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This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Majordomo Staghelm in Firelands. It is mostly targeted to DPS 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 Majordomo Staghelm encounter, while not particularly tactically challenging for DPS players, offers a rather difficult raw damage output challenge.
The fight continually ramps up in difficulty, and DPS players are required to do high damage while performing a few simple tasks.
1. Overview of the Fight↑top
The Majordomo Staghelm encounter is unique, in the sense that Staghelm will adapt his mechanics to your raid's actions (as opposed to the other way around, which is typical of all World of Warcraft bosses). Majordomo Staghelm will switch between his Scorpion Form, Cat Form and his Human Form based on your raid's positioning, as follows:
It is not possible for your raid to keep Staghelm in a single form for the entire duration of the fight, as while in a given form (Human Form is excluded), Staghelm will use his damaging abilities increasingly often until he switches out of the form.
At the same time, each time Staghelm switches between forms, he gains another stack of a buff which increases his damage. Thus, the fight has a permanent soft enrage mechanic which will end up wiping your raid.
Your raid will need to find a balance between the amount of time you should keep Staghelm in a single form and how many times you can allow him to change forms.
While in Scorpion Form and Cat Form, Majordomo Staghelm has an energy bar. It starts out empty, and increases over time up to its maximum capacity of 100. The base amount of time for his energy bar to fill up is 20 seconds.
Majordomo Staghelm has a single ability associated with each of his Cat Form and Scorpion Form. These abilities have an energy cost of 100 each, and Staghelm will cast them as soon as he has the required amount of energy.
Each time he uses an ability in either of these two forms, he will gain a stacking buff which reduces the time until his next ability. This will be detailed below. The buff disappears altogether when Staghelm switches form.
2.1. Self Buffs
Fury is a stacking buff which Staghelm gains each time he switches to Scorpion Form or Cat Form, which increases the damage of his abilities by 8% per stack. The implication of this is that Staghelm will do more damage if he is forced to switch forms often, and it acts as a soft enrage mechanic to the encounter.
Adrenaline is a stacking buff which Staghelm gains each time he uses an ability within Cat Form or Scorpion Form, which increases his energy regeneration rate by 20% per stack. This buff disappears when Staghelm switches out of his current form. The implication of this is that the longer Staghelm remains in a single form, the quicker his energy will regenerate and thus the more often he will get to use his abilities.
2.2. Cat Form Abilities
While in Cat Form, whenever he reaches 100 energy, Staghelm will perform Leaping Flames (10-man/25-man), pouncing on a random raid member and dealing damage to them and leaving a fiery void zone on the ground which lasts for 1 minute.
Each time Staghelm performs Leaping Flames, a copy of himself, called Spirit of the Flame, will spawn at the boss' original location. These adds have low health and have no mechanics, but they do melee quite hard. As a rule, they should be killed with priority by your raid.
Every cast of Leaping Flames awards Staghelm another stack of Adrenaline, causing the interval to the next Leaping Flames to further decrease.
2.3. Scorpion Form Abilities
As mentioned above, whenever at least 7 raid members (in 10-man difficulty) or 18 raid members (in 25-man difficulty) are stacked together, Majordomo Staghelm will shift into Scorpion Form. The range within which they must stack remains unspecified at this time, but it appears to be around 10 yards.
While in Scorpion Form, whenever he reaches 100 energy, Staghelm will perform Flame Scythe. Flame Scythe deals a large amount of damage split among all enemies in a cone in front of Staghelm.
Every cast of Flame Scythe awards Staghelm another stack of Adrenaline, causing the interval to the next Flame Scythe to further decrease.
2.4. Human Form Abilities
Every third transformation, Majordomo Staghelm will briefly enter his Human Form. While in Human Form, he will incapacitate all raid members for 3 seconds through Fiery Cyclone, after which he will cast one of two abilities:
As you can see, which of his two abilities he casts depends on the form he is switching out of.
