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Lady Deathwhisper is a two-phase fight. When you approach her in her throne room, you'll immediately note that she is standing on a stage. She's surrounded by a big mana shield. In order to get to her, you have to beat down that mana shield. When you get all the way through the shield, she immediately becomes mobile and starts to fight you.

Of course, you don't get to remain unmolested when you're trying to storm her castle. As you damage down the mana shields, adds will be summoned on each side of the room. They need to tanked and killed in very specific ways, or else the adds will swam and destroy your raid.

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You will need two tanks in 10-man normal, but perhaps three in 25-man normal. If your DPS is strong, you'll be able to do 25-man normal with only two tanks. You will be in the same tank situation in heroic modes. Your healer composition will depend on tank hardiness, of course, but you'll probably want two healers in 10-man normal, five in 25-man normal and the same number in heroic.

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General strategy

The general vibe of the Lady Deathwhisper fight runs in two phases. The fight flows about the same in all four versions, whether you're doing it in 10-man or 25-man on either normal or heroic difficulty. There are only a few additional tricks in heroic mode.

In the first phase, Lady Deathwhisper will not require a tank. She will stand in her spot and spam her two main abilities, Shadow Bolt and Dominate Mind. She does not use Dominate Mind in 10-man normal, however, so that's a good arena to get used to the mobs she summons. She will not require a tank during this first phase. However, she will drop green circles called Death and Decay on the ground -- do not stand in them! They're bad and will kill you.

Instead of going tanko-on-bosso, tanks will be busy picking up the adds from the other three walls. (On 10-man normal, however, adds only appear on the side walls. They will not appear at the room's entrance in that version.) The adds all do variable types of damage and can sprout special resistances to damage. The mobs also resurrect to do even more damage to their targets. We'll talk more about the adds below, but basically, Deathwhisper can Empower a cultist or the cultist itself can use Dark Martyrdom to rise from the dead.

You get into phase 2 by depleting her Mana Shield until it is empty. Once the mana shield is empty, phase 2 will begin. Obviously, you want to start phase 2 with as few adds alive as possible. That might take a bit of slick timing, but the goal is to get a full burn on the boss as soon as you can.

During phase 2, Lady Deathwhisper has a handful of abilities. The first one is the tank-killing Frostbolt, which should be interrupted at all costs. You should still stand not-in-fire by avoiding the green circles of Death and Decay. Lady Deathwhisper also summons Vengeful Shades, which cannot be targeted or killed -- you just have to avoid them. While she stops using Dominate Mind and summoning cultists in normal modes, she will continue this behavior in 10-man. If you're doing this in heroic mode, Deatwhisper will continue summoning cultists and fanatics; she'll summon these adds three at a time in 25-man but only one at a time in 10-man.

She will also use Touch of Insignificance on the tanks during phase 2. This is an ability which will slowly cap the tank's ability to generate threat. As a result, DPS should be careful not to over-aggro the tanks and consistently use abilities like Tricks of the Trade. If you're doing the fight in heroic mode, however, your tanks will not be able to taunt her to switch due to Touch of Insignificance; your threat will have to be especially tight.

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Phase 1
  • Mana Barrier This is the barrier you must destroy in order to progress to phase 2.
  • Shadow Bolt Her main attack in phase 1, doing around 8,500 shadow damage in 10-man normal, 10k in 10-man heroic and 25-man normal, and a whopping 13k damage in 25-man heroic.
  • Death and Decay Drops a green runic circle on the ground, which takes place of the classic "fire" you shouldn't be standing in. Inflicts 4.5k shadow damage in 10-man normal and heroic, while it does 6k shadow damage in 25-man normal and heroic.
  • Dominate Mind (not in 10-man normal) Places one player under a mind control effect, increasing his damage by 200% and healing by 500%. In heroic mode, she will mind control three players instead. You should attempt to crowd control someone under the effect of Dominate Mind, not kill him -- you'll presumably want his DPS or healing later.
  • Dark Empowerment Buffs Lady Deathwhisper's adds, which allows them to deal additional damage and be immune to interrupts.
Phase 2
  • Frostbolt The tank-killer Frostbolt absolutely must be interrupted. Let me say that again: interrupt this ability! It does 42,000 frost damage in 10-man normal, 46k in 10-man heroic, 52k in 25-man normal and 60k in 25-man heroic.
  • Death and Decay This is the same ability as in phase 1; it continues in phase 2.
  • Touch of Insignificance Touch of Insignificance diminishes the target's ability to generate threat by 20% per application and can stack up to five times.
  • Vengeful Shade The floating shades will randomly chase around random players; when they get within melee range of their target, they will supply a Vengeful Blast. Vengeful Blast hits for 18k shadowfrost damage in 10-man normal, 20k shadowfrost in 10-man heroic and 25-man normal and 24k damage in 25-man heroic.
  • Dominate Mind In every mode except 10-man normal, Deathwhisper will continue to mind control in phase 2.

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Tank strategy

The tank task in phase 1 and phase 2 is significantly different. First, like everyone else, don't stand in fire. That goes for the whole thing.

In phase 1, tanks will be responsible for controlling the adds spawned from the alcoves on each side of the Deathwhisper room. Grab them, gather them up. If one of the adds turns into the Mutated Fanatic, you may need to kite it to avoid by getting hit with its giant whammy. All of the adds can use an ability called Dark Martyrdom, which will explode for big shadow damage. Get away from the add when it's casting this ability.

In phase 2, put out as much threat as possible on Deathwhisper, moving her only to avoid standing in Death and Decay. If a particular tank is lagging way behind on aggro not because of Touch of Insignificance, it might be worthwhile to have him taught to get caught back up to the curve.

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DPS strategy

Don't stand in fire. During phase 2, interrupt Frostbolt every time you possibly can. Quickly and efficiently swap to adds every time they appear, so that everyone can then whirl around and attack the boss. Don't stand in fire.

Use your crowd control -- Sheep, Cyclone, sundry -- to keep mind-controlled players from going house on your raid.

Many raids deal in a lot of detail when planning how to kill the cultists and fanatics, since some become immune to physical damage and some can become immune to magical damage. That being said, however, I usually see successful raids stick with the discipline, "Everyone kill them; if it goes Immune, check the next guy; keep trying until you end up back on Deathwhisper."

If you want to be specific, however, Adherent's Determination prevents adherents from taking spell damage, while Fanatic's Determination prevents reanimated fanatics from taking physical damage. Additionally, adherents will sprout the Shroud of the Occult, which bounces spells back on the caster. So, physical damage needs to be on adherents, and spell damage will be on the fanatics.

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Healer strategy

Tanks often seem to feel like they take a surprising amount of burst damage at the beginning of each add wave; this is because with three adds up, they're taking the brunt of the damage all at once. It evens out a bit once the DPS starts mowing through the adds.

Once you've entered phase 2, however, the whole mess becomes much more manageable. Be sure to keep your finger over the cleanse button to clear Curse of Torpor. It's cast by the adherents and will increase your spells' cooldowns by 15 seconds. Bad news.

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