Ulduar Raid Boss Strategy - Ignis the Furnace Master
Ignis the Furnace Master as a very difficult boss that most guilds won't tackle until after they've defeated the Watchers. He has a difficult gimmick component to master, but once you know the fight it really isn't that difficult. Read on for a detailed Ignis the Furnace Master strategy.
Ignis the Furnace master is an "optional" boss in the new raid instance, Ulduar, and is the second that you will encounter on your journey. Whether you choose to engage him second is entirely up to you. Many guilds choose to skip past him, either because they have heard of his difficulty or have already spent a night getting burned to a crisp in his slag pot. Over, and over, and over, and over......
It is true that Ignis does require a very specific and solid strategy to pull off, be it on 10 or 25-man mode. However, he lacks the random element that has a way of making bosses incredibly difficult. Mastering the strategy is hard, but once you have it down you are good to go. Let's take a look at exactly what we need to do to handle Iggy.
This big rough and tough giant walks around with a massive slag pot chained to him. As his name implies, he is the furnace master, but in reality he is more of a blacksmith, working with both the furnace, pools of water, and iron. The key "gimmick" of the fight is that the adds he summons are defeated by walking through the steps of smithing (or at least applying the science).
Since the key to defeating Ignis is mastering the adds, let's talk about them first. The adds appear when Ignis uses his Summon Construct ability, shortly after the fight begins. These adds can be tanked, kited, and snared. In 10-man, one off-tank is sufficient to deal with adds, with a little help from the DPS at key moments. On 25-man, two off-tanks are needed.
Offtanks must immediately drag their construct into the Scorch fire and have it snared. Death Knights make fantastic offtanks on Ignis because they can simply use Chains of Ice the lock them in place. While in the fire the construct gains a stacking debuff, and when it reaches 20 it becomes Molten. Molten constructs are red, have 100% bonus movement speed, and do massive AoE damage. Immediately after becoming molten, the tank needs to drag the construct to the nearest pool of water.
If you've ever taken a basic science class (and didn't sleep through it) you probably know that when super hot thing hits super cold thing, destruction ensues. In the case of the adds, they become Brittle. Brittle constructs are purple, stunned, and have a 50% increased chance to be critically hit. As soon as the add is Brittle, the tank needs to run away and let a ranged DPS make the killing blow. A single hit for 5000 or more damage will shatter the construct, causing 20,000 damage to anyone nearby.
Constructs spawn every 30 seconds on Normal and every 40 seconds on Heroic. It takes approximately 20 seconds standing in fire to become Molten.
The rest of the fight happens, in essence, independently of the add management. While there are various suggestions for where to tank Ignis, one of the cleanest methods I've seen in person has been to tank him in the center of the room. The entire raid (save the add tank(s)) should bunch up tightly and stick together throughout the entire fight. The tank positions Ignis so that he is facing away from the raid. When Ignis drops his first Scorch, the tank needs to choose whether to go to the left or right, strafing around without actually repositioning the boss. When the second Scorch is dropped, the tank needs to run through Ignis to the opposite side. When the third Scorch happens, position 1 should be clear and the tank can return there. With this method Ignis and the raid are far from exploding constructs, don't lose DPS and healing time repositioning, and can cleanly avoid damage from Scorch. This image should help to demonstrate raid positioning and how it helps avoid standing in Scorch. are
Besides the Scorch ability, which places a large area of fire on the ground for some time, Ignis has two other prominent abilities that the entire raid needs to watch out for. The first of these is Flame Jets. Flame Jets are semi-random in that they don't occur on a timer, but are influenced by a cool-down. They have a cast time, and Ignis also does an emote saying "I will burn away your impurities!". When Flame Jets hit, it does AoE damage to everyone in the raid (has a chance to miss). If you are casting when the ability lands, you will be spell locked on that school for eight seconds. Immediately following Flame Jets, healers need to top off the raid with AoE heals, as everyone hit will take 5k damage followed by another 8k over 8 seconds.
Ignis will also, at random, charge a player, pick them up, and stick them in the slag pot strapped to his stomach. When in the pot they take heavy constant damage and need to be healed. If a healer is put in the pot, they can continue to heal themselves and should survive unscathed. Once you are dropped from the pot you will be in front of Ignis, and need to immediately move back into position. Problems arrise if the Construct tank(s) get put in the Slag Pot. You need to have someone ready to temporarily take over tanking or kiting duties until the off-tank is released.
Other than these things, the only other thing that you need to look out for is the stacking buff that the Constructs give Ignis while they are active. For each active construct Ignis gains a 15% damage boost. Since he already melees the tank very hard (15-20k per hit in iLvl 200-213 gear) this stacking buff could very quickly kill off your main tank. Healers need to be very aware of the tank's health, and several healers should be solely focused on keeping him alive.