Healing Ragnaros

Summary

Ragnaros is  a three phase fight with two transition phases.  In normal mode the phases are as follows:

  • Phase I 100% – 70%
  • Phase I Transition – Maximum or 45 seconds or until the Sons of Flame are all dead
  • Phase II 70%  – 40%
  • Phase II Transition – Maximum or 45 seconds or until the Sons of Flame are all dead
  • Phase III 40% – 10%
  • Loot Phase is at 10%

Healing Assingments

This encounter can be 2-healed to increase the dps and make the phases shorter.  This works great, especially if the healers can manage the extra individual healing requirements and if your group struggles with the transition phases.  I’ve only 3-healed this encounter.

  • Tanks Healers (2)
  • Raid Healer

Phase I

The following summarizes some key aspects of this phase.

  • Tanks swap based on stacks of Burning Wound with fairly heavy tank healing (watch your range on the tanks)
  • Hand of Ragnaros does a 20K in damage plus knock back on the melee (and range if close enough).  Watch the DBM timers for this spell for 1) timing the traps since it will double up the 20K damage with the 50K trap damage; 2) timing of Sulfurus Smash since it will knock you back and may mess up your plan to avoid waves3) your position with relation to a trap so you don’t get knocked back into one.
  • Magma Traps are periodically positioned on a player.    The targeted player moves out of the way and the traps are specifically triggered by the designated player when raid health is high (everyone will take 50K when triggered).  This will be the focus of the raid healer.  Heal up the other damage to raid members before the trap is triggered, then heal up the trap damage afterward.  The player assigned to trigger the traps should have some sort of fall mitigation: Priests, Mages, Hunters (using disengage, maybe), Rogues (with shield), Warriors (maybe).
  • Sufurus Smash is the hammer that comes down with the three waves emanating for smash point.  The smash point is clearly visible with a yellow/orange three pronged circle on the floor before the smash occurs.  Getting hit by the hammer won’t quite kill you these days, but you should consider it as causing a wipe if you do get hit…so don’t get hit.  It’s seriously easy to avoid.  The waves coming out of the smash are just as easy to avoid.    The three prongs of the indicator on the ground clearly mark the direction of the waves which are always in the same pattern: 2 waves going out to the left and right (one in each direction to form a line tangent to the edge of the circle around Rag, offset slightly form the circle) and one wave that move directly away from Rag at the point of the smash.
  • Healing Range is a big issue on this phase.  Some DPS get big boosts from healing from behind the boss.  This can be accomplished by keeping the tanks far to one side (let’s say to the right) and the dps far on the other side ( let’s say to the left).  Therefore, the Raid Healer will need to position themselves to reach the players that are far to the left.  If other casters tend to stay over to the right (by the tanks), then you might want to ask them to move a little more to the center.   Tank Healers will also need to help out with some raid healing when possible to help with this range issue; however, they need to keep a close eye on the tank position during movement (avoiding traps and waves) to make sure the tanks don’t move out of range.
  • There is a decent amount of cross-healing tank targets during the tank switches, but since there is still some damage on the other tank, it’s best to have someone specifically responsible for each tank.  This also comes in handy when the tanks are split in the Phase II transition and part of Phase III.

Phase I Transition

This is the phase where the hammer comes down (Splitting Blow) and Sons of Flame spawn and run to the hammer.  When they reach the hammer, massive damage goes out to the raid. The Phase I transition is often a weak spot depending on the position of the hammer.  There are 8 positions where the Sons of Flame spawn.  Raid leaders often number these positions 1 – 8 either starting from the left or right.    These are clearly marked with red beams several seconds before they spawn.   The positioning of the hammer splits the spawn points with 3 variations.

