I first got the idea for this article while I was standing outside Gamestop on Cataclysm release night with a friend of mine, waiting to pick up my copy and for my significant other to return with some ‘tex-mex’ coney’s from sonic. Freakin’ delicious, let me tell you. I can’t quite recall the lead in to the conversation, but I decided to make some predictions on the deathwing boss fight come patch 4.3 or 4.4.
The Sure Bets: I’d actually consider putting money on some of the following, but this is easy stuff. First, there’ll naturally be multiple phases to the fight. There will be a tail to worry about and a cleave/breath mechanic to not stand in front of. There will be adds and fire on the ground or things falling from the air (probably all of the above). I think most of us can agree on this basics of a big dragon fight. Follow me after the break for how I think the phase breakdown will be and the long-shots I’m calling for this fight.
- Intro Phase – Kill a couple of medium dragons/adds. Think Sindranosga beginning dragons.
- Phase 1 – Mostly standard dragon tank n spank. Watch for fire on the ground, falling rocks, cleave, and tail swipe. Something like the first phase of Halion.
- Phase 1.5 – I’m seeing Lich King like mini-phases here. This will have a bunch of adds, deathwing might not be attackable. There will probably be more aoe to worry about, big adds to kill and also adds that are “healing” deathwing by patching up his armor. The big adds that hurt will likely be dragons with dark irons patching up the big draco. Kill them quick or he’ll heal tons.
- Phase 2 – Deathwing flies up into the air, makes some taunts, sends out some insta-gib fire balls and mean adds to smash our faces. Lets give a throwback to our Ony roots and put range on the boss while melee deals with adds.
- Phase 2.5 – Mostly a repeat of 1.5, adds healing deathwing, adds beating our faces. Expect an addition mechanic to be added here though, just to keep us on our toes.
- Phase 3 – This should be a culmination of everything at once. He’ll be low health so his minions will be constantly repairing him. He’ll be sending out more adds than ever, and just as much aoe to watch out of. Since this will be a ground phase there will be cleave/breath and tail still. I don’t think there will be any tank swap mechanics since the off tank will be needed for the considerable adds. This phase will probably feel like the Dreamwalker fight from ICC, except the dragon is being healed by the enemy and instead of it being a friendly green dragon, its deathwing, and he wants to kill you. There’s a decent chance they’ll pull a Lich King 10% health fight stop here or something similar.
You can’t really expect to beat deathwing alone with nothing but a rag-tag group of adventurers. I’d be very surprised if some or all of the other dragon flights weren’t represented here. Alexstrasza is especially likely to help out at some point. Considering Thrall is out doing more field work this expansion, I would expect him to at least cameo. Garrosh and Wyrnn are also possibility on the guest list, but less likely.
Considering I anticipate the red dragonflight making an appearance, there could be a ‘riding a drake’ mechanic or at least something that uses their help. There also is a chance of having boss specific gear to use, most specifically something involving the demon soul that deathwing used to mess everyone up in the beginning of his history as “deathwing”. Since the demon soul was destroyed (I think), putting together fragments or something similar could be a mechanic we have to worry about.
Overall, this should be a pretty intense fight. Deathwing is easily the most powerful dragon we’ve had to mess with to date. He is one of the titan-appointed aspects who apparently has succeeded all the others in power, even as he burns from within. I can’t wait to see how this post stacks up to the real thing.
As always, feel free to throw out some comments about how you think it might end up!