Resto Shaman Healing on Valithria Dreamwalker
Valithria Dreamwalker is sweet revenge for all those bosses where you’ve had to work your butt off healing, while the dps just tunneled visioned on the boss and watched his health bar drop. In this fight, it’s the DPS that has to carefully prioritize their targets and kill order, while most of the healers get to go all out on the boss. It’s a unique mechanic, and I think most healers would agree it’s been a nice change of pace. As of this evening, I’ve been able to participate in both a 10 and 25 man kill, so I wanted to share my experience.
First, depending on your raid makeup, you should angle for a “portal team” spot. In 10 man, we kept one healer assigned to the tanks/raid and in 25 man we had 3 staying outside. All the other healers were allowed to take a portal each time they were out, stack their debuffs high, and get some insane HPS going.
The first candidate for the portals should be geared holy paladins. It’s hard to match their raw throughput. In my experience, resto shamans are the next best bet, and if you are skilled and geared, you can beat some paladins. Druids and holy priests are each solid choices if you don’t have enough shamans or paladins, and getting Guardian Spirit (glyphed if possible) on the boss as much as possible is key. Disc priests are going to be stuck on the outside, because their mitigation is not going to bump up the boss’s health bar.
There is very little you need to worry about in this fight if you are on the portal team. There are two very obvious ground effects that will try to kill, so don’t stand in them. I’ve found that the best rotation is Riptide (RT), Healing Wave (HW), Healing Wave, Healing Wave. At my haste levels, RT is ready to go again after three HW’s. You could also work some Lesser Healing Waves in here as needed. It goes against your instincts, but I wouldn’t waste time refreshing your water shield on this fight. With the portal buff, you are not going to be anywhere near mana problems.
Given this, gear for maximum throughput. If you can throw together a set that maximizes your spellpower, haste and crit, that’s what you want here. Mp5 is pretty much going to be unused. Your T10 four piece bonus is going to add very little here so keep that in mind as well. I wish I had remembered this before our 25 man kill tonight, because I have a higher throughput set sitting there ready to go, but instead I had my four piece T10 on. I believe you can Earth Shield the boss for some extra heals, but I’ve found that it helps the raid healers out to keep it on the tanks.
Getting used to the portal mechanic is key to getting through this fight quickly, and takes a bit of time. You should see a warning in your bossmod that portals are coming up. You will also see Dreamwalker send out several green beams, with green dots at the end. These will be spaced around her, so don’t be afraid to park yourself behind the boss. I suggest moving to a green dot early, and make sure you and another healer are not angling for the same one. Raid marks for the portal team can help with this. Those green dots will be turning into portals in about 10 seconds.
When the portals spawn, stop your casts and enter immediately. Hit your space bar to get up in the air about 15 yards or so, and you will see green orbs floating around the room. Each guild may go about capturing orbs differently. It’s a great idea to group up with one or more healers and grab orbs together, since everyone in the area when they pop will get a stack of the buff. In order to pop the orb, simply “swim” through the air right on top of it. You’re flying in 3 dimensions, so this takes a bit of practice. Your goal is get as many stacks as you can, but don’t ninja them from your fellow healers. If you see someone else flying up, wait until they get to you and share the buff.
Your main goal is to roll your buff stacks between portal phases so they don’t drop off. To help with this, try to pop an orb near the end of your 15 or so seconds in the portal. I believe your debuff will expire if you do not get another stack within 35 seconds. Thus, it is imperative to stake out your next portal when they begin to spawn. Make sure your DPS is interrupting Frostbolt Volleys from the Archmages. These will slow you down and could keep you out of a portal if they come at the wrong time. Hop in right away, fly up, and pop an orb to reset your timer and start building on your stacks. If you are good, you can get up to around 35-40 stacks or more. I was able to get to around 20 or so before I let mine drop tonight.
When you have a bunch of healers with big stacks (or at around 80-85% either way), get Guardian Spirit on the boss and pop Bloodlust right after a portal phase. Spam your Healing Wave, and you should see Dreamwalker’s health bar start to shoot up. If your tanks and DPS are doing their job, victory should ensue.