December 17, 2010

Cataclysm Raid Healing Guide/Impressions: Chimaeron

Since I've done the majority of the raid bosses in Cataclysm as a holy paladin now, it seems only appropriate that I do a write up on something I found particularly impressive.  The raid boss Chimaeron in Blackwing Descent is a mentally taxing boss for healing on 25 man normal mode.  I cannot comment on the 10 man normal version but I do know my friend's guild used four healers to beat it.

Simply put, this is the first boss since... probably Burning Crusadee that actually made me feel sick to my stomach while doing it.  I honestly feel like I should've eaten a little something before the raid during this because doing it on an empty stomach was almost painful... it's like I was burning calories doing the fight.

Enough prologue... what happens?

Chimaeron has a little bot active around him that prevents your raid from dying if they have above 10,000 hit points.  If players go below 10,000HP they receive a debuff called "Low Health" (NOTE: put this on grid or whatever unit frame you use.  You'll wipe forever if you don't).  This is the premise for the fight.  Here are the mechanics that complicate things:

  • The raid has to spread out because Chimaeron shoots poison that will normally 1 shot you without the bot's buff.  This gives you the "Low Health" debuff, the less people that get hit the less people you have to pop above 10,000HP constantly
  • There has to be two tanks because one gets debuffed and the other takes the ability called "double strike".  Double strike will 1 shot a debuffed tank but a topped off tank with no debuffs can live.  Obviously the "double strike" implies Chimaeron can potentially take the target to "Low Health" and the second strike will kill them.
  • Chimaeron casts Massacre, bringing everyone to 1 health.  This is somewhat frequent, so everyone that gets brought down in health needs to be topped above 10,000HP to get rid of "Low Health"
  • Chimaeron takes the bot that prevents you from dying offline.  When this happen he casts "feud" which shoots poison at people and the damage is spread between the targets.  Everyone groups up on him for this and massive, massive AOE healing ensues.  After the feud ends the bot goes online and he casts a Massacre right away, just to piss you off.
As a holy paladin I was assigned to global heal duty.  I kept my beacon on the tank getting debuffs (the primary tank).  The only purpose of beacon on this tank is to keep him above 10,000HP.  The boss swings incredibly slow, so when a hit gives the tank "Low Health" you have a good amount of time to get him above 10,000.  The other tank takes the double strike when they happen by taunting.  I believe there's an emote, but tanks will be able to comment further.  The double strike tank needs to be topped off when they take double strike otherwise they will most likely die.  In 25 man it should be the job of a healer or two or three to make sure this happens.

Damage Output
  • Tanks take steady damage, watch debuff tank and manually top him above 10,000HP if you have a moment.
  • Chimaeron will spit poison every few seconds and bring ~3-7 people to "Low Health" in 25 man.
  • After three or four rounds of poison he will Massacre.  Anyone still with "Low Health" from previous poisons will die.
  • After a certain massacre the bot will go offline, the Low Health debuff will disappear from th raid, and everyone groups up.  Feud damage starts, requiring massive AOE heals.
Holy Paladin Talents

It's very much worth your while to obtain Tower of Radiance (even the nerfed version) in your spec for this fight.  You will need it for extra holy power and Light of Dawns during Feud.  I also highly recommend Eternal Glory for this.  Blessed Life will proc on several of Chimaeron's damage abilities.  Protector of the Innocent (at least 2 points) is good to top yourself off quicker from Low Health.  2/2 Paragon of Virtue allows cooldowns to be up sooner for feud damage.  Also, the Last Word talent is useful for critting WOG with low holy power here.

Global Healing Strategy

Your healing strategy is effective if you:
  • Always try to have 1 or 2 holy power available.  You will not be able to get up to 3 during the poisons, they are too quick.  The only goal is to get people above 10,000HP as soon as possible and you can do this with 1 or 2 holy power pretty easy, especially with the WOG crit talent at low hp in holy.
  • When poison hits 3-7 people do a holy shock (2 if you have a proc), Word of Glory on the next target (2 if Eternal Glory procs) and then either a quick heal if you're getting close to the next damage (infusioned HL) or a slower spell if you're in good shape.  Your Protector of the Innocent should top you above 10k life.
  • Save cooldowns for feud.  The rotation I like is: 
    • Divine Favor + Holy Radiance first feud.  For all feuds after Holy Radiance is started I Light of Dawn the group as much as possible, even if it's only 1 holy power.  This is where you FOL the beacon target to get extra holy power for more Light of Dawns, because you will need them.  Waiting 6 seconds for the next HS is too slow of a holy power rate of gain for this part of the fight.  Also, switch beacon for a moment to a target with less health so it isn't wasted on a tank (they don't tank during feud).
    • Avenging Wrath + Holy Radiance second feud.
    • Guardian of Ancient Kings + Holy Radiance third feud.
    • The next feud(s) will have a cooldown or two come back up.  By then you'll be wanting more heals, so you could pop DI + AW on a single feud near the end (they come up almost at the same time I found... I have 2/2 Paragon of Virtue).
  • Light of Dawn can be useful during non-feud times to bring multiple targets above 10k, but most likely not.  You're spread out, so it'll take some creative positioning.  Probably easier and more effective in 10 man.  It's better to use WOG during these parts because you can proc back your holy power for more WOG's.
General Things and Notes
  • Consecutive poison volleys have a chance to not hit the same person again... but sometimes they do.  You can get lucky and have someone who still has Low Health from the last one live, but it's in your best interest to get them above 10,000hp before the next volley.
  • The fight is like Anub'arak phase 3... for the whole fight.... on crack.  Those not used to seeing everyone on their raid frames about to die might get stressed out (you probably will anyway).
  • You can see his cast bar for Massacre... it's basically a race from the last poison volley to top off the last Low Health before the cast finishes.
  • We found it useful for the double strike tank to receive a Lay on hands following the massacre right after feud.  He'll double strike soon after and that tank isn't likely to be topped off yet.

Good luck!  This is a huge wake up call to raiding if you're coming from WOTLK.  If you feel frustrated, stick with it.  You'll be a better player for it afterwards.


  1. Gah, sounds like the fight will require a good sturdy meal before hand and a fresh pack of fags to dig into in between attempts.

    Fantastic guide, though :) We're still only at Magmaw - two healers stuck in central Europe with no computers because of weather is tough when you then have to rely on one geared paladin, an undergeared, underexperienced priest and an off-spec resto shaman for a 10man :/

    But anyway, I was thinking - Divine Illumiation was removed, non? Either that, or I'm just being completely daft and unable to find it. In which case - how do you then actually heal through your first wave? Still just with HR or do you start your CD rotation before and then hope for Avenging wrath to come back at the end?

  2. Mochi,
    Thanks for the comment. I can't believe I put Divine Illumination there! Divine Favor has the same icon as it used to have so I guess they have become one in the same mentally to me (even though they are quite different). I do DF + HR on the first feud though.

    If you're learning the fight or have weak healers I'd recommend more drastic cooldowns to start with and then later on you can adjust... just so people don't die there to start out with.