How to Assign Raid Cooldowns (Part 2)

by | Apr 19, 2018

Last week, we discussed the healing cooldowns that your raid team would have at their disposal, along with some of the benefits of each and situations in which you’d use them. This week we’ll discuss some general advise on assigning the cooldowns and provide you some examples from the current tier. You should understand some general rules before getting into specific boss encounters.

  • The first thing you should do for any boss is count the number of cooldowns you need. Sometimes this can’t be done until you’ve started progressing on the boss. Always be very liberal with cooldowns when you start progressing – this will allow you to get further into the fight until you have learned the mechanics and can get by without cooldowns that you may need later.
  • If everything else is equal, use Revival as your first raid cooldown if you can. It has the lowest cooldown of them all and as such, you should use it first so you can maximize the number of overall cooldowns you get to use.
  • Sometimes, it can be useful to map out the timings of boss abilities so you can maximize the total number of raid cooldowns you use in a boss fight.
  • Tell your healers to give you feedback on your assignments. For instance, if your Holy Priest tells you that it is hard to stand still for his assigned Divine Hymn, maybe you should change cooldowns there. Many people do not like to give feedback because they think it could be misconstrued as complaining. Make sure you ask your healers if everything is ok throughout progression.

I think the best way to understand how to assign cooldowns is to go through some examples and explain the reasoning behind each decision.

Garothi Worldbreaker

Mythic Garothi only has a few tough parts to heal, all in phase 2 and 3. First, we should count how many cooldowns we need:

  • Phase One: 0, low damage
  • Intermission One: 1 for the pull in ability and Eradication
  • Phase Two: 1 for each Decimation, you should only get 2 total in this phase
  • Intermission Two: 1 for the pull in ability and Eradication
  • Phase Three: 1 for each Decimation, you should only get 2 total in this phase

Next, we decide where we should use certain cooldowns. In general, start with the toughest part of the fight and assign the big cooldowns there. In this case, Garothi’s hardest phase is Phase Three. This means you will want to use Aura Mastery here. Note that since the ranged are spread from the melee that SLT and Barrier have a reduced effectiveness, however when the raid groups up near the end of the intermission those cooldowns could prove very useful.

Remember that I also said you should use Revival first if you can. This fight should only last about three minutes from the start of Phase Two, meaning that using Revival first will allow you to cast it again somewhere in the beginning of Phase Three, effectively adding an extra raid cooldown to your arsenal. If the fight somehow goes longer, your other three-minute cooldowns will start coming up again.

Note that the Intermission cooldowns require movement since he is pulling you in. This make Divine Hymn and Disc Priests less effective for this particular spots and it maybe be better to save their cooldowns for when they can stand still. Both Priest specs have cooldowns that last a bit longer than average, making them ideal for the 10-second ticking debuff that Decimation places on the raid.

If you do not have enough cooldowns for each part that you will need them, this is where you can assigning personal cooldowns such as Ascendance, Ancestral Guidance, Tyr’s Deliverance, etc.

Antoran High Command

There are 6 Fusillades that go off in this fight and that is where you will need your raid cooldowns. Since each Fusillade is 25% stronger than the previous one, you will need to use your weakest cooldowns first, and your strongest cooldowns last. Take stock of which cooldowns you have in your comp and assign them in order of strength, as listed above.

For example, with a Holy Priest, Resto Shaman, Resto Druid, and Holy Paladin you have Divine Hymn, Healing Tide Totem, Spirit Link Totem, Tranquility, and Aura Mastery. Since you only have five total raid cooldowns, you have two options: do not use a cooldown on the first Fusillade since it deals the least amount of damage, or use a couple personal cooldowns on it. With this particular healing composition, you will want to cast, in order:

  • Skip
  • Divine Hymn
  • Healing Tide Totem, then move to next boss
  • Tranquility
  • Aura Mastery
  • Spirit Link Totem

Imonar the Soulhunter

On Mythic difficulty, you have to make the trek across the trip wires twice. The most common strategy is to send someone racing across the bridge tripping every wire while the raid stacks inside a Spirit Link Totem.  Standing still isn’t an issue on these bridge intermissions, so AM, Ascendance, and Barrier are some of the strongest cooldowns for the “fire bridges”.

One thing to help this phase is to save one or two cooldowns for when everyone is running across. Sometimes there are additional wires that need to be tripped, or you can have bad luck on the positioning of the fireballs and it can take a little longer. If you do this, you need to think about the strengths and weakness of each cooldown and which one you should save. Divine Hymn is definitely out because it requires the user to stand still. Aura Mastery also requires the Paladin to stand still for some of its duration and it is best used when the most damage is going out. Healing Tide Totem also is not very effective here because the raid will likely run out of it before it heals its full duration.

Revival, in my opinion, is the best cooldown to use here. It only requires a single global cooldown and Monks are very mobile and defensive, meaning they can position themselves to hit everyone as they move. If you can spare it, Tranquility is the next best. The druid should already have several hots on everyone and Tranquility can gain a lot from the druid’s mastery.


Many times, it does not matter which cooldown you use where – Varimathras does not have any particular nuance in his encounter since the incoming damage is so steady and predictable. However, you should always make sure to take stock of your cooldowns and utilize them to the best of their abilities. Your raid may not notice but your healers will appreciate it.

Written by Rahzra

Rahzra is a guest writer for Focused Will. He has been playing World of Warcraft since Vanilla, and has been healing since Wrath of the Lich King. He is currently the healing officer of Storm, the top 2-day guild on Stormrage. Article was edited and reviewed by others here at Focused Will.

© Rahzra 2018. The materials on this page may be freely copied and distributed so long as our copyright notice and Website address is included.

Author Rahzra
Categories Healing News


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