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Thread: Dragon Soul - Warmaster Blackhorn (Normal)

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    Dragon Soul - Warmaster Blackhorn (Normal)





    Quote Originally Posted by Lore
    Welcome to the Tankspot Dragon Soul raid guide. My name is Lore, and this video will cover Warmaster Blackhorn, the sixth encounter in the Dragon Soul raid instance. You'll need 2 tanks, 5 or 6 healers, and a balanced mix of DPS, although the fight does favor ranged DPS and classes with solid cleave or multi-target capabilities.

    There are two phases to this encounter, the first dealing primarily with add management, and the second with Warmaster Blackhorn himself. Let's take a look.

    Phase 1 - Abilities

    The first and most important mechanic to mention in Phase 1 is the Skyfire, the flying gunship the encounter takes place on. Much like the Gunship Battle encounter in Icecrown Citadel, the Skyfire has a health bar, and if it runs out, the ship explodes and the fight is over. There's a few different ways that the ship can actually take damage.

    The most obvious is Twilight Onslaught, which is cast by Goriona, Warmaster Blackhorn's mount, and can be seen as a large swirling purple graphic on the ground. This deals an extremely large amount of damage to the Skyfire if it's allowed to connect with the deck of the ship. You can avoid that by having your raid stand in the graphic before it lands. That causes your raid to take the damage instead of the Skyfire, and splits it between everyone who was hit.

    There will also be much smaller versions of Twilight Onslaught called Twilight Barrage, cast by several Twilight Assault Drakes that will be flying around the area. These function mostly the same as Twilight Onslaught, they just deal significantly less damage and thus don't need as many players to soak them.

    The only other way the Skyfire can take damage is from the Twilight Sappers. These are little goblins that will parachute onto the deck of the Skyfire, near the front of the ship, drop a smoke bomb which makes them invisible for a second, and start running toward the ship's cabin. If they reach it, they'll explode, which does 20% of the ship's health in damage. Fortunately, they don't have a lot of health, and can be stunned, slowed, and even Death Gripped.

    While all that's going on, you'll also need to deal with the Twilight Elite Dreadblades and Slayers. These are two larger adds that are almost exactly the same. Each deals a heavy amount of melee damage (and thus needs to be tanked), each will randomly charge at a raid member (dealing a small amount of damage to everyone in the path), and each will occasionally stack up a damage over time effect on anyone standing in front of them. The only difference is that the Dreadblade's damage over time effect, called Degeneration, deals shadow damage, while the Slayer's, called Brutal Strike, deals physical damage. Those debuffs start out as a pretty low amount of damage, but can stack up to be pretty substantial, and the debuff itself lasts a full minute.

    Phase 1 - Strategy

    Dealing with all of that can feel pretty hectic at first, but there's a pretty natural rotation to it. You'll be dealing with 3 waves of adds, starting with one Dreadblade and one Slayer. Each tank should pick one of these up immediately and take them off toward the side of the ship. The positioning there is kind of sensitive -- you want them to be close enough to each other to allow melee DPS to use their cleave abilities, but tanks need to be careful not to stand too close to each other or you risk getting stacks of both of the damage over time effects.

    Meanwhile, DPS should start putting damage into them. Occasionally, some friendly NPC's will use the harpoon guns on the sides of the ship to latch onto a couple of the Twilight Assault Drakes and pull them in. When that happens, your ranged DPS should switch to killing them instead, while melee stays on the Dreadblade and Slayer. Once the drakes are dead, ranged can go back to the melee adds. Note that your tanks should alternate which add they're tanking each wave -- if you were just tanking a Dreadblade, next time you should tank a Slayer, and vice versa. That's to make sure the 1-minute damage over time effects have time to fall off.

    Of course, whenever a Sapper spawns, you'll want all your DPS to switch to killing it immediately. Stuns, slows, and death grips should go out as well. These are important, but killing them shouldn't be very difficult.

    The only other things to deal with in phase 1 are the Twilight Barrage and Twilight Onslaught. Onslaught is pretty straightforward: when there's a big pink swirly graphic on the ground, everybody needs to stand in it. The only players that should stay out are the two tanks -- if you have them soaking the Onslaught, you risk having the entire raid get hit by Brutal Strike or Degeneration.

