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Imperator Mar'gok Detailed Strategy Guide (Heroic+Mythic Modes included)

Last updated on Jan 08, 2015 at 21:55 by Vlad 12 comments

Table of Contents

Boss Icon - Imperator Mar'gok

Introduction

This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Imperator Mar'gok in Highmaul. It is targeted at anyone who desires to understand the fight mechanics.

This guide is updated for World of Warcraft WoD 6.1.2.

Imperator Mar'gok is the final boss in the Highmaul raid instance. This is a long, 4-phase encounter (in addition to which there are also 2 transition phases). Throughout the fight, Mar'gok will use the same abilities, albeit slightly modified in each phase.

1. General Information

1.1. Normal and Heroic Difficulty

This guide covers both the Normal and Heroic versions of the encounter, as far as mechanics and general strategy is concerned. The only difference between these two modes is found in the tuning, with Heroic being more difficult.

When we speak of extreme situations (such as the difficulty of a soft enrage timer, or damage from a certain source being too high to survive), we mostly refer to Heroic mode.

1.2. Enrage Timer

The hard enrage timer for this encounter is 15 minutes. There are no soft enrage mechanics as such, but the final phase of the fight is very intense, and your raid will not be able to survive it for long.

2. Summing Things Up

In this section, we will very briefly summarise what the players belonging to each of the three roles have to do during this fight. This is by no means meant to provide sufficient information to master the encounter, and it is only supposed to give you a very rough idea of what to watch out for.

2.1. Tanks

  • Perform a tank switch on the boss whenever Mark of Chaos Icon Mark of Chaos is cast. The tank affected by Mark of Chaos Icon Mark of Chaos must move away from other raid members. This is not possible during Phase Three, when the rest of the raid must move away from them.
  • Pick up and tank the Arcane Aberrations.
  • During the First Transition Phase, pick up and tank the Gorian Warmages and Volatile Anomalies. During the Second Transition Phase also pick up the Gorian Reaver. Make sure to face the Gorian Reaver away from other raid members, and to taunt him when he casts Kick to the Face Icon Kick to the Face.
  • In Mythic Mode
    • During Phases One, Two, and Three, the tanks should perform the same tank switch on the boss. The off-tank must still tank the Arcane Aberrations.
    • During the Transition Phases, tank the Volatile Anomalies next to the main targets (the Gorian Warmages in the First Transition Phase, and the Gorian Reaver in the Second Transition Phase), so that they can be cleaved.
    • During the Cho'gall phase, one tank will have to tank Cho'gall along the outside of the room (moving him whenever Night-Twisted Faithfuls leave behind void zones), while the other tank should tank the Night-Twisted Faithfuls in range of Cho'gall.

2.2. Healers

2.3. DPS

  • Kill the Arcane Aberrations as soon as they spawn. During Phase Four, you will probably be able to ignore the resulting Arcane Remnants.
  • During the transition phases, focus on killing the Gorian Reaver and the Gorian Warmages, before finishing off the Volatile Anomalies. When killing Volatile Anomalies, make sure no raid members are very low on health, since they deal raid-wide damage on death.
  • In Mythic Mode
    • During the transition phases, a few melee DPS players should focus on cleaving the Volatile Anomalies that are being tanked next to the Gorian Warmages or to the Gorian Reaver, respectively.
    • During the Cho'gall phase, only DPS Cho'gall, leaving just incidental cleave damage to kill the Night-Twisted Faithfuls that are being tanked with him. However, at the very beginning of the Cho'gall phase, when their boss is active, you should focus full-time on killing the first group of Night-Twisted Faithfuls that spawns.

2.4. Everyone

  • Run into Force Nova Icon Force Nova to reduce the time you spend at its edge.
  • Avoid detonating any Destructive Resonance Icon Destructive Resonance mines.
  • If affected by one of the later jumps of a Arcane Wrath Icon Arcane Wrath debuff, move far out of the raid.
  • In Mythic Mode
    • During Phases One, Two, and Three, pay special attention to minimising the damage taken from Force Nova Icon Force Nova, and to placing the Destructive Resonance Icon Destructive Resonance void zones in such a way as to ensure that they do not take up too much space.
    • During the Cho'gall phase, a few players will be assigned to soaking the Gaze of the Abyss Icon Gaze of the Abyss casts of the shadowy copies created by Glimpse of Madness Icon Glimpse of Madness. If you are not assigned to this task, make sure to keep your distance from the shadowy copies. Also, players should move away from the ball of dark energy created by Dark Star Icon Dark Star.

3. Overview of the Fight

The Imperator Mar'gok encounter is a 4-phase fight during which you fight the boss, and several types of adds. In addition to the main 4 phases, there are also 2 transition phases. We present the layout of the phases below.

  • Phase One lasts from 100% to 85% of Mar'gok's health.
  • Phase Two lasts from 85% to 55% of Mar'gok's health.
  • The First Transition Phase lasts for 1 minute after the end of Phase Two.
  • Phase Three lasts from 55% of Mar'gok's health (end of the First Transition Phase) to 25% of Mar'gok's health.
  • The Second transition Phase lasts for 1 minute after the end of Phase Three.
  • Phase Four lasts from 25% of Mar'gok's health (end of the Second Transition Phase) to Mar'gok's death.

