Thus far in our adventures, we have tackled the Firelord's finest hunter Shannox and toppled another member of the "royal" family, Lord Rhyolith. This week, we zip clear across to the other side of the map in order to fling ourselves against the mother of all Lava Spiders. As the matriarch or the Cinderweb Brood, Beth'tilac has created and cares for a massive web network that spans a large portion of the west sector of the Firelands. Here, she and her children capture and feed off of other fire elementals.
Seemingly, this is a bad thing, but despite being lavavores, the Cinderweb Brood seems to have at least a partial relationship with Ragnaros, often joining his forces in the field of battle. Perhaps the newly christened fire druids have something to do with this? Regardless, she's got loot, and we're here to take it from her! Let's get started.
The pull for Beth'tilac is relatively easy, as far as boss pulls go. You merely run in, preferably mounted (much to the disappointment of your druids). Beth'tilac does not immediately aggro on the ground, instead climbing back to her upper web the moment that she is engaged. At this point, you will want to have your raid grouped up anyway, as she will begin to rain down magma on the raid, dealing moderate fire damage to all players on the lower levels.
The first phase of the encounter is focused mostly on fighting off the rest Beth'tilac's brood rather than the queen spider herself. While she does play a part in the first phase and you will certainly need to both tank and DPS her, she's more a background objective. Her main raid appearance won't be until phase 2.
Phase 1: Beth'tilac
- Venom Rain deal constant fire damage to all players; used if no one is on the top web with her.
- Burning Meteor summons down a meteor that is capable of burning through her own web; deals fire damage to any hit and leaves a hole at the impact location.
- Ember Flare deals fire damage to any player located on the same level as she is.
- Smoldering Devastation deals massive fire damage to any player located on the same level; ignores immunity effects.
Phase 1: Cinderweb Spinners
- Burning Acid inflicts fire damage to a random target.
Phase 1: Cinderweb Drone
- Consume devourers a Cinderweb Spiderling; heals the drone, increases damage done, and increases movement speed.
- Boiling Spatter deals fire damage in a cone in front of the caster.
- Burning Acid deals fire damage to a random target.
Phase 2: Beth'tilac
- Widow's Kiss debuffs the target to deal increasing fire damage to all nearby units. Also reduces healing received by 10%; stacks.
- Frenzy Increases damage done by 5%; stacks.
- Ember Flare deals fire damage to all players.
Phase 1: Upper deck
The encounter begins with Beth'tilac retreating into the upper canopy of her web. Until there is another player up there to engage her, she will deal constant fire damage to the entire raid. You should try your best to group up for this damage; there is nothing as of yet that should prevent you from grouping, anyway. After a few seconds, the first wave of Spinners will lower themselves down from the web.
How many Spinners there are depends on your encounter level, but the way you handle them is all the same. At this point, get all of the first set of Spinners down as quickly as you possibly can. This can be done either by killing them or by taunting them in some manner. The tank who is going up to engage Beth'tilac and anyone else capable of doing so should taunt what Spinners they can. This causes the Spinners to drop from their webs, which players can then use to access the upper reaches.
Obviously, the first players who go up should be the tank and their healers. You should need only a single healer in 10-man and two to three of them in 25-man. After the tank and healers are up, you can start to send in some DPS as well.
How many DPSers that you send all depends on your comfort level. Every DPSer that you send to the top is one less DPSer that you have on the bottom and an additional target that needs to be healed by the upper team. In a 10-man, you'll want to send one or two DPSers up top, while you can get away with around four to five in 25-man. Remember, it's all a trade-off. More DPS up top means less health to burn down in phase 2, but it puts more pressure on the down-web team to keep up.
Players up top don't have all too much to watch out for. Beth'tilac will use her standard fire AOE to damage everyone on her web, which you need to heal, and she'll drop meteors on players, which need to be avoided. After these meteors hit the web, they will create a hole in the location that players can fall through. You can also drop down from the hole in the middle of the web at any time.
Finally, after Beth'tilac runs out of fire energy, she will cast an ability called Smoldering Devastation. This ability will one-shot anyone who is located on the upper web. You cannot Divine Shield or Ice Block out of it, either; she will merely laugh at your pathetic attempts to protect yourself and kill you anyway. You must drop from the web at this point. After this, new sets of Spinners will spawn, and the cycle repeats itself.
