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This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Alysrazor in Firelands. It is mostly targeted to healers who desire to have a short but detailed overview of what is expected of them during that fight.
This guide applies to patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft.
The encounter with Alysrazor, one of the first five bosses of Firelands, is broken down in four stages. Each stage has its own unique (but not very complicated) mechanics that will test a few abilities of the raid.
With the exception of tank damage during Stage One and Stage Four, all other sources of damage can be avoided. Your role will mainly be to heal the tanks while preventing enemies' damaging abilities from reaching you. Occasionally, you will have to contend with damage taken by players who where damaged because they failed at moving or properly positioning themselves.
1. Overview of the Fight↑top
The encounter with Alysrazor is fought in a round arena and is made up of 4 stages:
Once Stage Four has finished, Stage One simply starts over. The fight goes on until Alysrazor is dead.
When engaged, before Stage One starts, Alysrazor will cast Firestorm, which knocks back everyone, dealing 22,500 Fire damage initially and 7,500 Fire damage every second for 10 seconds.
At the same time, Volcanic Fire will create patches of Fire to prevent players from leaving the arena. If the raid is standing too close to the entrance, some players might get knocked into it and take 85,000 Fire damage every second (i.e., they will most likely die).
There is plenty of time to heal the damage from Firestorm, as Stage One begins with about 15 seconds of easily avoidable damage.
3. Stage One↑top
During this stage, which lasts 3 minutes, Alysrazor will mostly be in the air but she will sometimes fly low over the arena and do a conic attack. As a healer, you will spend this entire stage on the ground (and not flying, like some DPS players). Your main assignment will be to heal the tanks. In theory, healers and DPS should be able to dodge every mechanics of that stage and suffer no damage. In practice, you will need to heal through whatever they fail to avoid.
Normally, your raid leader will assign you to a side of the arena, west or east. It is important that you stick to this side, in order to avoid damage.
Should you want to cross the arena, you will need to watch out for the various damaging, but avoidable, abilities that we list in the next section.
3.2. Healing While Moving
Every time Alysrazor flies over the arena, she drops feathers on the ground. You can pick one up to be granted the ability to cast spells while moving, as well as a speed increase, for the entire duration of the fight.
3.3. Avoidable Damage
First of all, it is important to have an rough understanding of what is going on in the arena during Stage One:
Blazing Talon Initiates and Plump Lava Worms are stationary. Voracious Hatchlings are handled by the tanks. Every minute, Alysrazor flies over the arena and follows the path marked in the diagram (north to south or south to north, she alternates).
Blazing Talon Initiates have an ability called Fieroblast, which should be interrupted by the DPS. It causes 30,000 fire damage to a random raid member and leaves a DoT which ticks every 3 seconds for 12 seconds. This DoT ticks 7,500 fire damage in 10-man difficulty and 11,250 in 25-man difficulty. Every successful cast of this ability causes the next cast to be 10% faster and do 10% more damage. The DoT can and should be dispelled.
Brushfire is cast by the initiates and summons a fiery ball that travels across the arena. It must be avoided, otherwise it deals 30,000 damage per second in 10-man difficulty, 37,500 damage per second in 25-man difficulty, to every player within 3 yards.
Voracious Hatchlings sometimes cast Gushing Wound (10-man/25-man) in front of them, make sure to avoid it. You should let anyone hit by it drop below 50% health, so that the debuff applied is removed, before topping them off.
The Plump Lava Worms continuously rotate and spew lava (Lava Spew) in an 18 yard, 35 degree cone in front of them. Expect players to get caught by it and be ready to heal the damage.
Every minute, Alysrazor flies over the arena, following the path indicated by the diagram and keeps performing Blazing Claw (10-man/25-man). The tanks are expected to move away from the center of the arena when this happens.
Players in the air can take damage if they are not careful. Should this happen, they will probably be out of range. It is their responsibility to fly to a healer's range when they have been too severely damaged.
