Illidan Stormrage, the final boss of Black Temple is, without a doubt, one of the toughest fights in World of Warcraft. Exceptional fortitude and coordination are required from your raid group in order to defeat him successfully. Bear in mind the amount of damage you have to output – it’s close to 8 million hitpoints on him and his adds, so be prepared for 20 minutes or more of combat.
You will need 3 tanks, 2 of which will need capped fire resistance of 365.
Your main tank should 100% of dodge+parry+block with Shield Block active.
A warlock tank is also required, with at least 250 shadow resistance.
A mix of about 8 healers is a good idea; each healing class will be beneficial in this fight.
Both melee and ranged DPS classes are useful.
All the usual flasks and elixirs.
Fire protection potions can be used to great effect. A cauldron of these potions can be very useful.
HP - 5.5 million
Melee strike - from 6k to 8k on plate
Illidan has many abilities with which he will attempt to kill your raid.
Illidan has no (known) hard Enrage timer.
Shear - Reduces the health of his current main aggro target by 60%. Use Shield Block to stop it.
Flame Crash - Illidan jumps up high and lands in a patch of blue flame directly underneath his current position. Deals 5k fire damage per second. 10 yard radius. Remains on the ground for 2 minutes.
Parasitic Shadowfiend - Random raid members will be targeted with a Parasites debuff lasting 10 seconds and dealing 3k shadow damage every 2 seconds. Once this debuff has ticked off, 2 Parasites will spawn at the affected player’s location and attempt to melee whoever is highest on global threat (generally a healer). If they are successful in this melee attack, the targeted raid member will receive the Parasitic Shadowfiend debuff. Parasites have around 6k HP.
Draw Soul - Will drain targets in front of him in a similar way to Cone of Cold, dealing 5k shadow damage and healing Illidan for 100,000 HP. Shadow based spell. Resistible.
Flames of Azzinoth - Illidan will spawn 2 gigantic fire elementals, the Flames of Azzinoth, which need to be tanked and DPSed down in order to reach phase 3. Flames have around 1.1 million HP.
Eye Beam - Illidan will sweep a fiery blue beam, emanating from his eyes, across the platform every 30 seconds. Deals around 20k fire damage on initial hit. After initial cast, ticks for 2k fire damage if stood in. The initial cast is not resistible but the flame residue on the ground deals 2k fire damage, resistible.
Fireballs - When not casting Eye Beam, Illidan will volley the metal grate area with blue Fireballs which deal around 3k fire splash damage on impact. Resistible.
Dark Barrage - Will target a random raid member and Barrage them for 30k Shadow Damage over 10 seconds. Occurs fairly rarely and randomly, generally every 2 minutes once phase 2 has started.
Agonizing Flames - Targets a random raid member and unleashes a flamestrike underneath them that deals 4k fire damage on impact, and then ticks for 60 seconds for increasingly large amounts – going up to 4.5k fire damage on the end tick. Will affect players within 5 yards of the initial cast point. Resistible.
Lasts 30 seconds
Demon Within - Illidan will release his Demon Within and turn into a gigantic black demon. Whilst in this phase Illidan will not move and instead will use ranged abilities to damage the raid.
Shadow Blast - Will Shadow Blast the target highest on threat for between 8k and 11k shadow damage. This Shadow Blast has a splash effect – raid members within 20 yards of the affected target will receive the damage from the spell. Resistible.
Flame Burst - Will throw fire upon the entire raid for around 3.5k damage every 10 seconds. Players within 5 yards of each other will receive splash damage from this ability. Resistible.
Shadow Demons - During this phase Illidan will spawn 4 Shadow Demons at his feet that target random raid members and paralyse them. The demons will then slowly move towards the players in question; if they reach that player then he/she will die. The demons have around 22k HP.
Aura of Dread - A 15 yard aura surrounds Illidan dealing 1000 shadow damage every second to raid members within 15 yards of him, and also increasing Shadow Damage taken by 30%. This effect stacks over time.
Shadow Prison – At 30% HP, Illidan places all raid members in Shadow Prisons for 30 seconds, granting immunity to all damage but also preventing them from moving or using any abilities. At this point Maiev Shadowsong will emerge and join the battle.
Enrage - After a while behaving otherwise like Phase 3, Illidan will Enrage during this phase, granting increased attack speed and power. To combat the Enrage, he must be dragged and trapped in one of Maiev’s contraptions.
The Adds spawned in phase 2 are very dangerous and need to be tanked by tanks in full fire resistance gear.
HP – around 1.1 million HP each
Melee hit - hits for around 2 – 3k on 385 fire resistance (their melee attacks count as fire damage, though they can still land crushing and critical blows). A normal hit lands for around 10k damage without any fire resistance.
