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Starym

Huge Revelation: The Final Jailer Fight Involves A Major and Very Familiar Place

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62306-patch-92-initial-datamining-bosses
 

It's time for more spoilers from the unencrypted PTR build, as the final Sepulcher of the First ones encounter, the Jailer himself, is very much connected to a place very near and dear to our hearts!

BIG SPOILERS AHEAD!

In a thoroughly telegraphed revelation, the final encounter of patch 9.2 (and possibly the Shadowlands expansion) will involve Azeroth herself! The Jailer will be sending some missiles at our favorite World Soul and we'll have to stop them, as Azeroth will have her own health bar and will be buffing us during the fight. Also, slight apologies for the possible "major and very familiar place" mislead, but I really didn't want to spoil anything for people wanting to avoid any context (although it's still guessable).

  • Desolation - Zovaal launches a volley of missiles at Azeroth, decreasing Azeroth's health by up to 20%. One of these missiles can be intercepted by each player, inflicting 60 Shadow damage.
  • tank.pngApocalypse Bolt - Inflicts 5% of Azeroth's maximum health in Shadow damage

59612-the-jailers-plan-for-azeroth-an-un

These encounter details were first spotted by BlaringMailer and have been further detailed by MMO Champion, where you can see plenty more abilities than we'll cover here.

The encounter itself has some pretty interesting phases as well, with the first one, "Origins of Domination", being pretty Jailer-y with a lot of chains and mind control.

  • tank.pngUnrelenting Domination - Zovaal attempts to impose his will on the world around him, dominating all players and pylons within line of sight.
  • Chains of Oppression - Zovaal summons chains, pulling the players and inflicting 15 Shadow damage every 2 sec for 8 sec.
  • Blasphemy - Zovaal utters a wicked pronouncement causing 10 players to explode after 4 sec, inflicting 40 Shadow damage to all players within 6 yards of targets.

The intermission, "Machine of Origination" sounds much more interesting, as he seems to be taking over a very titan-sounding machine (although it's probably going to be First-Ones made) and unleashing cosmic blasts, some related to someone called Aradne (possibly a First One?).

  • Oblivion - Zovaal dominates the machine, triggering Aradne's Falling Strike in Pylons. While channeling Oblivion all damage taken is decreased by 100%.
  • Calibrations of Oblivion - Zovaal manipulates the Machine of Origination causing pylons to release cosmic energy, inflicting 100 Shadow damage to all players within a 20 yards.

The second phase, "Unholy Attunement" sees him using his Death abilities a lot more

  • Unholy Attunement - Zovaal attunes the Machine of Origination, empowering 3 pylons to radiate cosmic energy. All players within 20 yards of the pylons are afflicted with Unholy Ground.

And then there's the final phase, "The Unmaking", where he goes after Azeroth herself, starts using runes of domination, and presumably that's when she gets involved herself and helps the players out as well. The name of the phase is interesting, as it may be referencing Argus the Unmaker, another World Soul, and one that's been theorized to have been the reason behind the Arbiter's initial shutting down in the first place, which started the Shadowlands story.

  • Desolation - Zovaal launches a volley of missiles at Azeroth, decreasing Azeroth's health by up to 20%. One of these missiles can be intercepted by each player, inflicting 60 Shadow damage.
  • tank.pngRune of Domination - Zovaal marks 3 players with a Rune of Domination lasting until cancelled. Upon expiration the rune explodes, triggering Imposing Will and inflicting 40 Shadow damage to all players within 8 yards.
  • Decimator - Zovaal hurls his flail at a player's location, inflicting 70 Shadow Damage to all players within a 0 yards and knocks all players from the point of impact.

And there's one more Azeroth-related ability that MMO Champion didn't seem to catch, but BlaringMailer did:

  • >! Azeroth empowers the heroes of Azeroth, freeing them from their bonds and increasing all damage done by $s1% and all healing done by $s3%. !<

That last one (if true) has some pretty big connotations to Azeroth's conscious state, as she may just get woken up by all these missiles! What that could mean for a potential 10.0 and a possible world revamp is a little staggering to think about...

And finally there's this little gem from the last phase:

  • Defile - Zovaal creates a zone of defilement, inflicting 13 Shadow damage every 1 sec to all players within the area. Every time a player takes damage from this effect the size of the area increases. This lasts 60 sec.

