There be trolls’ – Preparing for Zul’Aman (ZA)Woot! The guild is finally off to ZA on Saturday night, after what seems like endless months of Karazhan the Cruel (my new name for it, because Medivh cheats and the best loot never seems to drop).
Tinuviel might even be able to return to her beloved 41/20/0 build, as mages can sheep in ZA, so no more need to be queen of the chain traps.
So what do we know about ZA? ‘There be trolls.’
I credit WoWWiki with most of this write up (I’ve just shortened it and posted it here for your benefit).
ZA is a 10-man raid instance located in the Ghostlands (the Blood Elf 10-20 starting area in Eastern Kingdoms). There is a FP immediately outside, but if you don’t have it yet, the nearest is Light Hope Chapel in Eastern Plaguelands: From there, ride north to the portal with the Ghostlands. Carry on through and look for a road to the right to ZA (if you reach Silvermoon City, you’ve gone too far :>P)
There’s no attunement, but ZA is harder than Karazhan and requires Karazhan or better gear to attempt the first few bosses, and T5 groups still find the later bosses a challenge. I will post the min spec suggestions separately.
There are 6 bosses in all, four avatars of the troll forest gods (Nalorakk the bear, Akil’zon the eagle, Halazzi the lynx and Jan’alai the dragonhawk), the witchdoctor Hex Lord Malacrass, and finally Zul’jin, the big bad. The first four can be attempted in any order, but the bear boss is easiest, so most group try him first.
There are a number of quest givers outside the instance, and several timed events.
The first four bosses in the zone each have a hostage NPC. Upon talking to Harrison Jones (or when he opens the doors), a timer starts. When it runs out, all remaining hostages are killed. When a hostage is rescued before the timer runs out, it opens a chest with extra loot, and adds some bonus time on the timer. For more on the timed events see: timed event.
Apart from getting all 4 chests and a war bear (I can dream can’t I?), I would love to work towards getting 2 bosses down in the time. The second chest gives a chance of Trollsbane or Tuskbreaker
Nalorakk (bear lord)
As the raid makes its way up to the bosses platform, Nalorakk sends waves of trash mobs to attack the party, the last of which consists of trolls mounted on bears accompanied by two trolls. You cannot initiate combat with Nalorakk until these last four trash mobs are dead. During the fight, Narolakk alternates between his troll form and a bear form.
Akil’zon (eagle lord)
Located in the north-western corner, he is the second-easiest boss and most raids attempt him next after killing Nalorakk. This boss sends waves of non-elite eagles against the raid as they engage elite trolls on the way up and fend off elite trolls from the flank. The boss fight requires some attention and skillful maneuvering by the entire group.
The path to him is rather uneventful (when compared to the first two bosses), still packs of fierce trolls and patrols calling for reinforcements offer some challenge. The boss fight itself has an interesting twist. On two pillars, two lairs of dragonhawk eggs are located. If the eggs are smashed, adds spawn from them. During the fight, the boss periodically summons hatchers to smash the eggs. Although it’s tempting to kill the hatchers as soon as they spawn, it’s better not to do so and let them crush some eggs, because when the boss’ health reaches 35%, he spawns all remaining eggs. Besides this, the boss regularly throws a lot of bombs, which the raid has to learn to avoid.
The last of the animal bosses is a very hard-hitting melee/shaman based boss. There’s not a lot of fancy tactics, it’s mostly a gear check for the tank and healers. With Kara/Gruul gear alone this fight is very difficult, at least some SSC/TK/ZA gear is recommended.
Hex Lord Malacrass
After the four animal bosses are all defeated, the way to the inner sanctum opens up. The trash mob groups leading to him require some skill to master, and the boss himself needs very good interrupts. Besides dealing large amounts of AoE damage to the entire raid, he frequently casts heals which must be interrupted.
The fight consists of five phases, while the boss shifts through all of the animal aspects encountered before. Each of the phases requires a different tactic, a key to success is survival – all raid members must learn what to do in each phase. To bring him down is the crowning achievement in any Zul’Aman run, the instance is clear!
Information on trash pulls and individual boss fights to follow….