Blackhand Detailed Strategy Guide (Heroic+Mythic Modes included)
Table of Contents
- +1. General Information
- +2. Summing Things Up
- 3. Overview of the Fight
- 4. The Environment
- +5. Phase One
- +6. Phase Two
- +7. Phase Three
- 8. When to Use Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp
- +9. Mythic Mode
- 10. Learning the Fight
- +11. Loot
- 12. Concluding Remarks
- 13. Changelog
This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Blackhand in Blackrock Foundry. It is targeted at anyone who desires to understand the fight mechanics.
This guide is updated for World of Warcraft WoD 6.1.2.
Blackhand is the final boss of the Blackrock Foundry raid instance, and also the final boss of Tier 17. The encounter is a 3-phase fight during which the raid will have to handle several different environmental challenges, as well as a number of adds.
Normal, Heroic, and Mythic Difficulty
This main part of this guide covers both the Normal and Heroic versions of the encounter, as far as mechanics and general strategy is concerned. The only difference between these two modes is found in the tuning, with Heroic being more difficult.
When we speak of extreme situations (such as the difficulty of a soft enrage timer, or damage from a certain source being too high to survive), we mostly refer to Heroic mode.
In addition to this, we have a specific Mythic mode section, where we present all the differences between Normal/Heroic and Mythic, as well as the strategy to defeat the Mythic encounter.
We do not currently know what the hard enrage timer for this encounter is. There do not seem to be any soft enrage mechanics in the fight.
Summing Things Up
In this section, we will very briefly summarise what the players belonging to each of the three roles have to do during this fight. This is by no means meant to provide sufficient information to master the encounter, and it is only supposed to give you a very rough idea of what to watch out for.
- Throughout the fight, face the boss away from other players so that they are not damaged or knocked back by Shattering Smash (or Massive Shattering Smash, in Phase Three).
- During Phases One and Two, the off-tank should taunt Blackhand when Shattering Smash knocks back his tank.
- During Phase One, tank Blackhand close to the Molten Slag.
- During Phase Two, Blackhand's tank should aim at being knocked up onto the ledge of the room, where they should damage and kill some of the Iron Soldiers located there.
- During Phase Three, tank Blackhand close to the edge of the platform, and kite him away from his most recent Slag Crater.
- In Mythic mode, the ideal strategy is for a designated tank to simply tank all the Siegemakers in the same place (the spawning location of the Supercharged Siegemaker). Subsequent Siegemakers should be kited to this tank.
- Beware of the high damage that the tank takes from each Shattering Smash (and Massive Shattering Smash, during Phase Three).
- During Phase One, beware of the damage the raid is likely to take during Demolition.
- During Phase Two, beware of the damage the raid will probably be taking from the Iron Soldiers.
- During Phase Three, beware of the increasing raid-wide damage from Overheated, and save some cooldowns for the end of the phase, when the damage is at its highest.
- In Mythic mode, healers will have to be ready for the increases in damage, particularly on players who are hit by Impaling Throw, as the bleed effect lasts indefinitely. This is unavoidable during Phase Three. The tank who is tanking the Siegemakers during Phase Two will also take extreme amounts of damage. Players affected by Burning Cinders during Phase Two should be dispelled.
- During Phase One, DPS Blackhand.
- During Phase Two:
- During Phase Three, DPS Blackhand.
- During Phase One:
- During Phase Two:
- During Phase Three:
- In Mythic mode, there are several changes in strategy that are
important to follow.
- During Phase One, the raid should move as a whole to control the placement of the falling debris areas caused by Demolition.
- During Phase Two, designated raid members (Hunters, Mages, and Rogues) will have to pick up the newly spawned Siegemakers and kite them over to the Siegemaker tank, while other raid members stay out of their way. During this phase, players will also have to intercept the fiery projectiles that land all over the room.
- During Phase Three, raid members will have to intercept the projectiles of Falling Debris to prevent the spawning of Slag Holes. This should only be done while strong defensive cooldowns are active.
Overview of the Fight
The encounter against Blackhand is a 3-phase fight, which will test your raid's ability to deal with various environmental challenges, in addition to the boss and two types of adds.
- Phase One lasts until Blackhand reaches 70% health. During this phase, you will face only Blackhand.
