archimonde strategy guide (mount hyjal) tbc classic
  • Author: Pride
  • Date: January 29, 2022
  • Expansion: TBC Classic

Archimonde, the Defiler, is the fifth and final boss players will encounter in the Mount Hyjal raid. He is one of the most iconic characters from Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos, making for a very fitting final boss for such an iconic raid.

With roughly 5 million HP (effectively 4.5 million) and 6200 armor, he’s the “beefiest” boss in Mount Hyjal, though not by a large amount. And while he has a significant number of mechanics compared to previous bosses, all of which can be very lethal, he’s actually a deceptively simple boss, so do not be daunted by his apparent complexity.

This guide will offer a step-by-step analysis on how to take down Archimonde, banishing the Burning Legion… for now.

Role Summaries

  • Use your personal DPS cooldowns during Heroism / Bloodlust for maximum DPS
  • Spread out into 2 camps of melee DPS, one on each side of Archimonde (left / right)
  • Be at maximum melee range — you shouldn’t be within 13 yards of the other melee group or the tank
  • Doomfire Strike will inevitably spawn on top of you occasionally — quickly move out
  • Warriors: Use Intercept to safely counter Air Burst
  • Use your personal DPS cooldowns during Heroism / Bloodlust for maximum DPS
  • Stay around your group members for group-based heal spells, but always at least 13 yards away
  • Don’t lose focus and keep spamming your damage spells while fire is closing in — move away
  • Mages: Use Blink to safely counter Air Burst
  • Shadow Priests: Only use Shadow Word: Death when it’s 100% safe to do so and you have full HP

  • Do not panic — this fight is all about you staying focused and healing targets that need it the most
  • Focus on healing players afflicted by Grip of the Legion first, as they take the most DPS
  • Restoration Druids: Make sure you’ve put all your heal-over-time spells on the tank before Fear
  • Use your fear-break abilities to quickly heal the tank if they take a big hit during Fear
  • Use your cooldowns (Desperate Prayer, Nature’s Swiftness etc) to survive – you really cannot die here
  • You have ~5-10 seconds to move Archimonde to the correct position & face him correctly
  • You should never move the boss — things can get ugly
  • If you need to move out of Doomfire Strike, only move to the left or right — don’t make the boss move
  • Keep a close eye on the Fear timer at all times & be ready to use Berserker Rage to avoid it
  • If you take a big hit while your healers are Feared, quickly react with a defensive cooldown

Abilities

Arguably Archimonde’s most annoying ability. Archimonde will summon a patch of flames on a random spot next to him. The flames will then begin expanding in a random direction, usually towards a random player — but not really following any specific player — in a snake-like pattern. The flames persist for 27 seconds.

The flames have a roughly 6 yard radius. Players who touch them will take 2400 Fire damage every second they’re in contact with them. Additionally, they will be afflicted with the Doomfire debuff, which deals 2250 Fire damage every 3 seconds for 45 seconds, reduced by 150 per tick – so the 2nd tick does 2100 damage, the 3rd 1950, etc.

Having multiple players with this debuff at the same time will really strain your healers’ mana, so it’s vital that players quickly move away from them. Eventually, a large part of the area will be covered in flames, so dodging all of them will be difficult and inevitably some people will get hit. Ideally though it’s only your melee getting the debuff, as they can’t really do much to avoid it if the flames spawn on top of them.

Doomfire Strike is cast every 5 to 10 seconds, though it will feel more frequent than that as the flames propagate.

Archimonde curses a random player in the raid for 5 minutes. While cursed, they will take 2500 Shadow damage every 2 seconds — for a total of 375,000 Shadow damage over the curse’s full duration.

It goes without saying that this amount of damage is ridiculous and your raid’s Mages and Druids will all need to help decursing it as fast as possible, using Remove Lesser Curse and Remove Curse respectively. Removing this debuff is such a high priority that your entire raid will need to position such that a decurser is always nearby.

Cast every 5 to 10 seconds on average, though Archimonde may not cast it too soon after casting other spells, occasionally resulting in long periods of time (20+ seconds) where he doesn’t cast it at all.

