Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Mana Management as a Resto Druid

Battling Sinestra!

A quick update to start! Apologies for the lack of posts recently, I’ve been very busy still in game and in real life. We’ve been pushing progression hard these past few weeks but with some good results, we’ve gotten 25 Ascendant Council and Cho’gall down on heroic, as well as a quick Al’akir heroic kill on 10 man outside of raid hours to get a good look at the fight. We’re working full time on Sinestra now, which has been quite a lot of fun. The fight is pretty neat, and has a, er, fun version of Twilight Cutters - think Halion cutters that chase random raid members.
There’s also been a lot of news updates about Patch 4.1 on the PTR, but with how quickly that’s changing and updating, I’m best off pointing towards MMO-Champion for the latest updates rather than trying to rehash all the news.
Instead I thought I’d make a post about the most important thing for healers in Cata - mana management!
It’s a bit of a fallacy that Resto druids have no mana issues - we have to manage our mana as much as any other healer, and you can easily run OoM if you’re not careful. 
The most obvious tools in our mana-management arsenal are Innervate, Revitalize (talent), our Replenishment, and Omen of Clarity (which now only procs for healing spells when you spec into Malfurion’s Gift).
Let’s start with Innervate.
Innervate: Causes the target to regenerate mana equal to 20% of the casting Druid’s maximum mana pool over 10 seconds.
Innervate is our key mana-restoring tool. It’s generally best to use your Innervate early and often so you can make as much use of it as possible during a fight. Generally the best time to first pop it in a fight is when you are roughly 20% down on mana, so that 20% back is theoretically topping your mana pool off again (or close to it). You don’t want to pop it too early, though, as you don’t want to waste it if you’re topped off and it’s still ticking. After that initial use, you can generally use it on cooldown through the rest of the fight (with the exception, perhaps, of certain fights or mechanics which result in you regenning enough that the timing of your later innervates might be wasted).
There are also several tricks you can do to maximize the mana you get out of your Innervates.
Timing Innervates with Procs

Timing your Innervate with item or enchant Procs can provide substantial boosts to your Innervate, such as the Power Torrent proc (Increase Intellect by 500 for 12 seconds), the Mandala of Stirring Patterns proc (Healing spells have a chance to grant 1926 Intellect for 10 seconds), or the Engineer tinker use Synapse Springs (Increase Intellect by 90), etc! Our Innervate is based off of our Maximum Mana Pool when used - so syncing it up with these procs or other abilities (such as a Priest’s Hymn of Hope) which increase our mana pool will increase the size of the Innervate.
Addons such as Power Auras Classic can be extremely helpful in knowing when item procs are occurring to help you time your Innervates with them. Use your judgement though - all of these procs and uses have cooldowns, so there may be times where you simply have to use your Innervate before a proc simply because it cannot wait.

A quick Power Aura code for the Power Torrent is:
Version:4.9; icon:Ability_Paladin_SacredCleansing; buffname:Power Torrent; texture:172; alpha:0.7; isResting:0; inVehicle:0; spec1:false; combat:true; size:0.49; y:-50; ismounted:0

Just click 'import' on the Power Aura edit page (/powa) and paste that code in. That code will make a lightning bolt appear in the centre of your screen when the proc is up, but you can easily change that to suit your liking!

Trading Innervates (Update: Trading Innervates is no longer viable as of Patch 4.2)
If there are multiple Resto druids in your group you should see about trading Innervates. The Glyph of Innervate is key here - the Glyph gives you 50% of your Innervate’s effect when you cast it on another target. If you and another Resto druid are both Glyphed, by trading Innervates you each gain their full Innervate plus half of your own. This can go a long way in maintaining both of your mana throughout a fight. Be sure to communicate when you’re trading, particularly that first one, so you can each keep Innervating each other on cooldown!
You can also set up quite lengthy circles of Innervates, particularly if you have several Boomkins in your group. Generally the boomkins won’t need their own Innervates, particularly in raids with Replenishment. This frees up the Boomkins to Innervate you and other healers. If the boomkins or another Resto druid innervates you, that also allows you to Innervate another healer, helping your fellow healers out over the course of the fight as well. To simplify things over a course of a fight, it may be helpful for Innervate targets to be assigned, ie Resto druid Innervates Pally, Boomkin 1 Innervates Resto Druid, Boomkin 2 Innervates Priest, etc. 
