Strategy: Magmaw

Morynne —  February 3, 2011 — 2 Comments

Magmaw is a very angry worm, and one of the two encounters you must beat in order to proceed deeper into Blackrock Depths.  With his flailing mini-arms and chittering mandible, you should quake in fear, or excitement.  Whatever suits you best. (The diagrams in this guide were shamelessly nabbed from mmo-champion’s contest for awesome guides — this one is just too cute!)

  • Name: Magmaw
  • Raid: Blackrock Depths
  • Tanks Needed: 1
  • Phases: 2
  • Catch: Adds, lots and lots of adds.
  • This guide is for the normal encounter.

Phase 1: Fire Pillar Phase

Magmaw will cast Pillar of Flame, marking a location and giving you four seconds to get out of the area. If you’re too slow, you get a massive damage knockback.

Pillar of Fire will also spawn Lava Parasites. If these hit you, they apply a debuff which, after 10 seconds, will explode into AOE damage on the raid and spawn more Lava Parasites. You don’t want to get hit by these.  Abilities like Ice Trap and Ice Shards will save your raid. Freeze the Parasites and then kill them as soon as possible from range. This ability is on about a 30-second cooldown, so make sure your parasites are down before the next round.

Throughout this phase, Magmaw will Mangle your tank, causing massive damage every few seconds. After 30 seconds of this he’ll eat your tank, preventing him from taking any action. Have your tank either blow his cooldowns right before the timer is up and muscle through it. HoTs here are also a huge winner.

Magmaw will also periodically cast Ignition, which will set one half of the room on fire. Clearly fire is bad.  You shouldn’t stand in it.

How do we handle this?

Positioning and add management are key for this fight.  When you’re going into the room, you’ll notice a massive spike toward the ledge.  You’ll want to position your DPS and healers in this location.  Your tanks should position themselves to the right of the spike in order to get mangled by Magmaw.

For this fight, you will need 1-2 kiters to manage the adds throughout the fight.  For my guild, we’re using a Frost mage and a hunter (myself) standing out to drop traps to help the mage.  The mage ultimately kites the adds through the frost traps, and dpses them down, the hunter standing out is just a frost-trap bot, and pillar of flame target.  The mage starts the fight with the dps/healer group and moves out when the first pillar is dropped.  The hunter (or other range target) stands out max range from the healer group to give plenty of time for those adds to be picked up before they try to eat the healers.

When Magmaw casts Pillar of Flame, you will have a great big fire circle below you, move out.  That’s also a perfect target to drop your frost trap.

This phase goes on throughout the fight, and is briefly interrupted by Phase 2.

Phase 2: Magmaw’s Impailed Head

Periodically, Magmaw will slump forward and flail his tiny arms.  He will now be able to be jumped on – this should be saved for your melee.  On a 10-man fight, 2 people jump on Magmaw.  When on the back of Magmaw, the ability Constricting chains is gained.  This takes a little bit of coordination — that ability has to be used at the same time for both people on Magmaw.  Basically you use the ability, and target the spike.  If you’re successful, Magmaw will become impailed on the spike and not be able to do anything.  Magmaw will take double the amount of damage, so this should be your nuke phase.  Magmaw will eventually break free, and you’re back into phase 1.

What does a Hunter need to know?

Depending on the strategy your raid is using, you might be the kiter for those adds.  Make sure you’re spec’d for maximum AoE damage, and glyph for Frost Trap — it gives you extra radius.  The parasites need to die quickly, so there’s a possibility your raid will have a totally different strategy.  Just be prepared to do lots of AOE damage to the parasites, drop your frost traps smartly, and DPS the boss when all parasites are down.  During phase 2, make sure you’re targeting the Impailed Head of Magmaw — as it’s a totally different target.

The biggest part to this fight is being able to deal with the parasites, and when Magmaw gets impailed, DPS your brains out.

Hunter Loot from Magmaw:

Still need more help? Check out Tankspot’s video. (note: TS’s strategy may differ from mine, clearly use whatever works best for your raid.)


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Morynne is an avid hunter, and prefers Marksmanship. She has co-hosted the Hunting Party Podcast, and appeared on the Twisted Nether Blogcast. For more information, click here.

2 responses to Strategy: Magmaw

  1. perfect guide Morynne. Our 10 man uses a Hunter *ahem* ME! to do the add/pillar management. Glyphs (Glyph of Ice Trap) and talents (Trap mastery, Entrapment, and Point of No Escape) for the frost trap are essential to making this easy as pie for us to do. But they aren't necessary. Our first kill I had not done some of these (specifically the glyph, Entrap, and PoNE) and we downed Magmaw….but those made the add management so much easier.

    Additional note for the fight…keep the kiting close enough to the raid for the AOE classes to assist, and healers to reach you if needed. The distance is not really tricky, but does just need a careful eye.

  2. If I'm not assigned to the pillar (and usually I'm not as we run with 2 hunters and I'm lazy) I like dropping my trap closer to the tank and misdirecting to him just before adds spawn. It makes it far less possible for them to reach the group – might help if you don't have much ranged AoE.

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