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This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of theencounter with Spine 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 Spine of Deathwing encounter takes place on Deathwing's back, as he isflying through the air. During this fight, your raid will have to handle manytypes of adds, with the final goal being to remove three of Deathwing's armorplates.
For tanks, the encounter presents little difficulty. The only concern isproper positioning of the adds.
1. Overview of the Fight↑top
Spine of Deathwing is a single phase encounter that takes place onDeathwing's back, as he is flying through the air. Your raid will need toproperly deal with several types of adds in order to pry up and remove3 armor plates from Deathwing's back. The idea is to open a big enoughhole in Deathwing's armor, so as to give Thrall a clear shot with the DragonSoul.
The armor plates can only be removed sequentially, as removing one enablesthe raid to reach the next one. This causes the fight to become increasinglyharder, as the number of adds you need to deal with increases after an armorplate has been removed.
You will be faced with 4 types of adds.
Initially, there are 4 Corruptions. Each armor plate that you removegives room to 2 more Corruptions. There will always be at least one Corruptionup: even if you kill them all, a new one will automatically respawn. When youkill a Corruption, it leaves a hole behind, out of which 1Hideous Amalgamation and 1 Corrupted Blood appear.
When you kill a Corrupted Blood, it respawns after a few seconds andit leaves a puddle on the ground thatgives a buff to the Hideous Amalgamation. The idea is to stack this buff 9times, at which point the Amalgamation should be killed. Doing so willcause the Amalgamation to pry up the closest armor plate, exposing aBurning Tendons.
If you successfully kill the Burning Tendon in the next 23 seconds,the armor plate will be successfully removed, otherwise you need to finishit off after prying up the armor plate again.
As a tank, you will have to occasionally move into one of the void zoneslocated on the sides of Deathwing's back (to perform a Barrel Roll and getrid of the Hideous Amalgamations). Your raid leader will instruct youwhen to do this, and which void zone to go to (simply follow the rest of theraid). After a few moments, you can return to the center of his back.
In LFR, this will not happen, and you can spend the entire duration of thefight performing your tanking duties.
3.1. Tank-specific Assignments
There are a few things you must do as a tank in this encounter:
In case your raid is using 2 tanks for the fight, the main tank will take theHideous Amalgamation designated to pry up the armor plate while the other tank willtake the rest of the Amalgamations (if they have not been removed by a Barrel Roll).The Corrupted Bloods will be spread among the tanks, possibly in a way that evensout the damage that the tanks take.
4. Heroic Mode↑top
The Heroic mode of the Spine of Deathwing encounter will not prove tootaxing for you as a tank, although there are a few things to keep in mind thatdiffer from Normal mode.
4.1. Differences from Normal Mode
In addition to increased health of all mobs in the encounter as well asincreased damage dealt by all abilities, the following differences arerelevant to you as a tank:
As a tank, there are two things to keep in mind in terms of strategy:
4.2.1. Positioning the Hideous Amalgamations
This section is only of interest to you if you are playing the main-tankin this encounter (i.e., you are tanking the Hideous Amalgamations and notthe Corrupted Bloods).
Because the Hideous Amalgamations deal much increased damage in Heroicmode, you will want to avoid stacking Absorbed Blood on them at all untilthey are just about to die. This is made easy by the fact that theCorrupted Bloods leave a puddle where they die and moving the Amalgamationin this puddle is what actually grants it stacks of Absorbed Blood.
As a result, you should tank the Hideous Amalgamation away fromany Corrupted Bloods (which will be killed in a single location by yourraid). Once the Amalgamation is ready to be killed, you should drag it overthe location where the Bloods were killed, immediately giving it 9 stacks ofAbsorbed Blood.
For each armor plate, you will have to kill two Hideous Amalgamations,because the Burning Tendon must be exposed twice in order to be killed. BothAmalgamations must die in the exact same place, in order to expose the sameBurning Tendons. This is because under each armor plate, there are twoseparate tendons, one on the right and one on the left.
4.2.2. Handling Corrupted Bloods
This section is only of interest to you if you are playing the off-tankin this encounter (i.e., you are tanking the Corrupted Bloods and not theHideous Amalgamations).
Firstly, you should tank all the Corrupted Bloods away from theHideous Amalgamations and have your raid members kill them there (this isbecause you do not want the Hideous Amalgamations to gain any stacks of Absorbed Blood prematurely). You should tank the Corrupted Bloods nearto the armor plate.
Corrupted Bloods deal more damage than in Normal mode (although their damageis still rather low). As a result, towards the end of the fight, when manyBloods are spawning, you will find it more beneficial to kite themaround Deathwing's back rather than simply tanking them. Just run around inwide circles.