Raid Frustrations: Malygos

Raid Frustrations: Malygos

So there he is, a giant dragon. He’s pretty, isn’t he? But guess what–this dragon isn’t your cute and cuddly friend. He’s insane, and he wants to eat you, and probably the whole universe too.

Welcome to heroic Malygos–the best (and worst) boss so far in Wrath of the Lich King.

On Monday night, Conquest spent three hours tackling this internet dragon, and what follows is my post-raid analysis.

Why Malygos is a great fight

1. The boss and his instance are absolutely beautiful. It reminds me of Archimonde in that way. I find myself wanting to take screen caps of the action, particularly in phase one.

2. This is a dragon boss that broke out of the ground phase / air phase model that we’re familiar with from Nightbane, Felmyst, and Sapphiron. There’s only so many times dragons can do that before they become utterly predictable.

3. This is a fight that challenges healers on every skill they have–throughput, mana management, movement, and, in particular, targeting.

4. The fight is genuinely difficult, unlike the current incarnation of Naxxramas or Obsidian Sanctum (cleared the standard method, with the three drakes killed ahead of the boss). I would place it’s difficulty level around that of Magtheridon before the last nerfs to that boss, which makes it exactly right as the keystone of the initial tier of Wrath raiding.

5. Phase 1 and 2. These phases are examples of great boss design. The Beserk timer puts emphasis on dps, and the amount of movement and chaos is enough to be difficult without being totally frustrating. For relative difficulty, think movement in Gruul, not movement in Archimonde. Also, the melee dps gets to ride flying skateboards in Phase 2. Now, tell me that’s not the coolest thing ever.

Why Malygos is a terrible fight

1. Phase 3. Combat on dragonback is a wonderful idea, but both here and in the Oculus, execution by Blizzard is poor. In the Oculus, at least, there are ledges to serve as reference points. However, in Malygos’ uniform 3D space, there are no markers for distance or even relative height except the dragon himself. Even guidelines like “be head height with the dragon” are not error proof. Healing range in this 3D space is more challenging than it ought to be. In addition, I believe that a count of combo points needs to display right there on the vehicle bar. Healers are not used to thinking in combos–I think counting them for us would be the least Blizzard could do.

2. Phase 3 interface. Just like the rest of Wow’s standard interface, it’s all right for dps but practically unusable for healing. If this is what they mean by making healing “more dynamic,” no thank you. It’s well known that healers see our interface, not the encounters. If that interface is difficult to use or does not show enough information, our job is frustrating at best.

3. Phase 3 interface v. Grid. This is mostly a personal complaint. Because the dragons are vehicles, don’t expect to target them through normal means. I was having to physically click on teammates in the air. I’m told that I should use X-perl raid frames for this fight, or just the standard ones, because they will allow me to click target on people’s health bars. That won’t solve the range issue–I will still have to be moving around to find my groupmates in space. However, the issue of having to actually see them will disappear.

Tips for Healers

We did this fight with 6 healers, which is probably the right number for us until phase 3, where we will want more people to convert over to healing once we’re all on dragons. In phase 1 and 2, we scrambled to output enough healing and to manage mana. Here are my suggestions for healers trying this fight.

1. Privilege throughput over mana efficiency. For druids, make sure the tank has all of your hots at all times. Use Wild Growth in between tank refreshes. I alternated between targeting the MT, a select dps, and myself to hit the largest number of people.

2. Heal like mad during vortexes. If you happen to be a tree, just spam that Wild Growth or Rejuvenation and Swiftmend. When I looked at wws last night, it seemed that Rejuv actually did a lot in vortex phase even though it only targeted one person at a time. For priests, CoH seems the way to go, or else Renew. Paladins and Shamans are unfortunately out of luck here.

3. Be ready to move. Use your minimap–which looks just like a compass–to orient yourself. Anticipate your movements before you have to go. Particularly in Phase 1, you’ve got to avoid that nasty Dragon Breath. I died to this on the first attempt but then figured it out. Dragon Butt good, Dragon Head bad.