If you do not have another Resto druid or a Boomkin in your group, the Glyph of Innervate can still be useful for you, particularly in situations where an Innervate might be needed on someone else. Another healer might be struggling, or a healer or mana-using DPS may have been Battle Rezzed and so almost out of mana - having your Innervate glyphed gives you that bit of extra flexibility to Innervate the person who’s in greater need without completely sacrificing your mana return should you need it.
Revitalize and Replenishment
Revitalize is an extremely important talent in the Resto tree. 
Revitalize: When you periodically heal with your Lifebloom or Rejuvenation spell, you have a 20% chance to instantly regenerate 2% of your total mana. This effect cannot occur more than once every 12 seconds. In addition, you grant Replenishment when you cast or refresh Lifebloom, which grants up to 10 Party or Raid members mana regeneration equal to 1% of their maximum mana per 10 seconds, lasts 15 seconds.
We have our own little mana battery in this talent, restoring mana through Revitalize’s main effect and also in granting ourselves and our party and raid members Replenishment.
It is extremely important that you maintain good uptime on Lifebloom. While Rejuvenation can also proc Revitalize, Lifebloom is much less costly in terms of mana spent, grants Replenishment, and also plays a key role in our Omen of Clarity procs (which I’ll cover next).
Omen of Clarity and Malfurion’s Gift
Patch 4.0.6 saw a change to Omen of Clarity and it will now only proc for healing spells if we spec into Malfurion’s Gift. It is now an essential talent in the Resto tree, do not forget to pick it up!
Malfurion’s Gift: Whenever you heal with your Lifebloom spell, you have a 4% chance to cause Omen of Clarity.
Again, it is extremely important to maintain Lifebloom on a target, ideally a 3-stack. Not only will it grant Revitalize and Replenishment, as detailed above, but it will grant the chance for Omen of Clarity to proc. Generally, the most likely target for a 3-stack of Lifebloom will be one of your tanks, most likely your main tank target if you are tank healing. Do not hesitate to maintain that stack on a tank even while primarily raid healing, though. If you are in a fight or situation where there is not a tank target for you to heal (healing Rohash/East platform in Conclave of Wind, for example), use your best judgement on who to heal, whether it be another raid member or yourself.
Clever use of Omen of Clarity procs is essential in your mana management. Healing Touch, Regrowth, and Swiftmend all consume OoC. Generally you don’t want to Swiftmend for an OoC proc as it’s a reasonably cheap spell. If there’s little other damage going out and so no reason to use a HT or RG, you may want to pop a SM on a target who needs it just so the OoC proc isn’t wasted. 
Healing Touch and Regrowth will be your most likely use OoC procs. If you are tank healing, Healing Touch will likely be your best use of your OoC as it hits hard enough for your tank heals. Use Regrowth on your best judgement. The best time for Regrowth OoC uses though is definitely in Tree of Life form - spreading Lifeblooms around the raid will be increasing your OoC proc chance, and ToL grants you instant Regrowths, so this will give you tons of instant free Regrowths to cast out on raid members.
Mana-Saving Talents
There are several talents we can spec into to help with overall mana cost. Moonglow is a very useful one which reduces the mana cost of our spells by 3/6/9%. This talent is in the Balance tree in the second tier. 
Furor in the first tier of the Feral tree is also a helpful talent which increases our maximum mana pool size by 5/10/15%. Our mana pool size affects our Innervate, Revitalize, and Replenishment, so this talent will help increase not only your mana pool size but those mana generating abilities as well.
This is touched on above with Furor - our mana pool size affects our Innervate size and our Revitalize and Replenishment procs. This is part of why Intellect is such an excellent stat for Resto druids, particularly for regen.
 Although it may be tempting to gem for Spirit for the regen, favouring Intellect is the best course of action for Resto druids. Our in-combat regen tends to seem fairly low, relatively speaking - even on my main I’m at only about 2.6k in combat (self-buffed, mind), my other Resto druid who is in a mix of 333 and 346 gear is sitting at around 1.9k in combat self-buffed. It doesn’t seem like a massive amount, especially if you start comparing it to, say, a Holy priest, who may easily be hitting 3k+ regen in combat. The difference, particularly with Holy priests, is their talents boost their in-combat regen based on their Spirit specifically (Holy Concentration), which is why you may often see them favouring Spirit quite heavily.
