Valithria Dreamwalker: Who to Beacon?

EDIT: Made some clarifications for non-holy paladins who might be reading this. I have this bad habit of assuming our lingo makes sense to everyone. I’ll dig up the focus macro when I get home tonight, for those who might want it.

When my guild first came upon our friend Valithria, I got into an argument with a few people. I wanted to place my Beacon of Light on Valithria and spam heal whoever happened to be in range.

(My reasoning for that, though, was mistaken: it seemed like my heals wouldn’t transfer to a beaconed raid member, but would transfer from a raid member to a beaconed Valithria. Either my sense of observation failed me or this was a bug that was hotfixed, because my heals now transfer, regardless of who is beaconed.)

I can’t remember exactly why they didn’t want us pallies beaconing the boss. The only argument I accepted was that I wasn’t sure if the heals transferred from Beacon would be affected by Guardian Spirit. (I still need to test that.) Still, is a buff that up for 10 seconds every minute worth worrying about? After all, I could just switch to the boss during those 10 seconds.

After the raid, we looked up the stats of guilds who had successfully killed Valithria. This was right when the fight first opened, before the duration of Emerald Vigor (you know, THE buff, the orb buff) and of the Twisted Nightmare had been increased and certainly before the 5% buff had been put in. So there weren’t many guilds who’d won the fight yet.

At that time, all the paladins who had successfully completed the fight had been direct healing the boss.

From then on, I’ve been Beaconing a tank and direct healing the boss. I’m sure the outside healer appreciated the gesture. (As a side note, I also don’t shy away from spending a global cooldown on a well-placed Hand of Protection.)

However, after reading more and more about the fight, I’m now noticing that the trend is actually to Beacon Valithria. Beacon Valithria and heal a target within 8 yards of her (most likely yourslef) to take advantage of the juicy Glyph of Holy Light procs that would splash extra heals onto her. Since I’m always hot on the latest trends, I pulled up the Holy Paladin rankings on WoL for Normal modes 10 man and 25 man.

As you can see for yourself, it’s unanimous, Beaconing Valithria is the way to go.

While I was at it, I looked up the heroic rankings on the fight and, again, all the holy paladins are using Beacon on Valithria.

Of course, “just because everyone is doing it” doesn’t mean that it’s the only or the best way, but the Glyph of Seal of the Light splash is worthwhile – 10% of a 20k to 60k heal is SEXY. The constant extra heals from the Glyph on the boss can make a pretty big difference, according to some of the stats I pulled up, it can account for up to 40% a paladin’s effective heals. It’s not as helpful to the raid healers as beaconning a tank, but this is really a question of communicating with them and seeing if they need the help.

Other tidbits about the fight

In case anyone reading this is interested, here’s some other tips and tidbits about the fight.

- On 25 man, we run with 7 healers, 3 enter the Dream (two pallys and a druid), 4 heal outside. The guilds ranked on WoL use 5 or 6 healers, total.

- On 10 man, we run with 3 healers, 2 enter the Dream (we’ve done it twice, first time it was pally and shaman, second time it was pally and holy,I think, priest). It seems like the fight can easily be done with 2 healers, a pally entering the Dream and the other healer staying outside.

- As a paladin, use your spell power trickets, your Libram of Veracity, Glyph of Seal of Light (and unlike me, don’t forget to switch your seal to Seal of Light).

- Pop your cooldowns! First at the beginning of the fight, then right after the Dream, if they’re available.

- Pick a portal as soon as they spawn and stand near it.

- Putting an icon over the healers taking portals helps avoid “portal stealing”.

- Flying around the Dream world in a tight group and having everyone gather the buff from the popped orbs is ideal, but doesn’t work well for my guild. If you’re like us, assign each healer a region to avoid “orb stealing”. (Example: I take the left side, our druid takes the back and our pally takes the right.)

- Wait until the end of your last Dream phase (ie. the moment where you have the most stacks) and hit Lay on Hands. Squeal with glee. (The squealing part is very important.)

- I’ve read on Plus Heal that Crusader Aura helps you move faster in the Dream. I have yet to try it, but it seems interesting.

Conclusion

The standard, cookie-cutter approach to this fight is to Beacon Valithria and spam heal yourself or someone near Valithria to really milk your Glyph of Holy Light.

That said, I had been cluelessly Beaconning a tank and spamming Valithria the whole time and, from a healing perspective, since the buff and hotfixes, it’s still loldragonhealing.

Still, from now on, I’ll be putting my Beacon on Valithria.

EDIT: For those who like macros, this is a focus/cast Beacon one from the Plus Heal paladin forum:
/tar Valithria
/focus
/cast [target=focus] Beacon of Light

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29 Comments on “Valithria Dreamwalker: Who to Beacon?”

  1. Kaelandros Says:

    I don’t heal PvE, but my sense of reason is telling me that Valithria has always been the only place logical for your beacon. My reasoning is that she is the ONLY target you know without a shadow of a doubt will need every single heal you cast.

