Shaman on Council of Elders [10]

90 Dwarf Shaman
9655
Hi all,

I'm a shaman and I need help... I'm finding my performance on this fight is fairly bad and am looking for pointers. Our strategy revolves around grouping up around 4 points, 3 people on 3 of them and another on our tank. This makes my usual AoE healing rotation of HR+CH not very useful and I end up doing single target heals. I know this is sub-optimal for how Blizzard wants us to heal, and I also heal with a paladin which messes with my healing a lot (damn your absorb shields!) but this is the fight so I just need to adjust.

What I'm looking for is insight into how other Shaman deal with this fight... are there any tips/tricks you've learned? I'm open to all forms of feedback so please, lay it on me!

(Quick note: I'm aware that I'm missing a serpent's eye... gotta fix that!)

Thanks all!
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
I am not a Shaman, and I am now a 25 man raider, but what I would advise your group to do is to actually spread the ranged out in various areas. If you have a Priest, for instance, try to have her camp near Mar'li when Mar'li isn't possessed, and have her use Void Tendrils on the add. The add won't attack the tendrils and you'll have a full 20 sec to kill it.

Prioritize Sul and burn him down as much as possible (if at all possible, try to avoid getting any Sandstorms at all). Have your raiders watch the timer on his Sand trap ability to avoid putting any sands in Melee. Once Sul is down, have everyone but whoever is rooting the add on Mar'li, stack in Healing Rain with the melee. And just stay there. until the end of the fight. This also has the side benefit of preventing Kazrajin from charging out into BFE (which makes melee happier, too).

You'll want to hold your CDs like SLT, HTT, and Ascendance for things like Dark Power (assuming you guys get behind) and Kazrajin's Discharge. You may also want to hold SLT for when the tank on Frost King is getting rocked. Our Shaman actually did that once we were all stacked on the melee after Sul was down. It was very helpful.

Don't forget to use MTT on CD (I'm sure you will anyway! :D), and don't underestimate the power of your Earthliving and Chain Heal.

I hope that helps!

Edited to Add: BTW, if your raid leader balks or whines about a strat that involves the raid moving to be in your healing rain as much as possible, slap him. A lot of raid leaders (and even Shaman) do not understand how important and how powerful Healing Rain is right now. If they won't listen to you, ask them why it is that Method brought a Shaman and 0 Priests to their H Lei Shen kill. It wasn't for MTT. Their strat revolved around staying in Healing Rain as much as they possibly could.
Edited by Tiriel on 4/12/2013 9:16 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Mage
16155
Is your group having trouble defeating the encounter? Also, can you explain what you mean by "grouping up around 4 points"? I don't understand this strat.
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90 Dwarf Shaman
9655
@Tiriel - I am one of the raid leaders and normally, do nothing but harass my team to stand in my healing rain; however, this particular fight forces us to spread out because of the sand traps. We can't really stack up until Sul is dead and this takes quite some time. We did try a focused burn on Sul to the exclusion of everything else, but ended up not killing him in time. You make a good point though that, once Sul is dead, we can stack up and I can do Shaman life as normal. Your tips on CD usage are also good, especially about SLT. I'll see about putting this into practice next raid :)

@Taymage - Yes and no... we're finding it a healing intensive fight and I'm noticing my numbers are lower than normal, so I'm looking into ways to improve my personal performance.

For our positioning, let me attempt to better explain it...

B
A C
D


We run 3 heal, 2 tank, 5 DPS. At the start of the fight, at point A, we have the tank holding Sul and Malak with two DPS with him. At point B we have a healer and two ranged DPS. At point C we have the second tank holding the other caster, who will also taunt Malak when the stun thinger (technical term!) goes on the MT. At point D we have two healers and another ranged DPS.

We position like this so that when the first frost debuff (forget the names atm) occurs, any person who gets it will have two DPS near them to drop the stacks to 1, minimizing the damage. These groups shift as appropriate to avoid the leap.

When the fight changes so we don't get that any more, we spread out so we don't take excessive damage from the other frost debuff that occurs, and to spread out sand traps.

Because of the spread, I'm not really able to make use of HR+CH very effectively. Most of this fight I spend doing healing waves and HST, which causes my healing to drop a lot, so I was looking for advice/tips on how to improve performance in a single target fight, especially one where you're healing with a paladin.

Finally, just so it's clear... I'm not trying to complain about Shaman here (there's enough thread about that already). Would I like buffs/changes to the class? Sure! But as it is we have this fight that we need to get through so I'm looking for ways to improve. I'm sure other Shaman go through this fight too so maybe they have some helpful advice :)
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90 Orc Shaman
7615
Who is your other healer(s)? This makes a difference in how you're going to approach your heals.

