Gul'dan

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    Mikeiceberg
    Mikeiceberg
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    Gul’dan Nighthold Raid Strategy Guide

    This strategy guide covers how to defeat the Gul’dan boss encounter and notable trash on all difficulties. Gul’dan is the 10th and final boss of The Nighthold, and can only be accessed after players have defeated all of the previous bosses. He is the only boss of the Betrayer’s Rise wing on LFR.

    Gul’dan is available the week of January 17th on Normal and Heroic, January 24th on Mythic, and March 7th on LFR.


    Gul’dan Heroic PTR Testing Video

    *May contain adult language. This video is coverage of Gul’dan on the 7.1.5 PTR. The video will be updated once an updated video is released.


    Loot and Rewards

    The boss loot table is the same between all difficulties: ilvl 865 LFR, 880 Normal, 895 Heroic, 910 Mythic. All loot has a chance to proc a higher ilvl through the Warforged and Titanforged system. Gul’dans loot has a higher base item level than all other loot in the instance.

    Armor:

    Relics:

    More information on Tier set bonuses and loot from other bosses in the Nighthold Raid Loot Guide.

    Gul’dan has several unique rewards:

    Quick Tips

    Overview – Gul’dan begins a ritual to bring his master into Azeroth, locking himself inside the active Eye of Aman’Thul and summoning his demonic lieutenants. However, proximity to the active Eye of Aman’Thul bestows equally powerful abilities to players, based on their role.

    After his lieutenants fall, Gul’dan leaps into the fray himself, harnessing the power of the Fel to bolster his frail frame. At 85%, 70%, and 55% health, Gul’dan again taps into the active Eye of Aman’Thul, empowering his abilities.

    As his health dwindles further, Gul’dan beseeches his Legion masters for additional power, unleashing his ultimate strength while disrupting the aid that players receive from the Eye.

    Gul’dan Abilities

    This guide provides tips and strategies for defeating the Gul’dan encounter on Normal Difficulty. Changes to the fight for Looking for Raid, Heroic and Mythic difficulties are listed below in their respective sections, including tips and strategies for dealing with the new mechanics introduced in these difficulties.

    Please note: this guide has been produced based on experience from the very limited PTR testing of Gul’dan. Information for Phase One and Two is representative of what was seen during testing, however, there is little public information regarding Phase Three. Phase Three is included in this guide, but the information is limited to a break down of the Dungeon Journal. Phase Three, along with the rest of the guide, will be updated frequently over the coming weeks!

    Gul’dan is a three phase encounter which requires the raid to deal three mini-bosses in the first phase, followed by a direct confrontation against Gul’dan himself in the following two phases. The raid requires a large amount of precise positioning and co-ordination in order to defeat Gul’dan.

    • Phase One consists of avoiding Gul’dans spells whilst fighting three demon mini-bosses, Fel Lord Kuraz’mal, Inquisitor Vethriz and D’zorykx the Trapper. Once all three mini-bosses are defeated phase 2 will begin.
    • Phase Two consists of fighting Gul’dan directly. Players will need to deal with his high impact abilities that get empowered over the course of the phase.
    • Phase Three begins once Gul’dan reaches 40% health, at this point he will lose most of his Phase 2 abilities.

    Essence of Aman’Thul

    Throughout Phase One and Two, players have access to an additional ability by using an extra action button. The ability players gain depends on which role they are playing.

    • Tanks gain Resonant Barrier. Once used, it will cause that player to absorb all damage taken for 6 seconds.
    • Healers gain Scattering Field: Once used, it will cause that player to create a protective shield around them, absorbing 50% of fire damage taken up to a cap, shared among allies within 10 yards.
    • DPS gain Time Dilation: Once used, it will increase that players casting, movement, and attack speed by 30% as well as decreasing cooldowns by 30% and causing their Periodic Effects to occur 30% faster.

    If the player receives any fire damage whilst Time Dilation is active, it will remove the effect.

