Grim Batol

Intro

Grim Batol is a fairly resto-druid-friendly instance. Lots of dispelling, multiple CC options and boss fights where party members may wander in and out of range so our HoTs are quite powerful.

Trash

CC summary: Hibernate dragons, Entangle melee mobs.Healing summary: some mobs hit very hard, especially later in the instance, be prepared to start a pull using big heals initially.—-Most of the trash groups in Grim Batol contain at least one dragon that we can hibernate. Ask your party leader to assign one of these to you to CC.I mainly run with a warrior tank, who leaps into each group and aoe-stuns them, allowing CCers to do their thing. He then backs off and lets the uncced mobs come to him, allowing him to maintain aoe threat on the remaining group. This means I can CC and be ready to heal before the tank starts taking damage, which is ideal.

Marking up CC

If you’re comfortable with CCing two mobs in a pull while maintaining your healing, you could offer to hibernate one dragon and entangle one melee mob. Some tanks won’t be used to Entangle as CC, so make sure they know to step away from your entangled mob. For more information on how I handle CCing as a healer, visit my CC guide.

Bosses

General Umbriss

This is a fairly tricky fight to heal, in terms of positioning – and it’s possible to fall behind in healing if you (and your party) aren’t alert.

Clearing to General Umbriss

General Umbriss puts up ‘one of those bleeds’: that doesn’t drop unless the target is at 90% health or higher. So you really need to watch the tank’s health and keep them topped up all the time, or it gets harder and harder as you’ll quickly burn all of your mana healing through the bleed.

Also, everyone (that includes yourself and the tank) needs to dodge Umbriss’ two main randomly targeted abilities: Ground siege and Blitz. Both are fairly long casts (around 2-3 sec), and both of them he turns to face you. So when he turns in your direction, strafe left or right out of the way, don’t finish your cast, GO!

Ground siege is like shockwave, it’s a cone shaped aoe that does about 40k damage and stuns.

Blitz is like Icehowl: he’ll charge straight at the point you were standing in, doing massive damage (probably killing you if you don’t move) and knocking you back.

Basically: if he looks at you, strafe. You can make this a bit easier for yourself by having the party arced out around the room so it’s easy to see who he’s looking at, but I always play it safe and move if he looks in my direction.

General Umbriss

The other  thing he does is call troggs. They will pretty much make a  beeline for  you, so I tend to spend the fight standing on the Umbriss’  shoulder so the tank can pick up the troggs as they arrive. (He doesn’t cleave, so you don’t need to worry too much about exactly  where, as long as you’re in easy range for the tank pickups.)

The  purple (malignant) trogg  will either be CCed or killed away from the  boss, depending on your  strat, so you won’t have to worry about him  unless you’re doing the  achieve. If you are doing the achieve or if  there is an accident, and  the purple trogg dies near Umbriss, he will  going into a frenzy, you (and your tank) will need to pop cooldowns,  and you’ll need to go into  high-output-heal-mode to keep the tank up.

Forgemaster Throngus

This fight took us ages to get down the first time – but it’s probably my favourite fight in the instance. The Forgemaster is HUGE, so it’s pretty scary the first time you see him patrolling around.

Enormous scary Forgemaster incoming...

He starts off as a basic tank and spank, but he also throws  down rock falls (like in Gruul and VoA) that are easy to avoid, they  make a rocky patch on the ground. Stay out of those as  they hurt. Your tank may need to move him to avoid the patches for  themselves or melee. He casts the rockfalls through every phase of the  fight.

After a short while Throngus will start choosing weapons  from his stockpile. Each weapon he wields has a different effect. The order he chooses them in is random.

Maces: while wielding his  maces he will become encumbered, making him move slowly, but do 300%  damage. The tank needs to kite him, staying out of melee range for the entire  phase, meaning they shouldn’t be tanking any direct damage. If they DO  take a hit, you’ll need to be quick topping them back up, but generally  they should just stay well away. We usually have the tank kite him around the clear area you engage him, up and back. While he’s  encumbered, his footsteps leave pools of fire. Stay out of those. They  are pretty (read: ‘very’) obvious.

He’ll also periodically randomly pick someone up and throw them. They can get thrown into the rock falls or the fire pools, so keep an eye on who is grabbed so you can top them  up with a RJ/SM once they are thrown. As it’s possible that you could be  the one picked up, it’s best to try keep at least a LBx3 stack rolling  on the tank during this phase to auto-top up if you’re out of the action  for a bit. If the tank dies, a battle rez is a definite goer, as anyone can kite this guy while the tank revives and is topped up if needed  (gogo rebirth glyph!).

Avoiding the fire pools during the maces phase

Swords: while dual wielding swords, he  attacks faster and puts up a magic fire-based dot on the tank that should be dispelled. If you’ve got Nature’s Cure, you might be spamming  that a bit in between heals. He also does a shout that slows the next three spells cast. If  you notice that shout debuff on yourself, just throw out three instant  casts, to drop the debuff. I find myself  dispelling so much during this phase I hardly notice the shout.

Phalanx: lastly he can pick up a shield. His tank damage is not ramped up, but expect your party healing to be high during this phase. Save up treeform for this phase if you can. He calls archers to the walls that shoot the whole party; this is unavoidable constant physical damage that you’ll just need to heal through. Secondly, and more dangerously, he will start breathing fire in a large cone in front of him. This does a lot of damage while you are in it, and he periodically changes his facing while breathing.

Our strat is for us all to collapse just behind him (as close as possible) as soon as the Phalanx phase is announced (stay out of the rock falls though). When he breathes in your direction, run through him, find a clear spot close in and top people up. You *might* be able to squeeze in a tranquillity if things are looking bad at this point, but be ready to run through him again without finishing your cast if he turns breathes at you. Treeform is gold at this point, as your whole party is taking damage and you will be on the move a lot.