TBH with ya, ToT is really rough on Shamans simply because it's hard for us to heal everyone spread out. But I won't get into that.

The best advice I have is to use AoE on the Frostbite group, keep ES on the tank tanking Malakk and Sul, work with your other healers to heal up Sand Bolt damage (maybe even going old-school and assigning a healer to certain people).

I use Mana Tide at 80% mana and then on CD. I use HST on cd. I would recommend glyph of Cleansing Waters for sandtraps and maybe even Totemic Projection to throw Spirit Link in the melee group when Sandstorm comes out. Ascendance/Elemental Mastery combo when you get behind on raid healing. I have used this effectively when the "main tank" is stunned to top off the raid.

This fight gets a lot easier when the raid is doing what they should; avoiding damage from Reckless Charge, not standing in Quicksand, not standing by someone with Biting Cold, etc.
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90 Dwarf Shaman
9655
@Kuzil - My healing partners are a paladin and a monk.

Regarding the glyphs... is the glyph of cleansing waters affected by your +heal? It says 4% of maximum health, which is maybe 450k. That results in an 18k heal on a successful clenase, which is unlikely given we have 3 healers on top of it :D I'm intrigued by totemic projection though... I'm not finding Call of the Elements terribly useful except for giving me an extra HST every three minutes. Throwing SLT into the melee group is a slick idea.

Also, you mention elemental mastery. I've been keeping Ancestral Swiftness for the instant cast (which I find quite handy) and for the passive haste bonus, allowing me to keep more stats reforged into crit. I'm pretty much right at the haste breakpoint for taking ancestral swiftness so I'd have to do some reforging.

How do you find having elemental mastery? I suppose it's like an extra heroism, hey?
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
@Tiriel - I am one of the raid leaders and normally, do nothing but harass my team to stand in my healing rain; however, this particular fight forces us to spread out because of the sand traps. We can't really stack up until Sul is dead and this takes quite some time. We did try a focused burn on Sul to the exclusion of everything else, but ended up not killing him in time. You make a good point though that, once Sul is dead, we can stack up and I can do Shaman life as normal. Your tips on CD usage are also good, especially about SLT. I'll see about putting this into practice next raid :)

@Taymage - Yes and no... we're finding it a healing intensive fight and I'm noticing my numbers are lower than normal, so I'm looking into ways to improve my personal performance.

For our positioning, let me attempt to better explain it...

B
A C
D


We run 3 heal, 2 tank, 5 DPS. At the start of the fight, at point A, we have the tank holding Sul and Malak with two DPS with him. At point B we have a healer and two ranged DPS. At point C we have the second tank holding the other caster, who will also taunt Malak when the stun thinger (technical term!) goes on the MT. At point D we have two healers and another ranged DPS.

We position like this so that when the first frost debuff (forget the names atm) occurs, any person who gets it will have two DPS near them to drop the stacks to 1, minimizing the damage. These groups shift as appropriate to avoid the leap.

When the fight changes so we don't get that any more, we spread out so we don't take excessive damage from the other frost debuff that occurs, and to spread out sand traps.

Because of the spread, I'm not really able to make use of HR+CH very effectively. Most of this fight I spend doing healing waves and HST, which causes my healing to drop a lot, so I was looking for advice/tips on how to improve performance in a single target fight, especially one where you're healing with a paladin.

Finally, just so it's clear... I'm not trying to complain about Shaman here (there's enough thread about that already). Would I like buffs/changes to the class? Sure! But as it is we have this fight that we need to get through so I'm looking for ways to improve. I'm sure other Shaman go through this fight too so maybe they have some helpful advice :)


My advice for you is to have people watch timers. Sul does Sand trap on a fixed timer, so as long as people spread 5-10 seconds before it comes off CD, you can stand in Melee until your eyes bleed (though I would recommend having one or two people slightly at range to "encourage" Kazrajin's charge). This is also true of Frostbite and Biting Cold - have people spread slightly loosely just before the timer goes off. You don't have to be super apart from each other. If people are spread the proper distance (5 yards is all it takes), you can run Chain Heal through all of them. Putting people in separate groups far from each other is probably making your job a lot harder.

