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Patch 4.1: Guide to the new Zul'Gurub, part 2

Allison Robert

Kilnara trash

Proceeding back down the hill from Mandokir's enclosure and hanging a right will send you toward the ziggurat in the eastern portion of the instance and High Priestess Kilnara inside (the "panther boss"). Crowd control the caster in pulls if possible -- they heal, and it gets annoying fast. Two panther mobs are in each pull and will randomly attack and leave bleeds on players. Unsurprisingly, this is an ability you can expect to see on the boss fight. While the individual bleeds aren't particularly potent, the damage really builds up with a lot of panthers on one target. Just as unsurprisingly, that's also a feature of the boss fight.

High Priestess Kilnara ("panther boss")

Overall, this is the fight that bears the most resemblance to its original Zul'Gurub incarnation. Kilnara is a caster-type attacker with only one real ability of note and a butt-ton of panther adds.
  • If you're tanking This fight is all about how you handle the adds, which can be picked up on either side of Kilnara's room. Advise the group to ignore Kilnara herself until all or most of her panther buddies are dead. Whatever cats are alive by the time she switches to panther form (which I think is around 40%) will all instantly aggro, so your aim is to keep that number to an absolute minimum if it exists at all. The panthers randomly charge and leave bleeds on people, but you'll still be the one worrying about most of their damage. Multiple bleeds from whatever kitties you're tanking are going to put a big dent in your health pool, so it's usually better to blow cooldowns earlier rather than later -- and try to limit the number of panther adds you have active at a time. Once the adds are dead, Kilnara's damage isn't too bad, although she will gain a haste buff once she pops into panther form. Otherwise, interrupt her Shadowbolt attack as much as you can. While DPS can help with this, they should ideally be focusing on the adds at first.
  • If you're healing Tank damage will be fairly high during the first part of the fight, assuming you deal with panthers first (and you should); the bleeds are a real nuisance if the tank isn't well-geared, and the adds' random jumps and bleeds around the group won't help matters. Warn your tank if he/she is taking too many panthers at a time for you to heal through, and be prepared to pop some cooldowns. When Kilnara turns into a panther and shakes the building, there'll probably be some incidental damage to heal around the group from cave-ins, but it's not bad as long as people aren't sitting in it. Once the panthers are out of the picture, the fight's a doddle to heal. The problem is getting there in the first place.
  • If you're DPSing Don't worry about putting damage on Kilnara in the early portion of the fight; your focus should be the adds. They're not too time-consuming to kill, but it's important to get them down before Kilnara switches forms. The panthers will put a lot of random damage around the group, and if you wind up absorbing a few bleeds, help the healer with a survivability cooldown (assuming you've got one). Otherwise, get the kitties down, avoid cave-ins (these will be telegraphed by rocks and dust on the ground around the time Kilnara switches forms, from what I recall), and that's about it. She doesn't have a ton of health, so once the adds are dead, she's an easy fight.

Zanzil trash

Trash alongside the path going north to Zanzil is generally unremarkable, but it does introduce you to another cauldron -- a fire type. You'll have to be a bit careful with this, because picking up the cauldron buff will cause you to do a fire AoE attack to everything around you -- including yourself. This is actually the preferred method for dealing with a bunch of annoying zombie adds along the path, but it's not necessary for everyone in the group to click the cauldron; you really only need the tank to do it. However, most groups I got invariably clicked the cauldron not knowing what it did, so until players get used to the instance, be prepared for some extra damage.

Zanzil ("cauldron boss")

This fight is somewhat similar to the penultimate boss in heroic Shadowfang Keep in that you'll need to worry about responding to different debuffs in a timely fashion. Zanzil will slap three different debuffs/conditions/problems on the group: poison, zombies, and dire trolls. You need to click one of three specific cauldrons located around the enclosure to deal with the problems that result. Apart from that, Zanzil's only ability of note shoots green fire in a straight line toward a player, and it's easy enough to avoid.

When there's poison all over the floor, you've got to click the green cauldron in order to avoid 90% of this damage. Not doing so will leave you taking around 30,000 damage a second, which has rather negative effects on your life expectancy.

