Tsulongevity, Part 3: Shaman Strategies

Contents
Tsulong Principles
Evaluating Strategies
Bathed in Light Strategies
Between Breaths
Level 60 Talents
Level 75 Talents
Level 90 Talents
TL,DR: Normal Mode
Heroic Strategies

The Tsulong encounter in Terrace of Endless Spring presents some interesting healing complexities that warrant a bit of a closer look. In the Tsulongevity series, I will explore the interaction between the healing buff and each healing class’s spells and cooldowns, and aim to generate some recommended “rotations” that should serve you all well for both the normal and Heroic difficulties.

In this installment of the Tsulongevity series, I’ll be analysing Restoration Shaman behaviour and Talents to determine some ideal strategies. And as is my wont, I’ve gone a bit overboard with the analysis! Use the links in the table above to navigate to the sections that interest you the most. (And if you’ve read my previous Tsulongevity articles, or are already familiar with the mechanics of the Tsulong encounter, you can probably skip straight to the Bathed in Light Strategies section and move on from there.)

Principles of the Tsulong Encounter

Tsulong: Day Phase

Tsulong: Day Phase

There are two ways to defeat Tsulong: by reducing Tsulong’s health pool to 0 during a Night phase, when Tsulong is hostile, or by increasing Tsulong’s health to 100% during a Day phase, when Tsulong is a friendly target. Tsulong switches between Night and Day phase every 2 minutes. Since the Day phase is the most relevant to healers, most of this article will focus on it alone.

During the Day phase, Tsulong will periodically begin to cast Sun Breath, which is a cone attack that will debuff any healers standing within it with Bathed in Light. Bathed in Light increases all healing done by 500% (in other words, you do your normal healing x6) for 6 seconds. The Sun Breaths, and thus the Bathed in Light debuffs, come every 29 seconds, and you will get 3 full Bathed in Light “windows” in which to apply truly ridiculous healing to the dragon. Near the very end of the Day phase, Tsulong will cast a fourth Bathed in Light, but transitions back to Night phase, becoming hostile and unhealable, shortly thereafter, so healers do not get much of a chance to capitalise on this final Bathed in Light window.

Let me throw a little bit of math at you. The Bathed in Light debuff is active for 15% of the phase, during which time you do 6 times as much healing. 15 x 6 = 90. The other 85% of the phase, you deal normal healing. 85 x 1 = 85. So basically, if you do not optimise your Bathed in Light healing plan, you will deal almost as much healing to Tsulong outside of Bathed in Light as you will do inside Bathed of Light, and overall you will deal 175% of the healing you normally would have done.

However, if you can plan ahead, you can squeeze much, much more healing out of the Bathed in Light debuff. Here are a few simple tips:

  • Use any healing spells with a cooldown during the Bathed in Light window. These abilities are typically strong – thus they are given a cooldown to limit their frequency of use. There are a few exceptions, though – don’t bother with Unleashing during the buff, for example.
  • Apply long-lasting HoT effects that will retain the Bathed in Light-boosted healing values even after Bathed in Light fades from you. This artificially extends your Bathed in Light window. For Shaman, this is Riptide; Earthliving Weapon doesn’t really count since it is uncontrollable and will be refreshed.
  • Use abilities that can be cast before the Sun Breath occurs, but will update their healing when you get the buff. This is extra healing during the Bathed in Light window with no significant effort! Specifically for Shaman, this includes Healing Rain and Healing Stream Totem.
  • Use your throughput-boosting cooldowns/trinkets during Bathed in Light (or a little before, so you don’t waste any precious Bathed in Light time). Increases to the healing you do are proportionally better when you are already doing increased healing!

Using these tactics, you can improve your Bathed in Light-empowered healing so much that it will well and truly overshadow the healing you will deal outside the Bathed in Light window. In other words, maximising your Bathed in Light healing will maximise your Tsulong healing.

While that non-Bathed-in-Light healing will never truly be negligible, you can use the time between Sun Breaths to cast efficient spells and regenerate mana to ensure you can afford your Bathed in Light rotation.

