Healer Tips for Zul’Aman
Since the readers that would actually benefit from this healer specific post are likely the ones that aren’t breezing through Bear runs, I’m going to post the bosses in order of difficulty, instead of the typical kill order for the Timed Event. As the lesser geared raids attempt these bosses, it would be wise to stick with 3 full time healers, instead of trying to down these bosses with only 2. Due to the nature of this instance, where most of the boss fights and trash pulls provide raid wide damage, the best synergy between healers would be Priest, Shaman, Druid. Holy Paladins provide great single target healing, but Circle of Healing (CoH), Prayer of Mending (PoM), Prayer of Healing (PoH), Binding Heal, Chain Heal, and multiple rolling Lifeblooms are all key to making this instance a breeze on the healing front.
I will be writing these tips assuming you have already read up on all of your boss strategies, as these tips will be more focused on making the most out of your abilities to maximize the chance of success for the encounter. I’ll also admit, that most of these tips are mainly for Priest abilities, but I’ll be including other helpful healer tips as well.
For all intents and purposes, Nalorakk is as close to tank and spank fight as you will get in this instance. The raid will take minimal damage, and does not require any movement by anyone after the initial pull. Therefore, the healers will be primarily focused on the main tank for each of the two phases. Since the only reason DPS classes will be interrupted is during Troll phase Surge and Bear phase Deafening Roar, there is a good possibility that some may be threat capped. In order to help the tanks, Priests should cast PoM as often as possible on the tanks to increase their TPS as well as helping to heal the raid.
During the Troll phase, the healers will want to conserve and regen as much mana as possible, as the damage in this phase is fairly easy to heal, and you’ll want to put as much healing throughput as possible into the Bear phase. During the troll phase, it is a good idea to have 2 healers stay on the dedicated tank, and have the other healer raid heal. The raid healing in Troll phase is minimal, and only consists of healing the secondary tank after Brutal Swipe and Surge targets. The reasoning behind deciding who should focus on raid healing is that the other two healers need to have tunnel vision and make sure the primary tank stays alive. There is possibility of spike damage from Brutal Swipe, so good coordination should be used to make sure all 3 of the healers aren’t trying to heal minimal raid damage. Druids make great raid healers during Troll phase because they can “fire and forget” about most raid damage, all while keeping Lifeblooms on the primary tank. Another thing Priests can do during Troll phase is to use Binding Heal if they are the Surge target. This will allow you to still maintain tunnel vision on the tank, and help out the raid healer as well. If you find that you’re having healing problems and all 3 need to be on the tanks full time, DPS stopping to bandage is also a viable option since the damage to the raid is sporadic and fairly minimal.
For the Bear phase, this is where having a Druid in the raid really comes in handy. The Bear phase will require much more healing output than Troll phase, so healers need to be on their toes the whole time. What makes this phase hard to heal is the Deafening Roar that silences the raid for 2 seconds. These two seconds are crucial time lost when trying to keep your tank alive through stacking Bleed effects that get worse and worse as the phase continues. Having a Druid keep as many HoTs as possible on the Bear phase tank will help mitigate the damage during the silence, and having a Priest Renew and Shield the tank just before the silence will help as well. At the end of the Bear phase, when transitioning back into Troll form, the Bear tank will need some additional heals as the Bleed effects wear off. Make sure either you keep your HoTs on the Bear tank a bit longer or make sure your Troll phase raid healer is there to pick up that little bit of extra damage.
If for some reason one of the tanks die during the fight, it is possible to Battle Rez them and get them back into the tanking rotation, so save this ability for them. This must be done as quickly as possible if Nalorakk is in Troll form as to prevent your solo tank taking a 14k hit from Brutal Swipe. If a healer dies, it is much easier just to reset the fight instead of wasting this ability on them, unless it means the difference of rescuing a hostage or not.
Akil’zon – Eagle Avatar
Akil’zon will be a test of your raid positioning and the ability to strategize movement as a whole. Healing this fight will be fairly intensive for guilds first attempting this boss. Priests and Shaman will shine as healers here as there is constant raid wide damage that must constantly be healed through for duration of the fight. Druids or Paladins will likely be tank healing, as Druid HoTs may not heal the raid fast enough. The damage taken throughout the raid needs to be healed as soon as possible as it is mostly random and can be the target of multiple spells and abilities in succession.
Priests should be casting PoM every cooldown, as it is a good possibility that most of the charges will be used up by the time you can cast it again. Priests will be using Binding Heal often to keep themselves topped off and not losing casting time on the rest of the raid. Even though the Priests will be raid healing, keeping Renew up on the tank will help mitigate the low damage the tank takes. The raid will take increasing amount of damage, especially if your strategy chooses to ignore the Soaring Eagles.
