We beat Shannox. We took down Beth'tilac. Look out, Lord Rhyolith -- you're next.
For shadow priests, Firelands boss Lord Rhyolith isn't an especially fun fight. He's way too big, so if he gets anywhere near you, he'll take up your entire field of vision. He's heavily armored (at least at first), so you get to see some pretty sweet 500-damage Mind Flay ticks if you attack him directly. And while he's got an interesting gimmick, shadow priests typically don't play a part in exploiting it.
Still, even if it's not the most exciting fight, there's still plenty for us to do, plenty of stuff to avoid getting hit by, and (best of all) plenty of epics to find inside once you crack him open like an egg.
Lord Rhyolith is a two-phase fight. Rhyolith starts phase 1 with an 80% damage reduction buff. During phase 1, the boss is unaggroable -- he simply walks mindlessly forward like a patient at a nursing home. The raid can change Rhyolith's direction by attacking one of his two legs; he pivots on the leg which is being dealt the most damage ... just like a patient at a nursing home. People who are attacking his legs have two goals: 1) Keep him away from the edge of the circular arena, because it's a wipe if Rhyolith reaches it, and 2) force Rhyolith to walk over the volcanoes he spawns; each one he steps on eats away 10% of his damage reduction buff. Just like a patient at a ... hmm.
Phase 1: Leave the driving to the professionals
If you haven't guessed yet, Lord Rhyolith is a gimmick fight. Your raid will almost certainly be split into two teams -- one that deals with DPSing the adds that spawn periodically during the fight, and one that deals with steering Rhyolith (and ultimately, getting his health down to 25%). As a shadow priest, expect to find yourself tasked with handling adds.
Fragments of Rhyolith spawn five or 10 at a time, depending on what size raid you have. Dealing with them efficiently requires good AOE -- you want to keep Empowered Shadow up at all times so you can Mind Sear them down quickly. Speed is very important here; if they're not defeated within 30 seconds of when they spawn, they'll Meltdown and start one-shotting people. (If you need tips on how to manage your AOE, check out last week's article.)
Sparks of Rhyolith have much more health than Fragments, but thankfully, they only spawn one at a time. Keep at least 12 yards away from these guys at all times, because they send out steady pulses of AOE damage. While DPSing Sparks, try to generate Shadow Orbs for use during a Fragments of Rhyolith burn. Save your shadowfiend for attacking Sparks.
During all of this, Lord Rhyolith will periodically use Concussive Stomp. This Stomping is an earthquake-type attack that will cause 25,000 or so points of fire damage to you unless, or so the urban legend claims, you're really good at jumping in the air at just the right moment to avoid it. (I know I've avoided taking damage by jumping at the exact right moment, but I cannot confirm that was because of the jump.) If you're with 20 yards of Rhyolith when he Stomps, not only will you take damage, but you'll also get knocked back.
Each stomp spawns a couple of mini-volcanoes. These will cause damage to the raid every 3 seconds that they're up, so be prepared to take a lot of unavoidable damage during the encounter. If your mana pool can handle it, cast Power Word: Shield on yourself during lulls. If your health gets really low, use Dispersion and find yourself a Lightwell.
After a mini-volcano has been stomped, it will eventually spill out lava. Getting hit by the lava stream causes a massive amount of damage. If your field of vision is clear, lava is easily avoidable; if Lord Rhyolith is on top of you and you can't see anything, it's easy to get hit. For this reason, I recommend trying to position yourself towards the outside of the circular arena.
The beginning of the Lord Rhyolith fight really isn't a multi-DOT situation -- dude takes so little damage from your attacks, anyway. Still, if you are going to use DOTs at some point in the fight, always be sure to have the same DOT on both legs to cancel out their steering effects. A misplaced Devouring Plague steers Rhyolith on its own, and not always in the direction the raid wants him to go.
I recommend placing Shadow Word: Pain on both of Lord Rhyolith's legs when you can. The benefit here isn't necessarily the damage that SW:P does; it's their propensity for generating Shadow Orbs. They're very important to burning down Fragments.
If your raid is anything like the norm, you'll be subject to the occasional emergency request to steer Lord Rhyolith. Be ready to switch targets to one of his legs if necessary. Burst damage is most appropriate here -- cast Mind Spike two or three times, followed with your guaranteed crit of Mind Blast. If you do wind up using DOTs for some reason, be sure to cast a Mind Spike before you switch to a different target to make sure they're erased.
Phase 2: So easy even a boomkin could do it
Phase 2 is a dumb, stupid burn that begins when Rhyolith hits 25% health. He stops moving and becomes aggroable, so give the tank a second to pick him up. Usually, Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp is used on the start of phase 2, so be ready to use your Volcanic Potion and Shadowfiend. (Remember, your fiend benefits from the haste buff, but only if it's out prior to Heroism/Bloodlust's being used.) Keep avoiding those magma flows if they wind up anywhere near you, pop the occasional Power Word: Shield, and you'll be fine.
When Lord Rhyolith dies, you get to rummage around his estate for all sorts of goodies (just like a patient at a nursing home!). Unfortunately, though, the most compelling drop he has, an i378 headpiece, contains random secondary stats.
- If you're looking for a temporary but decent headpiece -- and until you start getting tier tokens from Ragnaros, you are -- be ready to fight for any Flickering Cowls that drop. They have 347 intellect and a meta and yellow socket (+30 intellect bonus), but as for the other stats, they're random. Lame, I know, but what are you going to do?
- Heartstone of Rhyolith is a spirit-plus-mastery neckpiece. It's almost identical to the Firemind Pendant that you can buy with 1,250 valor points, so you really have to wonder why Blizzard even bothered to put it in the game.
- Smoldering Censer of Purity is probably one of the better two-handed staff options you have available this tier. It's got 2,334 spellpower, 310 spirit, 186 haste, and a red socket (+10 intellect bonus).
Read: Shadow Priest's guide to Shannox
Read: Beth'tilac and proper shadow priest AOE
Are you more interested in watching health bars go down than watching them bounce back up? We've got more for shadow priests, from Shadow Priest 101 to a list of every monster worth mind controlling and strategies for raiding Blackwing Descent.