- Phase Two starts when Blackhand reaches 70% health, and it lasts until he reaches 30%. This phase takes place in a different room from Phase One, and you will have to deal with both Blackhand and with two types of adds.
- Phase Three starts when Blackhand reaches 30% health, and it lasts until he dies. This phase takes place in yet another room, different from the one where Phase Two takes place. You once again only face Blackhand at this time.
We do not have a video preview of the encounter against Blackhand, but we recommend this video by Midwinter. This is not a complete look at the fight, but it should still give you a good idea. Note that this is based on footage from the Warlords of Draenor Beta, so things can very well change before the fight reaches live servers.
Each of the three phases of the fight takes place in a different room, but the rooms are very similar. At the end of Phase One, Blackhand collapses the floor of the room. This causes the boss and the raid to fall a great distance to another room located below the first room. This is where Phase Two takes place, and at the end of this phase, Blackhand once again collapses the floor, causing the raid and himself to fall to the platform where the final phase takes place.
All 3 rooms are circular, and each has some specific environmental challenges which we will explain in the relevant sub-sections.
Phase One lasts until Blackhand reaches 70% health.
Blackhand uses several abilities against your raid. Aside from these abilities, Molten Slag slowly flows into the circular room in which the phase takes place. Molten Slag covers the floor, and it deals a small amount of Fire damage every 0.5 seconds to players standing in it. The damage that Molten Slag deals increases by 50% every 0.5 seconds.
The Molten Slag progressively covers the room, starting at the outer edge and expanding inward towards the center. This will restrict your raid's space as the phase goes on, and it acts as a sort of soft enrage for the phase, since if you take too long to push Blackhand into Phase Two, the Molten Slag will kill everyone (after roughly 2 minutes).
Below, you will find Blackhand's abilities.
- Shattering Smash is an ability that Blackhand uses regularly throughout this phase. He targets a 5-yard radius in front of him, and, after a few seconds, he deals a massive amount of Physical damage split between all players in that radius. Players who are hit by Shattering Smash are knocked back a great distance, their threat is cleared, and they are stunned for 3 seconds. This ability requires a tank switch.
- Demolition is an ability that Blackhand uses regularly throughout this phase. After casting Demolition, pieces of debris will fall from the ceiling at the locations of random raid members. The locations are marked a few seconds in advance. When debris lands at these locations, it deals a small amount of Physical damage to any players in a 12-yard radius, with the damage being lower the farther away an enemy is from the point of impact. Additionally, a few large pieces of debris will fall during this time ( Massive Demolition). These deal very high raid-wide Physical damage when they land, with the damage once again being lower the farther away an enemy is from the point of impact. These large pieces of debris leave behind Debris Piles. These objects persist until they are destroyed, either by the Molten Slag reaching them, or by being hit by Impaling Throw (explained below).
- Marked for Death is an ability that Blackhand uses
regularly throughout this phase. He marks a random raid member, and 5 seconds
later he casts Impaling Throw at that player. While marked, the
player's movement speed is increased by 30%.
- Impaling Throw throws a projectile in the direction of the marked player, which impacts the Debris Pile or player in its path. If Impaling Throw hits a Debris Pile, it destroys the pile and it deals no damage. If it hits a player, it deals a very high amount of Physical damage to them (which ignores armor), knocks them back, and causes them to bleed every 3 seconds for 45 seconds.
- Throw Slag Bombs is an ability that Blackhand uses regularly throughout this phase. He throws bombs at random locations on the floor around himself, which arm themselves after 3 seconds. These bombs persist on the ground until they are triggered, either by contact with a raid member or with the Molten Slag. When a bomb is triggered, it deals a very high amount of Fire damage in a 10-yard radius, debuffing affected players with Slagged, which increases damage taken by 100% for 15 seconds.
The strategy for Phase One is not very complicated. We will first summarise it, and then we will go into more details.
- Tank Blackhand close to the outside of the room (near the Molten Slag). This will cause the Throw Slag Bombs bombs to spawn close to the Molten Slag, and be detonated by it.
- Whenever Blackhand casts Shattering Smash on his tank, the other tank must taunt the boss.
- When Demolition is cast, players must avoid the falling debris.
- Players who are targeted by Marked for Death should move in such a way that the Impaling Throw will hit a Debris Pile.
