Patchwerk through the eyes of a Resto Shaman

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Lodur from Zul’jin here once again. This post I’d like to talk a little bit about healing Patchwerk as a restoration shaman. This will be a bit of a short post for me this week. Patchwerk for the longest time has been THE premiere check for your dps, your tanks and your healing. He is a perfect measuring stick for your raid if you think about it. He’s a straightforward fight, dps can sit and dps, tanks sit and soak damage and healers sit and heal. There’s no fancy gimmicks, no movement or fire to move out of , so it really is the perfect boss fight to check out your raids gear and ability.

You might ask youself “What is there to know? Don’t we just dump heals into tanks and call it a day? ” There are a couple different roles a shaman can play for healing through Patchy here. The two tried and true methods are Chain Heal spam and Lesser Healing Wave spam. Lets talk about the strengths of each for a moment here.

Lesser Healing Wave method.

  • Quicker heals
  • Using Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave allows the spell to hit for almost as much as Healing Wave
  • Lower spell cost for more heals per mana spent.
  • Quickly allows off tanks to be topped off to full health

Chain Heal Method.

  • More efficient heals (5.3 healing per mana spent)
  • Allows for both off tanks and main tank to be targeted and healed through the jumps of chain heal.
  • Smoothes out healing on the off tanks so second healers have an easier time keeping the tanks health even.
  • Allows for lag compensation due to added healing buffer.

Lesser Healing Wave Method:

This method is really straightforward. Simply put you keep Earth Shield up on your tank and continue to dump Lesser Healing Waves and Riptides into him constantly. Make sure to keep your Water Shield up for maximum mana regen and to make sure you have full charges available for Improved Water Shield. Using this method you have to apply healer tunnel vision. By that I mean you have to pay attention to your tank and only your tank, if you try to heal another OT or the Main Tank, your tank is likely to eat a large spike before you can top him off. This method allows for very little error but is very mana costly in the end.

Chain Heal Method:

Personally I prefer the Chain Heal method, let me explain a bit about why. Firstly, it is simply our most efficient heal. You get the most bang for your buck out of it and if you have your 4 piece set bonus from tier 7, or even if you’re still rocking a couple pieces of tier 6, you just get the most mileage out of it. Secondly it has a lot of synergy with some other talents that you will find useful for this fight.

Lets go ahead and assume you’re assigned to heal one of the two Hateful Strike tanks (I’m operating under the assumption you’ll be using the two OT strategy.) The tank you are specifically assigned to will be your the starting point of all your heals. He will get the most out of your chain heals. After that if the OT’s are situated right, it will bounce off of your tank and onto the second OT, thereby adding a buffer to that tanks healers. My experience has show that two restoration shamans placed on the OT’s produce enough of a healing buffer that the other healers have a light healing load, it makes sure to smooth out the spikes in healing you normally see. Think of it as like providing the driving baseline for a band, it helps set the framework for everything around it. There are a few more benefits to this. Lets say something goes terribly wrong and all of a sudden someone other then the OT’s takes a Hateful Strike, if you’re already chain healing you’ll be able to heal the person through the smart heal component without having to divert attention away from the OT’s in order to heal someone up. We can also assume you’ll be using a healthy smathering of Riptide it’s just going to pump your Chain Heal amount up that much more. Also, by using your chain heal you’re allowing for Tidal Waves to be up all the time so if you need to throw a LHW or a HW it hits for that much more.

All in all he’s not terrible for us, just make sure you have your Runic Mana potions and Mana Tide Totem ready to go to keep your mana up, and it should be smooth sailing for you. Both methods work (regardless of crit or haste gear =P ) and as long as you’re paying attention to your tank, you will easily succeed.

Now if you guys have a different way of doing it, please feel free to share =)

Till next time, Happy Healing!

~ Lodur

28 thoughts on “Patchwerk through the eyes of a Resto Shaman”

  1. at the expense of sounding like an idiot doesn’t your chain heal bounce to the nearest target with the lowest health? if you end up healing the melee dps rather than the other tank(s) who are capped, that could end up in one of the melee taking a hateful and dying (assuming your tanks have agro issues, i guess).

    as a rule of thumb any healing done to anyone in the party is a bad idea. most of the time melee dps will step into the ooze just before the pool (except ret pallys, obviously) and begin the fight with like 8k health. yes, i understand the fight mechanics and realize that if the off tank(s) have solid agro and are kept topped off this shouldn’t be an issue, but it still seems like a bad idea to use an “aoe” heal you can’t control on a fight where only the tanks are supposed to take healing. the shammys in my guild will usually tunnel the off tank and keep him up with the pallys while any priests/droods keep the MT up and roll hots on the OT.

    just curious about your thoughts on this; i guess this could be me not understanding how your chain works as well. i just don’t see how a good portion of your healing wouldn’t go to the melee rather than the off tanks.

