Madness of Deathwing Healer Strategy Guide (Heroic Mode included)
Table of Contents
- +1. Overview of the Fight
- +2. Phase One
- 3. Phase Two
- +4. Heroic Mode
This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Madness of Deathwing in Dragon Soul. It is mostly targeted to healers who desire to have a short but detailed overview of what is expected of them during that fight.
This guide is updated for World of Warcraft WoD 6.1.2.
The Madness of Deathwing encounter contains a large variety of adds, spells, and mechanics, but it is, ultimately, not difficult to understand or execute. All three roles will, at certain times, have a lot of pressure placed on them to perform well.
The five Aspects aid your raid during this encounter, although, as the fight progresses, they become effectively disabled, making it increasingly difficult for your raid. Though, they do come back to help you kill Deathwing, at the very end.
As a healer, you will be most challenged by the extreme amounts of raid and tank damage that you will have to heal. Other than this, there are very few other tasks to perform.
Overview of the Fight
The Madness of Deathwing encounter is a two phase fight.
During Phase One, you will have to defeat 4 of Deathwing's limbs (two wings and two arms). This part takes place on 4 different platforms, surrounded by water. Each of Deathwing's limbs rests on one platform, and your raid will have to travel to every platform and kill all the limbs in order to make it to Phase Two.
During Phase Two, your raid will have to burn Deathwing's head, who will have crashed next to one of the platforms (where the entire phase is spent). At the same time, your raid will have to regularly kill two types of adds. Deathwing's health will initially be at 20% and he will deal increasing raid damage as he nears death.
Aspects and Their Buffs
Throughout the fight, your raid will have assistance from the four dragon Aspects. Each Aspect is flying over one of the four platforms, resulting in the following naming conventions for the platforms in this guide:
- Leftmost platform: Alexstrasza's Platform;
- Middle-left platform: Nozdormu's Platform;
- Midle-right platform: Ysera's Platform;
- Rightmost platform: Kalecgos' Platform.
Each of the Aspects offers the raid a specific buff (such as increased health) and uses a specific ability.
- In Phase One, once an Aspect's platform has been cleared of Deathwing's limb, that Aspect will cease to assist the raid and focus solely on attacking Deathwing. This means that Phase One becomes increasingly difficult as you progress, and your raid will have to choose the order in which to clear the platform carefully.
- In Phase Two, the Aspects are once again fighting alongside your raid and they resume their assistance.
The Aspects provide the following buffs and abilities:
- Ysera provides the raid with:
- Alexstrasza provides the raid with:
- Alexstrasza's Presence: 20% increased maximum health;
- Cauterize (Phase One): an ability that Alexstrasza uses to destroy all Blistering Tentacles (adds that spawn at certain times during Phase One);
- Cauterize (Phase Two): an ability that Alexstrasza uses to lower the damage done by Corrupted Blood (Deathwing's unique ability during Phase Two).
- Nozdormu provides the raid with:
- Nozdormu's Presence: 20% increased haste;
- Time Zone: an ability that places a type of protective bubble on the platform where the raid is currently fighting. This causes the Elementium Bolt (a type of projectile NPC that flies towards the raid) to be greatly slowed down, giving your raid more time to kill it. It also reduces the attack speed of any enemies within the zone by 50%.
- Kalecgos provides the raid with:
Phase One consists of clearing all 4 platforms of Deathwing's limbs. You will do this one platform at a time, and a platform is considered cleared when the respective Arm or Wing Tentacle has been killed. For each platform, you will have to defeat a series of adds in a specific order. Fortunately, this is the same for all 4 platforms (with a minor variation), so the strategy remains simple.
Your raid leader will almost certainly clear the platforms in the following order: Ysera > Nozdormu > Alexstrasza > Kalecgos or Ysera > Alexstrasza > Nozdormu > Kalecgos. As such, we will provide you with the strategy only for these sequences.
The only non-healing tasks you must perform are:
- While the Mutated Corruption is alive, spread out in such a way that as few players as possible are in a line from the Corruption.
- When Deathwing casts Elementium Bolt, stand as far away as possible from the impact location of the bolt (marked by a golden void zone).
From a healing perspective, you should be prepared for the following.
- The raid will take low, sustained and ever-increasing damage from Burning Blood.
- While the Mutated Corruption is alive, the tanks will take extreme amounts of damage each time Impale is cast (you will have to coordinate defensive cooldowns with them) and random raid members will take moderate damage from Crush.
- On this platform, the Elementium Bolt should deal no damage, but in the event that it does, it will deal a massive amount of raid damage when it lands, and every second after that until it is killed.
- The tanks will take mild damage from tanking the Regenerative Bloods (they also apply a stacking debuff to the tanks, but it is of little concern).
- The raid will take a moderate amount of damage each time Blistering Tentacles spawn (70% and 40% of the Wing or Arm Tentacle's health).
Once the Wing or Arm Tentacle is dead, you should move over to the next platform.
By now, you will have lost Ysera's 20% increased healing buff and the Dream ability, but the strategy for this platform remains identical to the previous one.
By now, you will have lost either Alexstrasza's buffs or Nozdormu's buffs.