    Each of the abilities gained will help players counter mechanics and abilities that Gul’dan and his mini-bosses challenge the raid with. These points will be covered throughout the guide.

    Phase 1: The Council of Elders

    At the beginning of Phase One, players can attack Gul’dan until he summons all three of his mini-bosses, at which point he will become immune to damage inside the Eye of Aman’thul in the middle of the room.
    Gul’dan does not need to be tanked during this phase, as he is instead chain casting two abilities.

    Gul’dan casts Liquid Hellfire. He marks a location of a random ranged player and throws a ball of fire towards it, dealing large raid wide damage which drops off the further away players are from it.

    • You can either have the ranged players spread out and then move away from the marked location before the ability lands, or you can have all of the ranged players stack up in one location and have the healers use
      their Scattering Field extra action button to help mitigate the damage.

    • If you chose to use the Scattering Field, do note that you will need to organize the healers into two sets, as Liquid Hellfire comes in before Scattering Fields cooldown has recharged.

Gul’dan will also cast Fel Efflux. He faces a direction and sends out a large beam of fire, dealing a large amount of ticking fire damage to anyone who stands inside it.

  • Players can see which direction he is going to cast this in, as he has to charge it up beforehand. Players can use this time to sidestep out of the path of the ability, to avoid taking any extra damage.

When Gul’dan summons his demon mini-bosses, he will do so through the use of Hand of Gul’dan.

  • This marks an area of the room an causes a meteor to land there, dealing a large amount of shadow damage to anyone caught within the targeting circle.
  • Gul’dan will cast this three times in a row, every 15 seconds at the beginning of this phase.
  • The mini-bosses that spawn from the Hand of Gul’dan appear in a set order and must be killed off in order to progress into Phase Two.

Fel Lord Kuraz’mal will spawn first and will cast Shatter Essence on his primary target. This short cast deals an enormous amount of fire damage to the tank and will most likely kill them.

Inquisitor Vethriz will spawn second. He will frequently teleport around the encounter area by using his Shadowblink ability.

  • Tanks and melee damage dealers should move towards Inquisitor Vethriz as he will remain stationary on any location that he Shadowblinks too.
  • Inquisitor Vethriz will chain cast Dark Blast at the tank, dealing a small amount of shadow damage each cast.
  • Inquisitor Vethriz will spawn in multiple eyes by casting Gaze of Vethriz. These eyes will spawn around the location of random players.
  • The eyes will then send out a beam which deals a large amount of shadow damage to any player caught in their path. The eyes then slowly rotate on the spot.

The eyes last for a long period of time, well into phase two.

  • Because of this, players want to stick to one side of the room whilst Inquisitor Vethriz is active.
  • This will cause all of the eyes to spawn on one side of the room, keeping the other side of the room free for player movement for the rest of phase one.
  • Players also want to focus down Inquisitor Vethriz as soon as possible to reduce the amount of eyes he spawns through this ability.

D’zorykz the Trapper will spawn third and will cast Soul Vortex on the tank. This spell will hurl a soul cage at his target.

  • This cage will slowly pull in all players whilst dealing light ticking damage to them.
  • Any players who are caught near the cage are afflicted with Torn Soul, a debuff which increases all physical damage taken by 100% and also deals light ticking shadow damage over the course of its 18 second duration.

  • When this ability is cast, the targeted player should move away from the raid and place the cage in a clear area of the room. The tank targeted by Soul Vortex cannot avoid taking at least 1 stack of Torn Soul.
  • While under the effect of this debuff it is unwise to be taking hits from the mini-bosses, due to the additional damage you will take, so therefor the other tank should taunt after the Soul Vortex cast.

To make sure that the encounter area in Phase One remains clean, Inquisitor Vethriz must be killed as soon as possible.

  • Damage dealing players should save cooldowns and Time Dilation for when he spawns so that they can kill him quickly.
  • After Inquisitor Vethriz has perished, the other two mini-bosses should be worked on next. The order of which dies next doesn’t matter too much, however it is likely that Fel Lord Kuraz’mal will be closer to death as he is the one that spawned first.

