News Flash: Healing Plague Wing bites!

Tanking is sooooo much easier than healing, I swear.

I love tanking Heigan, for example, because all ya gotta do is hold threat, watch your own abilities and use as appropriate, and dance. Bonus points for shifting out of Bear and tossing Battle Rezes and Innervates as necessary, of course, but come on… that’s all part and parcel of being a Bear tank. If you have problems tossing emergency Battle Rezes, you’re probably doing it right in the first place and don’t get enough practise. 🙂

Yes, I do get a lot of practise.

Healing, though… damn, that’s a pain.

Dancing: check.

Throwing heals around: check.

Dancing while watching everybody else’s health bar and tossing heals around frantically to keep everybody that might have a problem with dancing alive: oh, holy shit!

The first shot we took at Heigan, I’m not ashamed to say I bought it on the dance.

I was prepared to just accept that I screwed up somehow, but half the raid bought it at the same time, in the same place, and it really did look like we ate a big, fat lag spike. I dunno, I’d like to blame it on lag, but maybe I just wasn’t on top of the game on that one.

Second shot, and I have to say, I was dancing on pure instinct. Normally, as a Bear tank, I can spend all my time on the phase two dance running from perfect spot to perfect spot, centered in the middle of the safe zone.

As a healer, I spent the entire time watching the health bars and casting Rejuve, Rejuve, Rejuve, Nourish, Rejuve, Rejuve, Nourish, bam bam bam bam. I basically rolled everybody, all da time.

I ran the dance between the zones purely by instinct, because my attention was totally elsewhere. I’m just a natural born dancer, I guess. It is tons harder to heal multiple people and dance at the same time, compared to tanking or DPS, though. far, far harder.

We all almost managed to live through the second one, too. 🙂 We did far, far better and beat in his little pointy head.

Still, whew! That stuffs intense, yo.

And then, of course, comes the creme de la creme of the healers world, with everything but Yul Brenner.

Loatheb. What an appropriate name, because loathing does come into play, here.

I asked for someone to tell me what exactly the role of the healer was here, what with the whole ‘can only heal for 3 seconds’ thingie.

You know, that never sounded good to me. Call me kookie, but I look at my Global Cooldowns, I look at my cast times, and even with Nourish and Swiftmend and Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Touch, I’m just not seeing this happen for a whole raid.

What, study it from a healer’s perspective beforehand? Why would I do that? Our healers have always been so on top of things, I never had to.

I’d just roll on in, ask the healers if they knew what to do, and they’d lift their heads temporarily from the smack they talk in their private healer channel (thought I didn’t know about that, eh?) and make shooing motions for us to get a move on.

So, here’s how it was explained to me last night.

Healing effects only work for that brief three seconds… but you can cast your HoTs on the target whenever you’d like.

SOOO…. if a Tree were to dump a Rejuve on everyone starting at such a time during the lockout that they would still be active for that critical three seconds when the window opened up… and Regrowth for the extra squishy… and you were poised to nail some Swiftmend/Nourish action when you could actively cast and have it work during the three seconds, it’s not that bad.


Well, heck, I can do that.

I think.

More or less.

Well hell, whattaya know, it worked!

But not without heart failure. And I think Luis died.

But I successfully healed in Loatheb. Luis dying is a small price to pay.

I feel all spiffy now!

I could talk about what a great job the guild did, how much they kicked ass, the healing, the tanking, the blistering DPS… but what the heck, you hear that stuff all the time.

I will say, I do have a newfound appreciation for the job healers do, and a frowny face for the way Blizz likes to stress out healers. It’s hard to look at any proposed healer nerf after seeing stuff like that, and not want to smack someone in the mouth for making their job that much harder.

On the other hand… it sure is fun to win!


29 thoughts on “News Flash: Healing Plague Wing bites!

  1. We have been down to 3-manning Heigen more times than I care to remember… probably the second time I did him, we lost everyone in the first Dance, but me (healer), the tank and a DPS – took us 25 minutes to get him down but by golly we did it! After that, there is no such thing as wipe on Heigan, you just keep going like a freaking Duraceel bunny.

