L2Stab – Rogue vs. Magmaw (Normal)

Boss strategy guides are fine and good, but they skim details and leave a lot of ambiguity for individual classes. Sure, it’s nice to know the boss launches fire from its orifices killing anything it touches, but how does the fight affect me as a Rogue? This series is dedicated to answering that exact question.

Let’s start off in Blackwing Descent. Go through the portal, hang a left, climb some stairs, and there’s a big lava worm playing tug-of-war with some armored lizards. That lava worm- Magmaw– is the focus of this guide.

Quick Points

Rogue-Centric Overview:

  • There isn’t much movement during the fight, so focus on perfecting your opening + rotation
  • Stack trinket procs, potions, Heroism, and DPS cooldowns when he faceplants on his spike
  • Teleportation moves are a no-no, since his back is to lava
  • Getting hit by his parasites is a bigger no-no, so keep your camera panned out enough to see incoming adds
  • Ranged are better-equipped (and positioned) to handle Parasites
  • He doesn’t drop much Rogue gear (but what he does drop is BiS until Heroics!)

Gear to Watch For:

(It’s important to mention there’s more than one prevailing strategy and role you might need to execute. Especially for 10’s where you might be put in odd situations due to raid composition, you might find yourself doing something entirely different. But these strategies are how I roll. Also note I run Assassination, so the tips given reflect that. )

The Strategy

To start, the tank approaches Magmaw from the right while melee approaches from the left. This enables Magmaw’s back to be exposed to melee if we hug the far left lip before the dropoff. I spend 90% of the fight here.

Before pulling, I hop over to our tank and Tricks him before heading back to the left. I pre-pot a Potion of the Tol’vir (you double-pot, right?), Stealth, and Sprint to a spot behind Magmaw where I have a clear view of his back.

The most crucial part of the pull is popping Vendetta immediately. His head-kabob phases are 2 minutes apart, which aligns perfectly with Vendetta’s cooldown. If I wait too long, I see myself dropping 1,000 DPS or more since Vendetta will still be on cooldown during burn phases.

After getting into position I open with Garrote and start my rotation. Getting Rupture up takes priority since I want to juice as many energy ticks (= extra special attacks) within those 25 seconds of Tol’vir goodness as possible.

At this point, it’s pure rotation spam until Magmaw lurches forward and becomes mountable. I simply offload damage until I hop on his back.

Once his “I’m expozin’ mah pincers!” raid warning displays, it’s time to ride the Magmaw Express. By clicking, my character hops up onto Magmaw’s flailing head and my attack bar swaps to a single button that resembes S&M chains. Once it becomes usable, I click at Magmaw’s spike. I haven’t tested this, but instead of waiting for Magmaw to eject me I could probably just click Leave Vehicle and get back to stabbing.

A few seconds later, Magmaw will impale himself. This is where his head takes 100% increased damage, and by now Vendetta should be off cooldown (or very close to it). If I see Heroism procced, I pop my 2nd Tol’vir potion and proc on-use trinkets. To aid in surviving this phase (since I’m within chomping range of Magmaw), I pop Evasion after counting 10 seconds. In unlucky circumstances where the tank doesn’t get a taunt off quickly enough, it keeps me from getting gibbed.

The fight progresses in a DPS-burn-DPS-burn format until Magmaw dies.

There’s a few assorted points to remember while doing the fight:

  • Assassination Rogues shouldn’t forget to switch from Mutilate to Backstab at 35%.
  • Combat and Subtlety should not use Shadowstep and Killing Spree until Magmaw’s head is spiked (and selected!), lest you enjoy swimming in lava.
  • Steaming floor at your feet = GTFO. Strafe right to get out of it (and strafe right back).
  • If parasites make it to the melee, get away before they bite you (and yell at the lazy ranged later).
  • If you pull aggro, pray your Vanish is keybound and off cooldown. You won’t survive more than 2 hits, and you’re most likely to pull immediately after head-spike phases.

Fights in Cataclysm don’t get much more Patchwerk-y than this, aside from Argaloth. By timing your cooldowns properly, keeping up your rotation, and avoiding his steam slam, you’ll have Magmaw kabobs for many weeks to come.


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