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Gara'jal Help
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masquedwriter wrote in wow_ladies
I'm back, hehe. And I would love some advice about Gara'jal the Spiritbinder.

We found this to be a rather frustrating fight.

We are not beating the enrage timer. We're not even close. We're not even getting him to his berserk phase before the regular enrage timer goes off.

I know that an important mechanic of this fight is the buff you get from going into the totem world. The way we have been doing it is having two groups of two. Each person has a back-up in case they can't go in and we alternate. Fifth DPS does fill in if even both people in a group have voodoo dolls. It seems to be getting everyone plenty of turns in the spirit world. How do you manage alternating people in? We switch healers in so each of them is getting a turn with the mana benefit. Is there a way we can optimize this?

We're set up with three healers, five dps, and two tanks. I've heard people say you need to two heal this but when we experimented with pulling a healer it was hard with voodoo healing and such.

Our DPS is sitting in the forties to low fifties for everyone even WITH the buffs from the spirit world. This is lower than it has been for the two previous fights in Vaults. We're all decently pre-raid geared.

THANK YOU to everyone who responded. Everyone was extremely helpful and had good attitudes. I really appreciate it and it's what I love about this community. I'll let you know if we down him this week!

Any advice on how we can beat this enrage timer? It's wiping us every time.

Thanks soo much for any advice.

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We had a ton of trouble with the enrage timer at first. We eventually started bloodlusting at the VERY start, when nobody's in the spirit world and everyone has their CDs, and we put the top dps on the boss full time, only dipping into the spirit world long enough to get the buff. If you can get the adds in the spirit world grouped up to AOE, it helps too. Also got our healers to basically off-dps as much as they could... woo doing 3% of the dps as a resto druid! :P We 3 healed it and didn't have a disc and now we can beat the enrage timer fairly comfortably.

Interesting thought to keep our top dps on boss full time. We have a pretty consistent order of dps right now. But we're all very close. Every bit helps though beating that timer.

Knowing your raid comp would help, but it seems like you're missing a couple of things:

1) That buff is not nearly as important as it seems. Maximizing buff time kept us wiping.

2) You need to two-heal it. That's important.

3) The general routine of our raid group is as follows

- We pull. Once voodoo dolls are covered, we bloodlust. When the first totem comes out, we have one of our DPS (I was doing it, but it was harder to multitask as a healer) call out one healer (the one that isn't dolled) and two DPS. We all huddle around the totem and kill it, then we pop in. I heal myself first, as quickly as possible, while tossing healing on the other two. It's important to note to use very fast heals, because you can't really waste time here. As soon as all three of us are able to leave, I pop out and start spamming heals on low raid members, since I've got the regen buff. The other two come out closer to the end, but it's important to kill as many spirits as possible, and it's particularly useful to have DoT classes go in and DoT up the spirits so they're weaker for the next time. We repeat this process as often as we need to, until the boss is dead.

4) It's absolutely crucial for the tanks to rotate their damage mitigation cooldowns, and as a resto druid, I throw mine up first, and then use it on cooldown. This will prevent other people with the doll from taking so much damage.

5) Doll permitting, throw in the healer with the lower current mana so they can regen back up. I don't advise using healing cooldowns inside the spirit realm, but instead using them directly after, and saving only mana cooldowns for when a healer is regularly the doll, so they haven't gotten the buff.

Good luck!

VERY helpful information. It was great to hear your routine in your raid and I think I have a bit of a better understanding now. Also, I think a large problem is we're trying so hard to get the biggest dps buff possible so spending too much time in spirit world. I think changing that as you suggested will be a big help. Hearing the DoT, I'm thinking we're definitely going to have to utilize our shadow priest. What do you think of sending her in first in order to have them weaker when our next group goes in and make it go faster?

Our Composition is:

Death Knight

Paladin (we are considering pulling pally as our extra dps, advise?)

Shadow Priest

Any additional advice you think of with the raid composition would be appreciated. However, note that we are largely a social guild and it will be difficult to replace any players (furthermore, we don't want to push anyone out of their regular spot.)

We are a social guild but our small group is determined to make good progress in these raids. We've made progress every week in terms of how far we get boss down and mastering mechanics. But we can use all the help we can get. I really appreciate it. :)

I'd say put in whomever can do the most DPS.

Our Raid comp is:

Tank - DK, Warrior
Healers - Paladin, Druid (that's me!), Shaman (who switches to DPS when we two-heal fights).
DPS - Feral Druid, Hunter (who is... bad), Fire Mage, Afflock, Arms Warrior

The druid and shaman are particularly effective at killing adds, and I would say get your Shadow Priest whenever they can.

Additionally, since you have druid healers: I'm currently using the Glyph of Regrowth rather than the Glyph of Rejuvenation (mostly because I've found Nourish to be utter crap), the Glyph of Healing Touch, and the Glyph of Lifebloom that makes it bloom for more, but lowers the time it's on. The Regrowth glyph is fantastic for this fight because you need the fast healing to get people up when your regen is high. My general method is that when I'm *not* going in, I slap fast HoTs on the people who are about to go in to help out, and if I'm the person going in, I throw three lifeblooms on one DPS, a rejuv on the second, and spam Regrowth on myself. If people have cooldowns that will heal themselves during that time, it's quite helpful as well.

We use a very similar strategy to the__ivorytower, above. We found that when we tried to maximize the buff, it didn't really help us at all; instead, the healer who goes in normally tops up the DPS and then comes back out to help keep the raid up. We two-heal, because with three healers we did not have the DPS to finish the fight. Not even close. We'll have to have significantly better gear to be able to three-heal it.

Like you, we have two DPS teams that take turns going in, with the other two DPS acting as back-up in case one of those DPS is a voodoo doll. Our preference is for ranged, since they spawn all over the place, and, if possible, burst, to plow through the adds as fast as possible. The DPS shouldn't try to AoE down the adds in there unless they spawn in a convenient cluster -- it's faster to just single-target them down.

Another tip: if you have a paladin handy, bubbling the tank during Voodoo Doll is a very good idea. Since Gara'jal fixates during Voodoo Doll, a paladin tank (for example) can use Divine Shield without fear of dropping aggro.

We do indeed have a paladin so I'll pass on that advice about the fixate. We have two hunters. Do you think maybe they would be best suited to go in and clean up just because of their instant casts, I have been going in as a mage and if I get ice lance up through fingers of frost I can down them really quickly but I don't like blowing my cooldowns in the spirit world.

I'd probably want to split the hunters across the two groups, personally. Looking at your comp, above, I'd probably put the monk in over the shadow priest -- monk mobility is high enough, and burst strong enough, that I think they'd be a better choice. Also, it'd maximize shadow priest's DoT uptime on the boss. So, say, you + hunter and then monk + hunter, with paladin (in ret spec) as first sub and spriest as second sub.

One thing the DK, in particular, should be aware of -- mitigation CDs >> healing CDs for voodoo doll phase. Also, if the people who are voodoo dolls have defensive CDs available, those should be used. (Touch of Karma is serious hax when the monk gets voodoo doll.)

What we do:

1) Two-heal it.

2) Healers alternate going in as much as possible for mana regen. It takes a bit of coordination over vent, but it really works out.

3) When tanks are banished, they can taunt some of the adds to diminish raid damage.

4) Spirit world group make up:
4a) First, figure out who does the most damage to the adds in the shortest amount of time. Conventional wisdom says DOTters like 'locks are best, but our powerhouse is our DPS warrior, who decimates everything inside. Whoever it is, this person should go into the Spirit World whenever possible, and will be staying in there the longest.
4b) The other person who goes in should be a ranged; pick a few of them to alternate based on voodoo dolls. We have a priority list: if at all possible, it's warrior and hunter, if one of them can't, the mage goes in; after that, the boomkin is next in the list.
4c) Everyone not going in groups up around the boss to make heals easier and make it clear when everyone is by the totem who needs to be. It also makes it easier for group heals.
4d) Group goes into the spirit world; healer heals up the non-powerhouse first. They hop out and keep DPSing. Healer then heals up the powerhouse and him/herself. The healer can leave to help with heals; the powerhouse stays in as long as possible without dying. Rinse and repeat.
4e) The totem before the soft enrage, both DPS stay in as long as possible to clear adds for the burn phase. Boomkin is nice for this because they have a double-dot CD they can keep for this purpose.
4f) Anyone who is best kept single-target (rogues, for example) should not go into the spirit world if at all possible. It's basically a Patchwerk fight for them.

5) The DPS buff is not the key to this fight. It's more like an apology for pulling people away from the fight than it is a key mechanic for beating the enrage timer. A 25% haste buff will not make up for the 100% lack of DPS on the boss while they are in the spirit world.

Thanks for the clarification on the buff. :)

My group was struggling with beating the enrage timer too. We kept making way too much of the mechanics. So what we did was ...

** 2 Heal it (Holy paladin, Disc priest). We tried using our resto shaman, but it didn't go well with him healing.

For the entry into the spirit realm, we divided the raid into 2 groups, with a "captain" in charge of each group.

One group was the healers. We just talked to each other in mumble regarding who was going in. We only stayed in long enough for the dps to get their buttons, then we hopped out. We made the dps tell us in mumble when their buttons were active.

The dps captain (a boomkin) was responsible for coordinating the dps going in. He does little things that make it go smoother. He calls when the totem is down, calls people by name to go in. Makes sure a healer is ready to go. While he is doing this, he is dpsing down the totem, so when the group is set to go in, its almost instant. We prioritized which dps would go in and stay in to kill the spirits, and which would go in, get the buff, and jump out. Our boomkin and dps dk stayed to kill spirits. Our fire mage, hunter, rogue and ele shaman just got their buff and jumped out to dps the boss.