    Loatheb as a Priest = Prayer of Healing! And I’m Disc so if I time it right I have time for at least half a Penance on the lowest person healthwise. Or a Divine Hymn if you feel like it.

    Warms my healer-heart when you say that healing is harder – although I have just started getting my warriortank in order and that is soo much harder for me…


  2. I’ve done Heigan with 4 people before on 10-man, 1 tank, 2 healers and a melee dps. It wasn’t hard, it just took some time. It wasn’t planned either, it’s just that almost everyone in the PuG died very very early. None should die, but if they do then you won’t wipe unless you run out of healers or tanks.

    I personally like Loatheb and Heigan because it’s a challenge =)


  3. I don’t heal much during Heigan (it’s a good way to cull the weak from the herd).

    For Loatheb, the two main tips I give the trees in my guild are to

    1) make sure Lifebloom expires during the 3 second window – that’s a huge heal you don’t want to waste. That means casting the last LB between 7-9 seconds out.

    2) make sure the Regrowth cast lands during this window as well. This usually means you need to start casting 2-3 seconds before it opens up (depending on your haste rating).


  4. Depends what you’re used to – slightly stating the bleedin’ obvious I know!

    To me, tanking is toughest – healing a bad PUG vs tanking a bad PUG? No contest… Never mind that if a bad pull is survived the healer is (sometimes) praised, whereas if you wipe the tank is blamed. 😦

    Loatheb a while back taught me that my UI was too spammy, but for a shaman that’s not too bad a fight. As you get better at it you can start DPSing outside the healing window without it cramping your healing, but if you’re not careful the lack of focus on that healing window really stuffs you up. Same as with Heigan – the better you can dance the more you can heal, but you’d better prioritise the dancing or your healing will drop to zero.

    We’re definitely now coming up to the point in Ulduar that the stress is on the healers (Mimiron and General V), but healing is still the role where I’m happiest.


  5. Heigan without dancing? Piling up in a wussy safe spot? For shame! The dance is what makes the fight fun! Most people I know love Heigan, except for poor sods with bad connections, or overwhelmed first-timers. And even the latter tended to grow to love him. 😉

    My druid’s a tank and will never, ever heal. But I have the highest respect for healers and always thought healing generally looks like the trickiest of the three roles by far, at least in bigger battles. Sure, on trash it seems to be easy while the tank runs in circles trying to keep everything off the nutty AoE-frenzied DPS. But some bosses? Ouch! Blizzard apparently does love to stress healers. Tanks always have to work, DPS have to work harder now too (and that’s how it should be!), and healers? There are fights that honestly make me marvel how the eff they do it, or why they would want to. I guess it takes a special mindset to enjoy it, like tanking.

    Hugs for all healers!


  6. For the Heigan dance, one of the most useful facts I learned was that you can just run back and forth in a straight line through all 4 zones during the dance. So as a healer that uses Grid+Clique, what I do for the Heigan speed-dance is just strafe from left-to-right-and-back using my keyboard, avoiding the need to turn 180 degrees and run back in the direction I just came from. This leaves my mouse free to click on Grid to cast instant heals. If I run ahead quickly enough, I have enough time to stop and cast a 1-second heal, e.g. Tidal Waves-hasted LHW for shaman, before needing to run into the next zone.

    So, strafe and click for heals — that’s my suggestion for healing non-dancers on Heigan.


  7. Hehe, welcome to Tree World, BBB!

    As others have said, for the Heigan dance, WG. Personally, I hotkey WG and move with my mouse. As I come off the pedestal, I target myself, and put one finger on the WG hotkey so I don’t even have to look at it. Run and hit WG key. Repeat.

    Seriously, Wild Growth will take care of most of the people who take one shot, and will take NO concentration on your part – staring at health bars while dancing leads to eating lava dirt. If someone gets hit once, the HOTs will continue to target them and have them healed up by the time Heigan comes off again. If people take more than one shot, odds are they don’t have the timing down, and will continue to get clipped til they go down — and you trying to keep track of them is going to lead to you going down, so it just prolongs the agony.

