I apparently have had my blog closed in my tabs list for a while…completely unplanned! There’s been a lot going on IRL and in WoW, so I’m finally having some down time to actually do some writing! So let’s talk prot as it currently stands in Mists of Pandaria!
I’ve been 90 for a while now, and have wrapped up my 3rd week of raiding Mogu’shan Vaults on Tuesday. My raid team is currently 3/6, while I have gone 4/6 in pugs and have devoted lots of time to Elegon. Prot paladins are at a weird point in WoW, which can make an introduction to the class a touch challenging for new players.
In Cataclysm, paladins were very easily able to to CTC cap. CTC stands for Combat Table Coverage. In short terms, it was your ability to push hits off the table. The magic number was 102.4% and was a combination of the 5% chance to miss, your block, and your avoidance stats. Prot paladins were able to cap easily due to how Mastery worked with our spec. Blizzard decided that they didn’t like how easily paladins reached the 102.4% sweet spot, so they shared that they would modify the ability for any class to CTC cap, making it impossible to occur in Mists.
CTC capping was why you started seeing end-game raiding paladins gemming pure Stamina instead of hybrid gems. We had gotten to the point that we were shedding mitigation stats for avoidance and stamina. Much fun was had in LFR being called a “stamina stacking idiot” by armchair tanks who had no clue how to play the class.
Now, Mists has thrown a wrench into the entire gearing scheme. In the past, Mastery was king for us. We cared little for hit or expertise. Dodge and Parry weren’t bad, but we really REALLY wanted that Mastery. So now what do we look for?
Well, it depends on your gearing scheme. Theck, over at Sacred Duty, has done a ton of Matlab simulations to determine what is going to benefit paladins the most.
We already know that expertise and hit matter. Blizzard told us that with the change to active mitigation (AM), we will value these stats. Simply put, if our attacks don’t land, then we can’t mitigate hits from bosses.
My stat priority is as follows:
Expertise hard cap (5100) > Hit hard cap (2550) > Haste > Mastery > Dodge/Parry
Yes, haste is my next focus after I expertise and hit cap. Why am I stacking haste as a tank? Haste means more hits during a fight, meaning more DPS thanks to Vengeance. Expertise means more hits actually landing, which means we are generating holy power at a regular rate, which we are spending on Shield of the Righteous.
You can choose to swap Haste and Mastery in the priority list, depending on how you are choosing to gear. The lowest priority for you is your avoidance stats. They just aren’t worth it. As Theck states at the end of his post:
Shifting that dodge and parry into hit, expertise, and mastery or haste can reduce the likelihood of 80% spikes by a factor of 3 and that 90% spike by a factor of 100. While we can’t say that this makes you 3x of 100x more survivable, it’s pretty clear that abandoning avoidance is a large survivability increase. You’re choosing to preferentially eliminate the most dangerous events at the cost of a little more throughput damage, and I think any healer will tell you that’s a good trade.
If your mind can take tables and a lot of math, Theck’s post, Damage Smoothing: Expertise, Mastery, and Haste is a must read. Also take a moment to check out the first post on the topic, Avoidance, Mitigation, and Damage Smoothing.
Since our gearing priorities have changed, it means that our gear options are completely crazy too. I assembled a BiS list for Dragon Soul and shared it in this blog. I took the time to assemble a “possible tank gear list” after our first week of raiding, and it’s linked from the Excel graphic on the right. As my guild and raid team have discovered, spreadsheets are my answer to everything! Gear is sortable by slot (at some point I’ll make it sortable by raid boss). Bolded gear is what I am targeting for my BiS list. Items that have been lined out are pure avoidance pieces and should be avoided at all costs. None of the gear on this spreadsheet has crit. I dismissed every piece of gear with crit on it as DPS loot (because it is).
If you have any questions about the spreadsheet, feel free to hit me up in the comments or on Twitter!
This is a bit up in the air right now. My recommendation is to hybrid gem, working to assist in your hard capping of expertise and hit. I’m currently using Guardian’s Imperial Amethysts in my red and blue sockets, and Forceful Wild Jades in my yellows. My gemming will adjust as I reach my caps.
Here’s the list of enchants:
|Shoulders||Greater Ox Horn Inscription||+300 Stamina and +100 Dodge|
|Back||Enchant Cloak – Greater Protection||+200 Stamina|
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Superior Stamina||+300 Stamina|
|Wrists||Enchant Bracer – Dodge||+170 Dodge|
|Hands||Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery||+170 Mastery|
|Legs||Ironscale Leg Armor||+430 Stamina and +165 Dodge|
|Feet||Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step||+140 Mastery and increased run speed|
|Shield||Enchant Shield – Greater Parry||+170 Parry|
Enchanters should be making sure they are enchanting their rings with [Enchant Ring - Greater Stamina], which adds +240 stamina to each ring. Jewelcrafters will want to be making use of their JC only gems.
Call me lazy, or let me tell you that I have a lot going on during raids that pulls my attention elsewhere, but I use WeakAuras to keep my attacks front and center on my screen so I can be aware of my cooldowns. Theck has been kind enough to keep sharing his WeakAuras strings on his blog. Scroll down to the bottom of his Tankadin WeakAuras Strings: 5.0.5 post for the strings to copy into the addon.
