SoO You Think You Can Heal: The Fallen Protectors

The Fallen Protectors (bottom) and their Embodied Emotions (floating overhead)

The Fallen Protectors (bottom) and their Embodied emotions (floating overhead)

Siege of Orgrimmar
Vale of Eternal Sorrows
The Fallen Protectors
Sha of Pride
Gates of Retribution
Iron Juggernaut
Kor’kron Dark Shaman
General Nazgrim
The Underhold
Spoils of Pandaria
Thok the Bloodthirsty
Siegecrafter Blackfuse
Paragons of the Klaxxi
Garrosh Hellscream

The Fallen Protectors is the second encounter of the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, and will be available in Normal and Flex difficulties from the launch of 5.4.

In this encounter, players will fight the corrupted Protectors of the Vale, Brewmaster Rook Stonetoe, Priest Sun Tenderheart, and Rogue He Softfoot. Yes, if you hated the Golden Lotus dailies – and that most certainly describes me – this is your chance to get a little revenge >:D

This is a council-type fight with many mechanics to master, a lot of target-swapping, and multiple phases to contend with. Each Protector has three abilities they will use throughout the majority of the fight, and when any Protector reaches 66% or 33% health, they trigger a new phase – Desperate Measures – which deactivates (and resets) some of their abilities, but also empowers them with new abilities that are dangerous and must be handled appropriately and quickly. The fight involves choosing an order in which to trigger each Protector’s Desperate Measures and carefully controlling boss health to ensure only one Desperate Measures is triggered at any time.

All three Protectors must be defeated within a few seconds of one another in order to free them from their Sha corruption. Once one Protector reaches 1 HP, he or she will begin casting Bond of the Golden Lotus, a 15-second cast-time spell; if the other two Protectors are not brought to 1 HP before this cast completes, then all the Protectors are healed for 30% of their maximum health. Allowing this to happen will most definitely jeopardise your raid’s ability to defeat the encounter.

The most popular strategy for defeating the Fallen Protectors, at least from my PTR experiences, was to get all three bosses to around 70% HP, then push each one to their Desperate Measures phase, in the order of Rook, then Sun, then He. Once all three Desperate Measures phases were dealt with, players would again get all three bosses to around 35%, and push Desperate Measures in the same order. With this in mind, I’ll address the bosses’ abilities in that order, after the jump!

Rook Stonefoot (Brewmaster)

Vengeful Strikes stuns players in its cone

Vengeful Strikes stuns players in its cone

Rook Stonefoot is typically tanked facing away from the raid, as approximately every 30 seconds he will use his Vengeful Strikes ability, heavily damaging and stunning all targets in front of him for 3 seconds. Allowing this ability to affect the entire raid would quickly lead to a wipe.

While Rook will not use this ability during his own Desperate Measures phase, he will use it during Sun’s and He’s Desperate Measures, so the Rook tank may require an external CD for Vengeful Strikes at these times.

The faint green circle is the Corrupted Brew reticule

The faint green circle is the Corrupted Brew reticule

Rook will periodically target a distant player and throw a barrel of Corrupted Brew at their feet, causing light Shadow damage and applying a Physical – non-dispellable – debuff that slows movement speed by 65% for 15 seconds. This ability can occur up to every 20 seconds, but is interrupted by Rook’s other abilities and he will not use it during his own Desperate Measures. This is fully avoidable damage; there will be a small green circle on the ground where the keg will land, and players have several seconds to move out of the area before the damage and debuff are applied.

Restoration-Druid-IconStampeding Roar will remove the movement speed debuff (particularly useful at the end of Sun Tenderheart’s Desperate Measures). You should be able to shift out of the debuff as well.

restoration-shaman-iconWindwalk Totem should remove the movement speed debuff as well, though I have not tested this.

Corruption Kick immediately follows each Clash.

Corruption Kick immediately follows each Clash.

Approximately every 50 seconds – again, interrupted by Rook’s other abilities – Rook will choose a distant target in the raid and cast Clash on them. This works exactly like a player-Brewmaster’s Clash ability; Rook rushes toward the Clash target, and the Clash target rushes towards Rook, so the player and the boss meet halfway. Immediately after Clash, Rook will begin to channel Corruption Kick, which deals moderate physical damage to all players within 10 yards every second for 4 seconds, and leaves a lingering Shadow-damage DoT effect on everyone it strikes. Players should move out of Corruption Kick as fast as possible, or ideally ensure that they will not be in the area of effect.

Rook will use neither Clash nor Corruption Kick during any boss’s Desperate Measures phase.

Defiled Ground

Defiled Ground

When Rook reaches 66% or 33% and triggers his Desperate Measures phase, he summons three adds: Embodied Gloom, Embodied Misery, and Embodied Sorrow. This phase will end when all three adds have died.

