Theater of Pain Quick Dungeon Guide: Video, Boss Strategies, and Trash

Last updated on Jul 19, 2020 at 10:26 by Zaxachi 1 comment

Welcome to our quick guide to the Theater of Pain dungeon in the Shadowlands World of Warcraft expansion. This guide aims at giving you proper direction to complete the dungeon (boss strategies and trash mobs) without being unnecessarily long. We also have encounter journal pages, for those who want a complete breakdown of the abilities.


Ready Check Pull Video



Please consult our Theater of Pain encounter journal pages for more information regarding what the bosses do exactly in each difficulty.


An Affront of Challengers

  • You fight three bosses at the same time.
  • Kill one at a time. Each boss uses an additional ability at 40% health, so you want to trigger them in a certain order and not all at once.
  • Get Sathel the Accused to 40% first, because he will make himself unkillable for 60 seconds (One with Death Icon One with Death). You can use a Priest's Mass Dispel or Warrior's Shattering Throw to remove the buff.
  • Once Sathel is at 40%, switch to Paceran the Virulent and kill him. When he gets to 40%, he will put a disease DoT on everyone (Genetic Alteration Icon Genetic Alteration). Remove the diseases if capable.
  • Once Paceran is dead, finally kill Dessia the Decapitator. She will enrage at 40%, fixating random players, and becoming unable to die (Enrage Icon Enrage). Run away if fixated. Remove the enrage by killing the other two bosses, or by using an enrage removing class ability like a Druid's Soothe or Hunter's Tranquilizing Shot.
  • Use an offensive dispel, like a Shaman's Purge or Mage's Spellsteal, on the boss that has Spectral Transference Icon Spectral Transference on them. It looks like a big green shield with a green beam going into it; otherwise that enemy will constantly be healed.
  • Do not stand in the green stuff on the ground (Noxious Spore Icon Noxious Spore), and spread out if you are pulsing green (Searing Death Icon Searing Death).
  • Interrupt as much as possible.

The first three bosses can be done in any order.


Xav the Unfallen

  • Quickly kill the banner spawned by the boss (Oppressive Banner Icon Oppressive Banner). It will slow everyone and make it harder to dodge the following abilities.
  • Dodge Crushing Slam Icon Crushing Slam and Massive Cleave Icon Massive Cleave. These are telegraphed abilities that the boss casts when he gets to full energy.
  • Occasionally the boss will send two DPS to the pit below to duel each other (Blood and Glory Icon Blood and Glory). One player needs to win within 45 seconds, or else both players get their damage cut in half for 30 seconds. The winner gets a damage increase, and the loser gets a damage decrease.


  • Dodge the hooks that sweep across the room (Meat Hooks Icon Meat Hooks). You can see safe openings when they spawn on either side of the room.
  • A couple adds spawn every time the hooks come through. Stay spread while the adds are alive, focus kill the quickly, and don't stand in the green pool they drop when they die.


  • The tank should always stay in melee range of the boss, or else it casts a really bad stacking DoT (Spectral Reach Icon Spectral Reach).
  • Stay slightly spread, because the boss frequently puts a DoT on random players that pulses damage in 3 yards (Haunt Icon Haunt). This DoT should be dispelled as often as possible.
  • Dodge green swirlies on the ground, and do not step into the green circle that is spawned by the swirly (Grasping Hands).
  • If the boss starts channeling Draw Soul Icon Draw Soul on you, quickly move behind one of the green circles on the ground, so that the circle is between you and the boss. At the end of the channel, your soul will escape you body and run straight toward the boss, getting stuck in the green circle. You will be pacified and have to collect your soul in order to use abilities again. Recovering your soul also gives you a big damage buff for a while.

Mordretha, the Endless Empress

  • Dodge the frontal beam that faces a random direction and rotates in a random direction (Dark Devastation Icon Dark Devastation).
  • When everyone gets a green circle around them, spread out just enough so that each circle does not hit another player (Manifest Death Icon Manifest Death). You want these to be as close as possible, because an add gets spawned from each player when the circles expire.
  • Occasionally the boss will spawn a big green swirly rift toward an edge of the area (Grasping Rift Icon Grasping Rift). Move away from the rift, because it will pull you toward it and do bad things to you if you get too close (Death Grasp Icon Death Grasp).

Notable Trash

  • Ancient Captain in Xav's area
    • Focus-kill this mob, because it reduces your AoE damage to nearby enemies by 50% (Commanding Presence Icon Commanding Presence).
    • Interrupt its Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout cast, because it reduces all of your damage by 50%.
  • Rancid Gasbag in Gorechop's area
    • Dodge the Vile Eruption Icon Vile Eruption cast. It is a cone breath in front and behind the mob.
  • Portals in Kul'tharok's area
    • Kill a Portal Guardian and pick up the swirly green orb it drops when it dies. Put it in one of the orb holders in front of the portal, choosing the left or right orb holder based on whether you want to go left or right with the portal. You can figure out the correct direction by looking ahead to where the next portal is.
  • Bone Magus in Kul'tharok's area
    • Crowd control the Bone Spear Icon Bone Spear cast or dodge the spear that gets launched forward, because it will probably knock you off of the platform to your death.
  • Nefarious Darkspeaker in Kul'tharok's area
    • Interrupt its Necrotic Bolt Volley Icon Necrotic Bolt Volley cast, because it does damage to everyone and also applies a healing absorb.


  • 19 Jul. 2020: Guide added.
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