Archive for the ‘Raiding’ Category

How-to-ToGC-Anub as a Resto Druid

November 12, 2009 5 comments

WoWScrnShot_111009_233226As promised, I’d like to take an in-depth look at healing ToGC 25-man Anub’arak as a restoration druid.  There are a few things I’d like to try and cover including strategy, positioning, talent specs, gear, useful addons, and healing composition.  Secondly, at the end of this post, I’ve got our 25-man ToGC Anub’arak video of phase 3 (sorry, I don’t have fraps and Skysech only caught phase 3).  Don’t bother looking for me, I’m sitting underneath Anub’arak hiding behind our off-tank so I don’t get wacked by the nerubian burrowers.


This is more for informational purposes.  No matter whether you are a dps, tank, or healer, a solid understanding of the entire fight is necessary in order to succeed.

Phase 1:

The is mostly the tank and spank portion of the fight for the main tank.  However, Anub’arak does have a few abilities during phase 1 that healers should be aware of.  The first of which is Freezing Slash, which inflicts additional froststrike weapon damage and freezes the tank in a block of ice for 3 seconds.  As a resto druid, you will notice the tank taking some extra damage when freezing slash is cast.  Just make sure you’re keeping a full set of HoTs up on the main tank during this phase and be prepared to swiftmend if necessary.  For the most part though, the holy paladins in your group should have no problem keeping the main tank topped off with the assistance of druid HoTs, disc priest bubbles, shaman earthshields, etc.

The second ability that occurs during phase 1, and phase 3 for that matter, is Penetrating Cold.  Penetrating Cold is a ticking debuff that will be applied to 5 random raid members doing 6,000 damage (on heroic) every 3 seconds for 18 seconds.  This is a repeating debuff and it will be pretty much kept up on 5 raid members for the majority of the fight while in phase 1 and phase 3.  In our raids, I found that tossing a rejuv and lifebloom or wildgrowth on the 5 targets was sufficient to prevent death during phase 1.

The third and final ability that Anub’arak uses during phase 1 is the summoning of 4 Nerubian Burrowers.  These must be tanked on an ice patch in order to prevent them burrowing underground.  We dealt with these adds by having one or two rogues and a hunter using misdirection abilities to send these adds to our off-tank standing on the ice patch.  I found that the off-tank only needed a rejuv and a lifebloom throughout this phase.  For the most part I leave the direct tank-healing to our holy pallies (who are amazing btw); don’t get me wrong here…I’m ALWAYS supplementing their healing with partial or full HoTs.  The one nasty ability these nerubian burrowers have is a mean Shadow Strike, which tends to target a raid member furthest from them and smacks them for upwards of 40,000 damage.  These are interruptable and on a relatively predictable timer (our ret paladin used DXE I believe to monitor and interrupt this ability).  Basically, not something a healer needs to worry about, just something that must be done throughout phase 1 and phase 3 (not cast during phase 2).

Note:  Frost orbs are of the scarce resource variety in the heroic version of the Anub’arak encounter.  There are only 6 spawned for the entire duration of the fight, hence they must be managed well.

Phase 2:

During this phase, Anub’arak burrows underground and summons numerous swarm scarabs.  The goal of this phase is to blow up the swarm scarabs very quickly, without letting them enrage or melee raid members.  If the swarm scarab becomes enraged, it becomes immune to stuns and slows – need a hunter using tranq shot or a rogue doing whatever they do to remove the enrage buff.  The thing to avoid during this phase is being melee’d by the swarm scarabs.  The reason being = Acid-drenched mandibles.  This debuff is applied with each melee attack, can stack to 99, deals nature damage every 3 seconds for 1 minute, and makes life very hard for healers.  The swarm scarabs can be stunned, shackled, rooted, frozen, etc. as long as they aren’t enraged – so use the abilities you have to avoid getting the debuff.  My healing job during phase 2 is to keep the off-tank alive while the dps finish off the second pack of nerubian burrowers and regenerate mana.

