Kael’thas Sunstrider Strategy Guide (Tempest Keep: The Eye)

kaelthas sunstrider in the eye raid guide
  • Author: Pride
  • Date: November 15, 2021
  • Updated: November 18, 2021
  • Expansion: TBC Classic

After defeating all of his minions in Tempest Keep: The Eye, your raid will finally gain access to the big bad boss of the raid. Kael’thas Sunstrider, the lord of the blood elves himself, will be your final enemy in this raid.

A large amount of guilds have found themselves unable to progress beyond 8/10 bosses killed in phase 2, and it is easy to see why — Kael’thas is one tough elf. He has 6mil HP, though you will commonly need to deal about ~7-8mil to kill him due to his Shock Barrier, and your raid will have to deal about 15-17mil damage overall during this fight because of the adds.

As a result, this fight is very long and requires good strategies & precise execution, particularly during phase 3. Make sure that tactics and assignments are clearly explained to everyone before the pull, because a wipe caused by a simple mistake after 10 minutes of fighting can be very demoralizing.

This guide will offer your guild a step-by-step analysis of how to beat this arrogant elf and get his very precious loot.

Role Summaries

Phase 1

  • When fighting Thaladred, kite him towards the room’s entrance — see the Phase 1 section
  • Do not go within 30 yards of Capernian

Phase 2

  • Stack up with the raid on Kael’thas’ platform unless you have a special assignment
  • Engineers, this is your time to shine – use Super Sapper Charges on the weapons
  • When your designated weapon dies, loot it, equip it, and right click it if it has a use effect

Phase 3

  • Do not leave the bottom of the steps that lead to Kael’thas’ platform until all the adds are alive again
  • After the adds are resurrected, quickly move to your designated spot — see the Phase 3 section
  • Use Heroism / Bloodlust along with personal cooldowns in this phase
  • If Thaladred uses Gaze on you, do not kite him through the raid — kite him around them
  • Do not go within 30 yards of Capernian

Phase 4

  • Go to your designated spot ASAP
  • Move out of Flame Strike — indicated by a massive orange marker on the ground

Phase 5

  • Everyone, healers included, kill Phoenix Eggs off while Kael’thas is invulnerable at the start of phase 5
  • After Kael’thas uses Gravity Lapse, fly towards the ground but do not touch it
  • Spread out as much as possible — Nether Beam chains to nearby players
  • Do not fly close to the Nether Vapors (black clouds) as they will kill you
  • Use your Healthstone if you drop low, specially if you have the Nether Vapor debuff

Phase 1

  • You can only DPS Thaladred for ~5 seconds at a time, move out afterwards or you might die
  • You cannot DPS Capernian at all
  • Do not stand near the tank when fighting Telonicus — his Bombs hurt
  • Stop DPS on Telonicus if the raid leader calls for it

Phase 2

Phase 3

  • Your kill order will be Sanguinar > Telonicus
  • Do not stand near the tank when fighting Telonicus — his Bombs hurt
  • If Thaladred uses Gaze on you and is nearby, quickly move away from the melee stack
  • Rogues: Use Shiv to apply 5 stacks of Magic Disruption on Sanguinar and then Telonicus when Sanguinar is dead. Also apply it on Thaladred at the start of phase 3 if you are assigned to it

Phase 4

Phase 5

Phase 1

  • Make sure you are never close to Thaladred, as you might get Silenced or die
  • Hunters: Use your Misdirection on the warlock tanking Capernian as soon as Sanguinar dies
  • Warlock tanking Capernian: Be just outside your curse range (~31 yards) to avoid her Conflagration. Don’t move further than 35 yards (her Fireball range), you don’t want her to move. Spam Searing Pain for threat
  • Always be at your maximum range while DPSing Capernian
  • Stop DPS on Telonicus if the raid leader calls for it

Phase 2

Phase 3

  • Hunters: Using your Misdirection correctly during this phase will be vital
  • Your kill order will be Thaladred > Capernian > Sanguinar > Telonicus
  • Hunters: Use special attacks to apply Armor Disruption on Sanguinar right away if you are assigned to it
  • If Thaladred uses Gaze on you, try to kite him away from the melee stack, never through the raid
  • Shadow Priests: If you go in to DPS Capernian, make sure you are never near other players

Phase 4

Phase 5

Phase 1

Phase 2

  • Pay very close attention to which tank you are assigned to in this phase
  • If your assignment is the prot paladin tanking all the weapons, spam heal them like crazy
  • If your assignment is raid healing, top people off quickly, an unfortunate Multi-Shot can kill people
  • Loot and equip the Cosmic Infuser as soon as it dies — its buff is invaluable

Phase 3

Phase 4

  • If you are assigned to the Phoenix tank, stay focused, if they die your raid will likely wipe
  • Quickly top people off after their Mind Control gets dispelled
  • Try to keep up the Infernal Protection buff on as many people as possible

Phase 5

  • During Gravity Lapse, move as far away from the boss as possible to avoid chaining Nether Beam
  • You will have to heal like a madman during Gravity Lapse as this will be where most deaths happen
  • Pay extra attention to those blind raid members that get the Nether Vapor debuff

