Monday, July 30, 2007

Two Bosses Enter: Nefarian vs. Kel'Thuzad

Two bosses enter... but only one will get to leave in WoW Insider's series of fantasy deathmatches. We've scoured the instances of Azeroth and Outland looking for the most interesting bosses Blizzard has to offer us and picked out a group of 32 to pit against one another until we come out with a single winner in the end. And the best part -- you get to tell us who wins. Today we're going to be considering a fight between Kel'Thuzad, the final boss in Naxxramas, and Nefarian, the final boss in Blackwing Lair. Want to learn more about these two bosses and voice your opinion on who would win in a fight? Keep reading!

The Lich Lord Kel'Thuzad rules over the Plaguelands from his citadel Naxxramas. While in his citadel, the fight begins with the raid taking out several adds, we're just considering the bosses themselves, so we'll start by talking about what would normally be considered phase 2 of this encounter, when you first get to fight Kel'thuzad himself.

Kel'Thuzad does frost and shadow damage with:
  • single-target and multi-target frostbolts,
  • the ability to mind-control up to 4 targets,
  • the ability to create a shadow fissure, causing massive shadow damage to anyone in its radius,
  • a frost blast that immobalizes and damages its target (100% of its health),
  • a mana detonation which causes causes mana users to explode, dealing damage to all of those around them.
For the sake of a fair fight, we're going to presume that Nefarian is immune to any of Kel'Thuzad's instant-kill spells -- though any of Nefarian's adds are fair game.

When he reaches 40% health, Kel'Thuzad will summon five Guardians of Icecrown to fight with him. Their only special ability is Blood Tap, which gives them +15% to all damage and stacks up to 99 times. When Kel'Thuzad dies, these will despawn.

This should be all of the information on the Kel'Thuzad fight necessary, but if you want all of the details, check WoWWiki.

The dragon Nefarian, son of Deathwing and leader of the Black Dragonflight, resides within his Blackwing Lair, a fortress inside Blackwing Mountain. As with Kel'thuzad, we're going to start considering this fight in phase 2, because phase 1 involves taking out adds.

Nefarian starts the fight by throwing a shadowflame out on his targets, dealing a decent amount of shadow damage up-front as well as applying a DoT doing additional shadow damage over time. Throughout the fight, he primarily relies on physical damage with the occasional shadowflame to bring down his targets, but he has a whole bag of tricks -- the latter of which probably wouldn't have any effect on Kel'Thuzad. He'll regularly shadowflame and cleave his primary target, as well as casting an AoE fear every 30 seconds.

When his health reaches 20%, Nefarian will summon a number of Bone Constructs, which hit fairly hard but have low health, and are easily taken out by AoE attacks.

This should be all of the pertinant information, but for full details on the fight, check WoWWiki.

Now, before we get to our vote, I want to be clear that we're considering these two bosses to have similar health, level, and damage capacity. We're trying to put them on an even playing field, instead of just presuming Kel'Thuzad would win because he's in the higher level dungeon. But bearing that in mind, tell us who you think would come out ahead if these two bosses met -- and why.

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