Prince Malchezaar is a raid boss located at the very top of Karazhan.
Little is known about him, except that he is a man'ari eredar, he claims to be a prince, and that he is a member of the Burning Legion. It is unknown how or when he arrived at Karazhan or what his purpose there is. He apparently arrived while some agents of the Violet Eye were still alive inside Karazhan, notably Keanna. It was likely shortly before Karazhan was sealed, as the Violet Eye were aware of Keanna's death.
From his loot, we can learn more about him and what he did before coming to Karazhan. He has the Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix, which could indicate that he has been in contact with the blood elves. Possibly, he sealed the alliance between Kil'jaeden and Kael'thas Sunstrider. He has also obtained Grom Hellscream's axe Gorehowl. It's possible that he went to Ashenvale and invocated the Demon in Demon Fall Canyon. If he has the Book of Medivh, the Burning Legion has a plan for him, invocating something (possibly Nightbane (boss) as the players) or for a future use. Anyway, he had to maintain the power and the influence of the Burning Legion in Karazhan.
Due to his death giving the player the Karazhan achievement, he is now considered to be the tower's final boss. However, some used to consider the creature Nightbane to be the true final boss of Karazhan due to his superior difficulty in the early days of the dungeon's release. Their comparative difficulty is now disputed.
In any case, Prince Malchezaar is a difficult boss for raids when they first reach him. Beating him requires good gear on everyone: The tank, the dps, and the healers. It also requires skilled execution by all players.
Prince Malchezaar can be encountered after the Chess event and controls all of the trash between the Game Room and Netherspace.
Attacks and abilities
- Summon Infernal (All phases)
- Malchezaar summons a Netherspite Infernal which, about three seconds after landing, starts continuously casting a Hellfire AoE roughly the size of the one Baron Geddon uses. Each Infernal lives for about 180 secs, and there is no limit for how many of them can be up at the same time. There are typically four Infernals up at a time until the end of Phase Two (see below), after which they will start increasing rapidly. These Infernals are stationary, and must be avoided by the raid. They cannot be targeted or attacked. The cooldown on this ability is 45 seconds during Phases One and Two, and 15 seconds during Phase Three. Malchezaar exclaims one of two emotes to announce an Infernal: "You face not Malchezaar alone, but the legions I command!" or "All realities, all dimensions are open to me!".
- Enfeeble (Phases One and Two)
- Periodically casts Enfeeble on five characters chosen at random, excluding the current target (the tank). [Note: in parties of 5 or fewer, the Prince does not Enfeeble five characters/everyone. The person at the top of the hate list (presumably the tank) is still not targeted, and all others are Enfeebled.] Enfeeble reduces maximum health to a single hit point for about seven seconds. While this effect is active, any damage causes instant death. Healing effects do nothing, but the lost health returns after this undispellable effect ends. Enfeeble is followed by a Shadow Nova, so enfeebled characters must stay 30+ yards away from Malchezaar, and watch out for Infernals. Vampiric effects such as Siphon Life ignore Enfeeble. This does not hit pets.
- Shadow Nova (All phases)
- Malchezaar's Shadow Nova has a three-second cast, a range of 24 yards, deals about 3000 shadow damage, and includes a knock-back. This attack can be outranged by healers and ranged damage-dealers, so even if they are enfeebled it does not cause much concern. Enfeebled melee must get out of range; however as long as they start running right away they have plenty of time to avoid the Shadow Nova. This attack can be resisted. During Phases One and Two, Malchezaar casts this roughly four seconds after Enfeeble. During Phase Three, he casts it without preliminaries.
- Shadow Word Pain (Phases One and Three)
- Periodically casts Shadow Word: Pain on his primary target for Phase One, and on a random target for Phase Three. Can be dispelled. Cannot be reflected. Causes 1500 damage per tick.
- Thrash (Phase Two)
- Thrash gains two extra rapid-fire melee attacks against Malchezaar's current target. Malchezaar uses this ability unpredictably, from a few seconds to up to a few dozen seconds between each use.
- Parry (Phase Two)
- Parry avoids a frontal melee attack as the character ability. This is notable because Parry speeds up the next attack by 40%, and is dangerous in combination with Thrash.
- Sunder Armor (Phase Two)
- Sunder Armor is cast on the main target. As the character ability, this effect reduces the armor of the victim.
