My guild finally downed Lady D and the Airship this week! That left us with a special extra raid night just to get in and take some swings at Saur. I couldn't be happier. One thing my guild leader has done that I think really helped is he got everyone doing 10's this week before we went in to the 25. I think it made a huge difference for everyone else in the raid. Sure, a good 10 of us or so had gone in before it was a scheduled guild event and gotten our clear. But it's safe to say that we were the same 10 (or so) who were also on tankspot watching videos and looking for strats. When we went in as a 25, it showed that we just weren't ready, until now. Last week our guild put together three ICC10s. When we joined in the 25, we pared down the healers to a reasonable number (finally!), and were able to do it with quite a few less problems. We still don't have a DB strat we can use - on our first couple of attempts we wiped somewhere between 30-40% with ridiculous amounts of marks. By ridiculous, I mean 7. We still need to figure out how to get those beasts down without giving Saur 50+ marks each time. We were able to do it in later attempts, but we aren't there yet.
Beacon of Light
Beacon of Light is quite useful for Deathbringer for Marks. I decided to give it a try last night. Usually I beacon the lesser geared tank, but for Deathbringer, the most logical place to put Beacon is on a Marked target. The two tanks in this encounter do not ever take damage at the same time, and the damage the tanks are taking isn't actually overwhelming. The damage the new Mark is taking isn't "overwhelming" either, as long as the target is Beaconed.
After giving it some thought, the reason the Mark is hard to heal not because it deals "so much" damage. If you're a priest, a druid, or a shaman, you might disagree with me. However, as a Holy Light paladin, 10k damage to heal every 1.5-3 seconds on one target isn't huge for me because I heal tanks and that would be trivial damage on a tank.
However, our Mark isn't a tank, and that's where it gets complicated. Our Mark has a fraction of the HP of a tank, and has only one or two survivability cooldowns to help himself. Sure a mage can Iceblock to absorb some of the damage, but after it's over it's right back to where we started, which is a lot of damage on a squishy target, consistently through the rest of the fight. That's how Beacon starts to shine for this fight - I was able to keep a Marked target alive through most of the fight with absolutely no loss at what I do best - healing tanks.
My guild's recently appointed healing officer is trying his damnedest to get our healing team to start acting like a team. He's encouraging us in the healing channel, linking dispel meters and congratulating our priests, and trying to get us to communicate outside of the "paladins heal tanks, everyone else heal the raid". Even if he hasn't been as successful as he would have liked, I'm all for the idea and I'm responding to him. So before we do Saurfang I might send him a message and talk more about how I'd like to try our official strategy as both pallies beaconing the first couple of marks. And after further consideration, I see no reason why a second holy paladin couldn't be assigned to two marks - Beacon one, heal the other. Lots of constant, predictable, simultaneous damage on two targets? If this isn't a fight designed for holy paladins, what is?
Last night on Deathbringer, our RL assigned the mages to use Amplify Magic, as all the damage done is physical, so it will buff the healing received. If you remember the days before Pally Power was widely used, with everyone in the raid saying "need kings" "why do the priests have might?" "I want sanc" "I still need kings" "kings" "kings plz" "kings, noob!". Pally buffing can be a nightmare, especially when the people in your raid don't even realize that without a protection paladin, blessing of sanctuary just isn't going to happen. Please stop asking after I tell you this, your use of caps does not change the mechanics of my class.
Pally power made our lives so much easier, even if it's still a pain. My major pet peeve is when someone in the raid keeps screwing with it, even after it's set up so that everyone has what they need. Does it matter if you're doing Kings instead of Wisdom if the other holy paladin is also specced for Wisdom? You just wasted 10 of my reagents (and some of yours) because you wanted to change it around when everyone was already buffed.
Anyways, the real point of my storytelling here is that: Amplify Magic is a single-target spell and it lasts for 10 minutes. It doesn't get used often because it's only situationally useful, which means situations were it is useful become bogged down with five mages in the raid not being able to figure out how to buff 25 people.
The first time Amp Magic was called for, one of the mages called out which mage should take care of which group (five mages, five parties of five... how nice this works out). It should have been easy, except by the time we waited for Mage #3 and 4 to buff their parties, the quicker buffing Mages now only had five minutes on their Amp Magic, and somehow or another one mage had missed the boat entirely and was buffing Dampen Magic on the whole raid. The RL calls for everyone to click off their buffs and start all over again. It took us longer to buff up for this one spell than the spell lasts! Thank goodness this spell doesn't require reagents...
So the next time a mage in the guild says anything about slow buffing paladins, they'll get reminded that five mages can't cast one spell on a raid without it taking less than fifteen minutes. Don't worry, I'm not angry, I just think it's hilarious. "kings, noob!"