The pull is always a key part of any good boss attempt. No one wants to rush in all willy-nilly. Lord Rhyolith is an interesting boss to pull. To start, be advised that his aggro radius is huge. You can gather on the platform where he is located, but stick to the edge of it as much as possible. Just a few steps in, and you'll suddenly find a massive giant stomping toward you.
The other unique part of the encounter is that phase 1 Rhyolith is not tanked. The boss merely walks forward, and the raid must apply damage to each of his legs in order to control him.
Due to this, you don't want to have your tanks rushing in first. Instead, your melee should be mounted and lead the pack this time around. Ranged players, healers, and tanks should keep themselves grouped up in a designated area that we'll talk about a bit later. The important thing is to not aggro early, which is super-easy to do. Finish all of your buffing and eating before you head off onto his platform.
As a massive giant constructed of nigh-impenetrable rock, Rhyolith is going to totally ignore your raid during the vast majority of the encounter. Instead, he merely stomps around, causing magma eruptions and swarms of adds to take down. Let's look at all of the abilities that you'll be faced with.
Spark of Rhyolith
Concussive Stomp Deals raid-wide fire damage and knocks back any player within 20 yards.
Drink Magma Drinks from the magma surrounding Rhyolith, then spits it at the raid.
Heated Volcano Ignites the lava under a volcano, causing it to erupt, spewing lava over random targets; increases fire damage taken.
Lava Line Snakes out lines of lava from a crushed volcano; erupts for massive damage after a slight delay.
Obsidian Armor Reduces damage taken by 1% for every stack; stacks up to 99.
Shard of Rhyolith
Immolation Deals fire damage to anyone within 12 yards.
Infernal Rage Increases damage done and damage taken by 10%; stacks.
Meltdown Deals all remaining health as damage to a random player.
Phase 1: Steering the boss
Immolation Deals constant fire damage to every target.
Superheated Increases all damage done by 10%; stacks every 10 seconds.
As noted before, Lord Rhyolith is not tanked during phase 1, but instead constantly moves forward. During this phase, the main targets are his right and left legs. Dealing damage to his legs causes him to turn in the direction that the most damage is coming from. Dealing equalized damage on the legs causes him to walk straight; dealing no damage also has the same effect.
The concept here is to drive Lord Rhyolith, which isn't exactly as easy as it sounds. Rhyolith turns rather slowly, as one might expect from a massive, rock-covered giant. Those driving Rhyolith need to be aware of two things. The first is that Rhyolith can never, ever touch the sides of the platform. Doing so causes him to drink from the magma pools there and deal massive levels of damage to the raid. This cannot happen. Period.
You might think, "Well, that's easy! I'll just constantly turn him in a circle and he'll never get close to the edge!" Smart thinking; however, it won't entirely work out. The other aspect to steering the molten lord around is that you need to force him to stomp on any active volcanoes that are around. Every time he uses Concussive Stomp, three volcanoes will spawn on the platform. Eventually, one of these will be activated, causing it to spew lava over the raid. The only way to stop the lava from dealing constant damage to the raid is to force Rhyolith to crush it.
There's an added bonus of causing Rhyolith to stomp down on an active volcano; it also causes him to lose stacks of his Obsidian Armor. At the start of the encounter, Lord Rhyolith will have 99 stacks of Obsidian Armor, making it difficult to DPS him down. Every time he crushes an active volcano, parts of the armor chip away. This is important because phase 1 ends once his legs -- which share a health pool -- reach 25% health.
By and large, you want to have your melee DPS handle driving Lord Rhyolith around. Legs should be assigned in so much as a neutral position for players to return to during times that you want Rhyolith to walk straight. Otherwise, you should have one melee player call out which leg needs DPS applied to it in order to turn the monstrosity. Ranged DPS can assist in damage on Rhyolith, but they should be extremely cautious when doing so. All adds should be down first and they should probably strive to apply equal DPS to each leg. For specs without DOTs, this can be difficult.
A single healer, possibly more in 25-man, should also follow these players around, as they will be constantly moving and can easily get out of range of any position on the map.
Phase 1: Dealing with adds
The second part of phase 1 is dealing with the adds that spawn. Both types of adds, Sparks and Fragments of Rhyolith, need to be tanked and killed as quickly as possible. Sparks of Rhyolith are large, Fire Lord-looking adds that deal constant AOE damage to anyone within 12 yards. They must be picked up and carried outside of the group cluster. Due to the constant damage, it is not suggested to have melee assist on these adds. Sparks also increase their damage every so often, which is why they need to be killed quickly. Allowing them to stay alive will cause their tank damage to become unmanageable.
The second type of add that will spawn are the Fragments of Rhyolith. There will be five of these little buggers that come streaming out at any given time. They don't have any real special abilities, but they have the highest priority of any other target during phase 1. After 30 seconds, any living Fragment will explode and deal its remaining health as damage to a random raid member. A low-health add may not kill a player, but with all of the other damage that goes out during this phase, it easily can.
There are a variety of locations that you can group up at in order to deal with all of the adds. A majority of people seem to favor having their groups cluster in the middle of the room; frankly, I think that's a horrible idea. The benefit of this is that you will always have everyone within healing range. The negative effect is that tanks have to drag Sparks farther out to avoid melee, volcanoes spawn pretty much right on top of you, and Rhyolith's gigantic form is going to be taking up pretty much your entire screen.
Instead, it is far easier to have the ranged players, healers, and tanks stand slightly off to the side during this phase. You do have to send one, possibly two healers to follow melee in case they run out of range of the main group, and your ranged players may not always be able to attack Rhyolith, but they should be occupied with adds, anyway. The benefits of actually being able to see far outweigh the negatives here.
In particular note is the damage of the Lava Lines. Their damage is ridiculously high, enough to nearly one-shot most players. Having Rhyolith covering too much of your screen can make viewing these difficult, which ends up causing people to stand in them. You do not want people to do that. Fire bad.
Phase 2, in direct contrast to phase 1, is ridiculously easy. Once you get the legs to 25%, Lord Rhyolith's rocky exterior will shatter, revealing his lava core. At this point, he needs to be picked up by a tank and burned down as quickly as possible. Any adds or volcanoes that were up from phase 1 will instantly despawn at the start of phase 2, so you don't have to worry about timing anything when pushing phases.
During this phase, players have to contend with two mechanics, and only two. The first is constant fire damage to the entire raid, much the same as with the Sparks of Rhyolith, save that this one cannot be out-ranged. The second is Rhyolith's increasing damage. Every 10 seconds, Rhyolith will gain 10% more damage.
Essentially, you are in a race to kill him before the raid-wide damage overwhelms your healers. The good news here is that it's exceptionally easy to do this. Save Bloodlust
for this phase, and your guild shouldn't have to worry about the raid damage at all. Phase 1 of this encounter is the challenge; if you reach phase 2, then you're getting a kill. Good luck, adventurers!
Ready Check shares all the strategies and inside information you need to take your raiding to the next level. Be sure to look up our strategy guides to Cataclysm's 5-man instances, and for more healer-centric advice, visit Raid Rx.