4. If you have two mana restore abilities, like potion and shadowfiend or potion and innervate, use one in mid-Phase 1 and one in mid-Phase 2. You will have a few seconds to regen at the end of Phase 1, so as Malygos approaches 50%, don’t pot.

5. It’s all right to blow through your mana in phase 2. In fact, keep everyone up at all costs. Don’t be conservative here. AoE heal, pop your cooldowns, innervate yourself–use it all. It won’t matter that you’re dry by the end–phase 3 is on dragonback.

6. Stay alive. Phase 2 is going to challenge priests and druids. When the Scions target you with Arcane Barrage, your health bar will disappear fast. Do what you can–shield, healthstone, etc–to keep yourself alive. No guarantees that your teammates will save you, or even notice that you’re being targeted. Grid doesn’t seem to be able to pick up the ability, so it’s not a situation like Rage Winterchill or Kel’Thuzad where you will receive big heals from your fellows to counter the effect.

And beyond that, good luck. I expect Conquest to beat this encounter in 1-2 weeks–just as soon as we can overcome the Interface Boss of Phase 3.

Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!


  1. There are a few ways to handle phase 3, some more idiot proof then others. Easiest way I know of is to have every single person group up together in a big clump. You can clump up north of Malygos to start with. Now have 5 or so people assigned to healing (repeating 5 hot heals then the big combo AOE finisher) and that is all they do the entire phase. Targeting is tricky, yes, I’ve had to manually do it most of the time.

    Also have your clump of drakes move together to the left whenever an electrical storm spawns. Or everyone should just know to move a bit every few seconds to minimize damage. The important thing here is to stay together so everyone will be hit by the large AoE heal from the healer drakes.

    DPS needs to be on the ball, but its pretty simple. Target Malygos and press 1, 1, 2. Over and Over and Over. The goal here is to stack your debuff as high as possible. But remember to save fire shield (~25 energy) in case you get targeted, if your healers are awesome you might be able to get away with not shielding at all tho =).

    If you’re hitting the berserk timer you need to either pick up DPS in phase 1/2 OR use less healers in phase 3. If your drakes are dieing in phase 3 but DPS is ok then use more healers. For the record five healers SHOULD be enough. Its even possible to do it with less.

  2. Key to this fight: Order and Discipline. Sparks in Phase 1 are huge since they up your DPS and provide some buffer for phase 3. Use totems as landmarks after vortex so that the raid always groups up in one place and tank always pulls the dragon to a certain spot. DKs are nice to grip sparks to raids and stack sparks. Also, using 3 stacks for phase 3 before dotting the dragon is more forgiving when learning the fight. Two stacks leaves very little leeway for lag when refreshing the DoT since people are trying to deal with the clunky dragon control UI and 3D space. All in all its an enjoyable fight for DPS not so much as a healer 😀

  3. As the other comments have mentioned there are many ways to manage phase 3 on the fight.

    I was the tank on our progression kill and subsequently got pants and finish my neck, so other tanks get to tank him if they’re around.

    Phase 1:
    The easiest way I found to explain to everyone about positioning is during the vortex orient yourself pointing South. I do the same. I walk backwards, they run forwards and within a second of landing they are out of danger of the breath.

    Another thing of note is the Breath is a really really tight cone, but it does come from his center. If you kill a spark sitting at him NW or NE while having him pointed North, there is no reason for the tank to turn him at all, its better if you just keep him centered.

    We ran 2 DKs on our progression kill, but 1 should be sufficient to stack sparks regularly. Kill the first spark in the direction it spawns and then DG the next to that spot. Whatever you do don’t try and DG through Malygos or it’ll just buff him immediately. (34k breath = lol)

    Phase 2:
    Just survive and pray for some nice shields. Sometimes he’ll stack them for you, other times you’re running all over the place. If it’s a long run and you think you might lose people you can always stay in the current shield until the next ones goes up. EVERYONE needs to stack really close for that work, and Deep Breath is up there is a very good chance the shield will be gone at or near the end. I personally don’t recommend trying that but it was on my mind every pull that we had to sprint several times.

    If you have a prot paladin, divine guardian is a huge help. It by far isn’t required but I had it. Soaking up 30% of the damage during a breath and the random casts from the Scions helps lighten the load on the already overworked healers.

    Phase 3:
    We found the most idiot proof method was just stack up, healers use the healing finisher, everyone else works keeping their stack up. If you get targeted by the beam, shield.

    Our healers at the end I think were just focusing on Malygos, doing the Flame Strike for combo points and then using the Life Burst off those combo points. It helped DPS Malygos down and got kept everyone healed.

    Overall though I think the fight is one of the most well tuned encounters in Wrath. On our kill we hit phase 2 with 6:30 left on enrage, and moved into phase 3 with around 3:30 on the clock. Downed him with about 30 seconds left and it was a hell of a rush.

  4. Titan’s Grip Fury warrior on Disc soaring through the air wreaking havoc with caster mobs in space. This fight is something Blizzard pulled out of a dream I had once (or a nightmare a healer had).

  5. Phase 3 is really easy once you’ve got it down.

    Healers (5 or so) –
    You don’t have to target anyone. The aoe heal is so OP, all you have to do is spamm the small heal on yourself until you get 5 combo points and then hit the aoe heal. As long as the whole group stays together, the aoe heals FAR outweigh any damage taken.

    DPS – (20 or so) –
    Harder then healing but still only 2 buttons to master. Keep the dot on the boss everytime it is available.

    The Whole Raid (25 or so, lol) –
    Before the floor falls away, our whole raid runs to the side and clumps up together. Then when we jump on our drakes we fly straight up to just above Malygos.

    Stay together. When he casts the spark damage spell which effects a specific position, everyone moves together (we always move to the right each time). Strafing right for 3 seconds or so then resume heals and dps and it’s gg after a short time.

    Worst part of phase 3 is LOOTING THE DAMN CHEST!!! lol

    have fun –

  6. Yes we will be going with the all stack method this week. Makes alot of sense since the AoE heal is will hit everyone and having 6 healers do it is alot of healing even enough to survive the blast he does

    It was a little hectic the first hour or so just getting the power sparks down etc..But like with any multi phase fight seeing the phases more each time makes a big difference

  7. I can only back up wilgo. The healing is relativly simple spam yourself and be with the raid, (5-6 healers), the dps need to make sure they sheild themselves and stay with the raid. Look at the stacks on the dragon, bigger is better and a sign that your dps is gettiing it. Fun fact our holy priest was doing dps on dragons and finished with a 21 stack and more dps for the entire fight then our best mage.

  8. dscomboulat says:

    COH priest spam it after votex = faceroll. (spam coh on way down you won’t loose a soul. if 25 man and one COH priest isn’t enough? take three) (pom in the air is very nice)

    do the daily “aces high” = practice phase three.

    its really not that bad.

    just remember to avoid that player with the debuff on him, and for no reason get within 40 yards of maylgos.

    have a few healer toons clicking the renew spell four times, and saving the big bang one for person in trouble = easy.

    it can be frustrating, especially on 25’s

    tens its a joke.

  9. Hello there , basically My guild done this boss in last attempt of the first day. There were around (?) maybe 10-15 tryes, during which we were in p3 few times in row. And what i can suggest is to geting exp from p1 first. When You will master it, go for p2, then after p3.

    As a raid healer i sticked to healing in p3 as follows : Shift+F1 target myself , counting stacks on myself then throw aoe heal. Whole raid was following member with skull over his head (we did have MT but it makes no difference).

    Generally p3 is about proper moving as a group. Nothing else. And dont “count on counter” just spam stacks and then aoe heal then again spam stacks and then aoe… its working , If You see You didnt throw aoe heal just keep spaming another stack and so on. With few healers in raid its pretty smooth phase as long as all will stay in range

  10. Hi there, I have it on pretty good authority from my guild healers that if you kill Grid and pull out the standard Blizz raid frames from the Raid tab, you’ll be able to target people as usual, as their player frames will be replaced by their vehicles i.e the dragons.

Speak Your Mind