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This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Al'Akir in Throne of the Four Winds. 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.
As a healer, Al'Akir will present you with two basic requirements. In Phases One and Three, you will have to heal while on the move or while paying close attention to movement you will have to do soon. In Phase Two, you willl have to heal a large amount of increasing raid damage.
1. Overview of the Fight↑top
The Al'Akir encounter consists of three phases. The first phase lasts from 100% to 80% of the boss' health, the second phase lasts from 80% to 25% of the boss' health and the third and final phase begins when the boss reaches 25% health and ends when he is dead.
During the first two phases, you will face Al'Akir on his platform, while in the third phase, Al'Akir will shatter the platform and your raid will gain the ability to fly for the remainder of the encounter.
2. Preliminary Concerns↑top
It is important to know that, both before the fight starts as well as during the fight, it is possible to fall off of Al'Akir's platform. If this happens before you enter combat, you will simply be sent back to the starting platform. If it happens during combat with Al'Akir, you will be teleported back up onto Al'Akir's platform. You do not take any damage in either case. Despite this fact, the location on Al'Akir's platform where you are placed is not under your control, and as such it may cause you to take damage from other sources.
If, however, you were taking damage already when you are thrown off or jump off, and you die off the platform, you cannot be resurrected. There are three ways to fall off of Al'Akir's platform: jumping off, moving too close to the edge and being transported off by means of a wind current, or being knocked off by one of Al'Akir's abilities.
As a rule, falling off the platform should be avoided, though in certain cases it may be preferable to another outcome.
As a healer, you need to realize that people who have fallen off of the platform will likely be out of your range, and there is nothing you can do to heal them.
3. Phase One↑top
Lightning Strike is an ability Al'Akir will cast roughly every 10 seconds, though this does vary sometimes. Lightning Strike will damage everyone standing in a 25 yard cone of a random target for a moderate amount of Nature damage for each affected target. In other words, the more people located in range of the target of Lightning Strike, the more damage the ability will do to them.
Squall Line is a wall of 7 cyclones which Al'Akir will spawn repeatedly during this phase, approximately once every 40 seconds. The wall spans from the center of the platform, where Al'Akir is located, to the edge of the platform. It will complete a full lap around the platform before disappearing, and anyone touched by it will be picked up and dragged some distance within the cyclones, also taking large amounts of damage and being incapacitated. Shortly before a Squall Line disappears, a new one spawns, so there is a brief period of time when there are two active. However, the Squall Line that is about to disappear loses consistency and no longer causes its negative effects to players.
There is always a gap in the wall, in varying locations, which players must aim to make their way through in order to avoid the aforementioned negative effects. Essentially, the gap can be located in the place of any of the 7 cyclones, and as such it can be anywhere from the edge of the platform to right up close to Al'Akir.
There is no fixed spawn location for Squall Lines, although they appear to prefer spawning on either the far right or far left side of where the tank is. Before spawning and dealing damage, there are about 5 seconds when the Squall Line is visible but not yet fully formed, giving players enough time to react accordingly.
Wind Burst is an ability that Al'Akir will repeatedly cast during the first phase, roughly every 25 seconds. It has a 5 second cast time, at the end of which Al'Akir will knock everyone on the platform back roughly 30 yards as well as damage them.
Ice Storm is an icy rain which Al'Akir will cast regularly, targeting random areas of his platform. The rain leaves frost on the ground, which slows and damages any players standing there.
Electrocute is an ability Al'Akir will channel into his main aggro target if this target is not in melee range. The spell will deal increasing Nature damage to the target (generally the tank), who must return to melee range to prevent it from damaging them further.
Prior to starting the encounter, your raid leader will have split your raid into multiple groups (5 for 10-man difficulty and 8 for 25-man difficulty) so that the damage from Lightning Strike does not spiral out of control. You will be assigned to heal your own group, as well as raid members in groups to your left and right.
During Phase One, your objectives are the following:
For more detailed information on how to move appropriately during Phase One, please check the relevant section of our main guide, located here.
Tank damage is generally high, as Al'Akir's melee attack is very strong. Whenever the tank has to move away from Al'Akir, either because he has been knocked back by Wind Burst or because he is moving for a Squall Line, he will be damaged by Electrocute, so as a tank healer, you always need to be on your toes.
Players who are unfortunate enough to get caught in a Squall Line will take a large amount of damage and will require intensive healing.
3.3. Heroic Mode
Static Shock is an ability which Al'Akir will use to often interrupt any casters who are in his melee range, so as a healer you should aim to not be too close to the boss.
Because Lightning Strike persists in its location for 30 seconds, you should be prepared to move out of the affected area until the effect subsides. Simply move to either the left or the right of the affected area. It is advised to assign beforehand which player runs to which side, so that one side of the Lightning Strike area does not become over-crowded, thus causing a subsequent Lightning Strike hitting there to cause too much damage.
Squall Line does considerably more damage to players.
4. Phase Two↑top
Squall Line remains present during this phase and acts exactly as it does during Phase One, and should indeed be dealt with in the same manner.
Acid Rain is Al'Akir's new ability in this phase. It is a stacking DoT that Al'Akir applies to all raid members every 15 seconds. It deals 500 Nature damage per stack, and it constitutes a soft enrage timer for this phase.
In addition to this, Al'Akir will summon adds, called Stormling, which do Nature damage in an area around themselves, and on dying apply a stacking debuff to Al'Akir, called Feedback. Feedback increases the damage that Al'Akir takes and is instrumental in bringing him to Phase Three before the raid becomes unhealable.
Electrocute remains active and unchanged during Phase Two.
During Phase Two, in terms of movement, your only concern is positioning yourself correctly for the gap in the Squall Line. Other than this, you must simply heal through the increasing raid damage dealt by Acid Rain and the damage the tank will be receiving from both Al'Akir's melee attacks and the damage done by Stormlings.
4.3. Heroic Mode
Static Shock persists during Phase Two and should be dealt with in the same way as in Phase One.
On heroic difficulty, Stormlings also increase the Nature damage taken by 25% for 2 seconds by all players within 10 yards of the Stormling, in addition to the damage that they normally deal. This effect is of no consequence to healers, though it will cause your tank to take extra damage.
5. Phase Three↑top
Al'Akir will destroy the platform on which you had been fighting him up to this point, and all raid members will get the ability to fly thanks to Eye of the Storm.
During this phase, you can fly up and down freely from Al'Akir's head all the way to his feet. In addition to this, you can also move sideways, and back and forward. You can, indeed, move all around Al'Akir's massive body.
There are three limits to the area where you can move:
Wind Burst returns in this phase, though it is less problematic than it was during the first phase.
Lightning Clouds is an ability Al'Akir will cast every 15 seconds. It will target a random raid member and place a large cloud covering the entire (horizontal) level where that raid member was located. After 5 seconds, the cloud will begin dealing massive damage to anyone still inside it.
Lightning Rod places a debuff on a random raid member which causes them to deal damage to everyone around them (both vertically and horizontally) until the debuff runs out.
Lightning will damage random raid members and is unavoidable.
During Phase Three, the Al'Akir stops using melee attacks. The only raid damage will come from Lightning Rod and Lightning as well as any additional damage taken from players reacting poorly to Lightning Clouds. Your main focus should be to move together with the raid and move out horizontally when affected by Lightning Rod, as detailed in our main guide, located here.
5.3. Heroic Mode
There are no differences from the normal mode version of the encounter.