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This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Maloriak in Blackwing Descent. It is mostly targeted to healers who desire to have a short but detailed overview of what is expected of them during that fight.
This guide applies to patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft.
The encounter against Maloriak presents healers with several phases of varying intensities. They key to the fight is to properly use your mana so that you can contend with the short but healing intensive phase that concludes the fight.
1. Overview of the Fight↑top
The encounter with Maloriak can be broken down in two phases: the Main Phase, during which Maloriak performs a variety of abilities with which the raid must successfully deal, and the Nuke Phase, triggered by pushing Maloriak below 25% health, and which is basically a DPS race to kill him before he wipes the raid.
The Main Phase represents the complicated part of the encounter and is itself broken down in a cycle of 3 sub-phases: Red Phase, Blue Phase, and Green Phase. This cycle repeats until it is interrupted by Maloriak reaching 25% health. Because of the enrage timer, and the fixed duration of the cycle, your raid will only have time to complete 2 cycles before having to push Maloriak into the Nuke Phase.
The Red and Blue phases of the Main Phase can come in any order, so the Main Phase cycle is always either of:
As a healer, each sub-phase of the Main Phase will present you with a different, but reasonable healing intensity, which we will try to detail. The Nuke Phase, however, confers Maloriak a brutal and continuous AoE attack that you will need to heal long enough for your raid to kill the boss.
2. Main Phase↑top
During the main phase, Maloriak has a set of abilities that he will always cast. In addition, each sub-phase (Blue, Red, or Green), temporarily grants him new abilities.
The Blue/Red/Green Phase cycle has a fixed duration of approximately 2 minutes and 35 seconds:
At the beginning of each sub-phase, Maloriak throws a vial (blue, red, or green, depending on the sub-phase) into his cauldron. Then he walks towards the cauldron to drink the resulting potion. This takes about 6 seconds, during which Maloriak is harmless and casts no ability.
Throughout the Main Phase, Maloriak retains a set of abilities common to the Blue, Red, and Greed Phases. From this set of abilities, only 2 are of concerns to you:
In addition, Maloriak has a melee attack which he performs approximately every 1.5-2 seconds (when he is not casting). It deals approximately 25k damage in 10-man difficulty, and 40k damage in 25-man difficulty.
Adds called Aberrations will regularly be released throughout the Red and Blue Phases, only to be killed in the Green Phase. Each Aberration buffs itself and nearby Aberrations with Growth Catalyst. This buff stacks, which means that the more Aberrations you have released, the more damage their tank will be taking. Each Aberration hits every 2 seconds, for 5k per hit in 10-man difficulty and 10k per hit in 25-man difficulty, in average.
2.2. General Strategy
Throughout the Main Phase, you will need to heal through the AoE damage of Arcane Storm, in case it is not properly interrupted, and you have to dispel Remedy (10-man/25-man) from Maloriak, if your raid has no mage who can spellsteal it.
Maloriak's tank will only be subjected to moderate melee damage and as such will not require extensive healing. The Aberrations' tank(s), however, is another story. Because of Growth Catalyst, the more Aberrations are released, the more damage they do. In 25-man, this can be slightly alleviated by having 2 tanks on the Aberrations. While the Aberrations should be slowed down and rooted as often as possible to make tanking them easier, the tank(s) will still require extensive healing towards as the Green Phase draws closer.
2.3. Blue Phase
During this phase, ranged players need to be spread out 5 yards apart while melee players can stack up, but they sometimes need to move out of the group. These constraints are due to 2 new abilities that Maloriak gains:
2.4. Red Phase
During this phase, everyone, except the off-tank if they are tanking Aberrations already, needs to be in front of the boss, not necessarily stacked, but aligned with the tank and the boss. Occasionally, one player will need to move away from being in front of Maloriak. All this is due to the 2 new abilities that Maloriak gains:
2.5. Green Phase
During this phase, Maloriak's cauldron will cause every unit in the room, Maloriak and the raid members included, to be debuffed with Debilitating Slime. This debuff causes the Growth Catalyst buff that the Aberrations apply on themselves to be removed, giving the raid a 15 second window to kill them. Therefore, this phase should be dedicated to killing the Aberrations.
