|Siege of Orgrimmar|
|Vale of Eternal Sorrows|
|The Fallen Protectors|
|Sha of Pride|
|Gates of Retribution|
|Kor’kron Dark Shaman|
|Spoils of Pandaria|
|Thok the Bloodthirsty|
|Paragons of the Klaxxi|
Siegecrafter Blackfuse is the twelfth boss of the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, and the first boss of the Downfall wing of Flex/LFR difficulties. In this encounter, players must defeat Helix Blackfuse, who is piloting a pretty awesome mecha with a magnet-fist, a sawblade-hand, a laser tail, and a sinister missile face right in its chest. In other words, Goblin engineering, amirite?
The Blackfuse fight is a single-phase affair that’s all about execution, execution, execution. Compared to some of the earlier fights, it’s relatively low on mechanics, but the mechanics it does have are punishing enough that your raid will need to understand them and react properly in order to defeat the encounter. There is frequent target-switching, as players must deal with the boss, one frequently-spawning add with a high health pool and periods of damage vulnerability, and frequent waves of low-health but high-priority mines.
Every forty seconds or so, the raid will have to deal with a new combination of mechanics, as Siegecrafter rolls out a new set of weaponry from his Assembly Line. Players have some choice in which mechanics they will deal with, since the raid can send a team of DPS onto the Assembly Line to destroy one of the three weapons, removing it from the encounter briefly.
For healers, the damage pattern of this fight is variable based on how good your raid is at avoiding the avoidable damage and handling the mechanics. Tanks will take heavy damage throughout the fight, and one of the adds has an AoE attack that hurts more each time it’s used, which may require cooldowns to survive late in the fight. Other than these guaranteed sources of damage, the rest is avoidable, and players who don’t avoid it will take spiky, heavy damage. Your raid is likely to spread out, so gear and Talent accordingly.
Although Blackfuse’s mecha suit is literally made out of weapons, very little of the damage in the encounter actually comes from it. The Siegecrafter himself will use only a few abilities throughout the fight. He will attack his current with Electrostatic Charge, which deals moderate Nature damage and leaves a stack of Electrostatic Charge on the tank. This debuff increases damage from subsequent Electrostatic Charges by 100% per stack, and lasts a minute. The debuff is applied approximately every 17 seconds, so the minimum number of stacks at which tanks can swap is 3.
Siegecrafter can gain two different buffs depending on how well your raid handles the Assembly Line mechanic. If your raid is successful in killing a weapon, Siegecrafter gains Protective Frenzy, which increases his attack speed by 100% for 10 seconds. If your tank is taking heavy damage outside of Protective Frenzy, healers may need to use external cooldowns to keep the tank alive through the Frenzy’s increased damage.
If your raid is unsuccessful at the Assembly Line, then Siegecrafter gains Energized Defense Matrix, which reduces the amount of damage he takes by 90% for 20 seconds. This latter buff is really undesirable, so it is important that your raid handles the Assembly Line mechanic well.
Approximately every 15 seconds, Siegecrafter will choose a random ranged player and begin to cast Launch Sawblade. At the end of the cast, a Sawblade will fly to the targeted player’s location, dealing heavy Physical damage to any player caught in its path or within a few y ards of its destination, and knocking those players back. These Sawblades will persist for the remainder of the fight, or until players allow an Electromagnet to pass through the Assembly Line.
About 50 seconds into the encounter, and every minute thereafter, an Automated Shredder will spawn at the edge of the encounter area (near the conveyor belt that completed weapons emerge from).
Immediately upon spawning, and every 10 seconds thereafter, the Automated Shredder will cast Overload, which deals moderate Nature damage to all players on the main platform, and grants the Shredder a stack of Overload, increasing all damage dealt by the Shredder by 20% per stack. At higher stacks of Overload, the Shredder tank may require external CDs to help mitigate this increased damage.
The Automated Shredders are equipped with Reactive Armor, which reduces the damage they take from all sources by 80%. Fortunately, a tank with Electrostatic Charge stacks deals increased damage to the Automated Shredder – 200% extra damage per stack of the debuff. The Shredder can also be damaged by environmental effects in the fight, including the Sawblades’ Serrated Slash as well as several of the Assembly Line weapons’ abilities.
After about 30 seconds, the Shredder will choose a nearby target and cast Death From Above, leaping to the target’s position and dealing very heavy Physical damage to any player within 15 yards of the impact point. This seems to very often target the tank, so it is possible that the Shredder can only target players within a short range; try to keep the rest of the raid at least 15 yards from the Shredder’s location. After landing from the Death From Above, the Shredder is stunned for 5 seconds and takes 200% increased damage from all sources. In other words, your DPS will deal slightly more than 100% damage to the Shredder during this stun, and it is ideal for at least the ranged DPS to switch targets for its duration.
Finally, if the Automated Shredder is brought within 35 yards of the boss, the boss’s Automatic Repair Beam will activate, healing the Shredder for 5% of its maximum health every 3 seconds. This will make the Shredder even more difficult to kill, and must be avoided.
The Assembly Line consists of the two conveyor belts that flank the encounter area. The belt to the left carries disassembled or deactivated weaponry which, if left alone, will emerge on the right-hand belt as fully assembled weapons that will target and attack the raid. These weapons appear at the start of the encounter, and again every 40 seconds for the remainder of the fight.
There are four possible weapon types, and each time Siegecrafter activates the Assembly Line, three weapons will roll out on the conveyor belt. The raid must destroy one of these three weapons, quickly; failing to do so will mean that the raid must deal with all three weapons’ mechanics, and Siegecrafter Blackfuse will gain a 20-second buff that reduces the damage he takes by 90%. Both of these outcomes are bad news.
In order to destroy a weapon, a handful of DPS players (two in a 10-player raid; five in a 25-player raid) must enter the “warp tubes” at the start of the left-hand conveyor belt. This will transport those players onto the Assembly Line, where they can attack the deactivated weapons. Once one weapon has been destroyed, the other two gain an invulnerability shield, so your Assembly Line team should attack only the highest-priority weapon – the one with the most dangerous mechanic.
Whilst on the conveyor belt, players must also dodge the Matter Purification Beams that mark the border between individual belt sections. Each section has space for four beams, but only three beams are active, so players must pass through the wide space left by the inactive beam. Touching a Matter Purification Beam inflicts very heavy Fire damage and is extremely likely to kill the player. Since this is the only source of damage that players on the Assembly Line might take – they are immune to all the other raid damaging events – there is no need for a healer to accompany the Assembly Line team.
Once a weapon has been killed, players on the Assembly Line may exit by using the “warp pipes” at the far end of the belt, and they receive a debuff called Pattern Recognition. This debuff prevents those players from visiting the Assembly Line again for the next minute. Your raid needs two Assembly Line teams to be able to complete this encounter.
There are four possible weapons that Siegecrafter may summon on the Assembly Line, and each time the Assembly Line activates, three of the four weapons are present.
Disassembled Crawler Mines will, if allowed to complete assembly, become Crawler Mines. Crawler Mines will jump down from the far conveyor belt one at a time – in 10-player mode, there are three Crawler Mines and one Crawler Mine will activate every 5 seconds; in 25-player mode, there are eight Crawler Mines and one will activate every 3 seconds.
Each Mine will choose a random ranged raid member – DPS or healer – and fixate upon them, then steadily move toward them. If the Crawler Mine reaches its target before it dies, it will Detonate!, causing heavy Fire damage to all raid members (and any Automated Shredders) on the main platform and knocking them into the air. Targeted players must therefore kite their Crawler Mines so they do not Detonate!
When Crawler Mines first spawn, they are affected by a Break-in Period, meaning they are vulnerable to snares, knockbacks, Death Grip, roots, and stuns. This Break-in Period lasts for 1 minute; if the Crawler Mine lives for more than a minute, it becomes Ready to Go!, becoming immune to these effects and increasing its movement speed. Crawler Mines that are Ready to Go! will almost certainly Detonate!, so it is very important that players take advantage of the Break-in Period to CC and kill the Crawler Mines as quickly as possible.
Earthgrab Totem, Capacitor Totem, and Totemic Projection are all amazing for Crawler Mines. While Earthgrab’s roots get broken quickly, if you place it well you can get every Mine as it spawns, and you’ll slow them too!
Deactivated Electromagnet will, if allowed to complete assembly, become an Electromagnet. The Electromagnet has a single ability, Magnetic Crush, which deals light Nature damage every second to all players on the main platform and also draws them slowly toward its location. This also sweeps all active Sawblades off of the main platform, and any players standing in the Sawblades’ path will be damaged by Serrated Slash as the blades pass by them.
This is really more annoying than dangerous, although it can be a little scary if a Shredder’s Overload occurs during the Magnetic Crush – mainly because it’s harder to heal the raid while you’re moving. Similarly, if you have an Electromagnet and Crawler Mines active at the same time, it’s much harder to avoid Detonate!
Deactivated Laser Turret will, if allowed to complete assembly, become a Laser Turret. The Laser Turret has a single ability, and it is to fire a laser at someone. This laser targets a ranged DPS or healer and provides them with a Locked On! debuff to indicate that they are being targeted. It also shoots a red laser beam at the targeted player’s feet.
After three seconds, the laser beam activates and will begin chasing the targeted player, leaving patches of fire on the ground as it moves. These patches of fire are Superheated, and any player standing within the fire will take increasing Fire damage each second they are standing in it.
Superheated ground will also damage any Automated Shredders standing in it, which is a pretty handy way to help kill the Shredders.
Players targeted by the Laser Turret must kite the fire patches intelligently – away from the raid, but ideally toward the Shredder, or toward the Sawblades where the Shredder will be tanked. This is more difficult during Magnetic Crush, but otherwise a very simple mechanic to handle.
Deactivated Missile Turret will, if allowed to complete assembly, become a Shockwave Missile Turret. The Shockwave Missile Turret is a triumph of Goblin engineering! When activated, it will fire a missile near Siegecrafter’s location; the missile buries itself deep in the ground and … I guess its payload is just a bunch of tiny drills that burrow into the platform beneath your feet and rise up through the ground to drill-stab you.
