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The Light and How to Swing It: The Fall of Deathwing, ret edition part 1


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Well, here we are, the first two of the final four bosses of the expansion. That is, we think Deathwing is the final boss of the expansion -- it is still unclear whether Blizzard will pull another We're not done with the next expansion yet! raid on us like it did in Wrath with Ruby Sanctum. Regardless, we have a raid that needs a conclusion and a guide to go along with it, so let's get started!

Please note that this guide, like many others I have written, is for the normal version of each encounter. Some mechanics, like Fading Light and Twilight Sappers, either work differently or have been removed on the Raid Finder difficulty.


I really wish I had more to say about this fight, but Blizzard isn't having it. Simply put, Ultraxion is this raid's Patchwerk with the addition of a button. Yes, you really do just stand in one place, run your rotation train on him, and hit a button when the situation calls for it. I honestly wish there were more to this fight, but there it is.

To be fair to Blizzard, though, the sheer DPS check on this encounter makes up for the lack of attention you'll need for various other mechanics. If you were saving those Golemblood Potions for a special occasion (not that you should be!), this is it. An important note is that there is no specific burn phase or anything similar, so use those cooldowns immediately and use them right when they come back up again. If you want to try to time them with Bloodlust, the best delaying point would be on your last set. Since the fight is only 6 minutes long, you will only get three sets of CDs in before he swabs your raid's deck with your entrails, so delaying your last cooldown usage a few seconds to sync it up with Bloodlust would be ideal.

The biggest point to hit for this encounter is working your timing on hitting the special button, Heroic Will. You'll want to use this ability when you get the Fading Light debuff and when Ultraxion is casting Hour of Twilight. If you have decent latency, you can hold off on using the ability until you're under 1 second remaining on the debuff or cast -- and thanks to the tight DPS check, you really, really should.

When should you use things like Word of Glory and glyphed Divine Protection, you may ask? The former, never, and the latter, extremely often. Normally I am not opposed to spending 3 holy power on a heal for either yourself or a fellow raid member, but in case I wasn't impressing on you how tight this enrage timer is. It's pants-after-Thanksgiving tight. Losing DPS to almost anything is going to make the twilight minutes of this encounter painful for you and your healers. Then again, retribution DPS tends to vary wildly from attempt to attempt anyway, so I suppose I'll leave this up to you.

If you do happen to pass this DPS test, however, you have a couple of pieces of loot to look forward to: Curled Twilight Claw, Breathstealer Band, Bone-Link Fetish (the latter two are shared drops), Creche of the Final Dragon, and our chest tier token, Chest of the Corrupted Conqueror.

Warmaster Blackhorn

I think Blizzard was fed up with the term "lootship" and decided to abolish the word from common use through the implementation of this fight. If you're just walking up to the Warmaster for the first time, prepare for an insane amount of adds and AoE effects that, counterintuitively, you need to stand in. Let me explain.

As a melee player, you need to worry about three adds: Twilight Elite Dreadblades, Twilight Elite Slayers, and Twilight Sappers. Generally, there is a priority for delivering death to these guys, but to make things simple we'll just say kill Sappers first!

If a Sapper is up, switch to it and kill it before it reaches the helm and detonates. Hammer of Justice will work to stun it, but I have found that having a friendly death knight Death Grip the add to you, followed shortly by a HoJ, works wonders. If most of your DPSers switch to the Sapper, you should have that thing dead before the stun is off.

When Twilight Onslaught is being cast, you will see a large purple swirl somewhere on the deck. You need to get in that graphic and stay there until the projectile hits the ground and the damage is dished out. Glyphed Divine Protection saves the day here; make sure to use it often! Once all the adds are dead (to be precise, once all of the Twilight Assault Drakes are dead -- the adds the ranged have to deal with), Blackhorn will dismount Goriona and land on the ship. Phase 2 has begun.

This phase is much simpler than the first. Ranged players will take down Goriona while you start on Blackhorn. The only two things you need to be aware of for this phase are the Twilight Flames that Goriona will cast on the deck and the exceedingly large Shockwave from Blackhorn. This is pretty simple Stay Out of Bad Stuff thinking, though I should warn you that the downtime between the cast and the attack for Shockwave is only 2.5 seconds. Thanks to the conic nature of the attack, the closer you are to the boss, the smaller distance you have to traverse to avoid damage. As a melee player, you should have no problem at all avoiding this.

Once he keels over (Get it, "keel"? Like the keel on a ship? Oh, never mind ...), don't forget to look out for your tier helm, Crown of the Corrupted Conqueror, and Ataraxis, Cudgel of the Warmaster.

Next up, ride the wings of pestilence and destruction and hack away at the Aspect of Death himself -- Deathwing!

The Light and How to Swing It teaches you the ins and outs of retribution paladins, from Ret 101 and how to gem, enchant and reforge your retadin, to essential ret pally addons.

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