Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Firelands Update: Beth'tilac

Welcome back mages, and other hangers-on. For this instalment, we’ll be taking a look at Beth’tilac. I’ve had this one on farm for a few weeks now, and I believe its time to impart some of the lessons I’ve learnt. This big spider is loosely allied with Ragnaros’ forces, although her brood seem to be spending a lot of time fighting with them. Odd. Regardless, she’s there, she’s a spider and she wants to kill us all and set her brood loose on Azeroth to wreak destruction and kill your wives and children. And if that’s not enough reason to kill her, or if the idea of that much fiery destruction and suffering makes you want to clap your hands with glee (I wouldn’t blame you to be honest), then she drops shiny purples. Regardless, she’s often the second boss you’ll take down once you hit the Firelands with your raid. This boss is a step up from Shannox in terms of requirements. The soft enrage of phase 2 is absolutely brutal, prepare for a fair bit of wiping. Let’s have a look at her abilities:

For starters, you will be dealing with 3 types of adds: Cinderweb Drones, Cinderweb Spinners and Cinderweb Spiderlings. The drones spawn throughout phase one, as do the Spiderlings, whereas the spinners spawn in 3 waves during phase one. The fight is split into 2 levels, the ground level, and the web level. At the start of the fight, Beth’tilac will climb up to the web level, and spinners will descend (the first wave). When killed or taunted down, they drop a web, which can be used (like getting into a vehicle) to climb to the web level. A tank healers and 1-2/5-6 (10/25 man) dps will be sent up to the web level, while everyone else will remain on the floor. I will deal with the floor first, and then the web.

If you are on the floor, you will be dealing with the adds. Your first priority should be any spinners left dangling from the upper web, because they do raid damage. Spinners on the ground are probably the least important (unless your raid leader says otherwise). You will probably be assigned to either spiderlings or drones. The spiderlings will spawn in packs, and head straight for the nearest drone. They have to be AOE’d down (they have no aggro table) because if the reach the drone, each spiderling will be consumed, healing the drone for 20% health and a damage boost. If you are on the drone, it has to be burned down before its energy bar hits 0. If it does, the drone will go to the upper level, and start to siphon energy off Beth’tilac (which is bad). Try to stay stacked (unless you have to spam arcane explosion) for AOE heals. Eventually the boss will descend from her web. At this point, all spiderlings must be dead, because the boss will consume them for 10% of her health, which will probably constitute a wipe.

If you are on the web, you will need to go up on a spinner web. You should only go up once the tank and all healers have already gone up, or you will wipe the raid. Your job is simple: stand there and nuke the boss. She will be casting a constant pulsing AOE fire damage. There will be patches of fire spawning on the floor, you must absolutely avoid these, because they will hurt, and cause you to fall through the floor, off the web (if this happens, remember to slow fall). Jumping through the hole in the middle of the web will also cause you to fall down, but without fall damage. When the boss reaches 0 energy (which happens faster if there are drones siphoning energy off her (hence the need to kill them before they can go up top) she will cast shouldering devastation, which will kill anyone still on the web after 8 seconds (even if you’re ice blocked), so you need to jump through the central hole if this happens. I haven’t tested it, but I suppose cauterise will allow you to survive it, but this would leave you alone with the boss without a tank or healer, which is probably fatal). After smouldering devastation, the next wave of spinners will spawn, and you rinse and repeat. You will have 3 cycles before the boss descends, and every ounce of damage you do during this time will make phase 2 easier. I usually go up on my own for our raid group, and the boss is on 80% when phase 2 starts, which is enough for us to get the kill, but we have very good healers. With two dps up there you should be aiming for a minimum of 70%. When no one is on the web, the boss will do AOE damage to the raid.

Phase 2 will start after Beth’tilac casts smouldering devastation for the third time. The web team will descend, and at this point the priority is to kill and remaining spiderlings IMMEDIATLY. All dps should swap to this task. Any remaining drones and spinners should then be nuked down. The boss will now start to deal increasing AOE fire damage do the raid, as well as apply a de-buff to her main threat target which requires a tank swap to deal with. You should pop all cooldowns and nuke the boss down before she wipes the raid.