When he summons zombies, you've got to click the red cauldron to gain a fire AoE damage ability that will stomp them pretty quickly. As with the fire cauldrons along the path to Zanzil's enclosure, these do damage to you as well, so you don't want everyone in the group picking it up.

When he summons a dire troll (Zanzil Berserker), you've got to click the frost cauldron and then hit the Berserker with something. This will freeze the mob in place, which is exactly where you want it to be, given its huge melee damage. They don't have a lot of health and are very easy to get down once frozen, especially because they focus one player to follow and you've got an idea of where they're going.
  • If you're tanking This really isn't a tough fight to tank, and your responsibilities are largely the same as the group's. However, let the ranged DPS handle the Berserkers; just run away if you get focused to give them time to freeze it. Talk with your group in advance about who's going to pick up the fire cauldron buff to deal with the zombies. Because they die so quickly to the cauldron's AoE buff, it's often easier for a ranged DPS to handle the zombies rather than having the tank dragging Zanzil all over the enclosure.
  • If you're healing This can be an ugly fight to heal when people are new to it, particularly with the dire trolls and poison. Healing 30,000 DPS on multiple people is a huge nuisance, so ride your group about getting to the green cauldron as quickly as possible. Don't bother picking up the fire cauldron buff at any point, because you shouldn't be in the middle of the zombie pack anyway.
  • If you're DPSing Whatever else you do, make sure you're not caught unaware by the poison attack. Apart from that, this is a pretty disjointed fight; your first priority should always be dealing with whatever condition requires a cauldron.

Jin'Do the Godbreaker

You'll find Jin'Do in the same area where Hakkar spawned in the original raid instance, and Hakkar continues to play a role. This is a two-phase fight that moves from the real world to the spirit world. In the real world, Jin'Do has two abilities of note: Deadzone and Shadows of Hakkar. Deadzone looks like the death knight's Anti-Magic Zone ability and in fact functions in much the same way, reducing all magic damage within it. Shadows of Hakkar is a 3-second cast attack that deals a ton of shadow damage to Jin'Do's immediate target and can chain to other players. It should come as a shock to no one that Deadzone can and should be used to avoid the worst effects of this, so keep the group close to Deadzone and step within it once you see Jin'Do start casting Shadows.

Once Jin'Do shifts the group into the spirit world, the challenging portion of the fight begins. Three chains will spawn, running from the spectral form of Hakkar to the platform. The chains are impervious to all damage until Body Slammed by an add called the Gurubashi Spirit. How do you get them to do this? By putting group members around chains and having your tank drag the Spirit away. Body Slam is a randomly targeted attack, so ideally you want the Spirit to charge a group member at each chain, destroying the chain's invulnerability.

The other abilities/mobs of note here are Twisted Spirits -- low-health mobs that continually spawn during phase 2 and which need to be killed before they overwhelm your group -- and Shadow Spike, similar to the targeted Shadow Crash you've seen in Ahn'kahet and/or General Vezax. However, they're much easier to avoid than Shadow Crash, because a white circle spawns around where they're going to hit.

Amusingly enough, the Jin'Do fight is the latest iteration of the Dumbass Hero/No Good Choice theme that WoW so frequently toys with, but I won't spoil the lore moment here.
  • If you're tanking Be prepared for a lot of movement on this fight. Keep Jin'Do out of the Deadzones he spawns (not doing so will kill any caster DPS in your group) and then jiggle him so you can stay in Deadzones while he charges up Shadows of Hakkar. During phase 2, pick up the Gurubashi Spirit but don't worry about the Twisted Spirits; there's no real point to tanking them.
  • If you're healing Phase 1 is fairly straightforward, but (as with Venoxis) there tends to be a lot of random damage in phase 2, particularly if your group's not very good about controlling Twisted Spirits.
  • If you're DPSing The first portion of the fight is simple enough, and you won't have to move until it becomes necessary to use a Deadzone. Once you're shifted to the spirit world, you'll be running around a lot due to the frequency with which Shadow Spikes spawn. Twisted Spirits are killed fairly quickly, but don't let them distract you from the necessity of getting the chains down.

WoW Patch 4.1 is on the PTR, and WoW Insider has all the latest news for you -- from previews of the revamped Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub to new valor point mechanics and new archaeology items.

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