So I had intended to tackle Heroic Shannox as my first heroic guide but, uh, I seem to be having a problem catching good footage for the video (learn more here!). We will not talk about this problem. Well, at least not right now. I promise to tell you of my Shannox struggles when I get to the video. I PROMISE! Until then, let’s move onto Heroic Rhyolith shall we? The footage that you see below is from our first kill of the encounter, so you will see some mistakes (still trying to master keeping harmony up!) and there are certainly areas for me to improve. However after a few nights with the fight I felt that I had enough of a handle on healing the encounter to offer my feedback and advice for healing it from a druid perspective. As always, I missed things that I think are helpful and important in the video and will be addressing them in some comments below the video! Additionally, please keep in mind that no one strategy will suit every guild, so take what bits you find useful and help them to create something that will work for you!
As always, please note that this video will be best viewed at one of the higher resolutions.
A Few Notes!
Healing Assignments - As I stated in the video, we used 3 priests, 2 paladins and a druid for our kill. This wasn’t intentional – it was just who was online for the raid the night we got the kill. We worked the fight with two druids and a shaman thrown into that healing mix as well, so when I say “I believe any composition will work”, I truly mean that. It’s rare that we actually have a “two paladin, three priest” combination. For the fight, two of our priests were holy and one was disc. As far as healing assignments themselves went, during the first phase the spark tank takes significant amounts of damage at times, so we had both of our paladins and our disc priest assigned to heal him. That left the two holy priests and myself to manage the raid and the fragment tank during phase 1. However, when we transferred into phase 2 we moved the disc priest to assist with raid healing and had just the two paladins pumping heals into the Rhyolith Tank. I will be 100% frank, and state that the first few times we pushed phase two we lost half the raid to the first two stomps. So it is important to have a Phase 2 plan in place for your healers!
Raid Cooldowns – We assigned two raid cooldowns/stomp in phase 2 to help ensure our survivability in that phase (yes, it really does hit that hard!). We used some of the smaller/positional ones earlier in the phase when the damage is a bit less and some of our larger, more powerful ones later into the phase. We also assigned tranqs for all of our druids – including ferals and moonkin. For our first one we used a barrier on the melee and a druid tranq (feral). For the second one we use a warrior wall/druid tranq (moonkin). For the third one we used an Aura Mastery/Druid Tranq (resto). For the Fourth one we used Raid Wall/Aura Mastery. For any that we were unfortunate enough to see after that we used our remaining warrior wall and prayers :)
Tank Cooldowns – The tanks get hit fairly hard in the second phase. Your fragment tank should pick up Rhyolith as he should have most, if not all, of his personal cooldowns available (your spark tank has likely cycled through all of his by this point). Your tank should chain his cooldowns as the damage increases to help his healers keep him stable. Additionally, any cooldowns available from the raid should be used here as well (PS, Sac, etc).
Blood Lust – You will see that we actually lusted before we hit Phase 2 of the fight. The reason that we do this is to make sure that we push Rhyolith into phase 2 before the 5 minute marker. We will lust at 4:15 into the fight, or as close to that point as possible once fragments are dead (if they are up). Alternatively, we lust with the stomp that comes in the vicinity of the 4:15 mark knowing that if they are fragments we have exactly 30 seconds to push him into phase 2. Once we lust, we ignore all fragments and sparks and just burn on him.
Liquid Obsidian – We mostly ignore this. No really. Ok, sort of ignore. We use snares on them (frost DKs are fantastic at this) and knock backs when we have to make a sharp turn so that he doesn’t eat them. Outside of that, we count on any incidental AE damage from the fragments and cleaves from the melee on the feet to keep them under control. Do note, however, that the more of these he ingests the less likely you are to push into phase 2 in a timely fashion. Should he consume more than 10, it’s almost impossible to meet the timer before he starts becoming superheated.
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have questions! I hope you found the guide helpful and good luck!