My last two State of the Raider posts have been about some interesting bosses with interesting mechanics – Sha of Fear and Amber-Shaper Un’sok. Well, I kind of skipped over another boss with some interesting mechanics – Garalon.
Garalon is a gigantic Kunchong, same as the one you raise up from a wee bug in the Klaxxi questlines.
I skipped over Garalon, because let’s admit it – Sha of Fear is just way prettier! No seriously, though, I was getting pretty frustrated with this boss and my place in it.
I mentioned in my Amber-Shaper post that Tier 14 has me feeling I have been very sheltered throughout my raiding career as a healer. Well, Heart of Fear in particular is certainly shattering all my previous ways of seeing things. I have been ripped out of my happy lil comfort zone and stuck into places I never expected to see a healer go.
For Garalon, that means boss kiting.
Our first kills, both on 10 and 25man, we had Hunters and Warlocks kiting the boss. It was the week after our first 25man Garalon kill that things changed and the healers were asked to step up and dance.
I was pretty nervous. I failed a lot at first. This compounded my anxiety, because I kept thinking to myself, “We killed this guy last week, and now I am holding us back from killing him again!” >< No pressure! Really!
Though, I am probably way harder on myself than anyone else… heh
Kiting is not too bad. It is a delicate balance between tiptoeing and leaving a nice little, closely dropped line of Pheromone puddles and… OMG! He’s going to swipe my face! Runrunrun!
And that is really all there is to it.
Oh wait. There is also that tiny part about trading the Pheromones.
The first person to smack Garalon (assuming someone does not run at him and “steal” them first) gets the Pheromone debuff. This is what causes Garalon to chase you around the room.
(I am going to stay far far away from the implications that holds… The phrase “Ook you in the dooker” comes to mind. Okie, I am done!)
While you have the Pheromones, you want to make sure you are:
- Not right in front of Garalon and his swipe mechanic – that hurts!
- Not standing in the Pheromone trail you leave behind you – that hurts too.
- Keeping yourself healed.
- Dropping the Pheromones as close together as possible, right up against the wall of the room.
- Not moving Garalon in crazy circles.
- Warning the raid when making a big turn.
** Basically, while kiting, your goal is to keep the Pheromones away from the raid, keep Garalon moving in a calm and steady manner, and to not die. **
5 and 6 are courtesy to the raid, and to avoid placing a raider suddenly in Garalon’s No-Zone – the big purple circle directly underneath him. Going under Garalon means him doing a sudden Crush. Yes, he already does this when Pheromones are swapped, but triggering too many – and at unexpected times – is unnecessary strain on your healing team. (We only have so many lifesaving cooldowns!)
As a Resto Shaman kiting Garalon, I try to stick to heals I can use on the move:
- Healing Stream Totem on cooldown, as always
- Unleash Elements on myself
- Riptide maintained on myself (unglyphed it has a decent front-end heal)
- Other heals as needed (but only as needed, since they are not instant, and holding still to cast means standing in puddles and taking more damage)
While kiting, I do not worry about raid healing. I do not worry about healing throughput. I do not worry too much about anything except staying alive and dropping the trail correctly. Honestly, I am too far from most of the raid to be of much use anyway.
When things are going smoothly, the healing needed for the Pheromones kiter is minimal. I try not to use Spiritwalker’s Grace here, but I will in a pinch. When I am not kiting, I try and help the kiter out too.
Swapping the Pheromones is the tough part, as it is a TOUCH mechanic. You cannot hit a button. You cannot cleanse it off. The two people have to touch. And they have to touch only long enough to pass the Pheromones ONCE. Staying too close for too long will pass it again. And it will mean consecutive Crushes. And then, it still needs to go back to the new kiter before the debuff stacks too high on the former kiter and becomes too much to heal.
A perpendicular meeting seems to work best. The person picking up the Pheromones heads straight the kiter, intercepting them on their path around the room. Then, once the pass is made, the person dropping the Pheromones sprints away from the wall. (Ghost Wolf works great here.)
Dying with Pheromones is no fun either. They stay on you unless someone comes and picks them up.
All in all, kiting Garalon as a healer is something to be learned for the benefit of the whole raid, because Garalon has a harsh enrage timer. It is difficult to interact with the raid or Garalon while kiting – and impossible to stand in the Sweet Spot on active legs for the extra DPS. Even with healers kiting, we flirted heavily with the enrage through all of our earliest attempts, and I am sure it will be the same with Heroic.
Healers, your fellow raiders need you to step up!
For the Icy Veins guide to Garalon, see here.
And because I slacked off and did not post this last week… Here are our most recent new kills! Which were actually a week and a half ago. ><