Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Resto Druid's Guide: Auriaya


Cats pouncing around at the speed of light: Check.
Having your face get mauled off: Check.
Sara screaming her head off in the background, making you want to slap her silly: Check.
Really, really wanting to stop and /pat or /pet the kittens that are all around you, but not wanting to get yelled at by the raid leader:...... er......check. *cough*

On this fight, the pull is most important. If you get it wrong, it's *very* difficult to recover from. You should have two tanks, one to get Auriaya, and one to get the cats. You should be standing out of line of sight along with the rest of the raid around a nearby corner.


Just....ignore Hodir over there. He's just hanging out. That's where Auriaya usually pats, by the way. But uh, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain (I went into Ulduar after our raid by myself to get these screenies, so, uh, Auriaya is actually dead at this point - as is Hodir, obviously ^^).

Where I'm standing - the red circle - that's where the entire raid should be. See the GREEN circle? Some raids hide behind there. We've found that the cats can pounce on raiders THROUGH that thing. So it doesn't work reliably as an out-of-LOS barrier. I'm assuming that *usually* it works, because a lot of different strats put raids there - but in two of our pulls, the cats were able to 'see through' the bannister there and pounce us, when literally, there was no one IN line of sight. Hence we moved over to a more solid wall on the right.

Why do we LoS pull like this?

The four cats do this crazy pounce thing that deals a TON of damage to people - but they can ONLY pounce you IF: 1. You're less than 25 yards away, or 2. You're more than 8 yards away. The line-of-sight pull ensures that when the cats finally get to the raid, they're all like awwww shiiii- cause the raid is too close (closer than 8 yards) for them to do their pounce ability. Sweet!

Three tanks will be needed on this pull - one to pick up the big chick, and the other to pick up the cats in pairs. It *really* helps to have misdirects, because you're going to want to prehot all tanks. Like, LOTS of prehots. Regrowth, Rejuv, 2-3 LBs. On both. If you don't prehot tanks, their chance of dying in like 4 seconds skyrockets. Because once you get the pull right, you all have to move back to HERE:

....and because you're all moving and trying to get into position, note that no big heals can get out to the tanks. No one can heal on the run like druids can - however, most of our insta-heals are all slow heal-over-times. Therefore: prehots! Very necessary.

After this initial pull, the tanks will move on over the middle of that area there, as shown in the second screenshot. At this point, you want to group up real close with all the other ranged DPS and keep your hots on the tanks (or your assigned tank). The tanks with the cats will be pretty far apart - if you get the cats too close, they all get a buff that does way more damage. Note that they all have this buff already when you pull - so it's another reason why the pull is so vital (if you mess it up, their stacked damage from the pounce will kill you), and why it's important to spread them out so as quick as possible.

Once you're in position, a few things will happen.

1. The four cats will die (if the DPSers are doing their job).
2. Auriaya will sometimes cast a fear on the raid that'll last about 5 seconds. This has a two second cast, so it's helpful to have Auriaya as your focus to see this. When the cast is coming, you can refresh a few hots on the tanks if needed before everyone gets feared.
3. Auriaya will sometimes summon a feral defender. This is another cat that will need to be picked up by a tank. The defender does a few things:

  • Pounces random people in the raid and locks out your spell casting for SIX SECONDS. This is probably THE most frustrating part of the fight. If a few of your healers get locked out, you can almost guarantee a wipe. There's not too much you can do about this, but hopefully the tank and/or dps can keep it stunned as often as possible.
  • When the defender dies, it leaves behind a huge void zone. It's black, and smelly. At least, I assume it's smelly. Also, it's bad: if you stand in it, you get ticked for 6k+. Ow. Don't stand in the black smelly stuff.
  • The defender can also revive itself (cause it has nine lives! Like, actually, it does - it can revive itself exactly nine times. I don't know about you guys, but I think that's freaking cool.)
4. Auriaya will sometimes summon swarming guardians - these are tiny little kittens that will nibble on your ankles. They're a mild annoyance, and OH SO CUTE, and can be AoEed down pretty quickly.

So what should restos do?

Overall, you should focus on keeping hots on your tanks. There's a lot of spike damage that goes out, and you really need to make sure you've got that buffer on them if a couple huge pounces hit them. There's a lot of damage going out (so therefore, you're healing a lot), and consequently, I don't actually roll Lifeblooms on both tanks - it just costs too much mana for me right now. I usually put 2 or 3 on each tank, let them bloom, and then stack em up again.

As for raid healing, you're going to want to keep Nourish and Wild Growth on hand. Ticking LBs or rejuvs throughout the raid can help as well, if you've got the mana. You also want to use Swiftmend a lot on this fight - whether it's to save a DPS or save the tank, it can be extraordinarily helpful. When you see a DPSer go from 100% health to 30% health in one hit, swiftmend is way to go.


[Unwavering Stare]

Although the tier 8.5 helm is practically the exact same thing - so, if you're gunnin' for a 4 piece tier 8.5 set and want the best possible combo of gear - I'd say get the 8.5 helm, and if you're gonna pass on one of the five 8.5 items, pass on the gloves.


3 remarks:

Arrym said...

Auriaya's feral defender has pretty much the same mechanics as the first kitties - if your all spread out it will pounce around, but if your all stacked together it won't. Healing is made much easier if the entire raid stacks on the tank once the 4 original cats are down. when they kitty gets low on health, 5% ish, it can be gripped or knockbacked, or the raid can just spread out to minimize damage from the void zone. As long as you prehot for fears and sonic scream, it becomes a no brainer!

thegnomedruid said...

Thank you for this great series on the Ulduar bosses from a healer stand point.

As a druid new to the healing game, I'm finding them very helpful!

Ravayne, of Kilrogg-US said...

I've also realized how sometimes resto druids get punched in the face right at contact point after LOS. We tend to have a good amount of healing aggro before the tank does anything to attract attention. I've found a good way for alliance druids to overcome this ;) roll full hots on all your tanks just before contact and shadowmeld, wait for tanks to spank the cats and unmeld afterwards.