Heroic Council of Elders

To put it bluntly, this fight is a bitch.  We had around 50 wipes and I think in terms of things that’s less than most guilds however our gear is pretty significantly better than some of the other guilds who have kill this.  The heroic fight has everything that the normal fight has, apart from one spell from High Priestess Mar’li, and everything hits a lot harder.  At this point I think most hard progression guilds have passed the point of trying to do things sequentially so I would definitely recommend killing Megaera and Iron Qon before trying to kill Council.  I would even possibly recommend trying to kill Primordius first but since I haven’t done that fight I can not say for sure.  The success of this fight depends on both mechanics as well as gear.  Clear and quick communication is necessary.

The typical kill order on this is Sul the Sandcrawler -> Frost King Malakk -> High Priestess Mar’li -> Kazra’jin.  The last two are both very low so perhaps you might kill Kazra’jin before Mar’li but either way should be fine.

Recommended talents:
Tier 1: Speed of Light, sometimes you need to get out of the way fast
Tier 2: Fist of Justice, help with stunning the adds from Mar’li
Tier 3: Eternal Flame, explanation not really necessary
Tier 4: Unbreakable Spirit, bubble the frostbite possibly twice among other benefits to Lay on Hands which you’ll probably use at least once, OR Hand of Purity, 10% damage reduction on frostbite
Tier 5: Holy Avenger, you will need the burst healing, I guess Divine Purpose is also viable…
Tier 6: Light’s Hammer, Kazra’jin empowered phases

Recommended glyphs:
Glyph 1: Beacon of Light: The tank swap will occur during frigid assault, you want to react quickly to a new tank taking damage.  Also I will often beacon the frostbite target and rather heal the tanks so since you will be swapping a lot it will help to have it glyphed.
Glyph 2: Divinity: Get free mana back!
Glyph 3: Largely personally preference, good choices are the Flash of Light glyph since with the free mana meta gem you will be using Flash of Light more often, also.

This is a fight that will test you as a healer in every way.  It requires good mana management, reaction time, a little bit of mechanics and preparing for damage in take.  At the risk of sounding like a nostalgic nut, in the days of Vanilla and Burning Crusade, the healers who topped charts were the ones who were able to anticipate damage and precast heals.  If you do all of these things then you’re surely on a speedy way to victory.  However funny it may sound, the success of this fight depends a huge extent on how well the dps/tanks carry out the mechanics.  Over the years, the change to people standing in the fire has gone from being healable to being completely unhealable.  On this fight however, things are a lot different.  Messy mechanics can be healed through and on your first kill I can guarantee that you will need to do this.  Let me stop saying general and meaningless terms and start describing the fight now.

General Spells – Each Boss will have one special Empowered Ability as noted.

The Spirit of Gara’jal – Empowers a councilor who originally has zero Dark Energy which begins to rise, councilor must suffer 25% of their maximum health before empowered wears out, Dark Energy resets to zero upon dropping empowerment, gains a stack of Lingering Presence and Gara’jal will empower a new councilor

Note: Most know that Frost King Malakk is always empowered first, however something commonly forgotten is the next empowerment depends on who has the highest health.  If you follow a certain strategy, you are almost always going to get the same empowerment order however just note that it’s not a defined order after the first boss.

  • Lingering Presence – Increases all damage done by 10% -> 15%, increases Dark Energy regeneration for 10% -> 15%, stacking
  • Dark Power – Upon reaching 100 Dark Energy, councilor will begin casting Dark Power every second  which inflicts 10,000 -> 20,000 (Shadow) damage to all players initially and increases in damage by 10% with each cast (Note: This is the base amount, and is augmented by lingering presence and shadowed soul.)
  • Soul Fragment – Unlike 25M, in 10M every other time a councilor becomes unempowered, a Soul Fragment will enter one person in the raid, inflicts 35,000 Shadow damage every 3 sec until the Soul Fragment is passed to another player. Every time the Soul Fragment deals damage to someone, it applies one stack of Shadowed Soul.
  • Shadowed Soul – All damage increased by 5% for remainder of the fight, stacking

