King Rastakhan Strategy Guide in Battle of Dazar'alor Raid

Last updated on Feb 24, 2019 at 18:59 by Dhaubbs
General Information

Welcome to our guide for King Rastakhan, an Alliance-only encounter in the Battle of Dazar'alor raid. Here, you will first find a quick breakdown by role following by a detailed strategy to defeat King Rastakhan.

1. Lore

For over two hundred year, King Rastakhan has ruled the Zandalari empire. Since the fall of Rezan, he has turned to a new patron--Bwonsamdi, the loa of death. The dark bargain he has made grants him the power to crush his enemies... but at what cost?

2. Fight Overview

The fight against King Rastakhan is a 4-phase encounter during which the raid faces Rastakhan, Bwonsamdi, and several important adds. There are many proximity based mechanics during this fight, so high situational awareness among raiders is rewarded.

3. TL;DR

3.1. Tanks

  • During Phase One
    • One Tank needs to pull King Rastakhan out to the entrance of the room and keep him there. Dodge the fire breath from the Greater Serpent Totem Icon Greater Serpent Totem.
    • The other Tank needs to handle the adds. Use active mitigation for the Crushing Leap Icon Crushing Leap, and use all your cooldowns plus some externals if you are going to get a second stack.
  • During Phase Two
  • During Phase Three
    • Have one Tank on the Phantom of Rage, preferably a mobile tank like Monks, so they can dodge Necrotic Smash Icon Necrotic Smash.
    • The other tank should be on Rastakhan and the rest of the adds.
  • During Phase Four, run away from King Rastakhan when he casts Inevitable End Icon Inevitable End to avoid being killed.

3.2. Healers

  • Be ready to top the raid off after each Scorching Detonation Icon Scorching Detonation explosion.
  • Watch for people targeted by Grievous Axe Icon Grievous Axe, and heal them to full to remove the DoT.
  • During Phase Two, top off the Bwonsamdi Tank before Caress of Death Icon Caress of Death is cast on them.
  • During Phase Three, be aware of when people are clearing their stacks of Deathly Withering Icon Deathly Withering and be ready to heal the raid damage caused by Withering Burst Icon Withering Burst.

3.3. DPS

3.4. Everyone

  • Avoid Plague of Toads Icon Plague of Toads.
  • Run into melee if targeted by Meteor Leap Icon Meteor Leap.
  • Run Seal of Purification Icon Seal of Purification out of the raid if it is focused on you.
  • When leaving the Death Realm, be aware of your raid's Health before you leave; avoid triggering a Withering Burst Icon Withering Burst when someone is too low to survive.
  • When either Bwonsamdi or Rastakhan cast Inevitable End Icon Inevitable End, run from then to avoid being instantly killed.

3.5. Positioning

  • During Phase One, the adds should be tanked near the throne, while King Rastakhan is tanked near the entrance to the room. The group should be loosely spread near melee.
  • For Phase Two, the raid needs to move near Rastakhan, while the add Tank picks up Bwonsamdi near the throne.
  • The group should remained relatively spread to avoid spreading Plague of Fire Icon Plague of Fire.
  • When Rastakhan nears 60% Health, the half of the group intending on fighting Bwonsamdi needs to be closest to him. Or conversely, the group intending on remaining in the Living Realm should run away from him.

3.6. Bloodlust/Heroism/Time Warp

We advise you to use Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Heroism Icon Heroism/Time Warp Icon Time Warp upon entering Phase Three. Pushing Bwonsamdi to 50% health and bringing the rest of the group up into the living realm to finish off the adds will help to secure a kill.

4. Abilities in Phase One: Zandalari Honor Guard

In this first phase, there are 2 (3 on Heroic) adds in addition to King Rastakhan. These adds are affected by Bind Souls Icon Bind Souls, causing any damage dealt to Rastakhan to instead be evenly divided amongst these adds.

The adds are called Prelate Za'lan, Siegebreaker Roka, and Headhunter Gal'wana (on Heroic), and we explain all of their abilities below.

Phase One ends when all 3 adds are killed.

4.1. King Rastakhan Abilities

4.1.1. Scorching Detonation

Scorching Detonation Icon Scorching Detonation causes a player to be targeted by Rastakhan, suffering Fire damage every second for 3 seconds. After the channel is finished, the player will explode, dealing heavy Fire damage to all players. The distance between Rastakhan and the target will decrease the final burst of damage.