Your raid has a limited amount of time to push Blackhand to 70% health before the Molten Slag expands too much. After about 2 minutes, the safe area in the center of the room will be so small that it is not possible to avoid mechanics any longer.
Finally, it should go without saying that all players should avoid standing in the Molten Slag at all times.
Tanking and Positioning
Throughout the fight, the off-tank will have to taunt Blackhand whenever his tank is knocked back (and their threat cleared) by Shattering Smash. Regarding Shattering Smash, it is important to note that the knock-back distance is very high, so it is advisable to take a position that will not result in being knocked back into an area with a lot of Molten Slag. Early on in the phase, this means that you should aim to be thrown across the room, but later on, as the Molten Slag expands, this will no longer really be viable.
Since Shattering Smash deals damage in an area in front of the boss, tanks have to be careful not to face the boss into the melee group.
As far as where to tank Blackhand, it is ideal to keep him close to the Molten Slag. This is because he spawns the Throw Slag Bombs bombs close to himself, and by tanking him close to the Molten Slag these bombs will be taken out by the slag, and your raid will not need to avoid them for a long time.
When Demolition is cast, everyone will have to avoid the falling debris as much as possible. There is a lot of debris, so the raid will be taking damage at this time, something that the healers must be prepared for. Towards the end of the phase, when the space in the room is heavily restricted by the Molten Slag, players will have a much harder time to avoid the debris, so raid damage will go up.
The large pieces of debris from Massive Demolition must be avoided at all costs, since their damage is very high. Moving away from these impact locations is a high priority during Demolition.
Marked for Death
Handling Marked for Death is quite straightforward. When a player is targeted by this ability, they have 5 seconds to move behind a Debris Pile, relative to Blackhand's location. This will cause the Impaling Throw to hit the Debris Pile (left behind by Massive Demolition) instead of the player.
If a player does get hit by Impaling Throw, they will require attention from healers until the 45-second bleed expires.
When Blackhand reaches 70% health, he collapses the floor of the room and the entire raid will fall into the Phase Two room. Players will take roughly 50% of their health in fall damage. This phase lasts until Blackhand reaches 30% health.
The room in which Phase Two takes place is circular, but in addition to this there is also a ledge that goes all around the outside of the room, about half-way up the wall. There is no way for players to access this ledge under normal circumstances, but it is possible to be knocked back onto it by Blackhand's Shattering Smash.
Blackhand uses the following abilities during this phase.
- Marked for Death (and the associated Impaling Throw) works in exactly the same way as during Phase One, with the exception that Debris Piles are no longer present. Instead, the Impaling Throw can hit Siegemakers, adds that Blackhand summons throughout Phase 2.
- Throw Slag Bombs works in exactly the same way as during Phase One. The only difference is that there is no Molten Slag to trigger the bombs during this phase. Instead, the bombs are triggered by contact with a Siegemaker (as we will see below). As in Phase One, contact with players also triggers the Slag Bombs.
- Shattering Smash works in exactly the same way as during Phase One. The Dungeon Journal reports that its radius is 6 yards in this phase (as opposed to 5 yards in Phase One), but this makes little difference.
Throughout the phase, a large number of Iron Soldiers will spawn on the ledge that goes around the room. The ledge is not normally accessible and the only way to access it is to get knocked back by Shattering Smash. Iron Soldiers only use one ability, Explosive Round. This is an interruptible spell that targets a random raid member and deals a small amount of Fire damage in a 6-yard radius. The Iron Soldiers do not descend from the ledge, they do not need to be tanked, and their health is very low.
About 15 seconds into the phase, and every 50 seconds after that, Blackhand will summon a Siegemaker. The Siegemaker (which is a large cannon) appears on the floor of the room. It has an Energy bar that starts out empty and which charges on its own over 40 seconds. The Siegemaker does not melee and it does not need to be tanked. Instead, it fixates on the player that was closest to it when it spawns. It has 3 abilities.
- Mortar is the ability that the Siegemaker uses at 100 Energy. This fires a projectile at the location of a random raid member, which creates a patch of fire at that location. The fire spreads on its own until it covers a rather large area of the room, where it appears to persist for a very long time (possibly indefinitely). Any players who stand in the fire take damage every second. Using Mortar resets the Siegemaker's Energy to 0.
