Spine of Deathwing Healer Strategy Guide (Heroic Mode included)
Table of Contents
- 1. Overview of the Fight
- 2. Adds
- +3. Strategy
- +4. Heroic Mode
This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Spine 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 Spine of Deathwing encounter takes place on Deathwing's back, as he is flying through the air. During this fight, your raid will have to handle many types of adds, with the final goal being to remove three of Deathwing's armor plates.
The fight is, overall, not difficult to understand or execute for a healer, but there are certain times (especially towards the end), when the raid damage may become quite intense.
Overview of the Fight
Spine of Deathwing is a single phase encounter that takes place on Deathwing's back, as he is flying through the air. Your raid will need to properly deal with several types of adds in order to pry up and remove 3 armor plates from Deathwing's back. The idea is to open a big enough hole in Deathwing's armor, so as to give Thrall a clear shot with the Dragon Soul.
The armor plates can only be removed sequentially, as removing one enables the raid to reach the next one. This causes the fight to become increasingly harder, as the number of adds you need to deal with increases after an armor plate has been removed.
You will be faced with 4 types of adds.
Initially, there are 4 Corruptions. Each armor plate that you remove gives room to 2 more Corruptions. There will always be at least one Corruption up: even if you kill them all, a new one will automatically respawn. When you kill a Corruption, it leaves a hole behind, out of which 1 Hideous Amalgamation and 1 Corrupted Blood appear.
When you kill a Corrupted Blood, it respawns after a few seconds and it leaves a puddle on the ground that gives a buff to the Hideous Amalgamation. The idea is to stack this buff 9 times, at which point the Amalgamation should be killed. Doing so will cause the Amalgamation to pry up the closest armor plate, exposing a Burning Tendons.
If you successfully kill the Burning Tendon in the next 23 seconds, the armor plate will be successfully removed, otherwise you need to finish it off after prying up the armor plate again.
As a healer, the only task you will have to perform, except for healing the tanks and raid, is to occasionally move into one of the void zones located on the sides of Deathwing's back. This causes Deathwing to perform a Barrel Roll, removing all the Hideous Amalgamations from his back. Your raid leader will instruct you when to do this, and which void zone to go to (simply follow the rest of the raid).
In LFR, this will not happen, and you can spend the entire duration of the fight performing your healing duties.
Sources of Damage
The raid will take damage from the following sources:
- Moderate, sustained tank damage from the Hideous Amalgamation add(s). This damage increases as the Amalgamations gain stacks of Absorbed Blood.
- Low damage on tanks or random raid members from the Corrupted Blood adds (the small red oozes).
- Low raid-wide damage each time a Corrupted Blood dies ( Burst).
- High raid-wide damage each time a Hideous Amalgamation reaches 9 stacks of Absorbed Blood.
- Low damage over time on random raid members, from Searing Plasma, a debuff that the Corruptions place on players. This also has a healing absorb effect to it, so these players will need to be healed extensively for the debuff to wear off (does not exist in LFR).
- High damage over time on random raid members from the Fiery Grip spell that Corruptions channel on players (does not exist in LFR).
The Heroic mode of the Spine of Deathwing encounter will prove quite difficult for healers, although not much changes in terms of mechanics from Normal mode.
Differences from Normal Mode
All the enemies in the encounter have more health and all abilities deal more damage. In particular, the damage dealt by Fiery Grip is increased greatly, as is the melee damage dealt by Hideous Amalgamations.
Other than this, the following new mechanics are of importance:
- Degradation is a stacking debuff that is applied to all raid members each time a Hideous Amalgamation is killed. The debuff reduces the target's maximum health by 5% per stack. It has an unlimited duration and it cannot be dispelled. Note that the debuff is only applied when a Hideous Amalgamation is actually killed, and not when they are disposed of through a Barrel Roll.
- Blood Corruption: Death is a dispellable debuff that will regularly be placed on random raid members. It has a 15 second duration, at the end of which it will wipe the raid. When the debuff is dispelled, it jumps to another nearby target, retaining its remaining duration. After a varying number of dispels, it will mutate into a different debuff ( Blood Corruption: Earth) when jumping to the next target.
- Blood Corruption: Earth is almost identical to Blood
Corruption: Death. The only difference is that when this
debuff runs out, the target receives one or two stacks of
Blood of Neltharion. The amount of stacks depends on how many seconds were
left on the Blood Corruption: Death debuff at the moment when it became
Blood Corruption: Earth. If Blood Corruption: Earth is dispelled several times,
it will mutate back into Blood Corruption: Death.
- Blood of Neltharion is a beneficial stacking debuff that reduces all damage taken by 20% per stack. It can stack up to a maximum of 2 times per player. This debuff's purpose is to counter the negative effects from Degradation.
As you have probably noticed, the detrimental effects of Degradation are countered by the damage reduction granted by Blood of Neltharion. Keep in mind, however, that while all players will gain stacks of Degradation evenly, the same cannot be said for stacks of Blood of Neltharion.
As a result of this, you should have a way of tracking the stacks of Blood of Neltharion on your raid frames and you must pay special attention to players with fewer than 2 stacks.
Regarding dispelling Blood Corruption: Death and Blood Corruption: Earth, the following things should be kept in mind:
- Always dispel Blood Corruption: Death immediately;
- Never dispel Blood Corruption: Earth unless
- the raid leader wants the tanks to reach 2 stacks of Blood of Neltharion quickly, in which case you should dispel Blood Corruption: Earth until it ends up on a tank OR;
- the player affected by it already has 2 stacks of Blood of Neltharion.
Finally, keep in mind that your raid leader will almost surely assign specific healers to dispelling duty (so that Blood Corruption: Earth does not accidentally get dispelled) and you should respect these assignments.
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