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For the event prior to the release of Burning Crusade, see Dark Portal Opens.

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BlackMorass

The Dark Portal

Objective

In this wing of the Caverns of Time, players must defend the last Guardian Medivh, in what used to be known as the Black Morass. The Guardian, possessed by Sargeras, attempts to open the Dark Portal to Draenor, while wave upon wave of dragonkin from the Infinite Dragonflight attempt to alter time by preventing the creation of the Dark Portal.

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To access this dungeon, Escape from Durnholde Keep must be completed first.

Party Makeup

This instance is perhaps less forgiving than many in its desired party setup. An ideal group consists of main tank, main healer, 2 DPS (at least one should be ranged), and a hybrid capable of both offtanking and healing.

The best setup is a Warrior/Druid Tank, a Mage, a Hunter, a Rogue, and a Priest with a heavy holy build, and some in Discipline for Improved Power Word: Fortitude. A Warlock could work in place of a mage.

Another way to go with group setup is to focus heavily on melee, using a holy priest as dedicated healer, a dps-specced shaman as totemstomper, offhealer and dps, a druid for tanking, and 2 warriors for dps. This will make the encounter ridiculous in terms of difficulty. Have the druid tank the elites close to the rifts themselves, and have all dps focused on it. Every time a new wave of mobs spawn, warriors do a whirlwind, and the mobs will abort their run to Medivh. The warriors have the health and armor to stay alive even with 5-6 mobs hitting each of them, also making the priests Prayer of Mending and Circle of Healing spells very useful. When the elites go down, the mobs will be easily cleared by the warriors and druid. For Tempurus, just have the warriors nuke extra hard, and strap a shield on when they overaggro.

Another way: Tank, Rogue, Hunter, shadow Priest, and holy Paladin mainhealing. The constant healing from the shadow Priest's vampiric embrace helps top off everyone's health, and also keeps the Paladin's mana up (through spiritual attunement: 10% of the heal goes into the Paladin's mana, and as of patch 2.0.8 even overhealing from the shadow priest's vampiric embrace procs spiritual attunement). During Temporus, have the Paladin put blessing of protection on the tank when mortal strike starts stacking up high, at which point the aggro is shed from the tank, and the Rogue should evasion tank, until the main tank loses the mortal strike debuff.

The most "safe" method involves a very specific party makeup of four people and a fifth "wildcard" that could be you; a stamina-heavy protection warrior, a shadow priest, a skilled warlock and a heavy-healer (holy paladin, priest or resto druid). The 5th party member should be strong DPS, melee or ranged.

  • Just another suggestion* I read this article for general info a few days ago, and did this last nite - our group was as follows: Warrior (Protection spec), Warlock (Demonology spec), Shaman (Enhancement spec), Priest (Hybrid Disc/Holy), and myself - Priest (full shadow). We used the felguard and warlock to take care of the adds at each portal while dps was focused on the elite spawns. Worked very well and nothing was lost using this group makeup, while I wouldn't suggest worrying too much about what spec everyone is and counting talent points too closely - make sure you are with a group who works well together and doesn't mind running around in a purely insane manner. We did this run twice in a row - first time we were there together as a group took us 34 minutes, second run 28 minutes. Definitely having vampiric embrace/touch to top off hp & mana was incredibly useful, since there isn't too much time for sitting, and having a shaman with huge melee dps who can also heal if absolutely necessary is very helpful. Good luck & big thanks to our wonderful Argent Dawn team!
  • Warlock Suggestion - I found it helpful to sink the Lord or Keeper with Seed of Corruption regularly throughout each fight. If timed properly, it would detonate on the adds and make it easier for the mage behind me to burn them down. Occasionally, the aggro generated would be to me, but the mage behind me would still be able to burn them down. When we reached the final boss, the shield was at 85%. Made for a relatively "safe" boss fight.

Strategy

The encounter consists of 18 waves of dragonkin from the Infinite Dragonflight. At waves 6, 12, and 18, there is a boss encounter. Other waves are simply trash mobs. Once started, this encounter is timed. Additional portals will open before the current one is finished, and finishing early allows for time between waves.

Before the encounter

Before the encounter is started, clear the islands around Medivh of trash mobs (gators, cats and spiders). Also be sure to clear a straight path from the instance entrance to Medivh; if your party wipes on the last boss you may have time to resurrect and try again.

Trash Waves

Trash waves consist of one elite and non-elite mobs which will head toward Medivh and begin to attack the shield protecting him. Kill the elite to close the portal and stop the non-elites from spawning. The non-elite mobs can be handled by a mage, warlock, or hunter; other party members should focus on killing the elite.

In a case where you have a skilled warlock and shadow priest combination in your party, all but the warlock engage the elite while the warlock dots and fears the adds, keeping them off of Medivh. The warlock should be lifetapping to keep his mana as full as possible, and the shadow priest should make sure vampiric embrace is up at all times to continually feed the warlock health to turn into mana. When the elite is down, the group runs back to assist the warlock in burning down the adds, everyone gets a few seconds to drink/eat back to full health and mana, and off you go to the next portal. In this way, the only individual taking damage is the warrior tanking the elite.

Using a feral druid for the non-elites is another method. The druid can tank the adds in bear form, thinning their numbers and keeping them from damaging the shield. A paladin or shaman also work well, being able simultaneously grab aggro and heal. Particularly in the case of using a feral druid for this role, if the mana users need extra time to drink the druid can do some healing and buy those needing mana some extra time to drink, then go after the adds again.