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

  • Quickly moved to your designated advisor before they are resurrected
  • Warriors, Paladins: Use the Phaseshift Bulwark‘s ability to counter Sanguinar’s Bellowing Roar
  • Telonicus tank: Stand as far away from the melee DPS as you can be without Telonicus moving with you
  • If Thaladred uses Gaze on you, do not move from your position — use a defensive cooldown if necessary

Phase 4

Phase 5

  • During Gravity Lapse, move as far away from the boss as possible to avoid chaining Nether Beam
  • Main Tank: If you get the Nether Vapor debuff, call it out on voice and use defensive cooldowns to survive



Thaladred’s first and main ability isn’t an ability per se but it’s the most defining feature of fighting him.

Thaladred resets everyone’s threat to 0. Then, he picks a random raid member and focuses his gaze on them, instantly generating 10k threat for that person and starts moving towards them, at a slightly reduced speed.

He will cast this ability every 5-10 seconds. 10k threat is not a very high amount, so a tank with good threat capabilities (like a feral druid) can grab him back and tank him, provided your DPS cooperate.

However, that can be very risky for melee players, who will likely die if they get targeted, so it’s still advisable that your melee only DPS him for about 5-6 seconds after a Gaze then move away from him.

Thaladred deals 4.3 to 5.6k physical damage to the target, knocking them back. The damage being physical means it is reduced by armor, so cloth users will get hit significantly harder than mail / plate users.

He will typically only use this ability on the target he is currently focusing his gaze on, but if that target is not within this ability’s range (30 yards) he might use it on a random raid member in range instead.

Cast every 15-20 seconds.

Silences all targets within 10 yards for 8 seconds. Cast roughly every 5-6 seconds.

Your caster DPS and healers should be nowhere near him so this ability should never affect them. Melee players however will be permanently silenced, which is bad news for retribution paladins and enhancement shamans.

Applies a DoT to the target, dealing 2250 damage every 3 seconds for 15 seconds, for 11k damage total.

This ability has a range of 5 yards and Thaladred will only use it on his main target, so unless you are having a tank grab threat off gazed players, you should never see this ability.

Teleports the target to Thaladred.

This ability is intended to prevent players from exploiting Thaladred’s Gaze mechanic by glitching his pathing. He will only use it if his target is at a location that Thaladred cannot path to, which should never happen.

However, it can occasionally bug and count players knocked mid-air by Psychic Blow as being unreachable, resulting in a teleport and a quick death for non-tanks. Be careful with your positioning.

Fears all targets within 35 yards for 4 seconds.

35 yards is just barely smaller than the range of most ranged DPS and healers, so they will never get feared if they stand at their maximum range. Melee players however will need a Tremor Totem to avoid being feared to a bad spot, and your tanks should have a Fear Ward to prevent the boss from moving.

Cast every ~30-40 seconds, so with good DPS your raid should not see this ability more than 2 or 3 times, effectively making Sanguinar a tank & spank fight.

Deals ~5.5-7.5k fire damage to the target. That might seem like a very high amount, but the ability itself has a 2 second cast time and she will typically pause for 1 second after casting it, resulting in ~3 second intervals between casts, which make it very manageable.

Fireball has a range of 35 yards, and you really do not want Capernian to move from her original spot at all, as that can be very dangerous because of Conflagration. So you want your ranged DPS tank to find a comfortable spot between 31-35 yards away from Capernian, and never leave that spot.

Applies a debuff to a random target within 30 yards, which disorients them for 10 seconds and deals 900 fire damage per second to them over the duration, for a total of 9k damage. The victim of this ability will also deal 900 fire damage per second to any allies within 5 yards of them.

This ability can be absolutely brutal, particularly if it targets a healer or tank. She should always be tanked in her original spot (see the Phase 1 and Phase 3 sections) and never move, so your raid is safe by staying just outside its maximum range.

Certain classes, like shadow priests, have cannot be 30 or more yards away. They will need to make sure they aren’t standing next to other players, and they will need to call for healing quickly if they get hit by it.

Deals 4-5k arcane damage to any target within 10 yards of Capernian, knocking them back and slowing their movement speed by 70% for 8 seconds. She will spam this ability if there are any players within 10 yards.

Melee players effectively cannot DPS Capernian because of this ability.

This ability is aptly named, as Telonicus simply throws a bomb at his target, dealing 6.5 to 8.5k fire damage to any player within 5 yards of his target zone.

Telonicus will spam this ability on his main target, with a 1.5 second cast time and a ~1 second pause between casts, resulting in ~3 second intervals between each Bomb.

This ability is similar to Void Reaver’s Arcane Orb — it targets the ground underneath a player rather than the player himself. Your melee players will need to stay well away from the tank currently tanking Telonicus, specially during phase 3, as it is possible for them to get feared into a bomb by Sanguinar’s Bellowing Roar and die.

Applies a debuff to a random raid member, lasting 60 seconds. While affected by this debuff, players will randomly get stunned for 4 seconds every 5-10 seconds, which is as annoying as it is deadly in unlucky situations.

