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TankSpot's Guide to Heroic Halfus Wyrmbreaker
TankSpot's guide to the heroic version of the
encounter is up on the NPC page!
Complete transcript after the break!
Hello and welcome to the Bastion of Twilight Raid Guide! My name is Aliena and in this video I'll show you all you have to know about the heroic Halfus Wyrmbreaker encounter. We completed this fight with 3 tanks, 9 healers - 3 of which were discipline priests - and 13 DPS. I will assume that you're familiar with how to defeat the normal encounter and will only explain the differences in the heroic version.
As soon as you enter Halfus' room, you'll notice that all the dragons and whelps are interactive and that Halfus and his dragon have all possible buffs and abilities. Yes, it's probably dawning on you, this fight is a cluster****. The enrage timer, if you were wondering, is 6 minutes.
Obviously, you have to negate all the abilities that will cause you to wipe quickly straight away. That means, the Storm Rider, Time Warden, Whelps and Nether Scion should be released straight away. You're going to need at least three strong tanks to handle the incoming tank damage. We used a warrior, a paladin and a blood death knight tank.
We start out the fight by having our paladin pull Halfus and simultaneously activating the Storm Rider. Meanwhile our warrior picks up the Time Warden and our Death Knight grabs the Nether Scion. We have a rogue break out the whelps which are then picked up by our warrior.
Everything is immediately pulled to the middle of the room and the whole raid should stay within a 15-yard radius of Halfus. This means you'll be pressed for space, but the fire balls raining down are very slow, so you still should not have any trouble moving out of them. It also ensures that your disc priests can handle all the necessary raid healing by Atonement-smiting, which frees up your remaining healers to tank heal. Make sure your priests only smite Halfus, since he's the only one taking increased damage. Also, we found it's an HPS loss to use Archangel. Each tank should have about two healers assigned to him.
Once situated in the middle of the room, ranged AoE classes work on taking down the whelps as soon as possible, while melee and single target DPS concentrate on the Time Warden. You also want to leave at least one interrupter on Halfus, to interrupt every single Shadow Nova that he casts. As soon as the whelps are dead, the AoE DPS switches over to help out with the Warden.
Since Halfus has a Mortal Strike debuff that he puts on whoever tanks him, he needs to be bouncing around your tanks. We had our tanks taunt off of each other at 5 or more stacks of the MS debuff. Keep in mind that whoever is tanking Halfus and a dragon will need extra healing, so be vocal about tank switches on ventrilo.
On the subject of tank damage, your tanks will want to use cooldowns pretty liberally throughout the whole encounter whenever they're tanking Halfus at the same time as a Drake. Try to have some kind of cooldown up for the majority of the time that you're tanking Halfus. Be vocal about this on vent, and don't be shy about asking for a healer cooldown.
Once the Time Warden dies, your now freed-up tank should release the Slate Dragon, which will occasionally stun Halfus. To make it easier on your tanks, you can also have a hunter free him and then misdirect him to the freed-up tank.
This is really useful sub-50%, since it puts huge delays on Furious Roar, and sometimes even cuts off some of its ticks. However, even though you have three drakes released, all your DPS should switch over to Halfus straight away after the Time Warden dies while the tanks just hold them. Any kind of bloodlust should also be used as soon as all DPS is on Halfus, since you won't get the full effect of it when you're continuously stunned by Furious Roar.
As soon as you push Halfus past 50%, you need to pay close attention to Halfus' Furious Roar timer. You should have a power word: barrier order assigned to your disc priests, and have them put one up on the raid each time Halfus is casting Furious Roar. Also, make sure all your tanks are at full health before a Roar. Whoever is tanking Halfus at the time needs to use a strong cooldown, such as Shield Wall, Ardent Defender, etc, or have a priest cast a Pain Suppression.
Tank deaths occur very easily below 50%. Soulstones should be placed on tanks and battle resses should be reserved for such emergencies as well. Your raid needs to be healed up completely between Roars, and you still want to assign an interrupter to blink out of the last Roar pulse, to interrupt the Shadow Nova that follows it.
To recap, by role: At the start of the fight, tanks pick up their assigned targets. Bounce Halfus around the three tanks by having one taunt when another hits 5 or more stacks of the MS debuff. Use a cooldown when tanking multiple targets. Once the Time Warden dies, the freed-up tank releases the Slate Dragon. Do not stand in fire if you can avoid it.
Healers should be within 15 yards of Halfus. Disc priests should concentrate on smiting Halfus the entire fight, which triggers raid healing through Atonement. Other healers should be assigned to the tanks, ideally two healers to each tank. Power Word Barriers should be up for most Furious Roars. Be ready to use cooldowns on tanks when they ask for it. Do not stand in fire.
DPS should be within 15 yards of Halfus. AoE DPS focuses down the whelp pack, single target DPS concentrates on the Time Warden. Once the whelps are dead, everyone should kill the Time Warden. Keep one or more interrupters on Halfus, so no Shadow Novas go off. Once the Time Warden dies, concentrate on Halfus. Use Bloodlust. Sub-50%, have a mage or another class assigned to interrupting Shadow Nova after a Roar. Do not stand in the fire.
That about concludes the changes you'll encounter in the heroic version of Halfus Wyrmbreaker. Good luck, and have fun! I've attached the full encounter with the relevant vent conversation so you can see how we handled tank cooldowns. This is footage of our first Halfus kill, so tanks have slightly different assignments than I've mentioned in this video and the last few percent are a bit... sloppy.
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