Our mana regen is based largely on our Innervate, our Revitalize, and Replenishment, and Intellect will increase the effect of all of those. 
Healing and Planning
One of the biggest things in our mana management will of course be what heals we use and how we use them. Good use of our Omen of Clarity procs, covered above, is of course crucial to our healing and mana management. The use of the rest of our spells is also extremely important.
Lifebloom should always always always be up. If you don’t have a tank target to place it on, cast it on yourself or another raid member. It’s ok if it falls off - sometimes it can be quite useful to let it bloom, in fact - just be sure you put it back up right away. A 3-stack is best to keep up as much as possible. Many healing addons like Vuhdo and Healbot have HoT timers built-in which can help you keep track of your HoTs, though you can also find separate HoT timers or set up a Power Aura to let you know if your LB has fallen off.
One of the biggest issues that Resto druids seem to have today is moving past the Rejuv and Wild growth spam that proliferated during Wrath of the Lich King due to the nearly unlimited mana reserves. It is no longer feasible to simply continually spam Rejuv/WG. Don’t get me wrong, these two are extremely important spells in our healing arsenal. We just don’t have the mana to be able to spam them unnecessarily. While Pre-HoTing is still useful in certain situations (eg, you know a large quantity of raid-wide damage is about to hit), you can’t continually cover the raid and you can’t do so too far in advance. Our Rejuvs are of a shorter duration than they were in Wrath so you would have to refresh them more frequently, resulting in even more mana spent (and wasted). If the raid is fully topped with no incoming damage you are simply wasting mana on overheals. 
Similarly, many advise to use Wild Growth on cooldown - I prefer to advocate using WG on cooldown as necessary. The key is those last two words - as necessary. If the raid is taking constant AoE damage and 5+ raid members are always in need of heals, then it’s easier to use WG strictly on CD. If the raid is topped and there’s no incoming damage, spamming WG wastes not just mana but also the cooldown itself. As it’s a smart heal, it will hit those who are most injured, so it’s not really as feasible to pre-HoT with it (at least, not in 10- or 25-mans; in 5-man dungeons it will hit everyone in the party regardless). 
When AoE damage is expected, WG makes an excellent reactionary tool to hit right as that AoE damage hits. Keep in mind how Wild Growth heals as well - ‘the amount healed is applied quickly at first, then slows down as it reaches its full duration’ - so those quicker initial heals are best when applied for actual damage, rather than always pre-applied so only those final slower ticks actually have healing to do.
Overall, healing is much more reactive than it was in Wrath, so we need to be smart about when it’s viable to pre-HoT and when it’s more advisable not to.
As mentioned earlier, Regrowths are generally best saved for OoC procs, particularly in ToL form. The mana cost is very high for a spell which generally doesn’t hit too hard (especially if it doesn’t crit and you don’t have Nature’s Bounty), and you can easily spam yourself OoM if you’re only hitting Regrowths.
Don’t underestimate the value of Nourish. It’s a great spell for smaller damage, and if you’re, say, just keeping the tank topped off and refreshing his LB stack, Nourish is a great spell to do that. It’s so low cost that with LB up you can basically gain mana as you’re casting Nourish. Just be careful when tank healing that you don’t get caught flat-footed and miss a HT if you need that bigger heal!
Knowing the Fight
The best tool in your arsenal will always be knowledge. While there will be times when there’s unexpected damage (someone stands in something bad, RNG results in some bigger tank hits, etc), the majority of damage in fights is predictable and learnable. You know there’ll be bigger tank damage when a dragon does a breath, or heavy raid damage on something like Magmatron’s Incineration Security Measure. Learning fights and when to expect damage can help you plan which heals you need to use and when and can also help for planning your mana management throughout the fight. For example, if you know damage is light at the start of the fight, you can conserve a bit more so that you’re ready for a big burst of damage that may be coming in another minute or two. 
Also, knowing about how long the fight will last and what’s to come can help you greatly in planning your mana usage. If you have a ton of mana left and a very short period left in the fight, you can easily dump that mana and heal very aggressively. Similarly, if there’s a period of very low or no damage coming up that will give you time to regen mana (such as Magmaw when he is impaled on the spike), you can afford to spend more mana before that when you know you’ll have the opportunity to regen.
