How do you feel about spiders? If you’re the sort of person who’s skin starts to crawl just thinking about the twitchy spindly-legged little demons, then you might have to tank this fight with your eyes closed. Beth’tilac is one of the first bosses you’ll encounter in the Firelands raid, and she is – there’s no getting around it – a big ugly spider. Tanking Beth’tilac and her brood is pretty easy (unless you’re an arachnophobe, of course).
The fight takes place on two levels: the ground in Beth’tilac’s lair, and also on her web which is suspended above. The raid will be split into two groups: one to fight Beth’tilac on the web level, and one to take care of the various adds that will spawn on the ground level throughout the fight. You’ll need one tank in each group, and your specific tanking duties will depend on which group you’re assigned to. Our guide to Beth’tilac tactics has full details.
The main tank will be in the Web Level Group and will be tanking Beth’tilac. At the start of the fight, Beth’tilac immediately retreats to the web level, and starts casting Venom Rain, which will do significant AoE damage to the whole raid. Your job is to get up to the web level as soon as possible, and engage Beth’tilac (thus stopping Venom Rain).
The only way to get up to the web level is to climb up using a spider’s thread, and the only way to get hold of a spider’s thread is to kill a spider. The specific spiders in question are called Cinderweb Spinners, and they’ll start appearing as soon as Beth’tilac has retreated to the web level. Initially, they’ll be dangling from the web itself, so you’ll need to taunt them to bring them down to the ground level. You should concentrate on taunting the spiders, and let the DPS kill them. When a Cinderweb Spinner dies, it will leave behind a spider thread. Spider threads are actually vehicles, and you can use them to move from the ground level to the web level. You should do so as soon as one becomes available: you need to be the first person on the web level. Your healer and DPS (the rest of the Web Level Team) will follow you soon after. As soon as you get up to the web level, go annoy Beth’tilac. Take note of the hole in the middle of the web – you’ll need that soon.
Beth’tilac will regularly cast Ember Flare, which will do AoE fire damage to everybody on the web level. She’ll also cast Meteor Burn, which causes meteors to drop from above and impact onto the web level. Standing under a meteor is not recommended, so move out of the area effect indicator as soon as you see it appearing (it’s a fiery orange circle). The meteor impacts leave pools of fire behind, but not so much that it should cause you a problem.
The important thing you should be watching out for is Smoldering Devastation, which Beth’tilac will cast three times in total. The cast always comes when her Fire energy bar reaches zero, and is always an 8 second cast. As soon as the cast starts, go leap down the hole in the middle of the web. Any player still on the web level when Smoldering Devastation is cast will die. Yes, even you. Yes, even though you’re a tank. Yes, even though your gear is great. Yes, even if you pop a bubble. Dead. Don’t just stand there – jump!
When you reach the ground level, the rest of the Web Level Team will temporarilly join the Ground Level Team and assist in killing adds. As a tank, there’s not much for you to do at this point – you certainly don’t want to steal threat from the off-tank – so add whatever DPS you can manage until Smoldering Devastation is over and Cinderweb Spinners start spawning again. Once that happens, repeat your actions from the start of the fight: taunt the spinners to the ground, and grab a spider thread to get yourself back up the web level as soon as you can.
Tanking the adds
The off-tank should join the Ground Level Team, where you’ll be tanking the various adds. There are three types of add that will appear: small spiders, medium-sized spiders, and big spiders. You may notice a common theme emerging here.
When the fight starts and Beth’tilac retreats to the web level, assist the main tank in taunting the Cinderweb Spinners as they appear. Don’t use the spider threads – you want to stay on the ground throughout this fight. Head for the southwest corner of the room. Adds will spawn from each of the three other corners, so the southwest is the best place from which to tank.
The Cinderweb Spinners are the medium-sized spiders. Taunt them down to the ground level and let your ranged DPS deal with them. They don’t do much damage, but they will occasionally encase a player in a web. The webs need to be DPS’ed to free the trapped player.
The large spiders are called Cinderweb Drones. You should only have to deal with one of these adds at a time, but as soon as one appears you need to pull it to the southwest corner and keep it firmly under your tanky control. The drones have a frontal cone attack, so turn it away from the rest of the raid. The Drones also have an energy bar just like Beth’tilac. If it runs out before they die, they’ll climb up to the web level. If that happens, there’s not much you can do about it. Hopefully, the DPS from your Ground Level Team will be sufficient to take down the Drones before the energy bar runs out.
The third type of add that will spawn are the smaller Cinderweb Spiderlings. These will spawn in groups from each of the other corners, and they can’t be tanked. Rely on the rest of the raid to slow them and DPS them. If you have any slowing abilities, feel free to throw them into the mix, but don’t do so at the cost of your position – the Spiderlings are really not your problem.
Once Beth’tilac has cast Smoldering Devastation three times, she’ll descend from the web level to the ground level. The Web Level Team should follow her down. There’ll be no more adds in this phase, so all you have to worry about is the giant ugly spider.
You should tank her in the center of the room, with your raid forming a triangle around Beth’tilac: the main tank should form one point of the triangle, the off-tank the second point, and the rest of the raid stacked up together on the third point.
Her damage will slowly increase over time, effectively providing a soft enrage timer, and she’ll continue do to regular raid-wide AoE damage with Ember Flare. The thing you really need to worry about, though, is The Widows’s Kiss. That’s a stacking debuff which Beth’tilac applies to her main aggro target. The Widows’s Kiss gradually reduces the amount of healing you can receive, until you’re almost incapable of being healed. It also causes AoE damage to anybody standing near you, which is why you need to position both tanks away from the rest of the raid.
You’re going to need to tankswap in order to allow The Widows’s Kiss debuff to expire. Swap as soon as the main tank receives the debuff, and then continue to swap every 20 seconds. That should mean that your debuff has just expired by the time you need to grab the boss back.
Like the final phase of Shannox, you’ll be taking quite a bit of damage during this phase, and the damage will increase the longer the phase goes on. This is the time to blow your mitigation cooldowns (and also the time to encourage your healers to blow their big healing cooldowns too).
Overall, this is an easy fight to tank. As long as you can keep control of your assigned mobs, and as long as the Web Level tank gets up to the web level quickly, you won’t have any problems.