Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Healing Heroics: Violet Hold

O.K., so it has been a while since my last post. Sorry about that, what with holidays and all. Anyway, let's get to the point:
I've decided to do some heroic healing guides for us pallies out there, because I'm seeing a lot of us are having trouble healing certain heroics, but I think this is more due to the strategy and group gear than the actual difficulty. Granted, some places (Azjol-Nerub)  are a royal pain to heal, due to the fact that we have to both cleanse and heal at the same time. I will, however, try to find the easiest way to get through these obstacles, and hopefully we'll be rewarded with that nice loot we've had our eyes on. By the way, I would recommend that you check out my heroic gear guide to see if you have any easy upgrades to your gear. Some of these instances will require more spellpower than others. You may also want to follow this rule of thumb: IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE GREEN ITEM EQUIPPED, DO NOT RUN HEROICS - unless your tank and dps are uber geared. 

The instance I chose to write about first is The Violet Hold. This is a very simple instance, but it does require concentration. Why? Because if you wipe, you have to start ALL OVER AGAIN. And no, the bosses won't drop the loot twice (although you will still get rep for them if you Champion).
Location: Right smack dab in the middle of Dalaran.
Spellpower: I would recommend at least 1400+
Bosses: 3 (two are random and Cyanigosa)

Strategy: Violet Hold consists of 18 waves of mobs that will spawn from various portals. You are to kill these mobs as they spawn, and prevent them from breaking the door to Dalaran (Very similar to CoT: Opening of the Dark Portal). The six waves between each boss will come one after another, giving you little to no time to drink. You will get a break after each boss, so make the most out of it. The first two bosses are on the 6th and 12th wave, and they are random out of 6 possible bosses. The last boss is always Cyanigosa. First I will talk about each type of mob that will come out of each portal: 

This is the easiest mob that will spawn from a portal. He hits a little harder than average on the tank, but easily healable. You will not need to use Beacon of Light on this fight. 
This one is a bit tougher, because he casts aoe frostbolt volley. I would recommend using Beacon of Light on this mob, if mana allows.
3.) An Elite Blue Dragonsquad consisting of Azure CaptainAzure RaiderAzure Sorceror, and Azure Stalker, randomly chosen in combinations of 3 (4 after the second boss). 
You definitely want to use beacon of light on this fight, because the casters in this group will randomly target party members with Mind Flay type dot spells, and some of them cast an Arcane Explosion type spell. Remember, always beacon the tank because he will be taking the most damage 

Now for the bosses, and each strategy accordingly:

I. Moragg
Probably the easiest boss in this instance. Keep beacon of light on the tank as he will randomly target party members with a flay-dot that does more damage the longer it is active. The tank will also take increasingly more damage from his melee attacks due to a debuff the boss applies, but a half decent dps group can take him down before this becomes a problem.

This guy is a bit tougher than the Moragg, simply because he does a little more aoe damage. First, have the tank turn him away from the group, as he does Flame Breath, which does fire damage to everyone in front of him. He also casts Cauterizing Flames, which makes everyone take 35% more fire damage per application. His other two spells are both direct damage fire attacks, and if you're using healbot (like you're supposed to) you will be able to predict who will get hit with the attack before it lands, giving you ample time to react. Remember, have your dps wail at him once tank gains sufficient aggro, as if the debuff stacks too high, you won't be able to keep the group alive for long.

III. Erekem
This amazingly simple boss is what gets groups killed all the time. You see, he comes with two adds, and the natural reaction of most people is to kill them first. WRONG! If you kill his adds first, he will open a delightful can of whoop ass on your tank in the form of Windfury and Stormstrike. Just have the tank pick all three up and stick with them, as Erekem will break most crowd control spells on the adds. You will need to keep beacon on the tank, as Erekem will cast lightning bolts on random party members. He will also attempt to heal himself every once in a while. It is a good idea to interrupt his heals. If you have a mage/shaman/priest in your group, you may want to spellsteal/purge/dispell his Bloodlust and Earth Shield. Other than that, piece of cake!