The second major issue during phase 2 is Anub’arak’s Pursuing Spikes.  Now, different guilds will handle this differently.  The basic idea is as follows:  kite the pursuing spikes for as long as possible, then hop over the ice patch since the spikes cannot penetrate the permafrost.  Now, as mentioned above, there are a very limited number of frost orbs in the heroic version.  In order to deal with this, we used paladin BoPs to protect the targeted raid member from the spikes so they could kite for a longer period of time before hopping over the ice patch.  This allowed us to only use 2 ice patches during each phase 2 since each kiter could kite the spikes for approximately 20 seconds each and Anub’arak stays burrowed for 45 seconds.  The positioning used for phase 2 will vary based on your guild’s strategy so I won’t go into detail on that subject.

After 45 seconds, Anub’arak re-emerges from the ground and we’re back to phase 1.  This cycle will repeat until Anub’arak’s health is brought down to 30%.

Phase 3:

In the heroic version, all the abilities from phase 1 are retained.  This includes freezing slash, penetrating cold, Shadow Strike, and the summoning of 4 nerubian burrowers at the same intervals.  However, the major additional ability that Anub’arak gains during this phase is called Leeching Swarm.  Leeching Swarm is an ability that leeches 30% of every single raid members CURRENT health every 1 second, this leeches a minimum of 250 health and heals Anub’arak.

Leeching swarm is a difficult thing to control during phase 3.  Most guilds use very specific class abilities to counter the leeching swarm ticks without healing Anub’arak more than the raid can dps.  Our guild used shadow priest Vampiric Embrace, holy paladin glyphed Holy Light, paladin Judgment of Light, shaman glyphed Healing Stream Totem, the occasional priest holy nova, and a rank 2 Wild Growth to keep our raid members around 2k health during the fight.

Penetrating Cold during phase 3 requires a different strategy than used during phase 1.  I’ve written and discussed this a bit previously.  However, I will re-iterate the main points here just to be thorough.  Our raid make-up for healing consisted of 2 holy paladins, 2 resto druids, 1 resto shaman, and 1 discipline priest.  Penetrating cold during phase 3 is made very deadly due to leeching swarm and the fact that each raid member is sitting at 2k health or less for the entire time.  What this means is that each penetrating cold target must receive a 6-7k heal within 3 seconds (penetrating cold first tick hits 3 seconds after the debuff has been applied) in order to live.  This requires a great amount of healer organization, coordination, and teamwork.  Our approach was to assign each holy paladin 1 raid icon to holy shock for the first tick, assign one resto druid one target to heal, assign the other resto druid a primary icon and a secondary icon (one of the paladin’s targets), and assign the resto shaman a primary icon and a secondary icon (the other paladin target).  The discipline priest was responsible for solely bubbling and reducing damage taken by the tanks and raid members.  The holy paladins were responsible for healing the main tank and off-tank.  As far as I know, they were using Beacons and spamming holy light.  In addition, one resto druid was also using a rank 2 wild growth before and after each penetrating cold hit in order to prevent deaths due to leeching swarm ticks.  All healers were using either Vuhdo or Grid with the extra addon as described in my previous post here in order to be able to easily visualize the raid members targeted with penetrating cold and their raid icons.

As a restoration druid in this fight, my strategy during phase 3 was to spec and glyph into healing touch in order to be able to easily throw out 7k heals in about 0.8 seconds.  I was also responsible for throwing up a rank 2 wild growth before and after a penetrating cold had hit the raid.  In between penetrating colds, I attempted to maintain a rejuv, regrowth and lifebloom on the main tank and off-tank.  This didn’t always happen depending on how much time I had in between penetrating colds.


Talent Spec:

In my previous post, I put up a screenshot of my current talent spec for the Anub’arak fight.  However, that has changed a bit based on a couple of issues we had and some new information we obtained.

Firstly, healers were having issues with generating more threat than the rogue/hunter could overcome in order to direct the nerubian burrowers over to the off-tank.  Our strategy to overcome this was two-fold: 1) the resto druids specced into Subtlety and 2) the paladin’s worked out a BoP rotation for the holy paladins to drop their threat during phase 3.

