Subscribe to this blog by RSS Follow me on Twitter
Subscribe to this blog by RSS

[Cataclysm Beta] Healing Throne of the Tides

Posted by Malevica on August - 3 - 2010

I have some thoughts on the new party healing UI but they’re not fully formed yet, and I was a little too busy to take proper screenshots on the way through, so I’ll return to that another time. For now, here’s my not-so-quick walkthrough of Throne of the Tides (without many pictures, although I may add them another time).

This is a rather long post, but it’s an entire instance and there’s a lot of detail in here. Ctrl-F is your friend!

This is based on beta build 12644, it’s all subject to change. I’ll add this to the strategy section once it’s closer to Live.

Layout and route

First and foremost, how to get there! The entrance is in the Abyssal Maw area of Vashj’ir, which is in the north-east of the Abyssal Depths subzone, or smack in the middle of Vashj’ir. I’ve included a map below:

Map of Vash'ir, with the Abyssal Maw entrance indicated by a green arrow

To get to the instance entrance area, just swim down into the Abyssal Maw as deep as you can go, and eventually you will ‘fall through’ the bottom and land in a cave with the instance entrance in it.

The layout’s a bit tricky to describe, especially since the game doesn’t yet include maps for the place, but I’ll do my best.

TotT (that’s a messy abbreviation…) essentially has three “wings” over two levels. When you walk in through the front entrance you’ll move forward through the first trash pack, up some stairs, and into a room with three exits. The left and right exits are blocked by wiggling tentacles, belonging to Ozumat, the end boss, who we’ll get to later. So first you need to fight your way forwards to the end.

When you reach the end you’ll find a friendly goblin who’ll tell you all about how he’s all set to get this elevator working. Since you’re in a bit of a hurry, ask him instead to teleport you upstairs (I can’t tell if this is an under-development kind of joke, or if we’re laughing at goblin workmanship). Another long hallway to fight through, with Lady Naz’jar at the end.

Once you’ve defeated Lady Naz’jar, turn around and go back the way you came. You’ll quickly discover Commander Ulthok has arrived and is inconveniently standing in your way, so dispatch him post-haste. Ask the goblin to teleport you back downstairs again, and head back to the three-way junction.

One of the side passages will be filled with purple elementals, that’s the way to Neptulon and the end, so go the other way first, past a lot of smaller Gilgoblin mobs. After a short slog through the trash you’ll come to Erunak Stonespeaker, who’s boss number three. Finally, head back to the centre again and hack and slash your way through the corrupted elementals to Neptulon’s room, and prepare for the final battle.

Lady Naz’jar

I’ll cover the trash mobs leading to each boss as well as the bosses themselves in each section, since some of the packs need a bit of care.


Getting to Lady Naz’jar involved taking out packs of 4-5 naga, consisting of the following types:

  • Naz’jar Spiritmender – Will cast Healing Wave a lot, or Wrath otherwise, and need to be kept under control or you will literally not kill anything. If there’s two in a pack, CC one and burn the other with stuns, then either leave the second one or kill it, it’s up to you. These will pretty much be the biggest challenge you’ll face in these packs.
  • Naz’jar Invader – Will melee swing and also apply Lacerate to their target. Lacerate was doing 225 damage per second per stack to the tank I had, but I saw it stack as high as 30 (for 6750 damage per second) on our tank before he died and we wiped. This shouldn’t be a problem as long as the rest of the mobs are going down in a timely fashion though, since you get one stack every 5 seconds.
  • Naz’jar Tempest Witch – These mobs have a Chain Lightning which starts at around 10k for the first hit although it does drop by about 2.5k per jump. Ranged need to be at range and spread out to mitigate the worst of this. Tempest Witches will also cast Lightning Surge on a random player giving them a magic debuff of the same name, which causes the player to explode for around 15k Nature damage after 5 seconds if it’s not dispelled. All healing classes can now dispel magic on friendlies, so this needs spotting and dispelling.

There are also a couple of lone patrolling Naz’jar Sentinels to watch out for. They hit fairly weakly in melee, but they will cast Noxious Mire on a random player, leaving a patch of green fumes on the floor which lasts 10 seconds and deals 5000 Nature damage per second to anyone inside it. Again, ranged should be spread out and the tank should kite the Sentinel out of any fumes on their location.


Lady Naz’jar is an alternating boss/adds type fight. At 66% and 33% she will banish herself by casting Waterspout and spawn three adds, unbanishing after one minute (possibly also once all the adds have died).