After the mini-bosses are dead, players should move towards the free area of the room and get close to Gul’dan as he deals damage and knocks back all players upon entering Phase Two and any player who is knocked off the edge of the platform will fall to their death.

Phase 2: The Ritual of Aman’Thul

After knocking back all players, Gul’dan will become damageable once again.

  • Tanks want to drag him into the clear area of the encounter area and towards the edge, whilst the ranged players form a loosely stacked group away from Gul’dan. This is because he maintains his Liquid Hellfire ability.
  • When the ability comes in, ranged players can keep stacking underneath the Scattering Field from healers, whilst the melee damage dealers take a significantly lower amount of damage as they’re far from the explosion.

Gul’dan has 3 new abilities that the raid needs to deal with in this phase.

Bonds of Fel will place a debuff on multiple members of the raid. The debuff deals ticking fire damage and slows the player by 50%.

  • To remove the debuff, the affected player must break their chain by moving away from the location where they initially received the chain. When the chain breaks the player will receive a large burst of fire damage split between anyone within 5 yards.
  • You want to make sure that you have multiple players stood on top of anyone who is breaking their chain, to ensure that they do not die from this explosion.
  • This ability can target tanks. If the affected tank has Resonant Barrier available, they can use it and break the bond on their own. Likewise, players using immunities can also break their bonds by themselves.

Gul’dan will spawn multiple Eye of Gul’dan adds. These eyes will hover near Gul’dan and channel shadow energy at a random player, dealing a large amount of ever increasing shadow damage to that player and anyone within 8 yards of them.

  • Players should try and be spread out before the ability lands to reduce incoming raid damage.
  • The eyes will also periodically duplicate, summoning a copy of itself nearby. The copy that spawns will have the same health as the Eye it duplicated from.
  • When the eyes spawn, you want to nuke them down as soon as possible. Damage dealers should plan for this and have Time Dilation ready for the eyes, to make sure that they die quickly.
  • This will also help reduce the health of the duplicated eyes, or stop them from spawning all together, as the eyes can be destroyed before duplication occurs.

Whenever anyone is within 2 yards of Gul’dan‘s primary target, he will cast Fel Scythe at the primary target.

  • This will deal a large amount of fire damage split between the tank and anyone within 2 yards of them.
  • This cast will also give Gul’dan 15% attack speed for 10 seconds. This buff stacks.

Gul’dan also has an energy bar. This energy is used up whenever he casts Fel Scythe.

  • For each point of energy used, it increases the damage of Fel Scythe by 5%.
  • If Gul’dan reaches full energy, he will cast Fel Scythe regardless if the tank has anyone nearby.

You want to have Gul’dan use this ability often enough so that the damage isn’t too high from the energy, but not so often that his attack speed buff starts stacking.

  • To achieve this, players want to trigger this ability every 11 seconds by having the two tanks stand within 2 yards of one another.
  • Tanks can also solo take the 100% energy hit, by stacking large cooldowns or by using their Resonant Barrier extra action button ability.

Throughout the phase Gul’dan will empower his abilities at certain health breakpoints.
At 85% he will empower his Liquid Hellfire, causing it to deal more damage, as well as leave a patch of fire on the ground for 3 minutes.

  • You want to have ranged players stack up, so that the fire that spawns will be placed close together. This will give you more space in the encounter area to move and deal with additional abilities.

At 70% he will empower his Bonds of Fel. The Empowered Bonds of Fel will bind a target to a location after knocking them back. The damage and slow from the ability is also increased.

  • As you are knocked back to different areas of the room, you will not be able to be pre-stacked for this ability. Instead, groups of players will need to move to the affected targets so that they can break their bonds without dying.
  • This ability targets the off-tank. That tank can use Resonant Barrier to break their bond without having the split the damage with raid members. Tanks may need to rotate who is tanking the boss to make sure that they always have a Resonant Barrier to break the empowered bonds.

Guide writers note: From this point on the guide is produced based on assumptions from PTR testing, the dungeon journal and game experience, as there is little publicly available footage of any testing going further than 60%. Any errors will be corrected once Gul’dan hits live servers and can be explored fully.

At 55% HP, he will empower his Eye of Gul’dan.

  • When cast, this will spawn a single Empowered Eye of Gul’dan. The eye will channel beams of fire damage to multiple players at once, dealing ever increasing damage to them and to anyone within 8 yards of them.
  • The Empowered Eye of Gul’dan will also follow their highest threat target, so they should be picked up by the tank. The empowered eye can also duplicate, so nuking the eye down is even more important now due to its empowered form.

Once Gul’dan reaches 40% HP, Phase Three will begin.

Phase Three: The Master’s Power

Players in Phase Three will no longer have access to their extra action button abilities. Gul’dan will also lose all of his abilities, apart from his Empowered Eye of Gul’dan and Fel Scythe which should be dealt with in the same way.

Gul’dan will apply Flames of Sargeras to players. This debuff will do nothing for the first 3 seconds. After this point, the player will then take ticking damage every second for 3 seconds.

  • Each time they take ticking damage, they will pulse out fire which deals damage to anyone within 8 yards. Players struck by this will cause an ember to spawn underneath them.
  • This ember will then explode, dealing a large amount of damage to anyone nearby as well as leaving a patch of Desolate Ground on the floor.
  • Players affected by this debuff should move away from the raid and place their burning embers around the edges of the platform. This will help maximize the encounter space available for the raid, whilst also reducing incoming raid damage.

Gul’dan will also cast Storm of the Destroyer. This ability consists of four blasts that will sequentially deal a small amount of shadow damage to players within 10 yards, then moderate shadow damage to players within 20 yards, then moderate shadow damage to players within 30 yards and finally deal near fatal shadow damage to players within 60 yards.

  • It is likely that the epicenter of all four explosions will either be from a random players location, or from Gul’dan himself and it is likely that the epicenter of all four explosions will remain the same.
  • Therefore, it is important that the explosions are placed at the edge of the room, and when the explosions start to occur the entire raid should move from that side of the room to the other side.
  • You should have the entire raid stacked, with Gul’dan at one edge of the room and then move as a single unit to the other side once the explosions start.
  • Raid wide movement speed increases should be used at this point to help you traverse the encounter area.

The final mechanic you will see in phase three is the Well of Souls. Gul’dan will summon this Well of Souls and he will place players souls within it by casting Soul Siphon.

  • This will deal damage to multiple players and place a healing absorption shield on them for 30 seconds, whilst also adding their souls to the Well. The added souls will increase the damage of Black Harvest.
  • When Black Harvest is cast, the raid will take a large amount of ticking damage over 4 seconds.
  • During this time, the well will also expel of all the trapped souls within it, with each soul dealing a moderate amount of damage to the raid.
  • If the well is already full of souls, newly drawn in souls (via the Soul Siphon ability) will immediately cause them to explode.

Players must prevent the well from filling with souls. This is achieved by standing within the well.

  • Whilst standing in the well, players will be taking consistent light ticking damage whilst causing enemies to ignore you.
  • Every 3 seconds a player stands within the Well of Souls, a soul fragment will leave the well.
  • This soul fragment will target a player and explode on them, afflicting the player and anyone within 5 yards with Soul Corrosion, a 3 minute long damage over time debuff.
  • You will need to rotate which players enter the Well of Souls, as players within are unlikely to be targeted by the Soul Corrosion.
  • Whilst the well is being emptied of souls, all players outside must remain spread 5 yards to keep Soul Corrosion stacks to a minimum.

