This is going to be a short guide that includes the talents, glyphs, raid composition (for 25 man) and general cooldown preparation that I used for healing Normal Heart of Fear. Although it is aimed specifically at Holy Paladins, Ill try to keep the healing talk general so that other classes can get some use out of this as well. Post any questions on fights you may have in the comments and Ill do my best to answer them.
This is the general spec I run with, and unless I state otherwise these are the talents that I use. I also want to say that while I advise a certain talent spec, you can do every fight with whatever talents as long as you figure out a way to make them work for you. I want to add to this by saying that despite what many people will have you think, running PvP 4 Piece and Eternal Flame are not the only way to heal as a Holy Paladin. Its the way to get the absolute best numbers if that’s all you’re interested in, but parsing is not the same as doing your job.
Also of importance is the fact that most of these fights include huge amounts of physical damage that cannot be mitigated by Devotion Aura and that you need to glyph Divine Protection for if you are having trouble surviving.
Imperial Vizier Zor’lok
Talent Changes: None
This fight has a few different abilities that need to be dealt with that each require a different amount or style of healing. The boss has three platforms that each grant him an ability, and the last phase of the fight involves fighting him in the center of the room where he will have all three abilities at once. The boss has one ability that lasts the entire fight, Exhale which should be soaked by a tank to avoid the damage on the target. I’ll start by breaking up each individual platform.
The first platform grants the boss the Force and Verve ability which is an AoE ability that will damage the entire raid with physical damage. The boss also tosses out a few bubbles that the raid can stand in to mitigate some of the damage, but it is still enough that you need to be prepared to do some burst AoE. This ability is the reason that I like HA on this fight. You can pop HA as the ability begins and then chain LoD with HS and HR weaved in between to get your 3 HP. LH should also be dropped on as many people as possible as this ability goes out.
The second platform grants the boss Attenuation. This ability releases rings from the boss that should be avoided. If done properly no healing is required through this phase, but lets be serious for a second: someones going to screw up and you need to cover their ass. The best way to do this is to go into the ability with full Holy Power. This phase requires you to keep moving, so you can only use instants to try to save people. If a few people take a hit you can toss out a LoD, or if one person really needs it you can use a WoG to save them. Lay on Hands can also be used here, and if its absolutely necessary you can use Bubble and continue to heal through the ability. You can also toss LH on the path that your group will be running through, but this may be better spent once the group comes back together to heal everyone up.
The third platform grants the boss Convert which is just another MC to deal with. The targets need to be dpsd down and then healed back up. LoH can be a nice clutch heal here if your dps get a little too eager to dps someone down and they break MC with a real possibility of dying.
The last phase includes all of these abilities and so is a combination of the strategies used for all of the platforms.
Blade Lord Ta’yak
Talent Changes: Hand of Purity or Clemency
This fight has two very distinct phases. The first includes a lot of burst healing situations while the second has constant damage going out to the whole raid.
The first phase lasts until the boss reaches 20% health. The abilities that the boss uses for this are Tempest Slash, Unseen Strike, Wind Step, and Overwhelming Assault. OA is an ability that only affects tanks, and you should be prepared for tanks to be taking spiky damage as their stacks get higher. SS should greatly help with keeping that damage more regular, so don’t forget to put it up. Tempest Slash is a very simple ability that comes down more to your raid paying attention to where they’re standing so as to not get tornadoes in inopportune locations.
Wind Step is a DoT ability that does a lot of damage. This is the reason that I take either HoPurity or Clemency over US on this fight. The ability can be taken off of the target through immunities and Hand of Protection, or the damage can be decreased with HoPurity. Either works, and it really depends on how many targets there are. HoProtection is great if you only have one target, but Purity works better if you have a few targets getting hit and want to spread the damage reduction.
Unseen Strike is the largest raid damage that goes out in phase one. If done properly, your whole raid will get hit for a decent amount of physical damage. To deal with this burst damage I like to use HA to quickly heal everyone up with LoD. LH can also be tossed down after your melee group stacks up again (Ranged needs to be spread because of Wind Step).
Phase two is a burn phase with an interesting mechanic. It requires the raid to run from one end of the room to the other while continuing to take a large amount of damage. I found that as a paladin it was very hard to heal through this phase while continuing to heal. HA made one of the running phases (there are two: one at 20% and one at 10%) a lot easier, but our toolkit just isn’t built for healing while on the move. Once everyone gets to the part of the room where the boss is stationed, its much easier to just stack up and use LH and HR to heal everyone back up.
Talent Changes: EF and DP
Garalon is a fight with a ridiculous amount of raid damage going out. This fight is made perfectly suited to EF blanketing because of this consistently high raid damage. Pheromones will continually do large amount of damage as long as your raid is fighting Garalon, and Crush adds a large amount of burst damage into the mix. I would advise following the EF healing strategy, which I outline HERE, and using LH on as many people as possible during Crush. The fight is pretty straightforward as long as Pheremones are handled properly, so there really isn’t much else to say about this fight.
Wind Lord Mel’jarak
Talent Changes: None
This fight has two sorts of phases. During the first you are dealing with both the boss and his army of adds, and in my opinion a lot more damage. During the second phase you are dealing entirely with the boss, and to make up for this he hits quite a bit harder.