When fighting Lady Naz’jar herself, there are a few things you’ll need to watch out for. The most dangerous is Fungal Spores, which is a disease cast on a random player causing them to take 10000 Nature damage every 3 seconds for 15 seconds (5 ticks). It’s recast pretty much as soon as it fades, so you’ll spend a lot of time dealing with this. This can be healed through by an attentive healer, or dispelled where available.

Besides the disease she will summon a Geyser on a random person. You have a small delay of a second or two before the Geyser deals 30k frost damage to you and knocks you into the air. This is likely to kill you if you’re not fully topped off, and the falling damage can be risky as well, so healers need to be alert for this one.

When she casts Waterspout and banishes, she will spawn two Naz’jar Tempest Witches (which we’ve seen before) and one Naz’jar Honor Guard. The Honor Guard will melee fairly weakly initially, but will also use Arc Slash every 6 seconds or so. Arc Slash is a 5-yard frontal cone attack which cannot be dodged, blocked or parried, so this keeps a consistent background level of damage on your tank and the cleave aspect means you need to take some care with positioning.

My recommendation is to CC one of the Tempest Witches to keep the dispel requirements manageable (remember that Lightning Surge) and the Chain Lightning under control, and burn them down one at a time before moving on to the Naz’jar Honor Guard.

Rinse and repeat, and she should go down easily enough.

Commander Ulthok


There is no trash. As you turn around to head back into the rest of the instance, Ulthok will pop up in front of you from the pool on the floor. If you’re careless you may find yourself in combat automatically, but it is possible to avoid this.


Ulthok is a more challenging boss in theory, although we discovered on beta that he can be kited and killed solo by a class with slows due to his infrequent casts and the number of places to line-of-sight him. I imagine this will be altered before going Live.

His melee swings on the tank come in at around the 5-6k mark, which is not massive but can add up.

Ulthok’s first special ability is Dark Fissure which is a 2 second cast, at the end of which Ulthok smashes the ground in front of his feet, dealing 60k Shadow damage to anyone within 2 yards of the target (i.e. directly in front of him) and leaves a Dark Fissure on the ground (lasting 2 minutes) which deals shadow damage to anyone in it.
The tank should move away quickly to avoid being one-shot, and should move Ulthok out of the way so that melee DPS can avoid standing in the resulting Fissure.

The other thing Ulthok will do is Squeeze a random player in his hand, stunning them and dealing 5k Shadow damage to them per second for 6 seconds (6 hits). Given that health levels are around 30-35k for most non-tanks it is important to keep players topped off where possible, or to give them some focused healing if they’re low.

Erunak Stonespeaker

After heading back to the three-way intersection near the beginning of the instance, there will be two paths to take. Erunak Stonespeaker is along the path which does not have purple elementals on it. (I forget whether it’s east or west, but it’s on the right as you enter the instance).


There are three types of trash mobs to deal with here: two types of goblin forming mixed packs, and single Faceless Watchers, some patrolling.

  • Gilgoblin Hunters will attack with Poisoned Spear, which hits for around 15k Nature damage and ticks for around 1k Nature damage per stack.
  • Gilgoblin Aquamages will cast Water Bolt which deals 5k Frost damage and reduces melee, ranged and spell haste by 5% (dispellable, magic).

Pulling a pack with more than a couple of hunters is a risky business, because 4x15k from a barrage of Poisoned Spears may make short work of your tank. Be sure you’re at full health and go in with a bubble/CD, or pull with a stun/CC to reduce the numbers to manageable levels (being sure not to get your mage gibbed, of course). The Aquamages have a 2 second cast, but the Hunters have a 0.5s cast, so you’re unlikely to be able to interrupt them easily off the pull.
Once the pull is made though, the mobs die fairly easily and their damage is not nearly as focused.

The Faceless Watchers are interesting to fight. They will cast Void Rip, lifting everyone up into the air and drawing them inwards, and then after three seconds Void Rip fades and you are all dropped near his feet. He’ll then cast Ground Pound, which makes the ground near his feet rumble and deals 6k Physical damage per 0.5s to anyone inside. The Ground Pound lasts 6 seconds, but you should run out of it before this happens, or you’re likely to not survive. Given that you’ll have a maximum of 30-35k HP on average, you’re looking at 2.5-3s TTL from full health, and probably less since you’ll have just taken falling damage as well.


