training and coordination.
Ofcourse I would prefer bringing one more healer of a different class for tankhealing, but if you dont have others on, dont disregard the options that you do have.
My guild has killed everything save Sartharion with 3 adds.
The Obsidian Sanctum
Something that could be said for Sartharion with 2 or 3 drakes up is stamina. At one point in the fight, when Vesperon summons his acolyte that starts channeling Twilight Torment, being close to instantly killed by the raining fire is possible. This might be more of an issue for DPS specs, but if you're low on stamina to begin with coupled with the -25% HP aura it could spell trouble, I've seen some players with low stamina die from this. Of course, those fireballs are in theory avoidable as you can see where they will fall, but simultaneously looking at the sky for fireballs, ground for void zones, sides for magma wave direction and health bars for healing is something that I at least am incapable of.
Otherwise I'd say MP5 and Haste like Durnitol, it's not a matter of whether people get that extra 400 Hp from your heals, but rather if they get the other 5000 quickly enough and if you can keep casting for the duration of the fight.
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