Lord Rhyolith

Lord Rhyolith – 49 million HP in 25 man/15.5 million HP in 10 man

Welcome to my first Firelands Boss Strategy guide. Please note this is a work in progress and will be updated if anything changes or if my guild finds a better way to proceed.

The first boss I’ve had the pleasure of facing in this raid is none other than Lord Rhyolith. He is described as one of the most ancient of fire elementals in WoW Lore, and one that was quite aggravated when the titans forced him to move to the Firelands. In the raid he is also among one of the more unique bosses this raid has to offer.

To begin with, Lord Rhyolith is a two-phase fight. In the first phase he is not tanked but gently encouraged to step in the proper direction via his feet being stabbed. This seems odd to me as if someone was stabbing my feet, I’d walk in the opposite direction and not towards them… but then again I am not an elemental.

Phase 1 – 100% to 25%

Drink Magma – Remember how I said Lord Rhyolith  ignores us? Well that’s because he is trying to very slowly make it towards the edge of his platform. If allowed to reach any of the magma surrounding his island, he will get very angry and kill everyone post-haste. What he does is suck up the magma and then spit it all over the raid causing 35,000 damage every second for four seconds. This is fire damage, and since another of his mechanics makes the raid take more fire damage… this is a wipe mechanic. If he ever gets to use it, you are likely all dead.

Obsidian Armor – This is a mechanic that makes Lord Rhyolith somewhat interesting. What this buff says is, for each stack of obsidian armor Lord Rhyolith will take 1% less damage. He begins the encounter with 80 stacks of this buff, so he begins by taking 80% less damage. If this raid boss steps on an active volcano (one that is spewing out fiery death), then 10 stacks of his obsidian armor will be removed. This is entirely on the dps, as we can’t heal the boss to influence where he goes.

Molten Armor – He can have two armors?! Hax!!! If Lord Rhyolith steps on a dormant volcano, namely one not spewing out fiery death, then he will destroy the volcano and get two stacks of this buff. Each stack of this buff increases the damage he can cause by 2%. The only way that this armor can be removed is when the boss uses another of his abilities called Thermal Ignition. Again, this ability is entirely on the DPS. They should be guiding the boss away from any dormant volcanoes unless it’s absolutely impossible to not step on one.

Concussive Stomp – Lord Rhyolith the next in a line of very tall things that like to just step on us, how rude! When using this ability, all players in your raid will take 35,000 damage and in addition all raid members within 20 yards of the boss will be knocked away by the stomp. Now I have not done this myself, but I hear it’s bee’s knees way of avoiding damage… simply do what we do for every other stomp mechanic in the game… Jump!!! unfortunately, I found that jumping does not work on this boss… as sometimes I would still take damage even if in the air and vice versa would not take damage if on the ground. There’s a chance to resist the damage as with any boss mechanic… the jumping thing seems to be inaccurate (oh god the stompers are learning). Finally, each of his stomps will create either 2 or 3 dormant volcanoes around the island at random locations.

Volcano – At certain intervals Lord Rhyolith will activate one of the dormant volcanoes around his humble abode. This causes it to spew fiery death at is, with the apt name of Eruption, until it is stepped on by Rhyolith anyways.

 – Eruption – An erupting volcano will pulse this ability quite frequently.  Each pulse will hit 3 raid members in 10 man/6  in 25 man. Every time a person is hit by the pulse (and the pulses seem to target randomly) they will take 12,000 fire damage and gain a stack of a debuff. The debuff causes the player to take 5% more fire damage for 14 seconds and it can stack up to 20 times (That’s 100% extra fire damage, ouchies). This is the reason to herd Lord Rhyolith over activated volcanoes as quickly as the DPS can. The damage from this ability can ramp up significantly when combined with Concussive Stomp and the hellfire aura of one of the adds Rhyolith can summon.

Crater – After the boss stomps on a volcano, a crater filled with lava is created. During the remainder of the fight, Lord Rhyolith can cause one of these craters to erupt with fire, causing significant damage. An orange magma pillar will rise from the crater before causing 4-6 lines of fire to shoot off in all directions. By standing in one of these lines, a player will be hit for 75,000 fire damage (this can kill a person quite easily if they have the stacking debuff from an erupting volcano). Not only that, but 10 seconds after the lines first shoot out, they will explode for 150,000 fire damage to anyone still standing on one of the fire lines.

Thermal Ignition– This ability of Lord Rhyolith will likely only affect the melee group standing at his feetsies. What it does is cause 15,000 fire damage to anyone within 7 yards. If the boss has any stacks of molten armor, one will be removed each time he uses this. Finally afterward he will summon either 5 Fragments of Rhyolith or 1 Spark of Rhyolith.

 – Fragment of Rhyolith – 465k HP in 25 player/116k HP in 10 player
These small adds can be gathered up and AoE’d down fairly easily, phew. The dangerous aspect of these adds comes from a buff on them wears off. This is Meltdown which lasts for 30 seconds after they spawn. If the Meltdown buff is allowed to run its course, then the add will pick a random person and explode on them. The damage dealt will be whatever health the Fragment had left before going all kamikaze on someone, ouchies!

 – Spark of Rhyolith –  5.5million HP in 25 player/1.7 million HP in 10 player.
This is the big hurty add. It has a lot of health and has a nasty hellfire-ish aura around itself. This Immolation Aura deals 8500 damage to everyone within 12 yards every 1-2 seconds. Because of this aura and it’s punishing melee hits, the add should be grabbed by a tank and pulled off to a side for the ranged group to burn down. As a healer, be prepared for people to take one or two ticks of the aura as the mob is positioned, and then for increasing tank damage. Why is the damage increasing you may ask, well see the adds other nifty little ability!

    – Infernal Rage – The Spark of Rhyolith will gain a stack of this ability every 5 seconds. What it does is increase the damage the add does by 10% and it also increases the damage the add takes by 10%. It can stack up to 20 times (which would make that aura tick for over 22k damage).

Phase 2 – 25% to Death

When the boss reaches 25% health, not when all of his stacks of obsidian armor have been removed, his protective shell will break revealing the gooey core inside. Important Note: his armor shattering is a visual effect only and will not remove any remaining stacks of Obsidian or Molten Armor. Because of this, wait until all the Obsidian Armor buffs are gone and for him to have as few as possible to minimize the effect on phase 2. During this phase, Lord Rhyolith will no longer spawn additional volcanoes or anymore adds.