    For Twilight Barrage, we found it easiest to split the ship up into 4 quadrants, and assign a group to soak the Barrages that land in each area. One quadrant can be managed by the melee DPS, while the other three should have a few ranged DPS or healers keeping an eye on them. Note that as long as you're properly soaking the Onslaughts and killing the Sappers, you don't need to soak every single Barrage, but you'll still need to at least get most of them.

    After the 3rd wave of Dreadblades and Slayers has been killed, Warmaster Blackhorn will fly in himself, leaping off of Goriona onto the deck of the Skyfire and starting phase 2.

    Phase 2 - Abilities

    At the start of the phase, you'll be dealing with both Goriona and Warmaster Blackhorn. Goriona will stop using Twilight Onslaught and instead start casting Twilight Flames, which targets a random player and leaves a large purple void zone on the ground that you'll need to move out of. She'll continue casting this until she's brought down to 25% health, at which point she flies away and leaves the encounter.

    Warmaster Blackhorn himself has several abilities. Probably the most dangerous is Shockwave. He'll point himself at a random raid member and, after a couple of seconds, deal a pretty massive amount of damage to anyone caught in the cone, along with stunning them for 4 seconds.

    He'll also occasionally use Disrupting Roar, which does a bit less damage than Shockwave, but hits everyone in the raid. It also interrupts anyone within 10 yards for 8 seconds, so casters will need to stay away.

    On top of that, he'll be stacking up a debuff called Devastate on the tank, that reduces their armor by 20% per stack. Finally, for every 1% health that Blackhorn loses, he'll gain a stack of Vengeance, which causes him to deal 1% more damage per stack.

    Phase 2 - Strategy

    Dealing with all of that is fortunately pretty simple, although things can still be pretty hectic at the start. Ranged DPS should immediately start burning down Goriona, to get her to fly away as quickly as possible before you get overrun by Twilight Flames. Meanwhile, a tank should pick up Blackhorn and keep him near the center of the room so that the ranged and healers can spread out around him.

    Once Goriona's out of the way, things get much simpler. Casters will need to keep their distance from Blackhorn to avoid getting interrupted by Disrupting Roar, but make sure not to get too far away or you won't be able to move out of Shockwave in time. Tanks should swap aggro every 3 stacks of Devastate, and save big defensive cooldowns for later in the fight when he'll be dealing huge amounts of damage due to Vengeance. Other than that, it's just a simple matter of burning him down.

    Once you've gotten this far, Warmaster Blackhorn is all that stands between you and Deathwing. He might take a few attempts to get everything working smoothly, but once you've got him figured out, he shouldn't pose too big of a challenge.

    If you'd like more information on this or any other Dragon Soul encounter, head over to Tankspot.com and click the Movies link at the top of the page. Thanks for watching, and good luck!
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  2. #2
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    I am expressing my annoyance at this guide being put out last. In my opinion this is the most most complicated normal encounter, with the exception of Madness, and therefor could have been put out a bit earlier. I know you have a lot on your plate, but just saying. That said, great guide.

    For 10 man: Depending on your raid composition, you can lust at one of two points. If you have 3 healers then you can lust as soon as Warmaster hits the deck, thereby allowing your ranged to get Gloriana off your backs very quickly. If you are 2 healing it, you need to save lust for the last 20% or so so that the healers can keep up with the tank damage. Either of these strategies works pretty well, and is also of course varied by your DPS caliber and composition as well. As Lore said this is a very ranged favored fight, but melee do just fine.

  3. #3
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    I have issues with describing the add charge as "a small amount of damage." it's not, it's usually about half your life and if it happens concurrently with soaking something else can easily lead to a death. It was the #1 killer when we were progressing on this fight. It has no predictable timer that I could find, and you have VERY little time to move out of it. *maybe* 2 seconds. It also has a wider damage area than its animation. And no mod can warn you about it because nothing is cast. Lastly, they can (and frequently will) target the same person with 2 charges, usually resulting in death. A couple of other things. For the ranged in p2, even with heroism, you cannot kill the dragon before she gets 4 fires down, so just take it slow and steady and use heroism later when the healers need it. 4 fires does seem to be the maximum that can be down simultaneously, as the first will despawn then. There is a sweet spot of about 12-15 yrds from the boss that ranged need to be in to be able to avoid both roar and shockwave. Any farther and wave is unavoidable w/o speed boosts. Another effect that is larger than its animation: you've been warned. How we handled this sweet spot was to drag the boss over to where the sappers spawn so ranged can pew pew the dragon and not die, and then drag him out after she's gone. Depending on where the fires spawn though, you sometimes just get screwed. Lastly, one of the hardest part of this fight is a Sapper spawning durin Onslaught. TBH I don't know how you do that w/o a DK. We have one, he just macros /tar Sapper /cast DG. Gg. Edit: forgot to add last pro tip. Occasionally, a Sapper will spawn WITH the boss. DO NOT ignore it. Even though the boss is up, you can and will wipe if the ship dies. LFMF.

