Il'gynoth Strategy/Tactics for Normal/Heroic

Last updated on Oct 04, 2016 at 21:02 by Damien 12 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, you will find a working strategy to defeat Il'gynoth in The Emerald Nightmare for both Normal and Heroic modes, which usually only differ by the tuning of the boss.

Here, we assume that you have read our descriptions of the abilities for this encounter.

The other pages of our Il'gynoth guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Pottm from Serenity.

For the encounter against Il'gynoth in Ny'alotha, please refer to our dedicated guide:



The fight against Il'gynoth is both a burst DPS check (because you have to deal maximum damage to Il'gynoth during the 50-second window of Phase Two) and a coordination check (because at times, the fight can be quite chaotic with many adds present).

Phase One is relatively uneventful until you hit the 4-minute mark. Until then, it follows the spawn pattern we described in the Abilities page. After that it becomes more difficult. New tentacles spawn every minute and if you reach this point, it means that the raid is not able to kill the tentacles and the Nightmare Ichors that they spawn quickly enough. So, the goal is to focus on triggering Phase Two quickly.

Once Phase Two starts, any remaining Nightmare Ichor will cause raid-wide damage, which is manageable in Normal mode but can be deadly in Heroic mode. Remaining tentacles can be ignored (except for Dominator Tentacles, which still need to be tanked). If you raid is not going to kill Il'gynoth in the first Phase One, it is advised to leave raid members (and fixated players) outside to finish off remaining tentacles (to get a clean start in the second Phase One) and keep Nightmare Ichors outside. Remember that you have 2 Phases Two to kill him, so you only need to damage him enough in the first Phase Two and finish him off in the second Phase Two.


Phase One

As stated above, the first 4 minutes of Phase One follow a strict spawn pattern and you simply need to handle the tentacles as they spawn. We are not going to go through each spawn and tell you what to do, because there would be a lot of repeating. Also, we cannot guarantee that the spawn patterns on live servers will be the same as during beta. So, we will simply list what everyone should do in the hypothetical case where all the adds are present.



The role of tanks is to tank the Dominator Tentacles and to take turns tanking the Nightmare Horror. Thankfully, there should never be Dominator Tentacles up at the same time as the Nightmare Horror, simplifying things greatly. The rest of the time, tanks are free to behave as DPS players.

When tanking a Dominator Tentacle, it is important to keep in mind that the damage of Nightmarish Fury Icon Nightmarish Fury can go quite high. Also, if you get knocked back by Ground Slam Icon Ground Slam, you need to quickly get back to the tentacle. This is to avoid it casting the next Nightmarish Fury on a DPS or casting Rupturing Roar Icon Rupturing Roar is no one else is in range.

The Nightmare Horror requires a tank swap, because of Eye of Fate Icon Eye of Fate (swap at 2+ stacks). It also needs to be moved frequently so that the raid does not take damage from the Nightmare Corruption Icon Nightmare Corruption void zones it drops on the ground every few seconds.



If everyone does their job properly, raid damage should be quite low during Phase One. If that is the case, the most crucial task is dispelling Touch of Corruption Icon Touch of Corruption that Nightmare Ichors stack on fixated raid members. This will allow players to tank these adds longer, in turn allowing the raid to stack and AoE down more Nightmare Ichors at the same time, resulting in an overall DPS gain.

If many Nightmare Ichors explode at the same time, then you need to be ready to top off raid members who were being fixated, as they will take the damage from all the explosions simultaneously.

Finally, beware of tank damage from Nightmarish Fury Icon Nightmarish Fury (Dominator Tentacle) and Eye of Fate Icon Eye of Fate (Nightmare Horror).



The DPS priority is the following:

  1. Deathglare Tentacles;
  2. Corruptor Tentacles;
  3. Nightmare Ichors;
  4. Dominator Tentacles;
  5. Nightmare Horror.

Deathglare Tentacles require constant attention from DPS, because they need to interrupt their casts of Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay. The sooner they are gone, the sooner DPS players can resume dealing damage mostly uninterrupted. That said, if the DPS have no issue keeping the Deathglare Tentacles interrupted, then the Corruptor Tentacles should have priority.

Corruptor Tentacles pose a positioning constraint, because their Spew Corruption Icon Spew Corruption ability causes nearby players to spawn void zones of Nightmare Corruption Icon Nightmare Corruption. These tentacles are often positioned not far from the Eye of Il'gynoth, which can make it a problem if fixated raid members are hit by Spew Corruption.

The kill priority for Nightmare Ichors is more of a loose guideline. What you need to aim for is to kill 5 or 6 of them around the same time. For example, you will want to kill the initial 2 Dominator Tentacles before killing the Nightmare Ichors spawned by the first wave of Tentacles. Similarly, if you have 10 Nightmare Ichors and there are still higher priority Tentacles (like Deathglare Tentacles), it is more important to clear the Nightmare Ichors, because healers will not be able to keep up indefinitely with dispelling Touch of Corruption Icon Touch of Corruption. There is a balance to strike here.

Classes that can easily kite the Nightmare Ichors should do so, to reduce the amount of Touch of Corruption Icon Touch of Corruption that healers have to dispel.

If the damage increase a Dominator Tentacle gets from Nightmarish Fury Icon Nightmarish Fury in Heroic+ mode becomes too hard to handle, it should be killed with priority.



Stay away from Corruptor Tentacles, so they cannot target you with Spew Corruption Icon Spew Corruption. In the early beta tests, Spew of Corruption was targeting players anywhere in the room, but it seems to have been fixed later to only target nearby players. Players hit by Spew of Corruption need to move out of the raid and drop their Nightmare Corruption Icon Nightmare Corruption void zones away from fellow raid members.

When the Dominator Tentacles are alive, make sure to avoid Ground Slam Icon Ground Slam (by spotting who is targeted and not being on the same line as them and the tentacle). These adds not alive for very long, but getting knocked back is detrimental to the raid, because it can make you lose in DPS or in efficiency in dispelling Touch of Corruption Icon Touch of Corruption, ultimately contributing to making the raid fall behind.


When to Use Bloodlust/Heroism/Time Warp

Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Heroism Icon Heroism (and all important cooldowns) should be used for Phase Two, obviously. There is merit to use it for either Phase Two. We would advise using it for the first Phase Two, because the likelihood of all your raid members being alive is higher and if you have raid members outside dealing with remaining tentacle, it will make it easier for the raid to both deal damage to Il'gynoth (up to 50% health) and finish off the tentacles.



  • 04 Oct. 2016: Added a small note regarding killing Corruptor Tentacles with priority if the Deathglare ones are properly interrupted.
  • 18 Sep. 2016: Added more details following pottm's review.
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