This makes my life infinity easier because I have it right in the center of my screen, so it’s a quick glance to see when I need to refresh Sacred Shield or if wings are coming off CD.
When Enveloping Shadows wants bosses dead, we’ll get bosses dead. Past experience has proven that we can put our minds into this zen state and steamroll through content that we may have been dragging our feet on earlier. ES saw Heroic Zon’ozz and Hagara fall on the same night, completely unplanned, but quickly doable once we buckled down and focused.
Which is why, in the grand scheme of things, our July 31st and August 1st raids don’t surprise me at all.
The Final Countdown
The team showed up, energetic and ready to get more attempts on Heroic Spine. We had been getting to third plate with regularity, but hadn’t been able to hold it all together long enough to beat the encounter. We rolled through 6/8 Heroics, with only a mild hiccup on Skittles (something about a Blood DK out-healing a druid by 80%). The team blew through Heroic Gunship, and our raid leader gave us a quick reminder of our Heroic Spine strat before we were parachuted down onto Deathwing’s back.
We lost a healer early on, but we kept pushing through the plates. The tanks were making changes to our strat on the fly, adjusting as we found rhythm to a fight we’ve been working on sporadically for months. And then, after almost 3 months of beating our heads against Heroic Spine, the DPS popped that final plate off and achievements lit up my screen.
There was a pause for screaming in Mumble, and then we were on the platforms for Madness. And we all paused, realizing that probably no one had looked at the strat. Our raid leader called for a 10 minute break for people to go read up, relax, or see family after our Heroic Spine 1-shot, so that they could come back to their PCs and be ready to push ahead on Madness.
I remember glancing at the clock, my mind still unable to process that we 1-shot Spine, realizing we were about to attempt the final fight of this raid tier, and it wasn’t even 9p.
Descent into Madness
The raid team reconvened, people still in shock that we had 1-shot Spine, and I quickly began discussing survivability with my cotank. We decided to “wing it” and see what would happen for impales as we tossed around cooldown ideas. Our raid leader gave a quick rundown of the fight and we gave it a go (or 5). The beginning fights were discovering just how squishy I was on impales–quick trinket/glyph swapping, and we were back in business. (Quick note: Blood Death Knights are SUCH a broken class. My cotank takes an impale and drops to 95% health while I’m freaking out as the healers are recovering from me dropping to 40%. Blahblahblah nerf DKs =P) When we called our attempts for the night, we were clearing to platform 4 without issue, so we knew we had it in the bag on our next raid night.
The team showed up on Wednesday, ready to take Deathwing down once and for all. Our Holy priest had spec swapped after the previous raid to give Disc a go. Our warriors respecc’d for slows, I tweaked my glyphing even more, and we knuckled down for more attempts. We saw a .5% wipe and knew that we had the fight down. We would have had a kill on that attempt, but one of our legendary staff wielders DC’d on one of the platforms and we just couldn’t recover before the enrage hit.
No speeches by yours truly (running joke from H. Gunship–Miri would give a fail pep talk and we’d down the boss on the next attempt, so the speech became a requirement for H. Gunship kills), instead you could feel the energy of the team in Mumble–they were ready for the kill! We zoned back in, focused, and away we went!
It was one of those moments, just like on Heroic Spine, where the achievements caught me off guard! On Spine I was wrangling bloods and had no clue what the tendon was at. On Madness I was slowing bloods so that we could push more DPS to end the fight. Neither time did I know health percentages, so when my screen lit up with Heroic Madness, I screamed for the second time in two days!
With the entire team standing, not a single death, we beat the enrage by almost 40 seconds! We were ecstatic! We doled out loot (Gurth and Kiril), and in typical ES fashion handed the drake to one of our druids.
We learned Madness, start to finish, in under 4 hours. We beat the tier, the expansion, and we still had hours left of raid. The team was let go early to go celebrate, and I raised a shot glass several times in toast to the team that achieved the kill.
Of course, finishing off Deathwing once and for all netted many of the raiders their Glory of the Dragon Soul Raider, so we had to go pose for pictures!
It feels good to complete a raid tier when it’s still current content. It feels even better to complete an expansion’s final boss. Wrapping up Dragon Soul gives me closure to move on to MoP–a chapter that I am more than willing to let become a memory. Dragon Soul meant much to ES; our raid team shrunk from 25 to 10. Our raid leaders changed, our comp was continuously evolving. And still we persevered. The team banded together and supported each other through the entire tier, proving that 10 people with goals can achieve anything–even in a video game.
A big thanks and a massive congrats to my raid team. I look forward to us tackling MoP together in the near future!
I’ve been incredibly busy since I came back from travel in April. Work has been a massive time sink–I’ve been training new team members and trying to get better control of my crazy work life–because, well, at some point, I don’t want to be working 12+ hour days.
That being said, I relocated in May, and now spend 14 hours a week commuting (2 days a week). If you ever doubted my sanity, this should erase any question of doubt!