Flame Stomp – This ability persists into Phase 2. The only difference is in this Phase it can be interrupted.

Immolation – Remember the Spark of Rhyolith? Well the big guy stole a move from him. Immolation begins once phase 2 starts and it causes 8000 fire damage every second to everyone in the raid. This ability will be influenced by stacks of Molten Armor and by the debuff caused by erupting volcanoes, so make sure to pre-plan for a period of heavy healing if either of those apply.

The Actual Walkthrough:

This fight is fairly straightforward and really the toughest thing about this boss fight will be the DPS learning to Steer Rhyolith properly. They must learn quickly and make good turning choices in order to smoosh the volcanoes before the damage ramps up too high. With the recent hot-fix the damage is much more manageable but they should still try to prevent it from getting high. From a healing perspective the damage isn’t very impressive, nor very consistent. Most of the time the damage is almost non-existent, but it can ramp up pretty high if volcano’s are allowed to continue spewing out Eruption. That and there can be a very large spike of damage if anyone stands in the crater explosions (hopefully they don’t!) Three to six healers (depending on raid mode) can handle this encounter with ease, but even still here are a few helpful tips I can give for first timers of this boss:

1) Use your totems as a good collapse point for the ranged/healer pile. This fight does tend to bring people all over hells half-acre. Another good way to designate a collapse point is Healing Rain.
2) Be vocal with your melee. Lord Rhyolith’s graphic is massive… They may not see those erupting volcanoes shooting lines of fire towards them.
3) With the recent hot-fixes, the stacks of eruption now drop when entering into Phase 2. It is no longer required to let those stacks fall off before pushing into the phase.
4) Don’t forget your towel!


Finally, the thing that everyone cares about… loot! What exactly can Lord Rhyolith give as loot that would be useful for a Restoration Shaman? Well there are only two pieces unfortunately.

Here is… a neck piece! Heartstone of Rhyolith complete with mastery and precious spirit (seriously there’s not a whole lot with spirit on it his raiding tier).

The last thing is a wrist item Lava Line Wristbands which comes with spirit and haste on it (both very good things to have).

Posted in Firelands, Healing, Raid, Restoration, Shaman, Strategy Guide | Leave a comment

Circle of Healing

Ack I’ve been tagged by Windsoar of the Jaded Alt blog! This is terrible, what shall I do… except continue the game of course and complete Miss Medicina’s Circle of Healers questionnaire. I wasn’t an official blogger at the time Miss Medicina first started, but apparently, Saunder at Non-Squishy Heals has reset the game and started anew! Now I can play, muhahahaha!

For all those who don’t know, this game of tag works as thus: Answer the questionnaire and than tag a blogger (who heals using a different class then yourself!) so they can answer the questionnaire themselves!!!

PS: Since I’ve not been around for the game till now, Noooooo idea if the people I intend to tag have been tagged in the past. If you are one whom I tag and have already done so, sorry!

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Laerith – Restoration Shaman

What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
I heal all sorts of things, from dungeons to 10-man raids to even 25-man raids!

What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
Healing Rain. Simply put, I always wanted a spell that caused a really awesome watery effect to happen (this was before shaman healing spells got the change from green nature to blue and watery). To that end we got healing rain on announced as our Cataclysm spell I almost jumped for joy. The entirety of the time between it getting announced and myself seeing it on the beta, I kept saying “Please say it makes rain in-game.” And blizzard did not disappoint… for it does. It’s a very powerful spell, causes rain in-game, and just looks awesome. To that end it is my most favorite healing spell.

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Healing Surge. I almost never use healing surge for two reasons. The first is that the spell hates me… seriously it does. When combined with the tidal waves buff shaman can get, I should have had a 50% chance to crit with Healing Surge… yet time and again it just never would crit for me. Secondly, now a days the healing on Greater Healing Wave is just better… Healing Surge got nerfed and GHW got buffed, so in every way GHW is just a better spell. About the only time I ever use healing surge is on Chimaeron.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
Dynamic Interaction and Flow. I’ve always felt that a shaman’s healing arsenal flowed very nicely from one spell to the next. We don’t have a rotation… we have spells that just work nicely off each other. Two of our healing spells cause a buff that can affect three other of our spells. We have an ability that increases healing done, a cool-down to give us incredible mobility, and even now a tanking cool-down. All in all the restoration shaman arsenal works very well with itself and flows very nicely from one spell to the next.

It’s actually this reason that made me stop playing my holy paladin… I got so bored of Divine Light, Divine Light, Divine Light, Judgment, repeat.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
Mobility and Diversity. Even though shaman now have a very nice cool-down in Spirit Link Totem, it’s kind of hard to use and is positioning dependent. If we could target where the totem was dropped I’d have no complaints, but since it gets dropped in to our lower left side (that’s where air totems drop) we have to really make sure not only that everyone is in position, but that we are facing the right direction.

Mobility because we only have one instant cast spell with a six second cool-down. In many situations the bane of healing is heavy movement (except druids *fist shake*) and for shaman that is no exception. Even with Spiritwalker’s Grace and Riptide… needing to do a lot of movement really kills healing.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
Raid Healing. I am kind of neurotic about seeing health bars that aren’t full, so even if I am assigned to tank healing I always find myself drifting to helping the raid out. With the raid healing job, I’m free to satisfy my compulsion to heal everyone (including the tanks if they need some extra oomf) and thusly it is my preferred roll.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
I enjoy healing with everyone equally specifically because the people I heal with are my friends :) But for the sake of the question I’ll answer like this. If I were to pick two other healers to come with me into a 10man raid, I’d want a paladin for tank healing and a disc priest for the absorbs. It creates a situation where we have excellent single target heals, excellent aoe heals and excellent absorbs.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
I’m going to say a druid. The Druid and the Shaman are very similar in terms of what they do… which is great aoe healing with great single target healing on the side. Not only that but both classes are built on the style of through-put healing. So in many situations where a cool-down is needed, the only answer we have is more healing which doesn’t create a very balanced healing situation.