    Before my first time at this fight, I actually took out a scratchpad and counted the intervel out backwards to see what HOTs I could set up that would all bloom during the gap so I wasn’t wasting a GCD on a single shot spell that would only help one player. You can set up a couple of people with full LB stacks that’ll bloom during the gap; you can start a regrowth just prior so it lands and then gives you the option to Swiftmend; you can Wild Growth; you can Tranquility.

    I basically Lifebloom stack the two people I’m most concerned to keep up – could be casters, whoever’s low, or proactive on major DPS. – I cast the LBs one at a time on each person to time the bloom right. Right before the gap, I start Regrowth on who’s in most danger. At the gap, I immediately Wild Growth, then Swiftmend the Regrowth person if I can. If Tranquility is up, and more people are low, I will skip the Wild Growth and the Swiftmend and just use Tranquility on the whole party instead.

    If you do plan on using Tranquility, make sure you’re in the right party before the fight. It’s still party-only and most of the groups I’ve been in, the ranged and melee teams are far enough apart that your Tranquility won’t reach to party members in different areas. So many buffs and spells have gone raid-wide, it’s easy to forget this spell hasn’t.


  8. Having a Druid complain that healing the dance is hard… makes my Paladin sad… 🙂

    That said, I’ve done Naxx on both my Paladin and my Druid – both as healers – and I’ll take the Druid in most fights. So many tools and toys to play with.


  9. OMG Bear. While dancing, always spam Wild Growth on its cooldown! It makes things amazingly easier. Don’t stand still to cast Nourish. Use Swiftmend, but don’t stop moving. If people get hit, try to cover for them but don’t put yourself in harm’s way for it. As hard as it is, sometimes you have to let people die to their mistakes.

    Rejuvenation is not the best choice for the 3 second interval, as Rejuv only ticks once every three seconds. Instead, you should time your Lifeblooms to bloom during those three seconds, or roll Lifeblooms, since they tick every second. Use Swiftmend, and cast Wild Growth right before the Aura wanes. This will free your GCD to Swiftmend or NS+Nourish or NS+HT during. You can also set up emergency Tranquility groups, and can start casting Tranq to give a nice 5/6k hps boost during the waning period.


  10. Of healers, druids seem to have it ‘easier’ on the moving fights like Heigan, because there are a bunch of spells you CAN cast and run with. I don’t know what they are, I’m not a druid healer! 🙂

    I love healing. ❤


  11. Have you gotten a chance to go kitty against Loatheb yet BBB? I gotta say, hitting 104% crit is a lot of fun, Rip goes bananas on the damage it does with every tick critting, and keeping all the balls in the air for the rotation becomes a breeze. Heck, you even get to through in a Ferocious Bite or three.


  12. Healing Heigan = easy
    Dancing Heigan = easy

    Dancing and healing Heigan = much harder 🙂

    Healing Loatheb isn’t too bad once you get the hang of the timing. Its even easier if you assign one healer to heal each group.


  13. Hey BBB,

    Just a heads up – I can’t exactly say where it lies (it’s somewhere off the front right diagonal of Heigan’s platform), but there’s a ‘spot’ on the floor that if you can hit it just right, the explosive goo from the cracks doesn’t hit you. (More exactly, if it helps – it’s right on the edge of maximum Death and Decay/Icy Touch range… yeah, my main’s a DK.) On the runs that I’ve been on for Heigan, they pile up the entire 25 man raid on that single spot, each person adjusting as necessary in order to try to not take damage (I’ve actually hit it a couple times in exactly the right spot before – it’s pretty amazing). This allows healers and ranged DPS to not move and maximize their output, and melee tanks and DPS run up to the platform, whack away, and run back to the spot when Heigan teleports.

    I wish I could describe it better than that, but at least if you know the spot’s out there, you might be able to find more info on it.

    And there’s always a chuckle when our Raid Leader asks if everyone’s found the “wet spot”.

    Hope this helps with Heigan.

    My 2 yen,



  14. I think tanking Heigan is trickier, your not only responsible for yourself while dancing but also any pets and melee that may be behind the boss so you don’t get them clipped in lava waves. Players of course can position themselves on the side of the boss and in the front when absolutely necessary to not die, but pets don’t have that option. Then there is the keeping a nice distance from the stage too. Once all that becomes second nature it is cake though.

