Boss Guide (Nighthold I)
This is a collection of thoughts on some of the best healing strategies for each fight. The Nighthold is a new raid in the depths of Suramar. Everything is very… purple. The Nighthold is NOT a linear raid, and after you defeat the first three bosses (Skorpyron, Chronomatic Anomaly, Trilliax) you can fight the next five in any order. Elisande and Gul’Dan are unlocked once the preceding bosses are defeated.
Boss strategy is currently geared toward the Normal and Heroic versions of each encounter, and will be updated for Mythic as it’s cleared. The Nighthold Boss Guide is split in two.
Skorpyron is a fun fight and a great introduction to Nighthold. The damage going out is high but predictable, and nobody should be in too much danger so long as they avoid the <cleave> and <Beam attack thing>. The fight is single phased and pretty simple, but with the damage ramping up over the fight there is more than enough for us to do.
- The raid should be stacked toward the center of the room for most of the fight making Efflorescence very strong.
- Crystalline Fragments is cast every time the boss loses 2.5% of his max HP. This is every 10 seconds or so depending on your DPS. HoTs / spot healing should be sufficient.
- If a raid member gets knocked into the scorpions that line the side of the room (say, during Shockwave) the tanks will take very high damage after picking them up. This is a good situation for Ironbark. This can also cause your fps to drop significantly if you’re running with an older machine. Not a bad fight to turn your settings down for.
- The boss does a nasty frontal cleave, make sure you don’t end up in front of it. Any raid members that do will need instant emergency healing and a condescending pat on the head.
- There is no damage going out during the <Exoskele thing> phase. Let your existing HoTs top off the raid while you contribute DPS. Directly after the burn phase, the boss will cast a flurry of Crystalline Fragments dealing unavoidable damage to the entire raid. Endeavour to have a healing cooldown up for each of these.
- You have to hide behind the fragments that fall off the boss before he casts Shockwave. They don’t cause any line-of-sight issues so you can sit behind them the entire fight.
- Nothing notable changes about the fight on Mythic except for the amount of damage going out.
- Make sure your Efflorescence uptime is on point since the majority of the raid will be standing in one place for most of the fight.
The Chronomatic Anomaly is a bit of a strange fight. On normal I found nothing to heal (and indeed our top healers were pushing less than 200k hps) however on heroic there is a significant ramp up and it ends up being quite an enjoyable fight to heal.
- Time Release is a very interesting mechanic. It’s a healing absorb that varies in size, duration and distribution depending on which Passage of Time buff is currently active. If it isn’t healed through it will explode damaging the target for the size of the absorb remaining.
- During <Normal> four targets are chosen and the absorb is of moderate size.
- During <Slow> the entire raid gets hit, but the absorb is small. Wild Growth is great for this one.
- During <Fast> only two targets are debuffed, but the absorb is large. You should have healers assigned to this that are better at spot healing but dropping a Rejuv->Swiftmend will help.
- The absorb debuff changes colour depending on how large the absorb shield is. <time release> <time release> <time release>. You may need to add all three to your raid frames as they are different spell IDs.
- Healing cooldowns are best saved for when the boss is casting <this>. If you have sufficient healing cooldowns then you can leave him channeling for quite some time letting your DPS get the boss to 30% or lower. Discuss timings with your healers to ensure you aren’t overlapping. You shouldn’t need to use them until he has 2-3 stacks of Power Overwhelming.
- Make sure you have Efflorescence down during <channel> since the raid should be stacked.
- Displacer Beast will get you far enough away from the raid to minimize Time Bomb damage.
- Tank damage isn’t too high, except when they are holding <damage debuff thing>.
- Your kill is likely to take four to four and a half minutes so Spring Blossoms is recommended as the optimal Tranquility cast is half way through the fight.
- Your healing cooldowns need to be on point for the Power Overwhelming. I highly recommend going to at least 8 stacks on the first PO, and then 4 stacks on subsequent casts. You will want at least two cooldowns for the 8 stacks (Spirit Link Totem is fantastic at covering the 6-8 stacks point), and then one cooldown for each Power Overwhelming after that.
- You can five heal the boss during progression if necessary. You will need to assign a group of five raiders (including one healer) to the right side of the room since that small group will take care of an add by themselves. If you are assigned to this group you should pick up Germination.
- Time Release becomes a real danger in mythic however Druids are poor are dealing with it due to the ineffectiveness of our direct heals. You should apply rejuvenation and if necessary Swiftmend but you really need to make sure your other healers have it as their top priority.
In Nighthold you’ll fight Gul’dan, Master Warlock; Tichondrius, Legendary Dreadlord; and Trilliax, a robot who just really loves cake. The fight is pretty simple mechanically, with very few mechanics that will wipe you. Overall damage is on the low to moderate side, but it’s a good fight for us since the outgoing damage is well telegraphed and the movement is quite high. Debuffed targets (listed above) are great candidates for HoTs and our fantastic mobility makes us terrific at… eating cake.
- Nobody in your raid should need to soak more than one Toxic Slice, but if they do make sure you have a reasonable HoT stack on them since the damage adds up quite quickly.
- On heroic especially we are great candidates to eat the Toxic Slices since we have defensive cooldowns and the Cat Form speed increase to counteract the <stuffed> debuff.
- Allies connected by the Arcing Bonds will take damage until they stand next to each other. They might need a burst of spot healing as the debuff goes out.
- Give DPS afflicted by Sterilize some room to move since they need to stand next to the Scrubbers. They are good candidates for HoTs since they will tick for moderate damage over time.