That and it is really annoying to be casting a greater healing wave on someone, only to see that 0.5 seconds into the cast they have been hotted up big time and no longer need my big heal, which forces me to stop casting or waste mana and healing. Druids often say, “why don’t you wait for my hot to do its thing?” and I simply have to say, I was casting there first… -.-

(Disclaimer: I am not referring to the whole Resto Druid community… there are some bad apples in every healing class)

What is your worst habit as a healer?
My worst habit as a healer is the fact that I can be competitive… it’s really not a good thing for a healer. Because of that, I watch the healing meters and my performance can either be better or worse depending on if I am say top or bottom healer (for total healing, including overhealing and absorbs). I like to do my best, so when I see someone who has the same gear as me doing better… I let that affect my confidence and thus my healing. (Special thank you to one of my fellow healers who reminds me often to turn off meters).

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
Two things, the first being people who heal themselves and the second being people who call out that they need a heal or are dead. The first mostly only comes in 5 man dungeons… it irks me to see a ret pally at 80% HP running out to heal himself. It just says to me that they don’t trust me to heal them and that irks me.

Secondly if someone calls out that they need a heal… in all honesty the healers probably know this and are working towards healing you if you can be saved… all you are doing is cluttering up raid chat or vent and distracting people from their jobs >_<

Do you feel that your class/spec is well-balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
Yes and no… In some ways I feel like shaman can use a very slight (like under 5%) healing boost, but in others I feel far too powerful. It’s very hard to figure out if you are balanced or not with others, and even more so for a shaman. Our mastery stat causes us to be the best healers around sub 50% health (I can crit a GHW for 95-105k, yeah that’s not OP >>) but above 50% our heals fall short of everyone else because their mastery bonuses may provide a flat benefit.

All in all, I think shaman heals are ok… I’d love to see mastery not be so powerful sub 50% and be more flat bonus healing because currently it makes it hard to see if we are OP or UP. Besides that the only thing I feel we really need is a healing throughput cool-down, something that gives us +% more healing for 10 seconds or something just to be able to keep up with burn phases like the other healers can.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
Healing Meters, World of Logs, but most importantly I ask my fellow healers how I have been doing lately. I’ve found that the people I heal with can tell me if I’m having an off-night, or how to better improve myself better than a tool.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
I think one of the biggest misconceptions people have about Resto Shaman is that we are purely an AoE healing class. That is so last expansion. Yes, Chain Heal and Healing Rain are still key to our healing strategy but we also have fantastic single target healing and mitigation. We can tank heal as well as raid heal.

Not only that but another large misconception is that we are mana batteries thanks to our Mana Tide Totem cool-down. Again you are wrong. While awesome, the cool-down is nowhere near where it used to be and even if it was… stacking spirit makes for a bad Resto Shaman. We are more than a cool-down (This was sparked by Paragon saying they didn’t bring a resto shaman for Sinestra because they didn’t need MTT)

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
This has several answers. First is that Water Shield which needs to be refreshed a lot under some situations. This answer also applies to totems when they need to be re-dropped. Secondly just using the healing arsenal to its fullest. In some situations it’s advisable to use chain heal or healing surge or any of our other spells, and it just takes experience to learn it all.

Finally our stats… every other healer out there has the set knowledge that this stat provides this benefit, but this is untrue for the Resto Shaman. Mastery and Crit are both useful in their situations and haste is only useful up to a point… If a person is below 50% health for a single target spell, mastery provides more benefit but if they are above then crit provides more benefit. AoE healing has a similar situation and because of both of them, it’s unclear how to gear for maximum efficiency. Some Resto Shaman will likely have more use of crit and some will have better use for mastery, but it depends on the individuals raid and this just confuses many. They want to be able to like, stack mastery or stack haste… but as a shaman they can’t… they have to find a balance.

If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?
High healing output (I’ve often been told I heal a ton for my gear…) often times lower overhealing when compared to a persons Total Healing (namely my percentage of over healing is lower than some, but the raw over healing number can be high), and a failure to keep to my assigned target if I have been assigned one >_<. I can’t help myself, I want to heal everyone.

Haste or Crit and why?
Crit, it just provides more than haste does now. Tidal waves reduces our big heals to 1.5 or 1.4 second casting time already… stacking haste will only bring it to 1.2-1.3 which makes haste heavily outweighed by the benefit crit can give.

What healing class do you feel you understand least?
Priests. They are the class I’ve never been able to get to 85 with and beyond major cool-downs… I really don’t know their arsenal of spells, stats, or how they do what they do!

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
For healing I use Totemtimers to keep track of shields, Grid for healing bars along with mana bars and debuff tracking, and then like DBM to announce when someone got hit by something. For macro’s I have nature’s swiftness bound to Healing Rain so they can be cast nicely together, a warning system for my cool-down totems, and a macro for interrupting the boss if I need to. Beyond that, I really don’t run with a large amount of healing add-ons or macros.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
Like all healers I go for a higher intellect, but after that I have to get a minimum haste value before doing a careful balancing act of Crit and Mastery. I take extra haste where I can get it, but mostly it’s ignored while I balance the other two stats out.

And now, tag you’re it!

Tzufit of Tree Heals Go Woosh.

Amerence of Amerence Love Wow.

Lizzia of Authorized to Ramble.

Posted in Healing, Opinion, Shaman, Social | 1 Comment

Patch 4.2, Oh god it burns!

Well since everyone else has already posted a massive 4.2 update, I suppose it is about time I get my own out there. With this patch we will see a multitude of new things happening from a new raid, new dailies, to all new troubles making mods work.

So just what is in this new patch? Well here is a list of what you will find:

-Class Changes and balancing issues
-A new raid, The Firelands, with 7 bosses
-A new Baradin’s Hold boss Occu’Thar!
-New dailies with the new daily hub being in the Firelands
-New Tier Gear and Valor Point Gear
-A new Arena Season (starting shortly)

So without further adieu, here is the 4.2 update in a nutshell for all the Restoration Shaman out there! Official patch notes can be found here.

Classes: General

  • All healing critical strikes now heal for 2 times a normal heal (+100%), up from 1.5 times a normal heal (+50%).
  • Many crowd control abilities no longer cause creatures to attack players when they are cast. The creature will not attack the player when the crowd control wears off, and nearby creatures will not become hostile to the player either. The abilities affected by this change are: Hibernate, Entangling Roots, Wyvern Sting (will still cause hostility when it begins to deal damage), Freezing Trap, Polymorph, Repentance, Shackle Undead, Blind, Hex, Bind Elemental, Banish, Seduction.