While it might appear that the fight is extremely complicated, this is not really the case. Mar'gok uses largely the same abilities throughout the fight. In Phase One, he uses a basic form of his set of abilities, which are then modified in each of the other 3 phases. The two transition phases are also very similar, with the only real difference being the addition of another type of add in the Second Transition Phase.

We have released a video preview of the encounter against Imperator Mar'gok, based on our (Heroic) Beta testing. You can watch this video to get a good idea of how the fight works, but keep in mind that some things can still change before the fight goes live.

4. Phase One: Might of the Crown

Phase One lasts until Mar'gok reaches 85% health, and it mainly serves the purpose of establishing the basic forms of the abilities he will use throughout the rest of the fight.

4.1. Abilities

Mar'gok uses the following abilities against your raid.

  • Accelerated Assault Icon Accelerated Assault is a stacking buff that Mar'gok applies to himself each time he performs consecutive attacks against the same target. Each stack of the buff increases Mar'gok's attack speed by 8%. This ability requires a tank switch, and it remains the same in Phases Two, Three, and Four.
  • Mark of Chaos Icon Mark of Chaos is an 8-second debuff that Mar'gok applies to his tank. While active, the debuff does nothing, but when it expires, it causes the affected player to deal a very high amount of Arcane damage to all allies within 35 yards. This ability requires a tank switch.
  • Arcane Wrath Icon Arcane Wrath is an ability that Mar'gok uses throughout the fight. He targets a random raid member, placing a 4-second debuff on them. When the debuff expires, the affected player takes a high amount of Arcane damage, and the debuff jumps to their closest ally within 200 yards. On this new player, the debuff is essentially reset, lasting 4-seconds once again and dealing damage when it expires. With each jump, the damage of Arcane Wrath increases by 25%, but the range within which it jumps to a new player decreases by 50%. The number of jumps is indicated in the form of stacks that the debuff gains (so, the second person to have the debuff will have it with 2 stacks, the third person will have it with 3 stacks, and so on).
  • Destructive Resonance Icon Destructive Resonance is an ability that Mar'gok uses throughout the fight. He places an Arcane mine at the location of a random raid member, which persists for 1 minute. At the end of the 1 minute, the mine despawns harmlessly. However, if a player comes in contact with it, it will explode, dealing high raid-wide Arcane damage, and very high Arcane damage to the player who triggered it. Moreover, the player who triggers a Destructive Resonance mine is debuffed for 1 minute to take 45% increased Arcane damage, and to be stunned for 1.5 seconds each time they take Arcane damage.
  • Force Nova Icon Force Nova is an ability that Mar'gok uses throughout the fight. A ground effect radiates outward from the boss. The edge of the nova damages players who are in contact with it for a moderate amount of Arcane damage every 0.5 seconds.

Throughout the phase, Mar'gok will summon Arcane Aberrations, one at a time. This is a regular add which can be tanked normally, and whose only ability is Collapsing Entity Icon Collapsing Entity. This causes the Arcane Aberrations to pulse raid-wide Arcane damage every second while they are alive. Throughout phases Two, Three, and Four the Aberrations gain a new ability or property, but they always retain Collapsing Entity.

4.2. Strategy

Phase One does not last very long at all, so it is pointless to talk about a strategy for it. Instead, we will simply mention how each of the abilities should be dealt with. As we will see, this knowledge is important, because you will build on it in subsequent phases, when the abilities change slightly.

Your tanks will have to perform a tank switch. The ideal moment for this seems to be when the tank is debuffed with Mark of Chaos Icon Mark of Chaos, since this tank has to get 35 yards away from all other raid members. At this time, the other tank should taunt off them, which will also reset the boss' stacks of Accelerated Assault Icon Accelerated Assault. As soon as the player who had Mark of Chaos has gotten rid of their debuff, they can return to the boss.

Whenever an Arcane Aberration spawns, it will have to be picked up by a tank and quickly killed by your DPS players. Healers should beware of the raid damage during this time.

The Destructive Resonance Icon Destructive Resonance mines must simply be avoided by all raid members.

The idea for handling Force Nova Icon Force Nova is that all raid members should try to spend as little time as possible in contact with the edge of the nova. In most cases, this simply means that they should run forward into it, so that they only take one or two ticks. Some classes can do even better (such as Mages who can Blink Icon Blink forward).

Finally, the most complex ability to deal with in this phase is Arcane Wrath Icon Arcane Wrath. The idea is that, since the range at which the debuff can jump decreases with each jump, it will eventually drop. We advise you to aim at letting the debuff drop on the 4th jump, when it can jump only to players within 25 yards. Follow these steps.

  1. As soon as the debuff is applied to a player, they should move out of the raid and another player should accompany them. Both players should be DPS players.
  2. Let the debuff jump 3 times between the two players.
  3. After the third jump, the player with the debuff should be topped off (because the debuff deals a lot of damage) and should move away from the raid even more, while the other player should go back to the raid.
  4. The debuff will drop because there will be no one within 25 yards of the afflicted player.

5. Phase Two: Rune of Displacement

Phase Two lasts until Mar'gok reaches 55% health. When this happens, Mar'gok becomes immune and your raid enters the First Transition Phase.

