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Restoration Shaman – PVE Healing Zul’Gurub’s High Priest Venoxis – 4.1

Posted on: May 07, 2011 | Author: Savoire


With 4.1 going live, Restoration Shamans now have the added challenges of healing a new dungeon. The new Zul’Gurub is filled with bosses and mini-bosses. It is a level 85 heroic dungeon with bosses dropping level 353 epic items.

You’ll need to have an average item level requirement of 346 to join the dungeon queue. To finish the entire dungeon, be prepared to spend 2-3 hours.

Starting Zul’Gurub

Before you get to High Priest Venoxis, also known as the Snake Boss, you will encounter some challenging trash mobs. Starting the instance, you’ll notice a path shrouded in green fog and filled with neutral mobs. If you attempt to run down the path and across the bridge you will die.

Notice a green cauldron, Zanzil’s Cauldron of Toxic Torment,  just beyond the quest givers. Click on the cauldron and you’ll get a debuff called Toxic Torment. It decreases nature damage by 90% and lasts for 30 seconds.

However, you can’t click the cauldron until the mob next to it has died. Be ready to heal as some groups pull the mob before you’ve even had a chance to get through your loading screen. The NPC you are killing will randomly select targets to give additional nature damage to. You’ll have to heal through it.

Once the mob is dead, you can finally click the cauldron. After you get the debuff, you have time to mount up, ride down the path and across the bridge.

Healing and Handling the Venoxis Trash Mobs

The trash mobs use two abilities that will also be in the Venoxis boss encounter. They are Toxic Link and Breath of Hethiss.

Toxic Link looks like a green line between two random players.  The two players need to run as far away from each other as possible while avoiding other players.  If the ranged (including yourself as healer) spread out, the mechanic becomes much easier.  If two melee get the Toxic Link, they will need to be aware and run away from each other and not towards any of the ranged.  When Toxic Link has been broken, a Toxic Explosion will occur causing AOE damage to nearby allies.  Toxic Link which is not handled properly will cause huge amounts of damage and may cause a wipe.

Breath of Hethiss is used by the large snake mobs found just prior to encountering Venoxis.  The ability is a cone-shaped AOE of 25,000-30,000 nature damage per second.  Survive this by clicking on a handy green cauldron in the area and get another 90% nature resistance debuff.  The tank should pull the adds toward the cauldron.  As a healer, make sure you constantly have the debuff as it only lasts 30 seconds.  Any dps who doesn’t have the debuff will die, so either tell them to get the debuff or resurrect them after.

Healing during the High Priest Venoxis Fight – Phase One

If you know what to avoid and how to do it, this fight is pretty easy to heal.  It certainly helps if your party also knows what to do and how to avoid unnecessary damage.  The mechanics used by the trash will also be used while fighting the Snake Boss.

To give your party 30 seconds of extra nature resistance, be sure to click on the cauldron just outside the Snake Boss’s room.  Everyone having the  Toxic Torment debuff will give your group a quick edge to reduce damage and make healing the party a bit easier, especially if anyone is new to the fight and needs a little time alive to get used to the mechanics.

High Priest Venoxis starts the fight as a troll, in his humanoid form.  He can be tanked at the bottom of the stairs, facing away from the group.  The tank will need to interrupt a channelled cast called Whispers of Hethiss.  If it’s not interrupted it looks like a green beam hitting a random player.

One of the new mechanics he gains in this phase include the maze he draws on the ground with neon green poison, called Venomous Infusion.  You can stand in the safe non-green parts of the maze, but you want to avoid touching the poison walls of the maze.

The Toxic Link mechanic will continue, so if you are linked run away from everyone else as quickly as possible.  No player should continue to hit, cast, or heal things.   Run through the maze until the Toxic Link is broken and heal through the AOE damage.

Healing during the High Priest Venoxis Fight – Phase Two

High Priest Venoxis uses Blessing of the Snake God to change into serpent form.  He deals 100% more damage and removes the ability to dodge or parry. He no longer uses Toxic Link or Whispers of Hethiss.

In this phase, he uses Breath of Hethiss, which you will remember from the trash mobs outside his room.   The tank needs to keep Venoxis pointed away from any of the players and to move out of the way to avoid the Breath of Hethiss damage himself.  With no cauldron providing a 90% nature damage reduction buff at this time, the tank may have to pop cooldowns to survive if he gets caught in the breath.

Before and after he casts Breath of Hethiss, he will also create a Pool of Acrid Tears.  Anyone standing in the pool will receive massive damage.  The tank should drag the boss from the pool before the breath, then avoid the breath, then pull Venoxis from the pool after the breath.

At the end of the phase, he will go up the stairs to his altar and send three beams of poison green light, called Bloodvenom, at three random people.  The bloodvenom tendrils move slowly but you must avoid them.  Run through the maze to avoid all damage. If you have to make a choice between getting hit by a beam and going through a maze wall, choose the maze wall as it’s less damage.  If everyone stacks up as Venoxis goes to his altar, you can all run together through the maze to avoid the tendrils.  You do not want to drag the tendrils to anyone else causing them extra damage.

After he finished Bloodvenom, he will be exhausted and suffer from Venom Withdrawal.  Make sure the team knows to save their cooldowns for when Venoxis becomes exhausted.  He goes up to his platform, rests, and takes 100% extra damage for only 10 seconds.  Use Bloodlust here.   His health should go down fast and the quicker he dies, the less challenging the healing will be.

Special Tips for Restoration Shamans

As a restoration shaman, you can pop either your Resistance Totem to mitigate nature damage or you can place your Healing Stream Totem if you have glyphed it so that is heals as well as acts as a Resistance Totem.  This is also an excellent fight to use Spiritwalker’s Grace for healing on the run, instant heals such as Riptide, Earth Shield, Unleash Elements from Earthliving Weapon, and Nature’s Swiftness with a Greater Healing Wave.  You also should have the instant ghostwolf ability, Ancestral Swiftness, to allow you to run away from the green beams, stop and do a quick heal, and run again.

I have done this fight with the tank dying fairly early due to a mistake with the Breath of Hethiss/Pool of Acrid Tears.  The melee dps died quickly also.  The two ranged dps and I were able to stay alive for a very long time by avoiding damage.  One of the ranged died, leaving a shadow priest and myself to down the boss.  The tank joked that he wasn’t needed, but the lesson of this fight is to avoid unnecessary damage.  Being at range makes the fight much easier.  Encourage the ranged dps to stay spread out and at maximum distance from the boss. Tanks and melee will have a harder time avoiding damage.

This is a fun fight for restoration shamans, one in which we can really shine.  With our mail gear, our shields, our totems, our ability to heal on the run, and Bloodlust, we have a fairly easy time healing this boss, even if people in the party make mistakes.

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