  2. @apok

    In the event that one of the other players takes a hateful strike, why wouldn’t you heal them. You don’t want them to die because that decreases your chances of downing Patch. I’m not understanding why it’s a bad idea. Most of the time, your designated OT(s) are going to be taking the damage.

  3. @ apokteino: to put it bluntly, dps shouldn’t be taking any damage and therefore shouldn’t be in need of the smart heal component. There is no off tank “aggro” component to the fight, he simply smacks the person with the highest health closest to him with a hateful strike. The only people that should be taking damage are the two OT’s eating the hurtful and the main tank. So if everything is going as it should the only people receiving healing will be those three, chain heal wont go and cause melee to eat hurtful strikes.

    That’s part of the reason the fight is such a good measuring stick the dps literally doesn’t have to worry about anything except sitting tight and dpsing, and if the healers are doing their job, the OT’s will always be eating the hurtful as they will always be topped off. This is also part of the reason we use two OT strategy, it gives you enough time to top off one while the other eats a strike. I’ve yet to see the chain heal method cause any problems. I hope that answers your question.

  4. I completely agree with using CH here (and almost everywhere, frankly), so long as you’re making sure the OT (or two OTs) are staying topped off enough to ensure they don’t dip below a plate DPSers health in between CHs.

    I’ve found that a druid and a shaman make an amazing pair for just this reason. HoTs plus large, spikey heals (CH/HW/LHW) combine wonderfully into a nice, rounded package.

    We always just use one OT, but then again she’s a bearzie tank with near 50k health raid buffed. Even at half health, which doesn’t last long thanks to rolling HoTs and constant CH/riptide spam along with ES on the OT (yes…the OT…nothing like an instant heal after a hateful), there’s not much chance of someone else eating a hateful since she’s topped off in 1 or 2 seconds. 😉

    My CHs also help lighten the load on the main tank considerably, since they often bounce to him as well.

    Nice post, and good to see a resto shaman on Matty’s site!


  5. It helps greatly if you have the melee take off their Fort buff.

    Only have Fort on the tanks.

    Hardly any chance of having a melee eat a hateful this way.

  6. Thanks for the insight. I don’t know how shaman healing works. By reading your posts I’m able to get a better picture of the class. And yes, I am leveling a shaman to learn more about shammie healing 🙂

    Thanks Matt and Lodur

    Jays last blog post..Exciting new site design!

  7. i was under the impression everyone was familiar with the fight mechanics. ummm…. mmo has a great post about how the encounter works and there was a post on wowhead from about a month ago that was ok. so, uh… if healing this way works for you go for it and don’t worry about reading the forums.
    i think ej may have even had a thread about this…

  8. The fight mechanics are pretty simple. Highest health (by number, not percentage) within range gets smacked. Keep an OT or two with huge health pools healed up to full, and you’re golden.

    Your melee DPS shouldn’t be taking damage, therefore whether you use LHW or CH has absolutely no effect on them.


  9. Okay since a few people don’t seem to get Patchy’s hateful mechanics:

    They’re a bit more complex than Supremus (highest health in range gets gibbed), or Gruul (highest threat in range gets gibbed), and because of that, with understanding, it can be arranged that melee can NEVER dip in the slime, CONSTANTLY receive heals (so those suicidal pallies can max their DPS), and NEVER take a hateful, and in fact, it’s fairly easy to do so.

    First off, Hateful Strike has One (1) eligible target in Normal mode, and Two (2) eligible targets in heroic mode. Hateful strike will NEVER hit anyone other than one of it’s 1 or two eligible targets. Who are these targets? They’re the one or two individual players, in melee range, who are highest on threat and not currently Patchwerk’s target. From within those eligible targets, Patchwerk will Hateful Strike the one with the highest current health. This means that with 2 OT’s, when OT 1 takes a hateful, the next hateful will go to OT 2, while OT 1 recieves a heal, and vice versa. It’s a very simple pattern, and makes healing the fight fairly predictable in fact. In addition, Hateful Strike ADDS THREAT to the target of the attack. I.e. once your third tank has taken a hateful strike, it should be IMPOSSIBLE to pull aggro off of him, or even to catch up to him, so long as he’s being hit reasonably often. So long as your melee doesn’t pass OT2 in threat, (or the single OT in 10 man), and so long as neither of your offtanks dies or goes out of range, melee DPS will NEVER EVER EVER EVER be the recipient of a hateful strike, and you can feel free to let your chain heal and ancestral awakening procs and glyph of holy light do their thing, have a paladin judge light for an extra ounce of tank healing, whatever – it won’t matter, because your melee won’t have enough THREAT to be eligible hateful targets. Just have OT2 call out when they eat their first hateful, and don’t let melee go in range before that, and you’re g2g.

