[25H] Halfus

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[25H] Halfus

Postby fuzzygeek » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:20 am

Ok I'm befuddled. I don't understand why we can clear BWD in a night and BoT in about an hour, but H.Halfus is problematic. We've got to be missing something fundamental.

We've tried both three (pal/dru/dk) and four (+1dk) tanking; generally 7 healers. Part of the problem is the 4th tank is probably undergeared for heroic tanking; the DK is our P1 Nef tank and P3 Add Spotter.

We've tried all sorts of different combinations and series of releasing things; we've settled on just having to bite the bullet and do 4 Dragons + Whelps (ignoring Slate). I've got Storm+Whelps, Nether+Time on our Bear, and the DKs juggling Halfus. We never got a good look at this since I got gibbed on the pull due to positioning one pull, and one of the bear's healers DCed on the other, at which point we gave up and just trashed the joint to get more shoulder tokens.

Our healing comp is generally:
3 holy paladin
1 disc priest
1 holy priest
1 resto sham (sometimes two)
1 tree (brand new recruit with a good pedigree but godawful gear)

I had two paladins on the bear, one paladin+disc on me, resto shaman on the DKs (which some bacon). Tree was rolling LB on me and helping to cover the raid with the holy priest.

Are we better off not releasing the whelps until one of the dragons is down? Possibly two? We have two mages who would be able to bounce their Dots off a weakened Halfus -- would that make more sense? Whelps were taking an awfully long time to die and healers were just running dry after two minutes.

What the hell are we missing? Someone in raid was talking about kiting Halfus around with hunters or something -- do people do that?

On Tuesday I'm probably going to go 3 tank 7 heal; release Dragons up front with Storm/Time on me, Nether on Bear, Halfus on DK, BoP DK on 9 stack while we burn Nether, then Storm, release whelp, kill whelp, time, then Halfus. This frees up a DK to do DPS and so on. My concern is raidhealing during 2 dragons before whelps are released, but AM on the breath should help significantly.
Last edited by fuzzygeek on Thu May 12, 2011 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [25H] Halfus wtf

Postby Arianne » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:30 pm

Halfus hits like a little girl. You have a metric asston of holy paladins. You should combine those two things. :P DK with bad gear = Halfus. Holy paladin HoPs to reset the stacks at 8ish (starting to use CDs at 5ish and calling for HoP when all of his CDs are about to go down - 9 stacks is WAY TOO MUCH). DK with good gear = Storm. You stick with Time+whelps and bear tanks Nether. Focus fire Storm down and he should be dead by the time your DK has 5 stacks again. If Storm's not down, then the bear with Nether taunts Halfus (and DK tank with bad gear doesn't tank anything and moves a slight distance away). When the bear has 5 stacks of MS then another Holy Pally HoPs the bear (Halfus should run towards the old DK and the nether should run towards a ranged DPS for a second while the bear uses a cancelaura macro on HoP). Hopefully at this point the first DK either has no stacks or Storm is down and that frees the 2nd DK, thus you'll have your bear with 1-2 stacks of MS and your DKs will taunt swap Halfus while the raid kills Time and then Nether.

You want to avoid having someone with 5+ MS stacks tanking a drake unless they have chain CDs to blow and you want to avoid having someone tank 2 drakes (because the drakes hit pretty hard). All of your tanks should avoid getting hit by fireballs and should be grouped up so that the disc priest can pop a barrier on the tank group as well as having AoE healing for tanks+melee.

DK1 (bad gear) = halfus
DK2 = Storm
Pally = Time + whelps
Bear = Nether

DK1 + bear taunt swap Halfus while DK2 has a drake. DK1+DK2 taunt swap Halfus after Storm goes down. Use HoP to reset MS stacks on DK1 + bear until Storm goes down.

Use the other HoPs to either protect your healers during FR so they can keep healing or protect an interrupter to interrupt the shadow nova during furious roar. Chain AM at the beginning and also have an AM rotation for FR. Use DG for the first shadow nova and during the 2nd furious roar.

