If players go right after defeating Kazzak the Hellforged, the next boss they will face is the Assault of the Zaqali. This is an interesting fight that consists of one boss and many adds that players will get overrun by if they do not manage them properly. Let's take a look at how the fight works.
Assault of the Zaqali
This is an AOE fight that takes place on top of the wall of Aberrus with two battlements on the right side, and a locked door on the left. During the encounter adds will run towards the door to attack it, if they are allowed to do this then Barrier Backfire will be triggered. This is a runic barrier on the door that does massive Shadowflame damage to all players and puts a dot on all players that deals damage every half second for 2 minutes. This effect can stack, so letting the Zaqali attack the door can quickly result in a wipe. Now that you know the importance of the door, let’s take a look at who we are fighting during the encounter.
Phase 1: Storming the Battlements
Players will face Warlord Kagni, who is the main boss of the fight, engaging him will begin the encounter and his death will end the encounter. His tank buster mechanic is Heavy Cudgel, this is a frontal cone that will follow the tank as it is cast. So tankes must make sure to face it away from the raid. Anyone hit by the cone gets a debuff that increases their physical damage taken by 15% for 45 seconds, this effect stacks. The force of the impact causes Cave Rubble to fall, this is shown by swirls on the ground that players must avoid. Tanks will probably swap around 2-3 stacks depending on how the tuning goes on live servers.
When the Cave Rubble falls players can interact with it. Doing so will reveal yellow arrows along the wall. These arrows reveal where the Zaqali forces are climbing up the wall. Players will need to run up to these arrows and press their extra action button to throw the rubble off the wall. This will knock off any Zaqali climbing the wall. Doing this will be extremely important to prevent the raid group from being overrun by adds.
His next ability is Devastating Leap which he casts at full energy. He will leap between the battlements, where he will land is shown by a brown circle. When he lands he deals volcanic damage to all players within the circle and knocks them back. Molten Fissures radiate from the impact location, which are shown by brown swirls. Any players hit by these take volcanic damage. That is everything Warlord Kagni will do throughout phase 1. But there are a lot more things going on besides him.
Throughout the fight large red swirls will randomly spawn, this is from the Arbalest Fire. Any players in the swirl with the bolts land take physical damage. Players will need to constantly watch their feet to avoid this damage. As the fight progresses Zaqali forces will be climbing the wall and flying to the area. These mobs will spawn on one of the two battlements. Players will need to split the raid up into two groups and send one group to each battlement when the Magma Mystics spawn. One will spawn on each battlement on a timer, if they are not killed the Magma Mystics will start to pile up.
The Magma Mystic flies in on the back of a phoenix and jumps off. Then they will instantly channel a Molten Barrier on themselves when they spawn. This is a shield that absorbs 9.5 million damage. While active the barrier pulses fire damage to all players every 4 seconds and gives the mystic a stack of Molten Empowerment. This buff increases the Magma Mystic’s fire damage by 15% per stack. DPS will need to save CDs for this mob and break the shield ASAP while healers will need to prepare for heavy damage the longer the shield is active. Once the shield is broken the Magma Mystic will start casting Lava Bolt and Magma Flow. Lava Bolt is a cast that inflicts volcanic damage to their target, this ability can be interrupted. Magma Flow is an ability that throws lava at random players, this is shown by red swirls on the ground. Any players hit by the lava when it lands take lava damage and have a dot applied that deals lava damage every 3 seconds for 15 seconds.
Flamebound Huntsman are one of the mobs that climb up the wall and their ability is Blazing Spear. They aim at several players , the players they target have an arrow put on them and a circle. These players should move away from others so the spear does not land on the group. When the huntsman throws the spear the circle will turn into a swirl and no longer follow the player. The player should move out of the swirl ASAP. Anyone inside the swirl when the spear lands takes physical damage. The spear remains in the ground for a short duration then explodes dealing fire damage to anyone close to it. Stay out of the circle around the spear and you will be fine.
The next mob on the list that also climbs the wall is the Obsidian Guard. Their ability is called Scorching Roar, this is a channeled cast that deals fire damage to all players within 25yds every half second for 1.5 seconds. Healers watch the group when this cast goes off. The next mob that spawns are Zaqali Wallclimbers, as their name suggests they climb up the wall throughout the encounter. These mobs will attempt to attack the Elder’s Door if tanks do not pick them up when they successfully climb up the wall.
Phase 2: Warlord's Will
When Warlord Kagni reaches 25% health phase 2 will start with him casting Desperate Immolation. During phase 2 no more adds will spawn and Warlord Kagni will have more powerful abilities. Desperate Immolation is a channeled cast that drains his phoenix Ignara's life to regain 10% of his maximum health and gain Ignara's Fury for the rest of the fight. Ignara's Fury is a buff that makes him pulsate fire damage to all player every 1.5 seconds. When the Desperate Immolation cast finishes Ignara is killed.
His tank buster turns into Flaming Cudgel which is still a frontal cone that follows the tank. This has the same effect as Heavy Cudgel, with one added effect which is that now all players will take fire damage and erupt in flame, dealing fire damage to anyone within 6yds of every player. Players do have time to react as the initial cast will put circles on everyone to show the range of the effect, and then goes off a second later. So players should make sure to spread quickly when Flaming Cudgel goes out and healers should be ready for raid wide damage. Keep in mind Warlord Kagni will also be pulsating raid wide damage every 1.5 seconds which could overlap badly with other abilities.
At 100 energy he will cast Catastrophic Slam which is a massive shockwave aimed at the Elder’s door. This inflicts heavy physical damage split evenly among players in its path. Warlord Kagni expends up to 100 energy reduced by the number of players hit, if any energy remains then Catastrophic Slam will trigger Barrier Backfire and most likely wipe the raid. The entire raid must soak this ability to prevent the raid from taking deadly damage.
There are several added effects to the fight on Heroic. The first one is that the Barrier Backfire dot does not expire, making it much more punishing if any adds are allowed to attack the Elder's Door. The Obsidian Guards will have an additional ability called Volcanic Shield. They charge their shield with lava and fire a beam of magma at their target inflicting volcanic damage to anyone in the beam’s path. Players should watch out for this cast and move away from the front of the mob ASAP.
In phase 2 Warlord Kagni’s Catastrophic Slam will cause Weakened Vitality. The impact of Kagni’s charge weakens the player increasing their damage taken from Catastrophic Slam by 75%, this effect lasts for 2 minutes. The effect is basically permanent due to him always casting the next Catastrophic Slam before the debuff can expire. This makes the last phase much harder as eventually Catastrophic Slam will one shot the raid. Players should save their best defensives for later slams, and healing CDs will need to be coordinated to mitigate the high damage as the fight progresses.
Ignara will join the fight on Mythic difficulty. She flies between the battlements providing aerial support. Her first ability is Phoenix Rush, she unleashes ignited plumes at several player locations. After 10 seconds a Renewed Hatchling rises from its ashes. The Renewed Hatchling will fixate on a nearby player with Blazing Focus, and pulsate fire damage to all players within 12 yds every 8 seconds. When the hatchling is killed its passive From the Ashes is activated, after 10 seconds the phoenix will revive from its ashes.
Her second ability is Vigorous Gale which she will use on one of the battlements. Ignara will fly down and unleash a gust of wind dealing nature damage to all players on the battlement, and additional damage every half second for 3 seconds. This ability will also push players toward the battlement’s edge. Players will need to make sure to get away from the edge before she casts this, and use movement abilities to avoid getting pushed off.
There is everything you need to know about the Assault of the Zaqali fight in Aberrus.