If there is one fight in Dragon Soul I could have taken out of the developers lab and down to the local park to shoot, Deathwing’s Spine would have been it. It has all these elements that comprise a fun fight: a gimmick roll, adds to kill, adds to not kill, and a tight schedule to keep, but it is so bloody boring. The fight itself is long, the 3 plate pops reminds me of the 3 strikes and you’re out mode of Zelda without the cute animations, and it does not engage the raid team consistently.
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!
Yor’sahj the Unsleeping is an early healing/DPS check for your team. While we’re not as concerned with kill priority in terms of making sure we’re running in the right direction, knowing what combinations you get will help you plan your healing strategy appropriately. For this encounter, we utilized 1 tank and 2 healers, although this may vary based on your raid composition.
I debated writing this post this early in the cycle: we’ve barely touched upon the impact, and for a non-theorycrafter like myself, it can sometimes take a bit more time, a few more bosses to feel really comfortable saying “This is how I feel.”
I know as we ripped through Dragon Soul that first week I was a bit bummed. Mana seemed hard again… but it was just me. My healing team compatriots were doing just fine. I was also struggling to match my throughput. It’s been beaten into every druid’s head: who cares about cool-downs, we ARE healing machines. And I must say, it sure didn’t feel like that when the shaman pushed out a couple thousand more HPS, and had less overhealing.
But, because there’s invariably a butt, I now have a heroic mode under my belt, and I’ve had that extra week to work through some gear changes and different healing environments (I’m looking at you LFR). And while I’m not ready to stand on the mountaintops and declare that druids are the most awesome healers in the known universe (even if we are), I am prepared to say that I’ve found acceptance, and here’s why.
I don’t think it ever gets old. Stepping into a new raid encounter is always an experience I savor, and I love exploring new dungeons. Some members of our raid team took a sneak peek Tuesday night, but Wednesday was my first step in to the new dungeons, and Thursday saw the completion of normal mode for our raid team.