Erunak Stonespeaker is not truly the boss here; he’s actually being controlled by Mindbender Ghur’sha, a sort of ooze/headcrab thing riding on his head. You need to kill Ghur’sha, but it’s pretty stubborn and you need to “persuade” it to let go.

When you first pull, you’ll need to take Erunak Stonespeaker to 50% HP, at which point Mindbender Ghur’sha will detach and sit on the floor for a time. Burn it as hard as you can during this vulnerable time, before it picks another target,the highest threat player each time, and leaps onto them. Once again, DPS this target to 50% health (or wait 1 minute, but why would you?) and Ghur’sha will detach again. From here it’s just rinse and repeat until you’ve killed Ghur’sha for good.

While you’re fighting Erunak Stonespeaker, he will be doing one of three things besides meleeing your tank. He will randomly cast Lava Bolt on a random player dealing 20k Fire damage and knocking them back, and he will also send Earth Shards towards a random player, which will turn into a patch of spikes when they hit, dealing around 2k physical damage per second to anyone remaining in the area.
The big danger in this phase is the Magma Splash, which is a frontal cone Fire attack dealing 20k damage upfront and applying a DoT to anyone afflicted dealing 2k Fire damage per second for 10 seconds unless dispelled (Magic).

Once you’ve passed the 50% mark and Ghur’sha is Enslaving players, it will use its own set of abilities rather than the player’s own.

The first, and most subtle, is Absorb Magic. This magical debuff (Purgeable) is cast by Ghur’sha on itself, and absorbs all spell damage. What’s more, when damage is absorbed Ghur’sha will be healed for three times the amount absorbed. Purge this one quickly or stop DPS, although currently this doesn’t heal for enough to make much of a difference.

The other ability the whole party needs to react to is Mind Fog. A patch of fog will appear around Ghur’sha and remain for 20s, which pacifies anyone inside it and deals 500 Shadow damage per 0.5s. Run out, and ranged DPS might have to be careful of their threat while the tank is pacified.

The big damaging ability in this phase is Unrelenting Agony. This looks a lot like Mind Flay beams from Ghur’sha to every player, and ticks for around 2k Shadow damage per second for 10s. This needs some preparation to top people off and spread some healing around, although it’s not fatal in and of itself.



The trash to Neptulon’s room takes the form of a gauntlet, with the constantly spawning small Unstable Corruption mobs controlled by the large Tainted Sentry elementals.

The Unstable Corruptions will spontaneously die, casting Wall of Corruption on nearby players. This is a disease which ticks for 250 Nature/Shadow damage per second per stack, up to a maximum of 20 stacks, with a duration of 8 seconds. The trick to handling these is to ignore them and just proceed to the Tainted Sentries, although if your healer requires time to catch you up (not all healers can remove diseases) then you can build a pause into the progression.

Tainted Sentries are mostly melee mobs, although they have the ability to buff themselves with Swell, causing them to deal 10k Nature/Shadow damage to the party every 3 seconds for 9 seconds. This can be deadly, especially on the last pull when there are two of them or when you’ve got diseases ticking, so it must be purged as quickly as possible. If you have no purge available, try and keep one out of commission while you heal through the other one.

Neptulon in his room in the Throne of the Tides.

Neptulon in his room in the Throne of the Tides


To start the fight, talk to Neptulon. You’ll actually be fighting against Ozumat, the leviathan outside the room you’re in, in a three-phase fight. You must keep Neptulon alive for the duration of this fight, or the encounter will reset.

Phase one is a bit of a warm-up, where you’ll pick up and kill Deep Murloc Invaders, Vicious Mindlashers and Unyielding Behemoths. The Murlocs are easy enough to deal with through AoE, they only melee swing.

Vicious Mindlashers will cast Shadow Bolt on their target for around 5k Shadow damage, and will also curse their target with Veil of Shadow, reducing healing taken by 50%. Their final ability is Brain Spike, which is a 3 second cast that deals 7k Shadow damage to the party and drains 1k mana. This can be nasty, and needs to be the priority for interruping.
Vicious Mindlashers should be the kill priority in this phase, burning them one at a time. They do not seem to melee swing, so they do not need a tank staying near them to tank them, which is just as well, as we’ll see.

The Unyielding Behemoths do need to be controlled by a tank, and they need to be moved on frequently because they will periodically cast Shadow Blast, where they will leap into the air, hover for 5 seconds, and then slam into the ground dealing 25k Shadow damage and a knockback to anyone close to them.
Care also needs to be taken because they will also cast Blight Spray in a 25-yard cone in front of them for 3.5k Shadow damage per second for 4 seconds.

