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Spine of Deathwing DPS Strategy Guide

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Boss Icon - Spine of DeathwingThis guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of theencounter with Spine of Deathwing in Dragon Soul. It is mostly targeted to DPSwho desire to have a short but detailed overview of what is expected ofthem during that fight.

This guide applies to patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft.


The Spine of Deathwing encounter takes place on Deathwing's back, as he isflying through the air. During this fight, your raid will have to handle manytypes of adds, with the final goal being to remove three of Deathwing's armorplates.

For DPS players, the fight presents a higher degree of difficulty than fortanks or healers. DPS players will have to very precisely prioritise DPS onvarious types of adds, and execute a rather challenging DPS burn.


1. Overview of the Fight↑top

         Dragon Soul - Spine of Deathwing - Overview    Spine of Deathwing is a single phase encounter that takes place onDeathwing's back, as he is flying through the air. Your raid will need toproperly deal with several types of adds in order to pry up and remove3 armor plates from Deathwing's back. The idea is to open a big enoughhole in Deathwing's armor, so as to give Thrall a clear shot with the DragonSoul.

The armor plates can only be removed sequentially, as removing one enablesthe raid to reach the next one. This causes the fight to become increasinglyharder, as the number of adds you need to deal with increases after an armorplate has been removed.

2. Adds↑top

You will be faced with 4 types of adds.

Initially, there are 4 Corruptions. Each armor plate that you removegives room to 2 more Corruptions. There will always be at least one Corruptionup: even if you kill them all, a new one will automatically respawn. When youkill a Corruption, it leaves a hole behind, out of which 1Hideous Amalgamation and 1 Corrupted Blood appear.

When you kill a Corrupted Blood, it respawns after a few seconds andit leaves a puddle on the ground thatgives a buff to the Hideous Amalgamation. The idea is to stack this buff 9times, at which point the Amalgamation should be killed. Doing so willcause the Amalgamation to pry up the closest armor plate, exposing aBurning Tendons.

If you successfully kill the Burning Tendon in the next 23 seconds,the armor plate will be successfully removed, otherwise you need to finishit off after prying up the armor plate again.

3. Strategy↑top

For this encounter, you basically need to do whatever the raid leaderasks you to.

3.1. LFR Strategy

In LFR difficulty, the Corruptions are harmless, so the fight willmost likely be a repetition of these steps:

  1. Kill a Corruption.
  2. Stack Corrupted Blood 9 times on the Hideous Amalgamation.
  3. Kill the Amalgamation near the armor plate.
  4. Kill the Burning Tendons.

3.2. 10-man/25-man Strategy

In 10-man and 25-man difficulties, the Corruptions are not harmless and yourraid will need to dispose of them. Therefore, the fight will look like this:

  1. Kill all the Corruptions.
  2. Do a Barrel Roll to get rid of the Hideous Amalgamations.
  3. Kill the Corruption that respawned.
  4. Stack Corrupted Blood 9 times on the Hideous Amalgamation.
  5. Kill the Amalgamation near the armor plate.
  6. Kill the Burning Tendons.

Corruptions regularly grasp players and channel a damaging spell at them.To break the channel, a Corruption must be damaged for 20% of its life. Sincethere will always be at least one Corruption alive, a group of players willbe designated to break the channel(s).

If you are assigned to this task,you should have a means of checking when the Corruption channels this ability(Fiery Grip Icon Fiery Grip), either through boss mods, raid-frame debuffs or simplylooking at the Corruption.

Also, you will have to occasionally move into one of the void zones locatedon the sides of Deathwing's back. This causes Deathwing to perform a BarrelRoll, removing all the Hideous Amalgamations from his back.Your raid leader will instruct you when todo this, and which void zone to go to (simply follow the rest of the raid).

3.3. Superheated Nucleus and Nuclear Blast

Once the Amalgamation has 9 stacks of Absorbed Blood Icon Absorbed Blood, it will startpulsating Superheated Nucleus Icon Superheated Nucleus (10-man/25-man/LFR). It deals raid-wide Fire damage, somitigation abilities such as Mage Ward Icon Mage Ward are welcome. When the Amalgamationdies, it casts Nuclear Blast Icon Nuclear Blast. Everyone has a few seconds to get away fromit. Failing to do so will result in certain death.

4. Cooldown Usage↑top

In total, there are 3 Burning Tendons to kill and you want to killeach of them on the first try. Therefore, you will need to wisely use yourcooldowns so that you can distribute your burst damage evenly among alltendons. For example, if you have Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Heroism Icon Heroism/Time Warp Icon Time Warpfor the first tendon, you can save your main cooldowns for the second tendonand your potion for the last tendon.

5. Heroic Mode↑top

The Heroic mode of the Spine of Deathwing encounter will test your raid'sburst DPS capabilities above all else. From a tactical point of view, thefight is not complicated and most of the differences from Normal mode arenot relevant to your role.

5.1. Differences from Normal Mode

The health of all enemies in the encounter is increased.Additionally, all abilities deal more damage.

The most important health increase is that of the Burning Tendons.Their health is now so high that each Tendon will have to be exposed twice(at the expense of two Hideous Amalgamations) in order to be killed, andeven this task will require a high amount of DPS.

5.2. Strategy

The strategy for the Heroic mode of the encounter does not change verymuch for you as a DPS player. The only thing that is important to understandis that there is a very brutal DPS check involved in killing theBurning Tendons. The Tendons are exposed for a total of 18 secondseach time, so you must make sure that you are able to maximise your DPS outputover that short time-frame. Your goal is to deal more than 50% ofthe tendons' health over 18 seconds each time.

In order to fine-tune your burst DPS, you can use a training dummy in oneof your capital cities and time yourself over repeated 18 second periods inorder to see which spell rotation and cooldown usage is best. Keep in mind thatfor such a short amount of time, it may prove beneficial to stray from yourusual rotation quite a lot.

Lastly, it is worth noting the value of the Valor Point trinkets(Bottled Wishes, Kiroptyric Sigil and Rotting Skull).These trinkets have very powerful on-use effects that are availablefor each exposed tendon phase.


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