Penance Priest

Discipline Priest Blog

I have never once survived a Frost Blast.

The reason is that there are three ways to heal Frost Blast, and most healers I've met use one of the two wrong ways. Yes, of course there were other factors involved, and some bad luck too. But most of those times I was the only FB target, and there’s no good reason anyone should die to this when it doesn’t chain to other folks.

Method 1: “Help me I'm ice-blocked!”

Someone yells out on vent. Either they're smart and give you their name, or you know their voice and spend a few brain cycles connecting voice to name. You then hunt for the name in your raid frames and do your healy thing.

You're subject to several types of delay, the first being how long it takes someone to shout, after they recognize they've been ice blocked.

Method 2: DBM

DBM will put up a raid warning indicating who's been Frost Blasted. You then follow the same thread as above: you hunt for their name on your raid frames and heal.

Hopefully you can find the DBM announcement very easily in what is likely to be a cluttered screen.

But that's not the main problem, really. The issue with both of these methods is the time it takes to find someone in your raid frames. When you have 25 people, you probably know exactly where to look for about 5 of them. All the rest? You're gonna be hunting. With a hunting system, you have maybe a 50/50 chance to save somebody, maybe a little more. But two Frost Blast targets at once? No chance.

Method 3: Now with preparation!

After we killed Sapph in our last 25, I asked in vent if healers had set up their interface to show Frost Blast.

“What!?” Our tree-druid officer practically exploded with indignation that I would be telling her how to do her job. Whoops!

This is a reaction-time fight for sure. And if you're waiting for DBM to tell you who to heal, you've gimped yourself severely, and people will die. If you're waiting to hear someone say it on vent, the total time between Frost Blast and your heal is even greater. Sure, you might still save them, skin of their teeth, but  you're still not performing your job at peak capacity. You should be able to easily heal two people through it.

Before I set foot in KT's chamber I read up on the fight and realized I needed to prepare in order to succeed.

What I did is simple, but helps a ton. I’m almost always the first to get off a heal, and I’m working on being able to reliably save three targets. (I’m not there yet.)

Presto. In my raid frames I’ve colored the Frost Blocked target purple. There is no mistaking who needs a heal. There is no need to correlate a name with a raid frame. The purple color is like a magnet; the only delay is the eye-hand reaction time of standard whack-a-mole healing.

You can easily set up this sort of custom coloring in just about any unit frame addon, from XPerl to Healbot. Just do it! It saves lives!

Oh by the way, what spells to use?

Very simple. If you have one target Frost Blasted, hit them with Penance. This is the only fight I can think of where I reserve my best spell for someone other than the tank. I'll use Penance on the tank maybe once or twice after a Frost Blast, but after that, I'm saving it for the ice-blocked victim.

There are good arguments for shield+Flash Heal, and that’s totally fine. Basically anything except Greater Heal will work.

If you have two targets, Shield A, Penance B, Flash Heal A. You can even cut off the third tick of Penance if necessary. Heck I don’t know – if you’ve set up your raid frames for visual notification, you should have plenty of time to save two targets using just about any combination of spells, assuming they were topped off before Frost Blast.

For three targets...just hope you get lucky and your other healer(s) pick the target that you skipped. You can start playing around with using Prayer of Mending / Shield / Penance to try to save three targets, but like I said, I haven’t quite found the best rotation for three yet.

(17) Comments

  1. 2/22/2009 10:12 AM Tristan17

    have feeling that grid has special icon( blue one w3 like) for it in default, u probably just need allow it..

    2/22/2009 10:14 AM Tristan17
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    2/22/2009 10:27 AM Paolo

    Grid does have a default setting for displaying magic debuffs. However, using a color allows you to quickly and easily differentiate a debuff that needs urgent attention (like this one) from one that doesn't (like a mage's Arcane Blast debuff). The goal is to set this one debuff apart in your visual display. There are lots of ways to do it, as long as you're able to respond immediately, and not have to spend time thinking.

    2/22/2009 11:00 AM Nicholas

    Can do similar with Healbot by going to the debuff tab and adding Frost Blast to the custom debuffs. No one dies to frost blost on my watch ever again.

    2/22/2009 12:55 PM Nick

    Call me a healing noob, since I haven't healed KT yet... but could you conceivably get a quick renew off on the first target? They'd be REALLY close to dead, but it might cover the 104% damage.

    2/22/2009 1:41 PM Matticus

    Renew will not work. Renew gives 1 tick every 3 seconds. The frost tombed player dies in 4 seconds. Since the damage is percentage based and Renew is absolute number based, a renew tick will not be enough on most players.

    2/22/2009 2:01 PM Paolo

    To put it another way: if you're panicked, or if your other instants are on cooldown, Flash Heal is the way to go. One FH is plenty to save someone who was topped off before getting hit.

    2/22/2009 3:33 PM Brian
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    2/22/2009 3:35 PM Bilson

    As a priest who uses the default UI, this is a nice idea, and a prod to use something like healbot for that encounter. Good job!

    Also, as a response to Nick: Renew is appealing because it's insta-cast. However, we have a stronger insta-cast that is a great spell for Frost tomb: Prayer of Mending. On our last KT fight, I would spam PoM on the Frost tombed raider and follow-up with a flash heal and they were back up to 100% by the time it wore off.

    Good luck in Naxxramas!

    2/22/2009 3:59 PM Joel

    And while I realize this is somewhat off topic for a Disc-oriented blog, a CoH priest can save even the worst chain ever: six or seven frost tombed in one single moment.

    DBM puts a skull over the head of the primary target for the blast, so it's centered on them. Save your CoH cooldown for that person, and up to five other people around them will get just enough health to last 'em through the tomb, assuming they were topped off before it happened. A surge of light (almost guaranteed from a CoH) can save a seventh person (1 center + 5 around + 1 extra who didn't get the CoH). Turning on sparklies in X-Perl will help you see who got the CoH blast so you can target the extra seventh person with that insta-flash.

    Or you could use a shield if you don't get the insta-cast flash, I suppose.

    So yeah... Holy can save a seven-person chained frost tomb.

    2/22/2009 8:18 PM Scruffie

    How did you set this up? Please list it, step by step, so I can do it right

    2/23/2009 12:08 AM Paolo

    Hi Scruffie - at some point in the future I might create a Grid tutorial, but it's not in the works for right now. There are lots of good ones online already anyway. Here are a few to get you going. Grid is a phenomenal tool; I can't recommend it enough, but you do have to put in the time, over time, to understand it well.

    2/23/2009 1:30 AM Shaidari

    yeah i have used grid for 2 years now, just couldnt work out how to set this up for frost tomb. had a play around, i think i got it now.


    Now I need to figure out how to do this in X-perl...

    Though they DO get marked with raid marks in my raid frame as is. That's harder tos pot in 25s than 10, though.


    /steals link, posts on Guild Forums

    2/26/2009 1:31 PM Kyrilean

    X-Perl default should give you an icon that looks like the ice shards from the Hodir daily. See that and you know to get your insta-heal off.

    3/14/2009 4:31 PM Josh

    Prayer of Mending?


    I keep mine off of Cooldown during this fight for this reason.

    As Holy. ProM, Coh.

    As Disc. Prom, Shield, Pennance, Flash Shielded.

    4/09/2009 6:21 AM Mladen

    1 CoH is enough even if 5 (6 with glyph) targets are FBed. U have enough time to throw in a PoM before CoH.


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