Light & Leafy

Divine Illumination – Healing Your Way Through The Construct Quarter, Part I

Posted on: August 27, 2009

Each installment of Divine Illumination is guaranteed to bring kumbayah, patcholi, and a couple of magic brownies to raids. They might not be THE magical brownies, but they’re so fluffy and tasty, nobody cares if they don’t infuse THC into your bloodstream. And what better way to add to raid unity than to slaughter a few hulking scourge constructs!

The smell is what reaches you first. You thought it couldn’t be anymore dreadful than Heigan and his lack of personal hygiene; you were mistaken. A handful of the Lich King’s most gruesome monstrosities wander the plague lined corridors of the Construct Quarter, waiting patiently to be unleashed against the forces of the horde and alliance.

Patchwerk is an abomination of considerable size, strength and speed. Patchwerk has a perverse sense of humor, playing with his victims, and is proud to be Kel’Thuzad’s “avatar of war.”

Hateful Strike – Patchwerk will strike the player with the most health from the 3 highest on his aggro table. The strike will do high damage to its target. Due to common misunderstanding, it has been encouraged for melee dps to stand in the slime river behind him to avoid being hit by the Hateful Strike. Try to discourage this as it is unnecessary — Patchwerk will NOT hit the player with the highest health with the hateful strike, he will only hit the player with the highest health of the three who have the highest threat on him. He does this once per second and will only hit the main tank if there is no one else in range to take the strike.

Frenzy – At 5% health, Patchwerk will frenzy, increasing all damage by 25% and increasing melee haste by 40%.

While Patchwerk is essentially a tank-and-spank fight, it does serve as a gearcheck for what’s considered the hardest wing in Naxxramas. The tanks will need to be geared sufficiently enough to withstand the Hateful strikes, the healers to be able to heal the tanks through the Hatefuls, and the dps to burn down Patchy’s 13 million hit points (4 million on ten man) within the 5 minute enrage timer. For this fight, I usually assign 1 healer for each tank with the remaining healers as floaters. Another suggestion is, on 25 man, to have 2 healers on each tank, with any extras keeping an eye on the Hateful tanks as they will be taking the biggest hits.

I’m usually a stickler for efficient healing, but for this fight, especially for new groups, the most important thing is to ensure the tanks are alive, most often through preemptive healing. This means having all hots available rolling on the tanks at all times, ensuring they have access to lightwells, health pots and stones, using cooldowns such as Pain Supression and Guardian spirit on cooldown, and casting heals even as the tanks sit at full health. Since Patchy casts a hateful once every second, slow reaction time can easily lead to the death of a tank and quite possibly the wipe of the raid. DPS shouldn’t require healing, unless they stand negligently in the slime or are life-tapping to regen their mana. Patchy’s frenzy also requires healers to be spamming their heals — the last 5% of his life will be the hardest to heal through. So long as you’re preemptively healing, and not just reacting to damage, Patchy should be a challenging, though rewarding kill.

As soon as the tanks have the top three aggro slots, there’s no reason not to pop heroism/bloodlust to help the kill go faster. Reminding dps to not stand in the slime also goes a long way to keep both the healers’ focus and mana on the tanks. Contingency plans, such as innervate assignments for healers and battle-rez coordination, also can help save raids from wiping when accidents occurs. Also, the more heals kept on the tank, the more relaxed they’ll be while tanking this boss (Living with a tank, I got to witness first hand the amount of stress and anxiety tanking Patchy can have with a person. That’s the only fight Osyras still feels squishy tanking, on any of his tanks).

Grobbulus is a plague abomination, carrying the scourge disease within his body. Contraptions attached to his flesh allow him to inject the putrid plague into the bodies of his victims, causing them to infect any allies nearby.

Poison Clouds – Grobbulus will drop one on the ground once every 15 seconds, forcing his tanks to kite him. The clouds to fairly intense damage per second, causing death in not avoided. They expand from their original size and last 75 seconds.

Slime Spray – Grobby spews in a frontal cone attack, doing fairly high nature damage to all those in a 45 degree arc. Raid members who are caught in the spray will spawn Fallout Slime. These slime will aoe anyone in a 10 yard radius every second, and must be picked up by an offtank and destroyed. Raid members should be behind Grobby at all times to ensure multiple slimes are not spawned.

Mutating Injection – Every 20 seconds, Grobbulus will inject a random raid member with his poison. After 10 seconds, or if the poison is cleansed, the poison will explode, causing nature damage to anyone near the target and dropping a poison cloud at the target’s feet. The speed of the injections increase as Grobby looses hit points.

Grobbulus will enrage after 9 minutes of combat.

As the fight requires people to constantly be running away from the group, healing assignments are usually wonky, with plenty of back up healers focusing on the tanks and the group. Keeping all casters and ranged dps together helps keep healing organized and fluid; this group will need to move in the center of the room as the tank kites Grobby along the outside (the grates on the floor outline a wonderful path to follow).

The fight is really all about controlling the amount of damage being done to the raid. There is no way to avoid the clouds Grobby himself drops, but there are ways of mitigating the damage the clouds players are forced to drop cause. Like Patchwerk, preemptive healing is pivotal on players carrying the injection. As they will likely be running far behind Grobby to find a space place to explode, shields and hots are wonderful tools to use to make sure the player survives the explosion and the second or two they will be spend in the puddle they create. As the raid is also constantly moving, quick heals, hots and anything that can absorb damage is wildly helpful for the fight. Also, healers should be reminded to NEVER, EVER cleanse the poison off of players, lest they wind up with an expanding poison cloud in the middle of the ranged group. Grobby doesn’t hit exceptionally hard, but all healers should keep an eye on the main tank in case his or her assigned healer is hit by an injection and is running away from the group.

Heroism and Bloodlust are usually best saved until the end of the fight, when Grobbulus is injecting people at a much more frequent basis. I also found that announcing names in vent for the injections allows not only the healers to hot/shield the injected raid member, but also allows the raid member to move quickly behind Grobbulus to spawn a puddle (Behind Grobbulus is an important factor as you do not want the puddles to be in the path the tanks is taking the fatty). Also, be sure to use as much of the floor space as you can for the puddles — if you can leave them up the ramp leading to Gluth or in the recesses on the walls on either end of the room, all the better; otherwise, it’s always a good idea to stand right up against the wall so the puddle can’t expand in all directions and leave a wider patch of unusable ground.

PHEW! We’ve made it through the first 2 meanies of the Construct Quarter. Stay tuned for next time we’ll show you the dazzling conclusion that will leave you cheering in your seats! (Or at least pretend to for my mental well being =D)


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