November 12, 2007

Zul'Aman in 60 Seconds

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...
  • My ZA group for coming out to the PTR even though it kept crashing in the middle of our raids,
  • the many posters in the Elitist Jerks Zul'Aman Testing thread,
  • the folks at World of Raids and MMO-Champion, and
  • everyone who uploaded PTR boss kill videos for me to watch.


Anonymous said...

Do you know if any of the bosses yield a Primal Nether?

If the majority of beasts can be put to sleep and since its outside, things should be able to be rooted, this could be the instance Druids have longed for. It's about time we saw a little CC action!

We had the world server crash last night and along with it, the instance servers. We were literally looting the last boss and rolling for the loot, including a Primal Nether when it went down. When we finally got back in, the instance was reset. I opened a ticket with Helpless Support and as expected, they did NOTHING! Why do they even have people there? Do they like blowing smoke up our arses?

Girl Meets WoW said...

I'm pretty sure there are no nethers in ZA. Also, while most of the instance is "outside," there are some weird places like the bear boss trash where it doesn't actually count as outside for roots. Still, it gets pretty handy (you can use them on the eagle boss' gauntlet, for instance) as you move away from the entrance.

Anonymous said...

This was composed by a member of one of the 2 top rated guilds on our server. Btw, 5 of the top 10 guilds on our server cleared ZA last night.

Anyway, check this out...

*** ZA Boss Guide ***

Nalorakk - Bear Avatar, 1st boss:

A 2 Phase fight:

First phase - Human form:

He does a random charge.
Mangle - Increases damage done by bleeds by 100%.

Second phase - Bear form:

Applies 2 different bleed effects.
Raid wide Silence - 4-5 seconds long, does approx 1k damage.

Phase 1 is simply tank and spank. Make sure to heal the random person charged.

Phase 2 have the 2nd tank taunt the boss and be careful of the cleave so make sure the raid is not next to where the 2nd tank is bringing the boss.

When he goes back to human form, have the first tank taunt it, repeat until he is dead.


After this boss you can take your pick at targetting any of the 3 next Avatars first but in terms of difficulty they are listed below.

For the time quest the kill order would logically be: Bear, Eagle, Dragonhawk, Lynx, Malacrass and finally Zul'Jin.


Akil'zon - Eagle Avatar, 2nd boss:

Roughly every 60 seconds he will cast the his Storm on a random person with an emote. This player is raised up in the air and a cloud appears above them, simply everyone find this person and run under him and you will take no damage. The boss channels this spell so feel free to keep attacking at ranged unless you are lucky enough to have him target a melee next to him, just be careful not to over-aggro the MT.

This is a basic tank and spank fight with a small twist. Also during the storm have ranged/casters target the eagles in the air and dot/attack them to give you more time on dpsing the boss, the melee just concentrate on the boss himself. A very easy fight, might take a wipe or 2 to understand what is going on.


Halazzi - Lynx Avatar, 3rd boss:

This boss has a tiny amount of hp, roughly 600k. This is a 2 phase encounter that rotates (similar to Nightbane) every 25%.

Phase 1 -

He hits quite hard and also does a Mother Shahraz type of ability like Saber Lash that if it hits more than 1 person the damage received by each person is much less than if it were to hit only 1. Once you get him to 75 % he will go into phase 2.

Phase 2 -

During this phase he will transform back into his Shaman form and spawn a Spirit of the Lynx that has approx 200k hp. Also during this phase he will drop a nasty totem known as: Corrupted Lightning Totem that does chain lightning for approx 5k, maybe some nat res is not a bad idea, but not a necessity. The last ability of this phase is a Flame Shock that he will do randomly to 1 target.

Basically tank and spank in phase 1. When phase 2 occurs, 1 tank stays on the Shaman and the other tank takes the Spirit. You need to dps down the Spirit as fast as possible so you will not stay in phase 2, too long because of the nasty totems.

Kill the totems when they spawn (similar to Tidvalas during the Fathom Lord Karathress encounter in SSC), cleanse people if needed. Rinse and repeat till dead.


Jan'alai - Dragonhawk Avatar, 4th boss:

Jan'alai has 2 major abilities, and at 35%ish hatches his remaining eggs(explained later)
- He has a 5 minute enrage that is rather unimportant, as it barely increases his damage.

1 - A "Flame breath" type cone that has a long range but a small width, this does about 4-5k to people in a single line and adds up fast (believe to be random target). It is important to minimize its damage by spreading out appropriatly.

2 - He will periodically teleport the entire raid to him, put up "flame walls" on the outer ring of his area so you cannot escape. He will then begin spawning "time bombs" randomly throughout his area. After approximatly 10 seconds they will blow up dealing 3-5k(?) dmg in a 5 yard area, so you need to find a spot that is safe and does not have fire bombs on it. This ability seems to be on a random timer as sometimes he will forget about it and other times he will spam it.