Archimonde targets a random player in your raid. The target and all players within 13 yards of them will take 3000 Nature damage and be knocked extremely high into the air — to a height where they will 100% die upon landing.

While several classes have mechanics that can prevent death to fall damage once or twice, such as Blink, Intercept and Divine Shield, your main way of countering this ability will be through the Tears of the Goddess item that players can receive by speaking to Tyrande at the Night Elf camp before the fight begins.

Using it gives players the Elune’s Embrace buff, which slows their falling speed for 2 seconds, saving their lives. Note that you have to be careful with when you activate it — activating it near the top of your flight will result in death. You want to use it when you’re approaching the ground, though not so late that you risk dying to lag.

Cast every 10 to 15 seconds, though Archimonde will typically avoid casting this ability immediately after other abilities and particularly Fear, as that would be extremely unfair given how lethal it can be.

Archimonde howls, causing every player within 100 yards (so essentially everyone) to flee in fear for 8 seconds.

This ability makes every other ability that much more lethal: multiple players being feared into Doomfire Strike‘s flames and your decursers being unable to dispel Grip of the Legion on multiple players for 8 seconds for example, will very commonly result in player deaths. Thus it is imperative to counter this ability to the best of your ability.

Counters include Tremor Totem and Fear Ward. Ideally, your main tank is a Protection Warrior, as they can become immune to fear with Berserker Rage. In a pinch, your Paladins can use Divine Shield to bail your raid out of trouble by saving the tank. Mages can use Ice Block, and everyone else can use the PvP trinket (Medallion of the Alliance). Undead players have an extra fear break through their racial, Will of the Forsaken.

Additionally, this spell can be resisted via the Shadow resistance stat. Thus your Priests should make sure that the entire raid is buffed with Prayer of Shadow Protection for that extra chance to resist it. Key players that aren’t highly dependent on their gear, like your healers, can also consider using a few high-value pieces of Shadow resistance, such as the quest reward Medallion of Karabor and cost-efficient crafted gear like Night’s End.

As an added bonus, healers that resist the fear can dispel other healers — besides Tremor Totem and the other previously named counters, it can be dispelled by magic-dispelling abilities, like Cleanse and Dispel Magic.

Cast every 30-50 seconds, with a 1.5 second cast time, so your MT can react to every cast using Berserker Rage.

When a player dies, Archimonde will capture their soul and immediately cast a powerful spell on your entire raid, depending on the class of the fallen player, with 3 different possible spells.

This ability is the reason why individual mistakes can easily cause wipes. Having a player die during a bad time will trigger Soul Charge, potentially killing more players and causing Soul Charge to cascade, likely wiping your raid — particularly if the slain player was a Priest, Mage or Warlock, wherein Soul Charge will silence your entire raid.

Instantly deals 4500 Fire damage and silences your entire raid for 6 seconds.

By far the deadliest of the 3 Soul Charge effects. Your Priests, Mages and Warlocks will need to be REALLY careful so as to avoid dying in this fight, as their death could very well lead to a wipe.

Instantly deals 4500 Physical damage and applies a debuff to your entire raid, increasing your damage taken by 50% for 8 seconds.

This is the second scariest out of all the Soul Charge effects, but it is significantly weaker than its Purple brother. Comically, it counts as a normal physical attack on your entire raid, so it can miss and be dodged, while its damage is reduced by armor, so many of your players have a good chance of avoiding it altogether.

Your tank should use a defensive cooldown in order to counter this debuff. Players who are afflicted by either of the damage-over-time effects of this fight — Doomfire Strike or Grip of the Legion — should be prepared to use a Master Healthstone in order to survive and avoid continuing the Soul Charge snowball.

Instantly drains 2250 mana from everyone in your raid and applies a damage-over-time effect to them for 8 seconds, dealing 1125 Nature damage every 2 seconds, for a total of 4500 Nature damage.

