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. ^^*