Heroic Garaj’al the Spiritbinder 25man Resto Shaman PoV

Welcome to Mogushan Vaults Heroic mode for Garaj’al the Spiritbinder in Mists of Pandaria. In this guide, I will run you through everything you need to know about how to best utilize your Resto Shaman spells and abilities for a healing showdown.
You can bring 4 or 5 healers in a 25man raid the choice is yours depending on how high or low your dps is. However using 5 healers will mean that you are generally cutting it short  on tight enrage timer.
TIP : Enrage will hit much like Ultraxion’s enrage which will wipe all of your party instead of targeting solo players. There is simply no workaround of that mechanic.
Garaj’al’s most prominent ability is his Spirit totems which he will summon every 20 seconds. As a healer what you need to know is when is your turn to launch yourself in that circle of 6 yards along with 4 more players and be ready to cross to the spirit world for 30 seconds. While within the Spirit realm you will need to deal with Spiritual Innervation which stacks on healers and DPS. This will be analysed further below.
TIP : Remember that once you have left Spirit Realm, you cannot enter it again for the next 30 seconds or you will die instantly.
Another one of Garaj’al’s abilities healers need to be aware of is Voodoo Dolls. Voodoo Dolls effect will last for 60 sec and will be applied to 3 party members one of which will be the tank. (As soon as the Voodoo Dolls debuff expires from the tank, Garaj’al will cast the Bunisment spell on him, which will send him to the spirit world).   70%  of the damage taken by each Voodoo Doll is also dealt to the other Voodoo Dolls so tank cooldowns are advised as they are the only way of dealing with that damage. Voodoo Dolls cannot enter the Spirit World (such as through the use of Spirit Totems).
TIP : Personal cooldowns such as Astral Shift will not mitigate any damage. Such cooldowns should be saved for when you are entering the spirit world or after Garaj’al reaches 20% of his health. Also remember you cannot enter the Spirit Realm if Voodoo Dolls debuff is applied to you.
The last 2 noteworthy abilities are the Shadowy Attack that Garaj’al will unleash every 8 sec to the tank that has aggro and Frenzy. Upon reaching 20% of his health Garaj’al’s attack speed will increase by 50% and his damage will be buffed by 25% .This will last until the end of the fight.

Preparation

1.For a more in depth analysis of exactly all Garaj’al’s old abilities I suggest reading the following guides.
Garaj’al the Spiritbinder Normal And Heroic by IcyVeins
TIP : Always watch some videos beforehand to be in the know.
2.Videos for Garaj’al the Spiritbinder
Gara’Jal the Spiritbinder 25 Man Heroic  Guide – FATBOSS
Gara’Jal the Spiritbinder 25 Man Heroic  Kill video - by Pure  

Vuhdo Configuation for Voodoo Dolls 

Depending on when you decide to tackle this fight Voodoo Dolls debuff might not show on your Vuhdo. It is imperative that you know which targets are affected as you will need to heal them intensively for 60 seconds. By default Vuhdo will presume that you don’t need extra icons so first thing you need to do is open Vuhdo  ->Debuffs  -> Standard. Click on the Icon and save as demonstrated below. If you want only raid icons to show go ahead and click on the Boss icon also. I prefer it but it might not be for everyone.

The way to add any custom debuff on Vudho is by opening the interface and navigating to  Vuhdo  ->Debuffs  -> Custom, adding the exact name of the debuff you want to track under Enter new Buff or Debuff Name and saving it as shown below.

How to deal with Spiritual Innervation in the Spirit Realm

One of the most discussed matters between healers for this fight due to its ambiguous ingame tooltip. Vixsin from Life in Group 5, was kind enough to shed some light early on to what further testings proved to be the way to handle this buff.  Spiritual Innervation will grand a healer with stacks of spirit which will increase their mana regeneration for as long as the buff lasts which is set on 30 seconds. Mechanics around how we gain stacks are not clear ingame. However testings show that any HoT applied to the target that will add stacks will also refresh the buffs timer and any direct cast heavy hitting spell will apply at least one stack. (If you want to know more about stacks and for all classes? Dedralie over at Heliocentric wrote an excellent very detailed post about this. Trust me, you want to read it). It is important that while in the spirit realm you buff yourself and the DPS that accompany you as they are gaining Spiritual Innervation for DPS, and they are buffed depending of their class dealing increased damage for the duration of the buff. The best way to deal with this is pre HoT everyone ( Rolling Riptides to the team that is to enter the realm and yourself ) and as soon as you are in, start casting Healing Surges to top everyone up. Since mana is not an issue feel free to use as many Healing surges as needed in order to top your team because you only have 30 seconds before you escape Spirit Realm before you instantly die. As soon as any member is on full health a new action button will appear on their interface called Return Soul which will allow them to return to the normal realm. It is advised that you don’t overstay your welcome in the spirit realm and leave as soon as you have enough stacks on you and your DPS.
TIP : Healing Tide Totem and AG do not add or refresh stacks of Spiritual Innervation so if you are opting for this talent use it when your raid calls for it in the normal realm.
TIP : Use Ascendance in coordination with Healing surge  the first time you enter the Spirit realm.
TIP: Dedralie over at  Heliocentric has an excellent guide of how to track your Spiritual Innervation buff by using weak auras. You can find my own Power Auras equivalent  at Resto Power Auras for MoP