I’m still raiding with Enveloping Shadows 2 nights a week. We are currently wiping on Heroic Spine, and most nights end with me not even able to fathom where our weak point is (I have some ideas, but I’m still unsure). A lot of raid frustration is around the fact that our second staff (AKA, Staff 2.0), vanished from the game within a couple weeks of the team completing the second legendary (Staff 1.0 did the same thing). We currently cross our fingers at night that all 10 will sign on to raid because we don’t have any members on stand by. It’s a touch rough!
I haven’t given Beta much time, which annoys me to no end! I love playing it, and finally feel somewhat in tune with the new Paladin stuff, but I just haven’t had the time.
Most of my free time (what little there is) has been going to Diablo 3, where my Wizard is playing around in Nightmare level. I die a lot, but it’s fun She’s the only character I’ve played in D3, and I think I’ll be taking her up to Inferno before I consider rolling an “alt.”
I’m still on Twitter, though not as much as I was in the past. Usually because I’m so damn busy right now (which I’m hoping will change at the end of the month).
I’ve been studying for my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and I’m testing at the end of the month. It’s a 4-hour test after 4 days of boot camp, so I’m hoping I can pull this off and cross it off my list before fiscal year ends!
I just returned from a jaunt to NC to do some teaming with my coworkers and meet the engineers who I abuse mercilessly on a daily basis. It was a great time to kick back, play some Kick Ball (yes, there are pictures), Bowl, drink, and eat a ton of sushi! My team is reorg’ing our business focus and alignment, as we are part of a service that no other company can offer to my customer base, so I’ve been doing a lot of design support at the ground level. I took on the massive redevelopment of our internal support space, so I will have my arms full with that for a bit–it’s a godsend that my Director supports my random goals and helps me out when I need it. We’ll see if this paves the way for some new role alignments in the future. I’ve been pondering a relo to NC in the next couple years but if I can put a support structure in place and maintain an escalation point for my greater team from the comfort of my home office (with little to no travel unless management requests), then I will be happy. We’ll see–this is the time where I have more flexibility to push for things that benefit me.
Anyway–it’s safe to say that very few of you give a shit about my private life, but I did want to let you know that I am still playing WoW (though not at the levels I used to, see above for reasoning) and that there are more blog posts in the pipeline!
Almost a month ago, I question was posed to me on Formsrping regarding Paladin BiS gear in Dragon Soul. The question was:
You mind showing the BiS gemmed and enchanted so we can get an idea?
It has been sitting flagged in my inbox begging me to take action, and my massive delay makes me feel pretty bad. Suffice to say, there’s a lot of craziness going on in my personal/professional life that won’t be settling out until the end of this month (but that’s another blog post). So the fact that I was able to pour a drink on a Friday night and run numbers with a friend was relaxing. And thus, this post was born!
Here is our quick and dirty findings for a Paladin BiS list in Dragon Soul. Our goals:
- Stamina stacking for the hardest heroic fights in Dragon Soul (Gunship and Spine)
- Maintaining a large amount of avoidance
- CTC capping (or close to)
The end result was almost obscene. Raid buffed (Devo Aura, Horn of Winter, Mark of the Wild, Fortitude, Steelskin, Feast Buff, stacked trinket), I was looking at the following numbers:
- 260,459 health
- 44,358 Armor
- 2,225 Dodge Rating (20.07%)
- 3,456.83 Parry Rating (20.60%)
- 56.82% Block Chance
- 45.67% Avoidance
- 102.49% CTC
I needed a moment after I saw those avoidance numbers…
Anyway, on to the gear list!
Note: Raz is a JC/Enchanter, so this list reflects those professions. The only difference is that a non-JC/non-Enchanter player will have a smaller health pool.
|Faceguard of Eternal Glory (410)||Eternal Shadowspirit Diamond
Solid Deepholm Iolite
Arcanum of the Earthen Ring
|Guardspike Choker (397)|
|Brackenshell Shoulderplates (410)||Solid Deepholm Iolite||
Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz
Dodge -> Mastery
|Indefatigable Greatcloak (397)||Solid Deepholm Iolite||
Enchant Cloak – Protection
Expertise -> Mastery
|Chestguard of Radiant Glory (410)||Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Deepholm Iolite
Enchant Chest – Greater Stamina
|Graveheart Bracers (410)||Solid Deepholm Iolite||
Enchant Bracer – Superior Dodge
|Handguards of Radiant Glory (410)||Solid Deepholm Iolite||
Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery
Hit -> Mastery
|Goriona’s Collar (410)||Puissant Elven Peridot
Solid Deepholm Iolite
Dodge -> Mastery
|Legguards of Radiant Glory (410)||Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Chimera’s Eye
Drakehide Leg Armor
Dodge -> Mastery
|Stillheart Warboots (410)||Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Deepholm Iolite
Enchant Boots – Mastery
|Curled Twilight Claw (410)||Solid Deepholm Iolite||
Enchant Ring – Greater Stamina
Hit -> Parry
|Hardheart Ring (410)||Solid Deepholm Iolite||
Enchant Ring – Greater Stamina
|Indomitable Pride (410)|
|Resolve of Undying (416)|
|Blackhorn’s Mighty Bulwark (410)||Puissant Elven Peridot
Solid Chimera’s Eye
Enchant Shield – Mastery
Dodge -> Parry
|Stoutheart Talisman (397)||Solid Chimera’s Eye||
Mastery -> Dodge
This may get tweaked a bit more, but that’s what I’m currently targeting!
