Hex Lord Malacrass is the fifth boss in Zul’Aman and is considered to be one of the two “final” bosses, Zul’Jin being the other. Once all four avatar bosses have been defeated, the raid can reach Malacrass by going up the ramp on the central island.
There are 3 groups of trash leading up to Malacrass; 2 packs of 2 Amani’shi Berserkers. These huge trolls are immune to Taunt/Growl/Righteous Defense, do a knockback, and have a low health Enrage that makes them hit very hard. The other group consist of 4 trolls, all of which the raid has encountered before.
Malacrass drops 2 or 3 items of epic quality and 3 Badges of Justice. Killing Hex Lord Malacrass is the objective of the quest line starting with obtaining the map of Zul’Aman near Nalorakk, the bear boss. The reward for this quest is 5 Badges of Justice and some gold.
For Malacrass, you need at least 1 tank. A second tank can be a feral druid in DPS gear or a DPS warrior. 3 healers are recommended, preferably one or two that have good multi-target healing (CoH priests, shamans, druids). Because of the nature of the fight (Siphon Soul; see below), the presence of some classes can make the fight harder.
None: the door from which you enter closes when you engage Malacrass.
Shadow Protection buffs are a must. The healers will be stressed for mana, so Mana Potions and mana regeneration consumables are recommended. Lesser geared raids will want to add DPS consumables too. If you’ve made it this far, your gear is good enough to kill Malacrass. Low HP casters might want to swap to some more stamina heavy items or take HP increasing consumables. Shadow resistance gear can help, but is not needed to kill Malacrass, so limit it to high quality shadow resistance items.
Malacrass will come with 4 adds chosen randomly from a set of 8. Each add can be crowd controlled (“CC-ed”) according to its type, and the raid can decide to kill as few as 0 or as many as 4 adds before attacking Malacrass, depending on crowd control (“CC”) availability and preference. The adds are:
Thurg – Melee ogre (Polymorph)
Gazakroth – Imp, fires randomly targeted fireballs for 300 damage (Banish)
Lord Raadan – Dragonkin with frontal Flame Breath and Thunderclap (Hibernate)
Darkheart – Undead with instant cast spells and AoE Fear (Shackle)
Alyson Antille – Blood Elf healer (Polymorph)
Slither – Serpent with poison bolts (Polymorph, Hibernate)
Fenstalker – Elemental with Volatile Infection (Banish)
Koragg – Melee undead (Shackle)
Spirit Bolts – Malacrass will shoot Spirit Bolts at the raid, dealing 450 shadow damage. Over a period of 10 seconds, he will shoot 20 bolts at everyone. The damage is subject to shadow resistance. This ability is used approximately every 40 seconds.
Drain Power – Every minute, Malacrass will drain power from the raid, reducing each raid member’s damage by 1% and increasing Malacrass’ damage by 10%. Drain Power stacks.
Siphon Soul – Directly after casting the Spirit Bolts, Malacrass will use Siphon Soul on a random raid member. This player can function normally, but Malacrass gains some of the abilities of the targeted player’s class. Siphon Soul lasts until Malacrass recasts it again after the Spirit Bolts. These are the abilities that Malacrass gains per class:
Druid – Thorns, Lifebloom, Moonfire
Hunter – Freezing Trap, Snake Trap, Explosive Trap
Mage – Fireball, Frostbolt, Frost Nova
Paladin – Consecrate, Avenging Wrath, Holy Light
Priest – Psychic Scream, Flash Heal, Mind Control
Rogue – Blind, Wound Poison, Slice and Dice
Shaman – Fire Nova Totem, Chain Lightning, Healing Wave
Warlock – Curse of Doom, Unstable Affliction, Rain of Fire
Warrior – Mortal Strike, Spell Reflect, Whirlwind
Positioning is not very important apart from the generic scenario with the tank tanking the boss faced away from the raid, the melee directly behind the boss and the ranged at a safe distance. There are some things worth noting, though: there needs to be space for the tank to move Malacrass on some of the class Siphon Souls. Furthermore, ranged DPS and healers need to spread out on the warlock Siphon, while staying somewhat clumped up during other parts of the fight is beneficial since it increases the effectiveness of Chain Heal and Circle of Healing. Finally, the CC-ed adds should not be near the boss, allowing Thunderclaps, Whirlwinds and other multi-target abilities, but the CC classes need a good view of both the boss and their add.
An example positioning diagram is shown below with the kite path indicated, but this by no means the only way to do it:
Using the positioning diagram shown above, the Malacrass tank runs in on the right side of the room. Here he engages the boss, automatically pulling the adds to him, leaving them in the right CC position. The add tank comes in from the left and pulls his add immediately after the MT has engaged the boss, possibly with help from a Misdirecting Hunter. The MT then pulls Malacrass to the tank position as shown in the diagram.
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Once the add tank has established aggro, the DPS quickly burns down the non CC-ed adds. An important aspect of the fight is the decision of how many adds will be killed. Killing more adds prolongs the fight, making it more taxing on the healers, but it decreases the risk of CC breaking at an unfortunate time. Generally, 1 or 2 adds are killed before the raid switches to Malacrass.