Yep, that's the Lich King's own little boss ability there, but this may be completely irrelevant, as it was Zovaal that crafted the Helm of Domination and Forstmourne, which gave the Lich King his powers, so it may be just Zovaal using Zovaal things. However, in light of another datamined tidbit (this was isn't quite 100% certain though), where the Helm of Domination gets reforged in a cutscene, there may be more to it than that. 

You can read all the abilities present in the fight over at MMO Champion, and check out BlaringMailer's overview over on reddit.

And while this is all very cool and flashy, it seems to deflate my favorite theory of them all to come out of the Shadowlands, namely that the Jailer was going to turn Sargeras' sword into a Mourneblade in order to dominate Azeroth and use her power for himself. That might still be his general plan, and it could still be his aim as we interrupt him, and he then starts nuking the planet with "missiles" (I still can't get over how weird that sounds, despite the fact that we have spaceships and lasers in WoW). However it's much more likely he's just using her life force (as presented by the energy flowing behind him) to fuel his re-creation/domination engine. Another awesome theory that's been floated around is that Illidan and Sargeras notice what's going on, team up, grab the sword out of Azeroth and beat the living (dying?) hell out of the Jailer.

Shadowlands_Eternitys_End_Jailer_4K.png?

And so the long hinted "Death comes for the soul of this world" is becoming quite literal in patch 9.2, with the Jailer coming after Azeroth, just like every other cosmic power before him. Oh, and that Azerite-looking stuff behind the Jailer? Probably actual Azerite! Now that we have a good overview of the fight, there's one last big, huge, colossal question that will probably remain for a long time: will there be a Mythic-only phase and conclusion to the Shadowlands story?

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15 minutes ago, Nym85 said:

Sorry but if the birth of Azeroth comes in a mythic only phase, they can all go fluff themselves.

Oh that won't happen, since if it does happen at all it'll be before "The Unmaking", which is definitely a Normal/Heroic phase.

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Howdy!

Just thought I'd toss this out, since I've also been following datamining closely.

I made the following post on reddit early on in the datamining process when I noticed that WoWHead had found the animation models for that pillar of (what is indeed, based on its model name) Azerite behind Zovaal - there are screenshots of it, and I think it confirms a theory I came up with just after the dev preview last week.

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  • Blasphemy - Zovaal utters a wicked pronouncement causing 10 players to explode after 4 sec, inflicting 40 Shadow damage to all players within 6 yards of targets.

WTF? lol

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10 hours ago, Starym said:

Yep, that's the Lich King's own little boss ability there, but this may be completely irrelevant, as it was Zovaal that crafted the Helm of Domination and Forstmourne, which gave the Lich King his powers, so it may be just Zovaal using Zovaal things.

Wasn't it Runecarver (Primus), who made these artifacts? Not Zovaal himself, but he forced him to do it. Anyway, nice callback with that ability. Surprised they didn't forget about Azerite, perhaps Jailer wants to use it.

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5 hours ago, snap said:

WTF? lol

Yea that caught my eye too, I'm guessing it's just "there's explosions centered on the players" and not that we literally explode :D:D

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2 hours ago, Arcling said:

Wasn't it Runecarver (Primus), who made these artifacts? Not Zovaal himself, but he forced him to do it. Anyway, nice callback with that ability. Surprised they didn't forget about Azerite, perhaps Jailer wants to use it.

It's kind of both. The Primus made them and seemingly the Domination magic was pre-Zovaal as well, but he made it his own. Aka the Primus (presumably) would have made them differently based on the same "tech".

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15 hours ago, Starym said:

I still can't get over how weird that sounds, despite the fact that we have spaceships and lasers in WoW

We just have to remember that the Lightforged Draenei's racial is literally ordering an orbital strike from the Vindicaar, that can pierce far underground (even on a time-displaced Draenor) and hit its target with pinpoint accuracy and it suddenly becomes very mundane.

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7 hours ago, Luname said:

We just have to remember that the Lightforged Draenei's racial is literally ordering an orbital strike from the Vindicaar, that can pierce far underground (even on a time-displaced Draenor) and hit its target with pinpoint accuracy and it suddenly becomes very mundane.

Eh, you can headcannon that one into a "it's a light thing" and ignore the vindicar aspect 😄

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