5.1. Abilities

Throughout this phase, Mar'gok will use the same abilities as he uses in Phase One, but each one will be slightly modified. The theme of the modifications in this phase is displacement.

  • When Arcane Wrath: Displacement Icon Arcane Wrath: Displacement affects a player, a 10-yard radius around them is marked, and they are not allowed to leave that area while the debuff is active. Attempting to leave it will cause them to be teleported back inside.
  • The mines caused by Destructive Resonance: Displacement Icon Destructive Resonance: Displacement increase in size over 30 seconds, eventually becoming twice as big as the normal mines.
  • The outer edge of Force Nova: Displacement Icon Force Nova: Displacement also pushes players back when it comes in contact with them (but running forward still allows players to get past it, albeit at a slower pace).
  • Mark of Chaos: Displacement Icon Mark of Chaos: Displacement teleports the affected tank to a random location when it is applied.

The Arcane Aberrations are also different. In addition to Collapsing Entity Icon Collapsing Entity, they now also cast Impactful Pulse Icon Impactful Pulse when they die, knocking back all nearby players.

As stated, the Accelerated Assault Icon Accelerated Assault buff still exists, and it is unchanged from Phase One.

5.2. Strategy

The changes to abilities alter the Phase One strategy somewhat, but overall things do not change drastically.

The tank swap will still happen as usual, but the tank who is affected by Mark of Chaos: Displacement Icon Mark of Chaos: Displacement will have to be very careful, since they will be teleported in a random location, which may be close to other raid members. They will have to quickly run to get 35 yards away from all raid members before their debuff expires.

When the Arcane Aberrations are killed, players will have to be careful not to get knocked back into any Destructive Resonance: Displacement Icon Destructive Resonance: Displacement mines. This is made somewhat more difficult by the fact that these mines are now larger in size than in Phase One. That said, there is no different handling to the mines; they should still be avoided until they expire.

Dealing with Force Nova: Displacement Icon Force Nova: Displacement is not different from Phase One, but if you are not running forward when the Force Nova reaches you, it will keep pushing you back and you will always remain at its edge, taking damage. So, moving forward is imperative. Any abilities that can help with this (such as Stampeding Roar Icon Stampeding Roar) are very useful.

As in Phase One, the greatest difficulty comes from dealing with Arcane Wrath: Displacement Icon Arcane Wrath: Displacement. The affected players cannot run away from other raid members anymore, so it is now up to other raid members to get clear of them in time. The same strategy as before applies, of having it make 3 controlled jumps before having everyone far enough away from the affected player that it cannot jump further.

6. First Transition Phase

When Mar'gok reaches 55% health, he enters the First Transition Phase. He becomes unattackable, and two Gorian Warmages and several Volatile Anomalies spawn. This phase lasts 1 minute.

6.1. Abilities

The Gorian Warmages have the following abilities.

  • Dominance Aura Icon Dominance Aura is a passive ability that buffs all allies within 25 yards, increasing their damage done by 50% and their attack and casting speed by 50%.
  • Nether Blast Icon Nether Blast targets a random raid member, dealing high Arcane damage to them and any other allies within 5 yards. This spell can be interrupted.
  • Slow Icon Slow is a debuff applied to a random raid member, reducing their movement, attack, and casting speed by 50% for 45 seconds. This effect can be dispelled.
  • Fixate Icon Fixate is an ability that the Warmages cast, which causes them to fixate on a random raid member for 15 seconds, casting Nether Blast only on them.

The Volatile Anomalies spawn throughout the phase, one roughly every 12 seconds. They have a single ability, Destabilize Icon Destabilize, which causes them to deal a moderate amount of Arcane damage to all players when they die.

6.2. Strategy

The strategy for this phase is clear out all the adds by the time Mar'gok enters Phase Three. The main targets are the Gorian Warmages, and your raid should focus on them. They will spend most of the phase spamming Nether Blast Icon Nether Blast, so preventing them from getting any cast off is not really feasible (but you can and should interrupt as many casts as possible). The best way to handle the Warmages is for your raid to stack up, and heal through the splash damage of the Nether Blasts. When raid members are fixated upon by the Warmages (meaning that they will be spammed by Nether Blast), these players should move out of the stacked raid group. The Slow Icon Slow debuffs should be dispelled whenever possible.

At the same time, your tanks will have to pick up any Volatile Anomalies that spawn, and your raid should kill them off. These are not a high priority, because they stop spawning at the end of the transition phase, but they should be killed throughout the phase, and not just at the end, because the raid-wide damage that they deal when they die is quite high. Alternatively, you can try to kill several (or all) of them at the end of the phase, using cooldowns to survive. When finishing off Anomalies, always look at the raid's health, and do not kill them if any players are on critical health.

7. Phase Three: Rune of Fortification

Phase Three lasts until Mar'gok reaches 25% health. When this happens, Mar'gok becomes immune once again and your raid enters the Second Transition Phase.

7.1. Abilities

Throughout this phase, Mar'gok will use the same abilities as he uses in Phase One, but each one will be slightly modified. The theme of the modifications in this phase is fortification.

