Coven is a seemingly complex encounter that actually ends up being rather simple in execution, with most mechanics beings very straightforward abilities that will cause burst spot healing or one-shot damage. Outside of the Storm of Darkness spawn zones, the timing of the abilities in the fight are scripted, so it is very easy to plan around them.
- Whirling Saber/Shadow Blades – These are simply projectiles that will be thrown/shoot across the room. In many situations they can one shot you, so simply avoid them.
- Fulminating Pulse – While Mother of Flames is active, three random raid members will periodically be afflicted with this DoT effect. It ticks fairly hard, and any extra damage taken by the targeted players can easily mean a death. Note that upon expiration this DoT will also explode, dealing more damage than the standard ticks, and also hitting nearby players.
- Storm of Darkness – One of the dangerous AoE abilities of the encounter, Storm is cast by Mother of Night roughly every 1 minute and will deal massive ticking AoE damage to any player not standing in the randomly spawned frost patch safe zones.
- Flames of Khaz’goroth – This is the first titan ability the raid will deal with during the encounter, and it will always line up with Mother of Night’s second cast of Storm. This will force the raid to only use the safe zones on the outer ring of the room, and position themselves away from the center of the room, as well as avoiding the corners/wall centers where the flame adds spawn while remaining inside a safe zone. Pulse debuffs will also be cast here, which will further reduce space.
- Spectral Army of Norgannon – Just like heroic, Army will spawn 20 mobs around the room. These can be controlled with almost any CC ability. This will be cast roughly 5 seconds before the third cast of Storm, so a good set of CC assignments is extremely important, as any moving mobs can easily force players to take massive damage from the storm.
After these two titan abilities are cast, Mother of Flames will leave the encounter zone, and Mother of Gloom will become tankable. She will periodically drop frost orbs around the room that will slow movement (they don’t really do anything else).
- Chilled Blood – With Fulminating Pulse no longer being cast, the spot healing requirement of the fight will shift over to Chilled Blood debuffs. These debuffs absorb a large a amount of healing on the targeted players, and will apply a stun if not removed before expiration. The stun duration is based on the amount of healing absorb remaining. Every healer should be sinking casts into these targets, even if it is slightly inefficient, as players getting stunned in combination with other abilities (such as Storm) can cause preventable deaths.
- Fury of Golganneth – Similar to heroic, a large add will spawn in the center of each of the four walls in the room, and will essentially one shot any players that walk on top of each other. Make sure if your raid is melee heavy that each melee has a preassigned lightning mob to hit, as well as a preassigned location to stand. Roughly 10 seconds after these mobs appear the boss’s final Storm of Darkness will be cast, and players will need to carefully position themselves in a safe zone, as it is unlikely you will have killed all of the boss mobs by then.
After about 40 seconds of not much happening, Mother of Night will switch with Mother of the Cosmos (the Mythic only Boss). Mother of the Cosmos requires consistent interrupts, and if needed you can assist in that job as a shaman (Melee are obviously more ideal).
- Cosmic Glare – It’s the blades mechanic from Xavius, but with green fire. If you already forgot what happened in Emerald Nightmare, the mechanic will target two players, and shoot a damaging beam between the two of them in a straight line based on their positions. Players targeted with this should be topped up right before it hits, as it does a decent burst of damage and can kill when combined with anything else.
- Machinations of Aman’thul – This is the big “healing check” of the encounter, as it is a long sustained period of ramping AoE damage. When these adds spawn, your raid should quickly designate two mobs to kill and burn them down with Bloodlust and all cooldowns (it happens about 4:00 into the fight for cooldown planning). After killing the first two mobs, the raid should shift to the next two and burn those down as well (it is helpful to have your tanks stand one boss on each of the mobs you are killing for some nice free cleave). You will likely need to have the majority of your healing cooldowns chained in succession here, with the stronger cooldowns being delayed towards the end.
After dealing with the Machinations of Aman’thul, with this combination of bosses, Flames of Khaz’goroth and Spectral Army will be cast again – however there will be no Storm of Darkness, so they are significantly easier to deal with. After these occur, Mother of Gloom will switch with Mother of Flames, and you will burn down the boss from there (ignoring the Fury of Golganneth adds – stay spread! – and the second Machination of Aman’thul adds if they spawn).
- T15 – Undulation or Torrent here, generally Undulation+Ascendance or Torrent+High Tide would be the reasonable talent combinations here (I personally used Undulation)
- T30 – Personal Choice, I found the burst mobility from Gust of Wind to be useful in positioning myself in safe zones much faster
- T45 – Earthgrab Totem – definitely better for dealing with Spectral Army mobs compared to lightning surge, as CC cannot be broken on immune mobs
- T60 – AG is the significantly better option, however if you run a wacky healing comp with no Holy Paladin and lots of Restoration Shamans / Discipline Priests you could convince me that crashing waves is better due to struggles with healing Chilled Blood debuffs
- T75 – All the talents have their place, APT is the standard “oh shit” button – EST helps throughput on Aman’thul adds – AV helps keep Fulminating targets alive, as well as players that get stranded out in the Storm
- T90 – CBT, if you want Echo use Soul of the Farseer (its very good here)
- T100 – Ascend and High Tide are both good here, High Tide gets devalued because you are forced to spot heal a lot on this fight, and Ascendance helps heal through the Machination AoE damage effectively – I personally prefer Ascendance on this one.
For legendaries, the only optimal options I see personally are Prydaz+Soul or Prydaz+Velens. If you want to skew your healing towards covering Storms/Aman’thul, run Velens. If you want to skew your healing towards Fulminating/Chilled Blood, run Soul. Prydaz as usual has some crazy one-shot prevention on this encounter and should likely never be unequipped here unless you are in some insane gear circumstance.
I touched on most of the titan abilities above, but the key to this fight is simply being ready to counter any incoming burst damage. If you play correctly, you should be able to ramp up a CBT before every Storm of Darkness and pop it after the first 1-2 ticks. Players will almost always find a safe zone by tick 3-4, but can easily die to the first few ticks on their way in. Make sure you’re tracking Chilled Blood debuffs, and make sure you’re watching the timer and readying Riptides+Tidal Waves stacks before the debuffs go out (treat Fulminating debuffs similarly – they just require less overall healing). If you see a player with Chilled Blood get stunned right before a Storm of Darkness, be ready to find them and place APT or SLT on their head if a safe spot doesn’t appear under their feet.