  • Hammer in the middle: 4 Sons on the left of the hammer and 4 Sons on the right of the hammer.   Assuming spot 1 is furthest on the left, then spots 3 and 4 (on the left) and 5 and 6 (on the right) will be very vulnerable as they are very close to the hammer.    This position seems to be the easiest to handle.
  • Hammer on the left (as you face Rag): 2 Sons on the left of the hammer and 6 Sons on the right of the hammer.   Assuming spot 1 is furthest on the left, then spots 1 and 2 will be very vulnerable as they are very close to the hammer.    Spots 3 – 8 are on the right side of the hammer.  Spots 3 and 4 are also very vulnerable.
  • Hammer on the right (as you face Rag): 6 Sons on the left of the hammer and 2 Sons on the right of the hammer.   Assuming spot 1 is furthest on the left,  then spots 7 and 8 will be very vulnerable as they are very close to the hammer.    Spots 1 – 6 are on the left side of the hammer.  Spots 5 and 6 are also very vulnerable.
Remember: count the positions to find your assigned Son…don’t memorize a position on the floor.

Here are the key points for this phase:

  • Mob assignments need to be clear
  • Players need to be able to find their mobs
  • Players need to perfect damaging their mobs to 50% fast and working together to get the mobs to 50% and subsequently killed
  • Players need to recognize where the hammer impact point will be and make adjustments as necessary based on position
  • There is a decent amount of random damage going out during this phase, and unless a player is unlucky and gets hit several times in a row, then healers won’t need to heal most of this phase.  It can be healed up as the next phase starts.  See the assignment suggests below.  This includes one healer on point to keep an eye on health.
  • If one of the Sons reaches the Hammer, everyone is hit by big damage.  With the other random damage in the phase, it will likely kill one or two players.  Multiple hits will cause a wipe.  So, it’s possible to hit huge heals after this to live through it, but this will generally be a wipe.

The biggest issue is getting the mobs assigned to the DOT classes down to 50%.  Melee classes seem to get their mobs to 50% faster.  Healers need to help DPS on this phase!

Here are some thoughts on how I would assign the spots (not proven…just thoughts).  In theory, each assignment is responsible for their add, but it seems like teaming together to get mobs slowed as fast as possible then helping others clean up the kill works well.

  • Position 1 – Caster Class (get mob to 50%, help clean up any slowed mobs that are still alive)
  • Position 2 – Melee (get mob to 50%, help get position 1 to 50%, then finish them off)
  • Position 3 – Melee (get mob to 50%, help get position 4 to 50%, then finish them off)
  • Position 4 – Tank + 1 Healer (this healer get a couple of initial dps hits in then will watch anyone in serious trouble and in need of a heal)
  • Position 5 – 2 Healers (DPS your butts off – fast dps and stun if possible in bear form)
  • Position 6 – Melee  (get mob to 50%, help get position 5 to 50%, then finish them off)
  • Position 7 – Tank (work with position 7 to get mobs to 50% and then finish them off)
  • Position 8 – Caster Class (work with position 8 to get mobs to 50%, help clean up any slowed mobs that are still alive)

Phase II

The following summarizes some key aspects of this phase.

  • Pick a side for our initial meet up point but stay 6 yards apart
  • Wait for the red ball (Molten Seeds) to appear then move quickly to the next meet up point
  • The secondary meet up point will be more grouped up.  It doesn’t need to be all the way across the platform, but should be some distance away.  The center should suffice.  We pick a point on the lip of the inner circle with a secondary point just outside the inner circle, for when the ground is on fire at the meet up point.
  • Molten Elementals will hit everyone with initial AOE damage when they spawn and (ranging from 6K to 20K based on distance), then continue to hit players hard with melee damage.  AOE them down fast while heavy AOE heals keep everyone up.
  • Dodge the Engulfing Flame (burning areas on the floor that cover 1/3 of the room at a time).  These will be circular bands.  Simply step to the next area that’s not covered at the time.  NOTE: if the burning area is up next to the tank, the tank must move back, but no further than the very edge of the burning area.  If they move back too far, a random player will be hit by Ragnaros.
  • Sufurus Smash is still happening during this phase.  Watch DBM timers and looks for the indicators on the ground to avoid this while staying 6 yards apart for seeds, dodging burning areas on the ground and collapsing for Molten Elementals.
  • When grouping up for the adds, have an alternate meet up point for when Engulfing Flame is in the melee area.  Also keep in mind that moving off the inner lip of the circle now makes the full group vulnerable to the hammer and subsequent waves, so take notice of where the hammer might land and have the alternate meet up point in a safe spot if the hammer lands near by.   This is hard to explain, but when your groups gets hit by the hammer a couple of times, simply move diagonally away to a spot that would be safe from the hammer and waves.
  • Repeat the movement when the adds come out to stay together, but  6 yard apart and then move once the circles come out to get away and group up to kill the adds and raid heal.
  • It’s very easy to lose a tank during the movement due to range and the fact that it’s hard to heal on the move.  Plan ahead.  Use shields and other damage mitigation on your assigned tank to ensure they live through the movement. Tanks should also watch to see if they need a cool down.
  • When grouped up for the adds, all healers should do heavy AOE healing and use raid cooldowns like PW: Barrier, Tranquility, Tree of Life (for multiple Lifeblooms).

