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Magmaw Healer Strategy Guide

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This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Magmaw in Blackwing Descent. It is mostly targeted to healers who desire to have a short but detailed overview of what is expected of them during that fight.

This guide is updated for World of Warcraft 4.3.

The Magmaw encounter is extremely intensive for healers and it is in large part a gear check. The amount of healing required is very large both on the tank and the raid, but from a tactical point of view it is not challenging.

1. Overview of the Fight↑top

The Magmaw encounter consists of two Phases which alternate throughout the fight until the boss is dead, henceforth referred to as the Normal Phase and the Impale Phase. This encounter is unique in that the Impale Phase must be triggered by the raid at certain fixed intervals of time, a third "Mounting Phase", where it is possible to do so.

The first Normal Phase lasts 90 seconds, all subsequent Normal and Impale Phases lasting 30 seconds.

Between the Normal Phase and the Impale Phase, the Normal Phase offers the most challenge for healers and this phase will test both your healers' ability as well as their gear.

1.1. Normal Phase

  • Heal your assignment, be it the raid or the tank.
  • Move from Pillar of Flame if it targets you.

1.2. Impale Phase

  • Regenerate mana.

2. Normal Phase↑top

2.1. Abilities

During the Normal Phase you will be confronted with two abilities which will regularly and frequently damage the raid.

Magma Spit is an ability which Magmaw will cast roughly every 5 seconds, targeting 3 raid members in 10-man and 8 in 25-man. It deals a high amount of fire damage and is often cast shortly before and after Magmaw's second damaging ability in the Normal Phase, Lava Spew.

Lava Spew is cast by Magmaw roughly every 30 seconds and will damage the entire raid for about 100,000 fire damage.

In addition to these two abilities, there will be sustained damage on Magmaw's tank from melee attacks of roughly 50,000 damage as well as Magmaw's other ability, Mangle which he will cast 1 minute and 30 seconds into the fight on the tank, and then once each time before entering an Impale Phase.

2.2. Healing Assignments

It is a good idea to assign a specific healer to the tank, as there will be hefty amounts of damage on the tank. Your other healers should be assigned to heal the raid, though your tank healer should assist during Lava Spew in 10-man and should in turn be assissted during Mangle.

2.3. Strategy

The amount of incoming damage is indeed brutal and raid members hit by Magma Spit have to be healed up with some urgency as Magma Spit can and often will target the same player twice in a row.

It will become quickly apparent that you will have to spend a lot of your mana during this phase, often entering the Impale Phase completely out of mana. This is normal and to be expected, especially at lower gear levels.

You should utilise your healing cooldowns freely during this time and do not hesitate to use fast and mana-inefficient heals to save people. Cooldowns to reduce overall raid damage should also be freely rotated throughout this phase, such as Aura Mastery Icon Aura Mastery, Divine Guardian Icon Divine Guardian or Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier.

There are additional sources of entirely avoidable damage that may put extra strain on healers, such as damage from Pillar of Flame or Infectious Vomit. While reacting to such events is obviously crucial, if the raid is too careless in avoiding damage the healers may simply be overwhelmed.

Lastly it should be noted that just as Magmaw slumps forward in preparation for the second phase he will damage any players standing on the half of the room covered by Ignition with his Massive Crash ability. Thus, people who are slow to move from Ignition and who are not topped off before Massive Crash happens will most likely die.

3. The Impale Phase↑top

This 30 second phase is one where there is no raid damage or tank damage and it offers a great opportunity for mana-regeneration and topping the raid off in preparation for the upcoming Normal Phase.

Any raid members entering the phase not fully healed can be healed using slow and mana-efficient spells. Healers should make use of mana regeneration abilities during this phase such as Divine Plea Icon Divine Plea and Hymn of Hope Icon Hymn of Hope. They can also use a Potion of Concentration.

4. Final Considerations↑top

As this phase ends, healers should expect a Lava Spew almost immediately as well as increased tank damage over the next 30 second Normal Phase due to the tank being debuffed with Sweltering Armor. Because of this, extra attention should be given to tank healing as the tank is often in danger of dying in the space of two or three attacks.

Overall, this encounter is indeed a healer gear check but if the raid is capable of avoiding damage, and if healers are used to using all of their available cooldowns, it is doable even in lower-end gear. Good luck!

2014-2015 2.1