Embodied Misery will leave a small cone of Defiled Ground at its target’s feet each time it attacks, and should be taunted, tanked out of the raid, and kited. This job can fall to the He Softfoot tank.

Embodied Sorrow (right) marks its Inferno Strike target (left) with a red circle and arrow.

Embodied Sorrow (left) marks its Inferno Strike target (right) with a red circle and arrow.

Embodied Sorrow targets random members of the raid and debuffs them with Inferno Strike. The targeted player will have a red arrow over their head and a red circle to denote the radius of the Inferno Strike damage – much like the Static Shock graphic on Lei Shen. After 9 seconds, Inferno Strike will detonate, dealing a very high amount of damage split evenly amongst all targets within the area of effect. Players should stack on the affected target to split damage. Embodied Sorrow spams the Inferno Strike ability until dead, so players will be stacking for a fair portion of the fight.

Note: In earlier incarnations of this encounter, abilities which would have allowed players to solo-soak Lei Shen’s Static Shock mechanic also worked to solo-soak Inferno Strike. I cannot confirm whether this will work on launch, but I’ll come back to it after I complete the encounter successfully and update this 🙂

Embodied Gloom and Corruption Shock

Embodied Gloom and Corruption Shock

Embodied Gloom targets random members of the raid and casts Corruption Shock at them, which deals moderate Nature damage to the targeted player and all targets within 5 yards. The cast is interruptible, but will require a rotation of players to interrupt every cast.

The Gloom should be the priority target for DPS during this phase, since players cannot really spread out to avoid the splash damage from Corruption Shock and also handle the Inferno Strike ability easily.

Sha Sear can be interrupted.

Sha Sear can be interrupted.

Sun Tenderheart (Priest)

Sun is not tanked, and spends her time casting offensive spells on random raid members. The main source of her damage is from Sha Sear, which targets a raid member and deals increasing Shadow damage to them and all players within 5 yards of the target. Each tick is about 10k stronger than the previous one, for both the main target and all players caught in the AoE effect.

Sha Sear is interruptible, but Sun does not suffer the usual spell lockout effect from being interrupted, so she will simply spam it again. Interrupting Sha Sear does reduce damage on the raid, by resetting the increased-damage mechanic, so it is still advisable, just not as effective as you might suspect.

About every 15 seconds, Sun will pause her Sha Sear spam to cast Shadow Word: Bane. In 10-player versions, this debuffs two targets, and in 25-player versions, this debuffs 5 players. Shadow Word: Bane is like a DPS version of Renewing Mist – it deals periodic Shadow damage every 3 seconds for 18 seconds, and the debuff spreads each time it deals damage. So the initial targets have 3 stacks of SW:B, and after the first tick of damage, SW:B will migrate to another random player with 2 stacks, and after that player takes a tick of damage, SW:B migrates to a third player. (Just like Renewing Mist, having multiple stacks doesn’t increase the amount of damage dealt – the number just indicates how many times the debuff can spread to another target.)

Two targets with SW:B at 3 stacks

SW:B at 3 stacks

The only way to prevent the spreading is to dispel SW:B when it has 3 or 2 stacks, and doing so is important, since allowing SW:B to spread throughout the raid creates three times the raid damage and will become more challenging to heal through.

However, since this ability is cast so frequently, if you miss the opportunity to dispel at 3 or 2 stacks, you are better off allowing the debuffs to tick out, and waiting ’til the next SW:B cast to dispel a 3-stack debuff. This way you won’t put your Dispel ability on CD for the next application.

class_priest_iconMass Dispel is an amazing counter to this ability, although mana-intensive and it requires your raid to loosely stack.

Sun’s third ability, Calamity, is cast approximately once per minute. This spell instantly deals 30% of each player’s total health as damage, but removes all existing Shadow Word: Bane applications. This is another reason why dispelling a single-stack SW:B is not necessarily worth doing – Calamity will come along soon and take care of it for you.

Sun does not use any of these abilities during her own Desperate Measures phase, and will not cast Calamity during any boss’s Desperate Measures (though Sha Sear and Shadow Word: Bane are still used – making SW:B dispels quite important during the other boss’s Desperate Measures phases).

Sun's Desperate Measures. Players should stand under the bubble and DPS the adds.

Sun’s Desperate Measures.
Players should stand under the bubble and DPS the adds.

When Sun reaches 66% or 33% and triggers her Desperate Measures phase, she will begin to channel Dark Meditation, dealing heavy Shadow damage to the entire raid every second. She also creates a Meditative Field around her, and players who stand within the Meditative Field will take 50% less damage from Dark Meditation. The entire raid should stack inside the Field, even though this will leave players vulnerable to Rook’s Corrupted Brew ability.

holy-paladin-iconLight’s Hammer is excellent for healing this phase, though you may find Holy Prism more useful in dealing with the damage outside of Sun’s Desperate Measures – just depends on your raid’s strengths and weaknesses.

restoration-shaman-iconAncestral Guidance is a total rock-star in this fight, thanks to this phase, and allows you to save HTT for Desperate Measures phases where the raid is more spread out.