The Arcane Aberrations are now Fortified Icon Fortified, having 75% more health, and being immune to all crowd-control effects. As before, they keep casting Collapsing Entity Icon Collapsing Entity, dealing raid-wide damage.

The Accelerated Assault Icon Accelerated Assault buff still exists, and it is unchanged from Phase One.

7.2. Strategy

To begin with, you might still have some adds left over from the First Transition Phase when you enter Phase Three. If this is the case, you should kill these adds off as quickly as possible.

Throughout Phase Three, you will use mostly the same strategy as before. Your tanks will perform the same tank switch as always, but now when the tank is affected by Mark of Chaos: Fortification Icon Mark of Chaos: Fortification, the other tank will have to pull Mar'gok 35 yards or more away from them, and the raid will have to move as well, since the Marked tank cannot move.

Handling the Arcane Aberrations becomes more difficult due to their Fortified Icon Fortified buff. Your DPS players will have to focus on them more, in order to ensure that each one dies before the new one spawns.

Force Nova: Fortification Icon Force Nova: Fortification is not difficult to deal with at all, but it will result in a bit more raid damage. Players will just have to run forward as before.

The Destructive Resonance: Fortification Icon Destructive Resonance: Fortification mines are now back to their usual size, but they last for 2 minutes up from 1. This restricts your raid's movement more, but nothing else changes in how they are to be handled; they should still be avoided.

As in the other phases, the greatest difficulty comes from handling Arcane Wrath: Fortification Icon Arcane Wrath: Fortification. The fact that its jump range now decreases by only 25% per jump makes it more difficult to get rid of, and also means that 6 or 7 jumps will probably be required. This means that the player taking the last tick will take very high damage, and it is advised that they have a damage reduction cooldown (either their own or an external one) available.

8. Second Transition Phase

In addition to the Gorian Warmages and Volatile Anomalies from the First Transition Phase, players will also have to face a Gorian Reaver during this phase. Like the First Transition Phase, this phase lasts 1 minute.

8.1. Abilities

The Gorian Warmages and Volatile Anomalies use exactly the same abilities as they do in the First Transition Phase. In addition to this, the 1 Gorian Reaver has the following abilities.

  • Devastating Shockwave Icon Devastating Shockwave is an ability that deals very high Physical damage to players in a 20-yard frontal cone in front of the Gorian Reaver.
  • Crush Armor Icon Crush Armor is a stacking debuff that the Gorian Reaver applies to its tank, increasing their damage taken by 15% for 25 seconds.
  • Kick to the Face Icon Kick to the Face is an ability that the Gorian Reaver uses, which causes them to deal very high Physical damage to their tank, knocking them back and resetting their threat.

8.2. Strategy

The strategy for this phase is almost identical to that of the First Transition Phase, but this phase is much more difficult. Your main priority should remain the Gorian Warmages, followed by the Gorian Reaver. The Volatile Anomalies should be killed throughout the phase so that their detonations are staggered, or, alternatively, killed together at the end of the phase with defensive cooldowns.

Note that if you have a lot of ranged interrupts available, it is also possible to focus on killing the Reaver while preventing as many casts as possible from the Warmages. This choice should also be made based on what part of your raid is strained the most. So, if your tank is having a hard time surviving, focusing on the Reaver first is a good idea, and if the raid is dying, you should focus on the Warmages.

Tanks will have to make sure that the Gorian Reaver is facing away from any other raid members, and whenever the Reaver casts Kick to the Face Icon Kick to the Face on his tank, the other tank should taunt him and keep tanking him in the same location.

9. Phase Four: Rune of Replication

Phase Four lasts until Mar'gok dies.

9.1. Abilities

Throughout this phase, Mar'gok will use the same abilities as he uses in Phase One, but each one will be slightly modified. The theme of the modifications in this phase is replication.

  • The first time that Arcane Wrath: Replication Icon Arcane Wrath: Replication jumps, two players will receive the debuff, instead of just 1.
  • When a Destructive Resonance: Replication Icon Destructive Resonance: Replication mine expires (or is detonated), 2 new mines will appear next to it. These mines work exactly like the initial one.
  • When players are damaged by Force Nova: Replication Icon Force Nova: Replication, they also deal the same damage that they take to any allies within 4 yards of them.
  • Mark of Chaos: Replication Icon Mark of Chaos: Replication causes 8 Orbs of Chaos to spawn from the location of the tank affected by Mark of Chaos. These spawn when the debuff expires, and they move through the room in straight lines, dealing high Arcane damage to anyone who comes in contact with them, before finally disappearing.

When the Arcane Aberrations die, they now split into 7 new adds each, called Arcane Remnants. These adds have no abilities of their own, and unlike in previous phases, they do not appear to cast Collapsing Entity Icon Collapsing Entity.

The Accelerated Assault Icon Accelerated Assault buff still exists, and it is unchanged from Phase One.

9.2. Strategy

This final phase of the fight is extremely intense. It will be impossible for your raid to spend a long time in this phase, because you will not be able to cope with the large number of adds that spawn each time an Arcane Aberration dies, or with the reduced space caused by the many Destructive Resonance: Replication Icon Destructive Resonance: Replication mines.