Last Friday I stumbled into Beta, having to wrap my mind around all the changes I was seeing on my screen. And we’re not even talking talents yet! I haven’t played with a stock UI setup since late Vanilla, so it’s safe to say my mind was blown as I figured out key binds and mouseover macros to get the job done! Once settled, I was finally able to sit down and try out Prot. This will be the first in a series of discussions about the ongoing changes to Prot on the Beta realms, so be on the lookout for additional posts!
In this build I’ll be discussing the spells that have been removed, the new spells we’ve gained, and the glyph changes, so let’s get started!
A moment of silence for these fine souls. I do miss them, and without them, I do feel lacking as a Paladin!
- Divine Guardian – Yep, our T13 4pc is of little use now
- Righteous Defense
- Divine Plea – Holy only
- Hammer of Wrath – Ret only
The New Kids
Not all of these are Prot, but I’m listing all the new options for completeness.
- Speed of Light – Charge style talent without the required target that Warriors have with charge. Also a longer CD than the warrior’s 15 second wait. Uses the same spell ID as the Holy 4th tier talent.
- Fist of Justice – a shorter CD and double the range of Hammer of Justice.
- Burden of Guilt - Judgments now slow the target.
- Eternal Flame – A 30 second HoT that ticks 10 times before expiring.
- Hand of Purity – Reduces damage of periodic effects by 70% for 6 seconds.
- Unbreakable Spirit – When DS/DP/LoH are on CD, spending HP will reduce the remaining CD by 1% per HP spent, up to a 50% reduction.
- Clemency – Reminds me of a Hunter’s Readiness spell. Finishes the CDs on all your Hand spells.
- Holy Avenger – Any spell that generates HP will generate 3 charges of HP for 20 seconds.
- Sanctified Wrath – For Protection, this removes the CD on Judgment when you have wings up.
- Holy Prism – Can be cast on a party member or a mob, which heals or damages (heals friendlies, damages mobs).
- Light’s Hammer – AoE spell that harms mobs and heals your party members.
- Execution Sentence – Damages the mob underneath for 10 seconds and then provides a final burst of damage. If cast on a party member, it becomes Stay of Execution, which heals instead of causing damage.
Formerly Ret-Only spells now available for Tankadins:
- Repentance – Current – Beta
- Selfless Healer – Current – Beta
- Sacred Shield – Current – Beta
- Divine Purpose – Current – Beta
So glyphs are undergoing a major rework in MoP and Prime glyphs are basically out. I figured it would be easiest to work with what we will have and compare between current glyphs and what they look like in Beta. I’ve listed the glyphs as they appear in Beta with their spell ID, and what that spell ID equates to on live realms and what the glyph does in Beta.
Mists of Pandaria
|(Glyph of Shield of the Righteous) – Increases the damage of Shield of the Righteous by 10%||Increases the damage of Shield of the Righteous by 50% but reduces the amount it blocks by 20%|
|Reduces the mana cost of your Crusader Strike by 30%||Reduces the mana cost of your Crusader Strike by 30%|
|(Glyph of Crusader Strike) – Increases the critical strike chance of Crusader Strike by 5%||While Avenging Wrath is active, you are healed for 2% of your maximum health every 4 seconds|
|(Glyph of Exorcism) – Your Exorcism causes an additional 20% of its damage over 6 seconds||Your Blinding Light now knocks down targets for 3 seconds instead of Blinding them|
|Increases the duration and cooldown of Consecration by 20%||You can now target Consecration anywhere within 25 yards|
|Your Avenger’s Shield now also dazes targets||Your Avenger’s Shield now also dazes targets for 10 seconds|
|Removes the physical damage reduction of your Divine Protection, but increases the magical damage reduction by 20%||Reduces the magical damage reduction of your Divine Protection to 20% but adds 20% physical damage reduction|
|(Glyph of Judgement) – Your Judgement deals 10% more damage.||Judging a target increases the damage of your next Judgment by 0%, but only if used on a different second target|
|Your Avenger’s Shield hits 2 fewer targets, but for 30% more damage||Your Avenger’s Shield hits 2 fewer targets, but for 30% more damage|
Hammer of the Righteous
|Increases the damage of both the physical and Holy components of Hammer of the Righteous by 10%||The physical damage reduction caused by Hammer of the Righteous now lasts 50% longer|
|(Glyph of Hammer of Justice) – Increases your Hammer of Justice range by 5 yards||Your Holy Wrath now also stuns Elementals and Dragonkin|
|(Glyph of Seal of Truth) – Your Seal of Truth and Seal of Righteousness also grant 10 expertise while active||Increases the instant damage done by Seal of Truth by 20%, but decreases the damage done by Censure by 50%|
|Reduces the mana cost of Rebuke by 100%||Increases the cooldown by 5 seconds and lockout by 2 seconds of Rebuke|
Word of Glory
|Increases the healing done by Word of Glory by 10%||Increases your damage by 10% for 6 seconds after you cast Word of Glory|
Fire From the Heavens
|(Glyph of Justice) – Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Justice by 50%||Your Judgment and Hammer of Wrath critical call down fire from the sky|
The Luminous Charger