Sun also spawns an Embodied Despair and an Embodied Desperation, which stand outside the Meditative Field and … do … nothing? … yes, nothing. Well, except spawn their own adds, Despair Spawn and Desperation Spawn, which run into the Meditative Field and melee random players. This phase will continue until the Embodied Despair and Embodied Desperation are dead; fortunately, the Despair Spawn and Desperation Spawn share health with their Embodied counterparts, so melee can cleave down the Spawns while ranged multi-dot the lot and focus on the Embodied adds.

He Softfoot (Rogue)

Noxious Poison puddles are extremely hard to see.

Noxious Poison puddles are extremely hard to see.

He Softfoot is incredibly annoying – well, you could have guessed that from the fact that he’s a Rogue, huh? He must be tanked, and deals frequent but light melee damage to his tank, occasionally punctuated by moderate Nature damage from Instant Poison.

He also has a buff called Noxious Poison that causes him to spawn small puddles of poison on the ground beneath his target, dealing light Nature damage every second. This means He will be moved frequently to avoid too many puddles building up in one area, and typically He is tanked far away from the raid and only targeted by ranged DPS in order to prevent Noxious Poison damage.

Neither of these Poison abilities will function during any boss’s Desperate Measures phase.

He attacks random raid members with Garrote, leaving a moderate physical damage DoT effect on those players that persists until He enters Desperate Measures. This occurs about once every 20 seconds, and on 25-player mode it is applied to 3 raid members at once, while in 10-player mode it is applied to one raid member each time. As the fight goes on, more and more of your raid will be bleeding from Garrote, making raid healing more challenging.

holy-paladin-iconHand of Purity may assist in mitigating some of this damage. Eternal Flame on the Garroted targets will be very helpful.

Very infrequently, He will Gouge his current tank, incapacitating them for up to 6 seconds, and then Fixate on a random player, attacking them and dealing melee damage as well as Instant Poison and Noxious Poison damage. The tank can avoid being incapacitated, by simply turning their back to He right before Gouge is supposed to occur; the ability will instead deal a small amount of damage and knock the tank away. This allows the tank to break the Fixate effect by taunting He again, but healers should be aware that the Fixated target may take heavy damage and be ready to heal them, especially if the tank fails to avoid the incapacitate from Gouge.

When He reaches 66% or 33% and triggers his Desperate Measures phase, he spawns one add named Embodied Anguish, and marks a player at random with Mark of Anguish.

Embodied Anguish fixates on its Mark of Anguish target.

Embodied Anguish fixates on its Mark of Anguish target.

Mark of Anguish creates an Extra Action Button similar to the Heroic Council of Elders’ Shadowed Soul ability. Much like Shadowed Soul, Mark of Anguish deals light Shadow damage, but can be passed to another player by targeting them and activating the Extra Action Button. A player suffering the of Mark of Anguish experiences the following effects:

  • The player is rooted in place;
  • The player suffers a light Shadow damage DoT;
  • The player gains a second debuff, Debilitation, which reduces their armor by 80% for 2 minutes;
  • The Embodied Anguish fixates on this player and attacks them with light melee damage; and
  • Each melee hit from the Embodied Anguish bestows a stack of Shadow Weakness on the player, which increases the amount of damage they take from the Mark of Anguish DoT.

The Marked player should hold this debuff as long as possible, using damage-reduction cooldowns to survive the Shadow damage, before passing Mark of Anguish to another player in the raid. Note that every time Mark of Anguish is passed from one player to another, the entire raid gains a stack of Shadow Weakness, as well.

The armor-reducing aspect of this debuff means it is inadvisable to pass it to the Rook tank, since Rook does strong Physical damage. However, on LFR and Flex difficulties at least, it is quite viable to pass the Mark of Anguish to the He tank, since He’s melee is weak. I’m not sure whether this is a viable plan on Normal mode, but I’m quite certain it’s a bad idea for Heroic 😉

If the player with Mark of Anguish should die, the Embodied Anguish will fixate on random raid members and will no longer be controllable.

He’s Desperate Measures last until the Embodied Anguish is destroyed.

Strategy Summary

So, between Desperate Measures phases, players must deal with Rook’s Corrupted Brew and Clash/Corruption Kick mechanics, He’s Garrote, Noxious Poison, and Gouge/Fixate mechanics, and Sun’s Sha Sear, Shadow Word: Bane, and Calamity mechanics, all at the same time. Most raids will probably spread out for these portions of the encounter, although stacking the raid right on Sun and healing through Corrupted Brew/Sha Sear is a viable competing strategy.

