Healing tips for Valiona and Theralion
The Valiona and Theralion fight is your basic dragon encounter with a twist: there’s two of them. No, really, that’s it. Were you expecting more? Like most WoW dragons, V&T have a ground phase and an air phase. Since there are two of them, however, that means that one of them will always be in the air and one will always be on the ground.
The fight is basically four phases which will cycle through on a consistent timer until the dragons (who share a health pool) are dead. The first phase is Valiona on the ground, the second is a transition, the third is Theralion on the ground, and the fourth is another transition.
Phase 1: Valiona
As you enter the room, you will see Valiona on your right and Theralion on your left. Your tank will pull Valiona, who will remain on the ground, and Theralion will take off for his air phase. During this phase, your raid will want to remain spread out at least 8 yards away from other players. This will minimize the splash damage taken from Theralion’s Twilight Blast, which he’ll cast from the air at random targets. This is Theralion’s only ability during phase 1, and it is easily healed through when people are standing far enough apart from one another.
Valiona, meanwhile, will occasionally place Blackout on one member of your raid. Blackout is a magical debuff that deals a massive amount of damage when dispelled or expires. That damage will be spread out among all the other players within range of its target, so it’s essential that your entire raid collapse on a fixed point (we use Valiona’s tail) when Blackout is cast. If you are the healer assigned to dispell, be sure that you wait until a majority of your raid has grouped up before cleansing the debuff. Theralion tends to cast a Twilight Blast shortly after Blackout, so your raid must quickly spread out again. This will be the most healing-intensive part of the first phase. Make sure to save your Swiftmend until Blackout is dispelled so that you can put down Efflorescence.
If Valiona happens to target a mage, paladin, or rogue for Blackout, those classes can safely run out of the group and remove the debuff on their own using Iceblock, Divine Shield, or Cloak of Shadows. This can save your raid a lot of healing, but the target must be sure to run far enough out of the raid, as using any of these abilities will still count as a dispell; thus, the target may take no damage himself but will instantly kill any other players around him.
Valiona may look (and sound!) familiar to you if you’ve spent any time in Grim Batol. She, along with Dragha Shadowburner, is one of the bosses in that dungeon. There, she has an ability called Devouring Flames, which is a 180-degree frontal cone breath attack that deals massive damage to anyone it hits. That same ability is used during her fight in the Bastion of Twilight. To counteract it, try to remain as close to Valiona as possible while still maintaining the 8 yard separation from other raid members. Doing so will mean that you don’t have to run as far when Valiona turns to begin to channel the breath attack. If you absolutely cannot make it behind Valiona before the breath attack begins, getting as far away from her as possible will make you take less damage. If you have any priests in your raid, a well-timed “Life Grip” can save a raid member who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time.
You will know that Theralion will be landing shortly when he begins to cast Dazzling Destruction. This is a large, pinkish-purple ground effect that will swirl around for a few seconds before the blast hits. Avoid the swirling graphics, giving them more space than it looks like they need as they do not have clearly defined edges. Should you be hit by Dazzling Destruction, you will be sent to the Twilight Realm. There, you will see Twilight Orbs as well as a portal which is usually near one of the doors of the room. If you do end up in the Twilight Realm, DON’T PANIC. Slowly and carefully navigate your way to the portal and then right click on it, as running into any of the Twilight Orbs will cause them to explode and likely kill you.
Assuming that you’ve managed to avoid Dazzling Destruction, your raid now needs to prepare for the beginning of phase 2. All of your melee need to be grouped up tightly together (again, usually under Theralion’s tail, when he lands), and all of your ranged need to be stacked up. We usually mark one member of the ranged pile and ask that everyone stack up on the mark. This will be necessary to deal with Valiona’s air ability in the second phase.
