Halfus Wyrmbreaker Detailed Strategy Guide (Heroic Mode included)

Other Halfus guides on Icy Veins:
Introduction

This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Halfus Wyrmbreaker in Bastion of Twilight. It is targeted at anyone who desires to understand the fight mechanics.

This guide is updated for World of Warcraft MoP 5.4.

The encounter with Halfus Wyrmbreaker will mostly test the abilities of a raid leader to adapt their group setup to a given combination of drakes, which grant Halfus various abilities and buffs, and change every week.

Despite this fight being the most complicated to explain, it is the easiest to execute, and Halfus currently is the boss that has been killed by the most guilds for that tier of raiding, in his Heroic version.

1. General Information↑top

1.1. Health Pool

Halfus Wyrmbreaker's health pool is the following:

  • in 10-man normal difficulty: 25.9M;
  • in 10-man heroic difficulty: 51.5M;
  • in 25-man normal difficulty: 92.8M;
  • in 25-man heroic difficulty: 185M.

1.2. Enrage Timer

There is a fixed, 6-minute, enrage timer. When the time is over, Halfus buffs himself with Berserk and wipes the raid.

1.3. Raid Composition

The following raid compositions are advised:

  • in 10-man normal difficulty: 2 tanks, 3 healers, 5 DPS;
  • in 10-man heroic difficulty: 3 tanks, 3 healers, 4 DPS;
  • in 25-man normal difficulty: 3 tanks, 6 healers, 16 DPS;
  • in 25-man heroic difficulty: 4/5 tanks, 7/8 healers, 13 DPS.

2. Overview of the Fight↑top

Halfus is keeping 5 captive drakes. Each of them grants him a different buff or ability. When a drake is released, he debuffs Halfus (as a token of gratitude) in order to mitigate the buff he gives him. Both the buff and the debuff persist through the entire fight. After a drake is released, Halfus binds him to his will, forcing him to attack your raid. You can then either kill the drake or off-tank him. When a drake dies, Halfus receives a stack of Dragon's Vengeance, increasing damage done to him.

The mechanics of the fight revolve around which drakes are available for release. Each week, you will have a combination of 3 drakes active, the other two being inactive (not buffing Halfus) and not releasable. The hard part of the fight will invariably be the beginning, when the drakes are released. Once they are dead, the encounter becomes much easier.

The key to this fight is flexibility and adaptability of your raid and of your tactic to both your raid setup and the combination of drakes you are facing.

The idea is to release the drakes in a certain order and that order sometimes depends on your raid setup. In this guide, we have covered all the possible combinations. For each combination, we give you all the required information and strategy tips so that you can adapt that combination of drakes to your specific raid setup.

3. Enemies↑top

3.1. Halfus Wyrmbreaker

By default, Halfus has the following abilities:

  • A melee attack, which hits for about 15,000 damage every 1.6 second (in both 10-man and 25-man difficulties);
  • Furious Roar, which Halfus always casts 3 times in quick succession and that stuns the raid for 2 seconds. This ability is enabled only after Halfus' health reaches below 50%.

3.2. Proto-Behemoth

Halfus' side-kick, the Proto-Behemoth, has only one ability by default: Fireball, which he casts at a random raid member every two seconds. It deals Fire damage (20,400 to 27,600 in 10-man and 34,000 to 46,000 in 25-man) to everyone standing within 4 yards of the targeted party member. Even though the spot where a Fireball will land is clearly marked with a fire circle, the Fireball travels too fast to be dodged.

3.3. Drakes

On the platform where Halfus is fought, there are 5 captive drakes:

3 of the 5 drakes are active. The 3 active drakes change every week. A drake interacts with the fight in three ways:

  • An active drake provides a buff to Halfus or his Proto-Behemoth for the entire duration of the fight (i.e., from start to finish). That buff persists through the death of the drake.
  • A drake is released when a player right-clicks it, which triggers a 1.5 second cast. When released, a drake gives Halfus or his Proto-Behemoth a debuff (which aims at mitigating the effect of the buff the drake gives), which will last until the fight is over (so, it persists through the death of the drake). A released drake needs to be tanked because it deals melee damage every 1.5 to 2 seconds (about 35k in 10-man and 50k in 25-man).
  • When a drake is killed by the raid, it gives Halfus a stack of Dragon's Vengeance. Therefore, when all drakes are dead, Halfus will take 300% increased damage (if you release and kill all 3 drakes, that is).

