Majordomo Staghelm is the second-to-last boss of Firelands, only accessible once you defeat Shannox, Beth'tilac, Lord Rhyolith, Alysrazor and Baleroc. Surely this final guardian, Ragnaros' most trusted and powerful lieutenant, is going to be a huge pain in the rear and give your raid grief for weeks, right?
Yeah, not quite.
Staghelm is an extremely simple fight. I hesitate to say "easy", because it seems like the damage can get very high, and proper coordination and execution is crucial. But in terms of mechanics? Laughably straightforward. And melee DPS have it easiest of all.
Staghelm's primary mechanic involves his two Druid forms: Scorpion and (Fire) Cat. He shifts into the Scorpion when your raid is stacked up, and uses Flame Scythe, a huge cleave attack that is divided among all targets.
He shifts into Cat form when your raid spreads out, and will use Leaping Flames on random ranged members, leaving a fire circle on the impact point that needs to be avoided. When he leaps, he also spawns a fire cat add in melee which needs to be burned down.
The longer Staghelm remains in either form, the faster he will perform his special attacks. However, every time he changes forms his Flame Scythe/Leaping Flames frequency resets to normal speed, so you can keep damage from reaching unhealable levels by forcing him to switch forms (by stacking up or spreading out). The catch is that every time Staghelm shifts he gains a stack of Fury, so you don't want to switch him between forms too often or else the damage will become unmanageable.
Finally, Staghelm mixes it up every now and then with two other abilities, Searing Seeds and Burning Orbs. As melee DPS we're really only concerned with Searing Seeds, which makes us run out of the raid after a while or else we explode and kill everyone. The rest of this fight for us is essentially tank-and-spank, with some brief moments of killing adds.
Your special class/spec responsibilities:
• Reduce Flame Scythe damage with AMS
• Kill Spirit of the Flame adds immediately
In Scorpion form, the entire raid stacks in front of Staghelm to share his horrible Flame Scythe damage. Your raid will likely decide to keep him in this form for a certain number of Scythes, such as 9 or 10, before the ranged spread out to force him into Cat form. We simply DPS Staghelm in this phase. Don't use Anti-Magic Shell early on - save it for the final few Scythes, when damage/healing will be the most difficult.
Early on, when there is significant time between Flame Scythes, you can actually DPS Staghelm from behind to avoid parries/blocks. But you HAVE to make sure you are in front to help eat the Scythe when it occurs! He'll use Flame Scythe when he reaches 100 energy, so just watch his energy bar and scoot in front when it's time. Play it safe - reducing that damage is 100% more important than squeezing in a few more hits from behind.
Alternately, Antigen wrote that there is apparently a "sweet spot" where you count as both in front for eating the Scythes, and behind in terms of avoiding parries/blocks. See his guide for details.
As soon as Staghelm shifts into Cat form, you can safely move behind him and start DPSing. He will periodically leap away to hassle the ranged members, but when he does this he leaves a fiery cat add behind called Spirit of the Flame. Your priorities for this entire phase are to DPS these adds down, and if there are none alive, DPS Staghelm. That's it.
Searing Seeds/Burning Orbs
Every third transformation, Staghelm will either cast Searing Seeds on the whole raid (if he was just in Cat form) or create some Burning Orbs (if he was just in Scorpion form). We only really care about Searing Seeds.
Searing Seeds is a debuff with a randomly-determined duration that is different for every player. When a player's duration runs out, they will explode and deal massive fire damage to anyone around them, so to avoid wiping the raid they have to run out to an isolated spot, explode, and then run back in to help soak the next Flame Scythe hit. (Staghelm will always be in Scorpion form after casting Searing Seeds, since he had to have been in Cat form previously.)
There's not much to say about this mechanic. Watch your debuff closely and look for an exit route, and when your timer hits 5-6 seconds left (or more, depending on your latency), get the hell out of the group. Howling Blast or Death Coil while you wait to explode, and then get back in immediately.
If you use Power Auras, here is a simple Aura that will pop up on screen when there is 6 seconds left on your Searing Seeds debuff, with a noise and ticking timer to make sure you notice. You can obviously change the graphic, size, location, size etc. to suit your tastes after importing.
|Version:4.17; InvertAuraBelow:6.25; b:0.9451; anim1:4; icon:INV_Elemental_Mote_Fire01; buffname:Searing Seeds; x:375; bufftype:2; texture:88; alpha:1; inVehicle:0; speed:1.58; sound:11; size:0.69; torsion:1.01; y:-6; ismounted:0; finish:2; timer.h:4.73; timer.Texture:WhiteRabbit; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:-134; timer.x:360; timer.UseOwnColor:true|
Burning Orbs are these orange floaty spore ball things that damage whoever is nearest to them, stacking infinitely. It's quite similar to Baleroc's Torment crystals. Your ranged members will take turns soaking the spores, so we can safely ignore them (though it's good to know what they do in case you have to soak one in an emergency fill-in situation).
Army of the Dead
Army on the pull. No reason not to, and you should be busy DPSing every other moment of the fight (or running out for Searing Seeds detonation).
Use your defensive cooldowns to reduce the heavy, rapid-fire damage that comes at the end of Staghelm's Scorpion phases. The frequency of the Flame Scythes can get very fast, and your healers will likely need all the help they can get. Staghelm will be spamming Flame Scythe quite fast near the end of the Scorpion phase, so you should be able to get absorb two Scythes in a single AMS. Use Icebound Fortitude if a Scythe is incoming and your health is low.
You may also want to use AMS to reduce the personal damage from when your Searing Seeds debuff explodes.
Alternately, you may want to put any floater talent points into Blade Barrier - any damage reduction helps, and the effect is nearly always active. If you have points in Endless Winter or Chilblains, you could dump them for this fight - there's nothing to interrupt or slow.
To rank on this fight as a Frost DK you will need to do around 26,000 DPS.
Staghelm has some incredible drops for us, including the token for our Tier 12 Shoulders, Elementium Deathplate Pauldrons, THE ONLY PLATE DPS SHOULDER OPTION FOR US THIS TIER. He also drops Breastplate of the Shifting Visions, which has better stats and a better socket bonus/gem slots than our Valor Point-purchased Tier 12 chestpiece.