- 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.
- Make sure you have received the Tears of Goddess from Tyrande before the fight starts
- Know your position & be ready to move to it when the fight starts
- Stay out of the Doomfire Strike flames at all costs!
- Stay more than 13 yards away from other players at all times — type /range 15 on DeadlyBossMods
- Do not hesitate to use your Master Healthstone if your HP ever drops below 50%
- Do whatever you can to stay alive — your death can cause a wipe here due to Soul Charge
- Priests, Mages, Warlocks: That goes double for you — your Soul Charge will likely wipe the raid
- Druids, Mages: Your raid will rely on you to decurse Grip of the Legion — make it your top priority
- If you have the Grip of the Legion DoT on you, move towards one of the marked decursers
- Use Tears of Goddess to break your fall after Air Burst a few moments before hitting the ground
- Shamans, Priests: Use Tremor Totem and Fear Ward before Fear is cast
- Paladins, Priests: Use Cleanse and Dispel Magic to dispel Fear off healers
- Use fear-break abilities to get out of Fear if things are about to get ugly, f.e. about to run into flames
- E.g.: Divine Shield, Ice Block, Berserker Rage, Will of the Forsaken, Medallion of the Alliance
- Stay far away from Doomfire Strike flames when Fear is coming up
- WHATEVER YOU DO, WATCH THE GROUND AROUND YOU, DON’T DIE TO FIRE
- 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
Raid Composition & Preparation
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.
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 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.