Tanking Spine of Deathwing Part 1

Moving onto the big bad himself of the expansion, we come at last to some of the most interestingly designed encounters of the expansion and perhaps the game.

The fight with Deathwing will last through two entire boss encounters at the end of the Dragon Soul instance, the first of which we’ll be covering today which actually all takes place atop his back as he flies around, trying to shake you loose like a dog with fleas.

The majority of this fight doesn’t really have anything to do with Deathwing directly so much as it’s about dealing with the various adds that you’ll find atop the dragon.

There’s actually quite a lot to cover for these last two fights as they’re fairly complex encounters so we’ll be breaking this first fight atop his spine into two pieces.

So jumping right in, the fight will begin by initiating a cinematic event aboard the Skyfire. The fight essentially begins the second the first person cancels the cinematic sequence that will play once you start the event so you’ll want to make sure everyone’s on the same page about when to hit Esc and start the fight, be it right as soon as it starts or some arbitrary point in the middle.

In this first segment, we’ll be covering the adds that you’ll encounter throughout the fight.

The first are four large orange tentacles called Corruption. The corruption will either hit a couple random raid members with a debuff that will absorb a large amount of healing before being dispelled (200,000) or target a few random members with a stun that deals a large amount of damage over time.

The debuff can only be removed by healing past the shield or outlasting the 5m duration on it and the stun that it does can be stopped by burning through about a fifth of the corruptions HP.

The two other add types throughout the fight will be Corrupted Bloods and Hideous Amalgamations.

These adds will spawn once a corruption tentacle is killed and the larger Amalgamations will need to be tanked as they hit pretty hard.

When a Blood is killed, it’ll burst for a small amount of AoE damage and leave a small portion of itself on the ground that the Amalgamations can absorb if they’re close enough to it. Once a given Amalgamation has absorbed 9 Blood fragments, they’ll power up and start radiating a damaging fire aura that pulses to the raid every few seconds. Once you kill an Amalgamation that has been powered up in this way, they’ll channel a final spell where it self-destructs and loosens one of the armored plates on Deathwing’s back, provided that they explode near one of them.

The loosened plate can be released by attacking the tendon that it’s attached to which has the result of removing the plate as well as spawning two more Corruptions to begin the cycle anew.

And, of course, there’s Deathwing himself who doesn’t attack you directly but will try to shake you off his back as he flies around.

Having met the players, stay tuned next week where we go into how these disparate elements merge to form the happy encounter that I’m sure you won’t possibly be frustrated with after a week or two!