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This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Beth'tilac in Firelands. It is targeted to anyone who desires to understand the fight mechanics.
This guide applies to patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft.
Beth'tilac is one of the first five bosses of the Firelands raid instance, which can be attempted in any order. The encounter is one which will test both your raid's coordination and your gear. Proper execution of mechanics, however, will make Beth'tilac one of the easiest encounters in the Firelands.
1. General Information↑top
1.1. Health Pools
Beth'tilac has the following health pool:
Alongside Beth'tilac, your raid will face three types of adds. Their health pools are as follows:
Heroic mode presents a fourth type of add, called Engorged Broodling. It has 190k health in 10-man difficulty and 574k health in 25-man difficulty.
1.2. Enrage Timer
The last phase presents a soft enrage timer through the means of a stacking frenzy buff.
1.3. Raid Composition
The following raid compositions are advised:
2. Overview of the Fight↑top
Beth'tilac is a fiery spider which uses a variety of adds to attack your raid. The encounter is split into two phases, henceforth referred to as Phase One and Phase Two. The area where you fight Beth'tilac is divided into two levels by a web which forms the ceiling of the room.
During Phase One, the boss will be stationary on top of her web (the "Beth'tilac level"), where a few of your raid members will need to climb up to and deal damage to her. In the meantime, down below (the "ground level"), the rest of your raid will have to defeat three types of adds: Cinderweb Drones, Cinderweb Spinners and Cinderweb Spiderlings.
After Beth'tilac uses Smoldering Devastation (an ability which will be explained below) three times, she will enter Phase Two, lowering herself to the ground level where your entire raid can engage her. This phase is essentially a burn phase where you raid will have to contend with a soft enrage mechanic.
3. Phase One↑top
Before starting the encounter, you will notice Beth'tilac dangling from a web that acts as a ceiling to the room. Upon attacking her, she will quickly retreat up onto her web, while Cinderweb Spinners will lower themselves to your raid by use of web filaments. In addition to this, your raid will be faced with two other types of adds: Cinderweb Drones and Cinderweb Spiderlings, which enter the fight from the edges of the encounter area, on the ground level.
Your goal during this phase is to send a small contingent of players to damage Beth'tilac atop her web, while the rest of your raid handles the adds.
In order for your raid members to reach Beth'tilac, you will need to make use of the web filaments left behind after Cinderweb Spinners are killed. These can be mounted like any vehicle, and will each transport one player to Beth'tilac's level.
3.1. Enemies, Abilites and their Interaction
Beth'tilac will spend the entirety of this phase perched on top of her web. She has a Fire Energy bar, which starts full at the beginning of the fight and steadily decreases over time. Its maximum capacity is 8200, and it decreases at a rate of 100 per second.
While there, she will constantly deal damage to anyone on the same level as her (so, on the web) with Ember Flare (10-man/25-man). In addition to this ability, Beth'tilac will also deal melee damage to her main aggro target on the same level as her.
If there is no one at her level, she will damage the entire raid with Venom Rain (10-man/25-man). She will cast this ability from the moment that she is pulled until at least one player has climbed up to her level.
Beth'tilac has a melee attack, which hits for roughly 37,000 damage in both 10 and 25-man difficulty, and is performed about once every 2 seconds.
Smoldering Devastation is an ability which Beth'tilac will cast whenever her Fire Energy bar reaches 0. It deals an immense amount of damage to all enemies on her level, killing anyone who is hit by it. Your raid will need to leave Beth'tilac's level and return to the ground level when this ability is being cast. They will do so by jumping down through a gap within the web, located in the center.
Meteor Burn is an ability which causes meteors to fall onto the web, damaging players in a small area and leaving a fire patch on the web which damages players standing in it.
Once Smoldering Devastation has been cast three times, the phase will end and Beth'tilac will descend from her web, triggering Phase Two.
3.1.2. Cinderweb Spinner
These adds lower themselves into the fight from Beth'tilac's web, above the raid. They climb down on strings, and stop mid-way from the ground. If taunted, they will lower themselves altogether (and be in range of melee DPS). Once dead, the strings used by the Cinderweb Spinners can be interacted with, as with any vehicle, by raid members. Doing so will send the raid member up to Beth'tilac's level. Each string or filament has a single use.
In addition to Burning Acid, these adds also perform weak melee attacks (between 2,000 and 5,000 damage, in both 10 and 25-man difficulty).
Your raid's general aim is to kill these adds and use their strings to send a group of players up to Beth'tilac.
3.1.3. Cinderweb Spiderling
Cinderweb Spiderlings' only ability is Seeping Venom, which they will use on any targets within 6 yards of them. The Cinderweb Spiderling will latch onto the respective raid member and deal Fire damage to them over 10 seconds.
