TL;DR : For Altairus dogding whirlwinds is far far more important than wind changes. I mention whirlwind so much that I want a thesaurus.
As you may have read yesterday, I have many excuses not to run heroics (but fewer reasons). Last night I tanked Vortex Pinacle, my fourth heroic. I set a 'finish time' of 11:30pm, but it was more like midnight. It was a nappy party. Wipe, Wipe, Wipe. But I did learn a bit, and next time it wont hurt so bad.
Most readers will be aware that backup healing helps. A backup tank also works. I have run with a bear/cat for two of my heroics, and found the extra defensive cooldowns/health pool a life saver.
The group consisted of my DK tank (foolich), Druid Moonkin, Druid Bear in mostly cat form, Hunter, and a Disc Priest, all on our first Heroic Vortex Pinacle attempt. We had heard the second boss was painful.
I use the Sword and Board blog as a very short guide to what I should be doing, and it has worked well. I don't do well at watching videos, text based strategies + experience works better for me. I don't run as DPS. Last night, we came up with our own strategies.
Before 1st boss trash tip: A lot of the trash like to throw you off the platform. It might not end in a wipe, but it's a pain when the tank (me) gets thrown away. Having a second tank was good. Stay close to the inside of paths where you can.
Before 3rd boss trash tip. CC/magic damage does not work in or accross a lightning field. Seperate Temple Adepts so they don't heal each other. Interupt casters with gusto and glee.
Bosses 1 & 3 were largely according to Sword and Board. On the final boss, the static cling is a killer if it co-incides with a lightning field. We solved this by jumping lots (not pretty but it worked).
Altairus (second boss) was as hard as we had been told. We had many plans that did not work. It only takes one plan that does. This boss does not have an enrage timer. Deaths were caused by 3 things:
* bounced on 3 whirlwinds in a row
* bounced off the platform by whirlwind and insta-killed
* Healer out of mana
Our goal is to (A) avoid whirlwinds and (B) save healer mana.
Apart from whirlwinds, the other significant damage was the bosses frost breath. A DK's anti magic shell grants (near?) immunity to every second breath. A prismatic elixir provides 90 magic resistance - with this and party buffs we ended up with 25% reduced magic damage. DPS quaffing the magic resist elixir is worth it.
Being downwind means a movement and cast time debuff. Conversely being upwind means a movement and cast time buff. It does not affect heal per mana or damage per mana. Being upwind is good because it allows you more time to dodge whirlwinds. Any DPS/HPS benefit is trivial compared to avoiding whirlwinds. Dead toons don't do much.
In the centre there seemed to be fewer whirlwinds, so we put both the boss and our party (bar the hunter) in the middle. Our healer concentrated on mana efficient heals, letting party health drop when we did get hit by the whirlwinds.
I understand that whirlwinds are getting nerfed, and our gear will only get better, so the fight will become easier. I am glad we did it while it is 'hard'.
In summary, our strategy that succeded was:
* Avoid whirlwind
* Mostly ignore wind changes
* Everyone + Boss (except Hunters) in the middle.
* Mana efficient healing
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