Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Healing Heroic Nexus

If you were to ask trade chat on your server what heroics are the easiest for a new 80 to complete you'd probably get a lot of flak, but somewhere in there you'd probably hear two answers: Nexus and Utegarde Keep. Both of these low-level instances stay pretty easy to accomplish with the transition to heroic.

The purpose of this post will be to outline some general strategies for trash and specific strategies for bosses that can assist a new resto shaman in healing this slightly tricky instance and nabbing thier very own War Mace of Unrequited Love.

Trash Strategies

Trash in heroic nexus doesn't vary much from what it is on normal, but there are still a few things to keep an eye out for:

Azure Enforcers before Anomalus can mortal strike the tank, which can be pretty scary if they do it early on in the pull. Be ready to toss chain LHWs to the tank to keep him up if his gear isn't quite up to snuff.

Stewards in the pulls before Telestra have the Blood Elf racial Arcane Torrent, which silences everything in 10 yards, so make sure to stay back on these pulls.

Finally, right before Telestra there is a pat with 2 Mage Slayers and a Blood Elf mob, be ready for somebody to aggro this pat unless you clear it ahead of time. Most groups I've been in simply can't resist the urge to step back just a bit too far and end up grabbing it.

Ormorok the Tree-Shaper

(This giant piece of rock drops your Frozen Forest Kilt which is one of the better pre-epic resto shaman leg pieces and worth trying to obtain. Not only does it give you a hefty amount of mp5, but it also looks dead sexy.)

Your biggest issue with this fight on heroic will be watching for the heavy damage the tank will be taking. There isn't a direct AoE ability in this fight, but like most fights in WotLK bad dps can get themselves killed thanks to Ormorok's Crystal Spikes and Spell Reflection. Since the damage of the Crystal Spikes has been significantly increased on heroic, expect most undergeared dps to get either 1 shot or almost 1 shot by it, so be ready with a quick riptide and LHW to get them back up if you can spare it. If your tank can't survive on his own long enough for you to heal a facerolling dps, they might be too undergeared for the fight.

The other annoying element of this fight that's new to heroic mode is the inclusion of Crystalline Tanglers to the fight. Every now and then Ormorok will summon one that will latch onto a nearby player and chain root them. This becomes an issue when the recipient suddenly finds themselves unable to juke Crystal Spikes. I ask DPS to kill nearby Tanglers when they can. If you yourself are getting rooted, either ask a DPS to help out or toss a Flame Shock / Lava Burst combo at one to take it out.

At low health he does Frenzy, increasing his damage by 100%. Just spam heals as best you can through it and collect your loot.

Grand Magus Telestra

(Killing this confused lady will net you Bands of Channeled Energy, some of the best pre-epic mana regen bracers around. These are probably your best option pre-Naxx, as it isn't until you start getting really geared that haste starts to shine.)

Probably the most chaotic fight in the entire instance, this one will be a hefty test of your ability to react dynamically to changing conditions and keep both dps, the tank, and yourself alive.

At first the fight is relatively simple. She casts a firebomb spell that hits the tank and deals damage to all targets around them. If the melee dps is having issues with this, switch to chain heal to keep them and the tank up. Make sure to heal up the group after a Frost Nova in preperation for the high AoE damage of her second phase. The vortex-like attack where you go flying through the air is low enough damage to be practically ignored. I like to toss a riptide on myself or the lowest party member during it since any non-instant cast will be interrupted.

At 50% the fight gets interesting. She does the split, just like on normal, but since it's heroic, everything is significantly crazier. The three forms have the same abilities as on regular:

Arcane: Polymorph and Time Stop
Fire: Fireblast and Scorch
Ice: Ice Barb and Blizzard

Your biggest challeneges will be outhealing the Blizzard, which hits everything within 40 yards for 2000 frost damage every 2 seconds, and avoiding the lockouts of Polymorph and Time Stop. For this fight I strongly recommend dropping a Frost Resistance totem to help mitigate the Blizzard damage.

If your group has a strong CC class (like a mage) you can direct them to lock the arcane form down, which will get rid of the two most dangerous abilities in the fight. If you lack such a class, heavy dps + a hex will hopefully be enough to lock out the arcane form long enough to kill the other two forms. Once the arcane form is controlled, kill the ice, then fire forms.

I tend to just throw around LHWs during the add phase of this fight, as it's just mobile enough to waste the bounces of chain heal. Be ready for everybody to pull aggro here, as even skilled tanks can easily get overwhelmed when having to tank 3 casters.

Repeat this at 10% and you'll hopefully be the proud owner of some new bracers!


(Another great pre-epic resto item off this boss: Amulet of Dazzling Light. Spell Power? Check. MP5? Check.)

