Easily one of the more complex boss encounters out there today, the Kael'thas encounter can and will kill you repeatedly if you are not careful. This encounter takes place in Tempest Bridge. Simply head back the way you came from Solarian's room, but take your first right instead of continuing straight back to The Phoenix Hall. Clear all trash packs in Tempest Bridge, because you are going to need the entire room for this fight.
There are a few things you'll want to make sure you have on this encounter, if you're going with a group:
Someone who can wield staves
Someone who can wield and use daggers
A healer of some sort (not entirely necessary, but definitely handy)
The Kael'thas encounter begins when you run to his stage. Kael'thas will begin a speech -- get used to hearing the sound of his voice. Kael'thas has four advisors, each with their own abilities and attacks. He will send each advisor after your group in the following order: Thaladred, Sanguinar, Capernian, and lastly, Telonicus.
Thaladred the Darkener will fix his gaze on one person and slowly walk to his target. He'll randomly switch whom he gazes at. At level 85, he doesn't hit terribly hard at this point in the encounter; just kill him quickly.
Lord Sanguinar has a really irritating AOE fear that he'll use. Run back to him if you're feared away, and knock him over.
Grand Astromancer Capernian is the worst. If anyone gets in melee range, she'll cast an Arcane Explosion that will knock players back and slow them down. If you brought a ranged class with you, have them focus on Capernian, and let the melee get in place for Telonicus. Carpernian also casts a Conflagration to further complicate matters.
Master Engineer Telonicus is an engineer. He'll throw bombs, and he'll occasionally use an ability called Remote Toy that puts a debuff on a player. This debuff periodically stuns for 4 seconds, and the debuff lasts for 1 minute. Kill him before he can cast it.
When you start the encounter, everyone should be at the back of the room except for one player. Have that player run up to the stage so Kael'thas starts talking, and then run back to join everyone else. You want the first three advisors to make the trip all the way across the room and die in the back -- Telonicus is the only one you're going to kill on the stage itself. After Capernian is dead, make sure you run up to the stage to kill Telonicus. This will start the next stage of the fight.
Kael'thas will summon a group of floating weapons for the next round. Kill all the weapons on the stage, and loot the corpses to get your very own legendaries. There are three items of note that you'll want to pick up: Have a caster grab the Staff of Disintegration and equip it. Clicking the staff will create a mental protection field on everyone within 30 yards, and it'll make them immune to Stun, Silence, and Disorient effects. Make sure your caster clicks the staff and keeps the field up, and make sure everyone is within 30 yards of that caster.
You will also want one melee player who can use daggers to pick up the Infinity Blade. Attacking a Mind-Controlled target with this weapon equipped will dispel the Mind Control. Lastly, a tank should pick up the Phaseshift Bulwark. Clicking this shield will put a shield around the tank that absorbs 100,000 damage and makes him immune to fear and snare effects for 4 seconds.
After killing all the weapons, the timer for the next phase will begin. You'll have a few seconds to get the weapons equipped, so make sure that you do so. Also make sure everyone is near Telonicus' corpse, because he's about to come back to life -- along with every other advisor you just killed. The reason you want the other three dead at the far end of the room is to give you a little time to quickly kill Telonicus before Capernian makes her way over to the group and starts throwing Conflagration around. Kill Telonicus quickly, and then focus on Capernian. Kill the other two at your leisure. You may want to have someone kite Sanguinar away from the group just to keep the AOE fear from hitting everyone at the same time.
Once all four advisors are dead, the next phase will begin. There are a few different ways you can approach this part of the encounter. I went with four people -- two warriors, one paladin tank, and myself as the rogue who equipped the dagger to dispel Kael'thas' Mind Control. We had the paladin tank equip the shield and engage Kael'thas, while the rest of us hid behind one of the statues at the sides of the room. Since we were out of line of sight, Kael'thas could not cast his Mind Control on us. Kael'thas will not cast Mind Control on the tank.
We sent one warrior out to DPS, and when he was Mind-Controlled, I ran out from behind the pillar, hit him quickly with my dagger to dispel the Mind Control, then ducked back behind the statue to avoid being Mind-Controlled myself. Our paladin tank used the Phaseshift Bulwark when Kael'thas used Pyroblast to mitigate the damage from the attack.
Kael'thas will also summon phoenix adds, which should be killed as soon as possible. If you're lucky like we were, they'll aggro on the people behind the statue. When the phoenix dies, it will spawn an egg that must be killed, or the phoenix will hatch again. At 50%, Kael'thas will run to the center of the room and begin a cutscene. You can come out of hiding and watch it; it's a pretty cool lightshow! If there are any phoenixes still up at this point, knock them over quickly.
After the cutscene, Kael'thas will continue casting all spells as well as throwing in Gravity Lapse. The Gravity Lapse will toss all players up in the air. Coming too close to the ground will make Kael'thas cast Nether Beam, a Chain Lighting spell that will bounce through anyone that's too close to him and amplify in damage the more people it touches. There will also be Nether Vapor clouds floating in the air with you; touching these will put a stacking debuff on you. This debuff will reduce your max health by 10% with each stack. After 30 seconds, the Gravity Lapse will wear off, and everyone will fall to the ground. Make sure you aren't too high up in the air, or you'll die from fall damage.
The cutscene really signifies that you've made it through the hardest part of the fight; once he starts casting Gravity Lapse, it's pretty easy from there. Though Kael'thas has a number of different attacks and abilities, the things most likely to kill you are the advisors if they get their disorient, fear, and stun effects off, and the people in your party if they happen to get Mind-Controlled.
Patience is really the biggest thing to bring to this fight -- most likely, you are not going to bowl this boss over if you've never done the fight before. Make sure everyone you bring has at least some idea of how the fight is going to go and what to do for each section of the encounter, and you'll be killing Kael in no time.
Tier drops Kael'thas drops tier 5 chest tokens for all classes.
In addition, Kael'thas drops The Nexus Key, a teal and purple crystalline staff that rotates and twists around in a really cool animated effect. The Twinblade of the Phoenix is a sizable two-handed sword with a Blood Elf motif on the hilt, and the Rod of the Sun King is a flashy one-handed mace.
Kael'thas can also drop the Ashes of Al'ar as mentioned previously, but the drop rate according to Wowhead is only about 1.7%. If you are one of the few who manages to get your hands on this mount, consider yourself extremely lucky!
Tier 5 token turn-in
Tier 5 is turned in at the same location as the tier 4 vendors: for Aldor, the big building on top of Aldor Rise, and for Scryer, the big building on top of Scryer's Tier. The vendors for tier 5 are Kelara if you're on Aldor Rise or Veynna Dawnstar if you're on Scryer's Tier. As with tier 4, you can also turn in tier 5 tokens for PVP gear if you'd rather go with that look. The vendors for Merciless Gladiator gear can both be found on the Isle of Quel'danas -- speak to either Olus or Soryn to pick up your set pieces.
Speaking of PVP gear, the first two seasons of PVP Arena gear, Gladiator and Merciless Gladiator, are actually recolors of tier 4 and tier 5 respectively. Check out the gallery for a full look at both sets, and come back next week when we head back in time and start collecting tier 6.