Throne of Thunder:
Council of Elders Guide
4. Overview of the Fight
Your raid will have to face all four Trolls until they die. They do not share health and they all have their own abilities, which will present your raid with many challenges.
To make things harder, the spirit of Gara'jal the Spiritbinder will provide assistance to the Trolls. As a result, one of the Trolls is always empowered. While empowered, a Troll becomes more dangerous and eventually starts channeling an ability that deals heavy raid-wide damage. A Troll is broken out of his empowerment after receiving 25% health in damage. When this happens, a new Troll gets empowered. This empowerment cycle continues until all the Trolls are dead.
5. Spirit of Gara'jal and Empowerment Cycle
The Spirit of Gara'jal the Spiritbinder will keep empowering Trolls. When a Troll becomes empowered, the following happens:
- the Troll starts using an additional ability or a different set of abilities, it depends on the Troll, as we explain in the next section;
- the Troll gains a Dark Energy bar that has a capacity of 100 Dark Energy and starts out empty;
- the Dark Energy bar fills up at a rate of 3 Energy every 2 seconds, which means that it takes about 67 seconds for a Troll to reach 100 Dark Energy;
- after reaching 100 Dark Energy, the Troll stop using their abilities and keeps casting Dark Power, which deals increasing damage every second.
To break a Troll out of the empowerment, you need to damage that Troll for 25% health. For example, if a Troll gets empowered at 90%, then the empowerment will stop when that Troll's health reaches 65%.
After a Troll is broken out of the empowerment, two things happen:
- that Troll receives a stack of Lingering Presence, which increases the Troll's damage by 5% until the end of the fight and the Troll's Dark Energy generation by 5% during subsequent empowerments;
- a new Troll is empowered by the Spirit of Gara'jal.
Frost King Malakk always seems to be empowered first. We are unsure if subsequent empowerments are random or if they target the non-empowered Troll with the highest health. Let us know if you have an opinion on this issue.
6. What Happens When a Troll Dies?
When a Troll dies, the remaining Trolls are not healed, unlike what usually happens in council fights.
When a Troll dies while empowered, nothing out of the ordinary happens, the empowerment will jump to another Troll, and the empowerment cycle will continue with the remaining Trolls.
When a Troll dies while not empowered, there is one thing to watch out for. Namely, if there are only 2 Trolls left and you kill the Troll that is not empowered, then the empowered Troll will remain empowered until you kill it. This can be problematic if the empowered Troll still has a lot of health and is already at 100 Dark Energy.
7. Troll Abilities
Each of the Trolls uses a specific set of abilities. When a Troll is empowered, they use a slightly different set of abilities.
7.1. Frost King Malakk
- Frigid Assault deals Frost damage to the tank and also applies a stacking debuff on them. The debuff does nothing before it reaches 15 stacks. When this happens, the tank becomes stunned for 15 seconds. Dealing with this debuff requires a tank switch.
- Biting Cold is cast at a random player, which deals Frost damage to the targeted player and causes them to deal Frost damage every 2 seconds to all allies within 4 yards. This effect lasts 30 seconds.
When Malakk is empowered, Biting Cold becomes Frostbite. This ability targets a random raid member and deals Frost damage to them. It also applies 5 stacks of Frostbite on them. This debuff causes the player to deal Frost damage every second to all allies within 4 yards (including the player themselves), for 30 seconds. The damage dealt to the afflicted players and the allies within 4 yards is multiplied by the number of stacks. The stacks can be reduced by doing the following:
- in 10-man difficulty, each player within 4 yards of the afflicted player will cause the afflicted player to lose 2 stacks of the debuff;
- in 25-man difficulty, each player within 4 yards of the afflicted player will cause the afflicted player to lose 1 stack of the debuff;
- in LFR difficulty, each player within 4 yards of the afflicted player will cause the afflicted player to lose 4 stacks of the debuff.
Note that stacks of Frostbite cannot be reduced below 1.
Kazra'jin keeps using Reckless Charge, which causes him to rush towards the location of a random raid member, damaging everyone in his path and knocking back players who are still at the targeted location when he arrives.
When Kazra'jin is empowered, he will cast Overload after each Reckless Charge. This causes him to become stunned for 20 seconds, during which he will reflect 50% of the damage he takes as Nature damage.
7.3. Sul the Sandcrawler
- Sand Bolt targets a random player and deals Nature damage to them as well as to all players within 5 yards of them. This ability can and should be interrupted.