The Spiderlings are small adds which spawn in packs. They skitter along the floor and do not have aggro tables. They will always head for Cinderweb Drones. If they reach the Drones, they will heal and buff them, which is not advised. This is detailed below.
Be mindful that, if any Spiderlings come within range of Beth'tilac when she descends from her web, at the end of Phase One, she will consume them and heal herself for 10% for each Spiderling.
Your raid's general aim is to slow and kill these adds before they reach a Cinderweb Drone, without being in their melee range.
3.1.4. Cinderweb Drone
Cinderweb Drones have the following abilities:
Cinderweb Drones are large adds which will spawn, one at a time, at roughly one minute intervals throughout Phase One. The very first spawn will occur about 40 seconds into the fight. Like Beth'tilac herself, Drones also have Fire Energy bars. The maximum capacity of their Fire Energy bar is 85, and it decreases steadily at one energy per second. When their bar fully depletes, they climb up to Beth'tilac and cast Leech Venom draining what ever is left of her own Energy Bar. After 20 seconds, they return to the ground level.
Drones should be killed before their Fire Energy Bar reaches 0 and should never be allowed to drain Beth'tilac's energy bar, as this will shorten the length of time until the next Smoldering Devastation and will speed up Phase One, considerably lessening the amount of DPS you can do to the boss. Doing so will cause the boss to enter Phase Two with too much health, resulting in a wipe to the soft enrage mechanic.
In addition to these mechanics, they perform powerful melee attacks. Whenever they come in contact with a Cinderweb Spiderling, they will Consume it, healing themselves for 20% of their maximum health and gaining a stacking buff which increases their damage done and movement speed by 20% for each Spiderling consumed.
Your raid's general aim is to tank and kill these adds while preventing them from consuming any Spiderlings.
Because Phase Two of the encounter presents a soft enrage mechanic, your goal is to have Beth'tilac as low on health as possible when the phase change occurs. As mentioned, the phase change will happen after the third Smoldering Devastation, meaning that your raid will have at most 246 seconds before reaching Phase Two. Should you allow any Cinderweb Drones to survive long enough to reach Beth'tilac, the time until her third Smoldering Devasation will be reduced further.
The key to a good Phase One, and indeed an easy execution of the entire encounter, lies in balancing your DPS accordingly so that you can adequately handle the ground level adds while doing as much DPS as possible on Beth'tilac herself.
Before discussing the specific strategy for the ground and Beth'tilac levels, an important mention should be made regarding the pull. Beth'tilac will climb up to her web and be unattackable from the ground as soon the first attack reaches her. For this reason, we advise that a Destruction Warlock pulls the boss using Bane of Havoc, and then remains on the ground level for the rest of Phase One. This will provide your raid with a large DPS increase, as 15% of all the damage done by the Warlock will be done to Beth'tilac.
3.2.1. Ground Level
Your raid will have to be split into two teams. The first team will have to handle the adds on the ground level without assistance for most of the phase. Your ground level team composition should be:
Your exact composition will depend greatly on how each team can manage their respective jobs, so feel free to adapt to your own conditions.
Normally, there is no reason to use two tanks on the Ground Level, even in 25-man, as each Drone will die around the time that the next one spawns. If, however, you feel you wish to be cautious and not risk a tank having two Drones on them at any time, you can use two tanks.
Your raid should immediately start DPSing Cinderweb Spinners, and your tanks (who should all be on the ground at the start of the phase) should taunt them so that they come down to ground level. Other classes and specs can also help taunt:
Once a few Spinners are dead, the designated tank and healer should climb up to Beth'tilac's level, while your DPS should also climb, as more web filaments become available. Your tank needs to go up first in order for Beth'tilac not to melee anyone else, and your healer should follow in order to keep the tank up.
Your ground level tank(s) will want to pick up the Drones and tank them facing away from any raid members, so as not to damage them inadvertantly with Boiling Splatter (10-man/25-man), while also moving them if any Spiderlings get too close. Ideally, a specific area should be agreed upon for tanking the Drones, allowing other raid members to coordinate slows, such as Ice Traps and totems.
When no Drones are present, the ground level tank should tank Spinners (their melee attacks are low so a tank is not necessarily needed) and assist in DPSing any Spiderlings.
Healers assigned to the ground level will not have to concern themselves with tactics or positioning, and can generally find a central location to stack in and simply heal the raid, which is being damaged by the various abilities discussed above. Occasionally, healers may need to move out of the path of packs of Spiderlings, to avoid being latched on to.