- Flying Axes (Phase Three)
- Malchezaar unleashes his axes on random targets as a separate but untargetable attacking entity. They deal physical damage and appear to have Demonic Frenzy as they start out hitting each new target for only about 400 on cloth, while ramping up to 2000 a hit.
- Amplify Damage (Phase Three)
- Amplify Damage is a debuff that doubles damage taken from all sources. It is cast on a random target and not dispellable.
The fight with Prince Malchezaar has three phases:
Phase One starts immediately when Malchezaar aggroes. The door to the balcony closes, and Malchezaar starts summoning infernals and casting Enfeeble and Shadow Nova. He casts Shadow Word: Pain on the tank.
- Fight Malchezaar with the tank's back to the wall to avoid knockback.
- DPS him steadily down to 60%, being mindful of Enfeeble, Shadow Nova, and the Infernal AoE.
- One strategy is to use White damage only for Phase One, except for hunters and classes with aggro wipes. This allows the tank to gain plenty of aggro to counter the high raid DPS of Phases Two and Three, meaning the tank will never get enfeebled.
- If you start to get cornered by Infernals, have your tank move to another part of the platform. Try to do this before Phase Two.
Phase Two starts when Prince Malchezaar is reduced to 60% health. He warps in axes, which substantially increases his melee damage. He stops casting Shadow Word: Pain and starts Parrying and Thrashing and casting Sunder Armor on the tank. Infernal summoning, Enfeeble, and Shadow Nova continue as in Phase One.
Thrash is the biggest threat during this phase and can deal more than 12,000 damage inside of a second. Healers should keep the tank as close to full health as possible and stagger movements during group shifts to ensure the tank does not go very long without a heal.
- Keep attack power and speed debuffs up at all times (Thunderclap, Demoralizing Shout or Curse of Weakness)
- Healers should use preemptive and not reactionary heals during this phase (cancel unnecessary heals instead of only healing when needed)
- Paladin tanks can stop melee attacks and focus on using magic damage to reduce the chance of parry damage spikes
- He is considered "dual wielding" during this phase; as such, his melee auto-attacks have a 19% greater chance to Miss. His melee specials (including Sunder Armor) don't suffer this penalty, though.
Phase Three begins when Prince Malchezaar reaches 30% health. Melee damage on the tank returns to Phase One levels. He stops using Enfeeble, Thrash, Sunder Armor, and Parry. He continues casting Shadow Nova. He starts casting Shadow Word: Pain and Amplify Damage on random raid members. He throws his axes into the air where they fly around attacking raid members at random. He starts summoning infernals much more frequently.
- Make sure the person being attacked by the axes communicates to the raid chat or on Ventrilo or Teamspeak so they can be healed. The damage they do is easy to heal through, but if ignored may cause the death of your healers or damage-dealers. The axes do physical damage and as such can be mitigated with armor. A Paladin's devotion aura is advised.
- The Infernals will spawn much more frequently and Malchezaar must be killed as soon as possible. Raid movement and communication is paramount during this phase to avoid taking damage from the Infernals. Each infernal will land on a fifteen-second timer. In less than two minutes, the infernals will completely cover the combat area, leading to a wipe. Burn him down fast.
- A badly placed infernal during this phase can easily wipe the raid. If this happens, don't be discouraged, since you managed to get him through the most difficult part of the fight (Phase Two).
While the safe spots were removed in patch 2.4, raid groups were formerly able to use several pairs of small areas where infernals would never land. This was never confirmed officially as an exploit, but was still removed.
Malchezaar emotes either "You face not Malchezaar alone, but the legions I command!" or "All realities, all dimensions are open to me!" immediately before summoning an infernal. If you look to the sky beyond the balcony, you'll see a bright yellow meteor headed toward the raid. Its trajectory is a little tricky but somewhat predictable.
One responsible non-melee raider should act as a spotter. He receives a raid marker and has three jobs:
- Watch for falling infernals and move to a safe spot.
- If an infernal will fall on the melee group, announce it in clear terms and suggest a new location (e.g. "infernal on far side of door from melee group, move along the wall from the door", or maybe a minimap ping).
- Stay within range of the melee group so the healers can do their jobs.
The other ranged raiders stick close to the spotter. It's possible to skip the raid marker and announce safe spots, but using the marker requires a lot less communication.
