Posted tagged ‘nightbane’

Karazhan: Nightbane

June 17, 2008

This is another in a series of posts covering a full Karazhan clear – mostly from a Main Tank’s Point of View.

Nightbane is an optional boss in Karazhan. His difficultly is on-par with the Prince, and in some ways he is the toughest fight in Karazhan. He does require that someone in the raid has completed the quest line to get the Blackened Urn, which is used to summon him.

You fight Nightbane on The Master’s Terrace. To get there, go to the back door and then move towards to ramp up to Curator, but instead of going up the ramp go through the doorway under it. Outside you will find a large circular Terrace. Nightbane always lands in the same spot, so you will want your tank setup there. To find it, walk about 60% of the way around and start looking for a broken barrel. Near that barrel, close to the inside wall you will see a skull on the ground – that is where Nightbane lands.

This fight has two alternating phases

Ground Phase

Positioning: In the ground phase the tank should stand with his back to the outside wall and position Nightbane so that his tail is in the inside wall.  Melee DPS need to position themself on a rear leg, as -like most dragons- the front and rear are dangerous.  Cleave, Breath Attack and normal melee damage hit the tank hard, so be ready with a lot of healing.

Charred Earth: In this phase circular zones of “Charred Earth” will appear.  These do massive fire damage, so you have to move out of them ASAP.  Melee will need to switch sides to avoid these.  Ranged should be split into two groups – one to the right, one to the left – starting close to the inside wall at max range.  When a “Charred Earth” zone opens, they will be able to move to the outside wall and continue on.

Bellowing Roar: At least once each ground phase Nightbane casts a AoE fear, which is a 2.5 second cast.  Ranged should be at max range to avoid this.  Melee should hope to not take a cleave while running around.  The tank needs to try to avoid it.  Warriors should ‘stance dance’ to use Bezerker Rage.  PVP Trinkets break the also break the fear.  Fear Ward and Tremor Totem also work (though the Tremor totem is not ideal).  If the tank eats a fear, Nightbane should stick on him, but the tank will likely pull the dragon into a dangerous position – try to recover as quickly as possible.

Air Phase

At 75%, 50% and 25% Nightbane flies into the air.  After a few seconds an AOE “Rain of Bones” is targeted on a random player, and then several skeletons appear.  Deal with the AOE by all grouping up on the tank, and then moving to one side as a group.  Once out of the damage zone, your tanks should hold down the Skeletons as much as possible while they are DPS’d down.  From the air, Nightbane targets a player – usually a healer – as starts firing Smoking Blasts at them.  This is a high damage attack, and will require quite a lot of healing.

This phase requires high DPS to burn the skeletons down, and strong healing.  Having an extra tank to help hold the skeletons helps a lot here.

Air to Ground Transition

After 50 seconds in the air, Nightbane lands.  If the skeletons aren’t down yet, dps needs to finish them off ASAP.  The Tank needs to get Nightbane’s attention, and this is far harder if healers are still actively casting.  Misdirects help immensely here.  If you don’t have a hunter, the tank can use a ranged attack on Nightbane as he lands, and then pull him into position.  Getting this transition down smoothly is probably the trickiest element of the fight, as loosing anyone on the landing really hurts you for this already challenging fight.

For many groups Nightbane is the last fight in Karazhan that they master, and even if he isn’t the Final boss of the zone, he is always a challenge.  While learning this fight can easily take upwards of 10 minutes (13’21” for our first kill).  While gear and experience will speed things up a bit, the quickest I’ve seen Nightbane taken down was 7’35”.  This is always a long fight, longer than anything else in Karazhan or even Gruul’s Lair – although Magtheridon does take us a *bit* longer.