4.1.2. Plague of Toads

Plague of Toads Icon Plague of Toads causes toads to spawn from Rastakhan and leap forward, leaving pools of poison behind them. These pools will deal Nature damage to anyone that stands in them every second and slow their movement speed by 30%. If anyone touches the toads, they will explode and leave a DoT on anyone within a 5-yard radius, which deals damage every 1.5 seconds for 21 seconds. This DoT can stack.

4.1.3. Greater Serpent Totem

On Heroic Difficulty and higher, every 30 seconds Rastakhan will summon a Greater Serpent Totem Icon Greater Serpent Totem. This totem will choose a random target within 30 yards and cast Serpent's Breath Icon Serpent's Breath at them. This is a conical wave of jet of Fire, dealing moderate initial Fire damage, as well as leaving a DoT which deals light Fire damage every second for 5 seconds.

4.2. Prelate Za'lan

4.2.1. Seal of Purification

Prelate Za'lan will frequently cast Seal of Purification Icon Seal of Purification on a random player, causing a beam of light to chase them for 6 seconds. Anyone caught in the beam will take moderate Radiant damage every 1 second.

4.3. Siegebreaker Roka

4.3.1. Meteor Leap

Siegebreaker Roka will leap at a player and deal huge Nature damage to them, splitting the damage in an 8-yard radius. Immediately after casting this, Roka will cast Crushing Leap Icon Crushing Leap and leap back to the target with the highest threat.

4.3.2. Crushing Leap

Crushing Leap Icon Crushing Leap will cause Roka to leap back to the target with the highest threat, dealing massive Physical damage and applying Crushed Icon Crushed for 40 seconds. Crushed will cause subsequent Crushing Leaps to deal 500% more damage. This debuff stacks.

4.4. Headhunter Gal'wana

Headhunter Gal'wana throws an axe at a player, dealing high Physical damage and leaving a DoT on the target that deals further damage every 1.5 seconds until they are healed above 90% health.

5. Abilities in Phase Two: Bwonsamdi's Pact

This phase begins once the 3 adds from Phase One are killed. It causes Bwonsamdi to join fight with a few abilities. The phase ends when Rastakhan reaches 60% health.

5.1. King Rastakhan

Rastakhan keeps his Scorching Detonation Icon Scorching Detonation and Plague of Toads Icon Plague of Toads abilities, but also gains 2 new ones.

5.1.1. Plague of Fire

Plague of Fire Icon Plague of Fire is an ability that Rastakhan uses to deal Fire damage to a target and put a short debuff on them that, after 1 second, detonates and launches Fire out from the target at all players in a 7-yard radius. This will continue firing until no players are within a 7-yard radius of the initial target.

5.1.2. Zombie Dust Totem

Every 45 seconds, Rastakhan will summon a Zombie Dust Totem Icon Zombie Dust Totem that mind controls 2 players until the totem is destroyed.

5.2. Bwonsamdi

Bwonsamdi cannot be damaged (all damage he takes is absorbed), due to a passive called Unliving Icon Unliving.

5.2.1. Aura of Death

Aura of Death Icon Aura of Death applies a stack of Deathly Withering Icon Deathly Withering every 3 seconds to anyone within 30 yards of Bwonsamdi. Deathly Withering deals light Shadow damage every 3 seconds for 12 seconds.

5.2.2. Death's Door

Death's Door Icon Death's Door causes a fragment to be placed on a target, dealing Shadow damage every 2 seconds for 8 seconds. Once the DoT expires, a "Death Rift" is opened at the player's location.

5.2.3. Death Rift

Death Rift Icon Death Rift is a portal connecting the Living Realm (the default realm where everything happens) to the Death Realm. Anytime a player in the Death Realm touches a Death Rift, Deathly Withering Icon Deathly Withering is removed and a Withering Burst Icon Withering Burst is triggered, dealing a small amount of Shadow damage to the entire raid.

The Death Realm is where part of Phase Three takes place (explained below).

5.2.4. Caress of Death

Occasionally, Bwonsamdi will cast Caress of Death Icon Caress of Death on the active Tank, dealing moderate Shadow damage, and preventing all healing done to them for 5 seconds.

6. Abilities in Phase Three: Enter the Death Realm

When Rastakhan reaches 60% health, the half of the raid closest to Bwonsamdi will be transported into the Death Realm, and Phase Three will begin. This phase lasts until Bwonsamdi (whom the raid will be fighting in the Death Realm) reaches 50% health.

