Totem Talk: Restoration in the Trial of Valor

It’s been a little bit since Legion was released, and we’ve already received some much anticipated content updates. The latest patch brought us a new raid zone, the Trial of Valor.  It’s a small raid in terms of the number of bosses, but the content is a nice challenge. Not to mention that it actually serves to advance the narrative of the game story.

Each fight has layered mechanics, and two of the three are long multi-stage fights. They’re definitely trials in terms of mana consumption, efficient healing and endurance. This won’t be a step by step guide, but rather just some items I found useful while healing this raid. Today we’re going to take a look at the first two fights of the Trial of Valor raid.

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Odyn

The first encounter is our good friend Odyn — you may remember him from Halls of Valor. Here, we’re once again proving to Grandpa Firebeard that we’re worthy to fight on his behalf, and free him from his imprisonment within the halls.

The fight itself is divided into three phases. The first phase your raid will have to fight both Hymdall and Hyrja at the same time. The problem with this phase is that your team’s going to be mostly spread out, so items spells like Chain Heal and Healing Rain can be difficult to get the most effective use out of. There are potential high damage spikes in this phase from Horn of Valor if players can’t move fast enough. Shield of Light also has high damage potential if players don’t help diffuse the damage on the targeted person. Focus on single target heals to spike up players unlucky enough to get hit by these abilities.

Additionally during this phase, Odyn will of course interfere. He’ll occasionally light up all five runes in the room in an attempt to draw upon their power. Players will be marked, just like in the dungeon. Instead of receiving a buff when entering the rune, players are focused by an add that must be killed inside the rune to deactivate it. Keep an eye on players who get focused, because they’ll have to tank the add without running. A few well placed Healing Waves and some Riptide love should be enough.

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Thirty seconds after the runes have been activated, Odyn will cast Unerring Blast. This is a raid wide damage ability that deals increased damage for each rune not extinguished before it’s cast. Keep an eye peeled and if any runes get through, it’d be the perfect time to roll a Healing Tide Totem.

After this phase, Odyn fights you himself. The rune mechanic remains, so you’ll have to keep an eye on that. There are two new items to watch out for in phase two, Spears of Light and Shatter. This is similar to the ability from the dungeon, with the added bonus of dealing high damage if a player gets hit by an emerging spear. The Glowing Fragments summoned by both the spears and Shatter will stun anyone hit. Make sure anyone hit by the fragments gets some extra love.

The last phase has a lot of movement and a lot of damage going out, but the good news is we can finally make use of our group healing to bring everything home. The main items to watch out for are Arcing Storm, which targets a random raid member and deals damage, and just the general AoE damage from the fight. Spirit Link Totem is great to help deal with Stormforged Spear, but there’s not much else to do here besides keep the raid alive and keep moving when necessary.

Become a Watcher

Talent wise, I found Torrent and Wind Rush Totem very useful just for the sheer amount of movement. The increased healing from Torrent was welcome, and Wind Rush helped out quite a bit in phase three while players were running from various environmental effects. The fight is really fun, but can be long.

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Guarm

The follow up fight to Odyn is Helya’s faithful hound. Honestly, he’s a bit scarier looking than the actual fight. The area you fight him on is the bridge that leads to Helya. He has two modes, one where he stands and fights, and one where he runs around attempting to trample the raid group.

During the stand and fight portion of the fight, one of the big things to watch out for are the various licks. Flame Lick, Shadow Lick and Frost Lick all have a chance to splash onto nearby players of the target.

  • Flame Lick is a damage over time effect that not only damages the player affected, but also pulses in an area around the player. If this chains to multiple players it can be problematic, so keep an eye out for that.
  • Shadow Lick puts a debuff on the affected player — it absorbs a large amount of healing. If this chains to multiple players, it can be problematic. Try to spike heals into players affected by this to get rid of the debuff as soon as possible.
  • Frost Lick freezes any player hit in place, and will remain until it’s dispelled. Have Purify Spirit ready to make sure your group is free before Guardian’s Breath.

The breath is the last part to really worry about in the first phase. Each head will cast a breath of some type, Fiery Phlegm, Salty Spittle and Dark Discharge. When this ability is cast, your raid will split into groups to absorb each of the breaths. The damage isn’t too bad when split, but pay attention if you lose any bodies. You may need to give one of the groups a little extra attention.

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The other big item to watch is Headlong Charge, where Guarm will attempt to run up and down the arena sides trying to trample the raid. This is raid wide damage that increases the closer you are to Guarm. Save your major cooldowns for here. If you can get your raid to group up towards the middle of the arena, you can make great use of Spirit Link Totem and AoE heals to keep the raid alive.

The good thing about this fight is that the arena is relatively small compared to other raid encounters. This lets us utilize our group healing fairly effectively. Talent wise, I found that Deluge is very useful, and can be combined with High Tide to help get that extra healing kick. Cloudburst Totem is a rock star here as well, since everyone should be standing near enough to get full effect if used in the middle of the encounter arena.

The first two fights in the Trial of Valor are a lot of fun, and the fights feel pretty well balanced. Odyn is just enough chaos to be exciting without being overwhelming, and Guarm is the nice calm before the storm. Next time, we’ll talk about the marathon encounter that is Helya.

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