Phase 2‘s arrival is heralded by three Faceless Sappers spawning and running in. They will spread out around Neptulon and channel Entangling Grasp on Neptulon, stunning him. These all need to die before Phase 3 can begin.

Hindering you in this are the Blight Beasts which are spawned. These definitely do need to be kited around the outside of the room, since they will apply Aura of Dread to anyone within 7 yards of them, dealing 2k Shadow damage and increasing Shadow damage taken by 10% per stack (up to 200 stacks!). There will be multiple Blight Beasts active at any one time, so this can become very deadly very quickly.

Current strategy on beta seems to be to have the tank kite the adds while the DPS nuke the Sappers down a.s.a.p. This might not be optimal on Live though, perhaps a melee/ranged split onto Sappers and Beasts respectively might feel more controlled.

Throughout this phase, Ozumat will also be throwing black patches of Blight of Ozumat onto the floor, which stack a 200 Shadow damage per second per stack DoT to anyone standing in them. Run out of these quickly. They are a little tricky to spot, since there’s a lot of black shadow around the place, but they are visible if you watch out for them.

Phase 3 starts when the Sappers die. The first goal is to clear out the remaining trash mobs as quickly as possible, before turning your attention to Ozumat.

Neptulon is now active and will cast Tidal Surge on the whole party, increasing HP, healing and damage massively, as well as your size and run speed. He will also help you to kill Ozumat by chain-casting Pure Water on Ozumat, dealing 100k Frost damage at a time.

Because Ozumat will be constantly casting Blight of Ozumat, this last phase is a race against time before Neptulon or the raid dies due to the stacking DoT, making it very reminiscent of the end of the Lady Vashj fight, for those with long memories. From a healer’s perspective it’s pretty rough, and will test your triage skills!

Possibly Related Posts:

Healing Halion

Posted by Malevica on July - 2 - 2010

Last night my guild and I had the pleasure of valiantly coming to the aid of the Ruby Dragonflight and slaying the invading Halion and his Lieutenants. Well, my guild did that, I was stuck listening on Vent while reinstalling every patch since November 2008 (3.0.1 onwards) because the Blizzard repair tool got a bit overzealous, but I did get finished in time for the last half-dozen attempts and the kill.

I should point out that I’ve got a strategy here on this very site, updated with info from last night. That’s where the bulk of the information on the fight is, while this will just be some extra thoughts, tips and healer-centric comments.


I didn’t actually get to see the trash, but it was quietly pleasing to hear the “hmm, maybe we need to do something about those” after a very quick wipe on an early trash pull. Most of the pulls have tricks to them: some mobs have a stacking buff depending on proximity to others, for example, which means they need to be tanked apart.
I can’t offer many more details, except to warn anyone new to the encounter to pull carefully, separate big, scary-looking mobs, face everything away from the raid and CC whatever you can as a precaution. This is my default approach to new raids, which was, to my utmost disappointment, generally unnecessary even in Icecrown.

The Lieutenants

The biggest dangers posed by Baltharus are from the knockback and the stacking damage buff. Make sure you’ve cleared the space around him so no one can pull anything extra, and keep a close eye on Baltharus for his stack of Siphoned Might. A Brand on melee quickly gave him quite a large number of stacks and we lost a tank, so keep fingers on cooldowns.
The whirlwind got a mixed response, with some people claiming they didn’t notice it and others confirming that it exists and hurts. I’d suggest getting melee DPS to run out to begin with, and see what the damage is like on those people who’re slow (you know there’ll be some) to decide if it’s safe to let people stay in.

Saviana doesn’t need any special care from a healing perspective, since the things she does can be countered by the raid as a whole playing smart. You will need to watch her for the Enrage, which can be unpleasant if your hunters or rogues are slow to dispel it, and keep an eye on people who get Flame Beacon and will be conflagrated, since this hits pretty hard.
I’d suggest making sure healers are spread out, to avoid too many running away at once, as the only major organisational thing required.

Zarithrian is also not a terribly difficult encounter. Healers will need to be careful of their aggro when adds are spawning and tanks are controlling them. Priests with Fear Ward and Shaman with Tremor Totem should be working together to keep fear off the main tank, and preferably themselves as well.
The tanks in our 25-man were swapping at 3-4 stacks (once their debuff had faded), and the damage at low stacks is very weak, just don’t get lulled into a false sense of security, and be aware that it will change.