During phase 3, your tanks will be able to effectively ignore this ability thanks to the Mental Protection Field aura granted by casters and feral druids wielding the Staff of Disentegration. But there is no good way to deal with it in phase 1, so if your tanks get afflicted by it, it is a good idea to delay killing Telonicus until it fades.

If Telonicus’ current target is not within melee range, he will instead shoot from range. If your tanks are careful with moving him to his designated spot, always staying in melee range, you will never see this ability.


Deals 3-4k frost damage to the staff’s current target, and slows the target down by 66% for 4 seconds.

The staff will stand still and spam this ability from range if it can. Your mages and shamans will have to interrupt it so it instead moves to your raid, where you can AoE it along with the other weapons.

Deals 1.3-1.6k frost damage to all players within 10 yards of the staff and roots them in place for 8 seconds.

Grants an aura to the caster, which provides immunity to stun, silence and interrupt effects to all raid members within 30 yards. This aura is crucial for dealing with the advisers and Kael’thas himself, so all your caster DPS and feral druids should be using this staff, and making sure your main tank has the aura.

Note that the aura is not applied automatically when you equip the staff. After looting and equipping it, you will need to right click the staff on your character’s equipment screen to activate the aura.

Heals an ally for 30-40k. 2.5 second cast time, cast every 5-10 seconds.

It doesn’t heal for a very large amount, but it is still good to have a tank or melee player interrupt it.

Deals 900-1.1k damage to all enemies within 15 yards, and heals the caster for ~5k. The damage portion is negligible, but you should have Mortal Strike up on it to mitigate the healing portion as much as possible.

Your healing spells grant a buff to their target, reducing their fire & shadow damage taken by 50% for 30 seconds.

The buff is incredible, and will make dealing with many parts of this fight (such as tanking Capernian’s Fireballs) significantly easier. For that reason, all of your healers should loot and equip the mace.

Grants the blades 2 additional attacks on their next swing.

As the daggers are only level 70, they barely hurt tanks at all, so you can mostly ignore this ability.

Your attacks have a chance to dispel mind control effects on the target, and apply a debuff to them which increases their magical damage taken by 5%, stacking up to 5 times for a total of 25% +magic damage taken.

This ability will be crucial for dispelling Kael’thas’ Mind Control effect and killing him & his advisors as fast as possible. For that reason, you should have as many players in your raid as possible use the daggers — rogues, warriors and hunters make great candidates.

Note that because of a quirk in how the proc is programmed, it will only activate on special attacks – not auto attacks. Everyone that uses the dagger should put it in their main hand and use cheap, spammable abilities to proc it, such as Hamstring and Wing Clip. Rogues can use Shiv if they equip it in their offhand instead.

You can use a macro like this in order to minimize the amount of damage you deal to mind controlled players. You can also spam it without changing target, allowing you to DPS Kael’thas at the same time.

/equip [noequipped: daggers] Infinity Blade
/cast [@focus, exists, harm] Hamstring

Deals ~500 damage every 3 seconds for 16 seconds. Unlike most Rend-type abilities however, this one stacks indefinitely, making the sword more dangerous over time. Fortunately, the sword is only level 70, so a tank with good avoidance stats will be able to dodge / parry most Rend casts, trivializing this ability.

Your attacks have a chance to grant you a buff which increases your movement speed by 50% and your attack speed by 20% for 30 seconds. The proc chance is relatively high, so this buff will have 100% uptime.

Your rogues should all be using the sword in their main hand, as they can Shiv with the dagger in their offhand. Your fury warriors can also use it in their main hand, but they will have to remember to switch to the dagger when freeing mind controlled people if you assign them to that task.

The proc is so strong that your tanks can use it for threat, particularly as your DPS players go nuclear with their fancy legendary weapons. Protection warriors might prefer using the dagger, though.

By using (right clicking it) the shield, you gain a buff that absorbs the next 100,000 damage taken and makes you immune to fear, slow and root effects for 4 seconds.

This ability will be crucial for surviving Kael’thas’ Pyroblast ability during phases 4 & 5. It is also very handy for countering Lord Sanguinar’s Bellowing Roar ability, particularly if you’re short on priests for Fear Ward.

For this reason, all of your tanks that use shields should equip it. Your main tank is the only one who needs it, strictly speaking, and even then it is not 100% necessary, but both effects can be very useful in a pinch.

The bow cannot auto-attack.

It will instead use this ability on its current target every ~4 sec, dealing roughly ~2k damage to mail users.

Deals 3.5-4.5k arcane damage to the target and up to 9 players within 8 yards. Used every 20-30 seconds.

The damage is by no means insignificant, so your ranged tank tanking the bow should take care to not be near other players, and have the bow facing away from the raid as much as possible.

Teleports 20 yards forward, removing slow and root effects in the process. Virtually identical to a mage‘s Blink.

Used every 15-20 seconds. Mostly inconsequential, but your ranged tank should be careful while repositioning.

