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Gul'dan Nutshell Guide
#1
Here we are!  We've fought our way to Gul'dan!  Well done, everyone.  The final fight is upon us.

This is background information based on Icy Veins, so we have a list of abilities and adds and we get a first pass at the structure of the fight.  Icy Viens is good for getting exact names of abilities and adds -- it's pretty detailed and if we see an ability it'll be on the Icy Veins page (Line of Sight, on the other hand, frequently doesn't name abilities or adds).  Unfortunately, they sometimes don't distinguish between normal and heroic abilities.

But I find Line of Sight way more organized and concise than Icy Veins -- Line of Sight really gives a great overview of the fight, picks out what is important, and doesn't clutter their explanation up with numbers and specific names -- so see the next post for their guide + summary.

Gul'dan is a three phase encounter.  

PHASE ONE:  The Council of Elders

During Phase One Gul'dan is locked inside the Eye of Aman'Thul while he summons demons.  We will take on his Shadow Council.  We will be granted special abilities based on our roles.

The Eye of Anam'Thul grants players a number of abilities:

** The tanks get Resonant Barrier which creates a barrier that absorbs all damage taken for 6 seconds.

** Healers gets Scattering Field, which also creates a protective barrier, and absorbs 50% of fire damage up to a certain amount, split between all allies within 10 yards.

** DPS gets Time Dilation, a haste buff, which boosts casting, movement, and attack speed while decreasing cooldowns.  Receiving fire damage will cancel the effect.

Gul'dan will cast a number of abilities in this phase:

Liquid Hellfire (orb impact attack):  Massive orb of fel fire that splashes down at a target's location, inflicting heavy fire damage which decreases based on distance.

Fel Efflux (beam attack):  damages everyone in the beam.

Hand of Gul'dan (meteor + add):  summons a demonic lieutenant at the impact location and damages anyone caught in it.  Here are the lieutenants:

* Fel Lord Kuraz'mal: He also casts Shatter Essence on the tank, dealing massive fire damage.  [Heroic only:  he summons Fel Obselisks to impale targets, which deal moderate damage and stun anyone who gets hit, and applies a DoT.]

* D'zorykx the Trapper:  Also spawns a Soul Vortex trap on the current tank, trapping the tank and dealing massive damage that increases with each stack and lasts 30 seconds.  [Heroic only: Periodically casts Anguished Spirits, dealing shadow damage to all targets. ]

* Inquisitor Vethriz:  Spawns a Gaze of Vethriz that will channel energy beams that damage anyone caught in them.  Attacks with Dark Blast, and may Shadowblink to a new location.  [Heroic only: Affects random players with Drain, which DoTs the player and heals him].

STRATEGY FOR PHASE ONE

The raid should be spread lightly on the same side of the platform during this phase.  Gul'dan will be active and will engage the raid directly for about 30 seconds while spawning his Shadow Council.

DPS and Healers need to pay close attention to the Liquid Hellfire timer (orb impact attack), and need to correctly make use of their extra abilities.  Healers should coordinate the use of at least 2 Scattering Fields (the healers' special attack) for each impact of Liquid Hellfire (the orb).  The raid should stack within the Scattering Fields to reduce their damage taken.  DPS do NOT use your Time Dilation buff before a Liquid Hellfire as they will lose it due to the fire damage.

All player pay special attention to the Fel Efflux (beam attack) timer.  Gul'dan will target a random player before casting Fel Efflux, get away from his front.

As the Shadow Council spawns from the Hand of Gul'dan casts, all DPS should switch off GUl'dan and prioritize the adds. Inquisitor Vethriz spawns second, and should be given highest priority as his abilities are the worst.  Fel Lord Kuraz'mal is the second most important target, then clean up D'zorykx the Trapper the last.  Overall damage is more important than focus fire -- use cleaves as much as possible.

Healers dispel Drain when it is cast, and everyone should avoid Fel Obelisks and Anguished Spirits.  Tanks should have their Resonant Barrier (their special ability) ready for Shatter Essence and Soul Harvest.


PHASE TWO:  The Ritual of Aman'Thul

In this phase, we will engage Gul'dan directly, while he continues to occasionally summon demonic allies.  We will still have access to all our special buffs from the Eye, and these will be buffed.

At 85%, 70%, and 55% Gul'dan will tap into the power of the Eye of Aman'thul, empowering his abilities further.

Liquid Hellfire (orb impact attack):  Massive orb of fel fire that splashes down at a target's location, inflicting heavy fire damage which decreases based on distance.
--> Empowered Liquid Hellfire:  Sets ground on fire with fel flames for 3 minutes, dealing fire damage to anyone who enters.