Tree of Life as a mana cooldown
This is an interesting strategy which I use in certain fights. Tree of Life is very effective as a healing cooldown (and even as a DPS cooldown if needing to help put some DPS into a boss) but it can also function as a mana cooldown of sorts. This is most effective in a fight that has pretty heavy AoE damage coming out in a mana-intensive phase. It can be very helpful for mana because ToL allows you to spread your Lifeblooms all over the raid to help heal up that raidwide damage, and Lifebloom is a much cheaper heal than Rejuvenation. Not only that, but the increased OoC procs from all of the LBs allows you to throw out those free instant Regrowths as well.
My best two examples of this are Valiona&Theralion and Nefarian phase 2, both fights when I use ToL for both the increased healing and for mana conservation. V&T can be a pretty mana intensive fight with all the raid damage that goes out, particularly on Heroic, so mana can easily get low when covering the raid. On V&T I tend to use my ToL form on a heavy damage phase when my Innervate is about halfway off cooldown, allowing me to recover some mana while throwing out those cheap LBs but still effectively healing the raid non-stop. 
In Nefarian phase 2 on the platforms, ToL can again be extremely effective in keeping the members of your platform healed by spreading LB all over them. It’s also much easier in that phase on Nef to keep multiple stacks of LB on each targets since there are much fewer people on your platform (as opposed to the full raid).
Never forget the value of a potion! A personal favourite of mine is the Mysterious Potion, as it restores health and mana and is fairly cheap and easy to make (it requires Deepstone Oil, made from Albino Cavefish). This can be a great potion to use to get you both mana and health back. It does have a range so you can get unlucky with a low effect, but still a nice pot to have a stack of nonetheless. 
The most amazing potion though is definitely the Potion of Concentration. There’s a little bit of a drawback in that you have to sit and channel it, which puts you out of commission for 10 seconds (be sure to let the other healers know when you need to stop to use it!), but it restores a tremendous amount of mana. If you can use it, I definitely recommend it! Again, knowing the fight can be helpful here - knowing when there’ll be a period of low damage that will allow you to channel that potion. I also recommend popping Barkskin before potting to help mitigate any damage you might take.
Triage is extremely important and there will come a time where you have to make split-second decisions about who you heal and with what. Again, knowing a fight may help you with this - is there a certain class or raid member who needs to stay alive to perform a crucial role? (Perhaps that rogue needs to stay alive to interrupt). Can you afford to lose one of the tanks or is it essential they’re both kept up for a required tank swap? Is the boss almost dead, should you be focussing on the DPS to help burn that last few percent of HP, or do your fellow healers need help so the entire group lasts longer? Don’t forget to heal yourself too!
Generally these are the ‘oh shit!’ moments and decisions start happening on the fly. You won’t always make the right decisions, and they won’t always be easy - I’d certainly prefer no one die! But if it’s a situation between, say, a DPS dying and a tank, the DPS loss might lead to a wipe, but if the tank dies it’s generally almost guaranteed to lead to a wipe. 
While this is largely general healing advice, mana management does come into play as well as it will be affecting the choices you make on who you heal and which heals you use. It’s especially important towards the ends of fights when every healer is running low on mana. There are also times when people can (or, in the case of a fight like Chimaeron, must) sit at lower health - healthpools are very large and topping everyone’s health may not always be necessary. Again, knowing the fight can help here - if a big AoE damage spike is expected, your party members may need to be topped off, but if not, they may be just fine at lower HP for a bit!
Don’t stand in the fire!
Finally, spatial awareness, knowledge of fights, and personal cooldowns are important for everyone - that is to say, DPS and tanks as well as healers. If someone is standing in fire or poison or whatever else and just not moving out of it, it’s avoidable damage that you’re being forced to heal through (and burn through mana). 
Most classes now have personal damage reduction cooldowns (like Barkskin for all druids, Divine Protection for paladins, etc) they can use. It’s also important that tanks be using their damage mitigation cooldowns - you’d be amazed at just how many tanks don’t use any of their myriad of damage mitigation/reduction cooldowns and just expect healers to heal them through ridiculous damage.