By right clicking the bow after you have equipped it, you can create a bundle of special Nether Spike ammo, which boast a massive 63.5 DPS. Your hunters should stack up on ammo and equip it into their ammo slot ASAP.

Your special attacks have a chance to apply a debuff on the target which increases their physical damage taken by 5% for 30 seconds, stacking up to 5 times for a total of 25% +physical damage taken. It is essentially the physical equivalent of the dagger’s Magic Disruption ability, without the ability to dispel mind control.

25% is a very significant amount, so every single hunter should be using the bow. 1 hunter should be assigned to keeping the debuff up on Sanguinar and Telonicus up at all times, so they die faster.

Note that because of a quirk in how the proc is programmed, it will only activate on special attacks — not auto shots. Additionally, it has a significantly lower proc chance than the dagger’s effect. Your hunters should use a bunch of their special attacks (Steady Shot, Multi-Shot, etc) to get the debuff up ASAP.

The axe channels this ability for 6 seconds, attacking 3 times with a secondary Whirlwind effect at 2 second intervals. Cast every 15-20 seconds.

This ability hits for 2-3.5k on tanks, or 7-8k on cloth users, so you will want to have a dedicated tank keep it away from the raid until you have killed it — people will die very quickly if it is not moved.

Your attacks have a chance to grant you a buff which increases your movement speed by 50% and your attack speed by 20% for 30 seconds. The proc chance is relatively high, so this buff will have 100% uptime.

Your retribution paladins should equip the axe, as they can’t really use any other weapon effectively. Your arms warriors can also use it if you don’t need them dispelling mind controls with the dagger. Enhancement shamans could also use it as the attack speed bonus is amazing, but they might prefer dual wielding their regular weapons.

It is identical to the sword’s ability and you cannot have both buffs, so your warriors should pick one.

Kael’thas Sunstrider – Phase 4

Deals 18k fire damage to the target. 2 second cast time, interruptible.

Kael’thas will spam this ability as much as he can. It should always be interrupted, as 9k damage (18k reduced by 50% thanks to the mace’s Infernal Protection buff) will put a significant dent in your main tank’s health.

Deals 1.8k-2.2k arcane damage and disorients every player in the raid for 10 seconds. Cast every 15-30 seconds.

The damage of this ability is negligible and it can even be resisted, but the disorient portion will likely wipe your raid if it hits the main tank, as Kael’thas will ignore disoriented players and run straight for your DPS / healers.

For that reason, you will need to make sure a caster DPS or feral druid are always within 30 yards of your main tank, granting him the staff’s Mental Protection Field aura.

Mind controls 1-3 random players in the raid, compelling them to fight for Kael’thas for 30 seconds. While mind controlled, they deal 100% increased damage and healing. Cast every 15-25 seconds.

This ability can be dispelled by the dagger’s Magic Disruption ability, so it is imperative you understand how it works — check out its respective section for more info. Using the macro provided in that section to minimize damage dealt to mind controlled players can help prevent many accidental deaths.

Dispelling mind controls will always be your dagger users’ #1 priority, even over breaking the Shock Barrier.

Every 30-40 seconds, Kael’thas summons a Phoenix add at a random spot within 20 yards of himself. The phoenix will immediately cast Rebirth (spawn version), dealing 4-5k fire damage and knocking back to all players within 15 yards.

The phoenix will move towards the raid member with the highest threat, typically a healer. It uses Burn every 2 seconds, dealing ~5k fire damage to all players within ~8 yards, at the cost of 5% of its own health.

When its HP reaches 0, the phoenix casts Ember Blast, dealing 9-10k fire damage and knocking back any player within 8 yards. It then turns into a Phoenix Egg, which does not move and has no abilities. If players cannot destroy the egg within 15 seconds, the phoenix will cast Rebirth (respawn version), restoring its health to full, then dealing 4-5k fire damage and knocking back all players within 8 yards.

A ranged player or dedicated tank should keep the phoenixes away from the raid at all times. They deal a moderate amount of damage, but a protection paladin can usually tank a lot of them at once with some light kiting.

Kael’thas becomes invulnerable for 1 minute during the phase 4 -> 5 transition, making it a great time to kill off phoenixes. You can actually ignore all of them up to that point, eggs included, provided your tank and healers are good enough. In phase 5, it is a good idea to ignore them and focus your damage on Kael’thas instead.

Kael’thas places a large (~10 yards radius) orange marker on the ground next to a random player in the raid. About 3 seconds later, the marker will explode, dealing ~115k fire damage to all targets immediately, followed by a ground AoE that pulses for 3k fire damage every 1 second.

This ability is extremely similar to Shadow Fissure type abilities from Classic fights like Kel’thuzad or the Four Horsemen, in that they will instantly kill you but are extremely easy to avoid. So if you see the marker, prepare to yell at the one guy in your raid who has worse eyesight than your grandma and gets hit by AoE every time.

Kael’thas places a shield on himself for 10 seconds, absorbing 80,000 damage and offering immunity to interrupt effects while the shield holds. Immediately afterwards, he will begin spamming Pyroblast (4 second cast, 45k fire damage) on his current target, likely killing them and wiping your raid. Used every 50-70 seconds.

