Boss Guide (Emerald Nightmare)
Tomb of Sargeras Boss Guides can be found here.
This is hopefully the most valuable section of the guide. It is useful to know your spells, to have the correct talents and traits, and to have some general strategy in mind, but each fight has a unique healing strategy that offers the best results. More discussion should take place around how best to heal each fight since improvements in this area usually have a much greater effect than a talent or a few ilvl.
Boss strategy is geared toward the Heroic version of the encounter, with an additional Mythic section at the bottom of each.
Emerald Nightmare Bosses
Debuffs to add to your healing frames: Infested, Volatile Rot
Talents to run: Cultivation, Inner Peace
Nythendra is a fantastic fight for a Resto Druid with the Infested stacks clearly telegraphing who will take damage in the future, most of the damage occurring slowly over time (where HoTs shine), and the Volatile Rot explosions coming at predictable intervals.
- 100% Efflorescence uptime. You can drop it on melee and a tank pretty reliably.
- Rejuvenation on anyone above 3-4 Infested Stacks.
- Wild Growth on cooldown after the first Rot has gone out.
- Volatile Rot goes out roughly every 30 seconds so you won’t have a cooldown up for all of them. Coordinate with your other healers so that a surge of healing is going out for each. You can do your part with both Tranquility, and Innervate Bombs.
- Your first kill is likely to take around 6 minutes. You should aim to fit in three Tranquility casts and be casting Flourish and Essence pretty much on cooldown.
- Surrounded by bugs? Displacer Beast. Did you blink into another bug? Bear Form will guarantee you survive a Burst of Corruption.
- Coordinate with your healers to make sure you’re well spread out. It’s a reasonably big room and losing someone because nobody was in range of them really sucks, especially when they’re running out the Rot.
- With Inner Peace you should aim to be casting Tranquility at least three times (Depending on your kill timer). I often cast my first when the first volatile rot goes out, and then almost on cooldown after that but coordinate with your other healers.
- Drop Efflorescence on the position where your mind control group stacks, and be ready to drop a Wild Growth on them as soon as they come out as it’s likely you’ll have Volatile Rot hit at a similar time on some attempts.
- Any HoTs cast on a target before they are MC’d will stay on them and heal them but this isn’t worth trying to play around since the healing is relatively insignificant compared to the amount of damage they will be taking, and the heal is very useful after they’re broken out since they’ll be very low.
- You can dispel any magic, or poison effects that people took while MC’d. Have a loose cannon Warlock that can’t control his Corruption? Did a Paladin drop a 5 second stun on a target just before bugs? Save the day! Well… save one person’s day anyway…
- Ursol’s Vortex works on MC targets and will prevent them from wandering away.
Debuffs to add to your healing frames: Overwhelm (optional), Rend Flesh (optional)
Talents to run: Guardian Affinity (you can run Feral Affinity to add 50-60k DPS if you are trying to carry an undergeared group), Cultivation, Inner Peace
Ursoc damage is incredibly bursty, and 99% of the damage comes from two sources: The Charge every 40 seconds (which reduces the raid to around 30% health), and Roaring Cacophony (which deals an increasing amount of damage over the fight and hits twice between each charge). Each burst is at least 10 seconds apart so you should be able to counter each mechanic with a Wild Growth, to pair with your rejuvenation blankets.
- Tank damage is very high, but the frequent taunts make keeping Lifebloom on the active tank a chore. I’d recommend just leaving it on one tank, and keeping a Rejuvenation on both to do your part. A Cenarion Ward and Ironbark on the tank before Ursoc charges is often a welcome addition since this is the time they are most likely to die.
- Coordinate with your healers to have a cooldown up to follow each charge. The raid doesn’t need to be topped off until the next Cacophony, so trust your hots to do their work. Don’t panic and start casting Regrowth’s or you’ll run out of mana.
- You can use an Innervate Bomb in place of a healer cooldown if you aren’t running with many. It can also be cast before the first Cacophony of a set since the HoTs you cast for the first will still be active for the second 10 seconds later (think of all that value).
- The raid is stacked up for almost the entire fight so Efflorescence gets a lot of work done. On Heroic and above you will have to move it after each Cacophony because of Miasma. It is still mana efficient to do so, and you can cast it while you move to the new stack position.
- There is zero damage going out to the raid for the first 15 seconds of the fight. HoT up the tanks and then settle into a DPS rotation. Ursoc is a heavy DPS check and three healers contributing a few million each can absolutely make the difference.
- Cast Tranquility following either a charge or a Roaring Cacophony. Remember to cast a Wild Growth as the damage hits to give your Tranquility a tidy healing boost thanks to your Mastery. With Inner Peace it is ideal to cast your first after Ursoc’s first Focused Gaze and then as close to on cooldown as you can get.
- Ursoc changes very little from a healing perspective from Heroic to Mythic. There is just a lot more damage going out.
- Make sure you’re popping Barkskin every second charge. Bear Form -> Frenzied Regeneration can also be a quick way to heal yourself back to full following a charge.
