Nidhogg (Hard) dragons: grouped or separate?

After not playing my NIN in months (am a caster by heart) I decide to roll it and get reacquainted, and I do my trial roulette and get Nidhogg. I never meleed it and knew it would be tricky, because I actually have to pay attention to the aoes under him and when to get in and out for Trick Attack. I’ve done it 10 or so times as SMN, so I wasn’t really that worried.

Of course, I died to a couple of AoEs being so close, so I fine tune that. The dragon wave comes and we fail because a DPS goes down. We try again, and then I notice that the dragons were being clumped together. Someone goes down, gets rezzed, we still manage to pass the dps check, but then ultimately wipe during his final stage.

We try again, and get to the dragoons, and I’m trying to DPS the shadow dragon, and again, the other two dragons are stacked together and WHAM! I get sandwiched and died and then at that point, I say that the dragons need to be separated, because people are getting hit.
Then the ridicule begins. I don’t know what I’m talking about. The dragons need to be grouped together for AoE. Then I’m told constantly to watch a video. I’m trying to tell them every time I cleared, the dragons were separated, the runs go smoothly, but no, I’m wrong and told to watch a video again. I was blamed for not paying attention.

Ok, sure, if I’m in between three dragons, sure, I need to pay more attention to make sure I’m not facing one of them and getting cleaved, but then… why put anyone in a situation that puts them more at risk? Every time I did this trial since 3.3, they were separated, so since when did grouping them become the preferred the strat?

I’m pretty sure I wasn’t cleaved by the shadow dragon. I had my eyes on him the entire time. I was hit by other dragons. I can’t remember what my hp was, or if I got hit by both. And yeah, being grouped together can help with the DPS, but then if someone gets caught in the cross fire and goes down, that’s a guaranteed failed DPS check, so it’s not even worth it to do it that way, in my opinion.

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