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Two Bosses Enter: Illidan Stormrage vs. Kael'thas Sunstrider


A new week means it's time for a new edition of Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy deathmatches where we pit two raid bosses against each other – and you get to tell us who emerges victorious. Two bosses will enter our arena, but only one will get to leave! We're going to keep pitting boss against boss until we finally emerge with a single victor. This week we'll be judging a fight between two powerful Outland bosses: Illidan Stormrage, the final boss in the Black Temple, and Kael'thas Sunstrider, the final boss in the Eye of Tempest Keep. Curious about what might happen if these two bosses met up? Keep reading!


Illidan has a wide array of abilities at his disposal to wipe out any opposition. He's capable of heavy melee damage, high fire and shadow damage, and can summon a variety of minions to keep you occupied. Illidan's abilities at the start of the fight are as follows:
  • Shear reduces the health of his main target by 60%
  • Illidan will occasionally jump into the air and land in a patch of highly damaging blue flame
  • Illidan will randomly target players to cast a parasites debuff on, which does shadow damage over time and then summons two parasites to attack the target
  • Draw soul does heavy fire damage to targets in front of Illidan and heals Illidan
For phase 2, Illidan offers a different range of ways to kill you:
  • Illidan will summon two massive fire elementals, the Flames of Azzinoth
  • Every 30 seconds, Illidan will sweep an eye beam across the platform, doing heavy fire damage and leaving a trail of damaging fire behind it
  • Illidan shoots fireballs that do splash damage
  • Dark Barrage does heavy shadow damage to a random target, though it's rarely cast
For phase 3, Illidan acts nearly the same as phase 1, only with the addition of agonizing flames, a fire spell that does damage on initial impact and damage over time afterwards.

For phase 4 (a quick phase, at 30 seconds long), Illidan will unleash the demon within. He turns into a black demon with powerful abilities, but is unable to move. During this phase, he'll cast:
  • Shadow blast, a high damage shadow attack with splash damage
  • Flame burst, an AoE fire-based DoT that does splash damage
  • Aura of dread does a high amount of shadow damage over time as well as increasing the damage taken by shadow spells (stacks)
Phase 5 is like phase 3, only with the addition of the following:
  • Maiev Shadowsong joins the fight -- and though we usually don't consider adds for fights, I'm keeping Maiev in this fight because Illidan is just incredibly powerful. (And Maiev would be hunting him down whether he was in the Black Temple or dueling with Kael'thas outside of Orgrimmar.)
  • Illidan can enrage, randomly.
For those of you familiar with the fight, you'll notice something missing -- this is because we aren't considering instant-kill abilities. In a one-on-one encounter, they make the fight predictable and dull. However, if you're still curious for the full details of the fight, check Bosskillers.

Despite what you may have been lead to believe by repeated viewings of Azerothian Super Villains, Kael'thas is no pushover. However, for the purposes of this fight he's certainly more so than he is in the game -- in order to make these fights as fair as possible, we try to consider the bosses on their own, without any adds that might be in the room at the start of the fight. This means Kael'thas doesn't get the aid of his advisors, and we skip straight into phase four of the encounter, where you first trade blows with Kael'thas himself. The skills Kael'thas has at his disposal are as follows:
  • Mind control, though in a one-on-one fight this would do little but bore the audience
  • An arcane explosion (arcane AOE) that disorients anyone hit by it
  • Can summon a Pheonix which will hellfire (fire AOE that damages the Pheonix) and spawns an egg on death. If the egg isn't destroyed quickly, another Pheonix will spawn.
  • A high-damage fireballs and pyroblasts (fire attacks)
After 50%, Kael'thas will stop using mind control and pyroblast, and start using nether beam (a chain lightning-esque ability), nether vapor (clouds that give a stacking HP-reducing debuff to anyone who enters them), and gravity lapse (which causes everyone to levitate for 30s).

And that's all there is for Kael'thas -- full details of the fight, for the curious, are gone over at MMO Champion.

Before you vote, remember -- we're trying to consider each of these bosses on approximately even footing. That means we're not just running a spreadsheet of their exact health and precise damage, but instead are considering each bosses' abilities and fighting style. Please presume that each boss has similar health and damage capabilities.

Who would win in a fight?
Illidan Stormrage
Kael'thas Sunstrider
It would be a draw

Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

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