Sunday, January 3, 2010

[Paladin] Taunt the Adds while Healing on Saurfang

My guild did its weekly ICC run, but still dealing with holiday absences, we ended up being short two of our three healers. I asked our one attending healer, Valiea, how he felt about two-healing it if I came on my paladin (we would have gone with three if we had to resort to out of guild folks), and ever up to a challenge, he said let's do it!

Now I know it's not uncommon to 25-man guilds to do 10-man runs with only two healers, but being that we're a 10-man I'm always a little hesitant to accept that the content is as easy as some people claim. Valiea is also a paladin, which meant that we'd be two-healing ICC without the benefits of hots, chain heals, or priest shields.

If anything, our run last night was a lesson in how to take an sub-optimal group through Lower Spire (we had four paladins in raid, wtf?), but we did it! And hell, it was a lot of fun with just the two of us healing. There were scary moments and I can't say we never died, but it was a very satisfying run.

Aside from healing Lower Spire with two paladins, the biggest adjustment we had to make was our strategy on Saurfang. Our resto shaman wasn't there, so we had no Earthbind Totem (and no Bloodlust!). I was not on my moonkin, so we had no Entangling Roots. Our hunter was still there with his frost traps, but he was already pulling the right add towards him as soon as it spawned, which meant the left add would still be free, the one that I would aggro with Wrath spam and then root if I was on my druid.

We had a mage, warlock, rogue, ret pally, hunter, and cat druid for our dps. Given that set up, we figured the mage should aggro one and Frost Nova it into place. But this turned out to be tricky, and she got herself squished the first time she tried it. The second time she couldn't pull the add off the melee. The blood counters were stacking up.

Then someone said, "One of the paladins taunt it out."

The only paladins at range were Valiea and myself, the two healers. Valiea's better geared since his paladin is his main, and we'd agreed beforehand that he would focus on the tanks and I would get the raid and the first mark. Figuring I had the bigger bandwidth, I hit the wayward add with a Hand of Reckoning and pulled it out of there. If it got out of the frost trap and into melee range of me before the ranged could kill the first add I'd stun it. By then the first add would be dead and our hunter would taunt the second one off me and pull it away.

Being that I'm still using my hybrid raid/PvP spec I also had a 40 second Hammer of Justice, so I had a stun available almost every spawn, just in case.

For a healer that really likes to make decisions, it can be quite a rush to be healing a party member taking steady ongoing damage from Mark of Blood, raid healing with single target heals the sporadic party members with Boiling Blood, and taunting and stunning adds all in the same battle.

I've always been the kind of person that relished these kinds of assignments, where if you screw up the raid's probably doomed, and to participate in add control as a healer on a fight where you just can't let your target die or it'll probably be a wipe... it's something I haven't done before.

It made healing the VoA 10 pug I did later that night incredibly boring.

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