It is difficult to set a priority to DPS among the three types of adds. Your first task will be to kill 3-4 Spinners (in 10-man difficulty) and 8 Spinners (in 25-man difficulty) so that the Beth'tilac team can climb quickly.
After that, you should balance your DPS between the remaining Spinners (their Burning Acid will continue to deal raid damage), and Spiderlings, while ensuring that enough DPS is being done to the Drones, so that their energy bar does not become depleted.
3.2.2. Beth'tilac Level
On top of Beth'tilac's web, the fight is quite straightforward. The boss will melee the tank and damage everyone on her level with Ember Flare (10-man/25-man). In addition to this, several fire patches (created by Meteor Burn) on the ground should be avoided. A hole will be present in the center of the web, which your Beth'tilac level group should make use of to jump off the web when the boss begins casting Smoldering Devastation.
The following composition is advised for your Beth'tilac level team:
Once on the ground level, your healers should assist in topping off the raid while your DPS should quickly bring down Cinderweb Spinners and free up filaments for them to climb back up, and repeat the process.
This will need to be done three times, during which time you should try to bring Beth'tilac as low as possible. After the third Smoldering Devastation, Phase Two will begin.
4. Phase Two↑top
As soon as the third and last Smoldering Devastation has been cast, Beth'tilac will descend from her web and you will have entered Phase Two.
During this phase, Beth'tilac will retain Ember Flare (10-man/25-man), dealing damage to all enemies on the ground level in the same way that she did during Phase One on her web. In addition to this, she gains the following abilities:
This is a standard burn phase. You will want to make sure that any Cinderweb Spiderlings are dead when Beth'tilac descends, or she will quickly heal up and you will indeed wipe to the enrage mechanic. No adds will spawn during Phase Two, so you should only ever have to concern yourself with Beth'tilac herself. Should any Cinderweb Spinners or Cinderweb Drones still be alive at the start of Phase Two, your DPS should kill them off first, before switching to Beth'tilac.
There is no impediment for your raid stacking up in one location (to make healing easier), so you should do so. One tank should be in front of Beth'tilac, on the opposite side of the raid, while the other tank should be at the side of the boss. Below, we illustrate an example of raid and tank positioning.
When a tank becomes affected by The Widow's Kiss, the other tank should taunt Beth'tilac, and this rotation should continue until the end of the fight. Due to the positions mentioned above, no one should ever be damaged by the AoE from The Widow's Kiss.
Healers will have to contend with increasingly high raid damage, caused by Ember Flare (10-man/25-man). Towards the end of the fight, when stacks of Frenzy are high on Beth'tilac, raid cooldowns should be alternated, such as Aura Mastery, Divine Guardian and Power Word: Barrier.
5. Achievement: Death from Above↑top
The concept behind this achievement is simple. It requires your raid to only kill Cinderweb Drones while they are on the Beth'tilac level, and never when they are on the ground level, and then defeat Beth'tilac in the same attempt.
Essentially, your raid will need to tank and DPS the Drones, on the ground level, until their energy bar is fully depleted. At this point, the Drones should be very low on health, but not dead. After they climb up to Beth'tilac to siphon her energy, players on the Beth'tilac level should kill the Drones.
The execution of the achievement is slightly more complicated than the idea, though, because of the way that the spawn times of the Drones line up with the Smoldering Devastation casts and the end of Phase One. It is likely that you will enter Phase Two with at least one Drone alive, which will make tank healing even more difficult.
The idea behind the execution of the achievement is to lower the Cinderweb Drones to very low health, let them climb to Beth'tilac's level when their energy is depleted, and have the DPS up there kill them.
5.2.1. Phase One
For the ground level team, the fight changes little. DPS players (and the tank(s)) will have to make sure that Cinderweb Drones do not die on the ground level. This will complicate matters to an extent, since the Drone will be alive for longer and more attention to Spiderlings will need to be given. By being alive for longer, the Drone will also deal more damage to the ground level players, through its two abilities: Burning Acid (10-man/25-man) and Boiling Splatter (10-man/25-man).
The Beth'tilac level team will have to switch from nuking Beth'tilac to finishing off Drones which climb up to their level. Drones appear to climb up in front of Beth'tilac, so melee DPS players may need to move. Drones remain on Beth'tilac's level for exactly 20 seconds, after which time they descend, so players have 20 seconds to finish off Drones.
The faster the Drones die on Beth'tilac's level, the less energy they will siphon from her, and the longer Phase Two will be delayed. This enables your raid to lower Beth'tilac's health more, and make Phase Two easier, but also allows more time for an extra Drone to spawn right before Phase Two, which may mean your raid will need to tank two Drones during this phase.
