Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Resto Druid's Guide: Thorim

"INTERLOPERS! blah blah blah WAIT. I REMEMBER YOU." Yeah, duh you remember us, we were just here last week. Also, get a smarter Jormungar. I really want to see it clever up one of these days and go after the healer first, instead of the ranged dps there. And then run rampant through the stands. And tear up Thorim! I kind of imagine him akin to killer whale in Free Willy. Go, Jormungar, go! You *get* those bad people holding you captive here for their own entertainment! /cheer

Thorim starts out fairly easy. You run into the arena and kill the entourage in there - no need to prehot any tanks much; there's really not much damage that goes out. Once these are killed, your group splits up - some stay in the arena, and some go through the gauntlet. The gaunlet runs around the back of the arena and will eventually come out where you see Thorim standing now. The raiders in the gauntlet will jump down into the arena, and phase two will start. As a resto druid, you will almost always stay in the arena. I've heard some people say that resto druids are best in the gauntlet, because they can heal on the run, but I don't think that's where they're best suited. For example, on Matticus' guide, it says: "For healers you want someone who can snap big heals, or heals on the move. We found that druids and holy paladins work incredibly well for the ramp group. Large effective heals and lots of mobility." Matt is totally on the ball with holy pallies - their beacon of light and big heals really do well in there - and restos ARE good in the gauntlet for mobility - it's just that I personally think he's underestimating just how crucial it is to have instant hots in the arena. More on that in a bit.

Arena: The majority of your raid should be in the arena - you might have to tweak this a bit until you get a good balance, so be prepared to change who is where and how many people are in each group. You should have at least two tanks (three is nice, however) in the arena that should have at least a rejuv on them at all times. Watch out for other DPS that might get aggro, though. The arena is a survival fight. As long as the gauntlet is still gauntleting, mobs will continue to come at you. You have to do everything you can to stay alive for as long as possible while waiting for the other half of your raid. This means conserving your mana but being quick to heal up your tanks and dps. If the DPS consistantly get aggro (especially clothies), there's not too much you can do except hope that you see the damage RIGHT away, and have a rejuv already on the target AND your Swiftmend on cooldown, because otherwise, they're going down. Shadowmeld FTW! Oh, you're a human warlock? Hm. Personally, I've taken to literally rejuving everyone in the arena simply because I use my Swiftmend CD almost every time it's up. You should also be rocking out the WG when necessary.

Thorim will sometimes randomly target a player and Stormhammer them (you'll see him sort of spin his weapon down into the raid), which puts the debuff Deafening Thunder on the player AND those nearby. This increases your casting times and your GCD by 75% - it's really, really rough on anyone who has cast time heals. As a tree in the arena, this is where you'll really shine. Sometimes you'll just have to power through it and wait out a 2.2 second Nourish cast on the tank - but mostly you should be using all hots. Be smart about those direct heals, though - don't wait out a 2.2 second Nourish if you have no hots on the tank to buff it, say.

Now, because Deafening Thunder affects the player who was Stormhammered AND those around him, it makes sense to spread out, right? To outrange the increased-cast-time debuff. Actually, not so much. If you spread out too much, you'll get hit by Lightning Shock from the pillars around the outside of the arena. To make sure you do NOT get hit by this, make sure you stay in the copper circle in the middle of the arena. Staying inside this circle will also ensure that the tank picks up any loose mobs near you right away. Think like bunching up on the bone pile on the undead side on Gothik the Harvester.

If you do choose to spread out and stand outside the circle, and take the shock from the pillars, make sure you run in a circle around the outside of the copper circle to out-range the shocks. Don't run into the raid in the middle, or back towards the pillar - just strafe a circle around the mid/outside of the arena and eventually it will stop shocking you. Throwing a hot on yourself while you move is advised.