This ability will be the most important part of this phase. All of your DPS players (minus dagger users currently dispelling mind controls) should immediately switch to Kael’thas. Your healers can help DPS as well if your raid’s DPS is low.

Your main tank can survive the first Pyroblast by using the shield’s Arcane Barrier ability, but the second one will be lethal. Your raid needs to do 80k damage within ~7 seconds, or you are looking at a wipe.

Your rogues, warriors, shamans and mages will need to be ready to interrupt Pyroblast the moment the shield drops. Your tanks will need to make sure they aren’t using any shield-swapping macros that change to a different shield, as the shield will go on cooldown for 30 seconds when it is equipped, which will get them killed.

Kael’thas Sunstrider – Phase 5

When Kael’thas reaches 50% HP, phase 5 begins. He will no longer use Mind Control and Flame Strike during phase 5, gaining Gravity Lapse, Nether Beam and Nether Vapor instead.

Teleports every player to Kael’thas. A few moments later, they are all knocked high in the air and gain the ability to fly around for 1 minute, but take 150 arcane damage per second in return. The ability to fly around is useful, as touching the floor causes players to take damage and get launched back into the air.

Kael’thas will use Shock Barrier (without casting Pyroblast afterwards) every 5-8 seconds during Gravity Lapse. Additionally, he will spam Nether Beam and continuously summon Nether Vapors all over the arena. Phoenix adds will become invulnerable and incapable of acting or moving while players are flying.

Players should pay attention to the time remaining on their Gravity Lapse debuff, as they will lose the ability to fly and fall to the ground when it’s over. They should thus stay as close to the ground (without touching it) as possible, to minimize fall damage – it is pretty easy to die to fall damage here, as raid damage is high.

Deals 1.8k-2.2k arcane damage to a random player, chaining to any other players within ~10 yards. Only used during Gravity Lapse, where it gets used every 3-5 seconds.

The damage of this ability isn’t exceptionally high, but there’s a lot of raid damage going around during Gravity Lapse already so minimizing the amount of times Nether Beam chains is a good idea.

Your casters and tanks should stay well away from other players, and melee might want to stay out as well, as they are barely doing any damage to Kael’thas during this phase anyway due to Shock Barrier.

Kael’thas will continuously summon small black Nether Vapor clouds all over the arena. Players within 8 yards of these clouds will take 900-1.1k shadow damage every 2 seconds and have their maximum HP reduced by 10% per hit, up to 90% reduced HP at 9 stacks, leaving them with only 10% HP to work with.

It is imperative that every player avoids these vapors as the debuff will very quickly become lethal, with raid damage already being high during this phase. It is doubly important for your tanks, for obvious reasons.

Raid Composition & Preparation

Everyone should have a Healthstone. There are a lot of things that can kill you in this fight, particularly during phase 5, so the extra healing will definitely help.

Super Sapper Charge can help kill the weapons faster, which will help a lot, particularly if your AoE damage is low due to a lack of warlocks and mages. Your engineers should use them if possible.

This fight isn’t as healing intensive as, say, Al’ar, so your healers can rest easy. However, it is still recommended that you bring at least 5-6 healers, as having 1 healer assigned per task will help reduce the load on each of them individually. 7 healers might be ideal for guilds that are struggling with healing.

Having said that, this fight can be extremely long (kills for average guilds range between 13 and 18 minutes!) so it will be vital that your healers come prepared with mana potions, mana regen, buff food, etc. Phase 5 wipes due to healers running out of mana can be very demoralizing.

1 of your healers should be dedicated to healing the Capernian tank (likely a warlock) during phases 1 and 3. Their class / spec doesn’t matter much, but it is recommended that this healer is someone who you can trust to stay focused for the entire fight, as you will very likely wipe if the Capernian tank dies.

Your healing assignments will vary between phases:

Healing assignments aren’t really important during phase 1 as damage is pretty low.

If you’re using a prot paladin tank for AoE tanking 5 of the 7 weapons, you will want to assign a minimum of 3 healers (including a resto shaman and healing priest with the Inspiration talent) to them full-time, specially at the start of the phase when all of the weapons are alive & damaging them.

If you’re not AoE tanking the weapons, you will want to have 1-2 healers on each tank instead.

Regardless of your phase 2 tanking strategy, you should assign 1 full time healer for your Devastation (axe) tank and 1 full time healer for your Netherstrand Longbow (bow) tank, likely to be a hunter.

This is where all hell breaks loose, and good healing assignments will decide if you win or wipe.

As mentioned before, you should have a healer (any class / spec) assigned to your Capernian tank (likely a warlock) full-time. It helps if this is the same healer as the Netherstrand Longbow tank from phase 2, so they can remember that their job is to heal specific ranged DPS players.

1 healer (preferably a resto shaman or discipline priest) should be assigned to healing the Sanguinar tank full-time, while 2 different healers (holy paladins are the best fit for this job) is assigned to your Telonicus tank.