- Blackiron Plating is a passive ability that each Siegemaker spawns with. This reduces the damage taken by the Siegemaker by 90%. There are two ways to remove the Blackiron Plating. One is to have the Siegemaker be hit by Blackhand's Impaling Throw, and the other is to have the Siegemaker run over and detonate a Slag Bomb.
- Battering Ram is an ability that the Siegemaker constantly uses. Essentially, it constantly deals high Physical damage in a cone in front of it, knocking back any affected targets.
Phase Two is significantly more difficult and more complex than Phase One. In principle, your raid will have to perform many of the same tasks as during Phase One, but there are additional concerns. As before, we will summarise the strategy first, before going into more details.
- Tank Blackhand and perform the same tank switch as during Phase One (taunting him whenever his tank is knocked back by Shattering Smash).
- Several DPS players should get in the Shattering Smash radius each time, in order to get knocked back onto the ledge of the room, where they can clear out the Iron Soldiers before jumping back down.
- The entire raid should be spread out to minimise damage taken from the Iron Soldiers' Explosive Rounds.
- The Siegemakers should be kited over any existing Throw Slag Bombs bombs. Otherwise, these bombs should be avoided.
- Players targeted by Marked for Death must move so that the Impaling Throw hits a Siegemaker that still has its Blackiron Plating buff (assuming that more than one Siegemaker is alive).
- When a Siegemaker loses its Blackiron Plating buff, it should quickly be killed.
The fire created by the Siegemakers' Mortar ability will act as a soft enrage, eventually running your raid out of space.
As in Phase One, the two tanks must perform a tank switch on Blackhand whenever Shattering Smash is cast. Since it is necessary to have the tank (and a few DPS players, as we will see below) end up on the ledge that goes around the room in order to kill some of the Iron Soldiers located there, the way that Blackhand is positioned for Shattering Smash is important.
It is relatively easy to get knocked back onto the ledge, but it is not guaranteed. If you are too far from the ledge towards which you are being knocked back, then you will fall short. Likewise, if you much too close to the ledge, you will end up under it. So, Blackhand should be roughly in the center of the room when Shattering Smash will be cast, and this should land you on top of the ledge. While up on the ledge, you can attack and interrupt the Iron Soldiers you find there, but make sure you get back down in time to taunt the boss when the next Shattering Smash is cast.
As during Phase One, you will want to make sure that Blackhand is not facing the melee group when Shattering Smash is being cast. Any players who are assigned to joining you on the ledge will move next to you to benefit from the knock back.
Handling Iron Soldiers
While the damage dealt by any individual Iron Soldier is not high, if there are too many of them up you will quickly be overwhelmed by their damage (especially since the projectiles they fire cannot be avoided). As such, you will have to send players up on the ledge where the Iron Soldiers are located to clear them out, several times throughout the phase.
The only way for players to get up on the ledge is to be knocked back onto it by Shattering Smash. Several DPS players should be assigned to this task. Plate wearers are well suited for the task, since they will take less damage from Shattering Smash, and since, being in melee range, they are very close to the Shattering Smash radius, so they can move into it with ease.
The Iron Soldiers have very little health, and they do not need to be tanked, so killing them is not hard. The problem lies in the fact that they can be spread out very much on the rather large ledge, meaning that there can be quite a bit of travel time to get to a distant group of Iron Soldiers.
It is difficult to say how much emphasis you should give to killing the Iron Soldiers. This will depend on your raid's DPS (which determines how long the entire phase lasts), and your healers' ability to handle the damage caused by the Iron Soldiers. You will need to determine the exact number of players to send up, how often they should go, and how long they should stay there, on your own.
As far as the composition of this group of players is concerned, it should be made up of one tank and several DPS players. Sending a tank up is unavoidable (since Blackhand's tank will always be hit by Shattering Smash), and sending up healers is unnecessary.
Siegemakers, Marked for Death, and Slag Bombs
To begin with, whenever a Siegemaker spawns, someone should be assigned to kiting it. To do this, that player has to be the closest player to the Siegemaker, which will cause it to fixate on them and follow them around. Keep in mind that the Siegemaker deals constant damage in a cone in front of it, so make sure to be far away to avoid that damage, and not to kite the Siegemaker into any other players.
The task of the player kiting the Siegemaker is mostly to use it to clear out the Slag Bombs that are on the ground.
