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Imperial Vizier Zor'lok Detailed Strategy Guide
Last updated by Vlad, on 31 Oct. 2012
This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Imperial Vizier Zor'lok in Heart of Fear. It is targeted to anyone
who desires to understand the fight mechanics.
This guide is updated for World of Warcraft MoP 5.0.5.
Imperial Vizier Zor'lok is the first boss encounter in the Heart of Fear.Overview of the Fight
This is a two-phase fight, which will mainly serve to test your raid members'
ability to perform movement-based tasks. The second phase of the encounter
is of greater complexity than the first, and this is where the main
difficulties will arise.
The encounter against Imperial Vizier Zor'lok (henceforth referred to simply as Zor'lok) is a two-phase fight.
•During Phase One
, the raid will have to fight Zor'lok on the three elevated platforms
around the room. He will always go to all three platforms (flying to a new platform every time you remove 20%
of his life), but the order in which he does so is random. On each platform, Zor'lok will use an extra ability
specific to that platform. Also, at ground level, the room will be filled with Pheromones of Zeal
, a damaging/silencing gas
that the raid will have to traverse when following Zor'lok to a new platform.
•When Zor'lok's health reaches 40%
, he enters Phase Two
. He will fly to the center of the room, absorb all the gas to buff his damage, and pull everyone to his location. Throughout this phase, Zor'lok will keep using all of the abilities that were previously granted to him only when he was standing on a specific platform.
The enrage timer for the encounter is 6 minutes, and this constitutes one of the major challenges your raid will have to overcome. There is no need for a second tank, allowing you to use an extra DPS player, thus boosting your raid's damage output.Core Abilities (used throughout the fight)
Zor'lok has a few abilities that he uses throughout the fight, regardless of the phase.1. Inhale and Exhale
Exhale and Inhale are two complementary abilities that Zor'lok often uses. Exhale is a damaging ability and Inhale is a self-buff that Zor'lok stacks on himself to increase the damage of Exhale.1.1. How Inhale Stacks
Inhale is cast one or twice between every cast of Exhale. Each time Inhale is cast, it increases the damage of Exhale by 50%. The cast of Inhale lasts 2 seconds and cannot be interrupted. Whenever Exhale is cast when there are 3 or more stacks of Inhale on Zor'lok, the stacks of Inhale are removed.
As you can see, you have no control on the number of stacks of Inhale that Zor'lok will have. You simply need to be aware of the fact that some casts of Exhale (those at 3 or 4 stacks of Inhale) will deal more damage than others (those at 1 or 2 stacks of Inhale).1.2. How Exhale Works
Exhale is a channeled spell with which Zor'lok targets a random raid member. It fires a beam towards the target, dealing damage to them every 0.5 seconds, and stunning them. If a player intercepts the beam (i.e., moves between Zor'lok and the targeted raid member), then Exhale no longer affects its target, and instead deals reduced damage to the intercepting player.2. Song of the Empress
Song of the Empress is an ability that Zor'lok uses to damage the raid if no players are within his melee range. This ability forces your raid to engage Zor'lok on which ever platform he is on.3. Dealing with the Core Abilities
Exhale can be easily dealt with by having the tank intercept the beam. The damage dealt by this ability is relatively low, and Zor'lok does not melee during this time.
The only concern is for melee players, who, if targeted, should move away from the boss slightly so that the tank can properly get between them and Zor'lok's hitbox.
Dealing with Song of the Empress merely involves having your raid move to Zor'lok's new platform as soon as possible. This will require you to move through the center of the room, where you will take damage from Pheromones of Zeal.
Abilities such as Stampeding Roar are useful for this task. This is not a major concern, since it is entirely possible for your raid to reach Zor'lok's new location before he even begins channeling Song of the Empress.5. Phase One
As we explained in the overview, Phase One lasts until Zor'lok reaches 40% health. During this phase, Zor'lok will go to each of the three platforms in the room, switching platform whenever you remove 20% of his life (so at 80% and 60%). The platform order is random, but he will always go to all 3 platforms (that is to say, he will never go to the same platform twice). On each platform, Zor'lok uses a specific ability that your raid will have to deal with, as we explain in the sections that follow.
When moving to a new platform, you will have to pass through Pheromones of Zeal, the damaging/silencing gas that the floor of the room is covered with. This is simply a source of occasional damage and silences that the raid needs to be aware of, but it should not pose any problem.1. Platform: Attenuation
When on the north-eastern platform (located on the left side of the room where you fight Zor'lok), you will have to deal with Attenuation, which Zor'lok uses in addition to his core abilities.1.1. Attenuation
Attenuation is a channeled spell that Zor'lok uses roughly every 45 seconds.1.2. Strategy
For 9 seconds, Zor'lok sends many disks away from himself, in random
directions. The disks move at a moderate speed across the floor, dealing a
large amount of Physical damage to anyone who comes in contact with them.