Your remaining healers should flex between healing the raid, and healing the Sanguinar / Telonicus tanks as necessary. Resto druids are particularly strong in this phase, as they can keep 3 stacks of Lifebloom on both of those tanks for the entire phase, significantly mitigating damage spikes.

Your holy paladins should be assigned to healing the main tank at all times during this phase.

If you are running multiple resto shamans in your raid, assign 1-2 of them to using Chain Heal on the main tank, so it chains to melee DPS, while at least 1 uses it on ranged players.

Holy priests should focus on raid healing. They need to quickly top the raid off after Arcane Disruption.

If you’re using a dedicated tank for the Phoenix adds, assign at least 1 healer to them. Again, resto druids are exceptional for tasks like that, thanks to rolling Lifebloom, but any class / spec will do.

All of your healers should focus on raid healing with their AoE spells during this phase, as this is where you will most likely be losing people. Place extra focus on people who have Nether Vapor stacks.

Your holy paladins should focus on healing the main tank when Gravity Lapse is about to end, specially if they have any Nether Vapor stacks, as they can quickly get killed by a surprise Fireball.

Interrupt is the only mechanic that you really need, strictly speaking, and it is fairly abundant. For that reason, you can go with just about any DPS composition – though melee are at a disadvantage here.

3-4 warlocks and 1-2 mages will make killing the weapons within the 2 minute time limit a lot easier, thanks to their stellar AoE. 3+ hunters will also be extremely useful, offering Misdirection which makes phase 3 a loot smoother, and access to the Netherstrand Longbow with its amazing debuff.

Warlocks make the best Capernian tanks in phases 1 and 3, while hunters make the best Netherstrand Longbow tanks in phase 2. Therefore it is highly recommended that you bring at least one of each class.

1 rogue or warrior will also be incredibly useful to bring. They are great at using the dagger, dispelling Mind Control and applying the Magic Disruption debuff, on top of their access to a short cooldown interrupt.

There are multiple soft DPS checks during this fight, with phases 2 and 3 being the harshest. For that reason, your DPS players should all be coming prepared with flasks, elixirs, weapon enchantments, potions, etc.

You will need a minimum of 2 tanks here, provided one is a protection paladin, otherwise 3 is recommended. The 3rd tank will not be tanking much, so a feral druid who can moonlight as cat DPS will be very useful here.

1 of your 2 tanks should be a warrior or paladin, as they have access to the Phaseshift Bulwark‘s Arcane Barrier. It will save their life if your raid’s DPS isn’t high enough to take down the Shock Barrier before the first Pyroblast.

A single protection paladin is highly recommended, as they make dealing with the weapons in phase 2 significantly easier. They are also superb at dealing with the Phoenix adds in phases 4 & 5, while offering a small bit of raid healing through Judgement of Light, which will be invaluable during Gravity Lapse.

If you’re running a protection warrior, they are best assigned to tanking Sanguinar as they can use Berserker Rage in order to avoid his Bellowing Roar. They also have the best magic damage mitigation, making them good at tanking Telonicus & Kael’thas. On the other hand, their relatively low threat output makes them poor Thaladred tanks, if you’re using that strategy — feral druids are significantly better at that job.

Tank damage is relatively low in this fight, so your tanks should use as many DPS consumables as they can get away with. It will greatly help with their threat output, which will generally be more useful.

The Pull

kaelthas in depth guide aggro range

Your raid can safely buff anywhere inside Kael’thas’ room, provided you do not go past the yellow line in the picture above.

Kael’thas will give a 10-15 second monologue before Thaladred engages you alone. Your ranged DPS players can get in position at max range from him during this time, while melee stand by until he uses Gaze for the first time.

Phase 1

After Thaladred has used his Gaze ability, he’ll start going after his targe — very slowly. Your melee DPS can go in and hit him for 5-6 seconds at this point, then go back out in anticipation of the next Gaze.

Your general aim while fighting Thaladred in phase 1 will be to take him towards the entrance of the room and have him die roughly at the spot show in the picture below, or anywhere on that side of the room, far from the other advisors.

kaelthas in depth guide phase 1 thaladred path

Your raid will have to be extra careful while he’s low on HP. He can switch Gaze targets unpredictably, and you really don’t want him to move back towards his original position. If he dies anywhere else, phase 3 will be significantly harder, so it will be very important that your raid gets a clean kill at the correct spot here.

After Thaladred is dead, you have about ~8 seconds of emoting from Kael’thas before Sanguinar enters the fray. He will cast Bellowing Roar right away, so make sure your main tank has a Fear Ward or Tremor Totem if they are not a warrior with access to Berserker Rage. It will also help if you have a hunter use Misdirection on the MT here, to prevent the boss from running loose or killing a DPS player while the tank repositions him to the spot shown below.

kaelthas in depth guide phase 1 sanguinar path

Besides Bellowing Roar, Sanguinar is a tank and spank so just keep damaging him until he’s dead.

Following another 8-10 seconds of Kael’thas emoting, Capernian will join the fight. This will be one of the deciding moments for how the rest of the encounter goes — a mistake here can cause things to snowball out of control big time.