  10. As to melee taking a bounce of chainheal – the only melee that should ever eat a bounce of chain heal if you’re doinitright are ret pallies, and because of the mechanics of Chain Heal, that should only happen if they need it – with Ancestral Awakening and Glyph of Holy Light being standard, that’s pretty unlikely barring a string of crits, and with 4 bounces, Chain Heal will still always go everywhere it needs to go.

  11. As far as I know, the highest hp hateful target mechanic did in fact exist in the old naxx, but has been completely removed. Our melee never slime dip and leave their buffs on but as long as they don’t overaggro the second hateful tank they will never ever eat a hateful. It’s simply based off of aggro now.

    Also, I think that the LHW method vs. the chain heal method depends more on the makeup of your healer group than on personal preference. If you have multiple druids that are already buffering for instance it might be better to go with the single target heals.

  12. it’s both hp and aggro. I’m assuming that aggro isn’t an issue, because well honestly it shouldn’t be.

    “Patchwerk will use this ability at a 1 second frequency on the target in melee range with the highest HP who is also one of the top three on Patchwerk’s aggro list. Cannot be used on the main tank unless there are no other targets. Does 79,000 to 81,000 raw physical damage which can mitigated by armour and parried/dodged. This is about 23,000 damage on a partially Naxxramas geared tank. This ability will add threat to the three most threatening on Patchwerk’s aggro list. ”

  13. @ lodur

    You may want to edit that into your original post, lest this comment thread devolve into nothing but people feuding amongst themselves over hateful mechanics and whether chain healing on patchwerk will gib your melee.

    I swear to god, for being the simplest fight in Naxx (it is the essence of Tank and Spank after all), it inspires more rampant stupidity and speculation than just about any fight in the game.

  14. Look I’ve done the fight both in classic and in wrath. The information on wowwiki is outdated, hatefuls no longer have a health based targeting component.

    I love Wowwiki as much as any raider, but they are not an authorative source on everything warcraft.

  15. Our melee never slime dip and leave their buffs on but as long as they don’t overaggro the second hateful tank they will never ever eat a hateful.

    You’re missing a key part of the mechanic tarq: If your melee doesn’t overaggro the second tank, then yes, they’ll never eat a hateful. If they DO overaggro the second tank, they WILL eat a hateful, after the first tank eats one and before he’s topped. Aggro Primary, HP Secondary.

    It’s not a complex mechanic, and yet it induces so much feuding superstition and paranoia.

  16. @ tarqon: read feist’s post; he is right about the fight mechanics.

    the only thing i would state differently is that the hateful strikes don’t “generate” that much agro. it is possible for a dps to pass either off tank if the he isn’t paying attention or just flat out sucks (or if the dps isn’t paying attention). if this happens and a melee happens to have higher hp than the other off-tank, he will get one shot. this shouldn’t happen though; if it does find real tanks.

    however, my guild does the fight with just 1 off tank (my guild is big into maximizing dps). that means there is always going to be a dps who runs the risk of taking a hateful strike should he have higher hp than the MT. because of this we tank patchwork so that our dps can be right at the edge of the slime and still melee the boss. if they end up getting healed (by our ret pally storm or w/e) they drop back into the slime. our pally uses SoM to keep his health down and also has salv if he needs it. b/c of this set-up we have 0 raid heals (which is why i questioned chain-healing in this fight- with 1 OT it is a bad idea).

    you might think that with this setup we have melee die all the time. we did have a few die during the first couple weeks but since our healers and dps adjusted to the fight we haven’t had any problems. we’ll have 2 pallys and then usually a shammy or priest on the off tank. sometimes even a fourth healer will help (the MT dmg is a joke). the off-tank is always getting heals and even when he does take a 25k hateful he’s still above the melee’s health (not to mention he gets healed instantly).

    if you run with 2 tanks and they don’t suck, though, having melee at full health isn’t a problem. chain-heal away.

  17. My guild uses the 2 OT tactic and our main Resto Shaman (the only one I’ve seen in action on this fight) uses the chainheal technique. It doesn’t strike me as particularly difficult but it works very well. And I really mean… very well 🙂

  18. @Apok, I’d wager you lose more DPS than you gain by dropping a tank and having melee slime dip.

    Figure that your second tank would replace the weakest DPSer in your raid. Using my own raids numbers (Record Patch kill of 2:20, Quick Werk weekly fwiw), that would be a DPSer doing around 3500 DPS. Now, we run with, on average, 6-8 melee. Slime dipping is anywhere from a 1-200DPS loss, to as much as a 7-800 DPS loss (for Combat Rogues that lose huge amounts of Prey on the Weak uptime) – keep in mind the DPS loss is that the Slime Debuff ‘hangs’ for a second after leaving the slime, as well as the time off target to ‘dip’

    So, given those numbers (we run w/ 1 combat rogue), you’re looking at a minimum dps loss of 1300 dps by having melee ‘dip.’

