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Starym

Anduin Raid Encounter: A Very Important Someone Seems to Show Up

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59323-chains-of-domination-key-art.jpg
 

We have a look at another encounter in the Sepulcher of the First ones, as the second-most important fight and character in there, Anduin (who actually gets his own private Normal and Heroic week as the endboss), has a pretty significant visitor.

Spoilers ahead!

So, while we don't have a definitive name coming out of the encounter journal datamined by MMO Champion, we do have some pretty strong hints at Arthas being a part of the Anduin Wrynn fight in the Sepulcher of the First Ones. The reference is specifically to "Remnant of a Fallen King", so there is a slight chance it might be referring to Varian instead, however there are many more reasons to think it's a remnant of Arthas. Let's take a look at some of the actual abilities and phase involved here (and as always, head on over to MMO Champion for the full list of abilities for Anduin and the rest of the raid bosses).

Clipboard01.jpg
Source: Fall of the Lich King Remastered Cinematic by IKEdit.

tank.pngIntermission: Remnant of a Fallen King

  • tank.pngGrasp of Domination - The Remnant's Domination over Anduin's soul links them, transferring 200% of damage taken to Anduin.
  • Remorseless Winter - The presence of the Fallen King invokes a raging storm that inflicts 2 Shadowfrost damage every 1 sec to all players.
    This effect stacks, increasing in stack count every 10 sec.
  • Soul Reaper - The Fallen King strikes at the target's soul. Grants the Fallen King 100% attack speed for 8 sec, inflicts 150 Physical and 40 Shadowfrost damage to the target, and increases their Physical damage taken by 150% for 15 sec.
  • Army of the Dead - Fiendish souls flood the arena, attacking enemies of the Fallen King.
    • Monstrous Soul -
      • tank.pngNecrotic Detonation - The abomination detonates upon reaching low health, inflicting 60 Shadow damage to all players and reducing the effectiveness of healing and absorption effects by 100% for 10 sec.
      • tank.pngUnraveling Frenzy - The abomination's rage causes it to unravel, the caster gains 5% increased Physical damage done, but loses 1% of its maximum health every 1 sec.
    • Fiendish Soul -
      • tank.pngNecrotic Claws - Leaps towards a target, inflicting 2 Physical damage to all enemies within 8 yards and reducing the effectiveness of healing and absorption effects by 1%.
      • tank.pngdps.pngSoul Explosion - Upon death, the soul blasts a target area inflicting 33 Shadow damage to players standing within 4 yards of the impact area.

So why would this remnant be Arthas? Well, it's been long speculated that the soul shard the Jailer used to craft Kingsmourne, the blade that is controlling Anduin, was either Arthas or Varian. Varian was the less likely option, for one because his soul was/may have been utterly destroyed by the Fel when Gul'dan disenchanted him. This was never explicitly stated, but Fel magic does consume souls, so it's at least a possibility. However, in this particular fight Arthas just makes a lot more sense, due to the abilities being used. Remorseless Winter alone should indicate that the "Fallen King" was of the Lich variety, and not the Alliance-type, but the other unholy-related abilities just confirm it even further. There's also the small and possibly relevant detail of the Helm of Domination being reforged, but that may not have a direct link to Arthas at all.

Clipboard03.jpg
Source: Sylvanas' Choice Cinematic.

It is unclear what form this Remnant of the Fallen King will take, whether it will be just a spirit or an actual physical rendition of (still only presumably) Arthas. The ending of the encounter will be VERY interesting indeed, as while this is a remnant of Arthas' soul, the actual Arthas is presumably still somewhere in the Maw (unless the Jailer found and dealt with him already). This could mean an actual double-return for one of the most famous and popular WoW characters, as the real Arthas might come in at the end to help Anduin break the chains, perhaps even fighting his remnant self! Ok, I may be getting ahead of myself a little.

hfFF6E4.jpg
Source: Afterlives: Bastion Cinematic.

The Anduin encounter itself revolves around his domination and willpower, as he regains control a few times while fighting against Kingsmourne's domination.

tank.pngStage One: Kingsmourne Hungers

  • tank.pngWillpower - Aiding Anduin restores his Willpower, upon reaching 100 energy Anduin manifests the source of his Domination temporarily.
  • Kingsmourne Hungers - Anduin rends the souls his enemies, inflicting 40 Shadow damage to players in front of him and banishing their souls for 35 sec.
    • Lost Soul - While players' souls are banished they are able to aid the soul of Anduin.
      Defeating Anduin's doubt and restoring his hope grants him energy.
    • Anduin's Despair - Defeating a Anduin's Despair restores 20 energy to Anduin.
      • tank.pngDespair - The amalgamation releases a blast of Maw energy, inflicting 100 Shadow damage to all players and creatures within 0 yards of the caster and increases their damage taken by 100% for 18 sec.
    • Anduin's Hope - Restoring Anduin's Hope grants Anduin 5 energy.
      • dps.pngMalignant Ward - Anduin's Hope is afflicted with a Malignant Ward, that absorbs healing received.
    • Anduin's Doubt - Defeating Anduin's Doubt grants Anduin 5 energy.
  • Hopebreaker - Anduin plunges Kingsmourne into the ground unleashing a wave of maw energy, inflicting 35 Shadow damage to all players and an additional 2 Shadow damage every 2 sec to all players. This effect stacks.

The first two phases are really very similar, as Anduin struggles and we help him when our own souls get banished by the blade, similar to the Frostmourne segment of the original Lich King encounter. The third phase adds a new twist:

tank.pngStage Three: A Moment of Clarity

  • Beacon of Hope - In a moment of clarity, Anduin summons a Beacon of Hope. Players that enter the area have applications of Dire Hopelessness removed, reducing the size of the barrier and creating a Fragment of Hope.
    • tank.pngFragment of Hope - Fragment of Hope removes an application of Dire Hopelessness from a player standing in the impact area. If no players are standing in the impact area the fragment bursts, inflicting 25 Holy damage to all players.
  • Empowered Hopebreaker - Anduin plunges Kingsmourne into the ground unleashing multiple waves of maw energy, each pulse inflicts 35 Shadow damage to all players and applies an application Hopebreaker inflicting an additional 2 Shadow damage every 2 sec to all players. This effect stacks.

And that's all we know so far, which means either the fight plays out normally and the third phase sees us helping Anduin summon enough willpower to break the chains permanently, or, as I'm hoping/expecting, there's a big cutscene with either Arthas in spirit or actual physical form doing the final part to set the young king free, or perhaps a memory/apparition of Varian somehow helps with the final step.

Varian.png
Source: Legion Cinematic Trailer.


I have to say these encounter journal entries have very much refreshed my eagerness and hype for WoW, despite me not being the hugest fan of the current story (I gave it a shot, I swear). There's some real potential here with existing characters, who don't really need to get ruined or affected in any way, but can still contribute to the story in their own ways. Arthas doesn't need to be redeemed or be portrayed as the good guy or misunderstood hero here, he would want to break Anduin's sword-related chains due to his own experiences with Frostmourne, not because of some inherent goodness/heroic nature. The Anduin encounter and the Jailer encounter (which has a very famous visitor of its own) have some true potential in terms of story and lore, now let's hope they turn out as good as they can be!

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Calling it. Arthas comes back. remember that old leak about Sylvanas? It did mention that some old characters will resurrected. Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if this happens

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