The elite which spawns is randomly chosen from several possible types:

  • Warlock - casts AOE Shadowbolt, Fear, and a curse increasing spell damage taken by 50%
  • Mage - casts Pyroblast(random target), Blastwave, Polymorph(2nd highest aggro) and Frostbolt(highest aggro)
  • Warrior 1 - Sunder Armor and Thunderclap
  • Warrior 2 - Mortal Strike

Wave 6: Chrono Lord Deja

Chrono Lord Deja is still an easy fight. The only ability of note is an arcane blast or chain lightning which will hit for 1000 - 2000 damage. This is easily healed through, and the party member assigned to deal with the trash headed for Medivh should still be able to do so during this encounter.

After Chrono Lord Deja is defeated, your group should have thirty seconds to a minute of rest before the seventh wave arrives, depending on how fast you killed him.

Wave 12: Temporus

Temporus is tricky thanks to his Mortal Wound ability, which decreases healing taken by 10% and stacks until your tank cannot be healed. Mortal Wound will sometimes be resisted, which will also clear the debuff. He also has a haste buff that he will periodically cast on himself. Simply keep detect magic up and purge, dispell, or spellsteal this to make this boss much easier to bring down. There are four options available for dealing with Mortal Wound.

First, you can ignore it and simply DPS the boss down. If you choose this option, be sure your DPS classes are up to par and have whoever is in charge of shield trash ignore them. Keeping the mob thunderclapped to slow the attack speed helps massively with this.

Second, you can use an off tank. A feral druid, paladin, or even a rogue with evasion can offtank Temporus long enough for the debuffs to wear off the main tank. If you've been using a feral druid to tank the adds, this is a good time to change tactics. Have the druid hang back until the first add approaches Medivh, drop his beacon, then go in and start tanking the elite. If the MT dies due to mortal strike, the druid should've had plenty of time to get to #2 on the hate list. When the boss is down kill whatever adds the summoned dragon left, use a second beacon if necessary, there should be plenty of health left on the shield to complete the event.

Third, your tank can attempt some fancy footwork. The debuff is applied every 6 seconds and lasts for 12 seconds , but it is only applied while the tank is in melee range of Temporus. If the tank moves out of melee range for 6 seconds as the debuff is about to be applied, they will wear off, allowing the tank to be healed once again, the issue with this method is that if the tank runs too far from the portal the boss will leash, and reset his health.

There is a fourth option, which requires some skilled mage work. The new mage ability spellsteal allows mages to steal "haste". If your tank is a paladin and they bubble they will wipe their aggro, and if the mage can keep their aggro above everyone else, Temporus will come after the mage, at which point he uses his spellsteal ability and now runs away fast enough that there is no way he can be caught. When the pally bubble is over the paladins debuff should be gone and they can re-establish aggro. if this takes too long the mage should have an iceblock ready. He is, however, immune to Slow.

Of all the waves in the encounter, this is the best one on which to ignore the shield trash and use a beacon after.

Another good option if the debuffs start stacking up too high is to position the tank on one side of the rift with a party member 20 to 25 yards from the tank directly opposite the boss on the other side of the rift, once the timer on the debuffs starts getting low have the warrior use the intervene ability on the party member and run ahead of the boss till the debuffs wear off. (this is a really good option and is suggested that you do this if you dont hoave a mage, if you do have a mage, and you spell steal the buff with detect magic/spellsteal, this boss becomes so easy since he attacks so slow that the debuffs sometimes jsut wear off by themselves). /fly

Wave 18: Aeonus

The final boss and wave of the encounter, this boss comes alone, without any trash headed for the shield. He himself will head for the shield and attack it, but it will take him a long time to break the shield if it has previously not taken a lot of damage. So you can make sure your party is fully ready before engaging him.

Aeonus's two abilities consist of a sand breath, which deals roughly 3000 damage in a frontal cone, and a time stop which will paralyze your entire party for 3 seconds, but will not wipe aggro. This should be a relatively easy fight (arguably easier than Temporus) as long as your main tank is kept topped off and can survive the damage taken during the time stop. Aeonus also has an enrage ability that can be removed by a hunter using tranquilizing shot.

Abandoning +str gear for +stam gear (at least for this fight) will assist the main tank with surviving the time stop and assist the healers by allowing them to use their more mana-efficient big heals. Due to the length of the fight, many healers tend to get low on mana at the end of the fight. If you have a Druid with you, remember that (s)he can use the Innervate spell as well!

The Chrono Beacons

The NPC at the beginning of the instance will give each party member a Chrono-beacon. These are used to spawn a dragon and can be used if the shield trash becomes unmanageable. It is instant cast and you target it with a green circle on the ground. Do NOT use them near a boss, as they will despawn/die rather quickly. Instead use them on dragonkin that make it to Medivh's portal. You may also use them on the Rift Keepers/Lords, at least as of 1/14/07.

It is intentional that the summoned dragons get despawned on bosses, since the bosses actually yell out something and despawn your dragon. As of 2/6/07, bosses will despawn all summoned dragons nearby instantly, so 'beacon-bombing' is no longer a viable strategy. However, you can still use beacons on boss waves to clean up adds as long as the boss is adequately far away (40+ yards) from where you drop your beacon.

It is suggested to ignore the trash during the Temporus encounter, and use a beacon afterwards to clean them up quite quickly. As well, if you tank Temporus far enough away from Medivh, you can use a beacon during the fight to deal with adds. Just be sure not to bring Temporus too close, or he will despawn it.

Why should the Alliance help?

Some people have wondered why the Alliance would help Medivh open the Dark Portal. One of the quest NPCs tells you that if the Dark Portal was never opened, the Alliance would never have been formed, and Azeroth would have been destroyed by the Burning Legion.

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