Sartharion 3D Healing Assignments


I realize that Matticus has done a nice job of keeping readers posted on Conquest’s progress through this fight, but I thought it might be nice for the community if I posted our specific, final draft healing assignments along with a narrative of how we got there. I know that when I was a new healing coordinator for Collateral Damage back in Tier 5 that I used to scour WoW blogs for their specific healing assignments on Vashj, Kael, and beyond. With that experience behind me, I don’t expect that readers will be able to use my precise assignments, but perhaps once I explain the process a bit, healing leaders will be able to identify techniques that will help their particular groups.

Before the First Attempt

The Sunday night before our first attempt at Sarth 3D, Mallet and I, along with Kimboslicé, our raid leader, and Archdrood and Brio, our main tanks, Crazymexican, our puller, and a few various and sundry raid members, went into our cleared Obsidian Sanctum instance to block out positioning. More than anything else, this step may have led to our early success. In the calm of a cleared instance, we were able to identify marks for each person to stand on. Mallet, who would be solo-healing Archdrood, was able to learn exactly where the head and feet of the dragon would be ahead of time, in a calm environment. I paced out where our drake tank healers, whelp tank healers, and add tank healers would stand. We imagined where the firewalls would come and planned what direction different players would run to avoid them. We strategized how to position the drakes to best protect both tank and raid.

The positioning I’m sharing with you now is our “final draft,” but if you block out your own positioning in a cleared OS, our work might give you something to start with.

In my diagram, bubbles represent eeeevil nasssty dragonses, and squares represent players. You’ll notice that I’ve used class colors to show which specific players we used for different tasks. If you need a recap, orange is for druid, brown for warrior, fuchsia for death knight, pink for paladin, white for priest, dark blue for shaman. This class distribution is by no means obligatory and will vary based on the players available in your guild.

The diagram might just tell you everything to know, but in my typically verbose fashion, I’m going to give you some notes anyway.

Main Tank Healing

This is the most difficult job available in this fight, so make sure you assign someone who excels both at throughput and at situational awareness. One of the biggest parts of the learning curve in this fight has to do with this healer’s positioning. He or she has to learn how to avoid the firewalls without going out of range of the main tank. Every bit of this player’s healing goes on the main tank, and he or she has to be able to keep him up entirely alone. Based on the changes to Twilight Torment (the main tank can no longer remove it himself), your main tank healer is going to be the first in a line of “saves” on the MT. In order to survive one of Shadron’s breaths, a non-DK tank must have outside help. These breaths can occur in rapid succession, and you must set up a rotation of “saves” so that your tank can survive multiple rounds. On our druid tank, we used a rotation of 1)Pain Suppression 2)Guardian Spirit 3)Barkskin + Survival Instincts and 4) Hand of Sacrifice + Priest Bubble. On our successful attempt, four abilities were enough. I suggest assigning a player who can perform save #1, which can be any of these techniques, to main tank heal. In practice, this player will probably end up being either a discipline or holy priest.

Drake Tank Healing

We used a team of two healers to take care of the two tanks assigned to Tenebron, Shadron, and Vesperon. We staggered our tanking such that each tank only had one drake at a time. I am H2, and I healed Briolante for Tenebron and Vesperon, helping out on Shadron’s tank in the few moments where Briolante’s first target was down and second had not yet landed. Both H2 and H4, the drake tank healers, will have to move around quite a bit to stay with their targets. H4 in my scheme is a pally healer, and his target, the Shadron tank, will be helping out with whelps and elemental adds for much of the fight. It is important for H4 to keep a watch on this person, as he absolutely has to live to tank his drake. It’s also worth noting that H2 and H4 will be completely out of range of the main tank for most of the fight–any extra healing they can spare goes on the raid.

