So, you’re a resto druid. Heals are your thing. Maybe sometimes you go boomkin or cat – you’ve probably got an offspec for quests and stuff and maybe on raid nights when the priest refuses to go shadow for the farm content. Somehow or another, you got 25 Eternal Embers and then bought the 3 Sands of Time from that vendor in Uldum, turned the combination in, and got sent to see Tarcegosa in Coldarra.
First, don’t just fly off to Coldarra right away. You’ve got serious work to do. Now, if you regularly Boomkin, this may be no big deal. If you’re like me and rarely touch the stuff, it will take you a few tries. You’ll save time and gold in the long run by taking some steps up front
Gear – with luck you’ve been picking up some dps gear in your raids after the mages and locks pass. A pair of solid trinkets will make a big difference, and if you’ve got options in your other slots, that’s good. If you have picked up your Boomkin 2 set, or can get it, I thought it made a nice little dps increase when I used it. Your resto set bonus are going to be useless so if you’ve got alternate pieces for those slots with better stats, then go for it.
Once you’ve picked out your dps set, save it – you might be working on this for a few weeks. Then go to the reforger. Here’s the scoop: the stuff you fight in there tops out at level 85. That means all that spirit – that converts to hit and probably has you way over hit cap – can go. I know, it’s unnatural to reforge spirit, but what you really want is haste and crit. This fight is all about your dots and hots, so pump up the haste! Mastery is basically useless, you won’t be spending much time worried about your Eclipse rotation, so that’s the other stat to dump.
Check your enchants! I had some pieces in my set that had old enchants, or no gems, because it was offspec gear. Spend the money and get your stuff done right.
Spec – listen to me here. You’re doing this in full Balance spec. Your dots won’t hit hard enough in resto, and the dragon is flying way, way overheard so no feral either. But you don’t want a cookie cutter Balance spec. You are almost never going to be standing there casting direct damage spells at the boss – and if you are, it’s Wrath, or a procced Starsurge. So look for talents that boost Moonfire, Insect Swarm, and Wrath. Take a hard look at survivability talents – I took 3 points in Perseverance for this fight, because most of the damage you take is spell damage and that 6% reduction adds up. I did not take Solar Beam – yeah the interrupt is nice but on such a long cooldown it wasn’t worth it. No Owlkin Frenzy – you are in caster form most of the time. I also skipped Gale Winds but that one is arguable. I recommend picking up Blessing of the Grove and Heart of the Wild from the Resto tree.
Glyphs – don’t do what I did and realize a week into this that you’re using resto glyphs. Go buy boomkin ones! The set I used was
Prime glyphs: Insect Swarm, Wrath, and Moonfire
Major Glyphs: Barkskin, Starfall, and Monsoon
Minors: whatever you want, but not Typhoon.
Typhoon is going to be a good friend to you on this fight. You want it on a short cooldown but not – I repeat not – glyphed out of the knockback. The knockback is your friend.
Buffs: buy a stack or two of fish heads and some flasks of intellect. Also mana pots or health pots or both. Bandages if you have the skill (I don’t, I admit, I fail). You might even want a few Volcanic Potions but save those until you know the fight well.
If you have a really, really good mage friend perhaps she will park outside the Nexus and cast Arcane Brilliance on you every time you die and run back. I didn’t bother, but it would be a nice little perk. She might even give you cookies so you can eat on the gauntlet phase.
Abilities: I had to redo my bars a little bit to make things I needed accessible. Your major damage spells are going to be Wrath, Moonfire, and Insect Swarm. You’ll get Starsurge procs so have that somewhere easy to use. You’ll use Typhoon a lot, and you want your Wild Mushrooms and Detonate Wild Mushrooms on the keys. I also suggest having Hibernate on your bar, mostly for the gauntlet but you may need to sleep an add for a second at some point.
You want Barkskin and Nature’s Grasp in easy to reach spots. I had mine mapped to F1/F2 and also F11/F12, for easy access. Innervate – use it early and often! Starfall is a nice damage boost, and your treants should be somewhere easy to get to.
Whew! What else? Why, your hots – but if you’re a real resto druid raider you’ve probably got those bound to mouseclicks in Vuhdo or Grid or whatever. I’ll assume you have access to those in your balance spec, because if you don’t it’s gonna suck. If for some reason you need to map the heals to keys: prioritize Lifebloom, Rejuv, Regrowth, Healing Touch. Nourish isn’t going to cut it.
Yay! You’re ready to go! Make sure your gear is repaired. There’s a repair guy at the Transitus Shield in Coldarra if you need him. Then, hop a boat or zeppelin and get to the Tundra – or fly from Dalaran if you’ve moved back to mageville. You’ll get a cut scene, meet Tarecgosa, and be told to meet her inside the Nexus. Go on in – and note, you cannot be in a group of any sort at this point. When you talk to her, she’ll start the gauntlet event, so be ready.
Next Time: The Gauntlet!