Shaman (Restoration Only):

  • Unleash Elements is now in the Nature school, and thus can no longer be used if a shaman’s Nature school has been locked out.
  • Water Shield has had its internal cooldown reduced to 3.5 seconds, once again matching other shields. The amount of mana restored when Water Shield procs has been reduced by 50%.


  • Improved Water Shield has been redesigned and renamed Resurgence. When Water Shield is active, you recover mana when your direct healing spells have a critical effect.  You regain 2293 mana from a Healing Wave or Greater Healing Wave critical, 1376 mana from a Healing Surge, Riptide, or Unleash Life critical, and 764 mana from a Chain Heal critical.
  • Mana Tide now grants 200% of the caster’s Spirit, down from 400%.


  • Glyph of Unleashed Lightning (new Prime glyph) allows Lightning Bolt to be cast while moving.

Alright, let’s start with the bottom one as it requires the quickest thought. I’ve included the new Lightning Bolt glyph as it can provide a benefit to Restoration Shaman who are heavily focused into Healing Rain. With this they have perfect mobility to cast Lightning Bolt on the run in order to regenerate some mana via the Telluric Currents talent of ours. Unless someone was using a talent build literally completely focused around Telluric Currents and using Healing Rain every cooldown, this glyph will provide less benefit then others. For every other build out there, ignore this glyph in this new fiery world.

Also a rather minor change for all Shaman is that Unleash Elements has been moved to the Nature Spell School. This means if the Nature School is currently spell locked, this ability will now not be castable until the spell lock has expired.

Now onto the general changes for every class. A good one is the Crowd Control change as now a group can cast CC without pulling their friends. With this change, there is literally no reason in the world to not use crowd control in a dungeon or in a raid even if you are the healer. The mobs will no longer agro, nor will the automatically target you once CC breaks unless you cause some agro to them via a damage dealing spell or healing agro.

In addition to that, every healer shall rejoice at the healing crit change! Or lament it as now there is a valuable stat they had been previously been avoiding. In 4.2 now, when a healing spell crits it will crit for x2 healing instead of the original x1.5. This has a wide field of implications especially for us in the Restoration Business™.  Let’s look at some of the implications of this change for us.

1) With the change to crit, the benefit of Mastery came into question. Originally in patch 4.1 Mastery was a fantastic stat (and it shall continue to be in 4.2) but only at certain health levels. As proved by real world data and the theorycrafting of some very intelligent bloggers, the Restoration Shaman community was able to see that if a target was below 70% health, then Mastery far outweighed Crit as a throughput stat for Single Target spells. If a group of people were below 85% health, then Mastery far outweighed Crit as a throughput stat for our Area of Effect spells.

In 4.2 now, that line has shifted. With all future dungeons and raid encounters a target has to be below roughly 50% health for Mastery to be a better throughput stat then Crit for single target spells. A group of people must be below roughly 70% health for Mastery to be a better throughput stat then Crit for Area of Effect spells. This also means that Crit is a better throughput stat then Mastery above those health percentages which drastically changes our thoughts on stat stacking.

As a Healer myself, this change benefits me as I was always a lover of having a good Mastery while having more Crit then other healers out there. For most however, this will mean taking a look at your gear and finding out just where the line is for you in this raid patch. There can be no hard-line of when you should or should not stack Crit as each raid team is different. In some raids players will be below those marks much more often than others, and vice versa. So this is simply a friendly notice that Crit is now a more valuable stat as it can outweigh Mastery above those health marks.

2) Crit has a nice symbiosis with one of our primary mana regeneration talents, Resurgence. In previous content, Resurgence (then Improved Water Shields), provided a percentage chance to regenerate mana as if you had consumed a water shield change when you achieve a critical hit with a spell. In 4.2 the percentage chance has been removed and replaced with a guaranteed chance of regenerating a variable amount of mana (based on the spell) when a healing spell achieves a critical hit. With the change of regenerating mana being 100%, the value of Crit as a stat in general both for throughput and mana regeneration increases higher than it was in the 4.1 patch.

Since we just mentioned Resurgence, let’s talk about the new talent along with the changes to Mana Tide Totem and Water Shield. Firstly Resurgence, which is a talent that will replace Improved Water Shields (R.I.P.). This talent now guarantees that mana will be regenerated upon a Healing Critical hit rather than having a percentage change to restore some mana. In patch 4.1, Improved Water Shields had a chance to restore 1745 mana per proc where as now resurgence:

-If a critical hit is achieved with Healing Wave or Greater Healing Wave then 2293 mana will be regenerated.
-If a critical hit is achieved with Healing Surge, Riptide or Unleash Life then 1376 mana will be regenerated.
-And Finally If a critical hit is achieved with Chain Heal then 764 mana will be regenerated.

Recently I took the time to go over some past raid logs, do some math and figure out just how much of a buff this was. I’m not going to post the actual math here as it was long, complicated, and applies only to myself… I can’t accurately predict how much of a healing boost this will give everyone since I don’t know how often everyone crits!

On several healing intensive fights, Halfus Wyrmbreaker and Cho’Gall, I actually found that if I had thrown out the mana regenerated and replaced it with a tallied count of how much mana I would have regenerated from each critical effect, it amounted to almost a 35% buff to mana regenerated for each case!

Now the change to Resurgence is offset by the nerfs to Water Shield and to Mana Tide Totem. Water Shield has had its internal cooldown lowered but also as a result of that the mana it returns was halved to about 872 mana. This was entirely a PvP nerf to prevent Shaman from regenerating too much mana in arenas. The change to Mana Tide Totem, however, was an intended nerf at the PvE community. MTT now only provides a buff equal to 200% of our spirit as opposed to the previous 400%. This devalues spirit as a regeneration stat and lowers our usefulness to the raid when situations of critical mana expenditure arise. Ghost Crawler elaborated himself:


  • We previously nerfed Water Shield via hotfix because shaman were gaining too much mana in PvP when attacked (especially by pets to discourage drinking). The 4.2 change is just a more elegant implementation of the same nerf that should keep the same mana per time as they have currently.
  • We nerfed Mana Tide for the same reason we nerfed Innervate — it was just providing too much mana for the group’s healers as a whole. We didn’t want to decrease the benefit to the shaman, so we redesigned / added the talent of Resurgence to help offset the nerf to them personally.