Ah, the bit I do know about first-hand.


The first question is probably how many healers to take. We used 7 for 25-man normal, although it could easily have been done with fewer. For 10-man it could probably be covered by two decent healers, but a third will add some wriggle room, especially in Phase 3. On heroic the healing load is significantly higher, so 7 on 25-man and 3 on 10-man would be necessary, I think. You could argue for taking a 4th healer for 10-man heroic, but usually this means your raid is taking too much hurt, not that you don’t have enough healers, so my advice would be to address that first.

Before pulling, you need to have a plan for Phase 3, and for dispelling. You will need to split your healers in Phase 3, so those people need to know who they are. One strong MT healer should be in each group, and the Twilight Realm group would benefit from a Resto Druid because of the aura, but the exact split isn’t as important as making sure it’s relatively even. Every healing class can dispel the Mark of Combustion/Consumption debuffs (Priests and Paladins can do magic, Druids and Shaman can do curses) so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Whether or not you assign someone to dispel the Marks or just leave it as free-for-all is a decision for your raid group to come to for itself. The benefit of a dedicated dispeller is that you don’t have multiple healers running around trying to cleanse people at the same time, but leaving it free-for-all can mitigate the impact of someone running out too far from the named dispeller. If you do assign a dispeller, give them a raid icon (and a macro to reapply it, DBM gets a bit mark-happy) so people know not to run to the opposite side.
If you’re planning on heavy use of Body and Soul, that priest would probably also be well-placed to dispel, which might simplify things.

Phase 1 and the Pull

First things first, know where your tank is pulling from and where he’s going to face the boss. If he’s inconsistent, nag him until he picks a position and sticks to it. The reason for this is that Halion cleaves and stuns with his tail, so you need to know where he’s going to be so you can get in and start healing right away.

Phase 1 is really just a bit of a warm-up. Don’t get over-excited and twitch-dispel the unusual debuff that’s just popped up on your rogue (not that I put a flame patch under the melee by accident, of course not… /nonchalant) and keep an eye on where the Meteor is going to hit (melee can find it tricky to see the rune on the ground, especially under things like Consecration) and life should be fairly straightforward.

Phase 2

When he gets to 75%, move to the portal but don’t click it until you can see that the tank for Phase 2 has already gone. This applies to everyone, not just healers. We lost way too many people who went down immediately and found they had aggro, or that the tank hadn’t had time to turn Halion away.
Because of the aggro-drops when taking portals, and the delays caused by zoning between Realms, we left a tank and healer in the Physical Realm twiddling their thumbs so that the tank was ready to pick Halion up immediately when Phase 3 began. It’s not a fun job, but it is useful.

The Twilight Realm is more interesting. The AoE damage aura, Dusk Shroud feels roughly equivalent to normal Sindragosa: the average tick was a shade over 2k, which isn’t really enough to stress people out, although I suspect it will be much more of a factor on heroic.

The other big thing from a healing perspective is the requirement to heal on the run when Twilight Cutter is active. On normal mode it’s not too difficult to avoid this if you watch for the emote and then run to a position just behind where the beam will turn up (you have 5 seconds to move, and as of today DBM will show a cast timer for this to help out), and if you’re lucky you might not need to move again since the beam only sweeps out about 90 degrees.
Remember to account for latency when you move though: the beam may not be exactly where you think it is if you have high-ish latency, and the damage extends a yard or so either side of the actual animation, so give it a bit of respect, like you did for Yogg-Saron’s clouds.

The biggest problems we had in here from a healing perspective tended to be tank deaths due to healers moving or being dead. There’s not much we can do about Cutter deaths (although a bubble might make the difference if someone clips the edge of the beam, since it’s a number of very quick hits, not one big hit), people just need to learn to look up at the world and dodge.

You’ll probably blow Bloodlust/Heroism at the beginning of this phase.

Phase 3

I was mostly in the Twilight Realm for this week, so I can’t tell you too much about life upstairs. Really though you have all the information you need since nothing has really changed from Phase 1/2, although since there will be fewer healers in each Realm every healer should be watching out for the tank in case the “tank healer” has to move at the wrong moment.

The other adaptation your raid can make to make your life easier, especially as a Physical Realm healer, is to stop DPS at the transition and let the Physical Realm DPS and healers get through the portal and into position. Otherwise it’s quite possible to push Halion to high Corporeality very quickly and make the tank take double damage before healers are ready. Count to 5, or 10, whatever works for your raid, then start DPS again.

