So, I thought it would be interesting to write up a post explaining the mechanics of the fights in Firelands from a moonkin-specific point of view, and any tips or hints I have from my own experience. I will add heroic modes as time goes on, but normal modes are all that will be covered for the time being. Also, I hope to update this page after each tier is released reflecting new raids. Please note: this is written from the 10man raid perspective.
For this fight, my raid usually positions itself in the area before Beth’ilac’s pathway, which gives us room to move away from the numerous crystal prison traps once we are in our burn phase.
Once you’re raid is in position and you are ready to pull, try positioning yourself in between Shannox and the tank who is taking Riplimb, so that at any given moment you can switch to any of the three possible targets and still be in range. My raid chooses to have the ranged kill Rageface while the melee focuses on Shannox. As a balance druid, you three main roles on this fight:
- Do not stand in crystal prison or immolation traps – have Bigwigs or Deadly Boss Mods.
- Multidot, multidot, multidot. Keep [eclipsed] stacks of moonfire/sunfire and insect swarm on all 3 targets whenever possible (the main exception is when the Riplimb tank takes him through a prison trap to drop stacks – you cannot dot him while he is imprisoned). This will force you out of your normal rotation more frequently, but your DPS will skyrocket thanks to the dots’ damage and shooting stars procs. The beauty is, on normal mode, all 3 have to die so none if it is “meter padding”. Other than this, focus your single target rotation on Rageface, then switch to Shannox or Riplimb after his death depending on your raid leader’s preference.
- Nuke Rageface while he Face Rages anybody besides yourself (though I have interestingly once cleared Face Rage off myself thanks to a lucky cast) with either an eclipsed wrath, a starsurge, or a starfire. The key to this is your ability must hit him for over 30k damage. As of a hotfix applied a few weeks after the release of 4.2, all attacks on Rageface during Face Rage are guaranteed critical strikes. Therefore, your only concern is casting the right spell. While wrath sometimes breaks the 30k mark, if it is un-eclipsed, it is less reliable than your other nukes and might get Rageface’s target killed. So switch to starfire if your starsurge is on cooldown and if you are building towards lunar eclipse but not still in solar eclipse.
Following these 3 guidelines will safely get you through to the burn phase. Once Rageface is dead, Shannox is DPS’d down to about 35% health remaining, then Riplimb is killed. Luckily for you, once Rageface dies, things only get easier. Basically just DPS burn down the last dog then Shannox, while still avoiding traps and fire ground effects. In the burn phase, when Shannox is the only one left alive, stack up at the feet of the boss to facilitate aoe heals. He will die fast at this point, as long as the raid doesn’t stand in fire and on traps.
Loot of Interest:
For this fight on 10man, you can pretty much guarantee that you will be, in at least some capacity, on Cinderweb Spiderling duty. these are the little critters that bee-line to the Cinderweb Drone and heal him if they reach, so they must die before they reach him. Luckily in my raid group, we have a demonology warlock aoe’ing them down as well, with a glyph to slow them in the process. The general strategy for killing these is, whenever possible, be in solar eclipse during spiderling-frequent phases. I will go over roughly how to accomplish this in a moment.
On pull, your first job is to kill Cinderweb Spinners as they appear above the raid (they drop down on webs and must be taunted/killed to pull them down).
Once you are in solar eclipse and spiderlings are close (they spawn from a random location on the room’s outer edge), drop 3 wild mushrooms in a position such that they hit as many of the spiderlings as possible (preferably all of them). With a little RNG luck on crits, you can almost 1 shot these adds, leaving more drone DPS time in between waves. If after you pop your mushrooms there are still Spinners alive, kill these as quickly as possible. If at any point during the fight the Spiderlings get close to the drone, use Typhoon to knock them away and kill them then.
After the spiderlings and spinners are both all dead, switch your attention to the drone and DPS him down (it is unnecessary to have 2 drones out at once, so your raid should kill it relatively fast), while focusing at least one wild mushroom 3-stack drop + detonate on each wave of spiderlings that comes out. Again, try to time solar eclipses for this point, but if it is not possible due to you needing to transition eclipse on drone DPS, just try for it next time.
You continue to follow this pattern until all the adds are dead. Every so often, Beth’ilac will cast Smoldering Devastation, at which point the melee/tank/healer up top all drop back down and Spinners spawn again. At this point, restart what you were doing at the beginning, and repeat this cycle two more times (three Smoldering Devastation casts) until Beth’ilac drops down from her nest for good. Important note: Immediately prior to Beth’ilac coming down, there will be a group of Spiderlings running towards the center. If these reach her, they heal her just as they heal the drone. They must die very fast – before they reach the center of the room where she can eat them.
Once she is grounded, stack up to help aoe heals and burn the boss. You might be asked to use your tranquility because it is a raid-damage heavy portion of the fight. That’s about it for her.