This is by far the tamest of the 3 Soul Charge abilities, and typically not very scary. The damage is modest but competent healers can outheal it, and while the mana drain component hurts, it likely won’t be the final nail on your raid’s coffin unless you were already going to wipe anyway.

Deals 20,000 Shadow damage to Archimonde’s current target.

There are 3 variations of this ability, though only this one is relevant. He casts it only when his current target is not in melee range. If your tank dies, another tank needs to pick him up ASAP, else your ranged DPS players are toast.

Deals 100,000 Shadow damage to every player in the raid instance, instantly killing them.

Archimonde will cast this ability if he is above 10% health after 10 minutes into the fight (essentially a hard enrage), or if he ever gets close enough to Nordrassil, the World Tree, so your raid has to avoid that situation at all costs — unless your raid leader has called a wipe, in which case, it speeds things up.

It is currently unknown why Archimonde doesn’t just spam this ability, seeing how blatantly overpowered it is.

Raid Composition & Preparation

This fight is virtually impossible to beat without at least one player who can remove curses, aka Mages and Druids, as the damage of Grip of the Legion will overwhelm you. Realistically you need at least 3-4 decursers.

Everyone in your raid NEEDS to talk to Tyrande at the Night Elf camp just before the World Tree in order to receive the Tears of the Goddess, which will save their lives when they get targeted by Air Burst. Additionally, absolutely everyone should have multiple Master Healthstones – they will save your life and thus your raid.

Your Priests should make sure everyone in the raid has the Prayer of Shadow Protection buff on them, giving them a chance to resist Fear. It will increase your DPS players’ uptime, while also preventing cascading deaths.

It is strongly recommended that you have at least 3-4 Priests and Shamans combined. Their Fear Ward and Tremor Totem abilities respectively make dealing with Fear significantly easier — they’re virtually a must.

This fight can range from fairly relaxed to extremely difficult from a healing perspective, depending on how good your fellow raiders are at avoiding the Doomfire Strike flames, how quick your decursers are with dispelling Grip of the Legion, and how good everyone is at quickly reacting to things happening to them and staying alive.

Good guilds with aware and responsible players could do this fight with as few as 4 healers. For less experienced raid teams, at least 5 is recommended, with 6 being the golden number. Having more healers won’t really help much, as just 1 player dying can cause a wipe, making any amount of extra healers meaningless.

You’ll want 2-3 healers assigned to your healing main tank at all times, similar to most bosses. However, unlike many other bosses, you’ll want a healthy balance of different classes assigned to your main tank, as different classes excel at different tasks which they will have to do during this fight on top of main tank healing.

The rest of your healers should be assigned to raid healing. Holy Priests with their incredibly strong Circle of Healing ability will be absolute MVPs here, but in general you will want to assign your best players for this task, as it is by far the most difficult and important part of the fight. A single player dying can trigger a chain of events that eventually leads to a wipe, so you can’t have players that fall asleep on the wheel assigned to this task.

The priority for your raid healers will always be to heal low health players before topping everyone off, and prioritizing their healing on players targeted by Grip of the Legion, as it is Archimonde’s highest DPS ability.

Your Holy Paladins, Holy Priests and Restoration Shamans will need to prioritize dispelling Fear off other players, starting with other healers. They should be ready to break out of fear using their PvP trinket (Medallion of the Alliance) or Divine Shield and start immediately healing / dispelling if things are going downhill.

+healing bonuses are the name of the game for this fight, as +healing can save lives. Your healers should all be using +healing consumables, such as Elixir of Healing Power and Golden Fish Sticks.

There are no specific DPS class / spec requirements. However, melee DPS are once again at a disadvantage, as they will need to constantly deal with 2 of Archimonde’s worst abilities, Doomfire Strike and Air Burst.

Warlocks will once again shine. Their Master Healthstones can save lives, and consequently the raid. Furthermore, Master Soulstone on key players, such as your strongest healers, can help prevent total catastrophes.

Archimonde will enrage after 10 minutes, which is a very generous timer — most kills take 3 to 5 minutes. However, the longer this fight goes on for, the higher the chances of someone making a mistake and causing a wipe through cascading Soul Charge deaths. Thus your DPS players should be using their strongest consumables and anti-demon items, such as Elixir of Demonslaying and Mark of the Champion.

Only one tank is needed for this fight. While it would be an overstatement to say that a Protection Warrior is mandatory for the fight, they are leagues above the other tanks at main tanking here, thanks to their ability to consistently counter Fear using to their Berserker Rage, commonly known as stance dancing.

Their powerful survival cooldowns will also be invaluable, at least while your guild is progressing, as they can help salvage unfortunate situations, such as Soul Charge silencing the healers.

Archimonde doesn’t hit exceptionally hard, so your main tank should be using DPS / threat consumables & gear.

The Pull

Before the fight, make sure that everyone in your raid has spoken to Tyrande at the Night Elf camp for the Tears of the Goddess. You don’t want someone going “whoops forgot tears”, dying to Air Burst and causing a wipe at 30% HP.

Archimonde is the first boss in Mount Hyjal that doesn’t come to you — you pull him conventionally by attacking him by Nodrassil, the World Tree. It is generally preferable to engage him from his left side, as it gives you more room.

archimonde 1

There is no trash in this section, so once everyone has understood their position and you’re done buffing, have your Hunters pull using Misdirection on the main tank, who should be ready to go in, do threat and reposition as needed.

There are many ways to position for Archimonde, but this guide will be covering the spreading out in a circle positioning, as shown in the picture below. It is among the easiest and most effective ways to handle his multiple abilities.

Essentially, your raid will want to spread out in a circle around Archimonde, keeping at least 13 yards distance from each other, to avoid having multiple people get hit by the same Air Burst. You don’t need to be very far from Archimonde, as he doesn’t have any cleave-like abilities — just far enough that you can comfortably avoid the flames of Doomfire Strike, while close enough to get healed or dispelled by other players on the opposite side if needed.

Your healers should ideally be spread out as much as possible from each other to ensure they don’t all need to move at once when dodging flames. The same applies to your decursers — you’ll want to have them at a maximum distance from one another so they cover as much ground as possible, specially if you only have a few of them. It can be very helpful to mark your decursers with raid marks, making it easier for other players to quickly spot them if they need a decurse.

Your groups should stick together as much as possible, as that maximizes the healing of group-based healing spells, like Circle of Healing and Chain Heal, while still following the 13 yard rule. Melee DPS will need to spread out into 2 camps, each behind one of Archimonde’s sides, at their maximum melee range. This will help reduce instances of Doomfire Strike and Air Burst healing multiple melee DPS players at once — though it will happen a lot regardless.

Note that these positions are just a guideline. This fight is extremely chaotic, with large parts of the arena being disabled due to Doomfire Strike flames. Positioning will therefore necessarily be very dynamic, constantly changing depending on what’s happening – these are just some general positions for your players to stand at relative to one another.

archimonde 2 2

The Fight

Archimonde defiles any sense of sportsmanship — he can begin casting his abilities as soon as ~5 seconds into the fight, though occasionally you might go 10 seconds before he casts his first ability.

Your raid should waste no time with using Heroism / Bloodlust along with personal DPS cooldowns — do it in the first 5 seconds. You will get overwhelmed with a multitude of mechanics later on, so the sooner the better.

The first ability he uses will typically be Grip of the Legion, though sometimes he may choose to use Doomfire Strike instead. Nothing else is happening at this point of the fight, so dispelling it will be easy. Future casts however will typically coincide with other spells, so your decursers will need to constantly pay attention to everyone’s debuffs.

If it was not the first ability Archimonde used, you’re typically going to be seeing Doomfire Strike second, typically within the first 10 to 15 seconds of the fight. The first one is a good time for your players to get used to its size and movement speed, as there’s a lot of room for them to maneuver around to begin with.

Eventually there can be as many as 3 to 4 different patches of flame active at the same time, which will greatly impede your movement. Therefore good positioning, thinking ahead to the next Doomfire Strike, will be crucial to not get overwhelmed by this spell further down the line.