I mention this last bit largely as a reminder that DPS and tanks have their part to play as well as the healers. Healer mana is limited, and any unnecessary damage taken by party and raid members (healers included too!) is mana wasted for the healers. 
I also bring this up as I’ve heard many healers getting discouraged, particularly in PuGs (oh, the joys of the LFG tool!). While it can be great practice (nothing teaches you to deal with healing crises better than a PuG that’s just pulled an entire hallway in Stonecore, for example), it can also feel very discouraging. It’s always good to examine how you handled the situation and think ‘could I have done something differently to prevent that person from dying or that wipe from happening?’ There are times though when people were simply standing in fire / standing in a frontal cone / inexplicably jumped off a ledge / DPS taunted the boss / so forth! I have noticed an increase in pressure on healers, as when people die or there’s a wipe for many the first thought is ‘wtf the healers messed up!’ This isn’t always the case, though, so don’t forget to look to see whether someone was standing in something they shouldn’t have been!
As always, good luck and have fun!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Tips and Tricks for the First Tier of Cata Raiding

There are a lot of useful little tips and tricks for the different bosses and encounters in the first set of Cataclysm raids, not all of which are too obvious, so I thought I'd share those that have helped me and my guildies out so far this tier! 
I'll start with some general tips before moving on to specific encounters.
Mirror of Broken Images - This trinket (attained from Tol Barad vendors for 125 TB Commendations at Exalted) is an amazingly helpful trinket for any fight this tier, normal or heroic mode (though especially heroic). Although Mastery isn't always useful for every class and spec, it can be Reforged into a more useful stat. While you may not use the trinket for every fight, it's great to have at the ready for when you need it, especially when working on a new and difficult encounter.
The biggest gain of this trinket is its /use - Increases Arcane, Fire, Frost, Nature, and Shadow resistances by 400 for 10 seconds, on a 1 minute cooldown. I highly recommend every raider pick one of these trinkets up to have ready in your bag, especially if you're looking to do heroic modes. The trinket can save your life in a fight and, for druids in particular, can be nice to alternate with Barkskin on fights with repeated large damage that occurs more frequently than every minute (e.g. Nefarian's Electrocute every 10%).
Drums of Forgotten Kings - Note: It appears this may have been hotfixed to no longer work (24 March HotfixesThis is an interesting one. Using the Drums instead of Mark of the Wild or Blessing of Kings essentially gives you a trade-off of 1% less stats (4% rather than 5%) but will get you to a solid 247 Resists across the board - Arcane, Frost, Fire, Nature, and Shadow (including other relevant raid buffs ie Shadow Protection, Nature Resist, etc) as opposed to a normal 195 resist. 
ETA: Several have asked about this, I grabbed a couple of screenshots in our last raid to show this... click: Mark/Kings with 195 Resist ; Drums of Kings with 247 Resist. Both SSs also have Resist Aura (Pally), Shadow Protection (Priest), and Nature Resist (Shaman).
Range Checker - Most Boss Mods will have a Range checker window which are immensely helpful for fights that require you to spread out or get away from other raid members.
Power Auras Classic - This is a great Addon (one I use in my normal UI setup, visible here) which allows you to put in custom Debuff alerts. This is great for setting up additional alerts for debuffs in boss fights to help warn you - they are completely customizable and can be made with various icons, colours, and even animations and sounds. I will list debuffs which are helpful to make Power Auras alerts for each boss.
Atramedes - This is an addon which measures and displays in simple percentages the amount of Sound (Atramedes) or Corrupted Blood (Cho’gall) of everyone in your raid.

Bastion of Twilight
Quick Drake Guide
Time Warden: Grants the Proto-Behemoth the Fireball Barrage ability. Releasing slows the fireballs from the Proto-Behemoth.
Stormrider: Gives Halfus the ability to cast Shadow Nova. Releasing slows Halfus’ Shadow Nova cast time.
Nether Scion: Applies a +100% Attack Speed buff to Halfus. Releasing slows Halfus’ attack speed and reduces his damage done.
Slate Dragon: Gives Halfus Malevolent Strikes, a stacking healing debuff. Releasing occasionally paralyzes for 12 seconds. 
Whelps: Gives the Proto-Behemoth the Scorching Breath ability. Releasing reduces the Proto-Behemoth’s damage done.
