Sapphiron and Kel’Thuzad – a Resto Druid’s view

Thought I’d post a few notes I had on these fights for the benefit of other trees while they’re still fresh in my mind. Maybe I’ll extend this to a Resto Druid’s view of all of Naxx-10 in due course. (Hunters – make sure you tell your tree what to do before the fight starts 🙂 ).

Raid make up

Right now we’re taking 3 healers to the Naxx end bosses (although we’ve started doing the easier fights with 2). The three healers are usually: Resto Druid (Anelf), Discipline Priest (Neombra), Resto Shaman (Thepatient). The rest of the raid is (of course) tanks and DPS. On our first Sapphiron fight (and kill) we had 4 tanks in the group (a Prot Warrior and 3 Prot Paladins), on Kel’Thuzad we had 3 tanks. That’s not because we think so many tanks is a good idea, its because those were the only raiders in our guild that were available that evening. 

Sapphiron

Sapphiron has 2 phases.

Phase 1

For phase 1, its straightforward healing with the added complexity of having to dodge the blizzard that continually wanders around. And don’t run behind him – he has a tail swipe. He also casts a curse on a random player that you have to dispel quickly, as it heals Sapp. Druids excel at this fight – its all about healing while almost constantly on the move, for which our Lifebloom and Rejuvenate are perfect.

Phase 2

Phase 2 comes every 45 seconds. Sapphiron takes to the air, and hits 2 random players with Ice Bolt. This causes damage and encases them in ice. (It also causes splash damage to nearby players, so the raid needs to be slightly spread out at this point – although pre-patch 3.1 mana regen makes the extra damage pretty trivial).

Now all the raid has to run to get one of the ice-blocked players between them and Sapphiron before he casts Frost Breath – even if that means running into a Blizzard. (Make sure you raid isn’t so spread out that someone can’t make it to the ice block in time). If you’re out in the open when Frost Breath comes, then you will die.

As a Resto Druid for this stage (if you’re not iced), use Wild Growth while you raid is clustered around you to heal, and throw HoTs around if you’re in the Blizzard.

That’s all you have to do – rinse and repeat.

Kel’Thuzad

Kel’Thuzad has 3 phases (although phases 2 and 3 are essentially the same).

Phase 1

The whole raid group stands together in the center of the room . There’s a load of mobs all standing around the outside. A few at a time, they start to walk in towards you. The skeletons can be one-shotted by the ranged DPS. The tanks take it in turns to grab the abominations before they hit the group (taking care not to get too close to the perimeter of the room or they’ll pull more adds and wipe the group). Whenever a banshee starts coming, all the DPS have to burn her down before she gets to the group, or she hits several players with a huge knockback. The knockback invariably causes adds and leads to a wipe.

As a resto Druid, you need to know that the abominations stack a -10% healing debuff on the tanks, so healing will be harder if one tank keeps pulling all the abominations. This causes a really big problem if a knockback or badly positioned tank pulls a bunch of extra abominations. If you avoid pulling extra mobs, then this part of the fight is quite easy (although a little hectic). Use Wild Growth liberally for easy healing, as your ranged DPSers will be clustered around you.

Phase 2

Phase 2 is when Kel’Thuzad enters the fight. There will normally be mobs still alive from phase 1 when he does, so one tank needs to engage him while everyone else finishes off the mobs. But now K’T is here, everyone has to spread out to be more than 10 yards apart. This is because of his Frost Blast, which will chain to other players within 10 yards of each affected player. Spread your healers out equally just outside the central circle and get the DPSers to spread around them – this will make sure everyone is within range of at least two healers. (Deadly Boss Mods and BigWigs both have a display of who is within Frost Blast range of you, so you can shout at them to move away).

Frost Blast is the usual cause of a wipe. It damages for 104% of health over 4 seconds, so healers have to act quickly or the player dies. I found the best resto Druid heal to be Nourish. (At last! A use for Nourish!). Regrowth was too slow, Rejuvenation and Lifebloom weren’t healing quickly enough, and Rejuve+Swiftmend was also too slow. Best of all, get your priest to Shield the affected target as their first heal. We played whack-a-mole on affected players, with all healers jumping to get a heal in. If no-one is standing too close together, then you only have to heal one person. (The main tank is immune to pimary Frost Blast, but not to the chained effect). 

Again, resto Druids do great in this fight, because your HoTs continue to keep the tank nicely topped off while you whack out a heal on the Frost Blasted player.

K’T’s other spells are:

Void Fissure – move out of the big red ring within 5 seconds of it appearing under you. And shout at others who don’t – you can’t heal through the damage when one of them goes off.

Mana Detonation – cast on a mana user. Hurts people within 10 yards of you, and drains ~2000 mana from you.

Frost Bolt Single and Multiple – easy enough to heal the raid through as long as everyone is topped off. Remind your DPSers that they can interrupt the single frost bolt.

Phase 3

This is exactly the same as Phase 2, except K’T summons two Crypt Lords. Best get the MT to grab them, because the OT may get Frost Blasted while tanking. They don’t hit for much, so healing is no harder than Phase 2.

And that’s it – grab your loot and get some sleep.

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4 responses to “Sapphiron and Kel’Thuzad – a Resto Druid’s view

  1. I saw you mention using dbm bor bigwigs to make sure your away from other players, i use a mod called range display, it displays a variety of different ranges, how far u are from people in your group-focus-target-pet-etc, its very useful for not only raids and dungeons in which a boss has the kinds of moves that affects players in range of each other but just for questing and other things, once u try it u will discover how useful it is.

  2. Great post! Some things worth noting..

    During the Sapphiron air phase, you don’t want to stay close together because the Ice Block causes splash damage to anyone nearby, putting more strain on your healers.

    On KT, his single target Frostbolts can be interrupted by tanks and melee to lower to amount of damage they take as well.. just not the Frostbolt Volley.

  3. Good point about the Sapp splash damage. Its a bit of a tradeoff between being far enough apart to avoid the splash, but close enough together to be able to hide from frost breath in time. (I didn’t find the extra damage to be a problem with mana regen being so stupidly high right now. More of an issue after 3.1, I suspect).

    I’ll update the post accordingly when I get a chance :-).

  4. Yeah no doubt if you use 3 healers it’s definitely healable. We’re trying it with 2 to get ready for the 8 man run and the damage is just unnecessary at that point lol. Still a great post =D