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, I'm 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 dueling outside of Orgrimmar.)
- 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.
I doubt many people visit Vaelastrasz in Blackwing Lair these days, but there was a time when he was the bane of many a raid group attempting to progress. But just because he's in an old-world raid dungeon doesn't mean he's a pushover. Vaelastrasz hits his targets with heavy fire and melee damage, using the following abilities in combat:
- Fire Nova: an AoE fire attack
- Flame Breath: a frontal AoE fire attack
- Cleave: a standard cleave, but with a twist -- it chains from target to target
Though the short list of abilities may make this fight sound simple, it's anything but. However, the amount of damage Vael dishes out cannot be understated -- he would be quite unbeatable by player raids were it not for the fact that before fight, he gives a buff providing his opponents (essentially) unlimited mana, energy, and rage regeneration for three minutes. Without this buff, it would be unlikely that a player would be able to do enough damage to bring him down, meaning the enconter is on a timer. (Why, you ask, does he do this? Though Nefarian has corrupted him, but he is still attempting to struggle against Nefarian's dominance. Whether, in battling Illidan, we would see Vaelastrasz as a corrupted puppet of Nefarian or not, I leave to you.)
So there you have it -- we have two bosses who pose immense challenges player raids, but against one another may not have much difficulty Who wins and who loses in this epic battle? It's nearly time for you to to tell us, but before that, 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.