- Absolute priority goes to making sure the <scrubbers?> don’t explode and damage the raid. You can Displacer Beast and jump on one if you see it exploding. On Heroic this won’t do enough damage to kill you if you’re topped off. Scrubber explosions are pretty much the other thing that will wipe your raid! Overall damage is not high.
- You can shift into Cat Form during <Laser of death> if you get caught out of position. It will one shot you on Heroic but on Normal it’s more of a heavy tickle. You can Displacer Beast as well if you really screw up.
- The raid tends to stay reasonably stacked and so Spring Blossoms can pull ahead of Inner Peace, however neither is particularly amazing here so feel free to pick your preference.
- The extra add your raid has to deal with during Mythic doesn’t change the fight much from a healing perspective. In fact, there is very little healing to do at all, and don’t be surprised if you struggle to break 400k HPS.
- Most of the Mythic damage is concentrated around allies with the Sterilize debuff and you should keep HoTs on them as much as possible.
- Bored? Try Catweaving and contributing some DPS.
Debuffs to add to your healing frames: Mark of Frost, Frostbitten, Searing Brand
Talents to run: Cenarion Ward, Spring Blossoms / Germination, Cultivation
Boss Guides: Wowhead, Icy-Veins, FatBoss (video)
Aluriel is a clear step up from previous bosses in both normal and heroic. Especially on Heroic you will spend a fair amount of mana correcting people’s mistakes. Damage is bursty but only moderate overall.
- Mark of Frost targets will need an increasingly large amount of healing. Any more than 8-9 stacks of <frostbitten> is pretty deadly.
- Tranquility is very effective near the end of the Frost phase when there are 5-6 Mark of Frost debuffs out. This occurs every three minutes, lining up perfectly with the Tranquility cooldown.
- We are decent soakers for the Mark of Frost since Barkskin and Bear Form let us take a lot of stacks safely.
- Heroic: The Fiery Enchantments (Fire Elementals) now cast Pyroblast on random targets for 1.2-1.5m damage a hit. You can interrupt the cast, but they tend to be easier to deal with if you let them cast. Triage anyone hit immediately since if two hit the same person they’ll get nuked. This is a reasonable time for the raid to pop personal defensive cooldowns.
- Heroic: There’s pretty much no damage going out while the Arcane Enchantments are casting Annihilation. Refresh your HoT stack on the active tank, and then switch to DPS. It’s a very long cast so you will get decent value out of Moonfire and Sunfire.
- Take Germination for the Mythic version of the fight. Keep two rejuvs on any target that gets Mark of Frost. It is also worth dropping Efflorescence and (depending on your tank healing) Lifebloom on the targets. Getting everyone through the Frost Phase alive is a great step to killing the fight since it’s easily the most difficult.
- Multiple raid cooldowns should be saved for the Arcane Orbs detonating in the arcane phase. It is the only other period of high damage in the fight, and a great opportunity for us to break out a big Essence of G’Hanir.
- On a first kill you are likely to get two of every phase. Aim to be sitting at around 50% mana as the second Frost Phase starts.
Krosus is Nighthold’s DPS check boss. The mechanics are very simple. The boss destroys the fight area the encounter takes place on (a bridge) piece by piece. As the bridge gets smaller the healing requirement goes up due to <Orb mechanic>. Krosus features a high amount of movement as you weave across the bridge to dodge the Fel Beam and dash to the back of the room for <orb>.
- Tanks should switch before Searing Brand stacks too high, however tank damage is still consistently high across the encounter.
- There is a lot of movement in the fight due to Fel Beam and Orb of Destruction which suits us well. Try not to rely on Displacer Beast for dodge the <fel beam> since you’ll want it up for the Burning Pitch and it tends to be easier to mess up.
- Aim for 100% Efflorescence uptime. It is almost the perfect fight for it, especially with Spring Blossoms, since the raid is frequently stacked and incoming damage is consistent and high.
- Make sure you stay away from the end of the bridge. You will look very silly falling into the water as a healer with a 40 yard range.
- Make sure you’re contributing DPS during the start of the fight. If you have spare global cooldowns keep Moonfire on the boss.
- Use Displacer Beast to soak the Burning Pitch’s near the back of the room since other classes will have a more difficult time reaching them.
- The damage spikes are heavy and consistent since Slam, Burning Pitch (and any resulting adds), and <orb> all deal raid wide damage. Use <Essence>, <Innvervate>, and <Flourish> very regularly to help the raid cope.
- With the new traits in 7.2 Krosus is no longer the near-impossible beast he once was, and the damage is no longer overwhelming.
- Your raid cooldowns should be targeted at the 2:15 to 2:30 time range when your raid has an Orb followed by adds followed by another Orb and then a Slam. All within a 20 second period. Use at least two healing cooldowns, and call for your DPS to pop personals.
- The fight gets dangerous again after the 5:00 minute mark when you are on the final platform segment. Orbs exploding in close proximity will deal heavy raid damage, and if you have a shaman this can be a great time to use Spirit Link Totem.
- The fight is 6 minutes maximum, and you’ll need a decent chunk of mana near the end so I recommend taking it easy in the first few minutes. Spend some time DPS’ing to help with the enrage timer.
- Tank damage is reasonably high and a high Lifebloom uptime is a fantastic contribution. The legendary belt can also do some great work here.
- You can squeeze in a Leytorrent Potion directly after a Beam goes off in the first 3-4 minutes of the fight. Make sure you let your other healers know what you’re up to so they can cover.