Healing Trial of the Champion: Northrend Beasts

August 11, 2009 at 3:20 pm (Patch 3.2, Raiding, World Events)

The Trial of the Champion is the new big thing in 3.2 and comes in 5, 10 and 25 man versions.

In terms of the 10 and 25 version there is currently only one boss fight available and the idea is that more will be released each week until eventually 5 fights are available.

The fights are very accessible. It’s relatively simple, and doesn’t require excessive gear. To try and help people get involved with this new raid I’m going to run down how the current fight works, and then as the new fights get released I’ll explain those.

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The Northrend Beasts encounter consists of three sets of bosses, but only rewards one set of loot. Presumably the Argent Tournament is short of funds. So it’s really one big three phase fight.

The three fights occur one after the other with no break. So in terms of mana management it’s one long fight and you need to use Mana Potions and other mana cooldowns accordingly. Similarly if you wipe you start again from the beginning and have to kill each boss again.

Even though there is no break, if your raid is here for the first time I’d suggest you only explain the mechanics for the first phase until you are clearing that, then explain the mechanics for the second phase etc. Chances are you won’t clear each phase first time anyway, so better not to overcomplicate things by trying to explain all the tactics in one big lump.

Gormok The Impaler

A giant Magnataur. Minor things to worry about are an AoE physical attack he does which will interrupt spell casting. It doesn’t hit very hard, but it’s only got a 15 yard range so healers and casters should be staying out of it.

In terms of the important abilities there are essentially three mechanics to this fight:

Impale

The first is that he stacks an Impale debuff on the tank which eventually become unhealable. The idea therefore is to have two tanks. The first tank takes the boss until he’s about to get a third stack of the debuff. At this point he second tank taunts. As soon as the debuff has fallen off the first tank he takes back over again.

Fire Patch

The second mechanic is a fire patch which Gormok puts down on the floor. Usually he will cast 2-3 in close succession then none at all for a while. So ranged need to see the fire, move out of it, and be aware of possibly having to move again straight away if they are the target of another patch.

Snowbolds

The final ability to stress about are Snowbolds. Snowbolds are little Kobold mobs which grab hold of players. While you have a Snowbold on you they will periodically stun you, and kick to interrupt spells you cast and lock you out of that school for 8 seconds. These Snowbolds can and should be killed by damage dealers to free up the healers and ranged casters and prevent stuns on melee players. My best suggestion is that as soon as a player gets a Snowbold they run 20 yards or so from the boss and stand still. DPS then kill the Snowbold. If any other player gets a Snowbold during this time, they run to the same spot to make it simple for the DPS to see them and kill it.

Healing Gormok’s Encounter

The damage in this fight is very low. If the tanks are swapping correctly they are not taking a great deal of damage. Make sure you continue to heal the off tank because they will still be taking damage from the Impale stacks they have. Also once the fight ends you will need to continue to heal until the debuff wears off. Shield, Renew and Prayer of Mending should be enough, maybe the odd Flash Heal.

The Main Tank will take melee hits, but no special attacks so Shields, Penance and a few Flash Heals are easily enough. Prayer of Healing on the melee group easily takes care of his physical AoE but obviously put the Melee in the same group for easy targetting.

You need to watch for Fire Patches under your feet and be prepared to move, perhaps several times in quick succession.

For Snowbolds your main concern here is getting kicked while you are casting. If you get a Snowbold on you switch to instant casts until it’s removed only using Penance in an emergency because you may well get kicked. Shields, Renew, Prayer of Mending and Pain Suppression are better options. It should not take long (15-20 seconds max) for a couple of DPS to remove the Snowbold from you. It is possible, but doesn’t often happen that you will get stunned whilst in a flame patch. So maybe have a Shield up on yourself or at least keep other healers aware that you are Snowbolded.

Acidmaw and Dreadscale

This is, in my opinion, very much the harder of the three fights. The two worms enter from the back of the room and are each picked up by a tank. For reasons to be explained you will kill Acidmaw first and the quicker the better.

Danger:

Both worms spew acid or fire or something nasty in front of them which does a lot of damage so your tanks and the raid members need to be careful about not getting in front of them. A spew on several people can be difficult to recover from.

In terms of other mechanics. Acidmaw starts the fight being immobile, whilst Dreadscale can move around. Dreadscale will drop a Grobbulus like Poison area beneath him which will slowly expand, so the Dreadscale tank will need to move him around a bit. 30 seconds or so into the fight both worms will briefly burrow underground. When they resurface (probably in a new location) they will have switched which is mobile and which stationary. So now the Acidmaw tank will need to move him around.

Paralytic Poison and Burning Bile

The main mechanic for this fight is as follows:

Acidmaw will apply a debuff called Paralytic Poison.

