Zul’Jin is a 5 phase fight. Each phase is meant to represent a unique challenge to the raid force. Furthermore, each phase represents a different spirit of the Zul’Aman creatures (eagle, dragonhawk, lynx, and bear). Zul’Jin is also a long fight by 10 man standards, and is relatively unforgiving to player deaths (as you will gradually be worn down before the end). Zul’Jin will change phases (and forms for that matter) every 20% of his health. Every time Zul’Jin changes forms, all aggro is cleared.
While flasks, food buffs, and weapon enchants may be useful, they might not be available for the 10 man environment depending on the attitude of your raid force. Use of at least some elixirs for mana regeneration is highly advisable, especially for healers, as this is a very healing intensive fight. Furthermore, plenty of Mana Potions, Healing Potions, and bandages are a must! Many raid forces will find that high stamina gear or PvP gear is exceptionally useful for surviving the lynx phase of this fight (as described below).
1 Main Tank (Can be a druid, protection warrior, or protection paladin)
4 Healers (Can be any class, however at least 1 shaman is highly advisable)
5 DPS (Can be any class, however at least 2 melee is highly advisable)
On a side note, A bear druid is probably the best main tank for this fight considering all of the extra options he will have and the main tank damage being fairly low most of the fight (however Zul’Jin can deliver crushing blows in all forms).
The pull is initiated simply by walking towards Zul’Jin. His aggro range is about half way across his platform (below his stairs). It is very important for all members of the raid force to be fully on his platform before the pull, as a flame wall will raise as soon as he is aggroed and lock out anyone not far enough up. When aggroed, Zul’Jin should be picked up by the main tank. He also has approximately 10 adds with low health (around 3,000) that will aggro when he does. It is unimportant that these be tanked, but they should be killed first while the main tank builds some threat on Zul’jin. Usually a small amount of AoE such as Seed of Corruption or Arcane Explosion will kill them all. Once pulled, phase 1 has begun…
Melee Hit – Moderate (3-5k)
Grievous Throw – Targets a random player and places a damage over time spell on them. Similar to the second boss of Slave Pens, this DoT will last until the player is fully healed. It ticks for approximately 2,000-2,500 damage every 3 seconds. Healers should be aware of who has the Grievous Throw and take immediate action to top that person off. He will cast Grievous Throw about every 10 seconds.
Whirlwind - He will spin around, ceasing all auto attacks on the main tank. Melee range damage will ensue after about 1 second of Whirlwinding. It is possible to react to this effect and move without taking any damage, although it is very difficult. The attack deals ~8,000 damage on leather wearers (rogues and feral druids) and will deal ~4,000 damage on plate wearers (DPS warriors or retribution paladins). In general, melee classes must be very cautious when DPS-ing Zul’Jin in this phase. Losing a melee class this early will make the rest of the fight needlessly challenging. If your melee have trouble avoiding this, simply tell them not to DPS during this phase.
Beyond Grievous Throw, phase 1 is relatively simple. The positioning of Zul’Jin and the raid is relatively unimportant. DPS him without pulling aggro until 80% health. Melee avoiding his Whirlwind is paramount as, even if you have the health to survive it, any combination of Whirlwind and Grievous Throw will kill a melee class player. At 80% health, Zul’Jin will run to the centre of his platform and begin to change form. At this time, no one should have DoTs ticking and healers should be careful. It is advisable that everyone except the tank put plenty of space between themselves and Zul’jin to avoid being one-shotted as soon as he begins attacking again. When he changes form to become a bear, aggro is wiped and phase 2 Begins.
Melee Hit – High (5-6k)
Creeping Paralysis - Cast on every player in the raid, this spell causes players to be unable to move if it is not dispelled within 6 seconds. The spell lasts for approximately 5 seconds and causes approximately 5,000 damage when it expires. It is advisable for a paladin or a priest to dispel themselves and then dispel the main tank and healers as soon as it is cast. If this is not dispelled from the main tank, he will be unable to dodge, parry and block whilst paralyzed, which will most likely lead to his death. It is not necessary to dispel DPS classes, as they can be healed later, after the effect expires. He will cast this spell about every 20 seconds.
