Tag: raids

Beginning Raid Leader Resources for Cataclysm

Most guilds out there, even if they want to raid, have gotten just about as far as… Magmaw. The vast majority of guilds haven’t gotten even him down yet.

The elite raiding core of the game may be chomping at the bit for Firelands, but the majority of us are still cooking dinner, dropping small humans at school, picking them UP from school, doing laundry, washing dishes, studying for exams, and, if we have the time, gearing for raids- to say nothing of actually running the raids themselves.

For guilds and groups that are just now starting to look at Magmaw, or have progressed only a few raid bosses into Cataclysm, most raid guides do nothing more than give you a wicked bad case of gear envy.

So for those of us who have more enthusiasm than time, can reliably expect someone to take a bio break to change a diaper, and run their dailies for points once in a blue moon, I’ve compiled a selection of indispensable real-life raid leader- and raider- resources:

1. Boss Blueprint: You’re standing in the middle of Blackwing Descent, trying to communicate to your DPS (who are assuredly not listening) that they need to go THERE and then HERE and then run THAT way when everything turns to steam, when it hits you: These damn colored floor flares are never, ever going to get your point across.

What you need is Boss Blueprint, a drag-and-drop online Strategy creator that you can easily customize and then mail out to your raid team. It’s so easy it’s stupid.

The beauty of Boss Blueprint is that you can do it at work, and then email it to your raiders, who can then look at it at work- which, as we all know, is the only place where any Real-Life Raider has time to think about strategy.

I'm realize I'm only amusing myself



2. Deadly Boss Mods: Everyone on your team should realistically have this. I realize there are some people who get all bent out of shape about add-ons, but… c’mon. C’mon.

When you look up ‘deadly’ on Google, the first suggestion that pops up is ‘boss mods’. Doesn’t that say it all? (PS- I don’t know why almost as many people are searching for ‘deadly women’, but it can’t mean anything good.)

DBM gets you out of the bad, reminds you to stand in the good, and shouts at you when it’s time to run away. Yes, that’s right: DBM is your mother.


3. Boss Loot Lists: Everyone likes to be encouraged to raid, and what better way to encourage your raiders than to remind them the phat lewts they might get their grubby paws on if they can actually remember to make it to the raid on time?

Just go to Wowhead, type in the name of the boss you’re attempting to kill, scroll down to ‘Drops’… and mail that list to your raiders. I guarantee your attendance will improve.

As an added bonus, Wowhead lists a nice, simple strategy for each boss, as well- a guide to create that Boss Blueprint image you’ll be sending around to the group?

For your ease and convenience, I’ve linked the normal raid bosses here:

Omnotron Defense System: Arcanotron, ElectronMagmatronToxitron


Halfus Wyrmbreaker
Double Dragons ValionaTheralion
Ascendant Council

Conclave of Wind

4. Email and Prosper: REMEMBER: With a group of mature gamers who have complicated lives and not nearly as much time as they’d like, email is a great way to get in touch with them. We can all read email at work. As most of us are blocked from viewing game websites, this is your best chance to get in front of your raid team when they have time to actually listen.

If a raider doesn’t want to give you their personal email address, fine: have them create a new one on Yahoo or Gmail and then forward it to their work address.

DO NOT put links in your email. If you want them to see anything, copy and paste it. Darned Websense, ruining our fun…!

Don’t overload them with emails, but one before each raid night is great. Include:
– The loot list, right at the top, to get everyone psyched

– A list of every person’s character name and their role, to remind everyone that they are important to the success of the team as a whole
Zacariah – Main tank (warrio)
Zoe – Off tank (bare)
Zebidiah – Healing Zachariah (disco)
Zusterke – Healing Zoe (pally)
Zoot – Healing Raid (tree)
Zounds – Ranged DPS (warlock)
Zeke – Ranged DPS (huntard)
Zabra – Ranged DPS (mage)
Zorym – Melee DPS (d nugget)
Zasha – Melee DPS (d nugget)

– A SHORT strategy (I find Wowhead’s length is good) with pictures you create at Boss Blueprint illustrating each stage or major change.

List people by name to tell them what they are doing at each stage. You may have to replace them, but at least everyone will know who is being replaced.