Whenever a raid member is targeted by Marked for Death, they need to move in such a way that the Impaling Throw will hit the Siegemaker. This will cause the Throw to deal no damage, and it will also remove the Siegemaker's Blackiron Plating buff. Once this happens, ranged DPS players should switch to the Siegemaker and kill it quickly.
When Blackhand reaches 30% health, he collapses the floor of the room and the entire raid will fall into the Phase Three room. Players will take roughly 50% of their health in fall damage. This phase lasts until Blackhand dies.
Throughout Phase Three, you only face Blackhand. He uses the following abilities against your raid.
- Overheated is a passive ability that causes Blackhand to deal increasing raid-wide Fire damage throughout the phase.
- Marked for Death works in exactly the same way as during Phases One and Two. The only difference is that Impaling Throw now hits all targets in a line, not just the first one. Also, there are no more obstacles present during this fight that can be used to stop the Impaling Throw.
- Attach Slag Bombs works similarly to Throw Slag Bombs, but
with a few differences. The Slag Bombs are no longer thrown on the ground,
but instead they are thrown onto several nearby players. The bombs attach
themselves to these players, exploding 3 seconds later. When the Slag Bombs
explode, they deal a very high amount of Fire damage in a 10-yard radius,
debuffing all players with Slagged, and also creating a Slag Hole
at the explosion location.
- A Slag Hole is simply a visual hole on the ground which does not do anything. However, as we will see, this has an important interaction with Slag Eruption.
- Slag Eruption is an ability that Blackhand regularly uses throughout this phase. When he casts this ability, all the Slag Holes present on the platform become ignited, throwing fireballs on the ground in a small area around themselves. Players who are hit by these fireballs take damage. Once a Slag Hole has been ignited, it remains ignited until the end of the fight.
- Massive Shattering Smash is a stronger version of
Shattering Smash. Instead of dealing a massive amount of Physical
damage split between players in a radius, it deals twice as much Fire damage,
also split between players. It also applies a 12-second Fire damage DoT on
affected players. Players are still knocked back, as by Shattering Smash, but Massive
Shattering Smash does not clear threat. Finally, Massive Shattering Smash
creates a Slag Crater at its impact location.
- Slag Craters are effectively ignited Slag Holes. A Slag Crater looks like a larger Slag Hole, but it is ignited right away, and it also throws fireballs in an area around itself.
The strategy for Phase Three is not as complex as that for Phase Two, but the Phase is arguably more difficult and more intense. We will summarise your raid's tasks before going into more details.
- The tanks should perform the same tank switch as before, to deal with Massive Shattering Smash. Given the increased damage of the ability, tanks will have to use defensive cooldowns for each smash.
- Players affected by Attach Slag Bombs will have to move to an edge of the platform before their bombs expire, so that the Slag Holes left behind are away from the raid.
- Players targeted by Marked for Death must make sure that there are no other raid members in front of or behind them, relative to Blackhand's location, in order to minimise the damage taken from Impaling Throw.
- The entire raid should make good use of the space on the platform, moving progressively in order to always be in an area that is away from where the Slag Holes and Slag Craters are located. Players should never be in range of these.
- The healers will have to contend with the increasing raid-wide damage from Overheated.
The phase is very intense, and the increasing damage from Overheated will eventually lead to a wipe. If your management of the platform's space is good (meaning that you do not end up with Slag Holes and Slag Craters spread everywhere on the platform), the raid-wide damage from Overheated will probably kill you first.
Tanking Blackhand during Phase Three is not very complex. There are two things to keep in mind.
Firstly, you should aim to make good use of the space on the platform, by dragging Blackhand away from his most recent Slag Crater, in either a clockwise or a counterclockwise fashion. Given the frequency and radius of the Slag Craters, and the size of the platform, if you do this correctly you should never run out of space.
We advise you to tank Blackhand close to the edge of the platform, so that the center of the room remains Crater-free.
Secondly, you will have to survive the extreme Fire damage that Massive Shattering Smash deals. On the Beta, it was possible for a tank to survive this damage on their own, through strong healing and use of cooldowns. However, if the damage is still too high, both tanks can soak each Massive Shattering Smash, since this no longer clears threat.
