[4.2] Resto Druid Tips for Ragnaros

We’ve been wiping on Ragnaros for a couple of weeks now.  Last week we decided to carry our lockout over and try for a kill on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, Ragnaros survived the evening but the time we spent on him was not in vain.  By the end of the night we were consistently getting into phase 3.  We saw one extremely painful 11% wipe (the boss is “dead” at 10%), and three or four more attempts under 15%.  Everyone was so pumped for a kill, but despite staying an hour over raid time, we just couldn’t take Ragnaros down.  Over the week since then, we’ve had some raid team set backs, including the loss of one of our main tanks.  Things are getting back on track though, and we’re still itching for a Ragnaros kill.

With all of our attempts on Ragnaros, I’ve learned a great deal about how to heal this fight, so I wanted to share some tips and tricks, specifically for Resto Druids.  This won’t be a detailed description of the encounter, just things I’ve found helpful to keep in mind for healing.

Hand of Ragnaros – This ability randomly knocks back anyone in “melee range” of Ragnaros.  Really, this seems to encompass the first 10 or so yards of the platform in front of Ragnaros.  More importantly, this ability will interrupt your spell casting and lock you out of that school for six seconds.  Obviously, this is intended to strongly discourage healers from standing in melee (where they are a bit safer from Sulfuras Smash).  Despite the changes in Cataclysm which have us focusing more on Regrowth and Nourish, and the even more recent change to our Mastery which requires a direct (often casted) heal every 10 seconds, Druid’s still have a slight advantage over other healers in having four instant cast heals.  If you find yourself needing to run into melee range for a few moments to avoid a trap or a lava wave, stick to those instant cast heals until you can retreat to ranged.

Bear Bash Stuns – During the Intermission phases, Bear Bashing a Son of Flame can mean the difference between making it to the next phase and an instant wipe.  Though your raid should be able to assign DPS to the Sons in a way that healers are not needed, I would recommend that you always keep eye out for Sons that are getting a little too close to the hammer.   Which leads directly into the next point…

Furor vs. Moonglow? – Although Jasyla proved that in terms of mana regeneration Moonglow provides “more of a benefit than Furor on any fight longer than 3 minutes,” Furor has a potential benefit for the Ragnaros fight; 10 instant rage.  Coincidentally, Bash costs exactly 10 rage.  Now, of course Bear’s have the Enrage ability, which also instantly generates enough rage for Bash, but it has a one minute cooldown.

Without Furor I found myself sometimes “stuck” as a Bear — I had used Enrage thinking I would need to stun a Son, but ended up not Bashing any target.  At this point I could either stay in Bear form until I stunned a Son or they were all dead, OR shift back into caster form to heal but forfeit any chance at Bashing another Son during that intermission.  Though healer stuns should not be a necessity…there were times when my Bash prevented a wipe and allowed us to get to the next phase.

By speccing into Furor I no longer felt “stuck” in Bear form; I could shift in to anticipate a stun, but if my stun wasn’t needed I was free to shift back out for quick heals.  I didn’t have to worry about not having enough rage to Bash a Son later on if it was needed, because if I went back into Bear form I would automatically have 10 rage again.

Innervates & Concentration Potion – This is a long encounter, and it can be difficult on your mana reserves.  Our good attempts were around 10 minutes long, which means you can get at least three Innervates in.  Use Innervate early and often!!

As for Concentration Potions, I found the best time to use one was during the second phase.   You start phase two spread out, then the seeds drop, and everyone groups up at the center.  After the adds are down, you spread back out.  A hammer with lava waves will drop shortly, and I used a Concentration Potion as soon as I knew I was safe from the lava wave.

Tranquility – The best time that I found for using Tranquility was when the raid grouped up for the second set of seeds.  This can be a difficult part of the fight as you may have to group up just behind the fire on the ground, and then once it dissipates, run immediately forward to be out of the way of the hammer.  With all of the movement, healing gets a little behind, but as soon as I was in position at the front of the room (safe from the hammer), I hit Tranquility to help bring the raid back up to full.

