Huge thanks to WoW.com for the link over here. Now everyone can see my dorkiness.
The Sartharion with three drakes up zerg is one of the things a holy paladin Shouldn’t Be Able to Do ™. With today’s available gear, it’s far easier than it was, but it’s still an incredibly challenging fight, and at some point you just have to accept the fact that everybody’s going to get their faces nommed off by dragons.
You’re probably wondering: Why bother? The only reason anyone runs Obsidian Sanctum is for the weekly, right? Why not do an easy clear? And while that’s certainly true, you can still get several nifty things in 10 man including the of the Nightfall title, a black drake flying mount, and… well. A repair bill. That’s about it. But still. Dude. Title and mount!
With that said, this will be a guide to solo-healing Sarth+3 10 as a holy paladin in T9 gear or better.
This is definitely not a mana fight. If you run out of mana for it, it’s probably being killed too slowly to happen. It is, however, a matter of speed and potency. I would personally say that haste wins the battle on this one – bring some Potions of Speed and happy happy haste fishies, especially If you don’t have a shaman.
I would also recommend the spec that picks up Divine Sacrifice et al if you don’t have it already. It won’t be nearly as much damage mitigated as it used to be, but every bit helps.
Beyond that, solo-healing 10 man content as a holy paladin is all about reaction time. You don’t have the buffer of group heals or HoTs – you need to be 100% on the ball. Get your key-bindings sorted out, make macros that tie in your cooldowns and trinkets to other abilities, and be ready for a non-stop heal-fest.
Heading into Obsidian Sanctum, you’ll want to clear all of the trash, making a wide berth around the three drakes. Sarth will summon everything to him, and while ‘lol AE it down’ is an amusing strategy, it’s probably not the best one. Get down the small packs of dragons and form up before Sarth. If there are no other paladins in your raid, running Fire Resistance Aura will mitigate the most damage overall. Blessings-wise, you want to make sure everyone is getting the most out of their DPS.
Our strategy is to have a hunter feign death pull while everyone else waits on their mounts, ready to book it to the exit if feign death fails. In a world lacking in hunter death (what kind of world is that, really?) you will have a fair amount of time to get to Sartharion’s platform. With the DPS being put out by most 10 man raids, you can easily afford two tanks for this. One should be in the back left corner waiting to pick up Tenebron, the other should be positioned to grab Sarth in a place where he or she will not have to do much movement for fire walls.
The first 30 seconds of this fight are exactly the same as Sarth+0, so don’t get ahead of yourself. Sacred Shield and Flash of Light will keep most T9-geared tanks afloat for this, but don’t be stingy with using all of your healing spells as you need.
30 Seconds and Counting
At the 30 second mark, things are going to get interesting. Tenebron will join the fight, bringing with him void zones and portals that hatch eggs. Additionally, you should get a Fire Wall right as he comes down. Resist the urge to blow BubbleSac for the wall. If for some reason you’re scrambling to position, you have no choice. But your raidmates – and you – should be fire wall savvy at this point.
Fortunately, there is one area in which a paladin excels for this fight: healing the crap out of two targets. If you’re using one tank, this is going to be you healing the tank with a Beacon on yourself. If you’re using two, you’ll want to Beacon either the Sarth or Tenebron tank and heal the other. I personally recommend beaconing the Sarth tank, as you’ll probably have it up quicker (that's what she said?), and the Tenebron tank will be taking a lot more damage overall.
Urge your raid-mates to use healthstones, potions, and anything they can do to help heal themselves. If your haste is high enough you should be able to pop off a Holy Shock to one target, Infusion of Light + Flash of Light to another, then go back to healing a tank, but this is extremely risky. If you’re not comfortable yet with how the damage is coming in, this is one fight where tunnel-vision can actually help you succeed.
Know your heal potency. Know what you can get away with. And also know that the off-tank is getting slammed with 20k+ melee swings and a frontal breath attack fairly frequently. Be smart, but don’t be afraid to be mana inefficient. As I noted before, it doesn’t matter. If you need to dump in a string of Holy Light casts to ensure the tanks stay up, do it.
If everything goes as planned, you should get Sarth down right before or just as the second drake joins the fight. If your DPS is a bit slow, save your BubbleSac and Lay on Hands for this moment. Lay on Hands the offtank (who now has two drakes nomming on their face) for a bit of a buffer, then BubbleSac for every last bit of mitigation you can manage.
At this point, there’s only one variable. Either Sarth will be dead or he won’t. You, my friend, will most assuredly be dead, as Sartharion’s buddies will continue to eat everyone after he’s dead. But hey, if all goes well you can toggle on your of the Nightfall title while you run back into the instance. Or rather, when you fall off your spectral gryphon, run five steps, and then magically get picked up again.