Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman Boss Strategy Notes

Plan on invading Troll instances today? Not quite sure what to expect? Got you covered. You can find the TLDR versions here. Comment if there’s any additional noteworthy mechanics that you find on live servers that glossed over. Notes were taken from my experiences on the PTR and from kill videos.



Stay within the maze.

Players will get linked (Toxic Link) which deals damage to both players. Break the link by increasing the distance between the two players. Poison bolts get shot at players, heal through it. Boss has a frontal cone attack. At some point, watch out for pools of poison. Not sure if that’s linked to time or health.

Bloodlord Mandokir

Randomly targets a player and one-shots them. Mandokir levels up. Kill the raptor. The raptor goes around killing ghosts (which will resurrect you when you de) and you have a certain amount of them.

Watch out for big conical, fire spike thing

Kilnara (Panther boss)

First 50%: Tank and spank. Last 50%: Calls in panther buddies.

Interrupt Tears of Blood. Pull 2 packs of panthers during phase 1 and kill them to reduce the amount of panthers coming in the final phase. When they do engage you, AoE them down.


Three phases (Fire, Ice, Poison)

Zombie troll phase: Grab red cauldron . Gives your attacks additional AoE powers. Destroy zombies.

Berserker phase: One big mob? Grab the Ice cauldron. Attacks gain freezing powers. Slows down Berserker and kills them quick.

Cloud phase: Entire environment covered in gas. Grab poison cauldron, become i mmune.


Phase 1:

Casts a green shield bubble reducing magic effectiveness within it. Keep the tank and Jin’do within it. When Jin’do casts Shadow of Hakkar, run into the shield. Then run back out and resume DPS. Last I checked, he’ll do an AoE chain nuke of some kind if you stay too long within the shield.

Phase 2: Hakkar

There are four chains on the ground. They each have 1 million health. Those chains need to be broken. Look for Gurubashi Spirits. Really big mobs that have the ability to jump. The group needs to stay near chains so that the big guys will jump onto the chain thereby breaking it. Arrow on the player’s head signifies the target. Clear out the Twisted Spirit mobs.

Kicker: Need to keep moving to dodge assorted Shadow Blasts.


Akil’Zon (Eagle boss)

Eagles will pick players up and fly them around. DPS the birds. If you’re picked up, you can still DPS them. Look for the thundercloud and stand beneath it.

Nalorakk (Bear boss)

Standard tank and spank. Also does an AoE silence.

Charges the furthest player standing away. Inflicts a +500% damage taken debuff on the target. Don’t get charged twiced. Rotate with other group members in being the furthest person away. (Thanks Katherine and Wynn)

Halazzi (Lynx boss)

Kill totems. Kill the pet Lynx (likes to randomly rush players, healers need to stay on top of that). Lynx form frequently hits random players for massive damage. Your healer needs to be on the ball. Any self surviving cooldowns are encouraged to be used. (Thanks Katherine)

Jan’Alai (Dragonhawk)

Has a straight line fire attack, watch for it.

Watch for fire orbs and make sure you don ‘t stand near them. That hit box is a little larger than the graphic. Kill 1 of the hatchers. Healers need to dispel a fire debuff which comes from the hatched eggs. If Jan’Alai drops beneath a certain percentage, he hatches all of the eggs.

Hexlord Malacrass

Only 2 ads now. Kill them, blow up Malacrass. Remember Malacrass will assume the powers at random of the different classes in your group due to his power drain.


Similar to Zul’Jin, he instead undergoes 2 animal forms instead of 4. Switches phases every 33%.

  • Lynx form: He rushes everybody and his damage gradually ramps up.
  • Dragonhawk form: He will dish out fires in a line from him as a center point. Watch out for flame pillars. It was a pain in BC, it’s a pain now.
  • Bear form: Randomly charges a player.
  • Eagle form: Spawns 5 random cyclones. They tend to stay stationary but will shift position every few seconds. Will shoot out lightning to players nearby.
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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. Sweet, thanks Matt! Like how it is all neat and quick to read.

  2. Thanks a bunch for the write-up. Very helpful!

  3. Katherine says:

    When the bear boss charges, he puts a +500% damage taken debuff on the target. You do NOT want to get charged again with the debuff on you, though it wasn’t killing people but taking them down to VERY low health (3 stacks luck of the draw, priest buff). What I did was moved in so the farthest dps took a hit, then moved out to take the next one, then in again so they got hit again. I wasn’t aware of the mechanic until it happened so this was an on-the-fly strategy. Ideally 3 ranged will all get hit once per charge phase (he does 3 charges and then none for a while so the debuff will drop off).

  4. Katherine says:

    Lynx form drops aggro and then hits a random person (?) for MASSIVE damage – very hard to heal through. Our tank was having trouble taunting during the massive damage, though I was able to use Fade to good effect once I got targetted. You WILL need to use either an aggro drop or a damage reduction or healing cooldown if targetted by this unless your healer is super super awesome.