And when you have an entire raid yelling at a puggee to do exactly the same thing, it will- shock!- occasionally sink in.



Just because you’re not finished with every boss in the game doesn’t mean you can’t raid and raid well. You have the inestimable bonus, with your group, of having actual fun.

Wiping is not fun. Losing is not fun. Knowing what’s going on, what your raid expects from you, and where you ought to be is. As a good raid leader, your job is to make it easy for everyone to come and have fun with you.

Now get out there and take down Magmaw!

Disc Priest Cataclysm Gear: The Beginning Raider

Please see also
Patch 4.1: New Gear For Discipline Priests
Patch 4.2: The Intermediate Raider – Firelands & The Avengers of Hyjal 

So you’re a level 85! Now what?

Once you hit 85 and you’ve gotten yourself mentally prepared to start running raids and Heroic versions of instances, your old 80-85 leveling gear isn’t going to cut the proverbial mustard any more.

The first raid you’ll look at running will most likely be Bastion of Twilight, Throne of the Four Winds, or Blackwing Descent, and this guide will get you ready to run it using Heroic instance drops, high-cost purchases, and even one or two raid drops (hey, you’ve got to run it a few times just to get the feel for the thing, right?).

We’re still maximizing:
Spirit > Intellect > Critical > Haste > Stamina


Though you may be considering shucking off your newly-acquired low-level raiding gear for mid-range gear quite quickly, do consider good enchantments to be a non-optional part of gearing for raiding at any level. You’ll need the boosts enchantments give you, particularly regarding mana return, too much to miss out on their benefit regardless of cost.

Remember: You’ve gotta spend money to make money!



Best In Show: Heroic Robes of the Burning Acolyte

Alternative 1: Heroic Shadowblaze Robes
Alternative 2: Heroic Mercurial Vestment
Alternative 3: Robes of the Burning Acolyte
Alternative 4: Robes of Embalmed Darkness (H)

Enchantment: Scroll of Enchant Chest – Powerful Stats or Scroll of Enchant Chest – Super Stats

Gems: Artful Ember Topaz and Zen Dream Emerald (best with H-Shadowblaze and H-Mercurial Vestments), or else 2 x Artful Ember Topaz


Best In Show: Flame-Ascended Pantaloons BEST BUY!

Alternative 1: Heroic Mercurial Legwraps
Alternative 2: Heroic Legwraps of Astral Rain
Alternative 3: Heroic Mercurial Leggings
Alternative 4: Mercurial Legwraps
Alternative 5:  Breeches of Mended Nightmares BEST BUY!

Enchantment: Powerful Ghostly SpellthreadPowerful Enchanted Spellthread, or Brilliant Spellthread

Gems: Artful Ember Topaz x 2


Best In Show: Heroic Einhorn’s Galoshes

Alternative 1: Heroic Treads of Liquid Ice
Alternative 2: Einhorn’s Galoshes
Alternative 3: Treads of Liquid Ice
Alternative 4: Heroic Hekatic Slippers
Alternative 5:  Heroic Corpse Rompers

Enchantment: Scroll of Enchant Boots – Icewalker,  Scroll of Enchant Boots – Surefooted, or Scroll of Enchant Boots – Greater Spirit

Gems: Artful Ember Topaz


Best In Show: Heroic Mantle of Roaring Flames

Alternative 1: Meadow Mantle (H)
Alternative 2: Heroic Mercurial Shoulderwraps
Alternative 3: Heroic Mercurial Mantle
Alternative 4: Mantle of Roaring Flames
Alternative 5:  Heroic Mantle of Loss

Enchantment: Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone or Lesser Inscription of Charged Lodestone

Gems: Artful Ember Topaz


Best In Show: Heroic Bracers of the Bronze Flight

Alternative 1: Heroic Bracers of the Dark Mother
Alternative 2: Bracers of the Bronze Flight
Alternative 3: Heroic Armbands of Exiled Architects
Alternative 4: Vicious Gladiator’s Cuffs of Prowess (I know, I know!)
Alternative 5:  Heroic Bracers of the Burningeye