Blaze - The Flames will leave a cloud of yellow flame underneath them on the ground. If stood in, this deals 2k fire damage every second. The Flames need to constantly be moved in order to avoid tanks taking too much damage from these clouds. The Blazes themselves stack in terms of damage – standing in more than one for any length of time is very strongly recommended against, as unlucky resists can result in the tank’s death. Careful movement will be required from each Flame tank to avoid them.
Enrage/Charge - If a raid member is too far away from one of the Flames they will charge that player and Enrage, becoming untankable and wiping the raid.
NOTE: totems are currently bugged so that the Flames sometimes charge them regardless of their distance from them. Do not use totems in this phase.
These spawn in phase 4 at Illidan’s feet, targeting random raid members.
HP - around 22k
Melee hit - they will not attack any other target than the one they first choose. However if they reach their target it will result in that person’s death.
Paralyse - as the Shadow Demons spawn, they pick a random raid member and move slowly towards them (a glowing purple beam streams constantly from the main eye of the Demons towards the raid member they are targeting). The affected person is stunned whilst the Demons move.
Be sure to have some sort of slowing effect on the Shadow Demons as they spawn. A hunter’s Frost Trap or a shaman’s Earthbind totem is strongly reccomended to ensure you have enough time to kill the Demons on nearby targets.
The unaffected DPS needs to kill the Shadow Demons before they kill their intended target. If the Shadow Demons are not stopped before they reach their targets then they will acquire new targets.
If the warlock tank is targeted by the Shadow Demons then DPS needs to focus on that Demon first, also being aware that the warlock is still taking Shadow Blast splash damage (so melee can’t get too close).
The Illidan encounter begins once a raid member has spoken to Akama, who waits at the entrance to the Temple Summit. Akama and Illidan then engage in dialogue which ends with Illidan’s famous quote, ‘You are not prepared!’ Once Illidan has said this he is then attackable by the raid. The main tank should pick him up and immediately turn him away from the raid to avoid any raid members other than himself taking damage from Draw Soul.
Phase 1 is in essence a tank and spank fight with a few added twists. Shear has a 1.5 second cast and so the main tank must be ready for it. If Shield Blocked, it poses no threat whatsoever, but if not, it will reduce the tank’s health by 60% (this ability also means a feral druid cannot main tank Illidan). If this does occur, the tank’s only option would be to Shield Wall through it, or pray that Illidan does not do any large hits or crushing blows.
Every so often Illidan will jump up high and land, using his Flame Crash ability. He will need to be moved when this occurs, as the Flame Crash ticks for 5k fire damage around is landing area. Be sure to consider the melee and raid’s position when moving him, as you do not want them to be affected by Draw Soul.
The raid itself has a fairly easy job, DPSing Illidan down and keeping the Main Tank alive. The only thing to be aware of is his Parasitic Shadowfiend debuff which he will target a random raid member (including the main tank) with every 30 seconds. Affected raid members should move out of the main body of the raid, and ranged DPS should be assigned to kill the Parasites which then spawn, making sure not to be meleed by them, as a single touch from the Parasites will spread the debuff to the meleed person. Healers make sure to heal the ‘infected’ raid member.
If the main tank is affected by the Parasites, the melee should back off whilst the ranged DPS take care of the adds.
Once Illidan reaches 65% HP, Phase 2 will begin.
At 65% HP Illidan will fly up into the air and stay up there. At this point the entire raid should move to the centre of the Summit, over the metal grate in the floor.
Illidan will throw down the Twin Blades of Azzinoth into the floor at each side of the circular grate, and the Flames of Azzinoth will emerge next to the Blades. These fire elementals deal a large amount of fire damage and as such must be tanked in full fire resistance gear.
The Flames themselves should be faced away from the raid and moved along the floor as shown, with care being taken to avoid their Blazes where possible (yellow clouds which deal yet more fire damage to the tanks).
The added twist to make this phase extremely challenging is Illidan’s Eye Beam ability, which will run down tangentially to the central circular metal grate, over where the Twin Blades landed.
The tanks must be aware of which side this beam is coming from and move accordingly, as to be caught in this beam is to die.
With the Eye Beam, the Blazes and the high melee damage the Flames can do, this phase is not to be underestimated from a tank’s point of view.
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The Flames themselves will charge any raid member that is too far away from them, a range of approximately 30-40 yards. This needs to be taken into account by the tanks as by moving the Flames in a particular way, they may find themselves being charged by the other tank’s Flame. Once the Flame has charged, it will become Enraged and deal significantly more damage for a short time. Avoiding the charge is imperative, and the raid itself must not stray from the confines of the metal grate. This includes pets and totems.
