HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

Shield Wall FTW:
Surviving Heroic Twin Val’kyr

Yep, your raid is going to take a beating.

Yep, your raid is going to take a beating. This is before the Twins are even in position.

Update: Here’s the video of our last Twin Val’kyr kill using this strategy.

Remember those two lovely angels, the Twin Val’kyr? Remember running around to power up and smartly swapping essences to avoid AOE damage and increase your damage on the correct – opposingly coloured – twin at the right time? Forget all that.

This is how we defeated Twin Val’kyr on 25 man Trial of the Grand Crusader. We didn’t have amazing DPS. We didn’t stack the raid with Arcane Mages (although, that might be a viable strategy all on its own – I’m looking forward to that YouTube video). We didn’t need fantastic latency.

We used the “door strategy” which kind of ignores the main fight mechanics to the point where you feel like you might be cheating just a little bit. I know there are some players out there that do consider this method cheating, and therefore, inferior. If you’re one of those people please just stop reading now.

The biggest difference between Heroic and Normal difficulty is those flying dark and light orbs. A bad orb (opposite colour to your essence) will hit you for about 18k damage. 2 in a row? You’re gone. And they fly around pretty damn fast.

The Door Strategy in Concept

Just about everyone will need to take Dark Essence. Stand clustered right up against the entrance gate/portal (no light orbs can spawn here). Never change your essence. Use survivability cooldowns to survive AOE special abilities. Pray.

This strategy removes the need for every raid member to have excellent situational awareness. Usually you would:

  • Dodge one orb type while collecting another based on your own essence
  • DPS the correct target based on your own essence
  • Switch essences to burn down a Twin’s Pact shield
  • Switch essences to avoid AOE damage
  • Switch essences to remove Touch of Light or Touch of Darkness (a new nasty for Heroic mode)

Oh yeah, while maintaining a high DPS output in order to beat the enrage timer.

The Door Strategy is completely different to how you’d go about it on normal mode and we thought that it was worthy of further explanation.

The Door Strategy in Practice

Step 1. Turn off Deadly Boss Mods. You’re not going to do anything it tells you to do.

Cass says: I cannot recommend this strongly enough. DBM will tell you to change essences over and over again – which, of course, you’re not going to be doing.

Lath says: I kept Deadly Boss Mods on but changed the standard settings. I unticked the “Show Warning for Touch of Light/Darkness” because it gives the same emote/warning as one of the special abilities (Lightbane’s Vortex, explained below) – the critical healing point where I need to use Tranquility. While learning this fight I ended up using my Tranquility waaaay too early and ended up needing it when it was on cooldown.

Step 2. Assign some “soakers”. These people are going to protect your raid from incoming light orbs. Choose DPSers who have a good combination of survivability and can move a lot while still maintaining decent damage. Make sure these are smart players.

Cass says: We had 2 Warlocks as our primary soakers. I think they spec’ed specially for this fight (to include Soul Link, Molten Skin and Nether Protection) to increase their survivability. Your soakers need to have good situational awareness and will often be doing something contrary to what your Raid Leader is telling people to do. Get some people who can think for themselves and move.

We also ended up with a couple extra plate wearing DPS (1 Ret Paladin and 1 Death Knight) assigned to Light Essence. We found that having a couple extra DPS doing additional damage to Darkbane helped us out considerably when we needed to burn down Darkbane’s shield. These DPS were not running around soaking up orbs though – that was just the Warlocks.

Lath says: These Warlocks take extra damage so make sure you have at least one raid healer keeping an eye on your soakers. We assigned a healer to each raid group but the 2 Resto Druids were also keeping full HoTs on the Warlocks to ensure they lived. We also found it was easier to heal plate-wearing DPS (with Light Essence) if you need that little bit extra DPS for Darkbane’s shield.

Step 3. Hot key your Shield Wall (er, that is, whatever temporary survivability ability you have).

Cass says: For me, that’s Dispersion. Warriors get their Shield Wall, Paladins have their bubble, healing Priests can use Guardian Spirit or Pain Suppression, Death Knights have their Anti-Magic thingy, Rogues can Cloak of Shadows and Mages can Ice Block and Shamans have well… don’t be a Shaman.

Lath says: Barkskin is your friend here however it isn’t strong enough to survive without additional healing. I have my Barkskin and Tranquility macroed so I can cast them quickly in succession.

Step 4. Put your Resto Druids and Shamans in a group. They’re going to need a lot of help.

