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Spine of Deathwing Tank 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 tankswho 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 tanks, the encounter presents little difficulty. The only concern isproper positioning of the adds.


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

As a tank, you will have to occasionally move into one of the void zoneslocated on the sides of Deathwing's back (to perform a Barrel Roll and getrid of the Hideous Amalgamations). Your raid leader will instruct youwhen to do this, and which void zone to go to (simply follow the rest of theraid). After a few moments, you can return to the center of his back.

In LFR, this will not happen, and you can spend the entire duration of thefight performing your tanking duties.

3.1. Tank-specific Assignments

There are a few things you must do as a tank in this encounter:

  • Pick up and tank the Hideous Amalgamation add close to Deathwing'sarmor plate.
  • Taunt and tank any Corrupted Bloods (small adds) together with theAmalgamation. DPS players will kill these adds next to the Amalgamation, whichwill grant it stacks Absorbed Blood Icon Absorbed Blood, a buff that increases its damage andattack speed.
  • When the Amalgamation reaches 9 stacks of Absorbed Blood, make sure thatit is as close as possible to the armor plate. DPS players will kill this addvery quickly afterwards.
  • The dying Amalgamation will channel a spell called Nuclear Blast Icon Nuclear Blast.Get at least 15 yards away from it before it finishes its cast, as this willkill you otherwise.

In case your raid is using 2 tanks for the fight, the main tank will take theHideous Amalgamation designated to pry up the armor plate while the other tank willtake the rest of the Amalgamations (if they have not been removed by a Barrel Roll).The Corrupted Bloods will be spread among the tanks, possibly in a way that evensout the damage that the tanks take.

4. Heroic Mode↑top

The Heroic mode of the Spine of Deathwing encounter will not prove tootaxing for you as a tank, although there are a few things to keep in mind thatdiffer from Normal mode.

4.1. Differences from Normal Mode

In addition to increased health of all mobs in the encounter as well asincreased damage dealt by all abilities, the following differences arerelevant to you as a tank:

  • Each armor plate will have to loosened twice in order for your raid tomanage to kill the Burning Tendons (because of their much increasedhealth).
  • The Hideous Amalgamations deal much higher melee damage than inNormal mode, and as such they must be handled slightly differently (seestrategy section below).
  • Each time a Hideous Amalgamation is killed, the entire raid will receivea stack of a debuff, Degradation Icon Degradation, which reduces maximum healthby 5%. Fortunately, throughout the fight you will also receive stacks(maximum of 2 stacks) of a beneficial debuff, Blood of Neltharion Icon Blood of Neltharion, whichreduces damage taken by 20%.

4.2. Strategy

As a tank, there are two things to keep in mind in terms of strategy:

4.2.1. Positioning the Hideous Amalgamations

This section is only of interest to you if you are playing the main-tankin this encounter (i.e., you are tanking the Hideous Amalgamations and notthe Corrupted Bloods).

Because the Hideous Amalgamations deal much increased damage in Heroicmode, you will want to avoid stacking Absorbed Blood Icon Absorbed Blood on them at all untilthey are just about to die. This is made easy by the fact that theCorrupted Bloods leave a puddle where they die and moving the Amalgamationin this puddle is what actually grants it stacks of Absorbed Blood.

As a result, you should tank the Hideous Amalgamation away fromany Corrupted Bloods (which will be killed in a single location by yourraid). Once the Amalgamation is ready to be killed, you should drag it overthe location where the Bloods were killed, immediately giving it 9 stacks ofAbsorbed Blood.

For each armor plate, you will have to kill two Hideous Amalgamations,because the Burning Tendon must be exposed twice in order to be killed. BothAmalgamations must die in the exact same place, in order to expose the sameBurning Tendons. This is because under each armor plate, there are twoseparate tendons, one on the right and one on the left.

4.2.2. Handling Corrupted Bloods

This section is only of interest to you if you are playing the off-tankin this encounter (i.e., you are tanking the Corrupted Bloods and not theHideous Amalgamations).

Firstly, you should tank all the Corrupted Bloods away from theHideous Amalgamations and have your raid members kill them there (this isbecause you do not want the Hideous Amalgamations to gain any stacks ofAbsorbed Blood Icon Absorbed Blood prematurely). You should tank the Corrupted Bloods nearto the armor plate.

Corrupted Bloods deal more damage than in Normal mode (although their damageis still rather low). As a result, towards the end of the fight, when manyBloods are spawning, you will find it more beneficial to kite themaround Deathwing's back rather than simply tanking them. Just run around inwide circles.

It is important to note that Paladins in your raid can help tremendouslyin this task by using Holy Wrath Icon Holy Wrath (with Glyph of Holy Wrath). This spellwill stun all the bloods in a small area for 3 seconds.


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