January 07, 2011

How to Heal: Heroic Blackrock Caverns

Getting this instance down will reward you with a great healing mace off the first boss, so let's get crackin'!

My stats at the time of this dungeon, without totems, but with Earthliving Weapon:

Health:  104051
Mana:  84905
Spirit:  2425
Intellect:  4006
Haste:   1091 (+8.52%)
Crit:  1172 (+ 6.54%)
Mastery:  386 (+ 10.15 %)

Average ilvl: 347
Mostly 346 gear with a sprinkling of 359 (2 epics)

Blackrock Caverns is actually not as scary as it seems.  All the boss fights are about managing mechanics, not so much DPS.  Most of the trash pulls can be CC'd, either with sheep, hex, fear (please glyph it, warlocks!), or Bind Elemental, or Banish.  The last two are very important after you kill Karsh Steelbender.

Boss 1: Rom'ogg Bonecrusher
Healing Loot:
Torturer's Mercy - Om nom nom Spirit, need I say more?
Manacles of Pain - Mail, Healing Bracers

First off, make sure you clear ALL THE ADDS  to the left and to the right across the room.  You will need plenty of space to run away from Skullcracker.  Rom'ogg is just a big bully who likes to chain you down and not play fair.  There are four things to worry about in this fight: quake, chains, adds, and skullcrusher.  The quick and dirty, copy+paste version is:

1)  DPS and Heals, try to move out of quake as much as you can, so you won't take the 13K damage spike.
2)  DPS the chains!
3)  It is easiest to AOE down the adds and not worry about killing them with the skullcracker.
4)  Don't get hit by the skullcracker, or you WILL die.

Now, to elaborate on strategy!  Quake is a boss ability that will put rumbling ground beneath you.  You will most likely take TWO ticks of this no matter what, but if you move out fast enough, you can avoid the 13K damage spike and not have to heal your party up as much.  ADDS will spawn from these quake positions--the tank needs to pick these up, and any hunter/rogue needs to misdirect/tricks these to the tank.  The easiest thing is to kill these, but if you have a hunter, you can have them drop a trap right when the chains go out.  If your DPS is low, don't worry about it, just kill the adds.

After you kill the chains, RUN AWAY RUN AWAY RUN AWAY or you will die to the Skullcracker and your party will hate you for being lame.  Once that is done, rinse and repeat.  Move out of quake, don't take the damage spike, control the adds, AOE the adds, DPS the chains, run away from Skullcracker.  If anyone in your party is laggy, you may need to replace them for this fight. 

Best time for Heroism/Time Warp: Anytime

Boss 2:  Corla, Herald of Twilight
Healing Loot:
Armbands of Change -- DPS, but if you have nothing better...
That's all. Pitiful healing drops.

Corla is fairly straightforward.  You have three adds, three beams, and Corla.  You want your healer and ranged in the beams as  much as possible.  If you have 1 ranged, 1 healer, then have the healer take the left, the ranged take the right, and the melee in the middle.  Tank Corla next to the middle.  Quick and dirty:

1)  Have someone stand in each beam.  Let it stack on you to 80, then step out.  When your debuff falls off, IMMEDIATELY get back in the beam.
2)  Tank Corla near the middle beam so the melee member of your party can DPS her.
3)  INTERRUPT Dark Command.  This will fear a member of your party, and that is not good.  Shammies, drop Tremor Totem. Priests Fear Ward when you can.

Corla periodically casts Dark Command, which is her fear.  It has a 2 second cast and is interruptable.  Each beam can be soloed, so be sure to stack up to 80, hop out, then hop back in after your debuff wears off.  Don't let zealots evolve, or your tank will get trucked in the face and you will be whimpering in the corner, while firing off heals, forgetting to watch your debuff, and before you know it, your zealot will have evolved too and it's game over!  So, watch your stacks.

Best Time for Heroism/Time Warp:  Anytime.

Boss 3:  Karsh Steelbender
Healing Loot:
Quicksilver Amulet -- Yummy spirit necklace!
Heat Wave Leggings -- Mail, Shaman Spirit

Karsh is also a straightforward fight.  First, you pull his two adds separately, and burn the big flame elemental.  There is the inner area, and then the grate, and then the outer area.  Be sure to kill the troggs to the right and straight forward from the stairway so you have room to maneuver.  When you engage Karsh, you want him to be on the opposite side of the fire curtain as you.  Quick and dirty:

1)  Tank engages Karsh when he is on the far side of the curtain.  This ensures Karsh builds 1-2 stacks immediately and the DPS can begin working on him.
2)  Do not add more stacks until the debuff has about 3 seconds left, but do not let it fall off either, or you will get adds before you want to.
3)  At 5-6 stacks, let the debuff fall off.  DO NOT be standing on the grate, or you will die.
4)  Ranged/melee needs to make sure the adds die away from the boss/tank or the magma pools they spawn will reset his stacks.
5)  After the adds are dead, drag Karsh through the curtain again.

There are several ways to do Karsh, but this is the least healing intensive version that we did tonight.  The tank slowly stacks the debuffs up to 5 or 6 without letting them fall off.  Then, when you reach six, you DO let them fall off, and the DPS picks up the adds and kills them, on the OUTSIDE of the grate.  Do not be ON the grate or you will die/take massive damage.  Do not kill them near Krash as they will spawn a pool of magma that restart his stacks.  The key to this fight is maintaining control and a lot of the pressure is on your MT so go easy on him. 

Best Time for Heroism/Time Warp:  Right after you finish killing the first or second set of adds.  Pop it as soon as the boss has been freshly debuffed by the fire.

Boss 4 (optional):  Beauty
Healing Loot:
Kibble -- Spirit ring!
Beauty's Silken Ribbon -- DPS but if you have nothing better, go for it.

Beauty is optional, but if you are with guildies/have good CC, convince them to do her! 

1)  You need to CC as many adds as you can.  To help your DPS, you can also CC two of them, and kill the third ASAP.  Avoid Runty at all costs.  If you kill him, Beauty bezerks and you all die.
2)  Use Tremor Totem or fight her in the hallway. Be sure to kill all trash around her entrance.
3)  She will periodically do a knockback--there is not much you can do about this.  Have your tank fight her in the hallway and put his back to the wall.
4)  She periodically spawns 4 points of lava around a person -- don't worry, again, nothing you can do.
5) Don't stand in puddles of golden magma spit.

Beauty is all about CC.  Use hex, sheep, trap, hibernate, and warlock fear.  Keep them CC'd!  You can always burn one add in the beginning and have the other two focus on CC. That is what we did.  We had 2 warlocks for CC (a guild group) so we didn't even need my hex.  I didn't realize I could hex beasts until about five minutes ago. Way to go Nat...

Oh, and don't aggro Runty.

Best Time for Heroism/Time Warp:  Anytime.

Boss 5:  Ascendant Lord Obsidius
Healing Loot (he's loaded...):
Crepuscular Shield -- Yummy healing shield.
Kyrstel Mantle -- Cloth, healing
Willowy Crown -- Leather, DPS, but doubles as healing
Witching Hourglass -- DPS trinket, but if your trinkets stink...
Clutches of Dying Light -- Plate, healing gloves!

Obsidius is a pushover.

1)  Assign 1 dps to kite the adds around.  This dps should smack all the adds ASAP, and take off running, making sure the adds stay on him/her.  To help your kiter, drop earthbind totem, freezing traps, etc, but do NOT hit the mobs. 
2)  The adds chase whomever hit them last.  Do not let them aggro the tank or the tank will get a healing debuff - Crepuscular Veil, and your healer will be very angry.
3)  Obsidius changes places with an add at 66%  and 33%. Be ready to pick him up and have your kiter grab the new add.
4)  Dispell the Twilight Corruption off your party, esp. your kiter.

Other than that, there is not much to say!  We have used both a DK and a hunter on this fight, and both went well.  I used Earthbind totem, which slowed the mobs, and my kiter just ran around in a circle, happy as a clam, while the DPS burned down the boss (he doesn't have that much HP at all).  He hits like a pansy and the adds don't hit hard either.  Be sure to dispell both the Twilight Corruption and the Thunderclap off your add kiter.

Best Time for Heroism/Time Warp:  Anytime, once your tank and kiter are situated.

Overall, BRC is a great instance to learn some very important mechanics, mainly, don't get hit by boss abilities that one shot you, don't stand in pools of hurt, and learn how to watch your debuffs AND heal and DPS at the same time.  Good luck and have fun!

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