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High DPS Tanking – Magmaw

June 7, 2011

On the Magmaw fight there are four possible roles, depending on how your guild does the fight:

(1) Magmaw Tank – You only tank Magmaw. Either your guild is using three dedicated tanks, and you’re swapping with another tank at each Mangle, or you’re just tanking Magmaw all by yourself.

(2) Constructs Tank – You only tank Blazing Bone Constructs.

(3) Magmaw + Constructs Tank – You perform roles (1) and (2) and likely swap with another tank at each Mangle.

(4) Lava Parasites Tank – You tank the Lava Parasites and keep them off the raid.

In this post I’ll discuss how to maximize your DPS in each role.

Tanking Magmaw

This is the lowest DPS option of all the roles. If you are tanking Magmaw, then you’ll want to make sure you have 8% Hit and 56 Expertise.

You should glyph Crusader Strike and Focused Shield. There isn’t much you can do to improve your DPS in this role other than to hope that the Construct tank will bring the add into range where you can hit it with Hammer of the Righteous for a small DPS boost.

Pay attention to when adds are being ignored by the raid. Without Hammer glyphed and assuming you are wearing 2PC T11+PvP gloves, a CS on a fully debuffed Magmaw will do more damage than HotR on Magmaw and a Construct that everyone is ignoring. If the add is moving unpredictably as well such that your Hammer might end up only hitting Magmaw, then stick with Crusader Strike.

Tanking Constructs

You can do reasonably good DPS in this role, although – perversely – the worse your raid is at killing the constructs, the higher your DPS will be. The adds are only level 85, so you need very little Hit and Expertise in order to be capped against them. Glyph Hammer of the Righteous and unglyph Focused Shield.

When you pick up adds, always bring them up to within range of Magmaw. That way your HotR, AS and HW will all hit Magmaw as well. If you are tanking only one add and it’s being ignored (i.e., it has no debuffs), using Crusader Strike on Magmaw may end up being a higher DPS option. Use Crusader Strike initially when only tanking one add if you aren’t in melee range of Magmaw (or if you aren’t already tanking another add).

Be aware of when adds do Armageddon, especially if you’re running out to pick up a new add. Don’t accidentally Hammer thinking that the old add will follow you. It will be rooted in place. Just try to be very aware of how many targets are in range of your Hammer and use Crusader Strike whenever the answer is “Just one.”

Tanking Magmaw + Constructs

Overall it’s probably better to glyph Hammer and unglyph Focused Shield. You’ll want to analyze how much time you spend in each role on your kills though and bias one way or the other depending on which you do more. You’ll want to shoot for 8% Hit and 56 Expertise in order to maintain decent DPS while tanking Magmaw. Follow the rules in the previous sections for each role.

Exposed Head DPS

When Magmaw’s head is exposed, you can do double damage to the head. Try to time potions and cooldowns like Avenging Wrath for this phase if you are either a Magmaw tank or a Construct tank. Because the head takes double damage, a Crusader Strike on the Exposed Head is much better than Hammer of the Righteous on the Exposed Head plus one Construct.

This is a principle that will come up again on multiple fights (Halfus, Al’akir). You have to account for increased damage debuffs when considering whether to use a single target ability vs. a multi-target ability.

Tanking Lava Parasites

Sadly the best way to score a top parse on this fight is to tank the parasites. Make sure to time your DPS boosting abilities and potions for when you’ll get maximum use out of them, typically right after a fresh wave has spawned from the Pillar. Don’t let the raid kill your parasites, since the best way to do maximal DPS on the parasites is if everyone else leaves them alone.

The Lava Parasites are only level 85, so you need very little Hit/Expertise to be capped against them. Glyph Hammer of the Righteous and unglyph Focused Shield. The number of parasites is such that you should probably only work in Shield of the Righteous when you have six seconds left on Inquisition and Sacred Duty is up.

This is a great role to practice your AOE rotation on, since it requires very little concentration to hold the adds and you aren’t having to think about anything else.

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