Gday guys, given that you posted this thread over a couple of weeks ago, it is highly possible that you have already progressed to getting this downed, however, since I've reactivated this old account to get an advert out on the recruitment thread I figured I'd add my little bit for this.
We tried for quite a while to get this fight downed whilst 3 healing, but the fight proved to be a steep DPS check for the first couple of times we did get this one downed and the only way we achieved this was by 2 healing and utilising two off-healing specs. In our case, our holy priest swapped to Shadow to compliment our usual shadow priest in our team.
Our healing team comprised of myself (Holy Paladin) and a Restoration Shaman.
Few things that might help are:
- Pop lust straight up!! Burn him... pop as many CD's as you can at the beginning to get the fight off to a good start. It is the only time barring the final phase where you have absolutely everyone attacking the boss. And the final phase you may have sacrificed some people, so the lust would be lost on them (Will delve deeper into this shortly).
- Don't send first team down when first totem spawns. Instead wait out the lust in normal world first. This has two benefits, obviously more DPS on the boss is a good thing, secondarily to this... by pausing the approximate 10-15 seconds before first team goes down you actually ensure that you have DPS down there when first tank gets banished. This makes life a lot less stressful for getting the big adds downed to save the tank.
- If both healers are locked to normal realm (be it by voodoo or just came back up and are consequently debuffed) send an Off-Healer down but only with one DPS. This allows the DPS to still damage adds, but also allows the Off-healer to achieve required healing amount and get some damage out as well.
- Never let both Off-Healers go down at same time. Although this one will only 'sometimes' result in a wipe, we experienced our fair share of random low life wipes due to a healer leaving spirit world with both off-healers and the other healer being voodooed (Meaning none of us could go down on next totem). The resulting race was swapping to an all out DPS race pushing enrage and trying to beat the mask spawns, this has not ended well for us once yet.
- Always prioritise DoT classes going to spirit world where possible. DoTs continue to tick even when no one is in the spirit world. So any lingering damage will whittle away at adds softening them up for the next team to enter spirit world.
The fight obviously follows a very similar sequence of events to the normal mode encounter and as such, the fight is yet again about reaching a raw DPS threshold and then the fight can be easily downed.
In the first few weeks little tricks to squeeze out more DPS (for us) included:
Always keep in mind the buff you leave spirit world with will never compensate for the lost time on Gara'jal himself. As such, if the masks are under control, then nominate specific DPSers that are trustworthy and possibly not strong multi-dotters to identify opportunities to leave early and rejoin the fight against Gara'jal. In our case we used our melee team (Warrior and Death Knight) to identify when there were 3 or less adds remaining when they entered and they would get healed up and leave the spirit realm immediately. On the flip-side, our main shadow priest, warlock and fire mage were to stay down for the maximum period of time every time possible to squeeze out as much multi-dotting as possible.
The important thing to explain to your group is multi-dotting beats all single target damage here, if there are 10 half health adds when the next team enters, they'll all die to multi-dotting again. Single targeting on the other hand may short term reduce damage by absolutely killing off some adds, but long term will create a deficit as the next team that enters may find themselves with 7 full health adds still (just an example, but obviously this is how things spiral).
For a while we played with the idea of possibly just skipping a totem or waiting for a healer to lose his debuff and then going down again, this never worked well for us, as any time lost on DPSing adds or rolling DoTs on them allowed the deficit to become uncontrollable again. As such, it is always best to at least send an Off-healer immediately down with a DPS that can keep rolling some damage on the adds. They may not kill a single one... but at least when the next healer/2 DPS combo go down they'll blow everything out of the water promptly.
The final point that warrants a mention from a DPS / enrage timer perspective is if the final totem comes out at about 22-26%... you may very well be better off forgetting about masks at this stage and starting the race to the finish. A few important things to be aware of here include:
- A healer may be tight on mana, just send them down on their own. let them bomb themselves up and return immediately to normal realm.
- A Tank may be in the process of getting banished. On our first succesful kill we actually sacrificed the tank that got banished at the inopportune time. Forget him and just push for the finish line. If you haven't used your B-Res, then remember he may die in the spirit realm but he'll become immediately targetable by you anyway in the normal realm. Just B-Res and get back to the fight.
Truth be told, if the adds cannot be controlled then your healing will unlikely be the saving grace here. You simply cannot outheal some of the ludicrous damage that the adds start putting out onto voodoo targets as you get 10+ adds out.
As such, the first thing to healing this encounter is pointing out that you can only heal people that aren't getting one shotted, and that can only be achieved by DPS taking the role of add killing very seriously.
I must apologise as I unfortunately am yet to heal this encounter with a druid but I'll share what I have learned from the H-Pally perspective and hopefully you may glean some information that you can in turn utilise Sammy.
-- Always beacon Tank when in normal realm, always beacon yourself when you are about to enter spirit realm. This shift may seem self explanatory, but in my experience people in the panic do forget. Paladins may not have the best CD's for dealing with single healing voodoo targets, however the flipside is we are very good in the spirit realm. Beacon yourself and go for broke on getting those DPS up. Heal the multi-dotter first! Make sure you get him/her a solid stack of the buff then work on others.
Also, as you're about to leave the realm remember to re-heal once on all members to reset the buff.
-- Light's Hammer is brilliant! Another one that should be a no-brainer... the optimal time I have found to using this is just as your healing counterpart is about to enter the spirit realm. By pre-popping this you aren't torn from your normal AoE healing rotation and it truly does help smooth the transition to single healing voodoo.
-- HoSac the Tank when you aren't a voodoo target. You can take 30% of his dmaage straight up, saving the two other poor souls getting whacked. Clemency really helps to keep this damage soak CD available multiple times throughout the fight.
-- In any attempt I found that I am normally expected to solo heal normal voodoo realm 2-3 times before the berserk is hit at 20%. With the addition of softening the transition to solo healing with a Light's Hammer I would also utilise 1 solid CD each time during the solo heal period. My order is typically Divine Favor -> Holy Avenger -> Avenging Wrath (1 each time). What this meant was I would always have at least Divine Favor and Holy Avenger for final burn phase every time and dependant on how many times I solo healed may very have Avenging Wrath as well.
-- Devotion Aura is great for nullifying the adds for a short duration. If the adds are beginning to overwhelm (especially at the end) then never forget Devotion Aura for a blanket spell damage reduction. It truly saves lives in the dying seconds.
As for shamans... it feels like they are truly made for this fight. My counterpart never falters in normal realm, whereas I know I sometimes am cutting it close.
The trade-off is he typically does take longer to get everyone up to full health in the spirit realm.
Off the top of my head, this is all that I can think of right now. Feel free to throw any questions up and I'll try to help where I can. Best of luck with him, once you have him - it'll only be a week or two before he feels just like normal mode.
This got a bit longer than intended
Sorry about that!