Hagara the Stormbinder Healer Strategy Guide (Heroic Mode included)
Table of Contents
- 1. Overview of the Fight
- 2. Main Phase
- 3. Ice Phase
- 4. Lightning Phase
- +5. Heroic Mode
This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Hagara the Stormbinder in Dragon Soul. It is mostly targeted to healers who desire to have a short but detailed overview of what is expected of them during that fight.
This guide is updated for World of Warcraft WoD 6.1.2.
The Hagara encounter is composed of three phases, which alternate in a predictable fashion throughout the fight. The boss has a large number of abilities, as well as adds, that may make the encounter look complex and difficult to understand, but we assure you that it is quite simple.
As a healer, you will mostly have to deal with a few movement challenges and heal damage that comes from easily predictable sources.
Overview of the Fight
The fight against Hagara is made up of 3 phases: Main Phase, Ice Phase, Lightning Phase. The Main Phase lasts 50 seconds and is followed by either the Ice Phase or the Lightning Phase. The fight goes back to the Main Phase as soon as your raid has finished dealing with the Ice Phase or the Lightning Phase.
The Ice Phase and the Lightning Phase alternate, such that you will always have a Main Phase - Lightning Phase - Main Phase - Ice Phase sequence. The fight randomly starts with a Main Phase followed by a Lightning Phase or a Main Phase followed by an Ice Phase.
In every phase, the sources of damage are predictable.
|Main Phase||Ice Phase||Lightning Phase|
During the Main Phase, as a healer, you must only heal players who will take damage from the following sources of damage:
- moderate tank damage from Hagara's melee attacks;
- very high tank damage from Focused Assault, although the tank should always manage to move out and take little damage from this;
- moderate damage on random raid members (usually Ranged DPS), due to Ice Lance (you will notice who is about to be targeted, as the missiles from the Ice Lance travel in a clearly visible path).
- Occasional high damage on a random raid member ( Shattered Ice).
During the phase, Hagara will trap several raid members in Frost Tombs. These are of little concern to you, but keep in mind that they do block line of sight (so you may need to move in order to continue healing) and the deal a bit of damage (about 7k) every second to players encased (so be ready to heal them when they are eventually freed).
During the Ice Phase, all damage is entirely avoidable, and there should not be much for you to heal. You will have to stick together with your raid. Your main goal is survival. tasks during this phase can be summarised as follows:
- Stay outside of the large bubble that covers the center of the platform.
- Move around the other edges of the platform, in a clockwise manner, while
- the falling Icicles, the impact location of which is clearly marked with void zones;
- the Ice Waves that travel in a clockwise manner around the platform (they are slightly slower than your normal run speed and they are very deadly);
- Heal any players who are damaged by falling ice (those damaged by the ice waves will most likely die instantly).
The Ice Phase ends when all 4 of the Crystals located around the platform have been destroyed by your raid.
During the Lightning Phase, you should expect increasing raid-wide Nature damage. This is the right time to use healing cooldowns, as this is the most healing-intensive part of the fight
At the beginning of the phase, an add will appear and will be killed by your raid next to one of the 4 conductors located around the platform.
Once the add is dead, you will have to assist your raid in forming a chain of players from the conductor (which is now overloaded) to the next one (which will become overloaded as a result), and so on until all 4 conductors have been overloaded. Your raid leader will direct your movement here.
Once all 4 conductors have been overloaded, the phase will end.
The Heroic version of the fight with Hagara is extremely similar to the normal version of the fight. Each of the 3 phases has exactly one difference with the Normal mode, in addition to all abilities doing more damage and all units having more health.
Dealing with Ice Lance in the Main Phase
In the Main Phase, the missiles from Ice Lance now apply a stacking debuff that increases Frost damage taken by 375%. The debuff lasts 3 seconds, so anyone stacking Ice Lance missiles will end up taking +150% Frost damage.
By itself, this debuff does not prevent a player from soaking all 15 Ice Lance missiles, as they only deal 15,000 damage each. The problem comes from a player taking +375% increased Frost damage and being targeted by Shattered Ice, which deals about 100,000 Frost damage in Heroic mode.
If you are assigned to soak Ice Lance, then you will soak alternatively with another player, switching every 2 or 3 seconds. The idea is to let the debuff drops so that Shattered Ice do not one-shot you.
From a healing perspective, this new debuff will cause more raid damage to heal.
10-man raids may opt to deal with the Ice Lance debuff by leaving the tank alone in front of the boss, which will cause them to always be targeted by Shattered Ice. Also, it is possible to cast a defensive cooldown on the targeted player while Hagara casts Shattered Ice.
In the Ice Phase, Hagara will target a random player with Frostflake. This debuff does no damage but it slows down the targeted player and stacks every seconds, meaning that the player will eventually come to an almost complete stop. When dispelled, the debuff leaves a Frostflake Snare on the ground. Every player standing in this 10-yard radius frost area is slowed down by 50%. Exiting the frost area removes the movement speed reduction.
The raid leader should communicate a location where people should go when targeted by Frostflake, usually inside the Watery Entrenchment or on the edge of the platform. The idea is that other players do not get stuck in the Frostflake Snare that will appear after Frostflake is dispelled.
From a healing perspective, there are 3 additional sources of damage in this phase, compared to normal mode:
- players going in the Watery Entrenchment to have their Frostflake debuff removed;
- melee DPS who keep attacking the Crystals instead of moving out for avoiding the falling Icicles (to maximise DPS);
- DPS players running through the Watery Entrenchment to avoid Ice Waves and finish off the Crystals (also to maximise DPS).
Alternative Strategy: Stacking in the Watery Entrenchment
Your raid may deal with the Ice Phase by stacking in the middle, with only the melee DPS and the tank running around the platform. This will shorten the duration of the phase (since ranged DPS can maintain a 100% uptime on the Crystals), but healing will be more stressful.
During the Lightning Phase, your raid will still need to kill the add next to a Crystal Conductor. When it reaches low health, most of the raid (you included) will start positioning themselves around the platform. The idea is that as soon as the first Crystal Conductor is overloaded, the raid should already be properly positioned to spread the lightning to all (almost all, in 10-man difficulty) the other Crystal Conductors.
Therefore, you will be assigned a location (or two in 10-man difficulty), and you should try to reach it as soon as the add dies.
Also, Storm Pillars will randomly appear on the platform. They explode after 3 seconds, dealing 35,000 Nature damage to players close to them (this increases as stacks of Lightning Storm build up). Normally, your raid will ignore them and you will heal through the damage, as otherwise this will interfere with the raid positioning for spreading the lightning. Since the raid will be properly spread out, each pillar will hit one player, at most.
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