Thoughts on Heroic: Heartbreaker with Healing Tips!   6 comments

Last night’s raid was fantastic, and I am still super stoked about it!  We managed to get not only Heroic: Obituary but Heroic: Heartbreaker completed as well.  Now…I’m not so sure that I’m qualified to comment on Obituary because we struggled with it, and like in our 10 man made it by on the skin of our teeth with only 2 vehicles standing at the end (it’s not a Monolith kill if we don’t have a 1-2% wipe first, and if it’s not nail bitingly close at the end!).

However, even though our XT kill was close, and of course, by close I mean “every one spread and and nuke as hard as you can” as the enrage timer was going off, it was a relatively smooth kill and I feel a very repeatable strategy.  We had spent about 3 hours over two raid resets on it previously, so had the basic strategy down, but we were still struggling with people dying during tantrums and being quite aways out from the enrage timer when we were hitting it.  Yesterday we made a few tweaks to our strategy that worked fantastically (and frankly made me feel like a nubcake for not realizing our errors sooner) and got him down on our second pull, first successful heart phase, last night.  So, I thought I’d share my thoughts on how we got it done.

Raid Composition
2 Tanks – We used a Warrior on XT and a DK OT, but any combination will suffice.
5 Healers – We used 2 Holy Paladins, 1 Holy Priest, 1 Disc Priest, 1 Resto druid.  (Have I mentioned Monolith is recruiting a resto shaman? ;)).
18 DPS – Any combination of DPS will suffice really, for our kill we had: 2 Rogues, 1 Feral Druid, 1 Ret Paladin, 1 Enhancement Shaman, 2 DKs, 2 mages, 3 warlocks, 2 elemental shaman, 1 deathchicken and 3 hunters.

Positioning

  • We tank XT smack in the middle of the room.
    • You want to conserve as much time as possible, so be sure that you wait for XT to be close to where you want to tank him, so that you aren’t wasting time moving him into position before your DPS can start to unload on him.
  • We face XT to the stage, so that the tank is facing the door we enter.
  • The ranged DPS and healers will be at range behind XT, in one big pile.
  • The melee will be on his right leg (yes…which leg does  matter!)

Breaking the Heart

This is probably the hardest part of the encounter, as far as the DPS threshold is concerned.  If you don’t break the heart, you can’t force XT into hard mode.

  • Everyone DPSes – You’re a tank? You’re a healer?  No!  You are DPS during the heart phase.  That is right!  Fear those smites and Holy Shocks!!!
    • Resto Druid Tip!  Believe it or not, mana will be tight as you progress through phase 2 (our Holy priest even commented that it had been a very long time since he’d needed to use two shadowfiends in one fight!).  I found that it was much more mana efficient for me to use Starfire during the heart phase as opposed to Wrath.
  • Bloodlust as the heart is dropping, don’t wait for it to get there.  This way everyone is rip-roarin’ ready to go when the heart lands.  The heart phase is only 30 seconds, so will will still have bloodlust for the full duration of the heart.
    • Those with summonable pets (Treeants, Army of the Dead, Wolves) should have them out just before the bloodlust so that the pets will gain the bloodlust effect as well.
  • Blow every single cooldown that you have.  You must beat the heart to get to the rest of the fight, so now is the time to let loose.  Make sure your DPS know that they should not hold back anything.
    • If someone gets a gravity bomb just before the heart phase, make sure they are far enough away that they aren’t going to pull people with them, but close enough that they can still DPS the heart (unless the are melee).  Our first attempt last night one of our shaman pulled all the ranged to him, and we ended up being short 3% on the heart from the loss of DPS as the ranged got pulled.
  • Keep in mind that they heart can  die as it is re-entering the chest, so if you are very  close (within 1-2%) when it starts to go up, make sure you wait to see if it dies before calling a wipe.  We have had pulls where we thought we didn’t make it, only to find out that our DoTs killed it while it was trying to re-enter the chest, and pushed us into phase 2.

Phase 2

  • Once you have killed the heart XT will gain Heartbreak.  This will cause his damage done to increase by 15% and he will gain 60% more health.
    • This starts immediately, so your tank will start taking giant hits from XT.  Be sure that your tank healers are ready to deal with the damage!
  • Completely ignore all scrapbots and bomb bots during the transition from phase 1 to phase 2.  XT heals completely to full health once you have broken his heart, so there is no point in wasting time killing the scrapbots, as he isn’t going to repair more than full health, which he is already at.
    • Your melee need to get away from XT while the bomb bots move in so that they don’t get themselves blown up when the bombs reach XT and explode.
  • Your OT should have control of the two pummelers, and move them away from XT (see bomb comment above!).  Everyone in the raid focus on killing the pummelers while the bomb bots and the scrapbots are consumed by XT.

Dealing with Gravity Bombs

  • Gravity bombs will no drop a void zone under you when they go off, so you want to make sure that you get out of them as soon as they blow up, and that you drop them in safe spots.
    • Resto Druid Tip!  The damage from a gravity bomb is timed, so you can time a nourish or regrowth to hit the target as the bomb is going off to keep them topped up.
  • We use the right side of the room for gravity bombs.  Anyone that gets bombed runs appx. 30 yards to the right and then back to their original positioning once it has exploded.
    • If the right starts to become very clustered, the range can start dropping their bombs behind the raid, by the door.

