“This is your copy of Advanced Potion-Making, is it, Potter?”
And you thought I was going to write about getting high. Maybe next blog.
Altered states is about the few items above the norm that give is a push or burst to our spells. Namely Heroism and Potions.
Typically when raiding, we have our raid buffs, buff foods, flasks and runes to … well … buff our spells. They are solid and consistent through out the fight.
Heroism or Bloodlust, Ancient Hysteria, Time Warp gives a massive buff to the entire raid. It is a whopping 30% haste buff for 40 seconds.
21.5% of base mana
5 min cooldown
Requires level 70
Increases haste by 30% for all party and raid members within 100 yards. Lasts 40 sec.
Allies receiving this effect will become Exhausted and be unable to benefit from Heroism or Time Warp again for 10 min.
Hero is a big boy and typically it’s use is discussed with the raid so everyone can align their big boy spells (called cooldowns) to get maximum benefit. The five minute cooldown on the Hero can contrast the ten minute exhaustion if someone were to die and be rezzed.
Potions are used by individuals for a boost to their primary stat. A potion lasts 25 seconds and adds 1000 to your main stat (agility, for example). These can only be used once in a fight, they are that powerful. I’ll type it again: 25 seconds!
A common strategy is to have the main tank give a count down on the pull (called a Pull Timer) so that just before the pull, the raiders can pre-pot and have the benefit of a potion and still have another one in their back pocket for later in the boss fight. Clever stuff.
Now: when we cast Hero has an impact on when we use our pots. If it is on the Pull, then we pre-pot leaving one pot in our back pocket. This is about 50% of the fights. Other fights, we’ll time Hero for a certain hard segment of the fight to push through a phase. Those other fights, we save our potions for that time when Hero is cast — the decision is made for us by the boss mechanic.
When we pre-pot and pull with Hero, then we have as individuals when we will use our second potion and, for me, this is when I can be weak as a raider. I don’t think ahead and find myself lamely using it near the end because I have not used it yet.
The ideal time to use the free potion is when our cooldowns line up, there is a raid buff or a second nasty time in the raid.
Let’s look at some examples in Hell Fire Citadel.
Hellfire Assault (first boss) — there is no peak or valley beyond the additional rolling siege engines, so one would wait until their long cooldown comes available again after the pull. Say, the six minute cooldown on Stampede. Toss a pot first, then cast Stampede! If I don’t have Stampede, I’d align it with a three minute cooldown and a two minute cooldown — Direbeast and Rapid Fire for a hunter. The big key here is to do it as soon as you can: about mid-fight and get the full burst in for full advantage.
Iron Reaver (second boss) — the same rules apply but don’t get stuck in a lift-off! Save your bad boy spells to burst when Iron Reaver is on the ground, preferably after Blitz so you have three Barrages to run your full cycle for 25 seconds of your potion.
Kormrok (third boss) — the same rules apply (all three bosses get Hero on the pull). Get after him!
Council (first boss, wing two). Hero is popped when the Big Guy gets to 30%, so your decision is made for you. Use your powerful 25 second potion and line up your cooldowns, you know it’s coming.
Kilrogg (second boss, wing two). Now we finally have an interesting situation! We pop Hero on the pull, so we have a “free” second potion. We get a huge buff if we are in the Visions of Time group. Can we align our cooldowns, say the second time we go in, with the Visions buff and our cooldowns and our potion? With all the crap that is flying around Kilrogg, it would be easy to forget (and so I sit here writing this).
Gorefiend (third boss, wing two). There are no decisions on this boss. Hero on Feast of Souls about one-third of the way into the fight; pop everything. The second Feast of Souls, hang on for dear life; have a cooldown ready. You can do it!
Our potions are pretty powerful. Using them with a little advance planning can really push your contribution to the team in a raid fight.