The rules of the ring
The exhibition bracket
The WoW Insider Ring is considered neutral territory, where both combatants are able to access their usual encounter mechanics and abilities. If you can't visualize it inside the squared circle, visualize it someplace else -- but you must take into consideration all of each bosses' abilities and mechanics.
Assume that each opponent is intelligent and capable of strategic thinking.
All of the competitors' abilities, including crowd control and other effects to which bosses are usually immune, work on their opponents (with apologies to considerations of lore on this point).
Assume that the opponents share similar levels, health pools, and comparative overall damage output.
Don't get caught up in gameplay mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
Don't neglect style, story, and scale. Everything is a factor; seeking balance is your goal as a spectator and judge.
Here are the planned matchups for the next four weeks:
Week 1 Tae'thelan Bloodwatcher (The Reliquary) vs. Ishanah (The Aldor)
Week 2 Brann Bronzebeard (Explorer's League) vs. Vereesa Windrunner (The Silver Covenant)
Week 3 Voren'thal (The Scryers) vs. Yorg Stormheart (The Frostborn)
Week 4 Archmage Aethas Sunreaver (The Sunreavers) vs. Roanauk Icemist (The Taunka)
You'll notice that we have two matchups in the first round that are traditionally Alliance versus traditionally Horde and two in which matchup heroes of the same faction against one another. I wanted to make sure that this wouldn't turn into an Alliance versus Horde deal, so let's see some good cross-faction debating in the comments. The world of Warcraft
is so rich with characters and lore that I very much want players of both factions to learn a little something about the other guys, since you owe it to yourself to gain that knowledge for a better understanding of this whole shindig. Plus, it might be fun!
In Corner One: Tae'thelan Bloodwatcher
Motivated by the drive to see his people ascend back to their rightfully prominance and power, Tae'thelan Bloodwatcher is a blood elf who wants to wipe the blood elven history of Kael'thas Sunstrider and their previous failures. He is an elf of the new order, strong-willed and will stop at nothing to put power back in the hands of the blood elves. He strives to unify his people once again and push the boundaries of the arcane and ancient relics that are buried beneath our very feet.
Tae'thelan Bloodwatcher is the leader of The Reliquary, the Horde version of the Explorer's League led by Brann Bronzebeard. There is one crucial difference between the two factions, however. Both are fascinated with the search for and understanding of ancient, powerful artifacts, but where Brann wants to catalog, make sense of, and display these artifacts Tae'thelan wants to harness, wield, and manipulate. Magic, to Tae'thelan, is a tool that can be used without succumbing to the corruption and danger that the blood elves once fell victim to when the Sunwell was destroyed.
Here are some cool things about Tae'thelan Bloodwatcher:
He's pragmatic. Powerful stuff is out there -- why not use it to help ourselves in a reasonable, responsible manner?
He's part of the new guard. Tae'thelan comes from the group of blood elves ascending to power after the fall of Kael'thas and the embarassment he brought to his people. Tae'thelan will do anything to regain former glory for his people and views magic in a positive light unlike most of the blood elf magisters.
He's really, really powerful. The guy floats, like, all the time. He doesn't have to walk.
He's the Explorer's League rival. Finally, someone to counter those snooty, museum-dwelling drunkards.
Tae'thelan's abilities, while not totally spelled out in game, could be interpreted as being similar to a high-ranking Kirin Tor mage or one of the Sunstrider mages. Blood elves are extremely adept at manipulating the arcane, and with his knowledge and experience dealing with ancient, powerful artifacts, Tae'thelan is a force to be reckoned with. He is always searching for more power, but what he has already found could be just enough to turn the tide.
Read more about Tae'thelan Bloodwatcher on Wowpedia
In Corner Two: High Priestess Ishanah
High Priestess Ishanah leads the Aldor
priests of Shattrath. Originally led by Prophet Velen, the Aldor are devoted servants of the naaru, great beings of Light in an ever-long battle against the Burning Legion. The Aldor and the Sha'tar naaru work in tandem to bring light back to the fallen Outlands. Ishanah and The Aldor priests stayed behind on Draenor after Velen and his draenei hopped in the Exodar and booked it from the demon onslaught that eclipsed Outland before the events of The Burning Crusade
Ishanah follows in mighty footsteps. As High Priestess of the Aldor, she not only wars against the mightiest demons from the Twisting Nether but also against her rival faction, the Scryers. Once the only holy servants of the Sha'tar naaru, the Aldor had to quickly learn to share their masters with Vorenthal and his defector blood elves.
Here ares some cool things about Ishanah:
She replaced Velen. Velen was a damn strong dude. Replacing him and being successful at it is sort of a rough spot to fill.
She's been in space fight. She serves at the head of an organization that is engaged in intergalactic war with demons. I'd say that's pretty cool.
The Naaru have not forgotten us. The Aldor have put aside a lot of hate to work hand-in-hand with the Scryers to benefit the naaru. That's a lot of humility.
As a priest, Ishanah comes decked out with the powerful priest kit -- shields, smites, and all of the Light a Sha'tari naaru can bring to the table. She is a chosen priest, one who fights side-by-side with the most powerful Light beings in the universe. She has survived orcs, demons, more demons, the Scryers, extra demons, and more to still stand proud as the leader of the Aldor priests.
Read more about High Priestess Ishanah on Wowpedia
In case this is your first time reading Two Bosses Enter, this is where you come in. As a reader, your vote counts big time as to who moves forward in the tournament. Since the Two Bosses Enter bracket is single elimination, once someone is out, they're gone. Vote wisely. Make your vote about substance and style, coolness factors versus nitpicky. What crazy artifact from Azeroth's ancient history could Tae'thelan pull from his stash? How much power of the naaru could Ishanah channel to blast her foes? Make it fun and interesting! The more you put in, the more you get out, I guarantee.
If you'd like to participate further, comment below with your choice and reasons for picking who you did. Some of our more enterprising readers and commenters make up their own short synopses of the battle which can get featured in the results portion of the following week's Two Bosses Enter. Anything goes.
Let the first matchup begin! Who wins -- proud, determined, and dangerous Tae'thelan Bloodwatcher or dutiful, ancient, and powerful High Priestess of the naaru, Ishanah?
Set aside the world order -- let the WoW Insider Ring determine who's the champion! Your votes determine the outcome in WoW Insider's series of fantasy deathmatches, Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves.