Knock on Wood: Freya with Elder Ironbranch from a holy priest’s perspective

picnicatfreyasRan out of pictures of Freya so thought I would use one of us having a picnic with Archmage Vargoth in her garden instead.

The fight is very similar to Freya solo with one notable and annoying addition. She now casts iron roots on up to three targets every so often. The roots have around 38k health and do considerable damage every 2 seconds until they are killed or the person trapped inside them is dead (they are removable with cloak of shadows so if any rogue dies to them, feel free to point fingers).

Before you start, make sure your Grid is displaying the following debuffs:

  • Iron Roots (the full name of this ability is “Strengthened Iron Roots”, but Iron Roots suffices on Grid)
  • Nature’s Fury

as most of the healing will need to be directed at the people suffering from those debuffs, plus the sunbeams. Phase 1 of Freya is always a fairly healing heavy fight and this pairing is no exception. The biggest problem comes when roots meets up with the Ancient Protector as if the imprisoned people are nowhere near a mushroom, the melee can’t free them so casters need to prioritise this and healers should help out if possible.

If as a healer you get caught in this fashion away from a mushroom spawn be extremely vocal especially if you are running with a small number of healers.

Assuming you aren’t silenced, you can damage your own roots but obviously thats a less than ideal solution for healers.

In phase two, you need to keep a particular eye on anyone who gets rooted near the little green bombs she drops (usually the melee) as these will need a lot of focused healing in order to survive (also the other melee shouldn’t be trying to free them, leave that to ranged).

Healers: 6

2 x resto druids

2 x holy priests

2 x resto shamans


1 druid on the maintank & keeping hots on the offtanks whilst the adds are up

1 druid on the offtanks & keeping hots on the maintank

1 priest taking care of one ranged party plus throwing the odd heal on the tank/debuffed people

1 priest taking care of the other ranged party plus throwing the odd heal on the tank/debuffed people

2 shamans prioritising  melee

You could easily substitute Druid number 1 for a paladin and glyph of holy light would help take care of the melee but our only holy paladin is currently slacking due to exams. (Yes these assignments are to make maximium use of prayer of healing and chain heal).

As with most of the Ulduar fights, once your dps stop the tunnel visioned mindless nuking and start prioritising roots, little trees and moving away from other people when they have nature’s fury this is a really simple fight which nets you one extra emblem of conquest and an achievement.

I personally think the easiest add to start out with is Stonebark, he of the ground tremor massive aoe fame, because the combination of roots plus the silence aura can be rather frustating but if you lack huge amounts of aoe healing.. this is probably the one to take down first.

Positioning is everything:

The most important tip here is never to stray too far away from the rest of the raid. Its likely at some point you will need rescuing from the roots and especially if you run with a melee heavy group, you don’t want them to have run miles to save you.

Also don’t all stack under the same mushroom because it goes without saying thats where the sunbeam plus the target of nature’s fury will all end up, forcing the raid to take far more damage than it actually should.

Its also worth making sure your dps are either:

using a macro to target the roots plus the happy little healing trees she spawns occasionally


if they are using Grid making sure they have the same debuffs showing

or if they are really after cookies, doing both.

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