Firelands Boss Guides: Lord Rhyolith melee DPS tips

Melee DPS players have had a hard time of things in Cataclysm. There’ve been very few fights which were balanced in our favor, and most were downright unforgiving. That’s not the case with Lord Rhyolith. Melee DPS have the hardest job in this fight, but we also have by far the most fun.

If you want an overview of the fight, you can also check out our overall guide to Lord Rhyolith tactics.

It’s all down to you

For most of the fight, Rhyolith won’t do any direct damage to the raid. Instead, he’ll wander casually in the direction of the molten lava at the edge of the fight area. Your job is to stop him from ever getting there. Why? Because if he manages to reach the lava, he’ll take a big refreshing drink of it, then spew it back out as liquid fiery death all over your lovely clean raid. Lord Rhyolith reaching the lava is an almost guaranteed raid wipe.

To stop him reaching the lava, you need to turn him and point him in another direction. You’ll need to constantly adjust his trajectory throughout the fight. It’s not as simple as asking him nicely, though. You can’t even taunt him, or trap him, or slow him. No. What you’re going to have to do is hit his feet to turn him like a badly-behaved kodo. That’s right: you get to steer by spanking. Navigate by nastiness. Guide by goading. Drive by DPS.

Lord Rhyolith actually has three separate unit frames: one for his body, and one for each of his feet. Damage done to his body or feet will be automatically spread evenly among all three of his bodyparts, so you don’t have to worry about DPSing the three bodyparts at the same rate, Mimiron-style. What you will have to worry about is whether you’re applying more pressure to his left or his right side.

 

  • Hitting Rhyolith’s body has no effect other than damage. He’ll keep moving in his current direction.
  • Hitting Rhyolith’s left foot will cause him to turn gradually to the left.
  • Hitting Rhyolith’s right foot will cause him to turn gradually to the right.

There’ll be a new element added to your user interface for this fight: a Direction Guage, indicating Rhyolith’s current heading. The meter can be a bit confusing to read, but it’s actually quite simple. It’s a horizonaltal bar, like an energy bar or a mana bar. If the value of the bar is towards the left (i.e., an energy bar on low energy), Rhyolith is currently steering left. If the value of the bar is towards the right (i.e., an energy bar close to full energy), he’s steering right. The closer to the left or right, the more acute Rhyolith’s current ‘turning’ is. That means that when the bar is 50% full, Rhyolith is neither steering left nor right, and will therefore continue in a straight line.

As melee DPS, your most important job in this fight is to steer Rhyolith so that he never reaches the lava at the edge of the platform. Your raider leader will have assigned somebody to coordinate the direction in which to steer, so you should pay attention to the direction currently being requested (either in /raid chat or via voice comms). If you’re the one doing the ‘driving’, check out uur main guide to Lord Rhyolith tactics to see where you should be steering him.

Insert meme reference here

Good news, everyone! There’s fire on the ground in this fight! Don’t stand in it.

Rhyolith will cast Concussive Stomp every 30 seconds. This ability has three effects:

  • It has a knockback effect on anybody who’s close to him (which, almost certainly, includes you).
  • It deals fire damage to all raid members. This damage is unavoidable.
  • It creates volcanoes on the ground.

Each Concussive Stomp will create either 2 or 3 volcanoes. Volcanoes occasionally erupt, spreading fire damage among the raid for 20 seconds. Your aim is to steer Rhyolith in such a way that he steps onto the volcanoes. When that happens, they become craters.

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As soon as a crater is created it will spew out Lava streams. Lava streams start at the point of the crater and move slowly outwards in all directions. If you stand in a stream it’ll deal you some fire damage, so … don’t.

After 10 seconds, the lava streams explode, dealing yet more fire damage to anybody who’s stood on them. Once that’s happened, the crater will disappear and be replaced by a lava pool – which, in a shocking twist, is a thing on the floor made of fire that you shouldn’t stand in.

More things made of fire

Lord Rhyolith will regularly summon adds during this fight. They’re not your problem – the tank and the ranged DPS should be dealing with them – but they may occasionally get in your way.

The smaller adds are called Fragments of Rhyolith. They won’t prove much of a worry, unless they take longer than 30 seconds to die. That’s because, 30 seconds after they spawn, they’ll pick a random player to charge at in a clever Suicidal Kamikaze Explosion strategy. The random player might be you. There’s not a lot you can do about it if it does happen, but if a little fiery mob suddenly charges right at you and explodes, taking a big bite out of your health bar, at least now you’ll know why.