Enchantment: Scroll of Enchant Bracer – Superior SpellpowerScroll of Enchant Bracers – Greater Spellpower, or Scroll of Enchant Bracer – Healing Power

Gems: Artful Ember Topaz


Best In Show: Heroic Mercurial Gloves

Alternative 1: Flamebloom Gloves
Alternative 2: Mercurial Gloves
Alternative 3: Heroic Mercurial Handwraps
Alternative 4: Hands of the Twilight Council
Alternative 5: Gloves of the Painless Midnight (H)

Enchantment: Scroll of Enchant Gloves – Exceptional Spellpower or Scroll of Enchant Gloves – Major Spellpower

Gems: Artful Ember Topaz


Best In Show: Heroic Mercurial Hood

Alternative 1: Heroic Power Generator Hood
Alternative 2: Heroic Crown of the Twilight Queen
Alternative 3: Mercurial Hood
Alternative 4: Power Generator Hood
Alternative 5: Heroic Crown of Burning Waters

Enchantment: Arcanum of HyjalArcanum of Burning Mysteries, or Arcanum of the Dragonmaw

Gems: Ember Skyflare Diamond and Artful Ember Topaz


Best In Show: Heroic Belt of Arcane Storms

Alternative 1: Incense Infused Cumberbund
Alternative 2: Cord of Raven Queen
Alternative 3: Belt of Arcane Storms
Alternative 4: Dreamless Belt BEST BUY!

Enchantment: [The best Belt Buckle you can buy]

Gems: Artful Ember Topaz


Best In Show: Heroic Shroud of Endless Grief

Alternative 1: Heroic Shadow of Dread
Alternative 2: Ritssyn’s Ruminous Drape
Alternative 3: Shadow of Dread
Alternative 4: Heroic Periwinkle Cloak
Alternative 5: Heavenly Breeze


Best In Show: Heroic Valiona’s Medallion

Alternative 1: Valiona’s Medallion
Alternative 2: Lightning Flash Pendant (A) / Yellow Smoke Pendant (H)
Alternative 3: Eye of Many Deaths BEST BUY! (with Artful Ember Topaz)
Alternative 4: Heroic Pipefish Cord
Alternative 5: Heroic Pendant of the Keep


Best In Show: Heroic Signet of the Fifth Circle

Alternative 1: Ring of the Boy Emperor
Alternative 2: Signet of the Fifth Circle
Alternative 3: Twined Band of Flowers
Alternative 4: Ring of Warring Elements BEST BUY! (with Artful Ember Topaz)
Alternative 5: Spirit Creeper Ring

Enchantment: [Enchanters Only]


Best In Show: Darkmoon Card: Volcano (for SmiteSpec users only)

Alternative 1: Soul Casket
Alternative 2: Mirror of Broken Images (H) / Mirror of Broken Images (A)
Alternative 3: Heroic Blood of Isiset
Alternative 4: Heroic Sorrowsong
Alternative 5: Heroic Tendrils of Burrowing Dark

WEAPON (Staves Only)

Best In Show: Heroic Chelley’s Staff of Dark Mending

Alternative 1: Chelley’s Staff of Dark Mending
Alternative 2: Staff of Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan
Alternative 3: Staff of Ammunae
Alternative 4: Insidious Staff (H) / Insidious Staff (A)
Alternative 5: Heroic Emberstone Staff

Enchantment: Scroll of Enchant Weapon – Black MagicScroll of Enchant Staff – Greater Spellpower, or Scroll of Enchant Staff – Spellpower

Disc 101: Working With Other Healers

I know.

We’re imba.

Sooner or later, though, if you want to have chance of running 10-man raids, you’ll have to learn to get along with at least one other healer in a group. Working with other healers is a ton of fun, especially when you’re running with skilled individuals who do things totally differently but get fantastico results and make your job easier.

Getting along with your healing team is the single most important thing you can do to improve your success rate in raids. Learn to love them, listen to what they have to say, and always throw them a bonus heal.

They might even make you look better, if such a thing is possible! Then you can all retire to Ironforge for a beer amidst the cheers of your raid group for their healing team.

Understanding is the key to success!

