Patch 2.3 is upon us, and whether you're cobbling together a 10-man or staring Nalorakk in the face wondering what to do next, Girl Meets WoW is your one-stop shop for quick and dirty lowdown on all things Zul'Aman. This is not a complete walkthrough or compendium of ZA boss strategies, just a compilation of facts I've gathered from forums, videos, and my own experience on the PTR. Good luck!
Important note for anyone at the start of the instance: don't
talk to Harrison Jones click on the gong until your raid is buffed and ready. It takes several people to channel, and will spawn two elite trolls and a pair of AOE packs when you do.
Nalorakk the Bear
Troll form mangles and charges; bear form bleeds and silences. You need two tanks, one for each form. Taunt off each other when he shifts and have both stay in front to mitigate his brutal swipe. Everyone else: spread out, keep yourself and the tanks alive, and dps like you mean it. This is an endurance tank-and-spank, just a hair less difficult than Prince Malchezaar, and the easiest fight in the instance.
Akil'zon the Eagle
Clearing his trash is half the battle: keep moving like in the Shattered Halls gauntlet, use CC on the elites, and have a pally AOE tank the birds if you've got one. Once engaged, spread out and watch your storm timer. Have everyone group up 5 seconds before it hits, then spread out again once it's over. You can kill the eagles (DOTs and seed are nice for this), but don't shift too much of your dps to it. Stay away from anyone with static disruption: don't let them run into the middle of the group even during a storm. It has a very short range, so they can probably keep alive and not kill anyone.
Halazzi the Lynx
Phase 1 strategy is simple: stack your two tanks on top of each other to split his ~12k saber lashes. Hunters can tranq his frenzy in this phase. At 75% he'll turn into a shaman and summon a lynx spirit. Keep out of range of his earthshock and chain lightning totems if you're ranged, and cleanse the flame shocks. DPS priority is totems, then lynx. Once you kill the lynx he'll go back to phase 1; he splits again at 50% and 25%. After you've killed the spirit a third time, he'll enrage and start dropping more totems.
Jan'alai the Dragonhawk
He's the Aran of Zul'Aman: he'll teleport the entire raid to him, then scatter fire bombs on the ground. Ten seconds later the bombs will burst, so you must find a safe spot to stand in. Every minute or so two hatchers will come out to hatch some eggs on the platforms. Have 2-3 AOErs, a tank, and a dedicated healer kill one hatcher, let the other hatch five or six eggs, then kill him too and AOE the dragonhawks down before another teleport hits. At around 30% Jan'alai will hatch all the remaining eggs himself. Other notes: he does an AOE fire cone at a random target, and has a soft enrage before his 10-minute berserk timer.
Hex Lord Malacrass
He spawns with a random four adds with their own abilities each time (like Moroes), so your kill order will vary. Killing two and leaving the rest CC'd is a common strat. He dots and does a power drain (a nasty channeled AoE) increases his damage output by 10% and lowers the raid by 1%. The damage increases will stack on him through the fight. Power drain has a spell pushback, and its shadow damage is apparently rangeable at 30 yards. Lastly, he does a recurring soul drain which lets him steal class abilities from a random raid member and keep them until the next drain, so be on your toes and react accordingly to totems/traps/heals/fears/MCs/etc.
The final boss takes on the aspects of all four animal spirits in turn at 20% intervals, wiping threat between each phase. In phase 1 he whirlwinds and casts a debuff on a random raid member that will keep ticking until that player's healed to full. At the start of phase 2 he'll paralyze everyone with a debuff that stuns and damages after five seconds; dispell this off your MT and some healers. Phase 3 brings damaging tornadoes to avoid and a ~1250 lightning bolt hit each time a caster finishes a spell (heals too!), so melee must step it up (aggro's irrelevant in this phase). In the 4th phase he'll fixate on random targets to melee before returning to your MT, and will do a whirlwind with a Leotheras-like debuff (but weaker). Have your tank intervene if possible, and spam-heal fixated targets. Phase 5 is the last and requires you to avoid increasing numbers of void zone-like pillars of fire while he hits you with a stacking + fire damage debuff. Keep people topped off and burn him down.
Tell me about the Zul'Aman...
- Sacrifice Timer: Once you talk to Harrison Jones and start the event, you'll get a 20-minute sacrifice timer. Kill the bear boss within the timer, and you receive a chest containing an additional Badge of Justice and another piece of loot. Each kill within a timer gives you bonus time to get to the next boss plus whatever time you had remaining (though this was wonky on the PTRs). The timers and bonus loot chests only exist for the four animal bosses, and if you go over the time limit on one boss, that's it for that raid ID.
- Boss Locations: World of Raids has a map of the instance with all the ZA bosses here.
- Instance Reset: Zul'Aman should reset every three days on the same schedule as Zul'Gurub and AQ20. If you start a ZA on patch Tuesday, your raid ID will last until early Friday morning.
- ZA Quests: Talk to Budd Nedreck in Hatchet Hills, where you can also find the ZA flight point, repair dude, and reagent vendor. He'll give you a quest to retrieve a map from Nalorakk, which will give you a free 20-slot bag and open up two more quests.
- Loot: I've written about ZA drops for dps casters here.
Special thanks to...