Arcane Sanctum: Blackrock Foundry Iron Assembly and Blackhand’s Crucible for mages
Welcome to another installment of Arcane Sanctum! This week, we’ll be finishing up our look at Blackrock Foundry with the final four bosses. These include all three encounters in the Iron Assembly and Blackhand himself in Blackhand’s Crucible.
Although these bosses have been laid out in specific wings, the somewhat free-form nature of Blackrock Foundry means that it’s unlikely your raid will do them in this exact order. Some of the bosses from later wings are considered “easier” bosses (and the opposite is also true!) So first we’re going to take a look at Beastlord Darmac, who is often defeated prior to many other bosses in BRF. If you need to know about the bosses from Slagworks and Black Forge, you can find those here.
While he’s hardly a pushover, Beastlord Darmac is one of the earlier bosses you can expect to face. Throughout the fight he’ll hop on and ride each of the three Prime Beasts in the room. The beast must then be defeated in order for Beastlord to choose a new one and continue the encounter. Your constant companion for this fight will be the need to dodge spears when he casts Pin Down. The time you’re allowed to get out of them is more than sufficient. Keep an eye on your feet and just strafe out whenever you’re targeted by one. Don’t stand too close to anyone else, either, lest you accidentally get a spear meant for them.
One of our primary goals in this fight is to AoE down pack beasts when they are summoned and to whittle away at the Heavy Spears that have struck the ground. You may also be called upon to quickly burst down a spear if it’s pinning a raid member. For all of these reasons, you’d be wise to consider talents that help your AOE and multi-dotting capabilities. For fire mages, you’ll love this fight because of the ridiculously awesome AOE capabilities of Combustion spread to multiple targets. Definitely use Glyph of Combustion. If your tanks are reliable about tanking pack beasts near to Darmac, use Meteor to hit as many mobs as possible. This can also be used to cleave Heavy Spears. Prismatic Crystal or Comet Storm can also be used to effectively take out adds. Arcane mages will find Nether Tempest useful here as well, especially with the Heavy Spears.
Usually Time Warp will be employed in Darmac’s final phase, during which he’ll have the abilities of all three beasts employed during the fight. You can use Amplify Magic during his Ironcrusher phase Tantrums and on cool down thereafter.
Thogar is another fairly movement heavy fight. You’ll have periods of being able to stand and DPS for awhile followed by plenty of rapid fire movement. There are a few notable mage specifics. First of all, you can and should Spellsteal any Cauterizing Bolt casts that get through. Although your raid will hopefully be interrupting the Grom’kar Firemenders, in case one is missed you can ensure that the adds are not receiving heals.
Try to stick with the rest of your raid, but particularly during the split phases (not applicable on LFR) you can easily Blink over to quickly get to your respective side. It’s also a good thing to note that if you’re using Mirror Image, the AI is a bit wonky for this fight in particular. If you cast your Mirror Image after a split and your side isn’t the side where Thogar himself is, your doubles will sprint over to the other side of the room in order to keep DPSing Thogar. I don’t know why they do this, but there is some DPS time lost while they’re running so it might be worth holding off on casting them until after the split.
Amplify Magic is best used when Grom’kar Man-at-Arms are casting Iron Bellow. Time Warp is frequently used at the beginning of the fight, but it could also be helpful at the very end when adds tend to be stacking up and you want Thogar himself to die quickly.
Iron Maidens will be a very different encounter depending on whether or not your raid composition requires you to travel to the Dreadnaught ships. Fire mages will be particularly successful here because the council-type fight allows for multiple target cleaving. You can cleave all three bosses for most of the fight, being sure to focus on defeating the bosses in the order your raid has decided.
The main fight against the three Maidens themselves will require you to keep on your toes and be prepared to move quickly out of environmental hazards. If you’re targeted with Rapid Fire, use Blink to get away from other raid members and any cast on the move spells as you’re kiting.
If you are needed to go to the ships, it may affect your talent choices. When Marak the Blooded is on the ship, you’ll need to constantly move out of the pools spawned by Blood Corruption Aura. You’ll want to avoid using Rune of Power if you’re assigned to this ship and make sure you have Ice Floes so you can still cast when you’re forced to move. Sorka’s ship phase is pretty straightforward. In addition to Gorak, adds will spawn that need to be killed quickly. They are susceptible to stuns, roots and CC. Finally, Garan’s ship phase sees you facing off against Uktar, who has the conal ability Grapeshot Blast that requires you to be stay spread out from other raid members. Battle Medic Rogg’s Earthen Shield casts will need to be interrupted. Although our cooldown is longer than other interrupts, it’s still worth using Counterspell here.
Time Warp is usually used when the first of the three bosses reaches 20% health, due to the soft enrage effect that follows as a result of Iron Will. Amplify Magic can be strategically employed especially during a bomb phase or heavy damage phase on any of the ships.
- Gauntlets of the Iron Vanquisher
- Deckhand’s Rope Belt
- Turret Mechanic’s Legwraps
- Uk’urogg’s Corrupted Seal
This is a three phase fight that’s a bit shorter overall than the average last boss of a raid. In each phase of the encounter, Blackhand will throw a bit of a tantrum and destroy the floor, so that the whole raid falls to the next level.
During every phase, being mobile is key. Phase one will include Demolition dropping swirly circles on the ground that should be moved out of. The damage from these is minor, so you can probably get away with being hit by a few. But keep an eye out for the large red circle that represents Massive Demolition. That one you absolutely need to get out of. If you are targeted with Marked for Death, be sure to Blink behind debris piles (so that Blackhand doesn’t have line of sight on you). Throughout this phase and the next, he’ll also be dropping Slag Bombs. Don’t run over these once they’re armed.
In the second phase, you must avoid Slag Bombs and also DPS the Siegemaker tanks when they spawn. Although there are many environmental hazards, you can still use Rune of Power fairly effectively during this phase if you need it. Some DPS will need to be sent up into the balcony above the floor to take care of the adds that are shooting down at the raid. If you’re one of them, choose talents and spells to maximize your AOE and cleave DPS to finish the adds quickly. You likely won’t be called upon to do this as a ranged player since it’s possible to be targeted by Marked for Death even while up on the balcony, but it’s good to know what to expect regardless.
When Blackhand reaches 30%, he destroys the floor a final time. During this phase, Slag Bombs are attached to a player rather than on the ground and must be dropped off as close to the edge as possible. If you are Marked for Death during this phase, Impaling Throw will now knock you and anyone near you backwards as well. When the raid is knocked back (and especially if you’re too close to the edge of the platform), you can use Blink to recover and avoid an untimely death from falling. Time Warp will probably be saved for this phase, and Amplify Magic should be used to help healers with the heavy group damage that will be going out.
That’s it for Blackrock Foundry! Now that patch 6.2 is on the PTR, we’ll have more raid bosses to look at very soon. Until then we still have some time to spend in BRF if you’re still seeking those last upgrades or tier set completer pieces.
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