Healing Perspectives: Garalon

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Garalon is one of those fights that is awful while learning but beautiful once mastered. Well….as beautiful as a bug could get I suppose. For a complete detailed strategy on the fight, I highly recommend checking out many of the great resources on it. This post is primarily from a healing perspective and assumes basic knowledge of the mechanics.

The good news with Garalon is that damage is for the most part, predictable, if everything is done right. The bad news is that there’s a lot of damage going out onto the raid and this fight requires some heavy healing. The two big things to watch out for in this fight are Crush and Pheromones management.

- Avoid the Purple Circle: Standing in the purple circle will trigger Garalon to Crush - an ability that does heavy raid-wide damage. It also kills the person standing in the purple circle – so avoid it all costs.

- Heal the Pheremone Kiter: When a member picks up pheromones, they receive Pungency which increases the damage the entire raid takes from Pheromones by 10% (per stack of Pungency). This is where the heavy healing can come from. Keep the kiter topped up as much as possible until they pass the pheromones. Sometimes, having a healer with the specific responsibility of healing the kiter makes it a lot smoother.

- Damage the Legs: Damaging the legs is part of the mechanic to bringing down Garalon since killing a leg costs him 3% of his health. Take advantage of the Weak Points buff by standing in the little blue circle. Note that increased damage also translates to increased healing for us through Atonement –  so smite-healing here can go a long way. It’s also the perfect time to stack up Evangelism stacks in preparation for Crush.

- Queue up a cooldown for Crush: Crush is nasty, but hey it’s atleast predictable. Crush takes place every time pheromones change kiters. Usually this happens around 20 to 22 stacks  so your queue to timing in this case isn’t really something from boss mods, but keeping track of the stacks. I usually started pre-casting Spirit Shell at the 20 stack mark while my fellow druid healer healed people up. It’s also a great time to use Barrier if Spirit Shell is on cooldown – all the ranged and healers are usually stacked up nicely and it’s a fantastic way to mitigate damage.

- Pre-cast Cascade for Crush: Note that Crush also knocks down members for 2 seconds. A neat way of having some healing go around while you’re down is to cast Cascade right before Crush hits. It’s a great way to reach members that are spread out and also heals while people are down.

- Heavy tank heals during Furious Swipe: The last ability to heal through is Furious Swipe. This is a damaging cone that Garalon does that must be avoided by all except those assigned to soak it. Usually that ends up being the two tanks but if the strategy is to single tank it, it could be a plate-wearing dps or a rogue. Keep track of Garalon’s direction as he moves around the room – it’s easy to get caught offguard and find yourself in the range of this cone.

All in all, Garalon is a fun fight that’s a good test of the raid’s dps and coordination. He’s fun to heal once you go in with a solid healing plan and get the rhythm down.

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