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.
– 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.)
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:
/cast [target=focus] Beacon of Light