|(Glyph of Righteousness) – Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Righteousness by 50%||Your paladin class mounts glow with Holy Light|
Seal of Blood
|(Glyph of Truth) – Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Truth by 50%||Your Seal of Truth now uses the Seal of Blood visual|
The Mounted King
|(Glyph of Blessing of Might) – Reduces the mana cost of your Blessing of Might by 50%||Mounting a paladin mount automatically casts Blessing of Kings on you|
|(Glyph of Insight) – Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Insight by 50%||Your Avenging Wrath depicts 4 wings|
|NEW||Your judgment spell depicts an exe or sword instead of a hammer, if you have an axe or sword equipped|
|NEW||You slow fall during Avenging Wrath|
|NEW||Holy Wrath only affects one target|
|NEW||During Divine Shield, you can invoke your Hearthstone 50% faster|
Lots of changes are going on with Paladins! In the next Beta post, I’ll cover the changes to the timers on our “rotation” and do a review of my current talent choices. I’ll also see if I can have a recording of the newest dungeon, Temple of the Jade Serpent, from my POV.
A warped mass of molten hatred and unfathomable power, this formless, mindless horror cannot be stopped. Whatever was left of Neltharion the Earth-Warder is long gone, his mind and soul corrupted and devoured by his Old God masters. All this monstrous being desires is destruction, annihilation, and an end of all things. ~ Dungeon Journal
The first time you complete the Madness of Deathwing it is a breathless experience that will make you play on your toes. In fact, you can read my enthusiasm from when we downed him back in December here in my post entitled “Destroyer’s End.”
The only excitement in the fight for me now is when I forget to change one of my macros from a previous raid and I kill myself. But anyway…let’s talk Madness!
The Madness of Deathwing is a 2 phase fight that involves your raid team, the Dragon Aspects, and Thrall. When you arrive at the Maelstrom, you will discover the 4 platforms that the fight takes place on. Each platform belongs to a different Dragon Aspect and starting the fight with the raid on a different platform than the one Thrall is located on changes the difficulty of the fight substantially. In this guide, I will review the “standard” kill order, but you can always change it up!
Once you “kill” each of Deathwing’s limbs on the 4 platforms, the fight transitions into Phase 2, during which your raid fights Deathwing’s head for the final 20%. Succeed in your attempts and you will officially become the “Destroyer’s End.”
Each Dragon Aspect (and Thrall) provide your team with a buff to succeed and finally banish Deathwing from Azeroth. Their buffs are as follows (done by order of platform, far left to right):
- Alexstraza – The red dragon buffs your raid with Alexstraza’s Presence, which increases your health by 20%. She also casts Cauterize, which damages the tentacles that sprout from Deathwing’s limbs over 5 seconds and reduced the damage taken by the Corrupted Blood.
- Nozdormu – The bronze dragon grants Nozdormu’s Presence, which increases haste by 20%. Nozdormu also creates a yellow swirling circle on the platform, called Time Zone, which slows the Elementium Bolt that is cast at the platform and slows any mobs’ attack speed by 50% when fought within the zone.
- Ysera – The green dragon buffs healing by 20% with the Ysera’s Presence. She also provides a spell, a la Ultraxion, called Enter the Dream, which decreases all damage taken by 50% for 2 seconds.
- Kalecgos – The new leader of the Blues grants the Kalecgos’ Presence, which increases all damage done to Deathwing and his minions by 20%. Kalecgos also buffs the raid with Spellweaving, which causes roughly 23K Arcane damage to enemies within 6 yards, but excludes your current target.
- Thrall – While not a dragon, Thrall’s Carrying Winds will move players between the platforms (sometimes this fails) and increase the raid’s movement speed by 60% for 10 seconds.
Deathwing – Phase 1
The following are the various things that Deathwing will “toss” at the raid as you work your way across the platforms. Each platform faces the same enemies, but how they are dealt with depends on which Dragon Aspect(s) you have left. The order they are listed is the order that they appear during the fight.
- Assault Aspect – Deathwing casts this as soon as the fight begins and looks for the platform with the largest number of players and a platform that still has a limb attached to it.
- Arm/Wing Tentacle – The main attention grabber on the platform, your raid will focus on the tentacle when there is nothing else to kill. The tentacle casts Burning Blood, which causes Fire damage on the raid every 2 seconds. The damage gets worse as the Tentacle’s health decreases, so healers will need to be aware that healing will require more attention the lower the health of the Tentacle. Twice during the fight, at 70% and 40%, the tentacle sprouts Blistering Tentacles from it’s arm. These cannot be AoE’d and they attack with Blistering Heat, an ability that deals 2500 Fire damage every 2 seconds and increases damage by 2 every stack. When Alexstraza is active, she will be killing the Blistering Tentacles for your raid.