Second, based on some new information from Think Tank, we realized that the Master Shapeshifter talents in the restoration tree also affected Anub’arak and was healing him for 4% extra per resto druid.  Hence, those talents had to be dropped from our healing touch specs.

Thirdly, as I have mentioned previously, I was having some mana issues during phase 3 due to healing touch spam and the loss of my innervate to the holy paladins.  Thus, seeing as both the resto druids had to drop Master Shapeshifter talents, we both picked up 5 points in Tranquil Spirit.  I noticed a significant difference and had no trouble with mana last night on our kill.  With these changes, it was unnecessary for me to use Flask of Pure Mojo or mp5 food and I was able to maintain my phase 3 healing without mana issues using my customary Flask of the Frost Wyrm and Fish Feast food buff.

My final talent spec for the Anub’arak boss fight:  14/0/57


For this fight, I make a couple of item swaps.  The main goal being to give myself around a 0.8 second healing touch.  Mostly, I make sure I put on a couple pieces with a bit more haste instead of crit and I equip my Idol of the Avian Heart to buff up my healing touch.  I usually end up with around 500 haste.  The only downside to stacking more haste in my own personal opinion is the fact that you run into issues with the GCD.  I feel trained at this point for a 1 second GCD and if I’m running around casting a healing touch that is faster than 1 second….I sometimes found myself missing my heal on my primary or secondary target because I thought I already had gotten the spell off.  This results in a death 😦  So, I’m not very convinced at this point that stacking more haste is a good thing since for the most part I am not casting HoTs during phase 3.

Useful Addons:



Modded GridStatusRaidIcons

Our Video of Phase 3!!!

Thanks to Skysech for this video 😀


Call of the Grand Crusade, A Tribute to Insanity, and Realm First Grand Crusader!

November 11, 2009 3 comments

Finally, after about 3-4 weeks of wiping on Anub’arak, we just one-shot all the bosses in the Trial of the Grand Crusade and downed Anub’arak!  Idiocracy picked up three new achievements:  Call of the Grand Crusade, A Tribute to Insanity, and Realm First Grand Crusader.  Unfortunately, I was a bit slow with my screenshots lol, but I have plenty to show you all.  I also plan on doing an in-depth post about strategy, mostly healing-related since that is my focus and I have the most information to share on that topic.


Idiocracy is now ranked 61 in US servers and 149 in the world!

It was also a pretty good night for me as I picked up Vestments of the Shattered Fellowship, Chalice of Searing Light, and Maiden’s Favor.  All in all, a fantastic night for our guild, and I for one was shaking for a good 10 minutes after we killed Anub’arak.

Grand Crusader Fîrewood

Kiting is Hard

November 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Sorry it’s been a little while since I’ve made a new post on here.  Things have been a little crazy in my world.  I’m living in a temporary apartment in  a different city for my family medicine clerkship rotation for the month of November.  So I had to move this past weekend, get settled in, and I started working in a family medicine clinic this past Monday.  I also have other school requirements, a very difficult exam to study for, and a large project that I have to get started working on.  Needless to say, add in raiding and I’m a very busy person.

Unfortunately, idiocracy has still failed to kill ToGC 25-man Anub’arak as of yet.  It’s crazy how many little tiny things there are that have to be perfect in order to get to phase 3 and kill him.  The ice patches have to be positioned correctly, the adds have to be misdirected correctly, the interrupts have to be spot-on, phase 2 kiting has to be pro, dps have to aoe the adds and still hit anub, nobody can pull threat, BoPs have to be perfectly executed, the list goes on and on….  It’s not that our guild doesn’t know how to do all these things; the problem is that they all must occur simultaneously.  You cannot lose any person during phase 1 or 2; lose more than 1 or 2 during phase 3 and it’s over.  And I haven’t even mentioned healing in phase 3 yet.