So the nerf to Mana Tide Totem was intentional and meant to provide a more challenging atmosphere for raiders. Basically blizzard wanted to keep to the, mana is precious and needs to be spent wisely, scheme of play and in order to further hammer the nail, reduced the mana regeneration cool-downs of Shaman and Druids. It kind of sucks that they are forcing it this much when they could just be more proactive about how much spirit makes it onto items in the first place, but thems the breaks.

A relatively resourceful shaman who doesn’t just spam Healing Surge will be fine. After getting fairly geared up myself, on some fights I had to try to run myself out of mana. With new raid encounters, mana will become more previous again but not because of this nerf, mainly it will be due to raiders learning the encounters and learning all the new things they shouldn’t step in. As we learn these new encounters and get gear that provides more spirit then what we currently have… things will get easier once again. In the mean time, be mindful of your mana expenditures and make sure you aren’t running yourself out of mana because of this change.

New Raid and its Bosses

With the launch of patch 4.2 we have now acquired a total of 8 new raid bosses that we may bash our heads against. There are seven in the Firelands Raid and an additional boss has been added to the existing Baradin’s Hold Raid.

Let’s take a brief moment to go over just what is in the Firelands Raid. The area itself is absolutely huge and has been confirmed to be about the size of the Alterac Valley battleground. The raid itself is outdoors and non-linear (except for the final three bosses). This means that the first four bosses: Beth’tilac, Lord Ryolith, Alyrazor and Shannox can be done in any order you deem fit! If you find one boss to be too challenging then the raid is free to try another of them until gear levels improve! This is actually a huge relief and a nice change of pace from the previous tier of raiding where everything was linear. What will also be nice is the fact that mounts can be used in this raid, making traversing the distance between boss encounters less painful.

However the final three bosses must be done in order. In order to reach Ragnaros, you must go through Majordomo Staghelm and Baleroc first. It is unknown to me right now if you can solely go after these three bosses… on the PTR Baleroc was required to be defeated to even reach Staghelm, and his death opened the door to Ragnaros. Also on the PTR there was a Fire Barrier before Baleroc that prevented his area from being reached early… but it’s unknown as to if this was to prevent early testing or because the first four bosses must be downed in any order before attempting him. I suppose we shall find out soon enough.

The difficulty of these bosses is equal to or even greater than the normal bosses of Tier 11. Enrage timers are tight, boss moves are unforgiving and resources shall be stretched thin until the raiders learn how to execute cleanly and until the higher gear levels are obtained. Should be a fun new experience.

As a point of note, each of these bosses will drop a higher number of valor points then the previous tier of raid encounters. On 10 man mode each of the Firelands Raid Bosses will award 120 VP and on 25 man mode each of the Firelands Raid Bosses will award 140 VP. This is due to the valor point change (see further down).

In addition to the entirely new Firelands Raid, there is also a new wing of Baradin’s Hold being added. This is to facilitate the new boss Occu’thar who will drop new Tier and Season gear once he has been added to the live servers.

With a new raid patch comes new tier gear and a brief overview of the pieces in question. This time our tier is all fiery and full of orange and red colors. Previews of the tier can be found here and here.

This tier set is acquired in the same way as Tier 11 was: Chest, Hands, Legs cost Valor Points to obtain where as the Head and Shoulders need tokens (presumably from Majordomo Staghelm and Ragnaros). Our Tier 12 set has the following set bonuses:

2 Piece: Your periodic healing from Riptide now has a 40% chance to restore 1% of your base mana every time it heals a target. (Base mana is 23430 so 1% of that is 234.3 mana)
4 Piece: Prevents Chain Heal from consuming your Riptide effect on the primary target.

The two piece bonus is fairly good as we can keep up to three riptides rolling on people, each with their own chance to proc this ability. Currently we don’t have the internal cool down but that should get uncovered shortly enough. The four piece bonus is not as good however. It will provide a flat bonus to healing, but will be more useful in the 25 man raid setting rather than the 10 man raid setting. I personally will be aiming for it to see how valuable it is… but my initial guess right now is that the bonus will be on par with the bonus healing from raw stats on BiS gear.

Our tier gear has an item level of 378 (slightly better than Hard Mode Tier 11 gear) and comes with the following stats.

378 2200-VP Chest Erupting Volcanic Tunic
378 1650-VP Hands Erupting Volcanic Handwraps
378 Token Head Erupting Volcanic Faceguard
378 2200-VP Legs Erupting Volcanic Legwraps
378 Token Shoulder Erupting Volcanic Mantle

As for itemization, we don’t have any dual itemized pieces this tier set. Leggings and Shoulders are itemized for Spirit/Mastery. Head and Gloves are itemized for Spirit/Crit and the Chest piece is itemized for Haste. This will give us plenty of freedom to pick which of the pieces we want for the 2 piece set bonus/4 piece set bonus while letting us supplement the others for gear that drops from the raid bosses.

Other Stuff to know about 4.2

New Dailies

There are all new dailies in the game now, whoooooo! They are separated into a couple of zones, The Regrowth in Mount Hyjal and the Molten Front in the Firelands.In order to access the quests in the Regrowth, you must have done the Mount Hyjal quest-line far enough into the zone to see the Regrowth come into being. After that simply accept the quest in Stormwind or Ogrimmar to begin the dailies. The Molten Front gets unlocked after your initial few dailies (it must be unlocked with the new currency Marks of the World Tree).

The quests in these zones will award a currency called “Marks of the World Tree” which similar to the currency from the old Argent Tournament or from the Tol’Barad Dailies. The interesting thing about this currency though is that it is used for more than just buying the new gear, they are also used to purchase more daily quests including the areas in which to do them in. According to blizzard there will be little phasing, so there is little chance that an invisible person will be stealing your mobs. That also means regardless of how along the daily chain someone is and no matter how many or few of the dailies you have bought, you can still be able to quest and group with friends, you just may see different scenery.

By completing the dailies for the new NPC’s, eventually several vendors will be unlocked that all sell various things. The item level of the gear being sold by them is roughly item level 365, lower than Tier 11 Hard modes but higher than Dungeon gear and Normal T11 raids. They also come equipped to sell Vanity Items, a pet or two, and the newest crafting recipes (which require a lot of materials to craft).