A good general tip is to have someone watch the Corporeality counter and call for DPS pauses as appropriate to keep damage under control.


Really the point to emphasise is that this is a survival fight with high mobility and awareness requirements. You will need to be aware of the area around you, and be ready to move if necessary. You should also be able to change your healing rotation to keep healing on the move, especially for the Twilight Realm and even more especially on heroic.

Other info

Keeva at Tree Bark Jacket posted a couple of PowerAuras exports for the debuffs you need to run away with. You can modify them to suit your needs, but they’re a good quick starting point.

PlusHeal also has an entire forum dedicated to this, albeit with only two posts at the moment.

Derevka at Tales of a Priest has a guide to heroic 10-man from a healer’s perspective, which is highly recommended reading.

Possibly Related Posts:

Categories: Advice and Strategy

Healing Heroic Professor Putricide

Posted by Malevica on June - 15 - 2010

For the last couple of weeks my guild has been working on Heroic Professor Putricide, and I thought I would share some of the lessons we’ve learned over the nights.

I’ll assume that you’ve seen the normal mode of this fight, so if you haven’t then the mechanics might be unfamiliar.

Phase 1

The big differences between normal and heroic here is that the Volatile Ooze (green) and Gas Cloud (orange/brown) hurt more and move faster, and the addition of the Unbound Plague.

The Ooze and Cloud are easy enough to deal with, you just pull out the strategy you used initially, and possibly stopped bothering with once the buffs began ratcheting up:

  • When the green Volatile Ooze is spawning, we have all the melee DPS gather next to its spawn point, aiming to be knocked back to the table (all in the same direction is important, and towards the table is a good habit for transitions), and the ranged and healers all stand well away so the Ooze has a long way to run. The biggest problem people are those who don’t get in quickly enough and are therefore not knocked back. If you don’t think you’re going to make it, back out again rather than standing at 10 yards, your raid will thank you.
  • When the Gas Cloud is spawning, everyone should stay at range until it has got a target. If it’s not killed in time and is going to pick a different target, everyone should run away from it. A melee getting hit by it immediately has a fair chance of killing raiders, and is not recommended.

If you get your positioning sorted out, and people are quick on their feet, these shouldn’t pose many problems.
As a bonus tip, having a Holy Priest specced for Body and Soul is not essential but extremely handy to save a Gas Cloud target who finds themselves trapped or unable to escape.

From a healing perspective, the melee will be taking the brunt of the damage in this phase, along with the tank who will be taking 30-40k blows from the Professor. An Ooze exploding on a typical melee complement will be landing for around half their health each, a bit more if people are slow. This is not hugely dangerous unless they get an unfortunate hit again shortly afterwards, in which case you need to have words about positioning.

It should also be noted that the person with Volatile Ooze Adhesive or Gas Bloat will be taking 10-14k ticks, so they do need some focused healing.

The fight as a whole is extremely mobile, so healers can help themselves by assigning people to sectors of the room. You will need to move throughout the fight, but having somewhere to gravitate back to helps to ensure that everyone is in range of someone.

The extra wrinkle in Heroic mode, which begins in Phase 1 and continues to the end of the fight, is the Unbound Plague. This is an undispellable debuff placed on a random player every 60 seconds (although he seems to delay casting in at the start of each phase). The plague has a 60 second duration, but the damage done increases with every 1s tick, as illustrated in the table below, until it gets passed on to another person by running into them. That person keeps the duration the plague had when it was passed, but the damage starts low again.
(Edit: I’ve corrected an anomaly in the table at stack 14, which was due to an absorb being credited fully and artificially raising the number to 17338).

Tick Damage Increase
1 932
2 1164 1.25
3 1455 1.25
4 1819 1.25
5 2273 1.25
6 2842 1.25
7 3552 1.25
8 4441 1.25
9 5551 1.25
10 6938 1.25
11 8673 1.25
12 10840 1.25
13 13551 1.25
14 16938 1.25
15 21173 1.25
16 26466 1.25
17 33083 1.25
18 41354 1.25

The upshot of all this is that the plague needs to be passed off at around the 10-11 second mark. It’s theoretically possible to hold it for longer, but with latency, the risk of an extra tick, people running out of range, and all manner of other unforeseen problems, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Vent/TS help a lot with this. When you get the plague, look around you for someone to pass it on to. Avoid people who’ve already had the plague, identified by a green haze around them (or the Plague Sickness debuff on Vuhdo/Grid), because Plague Sickness increases the damage the plague does to you by 250% per stack, and you gain a stack when the plague leaves you (60s duration). Once you’ve identified your target, tell them on Vent or whisper them (%t macros can be handy, think back to Lady Vashj), so they know not to run off at the wrong moment. We found it somewhat helpful to make /say macros with something like “I’m free” or “WTB plague” to let people nearby know you’re available to pass plague to.
Healers need to remember that the person with plague will need dedicated healing, preferably from more than one person, and that if a healer gets it they will not be able to heal themselves as effectively if they’re moving to pass it on, so be sure to cover for your fellow healers!