Slag Bombs, Slag Holes, and Slag Craters
The most difficult aspect of this phase is correctly dealing with Attach Slag Bombs, the Slag Holes they create, and with Slag Craters.
As we suggested above, you should try to progressively use the space on the platform, in either a clockwise or a counterclockwise fashion. This means trying to stack the craters as much as possible, so that you can then move on to a clear area of the platform as soon as they become ignited by Slag Eruption. In any case, players who are affected by Attach Slag Bombs should do their best to place them away from the raid, and near other existing Slag Holes. Healers will have to be prepared to heal the damage on the players who have Slag Bombs attached to them, as they will take high damage.
Throughout the fight, the entire raid should make sure to avoid taking damage from Slag Holes and Slag Craters, which means making sure not to be too close to them.
Marked for Death
Unlike in previous phases, there is no way to avoid taking damage from Marked for Death in Phase Three. Instead, you now need to make sure that, as the targeted player, you are the only one hit by Impaling Throw, as the projectile hits all players in a line. So, if you are targeted by Marked for Death, position yourself in such a way that there are no players in front of or behind you, relative to Blackhand's location.
When to Use Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp
We recommend using Heroism/ Bloodlust/ Time Warp in Phase Three, ideally in such a way that its 40-second duration coincides with the last 40 seconds of the fight, since this is by far the most intense time from a healing and raid damage perspective.
The Mythic mode of the Blackhand encounter is fairly similar to its Normal/Heroic mode, but several changes to mechanics and the addition of several types of adds make the encounter considerably more challenging.
Differences From Normal/Heroic Mode
As with all Mythic modes, the mobs in the fight have more health and deal more damage with their attacks and abilities. In addition to this, there are several changes to existing mechanics. During Phase Two, there are 4 new types of adds (although they are all variations on the Normal/Heroic mode Siegemakers). We explain all the changes in the following sub-sections.
The only change to Phase One mechanics is that the bleed effect applied by Impaling Throw is now permanent, lasting until the affected player dies.
There are three changes to Phase Two mechanics. The first is that the debuff from Impaling Throw is permanent (as during Phase One). The second is an overhaul of the way in which Siegemakers work. The regular Siegemaker mobs no longer exist, and are instead replaced by the following 4 types of Siegemakers.
- Reinforced Siegemakers, which have the same abilities as the regular Siegemakers, but which have twice as much health.
- Supercharged Siegemakers, which have the same abilities as the regular Siegemakers, but which move much faster than them.
- Fiery Siegemakers, which, in addition to the abilities of the regular Siegemakers also leave behind a trail of fire (which works exactly like the patches of fire created by Mortar).
- Explosive Siegemakers, which, in addition to the abilities of the regular Siegemakers also use Massive Explosion when they reach 10% health. This deals a massive amount of Fire damage to all raid members on the floor of the room (but it does not affect those players who are on the ledge).
The timing for the Siegemaker spawns is the same as in Normal/Heroic mode, namely 15 seconds into the phase and every 50 seconds after that. However, the spawning pattern of the Siegemakers is more complex. Each type of Siegemaker spawns from a specific gate, located at the edge of the room, as follows:
- Reinforced Siegemakers spawn from the north-eastern gate.
- Supercharged Siegemakers spawn from the south-western gate.
- Fiery Siegemakers spawn from the north-western gate.
- Explosive Siegemakers spawn from the south-eastern gate.
When it is time for a Siegemaker to spawn, the gate from which it will spawn (and therefore, its type) is determined by the position of Blackhand. Namely, the gate that is located furthest away from Blackhand will spawn a Siegemaker.
In addition to this, the 4 types of Siegemakers spawn in a cycle, meaning that a given Siegemaker type cannot spawn again until all others have also spawned once. After each type of Siegemaker has spawned once, the cycle will repeat in the same order as the first cycle, with the boss' positioning no longer playing any part.
Finally, Phase Two sees the addition of an ability (the name of which we do not know — it may simply be an environmental ability) that causes many locations around the room to be marked, which are then hit by fiery projectiles a few seconds later. When this happens, fire patches that behave exactly like the ones caused by Mortar are created. Players can intercept these fiery projectiles, which prevents the fire patches from spawning, but also debuffs players with Burning Cinders. This is a dispellable stacking DoT that deals a moderate amount of Fire damage every second, and which lasts for 10 seconds.
