Kel'Thuzad Encounter Guide: Strategy, Abilities, Loot

Last updated on Sep 27, 2022 at 18:43 by Sinzhu 1 comment

Kel'Thuzad is the final encounter in Wrath of the Lich King Classic's version of the Naxxramas Raid, requiring you to first defeat every other boss in the instance before reaching him. Do not forget to be aware of the various Raid Buffs and Debuffs as you work to optimize your Raid Composition for this encounter's mechanics!


Overview of Kel'Thuzad in Wrath of the Lich King Classic's Naxxramas

Kel'Thuzad, the Archlich of Naxxramas, Commander of the Dread Necropolis, Master and Founder of the Cult of the Damned, formerly of the Council of Six, Creator of the Abomination, Summoner of Archimonde the Defiler, Betrayer of Humanity, and majordomo to The Lich King himself, is the final encounter of Naxxramas, and will require great patience to defeat. This is due to a mandatory gauntlet of enemies that must be endured before Kel'Thuzad himself will decide to engage you directly. Of course, even if you defeat him, a lich always finds a way...


Role-Specific Tips for Kel'Thuzad


DPS tips


Healer tips

  • Be prepared to heal the active tank if a Frostbolt IconFrostbolt is not interrupted in time, alongside healing the raid after every AoE Frostbolt IconFrostbolt volley.
  • Avoid stacking tightly with other healers in case of a splashing Frost Blast IconFrost Blast.
  • Provide immediate healing to the victims of Frost Blast IconFrost Blast.

Tank tips

  • Focus on getting the attention of any Unstoppable Abominations that spawn during Phase One.
  • Once in Phase Two, move Kel'Thuzad to the center of the room and avoid stacking with any DPS or healers in case of Frost Blast IconFrost Blast splashing.
  • When the Guardian of Icecrown adds appear, have one tank get their attention while the other remains with Kel'Thuzad.

Kel'Thuzad Abilities

  • Phase One, Minions of the Cold Dark
    • Soldier of the Frozen Wastes — These footsoldiers will slowly approach players and trigger a Dark Blast IconDark Blast upon contact, detonating in a massive explosion of Shadow damage. Defeat them from a distance.
    • Soul Weaver — These banshees will cast Wail of Souls IconWail of Souls if they reach their target, knocking back multiple players and dealing a large amount of Shadow damage.
    • Unstoppable Abomination — This enemy is meant to be tanked. It applies Mortal Wound IconMortal Wound, reducing the target's healing received by 10% and stacking. Upon reaching low health, these Abominations will also Frenzy IconFrenzy and deal increased Physical damage.
  • Phase Two, Kel'Thuzad Strikes
    • Frostbolt IconFrostbolt — One of two Frostbolt mechanics; this instant-cast version will hit the entire raid at the same time.
    • Frostbolt IconFrostbolt — One of two Frostbolt mechanics; this version has a 2-second cast time that will deal tremendous Frost damage to the tank if not interrupted.
    • Shadow Fissure IconShadow Fissure — Kel'Thuzad will create a fissure underneath a player's feet. If they do not leave the area in time, they will be hit by a Void Blast IconVoid Blast and surely perish.
    • Detonate Mana IconDetonate Mana — Kel'Thuzad will apply a 5-second debuff to a random player that uses Mana as a resource. After this debuff expires the player will lose a portion of their Mana, causing a Mana Detonation IconMana Detonation of Shadow damage to anyone within 10 yards.
    • Frost Blast IconFrost Blast — A random player will be targeted, along with anyone else within 10 yards of the victim. These players will be stunned and suffer 100% of their maximum health in Frost damage over the course of 5 seconds.
    • Chains of Kel'Thuzad IconChains of Kel'Thuzad — Up to two players will be charmed for 20 seconds, gaining increased maximum health and damage. However, they may be stunned or crowd controlled by other players until the mind control expires.
  • Phase Three, Guardians of Ice Crown
    • During this Phase, Kel'Thuzad continues to use all abilities from Phase Two, while also summoning a number of Guardian of Icecrown adds depending on the difficulty of the encounter.
    • Blood Tap IconBlood Tap — Periodically used by Guardian of Icecrown, this ability buffs the damage and size of these adds, stacking.