Bonds of Fel (tether attack):  Chains a target to a location, snaring them by 50% and inflicting fire damage every 1/2 second.  When broken, the bond deals massive fire damage split between everyone within 5 yards of the bound target.
--> Empowered Bonds of Fel:  same as the regular bonds but includes a knockback and a 70% snare.

Eye of Gul'dan (multiplying adds):  creates several Eyes of Guldan, which are little eyeball adds which channel shadow energy at a player, inflicting shadow damage to all players within 8 yards of the target.  Damage increases by 2% for every cast.  If the Eye reaches full power, it will cast Duplicate, creating a copy of itself, and move to a new location.
--> Empowered Eye of Gul'dan:  The eye now channels fiery energy and follows the target with the highest threat.

Hand of Gul'dan (meteor + add):  [Heroic only: calls down a demonic meteor, summoning a Dreadlord at the impact location and inflicting damage to everyone in the impact area.  The Dreadlords cast Carrion Wave, which can be interrupted.  Each time they are interrupted, they gain a stack of Fervor, a self-buff.]

Fel Scythe (anti-tank attack):  Cast whenever a target comes within 2 yards of the current tank.  Gul'dan builds fel energy over time.  The scythe attack deals heavy fire damage split between both targets and consumes all his current fel energy, increasing the damage by 5% for each point of fel energy consumed.  If Gul'dan reaches full energy, he'll cast Fel Scythe immediately.  Each successive cast grants him Fury of the Fel, increasing his attack speed by 10% for 10 seconds.  This effect stacks.

STRATEGY FOR PHASE TWO

Continue to avoid the Liquid Hellfire orb impact.  Once this becomes empowered, avoid the flame patches.

Deal quickly with Bonds of Fel:  nearby DPS and healers should collapse on the shackled player as they are breaking their bond.  Scattering Field (healer special ability) can be helpful for further reducing damage.

Focus down the Eyes immediately to avoid having them multiply.  The group should be loosely spread to avoid splash damage, particularly when the eyes are empowered, because the fire damage will cancel the Time Dilation ability (DPS' special ability).

Burn down the Dreadlords with all available DPS.  Carrion Wave must be interrupted, though each successive interrupt will stack a buff on them.

Tanks should find a comfortable level of Fel energy to split Guldan's Fel Scythe.  The energy will creep higher during the time the Dreadlords are alive, so you may need cooldowns when Scythe is triggered.


PHASE THREE:  The Master's Power

At 40% health, Gul'dan harnesses the power of the Eye of Aman'thul to gain new and empowered abilities.  The players no longer receive the power of the Eye in this phase.

The Empowered Eye of Gul'dan creates several eyes of Gul'dan, which channel fiery energy at a player and inflict damage to players near the target.  The damage increases by 2% for every cast.  If the eye reaches full power, it will Duplicate and move to a new location.  The eyes follow the target with the highest threat.

Storm of the Destroyer (growing circle attack):  deals sequential Shadow damage to targets within sequential radii, with the damage and radius of each instance increasing with each pulse.  The first pulse deals damage to targets within 10 yards, followed by targets within 20 yards, then targets within 30 yards, and finally to 60 yards.

Well of Souls mechanic:

* Well of Souls (ouchy safety basket):  Object that holds fragments of the players' souls.  If you stand in this you take shadow damage every second BUT it causes enemies to ignore you.

* Soul Siphon:  inflicts light Shadow damage and applies a healing absorb to the target.  Adds an additional Soul Fragment to the Well of Souls.

* Soul Corrosion:  Every 3 seconds a player stands in the Well of Souls, a Soul Fragment escapes and applies Soul Corrosion.  This deals damage to the player and everyone within 5 yards, and applies a stacking DoT.

* Black Harvest:  Inflicts shadow damage every 2 seconds, expelling all stored souls within the Well of Souls over 4 seconds.  Each Soul Fragment that escapes deals moderate damage to all players.  When the Well is full, any newly added souls will explode instantly.

* Flames of Sargeras:  Encompasses a target in flames after 3 seconds.  Every second they burn they explode light fire damage and deal damage to anyone within 8 yards.  Struck targets leave residual embers, exploding for moderate fire damage within 5 yards and creating a patch of Desolate Ground.  

Fel Scythe (anti-tank attack):  Cast whenever a target comes within 2 yards of the current tank.  Gul'dan builds fel energy over time.  The scythe attack deals heavy fire damage split between both targets and consumes all his current fel energy, increasing the damage by 5% for each point of fel energy consumed.  If Gul'dan reaches full energy, he'll cast Fel Scythe immediately.  Each successive cast grants him Fury of the Fel, increasing his attack speed by 15% for 10 seconds.  This effect stacks.