Overpower – Just like the warrior version of Overpower. Every time his primary melee target dodges an attack, he can use an instant attack that causes ~5,000 damage on a main tank. This can contribute to very high burst damage during the bear form.
The only real challenge of this phase is that it is moderately healing intensive. It is advisable to keep the main tank topped off at all times, as the burst damage can be relatively high (especially on a Karazhan geared tank.) This phase is simply a tank and DPS phase beyond the Creeping Paralysis. Once Zul’Jin is at 60%, he will run to the centre of his platform and phase 3 begins. It is advisable to keep DoTs up and for casters to continue damaging Zul’Jin as he changes phases as it will usually get you an extra 1-2% of his health before the next phase begins (aggro is not an issue during the next phase).
Melee Hit – None
Electrical Storm - Causes 1,250 damage to a player every time they cast a spell. This does not effect melee abilities (such as Sinister Strike, Whirlwind, etc.), but will effect all healing spells, damage spells, and even abilities such as Commanding Shout or Demoralizing Shout.
Tornadoes - Tornadoes will roam the room. Sometimes the Tornadoes follow players, other times they appear to move randomly. They can switch the player they are following at any time. When a Tornado collides with a player, that player will be dealt approximately 1000 damage and knocked away (sometimes into other Tornadoes). The Tornadoes are truly the challenge of this phase.
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Zul’Jin himself does nothing in this phase except flap his wings as an eagle in the centre of the platform. When the phase begins, all players will receive the Electrical Storm debuff as an aura. It is advisable that players move away from Zul’Jin as he is changing forms, because the Tornadoes spawn where he is hovering and players standing near him will take excessive damage and sometimes be killed by an unlucky string of bounces from the Tornadoes. Once the Tornadoes spawn, the phase has truly begun. During this phase, DPS is not important. This is the longest phase and will usually last several minutes. What is important is that all players avoid the Tornadoes as much as possible. This phase will rarely kill anybody, but it is a huge drain on healer mana (which will quickly become a precious commodity during the next phase). Excessive use of Mana Potions, Healing Potions, Healthstones, and bandages is extremely beneficial during this phase. Be careful about bandaging near Tornadoes, however.
As a caster, you should cast as few spells as possible that deal as much damage as possible. Warlocks get a pretty good deal with Curse of Doom.
As a melee class, you should DPS only when you see no Tornadoes around Zul’Jin and you should move as soon as the Tornadoes start moving back towards him.
As a healer, you should aim to cast only your biggest heal (because casting heals for less than 1,250 will only harm you for at least as much as you heal).
Ultimately this phase is not difficult, but it can be overwhelming the first or second time that you see it. Once all players get a feel for how the Tornadoes move and how to avoid them, it will become simple. As a final note, avoid running to walls when you know a Tornado is following you. Sometimes players will get stuck between a Tornado and a wall, and the damage will simply wear them down too quickly. Try running towards the centre of the room or strafing to the left or the right of Tornados. Most deaths from this phase are caused by being stuck between a wall and taking lots of damage in rapid succession.
Once Zul’Jin is at 40%, he will run to the centre of the platform and phase 4 begins. No DoTs should be up at this end of this phase, as the tank needs to be able to take aggro quickly. Just as before, to avoid being one shotted it is advisable for no one except the tank to be standing next to Zul’Jin whilst he changes form.
Melee Hit – Light (3-4k)
Claw Charge - Zul’Jin charges to a random target and does a chain of 10 melee attacks on that target. Each attack will deal around 1,000 damage and place a stacking debuff on his target that increases damage taken by 150. This mechanic works much like a Fixate, in that if his target is killed while he is casting this he will finish the rest of his attack on his highest aggro target. This damage is not mitigated by armour and can not be blocked or avoided (except by Ice Block or Divine Shield). Intervene does not absorb damage from this ability. The target chosen for the Claw Charge will take around 15,000 damage in about 8 seconds. Without swift and adequate healing, most non-tank targets will die before the Claw Charge is over. Zul’Jin will spend around 6 seconds performing Claw Charge.
