Thursday, May 3, 2012

How To Enhance: Heroic Morchok & Heroic Yor'sahj

Did your guild just down Madness of Deathwing on normal? Are you finding yourself looking at the Morchok/Kohcrom twins in the face on heroic and scratching your head a bit? Have you been working on heroic modes for a while, but are new to the ways of the enhancement shaman and are looking for a few tips? Murgleglrgl and baby murlocs on top? Well, I have just the post for you!

At the time of writing this guide, it is the first week in which the 20% Dragon Soul nerf has been active. Provided your group has decent gear and at least an inkling of coordination, everything up until heroic Warmaster Blackhorn is (or should be) an absolute cakewalk. If you are the raid's swing healer, like myself, everything should be more or less two-healable now (provided your main spec healers are semi geared and on their A-game), which means you get to rock the sexy numbers on the DPS charts instead of the HPS charts. Yay!

Here are a few tips and tricks for the first two fights to do just that: rock the charts. By rock the charts I mean live and put out a few shiny numbers along the way.



This video above is from when Dragon Soul received its first nerf (I believe anyways), which was a whopping 5%. As you can see I'm on the Morchok side, which out of the two twins is definitely the more active side. You can also see that I'm crystal soaking, which means a TON of movement for me. Not a big deal, really.

Morchok's side is thus for crystal soaking: stomp, crystal, stomp, crystal, etc until the Black Blood phase, then stomp, crystal, stomp, crystal etc until either another Black Blood phase happens or the boss dies, whichever happens first.

Kohcrom's side is more of a stomp, stomp, crystal, stomp, stomp rotation, if memory serves. Much less movement, much more of a snoozefest!

Can an enhancement shaman soak stomps? My answer to this question is: probably. I believe that soaking is still better left up to shadow priests and rogues, or even a boomkin/plate dps if your (10 man) composition is missing one or both of those classes/specs, but now with the nerfs you should be able to safely soak stomps as enhancement. This is provided that you and your healers are semi geared though, and your healers are on the ball with topping you off prior to a stomp. I'd highly recommend trying to soak on Kohcrom's side first, as that is the easier side to heal. I'd also definitely recommend utilizing a rotation of Shamanistic Rage and Stoneclaw Totem (glyphed Stoneclaw, that is) to help out on reducing your damage taken. Bottom line: test it out and see if you and your healers can handle it. Upside to soaking stomps though? You don't need to run around like a loony toon to soak crystals. Soak one or the other, as trying to swing both could potentially have some not so desired consequences (see: death).

If you'd like a more in depth help guide to this encounter, please take a look at my original heroic Morchok guide. The information found there is still valid, but don't bother swapping out the Windfury glyph for the Feral Spirit glyph unless your healers tend to fall reeeeally behind, and only if you're saving them as a healing cooldown for some odd reason. The standard Prime glyphing of Lava Lash, Windfury Weapon, and Stormstrike should be more than sufficient for this encounter.

Loots:
Seal of Primordial Shadow - A ring that has a chance to drop off of Morchok, Zon'ozz, Yor'sahj, Hagara, and Warmaster Blackhorn. Best in slot item.

Vial of Shadows - A trinket that has a chance to drop off of Morchok, Zon'ozz, Yor'sahj, Hagara, and Warmaster Blackhorn. Best in slot item, though heroic Matrix Restabilizer is a contender for this trinket slot. Better for your feral dps/rogues/hunters, but still a sexy trinket for us. If you have a Matrix, consider passing the Vial off to those other classes until they all have it.

Sporebeard Gauntlets - If for some reason you can't get your mits on the heroic tier gloves, these are your next best bet. They're better than the normal mode tier gloves, but not quite as good as the heroic tier gloves. BiS for hunters, second BiS for us.



Heroic Yor'sahj ain't no big thang if your group knows what's up. If you need an overall strategy how-to guide, head on over to this Icy-Veins over view. I am going to assume though that you are already at least semi-familiar with the encounter.

Spec Changes: None (Standard 10/31/0 spec)

Glyph Changes:
If you're sitting on the boss - Prime: Remove Windfury and use Flame Shock (25 man only)
If you're moving to oozes - Prime: Remove Windfury and use Flame Shock (25 man only)
If you're sitting on the boss - Major: Remove Ghost Wolf and use Chain Lightning
If you're moving to oozes - Major: Remove Stoneclaw and use Chain Lightning (assuming your healers are good and you're not getting pounded on too hard by the adds).