Whelp Tank Healing

I assigned my strongest paladin to heal the death knight whelp tank. Krinan, the paladin, turns on righteous fury and draws some of the whelps to her through healing aggro. Note: she is specced in a particular way to let her survive this. Perhaps she’ll tell you all about it in a guest post. Krinan and Lloth, our death knight tank, work together to gather up the whelps and the elemental adds while others AoE them down. Usually H3, the whelps/adds healer, will need some help. The whelps and elementals are the most annoying part of the fight, and they can just eat dps and healers for breakfast. Whenever I can, I HoT up Lloth or the AoE’ers. Raid healers, and even drake tank healers when possible, should try to stay close to the adds tank so that any strays can be peeled off.

Raid Healing

This fight can get a little crazy, so I assign three very strong players to raid healing. The challenge increases when raid healers, like our holy priest for example, have to position themselves such that they can take a spot in the save rotation on the main tank during Twilight Torment. I’ve put Kaldora (H5) on the side closest to the main tank to show how a raid healer in the save rotation has to edge toward Sarth at the appropriate moment. Note that raid healing gets completely, entirely insane when Twilight Torment is up on the raid. In order to dampen the effects, we call out for paladins to bubble and help soak some of the damage that way. In order for the raid healing to work in this fight, the dps/healers/add team need to stay close together.

Into the Portal

When Shadron goes down, we send players into the portal to take care of the Guardian. Epiks, our resto shaman, follows dps into the portal and works his healing magic. If you have players taking portals, DON’T forget to assign a healer to go with them. Believe me, the result is not good.

Last Words

This fight recalls Vashj, Kael, and Illidan in the amount of teamwork that it demands. As a healer, you simply cannot ignore assignments and snipe heals. You cannot save other people’s targets. Yes, a drake tank healer might assist the raid healers with a Wild Growth or two, but everyone will always keep a watch on his or her primary target. You are not a hero. You are a small piece of the puzzle. As a healer, you perform the tiny set of tasks assigned to you and nothing more. There may be moments where you feel less effective, but you need to stay in your spot and watch your assignments. You must watch around you–there is no excuse for a healer to be trapped by firewall or void zone. Even though healing is very difficult in this fight, if you set it up like I did, it is also very regimented. Each of the individual tasks is manageable. Just pace your tiny portion of the stage and do not worry about what others are doing. Let them make their own mistakes as you learn. And then, when all is said and done, the healing meter will not tell the whole story on this fight–in this case, the encounter is hard enough at the current available gear level so that if you win, every healer in the team deserves the gold medal.

Blank Sartharion Map: This is a few screenshots of the cleared island that Sartharion is on which Matt stitched together. Feel free to use this for planning. You can overlay Syd’s diagram on top of this and you can get a better idea.

16 thoughts on “Sartharion 3D Healing Assignments”

  1. The Blank Sartherion Map link does not seem to be working for me, and I would very much like to get a copy of that screenshot.

    As always, very useful and informative post! Thank you!

  2. Very interesting indeed.

    I was wondering how are you dealing with ingame healing communication?
    Do you have a seperate (ventrilo / ingame chat) channel that healers use to communicate with each other, or is everyone on the same ‘main’ ventrilo channel?

  3. We use three tanks, one for Sarth himself, one for whelps and blazes and one who tanks all the drakes. Tenebron is usually long dead by the time the third drake arrives so really there’s no need for a fourth tank and I’d argue that it’s less effective from a healing point of view to have healers assigned to a fourth tank rather than have them on the third with extra raid healing. Using a tank less is also very good practice for 10-man Sarth 3D when you’ll be running with two tanks, with possibly a DPS tank picking up whelps and taunting blazes off people.

    You’re absolutely correct that shamans make excellent raid healers in this encounter and are best suited for taking the portal after Shadron goes down. However I think it’s possible to get a bit more out of us than that on Sarth, though the following assignment won’t work if you take portals throughout the encounter. Put a shaman on your drake tank. Not only is he a reasonable tank healer in his own right, but he can chain heal onto the melee too, vastly increasing his efficiency and freeing up a healer to do something else or an extra spot for a DPS class. Again, splitting your attention between a tank and DPS is a good way to get in the right frame of mind for the 10-man version of the encounter when you will be pushed to your very limit.