Frost King Malakk

  • Frigid Assault – Inflicts 75,000 -> 97,500 (Frost) damage with each melee attack and applies one stack of Frigid Assault (Note: Reaching 15 stacks of Frigid Assault will stun target for 15 seconds, and yes this is damage on top of his melee attack)
  •  Biting Cold – Inflicts 94,000 -> 122,000 (Frost) damage and inflicts 115,000 -> 150,000 (Frost) damage to players within 4 yards every 2 seconds for 30 seconds
    • Frostbite (Empowered Ability): Inflicts 110,000 -> 143,000 (Frost) damage and applies 5 stacks of Frostbite (Empowered Stacks)
    • Frostbite (Empowered Stacks): Inflicts 22,000 -> 40,000 (Frost) damage per stack of Frostbite to everyone in 4 yards every 1 second for 30 seconds, reduced by 1 for each player in 4 yards, cannot be reduced below 1, in 10M, one player in 4 yards reduces the stacks by 2 (25M 1 player reduces by 1)
    • Note: I’m not quite sure of the math here because I know for sure that players were taking 300,000 damage per tick, not the 200,000 (40,000×5) stated here.
  • Body Heat – Debuff applied after getting hit by an ally’s frostbite, after 8 seconds, player no longer contributes to reducing stacks of Frostbite for 8 seconds

Kazra’jin

  • Reckless Charge – Charges random player (prefer ranged), inflicts 90,000 -> 117,000 (Nature) damage to all players in line to target, knocks players within 5 yards of landing spot back
  • Overload (Empowered Ability) – After each charge, Kazra’jin will stun himself for 20 seconds and reflect 50% of damage as Nature damage to acting player
  • Discharge (Empowered Ability) – In addition to overload, 10% of the damage will be reflected to the entire raid as Nature damage

Sul the Sandcrawler

  • Sand Bolt – Targets player location and inflicts 150,000 -> 193,000 (Nature) damage to all players within 5 yards of target location
  • Quicksand – Summons pool at player location, inflicting them with Entrapped, inflicts 137,500 -> 179,000 (Nature) damage to all players in 7 yards and inflicts them with Ensnared
    • Entrapped – Roots player in place for 30 seconds, can be dispelled, gained from being the target of Quicksand or reaching 5 stacks of Ensnared
    • Ensnared – Players in quicksand pools (who are not the targets of it) gain this which decreases movement speed by 15%, stacking, at 5 stacks changes to Entrapped
  • Sandstorm (Empowered Ability) – Inflicts 38,500 -> 45,000 (Nature) damage every 1 second for 8 seconds, animates quicksand pools transforming them into Living Sand
    • Living Sand (Empowered Ability Add) – Elementals from quicksand pulls (not sure how many per pull), upon death creates new pool of Quicksand
    • Fortified (Empowered Ability Buff) – Any Living Sand alive during Sandstorm will be healed to full, do 100% increased damage until death, stacking
  • Treacherous Ground – Quicksand pools that overlap will combine into a larger pool, Living Sand from these pools have more health and have increased damage by 125% for each pool combined

High Priestess Mar’li

  • Wrath of the Loa – Inflicts 140,000 -> 180,000 (Holy) damage
  • Blessed Loa Spirit – Spirit which moves towards Mar’li’s ally with lowest health and heals them for 5% -> 10% of their maximum health if not killed before reaching its targets, if it’s still alive after 20 seconds it will automatically jump to the target and heal them for 5% -> 10%
  • Wrath of the Loa (Empowered Version) – Inflicts 165,000 -> 215,000 (Shadow) damage
  • Shadowed Loa Spirit – Spirit which fixates on random player for 20 seconds, instantly kills them if it comes within 6 yards, after 20 seconds it will instantly jump to them and kill them
  • Twisted Fate (Empowered Version) – Two souls from random players spawn and are linked together, the two souls slowly converge and inflict 250,000 (Shadow) damage to all players every 3 seconds, damage decreases the farther the souls are from each other, when one dies, remaining soul begins to inflict 100,000 (Shadow) damage every 3 seconds

Fight Strategy

This fight is similar to Heroic Spirit Kings in the sense that there are basically four different phases.  The mechanics of each phase are actually more simplified.  The most important thing is knowing when to DPS the empowered target, and when to DPS your desired first kill target.  My guild’s strategy much like most of those out there is to kill Sul first as mentioned.  I am unaware of any other successful strategy but I won’t leave out the possibility.  Therefore the first proceeds in phases.  I apologize that I don’t know the minute details about the dps rotation since I’m a healer and I don’t care about that (just kidding) but I’ll try to describe them as best as I can following as closely to the order as I can.