Note that sometimes the flames will be on top of or extremely close to your main tank. They will need to move in that case, but they must always move sideways — meaning left or right — and never in other directions, as that would result in Archimonde moving as well, and things can get very ugly, very quickly, if he moves for whatever reason.

The third spell Archimonde casts will nearly always be Air Burst, at roughly the 15 second mark. Just like with the other spells so far, this first one is essentially just a practice round. If your raid members are good at keeping more than 13 yards distance as instructed (this is made easier by typing /range 15 with DeadlyBossMods installed) then it should only ever hit one player at a time, unless it happens to target a melee player, in which case half your melee will go flying.

Many classes can “cheat” the landing by using mobility or immunity spells, like Warriors & Intercept. Everyone else will need to use the Tears of the Goddess to break the fall. Remember that the Elune’s Embrace slow fall buff only lasts for 2 seconds, so you need to activate it a few moments before hitting the ground — too early or too late will mean death.

The final regular ability that you’ll see is Fear, about 30 to 45 seconds into the fight. This ability will the primary cause of wipes, as it can truly devastate your raid if cast during a bad time. Maybe multiple players get feared into Doomfire Strike, maybe your decursers get feared before they can dispel Grip of the Legion, your tank may take several big hits while your healers are feared, etc. This is the ability you’ll want to watch out for the most, and take every precaution.

Your Restoration Druids should put all of their heal-over-time effects on the MT, while your Shamans use Tremor Totem in anticipation. Your Priests should cast Fear Ward on the most important players in your raid, specially those with the ability to dispel Fear off other players — namely Priests & Paladins with Dispel Magic & Cleanse respectively.

Everyone needs to be ready to react to the worst case scenario. If you’re about to get feared into a Doomfire Strike, use fear-break effects: Berserker Rage, Divine Shield, Ice Block, Will of the Forsaken and the PvP trinket (Medallion of the Alliance). If you do end up getting feared into the flames, or if your HP drops below 50% while you’re taking Grip of the Legion damage, use your Master Healthstone to give your healers some time to top you off.

Your main tank in specific must always be ready to react to Fear. Assuming they’re a Protection Warrior, they should always keep an eye out on its timer and be ready to use Berserker Rage as Archimonde begins casting it. If your healers all get feared at once and the tank takes a big hit, they need to quickly react with defensive cooldowns.

The bad news is that this is where things start going horribly wrong for many groups, as it’s very easy to lose one or multiple people due to bad Fear pathing, inadequate positioning, etc. This will in turn be very likely to begin a snowball of deaths due to the Soul Charge mechanic, particularly if the person that died was a Priest, Mage or Warlock.

The good news is that if you manage to survive without losing any players then you have a high chance of winning. The rest of the fight is more of the same, with Archimonde casting his abilities almost in order due to how their cooldowns align: Grip of the Legion, then Doomfire Strike, and then Air Burst, repeated 3 times, followed by Fear.

Sometimes you’ll get easy flame pathing, sometimes it’ll be rough. Sometimes you’ll get key players blown into the air at bad times, sometimes it won’t matter much. Persevere, and you’re likely going to get Archimonde to activate phase 2!

Phase 2… Sorta

Upon reaching 10%, Archimonde will get overwhelmed by a swarm of Wisps, just like in Warcraft 3. In desperation, he will start casting Finger of Death repeatedly on your raid and the Wisps, but to no avail: Elune herself is protecting you by granting you a buff, Protection of Elune, which makes you invulnerable to all damage for 1 minute.

At this point you have basically won, as Archimonde will automatically die to the Wisps after the 60 seconds of Elune’s protection are over, though you’ll most likely have killed him by that point. Congratulations of ridding the world of one of the greatest evils to have ever walked on Azeroth! I’m certain you did it to save us all, rather than for the epic loot!

With this, the only challenge that awaits you is the Black Temple, and Illidan Stormrage himself in its deepest depths.

 

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