Strategy for Kel'Thuzad

Kel'Thuzad's encounter is a long endurance battle against the lich, beginning with first fighting off his armies of the damned. This will begin upon stepping foot into the central circle of the room, with the entrance being sealed off by more adds. During this time, stay in the center of the room and defeat the various Soldier of the Frozen Wastes adds, Soul Weavers, and Unstoppable Abominations. After nearly four minutes, Kel'Thuzad will become active.

Once Kel'Thuzad is active, have your tank drag him to the center of the room and spread your melee into multiple small clumps around the boss that are all at least 10 yards away from eachother. Ranged DPS and healers can simply spread themselves out from a distance. During this phase, you will need to interrupt the single-target Frostbolt IconFrostbolt, move out of any Shadow Fissure IconShadow Fissures, get at least 10 yards away from other players if given the Detonate Mana IconDetonate Mana debuff, and be ready to stun or crowd control victims of Chains of Kel'Thuzad IconChains of Kel'Thuzad. If you have positioned appropriately, then only the melee are ever going to be in danger of splashing many of these mechanics onto eachother. In particular, be very mindful of the Frost Blast IconFrost Blast mechanic, and make sure any players that have been stunned receive healing or they will die.

Upon reaching 45% health, Kel'Thuzad will cry out to The Lich King for help, and be bestowed with a number of Guardian of Icecrown adds. These additional forces should be grabbed by another tank and otherwise ignored as you work to defeat Kel'Thuzad before the Guardians' Blood Tap IconBlood Tap buff becomes too great. This Phase will otherwise play out identically to Phase Two when Kel'Thuzad originally began to directly fight.


Kel'Thuzad Loot



Item Type/Slot
Helm of the Lost Conqueror Icon Helm of the Lost Conqueror Tier 7 token (Helm)
Helm of the Lost Protector Icon Helm of the Lost Protector Tier 7 token (Helm)
Helm of the Lost Vanquisher Icon Helm of the Lost Vanquisher Tier 7 token (Helm)
Kel'Thuzad's Reach Icon Kel'Thuzad's Reach Main Hand Fist Weapon
Death's Bite Icon Death's Bite Two-Hand Axe
Nerubian Conquerer Icon Nerubian Conquerer Gun
Anarchy Icon Anarchy One-hand Dagger
Staff of the Plaguehound Icon Staff of the Plaguehound Staff
Hammer of the Astral Plane Icon Hammer of the Astral Plane Main Hand Mace
The Soulblade Icon The Soulblade Main Hand Dagger
Wand of the Archlich Icon Wand of the Archlich Wand
Cloak of the Dying Icon Cloak of the Dying Cape
Gem of Imprisoned Vassals Icon Gem of Imprisoned Vassals Neck


Item Type/Slot
Crown of the Lost Conqueror Icon Crown of the Lost Conqueror Tier 7 token (Helm)
Crown of the Lost Protector Icon Crown of the Lost Protector Tier 7 token (Helm)
Crown of the Lost Vanquisher Icon Crown of the Lost Vanquisher Tier 7 token (Helm)
Calamity's Grasp Icon Calamity's Grasp Main Hand Fist Weapon
Betrayer of Humanity Icon Betrayer of Humanity Two-Hand Axe
Envoy of Mortality Icon Envoy of Mortality Gun
Sinister Revenge Icon Sinister Revenge One-Hand Dagger
Journey's End Icon Journey's End Staff
Torch of Holy Fire Icon Torch of Holy Fire Main Hand Mace
The Turning Tide Icon The Turning Tide Main Hand Sword
Wall of Terror Icon Wall of Terror Shield
Voice of Reason Icon Voice of Reason Shield
Last Laugh Icon Last Laugh One-Hand Axe
Drape of the Deadly Foe Icon Drape of the Deadly Foe Cape
Cape of the Unworthy Wizard Icon Cape of the Unworthy Wizard Cape
Signet of Manifested Pain Icon Signet of Manifested Pain Ring
Boundless Ambition Icon Boundless Ambition Neck
Leggings of Mortal Arrogance Icon Leggings of Mortal Arrogance Cloth Legs

Further Reading

Kel'Thuzad is just one of the 15 encounters present in the Naxxramas raid of Wrath of the Lich King Classic. If you would like to learn more about the others, or would like to see the loot tables of every boss at the same time, please see our other pages for the raid below.



  • 27 Sep. 2022: Page added
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