Shortly after casting the relevant ability, the boss will proceed to switching into which ever form he was about to enter.
Searing Seeds places a debuff on a number of raid members. This debuff has a random duration for each raid member, at the end of which the raid member will explode and deal 50,000 Fire damage to all allies within 12 yards. Because the durations are different for each player, the debuff will run out at different times on each of the afflicted players., so everyone needs to be mindful of their own debuff.
Burning Orbs summons 2 large, stationary fiery orbs around the room in 10-man difficulty and 5 orbs in 25-man difficulty. These persist for one minute and deal damage to the player nearest to them with their only ability, Burning Orb. They inflict a 6 second DoT on the player, dealing 4,000 Fire damage every 2 seconds, and stacking infinitely. Players will need to regularly rotate who is nearest to the orb so that stacks do not reach excessive numbers.
The Majordomo Staghelm encounter ramps up in difficulty continually until either he or your raid is dead. Having Staghelm shift between his forms grants him a stack of Fury each time, meaning that too many shifts will cause him to do too much damage for your raid, while keeping Staghelm in a single phase for too long will cause his stacks of Adrenaline to allow him to basically spam his abilities, thus wiping your raid.
As you can see, the key is balance. The exact alternation of phases that your raid will use depends greatly on your ability to handle his different abilities.
Below, we detail the recommended strategy for each of his phases.
3.1. Cat Form Strategy
Your raid's goal during Cat Form is to have your ranged raid members and healers spread out around the center of the arena (a circular pattern on the floor facilitates this), DPS Majordomo Staghelm and Spirit of the Flame adds (both of which should be tanked in the center of said circle), while avoiding any damage from the void zones left behind by Leaping Flames (10-man/25-man).
The Leaping Flames void zones deal extreme amounts of damage and will prove fatal to anyone standing within them for more than a few seconds. Players standing next to a Leaping Flames void zone should aim to be as close to it as possible (without taking any damage), so that if they are targeted by another Leaping Flames, the two void zones will overlap and take up less space.
When stacking up to force a Scorpion Form, your raid members should be prepared to do so together, in as coordinated a fashion as possible, closely following a Leaping Flames cast. The reason for this is that if a number of players are in his melee range while others are still moving in, and the boss has no yet switched to Scorpion Form, the next Leaping Flames can be cast on someone in his melee range and can wipe your raid.
3.2. Scorpion Form Strategy
Your goal during Scorpion Form is to have your entire raid stacked together in front of the boss. This will ensure that Flame Scythe damage is properly distributed among your raid, making it healable.
Your strategy during this phase is simple: heal the raid while dealing damage to Majordomo Staghelm.
Once you find the frequency between his attacks to become too great a strain on your healers, it is time to spread out, thus forcing him to switch to Cat Form.
3.2.1. Tips and Tricks
Melee DPS classes suffer greatly if they are unable to attack mobs from behind, and Feral Druids and Rogues especially so. Fortunately, these classes can position themselves to the boss' sides, right behind either one of his pincers. This causes their attacks to be counted as being "from behind", while also causing them to properly soak Flame Scythe.
The positioning must be quie precise. Therefore, if you do not feel confident enough in your positioning, and soaking the Flame Scythe is essential (ie., the boss has many Adrenaline stacks), it is best to be on the safe side and simply move in front of him.
3.3. Human Form Strategy
The difficulty comes not from each ability itself, but from the fact that you will have to deal with this ability while Staghelm is in either Cat or Scorpion Form. There is only one possible variant, which we will detail below.
3.3.1. Handling Searing Seeds During Scorpion Form
When Searing Seeds is cast, it is always followed by Scorpion Form. Players affected by Searing Seeds should remain in the raid to soak Flame Scythe until their debuff is about to run out, at which point they should get 12 yards clear of the raid, and move back in once the debuff has run out.