Some of these glyph changes are highly dependent on your group composition, the raid's general dps output (if there's a lot of high AoE dps output in your raid, Flame Shock and Chain Lightning may not be worth the swap; I know it really isn't for my 10 man group because everything dies so quickly), and the capability of your healers (for the last suggestion).

Totem Changes: None, kind of.
If you're in a 25 man, swapping out Searing Totem for Magma Totem during a double black phase (yellow ooze + black ooze = nom AoE damage potential for you!) could very well yield a dps increase. This again is dependent on how high your raid AoE is though. If the adds die quickly and there's no overlap between the first set of adds and the second, you may be better off with sticking with good ol' derpy Searing Totem.

Totem twisting between your usual earth totem (Strength of Earth or Stoneskin, whichever your raid needs, if any) and the glyphed Stoneclaw totem can be handy for those moment when it's a purple + black phase and the adds are beating the crap out of you.

Should I stay or should I swap? No one likes to have to switch between adds. However, unless your group is somehow lacking a rogue or a kitty druid, chances are pretty good that you'll have to switch over to the oozes. Personally, I'm almost always having to swap to the oozes (though with the recent nerfs I may no longer need to do this), while someone else (generally a hunter, the rogue, or when we were two tanking it, the tank who currently did not have the boss) works on the mana void, if it's up.

AoE, how do I do it? During black phases, you should never physically swap to the little crazy elephant-looking dude adds. Keep your focus on the boss and use your AoE rotation from there. What's the optimal way to AoE as enhance? Well, let me tell you.

Flame Shock (keep FS as high on the duration as possible, for the FSs that are spread will take on the duration of the parent FS; the FS glyph makes this a bit easier to deal with, but was only really necessary for me to glyph back when I was running 25s. Never spread a FS with less than 10 seconds on it, if possible. The standard FS/ES/FS/ES rotation *should* in theory be sufficient, but watch it just in case.)
Lava Lash when there are four or more adds within a 12 yard radius
Unleash Elements
Fire Nova
Chain Lightning as soon and as often as possible
Stormstrike and Earth Shock as fillers

Unleash Elements will not be up for every Nova that you do, but it will "super power" your Nova when you are able to use it. Also, I tend to hold my Maelstrom stacks as we're going into the black phase, likewise with Lava Lash, unless I'm sure that it will be up in time for when the adds finally arrive to the boss. Timing is everything when it comes to properly AoEing, and that timing is all the more crucial when you're running with a well geared and capable group that can AoE the crap out of crap reeeeally quickly.

Loots:
Leggings of the Corrupted Protector - Our tier pants. BiS, super sexy. You may raid pantless out of game, but don't pass these bad boys up in game! Turn this token in to purchase your Spiritwalker's Legguards.

Seal of Primordial Shadow - A ring that has a chance to drop off of Morchok, Zon'ozz, Yor'sahj, Hagara, and Warmaster Blackhorn. Best in slot item.

Vial of Shadows - A trinket that has a chance to drop off of Morchok, Zon'ozz, Yor'sahj, Hagara, and Warmaster Blackhorn. Best in slot item, though heroic Matrix Restabilizer is a contender for this trinket slot. Better for your feral dps/rogues/hunters, but still a sexy trinket for us. If you have a Matrix, consider passing the Vial off to those other classes until they all have it.



Moving forward: Besides Morchok, at this point every encounter up until Ship should be one tank, two healable for a team of 10. The only encounter that *might* still require three healers would be Zon'ozz, but with the newly instated 20% nerf our team was able to two heal that encounter with few mishaps (mmm, gotta love ball bugs). After healing some of those heroic fights for so long, the transition back into dps is a bit of a disorienting one. If you're dpsing as enhancement for the first time, don't lose heart! It will take a few pulls to really get into the groove of a some of those fights, as it does with any role.

While I've written a giant wall of text already, the best advice I can ever give is this: Know your rotation, know your tool kit, know the encounter. The rest just takes practice in order to put the pieces together properly.

Never let your axes go dull or your wolves go hungry.

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