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Za'Qul heroic
Mechanics changes in Heroic.

1.  The Horrific Vision adds that spawn throughout the encounter spawn with 30 stacks of Gathering Nightmare.  These stacks will slowly drop off, which will make the adds progressively faster and less vulnerable to damage.  Once all the stacks are gone, the add will transform into an Unleashed Nightmare add, which has more health, does more damage, and applies stacks of Hysteria with each melee attack (via Quivering Claws).

-->  All Horrific Vision adds need to be killed BEFORE their Gathering Nightmare stacks have dropped off.

2. In the Delirium Realm, players will have to deal with the Tentacle Slam mechanic.   It's just what it sounds like:  tentacle appears, slams ground, does lots of damage and a stun.

--> Avoid the slam!
Okay, here is a quick overview of the Za'qul fight.

This is a four phase encounter in which the raid will be dragged to different realms.  Players in different realms cannot see or interact with each other, but certain boss abilities will carry over into the different realms.

Basic abilities the boss casts in ALL phases

Darkness beyond (fog): That's the black fog around the encounter area.  It does a LOT of damage and is quickly lethal.  Stay out of it and try not to get knocked into it.  There are two boss abilities that might force you into it: Crushing Grasp's knockback and Dread's fear.

Crushing Grasp (tentacle):  spawns a portal randomly somewhere around the edge of the room.  The portal looks like a bright, vertical line.  After a few seconds a tentacle will punch across the room, always through the center of the room, dealing a lot of damage and knocking back anyone who is hit.

--> Avoid the tentacle.  The boss should therefore always be tanked at the edge of the room.  We will also place raid markers around the edge of the room as reference points so we can call out safe spots to stand.

Dread:  This is a 10-second fear places on random DPS players.  When feared, you may run into the Darkness beyond fog.  When it expires or is dispelled, it deals a lot of raid-wide damage.

--> Dispell Dread before players run into the fog.  To handle the raid-wide damage, we will need to either stagger the dispells to spread out damage, OR use a damage-reduction healing cooldown, like spirit link, barrier, or an aura mastery and dispell the players all at once.  Can also life-grip players back into the raid.

Mind Tether:  This is an anti-tank ability.  It connects the tank with the closest player.  The linked players take 50% of the damage received by the other player.  This damage increases with distance (starting at 12 yards).  Tanks in separate realms are stunned for 10 seconds whenever it is cast.

--> Tanks need to stand close to make sure they are tethered together, and move as a team.  Make sure to remain in the same realm.

PHASE ONE (100 - 85%)

There is only ONE unique mechanic in this phase:  Portals of Madness.

Portals of Madness:  Spawns three portals (these look like purple and black swirls on the ground), and when they time out a few seconds later they'll do massive damage and will fear anyone within the summoning zone.  Each portal will also spawn a Horrific Summoner add.

The Horrific Summoner doesn't need to be tanked.  It casts Dark Tear, a super-long cast (2 min) which does massive raid-wide damage if the cast is allowed to finish.  Periodically they will also spawn Horrific Vision adds.  On heroic, these Horrific Vision adds start with a 30-debuff stack that increases their damage taken and decreases their movement speed.  This debuff loses its stacks over 60 seconds, at which point the add will turn into a Nightmare, which hits HARD.

--> Get out of the portals.  Kill the Horrific Summoner BEFORE Phase Two begins, and cleave down the Horrific Vision adds before they lose all their stacks.  (Single-target them if it looks like they're almost out of stacks.).  

PHASE TWO (85-70%):  FEAR REALM, and race against time

At 85%, the boss will drag everyone into the Fear Realm.  In this realm, everyone will gain a stack of Hysteria, a ticking DoT, every 15 seconds.  One stack isn't too bad, but once we get up to 9-10 stacks it will be a LOT of damage.

--> We want to get out of the Fear Realm as fast as possible.  

