In Wrath of the Lich King, we rescued Valithria Dreamwalker. In Cataclysm, we had to contend with Chimaeron. Healers, if you were looking for a signature encounter for Mists of Pandaria, look no further than Malkorok. He's a former member of the Blackrock orcs who swore allegiance to Garrosh and now acts as bodyguard, chief advisor, and leader of the Kor'kron. In fact, Malkorok is so loyal that he volunteered to be infused with the power of Y'Shaarj.
Read on to find out more about taking down this horde champion!
So what's the deal with this encounter and why do healers need to pay attention to it?
Right off the bat, an Ancient Miasma is going to flood the whole room. Any healing spells going out will become absorbed creating an Ancient Barrier capable of withstanding damage equal to the amount of healing that was absorbed to begin with. However, this barrier has a cap of up to 100% maximum health of the player's health pool. The Miasma will deal 30k damage every 2 seconds. For example, if I have 500k health and I heal myself non-stop, I'll end up with a 500k absorption shield. For those of you who have raided heroic Tortos, you'll find the shield mechanic quite similar.
Notice how my raid frames have different colored buffs on the bottom left corner. Green means a strong shield, while orange is a medium strength shield, and red is a fairly weak shield.Ideally, you want to have your raid filled with strong, full strength absorbs to withstand the punishment that goes out. If a player loses health, there's no way to restore it until the end of a Blood Rage phase which we'll get to in a moment. What you may want to do is utilize a form of zone healing. As players will be moving around constantly, your healers should be evenly spaced where they can simply look out for any players that are near them and ensure that they're "in the green".
While Malkorok isn't exactly divided into phases, he does have two modes of himself: Hard hitting Malkorok and really hard hitting Malkorok.
Phase One - Endless Rage
When Malkorok isn't in his Blood Rage phase, he'll continuously gain rage until it reaches 100. Your tanks will need to switch to mitigate Fatal Strike.
Since you're on a circular platform, remind your team that they need to stay at least 5 yards away from each other. His Seismic Slam will knock anyone in a 5-yard radius near the target up into the air. Don't worry, that Ancient Barrier will help mitigate fall damage as well.
Malkorok will randomly face a player and deliver an overhead strike called Arcing Smash that will dish out 600k physical damage in a 40 yard cone in front of him. You'll see ground indicators. Strafe out of the way and make note of where these smashes occurred. After about 3 Arcing Smashes, the areas that he did hit with Arcing Smash will explode for 1.2 million due to Breath of Y'Shaarj. What we did was drop raid marking flares on each area that was struck so that players knew where to avoid when the Breath went out.
My priest is within range of the blue marker. If I stayed, I would have taken lethal damage from the Breath. Below you can see it cover almost the entire half of a platform. That brownish area where the diamond marker is indicates the Arcing Smash.
The last ability in this part of the encounter involves "pools" of Imploding Energy. 3 tears of dark energy will deal 450k damage to players standing within 5 yards after 4 seconds. If the implosion doesn't hit a player, it strikes everyone for 510k instead. He'll open 7 tears at the 25-player level.
Each tear must have at least one person soaking it. If you plan to eat one of the tears, check your shield indicator. Don't eat a tear if your shield is weak or medium. It'll be difficult to assign tears to raiders. Everyone needs to be aware of it. Don't take a tear if there's already another player within it. It doesn't do anything to mitigate the damage going out nor does it split the damage in anyway. You'll be taking unnecessary damage and the healers have a tough enough job as it is keeping the shields up.
Mind you, Malkorok does have a soft enrage. Whenever Blood Rage wears off, he gains a stack of Relentless Assault increasing his damage done by 25%.
Phase Two - Blood Rage
Now that Malkorok reaches a state of Blood Rage, he'll start going to town. Your group needs to stack up to help mitigate Blood Rage because each melee attack will hit for 2 million damage that's split among everyone hit (5.5 million on 25-player normal). The ability is similar to Massive Attacks from Qiang the Merciless (Spirit Kings). He'll lose 5 rage every second and Blood Rage ends when his rage reaches 0. Once this happens, Ancient Miasma is temporarily purged allowing the healers to restore health to anyone who took damage.
Some players will be randomly affected with Displaced Energy. Those players need to run out temporarily and get dispelled before they can come back in. When Displaced Energy falls off, anyone standing within 8 yards of the player will take 450k damage. Since you'll mostly be stacked in front of Malkorok and taking Blood Rage, you'll want these affected players to get out. The debuff lasts for 9 seconds and will deal 250k damage every 3 seconds until it wears off.
Oh and before I forget, you also have 6 minutes to kill him. You didn't think all he had was a soft enrage, did you?
Sadly, the group I was in wasn't able to get the kill. We did push Malkorok down to about 2% but we were overwhelmed. As per the norm, I ran out of mana. More spirit needed! So healers, are you up to the challenge?
WoW Insider Siege of Orgrimmar previews