Tanks will still have to perform the same tank switch as usual on Mar'gok. The tank who is debuffed by Mark of Chaos: Replication Icon Mark of Chaos: Replication will, as always, have to get 35 yards away from all other raid members.

A new element appears here, in the form of the 8 Orbs of Chaos that spawn from the location of the Marked tank. These orbs will simply have to be avoided as well as possible. They do not move specifically towards raid members, but some of them will inevitably cross through the raid. They are slow enough to be avoidable in most circumstances, and while they deal very high damage, this damage is not fatal on its own. As long as healers are careful, it should be possible to survive this.

The Arcane Aberrations should be picked up by the tanks, and DPS players will have to kill them. The resulting Arcane Remnants do not deal very much damage, and so they can safely be off-tanked, allowing your raid to focus on Mar'gok.

The Destructive Resonance: Replication Icon Destructive Resonance: Replication mines should still be handled as before, in other words ignored and avoided. This will be more difficult than ever before, since each one that despawns will create two new ones near it, so you will eventually start to have serious issues with space.

Force Nova: Replication Icon Force Nova: Replication requires special handling. Essentially, as players run forward into the nova, they need to do so spread out at least 4 yards apart, and not in a group, as otherwise they will damage each other. That said, the splash damage from this effect is not high, so a few mistakes can be tolerated. In particular, melee DPS will generally take a lot of damage here (since the nova appears at their location making it difficult to avoid), so healers will have to be prepared for this spike of damage.

Finally, there remains Arcane Wrath: Replication Icon Arcane Wrath: Replication. The fact that the first jump of each Arcane Wrath places the debuff on two players instead of 1 increases the number of raid members who will take damage from this, and also means that more people than before will be needed to handle it properly and to get it out of the raid.

Overall, this final phase is a brutal and chaotic one, where your raid will do the best they can to handle all the abilities. It is recommended to save cooldowns for this time.

10. When to Use Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp

We recommend using Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp at the start of Phase Four, because this is the most intense period of the fight.

Alternatively, you may need to use it during the Second Transition Phase, which in some cases appeared to be as brutal as Phase Four.

11. Mythic Mode

The Mythic mode of the Imperator Mar'gok encounter is by far the most difficult fight in the entire Highmaul instance. It is an extremely long and intense fight, which will strain every aspect of your raid to the fullest.

11.1. Differences From Normal/Heroic Mode

The Mythic mode of the Imperator Mar'gok encounter is initially quite similar to the Normal/Heroic version (but much more difficult), but at the end of the fight (when Mar'gok reaches 5% health), Cho'gall joins the fight and engages the raid as a new boss. In the following sub-sections we will first look at the mechanics of the Mar'gok part of the encounter, and then we will look at the Cho'gall part of the encounter.

Aside from these differences, all the mobs in the fight have more health and deal more damage than in Normal/Heroic mode.

11.1.1. Imperator Mar'gok

There are no new abilities or mechanics while your raid fights Mar'gok, but there are a few changes to the way that the fight is laid out. There are now only 3 main phases, and two transition phases, as follows.

  1. Between 100% and 66.67% of Mar'gok's health, he will use his Phase Two and Phase Four abilities (from Normal/Heroic Mode). In other words, he will have both the Displacement and Replication versions of abilities active at once.
  2. At 66.67% health, Mar'gok will enter the First Transition Phase, which takes place exactly as in Normal/Heroic Mode.
  3. After the First Transition Phase, Mar'gok will use his Phase Two and Phase Three (Displacement and Fortification) abilities until he reaches 33.33% health.
  4. At 33.33% health, Mar'gok will enter the Second Transition Phase, which is also identical to the Normal/Heroic mode version.
  5. After the Second Transition Phase, Mar'gok will use his Phase Three and Phase Four (Fortification and Replication) abilities until he reaches 5% health, at which point the Mar'gok part of the encounter ends.

So, throughout this part of the fight, you will face Mar'gok and the same abilities he was using all throughout the Normal/Heroic versions of the encounter. Naturally, the difficulty will be far greater since at any given time, each one of this abilities will be doubly empowered.

On reaching 5% health, Mar'gok will become immune, and a large number of Night-Twisted Faithful adds will enter the fight. 30 seconds later, Mar'gok will die and Cho'gall will become active and engage your raid. We discuss these adds, and Cho'gall, in the following sub-section.

11.1.2. Cho'gall

When Mar'gok reaches 5% health, Cho'gall appears in the room, but he does not engage your raid immediately (and he cannot be attacked). During this time, Mar'gok is immune, and a large number of Night-Twisted Faithfuls attack your raid. 30 seconds after Mar'gok reaches 5% health he dies permanently, and Cho'gall activates and engages your raid. We discuss Cho'gall's abilities below.