IV. Ichoron
O.K. This is where the simple bosses end. Ichoron is the easiest of the three "harder" bosses, but he can be managed if your group is prepared. First, he will come out of the little water pool on the northeast side of the dungeon. When he becomes attackable, he will be shielded with a buff that reduces his damage by 99% and that bubble has 35 charges. When all of the charges are spent, he bursts into a bunch of water elementals. They are elite, but only have about 4k health. After you kill a few, Ichoron will reform, and the elementals will run toward him. Try to make sure your dps kills them before they reach the boss or he will restore health for every one. A good strategy is to keep him tanked with the tank's back facing the wall right next to the puddle Ichoron came out of, and just keep killing the elementals before they reach him. You will need to use beacon of light on this fight, because Ichoron also casts an aoe frostbolt volley. When the boss reaches 25%, he will go into a frenzy, increasing his damage by a lot. Make sure you keep the tank topped off, because if he dies, it will almost certainly result in a wipe. 

IV. Xevozz
This boss is not very difficult as long as you know how to move him around. He will come out of the prison on the ground floor on the northwest side of the room. As soon as he becomes attackable, have the tank pick him up and start tanking him at the bottom of the stairs on the west side. Xevozz will then summon two orbs in the middle of the room. When this happens have the tank immediately move him to the top of the stairs and start slowly tanking him clockwise on the platform, as long as the orbs are alive. You and dps should be ahead of the tank, moving clockwise as well. Why? If Xevozz comes in contact with ANY of the orbs, he will gain a 120% damage buff, which is enough to kill the tank in one shot. By the time the orbs de-spawn, you should be at the top of the North stairwell. Wait here for him to spawn the orbs again, and you may kite him clockwise or counterclockwise again. He will also do aoe arcane damage to the whole group periodically, so make sure that you have beacon of light on the tank. I am not sure of this, but I think that if he gets out of line of sight of his orbs, he will teleport the entire group to them with him, which is very bad. That is why he has to be kited slowly, but not slow enough for the orbs to actually touch him.
 
Ah, yes, the hardest boss in the instance. Not because he does a lot of damage, but because just one dps can cause the entire group to wipe if they are not careful. This boss has three abilities that will make your life as a pally miserable. The first is called Shroud of Darkness. When he casts this, any attacks that land on him will reduce the attacker's healing received by 20%. So if some unwise dps hits him 5 times in a row after he has cast it, you can pretty much count them as dead due to the next ability. You can dispell the de-buff, but as the fight progresses, this will become increasingly difficult. Shroud of Darkness has a two second cast time, so there is no reason for dps not to notice it. Next, the boss summons adds that shoot shadow bolts at party members. The kicker? They cannot be targeted unless you have been affected by the next ability. It is imperative that dps kill these as soon as possible if they can target them. Another strategy is to have a warrior tank who can use spell reflect. Even though the adds may be un-targetable to the warrior, spell reflect will work and kill the adds instantly. The final ability of this boss is called Void Shift, and it is a dot that will shift the player into the void after it has completed the duration. The players affected by the dot will be able to target the adds and therefore kill them. Make sure this is happening, or it will be a wipe :( Oh, and by the way, do I need to mention that you need Beacon of Light on this fight?

VI. Cyanigosa
After all those nightmarish bosses, its time for a break. Cyanigosa is always the last boss in the Violet Hold, and she is pretty simple to deal with. After she gives her entry speech, she will land in the middle of the room, and that is where the tank should pick her up. You should be standing on the side of her, as she does a Tail Swipe, like most dragons. Like her consort, Malygos, she has a frontal cone aoe attack that does damage to everyone in front of her, so don't stand there either. Cyanigosa will cast a blizzard somewhere in the room, and you should move out of it as soon as possible, because it does damage and it slows you. Every once in a while, she will pull everyone to her, so make sure you get out once she does it. Finally, she does a mana burn debuff on a random party member, so be sure to dispell it. Make sure you have beacon of light on the tank, because there is splash aoe damage due to blizzard and mana burn, but all in all, not a hard fight. Grats! You just finished Violet Hold. Go ahead, tap yourself on the back, you deserve it :P