Simply put, you want her to stay exactly where she starts off at. To achieve that, your DPS players should avoid attacking her for a few seconds, and instead just move around trying to find their max range. Do not use ANY spells that generate threat, like Power Word: Shield or healing spells, until the warlock tanking her has established some threat using Searing Pain.

Having a hunter use Misdirection on your warlock tank right as she becomes attackable can help here, but this should be the last time you use Misdirection for a while — you will need all of them in phase 3.

kaelthas in depth guide phase 1 capernian positioning

As shown in the picture above, your warlock tank will want to stand between 31 (Conflagration range) and 34 yards (Fireball range) away from Capernian. Warlock curses without the Grim Reach Affliction talent have exactly 30 yards range, so the correct range is easy to tell — just barely outside the range he can use curses at.

The rest of your DPS should be standing at their maximum range as much as possible. Shadow priests have a slightly smaller range with Mind Flay (24 yards), so it is a good idea to have a healer pay attention to them so they do not die if they get hit by Conflagration — there will not be any other raid damage going out at this point.

Beast Mastery hunters should know that Capernian will most likely kill their pets with Arcane Burst. They have a lot of time to resurrect them during phase 1, so they can send them in anyway, but that will be harder in later phases.

If you managed to kill Capernian where she stood and Thaladred is dead at the correct spot, things are looking pretty good for your raid. The toughest part of phase 1 is now over — only Telonicus is left — and you are set for later phases.

You will want to move Telonicus right next to Sanguinar, as shown in the picture below.

kaelthas in depth guide phase 1 telonicus path

This fight will also be mostly a tank and spank, similar to Sanguinar. He will spam Bombs on the tank targeting him, so melee will have to be careful while he’s being repositioned, as 2 bombs in a row will get them killed.

The only thing to consider while fighting Telonicus is that you do not want any of your phase 2 tanks to get the Remote Toy debuff. If any of them do, it will generally be a good idea to stop DPS until the debuff fades, so you go into phase 2 without any of your tanks randomly getting stunned, likely dying or losing threat as a result.

Phase 2

Kael’thas will emote for 10-15 seconds before phase 2 begins. While he’s emoting, your entire raid (minus the bow tank) will want to move to the platform he’s standing on, directly in front of him, as shown in the picture below.

kaelthas in depth guide phase 2

The staff spawns slightly further away from the other weapons, so you will want to have your mages and shamans use Counterspell and Earth Shock respectively to interrupt its casts first thing during phase 2, forcing it to move to the raid.

While the staff is moving towards the raid, your axe tank will want to quickly pick it up and move it away from your stack, as an early Whirlwind will very likely wipe you if it hits a bunch of cloth users.

When the staff reaches the raid, your casters can go to town with their AoE spells. Melee players will instead want to focus individual weapons down, with this being the recommended focus order:

  1. Staff of Disintegration
  2. Cosmic Infuser
  3. Infinity Blades
  4. Warp Slicer
  5. Phaseshift Bulwark
  6. Netherstrand Longbow
  7. Devastation

Note that the weapons have different HP values, so they will likely die at different timings, which is mostly fine. As each weapon dies, your players will want to loot then equip it as your raid leader advises.

A rogue or warrior in your raid will have to Kick / Pummel the Cosmic Infuser‘s Heal spell. Other than that, provided your casters don’t pull aggro off your protection paladin and die, the only thing you really have to look out for are that the axe and bow are at their correct positions & their tanks are getting healed.

Staff of Disintegration users will need to right click it in their equipment screen in order to activate its aura. Hunters should do the same with their Netherstrand Longbow in order to get its overpowered Nether Spike ammo.

Infinity Blades users (warriors, hunters, etc) should equip it in their main hand, while rogues equip it in the offhand instead.

Phase 3

2 minutes after phase 2 started or after the last weapon has died, Kael’thas will emote again, signifying the start of phase 3. All of the advisors will come back to life, fighting you all at once. If any weapons are still alive at this point, you will want to finish them off quickly, as the advisors will require your undivided attention — this phase is the toughest one.

The beginning of phase 3 is arguably the most important part of it so you’ll want everyone to focus at this point. Hunters can make it a lot easier with their Misdirection — it is advised that you use one for each tank (Sanguinar, Telonicus, and the warlock tanking Capernian) and everyone holds off on doing damage until they are in position.

kaelthas in depth guide phase 3

These will be your positions for phase 3.

NOTE: Do not move to these spots right away! Stay at just below the steps leading to Kael’thas’ platform until all of the adds are resurrected. If you move too far before the adds are resurrected, you will be out of range of the threat reset that happens, meaning the adds will ignore the tanks and go straight for you, very likely causing a wipe.

After everyone is at the correct position, you will want to use Heroism / Bloodlust along with each player’s personal DPS cooldowns, and nuke down Thaladred ASAP. Melee players are not good at dealing damage to him, nor Capernian for the matter, so they should damage Sanguinar instead.