Lath says: I’m not sure why but the shammies seem to always go down first. As the majority of the raid have “oh shit” abilities that let them live through the opposing colour vortex, we place both Restoration Druids, Enhance Shaman, Elemental Shaman and Discipline Priest in 1 group together. Both Druids popped Tranquility which keeps the entire group topped up, however in future attempts I think we’ll stagger this in case we have to survive a second Light Vortex.

Cass says: While I’m taking a break during Dispersion, I like to watch those health bars. They go down so fast!

Step 5. Get into position. The raid will stack right up against the gate. The soakers and tanks will form a small, protective ring around them about 5-10 yards out from the raid.

Cass says: Don’t stand close to the sides of the door. That’s enough to pick up a stray light orb as they spawn. Really stack dead in the middle with your back to the gate. If you’d like a better view of the action swivel your camera view around to the front with your left mouse button.

Lath says: If you stand out and get hit by a stray orb don’t expect to live and don’t blame the healers for your death! Love your fellow raiders and say goodbye to personal space.

Step 6. Pull the Twins into the raid.

Cass says: DPS your opposite Twin. For most of the raid (with Dark Essence) they’ll be attacking Fjola Lightbane. The soakers will DPS Eydis Darkbane when they can, but it’s more important for them to make sure not one light orb gets past them and into the raid.

Be careful not to call your targets “Light” or “Dark” unless you want to cause mass confusion (ok, you probably already figured that out on normal mode). And, even better, make sure your raid understands that when you say “Switch” you mean “Switch Targets” not “Switch Essences”. Try and get people to start loading up debuffs on Darkbane a few seconds before the Special Ability phase begins just in case they need to burn down her shield. That head start can make a big difference.

Lath says: The raid healing is crazy. We got our first kill using 6 healers: 1 Holy Paladin and 1 Disc Priest for tank healing and 2 x Resto Druids and 2 x Holy Priests for raid healing. Before the tanks go in and pull make sure you give them some HoTs as they go out of range for a little while and the tank healers can’t leave the doorway. Raid damage is continual and as a Resto Druid you are primarily responsible for blanketing the raid with Rejuvenations and using Wild Growth every time it is off cool down.

Step 7. Special Ability time! Ok, there are four special abilities and you’ll get all four, but the order is a bit random.

After the first special ability the rest are somewhat predictable. You’ll get all four special abilities without doubling up on any one. Once you’ve experienced all four of the special abilities the order will change up again for the second set of four.

7a. Lightbane puts up her shield

What to do (Cass): Nothing special. DPS her like you were doing anyway. Most of your raid will be doing a nice amount of damage to her (since they have Dark Essence) and you should eat through her shield in time.

What to do (Lath): Nothing special here for healers, keep the raid alive and keep an eye on your mana!

7b. Darkbane puts up her shield

Note: If this is the first Special Ability of the fight ignore it and let the Twins heal back to 100%.

What to do (Cass): This is your moment! Everyone much switch DPS targets in advance, debuff Darkbane to hell and back, use Heroism, blow your DPS cooldowns and hope to hell you can somehow DPS through her shield and that your soakers with Light Essence can somehow pick up the slack. Pray. Yeah, we never killed it in time. Add 30% health back onto their bars and keep going.

What to do (Lath): Again, nothing special here for healers, just try to keep the raid alive!

7c. Lightbane does crazy “Light” Fire AOE damage

What to do (Cass): Translate your Raid Leader’s screams of “Shield Wall!” over Vent into “get ready to hit Dispersion/Iceblock/Cloak of Shadows/etc” when Fjola Lightbane has finished casting. The raid need to survive this. Hope that your vulnerable Shaman and Resto Druid party survived. Your soakers should be fine – they’ll absorb this one.

What to do (Lath): This is the part that makes this strat exhausting for the healers. The raid wide damage caused during Light Vortex is huge. Use your big AOE healing spells and personal damage reduction spells. For trees this means popping Barkskin and using Tranquility. Holy Priests must use Guardian Spirit themselves, not on the tanks, and use Prayer of Healing to cover their party. Discipline Priests might need to Pain Suppression themselves. Paladins can use their bubble (combine it with Divine Sacrifice to help reduce the amount of healing required raid wide).

7d. Darkbane does crazy “Dark” Shadow AOE damage

What to do (Cass): Enjoy the power ups as you soak up all the Shadow damage. Keep killing Lightbane.

What to do (Lath): Remind your soakers to use their survivability moves, or, if they don’t have anything, they can run over and change to Dark Essence temporarily then change back to Light Essence. But you probably won’t need to remind them much because you picked smart players to be soakers, am I right? The raid will continue to take some damage, but it won’t spike like it does when Lightbane casts her Light AOE vortex.