This cycle of going up and back down will repeat a total of three times before phase 1 ends.
Phase 1: Pest control
The bottom team is a lot more frantic and chaotic, with quite a few things all going on at once. First of all, there are the remaining Spinners. Spinners don't deal all that much damage, but it is damage that needs to be healed, so there's no reason not to kill them. After your secondary team has all gone up top, the Spinners become your lowest-priority target. Kill off those you can, but don't worry too much about them. Having a few players toss out DOTs as they pass by should suffice to kill them.
A ways into the encounter, another add will spawn called a Cinderweb Drone. These large adds absolutely have to be tanked. They also cannot be faced towards any of the other players or be allowed to come into contact with the the last add, the Cinderweb Spiderlings. Drones are fairly nasty but not all that bad on their own. The primary concern is to prevent them from using Consume on even a single Spiderling. The additional health and the increased damage make the encounter much more difficult.
Finally, the Drones also have energy similar to Beth'tilac herself. However, unlike Beth'tilac, they will not caused a massively destructive explosion should they run out. Instead, they will skitter up to the top of the web and start draining their energy from Beth'tilac herself. This is bad for a number of reasons. First, you'll generally have less DPS up top in order to finish off the Drone; second, it reduces the DPS time that you have on Beth'tilac.
To be honest, reducing the time to DPS on Beth'tilac is a double-edged sword. The largest problem is the loss of DPS on the Drone themselves; you really need to have each one dead before the next spawns and certainly before phase 2 starts. Many guilds that already have mostly heroic T11 gear are able to get Beth'tilac from 100% to during phase 2. So provided you can kill all the Drones still, letting them go up top will force phase 2 faster, which can speed up the encounter.
Phase 2: Slugfest
Phase 2 begins after Beth'tilac casts Smoldering Devastation for the third time. At this point, all of her adds will stop spawning, but you absolutely must have all of them cleared. Drones shouldn't be much of an issue; you have plenty of time from the last Drone spawn in order to have it down in time. Spinderlings are the only possible concern. There will be a Spiderling spawn approximately 10 seconds or less before Beth'tilac rejoins the raid on the floor.
All of those spiders need to be dead before she is able to land. If not, you run a high risk of having her Consume them, which will restore a huge portion of her health and possibly remove any work that you had done in damaging her during phase 1. As mentioned, it is possible for some well-geared guilds to pull off a 100-0 phase 2 kill, but if you are in full T11 normal gear, then you may have issues with this.
At this point, you will want to have your two tanks working on Beth'tilac while the entire raid is grouped up behind her. The tanks shouldn't be stacked on top of each other, instead being approximately 10 yards apart but without being near the raid. The current tank target will start to gain stacks of Widow's Kiss.
Important: Beth'tilac's attacks themselves do not caused Widow's Kiss. The effect stacks on its own every 2 seconds once the tank has been hit with the effect. After taking the debuff, the tank will lose 10% healing every 2 seconds until he hits 100% healing lost, at which point the debuff will drop itself. Your tank will have to hold Beth'tilac until around the 50-60% mark, and he has to be topped off before hitting the 100% mark.
Topping off the tank currently dropping Widow's Kiss is extremely important because Beth'tilac is still going to be using Ember Flare during this phase. You don't want your tank to survive tanking the boss only to be dropped by the next Ember Flare.
This phase is a pure DPS race, nothing more. Every so often, Beth'tilac will gain a stack of Enrage, which will increase her damage by 5%. The longer this phase lasts, the harder it will become. Eventually, your healing won't even matter, and Ember Flare will start to one-shot people. You probably want to avoid that.
Burn the boss as quickly as you like, rotating tanks for the debuff and healer cooldowns for the raid. If all goes according to plan (and when do things not), then the spidery monstrosity should fall with no problem. Cheers, mates -- and tune in next week, when we circle all the way back around the map to tackle the vicious Alysrazor.
Ready Check shares all the strategies and inside information you need to take your raiding to the next level. Be sure to look up our strategy guides to Cataclysm's 5-man instances, and for more healer-centric advice, visit Raid Rx.