  4. #4
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    It's funny how for this fight phase 2 is actually easier to execute on normal than on heroic. Nice guide.

  5. #5
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    In 10 man many raids will simply choose rather than having both tanks alternate which mob they are tanking to have a single tank pick up both of the adds and then the other tank pick up the next wave. Tank one picks up first set, tank two picks up second set, tank one picks up third set, and tank two picks up the boss first. This method is in many ways easier on the healers while the tank is taking more damage it's damage on a single target rather than more than one target at once, especially if DPS is sufficient to be killing them close to the time of the next spawn. In 25 man it makes more sense to alternate because you have more healers thus can dedicate healing to each tank. In 10 man it makes more sense for only one tank to be actively tanking at a time because you may be running with only two healers and one can be tank healing while the other is raid healing.
    "In anything, if you want to go from just a beginner to a pro, you need a montage." /w TankSpot WTB Montage for Raiders.

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    Since we normally only have 2 ranged dps (hunter and Shadow priest) we one tank the adds with the second tank soaking whatever small explosions he can and everyone on Onslaught duty. The OT is a DK so he's on Deathgrip the Sapper duty too. We three heal it and since I'm on a dwarf pally I usually go around soaking the small explosions (Divine Protection glyphed, Stoneform, bubble) with the DK; I also get to stun a sapper or two.

    We time phase 2 by leaving one drake partially burned to kill it fast after the last melee adds are down and the last sapper is killed. Then it's just watch out for the cone aoe.

    Last week we had 3 range and it was really much easier.

    Normally, we're at the point in the raid where it's close to break time; but we've gotten in the habit of if we one shot him we get 15 mins; if not it's on to spine. He's a one shot these days.

  7. #7
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    In our 10 man, 2 tanks 2 heals, we kill one drake at a time and after its death ranged focus melee too.
    with one drake going down on each "arpon phase?" you dont need to soak small explosions and the extra damage on melee adds is realy a lot of mana save for heals, less stacks and less charges
    I agree the add charge is not "a small amount of damage" and is hard as hell to move from it.

  8. #8
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    Excellent guide! I love it, simple to follow!
    Of all parts of wisdom the practice is the best.
    John Tillotson

  9. #9
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    Hey Guys, I've been watching the movies to go in raidfinder fall of deathwing as Tank. I got up to the 2nd boss before I messed up haha, probably missed something in the movie. I was paying attention to the sunder stacks on me and the offtank, and suddenly POOF hit for 80% hp. Abit later again untill I was dead... Any advise? :P Tnx

  10. #10
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    The thing that you've overlooked is : Finally, for every 1% health that Blackhorn loses, he'll gain a stack of Vengeance, which causes him to deal 1% more damage per stack. In application, this means you should have at least a minor tanking cool down (think Shield Block or Holy Shield) up at all times when the boss is below 50%, and you should aim to use your major cool downs (think Shield Wall or Icebound Fortitude) up for most of the time you are tanking the boss below 25%. The key here is knowing about how long you'll be tanking at a stretch, and making a cool down plan for it. That's how you go from beginner tank to semi pro. Being really pro is being able to adapt on the fly to things like "&$; the tank healer just died because he didn't fucking move out of Shockwave, and I have to use Frenzied Regeneration right now or eat $&$&, so I'm going to call out on vent for a Guardian Suppression of Sacrifice Totem next time I need to taunt". Also, just a point some may have missed, is that managing your limited cool downs will get easier as your dps gets geared (or as blizzard nerfs content for casuals) because you will spend less time tanking.

  11. #11
    "The Burning Crusade" promo is it?
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