- Mutated Corruption – A bonus tentacle that will spawn in the back of the platform. This tentacle is picked up by the tanks and all DPS should switch to it immediately. The tanks swap when the Mutated Corruption casts Impale, but they must use a personal cooldown as Impale hits it’s targeted tank for 400K (physical) damage. Impale is channeled over 4 seconds before the hit lands. The Mutated Corruption also attacks the raid with Crush, which causes 100K (physical) damage in a conal attack. Your raid should spread out and not stack behind each other to reduce the chance of this affecting a large amount of your team. Once the Mutated Corruption is dead, your raid team will swap back to Deathwing’s limb.
- Elementium Bolt – The Elementium Bolt is slowed by Nozdormu’s Time Zone, but without the golden circle, it comes crashing into the platform and deals roughly 390K Fire damage to all players in range. The bolt will continue to pulse 390K Fire damage every 5 seconds until it is destroyed. It is recommended to focus the bolt as soon as it appears so it can either die before it hits the platform or soon after it lands. If your team can move quickly from the bolt’s landing location, they can reduce the damage they take when it collides with the platform.
- Hemorrhage – Once per platform, Deathwing’s tentacle will hemorrhage, causing Regenerative Blood to spawn. Bloods gain 10 energy every second, and when their energy reaches capacity, they heal themselves back to full. These are a high priority to kill with AoE because they are also casting Degenerative Bite, a stacking debuff which causes roughly 1500 Shadow damage every second for 10 seconds.
- Cataclysm – Deathwing will begin channeling Cataclysm as time progresses on each platform. Cataclysm is basically a hard enrage timer that is pushed back every time a limb is destroyed. If you fail to kill the limb in time, Deathwing will 1-shot your raid.
Once you destroy the limb on your platform, Deathwing becomes stunned and 20% of his health is whittled away. This is how Deathwing is at 20% health when you enter Phase 2.
Deathwing – Phase 2
Once your team lands on Ysera’s platform, the DPS race is on. Your raid will begin to attack Deathwing’s head, trying to deal as much damage as they can until the following adds spawn:
- Elementium Fragments – Three fragments will spawn in a 10-man raid. They will spawn at various spots on the platform, sometimes grouping up, sometimes spread out. Your DPS must switch to them immediately and burn them down. The fragments will debuff random members of the raid with Shrapnel, a spell that deals roughly 200K of unresistable physical damage. When players are targeted by Shrapnel, it is best if they make use of Ysera’s buff to Enter the Dream.
- Elementium Terror – Two Elementium Terrors spawn on the platform and must be picked up by the tanks. The melee attacks apply the Tetanus debuff onto the tanks, which inflict roughly 60K physical damage and an additional 20K physical damage every second. The Tetanus debuff stacks, and thus the adds must be killed off quickly to avoid the loss of a tank.
- Corrupted Blood – Applies a debuff that inflicts Fire damage on the raid every 2 seconds. When Deathwing hemorrhages at 15%, 10%, and 5%, the damage done by Corrupted Blood is increased.
Here’s how I handle Madness:
- Platform Order:
- Ysera (where you land)
- Nozdormu (left)
- Alexstraza (more left)
- Kalecgos (all the way right)
- DPS begin work on Limb.
- DPS/tanks switch to Mutated Corruption when it spawns.
- Tanks swap when Impale goes out.
- DPS swap to Elementium Bolt when it spawns.
- Finish off Bolt, finish off Mutated Corruption if it’s not already dead.
- AoE Regenerative Blood when they spawn.
- Kill Limb.
Platform 4 is handled a bit differently and is usually dependent on your raid’s DPS:
- DPS land on platform and stand around until Mutated Corruption spawns.
- DPS kill Mutated Corruption.
- DPS kill Elementium Bolt.
- DPS stand around and /dance while they wait for the Regenerative Blood to spawn.
- DPS kill Regenerative Blood.
- DPS kill Limb.
- Raidwall each time an Elementium Bolt gets ready to land.
- Cooldown order for Impales (note: these CDs allow you to take no damage from the impale, resulting in much love from your healers):
These are my picks, YMMV.
Not going to lie, I squealed like a little girl when I saw this screen this afternoon.
It got a great response from @Vosskah:
— Vosskah (@Vosskah) March 30, 2012
Then there was the humor involved when I told Mal:
I’m glad to report that my cotank has also made it into beta, so we’re going to go tear up content together!
If there is anything that anyone would like for me to test in regards to Paladins, please let me know! I will be messing around with all specs, but focusing on Prot (as expected).
Posts will soon follow about Beta discoveries!
