December 26, 2010

How to Heal: Heroic Vortex Pinnacle

At the time of writing this guide, my stats are (without totems, self buffed)

Health: 99361
Mana: 72275
Spirit: 2191
Intellect: 3275
Haste: 860 (+6.72%)
Crit: 693 (10.71)
Mastery: 595 11.32 %

Average ilvl: 340
Mostly 333 gear with a sprinkling of 346.

Who wouldn't mind wiping in a place as beautiful and stunning as this?
Vortex Pinnacle is an easy heroic in the sense that no mechanics in this dungeon will kill you or your party members instantly.  Isn't that nice!  This dungeon can be thought of as a training ground or learning area for your party to master mechanics that will be thrown at you in future dungeons. On top of that, it's absolutely GORGEOUS and you won't mind making this your favorite heroic.

The first time I did this dungeon was Friday afternoon with some guildies. We managed to two-hour our way through the place and I won't mention how many times I swore on vent at the second boss.  Let's just say there are probably some sailors blushing.  The second time we went through, it ended up being our heroic random (oh, we were so happy!) and we breezed through it and only wiped twice on the second boss.  We had some polite DPS who stuck with us and were rewarded with an easy clear through the rest of the dungeon.

The first trash pull needs to be CC'd as much as possible. Having a shaman here helps a lot. Having a hunter helps also.

Some elementals will explode and knock you off the edge! You won't die -- you will be teleported back to the front of the entrance, BUT, you need to avoid this as your party may die while you're gone.  Luckily we had a pretty tough boomkin who was able to take a few hits on trash until Convel got back to us.
  Thank you, Papertiger!
After the second punt off the edge.
For the little arcane wormies, have everyone run to the middle, drop your AOE heal ASAP, and tell your dps to unleash hell as fast as possible.  Even with a surprise pull of the arcane stars/worms, nobody went past half health. I am not sure why so many people are troubled by this pull.  I did not think the incoming damage was enough to send me into panic mode at all.  With a single AOE floor heal, I has some control of the damage and could proceed to heal my party up.  The faster the worms die, the less damage you deal with.

Cloud Princes cannot be CC'd.  There is one pull where you will encounter two of them. You will need to HoT up your tank and heal him/her pretty hard until at least one prince is down, then you can relax a bit.  Use all the tools in your arsenal to avoid any big smack surprises (they can hit for 48-50K on your tank).

On kitty 5 mob pulls, you will need to use all the CC you can.  Adepts can heal, so they need to be CC'd the longest or killed first.  Be sure to interrupt their healing!

There are some kitty pulls where they will be inside of a lightning pyramid.  LoS pull these down the ramp and have your party CC as soon as the mobs exit the triangle.

The Tempest Lurkers will feign death and not bother you as soon as you look at them.

When running across the bridge with the Howling Gale orbs, be sure to damage them with ranged attacks so you can get by without them tossing you off the edge.

Young storm drakes need to be LoS pulled so they will not be in their green healing rune.  You and your party are able to stand in this rune and be healed so show your healer some love and go stand in it!

Boss 1: Grand Vizier Ertan
Healing Loot:
Biting Wind -- DPS but Healing if you have nothing better.
Fallen Snow Shoulderguards -- DPS but Healing if you have nothing better.

This boss is a wind elemental who has an addiction to cyclones.  When you engage her, a set of cyclones will spawn on the outside of the ring.  Be VERY careful when you run in to meet her because if you touch a cyclone, you will get slowed terribly bad (I would say around 80%).  Stay on the inside until you see the raid warning that she is retracting her cyclone shield.  At this moment, you can do one of two things (right now).

1) Stay inside.  This is the easiest option.  You want to zoom your camera out ALL the way so that you are able to see the circle in the middle. You want to stand in the VERY middle of this circle.  This ensures that when the cyclones move in, they will not touch you (barely).  You will not get the haste debuff.  Your ranged DPS should stand on top of you.  DROP AN AOE HEAL when the cyclones come in, and then proceed to heal through the lightning damage.  Sounds easy, right? It is.  It's so easy, the developers might find some way to nerf it.

2)  Run out.  Use your skills and don't get hit by a tornado while you are running out.  You will be able to then heal your party up and prepare to run back in without getting hit by a tornado.  It appears that the damage from staying in and running out is the same.  The only difference is that if you are hit by a tornado, your healing spells are slowed SO much that you will barely be able to heal.  DON'T get hit by tornadoes!  If you are lucky, you will be able to recover if your group has brought healing pots, bandages, etc.  One smack from a tornado kills you indirectly by killing your healing.

This fight teaches you how to avoid tornadoes. They are only moving in one direction so it is an easy learning session.

Boss 2:  Altairus
Healing Loot:
Amulet of Tender Breath -- Neck
Mantle of Bestilled Winds -- Leather

This boss is a storm dragon who also has an addiction to cyclones. Imagine that.  He is similar to normal mode, except that as soon as you engage the boss, mini whirlwinds will spawn all over the area.  Your first priority? AVOID THE TORNADOES!

