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Two Bosses Enter: Readers push Black Knight through; Garfrost aims for Devourer

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. It's a brand new season and a brand new format, introducing judges from WoW.com and the WoW community at large -- and of course, your votes. Grab a seat, and let's get ready to rumble!

The very first match of the ICC-5/ToC-5 season of Two Bosses Enter started off in knots, with Thunderdome spectators surging in to break a split decision in the judges' box. As it turns out, 'twas only a flesh wound for the Black Knight, who smashed competitor Bronjahm with 61.7% of the spectators' approval. Things weren't quite so clear in the judges' box, however, as all four judges found their feet tempted by the undeniable groove of the Godfather of Souls.

Join us after the break for the judges' decisions, plus your chance to vote in the next battle of the season: the Devourer of Souls versus Forgemaster Garfrost. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls ... Dyin' time's here.

The crowd carries The Black Knight

Victory for The Black Knight against Godfather of Souls Bronjahm was no sure thing. It was a saving throw from Thunderdome spectators that broke the knot in the judges' box to carry the dark gladiator to victory.

Judge Matthew Rossi: Bronjahm

Bronjahm is going to win because he is James Brown. The other guy is a reference to a very amusing John Cleese character -- but I believe if you asked John Cleese what would happen if he fought James Brown, he would admit that James Brown would defeat him. Sure, the fight would go John's way at first: he's very tall and looks to understand scrappy behavior as well as anyone. But James would simply refuse to actually be defeated. No matter how bad it looked, eventually he would have a cape thrown over his shoulders and be led away, only to toss that cape off and return to the fray while making noises that are barely even coherent (and yet still manage to be some of the best music ever recorded).

I'm sorry, John. I'm a huge fan of your work. But James Brown is going to win, because he's James Brown and that's all he needs.

Judge Sky Paladin: Bronjahm

The key abilities for this encounter are Bronjahm's Corrupt Soul and Fear. The Black Knight must focus his attacks on the soul fragment to burn it down, giving Bronjahm a big lead in damage time, or focus on Bronjahm and try to out-damage his healing from Corrupt Soul.

The Black Knight will catch up in his second phase, however. Bronjahm's Magic's Bane is well suited for taking out groups of melee opponents and idiot DPS. Army of the Dead are famous for taunting at inappropriate moments; Bronjahm will have no mercy. Bronjahm will leave the Black Knight with more than just a flesh wound before he even needs to use Soulstorm.

Black Knight's third phase is the most dangerous for Bronjahm, due to the low target choices for Marked For Death. However, the bane of the Knight's first phase, Corrupt Soul, will once again be effective. Bronjahm uses his fear frequently, and pushing the Black Knight into the Soulstorm will quickly shave away his already diminished health pool.

Judge Zapperz: The Black Knight

What we have is The Black Knight (the ultimate, in-your-face DK with brawn and tons attitude) versus Bronjahm (more of a tactical, cunning kind of dude). My first instinct is to give it to the Black Knight simply because of the Monty Python character, but let's look at this a little deeper.

I'm not even going to consider BK's ghouls a factor in this fight. They might prove to be a slight distraction, but they would easily be eaten up by Soulstorm while Bronjahm teleports a safe distance away. Bronjahm certainly doesn't want BK to get up close and personal with him. Bronjahm teleports to keep his distance, using Corrupt Soul to heal himself while he blasts away with Shadow Bolt. Rinse and repeating with this method, Bronjahm should be able to peel away BK's corporeal form quite quickly.

I don't see BK's skeleton form giving Bronjahm that much trouble. BK's Desecration would be ineffective against the teleporting Bronjahm, though BK would still be able land his licks and DOT up Bronjahm, so Blood Plague and Frost Fever would be taking their toll. Still, Bronjahm would be able to heal himself enough to blast and run BK down to his ghost form.

This is where we separate the men from the boys, where BK's never give up attitude takes over. BK marks Bronjahm for death and then clobbers and nails him with Death's Bite over and over, until Bronjahm is no more. BK would then taunt Bronjahm's body and make fun of his wimpy name.