The health pool of the drakes is 3.3M in 10-man and 12M in 25-man. Regarding the Orphaned Emerald Whelps, since there are 8 of them, each has a health pool equal to one 8th of that of a drake.

3.3.1. Nether Scion

When active, Nether Scion provides Halfus with Frenzied Assault, which increases his attack speed.

When released, Nether Scion debuffs Halfus with Nether Blindness, which more than mitigates the effects of Frenzied Assault.

3.3.2. Slate Dragon

When active, Slate Dragon provides Halfus with Malevolent Strikes. This enables Halfus to apply Malevolent Strikes, a healing debuff, on his target, whenever he performs a melee attack that deals damage (a normal attack, a blocked attack or an absorbed attack). Therefore, Halfus will not apply Malevolent Strikes following a melee attack which was dodged, parried or missed. Nether Blindness from the Nether Scion causes 25% of the application of Malevolent Strikes to fail, in addition to causing 25% of his melee attacks to fail.

When released, Slate Dragon debuffs Halfus with Stone Touch. This debuff stuns Halfus for 12 seconds approximately every 30 seconds, which makes it easier for the tanks to drop their stacks of the healing debuff, or for the healers to top off everyone.

3.3.3. Storm Rider

When active, Storm Rider provides Halfus with Shadow Wrapped, which grants him a new ability: Shadow Nova.

When released, Storm Rider debuffs Halfus with Cyclone Winds. This debuff increases the cast time of Shadow Nova, making it interruptible.

3.3.4. Time Warden

When active, Time Warden grants the Proto-Behemoth a new ability: Fireball Barrage. This ability launches 20 fast-travelling Fireballs over 15 seconds at random raid members, and occurs every 20 to 25 seconds. The gap between each Fireball Barrage is filled by a few Fireballs cast with a 2 second interval.

When released, Time Warden debuffs the Proto-Behemoth with Time Dilation, which decreases the travel speed of the Fireballs to such an extent that they can now easily be dodged, provided that raid members are quick enough to move from the fire circles marking the spots where the Fireballs are to land.

3.3.5. Orphaned Emerald Whelps

When active, the Orphaned Emerald Whelps grant the Proto-Behemoth a new ability: Scorching Breath. This ability casts a breath attack that deals unavoidable raid-wide damage every second for 8 seconds. It occurs approximately every 20 to 30 seconds, alternating with Fireballs. If Time Warden is also active, Scorching Breath alternates with Fireball Barrage and a few regular Fireballs.

When released, the Orphaned Emerald Whelps debuff the Proto-Behemoth with Atrophic Poison. This will rapidly stack 8 times, bringing a reduction of 6,000 damage on every ability the Proto-Behemoth casts at the raid.

4. Dealing With Drakes Combinations↑top

Before starting the fight, you need to establish the order in which the active drakes will be released, and how these drakes will be dealt with. Below, we provide detailed explanations for all the combinations.

Most of the times, you will need to kill only two of the drakes while leaving the third drake alive or unreleased. This decision stems from the 200% increased damage that Halfus will already be taking when two drakes will have been killed. At that point, it is more efficient to just burn Halfus rather than waste precious time killing the third drake (which does not take increased damage). Roughly speaking, you would need to deal 3.3M damage in 10-man and 12M in 25-man to kill the third drake when you could be dealing Halfus three times more. Sometimes, however, you will want to benefit from the buff given by the third drake, so you can simply release it and have it off-tanked until the end of the fight.

Some combinations, however, require you to free all three drakes.

4.1. Tank Swapping Required

Among the 10 possible combinations, 6 (those with Slate Dragon) require tank swapping to deal with stacks of Malevolent Strikes building up every time Halfus lands a damaging melee attack.

Since it takes 30 seconds for that debuff to wear off, the main tank and the off-tank need to take turns tanking Halfus to enable the stacks of the other tank to drop. This should represent about 8 to 10 stacks depending on your tanks avoidance stats.