Finally after all is said and done, the very end of the Molten Front experience will reward a unique mount, the Flameward Hippogyph.

Valor Points: The Change

Blizzard felt that we were earning Valor Points too quickly for their liking with the previous raiding tier. In 4.2, the weekly cap for how many a single person can earn has been reduced to 980 points per week.

What does this mean? Well for one a person only needs to do their weekly number of Heroic Dungeons and Heroic Troll Dungeons in order to be Valor Point Capped. They could also only Raid once again to get their alloted number (assuming you are downing all 7 Firelands Raid Bosses per week). In addition, we shall now earn the new valor gear slower than in the previous tier, about 25% slower to be precise (booooo!).

The following are ways you can earn your Valor Points in 4.2 are:

  • Firelands raid boss, 10 man: 120 VP
  • Firelands raid boss, 25 man: 140 VP
  • Total from Firelands Raiding: 980 VP from 25 Man, 840 VP from 10 man
  • Occu’thar in Baradin Hold: 10 man: 120VP, 25 man: 140 VP
  • Total from Firelands & BH Raiding: 980 VP from 25 Man, 980 VP from 10 man
  • Troll Heroics: 140 VP
  • Total from Troll Heroics: 980 VP
  • Regular Heroics: 70 VP
  • T11 raid 10 man heroic: 35 VP
  • T11 raid 25 man heroic: 45 VP
  • T11 raid normal: Will not award VP.

Essentially this means you have three ways to get a full complement of valor points per week. Raiding Firelands on 25 man, Raiding Firelands and Baradin’s Hold on 10 man, or simply doing 7 Troll Heroics a week. In addition to this, normal heroics will continue giving their usual amount of valor points and the heroic modes of the T11 raiding tier will give Valor Points too (though at those low levels they are really only good for the gear).

The Avengers of Hyjal

The newest reputation for patch 4.2 within the Firelands raid. This reputation functions identically to the old Ashen Verdict reputation from Icecrown Citadel. Rep with them will only be earned inside of the Firelands raid via killing trash mobs and bosses. This new faction also has a list of faction rewards for all classes. Most are ilvl 378, the same item level as regular Firelands drops, with the ring at exalted being an item level 391. At each level of reputation, a pretty decent item is offered and for the raiders out there they will often be among the better choices of gear. These rewards are for raiders only however, sorry non-raiders.

That just about does it for my 4.2 update. What will come in the very near future is a complete list of gear that Shaman can obtain from the raid, new faction, and daily quests and then the start of my Firelands Boss Strategy sections. Stay Classy everyone and remember…

Posted in Daily Questing, Firelands, Patch Related, Raid, Restoration, Shaman | 3 Comments

Plans for the Future

Welcome to another, Tale from the Cry… I mean… post of Totemic Grace.

Well the first raid tier of Cataclysm is about to come to an end with the predicted launch of 4.2 in just one week’s time. This means there will be all new raid encounters, daily quests and class changes. Which also means there will be a whole new slew of things to write about!
Now I started this Blog as a place for myself to write out thoughts, opinions, theorycrafted things and reflections about the game. That always left a lingering worry in the back of my mind that, there is no schedule I’d have to adhere to and as a result I became fairly bad about posting regularly even after my computer was fixed. I plan to change that for the future when Patch 4.2 comes out.

My goals for the upcoming raid patch isn’t simply to post more regularly because I have to, but because I want to. My passion and vigor for writing has returned and I plan to use it for more theory-crafting, more opinion posts on the direction of the class I love so much and more about the raid patch coming up, The Firelands.

My Personal Goals are to get a boss Strategy up for each of the new bosses after I complete them, to get any heroic strategies up if I complete them, to give opinions and reviews of the changes coming up to our class and to just write more even if they are silly reflections on things about the game. That and look into improving the blog in general.

Actually there’s a lot more in the goals section, but the general point is to improve, write more, be more helpful to the community and to be more active.

So I close with this, what would anyone like to see more of in terms of posts, stickied threads, guides, layout, etc? I’m open to ideas and am looking to improve both the blog and my writing for the next patch of WoW :)

Posted in Opinion, Reflection | Leave a comment

Officially Back

Hello again everyone!

I now have a new computer up and running. There was one major snafu that kept me away for an additional week, namely an operating system… while purchasing computer parts I had forgotten to buy one (D’oh!). That was rectified, and a new computer was born. I only have to get MS Office once more to be able to save documents, or open them in the case of my current very long over-due project, and I will be back up and running completely!

This means I will get back to posting regularly once more, yay.

So since I wanted to actively discuss something, last night I was invited to heal a Nefarian 10man run. It was a success in about five or six attempts (I think five) which was kind of awesome! The first few attempts were wipes due to some interesting things, adds dropping our kiting kitty, the twin dragons being too close together, and then one interesting time where Nefarian had the buff caused by them being too close together but Onyxia did not (odd!).

Then unfortunately the next wipe was my fault, first time getting up on one of the three platforms during the lava phase. The group’s strategy was to push an electrocute juuuuuuust before killing Onyxia. So right after the electrocute, phase 2 began, it was an intense period of healing that I was not prepared for that first time. Not only that but it took me too long to get up on the platform and then the shadowflame barrages took me down post-haste.

I must admit I was not prepared for the level of healing it takes on the platform that first time. The next attempt after I was able to get up there in only five stacks of the lava debuff (as opposed to the 9 before), and had healed the majority of the people on my pillar up to near full before going up. The first time I had tried healing everyone within range after the electrocute, the next time I focused solely on myself and the people I needed to keep alive on my pillar (I was the lucky healer with four people, including myself, to keep alive).

Pillar healing was intense for a number of reasons. Firstly, the three other people up there with me were not in my group and thus did not get any healing from HST (D’oh!). Secondly it was my first time surviving into the phase, I didn’t know how much incoming damage their would be. There was a lot more than I thought there would be… but it’s all good. No one on my pillar died though between the four of us we stayed roughly at 50% health the whole time.

Phase three was rather interesting as well. The continuing damage from Electrocutes was a nuisance still, but not unlivable now that the majority of people were clumped up for Healing Rain and Chain Heal. Dodging the shadowflame spreading around was rather easy actually and I had expected it to be more of a challenge.