  4. @ Evenka: I’ve got no personal plans to do the 10-man version (of anything), so I can’t speak to that. As I stated in my write-up, each guild has to re-configure the assignments for their own players’ preferences and strengths. Tanking/healing, even the numbers of players used for those assignments, will vary. Even for the same guild, they will probably be different on farm kills than the original kill.

    @Jeroen: We organize/send out healing assignments with a chat channel, and we call things out over general vent. Conquest isn’t overly chatty in a raid–we’re more businesslike–so there’s plenty of airspace for healers. Sometimes healing troubles are discussed in just chat, sometimes over vent after an attempt. It really varies. On Sarth we were doing a lot of conferencing as a whole team over vent between attempts, with the raid leader actively checking on the healers.

  5. Im on Drake tank as a priest healer with Guardian Spi + Inspiration im healing him and raid (coh + shields + poms) and it works. Im pretty sure many shields saved life of party members few times Tank takes like 40% of my heals according to recent raids.

    Healing assignments and spliting them between raid healing is just matter of skills. Some people can not do so many things at once – its not their fault and its trainable in my mind but takes time.

  6. Would using a Tenacity Pet for Roar of Sacrifice (shunt 30% damage taken from target to pet) on a Tank be a help or hinderance? It would allow double stacking of HoTs but don’t know if the extra healing target would be a bad thing.

  7. Mage: Looks like it would help in theory. A typical Sarth breath does 50000 damage. 30% of that is around 15000 damage, I think. Which means your tank has to somehow survive 35000 damage. If he can, you should be golden.

  8. great post. it’s interesting to see what works for other guilds. also you’re diagrams and discriptions are very thorough. my guild does it a little more like evenka said. we only use 3 tanks and usually will only have 6 healers. 2 healers on sarth tank, 1 healer on the drakes’ tank, 1 for the add tank, and then 2 for party or help on the other tanks. i like this set up because it puts pressure a lot of pressure on the tanks and healers and opens up more dps spots.

    also i agree with what you said about spot healing; generally it is a terrible idea. a couple of weeks ago, though, i got separated pretty bad from the MT i was healing. there was a wave and then i had a vz spawn right on me so i had to strafe out of range. our MT dipped dangerously low and out of no where the pally assigned to heal the drakes’ tank came across and LoH’d the tank i was healing. he heard me call it out on vent that i was out of range and new his tank had popped cooldowns seconds earlier. that’s the difference between a good and pro- totally saved my butt!

  9. oh, and i am a little curious what you mean about the paladin who specs in a specific way to survive grabbing agro on the whelps. i’m guessing you mean she goes down and gets sacred shield/imp righteous fury/increased armor value from prot? this is a great idea if your tanks are having problems picking up the adds… provided they are able to pick them up off the healer, that is. = D

  10. Thank you so much for this post! We spent weeks trying to get 3D and after 2 hours of attempts with the strategy we downed it. We actually used only 6 healers, and a DK tank because of all the cooldowns they have, and it rocked hard. The paladin going 51/20 was fantastic for add control! Plus, solo healing Sarth tank was a ton of fun, lots better than having to share the assignment with a paladin. Disc ftw!

  11. Feeling very frustrated, depressed, ect.. about working on 25 man 3D and only 1 attempt ending at 7%. Drake, add tank and main tank (as well as mt healer) have assigned locations/spots, the rest of raid (dps &remaining healers) are essentially on a free-for-all location during the fight with a “just stay safe” placement. Have had many successful beginnings to the fight to be at this point in the raid.. “2nd drake landed ” when 4(3 or 2) ppl just get 1 shotted to lava meteors. We run with 6 healers 2 Pallys(drake T & add T), 1disc priest(mt),1druid(drake T and mt assist) , 1 holy priest(raid) and 1 shaman(raid). It is just not working out. Any more helpful suggestions to share would be appreciated greatly.


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