This has also been pointed out to me by Vine from plusheal.com forums, but you may want to use the following auras when fighting these bosses:
Trash: Shadow or Frost
Moragg: Shadow
Lavanthor: Fire
Ichoron: Frost
Zuramat: Shadow
Cyanigosa: Frost

Loot of interest to a pally:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How To: Gear Your Pally for Naxxramas and Heroics

So, you've hit lvl 80 and want to get some phat lewtz from Heroics. What's that you say? You only have 900 spellpower? Well, you've come to the right place! Now, the list below does not include anything from Heroic dungeons, badge gear or Naxx. I am assuming you have leveled as Retribution, and are now in Northrend healing greens. You should be able to obtain all of the gear below without setting foot into a Heroic, and once you have that gear, your road to endgame will begin! 
I have included in the list below mail items that I think are better/easier to obtain than plate. Please make sure you are not rolling for these items against an elemental shaman who needs them. :( I have also included the affordable enchants for each slot, as this gear will be replaced fairly soon once you start raiding. Here we go:

Head:
Yes, it's mail. But it is AWESOME and easy to obtain. You can reach revered with Argent Crusade by simply completing all their quests in Northrend and doing a couple of the dailies. Your direct upgrade for this would be Helm of Purified Thoughts, although you will probably have to Champion in heroics to obtain it. 
Not a bad head by any means. Drops from the last boss of Utgarde Pinnacle. There is a helm here obtained through a quest at the start of the zone that is similar, but it has haste instead. Either one is fine, but spell crit is the stat to go for imho. 
Ouch! The lack of stats on this one hurts. Still, it's crafted and easily obtainable if you have the cash. 

Enchants:  Two of these require Revered rep, and one is from pvp. 
Try to get this one first, as the Wyrmrest dailies will get you to revered more quickly.
This one is the best for the slot, imho, but will be the most difficult to obtain. You will probably have to wait until heroics.

Shoulders:
A very solid choice when it comes to shoulders, mostly because it is very hard 
to find good ones pre-heroic.
The alternative if you prefer spell crit over mp5.
Only get these if you REALLY cannot get either of the above two. 

Enchants: 
Probably the one to go with until you hit exalted with Sons of Hodir.
If you prefer mp5.
PvP ftl. :P

Neck
Not a bad neck by far, and maiden is not a very difficult boss on normal.
I actually like this one, even though it has no intellect (boo!). Can be gemmed for some nice spellpower. 
The best one out there pre-25 man, but expect to pay an upwards of 2k for it if you're not a Jewelcrafter. 

Back:
My personal favorite, even though the next one is probably  just as good. Mats are easy to farm, the only trouble is finding a tailor with the achievement and recipe.
A very good one even though it has no crit. I believe you also have to find a tailor with the
achievement, and the mats are a little harder to farm.
Solid choice, but the rep requirement may be tough to fulfill. 
Enchants:
Hey, haste is always a decent option.

Chest:
You most likely won't be replacing this until your T7 piece. Extremely easy to get and farming the mats is a breeze.
This one has great potential, but the drop is all up to a chance. If you get the Revenant's Breastplate or the mail equivalent that drops earlier in the instance first, don't bother with trying to farm this.
Great starter, but the lack of intellect makes me a sad panda.

Enchants:
Easy to find, but the mats might cost a bit.

Wrists:
You will have probably reached Revered with Wyrmrest by just completing all the Dragonblight quests and doing the dailies. Very good choice, and a socket to boot.
If you would prefer crit over the haste from above, go with these, but you lose a gem/
Good starter, but no stats... Move on!

Enchants:
or, depending on your cash flow

Hands
Farm the Auction House for these, they're cheap and pretty decent.
You did pick the Frenzyheart faction, right? Easy to farm to revered and not a bad item at all.
You'll probably have better from heroics by the time you reach Exalted from Wyrmrest, but just in case you don't, these are nice.
No base stats, blah blah blah.

Enchants:

Waist
Very nice waist, probably best pre-heroic.
Good if you can't get the HoL one to drop.
Might be tougher to get because of Revered requirement with Kirin Tor.

Legs
All depends on which stat you prefer, crit or haste, and which faction you picked.
This one is made of awesome, but it may take a while to get the Ebon Blade rep, and you will probably have better from heroics / Naxx by that time/
Pretty nice drop from second boss in Halls of Lightning.
Only use these when you cannot get any of the above.