Evaluating Sample Healing Strategies

In general, I will compare healing strategies using the combined sums of the mathematical equations that convert Spell Power to healing done. I’m doing this so that you can plug in your own Spell Power values and determine how much healing you would do, rather than giving you largely irrelevant numbers based on my own overgeared Shaman’s Spell Power. However, it also serves to make the point that – no matter what your gear – there is one particular strategy that is incredibly powerful and will always outperform the other options.

I only concerned myself with calculating the amount of healing you will generate in each Bathed in Light window. Note that this will include any HoTs you apply during Bathed in Light that carry the Bathed in Light boost over after you lose the debuff, as well as ticks of any ground-based or Totem heals (such as Healing Rain, Healing Stream Totem) that automatically update when you gain or lose the Bathed in Light buff.

Each strategy will be calculated as though you executed it perfectly 3 times during each Day phase (once for each full Bathed in Light window).

Bathed in Light Strategies

There are three different healing strategies I considered when determining the ideal cast order for Shaman healing Tsulong. In all cases, the pre-Breath cast order remains the same: HST, Riptide, HR, Unleash, pre-cast the first spell in the strategy list.

The only assumption I have made is that Critical Strike Rating is 15% when raid buffed; this may be over or under for you, specifically, but it is an approximation for the purposes of simplifying the equations I’m going to write below.

  1. Healing Surge Spam: HSx4, RT in the final sub-1.5-seconds of the buff
  2. GHW/HS Spam: GHW, HSx3, RT in the final sub-1.5-seconds of the buff
  3. Tidal Waves to the Max: HS, HS, RT, HS

You’ll immediately note that Strategy 3 has one fewer cast in the Bathed in Light window, but ensures that all the casts will benefit from Tidal Waves. However, an additional 30% chance for a Critical Strike on that final Healing Surge cannot make up for the loss of an entire Healing Surge spell cast.

Another reason this is not a good plan is that Riptide is an instant spell, and so can be cast on Tsulong and still benefit from the Bathed in Light buff even when there is very little time left on it. Instant spells are always going to be more valuable at the end of the Bathed in Light buff, where you couldn’t have squeezed in another cast-time spell.

So let’s consider Strategies 1 and 2. We’re trying to determine here whether a Healing Surge under Tidal Waves will be better than a Greater Healing Wave. Considering absolutely no Talents, so a 30% Unleash Life bonus to the first spell, and factoring in Critical Strike chance just from Tidal Waves’ contribution to Healing Surge, we have the following Base Healing and Spell Coefficients for these two Strategies:

Healing Strategies, Per Sun Breath
Strategy Base Healing Spell Power Coefficient
Strategy 1 801,717 105.0778*SP
Strategy 2 775,311 102.6918*SP

As you can see, the Healing Surge Spam strategy pulls out significantly ahead, due to the contribution of Ancestral Awakening from Critical Strike Chance. As your Critical Strike Chance increases, and as your Spell Power increases, the gap between the two strategies shrinks, but even at 40,000 Spell Power and an unattainable 50% Critical Strike Chance, Strategy 1 is still slightly ahead. (Strategy 2 takes over only if you have more than 70% Critical Strike Chance, which is clearly not a scenario we will be seeing any time soon.)

However, I will note that if you get unlucky and none of your Healing Surges crit, you will do worse with Healing Surge Spam than with Strategy 2. RNG is RNG *shrug*.

What To Do Between Breaths

This is largely up to you. There’s no real need to put as much effort into maximising this healing as there is in maximising your Bathed in Light healing throughput. I’d recommend casting mostly Greater Healing Wave, because the slow cast time means it doesn’t drain your mana quite as quickly as Healing Surge does. Be sure to cast Riptide for Tidal Waves, but if you already have a Bathed-in-Light-boosted Riptide active on Tsulong, don’t refresh it! You’ll lose the buffed healing.

I do like to keep Healing Rain down. It helps heal whatever raid members might run through the middle of the room on their way to killing Unstable Sha, or who are feared by the Fright Spawns (although you should really be dropping Tremor Totem for them!).