The colloquial name for this ability is “World in Drills!”, because it’s reminiscent of the World in Flames ability from the Ragnaros fight; the drilly stabby zone first appears in a small circle around the missile’s impact point, then spreads out across the entire platform in concentric circles. Players standing within the danger zone when the drills emerge from the ground will take very heavy Fire damage and be knocked into the air, taking fall damage when they land. These effects alone can be fatal, but especially so when combined with the other weapon mechanics.
Because this damage is so heavy, and because the fight already requires heavy movement and careful positioning/kiting, Shockwave Missiles are probably the most dangerous of the four weapons.
At the start of the encounter, designate two Assembly Line teams who will be responsible for killing the disassembled weapons on the conveyor belt. Remember, only DPS are needed in these teams – the damage on the Assembly Line team is very binary. They either take none, or they die pretty much instantly to Matter Purification Beams.
Two DPS per team is sufficient in 10-player raids, and five per team in the 25-player format. Melee DPS are well-suited to the Assembly Line role, since they tend to have stronger single-target damage in a low-movement situation. The target-switching on the main platform is better suited to ranged DPS players, so keeping as many ranged as possible on the main platform at all times is ideal.
You’ll also need to set a priority for these Assembly Line teams to follow when deciding which of the three weapons they’ll be killing. Personally, I suggest the following:
Deactivated Missile Turret > Disassembled Crawler Mines > Deactivated Electromagnet > Deactivated Laser Turret
I like this priority list because it preserves the Laser Turret, which is the easiest of the mechanics and can deal a solid chunk of damage to the Shredders, and eliminates the two most dangerous mechanics, the Shockwave Missile and the Crawler Mines. This hierarchy will let all of the Electromagnets through, though, which will continually clear your encounter area of the Sawblades. If your raid is having difficulties defeating Shredders late in the encounter, you could switch to prioritising the Deactivated Electromagnet instead of Crawler Mines, allowing the build-up of Sawblades to finish off the Shredders.
Tanks should position Siegecrafter near the pipes at either the Assembly Line entrance or exit, so that players who are assigned to Assembly Line duty can minimise their movement. Ranged DPS and healers should position themselves at maximum range from the boss, so that Sawblades that target them will be at least 35 yards away from Siegecrafter. This allows your off-tank to tank the Shredders up against the Sawblades, killing them more quickly, without having to worry about the Automated Repair Beam healing.
It’s also helpful if the ranged players group up so that Sawblades end up in the same general area – the more damage on the Shredders, the better! Note that Sawblades has a 3-second cast time and Siegecrafter will target the player he’s going to throw it at. The Sawblade will go to the position his target was in at the end of the cast, so attentive players can place the Sawblade wherever they want. For even more Shredder-killing potential, players can kite the Laser Turret’s beam toward the clumps of Sawblades.
However, ranged players should try to stay more than 15 yards away from the Shredders so they are unlikely to be caught in its Death from Above! radius. Immediately following Death from Above!, ranged DPS must switch to the Shredder and deal as much damage as they can during its 5-second window of damage vulnerability. Direct damage is probably more beneficial than DoT effects here, since the DoT damage is recalculated once the damage vulnerability debuff fades.
Other than the specifics of choosing a weapon priority and maximising damage on the Automated Shredder, there’s not much strategy to this fight – just execution. Bloodlust/Heroism is best used at the start of the fight, while there are the least mechanics to deal with, so players will be able to focus all their attention on the boss. You may wish to wait for your first Assembly Line team to get onto the conveyor belt before popping Bloodlust/Heroism, and then pop it again for them when they return.
You will need cooldowns for: Raid CDs for Automated Shredders’ Overload (particularly during Magnetic Crush or when the Shredder has several stacks of Overload already), and for any Crawler Mines that Detonate!; tank CDs frequently – on the Siegecrafter tank after killing a weapon on the Assembly Line, and on the Shredder tank at high stacks of Overload.
Debuffs to track: Electrostatic Charge (tank debuff), Pattern Recognition (so you know who can and can’t go up onto the Assembly Line), Locked On (so you know who’s kiting laser beams), and Superheated (so you can tell them to GTFO of the fire :P)
Points of failure:
- The Assembly Line Team dies due to lava beam damage or failing to exit the belt properly;
- The Assembly Line Team fails to kill any weapons, both causing the raid to become overwhelmed with mechanics and prolonging the encounter by granting Siegecrafter Blackfuse 20 seconds of extreme damage reduction;
- The raid cannot kill the Shredders fast enough, or allows the Shredders to heal, complicating the tank-swapping job and leading to tank death;
- The raid inappropriately executes the weaponry mechanics -
- Failing to avoid Shockwave Missile damage;
- Not CCing/killing the Crawler Mines within the “Break-in Period”, causing them to move too quickly to be kited and eventually Detonating on the raid;
- Standing between Sawblades and the Electromagnet during Magnetic Crush;
- Affected players failing to kite the Laser Turret’s laser beam, dying to multiple pools of fire stacking in the same location, or other raid members standing in pools of fire and dying to Superheated.
Good luck! :)