Attacks and abilities
In heroic mode, Vexallus is immune to any taunt abilities.
- Melees for ~3K Arcane damage on Heroic. Since Vexallus hits for arcane damage as a melee attack both warrior's shield block and spell reflect do not work on him. A warrior tank should dual wield another high stamina weapon during the fight.
- Energy Bolt - Infrequently cast and instant. Targeting doesn't appear to be aggro based. ~3000 arcane damage to first target. 20 yard range.
- Damage Can Be Avoided By Hiding Behind one of the 2 Pillars At the Sides of the Room.
- ω ϖ—Shocks an enemy with concussive force, then inflicts additional Arcane damage every 3 sec. for 12 sec.
- Overload (activates around 20% HP) - A chain-cast Arcane Blast-type AoE attack. 1000 damage to all group members. Increases Arcane damage taken by 10%. Stacks up to 15 times, at which point Vexallus stops attacking (for how long?).
- Spawns Pure Energy at 15% health intervals:
- Similar to the adds from Curator.
- Health: 1hp
- Quantity per spawn: 1 in Normal mode, 2 in Heroic.
- Energy Bolt - Deals 2828 to 3172 arcane damage. 20 yard range.
- Energy Feedback - Placed on the player who kills an add. Deals 300 Arcane damage every second that can be resisted. Increases damage dealt by 50%. 30 second duration. Stacks up to 10 times.
- Cannot be damaged by AoE abilities.
Vexallus will spawn Pure Energy adds every time his health drops 15% and starts to AoE the entire party at around 20% health. These adds must be taken down immediately, otherwise they will start AoEing the entire party for ~2k each.
When the adds are killed, the player who killed the add gains "Energy Feedback", a debuff that causes 300 Arcane damage per second, but also increases all damage dealt by 50% (this debuff can stack multiple times, renewing its timer on application, increasing both the damage taken and the damage increase buff). Allowing too many stacks of the debuff to build up on a single player will likely kill them if the healer can not keep up, so it is best to spread them out among the tank and DPS'ers, or otherwise. (See: Sample Group).
The fight is essentially a race against your healer's mana pool and maximum HPS (healing per second). As more and more debuffs pile up, it becomes harder and harder to keep everyone alive (similar to the combined Garottes in the Moroes fight). However, in order to kill Vexallus fast enough when he enrages, you must accumulate debuffs in order to increase your group's DPS (unless you substantially out-gear the encounter).
All damage dealt by Vexallus and the adds is Arcane (including his melee attack) and cannot be shield blocked or spell reflected. Stacking Arcane resist will help immensely, although high DPS must be maintained, and quick bursts of 5K-6K damage are very common. The damage portion of the debuff from killing an add is not resistible in part or whole. Arcane Protection Potions will significantly ease the load on your healers.
There are several ways to approach this fight, depending on group makeup.
- If the group has a hybrid class capable of healing, it is recommend that they do so. This is by far the easiest way to complete this fight.
- For Groups with Hunters and Warlocks, it is a very good idea to use pets to take a set, or if possible, 2 sets of the summoned adds for the debuff gained when killing them. The pets should be sacrificed and no heals should be used on them. Hunters with Improved Revive Pet can trivialize the fight, even in Heroic mode, by killing all Pure Energy spawns with the pet, letting the pet die, and then reviving it.
- For groups with a Mage, the Mage can use Ice Block to remove the debuff.
- For groups with a Rogue, the Rogue can use Cloak of Shadows to remove the debuff.
- For groups with a healer with sufficient mana or mana regeneration, the group can simply stop attacking until the debuff wears off.
- Abilities that react to damage by returning damage, like Lightning Shield, will kill the adds before any intentional attacks land on them. It may be best to remove such abilities before the battle.
- If you chain-pull the packs of eels in front of Vexallus, it is possible to start this fight with a substantial damage buff for the first 10–15 seconds.
- It is possible for a warlock to absorb many of the debuffs and drain through the stacking damage. As health returned from drain life is buffed by each stack, a lock with 1k shadow damage or more can return more health than any number of debuff stacks can inflict. Groups with DPS high enough to cope with the final burndown during overload can therefore use a warlock to soak all the debuffs if required. This effect also works well in heroic mode, making short work of the encounter.
- With 2 Hunters, 2 Pallys and a Mage, spamming "/target Pure Energy" will help you acquire the sometimes hard to see adds. Once someone has the debuff, stop DPS on Vexallus (but continue tank and pet attack) until the buff wears off and person is healed via bandage or potion (save healing for tank), DPS down to next 15% interval, and repeat.
Warlock Minion Zerging
Any group with a warlock speced for master summoner can make this fight so easy it's laughable. Simply have them summon a voidwalker, and have the voidwalker take the first set of sparks. From here you have two options depending on the group's dps. For a group with lower dps, simply sacrifice the voidwalker once it has taken the sparks and begin summoning a new one; as long as you act quickly, you should have a voidwalker ready to take every single set of sparks. With a high dps group it is possible (and safer) to use health funnel to keep the voidwalker alive to take a second round of sparks. This lowers the risk of not having the voidwalker available to take the sparks, because your group will be spawning them rather rapidly. If your group is still getting overwhelmed with sparks it is recommended that your group slows down on dps until there is a voidwalker ready to take the sparks. IMPORTANT NOTE - Always sacrifice the voidwalker before the next one is summoned, otherwise you run the risk of resummoning it with the debuffs still applied.