The larger adds are called Sparks of Rhyolith. They don’t have such dramatically suicidal tendencies as their smaller cousins, but they do emit AoE damage to everyone around them. The tank will be tanking each Spark away from the raid, probably somewhere at the edge of the platform, so be careful not to guide Rhyolith in that direction.

Getting to Phase 2

Each time Rhyolith stands on a volcano, he’ll lose a bit of his armor. The armor is not just cosmetic – it actually does give him a buff which lowers the amount of damage he takes. At the start of the fight, in full armor, he has an 80% damage reduction – so don’t panic when your uber DPS doesn’t seem to be making a dent!

Once Lord Rhyolith’s health (that’s his hit points, not his armor) reaches 25%, he’ll initiate a short bit of scripted animation, and then move to Phase 2. Just like Shannox and Beth’tilac, the final phase of this fight is DPS race. Your aim is to kill Rhyolith before his slowly-increasing damage kills you.

Although no more adds will be summoned during Phase 2, Rhyolith will still be throwing down Concussive Stomp, which causes knockback. Watch out for this cast – there’s little more frustrating than starting a once-per-fight channeled spell only to have it immediately interupted.

As you might expect, this is the phase to use all your cooldowns, trinkets and potions. There’ll be a lot of raidwide damage heading your way, but hopefully you’ll give as good as you get, and then some.

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Firelands Boss Guides: Beth’tilac melee DPS tips

Wanna hit some spiders? ‘Course you do. One of the first bosses you’ll encounter in the new Firelands raid is Beth’tilac. Melee DPS have a reasoanbly easy time on this fight, but there are still a few mechanics that could trip you up. Here’s our quick and easy guide to Beth’tilac as melee DPS:

Your raid will be split into two groups: one to stay on the ground level and one to climb up to Beth’tilac’s web level. Read our full guide to Beth’tilac tactics to get a detailed breakdown of each group. As a melee DPS, you’ll probably be assigned to the Web Level Group (if you’re not, use the tactics for the Ground Level Group from our guide to tackling Beth’tilac as ranged DPS).

Getting to the web level

At the start of the fight, Beth’tilac will run away to hide on the web level, and additional spiders called Cinderweb Spinners will start to spawn. Initially they’ll appear suspended from the base of Beth’tilac’s web, out of melee range, but your tanks will be taunting these mobs to bring them down to the ground level. If you have a taunt ability (Dark Command, Taunt, Hand of Reckoning, etc) feel free to help out. It’s important to start killing spinners as soon as possible.

A dead Spinner will leave behind a spider’s thread (which takes the form of a thin red line leading from the corpse to the web level). These threads are vehicles, and you can use them to move from the ground level to the web level. Each thread is only good for a single use.

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Your tank and healer should claim the first two threads to appear, but you should grab a thread as soon as you can after that. Do not be overeager here, and make sure that the tank and the healer have made it up before you make the move.

Once you’re on the web level, your job is to DPS Beth’tilac. Watch out for Meteor Burn, during which Beth’tilac drops flaming meteors onto random spots on the web. Each meteor is preceeded by an indicator in the form of a fiery orange circle on the ground, which you should be sure to dodge. Once a meteor has hit, it will leave a small pool of fire behind. You know the rule about fire and the stepping therein: don’t.

Running away

Beth’tilac has an energy bar, called Fire energy, which will slowly deplete over the course of the fight. When it reaches zero, she’ll begin to cast Smoldering Devastation. You need to be on the lookout for that castbar. As soon as you see Beth’tilac begin to cast, run like the wind. You need to head for the hole in the web. It’s bang in the center. Drop down through there to the ground level.

Once you’ve reached ground level, you should temporarilly join the Ground Level Team and help to DPS the various spider adds that will have appeared. Once Smoldering Devastation has finished, Smolderweb Spinners will start to appear in just the same way as they did at the start of the fight. Once again, you should grab them, spank them, and steal their threads. Get yourself back up to the web level as soon as you can (but, as always, let your tank and healer go first).

In total, Beth’tilac will cast Smoldering Devastation three times. You need to jump down the hole in the web every time. After the third Smoldering Devastation, Beth’tilac will move from the web level to the ground level. Follow her down and get ready to pound some spider backside.