- Quicksand creates a pool of sand at a random's player location. Every second, it deals Nature damage to anyone standing in it. Each time a player takes damage from Quicksand, they receive a stack of Ensnared, which reduces their movement speed. If they reach 5 stacks of that debuff, they become Entrapped for 30 seconds.
When Sul is empowered, he will cast Sandstorm every 40 seconds (so twice per empowerment, maximum). This ability transforms every Quicksand pool into a Living Sand. These adds keep attacking their target with a melee attack. When a Living Sand dies, it leaves behind a Quicksand pool.
While the Living Sands do not deal much damage, it is not a good idea to keep them alive (the only reason for doing so being that it reduces the number of Quicksand pools on the ground) because they receive a stack of Fortified every time Sandstorm is cast. This buff increases their damage done by 100% and heal them to full health.
7.4. High Priestess Mar'li
- Wrath of the Loa targets a random raid member and deals Holy damage to them. This ability can and should be interrupted.
- Blessed Loa Spirit summons a Blessed Loa Spirit at Mar'li's location. This spirit does nothing but run towards Mar'li's ally with the lowest remaining health. If it reaches them, it will heal them for 10% of their maximum health. If the spirit is still alive after 20 seconds, it will instantly jump to its target and heal them for 10%. The spirit can be slowed and rooted.
- Wrath of the Loa does the same thing as her other ability of the same name, but it deals Shadow damage instead of Holy damage.
- Shadowed Loa Spirit summons a Shadowed Loa Spirit at Mar'li's location. This spirit does nothing but fixate on a random raid member. If the spirit comes within 6 yards of that player, they will die. If the spirit is still alive after 20 seconds, it will instantly jump to the targeted player and kill them. The spirit can be slowed and rooted.
Having to deal with the abilities of all the Trolls at the same time makes up for a complex encounter. To explain what the raid has to do more clearly, we will break down our instructions by role (tank, healer, DPS). That said, there are concerns that everyone shares and we will start with them.
8.1. Main Concerns
8.1.1. Positioning Issues
The various abilities of the Trolls will put a number of positioning constraints on the raid, namely:
- spread out 7 yards to reduce the damage from Biting Cold and Sand Bolt, and the amount of people who have to move away from Quicksand pools;
- when Kazra'jin uses Reckless Charge, he will turn towards the targeted raid member and everyone on his path has a second or two to get out of the way;
- when Frost King Malakk is empowered, make sure that 2 players in 10-man, 4 players in 25-man, and 1 player in LFR stand within 4 yards of the afflicted player. This will make Frostbite easier to deal with.
For melee players, it will be harder to spread properly, so they will simply have to contend with more damage taken. Also, they will often need to all move to avoid the charges from Kazra'jin or the Quicksand pools.
Note that in 25-man, having 0 or 4 players standing within 4 yards of the player afflicted by Frostbite does not change the overall damage that this ability does (1 hit with 5 stacks is the same as 5 hits with 1 stack). The only difference is that, with 4 players within 4 yards, the damage will be spread between these players and the afflicted player, making it easier to heal.
- For Blessed Loa Spirit, the idea is that if the lowest health Troll is Kazra'jin, then you want to avoid him charging a player close to Mar'li just as she summons a Blessed Loa Spirit.
- For Shadowed Loa Spirit, the spirit targets a random raid member, so if everyone is far away from Mar'li (except for her tank, whom the spirit never seems to target), then it will be easier to keep the spirit away from the targeted player.
8.1.2. Interruptible Spells
8.1.3. Intense Moments with Living Sands
When Sul casts Sandstorm during his third and fourth empowerments, you should be prepared to see a lot of Living Sands spawning. This creates a lot of confusion because it is difficult to focus on the ground effects and boss abilities, such as Reckless Charge, when there are so many adds on the screen. For this reason, the Living Sands need to be picked up quickly by one of the tanks and AoE-ed down with priority.
Melee players should be mindful of the Quicksand pools that Living Sands leave behind when they die.
8.2. Tanking Concerns
One of the tanks will take High Priestess Mar'li and the other Sul the Sandcrawler. In addition to tanking their respective boss, the tanks will also need to alternate tanking Frost King Malakk, so as to never reach 15 stacks of his Frigid Assault debuff.
Most of the boss abilities, such as Reckless Charge, Sand Bolt, Biting Cold, etc. cannot target them. That does not mean, however, that they can simply ignore them. These abilities can still target melee players next to to them. When this happens, tanks need to react properly, just like other raid members.
