Monday, August 27, 2007

Two Bosses Enter: Prince Malchezaar vs. Hakkar the Soulflayer

Two bosses enter... but only one will get to leave in our series of fantasy deathmatches. Over at WoW Insider HQ, we've selected some of the most dangerous bosses to be found in the World of Warcraft today, and now we're pitting them against one another in a fight to the death where only one can be champion. And the best part of all this fun? You get to pick our winner! That's right -- after reading up on each boss, your votes and comments will determine who goes on to the next round and whose lifeless body gets a victory screenshot.

This week we're looking at Prince Malchezaar from Karazhan and Hakkar the Soulflayer from Zul'Gurub -- and before you balk that Karazhan and its inhabitants are much more difficult than those in the lower-level Zul'Gurub, I must remind you that the rules of our little game mean we attempt to consider these bosses on equal footing. That means they're both going into this fight with approximately the same level, health, and damage ability -- what we're debating here is how they fight, not which one has the most hit points.

If we've piqued your interest, keep reading for a rundown of each bosses' mad fighting skillz!

Heavy shadow and melee damage aren't Malchezaar's only trick -- he also summons infernals to aid him in combat. When these land, they cast a wide-range fire-based AOE attack and once Malchezaar is below 30% health, they're summoned frequently, and will overwhelm a standard player raid in a couple of minutes. Malchezaar's abilities are summed up as follows:
  • A Shadow Word: Pain DoT
  • A Shadow Nova shadow damage AoE with knockback
  • Infernals summoned with a fire AoE
  • Higher melee damage when under 60% health, when he summons axes to fight with (when using these he can Thrash to gain additional attacks and Cleave to hit multiple targets)
  • Flying axes when under 30% health which randomly attack targets
Anyone experienced with the Prince Malchezaar fight will notice that I've left out a major portion of it -- Enfeeble. During a standard fight, Malchezaar will randomly cast Enfeeble on five raid members, reducing their maximum health to 1 and preventing all healing and health regeneration. This is tricky, because it means these raid members have to carefully position themselves out of range of Shadow Novas and Infernal drops. However, Malchezaar will never cast Enfeeble on the main tank, and since this fight is a one on one, with Hakkar essentially acting as the main tank, Enfeeble shouldn't come into play.

For those of you who want all of the gory details on Prince Malchezaar's abilities, WoWWiki is the place to check.

For players, Hakkar is a gimmick fight. If you know the trick to the fight, the execution is simple -- but if you don't know the trick, you'll never beat him. For his abilities, we're going to presume that he's on his own, without any support from his priests or priestesses, which leaves a simple fight for us to consider. Hakkar brings down his opponents with the following abilities:
  • Corrupted Blood, a shadow damage DoT
  • Blood Siphon, a channeled spell that stuns the target, does damage, and heals Hakkar for about five times the damage done. Hakkar casts this like clockwork every 90 seconds. (For player raids, the trick is to get poisoned by nearby mobs -- then Hakkar's Blood Siphon will siphon the poison and damage him instead of healing him. Without this, he simply heals too much to be killable.)
  • Enrage: after 10 minutes, Hakkar will enrage, greatly increasing his damage output
Hakkar also has two different mind control abilities, but these would both be rather pointless in a one on one situation. This should tell you what you need to know for our purposes, but for the complete details of the Hakkar fight, check out WoWWiki.

Now comes the time you've all been waiting for -- time to vote! However, before you make your decision, I'd like to remind you again that we're trying to consider these bosses with approximately the same level, health, and damage output. So don't just say Karazahn is higher level than Zul'gurub and be done with it, but instead think about what might happen if these two actually encountered one another with reason to fight.

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