On the pull you want to release Time, spend your first holy power on putting up holy shield, use DG (for the first shadow nova), then build up 2 holy power and release the whelps. Build your 3rd holy power, and pop inq, then drop cons and HW when the whelps turn red. Immediately pop Guardian, AW and strafe backwards towards the tanking position while generating threat on the whelps (resto druid should thorns you at this point and you should use AW when HW comes up again DP if you need to restack your Inq). I find it helpful to have Time on focus for getting back to him since I tab target whelps to check aggro. When Guardian wears off ask for the pain suppression. When PS wears off, pop DP. At this point everything should be fairly stable, so you want to save AD for if you get below 50% health (ie: someone has to move, you take some unblocked blows, someone ends up healing the melee) and you want to have your holy priest ready to GS you if you've used AD and get low again. HoS is usually pretty ineffective on this fight since there's a fair amount of raid damage but you can have your holy pallies do HoS/DS after the DP if you are still dying.

DoT bouncing off Halfus no longer works and there's no need for hunter kiting during FR anymore either since you're not offtanking dragons during FR anymore.

Stick with a particular strategy and keep on with it. You're going to fail the first few times as your healers get used to the fact that they need to spam their biggest/fastest heal for the first 30-45s until the first drake goes down. The pull is always the hardest portion of the fight.

HPal1 = heal DK1, beacon Pal
HPal2 = heal DK2, beacon Pal
HPal3 = heal Pal, beacon bear
Disc = heal bear, bubble any low tank if can spare the GCD
HolyPr/Druid/Sham = raid heal.
Sham bounce Chain off of Pal for Ancestral, also ES pal and HR the melee.
HolyPr ProM off DK2/DK1 for inspiration (heal DK2 if no raid healing or he gets low).
Druid keep LB rolling on DK1 or bear, depending on which is getting lower.

If DK1 needs more healing and Pal is doing ok, then move beacon from HPal2 to DK1, but then HPal2 will need to swap beacon to bear when bear taunts Halfus.
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Re: [25H] Halfus wtf

Postby fuzzygeek » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:04 pm

Thanks for the very in-depth writeup! Last week we wiped at enrage at 3% with a 3 tank 7 heal setup, but we never released the whelps. Since then I don't think we've gotten to P2.

Will mages bouncing off Halfus not work anymore even though this would happen after dragons have died?

I have an unhittable set so I'm not terribly concerned about tanking two dragons at once; we did a number of pulls with storm/time/whelp, but without Nether the Halfus damage and stacks was just too much to handle.
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Re: [25H] Halfus wtf

Postby Belloc » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:14 pm

If Halfus has a damage increase on him, mages can still transfer it to the whelps... afaik.
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Re: [25H] Halfus wtf

Postby Kerriodos » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:17 pm

We three tank with the same druid/paladin/DK setup, though we did four tank it prenerf and had some 372's when we switched it up. Nonetheless, we do the following:

Death Knight releases Nether Scion and picks it up. A DPS or healer releases Time Warden and MD's it to him. I release and pick up Storm off the pull, and it is the first burn target. Our druid grabs Halfus. As appropriate the druid and I swap targets. Swapping at about 6, barring bad luck, we are able to have the skull burnt down by about the second swap. At this point, whoever doesn't have Halfus picks up X, the Nether Scion and we continue the same way. Whelps are released at this point, MD'd to any tank, and they split themselves naturally. Once Nether is dead, Time Warden is burnt, while the other two tanks continue to swap Halfus as needed. Depending on how close to 50% we are/how bored we are, we may release Slate, but it's not necessary to beat the enrage.

Before whelps are released, raidwalls and barriers on the tanks are extremely useful for dealing with the Behemoth's breaths+the huge melee hits coming in.

Try to have your tanks stack up and move together out of fireballs. Also, bubble and HoP are great for making a swap on Halfus before the previous tanks stacks have fallen off, or to continue tanking the boss longer.
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Re: [25H] Halfus wtf

Postby Arianne » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:16 pm

Before the changes to Halfus, our mages used to only attack Halfus and never attack anything else. That is what I assumed you meant by DoT bouncing off Halfus. That doesn't work anymore since he doesn't get the damage increase until after the dragons have died. With the strategy we use the whelps are mostly dead by the time Halfus has a damage increase on him, so it doesn't really matter for our strat. I guess if you're going to release the whelps later it may be useful, but then you'll run into aggro issues.