NOTE: Totems are currently bugged so that sometimes the Flames will charge them and Enrage, regardless of the totem’s distance from the Flame. It is advised not to use totems in phase 2 as of Patch 2.1.
Whilst all this complex tanking is going on, the raid itself has many things to deal with. First off, healing is very intense during this phase. Healers must be assigned to the tanks; at least 2 dedicated healers per tank is required. The raid however is taking damage from Illidan himself in the form of Fireballs. These Fireballs hit for around 3k fire damage and have a radius of about 10 yards. They will randomly hit the central grate area in between Eye Beams, and unlucky positioning can result in players taking 4 or 5 hits. The key is to spread out as much as possible within the central area, and assigning raid healers – Shamans are excellent at this with their Chain Heal ability.
Of course, do not spread too far, since the Flames will charge players standing too far away from them, and of course players can be caught by the Eye Beam if they do not pay attention.
With good healing and generous use of Fire Protection Potions, Phase 2 is fairly manageable. That is until of course you add in Dark Barrage. Illidan will target random raid members (including the 2 Flame tanks) with Dark Barrage – a massive attack that deals 30k Shadow Damage over 10 seconds. Healers must be ready to heal the affected person quickly. Dark Barrage can be removed with Cloak of Shadows, Divine Shield and Iceblock.
If the Flame tanks are affected by Dark Barrage it is advisable to Shield Wall or at least Last Stand.
Once the Flames of Azzinoth are killed, Phase 3 will begin.
Illidan will land in the centre of the metal grate area. It is important he is picked up and tanked facing away from the raid as in phase 1.
Phase 3 is basically the same as phase 1 but with the introduction of Agonizing Flames, a particularly nasty ability that targets a random raid member and deals an instant 4k fire damage as well as ticking for increasing amounts of fire damage over 60 seconds. The ability has a range of about 5 yards, so anyone standing too close to the affected person will also receive the debuff. Because of this, it is important that the raid spreads out efficiently during this phase.
Do not forget that players will still be affected by Parasites during this phase.
Phase 4 will happen every 60 seconds and lasts for 30 seconds, with time allowed for Illidan to transform in and out of demon form (so it actually takes about 50 seconds for phase 4 to start and finish completely).
The actual transformation of Illidan takes about 10 seconds. It begins with him kneeling on the ground, and at this point the warlock tank should DoT Illidan up and start to cast Searing Pain repeatedly in order to be top of his threat list. At the end of the transformation, aggro is completely reset for Illidan, but DoTs cast before the transformation can tick and still cause threat after it, so it is important that the warlock tank has his own DoTs up during the transformation, and that the rest of the raid stops damaging him as soon as they see the transformation occur.
The Aura of Dread that surrounds Illidan at melee range means that a melee tank in this phase would be very difficult to heal. It also means that no melee DPS can occur on him during this phase; all melee DPS should move back behind the healers and await the arrival of the Shadow Demons.
Illidan will spawn 4 Shadow Demons during this phase which target random raid members and paralyse them, making a direct line to that member. If the demons reach the raid member, that member dies, so it is important that the raid stays at a fair distance from Illidan during this phase. That includes the warlock tank, who should make sure he is at maximum range from Illidan.
The warlock tank should initially keep casting Searing Pain until he is confident of his aggro, and then attempt to keep himself alive in any way he can. Shadow Ward should be used on cooldown, as well as Siphon Life (if you have it) and of course Drain Life.
The DPS should quickly focus on whichever Demon has the shortest ‘life-line’ to their target, as this is the person that will be reached first and is therefore most likely to die. Fast DPS on the demons is necessary, as well as any slowing effects. Frost Traps, Earthbind Totems, Hamstrings etc should all be used where possible. Once the demons are dead the affected players are released from their stun, and the phase continues as normal.
Healers will need to keep the raid up as players will take heavy damage from the Flame Bursts; remember the raid needs to be topped up as he casts Flame Burst every 10 seconds. The warlock tank will require at least 2 dedicated healers, depending on his shadow resistance, but be sure to stay at least 20 yards away from him to avoid taking Shadow Blast splash damage.
Illidan will switch between Phase 3 and 4 until he reaches 30%. The most important thing to remember during these phases is to stay spread out. Agonizing Flames, Parasites, Flame Burst and Shadow Blasts all require some sort of spreading from the raid.
At 30% HP Illidan will imprison the raid and question your ability to defeat him. At this point the cavalry will arrive in the form of Maiev Shadowsong.