Edited at 2012-11-26 12:24 am (UTC)

Gara'jal is a dps check, and 2-healing it in earlier gear levels is pretty much a requirement. The nice thing is that it's *very* easy to 2-heal if the spirit realm is being dealt with well. We had our best (reliable) dps in charge of wiping the adds out though of course you need back ups for when they're dolled and can't go in. The other dps goes in, gets healed up and gets back out to dps boss. What everyone said about the buff is true. It's really not near as important as it seems. We essentially have 6 people. Two people and a given alt for each if they're dolled and then the 2 healers to swap out as they can. As to which healer to switch it's up to who can put out the dps. It's important that the raid stack to help healers and it's very important that the adds are dealt with. Since it sounds like dps is an issue, pre-pot for that extra boost. Good luck!

Ah this was meant to the OP of the post, hit the wrong reply.

Edited at 2012-11-26 03:35 am (UTC)

We use three healers and alternate between having 1 dps or 2 dps in the spirit world. We also save heroism for the final phase. We do tend to cut it pretty close though.

We actually three healed it. Beat the enrage timer by 1 second on our first kill xD (we're up to over a min early now, but it was toastily close the first few times ^^) So it is doable with three healers and average dps.


Thats the logs for all the tries that night, if it helps at all (I'm hopeless and can't really read logs ><)

Our composition
Guardian Druid
Death Knight

Mistweaver Monk
Priest (I think she was Holy that run)
Resto Shammy

Mage (he swaps specs a lot, so you'd have to check the logs to see what was best for him)
Ret Pally
Hunter (he's our baddie ><)

We have the healers decide who's going in first, and then try to rotate as much as possible. Healers will call 2 dps to the totems with them to make sure that all three get into the realm (we had some issues with trigger happy dps nuking the totems too early ><)
Then its just rotate as needed, tanks throwing out some AOE in the spirit realm to help out a little. We rotate all our dps through, but we're not paying much attention to keeping the spirit buff up.
Make sure that the tanks are using CD's to help mitigate the raid damage.
We BL at 20% and ignore the last totem, just full out nuke on the boss =)

Get your shadow priest into the spirit world as much as possible! I'm always sent down because I can dot up everything and let it die by itself + have Halo (plus with FDcL/DI it's procs, procs everywhere! They're really going down fast). Usually there is not more than one freshly spawned add in the spirit world when I emerge - so group damage is very limited. Personally I think the adds are the crucial part of the fight.

Your tanks need to use damage migitation cooldowns, so especially for your DK it's not about self-healing, which does absolutely nothing for the dolls.

We too bloodlust at the very beginning and it works the best for us. When we started learning the fight we used it in the end and we would always wipe until our shaman accidently used bloodlust right after the pull and got us our first kill that way, haha.

thank you for this post! I've been having troubles as the spirit world caller for our attempts, and I've found a lot of the information posters have given here very helpful too.

We two heal it - we tried three at first and it just wasn't working. We pre-assign two Spirit World teams and two alternates. Each team consists of a healer, a melee, and a ranged DPS. When the first totem comes out, the team whose healer isn't doll'd goes first. If one of their DPS is also doll'd, RL calls one of the alternates. Once everyone is there at the totem, the healer says ready, they kill the totem, and off they go. This happens quickly - no dilly dallying around! We do actually tend to have them stay in the spirit world as long as they can (or till the adds are dead/almost dead). Rinse and repeat. Last set of spirit world groups happens when Gara'Jal hits about 23%, and after that, the last spirit world group mops up as many adds as they can and everyone burns the boss. We save hero for the burn phase - since we aren't sending anyone back in to deal with the adds - we want to get through that part quickly.

As others said, tanks should make heavy/constant use of their mitigation abilities to help the healer out on the dolls. And if the tank has a spare GCD or two, they can hit a couple of the adds when they get banished inside to help out there too. Just not at the cost of failing to make their own timer to get out!

One thing that helps us was that our raid leader (me) got the DBM Addon GarajalAnnounce (should be available on Curse). It basically sends a raid warning for the three people that need to go to the spirit world and marks them. Once in the spirit world, the healer healed the dps up first, and as soon as the dps had their button they left. Then the healer healed up themselves. Incidentally, we three-healed the fight, though one of our healers was a Disc Priest using Smite and mostly shields (our others were a shaman and a driud). Using the addon for the announce helped on our reaction time and changing our heal strategy helped us with dps uptime on the boss. Using three heals helped balance out the damage from the adds. Prior to making those changes we were hitting the enrage timer as well. The biggest improvement was the heal strategy inside the spirit world. Getting the DPS out faster helped tremendously and we killed him on the same fight where we switched to this strat.

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