Players running out with Searing Seeds should pay special attention not to have their seed detonated in proximity to a player who is running back to the boss (a player who had just run out for their own seed).
Paladins, Rogues and Mages can get rid of their Searing Seeds through Divine Shield, Cloak of Shadows and Ice Block respectively. Note that this will still cause the seed to detonate and deal damage to nearby allies. Players desiring to do this should do so immediately after a Flame Scythe has been cast, and should, naturally, be out of the raid. This will ensure that they are able to return to the stacking position before the next Scythe.
3.3.2. Handling Burning Orbs During Cat Form
As Burning Orb target the nearest player, stacking its damaging effect on them, it is advised that pairs of players are prepared to switch places (namely, changing who is closest to a Burning Orb) so that the stacks do not reach excessive amounts on a single player.
Burning Orbs, as stated earlier, last 1 minute, are stationary and are not attackable.
Invulnerabilities such as Divine Shield, Ice Block or Deterrence allow players to soak the damage from a Burning Orb without receiving any damage from it for a short while, but still receiving stacks of Burning Orb. This can prove helpful in stabilising an otherwise chaotic situation.
4. Heroic Mode↑top
The heroic mode of this encounter is very similar in execution to the normal mode. This fight is, like Baleroc, another huge DPS race.
4.1. Differences from Normal Mode
There is one notable difference from normal mode: the existence of a Concentration Bar. This is an encounter-specific resource, much like the Corruption Bar on the Cho'gall encounter or the Sound Bar on the Atramedes encounter.
The Concentration Bar starts out empty, and has a maximum capacity of 100 points. It increases at a steady rate (which does not vary based on any factors) and takes 20 seconds to reach maximum capacity. Any damage taken resets the bar back to 0. The player receives an increase to their damage and healing done, depending on how much concentration they have, as follows:
The Concentration resource does not simply make the fight easier - it is sorely needed for the raid to be able to overcome Staghelm's colossal health pool. Indeed, Staghelm has 105M health in 10-man difficulty and 367M in 25-man difficulty, with a 10 minute enrage timer.
All of Staghelm's abilities deal increased damage, although this is of little concern to DPS players, and they should be handled as in normal mode.
4.2. Strategy Changes
This encounter is all about maximising DPS, in order to beat the enrage timer. And this, in turn, means maximising uptime of Concentration.
There are various small differences in execution, for all parts of the fight, which can allow you to maximise the uptime of Concentration.
Before delving into each of the different phases, it should be stated that the ideal time to use person DPS cooldowns is during a time when you have 100 Concentration.
4.2.1. Scorpion Form
Scorpion Form is the part of the fight where the most notable changes occur, in terms of your raid's strategy. Your raid leader will opt to use one of several means of handling this phase, while maximising the Concentration level of DPS players.
As a DPS player, you will either be asked to soak Flame Scythes normally, like on normal mode, or to stand out from the boss (or behind him) to avoid being damaged by Flame Scythe, thus retaining your Concentration.
If you are a Shadow Priest, you may be required to use your Dispersion right before Flame Scythe is about to be cast, and stand next to the tank (in front of the boss), helping him soak Flame Scythe damage. Obviously, you should only do this if assigned by your raid leader, and only when you have Dispersion up.
Other than this, the phase will feel exactly like the normal version.
4.2.2. Cat Form
It appears impossible to avoid being targeted by Leaping Flames (if you are a ranged DPS), and the only thing you can do is make sure that you are properly spread out so that a Leaping Flames never resets more than one player's concentration.
4.2.3. Searing Seeds/Burning Orbs
Searing Seeds should be handled exactly as in normal mode.
Burning Orbs will be primarily soaked by healers and tanks, but some DPS players will need to contribute, resetting their Concentration.
If you are a Paladin or a Mage, you have the ability to soak damage from multiple Burning Orbs (provided you are closest to all of them) and survive, by means of Divine Shield or Ice Block, providing valuable Concentration for the rest of your raid.