If you're wiping to enrage I'd guess it's because you have early DPS deaths as the healers concentrate on the tanks. IMO it's expecting a bit much of them to heal through huge tank damage (multiple tanks having multiple drakes at the same time) and huge raid damage. I'm not really sure what your issue is with the strategy I outlined above and I'm not really sure why you asked for advice since it doesn't seem to change your plan at all. /shrug
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Re: [25H] Halfus wtf

Postby inthedrops » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:53 pm

Make sure you're doing what you can to burn the drakes down one at a time. What you might find is that there are some people "inflating" their DPS numbers at the expense of causing the first couple drakes to actually take longer to die. They might be AoE'ing like all hell but their single target on the current drake is pathetic. I bust people doing this in my raids often enough.

I think it helps considerably to make sure that drake kill order is very clear, don't bother with DPS'ing whelps (hell, if you have a warrior tank put him on the whelps with rend + thunderclap for some lol dps).

We kill 3 drakes and switch to Halfus, with the 4th drake still being tanked. Whelps are dead before the third drake dies.

Halfus DPS doesn't matter AT ALL until the drakes are dead.

This is win/win because the sooner the drakes die the easier the healing.
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Re: [25H] Halfus wtf

Postby fuzzygeek » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:09 pm

On our enrage wipe we had one DPS die and get BR'ed, IIRC. I suspect our not meeting the timer was due to releasing 3 dragons instead of 4.

I don't see how healing a single tank with multiple dragons is worse than healing two tanks with one dragon each, especially taking into account I am block capped and am guaranteed to take less damage than our DK. Your objection wrt multiple tanks with multiple dragons isn't really applicable since it's just one tank with multiple dragons. This doesn't seem like an unreasonable amount of damage, and in practice I'm not the one dying -- it is (barring a DCed healer) always a DK.

I'm asking for advice because I'm wondering if there is something material we are just missing. Your outlined strat is indistinguishable from something we spent half a dozen wipes on; there's no new information there so it doesn't really affect my current thinking about the fight at all.

Perhaps something like that worked for your raid, but it hasn't worked for mine due to poor AoE damage on whelps, or something. Whenever we've tried to burn whelps first it takes nearly two minutes for them to be dead. Granted there's a lot of cleave damage on the rest of the drakes, but this is unacceptable for the healers as they start going oom 2:30 into the fight, at which tanks die and things go sideways.

We don't have a warrior tank. We haven't had one since the first couple weeks on Reliquary. Not deliberately targeting whelps is interesting and something we'll have to look at.
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Re: [25H] Halfus wtf

Postby superworm » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:18 pm

DPS shouldn't be a problem in this fight as long as the raid concentrate their dps on the drakes one by one. Once we had 5 melee dps die at the first furious roar (50%) due to fireballs and still made a kill about 20 seconds before enrage.

We use 3 tanks and 8 healers. Bear on Halfus, DK (me) on Storm+Nether, and warrior on Time+whelps. As our warrior is somewhat undergeared or something, we put 3 healers on him. (I don't know the details but it seems 2 healer on him and he will die). Bear use avoidance trinkets to prolong the Halfus time on him. He gets a HoP at 8 stacks and taunts Nether from me at 8 stacks again. I taunt Halfus off him at the same time. I get a HoP at around 6 stacks if Storm hasn't died. We burn Storm first, then start to AoE everything else.

One important thing is for every tank to time their CDs and raid CDs correctly. One have to use CDs to survive 2 drakes or 1 drake+ Halfus. For example, as a DK I have Bone Shield at the start of the fight. I will pop DRW when BS wears off to get more avoidance and threat, then Vampiric Blood+ some self heal, then Bone Shield again. At this time it's about time to taunt Halfus, and I will turn on IBF. I will call for a HoS or GS if I feel I'm short of CDs. And I always summon a ghoul about some time into the fight to ensure I can Death Pact at once when needed. So it's like
Self CD Raid CD
0:00 Bone Shield (20% DR)
0:10 DRW (+20% parry, +50% threat) PW: Barrier
0:20 VB (+15%hp, +25% heal)
0:30 Bone Shield
0:40 IBF
1:00 GS
1:10 DP or LB self heal HoS
1:20 VB
1:30 Bone Shield
1:40 DRW

