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Archive for October, 2013

Something a bit more down to earth today, a guide for healing Garuda as a white mage. Garuda is a trial you can encounter starting at level 44 and it’s part of the main story line. It also has a reputation for being a particularly nasty fight and some people have reported wiping on it for days before finaly managing to beat it. I was a bit nervous about doing this fight as a healer and I have to say it’s probably the hardest fight I’ve done as part leveling a character in any MMO so far. Quite simply, this is on par with many of the more challenging raid fights I’ve had to do.

At it’s core, Garuda is a short but intense fight that allows very little room for error. There’s no hard enrage timer but if the fight goes on for too long the healer will run out of mana. For the tank, this fight is about positioning the boss at the right place at the right time and making sure to face it away from the rest of the group. Dps needs to be able to switch targets quickly, go from single target to AOE in an instant and do enough damage to shorten the fight as much as possible. Healers have to deal with a damage intensive fight, spread out damage amongst the group and mana management to try to last as long as possible. On top of this everyone needs to deal with LoS mechanics and position relative to other group members or face instant death.

For the general strategy I suggest you look at this guide for the step by step.

During phase 1

Phase 1 can be hell or relatively straightforward depending on whether or not the DPS can position themselves properly. In the best of worlds, you should be using only Cure 1 and Regen on the tank, taking advantage of free cures when they proc. ¬†All during phase 1, Garuda will throw a targeted AoE at someone else besides the tank that will hit people around the player being targeted. If the group is well positioned, a single Regen on victim should be enough and you’ll be able to jump right back to the tank. If multiple get hit it can quickly get out of control and you’ll have to resort to higher level heals to catch back up on the tank, thus less mana for the next phase.

The tank itself will sometimes take spikes of damage due to Garuda special attacks. The danger range is about 1500hp and you should aim not to let the tank fall lower than this for any reason. As such, if you have to heal other group members keep an eye on the tank to make sure not to lose him due to a spike.

If dps or the tank fails to hide behind pillars, it’s probably a wipe anyway so healing should not matter.

At the end of phase 1, Garuda will do massive damage to the entire group. Top off people as fast as you can and it’s on to phase 2. Smart tanks will use their limit break there to give you some breathing room for healing the group.

During phase 2

Phase 2 is more or less a dps race agaisnt your mana pool. The less extra damage taken by the group, the longer you can fight the boss. If everything goes perfect a combination of Cure 2 and Regen should be enough. One thing to keep in mind is that while the group takes more damage in phase 2, the tank takes about as much damage as he did in phase 1.

This time around the plumes she summons will go straight for party members. If dps fails to kill them the damage should be enough to cause a wipe. You are not expected to have to heal through this. Also, the group cannot be hit by the frontal cleave. The extra damage could be enough to cause an instant death or will require too much mana to heal.

In this phase I found it better to rely mainly on Cure 2 for healing damage on the DPS and myself. I usually like Regen but in this case it was more important to heal more in less cooldowns. Phase 1 is about preserving mana, phase 2 is about Heal per seconds. If desperate the tank would be healed with a Cure 3.

Responsibilities

This is one of those fights where it’s easy to blame others for failures so I’ll try to break it down as best as I can.

  • Someone hit because they didn’t hide behind a pillar: Their damn fault. You can’t heal through this.
  • Boss cleaves hits someone else than the tank. Depends. In phase 1 it’s easy to face the boss away so the tank should be able to handle that. In phase 2 it can be more hectic so you have to help the tank a bit by watching where you stand relative to the boss.
  • People moving out of LoS for heals. Their problem, not yours. It’s easy for ranged dps to be in range of the boss and in your LoS. You have enough to do without running after people.
  • More than 1 person being hit by Garuda targeted AoE. Phase 1: their fault. There’s enough room to spread out. Phase 2: depends… between that and watching the cleave and the plumes there’s a lot going on in a tiny space so sometimes 2 people being hit is hard to avoid. Just make sure it’s not the tank.
  • Plumes not going down fast enough in phase 2. Dps fault. They should be able to kill the plumes before they deal any real damage.
  • The rest: Likely your fault. If dps is low you’ll get killed before hitting phase 2 due to plumes so you’ll know Dps is the issue. If the tank sucks, everyone will get hit for extra damage all the time. ¬†Baring those two occurrences, your job is to be as efficient as possible in phase 1 and bring out the fast healing in phase 2.

Hope this helped and good luck!

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