Lynx Rush - Zul’Jin will randomly charge a little over half your raid (6-8 people), placing a DoT on them that does around 8,000 damage over 10 seconds. Contrary to popular belief, this damage can not be avoided by being spread out or by putting range between yourself and Zul’Jin. This damage must be healed through swiftly, because a combination of the Claw Charge and the Lynx Rush can easily kill a target. Zul’Jin will spend around 6 seconds performing Lynx Rush.
Early speculation suggested that people be spread out and that Lynx Rush worked much like Leotheras the Blind or Warchief Kargath’s Whirlwind attack. In theory, if people were more spread out fewer people would get the DoT. However, this is not the case; the charging that Zul’Jin does is truly unavoidable and will put the DoT on whoever is targeted by the charge.
The easiest way to deal with this phase is to have all players stand right on top of Zul’Jin so that DPS can continue when he does his Lynx Rush ability. Furthermore, the raid can also take the greatest advantage of Chain Heal and Circle of Healing, if available. This phase is very healing intensive, and it is what your healers have been saving their mana for (and the reason you brought a 4th healer!). This is the phase that causes the most wipes because healers must be prepared to react quickly to whoever is chosen for the Claw Charge. That player will need fast and efficient heals to be able to survive the full duration of the Claw Charge. After the Claw Charge is over, Zul’Jin continues to melee the tank, but for a very brief period as the majority of Zul’Jin’s time is spent in this phase either performing Claw Charge or Lynx Rush. Main tank death is still possible, however, and healers should be aware of who Zul’Jin is targeting at all times. Healing with Target of Target on is very effective.
He will do a Lynx Rush relatively randomly, but usually about every 30 seconds.
He will do a Claw Charge relatively randomly, but usually about every 20 seconds.
You will have completed this phase fairly effectively if you finish after about 2 Lynx Rushes and 4 or 5 Claw Charges.
To help healers deal with the Claw Charge, it is advisable that, once you realize you are being Claw Charged, you consume a Health Potion and a Healthstone to give healers more time to react.
Once Zul’Jin reaches 20%, he will run to the centre of the platform and begin to change phases. As before, it is advisable that no DoTs be up and only the main tank be within melee range.
Melee Hit – Light (3-4k)
Flame Whirl Every 15-20 seconds, Zul’Jin will spin around releasing a flame in all directions. This fire is resistible and will strike everyone in your raid for ~1000 damage. The Flame Whirl does, however, apply a stacking debuff that increases fire damage taken by 50%. This means that the second flame will deal 1,500 damage, and the third will deal ~2000 damage. Eventually this will become too difficult to heal.
Column of Fire - Much like Void Zones from Netherspite or Cave Ins from Gruul, Zul’Jin will occasionally drop a pillar of flame on the ground that deals large amounts of damage. If players react fast enough and stay mobile, they can avoid all damage from this ability. It ticks for around 1,000 without any Flame Whirl stacks (which would increase the damage).
Flame Breath – A frontal cone attack that hits for around 1500 before Flame Whirl debuffs stack. When combined with Flame Whirls, his burst damage can be very high towards the end of the fight.
This phase is simply a test to see if enough players survived through the Lynx Phase. Positioning for this phase is exactly the same as phases 1 and 2. The main tank should keep Zul’Jin pointed away from the raid and the rest of the raid should stay slightly spread to reduce the movement needed when Columns of Fire land. All of the fire damage in this phase is resistible, and use of Fire Resistance Aura or Totem is highly advisable. Eventually, the Flame Whirl will wear down your entire raid when mixed with incidental damage from the Columns of Fire. Nevertheless, this phase is not too challenging.