As for the infernals themselves: before landing, they fly in a straight line toward a point in the arena, but shift direction suddenly at the last second, usually down.
Naturally, your spotter should be smart about choosing a safe spot. A wide open place is better than sandwiched between two infernals' AoE, and the area of the Prince's Shadow Nova is right out.
During Phase Three, Malchezaar summons infernals at an increased rate, so watch those emotes.
Wipes on Prince Malchezaar are typically caused by one of four things:
An infernal landing in a bad spot right as an Enfeeble hits. To deal with this, simply watch for infernals, and make sure that there is always room to run. Otherwise, try again and hope for luckier infernal positions.
A lack of heals on the tank when the healers change positions to avoid an infernal. Healers must have a plan to ensure that the tank never goes without heals during a move. This may require that a healer briefly take damage from an infernal.
In Phase Two, a huge damage spike on a warrior tank caused when rapid-fire Thrash attacks use up Shield Block charges and lead to crushing blows. This is even worse if Malchezaar Parries at the same time. These spikes are not avoidable. The healers and the tank must simply use their normal techniques to ensure survival in the face of this damage. In particular, healers must continuously cast big heals in Phase Two even if the tank is at full health. By the time the heal lands, he won't be at full health any more. Parries can be reduced or eliminated by Expertise on the tank and by melee damage-dealers hitting Malchezaar from behind.
Running out of room in Phase Three due to too many infernals spawning. The solution to this is to increase damage output so that the Prince dies before this happens.
Note that better gear, especially on the damage-dealers, reduces the possibility of all of these problems.
- The range of the Hellfires from the Infernals is not nearly as big as it seems graphically, which means that there is some leeway to where you can move and avoid damage.
- If you have a ranged person that is very familiar with this fight and the safe places to stand, mark him/her with a raid icon and instruct the ranged raid members to stay on top of the raid icon during the fight. This saves a lot of time explaining positioning and is very effective if the person marked is good.
- The tank can use an Elixir of Detect Demon to keep track of infernals, and not get trapped. Hunters should turn on Track Demons to accomplish the same thing.
- Melee DPS should keep an eye on infernal positions and have an escape route to use when enfeebled.
- It is possible to have all ranged stand huddled together between the wall and the pillar at the right of the doorway, avoiding Shadow Nova and most infernals, while melee tanks Malchezaar at maximum range.
- A paladin tank will have an advantage during phase two, since the larger amount of charges on Holy Shield compared to Shield Block can enable him to remain uncrushable during the entire fight.
- A feral druid can tank Malchezaar, starting in the center of the platform. A druid in dire bear form can Feral Charge out of each Shadow Nova knockback that isn't resisted, allowing complete freedom of tanking position in order to better avoid the Infernals.
- When Prince Malchezaar resets after a wipe he will completely despawn and then respawn in around 30 seconds.
- Trolls can use Berserk when hit by Enfeeble to get a free haste bonus.
- Priests must avoid using Shadow Word: Death while enfeebled.
- Horde Paladins must avoid using Seal of Blood during Phases One and Two.
- Physical damage-dealers can use Elixir of Demonslaying to great effect, especially in Phases Two and Three.
- During Phase Three, the raid may run out of room to move. Given the choice between standing in range of Shadow Nova and standing in range of an infernal, it's better to move in close and take the hit from Shadow Nova. With no more Enfeeble in Phase Three, it's not always instant death.
- If possible, buff Warlocks' minions and Hunters' pets with Dampen Magic to greatly reduce the damage they take from Shadow Nova as well as Shadow Word: Pain.
- Madness has brought you here to me. I shall be your undoing!
Summoning an Infernal:
- You face not Malchezaar alone, but the legions I command!
- All realities, all dimensions are open to me!
Starting Phase Two:
- Simple fools! Time is the fire in which you'll burn!
Starting Phase Three:
- How can you hope to withstand such overwhelming power?
Killing a player:
- You are but a plaything, unfit even to amuse.
- Your greed, your foolishness has brought you to this end.
- Surely you did not think you could win.
- I refuse to concede defeat. I am a prince of the Eredar! I am...
Prince Malchezaar sometimes casts Enfeeble on the tank at the very start of Phase Two. Reports are mixed on whether this bug is threat-related or not.
Another bug is when his knock back instantly kills a player caught in it.
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