Stoneform And You

23 May

According to a recent census at Warcraft Realms, only 4% of all priests are Dwarves.  They come second to last only to Tauren, who up until this expansion were not a playable race for priests.  When I decided to leave the Horde for the Alliance, there was no doubt in my mind which race I was going to choose.  I changed my Blood Elf into a Dwarf and never looked back.  Granted, there are a number of races out there that could be seen as having better racials for priests and each one has their pros and cons.

However, as I find myself experiencing more of Cataclysm and getting familiar with the current state of instances, I’m reminded of why choosing a Dwarf priest was the best decision I ever could have made.  Others may disagree and that’s fine.  Let’s talk about what exactly being a Dwarf priest gets you and in what situations you will notice this the most.

As of this writing, Dwarves currently receive 5 racial abilities (one active and four passive) upon character creation.  You probably won’t get much use out of Gun Specialization or Mace Specialization as a priest and I can’t say that Frost Resistance will be something that may come in handy, either.  The other two could pay off a bit more for you.

With Cataclysm came the most recently added racial, Explorer.  This passive racial allows a Dwarf to find additional fragments when digging and it lets you survey faster than archaeologists of other races.  The more fragments you dig up, the faster you can combine them into an artifact and level your Archaeology skill.  For those of us who haven’t given up the ghost of Tyrande’s Favorite Doll or who have their eye on other neat items, this racial could speed the process up a bit.

The racial that I’m here to talk about and which has been the cornerstone for all Dwarves is of course, StoneformStoneform has come a long way since its inception.  It used to be something that you could use to make yourself immune to poison, disease and bleed effects.  It was then changed to instead remove those effects if you already had one or more of them already on you.  Then it gave you a 10% armor bonus, which probably didn’t help many priests who found themselves taking a lot of damage.  In Cataclysm, Stoneform received a huge buff by now reducing all damage taken by 10% and causing you to increase in size when used.  It seemed like overnight Stoneform went from “Who cares?” to “Who wouldn’t want this?”

It’s no secret that racials can play a large part in the character creation process and each race has something useful to bring to the table, in that regard.  For me, I like to play classes and specs that I know can survive.  I can’t heal people if I’m dead.  I need to be standing to do my job and Stoneform helps me do that.  I’ll admit that you may not be relying on Stoneform too much in regular or even Heroic 5 mans.  But as you break into raiding and especially as you charge ahead into Heroic modes, you will almost always find a use for Stoneform.  Here are some of my favorites.

I remember the first time I encountered Magmaw and how much damage his Lava Spew was capable of doing.  It didn’t seem to focus on anyone in particular.  It just kept coming and coming.  I was literally blown away by it.  That feeling returned when I tried Magmaw on Heroic for the first time.  It can be even more intense.  Because of how much raid damage is going out and how much constant healing is required, I like to pop Stoneform here to make sure I’m not taking as much damage from the near constant spew and I can direct more energy towards keeping other people alive.

Valiona & Theralion
One of the key aspects of this encounter is the Blackout mechanic, where one person gets targeted with a debuff that requires everyone to group up on them so it can be dispelled.  When Blackout gets dispelled (which is preferable to having it expire on its own), it causes a lot of damage, which is spread out around everyone who is near the debuff target.  The more people that group up, the less damage that is done to each person.  In any event, it’s still a lot of damage (even more on Heroic and until recently you couldn’t even dispel Blackout on that setting) and popping Stoneform right before the person is dispelled can prevent a lot of damage from coming your way.

During Maloriak’s red phase, where he places a red vial in the cauldron, he gains the ability Scorching Blast.  This causes him to spew out a cone of fire at the raid, which does a massive amount of damage that gets split up amongst everyone within 60 yards.  On regular mode, this amounts to about 500,000 damage (on 10 man) or 1,250,000 damage (on 25 man).  As expected, the damage increases drastically on Heroic mode, where you can expect your raid to take between 1,000,000 and 1,250,000 damage in a 10 man setting or between 2,500,000 and 3,000,000 in a 25 man.  That’s an insane amount of damage.  Using Stoneform before this happens should help you survive the initial blast and lets you get to work trying to heal up the rest of your heavily damaged raid.

In my opinion, things don’t really start getting hectic on this encounter until you reach phase 2 and then you just find yourself healing for the sake of it and running on auto pilot.  There is so much damage going out and the health bars just seem to keep on falling and it feels like Cho’gall isn’t dying fast enough.  If you want to increase your chances of lasting until the end, either pop Stoneform immediately when the second phase starts or more towards the end when you sense a kill is about to happen.  As a healer, you will mostly be trying to keep up with all the damage that goes out from Corruption of the Old God, which will start doing regular damage every 2 seconds to anyone still standing.  Make sure you’re one of those people and use Stoneform to help you do that.

Last but not least is an encounter which I had thought I had seen the last of, only to remember that I would have to go back and face him again on Heroic mode.  Let me tell you, it’s not much more pleasant the second time around.  The ability that will typically take the largest bite out of your raid is going to be Electrocute, which Nefarian will regularly cast at 10% intervals as his health bar goes down (i.e. 90%, 80%)On Heroic mode, it’s not uncommon for guilds to ask their members to farm up Tol Barad marks to pick up the Mirror of Broken Images to help out with the Electrocutes.  That’s how hard they hit for.