Since this fight requires precise DPS on the right targets, you should assign your DPS accordingly.  The easiest way is to have a few people dedicated to pushing the empowered council member as close as possible so that he/she is pushed right before he reaches full power.  This will take a few tries to see who does what and how much.  Everyone else should be on the DPS target.

I’ve bolded each empower phase and the DPS target including what the boss should be at at the end of the empower. Note that for our kill dark power went off a few times especially towards the end. This was a huge pain in the ass especially with Kazra’jin but we did in fact kill him. You can definitely have it go off but just make sure it doesn’t tick for more than a few seconds otherwise the AOE damage will just get too great.

DPS Target: Sul the Sandcrawler (40-50%), Empowered Target: Frost King Malakk

Bloodlust was used at the beginning to get Sul down.  Three things, Frigid Assault hits like a truck, Frostbite hits like a Boeing 747, Sul’s Sand Bolt hits like a limo.

Frigid Assault: Along with his melee attacks for ~80-100K FKM will additionally hit for around 100K each time with Frigid Assault.  For this reason, I would strongly recommend healing assignments.  There’s nothing you can really do to mitigate the damage apart from if you specced Hand of Purity.  Remember that during the middle of Frigid Assault, he will need to be taunted off so that the first tank doesn’t reach 15 stacks.  Your tank is pretty dead or you will waste a lot of mana if your first tank gets stunned.  Taunt around 10 stacks.  Cast cancel your heals as your tanks will be taking a lot of damage during this.  Bloodlust during this phase is not only helpful with DPSing Sul but also with healing.  You should pop some cooldowns during this phase.  Guardian of the Ancient Kings is good to pop during this as most of the damage on the other phases is AOE. I’m not sure if the stacks on this can be cleared with BoP or not.

Frostbite: Ok. So there are two ways to deal with this one required considerably more coordination than the other.  I’ve seen it done successfully both ways.  In my opinion one way is easier but of course I’m biased.  Frostbite hits for 300K a tick on a player with no one surrounding them.  With our current gear, any DPS will basically die after 2 ticks without heals.  The spell itself ticks once every second.

Note: You absolutely can immune this spell with either Divine Shield or Cloak of Shadows. I’ve done it multiple times.  However you will need to react extremely quickly.  Right before FKM does it, he will say something like “It’s getting cold in heeaaahh!!” and a blue down arrow will appear over who the Frostbite is about to go on.  At this point, you must hit your immunity. It’s easy to screw up but if you do it, it will save an enormous amount of mana for everyone regardless of which way you do it.

–          First Method (Solo Soak): Our guild killed the boss doing it this way with one person solo soaking the frostbite.  Two of our healers were solely dedicated to healing this person, spamming their fastest most inefficient healing spells for 30 seconds.  This meant that all of our mana return cooldowns were used at the beginning.  For our guild we had the same two healers heal the frostbite however in all of our pulls, I think almost always the second frostbite target died during the first empower.  There’s probably a smarter way to do this such as switching healers around so I’d recommend doing that.  It might be ok to let the second person die here simply to save mana for the following phases and just res them.  The Frostbite target on the second empower will die.

–          Second Method (Group Soak): Or how it was meant to be done.  Have your ranged split in to two or 3 groups of 2 depending on ranged.  Have the Frostbite target stand still apart from moving for Kazra’jin or sand trap.  This movement must be coordinated (always move right, always move left, etc). The groups will periodically move to stack on this person.  I’d suggest not having the Frostbite target run because there’s a much greater chance for Kazra’jin to target one of the groups rather than individuals and you don’t want the Frostbite target to start to move into a group that is getting targeted by Kazra’jin. Note that you can only soak for 8 seconds.  The groups should move out before the other goes in obviously.  With 3 groups, the timing is much looser but if you don’t have the luxury of 3 groups you will have to be more on time.