Priests should coordinate with the other healers so that when everyone collapses during Electrical Storm, the Priests can PoH the caster group and heal them to full, while the Shaman may Chain Heal through the Melee group. This will provide the most efficient means of topping off the raid. Priests with CoH will be able to top off both groups with relative ease in a very short amount of time, so the other healers may choose to regen instead of overhealing.
Halazzi – Lynx Avatar
This boss is fairly straightforward from a healer point of view. The key to defeating Halazzi is keeping the tanks alive after Saber Lash during phase 1 and dispelling Flame Shock in phase 2. During phase 3 he will combine both of these abilities, so healing output will be the greatest here. If only one person is assigned to dispel duties, they need to make sure they are in range of the whole raid so that nobody is out of range. The damage from Flame Shock is significant and you can’t afford to take the healing away from the tanks, so quick dispelling is a must. If you find yourself needing to keep all 3 healers actively healing during this fight, try to have a DPS class handle the dispels so that healers can focus on keeping everyone alive.
At the start of phase 2 (75,50, and 25%), Halazzi will Transfigure and deal about 4000 damage to the whole raid. At the same time, Spirit of the Lynx will spawn, so Priests should Fade and Druids should attempt to avoid having and HoTs ticking during this transition to ensure not getting healing aggro from the add. This fight just repeats itself over and over until Halazzi is down to 25% when healing will be slightly more intensive, so once you master the transition between P1 and P2, this fight should be fairly simple.
Jan’alai – Dragonhawk Avatar
Jan’alai will be the first true test of your healers. This is likely the most mana intensive fight in the instance, especially if your raid hasn’t mastered the techniques of the fight, so it will require aggressive mana potion usage or else your healers will find themselves running dry prematurely. There will be intense raid healing required, and those that take damage from Flame Breath will need to be topped off as soon as possible because a second one will likely kill them.
Priests should cast PoM often to help mitigate some of the raid damage. When the Hatchlings spawn, PoM should be cast on the add tank every cooldown to help with threat. If for some reason Priests pull healing threat, you should Fade the adds back to the tank. If Fade is on cooldown, and your tank isn’t able to pull them off of you immediately, don’t hesitate to Psychic Scream to get them off of you, as it’s imperative to the raid that you live. Binding Heal should be used whenever you take damage because there will always be another target that needs heals as well.
During the Bomb Phase, this is the best time to top everyone off as quick as possible so that you can regen as much mana as you can while outside the five second rule.
It’s a good idea to assign specific healing assignments in this fight. You’ll need one tank healer, one add tank healer, and a raid healer. When there is no add tank active, that designated healer should help raid heal. The raid healer will not only be healing raid damage, but will also be helping the other two healers with their tanks. The add tank will take a lot of damage when his debuffs stack, so be prepared to throw extra heals his way. Also, at the 5 minute mark (or at 25%, whichever comes first), Jan’alai will Enrage and increase his attack speed and melee damage by 50%, so the healers may need to help out the MT healer some at that time. Even if it’s just throwing a Renew or Lifeblooms to help soften the extra damage, it will help noticeably.
Once your raid masters the fight and learns how to spread out effectively, the raid healing damage will go down significantly. Until then, be prepared to be chain casting throughout the fight in order to be successful.
Hex Lord Malacrass
Once you have defeated the four Loa Forest gods, you be allowed to enter the chamber of Hex Lord Malacrass. This fight has the potential to be as healing intensive as Jan’alai, so be prepared to use mana potions soon and often. There are two key elements to this fight, controlling adds and surviving Spirit Bolts.
If your raid is lucky enough to bring along a Priest for Shadow Protection, this fight will be much easier. If you’re blessed with a Holy Priest, this fight will be even easier. If this Priest has CoH talented, you’d better realize how lucky you are as this is the MOST USEFUL healer you will be bringing along for this fight. As Priests, we have the most tools available to make surviving Spirit Bolts trivial. The biggest asset we have will by far be Circle of Healing. Due to the spell pushback of the Bolts, an instant cast AoE heal cannot be topped. As long as the raid groups up somewhat during Bolts, a single CoH priest will be able to mitigate enough damage to the raid to make this fight successful.
