Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chimaeron Update

As I am fond of doing, I am going to do a bit of an update to a past post. I noticed just today I received several hits to my post on Healing Chimaeron, so I thought I would update it with my thoughts on the fight now, and how I heal, now  that I am in a 25man guild that is farming Heroic Chimaeron.

So far my assignment has been to the Double Strike tank. We have a soaker tank, which is actually either a DPS DK in Blood Presence, or a Ret Pally with Righteous Fury on. Regardless of who is taking the majority of the hits, they will always be jumping back and forth between 10k+ and 1hp, so no point in wasting potential dps on bringing a third tank. We have 2 tanks who alternate taking the double strikes, the only time they are actually tanking is during the stack up phases, otherwise they taunt for the double strike, then the soaker takes him back. The purpose of that is to avoid getting stacks of break. So back to me: I heal the double strike tank, along with one other healer (usually a holy pally, as they can beacon the soaker tank, which along with hots, is all the healing they need). Priority is to get that tank topped off to 100% quickly, although there is actually a fairly big window to get him topped off before the next double strike, but any time spent healing him up with slow casts is time you could be spending helping up healing Caustic Slime Targets. My "secret weapon" to keeping the double strike tank topped off, including during the stack phase, when he quite often has stacks of break, is Prayer of Mending. This spell is great because as long as they survive the first hit, they're getting a ton of healing instantly, between hits. When the Bile-o-tron is online, this spell will guarantee that the tank survives the double strike, no matter how much damage each hit inflicts.

Every second Caustic Slime I am able to cast a Circle of Healing. This spell is another of the Priest's secret weapons on this fight. Normally I either target one of the tanks, or someone near the stack location, regardless of whether they are at full HP or not; This is because I have it glyphed, so it hits 5 targets in addition to my main target. And how many targets does Caustic Slime hit? That's right, 5. This spell alone is enough to handle all five caustic slime targets. It's sometimes a little scary, because my initial heal from it isn't enough, but one second of Echoes of Light (my mastery) pushes them over the Low Health warning and into the safe zone. If my circle of healing is on CD, I will always look for a group that has more than one low health member, and throw a flash heal on them.

Before the first Stack phase, I stay in my single target healing Chakra (the holy word is great for a quick top-off on a low health party member), but as soon as we stack up I switch to the raid healing, drop my circle on the ground, hit circle of healing, and then look for my tank's HP. Because I have a Holy Pally healing with me, I know they will quick to make up for any little hits the tank takes, and we have a Lay on Hands rotation that ensures my tank will be topped off before he starts taking damage. If my tank is full on health I start throwing Circle of Healings, or Prayer of Healings on the raid. I have Chimaeron Focused so I can see when he gets the double strike debuff. As soon as he does I cast Guardian Spirit on him (first and third stack) and then a Prayer of Mending (see above!). Then I will start throwing serendipity bombs to ensure I get him topped off right away. At this point I stay in the Raid Healing Chakra, because I don't have time to swap to single target, then back to raid healing before the next stack phase, and my circle of healing becomes that much more powerful!

Phase 2 is another area where Priests shine (especially Disc, but eww). As soon as phase 2 hits we should look at the DPS count, and start bubbling our top 5 dps. Constantly keep them bubbled, this will ensure that your top DPS are taking minimal damage, and will survive the longest. If Guardian Spirit is off cooldown wait until your first or second tank is low and throw it one him, it will allow him to survive a little longer, making Chimaeron leave your high Threat DPS alone for a while longer.

This is my guide in a nutshell. Please comment or ask questions, this was wrote pretty quickly so I may have left out things you have specific questions about!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

4.1 Changes

Well this is pretty behind but I've been busy, okay? (I also notice a lot of traffic from the search terms "4.1 priest" which means people seem to be hungry for this information).
If you are looking for a full synopsis of the changes I suggest the Wowhead patch notes, as that is where I get most of my information, however I am going to do a run down of some of the changes that you should know as a healing priest. This will by no means be an exhaustive list of all the changes, but will outline things I think are important.
  • Inner Fire and Inner Will last until canceled. While this is not the largest change it is one that makes sense. How often have you been running around in a dungeon and not realize that it has fallen off (especially now that it's hidden in that little buff box). It never made sense to me for this spell to have a limited duration (or limited charges as pre cata!) a big Thumbs Up from me.
  • Dispel Magic now dispels two magical effects at once for healing priests. Its about time we got this back, while it is more of a PVP ability (I think) it's nice to have this back, it has bugged me since they took this away that all the other healing classes have one button to click for dispels and we have 2 (3 if you count mass dispel), so this is a nice little handout to make us feel a little less forgotten.
  • 100% pushback protection while Channelling our Hymns . Quite happy about this, although it was pretty rare to deal with this in PVE it was a pain when it DID happen.
  •  Chakra States now last until canceled. Wow is this awesome, I love not worrying about falling out of my Chakra state because I haven't been paying enough attention to my timer. Combine this with the four piece set and it actually comes off a little overpowered, but hey, Priests ARE Blizzard's favorite class right?
  • Holy Word: Sanctuary has had it's healing buffed, and has a much cooler spell effect (even if it IS harder to see where the edges of the actual effect are :S). This is now a spell I am actually quite happy to use, while in the past it almost wasn't worth the GCD to me.

  •  Atonement now triggers from Holy Fire. Not only does it trigger from the direct portion, but I have noticed that the DoT portion seems to work as well (smart HoT ftw?). Combine this spell (faster than smite, and deals more damage) with the proper glyph and this change is huge for those atonement fights (especially Halfus!)
  • Power Word: Barrier. Oh yes, the spell that Blizzard likes, but is never sure they like the way it works. It started off as a set damage absorption (like an area wide Power Word: Shield), then was changed to a damage reduction, and now they've decided it was over powered (now don't get me started on the Shaman Raid Wide Pain Suppression...). But alas they have decreed that this spell should have it's cooldown buffed by 50%, so now it has a 3 minute cooldown, up from 2 minute. Disappointing. Relearn those CD Rotations Raid Leaders!
  • Power Word: Shield has had it's duration halved. Not a huge deal for PVE to be completely honest. No one is bubble spamming anyways (except Phase 2 Heroic Chimaeron), so bubbles were popping way before that 30second duration they used to have anyways.
  • Divine Aegis has had it's duration increased (12s to 15s). This is a very nice change, as many of those Prayer of Healing bubbles were being wasted, and now...well they'll likely still be wasted, but hopefully less!
That summarizes most of the Priest Changes. I really encourage any good raider to go take a look at all the changes to the other classes as well (especially your fellow healers, and the priest changes I may have skipped), the more you know about other classes and how they work, the more prepared you are to adapt to changes in the middle of a fight, or change your strategy between attempts.