Throughout the fight he calls 2 "Hatchers"(Low HP) which run to the side and begin hatching eggs into dragonhawks at an increasing rate. You need to Kill 1 Hatcher as soon as possible and go give the 2nd one a hug, tanking and killing the dragonhawks he spawns (we would normally do about 5-7 hawks at a time and just draw out the fight).
When you are comfortable with the amount of hawks spawned, kil the hatcher and mop up the remaining hawks. This is the hardest part of the fight as you will have to heal alot of raid damage due to the small area of the egg platforms and the damage his fire breath does, you should assign at least one healer to go with the group that willl kill eggs, preferably one that is good at raid healing (CoH priest, resto shaman etc). The other difficult part of this fight is his ability to port and put up fire walls to the egg spawns while the hatchers are busy hatching eggs, causing you to get zerged so be careful!

The dragonhawks individually have a stacking flame buffet, and a fire damage based proc on top of their normal melee which is about 1k~ on leather.

The tactics to this boss are really, really simple
1) Minimize his fire breath damage when he isnt spawning hatchers
2) When hatchers spawn kill one, send the group to kill dragonhawks spawned by the other one.
3) Dont die to the fire bomb minigame.
4) Make sure you hatch almost ALL of the eggs before 35% (yes this means light dps for the entire fight), or you will be horribly zerged.
5) Profit


Hex Lord Malacrass, 5th Boss: (in-complete info)

He starts with 4 random adds. Possible known adds:

Ogre - Melee add, Sheep him.
Imp - Fireball Spam, possible banish or kill quickly.
Dragonkin - Flamebreath & Thunderclap, sleep him/kill quickly, if you get this add, preferrably killing is a good option.
Undead - melee and instant casts, shackle him.
Blood Elf - Heals. Interupt heals/Kill quickly.
Serpent - Posion bolts. Sleep it / kill quickly, like the Dragonkin, killing it is preferred due to your druid does not have to shapeshift.

People seem to kill 1 or 2 of the adds before focusing on the boss.


Does a nasty dot that lasts for approx 15 sec and deals roughly 300-400dmg per tick.

During the fight randomly he will Soul Drain 1 random person, he will take on 2-3 abilites of that persons class. He will continue to use these new abilities till he Soul Drains another victim and repeats a new cycle of attacks.

Every minute or so he will drain everyone of their power by 1% and giving it to himself, thus increasing his size and his damage by 10%.

Tank and spank and deal with the new abilities he may gain.

Possible Soul Drains:

Druid- Thorns & Lifebloom (big heal!!!)
Hunter- Traps
Mage- Frost Nova & Firebolt/Frostbolt
Paladin- Consecrate & Holy Light
Priest- Heal & Mind Control.
Rogue- SnD & Blind.
Shaman- Fire Nova Totem & Healing Wave
Warlock- ? ?
Warrior- Whirlwind & Spell reflect.

Zul'jin - The Final Boss:

This is already mentioned by Hephaustus and Renew, credits to both, it is bang on and solid so no need to write our own.

Every phase change he does do a threat wipe, when he turns into an Eagle you do not need to worry about a threat list though as explained below. He changes phases every 20%.

Phase 1:
Watch out for his whirlwind (melee range). He also casts a debuff similar to the one in Slave Pens that does a dd and then ticks until the player is topped off. Seems like it was only around 2500-3000 damage, so if you are good at assist healing you can downrank accordingly to top them off just enough so they do not take any ticks.

Phase 2:
As soon as he starts this phase you will notice everyone gets a Paralysis debuff. Dispell it off the main tank and yourself, then other healers if time (or the tank doesn't need a heal). DPS etc do not need it dispelled. After 5 seconds of having the debuff, you will become stunned and take a little damage, assign someone to top people off before the next. He can hit decently hard, so keep the tank topped.

Phase 3:
Stay away from the tornados that spawn and move around the room. They knock you back and deal around 1k damage. If you are a caster (yes healers included) everytime you cast you will get hit for about 1250 damage. The key thing to do in this phase is not get cornered by tornados and stay alive. Heal over time spells really make this phase much easier. Melee need to try and burn him down as quick as they can as they get no punishment for doing damage.

Phase 4:
Lynx form he melees fairly weak all around. He also will fixate upon a random player in the raid and melee them. Intervene near the end of the 10 second or so phase to help out squishy people. Also does a weak version of the whirlwind Leotheras / end boss of Shattered Halls. I think it also places a debuff on people that will make them take more damage, it's either this or the fixate. Watch debuffs and note that that person will need extra heals.

Phase 5:
As stated above, you will get a buffet like debuff put on you every so often. He will choose random people throughout the raid and place a beam of fire on them. If they are not topped they will probably die due to the debuff. It's a simple phase if people are good at staying out of void zones.

Girl Meets WoW said...

Messyah, I'm not sure who's claiming to have written that, but that appears to be the content from the Elitist Jerks megathread.

It's possible they could be one and the same, of course.

Anonymous said...

Messyah, I'm not sure who's claiming to have written that, but that appears to be the content from the Elitist Jerks megathread.

It was passed on to me by a friend from the guild "Risen" on the Antonidas server. They are one of the top 10 guilds in the world I believe. They are usually the "We did it first" people on our server.

Do you have a link to the EJMT?

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