- This is probably the only fight in Emerald Nightmare where Renewal can trump Displacer Beast since Cat Form -> Sprint already gets you very far if you are targeted with Focused Gaze. It’s a very small boost though and we are already pretty hard to kill without it.
Dragons of Nightmare
Debuffs to add to your healing frames: Volatile Infection, Defiled Vines, Seeping Fog, Shadow Burst
Talents to run: Cultivation, Germination
There is a lot going on in this fight. You should definitely watch a video of the fight to get an idea of what each of the mechanics looks like. For a start the raid will be split in two, with half of the raid taking each side. On Mythic this usually means that each side gets two healers, though smaller Heroic group sizes might have to work with one. Because the raid is in two halves, Germination goes up a lot in value since you’re effectively only dealing with a group of 7-10 players instead of 14-20.
- Defiled Vines roots them in place under a defiled explosion which will deal heavy damage. Priority dispel.
- Seeping Fog puts the target to sleep and deals ~200k damage per second to them. If you are seeing a lot of these tell your DPS to dodge some damn clouds.
- Shadow Burst stacks a ticking DoT and slow. It’s always mana efficient to cleanse, however it shouldn’t be prioritized over Defiled Vines or Seeping Fog. Shadow Burst will make up most of your dispels on the fight.
- Volatile Infection targets need particular attention since the DoT ticks for a pretty high amount. Two Rejuvenations should give them a strong resistance, and you can supplement with Regrowths if necessary.
- You are a pretty good candidate to soak the Nightmare Blooms since you aren’t affected by the aura from Dread Horrors and have a reasonable set of defensive cooldowns. If somebody else in the raid is soaking them, make sure you give them some extra HoTs.
- This isn’t a great fight for Efflorescence since everyone is quite spread out and there’s quite a bit of movement. If you have a few melee on your side it is still worth casting in most cases.
- Dodge, dodge, dodge. Sure this applies to every fight, but Dragons has a particularly large number of things to dodge (sleep clouds, mushrooms, defiled explosions, Volatile Infection targets). Try to stay spread out too.
- When Taerar is in the air, he will occasionally cast a 3 second fear that hits the entire raid. Make sure your side is topped up before it hits. The fear can be broken with the Ethereal Urn.
- Watch out for the Tail Lash. It really hurts and often knocks you into some other bad thing.
- Damage tends to be higher near the start of the fight compared to the end, so don’t worry too much about your mana dropping faster than the boss.
- Make sure the portal group are dispelled of any debuffs (crucially Defiled Vines).
- Druid’s are ok at Portal healing, though we lack an interrupt so a Shaman is often a better choice if you have one. If you are assigned to portals, make sure you are on the correct side when the portal spawns. Damage inside is not very high so feel free to contribute some DPS. Since the portal is not very mana intensive, make sure you throw around as many HoT’s as you can before you enter the portal to help out the rest of the raid. Not a bad fight to give away your Innervate on.
Debuffs to add to your healing frames: Web of Pain, Necrotic Venom, Wind Burn (Mythic)
Talents to run: Cultivation, Spring Blossoms / Inner Peace
Elerethe is a reasonably simple fight, but mistakes are often fatal. The damage is heavy in the Spider Phase, and then practically non-existent during the Roc phase (outside of Dark Storm). She isn’t a DPS check and your mana shouldn’t feel too tight so feel free to be somewhat generous with your healing.
- Allies with Necrotic Venom will need extra healing, especially preceding Vile Ambush. You’ll also want to keep allies afflicted with Web of Pain topped off.
- Drop Efflorescence under Elerethe before he casts Dark Storm to help keep people topped up. You will need to spot heal anyone caught away from the boss as the damage is based off proximity to the boss.
- People tend to take a lot of damage crossing the web bridges. Extending a blanket of Rejuvenations with Flourish will buy them enough time to get to the other side.
- Vile Ambush is on a timer, and if you Innervate Bomb the first Vile Ambush Flourish will be back up by the time you reach the second platform.
- There is so little damage during the Roc phase on the second platform that you can start DPS’ing, and should do so (but don’t lose your HoT stacks on the tanks).
- I would run Inner Peace on this fight if you lack healer cooldowns but it isn’t particularly necessary. Ideal Tranquility uses include after the Spider form Vile Ambush, and just after you get to a new platform (since the raid will be low from crossing the bridge).
- In the spider phase, the tank on Elerethe will get hit very very hard if a spiderling comes close. This shouldn’t ever happen but you can help mitigate the damage if you have a strong stack of HoTs on the tank combined with an Ironbark.
- You will need a healer cooldown as soon as you set foot on the second platform since the first Violent Winds hits very soon after and everyone needs to be at full health. Tranquility fills this role well.
- Make sure you track stacks of Wind Burn on your raid frames so that if a poor soul gets caught in both Violent Winds and gets more stacks than anticipated you can save them.
Il’gynoth, Heart of Corruption
Debuffs to add to your healing frames: Spew Corruption
Talents to run: Cultivation, Spring Blossoms
Il’Gynoth is probably my least favourite fight in Emerald Nightmare. A lot of the incoming damage is somewhat spiky, and people tend to get burst down easily if they make a mistake that times with an unavoidable eye beam from the boss.