It still hits hard, even on regular mode and having Stoneform in either case can really help to cushion the blow.  Depending on how fast your raid chips away at his health, you may not be able to rely on Stoneform for every Electrocute that goes out.  But you should have it up more often than not and you will notice a big difference if you time Stoneform just right.  Use it, survive, and help heal your group back up so they can finish taking Nefarian (and possibly even Onyxia, if she’s still standing) down.

These are just some of the instances in which Stoneform has saved my life and helped me to heal my raid just a little while longer.  I think Stoneform is widely underestimated and I always try to encourage people to give it a second look and to see what it can do for them.  I don’t regret being a Dwarf and I don’t think anyone else should, either.  I feel that Stoneform is a very competitive racial, for anyone who wants the best for their priest and hopefully I have managed to illustrate that a little bit with this post.  Feel free to share some experiences where Stoneform really paid off for you and maybe someone else can learn from that and get the same results! 


18 Responses to “Stoneform And You”

  1. Jed May 23, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    Oh Stoneform how awesome you are in PvP and PvE. I remember back in Burning Crusade if you had several dwarves in your raid while doing Kara, the Moroes fight would be cake. Oh I’m garroted? Bam! Stoneform and bleeding no more!

    Even now it is a great racial because it removes so many debuffs off you in PvP. There is nothing better then being on a dwarf and having a rogue or dk try to gank you. Stoneform off their debuffs off and introduce them to the might of Ironforge! =D

  2. Oestrus May 23, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    Even though I don’t PVP very often (or at all in this expansion), you did add some more great reasons why Stoneform is pretty awesome. I only wish I was a Dwarf back in the Kara days, because learning Moroes was a pain back then.

    I’m glad to see there other believers out there!

  3. alacranmex May 23, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    What an awesome post. I love dwarves. 🙂 I need to open up a paypal donation link here as a help Alacran become a dwarf fund.

    • Oestrus May 23, 2011 at 10:46 am #

      Hey, if Darista can have a Paypal link for her flask donations you can do one for this.

      And give a little to her, she’s po’ after all.

      • Darista May 23, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

        I hope you didn’t think that I wouldn’t SEE this, missy!! 😀

        (And yes, please send money! Po’ Dar is po’!)

        Stoneform is quite awesome, I won’t lie. I remember when I first started playing 6 years ago, and I was thinking of making a priest, anyone and everyone would tell you to make it a Dwarf for this reason (as well as Fear Ward, since it was only available to them … that was HUGE!). I’m glad to see that it is back to being awesome and is making it’s way into raids 🙂

        • Oestrus May 24, 2011 at 7:25 am #

          That’s the name of my next alt, by the way: Podar.

  4. Bryter May 23, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    I prefer Dwarf to any other race. I was going to change into a gnome for the intellect and engineering bonus but… then I’d be a Gnome. Frost resist helps a little bit in PvP too. All those chilly Mages running around.

    • Oestrus May 23, 2011 at 10:52 am #

      It sounds like Dwarves are not only strong against rogues in PVP (or could survive better than most), but they could stand a little bit better chance against frost mages, too. That’s pretty nifty.

      Which reminds me: How come I don’t see *any* Dwarf rogues out there?


  5. slice213 May 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Dwarves! One of my favorite races in fantasy lore and books. The tough, rough, at time drunk dwarves. (Flint from the dragonlance series and ghim from the Record of Lodoss War, 2 best dwarves ever!)

    However, for some reason I have never rolled one before. I admit I am a blood elf fan, epic hair trumps all. And you will have to pry arcane torrent from my cold dead hands, which I love for the Cho’gall encounter.

  6. Tomaj May 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    And not a single mention of Twirling Braids™. I am disappoint.

    Oh, and as a side note, for any paladins, enhancement shaman, warriors, death knights and anyone with any other damage-reducing talents (Inner Sanctum, etc.), Stoneform stacks with your other damage-reducing abilities (Shamanistic Rage, Divine Protection, etc.).

    Lastly, though we haven’t come across anything much with Frost damage as of yet this expansion, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen (and actually, it might help with certain encounters like Ascendant Council or Maloriak – strangely, some of this tier’s boss abilities are able to be fully resisted – a resisted Hydro Lance or whatever from Feludius = win).

  7. Entropia May 23, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Dwarves were probably the most played Priests back in Vanilla, god bless Fear Ward being a racial Priest spell! ;D

  8. Amerence May 25, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    hmm, never really played a dwarf character since I started playing MMO… but I did thought about it. they are cute and I really love the dwarf dance it really fits them. =D Hooray Dwarves! =D /dance

    • Oestrus May 25, 2011 at 7:06 am #

      One of the tanks in my previous guild was a male Dwarf and we would get naked and make our Dwarves dance together before pulls. Much obscenity and hideousness occurred, but it was all in good fun.


  9. Eden May 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    Stoneform is awesome, I agree but why no love for Find Treasure? With Cataclysm all the treasures are revamped, replaced and re-amazing. 🙂

    • Oestrus May 25, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

      Find Treasure was actually removed and is no longer in the game.

      Otherwise I would have covered it.


  10. Jaedia May 27, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    I love those census things, could be there all day!

    • Oestrus May 27, 2011 at 9:41 am #

      Tell me about it! I could spend hours looking up Tauren who have blacksmithing versus those who have alchemy and which one has this horn and those that have that horn.

      I’m such a dork sometimes.

      • Jaedia May 27, 2011 at 10:32 am #

        Indeed, me too xD I like to see how unique I am sometimes! Not very, apparently, as I tend to play Blood Elves 😐

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: