This is not intended as a comprehensive example of all viable healing solutions for this encounter. These strategies were utilized by the Production Company healing team, and hopefully, will provide a starting point for starting a discussion about your healing model for the encounter!
The biggest issue with Baleroc is getting enough healers with a high enough stack of vital spark to keep your tank(s) alive. In this fight, it’s important to stay on assignment, and to keep the rest of the healing team informed of any issues or changes. In early attempts, we utilized two tanks, and many teams report this was easier for them. However, in preparation for heroic, we did switch to a one-tank model, and that is the set-up I will be using in this discussion.
Composition: Druid, Shaman, Paladin
Our raid team stayed clumped up and just left the poor DPS who was taking the inital stacks of the crystal all on his lonesome when the crystal began to spawn.
To start the fight, we had the shaman and paladin assigned to the crystals to build stacks, and the druid assigned to the tank. The shaman/paladin healed through 2 full crystals, and then both switched to the tank while the druid switched to the crystals. 50 stacks seems to be the magic number for surviving the entire fight. No one changed assignments after this move.*
Since healers will not switch between building stacks and tank healing, the juggling of applying Vital Flame on the tank is alleviated.
Since most damage was predictable, we had a FFA assignment for raid cooldowns.
*In early attempts, healers freaked out about compatriots’ assignments getting low or feeling like they needed more stacks. If for any reason a player switches assignments in this fight, you need to notify the healing team, so someone from the opposite team can cover your assignment. We had the most issues when tank healers switched to crystal assignments and didn’t get the druid to switch to the tank.
As you don’t take much damage, Barkskin is meh. I used Tree and Tranquility when I had a player handling a crystal solo or when the first person on crystal duty stepped out early leaving heavy stacks on the second person. Regardless of assignment (tank or crystal) remember that you can use any HoT without affecting your stacks. Swiftmend is best used for the crystal soakers, and if you’re assigned to tank heal, should be used about halfway through the crystal phase. I kept my Lifebloom and a Rejuv on the tank, and just used Rejuv and my cast heals on the soakers.
Composition: Shaman, Paladin. Druid when one of them is out ^^
I don’t have as much experience on healing this version of the fight as I am generally a Boomchicken. However, I did manage to get it down when we had a member out, so you’ll get my experiences.
Our raid team spread out in an arc around the boss. Healers were not required to move for Countdown as the other afflicted player ran to them.
To start the fight, we had both healers on the crystals for 1 round while the tank took care of himself. The shaman switched to the tank on crystal 2, while the druid/paladin stayed on crystal. Druid/Paladin switched to tank on crystal 3, and shaman switched back to crystal. Once we had achieved our stacks (we shot for 150, I generally hit 125 or so) we stayed on the tank throughout ignoring the crystal players (except instant casts).
Cooldowns remained on FFA, and were still primarily used to save crystal players instead of the tank.
Again, damage is minimal to non-existant so Barkskin got limited use. I did move my Lifebloom to players attempting to take an entire crystal, but left it on the tank otherwise. Rejuvenation on crystal players helped keep them stabilized.
For initial stack building I blew through a crapload of mana. Since I have Jaws, I activated, built up my lifebloom stacks handed out a rejuvenation to my tank and the crystal soaker, and then went Tree form and spammed Regrowth like a fiend. Swiftmend was popped about halfway through each crystal. I had a little under half of my mana pool after the first crystal. I popped innervate and drank a concentration pot as I waited for the second crystal. For the second crystal, I did the three rejuvenation and Nourish route until one of my Rejuvs fell off, and then I switched to Regrowth spam. This brought me to ~125 stacks of Vital Flame.
I realize that all of you won’t have Jaws, but I hope if you don’t that you also lug around a bit more spirit so your natural regen is higher than mine. I would highly suggest starting with a Rejuv/Nourish on the initial stacks, as your greatest stacking will be towards the end of the crystal phase. Also, make sure that Lifebloom stays stacked on your tank so that you get those free Clearcasting procs.
Once the initial stacking is complete, the rest of the fight is pretty much like normal. If someone screws up the DPS rotation and the crystal is left unattended, use Tranquility.
Some teams won’t be comfortable leaving their tank totally unprotected during the initial build-up phase. Glow has written a lovely 10-man normal mode guide to Baleroc that is very enjoyable and which utilizes a more conventional healer rotation strategy. Jasyla at Cannot Be Tamed has a druid-centric write up from her 25-man experiences.
I personally use WeakAuras, and I found having a tracker for stack building and Vital Flame duration to be very helpful when learning the fight.