I’m slowly catching up on my healing posts! Council of Elders is one of those fights where the sheer list of abilities can make it seem like a complex fight, but actually keeping track of them in the fight isn’t half as hard. This fight is very much like Spirit Kings – with more chaos and a soft enrage timer. In general, the raid should be spread out for this fight.
The key to this fight is Gara’jal the Spiritbinder, who apparently has a difficult time moving on. So he makes life difficult for us by empowering each of the troll Elders. They gain different abilities when they are empowered, and the longer the fight gets, the more difficult it gets to heal.
There is no one big moment of raid-wide damage versus others in this fight. The difficulty of this fight is in dealing with the damaging abilties (with the exception of empowered ones) at the same time.
– Keep track of Frigid Assault: This is a stacking debuff which causes Malakk’s melee attacks to deal additional frost damage. Keep track of the tank swaps and heal up the tank dealing with Frigid Assault.
– Keep 4 yard range from members: The Biting Cold debuff deals damage to all members within 4 yards of the affected player so maintain range to avoid taking damage from it.
– Heal member afflicted with Biting Cold: Biting Cold deals around 100k damage every 2 seconds and the debuff lasts 30 seconds – be sure to put some extra heals on affected player. This debuff actually hits fairly hard and I recommend using a cooldown to help deal with the increased damage.
– Heal through Frostbite (and stack if necessary): This is Malakk’s empowered ability and contrary to Biting Cold, it requires 2 other members to stack with the affected player to reduce damage. Communicate with others and stack if necessary with the player. It’ll be hard to miss if it’s on you – it has a very noticeable frost orb kind of animation. This is a great spot to use area-specific cooldowns to deal with incoming damage since the raid is largely spread for the entire fight. I rotate my Barrier in with other area cooldowns from other healers to deal with this.
– Heal through Wrath of the Loa: This spell is constantly cast and can throw around quite a bit of damage that must be healed through. The holy version deals about 150 – 170k damage while the shadowed version hits for a little less. It’s a good amount of damage constantly going out.
– Kill the loa spirits: Both versions of these spirits (empowered and otherwise) need to be killed asap within the short 20 second window. The empowered versions are particularly deadly as they target a raid member and blow up on reaching them. Use movement speed boosts if targeted to get some distance, and help kill it if possible.
– Avoid path of Reckless Charge: This ability causes knockbacks and damage to folks in its path – avoid it.
– Queue a healing cooldown for Overload: This is his empowered ability that takes after Reckless Charge and is similar to Cowardice from Spirit Kings where a percentage of the damage taken is reflected back to players. It’s a good place to queue up damage mitigating and healing cooldowns to deal with this.
– Maintain 5 yards from raid members: Sul’s Sand Bolt deals a good chunk of damage to a randomly targeted member and all members within 5 yards of them. Stay spread out to avoid taking damage from this, and heal through Sand Bolt.
– Avoid the Quicksand pools: These spawn at random raid member’s location and deal high damage to those in it while also reducing their movement speed. Avoid these at all costs and use movement increasing boosts to get out quickly incase your location is the lucky spawn site. The movement speed reduction is dispellable and worth keeping an eye out for when people get caught in these pools. Lifegrip does not work to break the snare for people already trapped in it. But it is a fantastic tool if you can time it right after a quick dispel to save a fellow member.
– Heavy tank heals during Living Sand: This is Sul’s empowered ability where Living Sand adds spawn. They hit fairly hard and must be killed quickly. Queue up heavy heals and/or a damage mitigating cooldown for the tank picking these up. Also note that the tanks may take a second or two to pick them up, and sometimes you’ll find yourself at the top their aggro table as a healer. I ordinarily use a Fade here just to be safe avoid getting smacked in the face by these nasty adds.
– Heal through Sandstorm…Maybe: Depending on your raid’s strategy, you may or not even deal with this ability. If your raid kills Sul right off the bat and then moves on to the rest of the mechanics, you’re all set and probably won’t even see this. If not, then you’ll want to keep a cooldown and queue up some heavy healing for Sandstorm. It is a raidwide AoE ability that hits fairly hard. It’s a great idea to queue up Spirit Shell to mitigate the incoming damage and coordinate with another healer’s cooldown.
Cascade and a glyphed Penance are true blessings for this fight where the raid is spread out and constantly on the move avoiding things.