Dealing with Light Bombs

  • Light Bombs will now spawn a Life Spark.
    • Life Sparks will cast Static Charged, which will do 2000 Nature Damage to the raid every 3 seconds, per active spark.  So it is important that you never have more than one up at a time!
  • Because everyone is grouped up on top of each other it is imperative that the player affected by a light bomb move immediately.  Do not finish casting that spell, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars!  Just friggin MOVE!!!
    • Our “safe” point for life bombs is at XT’s left leg.  Anyone that is affected with a light bomb runs to XT’s left leg.
      • Recall from earlier when we said the melee being on the right leg piled up was important?  This is why!
      • The reason that we do this is multifaceted.
        • Our spark tank always knows where the spark is going to be;
        • Everyone has a very clear focal point for where they should be running;
        • The OT is in range of Beacon of Light from your paladin healer on the tank;
        • The melee can continue to DPS through their Light Bomb.
  • Anyone that is going to have anything to do with the life sparks should make the following macro:  /target Life Spark and turn on their enemy health bars.  The sparks are relatively small, and somewhat difficult to target otherwise.
  • We have an OT stand with the rest of the melee, on the right leg, and taunt the Life Spark as soon as it spawns, and keep it in melee range the entire time.
    • This positioning allows for incidental melee AE, such as divine storm or heart strike, to affect the sparks, doing a little extra damage to them.
    • The sparks do, melee hitting their target for roughly 7000-10,000 life a hit (on plate), so it is important that the sparks are picked up by someone getting some heals in this phase.
      • Note, there are also some strategies that recommend kiting the sparks.  We did not try that, but I am pleased enough with our current strategy, and think that it is solid, that we will continue to tank the sparks.
  • We put 4 DPS as the “spark bitches”.  Their entire role in the fight was to make sure that we only ever had one spark up at a time.  The rest of your DPS should be on XT the entire time.
    • We used two rogues and two hunters for this chore, although I’m sure any combination of 4 DPS would suffice.
      • In making this choice, we tried to pick classes that could just “go” with damage.  Who didn’t need to stack a debuff, or prep the mob in any way to do damage to it, and could also do damage without having to worry about running out of mana, etc.
  • I want to reiterate that your goal with regards to the sparks should be killing the previous one before the next one spawns.  It is OK to always have one up, and you will have one spark up probably 90% of the fight, you just don’t want multiple sparks up at the same time. 
    • I comment on this because we realized that our biggest problem was that we were over-emphasizing the importance of the sparks and put too much DPS on them, leaving us too little on XT.  You really need no more than 5 DPS max on spark duty.  They don’t have to go down immediately, and the damage they do is fairly minimal.  Especially if you have a ret paladin judging light.  Anyone hitting the mob is filling themselves up on life.

Tanking

This is a very straight forward fight as far as tanking is concerned.  You do not have to every move the mob, just stay put and get beat in the face…very, very hard!

  • XT will hit for about 22,000 damage a hit on a well geared tank, so if you have a gear set to help mitigate some of that damage, you might want to test it out.
  • Use your cooldowns early, so that they are up again later in the fight!
    • It is a very long fight, so even unglyphed/talented, you can still use both last stand and shield wall multiple times if you time them well enough.
  • Time your cooldowns for when one of your healers has to move due to a gravity bomb or light bomb.

Healing

The healing for this encounter is fairly demanding.  You want 2-3 AE healers for the fight, and the damage becomes more manageable the more AE healing you have.

