It’s that time again…time to talk about one of my favorite topics: damage mitigation! Druids of every spec have a fantastic damage mitigation ability in Barkskin.
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.
Barkskin is not just for tanks or PVP. The ability to reduce your incoming damage is always a good thing. When I see a druid die in a fight and later see from the stats that they didn’t use Barkskin once, it makes me sad. Even if they don’t die, seeing druids who don’t use Barkskin at all makes me sad. If you aren’t using Barkskin, you are taking damage that is unnecessary and avoidable and taking heals away from others.
Barkskin costs no mana and triggers no global cooldown so there is really no excuse for not using it.
Here are some of the best places to use Barkskin in Blackwing Descent. This applies whether you resto or dps (I won’t presume to tell bears when to use Barkskin, as it’s one of their tanking cooldowns).
All of Magmaw’s raid damage happens while his head is up. Between Lava Spew and Magma Spit damage is a little unpredictable. Use Barkskin on cooldown.
Omnitron Defence System
The most predictable damage on this fight happens when Magmatron is up. Use Barkskin while he’s casting Incineration Security Measure. Alternatively, you can save Barkskin just in case you get Acquiring Target, but you’ll prevent more damage overall if you use it often.
Use Barkskin during the red cauldron phase to mitigate damage from Scorching Blast. Just remember that he doesn’t start using it until about 10 seconds after the phase starts, so wait a bit before you use it.
Once you reach phase 2, use Barkskin on cooldown to help out with any incidental damage from Acid Nova or Absolute Zero.
Assuming your Searing Flame interrupter is on the ball, Modulation will be the biggest source of damage taken. Try to have Barkskin up during as many Modulations as possible, especially as your sound gets higher.
Use Barkskin every time the Bile-o-Tron goes offline and the raid collapses and gets pelted by Caustic Slime.
Lord Victor Nefarius
Every time Nef’s health goes down 10% he casts Electrocute which does massive damage on everyone in the raid. Try to have Barkskin up for as many of these as possible. Hit it as soon as he reaches a new tier of health (90%, 80%, 70%, etc.).
You might want to save Barkskin for the transition into phase 2. Between Magma, Shadowflame Barrage, and any Blast Novas that get through while the interrupters are getting into position, there is a lot of damage going out.
In addition to all these uses, it’s also always a good idea to use Barkskin before you channel Tranquility to prevent you from getting spell pushback.
Coming next: Barkskin in Bastion of Twilight.