Raid Healing Crib Sheet

Disc Priest & Paladin

Spells They Use:

Holy Light. Beacon of Light. Cleanse.

How This Affects You:

Holy Paladins are exclusively tank healers. If you don’t wanna be a tank healer, *footstomp*, tough shit. Unless there’s a shaman lurking around the back and you get to have that off-tank all to your lonesome, you WILL be the raid healer.

This is the trickiest combination of healers.

Neither of you have much in the way of group heal spells (oh, wait, what’s this under a rock? Circle of Whatnow?)- Paladins have none- and by the time your raid DPS’s get to 25% health it may already be too late to save them. And there’s not even another Disc Priests’ Penance bouncing around to help you out. You’re on your own completely, so be prepared to do a metric ass-ton of casting.

Keep Power Word: Shield up on all your targets. Start off with a rotation and then stick to it- “Click- shield, click-shield, click-shield”. If a DPS is taking damage, throw a Renew on them and keep moving. Watch who’s taking the most damage and hit that person with your Penance (sad fact: it may be you). Don’t bother bubbling the Pally, who has plenty of self-healing spells… besides which you’ll quite simply be too busy to bubble them.

Unlike the Marines, you may be leaving a man behind. On the plus side, your healing rotation gets much easier when you have one less person to keep alive!

Bonus Tip: Cast ‘Inner Focus’ before you slam down that last-ditch ‘Circle of Healing’. And pretend we don’t both know that if you’re doing that, it’s already too late.

Disc Priest & Shaman

Spells They Use:

Chain Heal. Healing Wave. Rip Tide.

How This Affects You:

Restoration Shamans are well-rounded raid healers. Congratulations! You’re bubbling the tanks.

It’s important to note that their Healing Stream Totem only heals the people in their party; Chain Heal, however, hits raid-wide. Shamans’ single-target heal spells are their Healing Wave and Rip Tide. Their raidwide heals aren’t as strong as a Druid’s, but they do have more flexibility to top up DPS who are taking more damage than the rest of the raid, which is reassuring if you run with one eye on the raid.

You’ll be perfectly fine just paying attention to your tanks without worrying too much about what’s happening in the raid, though bubbling the Shaman is a gentlemanly gesture which is always appreciated.

Bonus Tip: Stand within 30 yards of their Mana Tide Totem for better mana regeneration, and praise the Gods for giving you a Shammy.

Disc Priest & Disc Priest

Spells They Use:

Power Word: Shield. Penance. Flash Heal.

How This Affects You:

This can be a disaster waiting to happen, but it doesn’t have to be. The biggest issue here is that you’ll both end up trying to shield the same target that’ll screw up your cooldowns on Weakened Soul, or that you’ll place Penance on the same person.

This combination is particularly brutal when one or both of you don’t stick to your healing assignments.

Not sticking to the assignments means that on your frantic rotation through your raid group (let’s say you’re raid healing), you find that another shield is already up on one of your DPS. Now that person is off the scheduled clock- you don’t know how long that shield’s been up, how long it’ll be up, or how long the Weakened Soul will last, so you skip that dude and keep going. But it messes up your momentum, that DPS will invariably go without shielding for a while as you go on to the rest of your rotation, and it messes with your flow, man, your fuckin’ FLOW!

Don’t be that Disc priest.

With any other healer, you’re a saint for throwing a few raid bubbles on hard-hit DPS targets as you wait for your assigned tank’s bubble to wear off. With another Disc healer, you are just making them MAD.

Stick religiously to your assignments if you’re thrown in with another Disco. Keep Penance up on your targets (only your targets! You don’t want to hit the same person the other priest just hit and waste it). If you have the time and mana to assist on some non-assigned heals, you may feel free to dole out some Flash Heals.

Remember, if everyone in the raid just took a few huge hits, another disc priest cannot effectively heal them all at once. This isn’t like playing with a Shammy who has one enormous long Chain Heal she’s just on the verge of finishing; if you see seriously empty bars, you must help out your fellow Disc by Flash Healing the snot out of the second-worst damaged.

It’s the Code of the Discos.

Bonus Tip: Let each other know when you’re about to cast Hymn of Hope. Stand close to each other if possible. Trade off to ensure that the priest who’s casting is shielded, and you both get the most mana out of those two Hymns that you possibly can.

