Because most bosses below Mists of Pandaria level are delightfully faceroll-ish, instead of doing full instance soloing guides, I’m going to focus on bosses that, even in a 6.1 world, have weird mechanics or are just plain difficult. Spine of Deathwing is one of them.
Here’s a masterpiece of MS Paint representing Deathwing’s back! I made it myself, can you tell?
The numbered orange blobs are Corruption tentacles. When solo, they don’t really do anything special. When there’s two or more of you (or one + a pet, for those hunters, warlocks and frost mages out there), they cast Fiery Grip and are altogether more annoying.
What you want to do is destroy tentacles 1, 2, and either 3 OR 4, then sit in the spot where one used to be. This causes small tendrils to root you to Deathwing’s back, but cause a small amount of damage every half a second until you step off them. You want to stay there until Deathwing rolls, which causes the Hideous Amalgamations spawned by the death of the Corruptions to fly off his back. Bye!
What causes Deathwing to roll? When he detects more people on one side of his back, he will start a 10 second countdown, in which you want to have an even amount of people on both sides, lest he rolls and you all fly away. When solo? You want to move back and forth between the left side and the right side, which will restart the countdown. Some classes will have it more easy than others.
So, once the 3 Hideous Amalgamations are flung off his back, move to the centre area and keep moving between each side. The dead Corruption tentacles will release mobs called Corrupted Blood, and you want to kill them near each-other, while dancing between each side. When Bloods die, they leave behind Residue, which is the key to winning this encounter. Hideous Amalgamations absorb this Residue, which increases the damage and attack speed of it, but also causes it to become more unstable. This effect stacks 9 times, at which point it becomes Superheated. This is when you want to move it to the plates (Plate 1, 2 and 3 on the diagram) and kill it! Once its health reaches 0, it casts Nuclear Blast, and if it’s close enough to the plate, it will tear up, revealing Burning Tendons for you to kill. Once you do, the plate will rip off, revealing 2 more Corruption tentacles, and the process begins again.
So to recap:
- Kill Corruptions until you have 1 left.
- Force Deathwing to roll to kill the spawned Hideous Amalgamations.
- Kill 9 Corrupted Bloods while moving to the left and right across Deathwing’s back to prevent him rolling.
- Once you have 9 Residues, kill the 4th Corruption to spawn a Hideous Amalgamation.
- Make the Amalgamation run over the residues so it gets 9 stacks of Absorbed Blood.
- Move the Amalgamation to one of the plates and kill it.
- Kill the Burning Tendon to rip off the plate and reveal 2 more Corruption tentacles.
The only real worry is a debuff called Blood Corruption: Death. When the debuff fades and isn’t dispelled, it causes you to explode. As a warlock, you want to use Grimoire of Sacrifice, and sacrifice your Imp. This gives you the Singe Magic Command Demon ability, which you want to be using whenever the debuff appears on you. This transforms the debuff into Blood Corruption: Earth which, after 15 seconds, buffs you with 20% reduction in damage taken! It stacks twice too.
Recommended Talents (for the classes I play)
- Destruction Warlock: Searing Flames, Mortal Coil, Soul Link, Unbound Will, Grimoire of Sacrifice (Imp), Kil’jaeden’s Cunning, Charred Remains OR Cataclysm.
- Affliction Warlock: Harvest Life, Mortal Coil, Soul Link, Unbound Will, Grimoire of Sacrifice (Imp), Kil’jaeden’s Cunning, Cataclysm.
- Demonology Warlock: Not really recommended, as you can’t sacrifice a demon, and are thus unable to cleanse the debuff in Heroic OR are susceptible to being grabbed by tentacles.
- Windwalker Monk: Tiger’s Lust, any, Ascension, any, Dampen Harm, Invoke Xuen, Hurricane Strike OR Serenity.
With monks, Windwalker is a very good spec to do this fight with, as Blackout Kick will easily heal you for any damage you take. The Blood Corruption: Death debuff is something you’re gonna have to just take, but Blackout Kick will top your health up nicely, as if heals you for 30% of the damage you do. It’s very important you do NOT take Chi Explosion from the level 100 talent tier, as this ability replaces Blackout Kick and doesn’t have a heal attached to it, meaning you have to rely on Surging Mist and Expel Harm.
be incredibly careful when using roll or flying serpent kick. be too careless and you can and will fling yourself off deathwing’s back.
Warlocks have it pretty difficult. Though they are able to burn off the debuff, the difficulty stems from Destruction’s lack of spells you can cast while moving. Ember Tap is also pretty weak, and is dependent on you having embers. Affliction is an easier way to solo this boss as Corruption and Agony are instant cast, and glyphed/talented Drain Life is an incredibly powerful heal. In both specs, you want to take Kil’jaeden’s Cunning so that 8 out of every 35 seconds you can cast anything on the move.
Demonology is less effective as it doesn’t have access to Grimoire of Sacrifice, which means you’ll either have to go petless and rely on Unbound Will to dispel the debuff which has a heavy health cost and a long cooldown, or have an imp/fel imp out and risk being snared by the Fiery Grip of the Corruption you leave alive.
Being able to do this encounter means you’ll have a shot at the mounts dropped by Madness of Deathwing! Good luck!