A Brave New World.

Or perhaps a really, really old one. Either way, Ulduar is out and TRI just spent 2 days having a blast and accruing an enormous repair bill. The thing I am most excited about for the new dungeon is not the new gear, new encounters, new lore, or even the legendary for healers, but the fact that we’re at the cutting edge. For the first time ever, TRI is clearing content that has not been done by countless groups before us. And this means we get to create and test our own strategies. This is quite possibly the most fun I have ever had in this game. Even being in one of probably the first 5 Maly25 kills on the server, it wasn’t hard for previous groups to establish a “Bring some DKs, win” strategy, so there was no figuring out the fight beyond learning the keystrokes. In Ulduar, we make it all up as we go along, and it is Totally Awesome.

Flame Leviathan is a joke, there’s really not a whole lot of strat to Razorscale once you figure out they key to victory is to have a designated person to attract blue fire, and Ignis was bugged. However XT-002 Deconstructor is neither bugged nor simple to figure out. Thusly do I present you with the TRI strat for killing him! (From a healer POV, of course.)

We begin with The Form. Many raids have adopted either a 3 camp strategy, or just spreading out at random. Using such complex concepts as geometry, we have merged these ideas. The building block behind all of this is that each square on the convenient grid of ground represents 5 yards. If you know the range of various abilities, this makes keeping out of (or in) range a snap. Using this, we set up a framework using the healing team. On the kill, we were using a 7 healer team: 2 Paladins, 2 Holy Priests, 1 Discipline, and one of each Restoration Shaman and Druid. The Priests and Shaman form a 12×12 square (or 60 yard x 60 yard) with the boss at the center. Halfway between the South points goes 1 MT healer, while the other two occupy midpoints on the East and West, 1-2 squares in from the main framework. This keep all of the healers in range of at least one other healer, while keeping them out of range of any nasty things that might happen to their fellows. The MT sets up on the South side of the tank/melee/boss mess, and the melee on the North. Range forms four camps loosely based around the four corner healers, and the OT will eventually have his/her “default” position be  just South of the entire form. A visual, original courtesy of Anna:

destructor-healsTo kick it off, the MT sets up in position, the southernmost tank healer cues off of him, and the rest of the grid is set up from there. Hunter MD pulls.

So, how does this play out? The idea behind this is to prevent healers from having to move, while also not being at risk of getting blown up. Since each healer is in range of at least one other, they can assist each other when an individual gets a bomb of some sort. Range or melee are encouraged to run to either the East or West when they get a bomb, as that will maximize their healer coverage (remember not to run too far!) Tantrums are fairly easily dealt with by the AoE healing capabilities of the raid healers, as the entire raid should be more or less in range of each other. During tantrums, we had all the AoE healers (including the Druid) healing the raid, while our two Paladins kept the tank up and topped off anyone getting bombed.

During phase 2, the healers actually get a breather. Raid damage is minimal, leaving the only real concern from a healing standpoint the MT. At this point, it is fairly safe to have the raid healers assist with DPS on the various adds that spawn, particularly the scrapbots. The pummellers which the OT picks up hit something like comatose schoolgirls armed with wet noodles, and I discovered dropping a Lightwell near his default position was enough to heal almost all the damage he took, with an occasional HoT tossed out by one healer or another.

Once the raid has mastered these steps, it’s just a matter of switching between the two a couple of times, and doing 25 million damage in 6 minutes. The biggest problems we encountered were people getting bombed during Tantrums and not getting away, thus killing a large portion of the raid, and scrapbots getting through en masse. The boss does hit quite hard, so your MT healers should be prepared, and the enrage timer is moderately unforgiving, so your DPS need to bring their A game. Other than that, the fight is difficult to learn but seems return visits will be quite easy.


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