Madness of Deathwing Tank Strategy Guide (Heroic Mode included)

Last updated on Jul 25, 2012 at 08:15 by Vlad

Table of Contents

Boss Icon - Madness of Deathwing


This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Madness of Deathwing in Dragon Soul. It is mostly targeted to tanks 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 tank, you will find the greatest challenge of the encounter to be survival, as there are several highly damaging mechanics that you will be coming your way.


Overview of the Fight

The Madness of Deathwing encounter is a two phase fight.

Dragon Soul - Madness of Deathwing - Limbs 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

Dragon Soul - Madness of Deathwing - Overview Deathwing 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:
    • Ysera's Presence Icon Ysera's Presence: 20% increased healing done;
    • Dream Icon Dream: an ability that Ysera grants to all raid members. Players receive an extra action button, with a 30 second cooldown. Using this ability grants the player 50% damage reduction for 5 seconds.
      Dragon Soul - Madness of Deathwing - Dream Button
  • Alexstrasza provides the raid with:
    • Alexstrasza's Presence Icon Alexstrasza's Presence: 20% increased maximum health;
    • Cauterize Icon Cauterize (Phase One): an ability that Alexstrasza uses to destroy all Blistering Tentacles (adds that spawn at certain times during Phase One);
    • Cauterize Icon Cauterize (Phase Two): an ability that Alexstrasza uses to lower the damage done by Corrupted Blood Icon Corrupted Blood (Deathwing's unique ability during Phase Two).
  • Nozdormu provides the raid with:
    • Nozdormu's Presence Icon Nozdormu's Presence: 20% increased haste;
    • Dragon Soul - Madness of Deathwing - Time Zone Time Zone Icon 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:
    • Kalecgos' Presence Icon Kalecgos' Presence: 20% increased damage dealt;
    • Spellweaver Icon Spellweaver: causes all attacks to deal 23,000 Arcane damage to all enemies within 6 yards of the main target (but not to the main target itself).

Phase One

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 this sequence.


First Platform

Here, you will have to perform the following tasks:

  • Dragon Soul - Madness of Deathwing - Mutated Corruption Pick up and tank the Mutated Corruption (a large tentacle). It spawns roughly 10 seconds after your raid reaches the platform. This add will deal massive damage with Impale Icon Impale, for which you will have to use defensive cooldowns. Impale also leaves behind a DoT that increases damage taken by 100%, so a tank swap is required. Remember that you can make use of Ysera's Dream Icon Dream ability as an extra defensive cooldown.
  • Dragon Soul - Madness of Deathwing - Elementium Bolt When Deathwing casts Elementium Bolt, stand as far away as possible from its impact location (it is marked by a golden void zone), and use a defensive cooldown (possibly an external one from a healer) to survive the massive damage that you will receive from this ability.
  • Dragon Soul - Madness of Deathwing - Regenerative Bloods After the Mutated Corruption has been killed, you will have to pick up and tank 6 adds called Regenerative Bloods. They will be quickly killed by your raid.

For the rest of the time, there is nothing for you to tank and you should simply contribute with any DPS that you can on the Arm/Wing Tentacle.


Second Platform

By now, your raid will have lost the 20% increased healing from Ysera as well as the Dream Icon Dream ability.

You should simply repeat the steps from the previous platform.


Third Platform

By now, your raid will have lost either Alexstrasza or Nozdormu's buffs. In case you have lost Alexstrasza's buffs, you will now have 20% less health, making it much more difficult to survive Impale Icon Impale and Elementium Bolt, but there are no strategy changes whatsoever.


Fourth Platform

Your raid has now lost all but Kalecgos' buffs, meaning that this platform will be the most difficult for your raid to clear. Your own survival as well as the raid's survival will be put to the test, so you should not hesitate to use any cooldowns you have.

Otherwise, there is no strategy change.


Phase Two

During Phase Two, you have a single task as a tank: pick up one of the two Elementium Terrors that spawn, and tank it inside Nozdormu's Time Zone Icon Time Zone until they are killed. These adds stack a very damaging debuff on their tanks.

In all likelihood, 2 or 3 waves of Elementium Terrors will have time to spawn before Deathwing dies.

If you are a Protection Paladin and you are your raid's only tank (in a single tank strategy), you can use Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield (followed by a quick /cancelaura Divine Shield) to get rid of any stacks of the Tetanus Icon Tetanus debuff.


Tier 13 4-piece Tank Set Bonuses

You can use your 4-Part tier 13 set bonuses (all of which offer either damage reduction or increased health to the raid) at certain key points, in order to help the healers deal with the high amounts of raid damage. Specifically, these bonuses are of use:

  • When an Elementium Bolt is landing (i.e., after Nozdormu's buffs are gone);
  • When Blistering Tentacles are active (especially after Alexstrasza's buffs are gone);
  • During Phase Two, after Deathwing is below 10% health.

Keep in mind that these cooldowns can only be used at the expense of your own major defensive cooldown (as they are, in fact, one and the same), and as such they may not always be available.

Furthermore, it is ideal that these cooldowns be worked into a cooldown rotation by the raid leader, and not just used freely.


Heroic Mode

The Heroic mode of Madness of Deathwing is a rather difficult and challenging encounter, that will test your abilities as a tank. You will also need to survive some rather extreme amounts of damage.


Differences from Normal Mode

All enemies have increased health, and most abilities do increased damage. The most important damage increases, that are relevant to you as a tank, are:

  • Degenerative Bite Icon 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.
  • Impale Icon 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.
  • Tetanus Icon 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 increases, two new mechanics exist:

  • Corrupting Parasite Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Unstable Corruption.
      • Unstable Corruption Icon 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.
  • Congealing Bloods are adds that spawn during Phase Two. They spawn when Deathwing reaches 15%, 10%, and 5% health, but if Deathwing's health does not reach 15% within a minute of entering the phase, or 10% or 5% within a minute of reaching 15% and 10% respectively, the bloods will spawn regardless of his health. Each spawn is comprised of 9 Congealing Bloods. They have 950,000 health each in 10-man difficulty and 3.2M in 25-man difficulty. They perform no action other than slowly moving towards Deathwing. They have no aggro table and they are killable. Deathwing regains 1% of his total health every time a Congealing Blood reaches him.


The fight will go on in much the same way as Normal mode, with only a few differences.


Corrupting Parasite

The Corrupting Parasite cannot target you as a tank, so your only concerns regarding it are:

  • be 10 yards away from the affected player before the debuff runs out;
  • for the second Parasite of each platform, tank the Regenerative Bloods on top of it.


The Impale Icon Impale ability now deals significantly more damage than in Normal mode. On the first platform, you can use Dream Icon Dream together with a minor cooldown in order to survive it, while on other platforms you will always require a major cooldown. Do not hesitate to ask for help from healers, in the form of a Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield or an external cooldown like Pain Suppression Icon Pain Suppression.

Note that Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield, Ardent Defender Icon Ardent Defender or Guardian Spirit Icon Guardian Spirit will not protect you against Impale.


Phase Two: Elementium Terrors and Congealing Bloods

The new adds that spawn in Phase Two, the Congealing Bloods, are of no real concern to you. Your DPS players will AoE these down. However, for efficiency purposes, you may be required to tank the Elementium Terrors until the Bloods spawn and then move them on top of the Bloods, so that your raid can AoE them all together.

In any case, you should tank the Elementium Terrors inside the Time Zone Icon Time Zone until you have to move them onto the Bloods.