Sul’s Sand Bolt: You must have an interrupt rotation on this.  If this goes off and just happens to target the player with Frostbite they will die.  It’s actually more important to interrupt this if you are doing the Group Soaking method but also important on the Solo Soak method.  It prevents the use of a lot of extraneous mana.  Having reactive and communicative raid members will make this a lot easier.

The absolute worst thing you can do during this phase is get frustrated about not being able to heal the Frostbite target in the Solo Soak method.  The mechanics was not designed in my opinion to be cheesed.  It’s hard and that’s the bottom line.  Don’t freak the raid out bout shouting expletives if they die.  This does not mean OK I gave it a half-assed attempt but I failed.  It just means don’t get yourself down about it.  If you’re healing the frost bite target, you can save your bigger healing cooldowns for the second Frostbite on the first empower since bloodlust will be going through the first Frostbite. The Frostbite target needs to watch out for Kazra’jin.  His line of lightning is deceptive and actually does a fair amount of damage.  If you have Frostbite and get hit by Kazra’jin then your death, which will be almost inevitable, can only be blamed on your own carelessness.  Also remember that Sul will be trapping people in sand during this.  It is the responsibility of the healer not healing the Frostbite target to dispel this.  It is also the responsibility of this healer to keep the tanks up through Frigid Assault alone and heal the raid alone so don’t think that just because you don’t need to heal Frostbite you will get off easy ^^.  DPS is responsible for watching the spirit from Mar’li.  Ranged should be assigned to kill this.

TL;DR
Bloodlust
Positioning: HPM should be far away from the group, Sul and FKM should be together.  Kazra’jin is doing his own thang.  Raid should be spread.
Un-empowered abilities to watch for: Quicksand, Blessed Loa Spirit, Reckless Charge
2 Healers on Frostbite target, pop minor healing cooldowns during first, major ones during second
Assign an interrupt rotation on Su

DPS Target: Sul the Sandcrawler (15-20%), Empowered Target: High Priestess Mar’li

HPM will always target one of the closest members and the farthest raid member with the Twisted Fates.  Therefore, have one person who has some kind of push back or snare (Boomkin, Shadow Priest, etc) stand the furthest away from the raid.  The tanks should bring Sul and FKM and someone should interrupt Mar’li’s cast so that she will run over to the tanks.  It’s vital that they get closer together quickly.  That way all three are clumped together now.  Everyone else should be grouped up around Mar’li.  Ranged this does not mean you clump on top of melee as that will cause Kazra’jin to roll into the melee (something you do not want).  This means you stand closer than your designated farthest targets.  As soon as the shadows come out, all dps should kill the one closest to melee first and the ranged should finish off the ranged spirit.  They die very quickly. If you screw this up, somehow the spirits are close, be ready for an enormous about of shadow damage.  They can be rooted, stunned, griped everything so do it if they start getting too close and save your healers a few hairs.

During this phase it’s important that tanks don’t stand in the reckless charge.  FKM will still be doing all of his attacks and in addition, Mar’li will now be hitting like a truck.  During Frigid Assault (which hits no less hard while FKM is not empowered, and now actually hits harder due to Lingering Presence), focus interrupts on Mar’li or have one of the tanks without Frigid Assault taunt her.

The other thing is the Quicksand.  Remember on heroic, two Quicksand pools close to each other will combine into a large pool.  This is a pretty big threat to melee.  As you will find out, the damage radius of Quicksand is a bigger than the graphic looks.  This makes it harder for your tanks to find a good spot and also endangers the positioning of the melee.  We had this be a problem very few of the time so it’s rare but it is not unseen.