As a mage, there are several things to do during this fight, depending on your task. If you are on the floor, you will be tasked to a dps target. If on the drones, lucky you, it’s a simple Patchwork style rotation, same with the spinners. Just keep an eye out on how many smouldering devastations have been cast, so you have your main cooldowns ready for phase 2. If you are on the spinners, you are on AOE duty. Fire mages shine here, using blast wave to slow the adds, flamestrike, and of course spreading ignite through impact. Arcane mages will be using arcane explosion, while keeping their arcane blast stacks up by hitting the drone. If you’re in frost, use blizzard for the slow. Frost nova should be used by all three specs to lock the adds in place if they are nearing the drone, and ring of frost is your ‘oh s*** the spiderlings have almost hit the drone’ button. Again, any spinners still hanging from the web should be top priority, unless directed otherwise, because they deal a lot of damage when up there. If you’re in arcane, take care with casting evocation, because if you are at the point where no-one is on the web, the AOE damage from the boss will cause pushback which might lose you a tick or two. The same is true if you have a spinner aggro’d on you. Take care if AOEing the spinners as arcane that you don’t run out of healer range. If you’re on the web, you have a few things to worry about. Again, I’ll reiterate the importance of not standing in the fire patches. Aside from the poop, and the pushback from the AOE, you can run a standard rotation in fire and frost. If you’re in frost keep in mind you may be lacking your elemental (I haven’t tried it myself, but I’d imagine it’s the case). As arcane, this fight is rather annoying. Unless you have arcane power up, you will struggle to get through an entire burn phase. I usually pop arcane power and my mastery trinket when I first get up there, and do a burn phase without using mana gem. I will evocate when I get down, and make sure I have full mana when I go back up. If you need to use a mana gem to achieve this because you didn’t get a full evocation off, wait till you go back up there. For the second round on the web, I will have a small burn phase, use the mana gem, and then do a conservation rotation. I have a full burn phase for the third round on the web, and evocate when I get back down, so that i’m full mana for phase 2. Fire mages should remember to refresh dots before jumping down for smouldering devastation, and get as many combustions off as possible. For phase 2, you have pushback from the pulsing AOE to deal with, which gets rather annoying. If you have to evocate, wait until after a pulse, and put up mage ward and mana shield. Be ready to pull out all the stops for phase 2, the increasing damage is brutal on your healers. If you’re specced for incanter’s absorption, it’s a definite boon in this fight, there is a lot of damage to absorb, and your healers will thank you. Frost and fire mages may want to swap to mage armor for the end of the fight to help with a bit of damage mitigation as raid damage starts to build up.

Now for a look at the loot. Again, Beth’tilac drops a few nice pieces for mages:

·         Funeral Pyre: Caster DPS staff with a red socket (10 intellect bonus, put a +40 intellect gem in here), crit and mastery. This is excellent for arcane mages, fire will want to reforge the mastery to haste or hit, frost can keep it as is.

·         Robes of Smouldering Devastation: Caster DPS chest with a red and a blue socket (20 intellect socket bonus, you will want a +40 intellect gem and a purple gem of choice in here), haste and mastery. An arcane mage will want to take off the haste for crit or hit, while a fire will take off the mastery for crit, and frost will want to take one of the two off for crit if below the 33% soft cap. This slot will eventually be replaced by your tier chest. Since the non-tier leggings don’t drop till Alysrazor, and the non-tier hands are off Ragnaros (or the crafted option, but those are monstrously expensive and in very short supply) you will probably want to take this, and nab your tier chest after your tier legs, so you get the most use out of this.

That’s it for Beth’tilac, if I’ve missed anything drop a comment and I’ll be sure to add it in. Good luck, this boss will really put you to the test.

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