Damage mitigation is not just for tanks or PVP. Good use of your damage mitigation abilities make for happy healers and happy raid leaders.
Barkskin is a druid ability that is full of win:
The druid’s skin becomes as tough as bark. All damage taken is reduced by 20%. While protected, damaging attacks will not cause spellcasting delays. This spell is usable while stunned, frozen, incapacitated, feared or asleep. Usable in all forms. Lasts 12 sec. 60 second cooldown.
It costs no mana and triggers no global cooldown so there’s really no excuse for not making the most of it.
Here are some ideal times to use Barkskin for each boss in Dragon Soul. Most of these situations are also good times to use Divine Protection if you are a Paladin since the two talents are quite similar.
Normal and Heroic: Barkskin should be usable once every crystal phase. The best time to use it is just before a Stomp. If you are one of the crystal soakers, you can time your Barkskin so it is active for both a Stomp and the following Resonating Crystal damage.
Normal: Barkskin is best used during the Black phase on this fight to reduce the damage taken by Black Blood of Go’rath.
Heroic: Use Barkskin at the beginning of the Black phase, as that is when raid damage is highest (as adds are killed there is less damage going out). You could also use Barkskin when you are affected by Distrupting Shadows if it will not be cleansed off.
Yor’sahj the Unsleeping
Normal and Heroic: The ooze combinations on this fight are unpredictable, so it’s hard to time your Barkskin to get the most use out of it. In general, try to use Barkskin whenever the raid damage is heavy. The Red oozes will cause the most damage, so using Barkskin anytime that is up is a good idea. Make sure you’re popping Barkskin after the oozes reach the boss – there’s no damage while they’re travelling to them. It’s also a good idea to use it when Black is active and you have an add hitting you.
Hagara the Stormbinder
Lightning phase – Damage during this phase ramps up the longer it lasts, so wait a few seconds before using Barkskin.
Ice Phase – Use Barkskin if you are standing in the Watery Entrenchment (this is a strat you’re more likely to use in heroic mode). If you aren’t in Watery Entrenchment, you shouldn’t be taking any damage so Barkskin shouldn’t be needed (though you can pop it just to be safe in case you get hit by an Icicle).
Normal and heroic: Use Barkskin on cooldown to prevent as much damage as possible from Unstable Monstrosity. If your Barkskin comes off cooldown just before an Hour of Twilight is going to be cast, hold off and use it after you come back out of the Twilight Realm.
In phase 2, use Barkskin before as many Disrupting Roars as you can.
Spine of Deathwing
Normal: There are a lot of good opportunities for Barkskin on this fight. You’ll want to use it as often as possible, when you’re affected by one of the following:
Grasping Tendrils – You will be taking a fair amount of damage while you’re waiting for Deathwing to do a barrel roll.
Fiery Grip – You will be stunned, but you can still use Barkskin.
Superheated Nucleus – This happens when the Amalgamation is about to explode. The whole raid will take significant damage for a few seconds until it dies.
When you’re affected by one of the above and Searing Plasma, Barkskin is particularly effective since any healing on your will be absorbed.
Madness of Deathwing
Normal: During phase 1, there are two times when Barkskin is particularly effective. First, when an Elementium Bolt is going to hit. Second, when Blistering Tentacles are up and you are taking damage from Blistering Heat.
In phase 2, use Barkskin when Deathwing’s health reaches 10% and you are taking extra damage from Corrupted Blood.