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Healing tips for Chimaeron

June 7, 2011
by

Turns out Einhorn's greatest enemy isn't a pet detective. It's this guy.

If you have watched the videos for this encounter or participated in it as something other than a healer, Chimaeron may look like the most intimidating encounter you’ll face in this raiding tier.  If Cataclysm heroics have been your 101 course on triage healing, then Chimaeron will be your final exam.  For healers, this fight is all about managing mana, balancing light (but extremely important) raid healing with very heavy tank healing, and getting out huge bursts of throughput in a very short time period.  Healing Chimaeron requires a bizarre rhythm that’s unlike any other fight in this tier, and it’s largely the fight that tests whether your raid’s healers can work together properly.

Preparation

When your raid enters the western wing of Blackwing Descent, Chimaeron will be lying in the middle of the floor with the Fast Asleep debuff.  You can walk right up to him and he won’t attack, which is helpful for figuring out where your raiders will stand.  Be careful, however, as one misclick on the boss could cause you to auto-attack him and begin the fight (not that I’ve seen this happen … many times).  Your raid will need to spread out to at least 6 yards apart from one another, though you’ll want to remain relatively tight so that the healers are able to reach everyone and so the raid can collapse easily.  Once you’ve found your spot, memorize it; you’ll be returning to that same place several times during the course of the fight.

Behind the sleeping Chimaeron, you’ll see a large cage with a gnome inside of it.  This is Finkle Einhorn, who has found himself in yet another mess inside of Blackrock Mountain.  It will be hard to miss Finkle, since he’ll be yelling for you to help him.  Before you begin the fight, it is absolutely essential that someone in your party speak to Finkle so you he can activate the Bile-O-Tron 800 which will give you the buff Finkle’s Mixture.  Finkle’s Mixture will prevent everyone in your raid from dying, so long as they have at least 10,000 hit points when they are struck by the blow that should kill them.  This is the main gimmick of the fight, as most of Chimaeron’s abilities will one-shot a player unless they have the Finkle’s Mixture buff.  Therefore, your job in this fight is to always ensure that everyone in your party has at least 10,000 health.

Unfortunately, most healers don’t usually have remaining health displayed on their UI.  In general, it’s more helpful to have information about how much health party members are missing (whether in exact hit points or percentages).  For this fight, you will make your job much easier if you take the time to reconfigure your UI so that it shows hit points remaining rather than missing.  As you can see from the image below, I set my healing bars to show hardly anything but these numbers during this fight.  Tanks are given raid markers so that we know who they are on the bars and can keep them topped off.

Healing UI showing hit points remaining

Does the above image look like your worst nightmare?  I don’t blame you – it takes a while to get used to seeing numbers that low.  This is easily the most difficult thing to get comfortable with on the Chimaeron fight.  For the majority of the encounter, you’re going to see low numbers and that’s OK.  Healing your raid up to 10K is essential – healing them beyond that is overhealing, and a complete waste of mana.

Phase 1

HAVE YOU SPOKEN TO FINKLE EINHORN YET?  If your answer is “yes,” feel free to continue.

It is helpful to arrange your raid so that there is at least one (or in 25m, sometimes two) healer(s) per group.  Healers should focus on keeping everyone in their group above 10k health first, and then helping with other groups if they are able to do so.

As mentioned above, your raid must be spread out at least 6 yards from one another.  This is to minimize the damage caused by Caustic Slime.  This is one of Chimaeron’s abilities which should be a one-shot, but will instead only knock its target down to 1 hit point thanks to the help from the Bile-O-Tron.  If two players are standing less than 6 yards apart and one of them is hit by Caustic Slime, both players will be reduced to 1 hit point, increasing your healing load.

If you are assigned to raid healing, Caustic Slime will be your primary concern for phase 1.  You’ll want to quickly heal anyone in your group (and then the raid if you have the mana to spare) to 10k health after they’re hit by Caustic Slime.  As a druid, this can be extremely challenging to pull off.  Even with 3 points in Gift of the Earthmother, it’s unlikely that a Rejuv alone is going to be enough to heal up a Caustic Slime target as quickly as is needed.  Swiftmend will help, but since that’s on a cooldown that will not be available every time you need it, you’ll need a backup plan as well.  Personally, I’ve found that Nourish and Healing Touch are just too slow in a pinch, and I tend to use Regrowth instead.  Whenever possible, I use Clearcasting procs for those Regrowths to conserve mana.  Unfortunately, this is one of those fights where our healing toolbox doesn’t really have exactly what we need to get the job done efficiently.  It will take some experimenting to see which heal will work best for you, depending upon your current levels of spellpower, haste, and mana.

Tank healing is actually something we are significantly more suited to in this fight.  Chimaeron is brutal for tank damage, and requires near constant heal-spamming.  Chimaeron’s current target will receive a stacking debuff called Break, which both increases incoming damage and reduces healing taken.  The tanks will also be protected by the Bile-O-Tron’s buff, so they will also need to be kept above 10,000 hit points at all times.  Between three stacks of Lifebloom and keeping up a Rejuv on the active tank, you shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping them above 10k.  This is also a fight were 3 points in Living Seed can be incredibly helpful (shocking, I know!).  The trick comes when Chimaeron gains the Double Attack buff.