  • You want two very strong single target healers on the tank.  Their sole job is to keep the tank alive.  We used a discipline priest and a Holy Paladin.
    • A discipline priest on the tank is extremely helpful, as their shields help mitigate a tremendous amount of damage.
    • Your MT paladin should keep a beacon on the OT.  The OT will need minimal heals from others with the fat heals hitting the tank.
    • There is no room for little heals.  Your tank is taking half of his life or more in damage every hit, so don’t pussy foot around trying to do as little as possible to keep him topped off.
    • Heal Pro-Actively.  If you wait for your tank to actually take damage before you start healing, you have signed his death wish =)
    • This is fairly stressful on mana, so use your shadow fiend early enough that you can use it again later in the fight, if you are a priest.
      • Wait until after a tantrum has cast to use your fiend, so he doesn’t splat right away.
  • You will want a minimum of two raid healers.  We used a Holy Priest and a Resto Druid.
    • Assign groups of responsibility for the tantrums.  No, really.  This is something we’ve not had to do in awhile, but it was extremely helpful.
      • For Example:  Beru is responsible for groups 2 and 3; Naz is responsible for groups 4 and 5; split group1 (which is the group our tanks are in).
      • Having a limited number of people that I needed to heal, not only helped me conserve my mana, but kept every member in the raid alive.
        • Trust your partner!  Assume that the other raid healer is going to get their job done, and don’t overlap into his area.  That is a quick way to run yourself out of mana, or let a member of your groups die.
      • Resto Druid Tip!  Barkskin every tantrum.  It will mitigate a ton of the damage, and is not only effective, but helpful.
      • Resto Druid Tip!  Rejuv + WG is enough to keep your groups up for the tantrum.  Generally by the time it is done, and the priest has his groups in order, your rejuvs should have your groups in order as well.  The tantrum is cast, so you have a small warning before it goes off to start pre-hotting people up.
        • If you are healing the raid, make sure that your partner knows you will be using rejuvs on your groups during tantrums, so that he doesn’t come in after the tantrum and top them off, overwriting your hots.  Unless there is another danger (bomb), your HoTs will top them off in fairly short order.  There is no need to waste additional mana.
      • Resto Druid Tip!  Innervate early, so that you have an innervate up again towards the end of the encounter, where you will need it most!  I did make it with just one innervate and a mana pot, but had I innervated earlier, I could have used my second innervate or passed it to one of the tank healers.
    • A light bomb right before a tantrum is extremely dangerous.  So, it is important that raid members know that they should keep their health stones ready for just this type of situation.
      • You always want to get the raid topped up as quickly as possible after a light bomb, because you never know when a tantrum is going to hit, and a raid at full health is far less stressful than a raid at less than full health!
    • There will always be some small static damage being done to the raid, however a Judgment of Light on the boss will keep people topped off quite well, so don’t panic.
  • The fifth healer!  Yes, we know we said we brought 5 healers, ours was a paladin (note, having 3 direct target healers isn’t ideal, but it is most definitely doable).  Here is how we tasked him:
    • Because our 5th healer was a paladin, we had him beacon the MT, because a little extra healing to the tank will never hurt!
    • Our 5th healer had a very important and specific job during the tantrums:  Heal those with light bombs and gravity bombs.
      • It is extremely important that you have a person that is dedicated to this task, or you will loose people.  There is so much damage going around everywhere else, it is overwhelming for your raid healers to be able to keep a bombed person alive along with the rest of the raid.
      • This is a safe and effective way to make sure that you do not loose raid members.
    • In between tantrums this healer hits whoever is need of heals.
      • Most of his time was spent on either those with light/gravity bombs or the two tanks.
  • Just like the tank, healers should use their cooldowns early and often.  Time them to be used when the tanks are down, and a tank healer needs to move.
  • Have your feral druids keep an eye on healer mana, and toss out their innervates.  If they do one right after the heart phase, they should have another one up towards the end of the fight to hand out again.
  • All of your druids should pop up and tranquility at any point that their groups looks dangerously low on life.
  • A judgment of light on the boss at all time is essential.  A ret paladin is ideal for this task, but if you do not have one, make sure that your holy paladins are keeping this up at all times.
    • Our ret paladin had the third or fourth effective healing on our kill.  It may not seem like a lot, but all those little splashes add up!

That is basically the entire fight!  You just rinse and repeat until the end, holding your breath at every tantrum!  Good Luck!

6 responses to “Thoughts on Heroic: Heartbreaker with Healing Tips!

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  1. Omg… you said nubcake. :) Though I’m sure you weren’t a nubcake, more like a cute like nub-cupcake.

  2. Congratulations!

    • Congrats on the kill.

      One suggestion I’d add is that tanking him near the scrap piles causes him to spanw a lot less adds during the heart phase. Yesterday on our kill we only got scrapbots which was easily killed for I’d guess a 3% hp advantage.

      The other thing I was just curious about. I kinda get a feel for when the tantrums are coming. Maybe like a 5-10 sec warning. You see his shoulders start to rotate a bit harder than usual then he goes into the animation. Have you noticed this? I usualy start throwing out prehots at this point. I can’t be sure I’m right on it maybe it’s just a good idea on the natural times of the tanrums (they are 1 min CD right with heartbreak resteting the CD I think).

  3. @K – I could be a cupcake!!!

    @ Nin – Thanks =)

    @Kin – For hard mode, it actually doesn’t matter how many scrap bots you have, because you don’t have to kill them, as he heals to full health when you break the heart. We like the center of the room because it allows the most area to navigate the gravity bombs =)

    Tantrum is actually a casted spell. When he casts it, his hands start to glow faintly and he waves them around a bit, which likely does cause his shoulders to move some too. If you have him as a target, you can actually see when he is casting the tantrums, which will let you know when to start pre-hotting. I always have him targeted or set as my focus target, for that very reason.

  4. Awesome write-up, Beru :) I agree on keeping XT himself targeted throughout the fight, you can see his tantrum casts (especially if you have your target’s cast bar moved to a location where you can easily see it while healing) and react quickly to them, even around him shouting “no no NO NO NO no no…!”

    I think DBM has a bar for it, too. I might be confusing my quartz cast bars and DBM bars, though.

    “Deathchicken” lol… pew pew!

  5. Wow – awesome guide! It sounds much harder than the 10 man version….. we totally pwn Heartbreaker every time on our weekly 10 man runs, but haven’t attempted it on 25s. Sounds pretty tough – grats on getting the achievement!

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