Suggested Raid Composition

2 Tanks – 4 Healers – 19 DPS or 2 Tanks – 5 Healers – 18 DPS
TIP : Run with 4 Healers if you are just hitting enrage.

Gear and Reforging Check

For this fight it is suggested that you try and rotate in the spirit realm all your healers at least once. This way you can forgo large chunk of your spirit for secondary stats without feeling the pressure of an empty mana bar.
Talents in MoP and glyphs can be rearranged before every fight so don’t hesitate to play around. For this fight there are 2 different options for sets of talents and it really depends on how comfortable you feel with either of them in correlation with  your gear.
The first set of talents utilizes Elemental Mastery and Ancestral Guidance. By forgoing your additional 5% haste rating you make yourself essentially unstoppable in the spirit realm. By combining the 30% haste of Elemental Mastery with Ancestral Guidance the first or second time you enter the spirit realm and Ascendance the second, you are guaranteed to provide the most stacks for yourself and your party with seconds to spare for when you exit spirit realm. Both of them can be used when Garaj’al is below 20% health and the fight becomes very intense healing wise.Remember for this build you will need to reforge to 3039 haste rating.

The second set utilizes Ancestral Swiftness in conjunction with Healing Tide Totem. The benefits of this set rest to the fact that it’s easier for you to reach your second haste cap at 3764 haste rating empowering this way your HTT and HST with one more tick.
TIP : Best choose Healing Tide Totem talent when you know you can reach enough haste that you will get that extra tick.

TIP : Remember that the first combination requires enough mana in order to be effective, if you are running oom you will find no use for it. The second set requires no mana in order to work.
Below is an example of how your character should look like. Gear, reforging, talent tree and glyphs included.
1. CharDev Example with 477 gear and reforge details for the first set of talents.
Haste in this example is as close to 3039 as it gets. Since you didn’t choose AS you are missing 5% haste , 3039 is the equivalent of 871 with AS. For more detailed info on Haste breakpoints refer to the Haste section of my guide on Elitist Jerks.
Mastery should be above 50% or as close to it as possible for the extra healing it will provide you and whatever is left we can safely allocate to crit.
Spirit is little below 7000 ( 6791) since the fight mechanics are such that unless you are unlucky with your rotation you will have enough mana to heal through.
2. CharDev Example with 477 gear and reforge details for the second set of talents.
Haste in this example is as close to 3764 as it gets.You need this much for the extra tick it will provide for HTT and HST. For more detailed info on Haste breakpoints refer to the Haste section of my guide on Elitist Jerks.
Mastery should be above 50% or as close to it as possible for the extra healing it will provide you and whatever is left we can safely allocate to crit.
Spirit is little below 7000 ( 6791) since the fight mechanics are such that unless you are unlucky with your rotation you will have enough mana to heal through.
3.Glyphs
You will need Glyph of Riptide for this fight as it is important that you pre HoT every member of the team that will go in the spirit realm before hand. Other than that the choice is yours.
TIP : Glyph of Water shield should not be used for this fight as there is almost no damage to proc it. 

Fight starting in 5..4..3..2..1

As always before tank pulls, make sure you have applied Earth Shield on the tank that will start the encounter and you have prehealed him enough (along with the other tank ) so their health is buffed by 10%. Drop Earth Elemental Totem and have it Empower you followed by Healing Stream Totem. Fill in these 15seconds with Healing surges and riptides to the party members that have been affected with the Voodoo Dolls debuff. As soon as HST vanishes drop Mana Tide Totem for yourself and the rest of the healers. Use the rest of the Elementals as soon as they are available and off CD but remember to keep the last Earth Elemental for the last minute of the fight for the extra 20% damage reduction it will offer you and the extra damage reduction cooldown. Drop MTT on cooldown as well but also remember to keep one for the last 40seconds of the fight when all the healers will need that extra mana. After this the rest of the fight becomes borderline rotational depending on what phase you are.
Spirit Realm. Before you enter the spirit realm make sure you roll riptides to all of the party members that will enter with you. If it’s the first time you enter , depending on what talents you chose either cast Ascendance and start casting Healing Surges to everyone (make sure you start with yourself) until everyone is topped off  so they can leave the realm whenever they want, or push for Elemental Mastery+Ancestral Guidance, thus saving Ascendance for the second time you go in. If you chose the second set of talents start with Ascendance and for the second time you get teleported if you find yourself unable of topping people off drop HTT. Its highly advisable that you don’t however since it neither adds stacks nor refreshes the Spiritual Innervation timer. Try to drop HST instead for the extra help.
Normal Realm. While you are outside there are 2 phases. First the phase that follows as soon as you have exited Spirit Realm. After that for 30seconds you will have infinite mana so cast as many Healing surges with Riptides as you can. Once your buff fades you enter a semi conservation phase, where you will heal Voodoo Dolls with Greater Healing Waves, cast Unleash Life before casting any Healing Rains, and using any cooldowns you might still have to help out with tough healing patches. Remember the more adds are still alive in the Spirit realm, the more damage they deal to random members out in the normal realm aside from the damage Voodoo Dolls will apply to specific targets.
Frenzy. When Garaj’al enters Frenzy phase, nobody will enter the spirit realm again and he will stop spawning totems. This part of the fight is very healing intensive since Garaj’al’s damage is buffed by 25% and his attack speed by 50%. Note that you will need to have all your cooldowns ready for this final part of the fight in order to keep the raid alive. Supplement with Chain Healing the tank that has aggro ( earth shield and riptide will buff your chain heal by 20% on the tank and 25% overall ), and cast buffed Healing rains on cooldown.
This concudes this guide for Garaj’al the Spiritbinder HC .Enjoy the fight and happy looting!