    If you put your beacon on any target out in the raid there is a good chance that some of your transferred heals will be wasted. Maybe the tank healers are on top of the damage and you’re just overhealing them. Maybe the raid isn’t taking much damage and rolling hots from a druid is keeping them topped off. You never know. You DO know that until the encounter ends Val is in need of heals constantly.

    So, by putting your beacon on Val you can then turn your focus to spamming heals everywhere else in the raid where they are actually needed, and know that your are severely lessening your overhealing % and increasing your mana efficieny.

    But, perhaps there is something that I am missing.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Healing the raid with Valithria beaconed is slightly slower than spamming a heal on a single target. In theory it shouldn’t be- the cast time of Holy Light and the global cooldown between casts should allow for plenty of time to mouse over to a different target. In practice, the person you’re trying to heal might get out of range, your reflexes might kick in and you’ll accidentally cast a flash of light on someone because their health isn’t that low, you might pause while looking for the person taking the most damage, basically, there’s a lot more room for human error.

      This is probably just a personal thing, but on a fight where I’m spamming heals on the same target for a length of time, I usually don’t beacon my spam target. I feel like I have more control when I’m direct healing. I’ll put my beacon the person 2nd most likely to need it.

      The point of beaconing Valithria and healing yourself is mainly for the Glyph of Holy Light splash, so you want the person you’re healing to be close enough for the glyph to proc.

      But you do raise a good point: when Valithria is beaconned and, for whatever reason, you *need* to interrupt what you’re doing to save someone’s ass, Valithria will still be getting that heal.

      Overhealing and mana efficiency aren’t issues in that fight, thankfully, since Emerald Vigor restores mana. Overhealing is rarely a problem for a paladin in PvE anyway since our heals are designed to hit like trucks plus our mana pool and regen potential are good.

      • Kaelandros Says:

        Well therein lies the difficulty with advising a role you don’t play. The data apparently doesn’t back up my hypothesis. :-p

        I couldn’t convince the pally healers in my Pug 25 last night for the life of me to just beacon her and heal elsewhere. No matter what data I could point to. The stubbornness of the unwashed masses won out. </3

        • Ophelie Says:

          That’s when you have to link to Bossy Pally! ;D Beaconing someone in the raid and healing the boss can work fine, after all that’s what I’ve been doing all this time. But after looking at the stats from the paladins who performed really well on Valithria (and after checking the heroic rankings, it seems like this applies to heroic mode as well), it seems like you get a lot more out of beaconing her.

  2. anafielle Says:

    GASP. you linked the 10 man rankings and I pulled them up out of curiosity… my guild’s holy pally & GM is ranked! On the second page though, guess he has to step it up :)

    He has always bacon’d the boss. I remember because I’ve heard him instruct others to do it.

    In fact he has a macro he recommends for holy pallies to focus & beacon her. Something about the portals clearing focus… IDK, I’m always tanking and spanking things so I’m no portal user :)

    • Ophelie Says:

      That fight must be so boring for the non-portal people. I always feel bad for the rest of the raid during that fight ;D

      Grats to your ranked guildies! I’m too slow on orb collecting to ever get ranked, although if the Crusader Aura trick is true….

      The portals do clear focus and I’ve seen that macro around. It makes retargeting the boss and getting back to business a lot faster. I don’t use it as I keep Valithria targeted anyway and heal by clicking on her portrait.

  3. slice213 Says:

    Nice write up!

    Just a quick question, for the remaining outside raid members, did you use 1 tank or 2?

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thanks!

      I’m assuming you’re speaking of 10 man. We use two, but that’s just us.

      Other guilds (and possibly our other 10 man team) do it with one tank, but we’ve tried both options and found it insanely easier with 2 tanks.

      If you mean 25 man, I *think* we actually use 3 tanks but I could be wrong, I don’t pay as much attention to what’s going on outside on 25. We use at very least two, though.

  4. Hempia Says:

    Yeah, it was me on 10m and my main and preferred spec is Holy. Believe me, I am NOT bored outside. :)

  5. Matticus Says:

    Slice: We set up 3 tanks on 25. 1 on the left, 1 on the right, and 1 specifically on Abominations.

    Ophie, when you can, look into this: Apparently, if you beacon Valithria and heal yourself while standing next to her, the Holy Light glyph triggers and chains into targets in close proximity, like certain green dragons. Not sure if that’s feasible, but that’s something that’ll keep your mind churning for a while I’ll bet.

    And yes, I was holy on 10. Both Priests were for additional guardian spirit up time.

    • Ophelie Says:

      “Apparently, if you beacon Valithria and heal yourself while standing next to her, the Holy Light glyph triggers and chains into targets in close proximity, like certain green dragons.”

      Yeah, that’s what I meant by “Glyph of Holy Light splash”.

      • Ophelie Says:

        I edited the post a little bit to make that clearer, after rereading it, I realized that “glyph of holy light splash” wouldn’t make sense to anyone who doesn’t play a holy paladin.