  • Glimpse of Madness Icon Glimpse of Madness is an ability Cho'gall uses every 25 seconds. He creates a shadow copy of a random raid member, which persists until the end of the fight. These copies are stationary and they cannot be attacked, but they spam Gaze of the Abyss Icon Gaze of the Abyss on the closest raid member within a certain radius (we are not sure of the size of the radius, but it appears to be around 10 yards).
    • Gaze of the Abyss Icon Gaze of the Abyss is an uninterruptible cast that applies a stacking debuff that lasts 10 seconds, and which deals a high amount of Shadow damage to the target whenever it is applied. Additionally, each application increases the damage done by Gaze of the Abyss by 50%. When the debuff expires, it deals a massive amount of Shadow damage to the affected player, and any other allies within 8 yards.
  • Enveloping Night Icon Enveloping Night is an ability that Cho'gall uses every 60 seconds. The ability detonates any Glimpse of Madness shadow copy that had at least one of its Gaze of the Abyss casts unsoaked by a raid member in the time since the previous Enveloping Night. In other words, each Gaze of the Abyss cast by each shadowy copy has to have a valid target (someone within the required radius). If at least one Gaze of the Abyss cast does not have a valid target, then the first cast of Enveloping Night will detonate that shadowy copy. Detonating a shadowy copy causes it to deal a high amount of raid-wide Shadow damage. However, the copy will still persist after its detonation, and it will continue to cast Gaze of the Abyss.
  • Dark Star Icon Dark Star is a ball of dark energy that appears at the location of a random raid member, and which explodes 5 seconds later, dealing massive Shadow damage in a 25-yard radius.
  • Infinite Darkness Icon Infinite Darkness is a debuff that Cho'gall applies on 1-3 random raid members, every 60 seconds. It lasts 45 seconds, and while it is active, all healing received by the affected raid members is absorbed. At the end of the debuff's duration, all the healing absorbed by the players is granted as a 10-second damage absorption shield, called Entropy Icon Entropy, to the entire raid.
  • Edge of the Void Icon Edge of the Void is an ability that Cho'gall seems to use as an enrage. He affects 5 random areas of the floor every 0.5 seconds for 12 seconds, causing each affected area to deal lethal Shadow damage to any players in a 6-yard radius 2.5 seconds later.

In addition to these abilities, Cho'gall summons a group of Night-Twisted Faithfuls every 30 seconds (these are identical to the ones that spawn when Mar'gok reaches 5% health). These adds melee their main aggro target for a large amount of damage, and their only other ability is a permanent void zone that they leave behind at the location where they die.

11.2. Strategy

In the following sub-sections, we will look at each of the 3 main phases of the fight, at the two transition phases, as well as at the final phase (the one involving Cho'gall).

11.2.1. Phase One

Between 100% and 66.67% of Mar'gok's health, your raid will have to handle all of his abilities being empowered both by Displacement and Replication. It is particularly the Replication version of the abilities that will cause major issues.

First of all, you will have to come up with an efficient way to handle the Force Nova Icon Force Nova casts. In addition to being knocked back, the Replication element will cause players to deal damage to any other players hit by Force Nova within 4 yards, which will essentially result in deaths, given the high amounts of damage. As such, your raid should be prepared to spread out quickly and efficiently, and to do so in a way that ensures the healers having to move as little as possible.

Second of all, you will have to be very careful with the management of the Destructive Resonance Icon Destructive Resonance void zones, as they will both increase in size and duplicate when they expire, meaning that the floor can quickly become covered in them. Whenever the Destructive Resonance void zones are about to be cast, it is important that players stand as close to existing ones as possible, so that they spawn as neatly packed together as possible.

Third if all, the entire raid will have to be careful to avoid being hit by the Orbs of Chaos created by Mark of Chaos Icon Mark of Chaos, which is made more difficult by the fact the tank affected by Mark of Chaos is teleported to the location of a random ranged member when the orbs spawn.

Finally, players will have to manage the Arcane Wrath Icon Arcane Wrath debuff correctly. This will prove quite intuitive, since players affected by Arcane Wrath are unable to leave their 10-yard radius, due to the Displacement effect, and Arcane Wrath jumps to 2 players instead of to just 1. This means it is the raid that will have to move away from the affected players when the debuff is about to be dropped off, and that this will need to be done with regard to two different players at once. Still, this can prove to be difficult.

It goes without saying that the tanks should still perform a tank switch on Mar'gok as usual, and that the Arcane Aberrations and the resulting Arcane Remnants should be killed.

11.2.2. First Transition Phase

The First Transition Phase is identical to its Normal/Heroic version, except that the damage and health of the mobs is much higher. The strategy remains largely the same, but it is highly recommended to interrupt as many casts of Nether Blast Icon Nether Blast as possible. It is also advised to tank the Volatile Anomalies close to the Warmages, and to have a few melee players be focused on killing them throughout the phase.

11.2.3. Phase Two

Phase Two lasts from the end of the First Transition Phase until the boss reaches 33.33% health. During this phase, you will have to handle Mar'gok's abilities being empowered both by Displacement and Fortification. This phase is not as taxing as Phase One, but it is still difficult.

The major challenge your raid will be faced with is that Force Nova Icon Force Nova happens 3 times in a row now, in addition to knocking players back each time. Coupled with the fact that the Destructive Resonance Icon Destructive Resonance void zones last twice as long as before (and are still double their normal size), this can cause severe positioning problems for your raid, if you are not careful as far as placing the Destructive Resonance void zones is concerned. The same technique as in Phase One (overlapping them whenever possible) should be employed.

