WoW Patch 4.3 Deathwing raid – raiding in flight! What do we know?

Updated: 20th of September

It’s been announced that in WoW Patch 4.3 we’ll fight and kill Deathwing in Cataclysm’s final raid – The Dragon Soul. What do we know about the forces we’re going to go up against, the encounters we’ll face, and the fire we’ll have to avoid standing in?

On Dragonback

The big news is that we’re going to spend some of the raid in flight on Deathwing’s back, attempting to bring him down as he flies through the skies of Azeroth, from Dragonblight to the Maelstrom. The last two bosses in this dungeon will actually both be Deathwing. Boss 7 will be the battle on Deathwing’s back, with Boss 8 being the final confrontation with Deathwing. Before that, though, there are six other bosses to get past. We still don’t know much about them, but we’ll update this post whenever new information becomes available.

“We’ve never done a raid like this before. Our raids have almost always been a long hallway with trash, and then a boss room, and then another long hallway. … This one is a lot more like the bosses are coming AT you.” Ghostcrawler

Morchok – Patch 4.3 Deathwing raid boss 1

Morchock is a powerful elemental who’s trying to destroy Wyrmrest Temple.

Warlord Zon’ozz – Patch 4.3 Deathwing raid boss 2

The C’Thulian daddy of all Faceless Ones, Warlord Zon’ozz is a millennia-old chaotic being.

Yor’sahj the Unsleeping – Patch 4.3 Deathwing raid boss 3

Yor’sahj is the main means by which Deathwing is able to rouse the Faceless Ones, so it’s a fair bet that this fight will involve lots of adds.

Hagara the Binder – Patch 4.3 Deathwing raid boss 4

Hagara is a mage working for the Twlight’s Hammer. She’s specialises in binding elementals to her will.

Ultraxion – Patch 4.3 Deathwing raid boss 5

Ultraxion is a twilight dragon, corrupted by dark energy and powered by the essences of captured nether dragons.

Warmaster Blackhorn – Patch 4.3 Deathwing raid boss 6

The sixth fight in the Dragon Soul raid will be against the elite drakes who form Deathwing’s personal guard, under the leadership of Warmaster Blackhorn.

Deathwing, part 1 – Patch 4.3 Deathwing raid boss 7

As indicated, the penultimate fight of this raid will take place on Deathwing’s back. You’ll start the encounter by parachuting onto his back from a gunship, and then you’ll be attacking and destroying the adamantium plates which form Deathwing’s armor and which stop the power of the Dragon Soul from simply ripping him apart. You’ll have to fight the corrupted blood which spews forth from every loosened adamantium plate, will Deathwing dips, dives and barrel-rolls in an attempt to dislodge you.

This has a number of interesting ramifications. For starters, it sounds like we’re going to see some interesting new technology or at least applications of it – unless Blizzard cheat and have us seeing nothing but clouds below, we’ll presumably be flying over a pretty huge area of land during the fight. Most raid phases last at least two minutes, and it’s unlikely Deathwing will fly slower than an epic flying mount. How much of the Old World can you cover in 2 minutes? At least one full zone, maybe more, is likely to go past below us.

Which brings us to the question of what happens if you fall off! Most likely, you’ll either insta-die or be teleported back on, a la ICC Gunship, but there’s a possibility you’ll either end up dropping to your death in the main gameworld (leading to the random, and rather cool, idea of people questing in the main gameworld suddenly experiencing a rain of raiders), or even that you’ll be able to mount up and attempt to fly after Deathwing to catch him.

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Deathwing, part 2 – Patch 4.3 Deathwing raid boss 8

Once you destroy his armor, Deathwing plunges into the Maelstrom and becomes a corrupted, old-god version of himself. He’s too big for you to fight head-on. Instead, you’ll have to destroy a piece of him at a time. You might start off by simply fighting one of his claws, then a tentacle (when we said he was corrupted, we weren’t kidding), then perhaps his wing, and so on.

All of this takes place in the Maelstrom, with players moving between different ‘islands’ to get access to the diferent parts of Deathwing’s corrupted body.

As we predicted, the remaining dragon aspects will be available to assist you with specific buffs, in a mechanic similar to the Yogg-Saron fight at the end of Ulduar.

We can expect a final showdown when Deathwing dies, and probably also a cutscene in a similar way to the Lich King’s death. It’s already been mentioned that Deathwing has been warned that Thrall will defeat him (in the novel Twilight of the Aspects). Given this is the last element of the Cataclysm expansion, Thrall’s storyline has been key in it, and we already know that Garrosh is not long for this world as leader of the Horde, could we see Garrosh bravely get himself toasted by Deathwing and Thrall return to lead the Horde? We can but hope.

What do you think? Have we missed a nugget of information? Do you think some of our speculation is dead wrong? Are you as excited about this raid as we are? Let us know in the comments.

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