As each drake dies, it causes Halfus to take 100% increased damage from all sources. Stacks.
It is generally easier to never release the Slate Dragon, as the paralysis affects everyone and the healing debuff can be handled through simple tank taunt swaps.
Furious Roar (cast by Halfus when he is sub-50% HP) is Physical damage, so Blessing of Protection will protect the target from the damage and knockdown. Useful on a healer such as a druid or priest for Tranquility / Divine Hymn in this phase.
Valiona and Theralion
Twilight Blast - If you focus Theralion, you can easily see if he’s targeting you for a Twilight Blast while he is in the air, giving you more time to move out of the way. Spread out some while he’s in the air so the Blasts don’t hit multiple people.

Important debuffs for healer’s raid frames: Blackout.
Ascendant Council
In Phase 1, the person with the Heart of Ice debuff should be near the group attacking Ignacious and the Burning Blood debuff near the group attacking Feludius for a buff to damage done before the debuffs are dispelled.
In Phase 2, the AE ability order is always Quake, Thundershock, Quake, Thundershock, so you know to alternate the tornado’s Swirling Winds buff and the Grounded buff. You can survive Thundershock without being grounded if you have a cooldown available (Barkskin, an external like Guardian Spirit, etc) but you will not survive Quake without the Swirling Winds buff.
Power Auras Debuffs: Lightning Rod. Heroic mode: Frost Beacon, Static Overload.
Important debuffs for healer’s raid frames: Gravity Crush in phase 3.
Simple notes for healers: When Cho’gall summons the Fire Elemental, there will be damage focussed on the tanks. When Cho’gall summons the Shadow Lord, there will be more damage on the raid.
The Blood of the Old God (the small, oozey adds) can be stunned, slowed, and knocked back.
Good interrupts of the Worshipping channel is key in this fight. AE abilities like a Priest’s Psychic Scream, a Prot Warrior’s Shockwave, Destro Lock’s Shadowfury, etc can be extremely useful for quick interrupts while the raid is grouped up. 
Some guildies provided an excellent macro for reliable individual stuns players can use to interrupt the Worshipping channel. This macro will clear your current target (eg Cho’gall), target the nearest enemy player (a Mind Controlled raid member), cast the interrupt, then return you to your previous target (eg Cho’gall).
/cast (Name of Interrupt)
For a cat, you could put in /cast Skull Bash(Cat Form) into the /cast line of that macro.
Displaying enemy nameplates can also help you immediately identify when players are mind controlled.
Blackwing Descent
Omnotron Defense System
Magmatron’s ability Acquiring Target can be removed by a Paladin’s Divine Shield, Rogue’s Cloak of Shadows, and a Mage’s Iceblock.
Do not do anything to drop threat on Toxitron’s adds if you are Fixated - it will cause them to find a new target and could lead to them blowing up someone in melee range. The adds can be slowed.
Position the bosses so that they pass through Toxitron’s green Chemical Cloud - the cloud causes everything to take additional damage, including the boss. Toxitron’s adds will also take additional damage if you are able to kite them through the cloud.
Stand in the Power Generator pools left by Arcanotron - they will boost your damage and mana regen!
Important debuffs for healer’s raid frames: Acquiring Target, Lightning Conductor.
Disable Projected Textures! Disabling Projected Textures removes the appearance of the bright green and white circles from the Druid and Priest AE healing spells, but it does not diminish the graphics for Pillar of Flame and Meteor (Heroic). This makes it immensely easier to see the fire and Pillar of Flame target spots, especially while in melee.
To disable, go to Options > Video > Projected Textures > Disabled.
I recommend turning it back on afterwards, as other fights have effects which need to be shown!
Resto Druids: Plant your Wild Mushrooms by the spike - when Magmaw is impaled, Detonate them for some nice damage!
Assigning or claiming spots before the start of the fight helps ensure everyone remains spread out when they need to be and that no one crashes into each other when spreading back out after Feud.
For Boomkins: When afflicted by the Caustic Slime hit-reducing debuff, use Wild Mushrooms - they won’t miss.

A DPS can technically tank the Break attacks while the Bile-o-Tron is online; as long as they're above 10k health they won't die. The Double-Attack tank (and Feud tanks on Heroic) must be proper Tanks. (See Chimaeron Raid Guide).