Beyond that, during the part where people are spread and you have to use your single-target healing, you might want to simply prioritize the frost tank (as he will be taking the bulk of the damage) and using Chain Heal/Healing Rain on the Melee, as they will often get charged into and cannot really move. If you choose to swap to the Frostbite target, I'd recommend putting Earthshield on them for the duration of the spell (although it did not seem to be a super-intense amount of damage when I did it on Normal 10 man).
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90 Dwarf Shaman
9655
@Tiriel - Haha I make my raid cater to my range restrictions so much, I feel like they're starting to hate me ^.^ Some good points you have there, especially about those abilities being on timers. I did notice last night that the sand trap doesn't tick damage right way either, so it should be possible for the tank to just adjust position. The only real consideration for that tank moving or not is so we don't make it too difficult for the OT to find him and taunt Malak.

I'll keep these in mind and see how things go for the next raid. Thanks for the feedback here, guys. Much appreciated.
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
@Tiriel - Haha I make my raid cater to my range restrictions so much, I feel like they're starting to hate me ^.^ Some good points you have there, especially about those abilities being on timers. I did notice last night that the sand trap doesn't tick damage right way either, so it should be possible for the tank to just adjust position. The only real consideration for that tank moving or not is so we don't make it too difficult for the OT to find him and taunt Malak.

I'll keep these in mind and see how things go for the next raid. Thanks for the feedback here, guys. Much appreciated.


Well, they shouldn't hate you. :-P Like I said, many raiders don't realize exactly how potent Healing Rain is right now. It might be slightly more work on their part, but if your raiders ever have aspirations for getting past the rest of the instance, they need to figure this stuff out now. :)
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Not a shaman, but I will tell you the strategy we use for Council because I think our setup would actually be better for you as a Shaman.

We have the tanks tank them all together (well besides Mr. Roly Poly.. he goes wherever he wants) and one tank just moves Marli out during Empowerment so that the Shadowed Loa can be killed. We ignore the regular Loa, their healing can be easily outdpsed by the added cleave action from having them stacked. What this allows us to do is to have all range/healers loosely stacked. Not a tight stack of course because of roly poly dude and traps/frostbite... but we are close enough that Healing Rain/Chain Heal could still be very effectively used.

Hope this helps. :)
Edited by Morenn on 4/12/2013 10:16 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Priest
10470
For our positioning, let me attempt to better explain it...

B
A C
D

We run 3 heal, 2 tank, 5 DPS. At the start of the fight, at point A, we have the tank holding Sul and Malak with two DPS with him. At point B we have a healer and two ranged DPS. At point C we have the second tank holding the other caster, who will also taunt Malak when the stun thinger (technical term!) goes on the MT. At point D we have two healers and another ranged DPS.

We position like this so that when the first frost debuff (forget the names atm) occurs, any person who gets it will have two DPS near them to drop the stacks to 1, minimizing the damage. These groups shift as appropriate to avoid the leap.

When the fight changes so we don't get that any more, we spread out so we don't take excessive damage from the other frost debuff that occurs, and to spread out sand traps.

Because of the spread, I'm not really able to make use of HR+CH very effectively. Most of this fight I spend doing healing waves and HST, which causes my healing to drop a lot, so I was looking for advice/tips on how to improve performance in a single target fight, especially one where you're healing with a paladin.

You are way, way, *way* overcomplicating the situation.

1) Stack the bosses together. You are nerfing everybody's cleave. If you have a fire mage, they are crying...and I imagine your melee and tanks aren't happy either. Ignore the stupid Blessed Loas and just stack everything together.

2) Everyone handles their own positioning. Encourage people to stand in HR whenever they can; move HR to clear spots as needed.

2) People can just move out of sand traps and charges on their own.

3) When people get Frostbite, all they need to do is go stand on *one* person. It doesn't matter who. It's not hard to find one person - especially if the raid is sticking together well enough to mostly stay in Healing Rain. One person is all it takes to not die. Then they stand still and wait for someone to come to them (you might assign a "Frostbite Response Specialist", and a backup for when that person is one of the original 2 stacked.)

4) When people get Biting Cold, they move away from other people. The range really isn't very big (4 yards I think?), so they can probably even stay in HR with it.

5) When Marli empowers, people can just kite Shadow Loas as needed. Shouldn't need a whole lot of kiting.
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90 Troll Druid
HC
12650
1) Stack the bosses together. You are nerfing everybody's cleave. If you have a fire mage, they are crying...and I imagine your melee and tanks aren't happy either. Ignore the stupid Blessed Loas and just stack everything together.

Mind going into detail why this strat is even possible? Every time the Loa hits, 5% heal. And considering you want Sul/Frost Lord out of the picture asap, you're just hurting yourself.
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
04/12/2013 12:26 PMPosted by Fleurs
1) Stack the bosses together. You are nerfing everybody's cleave. If you have a fire mage, they are crying...and I imagine your melee and tanks aren't happy either. Ignore the stupid Blessed Loas and just stack everything together.