Your final concern as you come out of the transition and Theralion begins to land is agro. Theralion will have been flying around in the air for the last several minutes of the fight where the tank has no access to him to build threat. You, however, have been building lots of threat with all the healing you’ve done, and look like a pretty tasty morsel to this giant dragon. Misdirects and Tricks of the Trade should be used on the tank at the moment Theralion lands, and anything you and your healing team can do to drop agro is extremely helpful. I have been meleed to death on more than one occasion because I was at the top of the threat meter going into phase 2. Night elves can use Shadowmeld to attempt to fix this problem, but be very careful doing so. Shadowmeld does not reduce threat – it takes you out of combat. So if you use Shadowmeld the instant Theralion hits the floor, he’ll stop targeting you and head for the next person on his threat table. If you then move at all, or cast any spells and cancel Shadowmeld, Theralion will turn right back to nom your face if the tank hasn’t been able to generate any threat on him yet. The threat that you had prior to exiting combat will still be there when you enter combat again, so if you decide to use this trick that means you must not move or cast until your tank has established threat on Theralion. Also, if you’re planning to do this, make sure that your other healers know about it so that they can get out of the way as well, as they’re probably high on threat too. If using Shadowmeld feels too risky to you, just remember to keep yourself as far away from the center of the room (where Theralion will land) as possible. The few seconds it takes for Theralion to walk over to you should be more than enough time for your tank to taunt him.
Phase 2: Theralion
The ranged and melee should now each be grouped up in their respective piles, which will help to deal with Valiona’s Twilight Meteroites in this phase. The person targeted by the meteorite will have a purple arrow over his head for a few seconds before the blast lands on him. The meteorites deal a very large amount of damage but that damage is spread out among the other players close to the target. Your ranged and melee must be tightly grouped in order to deal with this damage; you will lose players to this if people are not standing close enough together. Plan to drop Efflorescence and Wild Growth after Valiona uses this ability.
Theralion’s main ability in this phase is Fabulous Flames, which he will periodically cast on a random ranged player, spawning a large purple void zone underneath them. Our ranged pile stacks up, then moves together in a clockwise circle around the room as the void zones spawn beneath us. Since we are already stacked together to handle the meteorites, we know that Theralion’s void zones will be directly underneath us and we can continue to move out of them each time. Keep an eye on the Fabulous Flames timer on your raiding timers add-on; you don’t want to waste an Efflorescence on your party right before everyone needs to move.
The other ability that your ranged pile will need to be aware of is Theralion’s Engulfing Magic. This spell targets a random ranged member, causing them to do 200% of their damage or healing as AoE damage to everyone around them. The spell graphic looks like an Arcane Explosion going off around your character. If you are targeted for Engulfing Magic, do NOT finish your current cast. Do NOT keyboard turn or back away from your group. Immediately stop casting, and use your mouse to turn and run out of the group. Resto druids and especially Holy Priests (due to their mastery) can do a lot of damage in a very short time because we have so many HoTs going on so many raid members. It is absolutely essential to get out of the ranged pile before too many ticks go off on the players around you. Once you are sufficiently out of the way, feel free to go back to healing. Engulfing Magic allows you to do twice your normal healing and damage, and you should take advantage of that. When the debuff runs off, quickly rejoin the rest of your ranged pile.
At the end of Theralion’s ground phase Valiona will cast another of her air spells, Deep Breath, three times in a row. Each time, her Deep Breath will cover a random third of the room. In order to avoid any issues we may have with directionally-challenged raid members, our guild chooses to describe the thirds of the room as “Stairs,” “Middle,” and “No Stairs.” Stairs refers to the side of the room where you entered (it has stairs), middle is the middle, and no stairs is the far side of the room (which, coincidentally, doesn’t have stairs). Pan your camera up slightly to see Valiona flying to the edges of the room and then choosing which third of the room she will fill with flames. She will then fly across the room and leave a wall of pink flames behind her. If you are caught in those flames you will be transported to the Twilight Realm.
After three Deep Breaths, Valiona will land and Theralion will take flight again. From here, the fight will consist of the same abilities that you encountered in the first phase, though positioning may be somewhat different depending on how much your tank needed to move during Theralion’s ground phase. These two phases will cycle until you have defeated the dragons.
V&T drop several desirable caster pieces. Valiona’s Medalion is an excellent neck piece for a Resto druid, with haste and mastery. The Drape of the Twins is also an good choice for a cloak, as it has haste instead of the mastery offered by the Valor Points alternative. Finally, the Blade of the Witching Hour is a decent choice for a 1H weapon with crit and mastery, but pass if you’ve already gotten an iLv 359 weapon with haste on it.