    • I had issues on the Lynx form of Daakara too. In particular his fixate attack was burning people down way faster than I could heal though, even with healing surge spam.

      Took some looking into it after a couple wipes at looked at a few different soruces of tips and info. The most effective strategy I’ve seen so far is as follows:

      A few moments before fixate he will target the other party member. This is your tanks warning to get the taunt ready. At this point the tank has two real options to make sure both they, and the target survive.

      A) They can taunt at 3-4 stacks on the fixate victim, in so that both they and the target split the damage, which seems to work very well in my experience.

      B) If they have one ready, they can pop a cooldown and taunt as soon as it starts. This one seems to be a little more risky given what I’ve seen. I don’t like it when my tank drops below 30% in the midst of heavy heals. If you have a disc priest and they try this, try to sync up your pain suppression with the weaker of their cooldowns.

      Another possibility is that if you have a shaman, or are a shaman, you can drop an earth elemental on this phase. It’ll give you some nice breathing room.

      P.S. You may wish to remind your tank to target the boss, not the pet, for the taunt. I’ve had 2 tanks now trying to taunt the little lynx for this, rather than the boss – the little ones are taunt immune, so when you tank states the mob was immune to taunt, and a dps or healer dies to fixate, you know what happened. :p

  5. The bear charge with the debuff on a person will kill most players out right. I was flip flopping who was farthest from the boss with the dps.

    Last thing is bring a troll keystone. In ZA it causes your heals and damage to summon a bear cub to help you out.

  6. Updated accordingly! Thanks Katherine and Wynn!

  7. thanks a bunch. really helpful. gonna copy & paste these into party chat when i pug on my tank 😀

  8. Jin’do – put the party in the green bubble and the boss outside of it. To be precise, the party needs to be in the bubble when he does his “shadows” spell, which will occur periodically. The bubble annuls most of the damage, but it also slows down cast times, which is why the best thing is to step in just before he casts. If you leave the boss in the bubble, he gets the same magic damage reduction benefits as the players… and your casters will hate the tank oh so very much.

    And be sure to kill a big guy or 3 beforehand for chain stomping.

    Venoxxis – the green link can be interrupted. Also, part way through he’ll run up to the altar and do a channeled effect, then the maze rests. Incidentally, running up to the altar is an LOS to players on the far sides. Front and center to dps him, even from range.

  9. Danslate says:

    A few more annotations (it is up to your discretion whether to put them in or not, of course):

    – cone attack only occurs while he is in snake form
    – I’m not sure about the Toxic Link being interruptable (as Berry pointed out), the Poison Bolts however are
    – when he does the channeling effect Berry mentions, poison “pillars” chase a few (3?) players and need to be dodged (within the maze)

    – has a kind of Life Leech: the more hp a player has, the more Mandokir leeches and heals himself. “Tactic”: keep the DDs above critical HP levels, but don’t bother healing them to full (comparable to Chimaeron)

    – as soon as phase 2 (<50%) begins, the ceiling collapses (like Throngus in Grim Batol)

    – "Zanzil Fire" hurts like hell, get away from it before it reaches you (tanks, too 😉 )

    – Shadow of Hakkar simply enables Jin'do's next 3 meelee swings to cast a sort of chain lightning (I assume that's what you mean by "AOE chain nuke of some sort"). This chain lightning is the reason you stand in the bubble in the first place (reduced magical damage incoming, as Berry has pointed out), so stay in the bubble until after the third chain lightning

    That's everything that comes to mind. Great to see some sort of mini-compilation for quick reference. Love it! 🙂

  10. Mandokir:
    – the life leach he does drains 50% of the targets health, so don;t even really need to heal them.

  11. Malacrass- cc the adds and ignore them if you can.

  12. Matt,
    Would love to see a post on the new call to arms dungeon finder…right now I am loving it. Whenever it pops I will go in as a healer for my bag. So far it has been an excellent experience. Both times the groups had had lousy healers before me. I was able to go in both times and run the rest of the dungeon with no wipes. The second time it was a normal heroic cata dungeon and the tank up front pst’ed me and said never done this on heroic before. I took over marking, giving cc assignments, and calling targets in chat. It went really smoothly. Have to say it is an excellent tool right now that gets me my valor while letting me help out another group with the chance at some extra stuff at the end!

  13. Wanted to add a few more details that haven’t already been caught.


    When Toxic Link (not interruptible) is broken, there’s a small AoE poison explosion around each linked person, so don’t be near others. Use damage cooldown if available, and healer needs to watch for damage spike.

    Tank can and should dodge the cone attack; Venoxxis wil not turn to follow.


