Kel'Thuzad Strategy Guide for Sanctum of Domination

Last updated on Jul 12, 2021 at 20:55 by Zaxachi 1 comment

Kel'Thuzad is the ninth boss of the Sanctum of Domination raid in Patch 9.1 of Shadowlands.

On this page, you will find the strategy guide video from Ready Check Pull, as well as their written strategy guide and the encounter journal from the game.


Ready Check Pull Video


Strategy Guide: Quick Version

In each Phase One:

  • Tanks need to taunt swap after every Soul Fracture Icon Soul Fracture cast, everyone interrupt and kill the soul adds that spawn, and the fractured tank needs to run over each of the soul adds after they die in order to remove their debuff, Soul Exhaustion Icon Soul Exhaustion.
  • Put the silence circles on the soul adds to help interrupt them (Oblivion's Echo Icon Oblivion's Echo). Slow, kill, and stay away from the small adds that spawn from the circles (Relentless Haunt Icon Relentless Haunt).
  • Stagger killing the Glacial Spike adds to spread out the raid damage they do when they die (Frozen Destruction Icon Frozen Destruction). On heroic, stagger them more than 10 seconds apart to prevent the raid-wide dot from stacking up.
  • Group soak the big swirly on a random player (Frost Blast Icon Frost Blast), and dispel the root on everyone it hits (Frozen Binds Icon Frozen Binds). Mass Dispel Icon Mass Dispel is great for this.
  • AoE stun, kill, and stay away from the small adds when they are all resurrected by Dark Evocation Icon Dark Evocation.
  • Stay out of the frost patches on the ground during Howling Blizzard Icon Howling Blizzard.

In each Phase Two:

  • Send assigned players into the phylactery to do enough of the soul remnant's health in order to interrupt Kel'Thuzad's raid-wiping cast, Vengeful Destruction Icon Vengeful Destruction, while the rest of the raid stays out and deals with adds (March of the Forsaken Icon March of the Forsaken).
  • In the phylactery, dodge the swirlies on the ground (Shadow Fissure Icon Shadow Fissure) and the randomly facing frontal (Freezing Blast Icon Freezing Blast). And on heroic, dodge the tornadoes once the remnant is at 33% health (Glacial Winds Icon Glacial Winds).
  • Outside, have each tank pick up an abomination add and tank them together, while everyone dodges their randomly facing frontals (Demolish Icon Demolish). And on heroic, interrupt the ranged banshee adds (Banshee's Cry Icon Banshee's Cry). Also on heroic, kill the adds after the phylactery team is done to prevent them from resurrecting.

In Phase Three:

  • Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Heroism Icon Heroism and stay out of the ice patches as long as possible (Deep Freeze Icon Deep Freeze).
  • Group soak the same big swirly from Phase One.
  • Deal with the same abominations as Phase Two. And on heroic, also deal with the same ranged banshees as Phase Two.

Strategy Guide: Full Guide

This fight has three phases. It alternates between Phase One and Two a few times before Phase Three starts at the end. In Phase One, you fight Kel'Thuzad and actually kill him, which starts Phase Two where you send some of the raid into his phylactery to damage his soul remnant while the rest of the raid stays outside to deal with some adds. Once you have damaged his soul enough, it resurrects Kel'Thuzad and starts Phase One again. This cycle happens three times, until you actually kill the soul the third time, which starts Phase Three. And in Phase Three, you fight Kel'Thuzad along with some adds until you finally kill him for the last time.

Before pulling, assign about half of the DPS and healers to go into the phylactery for every Phase Two. You may end up wanting more or less depending on your group, but half is a good place to start. We recommend assigning melee and mobile ranged DPS to go in, while multi-dot classes like boomkins, warlocks, and priests stay out.


Phase One

Definitely do not use Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Heroism Icon Heroism on pull. It is better to save that for Phase Three. There is not any real positional requirement for this phase, so the boss can be in the middle of the room while the ranged and healers spread out around him a little bit.

There are a ridiculous amount of mechanics in this phase that are all super dangerous, but we will break them down to the main six:

