Now that my guild has downed The Lich King, I feel comfortable writing a healing strategy for it. The problem is…healing really isn’t THAT important in the fight. We’re challenged, but it’s mostly by one or two mechanics, healing wise. The difficulty is adapting to those mechanics while at the same time having to perform all the REST of the mechanics that the fight brings. Backwards and in high heels indeed.
Phase 1–Don’t Stop Me Now!
Zombie bashing via dancing, and a lot of it. The big thing to worry about, during both phase 1 and 2 are the Infests. This does a mild amount of damage on everybody in the raid, but it puts a DoT on them that increases over time, and is only removed when the person is brought up to max health. If left to fester on someone, it can become unhealable. A Disc priest helps here, as shielded people will have the initial damage absorbed by the shield, and as such the Infest will be removed straight away. Wild Growth on clumps of players, and you might need a Rejuv/Swiftmend/Nourish on the last person to have it.
The tank tanking LK won’t be taking that much damage. However, the tank tanking all the adds after a while may have an enraged guy on him for some amount of time and as such will probably require additional healing. On top of that, if you’re not a druid you may be on cleansing duty for the Necrotic Plague, which has to be removed as the infected person runs up to where the adds are being held.
This phase is actually very easy. Don’t worry. Phase 2 MORE than makes up for it.
After running to the edge, (melee players may get hit with a tick or two of Remorseless Winter) generally healing slows down here. However, pay attention as sometimes the Raging Spirits will hit a non-tank, who will need emergency heals (Rejuv+Swiftmend). There will be a bit of raid damage, but it’s nothing that major. Then there will be Quake and it’ll be off to….
Phase 2–Libra Me FROM HELL
This is what took us a month to learn. Phase 2 is rather hard. Again, it’s not so much the healing..it can’t be brute forced healed. It’s all execution, and one slip-up by any one player is basically a wipe. It’s actually enjoyable and a great learning experience. But all the same, don’t take it lightly.
Healers have to deal with Infest, as in P1, as well as a new ability, Soul Reaper (What is this, Bleach?), which after 5 seconds deals 50k damage to the tank. With the current buff and good enough gear, this can be healed through (again, a Disc priest does wonders), however you may want to tank swap as well. But be aware of this, and be ready with a quick swiftmend as soon as the Soul Reaper pops.
Infest, because of the moving that has to be done during P2 because of the Defiles mostly, someone can be out of range during an Infest and when you get to them, the DoT might be too high to save.
Defile damage isn’t too bad for a tick or two, and if there’s more than a tick or two it grows so big it’s a wipe.
P2.5–Don’t Look Down!!!
This is more of a rest phase for us trees. As there is two tanks with the Restless Spirits more quickly picked up and shared between them, the damage is more easily healed.
P3 actually is easier than P2, but it’ll still take a couple of tries to get down. He no longer does Infest (yay!), however there’s a new healing mechanic to watch out for. A few times, he’ll do a Soul Harvest ability that deals 40k or so over 5 seconds to the target, and you have to prevent them from dying. It’s not difficult actually. Rejuv+Swiftmend or two Nourishes. If they’re already weak it can be a problem and kill them before you can react but there’s nothing you can do about that.
The big healing challenge is dealing with the exploding ghosts that come into play. Pre-Rejuv as many people as you can and use Swiftmend/Nourish to get people out of the danger zone as quickly as you can. We had a tank soak a few of them, so HoTs on the offtank worked well.
You still have to deal with Soul Reaper, but again. It’s not really a healing challenge fight as much as it is an execution fight. The main advice I’d give is spread out for the spirits, as grouping up can cause very unfortunate big booms.
What about inside Frostmourne? Well, I was in there once, and I was in there for like 5 seconds before…..
P4–Final Fantasy Victory Theme
Don’t release, and enjoy the show. There’s no actual healing during P4 so feel free to Moonfire/Wrath/Starfall to your hearts content to feel part of the slaughter.
Overall, LK is a fight which takes a lot of learning and individual responsibility. There have been other fights to challenge us healers specifically in those skills, so it’s fine that the LK really doesn’t. That said, learning the Defiles in P2 is difficult, so don’t get discouraged and keep on working at it!