I avoid using Unleash Life between Sun Breaths. The Sun Breaths are only 29 seconds apart, so there’s not quite enough time to squeeze two Unleashes in between each Sun Breath and maintain the same rotation for each Bathed in Light window. Since I think it is more valuable to maintain a consistent Bathed in Light rotation than to get a little extra healing out of Healing Rain or Greater Healing Wave between Sun Breaths, I just leave it out entirely so I’m sure it’ll be off CD when I really need it.

Level 60 Talents

Assuming we are using Strategy 1 – Healing Surge Spam – let’s take a brief look at how each of the Level 60 Talents will alter our Bathed in Light behaviour.

Elemental Mastery: With the 30% Haste buff from this Talent, you can obtain an extra, non-Tidal-Waves-boosted Healing Surge in one Bathed in Light window each Day phase. This Bathed in Light window will also see 2 extra Riptide ticks, and 1 extra tick each of Healing Rain and Healing Stream Totem.

Ancestral Swiftness: The passive 5% Haste buff may allow you to reforge more Haste into Mastery, but not enough to make a real difference. You’re unlikely to gain any ticks of Riptide that you wouldn’t have already been gearing for. And with a 90-second cooldown, you can’t use the active ability more than once per Day phase. (If you use it in the first Bathed in Light window, it will come off cooldown just as Tsulong switches from friendly to hostile at the end of the phase.)

So what benefit do you get out of Ancestral Swiftness’s activated ability? You can make one of your Healing Surges in each Day phase instant. This is not mind-blowing, except that … well, we can now revisit Strategy 3: Tidal Waves to the Max. The TW-HS, TW-HS, RT, TW-HS rotation can now become TW-HS, TW-HS, RT, TW-HS, AS-TW-HS and you will fit this last, instant HS in before the buff wears off.

The difference in healing throughput from those two extra Tidal Waves charges is thus the increase that you will see from using Ancestral Swiftness in this way once per Day phase.

Echo of the Elements: This will give your Healing Surges and the up-front portion of your Riptide a 6% chance to ‘double-proc’. It does not affect the Riptide HoT ticks, the HST ticks, or the HR ticks.

So let’s go back to the math! How do these Talents compare?

Level 60 Talents with Strategy 1; Single Sun Breath
Talent Base Healing Spell Power Coefficient
Elemental Mastery 967,301 130.8862*SP
Ancestral Swiftness 891,853 113.2498*SP
Echo of the Elements 840,058 108.5541*SP

You can see that a full extra cast of Healing Surge – via Elemental Mastery – well outperforms the benefit of Ancestral Swiftness’s Tidal Waves charges.

Echo of the Elements performs poorly when you average out all the chances. However, if you manage to get lucky with your procs, it can perform quite well. But since I do not like relying on ‘luck’ for my throughput on this encounter, I recommend Elemental Mastery as your Level 60 Talent.

Level 75 Talents

You may have heard about a little incident where a Resto Shaman forced the Heroic Tsulong encounter to be completed a little under a minute after entering the first Day phase, resulting in HPS values of over 1 million. (See the first few results on this World of Logs compilation.) This was done through a … clever? … combination of the double-dipping interaction between Ancestral Guidance and Ascendance, and the fact that pets do not count against you in calculating diminishing returns on AoE healing.

Blizzard promptly responded by breaking all interaction between Ascendance and Ancestral Guidance, which makes Ancestral Guidance a much weaker Talent for this fight now. But is it so weak that Healing Tide Totem can beat it? Or even *coughspithack* Conductivity?

Because Ancestral Guidance and Healing Tide Totem are both smart heals, targeting the lowest-health players within range, the two Talents will both heal Tsulong every time they are triggered, at least during the first Day phase when Tsulong’s health is likely to be quite low. (And on Normal difficulty, there is very little damage going out so long as Terrorize dispels are handled well, so this is very likely to be true during the second Day phase as well.) Both of these Talents will also heal raid members, but we do not really care about that – it will be mostly overhealing. All we care about is their single-target throughput potential.