Dealing with Arcane Wrath Icon Arcane Wrath is also quite difficult, as in addition to the player affected by it being unable to move (outside of a 10-yard radius), its jump distance is reduced by 50% less with each jump, meaning that it is more difficult to get rid of it. At 6-7 stacks, the ranged group should move away from the player with Arcane Wrath, and this should ideally cause it to disappear.

Finally, increased attention will have to be given to the Arcane Aberrations, whose health is much higher during this phase.

11.2.4. Second Transition Phase

The Second Transition Phase is identical to its Normal/Heroic counterpart. We advise your raid to focus down the Gorian Warmages, while having a few raid members attacking the Gorian Reaver, and having the Volatile Anomalies tanked in range of the Reaver so that they can be cleaved down with ease.

11.2.5. Phase Three

Phase Three lasts from the end of the Second Transition Phase until Mar'gok reaches 5% health, at which point he becomes immune. He dies 30 seconds after that. During this phase, you will have to handle Mar'gok's abilities being empowered both by Fortification and Replication.

The first thing you will have to watch out for during this phase is that the tank that is affected by Mark of Chaos Icon Mark of Chaos will be rooted in place, and will spawn the Orbs of Chaos. This means that the rest of the raid will have to move away from the tank, and pay special attention to avoid being hit by the orbs.

The same kind of positioning constraints regarding Destructive Resonance Icon Destructive Resonance exist in this phase as in the previous ones. The void zones last twice as long as normally, and they duplicate when they expire, so handling them carefully once again is very important.

The most difficult part of the fight, or at the very least the one that has the highest potential of getting raid members killed, is dealing with Force Nova Icon Force Nova. Force Nova comes in 3 waves now, and also causes affected players to deal AoE damage in a 4-yard radius. All raid members will once again (as with Phase One) have to be properly spread out for Force Nova, and this should be done in such a way that the healers have the least movement to do.

Finally, there will be difficulty in handling Arcane Wrath Icon Arcane Wrath properly, but the way to do so is once again similar as before, and quite intuitive.

11.2.6. Phase Four (Cho'gall)

As soon as Mar'gok reaches 5% health, a swarm of Night-Twisted Faithfuls enters the fight. There is nothing else going on in the encounter at this time (both Mar'gok and Cho'gall are inactive), so you should focus on the adds and kill them. It is important to kill them out of the way of the raid, because they leave permanent void zones behind when they die. The ideal location is the throne, since this area is not really needed for anything else as the fight progresses.

Due to the tight DPS check of the fight, focusing on and killing any other waves of Night-Twisted Faithfuls throughout the encounter will not prove feasible. Instead, they should be off-tanked throughout the fight, and kept close to Cho'gall so that some of them will eventually die to collateral damage.

As for handling Cho'gall himself (who becomes active 30 seconds into the phase), several things must be kept in mind. To begin with, there is no need at all to perform a tank switch, as there are no abilities that call for this.

As far as positioning is concerned, we recommend that the ranged raid members and healers stand around the center of the room, and that Cho'gall be tanked along the outside. Whenever some of the Night-Twisted Faithfuls die (leaving behind void zones), Cho'gall should be moved along the outside of the room to a clear location.

One very noticeable aspect of the phase is Cho'gall's Dark Star Icon Dark Star ability. When this ball of dark energy appears at the location of a random raid member, everyone should quickly move away and get at least 25 yards clear of it before it explodes 5 seconds later.

Probably the most important part of the phase is properly handling Cho'gall's Enveloping Night Icon Enveloping Night ability, which forms an important synergy with Glimpse of Madness Icon Glimpse of Madness. Whenever Cho'gall creates a shadowy copy of a raid member, its casts of Gaze of the Abyss Icon Gaze of the Abyss will have to be soaked, until the end of the fight. Failure to do so will cause that shadowy copy to be detonated for a high amount of Shadow damage each time Enveloping Night is cast. For this purpose, you will have to assign a rotation, comprised of raid members who have powerful defensive cooldowns, to soak all of the casts of Gaze of the Abyss. As the number of shadowy copies increases (since they are permanent), soaking them will become more and more difficult.

The soakers will have to move so that they are closest to a given shadowy copy, stay there until they have soaked 4 casts of Gaze of the Abyss, and then move away. When the Gaze of the Abyss debuff expires, they have to be at least 8 yards away from other raid members, and they need to use a defensive cooldown to survive the damage.

This is an activity in which your raid will have to engage until Cho'gall dies. At certain points, however, soaking all the shadowy copies to prevent Enveloping Night from detonating them will become impossible, because your raid will run out of soakers with available defensive cooldowns. It is at this time that your raid will need to make use of the Entropy Icon Entropy shields generated by Infinite Darkness Icon Infinite Darkness. When players are debuffed by Infinite Darkness, healers should place as much healing as they can into them, ensuring that the raid will obtain a large damage absorption shield. This shield can then be utilized to absorb the damage of Enveloping Night. So, for example, if the raid has a large shield, a group of soakers can entirely give up soaking a given shadowy copy (preventing damage taken on them, and allowing their defensive cooldowns to recover), and simply letting that shadowy copy's detonation be absorbed by the Entropy shield.

The end of the fight will be very chaotic, and this phase is definitely one where Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp should be used (although, given the length of the fight, it can also be used during Phase One).

