Hunter's Guide to Dragon Soul Raiding: Spine of Deathwing

Now is the time. For a year of suffering caused by the treachery Deathwing has brought unto Azeroth; for the facelifts the Dragon Aspect gave to the world that practically messed up our memories of vintage World of Warcraft; now it the time to finally challenge the Aspect of Death in a battle to the death, face to face...or rather face to spine. Get ready for tentacles, explosions, armors, and barrel rolls, 'coz this final faceoff with Deathwing is gonna be one you'll tell your grandchildren someday (or not).

For the Hunters, the task is simple. Kill the appropriate adds, pop cooldowns when needed, and DPS the crap out of Deathwing's back so that Thrall can have a clear shot with the Dragon Soul. Simple as it is, the adds won't hand victory to your raid that easily. That's why here's a guide that will help you lonesome arrow shooters on how to deal with the encounter.

Before we start, let's talk about abilities:
Barrel Roll — Throughout the encounter, Deathwing tries to throw players from his back when he senses that they are all standing on the same side of his spine. During a barrel roll, all players and other creatures not attached to his back are thrown off.

Elementium Reinforced Plates — The glancing strike from the Dragon Soul has destroyed one of the large armor plates on Deathwing's back and loosened another three. Players must remove all of these plates to give Thrall a chance to get a clear shot.

Burning Tendons
— Players expose Burning Tendons when they pry up one of Deathwing's armor plates. Destroying these fibrous strands is the key to removing an armor plate.

Seal Armor Breach — After the players pry up an armor plate, the Burning Tendons rapidly pull the plate closed, protecting the tendons from further damage and preventing the plate from flying off. Deathwing's

Immune System — The creatures that comprise Deathwing's Immune System emerge from the holes in his back left by torn off armor plates. Deathwing defends himself with increasing intensity as more plates are torn off.

Grasping Tendrils — These tendrils sprout from holes in Deathwing's back that aren't currently occupied by Corruption tentacles. The Tendrils grasp any player that wander too close, reducing their movement speed by 50% and inflicting 6000 Fire damage every 5.20 sec. until they move away. This effect prevents players from being thrown off Deathwing's back.

Corruption — These tentacles are dramatic physical manifestations of the Old God Corruption that runs rampant through Deathwing's body. They emerge first from the holes in his back left by armor plates, and they seal the wound completely, preventing any other creatures from emerging from it.

Searing Plasma — The Corruption coats the victim in the searing blood of Deathwing. The thick blood will absorb up to 200000 healing done to the target and causes the victim to cough up blood. The violent coughing periodically inflicts 10000 Physical damage ever 10 sec. This ability is not used on Raid Finder difficulty.

Fiery Grip — The Corruption grips victims with a whip-like cord of plasma, stunning them for up to 30 sec and inflicting 60000 Fire damage every 3.50 sec. The corruption must channel to maintain this effect, and players may break by inflicting significant damage to the tentacle. This effect prevents players from being thrown off Deathwing's back. This ability is not used on Raid Finder difficulty.

Hideous Amalgamation —
These unstable creatures are a patchwork of Elementium Armor fragments and pieces of the former Dragon's body held together by his molten blood.

Absorb Blood — The Amalgamation absorbs nearby Corrupted Blood residue. The Amalgamation grows more unstable with each Residue absorbed, increasing its damage by 10% and attack speed by 10%. At 9 stacks it becomes superheated.

Superheated Nucleus — The core of the Amalgamation becomes critically unstable, causing it to inflict 15000 Fire damage to all enemies every 3 sec. If players destroy the Amalgamation in this state, then it will trigger a Nuclear Blast.

Nuclear Blast — The superheated nucleus of the Amalgamation triggers a massive explosion, inflicting 375000 Fire damage to targets within 10 yds. This powerful blast pries up one of Deathwing's Elementium plates if it is within range.

Degradation — Destroyed Amalgamations degrade the maximum health of all enemy targets by 6%. This effect occurs regardless of the state of the nucleus and stacks up to 15 times.

Blood Corruption: Death — Deathwing's corruption courses through your veins. This corruption takes hold if it is not removed quickly, infecting the player with the Blood of Deathwing. When dispelled this effect jumps to a new target and can mutate into Blood Corruption: Earth.

Blood of Deathwing — The blood of Deathwing explodes violently from your veins, inflicting 875000 Fire damage to you and several other players.

Blood Corruption: Earth — A shadow of Neltharion courses through your veins. This corruption takes hold if it is not removed quickly, infecting the player with the Blood of Neltharion. When dispelled this effect jumps to a new target and can mutate into Blood Corruption: Death.

Blood of Neltharion — The barest hint of a shadow of the former Earth-Warder suffuses your blood. Damage taken from all sources is reduced by 10%. This effect can stack up to 3 times.

Corrupted Blood — These living globs of Deathwing's blood appear fragile, but leave behind an indestructible residue when killed.

Burst — Corrupted Blood explodes when destroyed, inflicting 10000 Physical damage to nearby enemies within 200 yards.

Residue — Destroying a Corrupted Blood leaves behind an indestructible residue. It slowly creeps toward the nearest hole in Deathwing's Back where it reconstitutes into a new Corrupted Blood.

Okay, so apparently, we have A LOT of abilities to deal with. On top of that, those heck of a lot of abilities are used by a heck of a lot of adds. Lucky for the raid, these adds won't come out at the same time (for now). But as the raid progresses into the fight, these adds will become a pain in the butt with their sheer numbers. Fortunately, we can have Deathwing do the adds killing for us, but that doesn't mean you'll get closer to victory. You'll go far from it, instead.

At the start of the fight, Deathwing will spawn four Corruptions. These are tentacles that deal moderate damage. It is important for the raid to kill the three tentacles first, thus making three Hideous Amalgamation to spawn. Hideos Amalgamations are adds with a chuck load of health, and fighting them at the same time can be disastrous. So why the heck did we just ask you to kill three corruptions? Easy, for you to deal with only one once we make Deathwing do a barrel roll.

Barrel roll is a wicked cool mechanic where Deathwing rolls over himself to remove anything that's riding on his back--players and adds included. For raid members to not fall off Deathwing's back, they should stack on a single hole where a Corruption used to be. Once you're glued to Deathwing's back, say goodbye to the adds.

Now once Deathwing's back been cleared from Amalgamations, kill the last Corruption, thus making only one Hideous Amalgamations spawn. DPS the Hideous Amalgamations down to 10%, these adds are important in removing Deathwing's armor. Other than Hideous Amalgamations, Corrupted Blood will also spawn. These are orange globules running around Deathwing's spine, killing everyone in sight.

Now as the second tank grabs aggro on the Corrupted Blood, it's the raid's job to kill these as soon as possible. Once they die, the main tank will kite the Hideous Amalgamations around the blood residues of the Corrupted Bloods, giving it a buff that will not only increase its attack and attack speed, but gives an ability that will be activated on the ninth stack and once it is killed. So once the Amalgamation gains 9 stacks, let the tank kite the add near the armor then kill him. Once its HP reaches Zero, it will explode, giving huge amounts of damage to nearby players, so remember to keep your distance.

Once the Amalgamation explodes, Deathwing's armor will weaken, leaving only his tendrils to keep it together. The raid must kill the tendril as soon as possible because once it's completely recovered, the armor will go back to its place. So pop your personal cooldowns and knock that tendril down.

Once an armor flies off, it's basically just rinse and repeat to the next two armor plates.

Overall, the fight is more of an add management and when you'll pop your cooldowns. It's also important to keep your raid awareness up especially when your raid leader calls for a Barrel Roll.

Once you're through, congrats! Now pray that the Agility trinket will drop!


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