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Majordomo Staghelm Healer Strategy Guide

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This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Majordomo Staghelm in Firelands. 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 applies to patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft.

The Majordomo Staghelm encounter, the sixth and penultimate boss encounter in the Firelands raid instance, provides healers with challenges mostly in the realm of raid healing.

Strategically, the fight is simple and healers will find themselves having to move very little, but the raw throughput requirements are rather high and the fight is intense overall.

1. Overview of the Fight↑top

The Majordomo Staghelm encounter is unique, in the sense that Staghelm will adapt his mechanics to your raid's actions (as opposed to the other way around, which is typical of all World of Warcraft bosses). Majordomo Staghelm will switch between his Scorpion Form, Cat Form and his Human Form based on your raid's positioning, as follows:

  • Majordomo Staghelm will switch to Scorpion Form when at least 7 (in 10-man difficulty) or 18 (in 25-man difficulty) raid members are stacked together (and will remain in this form as long as the requirements are met).
  • Majordomo Staghelm will switch to Cat Form when the above minimum numbers of stacked raid members are not met (and will remain in this form as long as the above mentioned requirements are not met).
  • Majordomo Staghelm will switch to Human Form briefly on every third form switch.

It is not possible for your raid to keep Staghelm in a single form for the entire duration of the fight, as while in a given form (Human Form is excluded), Staghelm will use his damaging abilities increasingly often until he switches out of the form.

At the same time, each time Staghelm switches between forms, he gains another stack of a buff which increases his damage. Thus, the fight has a permanent soft enrage mechanic which will end up wiping your raid.

Your raid will need to find a balance between the amount of time you should keep Staghelm in a single form and how many times you can allow him to change forms.

2. Abilities↑top

While in Scorpion Form and Cat Form, Majordomo Staghelm has an energy bar. It starts out empty, and increases over time up to its maximum capacity of 100. The base amount of time for his energy bar to fill up is 20 seconds.

Majordomo Staghelm has a single ability associated with each of his Cat Form and Scorpion Form. These abilities have an energy cost of 100 each, and Staghelm will cast them as soon as he has the required amount of energy.

Each time he uses an ability in either of these two forms, he will gain a stacking buff which reduces the time until his next ability. This will be detailed below. The buff disappears altogether when Staghelm switches form.

2.1. Self Buffs

Fury is a stacking buff which Staghelm gains each time he switches to Scorpion Form or Cat Form, which increases the damage of his abilities by 8% per stack. The implication of this is that Staghelm will do more damage if he is forced to switch forms often, and it acts as a soft enrage mechanic to the encounter.

Adrenaline is a stacking buff which Staghelm gains each time he uses an ability within Cat Form or Scorpion Form, which increases his energy regeneration rate by 20% per stack. This buff disappears when Staghelm switches out of his current form. The implication of this is that the longer Staghelm remains in a single form, the quicker his energy will regenerate and thus the more often he will get to use his abilities.

2.2. Cat Form Abilities

Majordomo Staghelm has a melee attack, which hits for about 20,000 damage in 10-man difficulty and 25,000 damage in 25-man difficulty. He performs this attack roughly once every 2 seconds.

While in Cat Form, whenever he reaches 100 energy, Staghelm will perform Leaping Flames (10-man/25-man), pouncing on a random raid member and dealing damage to them and leaving a fiery void zone on the ground which lasts for 1 minute.

Each time Staghelm performs Leaping Flames, a copy of himself, called Spirit of the Flame, will spawn at the boss' original location. These adds have low health and have no mechanics, but they do melee quite hard. As a rule, they should be killed with priority by your raid.

Every cast of Leaping Flames awards Staghelm another stack of Adrenaline, causing the interval to the next Leaping Flames to further decrease.

2.3. Scorpion Form Abilities

Majordomo Staghelm has a melee attack, which hits for about 20,000 damage in 10-man difficulty and 25,000 damage in 25-man difficulty. He performs this attack roughly once every 2 seconds.

