Healing Dragon Soul – normal modes

I sat down to start writing my thoughts on healing each encounter in Dragon Soul… and I can’t do it.

Dragon Soul has been a bit of a whirlwind for us – as I’m sure it has been for everyone. The last couple of tiers of content, I’ve been able to slowly build up a feel for each boss as we’ve progressed, changing my healing strategies to best suit the mechanics of the fights and timing of boss abilities. In Dragon Soul it’s our 10th hour in there and we’re up to the end boss.

I’m not going to argue whether or not this makes it too easy, as there is enough floating around about that in blogland already. But what it does mean, is that instead of having a week or two to refine my strategy and frame up my thoughts on ONE boss… I’m two weeks in and we’ve cleared 7 of them. I can’t write a detailed explanation of how I heal an encounter when I feel like I have so little experience doing it. Not only that, but it feels like there’s little point in doing so when they are that simple AND people will have seen a cut down version of all the fights on LFR.

My detailed writeups will have to wait for the heroic modes; which I’m glibly assuming we’ll be working on next week. (Unless MoDW is harder than it looks, which in one sense I’m hoping it will be.)

So here I present my dot point healing thoughts for the first 7 encounters in Dragon Soul. It’s brief but might help healers stepping in for the first time. Maybe. Also it just helps me remember how it is we did the fights, in the whirlwind that is 4.3.

Healer numbers will change according to your raid make up and progression. This is how we did the fights on our second week in. My notes assume you know the fight mechanics. I’ve added in the debuffs that I think are critical to see as a healer… there are other debuffs you might like to add, but I’ve just suggested ones that are fight-affecting or that we can dispel. :-)

Our raid composition is generally:

  • Two tanks: one warrior, one druid. Both have dps offspecs and switch as needed.
  • Three healers: one paladin, one druid, one shaman. All have dps offspecs, but we tend to have our shaman switch. We usually have fairly loose healing assignments; or pally focusses on the tanks, druid/shaman focus on the raid – but we cross heal a lot. For fights like Bael we use rigid assignments, but otherwise we’re pretty FFA.
  • DPS make up changes according to who is around, but usually comprises: shadow priest, a hunter or two, a mage or two, rogue, death knight.


  • Two tanks, two healers, mixed dps.
  • Debuffs to add to your raid frames: Crush Armor (to watch for tank swaps)
  • One healer focussing on the tanks.
  • One healer focussing on the raid.
  • We have two tanks in front, three ranged float to soak crystals, and a melee marked for the rest of us to stack on.
  • I help tank heal while throwing WG and Efflo on the stacked group, and RJs on the floating three when they are in range. I run a round a tiny bit to make sure they are healed as needed, but I don’t have to run far.
  • If I get a good spot when hiding behind the crystals I can go treeform and pewpew yellow laser beams.
  • Repeat until dead.
  • I reckon a druid could solo heal this. Tempted to call him a mini boss >.>

Warlord Zon’ozz

Zon'ozz - showing our positioning and the Disrupting shadows debuff.

  • One tank, three healers, mixed dps.
  • Debuffs to add to your raid frames: Disrupting Shadows.
  • We stack in a melee camp and a ranged camp and aim to bounce the ball five times. Often it bounces 7 as it’s a tricky laggy thing. We place our tank healer in the melee camp to balance the group and avoid range issues.
  • Save tank cooldowns for when the ball has bounced for five or more bounces. Save raid cooldowns for the black blood phases. I used treeform on the first black phase and tranquility on the second. When three healing this you should have more than enough cooldowns to make this. We were initially two healing it and I was struggling. Maybe when we have a bit more gear this will go back to two.
  • Assign a dispeller who can watch the ball positioning (someone in ranged camp is good). Avoid dispelling someone on low health or someone ABOUT to be hit by the ball, as they will get hurt. You can have the disruption shadows people run out to be dispelled so they don’t get bounced on at the same time… we didn’t bother.

Yor’sahj the Unsleeping

Yor'sahj - spread for green ooze buff

  • One tank, two healers, mixed dps.
  • Have your ooze priority clear before you start, I think we did what most groups do and have a purple, green, yellow kill order. From reading, it seems 10 man doesn’t allow EVERY combination, there are 6 preset ones. So you can’t, for example, get Purple green and red.
  • I wander out with the dps towards the targetted ooze, while keeping the tank in range. If the tank’s okay, I pew pew the ooze a bit. I don’t get out of range of the tank though, so I keep up LB and RJ and can SM him if needed.

Healing implications of oozes left up:

  • Yellow: Save raid cooldowns for if you get yellow left alive as you’ll have AOE void bolts and the boss attacking fast.
  • Green: you want to spread as the damage splashes.
  • Red: you want to stack tight as the damage is based on range from him.
  • Blue: Get closeish to the Mana void when it dies to slurp back your mana. Save innervate/mana pots for when your mana is zero here, and before the void dies.
  • Black: stack up to make it easier to AOE down the adds.