All in all a very good fight. I think this one is easier than Cho’Gall simply because it was more about dealing with the large damage values rather than needing to pay attention for interrupting this, or running away from that. Then again I may simply have been spoiled by the hard work and effort the group had put into learning the fight when I was simply there to off-heal it. Either way I had fun learning to deal with the high damage, keeping people on my pillar alive, and then dodging fire. A good fight, now the only boss that remains for me is Al’Akir.

Posted in Healing, Opinion, Raid | 2 Comments

Tier 12 Looks

Hello and good day to you all fair bloggers of the blogosphere!

So a small update on my current situation and than onto a small post. My old computer is deader then a paperweight… but my new one is being built over the weekend (yay ^^). After that I should be back up and running again. In the mean time I’ve been working on a rather long thing while there is time at work, hopefully I will be able to share it with people.

In the mean time though… I was going to comment more on our set bonuses, but that idea didn’t really sit well with me. The bonuses are changing and updating, so commenting on something that might very well not make it into the game seems kind of silly to me. However what I can comment on is how our Tier 12 armor looks!

That’s right, this is a Fashion Post.

So MMO-Champion as well as people on the PTR have discovered and posted various pictures of the Tier 12 Armor sets, this is the Shaman T12. Well doesn’t that look pretty? Honestly the Tier 12 shaman armor looks pretty cool (in my opinion). The coloring scheme on the left one is very Firelands-y where as the color scheme of the right one looks like the Earthen Ring beat up some Firelands Shaman, stole their armor and painted it green (entirely plausible!)

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details of our Tier Armor. Firstly, does it look like Mail Armor? Yes in the sense that it looks reminiscent of Scale Mail armor.

Does the armor feel Shaman-y? I feel like it does for Enhancement and more so for Elemental Shaman. It definitely has a fire and lava feel to it which is great for those damage dealers out there, but for the Restoration Shaman throwing water around it may seem contradictory. I get a funny image in my head being someone who has a fire halo and flaming shoulder-pads saying, “Don’t worry! I’m a healer…”

Shoulder-pads and Belt, well the glowing symbol of Ragnaros is kind of cool… but it makes me question why heroes of Azeroth are wearing symbols proclaiming their loyalty to the enemy. Wouldn’t you think strolling around Ogrimmar or Stormwind like that would be just as bad as walking around in Cultist robes? Granted it’s not as bad as paladins who shall be walking around with a Fiery Sigil of Ragnaros floating behind their heads… but it comes close.

Onto the actual design of the two armor pieces in question, beginning with the Belt! It’s a big clunky belt, one of the two varieties of belts normally seen in WoW. While I am not a fan of big clunky belts, I can take solace that our belt does not have a face or a mouth staring at us. It does still inspire fear in people… one opinion I had received on our soon to be tier style belt is that, “It looks angry with me. I feel as though I owe this belt money and it’s coming to collect…” [Iya].

Shoulder-pads, normally the bane of any armor sets existence (most fight with the helm for this spot). This time around they do not look bad for some of the more normal races. For various race/gender combinations, shoulder-pads will look weird because it’s just the way Blizzard programmed the code; it’s why Tauren and Orc males look like their shoulder-pads are twice the size of their chest most of the time. Onto the actual design of the shoulder-pads in question. They don’t look half bad, once more we have Sigils of Ragnaros ablaze with fire (which might get you beat up in the respective cities) as well as what looks to be pieces of wood acting as the actual defensive part of the pads. To this author, it appears as though the forces of Ragnaros took pieces of the tree’s of Hyjal, and then strapped a Rag Sigil on the side with chains as a sort of taunting gesture to the druids of the Cenarion Circle (Again entirely plausible!).

Onto the head-piece! First impression, Is that a fire halo? Second impression, Is that a venus fly trap around our necks? Third impression (upon seeing the mmo-champion video of the spell effects in action) Cool! Once more the material the helm is made of looks like wood, suggesting more taunting as our helmet also has a fiery spell graphic constantly in effect. In addition to the wooden collar, there are three stones that hover just above our head being bathed in a fire spell graphic, leading to the look of a fiery halo. On some race/gender combination’s the halo and collar look silly with the clipping issues (for goblins in particular it seems) but overall the helmet looks pretty cool (in my opinion). It’s nice to know with this helm, Ragnaros considers his Shaman to be the holy warriors of his army, why else would we have fire halos? ;)

The final piece of the puzzle, the gloves.  There are two things I noticed right off the bat, the lack of fingers in gloves and the silly looking glove popped collar. The lack of fingers seems fine to me, but this author has never liked gloves with popped collars at the back… it seems just silly. I would have appreciated seeing some actual chains or mail on this because they look more leathery then maily. Overall, they compliment the set well, they just look stupid individually (in my opinion).

Here at Totemic Grace, we take fashion very… -very- seriously ( ;) ). When all is said and done, the shaman T12 looks pretty cool. We don’t have the most impressive armor but we also don’t have the least impressive either (DISCLAIMER: We might depending on individual tastes, this is an opinion of the author). I look forward to wearing the fiery model rather than the green model. MMO-Champion claims the green model is likely for NPC use… but you just never know what the color schemes will be used for. There has to be a normal armor set, heroic armor set, and NPC armor sets.

Look forward to being up and running soon! If anyone has comments about our Tier 12 armor, feel free to reply. Fashion!

The Tier 12 Male models found: Here.

The Tier 12 Female models found: Here.

Youtube video found: Here.

Posted in Fashion, Opinion, PTR, Shaman | 9 Comments

Back! (I hope)

Hey everyone! It has been quite a while since I’ve been able to post a new thing here on Totemic Grace. So a few things changed recently that made my online presence non existent.

Firstly my computer at home exploded (Oh noes!) and I’ve not quite gotten the funds together to build a new one. My tax rebate should solve that problem. Secondly, my work had blocked wordpress.com from being visited, so I couldn’t even update at work. This one has been fixed, and I’m now allowed to revisit it once more! I can’t be terribly active at work, but it will allow me to write down thoughts at home and then transcribe them into posts here! Also finally, my health has been… less then agreeable so I’ve not had the energy to really be a vibrant poster on any forum, blog, or community I’ve been a part of.