As mentioned above, whenever at least 7 raid members (in 10-man difficulty) or 18 raid members (in 25-man difficulty) are stacked together, Majordomo Staghelm will shift into Scorpion Form.

While in Scorpion Form, whenever he reaches 100 energy, Staghelm will perform Flame Scythe. Flame Scythe deals a large amount of damage (560,000 in 10-man difficulty and 1,700,000 in 25-man difficulty) split among all enemies in a cone in front of Staghelm.

Every cast of Flame Scythe awards Staghelm another stack of Adrenaline, causing the interval to the next Flame Scythe to further decrease.

2.4. Human Form Abilities

Every third transformation, Majordomo Staghelm will briefly enter his Human Form. While in Human Form, he will incapacitate all raid members for 3 seconds through Fiery Cyclone, after which he will cast one of two abilities:

As you can see, which of his two abilities he casts depends on the form he is switching out of.

Shortly after casting the relevant ability, the boss will proceed to switching into which ever form he was about to enter.

Searing Seeds places a debuff on a number of raid members. This debuff has a random duration for each raid member, at the end of which the raid member will explode and deal 50,000 Fire damage to all allies within 12 yards. Because the durations are different for each player, the debuff will run out at different times on each of the afflicted players., so everyone needs to be mindful of their own debuff.

Burning Orbs summons 2 large, stationary fiery orbs around the room in 10-man difficulty and 5 orbs in 25-man difficulty. These persist for one minute and deal damage to the player nearest to them with their only ability, Burning Orb. They inflict a 6 second DoT on the player, dealing 4,000 Fire damage every 2 seconds, and stacking infinitely. Players will need to regularly rotate who is nearest to the orb so that stacks do not reach excessive numbers.

3. Strategy↑top

The Majordomo Staghelm encounter ramps up in difficulty continually until either he or your raid is dead. Having Staghelm shift between his forms grants him a stack of Fury each time, meaning that too many shifts will cause him to do too much damage for your raid.

At the same time, keeping Staghelm in a single phase for too long will cause his stacks of Adrenaline to allow him to basically spam his abilities, thus wiping your raid.

This means that you cannot delay form switches too long, nor can you avoid them entirely, and as the fight goes on, you will be able to spend less and less time in either form.

It must be reminded here that his Human Form is a temporary form in which you cannot force him to remain. The main forms you will have to deal with are Cat Form and Scorpion Form.

As you can see, the key is balance. The exact alternation of phases that your raid will use depends greatly on your ability to handle his different abilities, as well as your number of available raid cooldowns (such as Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier or Divine Guardian Icon Divine Guardian).

Below, we detail the recommended strategy for each of his phases.

3.1. Cat Form Strategy

This is generally not a problematic phase in terms of healing, and will offer little challenge.

In this section, we list the general tasks you need to perform during this part of the fight, as well as information pertaining only to healers.

3.1.1. General Strategy

Your goal during Cat Form is to have your ranged raid members and healers spread out around the center of the arena (a circular pattern on the floor facilitates this), DPS Majordomo Staghelm and Spirit of the Flame adds (both of which should be tanked in the center of said circle), while avoiding any damage from the void zones left behind by Leaping Flames (10-man/25-man).

The Leaping Flames void zones deal extreme amounts of damage and will prove fatal to anyone standing within them for more than a few seconds. Players standing next to a Leaping Flames void zone should aim to be as close to it as possible (without taking any damage), so that if they are targeted by another Leaping Flames, the two void zones will overlap and take up less space.

After a while, as the boss uses Leaping Flames more often, his stacks of Adrenaline will increase, causing him to perform his ability with much greater frequency. This will not only cause more damage to raid members but will also cause your raid to become overwhelmed with Spirits of Flame. Moreover, the short intervals between Leaping Flames will make it impossible for your raid to stack up all at once and avoid any casts of Leaping Flames in melee range. At this time, your raid should stack up and force Staghelm to switch to Scorpion Form.