Hagara the Stormbinder

  • One tank, three healers, mixed dps (could easily two heal this).
  • Debuffs to add to your raid frames: Ice Tomb, Shattered Ice.
  • Focussed assault does lots of tank damage, get ready for that from the beginning. Someone mentioned that the tank can strafe out of this, I think we tried that this week, have to check with our MT.
  • The water phase is a ‘don’t stand in the ice’ phase. I turn my camera so I can watch the centre and see where the ice cutters radiate from. The always move clockewaise, so I’m wandering in that direction as I watch the centre and avoid the falling stuff. I pewpew the crystals as I run past.
  • The lightning phase can be a big healing phase. I tend to camp the 10 yards ish spot around the current active zappy point (as people tend to run past) but your raid might assign this. We just run around in a semi-purposeful way till it chains.
  • Be aware of who is tombed. If two of three healers get tombed you will need to be aware in terms of cooldowns, covering.


  • Two tanks, two healers, mixed dps. (We three healed it first week, which was also fine, so might depend on your group makeup).
  • Debuffs to add to your aid frames: Fading Light (so you can see when the tanks are about to swap).
  • Healers get to be fancy dragon/aspects for this, yee! Okay that’s not really a dot point.
  • It doesn’t reallllly matter which healer gets which crystal, but I did feel kind of gimp with the green one (that’s without logs to quantify this). In our two healed kill last night I grabbed red, and our paladin grabbed green I think. He may have later switched to blue.
  • Save tank cooldowns for after the raid comes back from a twilight shift (we had our tank soak the hour of twilight).
  • Save raid cooldowns for late in the fight when the twilight arcs are more and more frequent.
  • From my observations, healers NEVER get Fading light, this is a good thing (and one less thing to worry about!)

Warmaster Blackhorn

Gun ship ahoy!

  • Two tanks, three healers, mixed dps.
  • Debuffs to add to your aid frames: Shockwave, Degeneration, Brutal Strike.
  • Phase one is kind of frenzied as you’re moving/reacting so much on the fly.
  • I don’t stand near the adds’ landing point, I almost always have aggro, so some distance/time for the tanks to grab them before they get to me is good >.>
  • We spread out to cover as much deck as possible. I watch for those running to cover little impact thingies, I barkskin as I soak one myself, or if I’m soaking an Onslaught and I’m low.
  • I save tranquility for after an onslaught – when people are low and I will have less chance of needing to move again quickly.
  • I also pewpew a Sapper if I can without compromising healing/deck soaking.
  • Phase two can be bad while Goriona is up, as the void zones + shockwave can mean space gets tight. I stand at about 15 yards back so that I don’t get interrupted by Blackhorn’s roar.
  • Blackhorn’s damage goes up the lower his health is… so save tank cooldowns for late in the fight.

Spine of Deathwing

Spine - showing the Plasma debuff on raid members

  • Two tanks, three healers, mixed dps.
  • Debuffs to add to your aid frames: Searing Plasma, Fiery Grip.
  • Healers get to heal people and have it not do anything, yay! Jarraxus, I don’t need your bitter memories :(
  • Keep the raid topped up as much as possible, once they get the healing debuff (Searing plasma) it will take a while to be able to heal them again effectively. So if raid members are low and they get plasma, they will probably die. My strategy for dealing with it is to Rejuv anyone that gets the debuff ASAP, then as soon as noone else needs healing I start healing them with Nourish/Healing Touch until I get busy healing somewhere else. I try to keep WG/Efflo up as much as possible too as we are stacked so the splash healing is effective. Basically I’m aiming to have the Plasma debuff removed as soon as possible, but I prioritise folk that are actually taking damage first, then move back to those with the debuff that have lots of health.
  • Save tank and raid cooldowns for when the Hideous amalgamations have high stacks from the exploding corruptions, the tank will be taking high damage then, and once the add goes into superheated state the raid will take lots of AOE damage until it explodes.
  • Once the Tendon pops out, the damage on the raid is small, so I tend to pop treeform here and help dps. You will want to watch your raid’s health/debuffs while doing this, especially as we tended to have someone tentacle gripped at this point quite often.
  • It’s basically rinse and repeat of this, with the damage and debuffs ramping up each repeat, as prizing off each plate reveals two more tentacles and the attendant debuffs/adds/damage. This fight could probably do with a proper write up :)

That’s it for my brief dot points. Will be able to add Madness tonight as we make our first attempts, and I’ll flesh these out in much more detail once we start heroics.

Next: Madness.


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2 Responses to Healing Dragon Soul – normal modes

  1. hamad says:

    whats ur raid frame addone name?