During Phase Three, the bleed applied by Impaling Throw is also permanent (as in the other two phases), and there is one additional ability that your raid must deal with.
The boss will sometimes cast Falling Debris. This ability marks a random location in the room and causes debris to fall at that location a few seconds later. If there are no raid members located on the marked location to soak the debris (getting damaged by it in the process), then the location turns into a Slag Hole. If, however, players do soak the debris, then the marked area becomes harmless. Note that the Falling Debris deals a very high amount of Fire damage, split between all players who are affected by it.
Despite the high number of changes and additions, the fight execution remains mostly the same. Phase Two is the only one where there is a significant change in strategy, due to the way the new types of Siegemakers must be handled.
During Phase One, your raid will have to do two things differently from Normal/Heroic mode.
We recommend that as soon as Demolition is being cast, the entire raid stacks up and then runs around the inner circle at the center of the room, as a stacked group. Since the areas affected by Demolition and Massive Demolition target the locations of raid members, the debris should always fall behind the raid, allowing for sufficient distance from the affected areas for the damage taken to be low (remember that the damage the raid takes from this debris depends on the proximity to the landing location).
The second difference has a much lower impact on strategy, but it is still worth mentioning. Players who are targeted by Marked for Death and who fail to get behind a Debris Pile and are hit by Impaling Throw will effectively be unhealable. The bleed effect is permanent, and it is an unsustainable drain on healers to try to keep these players up until the end of the fight. As such, it is even more important than before to avoid being hit by Impaling Throw. Moreover, any players who are hit by Impaling Throw will have to die and be resurrected, if your raid is to have any chance of success.
The strategy for Phase Two is quite different from Normal or Heroic mode. This is because you will spend most of the phase positioning the boss (and the raid) in specific ways to dictate the spawn order of the Siegemakers, and to handle them accordingly.
How your raid deals with each Siegemaker is more or less up to you. You have the option of handling them as in Normal/Heroic mode, which is to kite them around the room until they die, but we highly recommend having a tank (a Brewmaster Monk, ideally) simply tank the Siegemakers. This tank should spend the entire phase at the spawn location of the first Siegemaker you choose to kill, with their back up against the wall (to avoid being knocked back by the Siegemakers' Battering Ram, thus greatly reducing the amount of moving that the Siegemaker does), making the entire phase much simpler.
This requires a very high amount of healing on the tank in question, who will take high damage, and it also requires Hunters, Mages, or Rogues to bring the newly-spawned Siegemakers to this tank's location. This is because the Siegemakers always fixate on the closest target to them when they spawn, making it is impossible for the tank to pick them up without moving all over the room. So, players of the aforementioned classes will have to be the ones fixated on, after which they will have to move to the location of the Siegemaker tank and use Feign Death, Invisibility, and Vanish, respectively, to force the Siegemaker to pick a new target.
As stated, when the Explosive Siegemaker reaches 10% health, the raid will take very high damage, and healers will have to be prepared for this and use healing cooldowns liberally.
We advise your raid to spawn the first 4 Siegemakers in the following order:
This means that the raid should move Blackhand to the opposite part of the room from where each of the Siegemakers spawn, at the appropriate times.
The reason behind this Siegemaker order is as follows. The Supercharged Siegemaker is so fast that kiting it is not possible, so it is best if the Siegemaker tank can simply wait for it at its spawning location (and then remain there for the rest of the phase).
The Fiery Siegemaker is spawned second because spawning it any later than that in the phase can have devastating consequences. This is because it creates fire in its path, and later on in the phase there will be more fire on the floor anyway from the Slag Craters. Since this fire spreads when in proximity to other fire, having the Fiery Siegemaker up at such a time should be avoided.
The Reinforced Siegemaker is spawned third simply because it is important to spawn the Explosive Siegemaker last. This is due to the extremely high damage the raid takes when the Explosive Siegemaker reaches 10% health (due to its Massive Explosion ability). The raid will require several healing cooldowns to survive this damage, and these are unlikely to be available early on in the phase (having been used towards the end of Phase One, most likely).
Finally, raid members will have to always soak the fiery projectiles that risk spawning fire on the ground. Since there is a large number of these projectiles, it is a good idea to have the raid spread out around the room, and to have players assigned to certain areas for soaking. Anyone who soaks these projectiles will be debuffed by Burning Cinders, but this can and should be dispelled.