Neither Ancestral Guidance nor Healing Tide Totem interact with Ascendance, so we needn’t consider that angle. However, let’s think about what other Talents and abilities interact with these two Talents:

  • The channelled buff from Primal Elementals will affect both.
  • Unleashed Fury will only boost Ancestral Guidance’s healing, and Ancestral Guidance also procs off of Ancestral Awakening, which means it sees more of a gain from Critical Strike Rating than Healing Tide Totem would.
  • Mastery affects both equally, and both scale from Haste rating (although only when you obtain enough Haste to get an extra cast/extra tick to fall inside the Bathed in Light window).
  • Ancestral Guidance is designed to heal 3 targets for 40% of the direct healing you do, while Healing Tide Totem is designed to spread its healing over 5 targets.

With all this in mind, let’s look at some math. Assuming we are using Strategy 1 with Elemental Mastery as our Level 60 Talent, and that we are also using either Ancestral Guidance or Healing Tide Totem during the same Bathed in Light window in which we are using Elemental Mastery – which we should, because stacking cooldowns typically gives us our maximal throughput, and that is what we care about on this fight – let’s see what our healing looks like with each of these Level 75 Talents:

Level 75 Talents with Strategy 1 and Elemental Mastery; Single Sun Breath
Talent Base Healing Spell Power Coefficient
Healing Tide Totem 1,235,588 157.204*SP
Ancestral Guidance 1,269,483 158.284*SP

Ancestral Guidance squeaks out ahead on this theoretical calculation, primarily due to the fact that Healing Tide Totem will only deliver 4, maybe 5 ticks of its healing during the Bathed in Light window. And since the Totem recalculates its strength on each tick, as soon as you lose the Bathed in Light buff, the Totem loses it as well. (The numbers above show the far more likely 4-tick scenario. The 5-tick scenario would require millisecond-precision timing, and still cannot beat Ancestral Guidance.)

I’d also like to discuss a real-world example derived from my observations on the Heroic Tsulong encounter. This is mainly to emphasize how strong Ancestral Guidance really can be if you are lucky enough to get Critical Strikes during its uptime. I’ve summed up the total healing dealt by my Ancestral Guidance during a single 6-second window of the Heroic-mode buff, The Light of Day, and then calculated what my Healing Tide Totem would have healed for, using the same stats that I had:

  • Ancestral Guidance, 1 6-second window of 1500% increased healing: 43,593,164
  • Healing Tide Totem, buffed for its full duration, would heal for (at best): 11,237,983

You’ll note there is a marked difference. I believe this stems from the fact that Unleashed Fury and Ancestral Guidance interact (I was using Unleashed Fury in this log), and Ancestral Guidance procs from Ancestral Awakening, and I got several crits. In fact, the largest Ancestral Guidance heal on Tsulong was 12,506,555, which clearly outheals Healing Tide Totem from a single proc! Now, granted, this was with a 1500% healing buff instead of a 500% healing buff, but that won’t change the relative strength of the two spells. It’ll just change the size of the total healing dealt.

I think it is pretty clear here that Ancestral Guidance is a stronger choice than Healing Tide Totem specifically for Tsulong healing.

It’s possible you may need Healing Tide Totem to get through the Night phase, if your raid is struggling with it, but you could instead use Ancestral Guidance (which has only a 2-minute cooldown, so is available once each phase) to help out during the Night phase without jeopardizing your Day phase healing plan.

So what about Conductivity? While Conductivity will also heal Tsulong (so long as you place your Healing Rain appropriately), it will suffer diminishing returns on its Tsulong healing for each player standing within that Healing Rain. This makes it significantly more difficult to use, as your raid group is probably used to seeking out the friendly blue circle and standing in it, and there is a fair bit of movement in this fight for some DPS players. To get the most out of this Talent you would need to limit the number of players standing in your Healing Rain, or place it in such a way that only Tsulong is affected, and either way this is quite finicky.

The only reasons I’m even considering Conductivity are that it interacts with Ascendance, and it is available for every Breath, whereas Healing Tide Totem and Ancestral Guidance are only available for one Breath in each Day phase.