In the Living Realm, the raid will continue facing Rastakhan, as well as 2 (3 in Heroic) adds (Phantom of Rage and Phantom of Retribution, and Phantom of Slaughter in Heroic).

6.1. Living Realm

6.1.1. Rastakhan

Rastakhan retains all his abilities from Phase Two except Plague of Toads Icon Plague of Toads.

In addition to this, Bwonsamdi grants Rastakhan Bwonsamdi's Boon Icon Bwonsamdi's Boon at the start of this phase, which permanently increases Rastakhan's damage dealt by 2% every 15 seconds. This buff remains on Rastakhan for the rest of the encounter.

6.1.2. Phantom of Retribution

Grave Bolt Icon Grave Bolt is an interruptible cast that will fire a bolt at the Phantom's current target, dealing moderate Shadow damage.

Seal of Bwonsamdi Icon Seal of Bwonsamdi will target 4 locations and fire a bolt towards them. If no one is in the zone when they land, they will deal heavy Shadow damage to everyone within 40 yards. However, if soaked, they will instead only deal damage to whoever soaked it.

The Phantom of Retribution, as well as the other two adds, is passively imbued with Undying Relentlessness Icon Undying Relentlessness, causing them to become immune to crowd control after 60 seconds.

6.1.3. Phantom of Rage

The only ability the Phantom of Rage has is Necrotic Smash Icon Necrotic Smash. This pounds the ground in front of him, dealing heavy Shadow damage and decreasing the healing taken of anyone stuck by 75% for 8 seconds.

This add also benefits from Undying Relentlessness Icon Undying Relentlessness.

6.1.4. Phantom of Slaughter

Similar to the Phantom of Retribution, the Phantom of Slaughter will also use Grave Bolt Icon Grave Bolt, but also has access to Focused Demise Icon Focused Demise. This will target a random player and deal moderate Shadow damage every second for 5 seconds. This channel is interruptible, but only by the person it is being channeled on.

This add also benefits from Undying Relentlessness Icon Undying Relentlessness.

6.2. Death Realm

In the Death Realm, Bwonsamdi can be damaged and uses 3 abilities.

6.2.1. Caress of Death

Caress of Death Icon Caress of Death functions similarly to the way it did in Phase Two, however it is cast on random members of the raid, and the debuff only lasts 3 seconds.

6.2.2. Inevitable End

A zone of death is created around Bwonsamdi drawing in all players. If anyone touches the zone, they are killed instantly.

6.2.3. Dread Reaping

Dread Reaping Icon Dread Reaping radiates from the edges of the room. These small orbs will deal moderately high Shadow damage every second to anyone who steps in them. If they collide with a Death Rift, they will phase into the Living Realm.

7. Abilities in Phase Four: Uncontrollable Power

Phase Four begins once Bwonsamdi reaches 50%, at which point he will teleport everyone to the Living Realm, while he remains in the Death Realm, removing himself from the fight.

During this phase, Rastakhan will have access to the following abilities.

All of these abilities have been described previously, and they work the same way.

Additionally, Rastakhan will have All Encompassing Death Icon All Encompassing Death, causing him to periodically spawn Death Rift Icon Death Rifts around himself.

8. Strategy

8.1. Phase One

When the fight begins, Tank the adds where they stand while the second Tank pulls Rastakhan to the entrance of the room. He should be more than 30 yards away from the group, so no one else is targeted by the Serpent's Breath Icon Serpent's Breath from the Greater Serpent Totem Icon Greater Serpent Totem. The Rastakhan Tank will be the only target in range, so the totem will pick them every time, making the mechanic very easy to side-step and dodge.

Equally, keeping Rastakhan away from the group will spread out the Plague of Toads Icon Plague of Toads, making it very easy to dodge, as well as ensure the tank is always far from the group, minimizing the damage from Scorching Detonation Icon Scorching Detonation.

The group should focus on killing Siegebreaker Roka first, while heavily cleaving onto the other two adds. Ranged should be loosely spread around so that they can quickly run into melee when Meteor Leap Icon Meteor Leap is about to happen. Alternatively, they can remain in melee range, so long as they do not spawn Seal of Purification Icon Seal of Purification on the entire group. For the second Meteor Leap Icon Meteor Leap, the Tank handling the adds will need to use a lot of cooldowns as well as externals in order to survive the second application of Crushed Icon Crushed.

Once Roka is dead, the group should focus Prelate Za'lan, before moving on to Headhunter Gal'wana (on Heroic only). Healers need to keep an eye out for the person targeted by the Grievous Axe Icon Grievous Axe, and heal them above 90% to remove the DoT.

