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 completely 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.
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 the Firelands raid. Most of these situations are also good times to use Divine Protection if you are a Paladin since the two talents are quite similar.
There isn’t a whole lot of raid damage on Shannox. You have two options for when to Barkskin. Either you can save it for Face Rage (if you get targeted), or you can use it whenever Shannox uses Hurl Spear. You only need to Barkskin this if you are in 50 yards of the spear target.
In phase 2, you should use Barkskin for every Magma Rupture.
Use Barkskin on every Venom Rain. These happen approximately every 80 seconds.
In phase 2, use Barkskin whenever you can to counter the repeated Ember Flares.
Heroic: You can use this at the same times as in normal. If you are responsible for intercepting Broodlings though, you may want to use it just before hitting one to reduce the damage from the Volatile Burst and the poison left on the ground.
Heroic: Same uses as normal.
Use Barkskin straight off to counter Firestorm. During phase 1 all of the damage is avoidable, so you shouldn’t really need Barkskin. If you get clipped by a Lava Spew or a Brushfire, the best thing to do is just run away immediately. You could use Barkskin on cooldown just to be safe (in case you cop a Fieroblast or something).
During phase 2, pop Barkskin as soon as the Fiery Tornadoes spawn, just in case.
There’s no damage taken in phase 3, but phase 4 has constant AoE damage. Use Barkskin when Alysrazor reaches ~80 Molten Power to counter the damage from both Blazing Buffet and the Full Power that happens at the end of the phase.
Heroic: Same uses as normal.
If you’re a healer you shouldn’t take any damage during the Baleroc encounter so there is no need for Barkskin. However, if you’re a dps and are tanking a Shard, use Barkskin to lessen the Torment damage.
During Scorpion phase use Barkskin whenever you can. If he will be in Scorpion form for 9 or 10+ Flame Scythes use it once before the first scythe and then again when it’s off cooldown. During the phase when Searing Seeds are active, use Barkskin just before yours goes off.
During Cat phase, the damage is not predictable and is mostly avoidable so there’s not much use for Barkskin. However, when Burning Orbs are active, you can use it if you end up tanking one of those.
During phase 1 the only predictable damage is from Magma Trap Eruptions. Use Barkskin just before a trap is triggered. It should be usable twice during this phase.
During transition phases you can use Barkskin on cooldown as you will likely be getting hit by random Lava Bolts fairly often.