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Maloriak Tank Strategy Guide

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This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Maloriak in Blackwing Descent. It is mostly targeted to tanks 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.

The encounter against Maloriak presents little difficulty to tanks, which have the easiest role and must simply stick to doing almost the same thing throughout the fight, whether they are the main tank or an off-tank.

1. Overview of the Fight↑top

The encounter with Maloriak can be broken down in two phases: the Main Phase, during which Maloriak performs a variety of abilities with which the raid must successfully deal, and the Nuke Phase, triggered by pushing Maloriak below 25% health, and which is basically a DPS race to kill him before he wipes the raid.

The Main Phase represents the complicated part of the encounter and is itself broken down in a cycle of 3 sub-phases: Red Phase, Blue Phase, and Green Phase. This cycle repeats until it is interrupted by Maloriak reaching 25% health. Because of the enrage timer, and the fixed duration of the cycle, your raid will only have time to complete 2 cycles before having to push Maloriak into the Nuke Phase.

The Red and Blue phases can come in any order, so the cycle is always either of:

  • Blue Phase, Red Phase, then Green Phase;
  • Red Phase, Blue Phase, then Green Phase.

The fight is rather simple for tanks, requiring you to either tank Maloriak or the adds he releases.

2. Main Phase↑top

During the main phase, Maloriak has a set of abilities that he will always cast. In addition, each sub-phase (Blue, Red, or Green), temporarily grants him new abilities.

The Blue/Red/Green Phase cycle has a fixed duration of approximately 2 minutes and 35 seconds:

  1. 15 seconds: transition period, no additional abilities;
  2. 47 seconds: Blue Phase or Red Phase;
  3. 47 seconds: Red Phase or Blue Phase (depending on what the first sub-phase was);
  4. 21 seconds: Green Phase;
  5. 15 seconds: transition period, no additional abilities;

At the beginning of each sub-phase, Maloriak throws a vial (blue, red, or green, depending on the sub-phase) into his cauldron. Then he walks towards the cauldron to drink the resulting potion. This takes about 6 seconds, during which Maloriak is harmless and casts no ability.

The 15-second transitions at the beginning and the end of a cycle mean that there is a 30-second transition period between the first cycle and the second cycle.

2.1. Abilities

Below, you will find the list of abilities that Maloriak will retain throughout the Main Phase. The timer on each of these 3 abilities is tied to the timer on the 2 other.

  • Release Aberrations releases 3 adds which need to be picked up by the off-tank(s). It sometimes needs to be interrupted to control the number of adds released. Maloriak continues casting this ability even when all the adds have been released. By then, the ability does nothing.
  • Arcane Storm does raid-wide damage and needs to be interrupted.
  • Remedy (10-man/25-man) is a self-buff that Maloriak casts and that must either be dispelled or spellstolen.

In addition, Maloriak has a melee attack which he performs approximately every 1.5-2 seconds (when he is not casting). It deals approximately 25k damage in 10-man difficulty, and 40k damage in 25-man difficulty.

2.2. Strategy

As Maloriak tank, there is no particular task that you need to carry out for the entire duration of the Main Phase. Everything you need to do depends on the sub-phase; Blue, Red, or Green. You can always help with dispelling remedy from Maloriak or interrupting his Arcane Storm ability. You can be assigned to interrupt casts of Release Aberrations, in which case you should always interrupt the first cast, let the next 3 casts succeed, and interrupt all subsequent casts until the Green Phase.

As the Aberrations' tank, you need to pick them up when they are released (they spawn on the sides of the room). Each Aberration hits every 2 seconds, for 5k per hit in 10-man difficulty and 10k per hit in 25-man difficulty, in average. Also, each Aberration applies one stack of Growth Catalyst on itself and nearby Aberrations. This means that the more Aberrations you are tanking, the more damage they will deal to you. For this reason, it is advised, in 25-man difficulty, to use 2 off-tanks (because of Growth Catalyst, they need to tank their respective adds at least 10 yards apart). Growth Catalyst prevents you from really damaging your adds, so you should instead aim at kiting them around the room (close to the walls so as to not bother the rest of the raid), with the help of DPS players who can slow/root them for you. The Aberrations should be released at a rate of 9 per cycle (3 at each cast of Release Aberrations) and are to die during the Green Phase.