When stacking up to force a Scorpion Form, your raid members should be prepared to do so together, in as coordinated a fashion as possible, closely following a Leaping Flames cast. The reason for this is that if a number of players are in his melee range while others are still moving in, and the boss has no yet switched to Scorpion Form, the next Leaping Flames can be cast on someone in his melee range and can wipe your raid.

3.1.2. Healing Specific Details

During Cat Form, there is a large amount of avoidable damage, coupled with some unavoidable damage. It is not a healing intensive phase.

Tank damage (both from the boss and from the adds) is the only source of constant damage. In addition to this, random ranged raid members and healers will occasionally be damaged by Leaping Flames, though, unless they fail to move from the void zone, the damage will be minimal.

This is a good time to regenerate mana in preparation for the much more difficult Scorpion Form.

3.2. Scorpion Form Strategy

This is a very healing-intensive phase, which will test your both your healers' ability as well as their gear level.

In this section, we list the general tasks you need to perform during this part of the fight, as well as information pertaining only to healers.

3.2.1. General Strateg

Your goal during Scorpion Form is to have your entire raid stacked together in front of the boss. This will ensure that Flame Scythe damage is properly distributed among your raid, making it healable.

If your entire raid is stacked in front of the boss, without any stacks of Fury (so, the base damage), Flame Scythe will deal 56,000 damage to each raid member in 10-man difficulty and 68,000 damage to each raid member in 25-man difficulty. Naturally, after Staghelm has switched form a few times, the damage will be increased because of Fury stacks.

Your strategy during this phase is simple: heal the raid while dealing damage to Majordomo Staghelm.

Once you find the frequency between his attacks to become too great a strain on your healers, it is time to spread out, thus forcing him to switch to Cat Form.

3.2.2. Healing Specific Details

The damage during this phase is entirely unavoidable. In addition to tank damage, which is largely non-problematic, Staghelm will deal massive raid damage with each Flame Scythe.

In order to keep Staghelm in this form for the longest possible time, while not falling behind on healing, use of defensive raid cooldowns is required. Your raid leader or your healing team leader should set up a rotation of cooldowns to use.

For ease of planning, here is a list of all the useful raid cooldowns for this phase: Aura Mastery Icon Aura Mastery, Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier, Divine Guardian Icon Divine Guardian, Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone, Spirit Link Totem Icon Spirit Link Totem and Rallying Cry Icon Rallying Cry. Tranquility Icon Tranquility can also be used to hasten the healing process between Flame Scythes.

It is worth noting that, as Staghelm reaches higher stacks of Adrenaline, raid cooldowns like Power Word: Barrier can be timed in such a way as to cover two Flame Scythes.

3.3. Human Form Strategy

Depending on which form he is switching out of, Majordomo Staghelm will cast either Searing Seeds (Cat Form) or Burning Orbs (Scorpion Form).

The difficulty comes not from each ability itself, but from the fact that you will have to deal with this ability while Staghelm is in either Cat or Scorpion Form. There is only one possible variant, which we will detail below.

3.3.1. Handling Searing Seeds During Scorpion Form

When Searing Seeds is cast, it is always followed by Scorpion Form. Because players affected by Searing Seeds need to move out of the raid when they are about to explode (so when their debuff is about to expire), it means that they may be away from the stacking location when Flame Scythe is about to be cast, lowering the amount of people available to soak it.

There is no way around this, and the extra damage taken by having fewer people soaking Flame Scythe is preferable to having a Searing Seed explode in the raid. Therefore, players affected by Searing Seeds should remain in the raid to soak Flame Scythe until their debuff is about to run out, at which point they should get 12 yards clear of the raid, and move back in once the debuff has run out.