Depending on your group makeup here you could either have a really easy time of this boss, or a slightly harder time.

This is a pretty basic tank and spank until something unique happens: The boss will summon a Chaotic Rift near him that will do light AoE damage to anything within 15 yards AND summon Crazed Mana Wraiths that will quickly, and practically irrevocably, aggro onto you and start pelting you with Arcane Missiles.

There are two different ways to handle this:

If you have a lot of melee DPS:

Your dps will be taking damage from the Chaotic Rifts as they struggle to kill them, which means you'll want to use chain heal liberally. At the same time, you'll probably be taking medium damage from the Crazed Mana Wraiths, so I like to position myself close enough to the melee clump to catch chain heal jumps from them (or, if you're low on health yourself, jump chain heal to them) but far enough away to not get the AoE damage. Cast chain heal on whoever is taking the most damage (most likely you).

If you have a lot of ranged DPS:

Since most of your dps will be outside of the AoE, you can use the more effective LHW here, which doesn't feel the effects of spell pushback nearly as much as the longer chain heal. During Chaotic Rifts, keep an eye on your health and watch to see if any of the ranged dps pulls a Wraith off you.

Anomalus will spawn Chaotic Rifts at random intervals during the fights. At 75%, 50%, and 25% he'll spawn a Rift and shield himself for 45 sec or until the Rift is destroyed, so be ready to heal at those points.


(War Mace of Unrequited Love. mmmm yeah. Wait. What?)

This fight, despite all of the oddness that occurs during it, is actually relatively straight forward when it comes to healing.

First off, make sure to use Frost Resistance Totem for this fight, as a significant part of the fight is frost. From there, your healing strategy will revolve around the frigid conditions of the fight, which drop a stacking damage buff on you every second you're standing still. That means all the jumping your DPS is doing isn't a result of too many caffinated beverages, but instead a way of clearing the debuff before too many stacks hit them. The best way to keep healing while dodging this debuff is to use your quick and effective LHW to top off the tank and DPS.
Every now and then Keristrasza will root all the players for about 10 seconds, during which the debuff will keep stacking. Just keep healing through it as best you can. If you're lucky and all the DPS are stacked near the tank, chain heal while you're stuck. If not, throw around some LHWs to keep everybody alive. The important thing is to watch your debuffs and move right when the root clears to clear the debuff.
In the grander scheme of heroic bosses, Keristrasza is pretty easy with a low to moderately geared group as long as people don't let the debuff stack too high.

Commander Stoutbeard / Korug

Depending on your faction you'll either get the ornery dwarf Stoutbeard (Horde) or the equally ornery, but significantly smellier, Korug (Alliance). For many first time groups this fight will be a complete surprise, because the boss is frozen in ice along with some trash on the way to Grand Magus and isn't there during a normal mode run.

Along with the boss come two priests who need to be CC'd or killed first depending on your group makeup. I generally recommend blowing heroism and tearing them apart quickly to avoid any messes, but if you have a low DPS group that happens to have two forms of renewable CC, go for it.

The Commander only has three abilities of note, a AoE fear, incredibly nasty whirlwind, and a charge. The AoE fear can spell doom for the unprepared, as it's very easy to pull frozen adds in the room, but a tremor totem nullfies any fear-related worries.

The whirlwind will usually kill unskilled, slow, or green melee. It hits hard and quick, for around10k on plate. Word on the Wowhead forums is that post-3.0.8 the damage has significantly increased, but I haven't experienced it myself yet, so take this with a grain of salt. Most melee won't be able to survive a hit from the whirlwind, so they need to move fast or face splattering.

The charge is based on range: the nearest player outside of melee range will be the recipient. It can one shot low health clothies, so make sure the best geared ranged stands closest to the boss. Sometimes this will be you. This is perfectly okay, as odds are you'll be able to soak a hit and get yourself back up in time for the next, but never let anybody sit at the 75% mark during this fight, as every percentage of health can spell life or death during one of his massive damage hits.
Once you experience the abilities and drop your tremor totem you'll be fine. The healing output required on the tank is relatively low compared to other fights, so even if all your melee dps dies to whirlwind with some tenacity and vigor you can power through it with just the tank and healer while the melee dps run back.

And that's it. Hopefully you picked up the disgusting amount of great resto shaman loot in this lengthy and relatively simple instance. Even if you didn't get anything, enjoy your 5 (or 7 if it's the daily) emblems.

1 comment:

  1. I allways use hex on the arcane mage, since I hate to be Polymorphed and unable to heal.

    It might also be a good time to combine your Nature's Swiftness with Hex, so you're back on healing-duty asap.