Step 8. Win! Whatever you do, don’t give up until you hit the enrage timer.

20 Responses to “Shield Wall FTW:
Surviving Heroic Twin Val’kyr”

  1. I love this guide. It’s a clever strategy and still requires a lot of coordination to work.

    A parochial question: were your warlocks were switching Armor spells during the different phases (Demon Armor when soaking, Fel Armor when DPSing)? The builds they used are an interesting hybrid between the 0/13/58 PvE destro and 0/20/51 PvP destro builds.

    Thanks for the writeup!
    .-= Cynwise of Stormwind’s last blog … A Little Bit Easier =-.

  2. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    Well they’re really soaking up the orbs non-stop – move, cast, move, cast etc – they might at the most stand still for 10-15 seconds to burn a shield. Doubt they’re swapping armor. I’ll ask which one they used though – cause I have no idea!

  3. We did this one too and got it finally. And OMG is keeping a group up as a resto druid hard. The two of us trees in my raid prehotted our groups then pop tranq on white dmg crap. It was hard!
    Also, Paladins with aura master feels like cheating for that too. lol

    Grats. :D
    .-= Sushicookie’s last blog … You receive loot: [Swift Horde Wolf]. =-.

  4. VokNo Gravatar says

    Nicely done – I’ll send the Obsolete guys to have a look at that, they’re butting heads with twins at the moment
    .-= Vok’s last blog … Lore and Order (WoW) : Hyjal =-.

  5. ImalinataNo Gravatar says

    One of our rogues discovered that it is possible to interrupt the heal before/just as the shield goes up. When it works, it makes it quite nice to dps the light boss instead of having to dps through the dark shield.

  6. ZahrahNo Gravatar says

    Cheers for your comment lath, I am – It does seem that the best progression and players are on a pvp realm, so I am warming up to the idea..
    .-= Zahrah’s last blog … Under the Microscope. =-.

  7. NefernetNo Gravatar says

    Nice guide !
    We tried this method a few weeks ago, and never got it right. People were just dying on the orbs : soakers and raiders all alike. The next day, they were downed with another method, can’t remember which, one involving switching auras.

    Due to lots of departures in the guild (half the officers and the best geared raiders transferred) we are not raiding ToGC any more, just farminig the normal version all over to gear people… I miss hardmodes. :’(

    The 10-man version of this encounter gave a hard time to my group this week. We couldn’t get with a good strat…
    .-= Nefernet’s last blog … Grinding my LFG rep =-.

  8. TaraNo Gravatar says

    Shaman are awesome, don’t knock us! :D

    Enhancement shaman have Shamanistic Rage but the other 2 specs are out of luck
    .-= Tara’s last blog … November is for novels =-.

  9. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    @ Tara: Shammies are awesome I agree, but 20% (Barkskin) or 30% (Shamanistic Rage) reduced incoming damage just isn’t enough to get you through Light Vortex. Total immunity is ideal (Ice Block, Divine Shield) and near total immunity is good too (Dispersion, Cloak of Shadows).

  10. cubzNo Gravatar says

    raid need to do around 8k dps if you want to avoid the unlucky RNG.

    also if you have hunters in raid have them as soakers, cause they cant really dps other wise.

    some guilds is calling this is a cheaters way and i did get few pst from some nice ppl point it out, trying to get me to defend it. but i just ignored them and continue doing what i was doing which is afk in IF :)

    i would like to do this boss the other way but we have ppl with lag issues. i really thing blizzard need to take into account of ppl with bad computer + bad internet + laggy server when they make boss fights. many times i was miles away and the ball exploded :( and i do notice a huge frame rate drop when they doing their aoe damage skill.

  11. cubzNo Gravatar says

    the reason there is a door strategy is because this room is sooo boring and ppl just want to get out of here!

    after doing toc 10 normal, Toc 10 heroic, toc 25 normal and toc 25 heroic on your main then toc 10 normal, toc 25 normal on your alt every week for months now, you kinda get sick of it.

  12. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    @ Cynwise: Here’s the answer I got back from one of our Warlocks:

    stuck with fel armor although demon armor would be better for soaking i guess. but its important for us to dps especially through the shield. you can actually stand still quite alot and dps, letting most of the orbs hit you instead of chasing them round. you only really need to move when multiple opposite (to your buff) coloured ones are coming for you (providing your getting good heals like we do).

  13. LestuniemNo Gravatar says

    Two things.

    Shadow Vortex: Paladin SRA + Aura Mastery
    Light Vortex: Paladin FiRA + Aura Mastery
    .-= Lestuniem’s last blog … HAI!!1! =-.

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