Imperial Vizier Zor'lok Detailed Strategy Guide (Heroic Mode included)

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Boss Icon - Imperial Vizier Zor'lok
Introduction

This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Imperial Vizier Zor'lok in Heart of Fear. It is targeted at anyone who desires to understand the fight mechanics.

This guide is updated for World of Warcraft MoP 5.4.

Imperial Vizier Zor'lok is the first boss encounter in the Heart of Fear. 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.

1. General Information↑top

Difficulty Health Enrage Timer Raid Composition
Tanks Healers DPS
10-man 174M 11 minutes 1 2-3 6-7
10-man Heroic 218M 11 minutes 2 2-3 5-6
25-man 436M 11 minutes 1 5-6 18-19
25-man Heroic 654M 11 minutes 2 5-6 17-18
LFR 305M 11 minutes 1 5-6 18-19

2. Loot↑top

2.1. Armor

Item Name Armor Slot Main Stats
Attenuating Bracers Icon Attenuating Bracers (LFR, Heroic) Cloth Wrists Intellect
Gloves of Grasping Claws Icon Gloves of Grasping Claws (LFR, Heroic) Cloth Hands Intellect
Gauntlets of Undesired Gifts Icon Gauntlets of Undesired Gifts (LFR, Heroic) Leather Hands Intellect
Boots of the Still Breath Icon Boots of the Still Breath (LFR, Heroic) Leather Feet Agility
Mail of Screaming Secrets Icon Mail of Screaming Secrets (LFR, Heroic) Mail Chest Intellect
Zor'lok's Fizzing Chestguard Icon Zor'lok's Fizzing Chestguard (LFR, Heroic) Mail Chest Agility
Chestplate of the Forbidden Tower Icon Chestplate of the Forbidden Tower (LFR, Heroic) Plate Chest Intellect
Warbelt of Sealed Pods Icon Warbelt of Sealed Pods (LFR, Heroic) Plate Waist Strength
Articulated Legplates Icon Articulated Legplates (LFR, Heroic) Plate Legs Strength/Parry

2.2. Amulets, Cloaks, and Rings

Item Name Type Main Stats
Pheromone-Coated Choker Icon Pheromone-Coated Choker (LFR, Heroic) Neck Agility
Hisek's Chrysanthemum Cape Icon Hisek's Chrysanthemum Cape (LFR, Heroic) Back Strength
Fragment of Fear Made Flesh Icon Fragment of Fear Made Flesh (LFR, Heroic) Ring Intellect/Hit
Vizier's Ruby Signet Icon Vizier's Ruby Signet (LFR, Heroic) Ring Strength/Parry

3. Overview of the Fight↑top

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), and it appears that the order of the platforms is fixed (even though it was random when the raid instance was first released). Zor'lok will first visit the south-western platform, then the north-eastern platform, and finally the south-eastern platform. 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 Icon 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.

3.1. Video by Inner Sanctum

10-man Heroic kill

4. Core Abilities (used throughout the fight)↑top

Zor'lok has a few abilities that he uses throughout the fight, regardless of the phase.

4.1. Inhale and Exhale

Exhale Icon Exhale and Inhale Icon 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.

4.1.1. How Inhale Stacks

Inhale Icon Inhale is cast one or twice between every cast of Exhale Icon 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 Icon Exhale is cast when there are 3 or more stacks of Inhale Icon 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 Icon Inhale that Zor'lok will have. You simply need to be aware of the fact that some casts of Exhale Icon Exhale (those at 3 or 4 stacks of Inhale) will deal more damage than others (those at 1 or 2 stacks of Inhale).

4.1.2. How Exhale Works

Exhale Icon 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.

4.2. Song of the Empress

Song of the Empress Icon Song of the Empress is an ability that Zor'lok uses to damage the raid if no players are performing melee attacks against him. This ability forces your raid to engage Zor'lok on which ever platform he is on.

4.3. Dealing with the Core Abilities

Exhale Icon 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 should make sure to be slightly away from the boss so that, if targeted, the tank can properly get between them and Zor'lok's hitbox.

Dealing with Song of the Empress Icon Song of the Empress merely involves having your raid move to Zor'lok's new platform as soon as possible, and begin attacking him. This will require you to move through the center of the room, where you will take damage from Pheromones of Zeal Icon Pheromones of Zeal.

Abilities such as Stampeding Roar Icon Stampeding Roar and Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway 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. When channeled, however, you will only have a few seconds before the damage wipes your raid.

5. Phase One↑top

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%). 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 Icon 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.

5.1. 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 Icon Force and Verve, which Zor'lok uses in addition to his core abilities.

5.1.1. Force and Verve

Every 45 seconds, Zor'lok will channel Force and Verve Icon Force and Verve for 10 seconds. This deals a large amount of raid-wide Physical 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%.

Zor'lok always creates the three shields in the same specific way.

  1. The first shield is spawned right next to him (in melee range).
  2. The second shield is spawned slightly further away from him.
  3. The third shield is spawned around 20 yards away from him.

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. There is no limitation in LFR.