In case you have lost Alexstrasza's buffs, your raid will take much more damage from the Blistering Tentacles (70% and 40% of the Wing or Arm Tentacle's health), and you should be prepared to use defensive cooldowns.
In case you have lost Nozdormu's buffs, your raid will take an extreme amount of damage from the Elementium Bolt, both when it lands and every second after that until it is killed. This time will strain your healing greatly, and you will have to stack healing cooldowns in order to keep your raid alive.
Otherwise, except for the extra healing requirement, the strategy does not change.
By now you will have lost the other of Alexstrasza or Nozdormu's buffs, and healing will be at its most difficult, although nothing else changes from a strategy point of view.
During this phase, you will have to stack with your raid and heal the damage originating from the following sources:
- Constant, increasing raid damage from Deathwing's Corrupted Blood. The damage from this ability increases three times during this phase: when Deathwing's health reaches 15%, 10% and 5%.
- Random raid damage from players who are targeted by Shrapnel. In case you are targeted by Shrapnel, you must use your Dream ability right before the debuff that this ability leaves on you runs out, or you will die.
- Moderate, although spiky tank damage from the Elementium Terrors, two big adds that will spawn a few times during the phase.
The very end of the phase is extremely strenuous from a healing point of view, and you should use any available healing cooldowns at this time.
The Heroic mode of Madness of Deathwing is a strenuous test of your healing. The encounter is not very different from Normal mode (there is only one strategy change that matters to you, as a healer), but it contains several moments when healing is extremely difficult. Additionally, the encounter is very long, requiring your focus for a full 15 minutes.
Differences from Normal Mode
All the enemies in the encounter have their health increased, compared to Normal mode. Moreover, a large number of abilities deal increased damage. The most problematic of these increases is the damage increase of Impale. The exact changes are:
- Elementium Blast now deals 468,000 damage on impact and another 468,000 damage every 5.2 seconds, up from 390,000 damage (both on impact and afterwards) in Normal mode.
- Degenerative Bite now deals 1,800 damage per second, per stack in 10-man difficulty and 2,400 damage per second, per stack in 25-man difficulty, up from 1,500 and 2,000 damage respectively.
- Blistering Heat now deals 3,750 damage every 2 seconds, up from 2,500 in Normal mode.
- Crush now deals 130,000 damage, up from 100,000 damage in Normal mode.
- Impale now deals 840,000 damage in 10-man difficulty and 1,200,000 damage in 25-man difficulty, up from 400,000 in both difficulties.
- Shrapnel now deals 400,000 damage, up from 200,000 damage in Normal mode.
- Tetanus now deals 72,000 damage on application and then another 24,000 damage per second, per stack in 10-man difficulty and 96,000 damage on application and 36,000 damage per second, per stack in 25-man difficulty, up from 60,000/20,000 and 80,000/30,000 respectively.
In addition to these changes, a new mechanic exists:
- Corrupting Parasite is a rather complex mechanic that will occur twice on every platform during Phase One, once at around the same time that the Mutated Corruption spawns and once again 60 seconds later. It begins with Corrupting Parasite, a 10-second debuff cast by Deathwing on a random raid member. This debuff deals increasing Shadow damage, for a total of roughly 300,000 over the course of its duration. When the debuff wears off, an NPC with the same name will spawn at the location of the afflicted raid member.
- Corrupting Parasite is the enemy NPC that spawns when Corrupting Parasite wears off. The Corrupting Parasite has 3M health in 10-man difficulty and 9M in 25-man difficulty. It has no aggro table, it does not melee, it can be killed, and Alexstrasza's Cauterize (Phase One) will damage it for a small amount of its life. When it spawns, it deals 250,000 Fire damage to all raid members within 10 yards of its location (excluding the raid member who was affected by the debuff). After this, the Corrupting Parasite will begin channeling Unstable Corruption.
- Unstable Corruption is a 10 second cast, at the end of which the Corrupting Parasite will deal 10% of its remaining health as damage to the entire raid. If the Parasite is inside the Time-Zone provided by Nozdormu, its cast time is increased by 50%. After casting Unstable Corruption, the Corrupting Parasite will despawn.
The strategy for the encounter remains mostly the same (order of platforms, your raid's actions), with the following differences.
Whenever the Corrupting Parasite DoT is applied to a raid member, that player will require intensive healing. After 10 seconds, the raid member will position himself inside the Time Zone from Nozdormu, and everyone else must get 10 yards clear of this player. If you yourself are targeted by the debuff, make sure you move into the Time Zone.
Afterwards, your DPS players will severely damage or kill the resulting NPC, the Corrupting Parasite. If the Corrupting Parasite is not killed by the end of its 10 second cast, you should expect a varying amount of raid damage.
Moments of High Damage
In addition to the sources of damage that you were already faced with in Normal mode, the following points will require special attention from you in Heroic mode:
- the extreme amounts of damage that the tanks will be taking from Impale;
- the raid damage when Elementium Bolt lands on Kalecgos' platform;
- the raid damage from Blistering Tentacles on Nozdormu and Kalecgos' platforms;
- the tank damage from Elementium Terrors during Phase Two;
- the raid damage in Phase Two, especially towards the end.
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