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This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of theencounter with Madness of Deathwing in Dragon Soul. It is mostly targeted to tankswho desire to have a short but detailed overview of what is expected ofthem during that fight.
This guide applies to patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft.
The Madness of Deathwing encounter contains a large variety of adds,spells, and mechanics, but it is, ultimately, not difficult to understand orexecute. All three roles will, at certain times, have a lot ofpressure placed on them to perform well.
The five Aspects aid your raid during this encounter, although, as thefight progresses, they become effectively disabled, making it increasinglydifficult for your raid. Though, they do come back to help you killDeathwing, at the very end.
As a tank, you will find the greatest challenge of the encounter to besurvival, as there are several highly damaging mechanics that you will becoming your way.
1. Overview of the Fight↑top
The Madness of Deathwing encounter is a two phase fight.
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 ofDeathwing's limbs rests on one platform, and your raid will have to travelto 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 crashednext to one of the platforms (where the entire phase is spent). At the sametime, your raid will have to regularly kill two types of adds. Deathwing'shealth will initially be at 20% and he will deal increasing raid damage as henears death.
1.1. Aspects and Their Buffs
Throughout the fight, your raid will have assistance from the four dragonAspects. Each Aspect is flying over one of the four platforms, resulting inthe following naming conventions for the platforms in this guide:
Each of the Aspects offers the raid a specific buff (such as increasedhealth) and uses a specific ability.
The Aspects provide the following buffs and abilities:
2. Phase One↑top
Phase One consists of clearing all 4 platforms of Deathwing's limbs. Youwill do this one platform at a time, and a platform is considered cleared whenthe respective Arm or Wing Tentacle has been killed. For each platform, youwill have to defeat a series of adds in a specific order. Fortunately, thisis the same for all 4 platforms (with a minor variation), so the strategyremains simple.
Your raid leader will almost certainly clear the platforms in the followingorder: Ysera > Nozdormu > Alexstrasza > Kalecgos or Ysera > Alexstrasza >Nozdormu > Kalecgos. As such, we will provide you with the strategy only forthis sequence.
2.1. First Platform
Here, you will have to perform the following tasks:
For the rest of the time, there is nothing for you to tank and you shouldsimply contribute with any DPS that you can on the Arm/Wing Tentacle.
2.2. Second Platform
By now, your raid will have lost the 20% increased healing from Ysera aswell as the Dream ability.
You should simply repeat the steps from the previous platform.
2.3. 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 andElementium Bolt, but there are no strategy changes whatsoever.
2.4. Fourth Platform
Your raid has now lost all but Kalecgos' buffs, meaning that this platformwill be the most difficult for your raid to clear. Your own survival as wellas the raid's survival will be put to the test, so you should not hesitateto use any cooldowns you have.
Otherwise, there is no strategy change.
3. Phase Two↑top
During Phase Two, you have a single task as a tank: pick up one of the twoElementium Terrors that spawn, and tank it inside Nozdormu's Time Zone until they are killed. These adds stack a very damaging debuffon their tanks.
In all likelihood, 2 or 3 waves of Elementium Terrors will have time tospawn before Deathwing dies.
If you are a Protection Paladin and you are your raid's only tank (in asingle tank strategy), you can use Divine Shield (followed by a quick/cancelaura Divine Shield) to get rid of any stacks of the Tetanus (10-man/25-man)debuff.
4. Tier 13 4-piece Tank Set Bonuses↑top
You can use your 4-Part tier 13 set bonuses (all of which offer eitherdamage reduction or increased health to the raid) at certain key points, inorder to help the healers deal with the high amounts of raid damage.Specifically, these bonuses are of use:
Keep in mind that these cooldowns can only be used at the expense of yourown 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 cooldownrotation by the raid leader, and not just used freely.
5. Heroic Mode↑top
The Heroic mode of Madness of Deathwing is a rather difficult andchallenging encounter, that will test your abilities as a tank. You will alsoneed to survive some rather extreme amounts of damage.
5.1. 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:
In addition to these increases, two new mechanics exist:
The fight will go on in much the same way as Normal mode, with only a fewdifferences.
5.2.1. Corrupting Parasite
The Corrupting Parasite cannot target you as a tank, so your only concernsregarding it are:
The Impale (10-man/25-man) ability now deals significantly moredamage than in Normal mode. On the first platform, you can use Dreamtogether with a minor cooldown in order to survive it, while on otherplatforms you will always require a major cooldown. Do not hesitate to askfor help from healers, in the form of a Power Word: Shield or anexternal cooldown like Guardian Spirit.
5.2.3. Phase Two: Elementium Terrors and Congealing Bloods
The new adds that spawn in Phase Two, the Congealing Bloods, are of noreal concern to you. Your DPS players will AoE these down. However, forefficiency purposes, you may be required to tank the Elementium Terrorsuntil the Bloods spawn and then move them on top of the Bloods, so thatyour raid can AoE them all together.
In any case, you should tank the Elementium Terrors inside the Time Zone until you have to move them onto the Bloods.