    Zombie troll phase: Grab red cauldron (except healer, who does not want zombie aggro!) Gives your attacks additional AoE powers. Destroy zombies.


    Halazzi (Lynx boss)
    The pet Lynx is not tauntable.

    Hexlord Malacrass
    His adds can be crowd controlled. It is possible to keep 1 locked down for the entire fight.

  14. A fun note on Malacrass. If you’ve chosen to crowd control his adds (the Ghost is able to be shackled, the other able to be sheeped, etc.), he can occasionally use Leap of Faith and Life Grip one of the adds. Was absolutely hilarious to see a flying pig go to the boss.

    Also, if he happens to drain soul on a Moonkin (not sure about other druids), he’ll use Moonfire which STACKS on its target if he happens to use it more than once on the same person. Dispel if you can.

    Also, on Daakara, two notes. He’ll spawn two additional lynx adds that should be killed (they stick around for second phase if they aren’t – not fun when coupled with Dragonhawk). As well, occasionally he’ll charge and stun, and deal a whole load of damage, during Lynx phase.

  15. The biggest issue I’ve had with the two new heroics has been Jin’do in phase two. It may be relevant that I’m pugging it for the most part, but even in the guild run I’ve done this fight caused many wipes.

    In phase two the single biggest issue I have as a healer (resto shaman) is the adds. They spawn increasingly fast as the fight goes on. And if your dps aren’t attentive they’re going to go straight for that lovely source of healing aggro. This is a huge problem, because while they only have 24k health they hit for nearly that same number, and they hit relatively fast. If they actually get in melee range of you, you’re in trouble.

    It’s also important to note that you can’t really rely on your tank to save you here because if he taunts them off you that 20k+ dmg per hit is going to be added to what he’s taking from the giant troll he’s kiting around up there.

    I’ve tried several methods of controlling the phase over the last several days. Everything from having all dps on a chain as it pops burning it down and going on to the next to having all the chains popped before dps even starts on one of them.

    The most successful method of dealing with the adds, I’ve found, is to have 2 of the dps focussed on them at ALL times, and a third who’s job is to burn the chains when the bubbles protecting them are popped. Typically you’ll want your melee on the chains if you have one, as it will reduce the amount of healing you need to do – Ranged should be able to pick off the spirits quickly, before they get close enough to start hitting them, but your melee are not always so lucky. So starting off everyone is on add patrol, aside from the tank, who’s going to do nothing but kite the big troll till all the chains are open. When the first chain goes down, the one dps breaks off and focuses on that chain while the others move over near the other ones for the next slam. Once the chain is dead that one dps should either move on to the next or go back to helping with adds, depending on if there are any other chains opened. When all three are open, you’ll want to kill the troll, but everything else shoud stay the same – your tank can now help out with either add control or burning the chain, depending on the situation (At this point he is now the first one you let die in a triage sitation – with no big troll left his main role in this fight is over). Once you get to the third tank, if everyone is near full health, pop everything and have everyone burn on it – otherwise keep the two dps on add control or you’ll die before the chain.

    That all being said, even with this strategy I have to pull several tricks to keep myself alive – for this fight I actually drop chain healing glyph for Stoneclaw totem glyph. If I take a hit, I drop stoneclaw, giving me a buffer shield to get away and a chance for the mob to get taunted off and stunned. I also wind up making heavy use of spirtwalker’s grace, ghost wolf form, earthbind totem, and earth elemental, just to stay out of range of the adds. At the moment I’m finding this fight quite difficult, but I can tell that it’s easier when you have DPS who have done the fight before and know what to do. I can only expect it to get even easier as time goes on and the dps get using to having to be the ones to control a fight for a change.

    • theworldofdarkwonders says:

      On jin’do, I figured i would put this out. I think blizzard set it up this way. 1 dps on adds, 1 dps on chains and 1 dps on big guy. The one on big guy doesn’t have to dps him down until he jumps the first time, so during that time that dps could either help with adds or chains, adds preferably. Once he jumps, dps the big guy down and allow the tank to refresh the spirit. The big guy gets an “enrage” overtime. The healer will have it impossible if you let the big guy on the tank too long. Once the big guy has done his three jumps (provided that all bubbles were the three jumps, if not, rinse and repeat) the tank no longer has to go get another. So the tank will be able to help with the adds if there are too many, by rounding them up, provided that we have broken all the bubbles. It should be able to go quite smoothly. Oh, and don’t stand in anything dark or white, as it provides big damage.

  16. On Lynx form of final boss, it is often a good idea to pop hero and burn the boss, forgetting the adds. Otherwise the healing can be too intensive.

  17. ileftarthas says:

    Note with Halazzi, the water totems replenish mana and hp to anyone within 10 yds so we have our healer and casters stand in the green circles only pulling halazzi out of range of the totem.

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