When Deathwing first channeled the Dragon Soul’s power against the other flights, the massive energies that were unleashed threatened to break apart his very body. Rather than forgo this weapon, he had adamantium plates fused to his scales to hold his body together. Later reinforced with elementium, these plates are now his weakness–the sole vulnerability to Deathwing’s lethal presence. ~Dungeon Journal
I’d be lying if I said that this fight was fun. I think a good amount of my delay in writing this guide has to do with just how boring this fight (and Madness as well) is on normal. Anyway, I’m I completionist and I have two fights left to cover, so let’s get through Spine of Deathwing. –M
Spine is exactly what it sounds like: the entire fight takes place on Deathwing’s back, during which you’re loosening (and removing) the plates that hold his body together, while killing the various things that spawn from his back.
If you have a weak stomach, it’s best not to think about what you’re killing on his back. It may make you squeamish.
Spine of Deathwing is a single phase fight that you must execute the same strategy three times before you are able to move on to the final fight of the raid, Madness of Deathwing.
Deathwing himself only has one ability that you need to watch out for: Roll. If Deathwing senses that the raid team is standing on one side of his back, he will attempt to roll in order to remove the players from his back. This can be quickly corrected by having your raid team spread out across the middle of his back. When this is achieved, a message will flash on your screen that says “Deathwing levels out.”
The roll is very useful, and you will want to roll Deathwing regularly, usually once each time you release a plate (so three rolls a fight), in order to shed excess mobs from his back.
In 10-man, Deathwing is very sensitive and can roll very easily–so be aware!
When you first parachute down onto Deathwing’s back, there are 4 Corruptions that emerge from his body. While the Corruptions are alive, they prevent anything from exiting the 4 hole in Deathwing’s back, IE, the Hideous Amalgamations and the Corrupted Blood, the two things you need to remove the plates from his back. Once all Corruptions have been killed on Deathwing’s back, another will spawn randomly from one of the holes. When a plate is removed, 2 new Corruptions spawn, but once they are all killed, only one will return.
Corruptions have 2 abilities in the raid:
- Searing Plasma (Physical) – A debuff that is placed on one member of the raid at a time, Searing Plasma will absorb the first 200K healing done on the target, or will expire after 5 minutes, whatever comes first. When the debuff is on a target, it deals 10K damage every 10 seconds.
- Fiery Grip (Fire) – Fiery Grip is a stun that is cast on a random member of the raid (never a tank) which stuns them until the Corruption has been damaged. In order to break the grip, 20% of it’s health must be removed. While a player is immobilized by the Corruption, they take 60K damage every 3 seconds, which makes breaking the grip of utmost importance.
I find that it is easiest to assign a DPS to own the responsibility of breaking Fiery Grip off of players, and then we assign a back-up to that DPS in case they are gripped themselves. This makes sure that the damage meted on the Corruption is controlled so you don’t worry about bursting them down too quickly and gaining an extra Amalgamation. The Corruptions do not have a large health pool, so the grip can be broken with 1 or 2 hits.
When you need to roll Deathwing, everyone dives into a hole previously occupied by a Corruption. While in the hole, Grasping Tendrils appear, which basically locks you in place for the roll. You don’t want to remain in the spot for too long, because they slow all affected players’ movement speed by 35% and cause roughly 3K damage every 5 seconds unless you move away from them. When it comes time to perform a roll, it’s easiest to only “lock in” until you have shed the adds you need to remove and then run out.
Amalgamations have the following 3 abilities, listed in order that they will appear:
- Absorb Blood – The ability only occurs if the Amalgamation gets too close to a Residue from a Corrupted Blood. The Amalgamation is normally kited over a stack of Corrupted Bloods and gathers several stacks at once. Absorb Blood results in the Amalgamation dealing 10% more damage and attacking 20% faster. Once the Amalgamation has absorbed 9 stacks of Residue (thus dealing 90% more damage and attacking 180% faster) it becomes superheated.
- Superheated Nucleus (Fire) – When the Amalgamation reaches 9 stacks, it begins to pulse fire damage to everyone in the raid. Every 3 seconds the Amalgamation deals roughly 15K damage to each member of the raid. Your goal is to activate the Superheated mode when the Amalgamation is at low health to reduce the amount of time you are in this phase.
- Nuclear Blast (Fire) – When the Amalgamation‘s health pool reaches 0, the Amalgamation becomes immobile and begins to channel Nuclear Blast. Nuclear Blast deals roughly 375K damage to anyone within 8 yards and will basically one-shot members of your raid who haven’t moved. Since there is not a lot of space to gather once your team has moved away from the Amalgamation, it is usually wise to use raidwall here to reduce the fire damage. If the Amalgamation is positioned right, (in this case it should be right up against the plate) the explosion will pry up the plate and allow you to enter the first Plate Burn phase.
Elementium Reinforced Plates
The plates that hold Deathwing together also hide the final add you must defeat (3 times) in order to move on to the final fight of the tier.
Tucked under the Elementium Reinforced Plates lie the Burning Tendons. The tendons are the last thing holding Deathwing’s armor to his body. Once destroyed, the plate attached to Deathwing’s body will fly off and give you more space to continue the battle.
When the Amalgamation explodes, a Burning Tendon is exposed to the raid. The team has 23 seconds to destroy the tendon before it snaps the plate back onto Deathwing’s back and the entire Amalgamation phase must be repeated.