The boss gains a few new abilities in the Fear Realm:

Maddening Eruption:  This spawns a zone on the opposite side of the room.  This zone will explode 25 seconds after it spawns, dealing huge raid-wide damage, UNLESS the boss is moved into the zone.  This prevents the raid-wide damage (note: players standing in the zone will take damage) AND gives the boss a 30% damage taken debuff that lasts for 20 seconds.

--> Drag the boss to the zone and once he gets the debuff, nuke him.  Suggestion:  save all cooldowns and Bloodlust for that first Maddening Eruption, so we can end Phase Two with fewer Hysteria stacks.

Manifest Nightmares:  Debuff placed on two players that deals light ticking damage and makes them pulse AoE damage for 6 seconds and drop void zones beneath you (these looks like purple geometric designs on the floor).  At the end of the debuff, a single Vision add will spawn from each player.

--> If you get the debuff, move away from everyone else.  Watch out for tentacles.  Drag the add under the boss and cleave it down.

PHASE THREE (70-50%):

At 70%, Phase Three begins.  The raid will remain in the fear realm for Phase Three, but three players at a time will be sent periodically into the Delirium Realm.  The boss will gain one new ability during this phase:  Delirium's Descent.

Delirium's Descent:  Spawns three red void zones in front of the boss.  At the end of his cast, if these are unoccupied, the raid will take a lot of damage --> a player needs to stand in each one.  One player needs to stand in each red circle.  These players will be sent into the Delirium Realm at the end of the cast.  Ideally, these will be DPS players who gain a lot of damage from Haste.

In the Delirium Realm: players will have +80% Haste at all times BUT you are hostile to allies, and gain a stack of Hysteria every six seconds.  There is NO WAY to get out of the Delirium Realm in Phase Three, and as you have no healer, you may die down there.  However, if you die, you will come back in the Fear Realm with a dispellable 10 second stun.

Players in the Delirium Realm will DPS the boss while they dodge the Crushing Grasp tentacles AND avoid the geometric void zones left behind by Manifest Nightmare players.  They will DPS the Manifest Nightmare adds too, but wait until after the tank has picked them up.

PHASE FOUR (50-0%)

At 50% everyone is dragged back into the Normal Realm.  It is at this point that the raid will have its highest number of Hysteria stacks.  May want to chain healing cooldowns until they've dropped.

The boss has all of his usual Phase One abilities, but some of them have been modified:

Manic Dread:  It's the same as Dread (fear + raid-wide damage when it expires or is dispelled) but NOW when it expires this debuff also spawns a void zone that damages nearby players after 5 seconds AND can be used to access the Delirium Realm.  The void done looks like an orange eyeball.  If you stand in this void zone you'll gain a stacking debuff.  At five stacks, it will take you to the Delirium Realm and the void zone will despawn.  So only three players can enter the Delirium Realm per set of Manic Dreads.  We want to send three DPS into the Delirium Realm just before the boss reaches 100 energy and begins to cast Dark Pulse.

Dark Pulse:  This puts a big damage absorption shield on him while he casts a long, 18-second cast, which does massive raid-wide damage to players in all realms if it completes.  Everyone needs to DPS through the shield to stun and interrupt him before it completes.  Having three DPS in the Delirium Realm increases our DPS output significantly, which should help us get through the shield each time it is cast.

Once the shield is broken, the three DPS should leave the Delirium Realm, by moving to the portal spawned by the first arcanist, and hitting the extra action button.  By leaving early, this gives players time for their Hysteria stacks to drop before they need to go back down.

Dark Summoners:  These are similar to the summoners in Phase One, EXCEPT that you can only damage them if you are in the Fear Realm.  So, shortly after the adds spawn, the raid (except for the three players going into the Delirium Realm) should stack on the portal, then use their extra action button to enter the Fear Realm.  Once inside, all DPS should focus on killing the three summoners as soon as possible.  Once they are dead the raid should leave by using the portal spawned by the first arcanist, using their extra action button again.