So that's it. The Black Knight wins in a fairly close one. It all comes down to attitude, and Bronjahm can't beat a guy who no matter how hard you hurt him will insist he's had worse ... and it's only a flesh wound.

Judge Michael Gray: The Black Knight

In the Battle of Pop Culture References, it's difficult to choose between the Godfather of Soul and the man to whom everything is merely a flesh wound. But ultimately, I had to go for the Black Knight. I'm fairly certain he just won't be impressed by the brand new bag.

In terms of battle style, the Black Knight brings with him his legion of undead to help handle the Corrupt Soul ability on which Bronjahm relies. And Bronjahm must not only defeat the Black Knight once or twice -- he has to do it a whopping three times. By the time the fight's dwindled to when the Black Knight is in melee range, Bronjahm's out of reliable tricks to keep the Black Knight's inestimable prowess at bay.

However, in the moments after Bronjahm's death, the ghoul and ghost army of the Black Knight will enjoy the final music -- and get on up, then get on down.

The Laws of the Thunderdome
  • The Two Bosses Thunderdome is considered neutral territory, where both combatants are able to access their usual encounter mechanics and abilities. If you can't visualize it inside the Thunderdome, visualize it someplace else -- but you must take into consideration all of each bosses' abilities and mechanics.
  • Assume that each opponent is intelligent and capable of strategic thinking.
  • All of the competitors' abilities, including crowd control and other effects to which bosses are usually immune, work on their opponents (with apologies to considerations of lore on this point).
  • Assume that the opponents share similar levels, health pools and comparative overall damage output.
  • Don't get caught up in gameplay mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Don't neglect style, story and scale. Everything is a factor; seeking balance is your goal as a spectator and judge.
In Corner One: The Devourer of Souls

You dare look upon the host of souls?! I shall devour you whole!

The Devourer of Souls is the second and final boss of the Forge of Souls in Icecrown Citadel. He resembles the similarly-named Reliquary of Souls from the Black Temple.

Read more about how the Devourer of Souls goes about his gruesome feast of souls, and review reports from the hardy adventurers who've faced him in battle.

In Corner Two: Forgemaster Garfrost

Tiny creatures under feet, you bring Garfrost something good to eat!

Forgemaster Garfrost is an ice-covered, undead flesh giant, whose duty is to forge saronite weapons and armor for the Scourge. The first boss in the Pit of Saron, he is one of the two opponents required to unlock passage to Scourgelord Tyrannus and the Halls of Reflection.

Learn more about how the Forgemaster forges his chilling tactics, and review reports from adventuring parties who've met him in the Pit of Saron.

Inside the Thunderdome

Two Bosses Enter matchups are about substance and style, not game play and mechanics. Don't base your strategies on player tactics, which opponent has been easiest or most difficult for you personally, or the difficulty of each opponent relative to instance progression. Vote for the spirit of the battle as set forth above. Set aside differences in opponents' health pools, game level and actual damage output. Absolutely no game-mechanic nitpicking!

Who wins in the Thunderdome: Devourer of Souls or Forgemaster Garfrost?
Devourer of Souls wins (Garfrost dies)1099 (55.1%)
Forgemaster Garfrost wins (Devourer dies)830 (41.6%)
Tie (something else happens)65 (3.3%)


The Five-Man Bosses of Icecrown Citadel and Trial of the Champion

Match 1: Bronjahm vs. The Black Knight – THE BLACK KNIGHT
Match 2: Devourer of Souls vs. Forgemaster Garfrost
Match 3: Krick and Ick vs. Scourgelord Tyrannus
Match 4: Falric vs. Argent Confessor Paletress
Match 5: Marwyn vs. ToC PvP champions
March 6: Eadric the Pure vs. Lich King

Set aside the world order -- let the Thunderdome determine who's the champion of Icecrown! Come back next week to find out who is the victor of the Icecrown-Trial of the Champions season of Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Two Bosses Enter

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