- Put Spew Corruption on your healer frames and make sure you’re paying particular attention to those with it since they need to run out of raid and can sometimes run out of range of healers. Especially on higher difficulties, they are likely to die without heals.
- The tanks won’t be tanking as much as usual, but you should still keep your Lifebloom up at all times (put it on yourself if nobody else) for the Omen of Clarity procs.
- If you get Spew Corruption, Barkskin and Bear Form is a cheap way to survive. You can also stop to cast Regrowth on yourself if absolutely necessary. Remember to HoT yourself up before you Swiftmend.
- In the Eye room, make sure you’re contributing DPS. We can easily reach 100k+ DPS and it isn’t an ideal time to pre-hot anyway. Respond to Corrupted Blood with Wild Growth, and keep your Efflorescence down but otherwise settle in to your Sunfire, Moonfire, Wrath rotation.
- Make sure you have Typhoon, since you can use it to push the oozes back toward the Eye. Ursol’s Vortex is also amazing here.
- If you are running the common “blow up eight oozes” at once strategy with a Spirit Link totem you’ll want to make sure you’ve done the following before the stacks go out.
- Drop an Efflorescence on the stack point.
- Pop Barkskin since it will reduce the entire amount of damage going out (because of the Spirit Link).
- Cover the raid in Rejuvenations, and Wild Growth just as the stacks go out. You can optionally Essence of G’Hanir but I found it to be overkill and saved it.
- Pop Tranquility as the stacks shoot up if your raid leader isn’t saving it for later in the fight.
- In my experience Spirit Link Totem, personal Defensives plus one big raid cooldown is sufficient to survive (We use Spirit Link and Tranq). It doesn’t hurt to run with two or three big cooldowns when you’re starting out in order to make sure that everyone survives.
- If you don’t run with a Shaman, consider blowing up six blobs in the first set instead of eight to reduce the risk of losing someone.
Debuffs to add to your healing frames: Creeping Nightmares
Talents to run: Cultivation, Spring Blossoms
Most of the damage in the Cenarius encounter comes in the form of the Creeping Nightmares DoT effect which is applied to all allies every second and stacks. Since dealing with ticking ‘aura’ damage is a strength of Druid’s, you will do very well here. It is quite a technically demanding fight, and you will have to kite Brambles, spread out for Scorned Touch and cleanse your Creeping Nightmares stacks while outputting a very high amount of healing.
- This tends to get repeated for most fights but this is a perfect fight for Efflorescence and by tossing it on melee you’ll get full efficiency. I’d highly recommend the Efflorescence WeakAura.
- Most of the incoming damage occurs when adds spawn. If you innervate the first set of adds, it will be up for the third (or for P2 if you’re using a Burn strat). Tranquility is particularly good against Wisps.
- By adding Creeping Nightmares to your raid frames you can throw out extra heals to those with a high number of stacks, further reducing your overheal. Feel free to have a quiet word to the DPS that are above 30 every attempt.
- Make sure you clear your own Creeping Nightmare stacks prior to phase 2 where you will have less opportunities to do so.
- If you intend to have DPS hit through Thorns at any point (like in the 4-healer zerg strategy) throw out your HoTs to your highest DPS since they are most likely to kill themselves.
- Healing is consistently high across the entire fight which is very tough on the mana supply so don’t neglect your most efficient sources of healing. Tank damage is not very high in phase 1 so consider putting your Lifebloom on a high-performing DPS. Use Cenarion Ward on cooldown.
- Coordinate with your tanks for Ironbark uses in phase 2. The 26%+ damage reduction will reduce the size of the nightmare pool caused by Spear of Nightmares.
Debuffs to add to your healing frames: Darkening Soul, Blackening Soul, Bonds of Terror
Talents to run: Cultivation, Spring Blossoms
Xavius is much easier to heal than Cenarius. Damage occurs at predictable intervals, and isn’t particularly overwhelming to the point where it can be quite challenging to actually die.
- Bonds of Terror targets will need burst healing. You should be able to save Swiftmend for it in phases two and three.
- In a four healer strategy two of you will be in the dream at a time. Coordinate with the other healer in the dream to have a dispel ready for the tank when called. You do not want to be dispelling on cooldown since the debuff inflicts a lot of AoE damage and corruption when dispelled.
- While you’re in the dream make sure you get at least one cast of: Essence, Tranquility, Innervate, Flourish. Make sure you burn through your mana also.
- In Phase 1 the ranged group tends to make a good Efflorescence target since they will be taking most of the damage from the Lurking Terrors. In Phase 2 the raid should be stacked up and you should aim for 100% uptime.
- Healing wise not too much changes in Mythic, and damage is not much higher.
- In mythic only one healer will be put into the dream each time the ‘dream beams’ come down. Assuming the previous healer hasn’t been hit with anything you will usually overlap for a time. It can be worthwhile for the lower corruption healer to start taking dispels to maximise the length of time the first healer is in for.
- The only point in the fight where people are likely to die is when the Corruption Horror spawns (about 1 minute into the fight). This is a good time for your Tranquility and other cooldowns.