DPS Target: Sul the Sandcrawler (death)/Frost King Malakk (~45%), Empowered Target: Kazra’jin

Everyone should finish off Sul before turning on Kazra’jin.  Mar’li should be interrupted and moved far out from Kazra’jin.  He should’ve been around 20% at the beginning of the phase so you still have time to get on Kazra’jin afterwards.  Everyone should stack on top of Kazra’jin during this however make sure that you are not standing in the lightning ground.  For a majority of the time, Kazra’jin will charge very close to his original position since everyone is stacked.  For one pull, Mar’li was closer to the group and he kept charging to her so I believe if she is too close and there’s no one else further away to charge, he will charge to her.  I also think that if you have ranged clump but still stay further out, he will preferentially charge to them.  If everyone’s too clumped thought he will charge further away.  A cooldown rotation should be used here to deal with the reflecting damage similar to any other AOE damage phase.  A large part of the time people will be close to dying, however the boss must be pushed before dark power so you sometimes just need to clench your teeth and deal with it.  Individually everyone should use their damage reduction cooldowns.

On normal, once Sul dies, the fight was infinitely easier.  On heroic this is not the case.  Do not think that after Sul dies, the fight is easy.  In fact a lot of our deaths occurred after Sul was dead.  This is because of the additional heroic mechanic of the Soul Fragment.  After Sul’s death you will get your first one.  It’s ok if this goes to 10 stacks.  I’ve even heard Warlocks and other players getting upwards of 30 stacks.  It’s ok because it’s earlier.  Later you might regret getting 40+ stacks J  Also bosses do more damage after each possession.  Just don’t lose focus. After Sul’s death, each empowerment phase is only a repeat of previous phases.  You know what to do and you must continue to do it.  Damage only increases from here.

DPS Target: Frost King Malakk (~20%), Empowered Target: High Priestess Marli

Same as before, one ranged go far out, melee clump on boss, ranged clump near boss.  Everyone kill melee spirit, ranged kill ranged spirit after.

Have your standard DPS split with only those who have just enough to push empower before Dark Power kill HPM and everyone else of FKM.

DPS Target: Frost King Malakk (<5%), Empowered Target: Frost King Malakk

Same as before.  Frostbite target will die.  It’s possible your DPS is fantastic and you don’t get enough Frostbite.  Everyone can DPS FKM.

DPS Target: Frost King Malakk (death)/Kazra’jin (~40%), Empowered Target: Kazra’jin

Everyone kill FKM then carry out same as previous Kazra’jin empowered phase.  AOE damage is starting to get very high here.

DPS Target: High Priestess Marli (<20% -> death), Empowered Target: High Priestess Marli

Everyone kill HPM.  Mechanics are same as previous phase.  Do not slack, get in to position and kill the spirit when it comes out.  We have wiped here and you don’t want to experience that.

DPS Target: Kazra’jin (~10% -> death), Empowered Target: Kazra’jin

Everyone kill Kazra’jin.  Get in close to Kazra’jin.  Don’t stand in the freaking lighting on the ground. You’ll be fighting against the empowerment and not trying to kill yourself.  Dark Power will start off doing around 40K if you get to this phase.  Pop everyone and hopefully you will kill him.

Final Thoughts

Our first kill was around the 9 minute mark and that is considered slow.  I’m fairly sure when we kill them again it will be a lot cleaner.  One thing to mention about the Shadowed Soul, keep a watch on these.  Make sure you don’t pass it to tanks while Frost King Malakk is up.  After he dies, you can basically just throw them on the melee.  Initially, you should give it to your melee or any warlocks.  Following this you can put it on other ranged/healers before giving them to the tanks.  Have around 30 stacks of this is not too bad.  Dark power will do a lot more damage however, just keep that in mind.  Make sure you can see who has the debuff and how many stacks they have.

I know this was a long guide and I apologize for the length of it but this fight is fairly complex.  I gave as many hints that I could remember over the 60 or so wipes we did and I hope that this will help you reduce the amount of wipes for your guild.  Feel free to leave any questions in the comments!

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One thought on “Heroic Council of Elders

  1. Nice blog keep it up 🙂
    I done it week ago and solo soak frostbite is easiest way imo, we use target defensive cd before frostbite start then rotate healer cd, i used to put sacrifice holy avenger and devotion aura to second target when dark power begin and it was enough to prevent target die. Best way to deal with 3 frostbite is let target die and combat res or use immunity – but it is very random fight.

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