A refinement you can use is to look at the duration of the plague. If it has 10 or fewer seconds left you can keep it until it fades. This minimises the number of passes, and thus keeps more people without Plague Sickness. It helps if you announce your intention to keep it, so healers can keep a close eye on you and people know not to try and take the plague off you.

Finally on this phase, what to do if the plague gets into the melee? Well, the simplest thing to do is to just let it bounce around. It only does damage when it ticks, and it’s often passed on before it can tick. But this can’t carry on forever, because with high stacks a slow pass could mean a one-shot for your melee, so you do need to pass this off eventually.
The easiest way to pass it off is when the Volatile Ooze is exploding and the melee get knocked out to range. If you have the plague when you get knocked back, just pass it to a nearby ranged player. But please, make sure you actually have got rid of it before running back in.
If this isn’t convenient, have your spare tank(s) stand slightly further out from the melee group. When they get the plague they can quickly step away from the melee cluster and out of passing range, and then hand it off to a ranged player. Warriors with Intervene work well for this role.


Timing of the transitions is a huge deal in Heroic mode. Because Putricide will spawn 2 additional adds in this phase, one Volatile Ooze and one Gas Cloud, having another add up at the same time will probably lead to a wipe because they can’t all be slowed. Stop DPS fully at 82% (DoTs will tick him down to 81%), and be sure to burn him under once the previous add is dead, before he can spawn another one.

Where in Normal mode Putricide would stun the raid with Tear Gas, in Heroic he runs to the table and spawns a Volatile Ooze and a Gas Cloud simultaneously from their usual positions. What’s more, half of the raid will gain Ooze Variable, making them only able to attack (and according to the tooltip, only able to be targeted by) the Volatile Ooze, and the other half will gain Gas Variable, making them only able to attack (and be targeted by) the Gas Cloud.

Positioning is everything here.

Everyone with the Ooze Variable should gather up under the Volatile Ooze, standing on the table side of it so they will all be knocked in the same direction. Everyone with the Gas Variable should run away from the Gas Cloud’s spawn point, and stay away from the Ooze spawn point as well since sometimes they seem to target the “wrong” people.
The reason for this grouping is that you maximise your chances of having enough people gathered on the Ooze when it explodes, and you can DPS it while it is spawning and acquiring a target.

Bear in mind that the Variable debuffs seem to be random, so you can get more healers in one team compared to another. Healers can and should do some DPS here, as getting the adds down quickly is extremely important.

The Abomination should be able to apply three slows in this phase, one to the Ooze and two to the Gas Cloud is recommended. To do this the Abomination needs to leave a pool or two intact in order to suck them dry during the transition. They do not grow while the Professor is at his table, so this cannot be relied on for energy generation.

Phase 2

A bit of an anticlimax after the fun of Phase 1, there’s not much different here. The Unbound Plague continues (after a delay at the start before the first plague is introduced), the Ooze/Gas still spawn, and the Malleable Goo works the same as it does in Normal mode.

The only real difference is that there are three Malleable Goos on Heroic, rather than two on Normal. This makes it a bit trickier to avoid them, especially if several are launched in roughly the same direction, but if you’re attempting Heroic Putricide you should be able to cope.

Don’t worry though, things get more exciting at 35% when Phase 3 starts, initially with a transition like the one at 80%. Stop DPS at 37%, kill off the previous add and then burn him down to under 35% quickly.

Phase 3

Unlike the Phase 1 – Phase 2 transition, I’ve not given this a separate section. This is because it helps to think of Phase 3 as one long DPS burn phase, rather than a transition followed by a burn.

At 35% Putricide again runs to the table and again spawns one of each type of add, which should be handled as you did for the Phase 1/2 transition. Once he’s finished at the table he will become active and begin stacking Mutated Plague on his current tank every 10 seconds or so (later if he’s casting at the time).