Heroic: In Phase 2, Nefarian begans casting Mocking Shadows, dealing 2,000 shadow damage every second to all enemies. It is important to ensure the raid is fully topped off before Phase 2 begins in Heroic in order to help keep everyone alive to DPS the last 20%. Abilities like Power Word: Shield, Power Word: Barrier, and Aura Mastery can be helpful in mitigating or absorbing much of this damage.
Important debuffs for healer’s raid frames: Low Health, Break.
The Flash Freeze ability in the blue phases causes initial damage and also damages the frozen player when the freeze is broken. Be careful not to DPS the tombs too quickly before the target is healed. Druids can pop Barkskin if hit by Flash Freeze for extra protection.
Abilities like Hunter traps, Frost DK’s Howling Blast (with Chilblains), and Mage’s Ring of Frost can be helpful in slowing and stopping the adds managed by the kite tank.
Prime Subjects in the final phase fixate on a target and are immune to taunt. Blessing of Protection and other abilities are helpful on raid members targeted (especially healers or squishy DPS).
Power Auras Debuffs: Consuming Flames, Biting Chill, Dark Sludge (Heroic).
Important debuffs for healer’s raid frames: Flash Freeze, Engulfing Darkness (Heroic).
Melee - Atramedes has a huge hitbox, stand as far out from him as you can to give yourself more time to avoid the Sonar Pulse discs.
In air phases, the second target Atramedes chases will be whomever hits a shield/gong in the air phase. Assigning a class or player with some sort of sprint-like ability to hit the shields can be helpful as they’ll have the speed boost to kite Atramedes.
Disable ‘Water Collision’ effects - this effect is what causes your camera to dip below and above the surface of water/lava in the game. Turning it off will allow you to just see your character from above the surface of the lava, making it much easier to see where your pillar is and get on.
To turn it off go to Options > Interface > Camera > Un-tick ‘Water Collision’.
Do not try to lifegrip (Leap of Faith) players onto the platforms - it doesn’t work and may get them caught on the lip of the pillars.
Do not jump in and out of the lava when sitting in it (especially on Heroic mode when you need to go into it for Explosive Cinders) - it will stack the Magma debuff faster. If you need to leave the platform, simply strafe off and strafe back, saving the only jump used for getting back onto the platform.
Note: As of the 16 March Hotfixes, toggling run/walk no longer works to slow down your movement speed when Mind Controlled (Dominion). To slow players in order to give them more time to stack up the power buff, try dropping slowing abilities such as Frost Traps and Earthbind Totems. For heroic mode in Phase 1 and Phase 3, have your Toggle Walk/Run keybound and toggle the walk on for the Mind Controls (Dominion). If you are mind controlled, this slows your movement towards the portals, giving you more time to stack up the power buff before you need to release yourself from the mind control. 
If you are Mind Controlled, you will get a new bar - press 1 to release yourself from the MC, press 2 to build stacks of the Siphon Power buff.
The adds in Phase 2 which need to be interrupted are called Chromatic Prototype. These adds do not melee and do not require a tank, they just need to be interrupted while killed. On Heroic, these adds need to die at about the same time, as Nef will begin to land as soon as the first one dies.
Important debuffs for healer’s raid frames: Magma (lava), Heroic Mode: Explosive Cinders, Dominion.
Power Auras Debuffs: Explosive Cinders.
Throne of the Four Winds
Conclave of Wind
If you ever have to go to the East Platform with Rohash, I highly suggest setting him as your focus in order to see if and when he is casting Wind Blast (cutters). 
Also for East Platform, in preparation for cutters it is best to hover carefully in melee range (avoiding tornadoes) before each Wind Blast. This will position you best for moving aside from the Wind Blast. If you are too far at range, you may be unable to move out of the way in time. Zooming your camera out is also helpful as it will give you a full view of Rohash and help you see which way he is facing. If you are still having trouble seeing where he is facing (especially if you are in melee range), watch people’s pets - pets will always position themselves behind their target. 
Wind Blast always rotates in the same direction (clockwise). 
If you are on the North Platform (Nezir/frost), try to avoid standing in the centre of the platform. The raid needs to stack up there to soak the damage during the Specials, and you don’t want a Frost Patch laid down in the centre just before a Special occurs.