When the Living Sands appear, it is best if the tank that is not currently tanking Malakk takes them. Towards the end of the fight, Sandstorm will create a large number of Living Sands, and it may be a good idea to divide them between the two tanks (the tank not currently tanking Malakk would be getting a larger share).
In 25-man, you can use a third tank if handling the Living Sands proves difficult.
8.3. Healing Concerns
As with most raid encounters, there will be a sustained amount of raid damage. At times, there will be increased damage on some players, and this is what this section focuses on.
Expect higher tank damage when a tank is tanking Frost King Malakk (since they will be tanking Malakk plus another boss). Expect even higher tank damage when Sandstorm transforms the Quicksand pools into Living Sands.
If a boss is allowed to reach 100 Dark Energy, they will start casting Dark Power every second until the empowerment is removed. The damage of Dark Power increases by 10% after each cast, so raid-wide damage can quickly get out of control.
When Kazra'jin is empowered, he will enter Overload every time he casts Reckless Charge. As each player will receive, as Nature damage, 50% of the damage they deal to Kazra'jin, you should expect to use a few cooldowns when Kazra'jin is empowered.
8.4. DPS Concerns
The DPS priority for the fight is the following:
Loa Spirits and Living Sands should be killed as fast as possible.
While it is important to break the bosses out of their empowerment before they reach 100 Dark Energy, the raid should not simply burn them down when they are empowered.
Mar'li's and Malakk's abilities do not deal more damage while they are empowered. The increased raid damage from Kazra'jin's empowerment being the result of Overload reflecting 50% of the damage he receives, it is not advised to burn him down.
Therefore, you will want the empowerment for each of these three bosses to run almost its full course, until 80 to 100 Dark Energy. Even if a boss gets to cast Dark Power, it will not wipe the raid right away, and you will be able to survive easily through the first 10 seconds or so.
The exception is Sul, as you generally want to avoid the second cast of his Sandstorm ability, so you should burn him down while he is empowered.
A consequence of not having to burn down bosses while they are empowered is that you can afford to spend some time damaging the other bosses. In that regard, we have two suggestions to offer.
- Try killing Kazra'jin and Sul the Sandcrawler first. This will reduce the number of times they get empowered, in turn reducing the damage the raid will take from Overload and the number of times Sandstorm will be cast.
- Refrain from damaging Frost King Malakk. This will ensure that Malakk is never the lowest health boss, preventing the Blessed Loa Spirit from targeting him, which can be problematic if Mar'li's tank is currently also tanking Malakk.
8.5. Alternative Strategy: Leaving High Priestess Mar'li alone
It is worth noting that on the PTR, it was possible to leave High Priestess Mar'li alone and let her spam her Wrath of the Loa spell. This made the job of the tanks and of the players who were assigned to interrupt this spell easier, but made that of the healers harder.
Slak Says Read This:
- 2 tank, 3 heal.
- Melee stay on sand boss
- Tank1 - Frost King, Sand
Tank2 - Priest
- Tank them separate from each other, giving decent space in between.
- Interrupt both Priest and Sand when you can. Priority on Sand.
- Stun adds from priest and burn them down asap.
- Ensure Sand guy is always lowest health effectively making the priest adds always move towards him.
- When Frigid Assault reaches 12, the tank not tanking Frost King taunts him over.
Pop hero on the pull, nuke Sul until frost king hit 70 energy then switch, break empower then back on Sul. Next one empowers, switch at 40 energy with all ranged, melee stays on Sul. 3rd to empower, finish sul and then switched to empower
Stay out of charge
Tanks: One tank on Sul and Frost, one tank on Priestess. Swap Malakk at 10 stacks of frost.
DPS: First kill priority are Loa Spirits and Living Sands. They MUST die within 20 seconds! If no adds are up, DPS the empowered boss – the BIG PURPLE one.
Healers: Stack near tanks and use cds for sandstorm and overload
Frost King Empowers: Stack up on the person who gets the Frostbite debuff.
Priestess Empowers: Interrupt Wrath of the Loa, kill spirits.
Kazra’jin Empowers: Avoid his charges. Use damage reduction CDs when he uses Overload, DON’T KILL YOURSELF by reflecting too much damage!
Sul Empowers: Interrupt Sand Bolt, kill adds, don’t stand in quicksand.