It is important that you time this phase correctly based on your DPS, since leaving Illidan at a certain point as he imprisons the raid may have adverse effects – taking him to 30% if he is currently in Demon Form leads to him bugging and staying in that form for the remainder of the fight. It is also fairly important to not have any loose Parasites in the raid at this point, as they will be left on people during the shadow prison, and an unavoidable double Parasitic Fiend debuff will occur as soon as the prison is lifted. A good rule of thumb is to DPS him to 32%, wait for him to finish Demon Phase, and then nuke the hell out him before he releases any Parasites.
Maiev will aid the raid, meleeing Illidan and placing traps down every so often. These traps are the only way to stop Illidan’s Enrage – he must be dragged to them once they are opened, and he will then be trapped for a short time (about 10 seconds) in which he will kneel forward with his hands on the ground, cease all attacks, and take extra damage from the raid. This sounds fairly easy, but it is quite hard for the main tank to see the traps and position Illidan correctly. It is also notable that, except when he is trapped, he is still doing all of his Phase 1 and 3 abilities, including Draw Soul, so the raid must not get caught in front of him. Spreading out is still a necessity. Once he has been trapped for a short period, Illidan will return to Phase 4, transforming into a demon.
The fight then consists of moving Illidan to the traps once they are placed and DPSing him as much as possible whilst he is trapped. When not trapped he is still doing all of his previous abilities however, and is still quite capable of wiping the raid.
If you are main tanking Illidan there are a few key things to keep in your mind at all times:
1. Always keep him turned away from the raid
2. Be ready to Shield Block Shear constantly
3. Be ready to move out of Flame Crash constantly
4. Keep an eye out for the traps in Phase 5; they are not always placed in convenient locations and you may have to move Illidan whilst bearing in mind all of the above.
Off tanks will need to be very aware of Eye Beams during Phase 2: if you get caught in this you will die. Have someone assigned to announce which side they originate from if you find them difficult to avoid. Also, working out a movement pattern beforehand with your partner tank is essential – you need to be within 40 yards of each other at all times; move north and work southwards, or something similar.
Movement to avoid the Blazes is also essential. Unfortunately only practice will make this perfect.
Warlock tanks – make sure you take aggro as he transforms. All DoTs should be placed upon him and you should chain cast Searing Pain. Keep at maximum range from Illidan in case you receive a Shadow Demon. Depending on how many DoTs you have left on him, you may also be susceptible to gaining aggro as he returns to phase 3/5. Be ready to Soul Shatter.
The Main Tank will be taking a ton of damage. The majority of your healing should be directed at him for phases 1, 3 and 5.
Always throw a heal onto a person with the Parasitic Shadowfiend debuff – it deals 15k shadow damage in total.
Phase 2 is the most healing intensive phase so save your cooldowns for this. Each off tank will require at least 2 healers and the raid itself will also need topping up substantially. Shamans’ Chain Heal is the way to save the raid: all Shamans should be assigned to raid healing here.
Watch out for people receiving the Agonizing Flames debuff in phases 3 and 5. It does last 60 seconds and ticks for higher and higher damage. Chances are that people are still going to have the debuff in phase 4, so keep them alive during Flame Bursts.
Chain cast heals on the main tank when Illidan Enrages, and be aware that people are still receiving the Parasitic Shadowfiend debuff even when Illidan is close to death.
The warlock tank will need 2 or 3 dedicated healers; everyone else should raid heal during Phase 4. Paladins should be ready to BoP the warlock tank (or indeed anyone else who over-aggroes) at the end of Phase 4.
Be aware of his Flame Crashes and don’t step into them.
If you receive Parasitic Shadowfiend, moving away from the other melee is a smart idea.
During Phase 2 be especially aware of Eye Beam and don’t try to push your DPS. Staying alive is the priority – there is no excuse for getting Eye Beamed.
In phase 4 stay behind the rest of the raid until the Shadow Demons spawn, then help out and kill them. You cannot attack Illidan during this phase in melee range.
Never move in front of Illidan.
Always be ready to kill Parasites, no matter what stage of the fight.
Pets can be useful but be aware they will incur the wrath of the Flames of Azzinoth in phase 2 if they are too far away. Also be aware that they will probably take damage from Flame Crash if they are assigned to Illidan, so be ready to move them if necessary. In phase 4, pets should be avoided as they have their own splash radius for the fire damage.
Spread as much as you can in phase 2 without leaving the boundary of the metal grate. This will reduce the damage taken from Fireballs on the raid as a whole and make healers’ jobs easier.
In phase 4 stay in range of Illidan and be ready to kill the Demons that spawn. Be especially sure to kill the Demon on the warlock tank, if he should receive one.
When Illidan becomes trapped by Maiev, pop all trinkets and use your highest damage abilities; he takes extra damage when trapped.