Healing Perspectives: Blade Lord Ta’yak

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I’m back raiding! *creaks raid muscles* It’s good to be healing again – and this is around the time where the new patch will be out soon, and I realise I have all these posts that are waiting published!

Today, it’s all about how to help yet another ugly bug in Heart of Fear meet his doom! Much of the fight involves good positioning and well-timed heals. It’s one of those fights I highly recommend viewing/practicing in LFR – it’s a great way to get used to the mechanics and figure out a healing rhythm.

Blade Lord Ta’yak is a simple fight with two phases. Phase 1 is what I call the raid dance phase, where the raid collapses in and spreads out to deal with Unseen Strikes and Wind Step. Phase 2 occurs when Ta’yak hits 20% health and involves the long-tornado-run-of-doom.

Phase 1:

Stack and queue a cooldown for Unseen Strike: Unseen Strike is one of those predictable moments of damage that simply screams for mitigation. While the damage it does isn’t terribly lethal, mitigating it with cooldowns can go a long way in saving mana for the later phase. It can also save a death by keeping people at a higher health when they get out in the event that they have Wind Step or get thrown into an inconvenient tornado during the pushback. I usually alternate with Spirit Shell and Barrier as my cooldowns for this.

- Maintain a 10 yard distance: Every so often, Ta’yak Wind Steps someone which puts a debuff on the player and all targets within 10 yards. Keep track of your range to make sure that only the minimum number of people are affected by Wind Step.

- Heal through Wind Step: Wind Step is one of those long annoying debuff that does a significant amount of damage over its length. Be sure to heal through the debuff and take special note of affected after Unseen Strike when people are generally low.

- Preemptively Spirit Shell before Phase transition: This is one of the best things we can do as Discipline priests – negate much of the damage caused by Unleashed Storm so people go into the tornado phase with a lot more health. This makes the run a lot more easier on healing so you aren’t trying to heal them on the go. Preemptively mitigating the damage requires keeping track of Ta’yak’s health percentage and timing the spell about a percent or two in advance. And just to be on the safe side, I hold off from using Spirit Shell on the very last Unseen Strike before the transition to ensure that I can use it for the transition.

Phase 2:

- Use speed boosts: The faster you get through the tornadoes and get to Ta’yak, the better due to the constant damage going out. Use personal speed boosts on yourself and bubble members for the Body and Soul boosts to help make the journey quicker.

- Avoid tornadoes: Tornadoes deal damage and take you backwards frustratingly, so avoid them at all costs. When you’re nearing the platform, you can predict where the tornadoes will spawn by the little red circles on the ground.

- Cascade, bubble and PoM throughout: Healing on the go can help but the last thing you want to do is have to stop and cast. Keep moving and throw out instants like bubbles and Cascade to spread the healing around. A glyphed Penance on the move is awesome for this phase. For personal healing in a pinch, Desperate Prayer is life-saving.

- Use Jetstream at 12-11% health: A neat way of avoiding doing the tornado run a second time when Ta’yak swaps spots, is to take the adjoining jetstream right before the switch at 10%. That way, you avoid tornadoes and are there waiting for him when he arrives.

Having Cascade and a glyphed Penance are really key to make the second phase a lot easier.

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