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This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Lord Rhyolith in Firelands. 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 applies to patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft.
The encounter with Rhyolith requires the healers to contend with rather moderate damage for most of the fight. The last 20 to 30 seconds consist of a very intense burn phase during which Rhyolith will deal increasingly more fire damage. Other than the damage that needs to be healed, this fight does not present healers with specific mechanics or positioning issues.
1. Overview of the Fight↑top
The encounter is made up of 2 phases. Phase One (from 100% to 25% health) requires the raid to move Rhyolith around the room to break his armor while Phase Two (from 25% health to the end) is a standard nuke phase.
During Phase One, the raid will take moderate damage. During Phase Two you will need to use all your cooldowns to keep the raid alive long enough to finish off the boss.
2. Phase One↑top
As this phase does not require specific positions or strategies from the point of view of a healer, we are only going to detail the various sources of damage.
2.1. Unavoidable Damage
Throughout Phase One, Rhyolith will deal unavoidable damage to the entire raid every 30 seconds with Concussive Stomp.
Rhyolith creates 2 or 3 volcanoes every time he uses Concussive Stomp. Volcanoes occasionally erupt (Eruption) for 20 seconds. During this time, 3 players in 10-man difficulty, 6 in 25-man, are randomly selected every 2 seconds to receive 10,000 Fire damage. Eruption also stacks a debuff on players every time they are hit, increasing their Fire damage taken by 5% for 14 seconds and stacking a maximum of 20 times.
2.2. Avoidable Damage
Whenever Rhyolith steps on a volcano, this volcano becomes a crater. A crater releases streams of lava as soon as it is formed and then disappears. These streams deal 75,000 Fire damage to anyone standing in their path. After 10 seconds, the lava streams explode, dealing 150,000 Fire damage to anyone standing on them.
Every time Rhyolith steps on a volcano that is not erupting, he gains 2 to 4 stacks of Molten Armor. This is a cause of increased damage that you need to take into account.
2.3. Melee DPS Damage
Every 20-25 seconds, Rhyolith casts either Summon Fragments of Rhyolith or Summon Spark of Rhyolith, which summon respectively 5 Fragments of Rhyolith or 1 Spark of Rhyolith, and deal 13,000 Fire damage to players within 7 yards of Rhyolith. Melee DPS cannot avoid these abilities as they have no cast time.
2.4. Tank Damage
Tanks will only take damage from the adds spawned by Rhyolith: Fragments of Rhyolith and Spark of Rhyolith. While the Fragments of Rhyolith are doing relatively low damage to their tank (4k in 10-man difficulty and 10k damage in 25-man difficulty, every 2 seconds), a Spark of Rhyolith has a stronger melee attack (13k in 10-man difficulty and 30-35k in 25-man difficulty), casts Immolation every second, and applies a stack of Infernal Rage on the tank every 5 seconds.
3. Phase Two↑top
As preliminary note, it should be mentioned that, 6 minutes after the start of the encounter, Lord Rhyolith becomes Superheated. This is a stacking buff which increases his damage dealt by 10% per stack, and stacks once every 10 seconds. While in most cases, this will not occur at all, as the boss will die before the 6 minute mark, if it does happen, it is likely to coincide with Phase Two.
In addition to this new ability, Rhyolith retains Concussive Stomp from Phase One. This ability becomes particularly dangerous when Rhyolith is already Superheated.
Volcanoes still erupt (Eruption) and Holy Paladins should use Divine Shield to remove their stacks of the debuff that this ability leaves. Note that the stacks of the Eruption debuff reset upon entering Phase Two.
During Phase Two, Rhyolith is handled by a tank who will take, every 2 seconds, 25-30k damage from Rhyolith's melee attacks, in both 10-man and 25-man difficulties. The tank should never allow Rhyolith to step on a volcano, but if that happens, expect damage from the lava streams that will subsequently flow through the fighting area.
4. Heroic Mode↑top
The heroic mode for Lord Rhyolith will provide you with a very tough healing challenge, especially in Phase Two, but is not very different from the normal mode of the encounter.
4.1. Differences from Normal Mode
As a healer, the only differences from normal mode which concern you are:
4.2. Strategy Changes
As a healer, Phase One remains unchanged, with the only exception being that you should expect more damage overall. There are no new sources of damage.
5 minutes after the start of the fight, when Lord Rhyolith becomes Superheated, all damage will continually increase, constituting a soft enrage mechanics. This will strain healing.
Superheated poses the greatest issues during Phase Two, when Lord Rhyolith is already damaging the raid constantly with Immolation. This is the best time to use any healing cooldowns available (preferably in a predetermined rotation), making particularly sure that a defensive cooldown of some sort ( Aura Mastery, Spirit Link Totem) is up for every Superheated Concussive Stomp.
Quite importantly, you must pay special attention to tank's health during Phase Two, as Rhyolith melees for a huge amount (especially as he gains more stacks of Superheated) and coupled with a Concussive Stomp, it can easily kill a tank.
Lastly, remember to move from the eye beams shot by the boss during Phase Two, though these are quite slow and should not pose problems.