The difficulty of this tank swapping does not stem from its execution, which is simple, but from the number of drakes that need to be released:

  • Indeed, when the raid only needs to release one drake at a time, one tank takes the boss, the other takes the drake. In that case, the only difficult part is when a tank swaps from Halfus to a drake because they will take reduced healing while tanking the drake.
  • When the raid needs to release two drakes simulataneously, this complicates matters for the healers and the tanks. First, the amount of tank damage is increased, making the fight more intense for healers and tanks. Second, the tank swapping becomes more complicated because, in addition to taunting the boss from each other, the tank with the least stacks of the healing debuff must make sure they are the one tanking either Halfus and a drake or the two drakes. To get through that sort of situation, the tanks and the healers need to heavily rely on their respective cooldowns, hoping that the DPS raid members (also using all their arsenal of cooldowns) will kill the first drake fast enough.

Having three tanks in your raid makes tank swapping easier, especially if 2 drakes need to be released, as each tank can take a target. Also, their respective amount of stacks of Malevolent Strikes will be lower. While 25-man raids will almost always have a third tank available, this is not always the case of 10-man raids. For a third tank, always prefer a Feral Druid or a Death Knight, if you can afford the luxury of choosing, as they will be able to deal a decent amount of damage to Halfus when their tanking services are no longer required.

4.1.1. Tricks for Tank Swapping

These tricks are mostly going to help 10-man raids that do not have a third tank.

4.1.2. Orphaned Emerald Whelps, Slate Dragon, and Storm Rider

This combination is easy and only requires two tanks (although a third tank will make it even easier). Start by releasing Storm Rider so that Shadow Nova becomes interruptible, and have him taken by the off-tank. The tanks need to swap targets for the entire duration of the fight. Once Storm Rider is dead, release the Orphaned Emerald Whelps and have them taken by the free tank. When the Whelps are dead, burn down Halfus.

Below, you will find a few pieces of useful information for that combination.

  • Interrupt Shadow Nova!
  • DPS cooldowns should be kept for burning Halfus down.
  • Healing and tanking cooldowns should be used for when a tank with stacks of the healing debuff is swapping from Halfus to a drake.
  • If your healers resources have been exhausted by the first minutes of the fight, you can release and kill Slate Dragon. This will cause Halfus to be stunned for 12 seconds every 30 seconds.

4.1.3. Orphaned Emerald Whelps, Slate Dragon, and Time Warden

This combination is easy and only requires two tanks (although a third tank will make it even easier). Start by releasing Time Warden so as so to make Fireballs from the Proto-Behemoth avoidable (including those launched by Fireball Barrage), and have him tanked by the off-tank. The tanks need to swap targets for the entire duration of the fight. Once Time Warden is dead, release the Orphaned Emerald Whelps and have them taken by the free tank. When the Whelps are dead, burn down Halfus.

Below, you will find a few pieces of useful information for that combination.

  • Make people get out of Fireballs landing spots.
  • DPS cooldowns should be kept for burning Halfus down.
  • Healing and tanking cooldowns should be used when a tank with stacks of the healing debuff is switching from Halfus to a drake.
  • If your healers resources have been exhausted by the first minutes of the fight, you can release and kill Slate Dragon. This will cause Halfus to be stunned for 12 seconds every 30 seconds.

4.1.4. Nether Scion, Orphaned Emerald Whelps, and Slate Dragon

This combination is easy and only requires two tanks (although a third tank will make it even easier). Start by releasing Nether Scion to prevent an excessively rapid build-up of stacks of Malevolent Strikes, and have him tanked by the off-tank. The tanks need to swap targets for the entire duration of the fight. Once Nether Scion is dead, release the Orphaned Emerald Whelps and have them taken by the free tank. When the Whelps are dead, burn down Halfus.

Below, you will find a few pieces of useful information for that combination.

  • DPS cooldowns should be kept for burning Halfus down.
  • Healing and tanking cooldowns should be used when a tank with stacks of the healing debuff is switching from Halfus to a drake.
  • If your healers resources have been exhausted by the first minutes of the fight, you can release and kill Slate Dragon. This will cause Halfus to be stunned for 12 seconds every 30 seconds.

4.1.5. Slate Dragon, Storm Rider, Time Warden

If you have 3 tanks, or only 2 but have a Paladin or a Shaman (enabling the tricks mentioned before) in your group, the fight is easy, and you can release Storm Rider and Time Warden first. With 3 tanks, simply have them rotate the two drakes and Halfus between them.

With 3 tanks, use tanking and healing cooldowns to keep the tanks alive until both drakes are dead. It does not matter which drake you kill first. After that, simply burn down Halfus, using all DPS cooldowns available.