Tree of Life – If the first set of seeds looks a little dicey, I’ll hit it then, otherwise I save it for the third set.  I like to have Tree of Life available during the later part of the third phase as well.  Healing in the final phase is not very intensive, but just in case someone can’t move out of the fire fast enough or is hit by a lava wave while kiting, it’s good to have a emergency healing cooldown …or, in that last 1%, an emergency DPS cooldown. ^^*

A Ramble on PvP and Tanking

PvP

Last week I dropped Leiyan’s Balance spec and picked up a Resto PvP spec.  I’ve never really been into PvP… I play on a PvE server now because the first 40 levels of Leiyan’s life was hell on a PvP server.  Still, I have to admit the Wintergrasp zone during WotLK grew on me, and I sort of enjoy Tol Barad as well.

My current interest in PvP has been driven by the possibility for guild sponsored rated Battleground groups.   My biggest beef with Battlegrounds is that everyone seems to know exactly what everyone else should do, but they wont do it themselves.  But, entering a Battleground in a full guild group, with everyone communicating on Mumble just sounds like a ton of fun.  Like the Wintergrasp and Tol Barad battles, only… coordinated.

So I had my husband craft me a full set of caster PvP gear (“Bloodied Wyrmhide” iLevel 339), and I’ve been attempting to grind my way up to the “Bloodthirsty Gladiator’s” (iLevel 352) set.  Despite the lower overall stats on the PvP set (especially the iLevel 399) when compared to my PvE set, the new gear has made a huge difference.  I guess resilience really is as important as they all say!

The grind, though, is still very slow.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I always seem to be grouped with an abundance of healers.  In several 10v10 Twin Peaks matches over the weekend, for example, there were no less than five healers per match!  That seemed absolutely terrible to me, and sure enough we usually just didn’t have the fire power to take down the other team.

I was also roped into some 2v2 arenas by a random warlock in Stormwind.  We did about 6 games, I think, and lost them all!  The warlock must have kicked me from his team overnight at some point, since I’m no longer in his team, lol.  I’ve made my way to a guild 3v3s arena team now, but I haven’t participated in any matches yet.  We’ll see how that goes later this week!

Finally, I haven’t really done any research into PvP specs or guides before.  I’ve never ever even HAD a PvP spec before, on ANY character.  Does anyone know of some good Resto Druid PvP resources I could take a look at? =)

Tanking

All this PvP time on Leiyan has been taking away time I would have normally spent on Haylianna, running heroics and whatnot.  Last night however, a few guildies asked if I would tank an alt group for them.  We queued up and appeared in Stonecore.

As a tank this dungeon always gives me pause, more so than any other dungeon.  Sure Grim Batol can have some insane trash pulls and it’s super long.  Baron Ashbury in Shadowfang Keep, before the nerf, was also scary with all the required interrupts.  But Stonecore has… Ozruk.

Last night, we wiped on Ozruk about 10 times before giving up.  Most of those wipes were directly my fault.  I didn’t move behind him for a Ground Slam, or I didn’t run far enough away for a Shatter.  It was miserable.  Doubly so because I clearly remember that the last few times I tanked this dungeon I had no problem at all with Ozruk.

A guild main tank, who was running on his mage at the time, mentioned to me that they had made recent changes to this particular boss.  I do really like the new spell effect showing how far you need to run out for Shatter, though it took me an attempt or two to get used to it.  However, it felt like some of the timings between boss abilities had changed, maybe caused by the increased cast time of Shatter?

Whatever it was, there were a lot of things going wrong, and I just couldn’t figure it all out to make it work.  I suppose I’ve been spending too much time neglecting my alt while I’ve been busy raiding and PvPing on Leiyan.  The last time I did a heroic of any kind on Haylianna was over two weeks ago, and I ran that as a Cat.  I need to get back into the groove and make sure I’m doing some tanking every week to keep myself up to speed.