Just like Normal mode the Malleable Goo and Choking Gas Bombs will continue, and the slime puddles will continue to grow, blocking your path. This burn phase will last longer on Heroic though, so you need to be more careful where you place the slime puddles. Being ahead of the boss is a big no-no. Also, because DPS is so crucial, it is vital for ranged and healers to stay at range so that you always have 8 or more, meaning Malleable Goo won’t target melee. If this happens the DPS loss is crippling.

The big damage source is the Mutated Plague mentioned earlier. This is applied to Putricide’s current tank every 10s, roughly, and deals raid-wide shadow damage dependent on the number of stacks, increasing faster than linearly with stacks so a 2-stack does more than twice the damage of a 1-stack.

To keep stacks as low as possible, tanks will be rotating every one or two stacks. We use a rotation which means our tanks get to 2 stacks initially, then take one more at a time after that, i.e. 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2-3-3-3-3-4-4-4-4. The discussion that follows will assume this rotation, so if you use something different you may need to readjust the figures.

For healers, it’s vitally important to understand the damage profile here. Just watching the healthbars last night, once we got a couple of tanks on 3 stacks the bars just start to plummet and very quickly we were down half a raid.

I went through the logs and plotted out the damage profile, because it’s useful to see this. For reference, we’re wiping at around 90-100s, when 3 tanks have got 3 stacks on them. Times are from the first stack application on the first tank, which is pretty much immediately once he mutates. We use a 4-tank strategy. The 3-tank approach is frankly terrifying!

Heroic Putricide-25 Damage Profile

An illustration of the damage taken per player per second due to the Mutated Plague. This chart compares a 3-tank an 4-tank strategy.

At the point we’re wiping, each raider is taking an average of 6-7k damage per second (the ticks are every 3s, so there’s 4 ticks spread over a 3s window), so without heals we’re talking about 4-5 seconds time to live. At 70s (when the last of the 2-stacks is going on, before we hit the 3-stack regime) the TTL is over 10s. I’m assuming 30kHP, since that’s basically what I have in a raid, and I’m important!

Those numbers are pretty scary, especially when expressed in TTL terms, and when you look at how quickly the raid damage ramps up. The proportion of damage shifts dramatically towards the raid in the end of Phase 3, so healers need to be prepared, and assigned, to break off the tanks and start healing the raid. You’re only needing to buy maybe 10-15 seconds, but that’s crucial.
Healers need to be fully aware of the stacks on the tanks in order to know when to switch from tank-healing to raid-healing. Tanks can help out by saving their shiniest (damage-reducing) cooldowns for that point. Bonus healing isn’t as useful as a damage reduction when healing’s at a premium.

Things like Divine Sacrifice are amazing, but need to be saved for a very late in the fight. They’re needed when the 3-stacks start to go down (Paladins can use their judgement (see what I did there?) about the exact timing) to flatten the curve and buy a few more seconds. Your Paladins might be using them to save people from Goo, but people really need to be dodging that, not using cooldowns for it.

Also remember that Mutated Plague is shadow, so an Aura Mastery on Shadow Resistance Aura could be awesome too.

Saving this for last, because it’s often out of the healers’ control, but the best way of getting round the problem of wiping late in Phase 3 is simply to get it over quicker. Do it in 80 seconds and life’s easy; need 100 seconds and it’s a real struggle. The gradient of that curve turns into a pretty hard Enrage once there are 2-3 3-stacks active. Actually it’s easily arguable that dropping a healer might be a good way to go: it sounds counter-intuitive, but killing him in 90s compared to 100s lightens the healing demand by a full 20%, and might be enough.

One huge tip is to try blowing Bloodlust as soon as the adds are active in the transition, once debuffs are up. Here’s the logic:
Looking at Phase 3 as a single burn of adds plus boss, the logical thing is to use Bloodlust where you can do the most effective damage. In the transition, there are dangerous Oozes and Gas Clouds active which would be much better dead, and if they die early then you get uninterrupted, movement-free DPS time on the boss while he’s still at his table and in his initial tanking position before he throws out the Goo, or drops the bombs, or the slime puddles have grown too much, etc.

And healers can also help out with the DPS, especially early in the phase when healing’s light, by adding DPS. Pop Shadowfiends and Fire Elementals, lay DoTs or other damaging spells down when you have spare GCDs, it all helps.

Good luck!

Possibly Related Posts:

Categories: Advice and Strategy