With 2 tanks and the Paladin or Shaman trick, use all cooldowns at the beginning to kill the first drake as fast as possible. Then kill the second one and burn down Halfus.

If you only have 2 tanks and no access to a Paladin or a Shaman, or if your raid cannot keep the tanks alive with two drakes released, you need to start releasing Storm Rider, and have the off-tank take him. Use all DPS cooldowns to burn him down. Use all healing cooldowns to prevent the raid from dying to Fireballs. Then release Time Warden and kill him. Keep tanking cooldowns to survive phases when a tank will switch from Halfus to Time Warden with stacks of Malevolent Strikes, as healers will have already used their cooldowns to keep the raid alive through Fireballs when Storm Rider was still being killed. When Time Warden is dead, burn down Halfus.

Below, you will find a few pieces of useful information for that combination.

  • Interrupt Shadow Nova!
  • If your healers resources have been exhausted by the first minutes of the fight, you can release and kill Slate Dragon. This will cause Halfus to be stunned for 12 seconds every 30 seconds.

4.1.6. Nether Scion, Slate Dragon, and Time Warden

If you have 3 tanks, or only 2 but have a Paladin or a Shaman (enabling the tricks mentioned before) in your group, the fight is easy, and you can release Nether Scion and Time Warden first. With 3 tanks, simply have them rotate the two drakes and Halfus between them.

With 3 tanks, use tanking and healing cooldowns to keep the tanks alive until both drakes are dead. It does not matter which drake you kill first. After that, simply burn down Halfus, using all DPS cooldowns available.

With 2 tanks and the Paladin or Shaman trick, use all cooldowns at the beginning to kill the first drake as fast as possible. Then kill the second one and burn down Halfus.

If you only have 2 tanks and no access to a Paladin or a Shaman, or if your raid cannot keep the tanks alive with two drakes released, you need to start releasing Nether Scion, and have the off-tank take him. Use all DPS cooldowns to burn him down. Use all healing cooldowns to prevent the raid from dying to Fireballs. Then release Time Warden and kill him. Keep tanking cooldowns to survive phases when a tank will switch from Halfus to Time Warden with stacks of Malevolent Strikes, as healers will have already used their cooldowns to keep the raid alive through Fireballs when Nether Scion was still being killed. When Time Warden is dead, burn down Halfus.

If your healers resources have been exhausted by the first minutes of the fight, you can release and kill Slate Dragon. This will cause Halfus to be stunned for 12 seconds every 30 seconds, allowing your healers to recover.

4.1.7. Nether Scion, Slate Dragon, and Storm Rider

This combination is the hardest for 10-man groups with only two tanks, especially with pre-raid gear, as it requires extreme healing on both tanks. In that case, using one of the tricks previously mentioned (with a Paladin or a Shaman) is probably your only way through that combination.

Groups with a third tank (either 10-man or 25-man) will find it considerably easier to both deal with the drakes and control the healing debuff, as we explained in the introductory part of this section.

Nether Scion and Storm Rider must be released together. Otherwise, the main tank will most likely die from Frenzied Assault (because of the rapid build-up for stacks of Malevolent Strikes), or the raid will likely be wiped by Shadow Nova.

With 3 tanks, simply have them take turns on Halfus and the drakes. The swaps should occur at 6 or 7 stacks of Malevolent Strikes. Use healing and tanking cooldowns for surviving the first minute or so. Keep DPS cooldowns for burning down Halfus, after both drakes are dead.

With 2 tanks, make sure that the tank which has the highest amount of stacks of Malevolent Strikes only has one target, while the other is tanking the two others. Since Storm Rider seems to be doing slightly less melee damage than Nether Scion, we advise you to burn down Nether Scion first. Use all cooldowns (healing, tanking, and DPS) for surviving until the first drake is dead. Using one of the tricks introduced earlier can be extremely useful.

If your healers resources have been exhausted by the first minutes of the fight, you can release and kill Slate Dragon. This will cause Halfus to be stunned for 12 seconds every 30 seconds, allowing your healers to recover.

4.2. No Tank Swapping Required

Whenever Slate Dragon is not present, the tanks do not need to swap, making the fight less complicated for them. For these configurations, we will consider three ways of handling them. As a raid leader, you will need to choose the solution best suited to your raid.