Altairus will then change the direction of the wind. You will get a raid warning for this.  The easiest way to deal with this mechanic is to first avoid the tornadoes.

Identify which way the wind is blowing.  Move yourself very carefully so that you can 1) FACE the dragon.  You want your face to be looking at the dragon, with the wind blowing at your back.  You may get caught in a terrible position -- don't panic.  Avoid the tornadoes, throw your instant HoTs, use your racials, and move yourself into the correct position.  In the 5-6 seconds it takes to do this, nobody should die, unless they get hit by more than 1 tornado.

You can think about this similar to if the dragon were VERY STINKY.  You wouldn't want the wind blowing the smell from the dragon into your face, would you?  Nope. You also wouldn't want the wind blowing the smell from the dragon onto the back of your head where it can still hit your face.  You want to always have your face looking at the dragon with the wind on your back. Imagine yourself rotating around the dragon, keeping him in front of you (even if your face is buried in his wings).  The wind will always be hitting your back, and your face will always be "facing" the dragon.

It only takes a few tries to get used to this mechanic, as you will quickly begin to process "Okay, I'm standing here, I need to move to THERE to be able to face the dragon with the wind at my back."

The third thing that you should be conscious of but not spend too much time worrying about is the breath.  Altairus will do a RANDOM breath on a party member that you cannot really avoid due to the tornadoes and the wind.  However, if you keep a decent distance from other party members, you will only have 1-2 people hit at a time instead of 2-3.  This will greatly help with healing.

Also, with the haste buff, you can spam your cheap, small heal over and over to heal up your party members without spending your mana.  For shaman, this is Healing Wave.  Keep in mind I said cheap heal, not fast heal.  Do. not. spam. Healing Surge.  Only use HS if you have a party member about to die and you need a heal NOW, as soon as you get the haste buff.  Use it 1-2 times, then go back to your Greater Healing Waves to get people out of the danger zone. Then, go to Healing Wave to top people back up.

The only damage in this fight is from:
1) Tornadoes (avoidable)
2) Breath (may be avoidable but master the tornadoes/wind first)

DPS, it is your responsibility on this fight to not get hit by tornadoes. This will eat your healer's mana.  You will get bounced in the air, possibly land in another tornado, and die.  Your life will suck.  Don't get hit.

Tanks, you just need to move according to the guide above since the breath is random.

Boss 3: Asaad < Caliph of Zephyrs >
Healing Loot:
Captured Lightning -- Relic
Leggings of Iridescent Clouds  -- Cloth
Lunar Halo -- Plate
Ring of Frozen Rain -- Ring

This boss is your reward for beating the dragon, because it possibly has taken you a few tries to get him down.  If you have, congratulations!  You are prepared for the rest of the 5 man heroics.  On this fight, as a healer, you only have to worry about 2 things:

1)  Dispell the root debuff off the rest of the party.  The party can also avoid this debuff by /focus on the boss, and jump when he starts to cast static cling. The server should still register you as "off the ground" when he finishes.  There's an acheivement for this.  If someone fails to jump, dispell them.  Nobody should be taking very much damage.

2) When he draws the lightning triangle on the ground, GET IN IT!  If you don't, you will die.

There is no way to avoid the chain lightning right after exiting your safe triangle. Don't worry about it, just heal it.  Nobody should be taking damage from anything else.  Dispell static cling, and you're golden.

Collect your loots, and CONGRATULATIONS, you have beaten Vortex Pinnacle and learned a few of the mechanics used in the other heroic dungeons.

However, this place is so pretty, I am sure you will be back for more great loot.

Ultra graphical settings never looked so good.

Who wants to live here with me?


  1. I love LOVE Vortex Pinnacle. Not working on a healer yet (lamely leveling pally and drood as ret and balance respectively) but had a poke about in there on my rogue. Was waiting for everyone to run back after a wipe on the protodrake with the cyclones... turned my visuals to ultra and nearly fell off my chair. It's just STUNNING. Makes me think of Final Fantasy for some reason.

    I flew up there earlier just to sit about waiting for guildies to get online. I think it's my new happy place :D

    Hope you're having a great christmas.

    ~Rio x

  2. This is a great guide that shows how important knowledge is for us healers. I got to admit the first two times I was doing VP on heroic I screamed like a girl at the arcane wormies thingies, but after that they go pretty smoothly. I figure it helps standing in the middle, the party seems to take less damage then. And tactic number one works excellent on the first boss. Good job on the guide!

    Love Nicegrl

  3. I love this place! I hope your Christmas was wonderful too Rio and Angelya!

    The wormies are my favorite part! My mage friend and I worked out a strategy where he blinks in, novas, and then our DK drops DND, runs in, drops pestilence, etc, etc, and our hunter does explosive trap. They die in about 5 seconds :-)


  4. This is exactly how on heal this on my Resto Sham. (Åmårånth/Horde - Hyjal).

    I sneak peeped this guide prior to my second run and it made everything go really smoothly from there on out (3 pieces of 346 loot for resto in here). It's a great instance to hone your heals, none of the mechanics are overly hard.

    Tornados can be tricky the first time through.