When a player affected by Searing Seeds (so, before the debuff has expired) is killed (this will almost always be due to Flame Scythe damage), his Searing Seed will detonate and do its damage to everyone within 12 yards. Therefore, having someone affected with Searing Seeds die will almost surely wipe your raid.

Players running out with Searing Seeds should pay special attention not to have their seed detonated in proximity to a player who is running back to the boss (a player who had just run out for their own seed).

Paladins can get rid of their Searing Seeds through Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield. Note that this will still cause the seed to detonate and deal damage to nearby allies. Players desiring to do this should do so immediately after a Flame Scythe has been cast, and should, naturally, be out of the raid. This will ensure that they are able to return to the stacking position before the next Scythe.

Healing during this phase is even more intense than during regular Scorpion Form phases, as there will generally be fewer people in front of Staghelm to soak Flame Scythes.

Lastly, yet very importantly, healers need to make sure that players who ran out in order for a Searing Seed detonation and are running back in have sufficient health to survive the following Flame Scythe. These players will generally have less health than the rest of the raid, as they are out of range of the various AoE healing effects happening in front of the boss.

3.3.2. Handling Burning Orbs During Cat Form

Burning Orbs will always precede Cat Form. This has no direct synergy with Staghelm's Leaping Flames, other than the fact that it adds more of a strain on healers.

As Burning Orb target the nearest player, stacking its damaging effect on them, it is advised that pairs of players are prepared to switch places (namely, changing who is closest to a Burning Orb) so that the stacks do not reach excessive amounts on a single player.

Burning Orbs, as stated earlier, last 1 minute, are stationary and are not attackable.

Invulnerabilities such as Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield allow players to soak the damage from a Burning Orb without receiving any stacks or any damage from it for a short while. This can prove helpful in stabilising an otherwise chaotic situation.

Burning Orbs make Cat Form phases much more difficult, and healers should expect random surges of damage on raid members, as players already affected by Burning Orb may get targeted by Leaping Flames.

4. Heroic Mode↑top

The heroic version of the Majordomo Staghelm encounter is a massive DPS check for your raid, but is overall almost identical in execution to the normal mode. It is quite strenuous on healers.

4.1. Differences from Normal Mode

There is one notable difference from normal mode: the existence of a Concentration Bar. This is an encounter-specific resource, much like the Corruption Bar on the Cho'gall encounter or the Sound Bar on the Atramedes encounter.

The Concentration resource provides an increase to players' damage and healing done, which is greater the longer they go without receiving any damage, up to a cap of 100% increased damage and healing done. For the purposes of this fight, however, only DPS players are required to maximise this buff, and the strategy your raid uses will be aimed at this.

In addition to this, all of Staghelm's abilities deal more damage. Flame Scythe deals more damage than in normal mode, as does Leaping Flames, which can kill players within seconds towards the end of the fight.

Searing Seeds deal increased damage, though this is irrelevant, as no one should ever be hit by them.

Burning Orbs deal considerably more damage (8,000 per second) and players soaking these will require intensive healing.

4.2. Strategy Changes

It is likely that your raid leader will utilise one of a handful of strategies which lead to a number of DPS players (or the entire raid) not soaking Flame Scythe, during Scorpion Form. You can check the detailed guide for more information on this. Pay attention to your raid leader's assignment, and be prepared for the following:

  • If a few DPS players are standing out, away from Flame Scythe, be prepared for the increased damage Flame Scythe will do.
  • If the raid leader has the tank soaking Flame Scythes alone (or with the help of Shadow Priests under Dispersion Icon Dispersion), you may be required to use cooldowns on him, as assigned.

There are no new sources of damage in the encounter, and the mechanics are identical to normal mode.

Finally, there are two things you should do in order to maximise the uptime of Concentration for DPS players:

  • During Cat Form phases, make sure you do not stand near any DPS players, such that a Leaping Flames would targeting you would also hit them.
  • Participate in soaking Burning Orbs, so that DPS players are free to retain their Concentration.

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