Ten seconds before Bolts begin, cast PoM on a non-tank raid member (yourself would be a good choice). The reasoning for this is that you want your PoM to be a maximum 5 charges when Spirit Bolts begin, and you want your cooldown to be available again when Bolts start. About 6-8 seconds before Spirit Bolts is to be cast, take the time to Renew 3-4 of your lowest HP raiders; I usually choose the 3 healers and a Mage. This will provide your squishiest raiders an even bigger buffer during Bolts to survive. Once Bolts Begin, your previously cast PoM will be used up and effectively heal around 10k damage in 2.5 seconds (5 jumps 0.5 seconds apart from Bolt damage). As soon as all 5 charges have been expended, immediately cast PoM again on your lowest HP raider. Priests may choose to use PW:S on a raider with low health, although I recommend primarily using Binding Heal during Bolts. Of course, if the Priest has CoH, you will only need to Cast PoM every cooldown and spam CoH, alternating groups to keep everyone around the same health threshold. Priests can use PoH after the bolts are over to top up their group, or even during if you have a Paladin in your group.
Having a Paladin using Concentration Aura in the Healing group will be more beneficial than Shadow Resistance Aura, as the 35% chance of ignoring spell interruption when damaged stacks with healing talents such as 2/2 Healing Focus (Priest), 5/5 Healing Focus (Shaman), 5/5 Nature’s Focus, and 5/5 Spiritual Focus, to provide uninterrupted casting during Spirit Bolts. This is a fight for Priests and Shaman to shine, as they will have the most useful AoE healing abilities. If no Paladin is available for this Aura, Shaman should cast Earth Shield on themselves for extra resistance to the pushback. Priests should only use PW:S as an emergency for low health players, and not for preventing push back, as by the time your GCD is up to cast another healing spell, you’ll already have been hit by 3 Bolts which would almost all but eliminate your Shield anyways. There are much better choices for your GCD than PW:S during Bolts.
The other element to this fight is controlling Hex Lord’s lackeys. This may require a Priest to Shackle (make sure to have your macro ready), or a Druid to Hibernate one of the adds. If this is required from one of the healers, make sure to refresh your crowd control right before Bolts start, so that you don’t have to worry about getting it under control during the possible pushback and worry about it doing more damage to the raid. This could quickly cause a wipe.
Once you have mastered these two elements, the rest of the fight will be easy to handle.
Zul’jin is the last boss in ZA, and once you’re able to fight him, you’ll be able to defeat him. He is not as hard to master as others in the instance, and if your healers can handle other fights, Zul’jin shouldn’t be a problem either. This fight consists of five phases, and each phase will require different focus from each of the healers.
Phase 1 will go rather quickly, and the only thing to worry about is Grievous Throw. Setting Zul’jin as your focus target will allow you to swap to the Grievous Throw victim as fast as possible. Due to the nature of this ability, Druids might not be the best choice to heal this target, and may choose to stay on the tank.
During Phase 2, there will be minimal raid damage, and Priests should have Mass Dispel on their hotbar for quick use when Creeping Paralysis is cast. As long as everyone is grouped up during this phase, this debuff can be taken care of with one cast.
Phase 3 is the Phase that will be the hardest for raids to overcome. Every time you cast a spell, you will be dealt 1250 Nature damage from Energy Storm. Since you will hardly ever get to stand still during this phase, due to the 4 twisters chasing after random players, healing will be very hard to manage. As long as people are good at kiting, there shouldn’t be too much raid damage. Priests should cast PoM on themselves every cooldown. By doing this, you will heal yourself from the damage acquired via casting, and provide another 8k healing throughout the raid with a single cast and without having to stop to heal. If you have sustained any damage by getting hit by the twisters, Priests should abuse Binding Heal and Shaman should Chain Heal through themselves. You will be casting so little during this phase that you’ll likely have a full mana bar for phase 4 and 5.
At the beginning of Phase 4, make sure Zul’jin is your Focus Target if you haven’t already set this up. This is so that you will be able to switch to the Claw Rage victim as soon as possible, as this person will take roughly 16k damage in only 6 seconds. I normally don’t advocate excessive Flash Heal usage in fights, but due to the quick damage that is dealt and the fact that your mana bar was filled during P3, I give my full blessing to spam it on Claw Rage targets in this situation, especially since the fight is almost over. There will be a substantial amount of raid healing required during this phase due to the Lynx Rush ability, so be prepared to be flexible in healing. This phase will require the most healing of all the 5 phases.
Once you’ve reached Phase 5, as long as half your raid is alive, you should be able down Zul’jin with minimal problems. This phase is the most simple, and only requires some raid healing due to Flame Whirl and avoiding standing in the flames. Once you’ve reached Phase 5, you might as well go crazy on heals because you don’t want to relive Phase 3 all over again if you wipe.