During the first phase, the adds that are up use Corrosive Resin and Kor’thik Strike periodically on the raid. The damage that each individual ability inflicts isn’t huge, but there are happening at the same time as the boss’s abilities. Wind Lord uses Whirling Blade and Rain of Blades above 70% health. Rain is a very high damage physical ability that require a strong amount of burst healing that is perfect for HA. If you have the mana to do so, it is also very effective to spread illuminated healing through HR before Rain goes out. Do keep in mind that doing so very mana taxing though. Whirling Blade on the other hand can be avoided completely if people are paying attention. People do tend to get hit by it though, so be prepared to heal through that damage as well.
Once the adds are dead and you begin to push the boss’s health, he will begin to cast Wind Bomb. This ability should never actually go off unless your fellow raiders are dumb and stand in it. If they do stand on one there will definitely be some trouble with healing the raid up as all ranged should be spread out to deal with Wind Bomb. The boss will also be hitting harder with all his abilities at this point due to Recklessness (which is linking incorrectly). On normal it actually acts differently, it increases his damage by 50% and stacks with no duration. This makes Rain of Blades a very hard hitting ability once all the adds are dead and also makes Whirling Blade much more of a threat if not avoided.
Talent Changes: Hand of Purity, EF/DP
This fight has three phases that each have a strong amount of damage going out and each carry a lot more damage than the last phase. An ability that is present throughout the whole fight needs to be watched carefully though. Parasitic Growth is an DoT that absorbs healing to increase the damage dealt. If you try to heal someone with Parasitic Growth on them, you’re going to kill them. This also means that people with Parasites need to move out of AoE healing if they are taking large amounts of damage. I’ve noticed that because of AoE heals, the damage gets higher regardless of no direct heals because of the incidental AoE healing. To deal with this I use HoPurity on the target later in the debuffs time span.
The first phase of the fight includes the boss and periodic adds that he summons. The main ability that is dealt with is Amber Scalpel and the Living Amber that are summoned through it. The adds focus on random players and deal moderate physical damage, but their real threat is dealt with their explosion upon dying. The damage is not huge, but it will definitely keep you busy with healing.
The second phase has a lot of damage going out, but a majority of it can be avoided as long as your fellow raiders aren’t dumb about dealing with mechanics. The second phase revolves around the Amber Monstrosity and Un’sok’s Reshape Life. During this stage, Un’sok continues to use his phase one abilities, but the Monstrosity presents much more damage to be had. The Monstrosity will use Massive Stomp periodically and presents some burst to be added to the constant damage brought by Living Amber. The Monstrosity will also try to cast Amber Explosion which players affected by Reshape Life must interrupt. Those same players must also interrupt themselves from casting their own Amber Explosion. If either of those interrupts are missed, be prepared for a lot of damage to go out. These explosions are good times to use healing cooldowns.
The third phase will occur after the Amber Monstrosity dies. Un’sok will stop using Amber Scalpel and therefore will stop summoning Living Ambers, but Reshape Life and Parasitic Growth will continue. This phase becomes a stack and burn phase, so there is a higher chance of Parasite targets dying if they stand with the group and take large amounts of AoE healing. If you’re running EF, just take this phase to continue blanketing as well as possible. If you decide to run a non-EF build, this is the time to chain as much LoD as you can.
Grand Empress Shek’zeer
Talent Changes: Possibly EF/DP
This fight includes phases with a lot of raid damage, both in burst and constant form.
The first phase centers around Empress’s Dissonance Field and Cry of Terror abilities, but Dread Screech is also present throughout the phase. This phase is completely about controlling the Dissonance Field eruptions. If both go down simultaneously the damage is going to kill some people. Being smart about Cry also negates a lot of the damage that ability deals. Either way, be ready to heal through both the high constant damage of Cry and the burst behind Dissonance. If you’re running EF just have as many HoTs up as possible, and if you’re not you need to have HP ready to toss as many LoD as you can quickly after a Dissonance field goes off.
Phase two has multiple adds that deal a strong amount of damage and have the Band of Valor ability that will make that damage incredible if too many are allowed near each other. Set’thik Windblade do some moderate raid damage through Dispatch and Sticky Resin. The damage isn’t incredibly high, but your raid will be spread out so HR wont be very effective for dealing with raid damage. The other adds, Kor’thik Reaver, will do a large amount of tank damage and some raid damage through Poison Bomb. Be very careful of your tanks through this phase. The damage they’re taking can be very burst based on how many adds are near each other and its easy to get out of range of them while running around.
The last phase of the fight is a burn phase on Empress that introduces Sha Energy, Calamity, Consuming Terror, Amassing Darkness, and Visions of Demise. If people are quick about avoiding the cone, Consuming should never hit anyone. Be prepared to dispel people if your raid fails at this mechanic though. Visions is another ability that needs to be dispelled. My raid handled this by having a stack point slightly off the boss where people with Visions would run to. This allowed our priests to use Mass Dispel as soon as the ability went off and avoided most of the damage. Sha Energy and Amassing Darkness are unavoidable and give this phase a very high healing requirement. That in combination with Calamity are a throwback to healing through Anub’arak back in ToC. Again, if you’re running EF just keep spreading Hots as much as possible here. Otherwise make sure that you keep your AoE healing rolling with LoD and HR.