That’s it! He’ll do those three weapons randomly, then start again picking randomly once he’s done all three. So it’s pretty much a random rinse-and-repeat till he’s dead.

This fight is a great fight to  heal as a druid, as there is lots of movement and aoe damage, as well as lots of opportunity for fast reflexes.

Drahga Shadowburner

Drahga starts off fighting alone, but calls the twilight dragon Valiona to help him when he’s at 25%. You then spend most of the fight battling Valiona with Drahga astride. When Valiona is almost dead she gets annoyed and flies off leaving Drahga to look after himself. This generally ends badly for Drahga.

Approaching Drahga

Drahga’s main ability is to call a fire elemental. He does this all through the fight, even when mounted on Valiona. He announces the summon with an emote, so keep an ear out for him ranting about fire and incineration… and minions. You can then see a fire beam and patch on the ground where the elemental is about to spawn.

I spend this fight with my camera zoomed right out so I can always see where the elemental is spawning, and keep away from that spot.

Once the elemental is spawned, it will acquire a target and head straight to that person. A beam of fire connects the elemental with its target. If it reaches its target it will explode, killing the target and anyone else nearby. So it’s vital to a) have its target run away and b) for the dps to switch to it and kill it as a priority. It can target anyone, even the tank, so it may be that the tank needs to kite Valiona away.

Drahga also throws shadow bolts around, so you’ll need to top party members up if the bolts aren’t interrupted. The damage from these isn’t critical though.

Drahga approaching on Valiona

Once Valiona lands, the elementals will keep being summoned periodically, and Drahga is still shadow bolting, but now you’ll have two more damage sources to watch for as well.

Valiona will breathe at the tank periodically dropping a large white-ish circle of twilight stuff on the ground. It does damage and it slows. The tank will need to strafe out of this circle and you’ll need to ramp up your tank healing during this movement.

The second ability she does is call shadow: breathing in a huge 180 degree arc in front of her. We generally try to keep her in the middle-ish of the area, to give us about half the room to move during this ability. When she’s about to cast it, she’s bathed in a column of shadow, so once you see that, check which way she is facing and run towards her rear.

The damage for this breath is lower the further you are from her, but I try to stay *close* to her so I can run through her if necessary to avoid the flame. It also means I can keep more of the party in range, and throw out rejuvenation on party members as I run.

During this time there could be white slowy-circles on the ground, and there could be an elemental up that you still need to avoid. So I save treeform for any of these breath-attacks that we get into trouble on with unlucky spawns/positioning.

Once Valiona gets the idea that she might die, and flies off dumping Drahga back on the ground, it’s a short fight without the breath weapons, and you’re done!

Erudax

This fight is pretty much about handling the adds. If they are slowed/taken down quickly, the tank steers clear of Erudax when enfeebled, and everyone stands in the eye of the storm during the twilight gale, there isn’t much healing to do really.

We usually tank Erudax in the middle ish of the room, with ranged spread out.

Erudax is staring at us. No, really.

At the start, it’s fairly tank-and spank. He’ll throw a small twilight storm at someone periodically that does a fair amount of damage and slows them, I just top them up and dispel the slow. Spreading out means only one person at a time will need healing up from this.

He also periodically knocks back and enfeebles the tank, so that they take triple damage when hit. The enfeeble lasts 5 seconds. If the tank just hangs back after the knockback and lets Erudax come to them, it’s not a huge deal. It’s helpful if the tank positions themselves so that they don’t get knocked out of range, but as long as they don’t immediately re-engage and wait for slow old Erudax to lumber back to them, they don’t take any damage during the enfeeble.

The major phase change is marked by a twilight gale. Erudax will place a small dark storm on a point in the room that marks where the eye of the storm will fall. He then fills the whole room with an aoe. Anyone standing in the eye of the storm will be unharmed, so it’s best if everyone, including the tank, stands in that spot while Erudax channels the storm. It lasts for about 10 seconds. After throwing up a hot on anyone that needs it as they run to the eye, now is your time to regen mana.

Depending on the party’s overall dps and therefore how long you take to defeat Erudax, you may transition through three or four gales. So check your mana and innervate yourself on the first storm you can use it. When we were learning this fight, I sometimes found myself very low on mana by the second or third storm and would pop a potion of concentration. There’s more than enough time to drink one during the storm. Zzzzz…. (nap time for druids)

Directly after the storm, the tank will pick up Erudax and your dps will be running to the door to dps/slow their pre-assigned faceless adds.

[Note: On this transition, I run with the dps, and throw LBx3+RJ up on the tank and leave the tank to grab the boss. I then moonfire and insect swarm each of the adds before returning to healing. While I’m away, the tank will have been knockback-enfeebled, so will probably be out of range. I’m relying on a) the tank to know what they are doing and be staying away from Erudax for 5sec and b) for my hots + bloom to cover any damage. If you’re not confident of this, then leave the dps to do the dps, and stay with the tank.]

If the adds got to the eggs and broke some, you will now have whelps flying around randomly pewpew-ing your party, so be aware that damage will be ramping up on everyone.

Now it’s rinse and repeat.

If your dps handled the two faceless adds perfectly, there will be very little damage to deal with and it’s a perfect repeat of the above. If there are whelps being released each transition then you’ll need to be aware to save your cooldowns for later in the fight, and use whatever mana returns you have as soon as you can to make sure you have the mana to sustain heavy healing later in the fight. This is partly why I spend the mana and the four GCDs to help dps the two adds – the quicker they die, the less healing I’ll need to do later in the fight.

And that’s Grim Batol, possibly my favourite heroic with a good group :-)

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