    • slice213 Says:

      Thanks for the replies.

      And opps I should have specified. I was looking at the 10 man version. We have tried 1 tank and 2 tanks. Adds eventually overwhelm the raid. Not quite sure what can do to tweak the comp anymore.

      • Ophelie Says:

        That would either be a healing too slow or a dps problem. How many portal phases are you getting?

        • slice213 Says:

          Before the wipe occurs we have about 4 portals appears if memory serves me right.

          Setup for our last attempt

          Warrior and 2 DKs (as tank or DPS)
          Rogue
          Mage
          Priest (spec’d holy/disc)
          Resto Shaman
          Holy Pally
          Fury Warrior
          Shadow Priest

          • Ophelie Says:

            Hmm, I’ve never counted our portal phases, but I think we get 4-5 portals phases on 10 man, I usually get 4-5 stacks a portal and stack up to 20-22. So you should be able to control the adds that long. The “enrage” is said to be at about 7 minutes, so if you get overwhelmed before then, it’s most likely a dps problem.

            I’m unfortunately not too familiar with what goes on outside. (I know I’m supposed to be leading the 10 man, but our outside team does a good job of managing itself) It helps to interrupt the Frost Bolt Volley that the Archmages cast, and if the volley does get off, it needs to be dispelled ASAP.

            I’ll ask our outside team if they have any wisdom to share.

          • Ophelie Says:

            I asked around in my 10 man team and it seems that the only trick to add control is brute force. Tanks need to hold aggro and dps needs kill stuff.

  6. Arkhen Says:

    All your tactics are good for dreamwalker (SoL and Beacon)I can give ya a hint here Ophelie, have a hunter to pick a Tenacity pet, and have that pet to have 2/2 on Blood of the Rhino (talent to increase the healing effects in 40%) then the hunter must park the pet near the dragon and Beacon Dreamwalker while spamming the pet. The direct heal from beacon will be unmodified but the splash heal from HL will heal her for 154% of regular.
    Tested already.
    I wonder about what you have said about crusader aura, will definetly give it a shoot on Wed.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Mmm that is a good trick! Not necessary right now, but I definitely see some use for that if we want to cut down on healers or when we get around to doing the fight on heroic Wouldn’t that be a problem for the hunter’s dps though?

      I look forward to testing the Crusader Aura trick this week too.

  7. Xlark Says:

    This was a great post – and the comments! I am usually the MT but heal on this fight, due to a shortage of pally healers, and will certainly take this information with me this week. Thanks!

  8. Arkhen Says:

    Wow Crusader Aura DOES work inside (Aura mastery with it too), tested last night.

  9. Joe Ego Says:

    I saw the Crusader Aura trick on wowhead and confirmed it for myself last week. The speed increase is noticeable. We have a warlock with glyphed water breathing cast on the portal healers as well, but I don’t know how much of a difference they experience. I am guessing Crusader supersedes the warlock buff.

    We run 7 heals with 3 inside portals: pally, shaman, druid. The name of the game for big numbers is cooldown stacking. Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgDjG_0ecTI and get into the mindset.

    The once-per-min restriction on Guardian Spirit lets you use it on Valithria every other portal. Our pattern is 0, 2, 4 and we’ll usually win after the 5th. We will get into position at the start and use GS as I pop all of my cooldowns. On exit for the 2nd portal we’ll get another GS. On exit for the 4th portal we will immediately Hero/Bloodlust, get GS, and pop all of my cooldowns (with potion of wild magic).

    Some tips:
    * Get a short countdown for GS so you can pop your cooldowns just before and have maximum uptime.
    * DO NOT MOVE while you’re using your cooldowns or GS is up. Then you’re just wasting potential output. Make sure you get GS & cooldowns going soon after exit so you don’t have to rush to a portal.
    * When portals appear, find the one you want but DO NOT MOVE right away. Keep spamming while you make sure the area is clear, portal is free, etc. Ideally you can run to the portal and get there just after it opens.
    * Judge, Beacon, and Shock when moving or falling from a portal. Judgement haste is an essential throughput buff. Beacon becomes free at 5+ EV stacks. Just try not to waste GCDs on these spells when you could be spamming.
    * Unless you do other things with focus casting your Beacon macro can just target & cast because Focus is cleared so often anyway.

    Some things I wonder about:
    * I need to check the logs to verify GS on Valithria is working on the heals hitting through my Beacon. Hopefully I’m just being paranoid.
    * Maybe I can “double-tap” and have a second priest GS me at the same time as I spam myself to generate Beacon transfer.
    * I need to check the logs to see if the EV stacks affected my Sacred Shield strength.
    * SS & FoL HoT on Valithria might be nice but it’s too many GCDs against HL spam.

    • Ophelie Says:

      I finally got around to trying the Crusader Aura trick! I actually found it to be kind of annoying though, I kept flying right past the orbs.

      Those are some really good tips. Thank you for those!


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