The Squall Lines (tornadoes) have a graphic when they begin to spawn, they start as gold and white swirls which pulse a couple of times before the actual tornadoes form. This allows you to see where they’re spawning and can also help you spot where the gap will be.
People can be lifegripped (Leap of Faith) out of the Squall Lines.
Be sure to have your Sit ability keybound - Phase 3 has everyone ‘swimming’ in the air and you will need to move up and down - using the ‘Sit’ / down binding makes it very easy to move straight down.
Power Auras Debuffs: Lightning Rod.

Hope some of these tips are helpful! Be sure to leave a comment with any additional tips, tricks, or ideas you've found helpful in this tier.

Balancing Healer Raid CDs in Patch 4.1

So far on the Patch 4.1 PTR we've seen adjustments on healer cooldowns, most notably a reduction in PW:B (30% to 25%) and a 3 min cooldown and the new Shaman Spirit Link Totem. After much discussion on the Resto Druid and Shaman imbalance due to the Priest and Paladin raid cooldowns, I was excited when it was announced that these issues were being looked into for patch 4.1.
PTR Resto druids have seen Tranquility drop to a 3 min cooldown. While this is a nice ability for Resto druids, myself and others in the druid community are concerned that this will be the Resto druid 'raid cooldown'. Once again, Tranquility can be provided by any druid. Perhaps not quite as strong and now on a longer cooldown than a Resto druid, but a boomkin Tranq is still solid and a feral tranq, even if not too powerful, can buy healers precious seconds to recover. A shorter Tranq cooldown in no way makes Resto druids unique and does not increase their desirability in a raid comp as a healer.
The biggest concern with a 3min Tranquility is it’s another healing rather than damage mitigation/reduction ability, which has been the primary reason for stacking priests and pallies currently (PW:B and AM). Before the 4.0.6 buffs to Disc (when Disc was still behind in throughput) I was brought into a Heroic 25m on my priest alt literally just to provide a PW:B, despite the toon having significantly less gear and less healing ability, and not to mention less practice than my Druid main. With Shammies now getting a damage reduction-type cooldown, Druids are looking set to truly be out in the cold. 
As Keeva of TreeBarkJacket eloquently said in her recent post on 4.1 and Resto Druid desirability, 'Healing after spikes is very important, but reducing the impact is better and more attractive to raid leaders. Preventing damage is better than recovering from it; a healer combo that can reduce damage that the raid takes is simply more desirable than a healer combo that revolves around recovery only.'
I can already see Resto Druids being dropped again without having an equivalent damage mitigation cooldown of some sort, especially as paladins, priests, and now shaman all have raid damage mitigation abilities (and shaman even more so as they can also provide mana tide).
I realise there's a desire to avoid homogenization, but there needs to be balance among the healing classes. Unfortunately now that these abilities are in the game, Resto Druids are at a large disadvantage to the other three healing classes without an equivalent in a damage reduction ability.
If I may play devil's advocate - Perhaps a solution for balance may lie in simply removing abilities like PW:B, AM, etc, if not nerfing them. Raid abilities like these are extremely powerful tools, but they are quite literally game changers. Some current raid encounters, especially on heroic, are near impossible to realistically attempt without a PW:B available. 
With such powerful abilities available, encounters will inevitably need to be designed around the abilities being available in order to continue to challenge raids. There will need to be a point in a fight where there's some big AE damage that hits the entire raid, and so requires one of these big cooldowns to handle it. Consequently, any class which cannot provide that ability will be dropped in favour of stacking classes which can handle it, further defeating the ‘bring the player, not the class’ ethos which is trying to be developed. 
It is also arguably simpler to only need to retune damage output in encounters to adjust for these changes, rather than having to design encounters around these cooldowns being available.
I realise it's early still in the PTR, so I'm hoping that a 3 min Tranq isn't the Resto cooldown.
On a related note, I know many have suggested making Barkskin castable on others as a Resto Druid PainSupp-esque cooldown, however, if such an ability would force the Druid to sacrifice their own Barkskin, I would highly discourage such an idea. Barkskin is an invaluable personal survivability tool for all druids, and Restos should not be forced to sacrifice their own survivability as the only way to get any sort of single-target cooldown. 

ETA: Beru of Falling Leaves and Wings has an interesting post on this as well: I'm Growing Nervous About Tranquility.