Strategy Summary

Phase 1

Phase 2

  • Tanks stack on top of one another every 11 seconds to Trigger Gul’dans Fel Scythe at the lowest possible damage, whilst allowing his attack speed buff to drop.
  • Bonds of Fel targets should move to break their bonds. Make sure that other players are within 5 yards to help split the damage.
  • Eyes of Gul’dan should be swapped to and killed off as soon as possible, preferably with players using Time Dilation. Players targeted by their beams should move 8 yards away from any other player.
  • Gul’dan should be tanked towards the edge of the room, on the side of the encounter area which is free for the eyes from Gaze of Vethriz.
  • Ranged players should be stacked up away from Gul’dan for the Liquid Hellfire, whilst healers continue to use Scattering Field to mitigate the damage it deals.
  • Ranged players should stay close to previous Empowered Liquid Hellfire patches to help keep the encounter area clean.
  • Players should run over to targets affected by the Empowered Bonds of Fel so that they can break their bonds without taking lethal damage
  • Tanks should make sure to maintain threat on the Empowered Eye of Gul’dan as the DPS nuke it down.
  • Players need to move from the Hand of Gul’dan and Damage dealers should kill off the Dreadlord it spawns as soon as possible whilst interrupting its Carrion Wave. (Heroic Only)

Phase 3

  • Tanks stack on top of one another every 11 seconds to Trigger Gul’dans Fel Scythe at the lowest possible damage, whilst allowing his attack speed buff to drop.
  • Tanks should make sure to maintain threat on the Empowered Eye of Gul’dan as the DPS nuke it down. Players targeted by its beams should move 8 yards away from any other player.
  • Players afflicted with Flames of Sargeras need to move away from the group to avoid dealing extra damage to the raid and to place the Desolate Ground patches away from high traffic areas of the room.
  • Players should stack up at the edge of the room alongside Gul’dan when Storm of the Destroyer is about to be cast. After the cast players must run from one side of the room to the other to avoid the explosions.
  • Players need to take turns standing within the Well of Souls to reduce Black Harvest damage to survivable levels.
  • Healers must top up the healing absorption shield applied from Soul Siphon.
  • Healers may want to use cooldowns for each Black Harvest, or towards the end of the encounter when Soul Corrosion stacks are highest.

Heroic Difficulty

Apart from abilities dealing more damage in comparison to normal mode, there are several mechanical additions to this encounter on Heroic.

In Phase 1, each mini-boss has one additional ability.

  • Fel Lord Kuraz’mal will summon several patches which will erupt into Fel Obelisks. These obelisks will stun any player hit by them for 7 seconds whilst dealing ticking damage to them. Players must keep an eye on the ground to make sure that they move from any patches.
  • Inquisitor Vethriz will apply Drain to multiple players. This is a dispellable dot with a 21 second duration. Each tick of the dot will heal Inquisitor Vethriz for a substantial amount. It is important that healers dispel these debuffs as soon as possible to ensure that Inquisitor Vethriz dies quickly.
  • D’zorykx the Trapper will now send out volleys of Anguished Spirits which will land on the ground and explode, dealing damage to any player struck. Players need to identify the green landing indicator of the ability and move out of its way.

In Phase 2, Gul’dan will now cast Hand of Gul’dan which will summon a Dreadlord of the Twisting Nether.

  • The Dreadlord must be picked up by the tank whilst the DPS focus their damage into him. Strong single target DPS may want to use Time Dilation on the Dreadlord rather than on the Eye of Gul’dan adds.
  • Dreadlords will cast Carrion Wave which will send out a large wave towards a player, dealing a large amount of shadow damage to anyone in its wake whilst putting them to sleep for 5 seconds.
  • The Carrion Wave is interruptible, so you should make sure that each cast gets interrupted. Each time the ability is interrupted, the Dreadlord will gain a stack of Focused Assault, a stacking buff which increases damage done and attack speed by 25%.
  • Players must kill the Dreadlord before the Focused Assault stacks become overwhelming.

Based off the dungeon journal, Phase 3 remains mechanically identical to normal mode.

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