During this phase, the main tank will be hit harder by Maloriak (because of Debilitating Slime) and, as such, will need additional healing. On the contrary, because the Growth Catalyst buff of the Aberrations is removed, the damage they do on their tank(s) is substantially reduced.
2.6. Tips and Tricks
3. Nuke Phase↑top
This phase is a simple DPS race with only a few mechanics that are easy to dodge. It is triggered immediately after Maloriak's health reaches 25%, regardless of whether Maloriak is in a Blue, Red, or Green Phase.
In addition to Remedy, Maloriak has the following abilities:
The Prime Subjects that Maloriak summons deal melee damage every 2.3 seconds for about 20k in 10-man difficulty, 40k in 25-man difficulty. They have one ability: Rend, which is a stacking debuff applied about every 6 seconds on the Prime Subject's target.
As a healer, you should simply avoid the orbs from Absolute Zero and heal through Acid Nova. If you are assigned to Maloriak's tank, then you also need to heal them from occasional Magma Jets damage. If you are assigned to the Prime Subjects' tank(s), you need to heal the increasing melee damage that they deal (because of the Rend stacking debuff).
4. Heroic Mode↑top
The main addition of the Heroic version of this encounter is a new sub-phase of the main phase, which we call the Dark Phase. The remainder of the encounter is largely the same: Maloriak must still be pushed below 25% shortly after the second Green Phase.
In addition to the Dark Phase, which we describe in the next section, most abilities deal more damage:
Arcane Storm, Biting Chill, Flash Freeze, Absolute Zero, Magma Jets, and the melee attacks from the Prime Subjects deal exactly the same amount of damage as they do in normal mode. However, Magma Jets is now cast much more frequently, about every 4 seconds (2 second cast plus a delay of 2 seconds), down from 10.
Maloriak and his Aberrations have had their health pools increased. To account for this and the new Dark Phase, the enrage timer has been increased to 12 minutes.
Prime Subjects gain a new ability called Fixate, which is cast a few seconds after a Prime Subject is released. It causes it to remain on its current target for the rest of the fight or until that target dies (in which case it will cast Fixate again shortly after).
4.2. Dark Phase
The Dark Phase is the first sub-phase of the Main Phase in Heroic difficulty. It means that the possible cycles of sub-phases are the following:
The Dark Phase has a fixed duration of approximately 95 seconds, during which the raid must kill adds.
When Maloriak enters the Dark Phase, he will gain Imbued Shadow, which makes him immune to taunt.
Then, he summons 5 Vile Swills, which look like dark oozes. Each of them has 1.61M health in 10-man difficulty and 5.62M health in 25-man difficulty. They attack their tank every 2.4 seconds and deal 12-13k damage in 10-man difficulty and 20-25k in 25-man difficulty.
Dark Sludge is cast by the Vile Swills at random members. It creates a dark puddle on the ground that deals 15,000 Shadow damage twice per second. It is hard to obtain a precise frequency for the apparitions of new puddles, but it is in the order of magnitude of 1 new puddle every second. The damage from two or more overlapping puddles will stack, meaning that each puddle will deal its damage separately to players standing at the intersecting area of the puddles.
Maloriak will cast Engulfing Darkness (10-man/25-man) 7 times on the tank (or rather, in direction of the tank) during the Dark Phase. The cast of the ability is 3 seconds, followed by a channel of 8 seconds during which the tank cannot be healed. Once a channel is over, the cast of the next Engulfing Darkness starts.
Regardless of any healing assignment, avoid standing in the dark puddles created by the Vile Swills.
If you are healing Maloriak's tank, then you need to be ready to top them off during the 3-second window that occurs between two consecutive casts of Engulfing Darkness. If your mana levels allow it, you can help healing the raid when you cannot heal the tank.
If you are healing the Vile Swills' tank(s) (1 in 10-man difficulty and 2 in 25-man difficulty), simply focus on them as they will probably take a lot of damage from puddles and melee.
If you are healing the raid, the only damage to expect is that of the puddles, which can easily be avoided.
4.3. Tips and Tricks
During the Dark Phase, players will take a lot of Shadow damage from Dark Sludge. Therefore, Shadow resistance is advised.
Because of the increased damage of Acid Nova, there is now brutal Nature damage during the Nuke Phase. For this reason you will want to have some Nature resistance for that phase.