It's something like this for me which I wrote on paper and did some practice beforehand. Generally before 1:40 Storm should be dead long ago, and I can rotate safely with bear. At this time we change tanks immediately when the MS stacks fall off. When all the drakes are dead, the warrior will start rotating with bear and I go to release Slate. We ignore Slate and pop Heroism to burn Halfus to death.
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Re: [25H] Halfus wtf

Postby fuzzygeek » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:30 am

superworm wrote:Generally before 1:40 Storm should be dead long ago,


Yeah, I'm pretty sure most of our problems are stemming from this not happening.
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Re: [25H] Halfus wtf

Postby superworm » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:21 am

fuzzygeek wrote:
superworm wrote:Generally before 1:40 Storm should be dead long ago,


Yeah, I'm pretty sure most of our problems are stemming from this not happening.


Then I suggest you make clear what is causing this problem. In fact in our recent kills, Storm is almost dead at the first tank switch. At this moment I just pop IBF and tank Halfus+Storm, usually Storm will be dead beofre my CDs run out.

I can think of two reasons Storm is dying slowly.
First, dps is not focusing on Storm, and you need to make sure they understand the importance of killing Storm first and ASAP. For us we have 14 dps and 12 is on Storm while 2 is on Halfus for interrupts. I guess if you have an Elemental Shaman, then he/she alone can manage all the interrupts.
Second, it can also arise from not having enough threat at the beginning. The storm tank need to build up threat FAST. You clearly don't want the dragon running around or dps holding back due to threat problem. In fact for us as we don't have enough ToT/Misdirection, at first threat is a problem for me. I used to prefer to use DRW for the 20% parry when I taunt Halfus, and soon found that it was more important to build up my threat fast and switched to use it as soon as two dragons come to me.
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Re: [25H] Halfus wtf

Postby inthedrops » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:41 pm

Again, I suspect the problem is people trying to do "big deeps" and not doing "the right deeps". Make sure people are doing everything possible to maximize their single target drake damage in order to burn them down as quick as possible.

Also, we blow hero on the first drake.

The fight is essentially over once a couple drakes die. The healing lightens up so much that it's much easier.
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Re: [25H] Halfus wtf

Postby culhag » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:51 am

Since the patch, we now just kill all the drakes before putting Halfus below 50%. It's eliminated our biggest problem which was tanks getting killed by the drakes during the roars. And with +500% damage on Halfus he dies ridiculously fast when you switch to him.
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Re: [25H] Halfus wtf

Postby Kaory » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:52 am

We r killing Halfus with 4 tank tactic.
3 tanks have one dragon, whelps is free to tank by anyone, and last tank have Halfus.
When Halfus tank got 5-6 stacks he takes dragon from anyone (cycle rotation between all 4 tanks) and that tank takes Halfus. Previous Halfus tank got BOP or Bubble of stacks and so on.
Pretty simple encounter.
Each tank have one healer and 3 healers r healing raid.
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Re: [25H] Halfus wtf

Postby sakkdaddy » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:48 am

7 healers is enough, but 8 healers and 3 tanks is probably better for a first kill. Release everything at once except Slate, kill the Drakes one by one without focusing on AoE damage, then burn down Halfus.

The MT should tank Halfus by himself until the first Drake is dead, and use bubble or HoP with a taunt to clear stacks. The pull should involve a misdirect so that Halfus has to run across the room to the entrance and doesn't start meleeing the tank until the Drakes are active. This will greatly lengthen your MT's lifespan.

The tank who has 1 Drake + whelps, kill his Drake first. Use bloodlust on that Drake, and get it down FAST. Don't let your raid AoE at all until it's dead. Make sure that you have every debuff needed to maximize dps on each Drake. Remind your healers to heal like Jesus and forget about their mana for the first 60 seconds of the fight. Kill 2 Drakes, then the fight gets way easier.

Warlocks should Havok the 2nd kill target. DoT classes should doubledot the first 2 drakes that will die. DK's can pestilence and D&D. Basically treat the start of the fight as an intense DPS/HPS race to kill off the first 2 drakes. Make everyone maximize dps on those two drakes, and have cooldown rotations set for both of your tanks.

Our first kills we used 4 tanks and 8 healers, but it's pretty easy to use 3 tanks and 7 healers still if you have a competent raid group.
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