PHASE THREE STRATEGY

Continue to deal with the Eyes -- these should be killed first.  Escape the Storm of the Destroyer (expanding circle attack).  Tanks continue to deal with Fel Scythe.

When the Well of Souls is spawned, players should all take responsibility for soaking Soul Corrosion stacks to minimize the damage from Black Harvest.  Healers should have cooldowns ready for Black Harvest, and be ready to quickly remove the healing absorb applied by Soul Siphon.

When a player is marked by Flames of Sargeras, all nearby players must get away quickly or they'll take heavy damage and spawn fiery void zones.
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#2
Here's the Line of Sight Gul'dan guide.  Please watch!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlkX6b7TJwU

Tanks, DPS and healers will each have a special action button they can use during this fight.  When they press their button:
* Tanks will be be immune to damage for 6 seconds.
* Healers will drop a shield which will mitigate fire damage.
* DPS will gain a mini-bloodlust.

We'll need to use the abilities at appropriate times during the first two phases.  In the third phase, these abilities go away.

Gul'dan starts the fight by summoning three powerful demons.  Group them up and cleave them down.  Focus the Inquisitor first, and dodge its eye lasers.  The Fel Lord will attempt to shatter its tank, tanks use your special ability to survive.  The Trapper will summon a trap that will drag players in, just stay away from it.

Gul'dan will face a random player and cast a Fel Flux beam in that direction.  More quickly out of the way as soon as he turns.  He will also launch Liquid Hellfire at random targets -- avoid those too.

Phase Two is the longest section of the fight.  He has a few abilities we'll have to deal with which he'll empower at certain percentages.  

Bonds of Fel will tether random targets to the ground.  The main tank will always be targeted.  Targeted players will have a circle around them, and there will be a dotted line which shows the max range of the tether.  Players within the circle will split damage when the tether is broken -- raid members need to pile on the circle to share damage.  Players with the debuff move to the dotted line quickly, so you can break the tether quickly when there are enough players inside the circle to split the damage.

At 85%, Fel Bonds will be empowered.  Targeted players will now be blasted a long way away from the boss.  Make sure not to be thrown off the platform.  Ranged can move closer to the boss before the cast to reduce the distance.  Other raid members will need to travel to these players to pile on them before they break the tether.

Liquid Hellfire will continue to be launched at players.  At 70%, it becomes empowered, and will leave behind green void zones.

Gul'dan will summon multiple Eyes.  They'll channel a long-range AoE on random players.  Spread out before they spawn so you don't AoE each other.  Burn them down fast before they replicate themselves.  Eyes will always be the priority.

At 55% the Eyes become empowered.  One large eye will spawn and will channel pulsing long-range AoEs on multiple random players.  Healers can use their shields to mitigate the damage.  If eyes are up, kill the eyes before moving to break Bonds of Fel.

While Gul'dan is active, he'll be building up energy.  Any time a player gets within 2 yards of his target (the current tank) he will cast Fel Scythe which will do damage split between those two players.  The more energy he has, the harder the ability hits.  The off-tank should step onto the main tank to pop this between 30-40 energy.

It's best to pop it right before Gul'dan hits 40% health, as this is when Phase 3 starts, and in Phase 3 Gul'dan will build up quite a lot of energy before becoming active again.

Tanks can use their extra action button to avoid a full energy Fel Scythe, or as another option, to solo-break Empowered Bonds.

Phase 3:  Luckily Gul'dan loses most of his abilities in Phase 3.  He does retain Eye of Gul'dan, which is still priority.    

Tank Gul'dan at the edge of the room as we don't have the knockback to worry about now.

Flames of Sargeras is a debuff placed on the main tank and a couple other targets.  These players will pulse with damage, leaving behind a shard with each tic.  The shards will explode, leaving behind a pool.  Try to have all pools off to one side of the platform.

A Well of Souls will erupt in the center of the room (it looks like a big column of light in the middle of the room).  As players take damage, souls will appear in the Well.  Assign groups to take turn standing in the well to soak up souls.  You'll take damage while standing in the well, and will need to remain inside for 3 seconds to soak one soul.  Each soul you absorb will apply a stacking DoT which lasts for a long time.  Make sure everyone takes a turn soaking a soul to keep these stacks low.

Gul'dan will cast Black Harvest which does two bursts of massive raid-wide damage.  If any souls are in the well when this goes off, the souls will explode, dealing additional damage.

The final ability is Storm of the Destroyer, which causes a series of growing explosions centered on Gul'dan.  This expands four times with the final cast reaching 60 yards away from him.  The raid should run together, away from the expanding explosions.  After the last explosion Gul'dan will teleport to the tanks, allowing us to set up with new positioning, away from all the fire.

* Eyes always have priority
* Break bonds properly
* Soak souls in Phase 3
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