If Drones are left to Siphon as much energy as possible from Beth'tilac before being killed, this will speed up the end of Phase One, allowing for fewer Drone spawns, possibly completely eliminating the final spawn. At the same time, however, it means your raid will have done less damage to Beth'tilac before Phase Two.
5.2.2. Phase Two
Regardless of how long your raid delays killing Drones on Beth'tilac's level, you will have to deal with at least one Drone during Phase Two. This does not change the phase at all, however.
The only thing to keep in mind is that your tanks will also have to tank the Drone(s) while tanking Beth'tilac. The tank currently not tanking the boss should tank the Drone(s) and make sure that they are faced away from the raid and the other tank, as their breath attack is highly damaging.
Lastly, it is imperative that any Drones which are alive when entering Phase Two remain alive until Beth'tilac is defeated, as otherwise the achievement will be failed.
6. Heroic Mode↑top
The heroic mode of Beth'tilac is a true test of both your raid's ability as well as gear. It provides very tough challenges for both DPS players and healers, and will require excellent execution to defeat.
6.1. Differences from Normal Mode
Before delving into the actual changes, it should be noted that all abilities deal more damage in heroic mode, and Beth'tilac as well as all of her adds have increased health. This will prove to be a brutal gear check for your healers, as well as for your DPS who will find it very hard to kill the boss before the soft enrage wipes the raid.
The changes from normal mode are:
6.2. Strategy Changes
It must be noted that the only difference in strategy occurs during Phase One, and only on the ground level. All other aspects of the encounter remain the same (except that they will be more challenging to perform due to the increased damage and health of the boss).
In order to better handle the heroic mode mechanics, we advise raids to tank the Cinderweb Drones in the center of the fight area, and have the entire raid in that area as well.
In terms of prioritising DPS on the ground level, your raid should aim to kill Cinderweb Spinners and then Cinderweb Drones. Cinderweb Spiderlings will be handled independently, as detailed below.
When a Cinderweb Drone Fixates on a raid member, that raid member must be prepared to face the drone away from the raid, and ensure that the drone is kept away from any Cinderweb Spiderlings. The damage done by the drone is reduced by 75%, so surviving it should be easy. After 10 seconds, the drone will return to its main aggro target. Hunters can Feign Death to get rid of the Fixate immediately.
The best way to handle both Cinderweb Spiderlings and Engorged Broodlings is to have a specific ranged DPS player assigned to the place from where these adds spawn (the dark cave-looking areas at the side). There are 3 such places in both 10-man and 25-man difficulties, though in 10-man difficulty, they only spawn from one place at a time (as opposed to 25-man difficulty where they spawn from all 3 locations at the same time). The assigned player will have to essentially block the path of any Broodlings which are heading for the raid, while also trying to kill the Spiderlings on his own.
We recommend that you assign Marksmanship Hunters, with this talent build for the task. They are able to single-handedly kill (and permanently slow) the Spiderlings, while having good mobility (due to Disengage) and immunity against Volatile Burst (due to Deterrence).
It is more important than in normal mode to taunt down Cinderweb Spinners, as their Fiery Web Spin ability, if not interrupted, can cause major problems and most likely cause a wipe. If these adds are taunted down and killed promptly, this should not be an issue at all.
A note should be made regarding DPS balance on the ground level versus Beth'tilac's level. While the start of the fight is rather lenient in terms of the DPS requirements for controlling the adds on the ground level, this changes as the fight goes on. We recommend that, after the first Smoldering Devastation, one (10-man) or two (25-man) DPS players from Beth'tilac's level remain on the ground level.
Phase Two, as mentioned, is identical to its normal mode counterpart, with the exception of highly increased damage to the raid and tanks, and higher boss health (resulting in a longer time spent in Phase Two, thus more stacks of Frenzy).
This is a brutal gear check for both DPS players and healers, and proper timing of healing and damage reduction cooldowns is a must.
7. Learning the Fight↑top
Depending on your own raid DPS, you will want to have Beth'tilac around 80% health or lower by the start of Phase Two. Starting from this number, you should use a few attempts to determine exactly how many (and which) players should go up to Beth'tilac's level to achieve this goal.
Balacing your DPS players accordingly is the most important aspect of this fight, so do not hesitate to wipe several times to get it right. The rest of your raid should make use of these attempts to better understand their roles as well.
While healer balance should generally not be an issue (1 on the Beth'tilac level in 10-man and 2 or 3 in 25-man), this is something you should also experiment with.
8. Final Considerations↑top
As you can see, the Beth'tilac encounter is one of add control and sheer numbers, as having sufficient DPS and healing power is crucial to the success of your raid. With proper execution, and a solid balance between your two teams during Phase One, it should not prove to be a difficult fight at all.