8.2. Phase Two

After all the adds are killed, Bwonsamdi will join the fight and Phase Two will begin. Keep Bwonsamdi on the throne where he spawns, while the raid moves towards Rastakhan, and out of range of the Aura of Death Icon Aura of Death. The raid should be spread out as much as they can to prevent Plague of Fire Icon Plague of Fire from spreading. When Zombie Dust Totem Icon Zombie Dust Totems spawn, DPS need to swap and kill them to free the people they mind control. Players afflicted with Death's Door Icon Death's Door should run out of the raid to spawn the Death Rift Icon Death Rift. It is a good idea to spawn all the Death Rifts close to each other, so that any Dread Reaping Icon Dread Reaping that come into the living realm will all come from the same direction.

When the Rastakhan Tank is afflicted by Scorching Detonation Icon Scorching Detonation, the Tanks should swap. This will bring the Scorching Detonation out to a safe range, while also letting the Bwonsamdi Tank drop their Deathly Withering Icon Deathly Withering.

8.3. Phase Three

8.3.1. Death Realm

When Rastakhan reaches 60%, Phase Three will begin by Bwonsamdi pulling the closest half of the raid to him, and dragging them into the Death Realm. Here Bwonsamdi is unable to be tanked, so you should only send DPS and a few Healers. Players will need to dodge Dread Reaping Icon Dread Reaping, and run from Inevitable End Icon Inevitable End when it is cast. Players will also need to offset clearing their stacks of Deathly Withering Icon Deathly Withering in order to prevent Withering Burst Icon Withering Burst from potentially killing anyone.

8.3.2. Living Realm

In the Living Realm, one Tank should tank the Phantom of Rage away from the group, while the other Tank handles Rastakhan and the other adds. The Necrotic Smash Icon Necrotic Smash cast by the Phantom of Rage is targeted on the Tank's location, not actually on the Tank, so it is possible for high mobility Tanks to avoid it entirely. Monks for example can use Transcendence: Transfer Icon Transcendence: Transfer or Chi Torpedo Icon Chi Torpedo to move away before it lands. As for the other adds, the group should be interrupting them as much as possible, while keeping an eye out to soak any Seal of Bwonsamdi Icon Seal of Bwonsamdi that spawn. Players should be aware if they are targeted by Focused Demise Icon Focused Demise and either interrupt it, or tell healers they need some extra attention.

8.4. Phase Four

Once Bwonsamdi reaches 50%, all players will be forced into the Living Realm, and Bwonsamdi will leave the fight. The raid should finish off the adds before getting back on Rastakhan. The fight continues as normal from this point, except Rastakhan can now cast Inevitable End Icon Inevitable End, so players need to run against it sucking them in when it is cast.

9. Tank Concerns

The major concerns for Tanks come in the form of the healing reductions from Caress of Death Icon Caress of Death and Necrotic Smash Icon Necrotic Smash. All other damage is fairly tame, however taking a healing reduction like that at the wrong time can be fatal.

Outside of that, the only thing tanks need to worry about is making sure they run out of the group with Scorching Detonation Icon Scorching Detonation.

10. Healing Concerns

The deadliest part of this encounter for healers would come from death realm players clearing their stacks of Deathly Withering Icon Deathly Withering too close together, or too late. Making sure your raid communicates their stacks if they get too high, so you can react with healing cooldowns is very important.

The Tanks also need to be topped off before taking Caress of Death Icon Caress of Death, but that is fairly simple to do.

11. Mythic Mode

11.1. Abilities

There are no new abilities in Mythic mode, but there are changes to how several of the Normal/Heroic abilities work, detailed below.

11.1.1. Grievous Axe

Headhunter Gal'wana will now throw three Grievous Axe Icon Grievous Axes instead of one.

11.1.2. Plague of Toads

Plague of Toads Icon Plague of Toads will now release 5 toads instead of 3. The size of the cone that the Toads spread out within remains the same, however.

11.1.3. Aura of Death

Bwonsamdi's Aura of Death Icon Aura of Death now extends 45 yards, instead of 30.

11.1.4. Caress of Death

The duration of Bwonsamdi's Caress of Death Icon Caress of Death has been increased by 2 seconds, making it last 7 seconds in Phase Two, and 5 seconds in Phase Three.

