Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Heroic Beth'Tilac: On top of the web

I love Beth'Tilac. Not just because she's this awesome-looking giant spider, but because I am challenged beyond the usual scope of what I can do on this fight. My typical assignments throughout the night look like this; Shannox, Kal - tank #1, Rhyolith, Kal - tank #2, Alysrazor, Kal - tank #1, Majordomo, Kal - tank. But when we get to Beth'Tilac, oh boy, do I get a full plate - and I walk away feeling satisfactorily full.

As you can see, I am primarily a tank healer but on this fight it is my job to go up on Beth'Tilac's web and heal the group there. My responsibilities still include the tank, but in this case I have to worry about myself and (usually) five melee dps. How does a discipline priest manage this, you may ask?

First, we make sure that the melee are in one group together to facilitate Prayer of Healing while up top. Then we organize who takes what thread first; the tank, then myself and then the rest of the melee. After that, it's just rinse and repeat for the web group.

I'll be honest, I have almost zero idea what happens on the ground in this fight. Apart from something about hitting spiderlings before they hit the raid, and killing the drones and stuff, I don't really pay attention to that part since I don't need to, and never had to. Check out the links at the bottom for a video with a good ground perspective.

Like I said, this fight makes me really excited to be a priest and I'm never quite so proud of what I can do except on this fight (and occasionally Baleroc when I can beat our Death Knight tank /shakes fist). I've wanted to write down what I do on this fight for some time, and now that I have some free time I'm finally able to.

What I'll do is take you through how I heal this fight as a discipline priest, keeping in mind that I only ever go up top* on the web.

Beth'Tilac Heroic How-To**

Phase One:

Healing this fight as a discipline priest isn't too bad, and there are multiple opportunities to use all your cooldowns. 
On the pull, run in and drop your Power Word: Barrier to help mitigate some of the Venom Rain going around, toss out some shields, and some PoHs to help your raid healers. 

Many webs! Photo: ready4raiding.com

After a couple webs have been dropped, you and your tank can go up. It's helpful to call out your web on Vent/Mumble so that your dps know when they can follow. Keep in mind that you always want your tank to go up first, and have your finger ready for Fade, just in case Beth decides to have you for dinner.

Once you're up top, ensure that your tank and yourself are stable. A couple Binding Heals will sort you both out and you'll be able to take better care of your melee. What I do when I get up top is Fade, heal up my tank and myself, by that time the melee are up and it's time to worry about them. I pop Power Infusion, (usually my Jaws of Defeat as well), throw a couple Binding Heals out, Prayer of Mending, PoH, go crazy!

When the melee are up top with me, I like to position myself behind Beth'Tilac so that I can benefit from the enhance shaman's Healing Rain and so that I'm nice and close to my tank in case he has to make an emergency move for a meteor. Don't be afraid to leave your melee at about 50% health, they don't need to be topped up. I like to PoH the melee before her AoE pulses so that they have a nice Divine Aegis on them before it hits. 

Healing Rain! So wonderful if you have it.

I have a system up top where I can safely leave my tank alone for a few casts of PoH on the melee group, and then get back to him with Penance, Shield and GHeal. Don't forget Prayer of Mending, either! This spell works wonders up top since it'll just bounce between the people on Beth's bum. 

When it's time to jump down, try to jump into the middle of her web. If you can't - maybe you're too far away - use levitate to get down safely through one of the holes in the web. Your PW:B won't be up for the first Smoldering Devastation, so do your best to help out on the raid healing until it's time to go back up. When there's a couple webs down, get ready to go back up with your tank. If you need to, don't be afraid to use Pain Suppression. Pro-tip; you can cast this on your tank (along with other spells, like PoM) as your web string is moving, so that it's on him when he gets up on the web. 

In this image you can clearly see who has the Fiery Web Silk debuff.

Essentially now it's just a rinse/repeat fight for you. Once Beth'Tilac does her second Smoldering Devastation, you should be on the ground and dropping your second PW:B of the fight. After the Spinners are taunted and there are enough webs, your group will go back up for a third and final web phase. 

Some of your melee might jump down early to help make sure all the adds are dead in time for Beth's final descent, so don't panic when they lose their Fiery Silk debuff and move out of healing range. When you jump down for the last time, I find this to be an excellent spot to cast a Potion of Concentration if you need it. 

Phase Two:

As soon as you're in position behind the boss, it's a race to beat her frenzy stacks before her AoE pulses kill you. I like to reserve my Divine Hymn to boost our resto druid's tranquility, or save it for when our shadow priest is using their hymn. Your Barrier will be back up in this phase, so feel free to drop it once the cooldown is up or when your raid leader has you assigned to do so. Since I'm assigned to tanks I always make sure they're okay before moving on to the raid. Our tanks have pretty stable health, and I have a paladin (Kurn!) who tank heals with me, so I'm usually safe helping out with PoH on the raid. The damage to the raid in phase two is substantial even after the nerf so be ready to empty that mana bar.

I've done this fight enough times that I have specific times to use my cooldowns throughout the fight. If you're curious and want to check for yourself, you can look at Apotheosis' WoL parse here. Or, check out this SS for the quick and dirty version***.

100% PoM uptime? Hot damn!
Some tips and tricks:
  • Make sure Fiery Web Silk is on your raid frames!
  • Tank cooldowns are important to show on your frames as well. (Guardian of Ancient Kings, Divine Protection, Ice-Bound Fortitude, Survival Instincts, et cetera.)
  • If you have an enhance shaman who doesn't mind dropping Healing Rain with a maelstrom 5 stack, it makes up top much easier - but it's not necessary and can be done without.
  • Barrier, PI, PS and multiple trinkets can be used at least 3 times, depending on when they are first used.
  • Levitate, Desperate Prayer and Healthstones save lives!
  • Potion of Concentration during the ground phases if needed.
  • Shadowfiend early so it's back up when you need it.

(I do have a video in the works, but I'm hopeless at video editing software. Without my s/o to help me out, I flail around and he is very busy this week. Keep an eye out for a Beth'Tilac movie with my PoV and narration!)

* That's what she said.
**If you need a refresher on the way this fight works, check out Icy Veins and for druids specifically you can look at Cannot Be Tamed, and Falling Leaves and Wings (which gives a great video perspective of the ground floor healing).
*** More CDs!

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