The Desolate Host Strategy/Tactics for Normal/Heroic

Last updated on Jun 11, 2017 at 07:11 by Furty

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, you will find a working strategy to defeat The Desolate Host in Tomb of Sargeras 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 The Desolate Host guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.



The fight against The Desolate Host requires great coordination of movement between the 2 separate realms. Damage and healing checks for this fight are not substantial though, like any fight, stronger output will be a significant advantage. While adds are often present during the encounter, AoE and add cleave are not major focal points of the encounter. Survival is the name of the game on this encounter, and as many of the mechanics interact with each other in potentially lethal ways, great spatial awareness is the key to victory.



Players can enter and exit the Spirit Realm by using the Spiritual Fonts found at various points on the edges of the arena.

The players in the Corporeal Realm and the players in the Spirit Realm must avoid each other during most points of the encounter, due to the damage from Dissonance Icon Dissonance. As the position of the Engine of Souls is fixed, the Corporeal tank should tank the Reanimated Templar and the 2 Ghastly Bonewardens, that are present at the beginning of the encounter, on top of the Engine itself. The Spirit tank should position Soul Queen Dejahna near the edge of the circular room, approximately 15 yards or so away from the Corporeal tank. Going too far is detrimental for reasons that will be explained later on.

Your raid should designate "sides" of the room to ensure safe passage and avoid unnecessary Dissonance Icon Dissonance damage. The Corporeal players will stay on one half of the room and vice versa. The raid should be split in half for Corporeal and Spirit groups.


Corporeal Group

Tormented Cries Icon Tormented Cries is the most important mechanic for players in the Corporeal Realm on Normal difficulty and below. If you are targeted by this ability, you should make your way to the front edges of the room (closest to the Engine of Souls). This is to ensure the angle of the purple beam (and void zone left behind) is as slack as possible, ensuring it does not go across the entire room and restrict your real estate. It is very important to avoid standing in any previous Tormented Cries zones when being targeted as this will cause the initial damage to be tripled and likely result in death.

On Heroic difficulty, Spear of Anguish Icon Spear of Anguish is another very notable mechanic for the Corporeal group to deal with. When targeted by this ability you should get to the edges of the room on your side. After several seconds you will be struck and knocked back as well as being placed in the Spirit Realm. This ability deals damage to any nearby players so it is the responsibility of the target to quickly escape the group, and for any ill positioned players to avoid them as they move out. The player(s) hit will also have a moderate healing absorb that must be removed before they will be able to interact with the Spiritual Fonts and return to the Corporeal group.

The Reanimated Templar's Rupturing Slam Icon Rupturing Slam should be avoided at all costs. The Corporeal group should remain at least 8 yards spread due to the potential damage from the Ghastly Bonewardens' Grasping Darkness Icon Grasping Darkness. Once these adds reach 50% health, they will gain Bonecage Armor Icon Bonecage Armor, which must be dealt with by the Spirit group.

The only other damage directed at the Corporeal group is incidental. Collapsing Fissure Icon Collapsing Fissures will spawn at random, restricting movement somewhat. The tank will also be constantly taking damage from the adds and the Engine of Souls' Bone Shards Icon Bone Shards.


Spirit Group

Start the encounter next to a Spiritual Font in order to immediately enter the Spirit Realm and prevent any casts of Quietus Icon Quietus. An interrupt order should be established for Crush Mind Icon Crush Mind, as it presents a significant threat if allowed to go off. Any players linked by Soulbind Icon Soulbind should immediately collapse on their linked player in the opposite realm to break the tether.

On Normal difficulty a rotation of players in unnecessary, however, on Heroic and higher it may be necessary to swap players from the Corporeal and Spirit Realms as the fight progresses. Players who receive the Wither Icon Wither debuff should avoid being in the Spirit Realm during casts of Wailing Souls Icon Wailing Souls unless they are prevented from exiting by Spirit Chains Icon Spirit Chains.

If targeted by Shattering Scream Icon Shattering Scream, the player should run to the Corporeal tank so that the explosion from the debuff at 5 stacks will hit the Reanimated Templar and Ghastly Bonewardens. This is imperative as the Corporeal adds will likely be affected by Bonecage Armor Icon Bonecage Armor, preventing them from dying unless they are hit by Shattering Scream Icon Shattering Scream to break the armor. Note that movement speed is continuously reduced by this debuff so early movement is important. This debuff is the main reason why the Spirit tank will want to stay relatively close to the Engine of Souls without triggering Dissonance Icon Dissonance on the Corporeal group.

Soul Residues are largely inconsequential. They can be cleaved down at the raid's pace. Simply do not stand in the puddles they leave behind as they move and avoid being within 5 yards when they perish and they present minimal risk.


The Desolate Host

When The Desolate Host spawns at 30% the raid must be very careful. Sundering Doom Icon Sundering Doom and Doomed Sundering Icon Doomed Sundering are both lethal if dealt with incorrectly, and due to their similar nomenclature, can be confusing for some groups. If the Desolate Host casts Sundering Doom, the Corporeal group should stack on the Host while the Spirit Group moves as far as possible. If the Desolate Host casts Doomed Sundering, the Spirit Group must stack on the Host while the Corporeal groups moves as far as possible. Failure to execute will result in guaranteed deaths.

During this phase the raid should burn the boss as fast as possible before The Desolate Host's Torment Icon Torment buff stacks too high for the raid to handle.

So far, the final phase of the fight on Heroic and higher has remained unclear. It is not known whether actually killing The Desolate Host is necessary, or if it merely must be survived. Once the raid is released this section will contain further details on this final phase of the encounter.


Tank Concerns

The tanks have a fairly straightforward role on this encounter.

  • Ensure Shattering Scream Icon Shattering Scream strikes the Corporeal adds when they are affected by Bonecage Armor Icon Bonecage Armor.
  • Swap realms with the Corporeal tank (if necessary) during casts of Wailing Souls Icon Wailing Souls if Crush Mind Icon Crush Mind is not interrupted and begins to stack to fatal levels.

Healing Concerns

There is plenty of damage for the healers to handle, and much of it comes in large and spooky bursts.

  • Plan cooldowns for casts of Wailing Souls Icon Wailing Souls in the Spirit Realm.
  • Players targeted with Tormented Cries Icon Tormented Cries and Spear of Anguish Icon Spear of Anguish will require surgical healing.
  • Healing cooldowns are a necessity during each cast of Sundering Doom Icon Sundering Doom and Doomed Sundering Icon Doomed Sundering.

Raid Concerns

  • If targeted by Tormented Cries Icon Tormented Cries, get to the edge of the room.
  • If targeted by Spear of Anguish Icon Spear of Anguish, get to the edge of the room.
  • If tethered by Soulbind Icon Soulbind, immediately move to your partner in the opposing realm.
  • Keep an even spread in the Corporeal Realm and avoid standing near players of the opposing realm.
  • Be conscious of Rupturing Slam Icon Rupturing Slam as it deals heavy damage and knocks back anyone hit.

Bloodlust/Heroism/Time Warp

It is recommended to use Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust when the boss reaches 30% health, as The Desolate Host will spawn. This forces as desperate race to the fight's conclusion as Torment Icon Torment will quickly stack to unhealable levels and force a raid wipe.



  • 07 Jun. 2017: Guide added.
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