    Now, a Tank on Patchwerk puts out ~ 1800 DPS, and, going back to my raid, brings the additional benefit of letting me find a slot in my raid for a Feral Druid – which, by bringing Mangle, is a rather large increase in raid DPS – certainly breaking even with a 2 tank strat, and in some cases exceeding it, with extra safety to boot!

  19. This is how we do it. We use 6 healers. H Priest, R Druid x 2, R Shammy, H Pallyx2

    With the aggro level mattering more than health level, we do not have any of our dps stepping into the ooze, as its debuff isn’t very nice.

    We use the three tank method, as we have some new healers and have found that there was more time for “error” or slow response time. It also allows the three tanks to be the highest on aggro, which ensures that no melee will be taking hateful strikes. That way, we keep all of our dps alive to continue dpsing, and they do not have to worry about threat, nor does our third OT have to worrry about his threat as much and trying to avoid taking a hateful strike, this way he has healers too.

    I tell all the heals to max their HPS. So Shammy’s include CH to bounce and priests PoM. No DPS is taking hits, so they bounce among the tanks. p1 and D1 heal MT1. d2 and Pally 1 heal OT1. And S1 and P2 heal OT3. In this way, no tanks health ever drops, and our more geared/experienced healers can help the others with extra HoTs and PoM bounces without anyone dying, or even any smart heals hitting the melee.

    I like this method, it has gotten us the closest to the patch achievement. =)

  20. I don’t like the 1 OT option for that very reason. I don’t see any need to take the risk of a melee dps dying to a Hateful Strike. Most tanks can do decent dps now anyway so it’s not a huge loss to have the 2nd OT out there “just in case”.

    Chain Heal works great for this fight. I usually combine 2-piece tier 6 and 4-piece tier 7 and just spam Chain Heal. It doesn’t take any skill but it produces a lot of healing. Be warned though, if your dps is lacking, you could end up running out of mana doing this.

  21. @ feist: we tank him so that if melee steps back 2 steps they are still in melee range of patchwork. his hit box isn’t that small. they don’t lose dps when they drop into the ooze. also your numbers assume that the dps we bring in is only doing 3500dps. on patchwork i’m guessing our dps averages out to about 5k or so. i’m fairly confident our dps output is more this way (albeit we run a greater risk and if someone gets 1 shot the extra dps is a mute point).

    on a more practical note though: why would you have 3 tanks in Naxx anyhow (i am talking about heroic)? no bosses require more than 2 tanks and the trash is a joke. i guess we could have a dps warrior or dk throw on tank gear but then he’d probably have agro issues since he would be specced to reduce agro, not generate it. i guess we do patchwork the way we do b/c of convenience too.

  22. We bring 2 tanks and one ‘Flex’ player in Naxx 25 typically – that means a DPS warrior, DK, or Feral with tank gear – most threat reduction talents are Stance dependent for all of these classes, and in Frost Presence/Bear Form/Defensive Stance they should have fine threat gen.

    You’ll also note I stated our lowest DPSer, since you obviously replace your worst for something like this, not your average. our average DPSer is around the 5k mark. Our worst is absolutely down at 3500.

    Also, do you not know what the Slime does? it reduces ALL stats, including strength/agility (meaning AP and crit) by 50%, which over the course of the fight is a substantial DPS loss if they’re constantly dipping thanks to Paladins with Glyphed Holy Light (which they should have) and Shamans with Ancestral Awakening (which they should have), and DK’s with Blood Aura (which, if specced Blood, they should probably have), and Paladins Divine Storming…

    There’s a LOT of incidental healing being tossed around in a typical raid these days, and there’s just no good reason to take extra risks in hopes of avoiding it.

  23. lol, please explain to me how slime works… (sarcasm ftw)

    standing=/=dipping in it and they don’t have to do it that often as often as you think. they are on the opposite side of the boss as the tanks and hardly receive any healing. i’d also be interested in seeing omen on this fight for your “flex” tank.

    anyhow, i’m done arguing. you do what works for you and we’ll do what works for us.

    apokteino-aerie peak-uprising

  24. Lol surely this is a little outdated now, gear levels should be such that either way will work and you should still lie around with about 25% of your mana left without even using mana tide or a potion. Most groups should be aiming at approx. 3 min kills which makes the healers’ lives so easy.

    We used to bitch and moan at healers for healing melee dps but now I believe most people have realised dismissing your fortitude buff makes taking a hateful strike almost impossible anyway so spamming chain heal on your assigned tank is great. However I still get the best hps results from LHW… probably from it’s ridiculously fast cast speed.

    In many situations like this there’s probably a right and wrong answer but i just don’t think it’s the case here… Patch is just too damn easy.


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