When everyone is inside the Fear Realm, the boss will still use his Maddening Eruption (void zone on opposite side of the room, drag boss to it & DPS him when he gets the debuff) and Manifest Nightmares (DoT + AoE + geometric void zones).

Once we've killed the adds and exited the Fear Realm, the boss will cast Dark Pulse.  And after this the fight repeats, with the pattern:

Just before Dark Pulse three players go into the Delirium Realm --> Dark Pulse --> we break shield & interrupt boss --> the three players return --> adds spawn --> raid stacks on portal & goes into Fear Realm --> kill adds in Fear Realm --> return --> three players go into Delirium Realm just before Dark Pulse etc.

Keep repeating that pattern until the boss dies.

(Additional suggestions:  When the boss is low on health, and he spawns another set of adds, consider nuking him down if we think we can kill him before the adds' Dark Tear cast completes (2 min).  Can also send everyone into the Fear Realm while the tanks drag the boss to the void zones to make him take more damage, which may speed things up.)
Here's the nutshell version:

For the entire fight:

Tank the boss at the edge of the room, tanks stand close to each other.  Keep out of the fog, don't get hit by the tentacle.  Healers stagger Dread dispels OR use damage-reducing cooldowns to handle multiple dispels at once.

PHASE ONE (100-85%) Normal Realm: Get out of the portals on the ground, kill summoners & cleave down Horrific Visions before their stacks expire.  Finish killing summoners BEFORE Phase Two begins.

PHASE TWO (85-70%) Fear Realm:  It's a race against time, with Hysteria stacking every 15 seconds.  Tanks drag boss to Maddening Eruption void zone across room (players stay out of this void zone!).  Once void zone explodes and gives boss debuff, NUKE HIM.  [Save all cooldowns and bloodlust for that FIRST Maddening Eruption void zone so we can end Phase Two quickly.]

While this is going on: Players with Manifest Nightmares debuff run out to drop void zones (purple geometric designs) away from the raid, then drag your Vision add under the boss so raid can cleave it down.

PHASE THREE (70-50%) Fear Realm, with a few people going into Delirium Realm:  We'll have Delirium teams of three DPS (should be DPS who gain a lot of damage from Haste).  Stand in red void zone to go to Delirium Realm, then nuke the boss, while dodging tentacles and avoiding the purple geometric void zones.  Delirium players may die down there, but that's okay -- you'll come back into Fear Realm alive if you die.

Phase FOUR (50-0%) Normal Realm, with raid going to Fear Realm AND three players going to Delirium Realm at times:  We'll start this phase with have very high Hysteria stacks, chain healing cooldowns till they fall off.

At 100% energy Boss will put a damage absorption shield on himself and will start casting Dark Pulse (18-sec cast) which does raid-wide damage if it goes off.  We need to DPS through the shield to interrupt him.  This is helped by Manic Dread, which spawns a void zone that looks like an orange eyeball, which can be used to get to the Delirium Realm.  Designated DPS will stand on the eyeball & gain 5 stacks of a debuff (which does ever-increasing damage) to go to Delirium Realm, where their DPS will be much higher.

DPSing the shield is the TOP PRIORITY in Phase Four.

The Dark Summoners in Phase Four can ONLY be damaged from the Fear Realm.  Get to Fear Realm by using the portal + extra action button.  Kill adds before they complete their cast, then exit, using portal + extra action button again.

Maddening Eruption (void zone that debuffs the boss) and Manifest Nightmares (drops void zones and an add) will keep happening in the Fear Realm, but not in the Normal Realm.

Suggestion on Wowhead:  Tanks should enter the Fear Realm too so they can see the Maddening Eruption void zones.

Pattern of Phase Four:  Just before boss reaches 100% energy three players go to Delirium Realm --> Dark Pulse starts --> Break shield & interrupt boss --> three players return --> adds spawn --> raid stacks on portal and goes into Fear Realm --> Kill adds in Fear Realm --> Return --> Just before 100% energy three players go to Delirium Realm etc.  Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

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