2.3. Blue Phase

If you are Maloriak's tank, then just make sure no one is within 3 yards of you, because of Biting Chill, a Blue phase specific ability that Maloriak sometimes casts on players in his melee range.

If you are tanking Aberrations, simply continue kiting your adds close to the sides of the room, at least 5 yards away from everyone else in order to avoid chaining Flash Freeze.

2.4. Red Phase

If you are Maloriak's tank, move Maloriak so that he faces the raid. Everyone will come stack behind you in order to soak the damage from Scorching Blast (10-man/25-man), a Red Phase specific ability of Maloriak.

If you are tanking Aberrations, simply continue kiting your adds close to the sides of the room to avoid taking damage from Scorching Blast.

2.5. Green Phase

If you are tanking Maloriak, be aware that the cauldron will knock you back to the entrance of the room, which is good since this is where you should be tanking Maloriak during this phase. You also need to prepare to use defensive cooldowns as you will be debuffed by Debilitating Slime, which causes you to take twice more damage from Maloriak's melee attacks.

If you are tanking the Aberrations, bring them close to the entrance's staircase where Maloriak should also be tanked. Just like every unit in the room, the Aberrations will be debuffed by Debilitating Slime, which removes Growth Catalyst and causes them to take 100% increased damage. This is the best time to have them AoE-ed down. If you are 2-tanking the adds, you can safely bring them at the same location (thanks to Debilitating Slime).

If, for some reason, the adds are not dead by the end of the Green Phase, Maloriak needs to be moved away promptly, otherwise, each surviving add will buff him with one stack of Growth Catalyst for as long as he remains in their proximity.

3. Nuke Phase↑top

This phase is a simple DPS race with only a few mechanics that are easy to dodge. It is triggered immediately after Maloriak's health reaches 25%, regardless of whether Maloriak is in a Blue, Red, or Green Phase.

3.1. Abilities

During this phase, Maloriak only retains Remedy (10-man/25-man) from the Nuke Phase. It must still be dispelled or spellstolen.

In addition to Remedy, Maloriak has the following abilities:

  • Release All Minions is cast once, immediately after Maloriak enters the Nuke Phase. It releases all unreleased Aberrations. It also releases two Prime Subjects (bigger adds).
  • Absolute Zero is cast every 10 seconds in 10-man difficulty and every 7 to 10 seconds in 25-man difficulty. It summons an ice orb which deals damage to nearby players.
  • Acid Nova is a raid-wide AoE damaging attack that needs to be healed through. It ticks every second for 10 seconds and is applied every 30 seconds.
  • Magma Jets is cast every 10 seconds and is a heavily damaging attack that can wipe the raid if not handled properly. Despite what the tooltip says, the attack is basically a line of fire that Maloriak creates in front of him.

The Prime Subjects that Maloriak summons deal melee damage every 2.3 seconds for about 20k in 10-man difficulty, 40k in 25-man difficulty. They have one ability: Rend, which is a stacking debuff applied about every 6 seconds on the Prime Subject's target.

3.2. Strategy

The two important aspects of this phase are avoiding the damage from Magma Jets and handling the Prime Subjects.

If you are Maloriak's tank, you should make him face a wall of the room. When he starts casting Magma Jets, you have 2 seconds to move away before Maloriak covers the area in front of him with fire. After that, you should move Maloriak so that he faces another portion of the wall.

If you are an off-tank, you should pick both (one) Prime Subjects in 10-man (25-man) difficulty. DPS players should slow/root them so that you can easily kite them around the room. The damage from the Prime Subject(s) increases over time because of Rend, a stacking debuff they apply on their target.

3.3. Tips and Tricks

Protection Paladins can use Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield to reset their stacks of Rend and can easily handle the Prime Subjects alone.

4. Heroic Mode↑top

The main addition of the Heroic version of this encounter is a new sub-phase of the main phase, which we call the Dark Phase. The remainder of the encounter remains largely the same: Maloriak must still be pushed below 25% shortly after the second Green Phase.