  • The first mechanic involves the tanks. When Kel'Thuzad casts Soul Fracture Icon Soul Fracture, the tanks needs to taunt swap and the rest of the raid needs to quickly interrupt and kill the adds that spawn around the edges of the room (Piercing Wail Icon Piercing Wail). Because the tank that got hit by Soul Fracture gets a debuff that drastically increases their physical damage taken until they have ran over those adds after they have been killed (Soul Exhaustion Icon Soul Exhaustion).
  • The second mechanic can actually kind of help with those tank adds. Random players get a circle around them which drops a pool on the ground after a few seconds that silences players as well as the tank adds (Oblivion's Echo Icon Oblivion's Echo). So you can drop these on the adds to help with interrupts. When they expire, they also each spawn a different little add that fixates a random player, exploding for a ton of damage within 5 yards if they reach the player (Relentless Haunt Icon Relentless Haunt). These adds need to be slowed and killed while the fixated players stay away from them.
  • The third mechanic is the most dangerous of them all. Random players get marked with a blue arrow over their head. After a couple seconds, a Glacial Spike add will spawn near each player's location, doing a ton of damage to anyone it spawns under (Glacial Wrath Icon Glacial Wrath). These spikes explode on the raid when they die (Frozen Destruction Icon Frozen Destruction), so the marked players need to spread out a little bit in order to spawn the spikes separated from each other, and the raid needs to stagger killing the spikes to spread out the damage a bit. On heroic, each explosion also applies a super-heavy DoT on the entire raid for a few seconds. This DoT stacks and refreshes if another explosion happens while the debuff is still on, so staggering the explosions becomes way more important. Make sure a BossMod or WeakAura is automatically marking the spikes, so everyone knows which one to kill next. More and more of these spikes spawn at a time as the fight goes on, so staggering them becomes even more important (Necrotic Surge Icon Necrotic Surge).
  • The fourth mechanic is a big group soak with a little twist. When a random player gets a huge blue swirly on them, several other players need to stack in the swirly to help split the damage from the blast that happens after a few seconds (Frost Blast Icon Frost Blast). However, this blast also applies a heavy DoT to anyone it hits, as well as a dispellable root (Frozen Binds Icon Frozen Binds). Ideally whoever this swirly goes on has a magic immunity and can just solo soak it away from the raid, but if not, healers and classes that can remove roots should definitely look to soak the blast. Mass Dispel Icon Mass Dispel is pretty great for removing the roots.
  • The last two mechanics are based on Kel'Thuzad's mana. When he is at 40% mana, he will channel Dark Evocation Icon Dark Evocation, which resurrects all of the fixating adds that have died throughout the fight and spawns them at his feet. Later on in the fight this results in a crazy amount of adds spawning, so they need to be quickly AoE stunned, slowed, and nuked down before they get out of control. By the way, this also mind controls dead players that have to be killed.
  • And zero mana, Kel'Thuzad channels Howling Blizzard Icon Howling Blizzard, which spawns ice patches all over the ground that grow slowly and explode after 20 seconds. Standing in an ice patch does a crazy amount of DoT damage and being in the explosion is basically lethal, so quickly move to a safe spot to survive.

Phase Two

When Kel'Thuzad dies, Phase Two starts, where he teleports to the middle of the room and starts a long cast that effectively wipes the raid if it goes off (Vengeful Destruction Icon Vengeful Destruction). The only way to interrupt this cast is by sending your assigned players into the phylactery and damaging the soul remnant add in there to 60% first, then 20% second, then 0% health. To get into the phylactery they have to move to where the boss teleported to and press their "extra action button", and to get out they have to use the button next to the little portal inside.

Inside the phylactery, there are a couple things to watch out for:

  • Dodge the swirlies on the ground, because they do a ton of damage and knock you back, potentially off the platform (Shadow Fissure Icon Shadow Fissure).
  • Dodge the randomly facing frontal, because it does damage and roots you (Freezing Blast Icon Freezing Blast).
  • And on heroic, once the remnant is under 20% health, dodge the tornadoes that spiral out around the remnant, because they do damage and root you as well (Glacial Winds Icon Glacial Winds).

While the phylactery team is doing their thing, the outside team is fighting a group of adds that spawn:

  • Each of the tanks needs to pick up one of the big abomination adds and tank them together for cleave damage.
  • Everyone else should dodge the randomly facing frontal from the abominations (Demolish Icon Demolish), and interrupt the cast from the ranged banshee adds (Banshee's Cry Icon Banshee's Cry).

On heroic, the adds need to be killed after the phylactery team is done, or else they will just resurrect after a few seconds. But they also get a damage buff and interrupt immunity when the phylactery team is done (Necrotic Empowerment Icon Necrotic Empowerment). So the outside team should just try to get them low so that everyone can quickly finish them off when the phylactery team comes back out.


Phase Three

And finally, after three cycles of Phase One and Two, Kel'Thuzad starts Phase Three — where there are actually less mechanics, but it is more of a DPS burn.

  • Ice patches start spawning on the ground, but they stay on the ground for the rest of the encounter and eventually fill the entire room, leaving you with nowhere to go and wiping you real quick (Deep Freeze Icon Deep Freeze). This is why you use Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Heroism Icon Heroism in this phase.
  • The big swirly group soak from phase one still happens.
  • And Kel'Thuzad spawns more of the phase two adds: only the abomination on normal, but both kinds on heroic.

Optional Achievement

Kel'Thuzad's encounter features an optional achievement: Together Forever Icon Together Forever. Completing this achievement and every other optional achievement found within the Sanctum of Domination's encounters will reward you with the Glory of the Dominant Raider Icon Glory of the Dominant Raider meta-achievement, along with the Bracer of Hrestimorak Icon Bracer of Hrestimorak to teach you the unique Hand of Hrestimorak mount. To learn more about how to complete this encounter's achievement or any of the others in the raid, please visit our meta-achievement guide below.


Encounter Journal

We have encounter journal pages for each of the four difficulties, which you can access by clicking the links below.



  • 12 Jul. 2021: A couple of small updates following Heroic progress.
  • 30 Jun. 2021: Guide added.
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