11.1.5. Empowered Spirit

The Phantoms of Rage, Slaughter, and Retribution now are affected by Empowered Spirit Icon Empowered Spirit. This will cause them to be transported to the death realm when killed, dropping a Death Rift Icon Death Rift in the process.

11.2. Strategy

Phase One is handled exactly the same way as in Heroic: focus down Siegebreaker Roka, while one Tank keeps Rastakhan out of range of the group, near the entrance. The goal should be to kill Roka before he his able to cast a second Crushing Leap Icon Crushing Leap. Healers need to be slightly more aware of Grievous Axe Icon Grievous Axe, and should aim to use a few cooldowns for each Scorching Detonation Icon Scorching Detonation, not necessarily because they are needed, more so just to get efficient use out of them, and save a little Mana.

Once Phase Two begins, tank Bwonsamdi as close to the throne as possible, and move Rastakhan to the left or right of the entrance to the room. Be sure to set up a Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway between the two bosses to help the Tanks swap quickly.

During this phase, Bwonsamdi's Aura of Death Icon Aura of Death is much larger, making it such that the only way healers will be able to heal the Tank, while also not gaining stacks themselves, is to have the Tank position themselves between Bwonsamdi and the healers. This way, the Tank will be within 40 yards to receive heals, but Bwonsamdi will be roughly 46 yards away from the healers. This makes positioning for healers very tight, often with only a 1-2 yard grace window. As such, ranged need to be spread away from the healers so as not to hit them with Plague of Fire Icon Plague of Fire.

Paladins are ideal for tanking Bwonsamdi, as they have multiple ways to mitigate stacks of from Deathly Withering Icon Deathly Withering without tank swapping, through the use of Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield and Blessing of Spellwarding Icon Blessing of Spellwarding. Restoration Shamans are also excellent to offer another way to drop stacks, by simply having the Tank die while Ancestral Protection Totem Icon Ancestral Protection Totem is active. If none of these options are available to your raid, then simply have the Tanks swap during each Scorching Detonation Icon Scorching Detonation.

Lastly, during this phase, the raid's placement of Death's Door Icon Death's Door is critical. The goal is to place 4 Death's Doors in a small semi-circle against the door at the entrance. The reason for this is that during the next phase, the group that is pulled into the death realm is going to hide within the semi-circle. This will shield them from any Dread Reaping Icon Dread Reaping orbs, allowing them to stand still and DPS Bwonsamdi. This also has the added benefit of placing the Doors in such a way that the trajectory of any Orbs passing into the living realm, will cause them to simply exit the encounter area harmlessly, effectively removing that mechanic from the fight.

Rastakhan Mythic Positioning

Once Phase Three begins, send down 1 healer (preferably a Resto Shaman or Discipline Priest) and ideally 9 ranged DPS. Make sure before this phase begins that both Monks and Demon Hunters have applied their debuffs to Bwonsamdi. Upon being sucked down into the Death Realm, the group needs to quickly make their way into the safe zone discussed above. When Bwonsamdi casts Inevitable End Icon Inevitable End, the group needs to already be running against it, as touching a Death Rift all at once will likely result in a wipe. Using movement speed buffs, such as Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem is strongly advised. The group needs to be vocal about clearing their stacks, allowing healers to prepare with the appropriate cooldowns.

Meanwhile, in the Living Realm, the raid should crowd control the Phantoms of Slaughter and Retribution, while cleaving down Rage with Rastakhan. After a minute the adds will become immune to crowd control, and the group will have to start dealing with them. The raid will need to interrupt whatever casts they can, and soak the Seal of Bwonsamdi Icon Seal of Bwonsamdi. If at all possible, try to make sure the Phantoms die near a wall, as they will drop a Death Rift Icon Death Rift when killed, though this is a small optimization and should not be over-prioritized.

Once Bwonsamdi reaches 50%, and sends the group from the Death Realm back into the Living Realm, the fight is effectively over. The difficulty of this phase is supposed to come from the addition of needing to dodge Dread Reaping Icon Dread Reaping, but thanks to the strategy from the previous phase, those do not become an issue until much later. Simply finish off the remaining adds, and slowly kite Rastakhan around the room as needed until you secure the kill.

13. Changelog

  • 24 Feb. 2019: Mythic section added.
  • 29 Jan. 2019: Fixed Death Rift ability description.
  • 27 Jan. 2019: Updated the guide to reflect the live version of the fight.
  • 21 Jan. 2019: TL;DR and Strategy sections added.
  • 23 Oct. 2018: Guide added.
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