Dreadscale applies a debuff called Burning Bile.

Burning Bile does fire damage to you and people around you.

Paralytic poison has a long duration and will slow your movement speed until eventually you cannot move. The only way to remove the poison is by being hit by fire damage from Burning Bile.

So, if a player (including the Acidmaw tank) gets Paralytic Poison on them they need to find a player with the Burning Bile and get the poison removed. Usually a safe bet is that the Dreadscale tank will have Burning Bile on them. Just watch you don’t get spewed on while you’re running around.

If you get Burning Bile on you then you ought to run a short distance away from other players so you aren’t doing fire damage to everybody.

Before the first burrow, Burning Bile and Paralytic Poison are applied to a single target. However after the first burrow both worms begin to apply their debuffs by means of an AoE Spray attack which can hit multiple people and is randomly targeted. This is different to the Spew attack which they only do in front of them. So AoE damage steps up at this point and more people may have to watch for Poison and Bile.

Finally, when you kill one of the worms the other will enrage and do more damage. It’s not particularly hard to heal because you have a spare healer now that Acidmaw’s tank isn’t doing anything.

Healing Acidmaw and Dreadscale’s Encounter

Whilst the main mechanic of the fight is Paralytic Poison and Burning Bile, the most dangerous thing in this fight is the Spew attack which both worms do in front of them. An ideal situation is to start with both worms so they are back to back and maybe 20 yards apart. This leaves a safe space for the melee to stand and means everybody is near to the Dreadscale tank in case they need to remove Paralytic Poison. If people get spewed on they may not die, but it’s a good time for Divine Hymn as there really is no other significant raid damage in the other parts of this boss fight.

If you get Paralytic Poison on you, don’t be slow about running to remove it. If you wait, or you are too far away to start with it’s possible you could get completely immobilised. If this happens get a player to come to you, but this really isn’t a good situation.

While you’re running to get the Paralytic Poison removed be aware your tank will still need healing. Ask them to use cooldowns, let other healers know to take over, and consider Guardian Spirit and Pain Suppression for these moments.

There will be some raid damage from Burning Bile, and after the first Burrow damage steps up once they start doing more AoE but Prayer of Healing and Mending should mop it up. Whilst the first and third encounter are easily done with two healers, a third helps for this fight.

When Acidmaw dies you don’t have to worry about Paralytic poison and you have a free healer, so, even though Dreadscale enrages, the fight gets easier. Just watch for larger spikes of damage, again Pain Suppression for safety is not a bad idea but don’t waste Pain Suppression or shield wall near the very end of this fight because there are places to use it in the next.

Icehowl

The third boss and ultimately the easiest. I’ve read of people having trouble with this fight, but there is nothing inherently difficulty about it. Icehowl does some negligible stuff. He stuns the tank, nothing much to worry about. He does a melee range Knockback AoE.

He also does a channeled Arctic Breath attack which will freeze players in a block of ice.

Massive Crash

The main mechanic of the fight is straightforward. He will throw every player back against the wall of the colliseum. He then picks a player to target, he faces them, leaps to the far side of the room, and then charges towards them. All players must run out of the way of his charge. If he hits them they will take massive damage and probably die. Whether they die or not he will Frenzy and becomes almost unhealable. So whilst I would imagine it’s possible to Iceblock or Bubble his charge I would definitely not recommend it. The frenzy is removable with Tranquilizing Shot or Anasthetic Poison, and in a pinch Shield Wall, Pain Suppression etc can keep your tank up long enough to dispel the Frenzy. Ultimately though the charge is very very simple to avoid. You get plenty of time.

If he misses the player he hits the wall and becomes stunned and takes extra damage. So this fight consists of dodging the charge, then DPSing while he’s stunned. Ideally you will only see two or three charges before he dies.

Healing Icehowl’s Encounter

The damage in this fight is almost exclusively to melee players and the tank. As such Prayer of Healing is good stuff here, just make sure you wait for players to get back into range of each other before you use it. Casting it straight after the knockback occurs means you will probably only heal one or two.

There is some damage to ranged players in the form of his Arctic Breath but the main concern here is getting Frozen. Best to ensure your healers are not standing in a clump so that you always have one free to heal.

Don’t be afraid to ask the Tanks for cooldowns if the boss does enrage. If you are sharp you can heal through it with the help of cooldowns. Again, there is no real reason it should happen, the charges are not hard to avoid. I have seen what appears to be a bug. Icehowl charged a player, he moved and was not hit (he took no damage) but Icehowl Frenzied anyway. So just be aware that it might happen and stay sharp.

Once you get him stunned it’s a perfect time to throw Power Infusion or Shadow Fiend at him for bonus damage.

And that’s it for this encounter. Collect your loot and get ready for next week!!

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