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Hagara the Stormbinder Healer Strategy Guide

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Boss Icon - Hagara the StormbinderThis guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of theencounter with Hagara the Stormbinder in Dragon Soul. It is mostly targeted to healerswho desire to have a short but detailed overview of what is expected ofthem during that fight.

This guide applies to patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft.

   

The Hagara encounter is composed of three phases, which alternate in apredictable fashion throughout the fight. The boss has a large number ofabilities, as well as adds, that may make the encounter look complex anddifficult to understand, but we assure you that it is quite simple.

As a healer, you will mostly have to deal with a few movement challengesand heal damage that comes from easily predictable sources.

   

1. Overview of the Fight↑top

The fight against Hagara is made up of 3 phases: Main Phase, Ice Phase,Lightning Phase. The Main Phase lasts 50 seconds and is followed by either theIce Phase or the Lightning Phase. The fight goes back to the Main Phaseas soon as your raid has finished dealing with the Ice Phase or theLightning Phase.

The Ice Phase and the Lightning Phase alternate, such thatyou will always have a Main Phase - Lightning Phase - Main Phase - IcePhase sequence. The fight randomly starts with a Main Phase followed bya Lightning Phase or a Main Phase followed by an Ice Phase.

In every phase, the sources of damage are predictable.

                               
Main PhaseIce PhaseLightning Phase
             Dragon Soul - Hagara - Main Phase                        Dragon Soul - Hagara - Ice Phase                        Dragon Soul - Hagara - Lightning Phase          

2. Main Phase↑top

During the Main Phase, as a healer, you must only heal players whowill take damage from the following sources of damage:

  • moderate tank damage from Hagara's melee attacks;
  • very high tank damage from Focused Assault Icon Focused Assault, although thetank should always manage to move out and take little damage from this;
  • moderate damage on random raid members (usually Ranged DPS), due toIce Lance Icon Ice Lance (you will notice who is about to be targeted, as themissiles from the Ice Lance travel in a clearly visible path).
  • Occasional high damage on a random raid member (Shattered Ice Icon Shattered Ice).

During the phase, Hagara will trap several raid members in Frost Tombs.These are of little concern to you, but keep in mind that they do block line ofsight (so you may need to move in order to continue healing) and the deala bit of damage (about 7k) every second to players encased (so be ready toheal them when they are eventually freed).

3. Ice Phase↑top

         Dragon Soul - Hagara - Ice Phase    During the Ice Phase, all damage is entirely avoidable, and there should notbe much for you to heal. You will have to sticktogether with your raid. Your main goal is survival.tasks during this phase can be summarised as follows:

  • Stay outside of the large bubble that covers the center of theplatform.
  • Move around the other edges of the platform, in a clockwise manner, whileavoiding:
    • the falling Icicles, the impact location of which is clearly marked withvoid zones;
    • the Ice Waves that travel in a clockwise manner around theplatform (they are slightly slower than your normal run speed and they arevery deadly);
  • Heal any players who are damaged by falling ice (those damaged by the icewaves will most likely die instantly).

The Ice Phase ends when all 4 of the Crystals located around the platformhave been destroyed by your raid.

4. Lightning Phase↑top

     Dragon Soul - Hagara - Lightning Chain  During the Lightning Phase, you should expect increasing raid-wideNature damage. This is the right time to use healing cooldowns, as this is themost healing-intensive part of the fight

At the beginning of the phase, an add will appear and will be killed by yourraid next to one of the 4 conductors located around the platform.

Once the add is dead, you will have to assist your raid in forminga chain of players from the conductor (which is now overloaded) to the next one(which will become overloaded as a result), and so on until all 4 conductorshave been overloaded. Your raid leader will direct your movement here.

Once all 4 conductors have been overloaded, the phase will end.

5. Heroic Mode↑top

The Heroic version of the fight with Hagara is extremely similar to thenormal version of the fight. Each of the 3 phases has exactly one differencewith the Normal mode, in addition to all abilities doing more damage andall units having more health.

5.1. Dealing with Ice Lance in the Main Phase

In the Main Phase, the missiles from Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance now apply astacking debuff that increases Frost damage taken by 375%. The debuff lasts3 seconds, so anyone stacking Ice Lance missiles will end up taking +150%Frost damage.

By itself, this debuff does not prevent a player from soaking all 15 Ice Lancemissiles, as they only deal 15,000 damage each. The problem comes from a playertaking +375% increased Frost damage and being targeted by Shattered Ice Icon Shattered Ice, whichdeals about 100,000 Frost damage in Heroic mode.

If you are assigned to soak Ice Lance, then you will soak alternatively withanother player, switching every 2 or 3 seconds. The idea is to let the debuff drops sothat Shattered Ice Icon Shattered Ice do not one-shot you.

From a healing perspective, this new debuff will cause more raid damage to heal.

10-man raids may opt to deal with the Ice Lance debuff by leaving the tank alonein front of the boss, which will cause them to always be targeted by Shattered Ice.Grounding Totem Icon Grounding Totem can also be of use to absorb the damage (the shield is not    consumed by Ice Lance). Also, it is possible to cast a defensive cooldownon the targeted player while Hagara casts Shattered Ice.

5.2. Ice Phase

In the Ice Phase, Hagara will target a random player withFrostflake Icon Frostflake. This debuff does no damage but it slows downthe targeted player and stacks every seconds, meaning that the player willeventually come to an almost complete stop. When dispelled, the debuffleaves a Frostflake Snare Icon Frostflake Snare on the ground. Every player standing in this10-yard radius frost area is slowed down by 50%. Exiting the frost arearemoves the movement speed reduction.

The raid leader should communicate a location where people should gowhen targeted by Frostflake, usually inside the Watery Entrenchment Icon Watery Entrenchmentor on the edge of the platform. The idea is that other players do not getstuck in the Frostflake Snare that will appear after Frostflake is dispelled.

From a healing perspective, there are 3 additional sources of damage inthis phase, compared to normal mode:

  • players going in the Watery Entrenchment Icon Watery Entrenchment to have theirFrostflake debuff removed;
  • melee DPS who keep attacking the Crystals instead of moving outfor avoiding the falling Icicles (to maximise DPS);
  • DPS players running through the Watery Entrenchment Icon Watery Entrenchment toavoid Ice Waves and finish off the Crystals (also to maximise DPS).

5.2.1. Alternative Strategy: Stacking in the Watery Entrenchment

Your raid may deal with the Ice Phase by stacking in the middle, withonly the melee DPS and the tank running around the platform. This willshorten the duration of the phase (since ranged DPS can maintain a 100%uptime on the Crystals), but healing will be more stressful.

5.3. Lightning Phase

During the Lightning Phase, your raid will still need to kill the add next toa Crystal Conductor. When it reaches low health, most of the raid (youincluded) will start positioning themselves around the platform. Theidea is that as soon as the first Crystal Conductor is overloaded,the raid should already be properly positioned to spread the lightningto all (almost all, in 10-man difficulty) the other Crystal Conductors.

Therefore, you will be assigned a location (or two in 10-man difficulty),and you should try to reach it as soon as the add dies.

Also, Storm Pillar Icon Storm Pillars will randomly appear on the platform. Theyexplode after 3 seconds, dealing 35,000 Nature damage to players closeto them (this increases as stacks of Lightning Storm Icon Lightning Storm build up).Normally, your raid will ignore them and you will healthrough the damage, as otherwise this will interfere with the raidpositioning for spreading the lightning. Since the raid will beproperly spread out, each pillar will hit one player, at most.

     



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