3.4. Tank-specific Damage
Each tank is handling a Voracious Hatchling. In addition to Gushing Wound (10-man/25-man), which we already presented in the previous section, a hatchling has a mildly damaging melee attack (15-20k in 10-man difficulty and 30-35k in 25-man difficulty, every 1.5 seconds) and sometimes enters a state of Tantrum, which lasts 10 seconds and is visually indicated by the hatchling's size increasing. During a tantrum, the hatchling's attack speed and damage done are increased by 50%.
To make sure that the rest of the raid is never afflicted with Gushing Wound, the tanks confine the hatchlings to the center of the arena. This will make them more susceptible to Alysrazor flyover attack and the breath attack from the worms.
4. Stage Two↑top
Stage Two is a 30 second event, at ground level, during which the arena will look like that:
Standing at less than 15 yards or more than 60 yards from the center will result in taking very high (almost deadly) fire damage.
During this phase, the idea is to avoid all the Fiery Tornadoes that travel across the arena while trying to walk through the Rings of Fire, because they give a speed-enhancing buff. Use all your abilities that give you a speed buff.
The tornadoes have a set travelling pattern. A method that works very well is to simply follow a tornado until you see another tornado, coming from the opposite direction, pass on your right or on your left. Then simply turn around and switch lane to follow this new tornado. Rinse and repeat.
You will have to occasionally heal anyone who takes damage from the tornadoes. If you have previously picked up a Molten Feather, you will have the ability to cast while moving and can continue healing normally. If you have not, you should preferably make use of spells with an instant cast time, though Restoration Shamans can continue their usual healing rotation temporarily, thanks to Spiritwalker's Grace.
5. Stage Three↑top
After the intense Stage Two, Alysrazor burns out and crashes in the middle of the arena. She gets an energy bar of Molten Power. Initially it starts empty and gradually increases. When the energy bar reaches 50, Stage Three ends. This process will take between 20 and 34 seconds, depending on your DPS' and tanks' abilities to control some adds that come to help Alysrazor.
Your objective during this stage is to top everyone off. There will be no raid damage whatsoever. You can also restore your mana entirely by attacking the boss with harmful spells (it does not work with physical attacks). Each time you land such a spell on the boss, you will recover 10% of your total mana pool.
6. Stage Four↑top
As soon as she reaches 50 Molten Power, Alysrazor starts flying again but she remains low until she reaches 100 Molten Power (that takes exactly 25 seconds).
During this stage, she will constantly be damaging everyone with Blazing Buffet, dealing every second 7,500 fire damage in 10-man difficulty, 11,250 in 25-man difficulty.
Also, she needs to be tanked facing away from the raid because she inflicts, every 1.5 seconds, very high damage to everyone in front of her with Blazing Claw (10-man/25-man). If properly tanked, Alysrazor will only hit the tank with this ability. Expect an increasing amount of damage on the tank, because of the damage increasing debuff that Blazing Claw stacks. Halfway through the stage, there will be a tank swap, so you can expect a short respite, until the stacks start building again on the new tank.
When she reaches 100 Molten Power, Alysrazor will cast Full Power. Then, Stage One starts over. This ability deals 37,500 Fire damage in 10-man difficulty, and 45,000 Fire damage in 25-man difficulty, to all players and knocks them back.
Then, Stage One starts over. You will have time to top everyone off during Alysrazor's first flyover, with which Stage One begins.
7. Heroic Mode↑top
The heroic mode of Alysrazor is very similar to the normal mode, and only presents healers with an additional positional challenge.
7.1. Differences from Normal Mode
Stage One is the only part of the fight which presents any differences from normal mode, while Stages Two, Three and Four remain the same (only with increased damage). The following changes are relevant to healers:
In addition to these changes, all avoidable (and unavoidable, such as the Firestorm during the Prelude) mechanics deal considerably more damage and will require much more reactive healing in order to save players who have failed to avoid them (though, often enough, this will not even be possible).
7.2. Strategy Changes
The only change in strategy, for healers, is that each time a Firestorm is about to happen, you will need to hide behind a Molten Meteor, in order to gain line of sight protection from Alysrazor's breath. To do so, make sure that you are on the opposite side of the Meteor from her (she will be flying at the time).
As there is no damage at all during this time, it is a good opportunity to top off the raid, or simply to regenerate some mana.
Once the 5 second Firestorm is over, you can resume your healing duties as before.