Well with that being said… I’m going to try and become more active posting once more because it looks as though my run of bad luck lately is coming to an end :)

Now I wanted to do more with my first post back then just explaining where I’ve been lately… so since I’ve not been around in game to experience much of Spirit Link Totem in action, the new Troll Heroics (or Trollics), or raiding for a while… I’m going to discuss the new T12 healing set bonuses.

Tier 12 Healing Bonuses

(WARNING: The healing set bonuses have been data mined and are likely not completely finished. They will change, this is just discussion and speculation on the author’s part)


  • Restoration 2 Pieces – Your periodic healing from Riptide has a 40% chance to restore 1% of your base mana each time it heals a target.
  • Restoration 4 Pieces – Your Chain Heal spell will jump to one additional target.

First impressions:

The two piece set bonus sounds fairly awesome. With the riptide glyph we can keep three separate riptides rolling on people, meaning three separate chances for the activation every couple of seconds or so. It will just further staple Riptide as our go to spell for healing.

Now the four piece set bonus… well my first impression was “Awesome!” In the span of a few minutes afterwards though, I had diverging thoughts on it. Really the bonus could be awesome or terrible depending on one simple thing… where along the bounces will the one additional target come into play… or more simply, how much healing will it do?

If the additional target comes at the very end of the chain heal, namely after the heal has degraded by 30% those three seperate times… then the heal will be very small. For some maths (I love maths), assume the primary heal was 10,000 and no other mitigating effects are coming into play (like our mastery… assume for this it doesn’t exist)

First Target: 10,000
Second Target (First bounce): 10,000 * .70 = 7000
Third Target (Second Bounce): 7000 * .70 = 4900
Fourth Target (Third Bounce): 4900 * .70 = 3430

Yay maths! Now then, if the additional target benefits from the initial amount of healing… the maths would change to look like this. I like to call this, my optimistic view of what may come to pass.

First Target: 10,000
Second Target (New Bounce): 10,000
Third Target (First Bounce): 10,000 * .70 = 7000
Fourth Target (Second Bounce): 7000 * .70 = 4900
Fifth Target (Third Bounce): 4900 * .70 = 3430

It would make chain heal incredibly powerful again as an AOE spell. Almost too powerful, as unless the T13 bonuses were just that much more powerful I know I would have a hard time breaking my 4 piece set bonus.

Now for the cynical view of what will likely happen…

First Target: 10,000
Second Target (First bounce): 10,000 * .70 = 7000
Third Target (Second Bounce): 7000 * .70 = 4900
Fourth Target (Third Bounce): 4900 * .70 = 3430
Fifth Target (New Bounce): 3430 * .70 = 2401

Now this new amount of healing is not so good. Depending on how inflated the stats of these new sets of armor are… if this is the case then some serious maths would need to happen in order to determine just if the 4 piece set bonus was worth taking or not.

Extra healing is all well and dandy, it would simply boil down to if the bonus healing someone gets via the 4 piece set bonus would outweigh the benefits to their overall healing by choosing a piece of gear with better stats on it. (NOTE: This opinion operates under the assumption that the tier pieces will not all be itemized well as has been shown in the past.)

But just what are the other healers tier 12 set bonuses?


  • Restoration 2 Pieces – Your periodic healing from Lifebloom has a 40% chance to restore 1% of your base mana each time it heals a target.
  • Restoration 4 Pieces – When your Lifebloom blooms, it instantly heals up to 2 nearby injured targets for the same amount.


  • Holy 2 Pieces – Casting Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Divine Light on your Beacon of Light target has a 40% chance to grant you 2% of your base mana.
  • Holy 4 Pieces – Your Divine Light also heals a nearby injured target for 20% of the amount healed.


  • Holy/Discipline 2 Pieces – Your Flash Heal, Heal, and Greater Heal spells cause you to regenerate 2% of your base mana every 5 sec for 15 sec.
  • Holy/Discipline 4 Pieces – You have a chance when you cast a helpful spell to summon a Cauterizing Flame. Friendly raid and party members can use the Cauterizing Flame to be instantly healed for 4625 to 5375. Lasts for 45 sec sec or 10 charges. After using the Cauterizing Flame, players cannot benefit from it again for 10 sec.

And how does this compare to the other healers set bonuses?

Quite well actually. In comparative terms… I like the shaman 2 piece set bonus over the other healers two piece set bonuses (with the exception of priest). Ours is most close to the druid 2 piece set bonus, as in both of ours activate on periodic healing rather then directly casting a spell. The

The paladin version seems alright to me for the time being; it forces a holy paladin to cast a direct spell on their target with Beacon, but that is something they do already to generate Holy Power. The priest one seems… like the most likely candidate to change simply because it is a definite. They cast this, they get that; where that is 2% of their base mana every 5 seconds. It’s blizzards attempt to make priests use those spells in favor of Circle of Healing or Shielding. Don’t get me wrong… I am all in favor of Blizzard trying to find ways to encourage players to use more of their spells beyond buffing them or nerfing others, but this solution is one that is less then likely to work they way they want it too.

Anyways, onto the 4 piece set bonuses. Overall from the first impression standpoint, Paladins have the best 4 piece bonus with druids coming in second. The paladin bonus allows for two nearby injured targets to be healed for 20% of a divine light. Even on my lowly geared holy paladin alt, I can throw a Divine Light for over 20k, critting for near 35k which would splash for between 4000-8000. That’s basically a free Healing Wave or Holy Light spell. I’m not going to comment on the druid one… simply because I don’t know what it means when they say, when Lifebloom blooms…

What’s the worst one in my opinion… the priest bonus. It’s Lightwell 2.0 and one that is uncontrollable. My raid leader has to remind everyone each time to click on the lightwell, because people rarely do. A set bonus that places another lightwell down is simply going to be wasted. Thankfully, these are early models and hopefully our priest brethren will see some change :)

Anyways that is all I have for now. In the coming week I will hopefully have a chance to read up on the current hot topics, formulate some opinions, and be able to post more regularly. Sorry for my first post back being more a first impression on data mined set bonuses (I couldn’t think of anything else v.v)

Glad to be back, hopefully people still read this!

Posted in Healing, Math, Opinion, Shaman, Theorycrafting | 4 Comments