12. Learning the Fight

This is a long and tiresome fight, where the most difficult part comes at the very end. These encounters are always the most frustrating to progress on, because your raid will go through many attempts in Phase One or Phase Two, but by the time they reach Phase Four, they will already be tired and starting to lose focus.

There is no solution to this other than, as a raid leader, to be understanding of the strain a fight like this can put on your raid. You can consider offering more frequent breaks than usual, to allow for your raid members to restore some of their focus.

When it comes to the mechanics themselves, the first two phases are very easily accessible and you will no doubt try them many times, meaning that all raid members will become very well accustomed to how the mechanics work. One particular mechanic to work on is Arcane Wrath Icon Arcane Wrath, which requires assigning some players to it. For obvious reasons, ranged DPS players (Hunters in particular) are well suited to this task.

In order to progress further in the encounter and see more of the fight, you can make liberal use of Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp. For example, if you are struggling with Phase Two, you can just use it then so that you get to experience the First Transition Phase. Then, when you are more comfortable with Phase Two mechanics, you can stop using it.

13. Loot

In this section, you will find the loot table for Mar'gok. The section is divided in 3 subsections: armor, weapons, and the rest (neck, back, finger, and trinket items).

13.1. Armor

Item Name Armor Slot Secondary Stats
Robes of the Arcane Ultimatum Icon Robes of the Arcane Ultimatum (Heroic, Mythic) Cloth Chest
  • Critical Strike
  • Multistrike
High Arcanist Leggings Icon High Arcanist Leggings — LFR Cloth Legs
  • Critical Strike
  • Haste
Warmage's Legwraps Icon Warmage's Legwraps — LFR Leather Legs
  • Critical Strike
  • Haste
Nether Blast Kilt Icon Nether Blast Kilt (Heroic, Mythic) Leather Legs
  • Haste
  • Mastery
Gorian Royal Crown Icon Gorian Royal Crown — LFR Mail Head
  • Haste
  • Multistrike
Face Kickers Icon Face Kickers (Heroic, Mythic) Mail Feet
  • Critical Strike
  • Multistrike
Uncrushable Shoulderplates Icon Uncrushable Shoulderplates (Heroic, Mythic) Plate Shoulders
  • Multistrike
  • Critical Strike
Chestplate of Destructive Resonance Icon Chestplate of Destructive Resonance — LFR Plate Chest
  • Haste
  • Mastery

13.2. Weapons

Item Name Type Main Stats Secondary Stats
Imperator's Warstaff Icon Imperator's Warstaff — LFR Staff Intellect
  • Critical Strike
  • Haste
Staff of the Grand Imperator Icon Staff of the Grand Imperator (Heroic, Mythic) Staff Intellect
  • Critical Strike
  • Multistrike
Gor'gah, High Blade of the Gorians Icon Gor'gah, High Blade of the Gorians (Heroic, Mythic) 2H Sword Strength
  • Mastery
  • Versatility
Mirrorshield of Arcane Fortification Icon Mirrorshield of Arcane Fortification — LFR Shield Strength
  • Haste
  • Multistrike

13.3. Amulets, Cloaks, Rings, and Trinkets

Item Name Type Main Stats Secondary Stats
Reaver's Nose Ring Icon Reaver's Nose Ring (Heroic, Mythic) Amulet Agility
  • Haste
  • Critical Strike
Choker of Violent Displacement Icon Choker of Violent Displacement (Heroic, Mythic) Amulet
  • Agility
  • Strength
  • Haste
  • Mastery
Chain of the Unbroken Lineage Icon Chain of the Unbroken Lineage — LFR Amulet Strength
  • Haste
  • Multistrike
Greatcloak of Impactful Pulses Icon Greatcloak of Impactful Pulses — LFR Cloak Intellect
  • Spirit
  • Critical Strike
Force Nova Cloak Icon Force Nova Cloak (Heroic, Mythic) Cloak Intellect
  • Multistrike
  • Spirit
Seal of Arcane Wrath Icon Seal of Arcane Wrath — LFR Ring Intellect
  • Critical Strike
  • Mastery
Shockwave Signet Icon Shockwave Signet (Heroic, Mythic) Ring
  • Agility
  • Strength
  • Armor
  • Multistrike
Quiescent Runestone Icon Quiescent Runestone (Heroic, Mythic) Trinket Intellect
  • Haste
  • Multistrike
Mark of Rapid Replication Icon Mark of Rapid Replication (Heroic, Mythic) Trinket None
  • Spirit
  • Haste
  • Versatility
Captive Micro-Aberration Icon Captive Micro-Aberration (Heroic, Mythic) Trinket Agility
  • Haste
  • Mastery
Evergaze Arcane Eidolon Icon Evergaze Arcane Eidolon (Heroic, Mythic) Trinket None
  • Mastery
  • Armor on proc

14. Concluding Remarks

This concludes our raid guide for Imperator Mar'gok. We hope you have found it helpful. Please do not hesitate to post any feedback you may have on our forums.

15. ChangeLog

  • 08 Jan. 2015: Added Mythic mode strategy.
  • 15 Dec. 2014: Added hard enrage timer.
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