I won’t bore you with the (quite considerable) maths behind it; I’ll just come right out and say it. Conductivity performs better than Ancestral Guidance if you can average 3 or fewer players in your Healing Rain during Bathed in Light. Any more than that, though, and it comes out as less throughput.

This makes it extremely impractical for 25-player raid groups, like mine – I average 12 targets in my Healing Rain when I drop it on Tsulong – but it may be possible for 10-player raid groups to pull this off. In order to make your decision between Ancestral Guidance and Conductivity, check some of your logs from previous attempts at Tsulong and see how many players were healed by each tick of a Healing Rain that you dropped under the dragon. If you’re scoring 3 or fewer, go Conductivity; if you are getting more than that, Ancestral Guidance all the way.

“But Dayani,” you may be thinking, “What about other, external buffs like Guardian Spirit?” Well, I modelled that too, and it doesn’t significantly change the calculus. 3 targets in your Healing Rain will still very slightly favour Conductivity, and at 2 targets, it’s an appreciable difference. You just won’t get a crazy awesome HPS spike from the very first Bathed in Light phase if you take Conductivity – it’s more slow-and-steady-wins-the-race.

In general, though, Ancestral Guidance is likely to outweigh Conductivity for most raid groups. And it is my recommendation for your Level 75 Talent.

Level 90 Talents

I’m just going to set Elemental Blast aside here. It is far too clunky to use, and while, yes, whichever random buff it gave us would last long enough to cover an entire Bathed in Light phase, and would definitely be beneficial, it is difficult to find a target to cast on that would be in range without forcing you to move out of the Sun Breath area of effect and potentially lose out on an entire Bathed in Light window.

So the pertinent comparison here is between Unleashed Fury and Primal Elementalist. Unleashed Fury affects only one spell – and requires you to ensure the Unleash is targeted on Tsulong – but does cause that spell to deal 95% more healing, which can be very strong. Since we are already pre-casting Unleash Elements anyway, no matter what Talent we take, this represents a 65% increase in the power of the first spell you cast in each Bathed in Light window.

Meanwhile, Primal Elementalist’s channeled healing buff (Empower/Reinforce) will be able to affect every heal that you deal to Tsulong during each Bathed in Light window, even the Healing Stream Totem and the Healing Rain ticks, increasing your total amount of healing to Tsulong by 10%. However, because of the lengthy cooldown, you will only be able to summon three Elementals during the course of the encounter; twice during the first Day Phase, to cover all three full Bathed in Light windows, but only once during the second Day phase.

In order to get the best usage out of the buff, you have to make sure that your Elemental isn’t going to fade halfway through a Bathed in Light window. You’re not going to want to spend a GCD re-summoning your Elemental and bother with re-casting the healing buff when you could instead be casting buffed healing spells on the dragon!

The best you can do is to summon your first Elemental (for the purposes of this discussion, let’s say it’s the Fire Elemental) about 10 seconds before the end of the first Night phase. You can have your Fire Ele attack Tsulong for a little extra DPS until the Day phase begins, at which point you’ll want to start using the channeled healing buff.

The first Sun Breath occurs 31 seconds into the Day phase and lasts for 6 seconds, so doing this will ensure that your Fire Elemental expires halfway between the 1st and 2nd Bathed in Light window. Summon your Primal Earth Elemental and begin channeling Reinforce as soon as you can. This Primal Earth Elemental should last through the 2nd and 3rd Bathed in Light windows and fade about 15 seconds before the end of the first Day Phase.

Your Primal Fire Elemental should come back off cooldown halfway between the 1st and 2nd Bathed in Light window of the second Day phase. Summon him immediately and begin channeling Empower, so you can cover the 2nd and 3rd Bathed in Light windows, for a total of 5 Bathed in Light windows affected by the Primal Elementalist buff, and 1 Bathed in Light window that sadly does not get buffed.