The strategy for this phase is extremely simple. Whenever Attenuation is cast, your raid members must move to avoid being hit by any of the disks sent forth by Zor'lok.
Even though the disks deal high damage, a player can survive damage from several disks without the need for healing.
Since both Attenuation and Exhale are channeled spells, you will never have to deal with both of them at the same time, greatly reducing any potential difficulty of the phase.2. Platform: Convert
When on the south-eastern platform (located at the back of the room where you fight Zor'lok), you will have to deal with Convert, which Zor'lok uses in addition to his core abilities.2.1. Convert
Convert is a mind control that Zor'lok casts on a number of random raid members roughly every 60 seconds. Convert affects 1 player in 10-man, and 5 players in 25-man. Sometimes, Convert affects 2 players in 10-man, but we are not sure what the reason for this is.
In order for the mind control to be broken, the mind-controlled player(s)must be damaged to 50% of their maximum health. Each attack made on the player(s), however, has a chance to instantly break the mind control. This chance increases the closer the player's health is to 50%.2.2. Strategy
The strategy for this phase simply involves freeing the mind controlled player(s) quickly. There is absolutely no complexity involved.
Your healers should be quick to dispel any debuffs that the mind-controlled player may apply to the raid, or that raid members inadvertently apply to the mind-controlled player when attacking them.3. Platform: Force and Verve
When on the south-western platform (located on the right side of the room where you fight Zor'lok), you will have to deal with Force and Verve, which Zor'lok uses in addition to his core abilities.3.1. Force and Verve
Every 45 seconds, Zor'lok will channel Force and Verve for 10 seconds. This deals a large amount of raid-wide damage every second.
Fortunately, immediately before casting Force and Verve, Zor'lok will create 3 shields on the ground near him, that your raid can use for protection. Being under one of these shields will reduce the damage taken from Force and Verve by 40%.3.2. Strategy
Whenever Zor'lok creates the protective shields, you will have a few seconds to move under them before the channel of Force and Verve begins. Failure to do so will result in very high damage.
Each shield can only protect a limited number of players: 4 in 10-man, and 9 in 25-man. Any additional players who move under the shield will simply not benefit from its protection.
Due to the above-mentioned limitation, and the fact that the shields spawn in random locations, it is hard to simply assign people to a specific shield ahead of time. Instead, you should designate three groups of players, and assign a leader for each group. Then, simply have these leaders quickly decide which shield their group will go to, and have the other members follow their leader.
Since Force and Verve is a channeled spell, Zor'lok does not melee during this time. Even so, the damage from Force and Verve is quite high, even to shielded players, so healers will have to be prepared for this.Phase Two
At 40% health, Zor'lok will fly above the center of the room, and absorb all the Pheromones of Zeal. This grants him a buff that increases his damage done by 10%, and haste by 20%, until the end of the fight.
Shortly after this, he will pull the entire raid to his location.1. Abilities
During this phase, Zor'lok will use all of the abilities from Phase One. Fortunately for your raid, you will never have to deal with Attenuation and Force and Verve at the same time, as they are both channeled.2. Strategy
The strategy for this phase is simply to execute the tasks that you have been practicing in the previous phase.
The center of the room is much more spacious than the platforms, so your raid can spread out more to avoid the disks from Attenuation. You must be careful, however, not to have any raid members so far away from the group that they cannot reach the protective shields in time.When to Use Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp
We recommend using Heroism/ Bloodlust/ Time Warp during Phase Two, since this is by far the most intense and complex phase of the encounter.Learning the Fight
If your raid needs more practice on a specific platform, then it is possible, during an attempt, to stop attacking the boss once the platform is reached. Learning how to deal with boss abilities is a lot easier when players are not distracted by performing their role. DPS will make less mistakes and take less damage, making it easier for the healers to heal, giving them more focus on the boss abilities.
Phase Two is a combination of all the scenarios from Phase One.
Even if raid members already know how to deal with all the abilities separately, chances are that having to deal with them at the same time (although Attenuation and Force and Verve cannot happen simultaneously) is going to be somewhat confusing. Here, the raid can also stop attacking the boss and have players focus on avoiding boss abilities instead, until they no longer make mistakes.
Remember that learning something by steps is always easier than trying to learn it entirely at once.