Disc Priest & Holy Priest

Spells They Use:

Prayer of Healing. Prayer of Mending. Circle of Healing.

How This Affects You:

A Holy Priest can perform single-target heals, but hopefully your Holy Priest will relish his role as a raid healer.

Lots of PUGing and LFD, though- especially if he’s overgeared- may have seduced your Holy into some bad habits: namely, using disc spells as quick fixes. This can be legendarily bad if it happens when you run together.

With any luck, your Holy Priest will not try to bubble. If they do, you’re going to have to figure out a way to ask them as politely as possible to stop. This is a recipe for disaster as it will screw up your Weakened Soul cooldown rotation and is a terrible waste of his mana to boot.

Otherwise, Holy priests make excellent raid companions. Do, do bubble them whenever you can; for some reason, I see Holy healers go down before any other healer class, and a fairy loses its wings every time a priest dies.

Bonus Tip: You both have Fade. Use it!

Disc Priest & Druid

Spells They Use:

Healing Touch. Nourish. Rejuvenation. Wild Growth.

How This Affects You:

Druid healers have lots and lots of loooooong HoTs (Heals Over Time). They are, to my mind, on the absolute other end of the healing spectrum from us fast and flashy disc healers. This is definitely a good thing: You perform triage, they keep up steady infusions.

You may find it helpful to keep up a bubble on the one DPS who is taking a ton of damage, simply because the Druid repertoire is very light on single-target heals. Tossing a Flash Heal or Penance on a DPS whose health is falling way behind everyone else’s will get you very far indeed with your tree.

The problem you may have with healing with a druid is mainly personal. It’s incredibly hard for me to see several low health bars and not do anything about it, ohmigod STAN, ohmigod he’s DYING *flash heal! flash heal! flash heal!*. The problem is internal. We aren’t patient, or we wouldn’t be Disc priests.

Trust your druid to keep on top of it. Repress the desire to bubble spam the raid when you’re tank healing (and you will be tank healing, if there’s a druid in the group). If you absolutely must, just avoid looking at any health bars that aren’t assigned to you. Be at one with nature, and compliment your druid’s foliage.

Bonus Tip: Always, always, always keep a bubble up on the druid healer. Yes, I know it’s not your assignment. No, I don’t care.

Raid Boss Theme Songs

While thinking about my raid playlists yesterday, it occurred to me that it would be highly amusing to try to match the ICC bosses to their own personal theme songs. (Please note, I’m not advocating the songs themselves- some might burn your ears off with Suck).

These are my votes, but I’d love to see others take a crack at it!

Lord Marrowgar
George Thorogood – Bad To The Bone

Lady Deathwhisper
The Cult – Spiritwalker

(Gunship Battle / Interlude:
Blues Image – Ride Captain Ride)

Deathbringer Saurfang
Mahalia Jackson – Power In The Blood

Mason Williams – Classical Gas

Frank Zappa – I’m The Slime

Professor Putricide
Thomas Dolby – (S)he Blinded Me With Science

Blood Prince Council
The Chemical Brothers – Under The Influence

Blood-Queen Lana-thel
The Eagles – Witchy Woman

Valithria Dreamwalker
Concrete Blonde – Heal It Up

Paula Abdul – Cold Hearted Snake

The Lich King
Coldplay – Viva La Vida

Elevated Discourse: Professor Putricide’s Playlist


I need serious tunes when I raid in ICC. Ye olde iPod is my DJ of choice, and even with one ear open for Vent I can still get into a nice groove while downing the Lich King and his merry band.

I thought I’d share my Professor Putricide Playlist and throw out an open invitation for others to do the same. Do you have different playlists for each boss? One solid mix that carries you through the whole raid? A strictly enforced aural silence policy?

Bring it!

Professor Putricide’s Playlist

1. Faithless – Mass Destruction

2. Shiny Toy Guns – Major Tom

3. TV On The Radio – Wolf Like Me

4. Peter, Bjorn & John – Young Folks

5. Citizen Cope – Brother Lee

6. Kanye West – Stronger

7. Bloc Party – Banquet