Around the time of death of the first add (depending on raid DPS), Malacrass will do his first volley of Spirit Bolts. Every player will receive 9,000 hit points worth of shadow damage, possibly less due to resists. Assign healers to every person in the raid, to ensure that everyone will receive healing. During the Spirit Bolts, Malacrass does not melee attack, so the MT will not need special attention. After the volley ends, have one or two healers heal the raid back to full while the other(s) focus on the MT again.
If a mage is present, use Dampen Magic on all raid members except the MT to reduce the damage done by the Spirit Bolts considerably. Raid members are advised to have over 9,000 HP buffed. The strength of the Spirit Bolts increases with each Power Drain, so while a player might survive the first volley without healing if he has sufficient HP, the volleys near the end of the fight will be far more dangerous.
The Spirit Bolts do a good job at increasing cast times, so anything that reduces the chance for spell knockback is strongly recommended: Concentration Aura, Earthshield, Barkskin, Power Word: Shield, etc…
Directly after each Spirit Bolts volley, Malacrass will select a random player and cast Siphon Soul, gaining three of the players class abilities. It is important to recognize who is being targeted quickly (the targeted player will receive a debuff) so that the raid can adapt.
Per class instructions on how to deal with the Siphon:
Druid – Melee (especially dual-wielders) stop attacking in order to prevent being hit for over 200 damage per attack from Thorns. Spellsteal (or Dispel/Purge) the Lifebloom as soon as Malacrass casts it. The Moonfire is not a big deal.
Hunter – The traps dropped are visible to the raid, so, as soon as the tank spots one, he has to kite Malacrass away from it quickly, with the melee following closely. The Freezing Trap freezes several persons (unlike the Hunter version). The snakes are easily killed with light AoE.
Mage – The Fireballs and Frostbolts are randomly targeted and can be interrupted. With good interrupts, this class drain is very easy. Since there is no additional AoE in melee range, the low damage Frost Nova is a non issue. Dispelling it is not needed.
Paladin - The Consecrate hits for 2,500 per tick and the tank and melee should move out of it very quickly. Dispel/Purge/Spellsteal Avenging Wrath as soon as it comes up: the extra damage dealt is very nasty. Interrupt Holy Light like you would with any heal.
Priest – Put Fear Ward on the MT once the Priest drain starts, CC the Mind Controlled players (the Mind Control lasts for 20 seconds) and interrupt the heals.
Rogue - Cure the Wound Poison quickly and pump up the healing because of the increased damage caused by Slice and Dice. The Blind doesn’t seem to target the Malacrass tank, so it isn’t a great problem. It is, however, undispellable.
Shaman - Interrupt Chain Lightning and Healing Wave. When Malacrass drops a Fire Nova Totem, kill it quickly. It does a lot of damage, but has very few hit points, so a quick focused burst from the DPS team will prevent it from firing.
Warlock - Decurse the Curse of Doom, make sure not to dispel the Unstable Affliction and spread out to minimize Rain of Fire damage. Rain of Fire ticks for 3,000 damage, so run out of it quickly.
Warrior - Save Disarm for the Warrior drain. If Malacrass does get a Mortal Strike in, constantly cast heals on the tank until the debuff wears off. Be aware of the Spell Reflect; stop casting when you see it. The Whirlwind has a short cast time, but it does hit for around 7,000 hit points on leather. It’s possible to run out of it, but you need to react very quickly. Melee with slower reflexes might want to wait this phase out from a distance or bandage up after getting hit.
Drain Power puts an effective soft-cap on the encounter. The longer you take to kill Malacrass, the harder the fight becomes. There are no special threat drops and, because the tank has had time to build threat while the raid killed one or more adds, the DPS can and should be fairly high. Work out how to deal with the individual class drains, have healers with the staying power to heal through the repeated AoE volleys and good DPS to shorten the fight, and the encounter becomes fairly easy.
Once you kill Malacrass, the door to Zul’jin will open and after a while a large group of non-elite trolls will storm in. These trolls are fairly harmless and can be AoE-ed easily.
Tanks – The add tank should wear mainly DPS gear, unless multiple adds are being tanked and killed. The strain on the healers will be low before the first Spirit Bolts and the DPS gear will help shorten the fight once the adds are down. Keep Demoralizing Shout/Roar and Thunderclap up on the boss if possible.
Melee DPS – Melee DPS needs to be very careful on the paladin, hunter and warrior drains when there are melee range AoE effects and traps to be dodged. Run out on time and save your healers some precious mana. On the Paladin, Priest, Mage and Shaman drains, your interrupts will be needed. Save energy/rage/mana and global cooldowns for it.
Ranged DPS – Keep an eye out for your CC-ed target if you have one and try to reapply the CC regularly, especially before Spirit Bolts. Sheep/Fear/Trap/Cyclone players that get Mind Controlled during a priest drain.
Healers – Go for endurance. Your mana will be severely drained in this fight, so liberal use of potions is highly recommended.