4.1. Changes

In addition to the Dark Phase, which we describe in the next section, most abilities deal more damage:

  • Maloriak's melee attacks deal approximately 40k damage in 10-man difficulty (up from 25k), and 60k damage in 25-man difficulty (up from 40k).
  • The Aberrations' melee attacks deal approximately 12k damage (in average) in 10-man difficulty (up from 5k), and 16k damage (in average) in 25-man difficulty (up from 10k).
  • The mana and health regeneration of Remedy (10-man/ 25-man) has been doubled.
  • The damage done by Scorching Blast (10-man/25-man) has been greatly increased.
  • The damage done by Consuming Flames (10-man/25-man) has been increased.
  • The damage done by Acid Nova has been doubled.

Arcane Storm, Biting Chill, Magma Jets, and the melee attacks from the Prime Subjects deal exactly the same amount of damage as they do in normal mode. However, Magma Jets is now cast much more frequently, about every 4 seconds (2 second cast plus a delay of 2 seconds), down from 10.

Maloriak and his Aberrations have had their health pools increased. To account for this and the new Dark Phase, the enrage timer has been increased to 12 minutes.

Prime Subjects gain a new ability called Fixate, which is cast a few seconds after a Prime Subject is released. It causes it to remain on its current target for the rest of the fight or until that target dies (in which case it will cast Fixate again shortly after).

4.2. Dark Phase

The Dark Phase is the first sub-phase of the Main Phase in Heroic difficulty. It means that the possible cycles of sub-phases are the following:

  • Dark Phase, Blue Phase, Red Phase, and Green Phase;
  • Dark Phase, Red Phase, Blue Phase, and Green Phase.

The Dark Phase has a fixed duration of approximately 95 seconds, during which the raid must kill adds.

4.2.1. Abilities

During the Dark Phase, Maloriak does not cast any of his usual Main Phase abilities: Arcane Storm, Release Aberrations, or Remedy (10-man/25-man).

When Maloriak enters the Dark Phase, he will gain Imbued Shadow, which makes him immune to taunt.

Then, he summons 5 Vile Swills, which look like dark oozes. Each of them has 1.61M health in 10-man difficulty and 5.62M health in 25-man difficulty. They attack their tank every 2.4 seconds and deal 12-13k damage in 10-man difficulty and 20-25k in 25-man difficulty.

Dark Sludge is cast by the Vile Swills at random members. It creates a dark puddle on the ground that deals 15,000 Shadow damage twice per second. It is hard to obtain a precise frequency for the apparitions of new puddles, but it is in the order of magnitude of 1 new puddle every second. The damage from two or more overlapping puddles will stack, meaning that each puddle will deal its damage separately to players standing at the intersecting area of the puddles.

Maloriak will cast Engulfing Darkness (10-man/25-man) 7 times on the tank (or rather, in direction of the tank) during the Dark Phase. The cast of the ability is 3 seconds, followed by a channel of 8 seconds during which the tank cannot be healed. Once a channel is over, the cast of the next Engulfing Darkness starts.

4.2.2. Strategy

Maloriak should be tanked facing the back of the room so that no one besides the tank gets hit by Engulfing Darkness. This ability prevents healing on the tank while it is being channeled. Therefore, as Maloriak's tank, you can only be healed while Maloriak is casting, so roughly 3 seconds every 11 seconds. In that small time window, you should be topped off in order to withstand and survive the next channel. Be ready to use survival cooldowns in case you are not properly healed.

The important part of the Dark Phase consists in kiting the Vile Swills properly. As the off-tank, this is your role. The Swills spawn under Maloriak and need to be taunted swiftly. Then, you must kite them around the room, following the walls. In 10-man difficulty, 1 off-tank is enough, while 2 are required in 25-man difficulty.

4.3. Nuke Phase

With the exception of a minor change in the nuke phase, the rest of the encounter remains largely the same.

A few seconds after spawning, Prime Subjects cast Fixate upon their current target. Therefore, it is important that you get aggro on your Prime Subject(s) right from the beginning, in order to prevent DPS players or healers to be fixated upon.

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