Druid Overload Strategy
Bringing any type of druid makes this fight much easier. Once Vexallus gets to ~20%, have the druid use barkskin and tranquility. The amount healed will mitigate most of the damage which occurs when he starts his overload. Any druid spec can do this since tranquility heals for an enormous amount. It is critical to remember to barkskin, otherwise tranquility will end prematurely because of the pushback from overload.
For groups with a DPS that can act as a second healer, this fight gets much easier. The key is to take it slowly, spread the debuff from the adds around, and keep the in coming damage low. Make sure the adds die before they 'pop' and lets some of the debuffs run out. Everyone can get healed up before each 15%. Let the DPS takes the last couple adds so that they have a decent +damage going into the enrage.
Have the healer switch to damage at 20% and it should be simple.
Two Pure Energy adds appear at 15% health intervals until 25% health remains, for a total of ten.
Vexallus goes into Overload at 10%, making any remaining adds more dangerous; therefore, controlling your DPS may be necessary.
A sample fight for a Warrior, Priest, Mage, Warlock, and Rogue group:
- The fight starts. The group gives the warrior a bit of time to build aggro, then begins to DPS.
- The first set of adds spawn. The warlock uses his VW to kill both. His VW has not died yet. No heals are used on the VW. Everyone is still hitting the boss.
- The second set of adds spawn. The VW has died from the dots. The Rogue steps up and kills the 2 adds, then uses Cloak of Shadows to remove the debuff, and goes back to DPS'ing the boss. However, he is a bit slow and one of the adds manages to do 1 AoE. The priest uses a group heal.
- Could have the Warlock summon and sacrifice his/her VW or follow the next strategy contributed by Voidripper on Area 52. When the fight begins have the Warlock just use the spells s/he would normally use but when the orb spawn have the Warlock take all orbs and Drain Life on the boss only. The orbs Debuff will increase the amount of health drained from the boss.The Warlock can take the full stack amount BUT THE WARLOCK WILL NEED A HEAL AROUND THE 6th DEBUFF AND THE WARLOCK WILL DIE WHEN Vexllus Overloads so then just burn him down then.
- The third set of adds spawn. The Mage takes it this time and Ice-Lances both down. He DOES NOT ICEBLOCK, but starts to DPS the boss again. The priest throws a renew and flash heal on the Mage and focuses on the tank again.
- The fourth set spawns. The Mage Ice-Lances both again, and now he Ice-Blocks to get rid of the 4 debuffs. By this time the boss is almost at 20%.
- A final wave of adds spawn. The tank kills them both with a Swipe/Cleave or some other AoE. (Thunder clap does not work.)
- The boss hits 20%. Everyone pops trinkets and cool downs and goes all out.
As you can see, the key to this fight is to hit the adds as soon as possible. Providing this is done, the damage done to the DPS should be negligible.
Alternate Strategy via Narkotyxx:
If you have a shadow priest with a good arcane resist set (200 or above), he/she will act as the tank. Vexallus does arcane and nature damage only, so this will counter the lack of armor. Have your regular tank work on killing the sparks. I can vouch for this being I have done this a couple time already, with the encounter being easy. Just ensure that you hold the dps after each spark to let the debuff go off.
Alternate Mage Strategy
A mage with the following macro
/stopcasting /target Pure Energy (or "/tar Pure") /cast Ice Lance
can easily dispatch all of the Pure Energies in heroic mode, often collecting 6-8 debuffs at a time before wiping them with Ice Block, provided your group has enough DPS to finish him off during the overload without the +damage buffs.
A warlock can also tank this fight fairly easily, provided it has sufficient arcane resistance. With the following macro, the fight becomes simple;
/cast Searing Pain /petattack Pure Energy
This will ensure you hold aggro, while at the same time telling your pet to attack pure energy immediately, assuming you spam-click this macro. Using sacrifice on voidwalker when its about to die also helps a lot.
Since there is no guaranteed amount of adds the voidwalker can take, considering the sometimes spontaneous movement of them, it is useful to have a macro to inform your group when your voidwalker is down, and let them know that its time for the next adds-taker. You can normally expect it to take two waves, using this strategy.
It is not recommended to tank the boss if your arcane resistance is only above 200 due to your felhunter, as it will quickly drop when your felhunter takes adds. Either that, or the warlock's function as an adds-taker is wasted.
Alternate Shadow Priest Strategy
Shadow Priests offer a cool way to handle the fight using Vampiric Embrace. Simply have the priest kill 3-4 of the adds to increase damage by 150 to 200%. Apply Vampiric Embrace, dot up Vex and the passive heals will heal the shadow priest through the periodic damage of the debuff. Its helps to have a tank with good threat generation or perhaps have the tank kills one or two of the adds to increase their threat generation.
As of patch 3.0.2, the damage from the Energy Feedback is now resistable. Assuming that this is not reverted, this fight has become laughably easy. Any tank, assuming a heroic-level life pool (~12000), that stacks arcane resistance gear past 300 should be able to tank this in heroic without issue.
|How to solo in Cataclysm|
- Drain... life...