7 comments on “Heroic Garaj’al the Spiritbinder 25man Resto Shaman PoV

  1. Dedralie says:

    Hey Therya, I just wanted to ask about your observation that Healing Tide Totem doesn’t leave stacks or refresh the timer – in my experience, it does. I certainly was using it as a throughput CD in the Spirit Realm and I had DPS whispering me to say, “What did you do differently to the other healers? That was amazing, I got 22 stacks instead of 15 like I usually get!”

    Unfortunately the person logging our attempts never went into the Spirit Realm, so I cannot be certain by scrutinising logs. I guess this is just one more thing to add to my rapidly-growing list of “mechanics I want to test in LFR”. Sigh.

    I’m wondering if half our problems in nailing down the buff’s mechanics are due to secret hotfixes or something. Seriously, the amount of conflicting information there is on fansites and forums regarding how Spiritual Innervation works is pretty ridiculous.

    I have video of a kill I just did in 10man that I’m going to go through with a fine-toothed comb and see if I can settle some of these mechanics. Unfortunately our healer team was 2 Holy Pallies with Sacred Shield, so we didn’t have anything particularly fancy going on in the Spirit Realm. :-(

  2. Therya says:

    Hey Dedralie, I think this fights tougher mechanic is its conflicting tooltips and ingame constant hotfixes for sure. I made this guide a few weeks ago when we first tackled down the boss for the first time ( although I posted it now), at that point HTT didn’t add stacks, or so it seemed. It could have sneaked up on me argh. Like you said, another thing to add to my LFR todo list :-/ I wasn’t logging this on HC for my guild but I will next week and go through logs! I haven’t been running with HTT build though, but I think I will manage if I change it.

  3. Borelia says:

    I am fighting this beast on 10-man Heroic and am dropping sprit for haste and going with AG for sprit realm healing. But the question is: How much do you stack yourself in spirit realm? It is a trade off between boosting dps or your own mana. But what should be a sufficient tick from the buff when going back? 10k, 20k or more? Thanks for an awesome blog and your contribution to EJ!

  4. Therya says:

    Hey Borelia, as of now, HTT like AG will not add stacks of Spiritual Innervation, so if you use them in the spirit realm you will only use them to help you out with topping people off. I know it sucks.I thought AG was helping out. I am afraid it is a bigger deal for 10mans than 25mans how many stacks your dps gains. When it comes to yourself just a few stacks will be enough to get all your spirit back and then some, just make sure a riptide is ticking on you so the timer is refreshed. I find that 2 or 3 healing surges on me are more than plenty,it is really all it takes. As for the DPS make sure they have more than 15 to 20. It is still a tough fight for 10mans you really need all the dps increase you can get. I would definitely go for Elemental Mastery for the extra 30%haste nomatter what other talents I chose for the next tier. There is an interesting discussion on EJ at http://elitistjerks.com/f79/t130574-resto_raid_healing_5_05_mop/p4/#post2212720 . It seems that our HTT and HST are bugged. So you can safely ignore the 3764 haste breakpoint at least for what it concerns that extra tick from them since you are already getting that tick with much less haste…basically with almost no haste really. I am not updating my guide about that, I am hoping it will be fixed shortly :-/

  5. Timetofight says:

    I noticed that you said “Personal cooldowns such as Astral Shift will not mitigate any damage,” however Stone bulwark totem works as an absorb, which will reduce the amount of voodoo doll damage you receive. I recommend picking up that talent over Astral Shift because even a little bubble can make a big difference. If you wanted to stick with Astral Shift, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to use while you are voodoo dolled if there are a lot of spirits shooting you because the damage you take is shared among other voodoo doll targets.

    Also, I am curious why you chose Primal Elementalist as opposed to Unleash Fury. I found Unleash to be very useful in healing below, and useful for buffing HR above.

  6. Therya says:

    At the time I wrote this I think Bulwark didn’t work which is why I didn’t suggest it, its a good addition if it does I do agree. As far as I know Unleash fury does not buff Healing Rain however. It doesn’t buff Riptide either which makes it less favorable talent for that tier too. You can find the whole discussion at http://elitistjerks.com/f79/t130574-resto_raid_healing_5_1_mop/p7/#post2229171

  7. Kathryn says:

    “You can find my own Power Auras equivalent at Resto Power Auras for MoP” Where is this? I think I’ve missed it.

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