HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

Eyes in the Dark

Evil Trash pulls in Heroic Old Kingdom

Evil Trash pulls in Heroic Old Kingdom

Each time I get sent back to Old Kingdom (which happens much too frequently) I struggle to heal the trash pulls between the first boss, Elder Nadox, and second boss, Prince Taldaram. Especially as the Shaman. It’s messy – you’ll get knocked around, feared and, if unlucky, suffer back to back silences.

Each time I come out the other end alive with my party at 10-20% health or resurrecting those who died I can’t help but think: How the heck are you supposed to clear those pulls?

This is one place where the charge/AoE/brute force healing isn’t going to get you through on its own. So if you’re tired of struggling with these pulls and want a clean, controlled slaughter with minimal incoming damage here’s how to do it. Properly.

The Mobs

1. Eye of Taldaram – Eyes in the Dark leading to Dark Counterspell.
Shadowfury, on death.

Eye of Taldaram

Eye of Taldaram

Within about 5 seconds of the pull it will apply a Magic debuff to a caster called Eyes in the Dark. It almost always picks on the healer. The debuff doesn’t disappear quickly either – it will stick around for about 20 seconds. And if it wears off, it will be recast on the healer almost immediately.

It is essential that Eyes in the Dark be cleansed off your healer (and preferably your DPS). If not removed, the next time your healer goes to use a spell with a cast time (instants can’t be Counterspelled) they will take a nice chunk of damage and be unable to heal for the following 8 seconds. If, after that 8 second window has passed, the debuff remains on the healer, they will be interupted again. Dark Counterspell does not consume the Eyes in the Dark debuff.

Most pulls will include a couple of Eyes and when each one dies – if you AoE two will die at the same time – they deal about 7000 damage to each player standing within 10 yards and knock them right back. When everyone in your party takes 14k damage at the end of an 8 or 16 second healer lockout? That’s how you get deaths.

2. Frostbringer – Frost Nova and Icy Winds and a movement slowing Frostbolt

Frostbringer

Frostbringer

The Frostbringers might be a bit annoying, but they’re much less likely to cause your group to wipe or take a lot of damage. Frost Nova will freeze you in place and Frostbolt will slow you down. This can be a bit annoying when the tank is trying to gather all the casters together in one spot. But it’s mostly annoying, not painful.

Icy Winds is interesting. Applied to a caster – DPS or your healer – it can double their cast time, which doesn’t sound fun. But I don’t find that this happens to me very often. Or perhaps I don’t notice it.

3. Bonegrinder – Frightening Shout

Bonegrinder

Bonegrinder

You’ll need to kill a few patrolling Bonegrinders, one at a time, on your way to Prince Taladram. The only real ability which can cause problems is his fear – Frightening Shout – which can send a party member running into another pack.

Some Strategies and Tatics

1. Getting Rid of Eyes in the Dark

The most important thing you can do, if you really want to brute tank/heal/AoE your way through, is to get someone to remove Eyes in the Dark from your healer. It must be removed from a healer immediately. A Paladin can Cleanse it off, a Priest can Dispel Magic. Fortunately, the Dungeon Finder likes to pick a nice variety of classes when forming a group so I think your chances are very high that your party will include a member of one of these classes. So:

PaladinCleanse Eyes in the Dark immediately from the healer (or yourself)
PriestDispel Eyes in the Dark immediately from the healer (or yourself)

In addition, if you are the healer, watch your debuffs closely and as soon as you are afflicted with Eyes in the Dark swap to casting instant spells only. For Druids this shouldn’t be a huge problem and still leaves them with most of their healing spells. Priests should Dispel themselves, as should Paladins.

Shaman… are probably going to have the most problems here (I know I do) and you’re going to have to cut back to Riptide and one Nature’s Swiftness+Healing Wave cast.

Restoration Druids and Restoration Shaman – Switch to instant heal spells when you are afflicted with Eyes in the Dark. Ask for a Cleanse/Dispel.

If you have no Paladins or Priests in your 5 man group I strongly suggest you kill off the Eyes of Taladaram immediately (perhaps one at a time) and rely on your tanking cooldowns. For healers in this situation I would still recommend cutting back to instant spells for the 20 second duration of Eyes in the Dark – limited healing is better than no healing at all.

2. Avoiding the Knockback

If you play a ranged caster or Hunter you should be able to outdistance the knockback by standing a good distance back from the action for the first pull which happens on “ground” level.

When you reach the two “egg” upper platform groups it is going to be significantly more difficult to stand more than 10 yards away from the tank and still be in line of sight. The best thing you can do is to group up on the circular platform and walk back to make sure your back is to a “wall”. This way the knockback will be an interupt, but you won’t waste time running back up the platform to reposition.

If your healer isn’t afflicted by Eyes in the Dark they should be ready to heal through the knockback damage.