Phase 2

Beth’tilac’s descent from the web level to the ground level indicates the start of Phase 2. This is a pure DPS burn phase, just like the last phase of Shannox. Make sure you’re positioned correctly first of all: you should stack up directly behind the boss, with the healers and the rest of the raid. Once you’re there it’s time to break out the big guns: pop every cooldown you have, drink a potion, scream a battlecry, and hope that this time you beat that damn Rogue on the meters.

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Firelands Boss Guides: Shannox – Melee DPS tactics

The first Firelands boss most raids will tackle is Shannox. Melee DPS, frankly, have it easy for this fight, so there’s no excuse not to be on top form. Take a look at our general guide to Shannox tactics, then come back here for specific melee DPS tactics.

Initial positioning

As melee DPS you’ll be focusing all your attention on Shannox himself. Ignore the two dogs unless your raid leader specifically tells you otherwise. Your job in this fight is to avoid Shannox’s Cleave attack, avoid the traps he regularly drops, and hit him with your big weapon of choice – in that order.

Yes, Shannox does have a nasty cleave attack which will hit any target in a 120° arc, so your first priority should be to make sure you’re standing behind him. Your tank shouldn’t need to turn Shannox once the fight starts, so get yourself entrenched right behind his fiery rear end and prepare to do some damage.

Avoid the traps

Your primary task during this fight is to avoid the traps that Shannox regularly drops. This takes priority over everything, even DPS. The traps in this fight look like standard Hunter traps, and are easy to spot.

There are two types of trap. The first is an Immolation Trap, which will burn your lovely shoes right off if you stand in it. It’s not an instant kill, but it throws out some nasty damage, and you’ll have a ‘fire hurts more’ debuff at various points during the fight, so be nice to your healers and don’t stand on the fire traps.

The second type of trap is called a Crystal Prison Trap, and is basically an iceblock. Stand on this nasty little device and it’ll encase you in crystal. You won’t be able to do anything at all until the crystal is shattered. That means that the rest of the raid will have to stop what they’re doing and DPS your prison to free you. The crystals have lots of health, so this is a distraction you don’t need.

There’s another fight mechanic which effectively counts as a third type of trap. When Shannox throws his spear he’ll do colossal damage to anybody standing in the way. If you’re standing in the circle of fire once the spear comes down you’re virtually guaranteed to die. It’s easy to avoid – just look out for the big pillar of fire and make sure you step away from it as soon as it appears.

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The secondary effect of Shannox’s spear throw is lots of little fires that appear on the ground after the spear throw triggers. There’ll be a lot of them, which can be quite panic-inducing the first time you see it, but – like the spear throw itself – they’re easy to avoid. They appear in a spiral pattern, moving outwards from the spear’s point of impact. Just make sure you’re not standing directly on one of them.

Remember – none of these do any AoE damage, so they’ll only ever affect one person. It’s also worth noting that the _Immolation Trap_s and the _Crystal Prison Trap_s can be disarmed by Rogues. Rageface and Riplimb can be affected by the traps, so you normally want to keep them all in place, but occasionally it might be worth disarming a trap which is in an awkward place, or which is in danger of hitting a tank.

The moment you’ve been waiting for

Your aim in this fight is to kill both the dogs when Shannox is at about 35% health. When that happens, he’ll enrage and start to give your tanks a very bad day. That’s your time to shine. Turn the DPS dial up to 11 and pop every cooldown in your arsenal. Burn, burn, burn – you need to kill Shannox before he kills your tanks (and shortly thereafter, you).

This fight is all about awareness. Watch out for the traps and you should be fine.

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Patch 4.3 Retribution Paladin (Retri) Quick-Start Guide – talent specs, glyphs, gems and reforging, stats and rotation / priorities

Forward the Retribution paladin! We’re one of the most versatile classes in the game, but that doesn’t mean we can’t mash some faces if we feel like it. So, to get all the info on talent specs, rotations, glyphs and gems, reforging, all that good stuff, before you wander off to hit some horrible ex-dragon gribbly things with a hammer in Patch 4.3, read on!