  • With 3 tanks, release the two drakes we advise you to. One tank will take Halfus, while the other two will take one drake each. Then, kill the drakes in the order we advise you to before burning down Halfus. This set up does not warrant a heavy use of tanking and healing cooldowns so make sure your tanks and healers use these cooldowns how they see fit. DPS raid members, however, should keep their cooldowns for burning down Halfus and make up for the loss of DPS caused by using 3 tanks instead of 2. Ideally, the extra tank should be a Feral Druid or a Death Knight so that they can deal decent damage once their tanking services are no longer needed.
  • With 2 tanks, you can choose to assign the main tank to Halfus and a drake, and the off-tank to another drake. In that case, release the two drakes we advise you to. Assign them to the tanks as follows: have the main tank take the drake that deals the least damage, the off-tank tanks the other. Kill the drake tanked by the main tank first (so as to reduce the damage that tank takes), then switch to the other drake. When both of them are dead, burn down Halfus. Choosing this strategy will lessen raid damage but will increase tank damage. Use all cooldowns available to keep the main tank alive and burn the first drake.
  • With 2 tanks, you can choose to assign the main tank to Halfus and the off-tank to a drake. In that case, release the first drake we advise you to and kill it. Then release the second drake we advise you to and kill it, before burning down Halfus. By doing so, you will lessen tank damage at the expense of raid damage. Use tanking cooldowns to help healers focus on keeping the raid alive. Use healing cooldowns to keep the raid alive. Use DPS cooldowns in order to release the second drake as soon as possible.

4.2.1. Nether Scion, Orphaned Emerald Whelps, and Time Warden

This is a rather easy combination. Simply release Nether Scion and Time Warden, or Nether Scion then Time Warden, depending on what solution you choose. In case you take the solution with 2 tanks and 2 drakes simultaneously, take into account that Nether Scion and Time Warden deal the same amount of damage.

If your raid is wiping because the healers are struggling towards the end of the fight, then you can release and kill the Orphaned Emerald Whelps. This will reduce raid-wide damage caused by the Scorching Breath ability of the Proto-Behemoth.

4.2.2. Orphaned Emerald Whelps, Storm Rider, Time Warden

Release Storm Rider and Time Warden, or Storm Rider then Time Warden, depending on what solution you choose. In case you take the solution with 2 tanks and 2 drakes simultaneously, take into account that Storm Rider deals less melee damage than Time Warden.

If your raid is wiping because the healers are struggling towards the end of the fight, then you can release and kill the Orphaned Emerald Whelps. This will reduce raid-wide damage caused by the Scorching Breath ability of the Proto-Behemoth.

4.2.3. Nether Scion, Storm Rider, Orphaned Emerald Whelps

Here, you do not really have a choice and will need to release both Nether Scion and Storm Rider. Kill Nether Scion first as he seems to be dealing more melee damage than Storm Rider.

If your raid is wiping because the healers are struggling towards the end of the fight, then you can release and kill the Orphaned Emerald Whelps. This will reduce raid-wide damage caused by the Scorching Breath ability of the Proto-Behemoth.

4.2.4. Nether Scion, Storm Rider, and Time Warden

Here, you do not really have a choice and will need to release both Nether Scion and Storm Rider. Kill Nether Scion first as he seems to be dealing more melee damage than Storm Rider.

Before burning down Halfus, you also need to release and kill Time Warden so as to reduce raid-wide damage.

5. Strategy↑top

Your entire strategy for the encounter with Halfus Wyrmbreaker is centered around dealing with the drakes. Once they are dead, the encounter becomes a tank and spank fight. So, in this section we will only present various aspects of the fight that have not been covered so far.

Regarding positioning, you need your raid to be spread out so as to prevent Fireballs from dealing damage to more than one raid member. Also, if Time Warden (meaning that Fireballs can be avoided) is up, spreading out will cause only one raid member to move away from the Fireball targeting them.

DPS can and should help releasing the drakes. They do not become hostile right away but after a few seconds, when Halfus binds them to his will, giving the tanks enough preparation to taunt the drakes.

5.1. Interrupting Shadow Nova

When Storm Rider is active and released, Shadow Nova can and should be interrupted. In 25-man, this ability is cast approximately every 7 seconds. In 10-man, in order to account for the lack of interrupters, this ability is cast approximately every 10 seconds.

In 25-man, a Shaman is ideal for interrupting Shdow Nova because Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear, their interrupt, is on a 6 second cooldown. Otherwise, you will need to set up a rotation between your various interrupters.