The biggest issue to overcome with this phase was remembering the hammer and adjusting appropriately for it’s position while not messing up the other mechanics.  The next most deadly element of the phase is the burning areas on the floor. Players seem to panic when the occur and mess up the general movement of the phase, causing seeds to be spread out and cause more damage.

Phase II Transition

This phase is similar to the Phase I Transition, and pose the same challenges with the addition of two new adds that will spawn and need to be tanked while the other adds are killed quickly.

Refer to the  Phase I Transition points plus these additional points:

  • Tanks need to pick up the Scions and will be taking more damage during this time.  Therefore, Tanks and Tank Healers will have less time to help dps on this transition phase.
  • DPS need to be responsible for killing more of the mobs with the Tanks and Healers providing less DPS.
  • Blazing Heat is a new aspect of the fight, starting with this transition.  Players with Blazing Heat must run to move out of a damaging flame that is placed below them.  This leaves a trail as they move.  Players should try to place these trails of flame away from the tanks / other players when possible.
  • We delayed the killing of the last Son (still making sure it didn’t hit the hammer and kill it before 45 seconds is up…very important) to allow a little more time to kill the scions before the next phase.

The biggest issue with this phase is luck with regard to where the hammer falls and then how players handle the extra movement and damage in this phase.  I found this a good time to use my pain suppression on my tank to reduce the incoming damage from their scion as I continue to DPS one of the Sons.  I got hit a couple of times with Blazing Heat.  This made it impossible to continue to DPS or Heal effectively.

Phase III

To be honest, after two kills, this phase still seems pretty crazy.  Here are some things I noticed:

  • One tank needs to continue tanking the Scions in the middle (keeping them out of Blazing Heat trails) while the other tank gets to the front to avoid Rag targeting a random player.
  • Tank Healers, stay with your assigned tanks.
  • If the damage is slow to kill the scions, the stacks on the tank on Rag might get a little high.  Be prepared to deal with a little extra damage until the tanks can swap.
  • Engulfing Flame is still covering 1/3 of the room with flames.
  • Blazing Heat is still randomly making players run around and create flame trails (or die)
  • Meteors are coming out of the lava and chasing a player.  Players need to kite the meteors away from the others, while avoiding flame trails and the burning floor.  Players can turn and damage a meteor to send it looking for another player.

Basically, the phase is pretty crazy.  I remember just trying to dodge stuff on the floor and keep the tanks alive as best I could.  I remembered I could get the meteor off of me by damaging it…I just didn’t remember to target the meteor first (dps is not my strong suit).  The meteor ended up bouncing me twice.  It hits for around 90K, so I was able to heal myself up, but the second hit bounced me into Engulfing flame and I just couldn’t recover from that.  The rest of the raid kept running around as needed and we pulled out the remaining 2% to get the boss down (he goes under at 10%).

I guess the key is: “Don’t panic, keep up the dps on the boss as best you can, stay out of stuff, and heal the crap out of the tanks.”

Happy Raiding!

~Daff

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