In either case, He should be tanked by one tank and moved each time He spawns a Noxious Poison; Rook should be tanked by the other tank near Sun. Sun Tenderheart is untankable, and melee can camp on her, occasionally interrupting Sha Sear, while cleaving onto Rook.

During Rook’s Desperate Measures, the He tank should taunt Embodied Misery out of the raid, while the rest of the raid should focus on interrupting and quickly killing the Embodied Gloom, whilst also stacking to handle the Embodied Sorrow’s Inferno Strike. Damage reduction CDs can be used to mitigate Inferno Strike damage. Once the Gloom is dead, players can then focus on the Sorrow and Misery adds.

During Sun’s Desperate Measures, players should stack within the Meditative Field, and healers will want to use throughput cooldowns during this phase, as raid damage is very heavy – not only thanks to Sun’s Dark Meditation damage, but also because Rook will throw Corrupted Brew at the stackpoint! Ranged DPS should DoT all four adds while melee cleave the Despair Spawn and Desperation Spawn adds.

During He’s Desperate Measures, players should spread out to avoid taking additional damage from Sun’s and Rook’s abilities, and spread the Mark of Anguish to players with personal damage reduction abilities while DPS players nuke the Embodied Anguish. Passing the Mark too frequently will cause raid damage to escalate rapidly, so it’s best if each Marked player holds the Mark and tanks the Embodied Anguish as long as they are able.

Note that during the final 33% of the fight, He’s Garrote will continue to spread throughout the raid, and can no longer be reset since Desperate Measures will no longer occur. The longer it takes to finish the bosses off – or if the raid allows the bosses to heal via Bond of the Golden Lotus – the less healable the raid damage becomes. It is very important for the raid to properly handle the Bond of the Golden Lotus mechanic by bringing all three bosses very low before pushing any boss to 1 HP, and to do this as quickly as possible. Many raids will save Heroism/Bloodlust for this portion of the fight.

You will need cooldowns for: The Rook tank’s Vengeful Strikes during Desperate Measures (tank CD); each Desperate Measures phase (but particularly Rook’s and Sun’s; He’s is not so bad)

Debuffs to track: Vengeful Strikes (Rook tank stun debuff), Inferno Strike, Sha Sear, Shadow Word: Bane, Garrote, Fixate, Mark of Anguish

Dispels: Shadow Word: Bane. You’ll want to be able to track number of stacks, and dispel when it is at 3 or 2 stacks. At 1 stack, just let Sun’s Calamity ability dispel it for you, and heal through the damage.

Points of failure:

  • Players standing in any of the various bads on the ground (Noxious Poison, Corruption Kick, Vengeful Strikes, Defiled Ground);
  • Tanking Rook Stonetoe too close to the raid and incurring the Vengeful Strikes damage and stun on multiple players;
  • Triggering more than one Desperate Measures phase at any time, or not dealing with a Desperate Measures phase in a timely fashion;
  • Not enough players stacking in Inferno Strike during Rook’s Desperate Measures, causing those who are in the area of effect to take unhealable damage;
  • Failing to interrupt or quickly kill the Embodied Gloom add during Rook’s Desperate Measures;
  • Tanking the Embodied Misery add in the raid during Rook’s Desperate Measures;
  • Failing to dispel Shadow Word: Bane while it has 3 stacks can lead to unhealable raid damage;
  • Not taking advantage of the Meditative Field to reduce Dark Meditation damage during Sun Tenderheart’s Desperate Measures;
  • Inappropriately handling the Mark of Anguish mechanic by passing it to tanks (reducing their armor and making them too vulnerable to tank damage) or by failing to pass it before dying to Embodied Anguish damage;
  • Prolonging the time between He’s Desperate Measures, causing Garrote to cover too many raid members and creating unhealable raid damage;
  • Failing to defeat all the Protectors within the 15-second Bond of the Golden Lotus cast.

Good luck! 🙂


About Dedralie

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This entry was posted in Discipline, Druid, Guides, Holy, Monk, Paladin, Priests, Raids, Shaman, Tier 16 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to SoO You Think You Can Heal: The Fallen Protectors

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  2. Jabari says:

    Good grief. Is it just me, or are these encounters becoming insanely complicated? I mean, how in the world is everybody supposed to remember all of that?

    On top of that, my understanding is that the first wing is supposed to all be “gimme”s. I don’t even want to know what the ones past that look like. *shudders in fear*

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  18. geoffcline says:

    Wow! what a complete guide with perspectives from my classes, thanks!

  19. Pingback: Discipline Priest Raiding Tips | Welcome to Azeroth Underground

  20. Kre8ive says:

    HoP can remove garrote = )

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