    Healing while running is a personal favor for anyone being healed. If done correctly no one should take any damage, but there are always lags and mistakes that happen. Priority for healers is to stay alive, if a few people manage to take damage and die the boss will still go down, if the healers all die with them then it will be a wipe.

    My theory for healing Loatheb is to stack rejuvs, wild growths and most importantly lifeblooms to get maximum healing on a bunch of people in the 3 second window. Lifeblooms are tricky since you want to get the bloom to occur in those three seconds which when combined with adding stacks for a larger bloom can lead to insanity. Nature’s swiftness/healing touch, swiftmend and tranquility are all good to make up for any boo boos on the hot timing. Other than that I can only manage to cast one or maybe two healing spells with a cast time in that window.


  15. Assuming your DBM is in sync, lifebloom at -11, -10, -9 and -8 seconds (to account for lag), spam Rejuv until -3, Healing Touch, Wild Growth, Nourish. If things get hairy, prepare to Tranquility.


  16. Basically, if the dps can’t dance then they deserve to die. Just use wold growth every 6 seconds and keep an eye on the tank. Everyone else needs to learn to look after themselves. That’s really the key to Heigan.

    I also love setting up the lifebloom to bloom during the 3s of heals during Loatheb. You can do that on one person, and set up a rejuv to be swiftmended on someone else.


  17. You know that for phase 1 you can position all the ranged in on back corner, and tank heigan in the front corner (Heigan standing somewhat in the lava). Works much easier, and you have no problems with threat. As healer I used to just spam wild regrowth on the raid whenever it was up. Loatheb gets easy, if you have a Priest (or 2 or 3 on 25’s) with you.


  18. As a kitty druid, if I see the raid getting into trouble on Loatheb I fire off a tranquility right before the 3 sec window to give 3 seconds of juicy heals to the raid. 🙂


  19. If you’re dancing with Heigan, you really /really/ can only use instant cast heals. Unfortunately, that might mean someone dies. Someone else dying is less important than YOU dying, since you are the healer! Loatheb is a little more about learning what works best for you, but precasting is definitely the way to go – as a holy pally, I rev up a beacon, a sacred shield, and time my big bomb heal on the tank (the beacon is on /me) so that it hits about half a second after the debuff goes down. Then holy shock someone (1.5 seconds) and if it crits – instant FoL. It requires good timing and no lag, but I promise it WILL get better.

    And as mentioned above, healing for me is easy – I’ve trained myself to do it almost by instinct. Tanking? Now that’s SRS BSNS, and hard! I don’t have the instincts for it yet 🙂


  20. For healing on the heigan dance, you have to get used to only using your instant heals. You can get off 1 heal between waves usually, until you are an expert at it. I usually just used wild growths when I was first learning to heal and dance at the same time.

    For Loatheb, I actually pre-hot everyone, hit wild growth right when my timer says it’s about time to heal, and then maybe get off a nourish or a swiftmend during that actual 3 second window. It sucks as a resto druid…


  21. Heh, Luis died ’cause he accidentlies Death Gripped Loatheb, who promptly gave a demonstration of why plate armor =/= tank. Kinnavieve couldn’t figger out at the time how the hey she had lost aggro on the big fellah.


  22. Remember for next time that timing blooms to go off during that three second window is awesome!

    Starting yoru healing touch 3 seconds before the window is big bang too.

    That lifebloom thing almost makes it unfair to other healers…


  23. Poor Luis.


    As a dpser, who one day hopes to tree-heal, this was an very interesting blog. Lol’ed at the “a frowny face for the way Blizz likes to stress out healers”


  24. Hahahaha. My impressions are the mirror image of yours. As a healer, I have no idea how you tanks manage to keep aggro on Heigan and still avoid the fire. That fight would be easy if it wasn’t for my sloth-like reflexes causing me to die in the fire whilst trying to heal others. Our other healers do fine, fortunately, even though I’m the one with the HoTs 🙂

    Tanking is much harder than healing, if you ask me!


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