If your team is unable to defeat the tendon in the first attempt, it will not heal up. Your team will need to re-expose the tendon to finish it off.
It is worth noting that each plate contains two Burning Tendons, so if your raid team is unable to kill a tendon on the first attempt, you will want to make sure the next Amalgamation explosion loosens the plate on the same side again.
As I mentioned earlier, this fight is a rinse and repeat fight. The outline below is how we perform the fight each week in all it’s mind-numbing glory
- Destroy 3 Corruptions upon landing (we usually kill top Left, top Right, bottom Right.
- Lock in on the left side of Deathwing’s back and roll him to shake the Hideous Amalgamations loose. Make sure you have the Grasping Tendrils debuff (DBM shows this).
- Kill the final Corruption. Tank picks up Hideous Amalgamation and drags him to the front of Deathwing’s back.
- DPS begin to work on Amalgamation (usually melee). DPS assigned to break Fiery Grip (usually a hunter) performs task and assists ranged with AoEing Corrupted Bloods.
- Once Amalgamation reaches 40% health, Amalgamation tank takes him for a walk to the Residue left by the Corrupted Bloods. 40% is a random goal, but it can be done when the tank and healers are comfortable and done at different times to make sure no bloods are wasted. This is a big deal on the first plate because the bloods spawn so slowly.
- Tank repositions Amalgamation against one of the Elementium Reinforced Plates when 9 stacks are reached and DPS focus the Amalgamation down. All melee and tank run away from the exploding Amalgamation (8 yards).
- Once the plate lifts, all DPS attack the Burning Tendonto release plate. Our CD order for plates is as follows:
- Rinse and repeat. You will only want to have 1 Corruption up at any given time due to Fiery Grip.
- Raidwall each time your team is dealing with Nuclear Blast. Every little bit helps when people don’t move when they need to.
- Try not to fall asleep
These are my picks, YMMV.
Final option is a bit flexible, depending on your gearing and raid. My thoughts:
- Crusader Strike: Valid for fact that fight is a single mob fight. Increased crit results in more damage and a slightly faster boss death. This is good if you need some additional damage on the Burning Tendons.
- Judgement: Totally dependent on if you have the 2pc T13 bonus which grants you an absorb shield each time you judge. Basically you get a larger absorb, which helps to reduce healing required, but I haven’t looked to see how much of a bonus you get. Probably not worth it in the long run, but every little bit helps.
Pick whichever one you feel most comfortable with!
My logic: Focused Shield because it’s a single mob fight. Lay on Hands for the shorter duration (survivability again, but there’s really nothing stopping you from having a shorter CD on this “save your ass” spell). Divine Protection for the magic damage reduction.
I’m still alive, just tossing that out there. Stuff has been a bit crazy IRL, in guild, and everywhere in between. Things I still owe you guys:
- Updated Transmog ideas
- Spine & Madness strats (damn these fights are boring)
- H. Morchok and H. Ultrax quickie guides
- More posts where my cotank makes fun of me
- Miri on Guilds: Culture
- Then & Now meme
- Update on my Heroic 10s team
I’m sure there’s more, but that’s what I can think of. I’ve been writing a ton, but it hasn’t been blog related, so, sorry guys =\ Work has had me bashing people’s heads into walls and well…raids have been sorta having the same results. Something more like me bashing bosses into walls. And Heroic Ultrax sneaking in a 204K hit that I apparently couldn’t miss last night and went splat to because of an ill-timed Twilight Instability.
Anyway, usual excuses post. Lots of work travel for the remainder of the week but hopefully I’ll find a moment of clarity this weekend to post.
Enjoy the header, this was me on Ultrax last night, bitching about fashion woes, like all good Belfs do!
Also: cute Lofaz and Raz pic (I got “holy crap you REALLY are short” tonight when I shared it).
Quick and adorable post. I mentioned in heroics on Friday night the story behind Raz and my overwhelming desire for an Elwynn Lamb to “complete” an aspect of the character’s RP story. It was a comment made in passing, with no real thought aside from the comedic value of the character (and several unfortunate incidents for poor Kirian and Raz at various intervals in Dalaran).
While I was running a heroic on my warlock tonight, our healer asked if I had checked my mail on Raz this evening and I admitted I hadn’t. She recommended I sign him on before logging for the night and check my inbox.
So I did…and as I stood in Dalaran, I saw a mail from a friendly and fun mage I had run with the night before. And inside the mail, there was a lovely note and a gift wrapped package. My curiosity was heightened as I collected the package from my mail, and my jaw fell open when I saw what it contained. Inside the gift wrap was an Elwynn Lamb, just for Raz. There may have been tears in my eyes at such a thoughtful gesture from a member of Lightninghoof”s RP community. She was promptly tackled in tells with more thank yous than I think she ever expected.
And tonight, I signed off from WoW with a smile on my face. Never forget the community–in your guild, or on your realm. There truly are great people out there!
Thank you again Derodra, your kindness and your quick memory have earned you a spot in my heart and on my friends list!