The day has come and I find myself again in the ranks of active raiders in the GoF. I'm now 40+ pulls in to the fight against Garalon. No, we can't dance on his corpse quite yet. We are getting there, one pull at a time.
Garalon brings out the best in Resto druids...and unfortunately shines a very bright light on our severe weakness.
We stand out because of the consistent, raid-wide damage from the Pheromone debuff. This debuff is carried by one raider and passed from one to the next as it stacks, increasing the damage dealt to the entire raid. The damage from the debuff pulses every two seconds, the base amount of damage increasing on each pulse. I find myself using Wild Growth on CD and throwing out Rejuvenations and Swiftmends as needed (read: nearly spamming) to keep people's health from dropping dangerously low. Our ability to have HoTs ticking on several raid members simultaneously, paired with consistent damage ticking away at everyone's life bars, really makes us sparkle.
There's always a but, isn't there?
We are at a disadvantage when there is MASSIVE damage. The problem here is another ability of Garalon's, Crush. I think Garalon is in middle school, since he Crushes every 30-40 seconds. Crush is triggered by the Pheromone debuff passing from one person to the next. It does massive, raid-wide damage. And this, my leafy friends, is where we struggle. Yes, we have Tranquility. Tranquility is a beast when we need to really grab that healing 'oh-shit handle'. Tree of Life is ours too. Tree of Life gives us a good boost to quickly heal people up. Both of these are key CDs that I would argue MUST be used on this boss. I personally use Nature's Vigil on this fight as well – anything I can do to keep my raid up I'm game for. Each of these spells do dull the pain of the Crush, but it makes it dreadfully obvious that I just don't have those nuclear bomb style heals. They take time to work AND they each have a three minute CD. I find myself struggling just to keep people alive.
It almost goes without mentioning that this fight is a major test of mana conservation and management. I use every resource at my disposal to keep that blue bar from draining while keeping those green bars full. With so much consistent raid damage and frequent massive spikes, without careful attention to mana management and use of CDs you WILL OOM. Quickly. And you'll want to cry.
Where I find my own performance in need of improvement is my proactive use of ALL my healing CDs and remembering to count the bloody Crushes. I also need to concentrate more carefully on keeping my Lifeblooms up on -somebody-. I share this with you so you can also consider areas where you can also step up your game.
I'll keep you posted as we continue through the fight, and do my best to give you a concise and useful breakdown of what works and what doesn't when I cross that bridge.
Until then, long days, pleasant nights & happy Raiding.