In 10-man, the longer cooldown on Shadow Nova enables many classes (those who have an interrupt with a cooldown of 10 seconds or less) to perform this interruption job: Warriors, Death Knights, Paladins, Rogues, and Druids (in addition to Shamans, of course).

5.2. Dealing with Furious Roar

When Halfus' health reaches below 50%, he gains a new ability: Furious Roar. This is a 3-stage raid-wide stun. It will be cast 3 times in rapid succession, giving you only a fraction of a second of control over your character between each cast. If Storm Rider is active, Halfus will invariably cast Shadow Nova immediately after stunning the raid for the third time. To deal with that, the most efficient solution is a Mage using Blink Icon Blink to get out of the stun and interrupt with Counterspell Icon Counterspell. Other, but less repeatable solutions include casting Hand of Protection Icon Hand of Protection on the interrupter, casting Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield for Paladins, using PvP trinkets or the Human racial Every Man for Himself Icon Every Man for Himself.

6. Heroic Mode↑top

6.1. Differences with Normal Mode

The mechanics of the fight and the timing of the abilities remain the same in Heroic Mode. The main difference is that all 5 drakes are active and need to be released.

In addition, the following changes occur:

  • in 10-man Heroic Mode:
    • Halfus has 51.5M health (up from 25.9M);
    • the drakes have 5.8M health (up from 3.3M);
    • the drakes' melee attacks hit for about 20,000 damage (down from 25,000 to 30,000);
    • Fireball deals 34,000 to 46,000 Fire damage (up from 20,400 to 27,600);
    • Scorching Breath deals 12,000 Fire damage every second for 8 seconds (up from 7,200);
    • Shadow Nova deals 47,500 to 52,500 Shadow damage (up from 22,800 to 25,200);
    • Furious Roar deals 19,000 to 21,000 Physical damage (up from 7,600 to 8,400);
    • Malevolent Strikes reduces healing by 8% by stack (up from 6%).
  • in 25-man Heroic Mode:
    • Halfus has 184.7M health (up from 92.8M);
    • the drakes have 21.7M health (up from 12M);
    • Halfus melee attacks hit for about 35,000 damage (up from 20,000 in Normal Mode);
    • the drakes' melee attacks hit for 60,000 to 80,000 damage (up from 40,000 to 60,000)
    • Fireball deals 51,000 to 69,000 Fire damage (up from 34,000 to 46,000);
    • Scorching Breath deals 12,000 Fire damage every second for 8 seconds (up from 7,200);
    • Shadow Nova deals 47,500 to 52,500 Shadow damage (up from 22,800 to 25,200);
    • Furious Roar deals 19,000 to 21,000 Physical damage (up from 7,600 to 8,400);
    • Malevolent Strikes reduces healing by 8% by stack (up from 6%).

6.2. Strategy

Having all the drakes active means that you have (no exceptions) to release Nether Scion and Storm Rider. In addition to that, you need to reduce raid damage and therefore release Time Warden or the Orphaned Emerald Whelps, or both. You can release Slate Dragon later (only if you judge it necessary, i.e. the healers are struggling towards the end of the fight). There is no set strategy here, it all depends on the ability of a raid leader to figure out how many drakes to release at the start for their raid setup. Trial and error testing, until the right strategy (number of drakes released, healing and tanking assignments) is found, is a sound way to proceed.

In 25-man, we advise you to use 4 tanks and 8 healers or 5 tanks and 7 healers, depending on how many drakes you decide to release first. In 10-man, the best setup seems to be 3 tanks and 3 healers. Distribute the drakes you release among the tanks.

Whatever strategy you decide to employ, the beginning of the fight will be crucial. There will be massive tank or raid-wide damage, depending on whether you decide to release both Time Warden and the Whelps, or only Time Warden or the Whelps. You should typically burn all cooldowns to ensure that your raid survives and that the drakes are killed as fast as possible.