As the name implies, Double Attacks means that Chimaeron will strike his target twice on his next attack.  The buff will appear on Chimaeron 4 seconds before the Double Attack actually occurs, giving your off-tank plenty of time to taunt and pop a cooldown.  As a tank healer, keep an eye on Chimaeron’s buffs (or ask your tanks to call it out) so that you’ll know the second tank needs to be at full health in preparation to soak the Double Attack.  You’ll want to get Lifebloom switched to the other tank in advance to deal with the initial burst of incoming damage after he taunts.

Occasionally, Chimaeron will use his Massacre ability to reduce the entire raid’s health to 1 hit point.  Wild Growth and Efflorescence will help get the raid back above 10k health.

Phase 2

After a few Massacres, the poor Bile-O-Tron will be knocked offline due to a Systems Failure.  While the Bile-O-Tron tries to repair itself, Chimaeron’s heads will start to Feud with each other for 30 seconds.  During this time, Chimaeron will not melee the tank but will continue to cast Caustic Slimes.  Without the buff from the Bile-O-Tron, any one player who takes a Caustic Slime alone will die; so instead, your raid must all group up as tightly as possible so that the damage can be spread out between everyone.

Now is the time for everyone in your raid to be using damage-reduction cooldowns – Barkskin is your friend.  Also, the healers must now work overtime to keep the raid at a high enough health to survive the incoming Caustic Slimes.  (On 10m, we’ve found this to be at least 40k health, on 25m it seems to be more like 55k.  If anyone in the raid dies, you’ll have to keep people even higher to compensate.)  Particularly in our 25m raids, I find it essential to assign healing cooldowns to each Feud phase.  We usually see 4 of them before we get Chimaeron into his third phase, and I like to have at least 2 cooldowns on each Feud.  That means I assign when each priest uses Divine Hymn, each druid uses Tranquility, our Disc priests use Power Word: Barrier, our Resto shaman use Spirit Link Totem, our warrior use Rallying Cry, and our Protection paladins use Divine Guardian.  Note that cooldowns are not assigned to healers alone; DPSing druids and priests as well as our warriors and even tanks are asked to help us deal with the massive incoming damage.  Survival should be everyone’s primary concern during Feud phases, and DPS can be comforted that they won’t lose too much damage by worrying about cooldowns, as Caustic Slime also puts a nasty -Hit debuff on its targets.

I use Tree of Life during Feud phases every time it’s available, keeping Wild Growth and Swiftmend on cooldown and also using Lifebloom for some additional cheap healing.  As soon as Feud ends, your raid must again spread out to their original positions since the Bile-O-Tron will have repaired itself and you no longer want to spread out the damage from Caustic Slime.  This strange back and forth – spreading out, collapsing; conserving mana, spending it; healing just over 10k, using your largest AoE heals – will continue until Chimaeron reaches below 21% health.

Phase 3

When Chimaeron hits 20.5% health (oddly enough), he will gain the Mortality buff which renders him immune to all taunts.  In addition, Chimaeron will take increased damage during this phase and stop using any of his special abilities – he will only melee now.  Your raid will also all receive their own version of the Mortality debuff, which will make everyone unhealable for the remainder of the fight.  You’ll want to keep a close eye on Chimaeron’s health as he gets close to Phase 3 so that you can have your raid as topped-off as possible before entering the phase.

At this point … stop healing and go crazy with your hit-less DPS!  Chimaeron’s final phase is a pure DPS race to kill him before he slowly but surely kills everyone else in your raid.  Go crazy with Moonfire, Insect Swarm, and Wrath – which you do have somewhere on your bars, right?  If your Tree of Life cooldown comes up during this phase, use it and enjoy your faster-than-the-speed-of-light Wrath casts!

Your raid will want to spread out, using the whole room, so that you can keep an eye on threat tables and the person next on Chimaeron’s threat list can kite for a while before he comes to kill them.  Tricks like Iceblock, Soulshatter, Vanish, Shadowmeld (sometimes), Fade, and paladin bubbles will work to make Chimaeron’s target temporarily drop threat to buy your raid sometime.  Just be sure that whoever’s next highest on threat isn’t standing right next to you when you use your agro dump.

Loot

Chimaeron is an important kill for an caster druid, since he holds the only pair of iLv 359 bracers available anywhere.  The Manacles of the Sleeping Beast are nicely itemized with Spirit and Mastery, making them a better fit for resto druids than the 353 Armbands of the Bear Spirit added in with Zul’Aman in 4.1.  Short and simple:  you need these bracers.  Their awesomeness can (maybe) make up for the fact that there’s absolutely nothing else on Chimaeron’s loot table for us.

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