Phase Three is an extremely intense DPS race, mostly due to the fact that Impaling Throws can no longer be avoided. This means that more and more players will suffer the permanent bleed effects, causing raid damage to increase progressively. The only remedy to this is killing Blackhand before the raid dies.
In addition to this, players will also have to handle the Falling Debris ability, although this is not very complicated. Each Falling Debris will have to be intercepted, to prevent the creation of any additional Slag Holes. Even though the damage of the Falling Debris is split between all affected targets, it is not advised to send more than one player to soak one Falling Debris, since this results in too great a loss of DPS. Instead, it is better to have just one player soaking each Falling Debris with the aid of strong personal damage-reduction cooldowns.
Learning the Fight
As with many end-of-raid bosses, your raid has a very linear progression through the various phases of the fight. This means that you will usually be faced with only one difficult task at a time, so focusing on solving it is quite straightforward. As such, there are no important tips we can offer you.
In this section, you will find the loot table for Blackhand. The section is divided in 3 subsections: armor, weapons, and the rest (neck, back, finger, and trinket items).
In addition, Blackhand can drop tokens that you can use to obtain any of the Tier 17 set items:
- Essence of the Iron Vanquisher (Heroic, Mythic);
- Essence of the Iron Protector (Heroic, Mythic);
- Essence of the Iron Conqueror (Heroic, Mythic).
|Item Name||Armor||Slot||Secondary Stats|
|Slagbomber's Hood (Heroic, Mythic)||Cloth||Head||
|Forgestoker's Shoulderpads — LFR||Cloth||Shoulders||
|Flamestoker Wraps — LFR||Cloth||Hands||
|Spaulders of Erupting Iron — LFR||Leather||Shoulders||
|Bomb-Carrier's Harness — LFR||Leather||Waist||
|Shattering Smash Leggings (Heroic, Mythic)||Leather||Legs||
|Deathmark Shoulderguards — LFR||Shoulders||
|Chestguard of the Siegemaker (Heroic, Mythic)||Chest||
|Ram-Carrier's Treads — LFR||Feet||
|Spaulders of the Iron Crucible — LFR||Plate||Shoulders||
|Overdriven Spaulders (Heroic, Mythic)||Plate||Shoulders||
|Ironshatter Legplates — LFR||Plate||Legs||
|Item Name||Type||Main Stats||Secondary Stats|
|Blackhand Doomstaff (Heroic, Mythic)||1H Sword||Intellect||
|Iron Soldier's Saber (Heroic, Mythic)||1H Sword||Agility||
|The Black Hand (Heroic, Mythic)||1H Sword||Strength||
|Blackhand Forgehammer — LFR||1H Sword||Strength||
Amulets, Cloaks, Rings, and Trinkets
|Item Name||Type||Main Stats||Secondary Stats|
|Spiked Foundry Collar — LFR||Amulet||Agility||
|Blackiron Micro Crucible (Heroic, Mythic)||Trinket||Intellect||Multistrike on proc|
|Auto-Repairing Autoclave (Heroic, Mythic)||Trinket||Spirit||Haste on proc|
|Humming Blackiron Trigger (Heroic, Mythic)||Trinket||Agility||Crit on proc|
|Storage House Key — LFR||Trinket||Strength||Multistrike|
|Forgemaster's Insignia (Heroic, Mythic)||Trinket||Strength||Multistrike on proc|
|Battering Talisman (Heroic, Mythic)||Trinket||Stamina||Haste on proc|
This concludes our raid guide for Blackhand. We hope you have found it helpful. Please do not hesitate to post any feedback you may have on our forums.
- 29 Apr. 2015: Added Mythic mode strategy.
- 09 Feb. 2015: Updated the guide to account for a hotfix that allows Siegemakers' Blackiron Plating to be removed by Slag Bomb explosions.
- +1. General Information
- +2. Summing Things Up
- 3. Overview of the Fight
- 4. The Environment
- +5. Phase One
- +6. Phase Two
- +7. Phase Three
- 8. When to Use Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp
- +9. Mythic Mode
- 10. Learning the Fight
- +11. Loot
- 12. Concluding Remarks
- 13. Changelog
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