The mobs that you'll encounter in the arena will do a variety of abilities, but as a resto druid, you just have to know about a few- the Commoners' Pummel, (locks you out of you spells, eep), and the Champions' Mortal Strike (reduces healing on the target - keep an eye out for this debuff on tanks) and Whirlwind (gah, woodchipper!). Keep everyone alive, including yourself, and wait for the gauntlet to arrive! Oh, and if you get a couple mobs on you, definitely hit Barkskin. Or this macro. Either one. ^^

The Gauntlet: If you have multiple trees in your raid, there's a *chance* that you'll be in the gauntlet (although I truly think that multiple trees, even up to 3 or 4 is pretty optimal for the arena. Imagine all those hots! /drool). The gauntlet is a long hallway of mobs, that includes two bosses. You'll have one tank and a few DPSers: a few CCers (mages, hunters, etc), and other classes that can interrupt (rogues, etc). If you're a really leet resto druid and no one screws up, you CAN solo heal the gauntlet (I have faith in all of you, gentle readers!), but it helps to have a hybrid dpser in there who can toss out a couple heals if the going gets rough. We typically use a holy paladin in the arena, along with an elemental shaman, but a boomkin or even a ret pally would probably work just fine as an offhealer. Note that you need a VERY aggressive tank to make this work - remember that your arena buddies are being slammed back there, and you want to get to Phase 2 asap. So keep up, but don't get ahead of your tank!

Look out for the fire that will run down the hallway on either the left or right side that the boss ahead of you will be putting down. It helps to designate someone to call sides out. Think Skadi with his dragon's frost breath - same mechanic. The first boss you'll encounter isn't too bad - keep the tank hotted up and don't stand in front of the boss, and you'll be fine. After that boss, you all will have to power up the stairs, sheeping (mages' job) and aggroing (tanks' job) the mobs as you go. You want to immediately engage the boss, hot up the tank, and hot up your DPS as well. Watch out for Stomp and be ready with a WG. Watch out for mobs that might be unsheeped and running straight for a clothie. Also be aware of the ability Rune Detonation - he'll put this debuff on someone and you have to get away from them within 4 seconds! Once you finally get that boss down, run up behind Thorim and jump down into the arena (watch out for the circlesoflethargyandallthatisslow on the ground - they turn you into molassos)! And then, once all is said and done, you get to go to phase 2!

Phase 2: Now Thorim's pissed. RAWR! Honestly though, once you've gotten the gauntlet done, and you have enough people alive, this phase is easy cake (/nom), as long as you know where not to stand. As he comes down into the arena, spread out! You want your healers and your dps to be spread evenly around the arena. The Chain Lightning he does can really hurt if it starts jumping around. Keep an eye on which tank is on Thorim and hot him up accordingly - they'll be switching every 15 seconds or so due to the Unbalancing Strike debuff Thorim will put on them. Also look out for sparks that Thorim will put down on the floor in a line from him to the wall for his Lightning Charge - you need to get away from them! If you stand in them (them, meaning the cone it will form - it'll form from Thorim to the wall), it can pretty much one shot you. Your best bet is to just run to the other side of the room. TL;DR: Watch where you stand, hot up the tanks, and be ready to heal up any DPS that get caught in a chain lightning with a Swiftmend or a quick Nourish.


The token for [Conqueror's Nightsong Headpiece]
[Scale of Fates]

Happy hunting!

Want to know how Paladins are healing Thorim? Check out Tal's guide here!

Oh, also: Image Source. Thanks, MMO Champ!

4 remarks:

Aertimus said...

I have picked up extra pieces of haste gear here and there and I load them on for this fight when I am healing in the arena to keep my GCD more bearable when I get Deafening Thunder. I guess people could spread out to avoid it, but we bunch up so tanks can pick up adds easier, which means I get the debuff A LOT.

Orbitz said...

On this fight healing in the Arena I get ALOT of aggro. (Not saying the Tank isn't doing the best she can! But sometimes I *MAY* get swung at.) But my heals are pretty good at the raid coverage and its really just the ticks that send all the threat at me. God bless Shadowmeld!

As far as healing in the gauntlet, it was more difficult but STILL doable, as we still have our 'Nature's Swiftness' and Swiftmend for the clutch heals and the bomb damage is usually negated with 2-3 HoT's.

Dan said...

Being a Holy pally, the gauntlet healing duty defaulted to me on our 25-man kill. Beacon really shines in the gauntlet, and lets you send a minimum 1 tank / 1 healer + dps in there.

If at all possible, let a pally do the guantlet. We lack the AOE healing of priest/druid, but have great burst-damage handling (which is what the gauntlet does).

Druids are simply amazing in the arena, as are priests.

Bell said...

Since my guild always has at least two Restos in a raid, there's always room for one Druid in the gauntlet and one in the Arena. It's pretty sweet!