Updated 29th Nov, 2011, for Patch 4.3

Retribution changes in Patch 4.3

Retribution Paladins have had a major buff and a significant nerf in 4.3. The major buff comes in three parts: the melee attack power buff, giving us +10% Attack Power, a buff to 2-Handed Weapon Specialisation, upping damage from 20% bonussed to 25%, and a boost to Seal of Truth, increasing our Judgement damage.

The nerf comes in the form of a massive change to Sanctified Wrath, dropping the critical bonus on Hammer of Wrath to 2/4/6%.

This doesn’t change your spec or glyphs. Sanctified Wrath is still a strong talent choice. It does rather reduce the value of Hammer of Wrath in your rotation – we don’t have hard numbers yet, but you should probably use Templar’s Verdict before it, at least.

Tier bonues: once you get 2-piece Tier 13, Judgement becomes much stronger. It moves up the priorities to just behind Templar’s Verdict with Divine Purpose – moving Hammer of Wrath down.

4-piece T13 is lovely. Once we get this, we should focus on using Guardian of Ancient Kings 10 sec before using Avenging Wrath and Zealotry for maximum DPS, and if at all possible make sure Inquisition has enough duration we don’t have to refresh it during Zealotry.

Retri Rotation / Priorities

Like most DPS classes in Cataclysm, Retridins don’t have a rotation as such. Instead, we have several priorities for things we need to do in any combat. In order:

  • Top Priority: Generate Holy Power – Whenever you can, use Crusader Strike, no matter what else is available.
  • Second Priority: Use Holy Power – Try to keep Inquisition up as much as possible – refresh it, using whatever Holy Power or Divine Purpose procs are available, when it has 3 seconds or less to run. Otherwise, use Templar’s Verdict when you have 3 Holy Power or a Divine Purpose proc.
  • Third Priority: Use Situational Abilities – Use Hammer of Wrath if it’s available. If not, use Exorcism if Art of War has procced.
  • Fourth Priority: Fill A Global Cooldown – If you’ve got nothing else to do on a Global Cooldown, use Judgement, Holy Wrath or Consecrate (if it won’t run you out of mana) in that order. Tip – put them on your castbars in that order and cast the furthest left one that’s available.

As a basic rule, use all your cooldowns (Zealotry, Guardian of Ancient Kings, and Avenging Wrath) as soon as they’re off cooldown. If possible, cast Guardian of Ancient Kings about 10 sec before Avenging Wrath, ideally in a Bloodthirst/ Time Warp effect, as they stack, but the DPS loss isn’t huge if you don’t.

AOE: Use the same rotation as above, but replace Crusader Strike with Divine Storm. Only swap to this priority system on 4 or more targets – it’s a DPS loss on 3 or less.

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Retribution Talent Spec

This is the standard Retri talent build for 4.3

There’s one optional point here. Place it in Divinity (first tier Holy) if you want to help your healers out a bit, or in the second point of Eye For An Eye (first tier Retribution) for marginal DPS increase.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Retri

Strength is absolutely king for Retri. Hit rating up to Hit Cap is next, followed by Expertise rating to the Expertise cap. After that, Mastery is the next best stat, with Crit and Haste less valuable, and Hit and Expertise after the cap being not valuable at all.

Reforging: Reforge to the Hit Cap (961 unless you’re a Draenai, in which case it’s 841), then Expertise Cap (26), then Mastery. Reforge from Crit and Haste as your top priority.

Gems: Use a Bold Inferno Ruby unless the socket bonus provides 10 Strength or more per socket. In that case, use a combination gem depending on whether you’re at Hit/Expertise cap – Skillful Ember Topaz (Str/Mastery) or Etched Demonseye (Str/Hit).

Retribution Paladin Enchants

Remember to check if your profession offers better enhancement options for a slot!

Head Arcanum of the Wildhammer (Alliance) or Dragonmaw (Horde)
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Jagged Stone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Critical Strike
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Major Strength
Hands Enchant Gloves – Mighty Strength
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Dragonscale Leg Armor
Feet Enchant Boots – Mastery. If you absolutely need more hit, Precision can be used instead.
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Landslide

Glyphs

Prime: Seal of Truth, Templar’s Verdict, Exorcism.

Major: Divine Protection is almost vital – use it if you don’t know a boss does a lot of AOE physical damage. Ascetic Crusader and Lay On Hands are other solid choices. Holy Wrath (stuns demons and elementals) is very situationally useful.

Minor: Really doesn’t matter – whatever you like.

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