Enchant:
or

Feet
Excellent item and easy to obtain from the local Leatherworker.
O.K., but there is no guarantee they will drop.
These are decent as well, but like all crafted holy plate, they have no int, which hurts a lot. Still, if you'd rather wear these than the number 1 above, you can.

Enchants:

Rings
Very good ring and easy to get from a quest you can complete in the Oculus.
Both are decent, depending on what you prefer.
Best in slot before 25 mans, but you might have a problem with how much the mats will cost.
Another nice ring, but requires Exalted with Argent Crusade.
Extremely nice, but it will cost you anywhere from 6800 to 8000 gold. Good Luck!

Enchants:
Only if you are an enchanter, I'm afraid.

Trinkets... Pretty trinkets! :P
This one is nice, but I'm not sure what the proc rate is.
This treasure is rumored to be Bind on Equip with the next patch, but you will probably pay an arm and a leg for it.
I believe this is redeemed at the Darkmoon Faire by turning in the Prisms Deck, which is created from 8 cards crafted by Inscriptionists (Scribes mebbe?). Again, good but highly costly.

Main Hand
Despite not having intellect, this is the best pre-raid option for now. It will, unfortunately, be nerfed in the next patch to reflect actual item level. For now though, if you can farm the mats, it is well worth it. 
Another nice Wyrmrest item, only requires revered, too.
Pretty good for a dungeon drop, last boss in Caverns of Time
Good enough to get you by until you get one of the above.

Enchants:
or

Shield
Nice if you can find it on the Auction House.
The next best thing and probably easier to get.
Not bad, and probably the easiest to obtain.

Enchants:

Libram
Very tough to find anything worthwhile before raiding. If you still have your TBC librams, they may be better than some of the ones below.

Meh...
Better than nothing, I suppose. 

There ya go! Happy Raiding!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Welcome!

So, out of the trillion or so healadin sites, you somehow wound up on this page. How did you get here? Did your mouse button slip while you were trying to view those adult sites? Naughty, naughty! 
Well, while you are here, let me wish you a warm welcome!

"What is this site all about?" you may ask yourself. Pop a Ritalin and try to sit still while I explain. 

This site will be dedicated, first and foremost, to the World of Warcraft class, the Paladin. More specifically, to the Holy Paladin. I should warn you at this point, I am most likely promising far more than I can deliver. I will try to delve into every aspect of the spec and class, everything from talents and gear, to strategies for healing and playing in general (There may even be comics). Hopefully, the blog will take off, and I will rise to fame the likes which has not been seen in centuries! People will hear my name and weep like children! The world itself will be my plaything!!! .... But I digress... Baby steps, ya know!

You may be asking yourself at this point"Who is this weird, yet remarkably intriguing fellow?" 

Is that Ritalin kicking in yet? Good. Well, I, like so many of you, decided to pick the paladin as my main class when I first started playing WoW (sometimes two years ago). I had heard that it was a wonderful class: easy to level, possessed much survivability, and was extremely versatile. You see, I had just finished playing EverQuest, as my long time guild there broke up, and I  wanted a change. I even named my cute little pally dwarf Quellious, as a tribute. So I diligently leveled Quellious, hoping to one day raid the endgame as the awesome Protadin. This was right at the beginning of Burning Crusade. I had leveled as protection to 70, when I found out that I would forever be inferior to Warriors. Heartbroken, I decided try out Retribution. Let me just say, I quickly found out why I always saw "lolret" in battlegrounds. Then, one day, as I was busy being a cheap amusement for a horde lock in AV, a fellow healadin ran up to me and started doing his thing. Instantly I was amazed at his ability to keep three opponents beating on him mercilessly, and still he survived. From that day forward, I re-specced and never looked back. 

Fast forward to today. WotLK is out, and I'm level 80, and still loving holy. So sit tight and grab a Coke ( or Pepsi, I don't judge), and let's get started! 

P.S.: If you skipped the whole article and are just reading this sentence, go back an read!
 I just told you how to make 1000g in 2 minutes! :P