5.1.2. 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 Icon Force and Verve begins. Failure to do so will result in very high damage.

While the shields do spawn in random locations, it is easy to assign players to shields based on their spawning order and distance from the boss. We recommend splitting your raid into three groups. One group should contain the tank and melee DPS, while the healers and ranged DPS should be split between the other two groups. Then, simply assign each group to one of the three shields.

Since Force and Verve is a channeled spell, Zor'lok does not melee or cast Exhale Icon Exhale 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.

You should keep in mind that the damage from Force and Verve is Physical, so cooldowns like Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone and Devotion Aura Icon Devotion Aura will not work. Instead, we recommend using Rallying Cry Icon Rallying Cry, Tranquility Icon Tranquility, or Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier, and other cooldowns of this kind.

In LFR, as we mentioned, there is no limit to how many players can benefit from a single shield, so this aspect of the fight is trivialized. Additionally, the damage of Force and Verve overall is considerably lower in LFR, making it easy to heal. Even players who are not protected by a shield can be kept alive relatively easily.

5.2. 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 Icon Attenuation, which Zor'lok uses in addition to his core abilities.

5.2.1. Attenuation

Attenuation Icon Attenuation is a channeled spell that Zor'lok uses roughly every 45 seconds. 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 disks bounce off the edges of the room, after which they begin traveling back towards Zor'lok, despawning long before they reach him. The disks also sometimes split in two, with the two new disks traveling in slightly different directions. Both of these factors make them more difficult to avoid.

5.2.2. Strategy

The strategy for this phase is extremely simple. Whenever Attenuation Icon 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 Icon 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.

For avoiding the disks we recommend standing at a moderate distance from Zor'lok. You should not be too close, because this makes it difficult to react in time to the newly spawned disks. Standing too far away from Zor'lok is also problematic because you have to handle both disks that bounce back from the edges of the room, as well as disks that split in two.

It is also quite beneficial to make it a habit of running in a circle around Zor'lok during Attenuation. This is because he does not spawn the disks at the same time in all directions around him, but rather in a spiraling pattern. Therefore, by running at the same rate as the disk spawning rate, you will find that you have to actually avoid very few. To get a feeling for this, simply try it out in practice. The direction of the spiraling pattern can be either clockwise or counter-clockwise, and your boss mod should alert you quickly which it is. You must run in the appropriate direction, as this allows you always be a step ahead of the disks, making it easy to avoid them.

Zor'lok has a massively large hitbox, so melee players are able to attack him from quite far away.

5.3. 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 Icon Convert, which Zor'lok uses in addition to his core abilities.

5.3.1. Convert

Convert Icon Convert is a mind control that Zor'lok casts on a number of random raid members roughly every 60 seconds. Convert affects 2 players in 10-man, 5 players in 25-man, and 3 players in LFR.

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%.

5.3.2. 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.

6. Phase Two↑top

At 40% health, Zor'lok will fly above the center of the room, and absorb all the Pheromones of Zeal Icon 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.

6.1. 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 Icon Attenuation and Force and Verve Icon Force and Verve at the same time, as they are both channeled. Also, Zor'lok makes much more frequent use of Attenuation and Force and Verve than he does of Convert, during this phase.

6.2. 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 Icon 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.

7. When to Use Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp↑top

We recommend using Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp during Phase Two, since this is by far the most intense and complex phase of the encounter.

8. Learning the Fight↑top

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 Icon Attenuation and Force and Verve Icon 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.

9. Heroic Mode↑top

The Heroic mode of the fight against Zor'lok is extremely difficult, and it will prove a tough challenge for most raids. The fight only presents one additional mechanic, compared to Normal mode, but several changes make the fight much harder.

9.1. Differences from Normal Mode

The differences from Normal Mode can be categorized as changed mechanics and new mechanics.

9.1.1. Changed Mechanics

To begin with, Zor'lok has more health, and all his abilities deal more damage, something which is a common trait of all Heroic modes.

Each protective shield created during the Force and Verve Icon Force and Verve casts can only protect 3 players in 10-man, and 7 players in 25-man. There, are however, 4 shields created each time, instead of 3.

When Zor'lok is casting Attenuation Icon Attenuation, in addition to the disks that exist on Normal mode, several Sonic Pulses also leave his body and travel outwards. These Sonic Pulses must also be avoided, and they travel in simple, straight directions. They deal very high amounts of damage.

9.1.2. New Mechanics

During the fight, Zor'lok will create three copies of himself, each at a given time. He will create one copy called Echo of Force and Verve, and two called Echo of Attenuation.

  • The fist copy, Echo of Force and Verve, is created when Zor'lok reaches 80% health and leaves the Force and Verve platform. The copy will stay behind on the Force and Verve platform.
  • The second copy, Echo of Attenuation, is created when Zor'lok reaches 60% health and leaves the Attenuation platform. This copy will stay behind on the Attenuation platform.
  • The third and final copy is also an Echo of Attenuation. It is created a short while after Zor'lok enters Phase Two.