As this post is titled…kiting is hard!  Now, I do say that with just a hint of sarcasm.  Now everybody knows that the spikes follow you when you get targeted, but unlike your character, the spikes can’t make those hairpin turns and they tend to take the shortest path to follow you.  That means….you have to make wide turns.  You have no idea how many times we’ve had ice patches used up early because someone either wasn’t paying attention or didn’t understand that they had to make a very wide turn in order to prevent the spikes hitting the patch prematurely.

Another issue that we have had, which has since been mostly resolved, is healer threat.  Yikes, I know, those adds wanted to pound my face in the dirt….and they were successful many times.  So, the healers in our guild had to modify some of our specialized healing talent specs in order to pick up those healing threat reduction talents.  Previously, in my post Anub’arak – Bane of my existence, I linked my previous healing spec for anub.  Here is a new link for my current build.  What I decided was that basically, I do not use nourish during the fight and I only keep up a regrowth on the tank for it’s HoT portion.  Therefore, I dropped my points from nature’s bounty so I could fill out subtlety and natural perfection (yea for 3% crit!).

Another issue I’ve been ruminating on is mana regen for phase 3.  My innervate has basically got a paladin’s name on it for phase 3 because our two paladin’s are spamming the tanks during that phase.  Therefore, I know that I have to rely on my own mana regen and intellect to get me through that phase.  In addition, I know that I cannot use a mana potion because at 15% the entire raid pops mighty frost protection potions.  So I’ve been contemplating using either Flasks of Pure Mojo or perhaps a different kind of food, maybe Spicy Fried Herring.  Cause frankly, I’m finding that we’re getting to 10-15% on Anub’arak, and I’m basically oom or getting dangerously close.  There are very rare occasions in which I’m willing to trade spellpower for mana regen.  However, I believe all that is necessary for a resto druid during phase 3 is to be able to throw out a 0.6-0.7 sec 6-7k heals on a target with penetrating cold and the mana regen to last the entire phase.

Anyway, my guess is we will try some more attempts on Anub’arak tonight.  Wish us luck, I’d love to get A Tribute to Skill (25-man).


Anub’arak – Bane of my existence

October 30, 2009 3 comments

There has been a lot of talk about ToC, ToGC.  Many people really abhore the fact that we now have basically 4 raid lockouts for a single raid that occurs in a single very boring location.  On the other hand, I just recently started raiding 25-mans and frankly, I need the freaking emblems!  I’ve got a trophy just sitting in my bag waiting for me to collect another 75 emblems of triumph so I can purchase my tier chestpiece.   In addition, I know that I’m missing a few necessary upgrades from the raid (*cough* *trinkets* *cloak* *neck* *off-hand* *cough*).  Not to mention….I have a feral set to start upgrading as well. /sigh the life of a druid with potentially 4 or 5 sets of gear.

Anyway, on to what I originally started this post to talk about…. Anub’arak in ToGC.  My guild, idiocracy, has been working on this boss for a week or two and I think we might finally down him tonight.  Last night we spent probably about 15 to 20 attempts on him and our very last attempt of the night got him to 8%.  So, in preparation for this event….I’ve downloaded fraps and windows media encoder in hopes of showcasing my very first resto druid video of our realm-first Anub’arak kill!  Here’s to hoping it doesn’t lag me out too badly and prevent me from healing my penetrating cold targets.

On the subject of penetrating cold and healing in phase 3 of this fight….Cows of Cows Loves Cake has a very good post about how he heals it and raiding addons here.  As of right now, I’ve specced and glyphed for healing touch for the Anub’arak fight.  My talent spec is as follows in the screenshot:


When in this spec, I also equip my old-school Idol of the Avian Heart from Moroes back in Kara and bump up my haste to 577 with a few choice pieces.  This gives me an 0.826 second healing touch cast, healing for around 6-7k, and helps me keep up with 2 penetrating cold targets during phase 3.  Needless to say, *crossing fingers for realm-first Anub’arak ToGC kill* tonight.  Wish us luck and hopefully in a day or two I’ll have a resto druid POV video ready and posted.

My New Favorite Title

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment

On October 11, 2009, idiocracy completed the realm-first 25-man Algalon kill! Incoming….Fîrewood the Celestial Defender!