Using the Talents this way, and assuming that you are saving your cooldowns in the second Day phase for one of the Primal Elementalist-buffed Bathed in Light windows, let’s see how the two compare:

Level 90 Talents with Strategy 1; All Day Phases
Talent Base Healing Spell Power Coefficient Comment
Unleashed Fury 5,771,300 739.1854*SP UF is available for the first spell of every BiL window
Primal Elementalist 5,575,445 739.7841*SP PE buff only available for 5 of 6 BiL windows. Assumed you save EM in Day phase 2 for a PE buffed BiL.

This is the first time we’ve seen a discrepancy between the highest Base Healing and the highest Spell Power Coefficient. This means there is not necessarily a clear answer – at low levels of Spell Power, Unleashed Fury will be the best option because of the extra Base Healing. At high levels of Spell Power, Primal Elementalist will take over. But how high do we have to go?

The difference between coefficients is quite small, meaning that we would need a lot of Spell Power before Primal Elementalist takes over. And when I say a lot, I mean 330,000 Spell Power. (No, that is not a typo.)

So Unleashed Fury is the winner here, and probably for eternity, or at least, given how quickly items are scaling with item level, until tier 17 ;)

The cooldown on the Primal Fire Elementals also means they are much, much worse if you cannot be certain the attempt will include the entire second Day phase. While I still think the best course of action is to plan for the fight to last all the way to berserk, if your group is consistently defeating Tsulong earlier than that, you should definitely take Unleashed Fury.

And finally, Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem can allow you to cover all six of the Bathed in Light windows, but it also requires you to drop the Fire Elemental Totem very precisely - at the end of a Sun Breath cast bar but right before the buff occurs – and give up pre-casting your first Healing Surge. This in turn is very likely to push your end-of-buff Riptide out of the Bathed in Light window. And it’s a loss to defenestrate your Riptide or to lose a Healing Surge in order to fit that Riptide in, so I don’t recommend this course of action.

TL;DR: Recommendations for Normal Mode

Talents: EM, AG, UF
Glyphs: Glyph of Spiritwalker’s Grace. And whatever else you desire. Because srsly. They don’t matter.

Between breaths: Get Earth Shield up on Tsulong for 20% more healing! Keep Healing Rain down under Tsulong and, after the first Sun Breath, use HST on CD. If you already have a Bathed in Light-boosted Riptide up on Tsulong, Riptide your tanks for Tidal Waves, and spam GHW on Tsulong. If you have mana problems, switch to HW for the non-Tidal Waves cast.

  • If Elemental Mastery is available, use it before dropping the pre-breath HST/HR. Then while on GCD from casting Riptide or Unleash Life, use Ascendance and Ancestral Guidance.
  • If your raid group has a Guardian Spirit, use your cooldowns when your Holy Priest uses GS on Tsulong. Try to cajole them into doing it on the first breath each phase, where your Mastery will have more oomph.
  • I also always pop Spiritwalker’s Grace during this time, just in case I have to move for any reason, so I won’t lose uptime on Tsulong healing.

Just before a breath: 3 seconds before the Sun Breath cast (so 3 seconds left on your DBM timer), cast Healing Stream Totem, then Healing Rain, then Riptide Tsulong, then Unleash on Tsulong. Start pre-casting your first Healing Surge when the Sun Breath cast bar has about 1 second left on it.

During breaths: HS until you have less than one GCD’s worth of time on the Bathed in Light buff (5 times under Elemental Mastery; 4 times without it), then Riptide.

Healing attributable to Bathed in Light over both Day Phases: 6,459.641 + 801.5947*SP

With a conservative 25k Spell Power, this equals 26,499,508 healing in the Day phases – solely during the Bathed in Light windows – without Mastery, raid buffs, flasks, trinket procs, or even Haste effects from gear.

See the infographic below for a more visual description of the plan:

Resto Shaman casting rotation for Tsulong. This should be used for the first Bathed in Light window in each phase. Subsequent Bathed in Light windows will not have the cooldowns, and you can only cast 4 Healing Surge spells.

Resto Shaman casting rotation for Tsulong. This should be used for the first Bathed in Light window in each phase. Subsequent Bathed in Light windows will not have the cooldowns, and you can only cast 4 Healing Surge spells, will get 7 ticks of Riptide, and 3 ticks of HR and HST.

