First, we had a shift in our roster recently. Monger is back on his priest, and he's brining the lightwell back to the front of our raiding. Our resto druid switched back to his mage (so we still have a bloodlust type buff), so our overall healing/dps makeup is going to have to adjust to a shift in our play. We did fairly well last night though, especially since we wound up pugging a DK DPS (our now mage was out).
Before we made this switch we sat down and looked at all the buffs/debuffs we were going to gain/lose, and weighed the chages carefully. We also laid out some basic goals and stipulations, so we wouldn't be going in with the 2nd healer wearing greens and inappropriate blues. In the end, I think this move will really help us out, as both of these guys are now back in the roles that I think they excell at instead of just do well at.
Last night we got a combination on Halfus we'd never seen before - all three drakes that buffed Halfus. Storm, Scion, and Slate - so we had Shadow Novas to interrupt, a stacking MS debuff, and increased attack speed.
With this combination we had to release the Storm drake first - there was no negotiating that. Having an increased attack speed mixed with the MS debuff was also a challenge, and this combination casued to to rethink our standard lineup. With no Bloodlust available, we tried to reduce the MT damage by releasing two drakes, plus holding the boss. This ended in tears and teeth gnashing, so we made a composition change.
Halfus is one of the only bosses we currently three heal, but last night we dropped back to two healing instead. While this might seem counter-intuitive if our tanks are getting rolled, it actually fits our healing model (Monger and I). By putting our 3rd healer back on Shadow DPS, it reduced the overall time that we had two drakes chained down. There wasn't an excessive amount of raid damage, so Monger could sit in his single target chakra (don't ask me what that is) with occasional raid heals if a shadow nova slipped through.
I will say that while this worked well, the healing was really tight. I never felt like I had an opportunity where I could safely use Divine Plea, but it was a great check to see if I was using all my other cooldowns well (I wasn't). There's obviously still a lot of room for my personal improvement, things I'll need to fix if I plan on being successful in heroic raids.
What this means
Is Halfus tough? You bet. With the right combination of drakes he can be extremely taxing for some guilds. I don't think the fight is overly complicated though. There are certainly more complicated fights in the game, and even those aren't too tough to understand. Execution is a different story obviously.
There's a lot of talk right now about Halfus being too tough, or overly complicated, becuase every week the boss add composition changes. Some compositions can be easier than others, depending on your group makeup and raid size.