If you’re at low health when an Eye of Taladram is about to die, you might want to Disperse or use Cloak of Shadows, Barkskin or whatever temporary survivability spells you have. You’ll still get knocked back, but it will be less likely to kill you.

I can’t help but wonder, if you were to stun an Eye of Taladram right before it died, would it still be able to use it’s knockback + damage ability?

3. Avoiding Icy Winds and Frost Nova

These two abilities can be ignored.

But one comment I read suggested that a Mage in the party should Spellsteal a Frostbringer’s Icy Winds for some extra damage.

When I’m playing the Priest, I like to Mass Dispel Frost Nova, especially when you can see the mobs are a bit spread out and the tank is still trying to round them all up.

4. Avoiding the Fear (or Frightening Shout)

If you have a Shaman, you can counter Frightening Shout with a Tremor Totem.

Priests can use Fear Ward, however, if you Fear Ward yourself as a Priest you will not be able to then turn around and Mass Dispel your scattered party members because this fear isn’t Magic based, it’s Physical.

I believe most tanks and melee players try and keep the Bonegrinder stunned for the duration of the fight to lessen the opportunity for him to use this ability. Ideally your tank will choose an open space to fight the Bonegrinder, far away from any uncleared areas.

If you do get feared, you should be able to use Escape Artist or Every Man for Himself if you play a Gnome or Human to get out of it. I’ve yet to test this out, though.

One Rule

If this all seems too complicated you can really reduce it down to just 1 rule to prevent wipes:

Dispel/Cleanse Eyes in the Dark immediately from your healer.
If you are a healer, stick to instants spells until it is removed or remove it yourself.

Good luck! I hope your next trash pulls are a lot smoother.

10 Responses to “Eyes in the Dark”

  1. Dyre42No Gravatar says

    Good post. Its worth mentioning that hunters should avoid using using multishot during the tricky trash pulls. My first time in hOK I targeted the middle mob in a pack of three, misdirected to the tank, and fired multishot only to have the arrows hit the center mob, the left hand mob, and a mob in a patrol much further to the left. I’ve never seen that happen anywhere else.

  2. LguellerNo Gravatar says

    Can Eyes in the Dark lock out multiple schools at the same time? Would it be possible for shamans to fire off a lava burst or something to try and get locked out of fire, rather than nature?

  3. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    @Lgueller It only locks one school of magic, so yes, you could intentionally try and lock one school other than your healing (holy/nature) school. But getting counterspelled/interupted does not remove the Eyes in the Dark debuff so nothing will have changed.

    I don’t believe it’s limited to only one school at a time.

  4. CharityNo Gravatar says

    Thanks for this. I ran through Old Kingdom for the first time a couple of days ago, and was frustrated by the silencing. Now I know how to avoid it.

  5. BeruthielNo Gravatar says

    Nice post! I really hate that bloody debuff as well :(

    The other thing I hate about those pulls is that those stupid little orbs cause LoS issues. I honestly just thought tanks were being unaware of their healer on those pulls…until I had to tank it. Good god it sucks!
    .-= Beruthiel’s last blog … On Being Human =-.

  6. JurikNo Gravatar says

    I seem to recall back near the beginning of WotLK that EitD was consumed when it triggered. Maybe my memory is fuzzy, or they changed it…

    It’s worth noting that the shades won’t cast Eyes in the Dark on you if you are out of LoS. The first pack, you can use the nearby wall to block LoS. For the 2 “ramp” pulls, you can use the top of the ramp as LoS to prevent getting tagged. When you don’t have anything useful to do, stay out of LoS and 90% of the time it’ll be cast on someone else, giving you a nice long window to heal in before they can cast it again.
    This is particularly relevant for shaman, as druids should be comfortable healing with just instants, and priests and paladins can safely self-dispel.

    Also, I find it very funny when hunters kill themselves on EitD, because apparently the counterspell will trigger doing a heap of damage, but their ability won’t be locked out, and naturally they never think to stop dpsing for a moment…

  7. gorkosNo Gravatar says

    as a shaman i try and time the silence debuff and drop my earthbind totem. with the frostbinders mixed in it can get tricky but some times i get lucky enough and my totem will eat it instead of me.

  8. ClickityclopNo Gravatar says

    As a shammy heals, when there are any pulls of multiple casters, I usually target one of the ranged that the tanks isn’t targeting, and interrupt it as soon as tank pulls. This makes them run towards the tank and helps tank get aggro , it’s also a way of keeping the mobs grouped. The stray ranged mobs almost always goes for the healer, so an interrupt is a pre-emptive way to prevent that, and give yourself an opportunity to heal in peace.

    Many healers seem to forget about Wind Shock or similar spells till they already have aggro, Wind Shock is a pretty dismal aggro drop when you already have aggro, so why not use it earlier?

  9. KcajNo Gravatar says

    Excellent writeup, thanks!! It is very hard to find good, consolidated info about these “trash” MOBs

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