Heroic Strategies

There are several prevalent strategies for assigning The Light of Day in Heroic Tsulong. (See Tsulongevity, Part 2: Seeing Clearly in The Light of Day for details on this buff.) The ideal healing strategy for you will depend upon the strategy your guild decides to use.

Some guilds prefer to assign all of the Light of Day buffs to one healer – typically a Mistweaver – while others may spread those Lights of Day out amongst multiple healers, allowing each healer to use their throughput cooldowns with the healing buff.

If you are not assigned to any Lights of Day, the normal mode strategy will serve you pretty well, and you won’t really need to alter your plan at all from what I’ve written above. Between breaths, focus on healing the raid and avoiding overwriting your Bathed-in-Light-boosted Riptide on Tsulong.

If you are able to influence your raid’s healing strategy, or if you are already being assigned to The Light of Day duty, you should keep the following things in mind:

  1. You will be strongest during the first Lights of Day during the first Day phase. This is due to your Mastery; you can plan on Tsulong being around 20-25% health during that first Day phase. For my guild’s attempts, I stacked up to 73% Mastery – sacrificing quite a lot of Spirit for it – and was able to reach a peak HPS of over 9 million at least once, and over 7 million several times.
  2. Your cooldowns are longer than a single Light of Day, so attempt to chain two Lights of Day together. They spawn once every 10 seconds, so you would be safe to get the first Light of Day about 5 seconds after it appears, and then move to the second Light of Day as soon as it spawns.
  3. Guardian Spirit is likely to benefit you more than it will benefit any other healer, thanks  again to Mastery. If your Holy Priest (if you have one) is amenable, get them to cast it when you call for it – during your first Light of Day since Ancestral Guidance will have 100% uptime during the buff duration. Conversely, Life Cocoon is not great for you – so suggest saving it for a Resto Druid/Mistweaver Monk/Holy Priest’s turn at the buff.
  4. If you end up with The Light of Day still active when Tsulong casts Sun Breath, make sure you stay out of the Sun Breath’s area of effect! It will overwrite your Light of Day, and you will be sad.
  5. Interacting with The Light of Day will interrupt any casting you are doing, so it is not possible to pre-cast. Despite this, Ancestral Swiftness still cannot outperform Elemental Mastery; the extra Healing Surge you can cast, plus the extra HR/HST ticks during the buff and the Riptide ticks as the buff fades, more than make up for not having an instant cast to spam right after you get The Light of Day.

My general plan was not that different to the normal mode strategy I wrote above.

Before grabbing the buff, I dropped a Healing Stream Totem, cast Riptide, dropped a Healing Rain, and Unleashed on Tsulong.

Just before I grabbed The Light of Day, I popped Ancestral Guidance, Ascendance, Elemental Mastery, Spiritwalker’s Grace, and a Potion of the Jade Serpent. I then cast as many HS casts as I could fit, and ended with a Riptide in the last few milliseconds of The Light of Day. I moved to the next Light of Day while casting these spells, and picked it up as my previous buff faded. Then, again, HS spam and a Riptide in the final moments of the buff.

One of my better Light of Day trials, and also the size of my truly inflated e-peen ;)

One of my better Light of Day trials, and also the approximate size of my inflated e-peen ;)

In my raid, the remaining Lights of Day were not assigned to me, so I spent the rest of the time healing the raid, dropping Spirit Link Totem when Terrorize went out, and following my normal mode rotation on Tsulong whenever affected by Bathed in Light. Despite having only two Lights of Day per phase, the healing I was able to do, thanks to Resto Shaman’s powerful cooldowns and Mastery effects, was enough to overwhelm other healing classes who received more Lights of Day! All is not lost just because Blizzard fixed our unintended Ascendance/Ancestral Guidance/Snake Trap synergy :)

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One Response to Tsulongevity, Part 3: Shaman Strategies

  1. hoofdee says:

    been waiting for this one! i never even thought about conductivity, but it makes a lot of sense for 10 man groups. thanks for the info.

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