Saturday, 24 July 2010

The flaw of mortality! Healing Sindragosa

I was playing with improving the video quality on my recordings (got them to HD, but they seem to still be lacking sharpness when uploaded to youtube) and did one of Sindragosa, so I thought I’d write a guide on healing Sindragosa to go along with it!
Once again, full detailed information on the encounter mechanics are best found at a place like Tankspot. There are many different strategies for dealing with the Iceblocks both in the air phases and in Phase 2 - go with whichever one works best for you and your raid team!

I grabbed the video the other night while we were clearing ICC. This is the 25 man Heroic version of the encounter. One of the key differences on heroic from regular mode is the Unchained Magic debuff causes an arcane explosion when it ticks off of a target. In phase 1, anyone afflicted should move out of the group to avoid exploding on the entire raid (you’ll see me have to do this in the video). In phase 2, those afflicted will ideally stop casting, as the raid will be grouped up by the ice blocks. You may prefer to have anyone afflicted stop casting both in Phase 1 and 2 - that’s down to your preferred strategy.
It is even more important on heroic mode to have a strong healing team that works well together and can rely on each other. You’ll have to watch your fellow healers’ backs; if any of them are Iceblocked or get Unchained Magic in phase 2, you will need to help them out and cover when they have to stop healing.
I personally find this encounter to be quite fun, especially while healing it as a druid! 
Phase 1:
A druid’s HoTs are brilliant for dealing with the ticking aura damage in this fight, particularly in phase 1. 
Healing phase 1 is quite straightforward. If you’ve got some solid dedicated tank healers in (a couple of pallies most likely), as a druid you’ll likely be able to focus mostly on the raid. I always like to keep an eye on the tanks while covering the raid, though - at least a Regrowth and a Rejuv kept up on the tanks at all times is very helpful, and be ready with your Swiftmend and Nourish to boost the heals on the tank if it’s needed. Also be ready in case your tank healers get Unchained Magic!
Your Rejuvs and Wild Growths will work wonders on topping up the raid. Targeting your Wild Growth on the melee will be a helpful extra boost on them, particularly for those who have let their Biting Cold debuff get too many stacks.
Your main nuisance in phase 1 will likely be Unchained Magic, particularly on Heroic. Be ready for quick big top-ups should anyone have their explosion go off in the raid. Sindragosa’s death grip of the raid is a particularly risky moment - this will often come while Unchained Magic is still affecting raid members. This is the most likely time that you’ll have explosions going off amongst the raid as people are sucked in with the debuff still ticking. If people are quick, they’ll be able to throw in a cast or two to extend the debuff before it falls off and explodes (I’ll usually toss a quick Lifebloom or Wild Growth if I get in this situation). If not, though, you’ll end up with some going off and raiders needing some big heals.
Iceblocks: You can’t heal a target once they are iceblocked, BUT, HoTs WILL continue to tick on targets that are Iceblocked. It is immensely helpful to get at least a Rejuv or another HoT on players targeted for Iceblocks. The iceblocks will cause some damage when they hit, so your HoTs will tick on the players and heal them up while the rest of the raid is working to free them. Having the player topped up inside the Iceblock also gives crucial extra time should your raid be slow on freeing them and the player begins to suffocate.
A note for other healers: Priest’s Renew and Shammy’s Riptide are helpful if you can get these on players as well, and a Disc priest’s Bubble is very helpful for negating much of the initial Iceblock damage too. 
There ideally is minimal to no healing required during the air phases as the entire raid should be LoS’ing every frost bomb. The frost bombs will one shot any player on Heroic, so it’s best your raid practices avoiding every one on regular as well.
Phase 2:
Phase 2 begins when Sindragosa hits 35% health.
This is where the fight becomes trickier to heal, as you now have increased damage on the entire raid and tanks due to the Mystic Buffet debuff. It’s very important your raid members watch their stacks of Mystic Buffet and LoS Sindragosa to let the stacks drop off. Your tanks also need to coordinate well so that their stacks will drop too - if their stacks get too high, they risk getting one-shot by Sindragosa’s frost breath.
Phase 2 requires a lot of coordination and awareness from every raid member. Healing strategy will be similar to Phase 1, but much more demanding due to the increased damage. 
It is important to be on your toes in Phase 2 and be aware and communicating with your fellow healers - you need to be ready to switch from raid healing to tank healing (or vice versa) at the drop of a hat should your other healers get Unchained Magic or Iceblocked. It may help your raid to run more healers than they might otherwise (particularly on heroic) to help provide backup should any of the healers be unable to heal.
Iceblocks are crucial in Phase 2 so the raid and tanks can drop their Mystic Buffet stacks, so topping up Iceblock targets is very important. Because the iceblocks cause damage when they hit a target, if a player is too low on health they risk dying when struck, and your raid will lose an iceblock. If I see an iceblock target is low on health, I’ll pop a Regrowth on them to heal them up and apply the HoT to heal them up in the block.
You shouldn’t run into Line of Sight issues while healing the raid in this phase, as the majority of the raid will likely be with you behind the ice blocks to Line of Sight Sindragosa. You may run into issues when covering the tanks, though. You only need to LoS the centre of Sindragosa to drop the Mystic Buffet stacks, so, depending on your choice of Iceblock strategy, you may find you can stand in such a way that you will still LoS the boss but have access to your tanks. If you cannot do this, though, you may have to carefully pop out between blocks to heal. Again, communicate with your fellow healers!
All of phase 2 is a delicate balancing act between keeping the raid topped up and healing the tanks. Remember, coordination and communication is key!
Good luck and have fun!
Feel free leave comments with any questions you may have on the encounter.

3 comments:

Moonra said...

Nice vid mate wish I could try hc 25's ones, what kind of healingframe do you use? Grid is it?

Feral Tree said...

I use Vuhdo (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/vuhdo.aspx), which I absolutely love - I actually use it on all my toons now (even my non-healing ones) as raid frames.

Anonymous said...

if I ever heal this on my druid I will read over your guide :D