Two Bosses Enter: Illidan vs Kel'Thuzad

Dan O'Halloran
D. O'Halloran|04.06.08

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Two Bosses Enter: Illidan vs Kel'Thuzad

Two bosses enter... but only one will get to leave in WoW Insider's series of fantasy deathmatches. We've scoured the instances of Azeroth and Outland looking for the most interesting bosses Blizzard has to offer us and picked out a group of 32 to pit against one another until we come out with a single winner in the end. And the best part -- you get to tell us who wins.

This is it. Thirty-one deathmatches later it's down to the final match. In one corner, The Lord of the Outland, the Betrayer of Azeroth, and one of the baddest bosses of the Burning Crusade: Illidan Stormrage! In the other corner, the Archlich of the Plaguelands, the right hand man of Arthas, the final boss of the floating city of Naxxramas: Kel'Thuzad! Read on to learn more about each boss and cast your vote.

Illidan has a wide array of abilities at his disposal to wipe out any opposition. He's capable of heavy melee damage, high fire and shadow damage, and can summon a variety of minions to keep you occupied. Illidan's abilities at the start of the fight are as follows:
  • Shear reduces the health of his main target by 60%
  • Illidan will occasionally jump into the air and land in a patch of highly damaging blue flame
  • Illidan will randomly target players to cast a parasites debuff on, which does shadow damage over time and then summons two parasites to attack the target
  • Draw soul does heavy fire damage to targets in front of Illidan and heals Illidan
For phase 2, Illidan offers a different range of ways to kill you:
  • Illidan will summon two massive fire elementals, the Flames of Azzinoth
  • Every 30 seconds, Illidan will sweep an eye beam across the platform, doing heavy fire damage and leaving a trail of damaging fire behind it
  • Illidan shoots fireballs that do splash damage
  • Dark Barrage does heavy shadow damage to a random target, though it's rarely cast
For phase 3, Illidan acts nearly the same as phase 1, only with the addition of agonizing flames, a fire spell that does damage on initial impact and damage over time afterwards.

For phase 4 (a quick phase, at 30 seconds long), Illidan will unleash the demon within. He turns into a black demon with powerful abilities, but is unable to move. During this phase, he'll cast:
  • Shadow blast, a high damage shadow attack with splash damage
  • Flame burst, an AoE fire-based DoT that does splash damage
  • Aura of dread does a high amount of shadow damage over time as well as increasing the damage taken by shadow spells (stacks)
Phase 5 is like phase 3, only with the addition of the following:
  • Maiev Shadowsong joins the fight -- and though we usually don't consider adds for fights, we're keeping Maiev in this fight because Illidan is just incredibly powerful. (And Maiev would be hunting him down whether he was in the Black Temple or not.)
  • Illidan can Enrage, randomly.
For those of you familiar with the fight, you'll notice something missing -- this is because we aren't considering instant-kill abilities. In a one-on-one encounter, they make the fight predictable and dull. However, if you're still curious for the full details of the fight, check Bosskillers.

The Lich Lord Kel'Thuzad rules over the Plaguelands from his citadel Naxxramas. While in his floating fortress, the fight begins with the raid taking out several adds, we're just considering the bosses themselves, so we'll start by talking about what would normally be considered phase 2 of this encounter, when you first get to fight Kel'thuzad himself.

Kel'Thuzad does frost and shadow damage with:
  • single-target and multi-target frostbolts,
  • the ability to mind-control up to 4 targets,
  • the ability to create a shadow fissure, causing massive shadow damage to anyone in its radius,
  • a frost blast that immobilizes and damages its target (100% of its health),
  • a mana detonation which causes causes mana users to explode, dealing damage to all of those around them.
Before you cast your vote below, a reminder: we're considering these two bosses with approximately equal health and approximately equal damage output capabilities. We aren't making this into a math equation of who's got more health than who, so when you cast your vote, cast it on fighting style, not highest level. You're welcome to factor the lore of each character into the equation. %Poll-12262%
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