Loot of Interest:
This fight is pretty interesting mechanic-wise (for the melee DPS, anyway), and pretty simple for you on 10man. Basically, you just kill the adds that the tank collects, whether they be Fragments of Ryolith or Sparks of Ryolith. If they are fragments, aoe them down. If they are sparks, keep your distance as they pulse damage, and DPS them down single-target. It is important to kill the set of adds before the next set spawns, so you don’t get backed up on DPS.
Besides killing adds, just avoid the lines of fire that come from used volcano craters.
Once the melee DPS have steered the boss through enough volcanoes to negate his armor and DPS him down to 25% health, the burn phase begins and all DPS switches to him. Again, stack up for aoe heals and burn the boss.
Loot of Interest:
Personally, I have always been the DPS who goes in the air and collects Blazing Power stacks. I will explain the fight from this perspective first, and then I will share what one of the two warlocks I have the privilege of playing with has to say about ranged DPS on the ground, with a bit of a druid professionalization added to it.
After the boss is pulled and you are healed up to full, run to the first feathers and pick three up. You will launch into the air and begin your aerial assault. Maintain to the best of your capability your normal rotation, while flying through every single flame ring that spawns. When you fly through one, you’ll see a funny firework-esque animation and hear a “whoosh” noise, and your stack of blazing power will increase by one. Beyond DPSing the boss and catching every flame circle, just don’t hit any Incendiary Clouds and you’re golden. You’ll notice a pattern of flame ring spawn sites: they will spawn in the same general area relative to the boss for about 4 or 5 rings, then change positions. Every so often, she will descend to rake her way across the ground. At this part, it might be tough for you to catch the ring she casts while descending. just try your hardest and keep on going. once you reach 25 stacks, you gain a 75% critical strike buff (virtually making every cast a crit) in addition to the stacking haste from Blazing Power.
After a while, she will fly into the center of the area and cast a fiery vortex. You do not want to be far away or you will lose your buff, fall and die, so follow her in. Land yourself with the raid, and the dancing part begins. You will need to dodge waves of flame while simultaneously running through more rings of flame now located on the ground to maintain maximum uptime on your buff once the burn phase begins. If you succeed at dancing, you’ll start the burn phase, at which point you go all out on her with your recently acquired super-buffs. At 50% energy she starts pulsing damage, so stack on the healers and continue DPSing her. Once her energy reaches full, you will be knocked back and she will molt some more feathers. pick three up and start over from the beginning.
This covers the aerial portion of the fight. Rinse and repeat these steps until she reaches 10% HP on the ground, at which point she will stay grounded and you just kill her.
As promised, here is what my fellow raider Pandoruum has to say about ground DPS for Alysrazor:
First off, I want to say this is not a DPS race. Too much is going on and you’re switching targets too much for your DPS to keep up with you, especially for the ranged. But, if you know what you’re doing and you play your class well, you shouldn’t have a problem. With that said, let’s get started.
After Alysrazor knocks the raid back and flies into the air, a few feathers should be dropped in the middle. Those should be reserved for your aerial DPS (the DPS who fly around following Alysrazor). The first adds to spawn on either side are called Blazing Talon Initiates. There should be 2 DPS on either side of the arena ready to kill these as soon as they spawn. They also have a magic move called Fieroblast that’s usually interrupted by our rogue and warrior in the raid. Make sure whenever you see feathers on the ground, you grab no more than 2 so you can cast while moving. But don’t take them until your aerial DPS gets them first, they have priority or else things can get messy.
The next adds that spawn are big fiery birds called Voracious Hatchlings and you should DPS these when Initiates aren’t out. For you moonkin, multidotting the add on your side whenever you’re focusing the initiates wouldn’t be a terrible idea. When the lava worms come up from ground, you can’t attack them. Don’t stand in the middle because you’ll be too far away from Initiates sometimes. Stand on the wall of the side of the arena you were assigned to. Just make sure you’re in the perfect spot so you don’t get hit with lava spit. I find that standing at the top corner to the left of where Alysrazor first erupts from the ground to be a good spot.
Here’s the trickiest part of the fight. The fiery vortex. It took our guild a little while to get used to our strat, but once we got the hang of it we realized how simple it is. Basically all you want to do is follow the trail of one vortex and as another one passes, turn around and follow the other vortex trail and keep doing that so you’re moving in a circle over and over again. I find it very helpful to zoom in a lot and set my camera angle to look down on my character. After a few seconds, this phase ends and Alysrazor crashes to the ground becoming vulnerable. This is where you’ll blow your short CD’s, but wait to blow Heroism, potions, pets, etc for the second time she crashes to the ground. This part lasts about a minute, I guess and then she flies back up starting the whole process over, rinse and repeat. Good luck and have fun!
Thanks so much to Pandoruum for helping me out with this part. I included her explanation of the fiery vortex in addition to mine because I like the way she explains how to maneuver your camera. If that works for you, then great!
Loot of Interest:
Baleroc the Gatekeeper
This is by far the easiest fight for DPS in the entire instance. You will have 1 of 2 responsibilities:
- Stand still and burn the boss with Patchwerk precision.
- Rotate standing next to a purple crystal with another DPS while burning the boss with near-Patchwerk precision.
So if you have option 1, the only mechanic you need to be aware of is the very slightest situational awareness that if a purple crystal spawns near you, move away a little bit.
If you fall into category 2, then you will either be first or second to stand next to either crystal #1 or crystal #2. If you are first, then you must be standing near the purple swirls that indicate a crystal spawn site before your respective crystal spawns. You then must be the closest player to this crystal until you reach 11 stacks (barkskin is helpful for the healers at 6 stacks). You then move out for the second person to take it for the remainder of the crystal’s “life”. Reverse roles if you’re the second person. You just stand there once the first person has 11 stacks until the crystal despawns.
Beyond that, DPS the boss. It is a DPS check so every little bit counts – give it your all.
Loot of Interest:
A very cool fight, especially from a druid’s point of view (he is, after all, a feral druid). He shifts between two forms throughout the encounter – cat form and scorpion form. Which form he is in depends on where the raid is. If at least 7 of the 10 raid members are near the boss, he will be in scorpion form. If the majority is spread out, he will be in cat form.
It is up to the discretion of your raid leader as to when you force form switches. For your sake, though (unless you are the raid leader, in which case you need a more extensive raid guide setup than this blog), this fight isn’t incredibly difficult. During scorpion phases, just burn the boss single target while standing still. It is a good idea to pop barkskin when you have about 10 seconds left in scorpion form, to help mitigate the damage being dealt by his frontal aoe. During cat phases, spread out around the circle in the center of the room and DPS the boss from range, moving whenever he pounces on you.
Two very important events to watch for are the second phase transition (usually cat->scorpion) and the fifth phase transition (scorpion->cat). During these two transitions, he casts a special ability. The cat->scorpion special ability is molten seeds, a debuff placed on every raid member with varying time until expiration. What you must do is with 5 seconds left on the timer, run out of the raid and let it explode. Everyone is responsible for their own debuff timer, so just worry about yours. The scorpion->cat transition ability is the spawning of two flame orbs in random locations about the room. You will likely be on rotation with another DPS or healer on one of them. This rotation works similarly to the cycle on Baleroc’s purple crystals, except you trade off on 5-6 stacks instead of 11. The tricky part here is if Staghelm pounces on you while you’re near the crystal. If this happens, just make sure you’re still the closest one to the orb.
Beyond these mechanics, just DPS the boss and if everyone performs well, you should have no problems.
Loot of Interest:
The final boss of the Firelands. A very complex fight mechanic-wise, but relatively simple when you get beyond the issue of standing in fire. For my sanity’s sake, I won’t go through a complete ability breakdown, and continue with the theme of this guide and only say what I find relevant to balance druids.
First is phase 1, obviously. During this phase you must DPS the boss down to 70%, while surviving. Basically, do not stand near the fire traps (a different class will likely be breaking them for your raid), avoid flame waves (a good trick is standing diagonally from the three circles at the spawn site to dodge the waves altogether) and just play smart all around. Once he hits 70%, you begin transition phase 1. 8 sons of flame spawn during this phase and bee-line for Ragnaros’ hammer which hits either left, center, or right. You will likely be DPS’ing whichever adds are furthest away. Get them below 50% to remove their speed buff, knock them back, and kill them as needed. Once all the adds are killed, phase 2 will begin.
In phase 2, the lava waves continue, but everything else changes. You will want to stack on whichever side you’re assigned to (left or right) and dps the boss from there. Periodically, a third of the platform will fill with lava. Get out of it. The third aspect of p2 you have to worry about is the adds. The reason you are spread out to opposite sides is because adds will spawn where people are standing, and do DPS to the raid relative to how far they spawn from where people are standing. So once the seed spawns, converge on the center and prepare for aoe damage (barkskin). The adds will then come to the center where everyone is stacked and aoe them down. It is important that you’re in solar eclipse here to kill them quickly (extend eclipse by casting un-eclipsed starfire if necessary). After the adds die, you spread back out and repeat until transition phase 2 begins.
The next transition phase is identical to the first except two lava scions spawn as well and must be tanked. This eliminates your tanks from helping on sons of flame (to a degree) and changes the way you kill the sons. You must leave the furthest son alive (stun-locking it) whil you kill the scions so you don’t accidentally push phase 3 when you’re not ready. Once you kill the scions, kill the last son of flame and push into the final phase.
During phase 3, the lava waves from phase 1 & 2 and the “oh crap” zone from phase 2 remain (the third of the platform covered in flames). In addition to these, you have to contend with living meteors, a giant rock that rolls toward you and wipes the raid if it hits you. If it is targeting you then you must kite it around the rim of the room and hit it when it’s about to hit you, allowing it to focus another player who can do the same thing. It is important you don’t hit it into another player, and it can be difficult to master. I recommend watching videos on tankspot and learn2raid (there are links on the left-hand side of my blog to these sites) to see this in action.
That’s basically the mechanics to Ragnaros for you, and if you can master that, you should be okay.
Loot of Interest:
Shared Boss Loot of Interest: