Friday, March 2, 2012

Fight-Specific Tricks (Dragon Soul part 2 of 2)

Read part 1 here: Fight-Specific Tricks (Dragon Soul part 1 of 2).

Two weeks ago, I began a two-part series on fight-specific things you can do to help your DPS and your raid in Dragon Soul. This week, I'm picking up where I left off. As before, this post is not written with LFR in mind, but some of the tips may apply there. Likewise, while I would like to give Heroic-specific tips, I simply don't know many of the fights.

Ultraxion is the Patchwerk of Dragon Soul; he's a raw DPS and HPS check, with very few gimmicks and no movement.

After the first Hour of Twilight, DPS may be subject to Fading Light up to twice per hour. If you're using the MSp/MB rotation with 4pc t13, try to begin it immediately after the first set of Fading Lights for the hour, so you won't be interrupted.

Other than that, this fight is all about raw output. Be sure to pre-pot, and consider checking out my advanced shadow priest DPS guide, if you're not up to snuff.

Heroic: You'll likely be called upon to help soak one or more of the Hours of Twilight. Use Dispersion, and make a /cancelaura macro so you can get back to DPSing as quickly as possible. Here's mine:

This macro casts Dispersion if you don't hold a modifier key, and removes it if you do. (By default, the modifier keys are Ctrl, Alt and Shift, but you can change which keys count as modifier keys in the WoW options.)

Warmaster Blackhorn
Blackhorn is the gunship fight in Dragon Soul, and a perfect place to master multi-DoTing, and to show off your monstrous DPS numbers once you do master it.

Drakes: The drakes spend the first ~20 seconds of their life out of attack range, and if DPS is low, fly away again later. You can and should load these up with DoTs as they fly overhead to drop off each set of melee adds. Beware that Shadowfiend has difficulty meleeing them, even when they're harpooned.

Twilight Sappers: You can hit them with an instant cast DoT right as they land. DP is a good choice. After they reappear, Mind Flay spam will help your melee catch up to them. They're immune to our fears.

Twilight Onslaught: Use Dispersion on these to help your healers out.

Phase 2 (Goriona/Blackhorn): Groups progressing Blackhorn will want you to focus all DPS on Goriona, and specifically to NOT multi-DoT them both. If you're in a farm run though, feel free to do so. If you foresee yourself failing to avoid a Shockwave, you can cheese the damage with Dispersion, but the stun will still hit you.

Spine of Deathwing
The Spine of Deathwing fight is all about precise damage and healing, rather than large raw output. Think of it as the antithesis to Ultraxion.

Burning Tendons: I wrote a detailed analysis of this portion of the fight over on It's as relevant today as it was last Christmas. Check out my guide here. Seriously, do it. It'll almost triple your output on the Tendons.

Fiery Grip
: As a shadow priest, you can turn this fight from healer hell into just another raid boss. After your group is done cleaning up the initial Corruptions, focus the final one and pay loose attention to its cast bar. It will cast Searing Plasma x4, then it will begin channeling Fiery Grip. As the 4th Searing Plasma cast nears completion, pre-cast a Mind Spike, cast a second Mind Spike, and cast an instant Mind Blast. This will interrupt the Fiery Grip after ~1.5 seconds, long before it would deal any damage to anyone. If the grip is on you, use Dispersion to soak the damage and call for help. Your raid will love you.

Late fight (many Corrupted Bloods, handle it!): As the fight draws to a close, you're likely to see Corrupted Bloods spawning faster than the raid can make use of their residues. 1-2 DPS should devote themselves to AoE; the bloods deal far less damage as they explode than they do if left alive to melee the healers. Your raid may also call upon you to help heal. Divine Hymn, as always is quite helpful, then I recommend Flash Heal spam on players with the debuff.

Madness of Deathwing
Madness of Deathwing is the final boss of Cataclysm, and in my opinion, the best-designed raid endboss since Ulduar. This fight taxes every aspect of your raid, from healing to raw DPS, to burst DPS, single-target, AoE, defensive cooldown use, multi-DoTing and more.

Mutated Corruption: If your group isn't depending on killing it before a second Impale, or if you'll manage that regardless, you can multi-DoT the limb tentacle while this is up. Also, Shadowfiend had been known to have problems meleeing this. Take care not to push the limb tentacle to 75% during this phase though; you'll spawn Blistering Tentacles.

Elementium Bolt: If the time zone is active, MSp/MB will likely kill it before it lands. If not, MSp/MB is still the most effective way to kill it, just make sure to be far away from the impact site.

Blistering Tentacles: Multi-DoTing or MSp/MB are both good options here. Tailor your choice to your raid group.

Regenerative Blood: Make sure you have a fresh Empowered Shadow as these spawn, and center Mind Sear off of your tank.

Cataclysm: For the love of the Light, don't use Shadow Word: Death here without 2pc t13! Once it's over run with your raid to the next platform. As mana can be tight on this fight, consider using Dispersion for the mana while running.

Phase 2 (Elementium Fragments): DoT up any loners, then center a Mind Sear on the biggest grouping of the buggers you can find.

Phase 2 (Elementium Terrors): MSp/MB + cooldowns on the first kill target. After that, de-form and begin blasting the tank with Flash Heal. I don't care if you weren't asked to; he's going to be taking upwards of 100k every second. Keep blasting him until his HP bar stops resembling a tennis rally.

Thus concludes my 2-part series on Dragon Soul bosses. Next Friday, I'll either write an analysis of shadow priest trinkets, or do something else. Aren't I specific? Feel free to suggest desired topics in the comments.

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