Mind going into detail why this strat is even possible? Every time the Loa hits, 5% heal. And considering you want Sul/Frost Lord out of the picture asap, you're just hurting yourself.


You can out-DPS the heal on Normal. If you focus Sul and just cleave everyone else down, it works fine.
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90 Troll Druid
HC
12650
04/12/2013 12:31 PMPosted by Tiriel

Mind going into detail why this strat is even possible? Every time the Loa hits, 5% heal. And considering you want Sul/Frost Lord out of the picture asap, you're just hurting yourself.


You can out-DPS the heal on Normal. If you focus Sul and just cleave everyone else down, it works fine.

You basically already leave melee on Sul/Frost Lord, whichever you choose to burn first. Ranged can technically stack if they want to as is, and continue on w/ Kaels suggestions for healing purposes. But it seems silly to me regardless because Kazra's just going to be knocking people all over the place, sandtraps will spawn underneath everyone's feet, people w/ Biting Cold will just start hitting people more often than should you spread...
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90 Troll Shaman
12170
Is that strat viable for heroics? I think I am going to recommend that for normals to my group.
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90 Troll Druid
HC
12650
Is that strat viable for heroics? I think I am going to recommend that for normals to my group.

Nope.
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
Is that strat viable for heroics? I think I am going to recommend that for normals to my group.


It is not, but the strat for heroic isn't that much different. It simply involves interrupting Mar'li and dragging her out to make sure she's not in the pile when she's not empowered.
Edited by Tiriel on 4/12/2013 1:12 PM PDT
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
You basically already leave melee on Sul/Frost Lord, whichever you choose to burn first. Ranged can technically stack if they want to as is, and continue on w/ Kaels suggestions for healing purposes. But it seems silly to me regardless because Kazra's just going to be knocking people all over the place, sandtraps will spawn underneath everyone's feet, people w/ Biting Cold will just start hitting people more often than should you spread...


That assumes that you're raiding with drooling idiots. You move out of the charge (and the knocking about will happen anyway later because the strat for the rest of the fight once Sul is down is to stack, and it works just fine in Heroic so I fail to see why it would work badly in Normal). You watch the timers and ranged runs out a few yards just before Frostbite, Biting Cold, and Sand Traps go out. It's not hard.
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That assumes that you're raiding with drooling idiots. You move out of the charge (and the knocking about will happen anyway later because the strat for the rest of the fight once Sul is down is to stack, and it works just fine in Heroic so I fail to see why it would work badly in Normal). You watch the timers and ranged runs out a few yards just before Frostbite, Biting Cold, and Sand Traps go out. It's not hard.


This. You don't stand there like statues, you do move when bad stuff is coming, just all the other times we stay (loosely) stacked. It works amazingly well.
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90 Troll Druid
HC
12650
04/12/2013 01:02 PMPosted by Tiriel
You basically already leave melee on Sul/Frost Lord, whichever you choose to burn first. Ranged can technically stack if they want to as is, and continue on w/ Kaels suggestions for healing purposes. But it seems silly to me regardless because Kazra's just going to be knocking people all over the place, sandtraps will spawn underneath everyone's feet, people w/ Biting Cold will just start hitting people more often than should you spread...


That assumes that you're raiding with drooling idiots. You move out of the charge (and the knocking about will happen anyway later because the strat for the rest of the fight once Sul is down is to stack, and it works just fine in Heroic so I fail to see why it would work badly in Normal). You watch the timers and ranged runs out a few yards just before Frostbite, Biting Cold, and Sand Traps go out. It's not hard.

The purpose of this thread is because of a supposed healing issue, the solution you're backing up is one that prolongs the fight when it is completely unnecessary, which can therein cause even more healing problems.

It is a little ironic that for some reason when people are stacked, they will magically know to pay attention to mechanics (Biting Cold, Kazra's charge, Sandtraps) but for some reason, they do not when they are spread? If the people in his group were paying attention to all mechanics as they should, with or without this strat, there wouldn't be nearly as much of a reason to try and find a strat that caters to Healing Rain.

Our shaman had Healing Rain do 7.6% of his total healing done, with Riptide, HST, and GHW being top 3 while we 2healed. That says to me that our overall damage taken as a raid wasn't high enough to call for a strat that catered to his best raid heal.

I am not trying to throw this "strat" out the window, because maybe it is working for some people..................................... I just find it unnecessary and in the end, not the solution to the problem people are facing.
Edited by Fleurs on 4/12/2013 1:57 PM PDT
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