One way we did it in 10-man, with 3 tanks and ilevel 359 gear, was to release 4 drakes (everything besides Slate Dragon), have tank A take Halfus, tank B take the Whelps and Time Warden, and tank C take Storm Rider and Nether Scion. Here, we took advantage of the fact that, in 10-man Heroic mode only, the drakes melee attacks are less damaging than in Normal mode, enabling a tank to safely take two drakes. We started by burning down the Whelps because, with AoE damage, they go down faster than the other drakes. We let tank A build stacks of Malevolent Strikes to the point that keeping him alive was almost impossible (at 8+ stacks; remember that each stack reduces healing by 8%, up from 6% in Normal mode), before we reset the stacks with Hand of Protection Icon Hand of Protection. We let tank A rebuild a high amount of stacks. Meanwhile, the Whelps had died and the Time Warden had already lost a significant portion of his health pool. Then, tank B taunted Halfus to enable tank A to drop his stacks (they were high enough that it was hard to even keep him alive through Scorching Breath). Then, we killed Time Warden, and tank A and B entered a taunting rotation on Halfus to manage their stacks. From that moment on, we had tank C stay close to Halfus, so that we could use AoE damage to bring Storm Rider and Nether Scion down. Once all the drakes were dead, we simply burned down Halfus.

Note that it is sometimes better to just let the Whelps die to splash damage and just focus down a drake instead. This is particularly true if your raid can do a lot of AoE damage.

7. Tips and Tricks↑top

All the tips and tricks described in this section apply to all difficulties of the fight. In Normal mode, you can certainly defeat the encounter without using them, unlike in Heroic mode, where they are pretty much mandatory.

7.1. Tanking Advice

The Orphaned Emerald Whelps can be split among the tanks, if you find that this can make their tasks easier.

A tank that is taking stacks of Malevolent Strikes will preferably use their cooldowns that increase healing received, such as Vampiric Blood Icon Vampiric Blood (modified by Glyph of Vampiric Blood Icon Glyph of Vampiric Blood) for Blood Death Knights, or Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration for Feral Druids, while they have a small amount of stacks. On the contrary, damage reduction cooldowns like Icebound Fortitude Icon Icebound Fortitude for Death Knights, or Shield Wall Icon Shield Wall for Warriors, should only be used when the tank has more stacks.

Note that all those abilities, such as Last Stand Icon Last Stand, which give a temporary health point increase to the tank, count as healing. Therefore, their effectiveness is reduced by stacks of Malevolent Strikes. For example, Last Stand gives 30% more health for 20 seconds to a Protection Warrior. If that ability is used when the tank has a lot of stacks, it is going to give a very reduced amount of extra health.

Because Malevolent Strikes is applied to the tank only when Halfus lands a damaging melee attack, avoidance stats play a crucial role in this encounter, and so do avoidance cooldowns (for example, the Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon ability of Blood Death Knights).

Whatever strategy a raid is using, it is important to keep in mind that healer mana is a very serious problem in that encounter (especially in Heroic mode). Therefore, when possible (some drakes combinations prevent that), it is recommended to have the tank with high stacks of Malevolent Strikes tank as little as possible, and have as little incoming damage as possible, because any damage a tank with stacks of Malevolent Strikes takes greatly amplifies the amount of healing needed to keep that tank alive, and they end up soaking mana from the healers.

7.2. Healing Advice

Healers need to understand the first part of the fight is the hardest, and that it is normal to expend a lot of mana during it.

Atonement Icon Atonement healing is a crucial part of this fight (at least in Heroic mode) for Discipline Priests. As soon as the first drake is down, Discipline Priests should start casting Smite Icon Smite at Halfus, healing the nearby raid member with the lowest health for the amount that Smite did on Halfus. Halfus takes increasing damage as the drakes die, so that healing method will become more and more effective as the fight goes on.

7.3. DPS Advice

A Hunter can pull Halfus by misdirecting to his pet, located as far from Halfus as possible, to give time for Nether Scion to apply his debuff to Halfus. This prevents the tank from dealing with Frenzied Assault unmitigated by Nether Blindness.

Once the first drake is dead, Fire Mages and Combat Rogues should start attacking Halfus exclusively. They will deal extra damage, because of Dragon's Vengeance. Fire Mages can then spread high damage DoTs from Halfus to nearby targets (on which they will do the same amount of damage) using Inferno Blast Icon Inferno Blast. Similarly, Combat Rogues can use Blade Flurry Icon Blade Flurry to strike nearby enemies for the amount of damage they deal to Halfus.

8. Learning the Fight↑top

Unfortunately, the fight against Halfus is most intense at the beginning. Therefore, it cannot be explored or practiced, as everyone has to do their job fully, as soon as Halfus is pulled.