There is no Echo of Convert, and when Zor'lok reaches 40%, he simply enters Phase Two in the same way that he does in Normal mode.

The Echo of Force and Verve only uses one ability, Force and Verve Icon Force and Verve, which is identical to Zor'lok's Force and Verve. The Echos of Attenuation only use Attenuation Icon Attenuation which is, likewise, identical to Zor'lok's Attenuation. Additionally, all of the Echoes retain the Song of the Empress Icon Song of the Empress ability, meaning that if no player is attacking them in melee range, your raid will have to endure extreme amounts of damage.

The Echoes have their own threat tables, melee their main threat target, and can be killed. It is important to note that Force and Verve Icon Force and Verve (cast by Zor'lok's copy) deals damage to players located anywhere in Zor'lok's room. Likewise, it is important to mention that when the Echo of Force and Verve casts Force and Verve, there will be two protective shields at the location of the boss, and two at the location of the Echo.

9.2. Phase One Strategy

9.2.1. Force and Verve Platform Strategy

The Force and Verve platform strategy remains largely unchanged from Normal mode. Even though each protective shield only protects fewer raid members, there are now 4 shields, meaning that everyone in the raid can always be protected.

9.2.2. Dealing with Echo of Force and Verve

When Zor'lok reaches 80% and flies to the Attenuation platform, you should send one tank and one healer over to the Attenuation platform, and leave the rest of the raid on the Force and Verve platform, where they must burn down the Echo of Force and Verve. The reason for doing this is that you need to kill the Echo of Force and Verve as quickly as possible (before it has a chance to cast more than one Force and Verve). The players on the Attenuation platform will have to survive Force and Verve while also avoiding damage from Attenuation Icon Attenuation.

The players on the Attenuation platform have to survive:

Therefore, you will have to send a healer who can heal on the move, and has one or more defensive cooldowns available. If your raid burns the Echo of Force and Verve properly, there should only be one Force and Verve being cast by it. When the Echo is dead, your raid should all move to the Attenuation platform.

You will notice that not all raid members can be simultaneously protected by the shields when the Echo of Force and Verve casts Force and Verve Icon Force and Verve. This is due to the modified maximum number of players that the shields can protect, combined with the fact that two shields will spawn on one platform, and two on another. As such, some players on the Force and Verve platform will have to take the unmitigated damage from Force and Verve, and survive. The only way to do this is through the use of extremely powerful damage reduction cooldowns, or invulnerabilities. In this case, certain designated raid members (Mages with Ice Block Icon Ice Block, Hunters with Deterrence Icon Deterrence, Paladins with Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield, and so on) will simply stand outside the shields and survive the Force and Verve through their cooldowns. Healers should be prepared for the fact that, depending on the duration of these cooldowns, these players may take one or more Force and Verve ticks.

Alternatively, you can set up a rotation of players to move in and out of certain protective shields. In this case, you will have designated players stand outside the shields for the first few Force and Verve ticks, and then they will move into the shields, while other players who were inside (and presumably are not in danger of dying) will move out.

9.2.3. Attenuation Platform Strategy

For Attenuation Icon Attenuation itself, there is not much to be said, and you will simply have to get used to the added challenge of avoiding the Sonic Pulses.

9.2.4. Dealing with Echo of Attenuation

When Zor'lok reaches 60% health and leaves for the Convert platform, you should split your raid into two roughly even groups, and leave one on the Attenuation platform, to finish off the Echo of Attenuation, while the other travels to the Convert platform. The reason for this is that there must be enough players on the Convert platform to break out all the mind-controlled players relatively quickly. If there is no one on the Convert platform except for the mind-controlled players, then the boss will start casting Song of the Empress Icon Song of the Empress and wipe your raid. Zor'lok's Convert Icon Convert cannot reach players on other platforms (such as those still fighting the Echo of Attenuation).

Once the Echo of Attenuation is dead, your raid members who were on the Attenuation platform should move over to the Convert platform, and bring Zor'lok to 40% health.

9.3. Phase Two Strategy

A short while after Phase Two starts, Zor'lok will create an Echo of Attenuation at his location. While it is possible to DPS and kill this Echo (like the previous two Echos), it is a waste of DPS and it will most likely mean that your raid does not beat the enrage timer.

You should move this Echo away from the raid, as far as possible, in one of the corners of the room, and leave a tank and a healer there to deal with it. This will keep it far enough from the raid that the disks caused by its Attenuation Icon Attenuation will have spread out considerably by the time they reach the raid, making it easy to avoid.

When Zor'lok casts Force and Verve Icon Force and Verve, the tank and healer assigned to the Echo will have to either make their way to a protective shield (moving the Echo with them in the process), or attempt to survive through the use of cooldowns.

Finally, sometimes, Zor'lok's and the Echo's casts of Attenuation Icon Attenuation will happen at the same time, which will increase the challenge of avoiding them considerably, but this is simply something you must learn to deal with.

10. Concluding Remarks↑top

This concludes our raid guide for Imperial Vizier Zor'lok. We hope you have found it helpful. Please do not hesitate to post any feedback you may have on our forums.