Your want to kill the advisors in the following order:

  1. Thaladred (Ranged only)
  2. Capernian (Ranged only)
  3. Sanguinar (Melee start here)
  4. Telonicus

If you get targeted by Thaladred’s Gaze, do NOT run through the raid! You will get everyone Silenced or potentially killed. Instead, you want to run in a circular motion around the map, allowing ranged DPS players to DPS him without having to move.

The advisor most likely to cause wipes in this phase will be Capernian. Your warlock tank will need to do some serious threat on her, as she will be killed second. Your raid will have to be very careful not to enter her Conflagration range when moving away from Thaladred, as that is an almost guaranteed way to die and take others with you.

Note that the Staff of Disintegration‘s Mental Protection Field aura will make you immune to the disorient component of Conflagration, but not the damage. If you accidentally step too close and get hit by it, you need to call out that you need healing ASAP, else there is a decent chance that you die, particularly if you’re dealing splash damage to others around you.

Sanguinar and Telonicus will be pieces of cake after Thaladred and Capernian are down, specially if you have a feral druid providing the Mental Protection Field aura to your tanks and melee DPS players, protecting them from stuns and disorients.

Sanguinar’s Bellowing Roar can be partially mitigated by using Fear Ward, Tremor Totem, Berserker Rage and the Phaseshift Bulwark‘s Arcane Barrier, which grants immunity to fear for 4 seconds. None of these options really work great for protecting your melee DPS however, who run the risk of being feared into Telonicus’ Bombs. 1 Bomb will generally not kill them if they’re at full HP, but 2 might be lethal, so your healers will need to be alert.

A small trick that can help make Phase 3 a little bit easier is having 1-2 melee DPS players using Infinity Blade quickly spam a low-cost damage ability like Hamstring to apply 5 stacks of its Magic Disruption debuff on Thaladred. Most of the damage he’s going to take will be magical, and 25% extra damage will make a huge difference in kill speed.

In the same vein, having a hunter (ideally survival with the Expose Weakness talent) stay on Sanguinar in order to apply 5 stacks of the Netherstrand Longbow‘s Armor Disruption debuff will help your melee DPS kill him much faster. But unlike with Thaladred, the hunter needs to stay on Sanguinar full-time, as the bow’s proc chance is low and the debuff will fall off.

Phase 4

3 minutes after phase 3 started or after the last advisor has died, Kael’thas will emote one more time and then finally join the fight himself. For most guilds, it is extremely likely that 1 advisor (most likely Telonicus) will still be alive at this point, so your raid will want to quickly finish him off while your main tank and a few healers move over to deal with Kael’thas.

If you’ve gotten this far, there’s a good chance that you’re leaving with some fancy loot, as phases 4 & 5 are pretty easy compared to phase 3. Regardless, don’t lose focus – wipes are by no mean impossible and there’s still a LOT of time left.

This phase will start with Kael’thas casting Fireball on his high threat target, who is likely to be a healer or shadow priest with leftover threat from phase 3. A mage should be ready to use Counterspell, else you’re looking at one dead raid member.

You will want to position as follows:

kaelthas in depth guide phase 4

There are 3 main mechanics to look out for during this phase: Mind Control, Phoenix and Shock Barrier.

Mind Control will mind control (duh) 1 to 3 random raid members, increasing their damage and healing done by 100%. Your Infinity Blade users (hunters, rogues, warriors) need to free them by using their special attacks.

The Infinity Blade section of this guide has a macro you can use to make this process easier, as you do not need to switch targets in order to free them, and you deal minimal damage to them, minimizing deaths after they are free.

Phoenix is fairly easy to deal with. A dedicated tank (ideally a prot paladin) or a ranged player with a slow (hunter, elemental shaman) need to damage them so they are targeted, and then kite them away from your raid. The phoenixes deal damage to themselves, so you can just let them die on their own over time while you nuke Kael’thas.

When they’re about to die, your tank / kiter should move them back towards the raid — bring them close, but not too close, as they will explode on death. Your need to kill the Phoenix Eggs within 15 seconds, else they will come back to life and explode, dealing massive fire damage and knocking back players within ~8 yards.

If your raid’s DPS and healing are good enough, you can also afford to completely ignore the phoenixes during phase 4. Kael’thas becomes invulnerable for 50-60 seconds during the transition to phase 5, giving you ample time to go egg-busting while there’s nothing else to do — you will likely be able to kill 2 to 3 eggs in that time.

Shock Barrier is likely to be the biggest obstacle for groups with low total DPS. Your raid leader MUST be ready to call it out, and your raid needs to react to the call quickly, swapping to Kael’thas ASAP. If you’re too late with interrupting the first Pyroblast, your tank will need to react with his Phaseshift Bulwark‘s Arcane Barrier, but after that it is vital that you do not mess up with interrupting the 2nd one, or you will most likely wipe.

The biggest challenge of this phase comes when Shock Barrier and Mind Control are used at the same time, straining your raid’s focus, particularly with a Phoenix or Flame Strike added to the mix for some extra nastiness.

You will need to deal with these mechanics in the following order:

  1. Infinity Blade users free mind controlled players
  2. Break the Shock Barrier and interrupt Pyroblast
  3. Kill Phoenix Eggs if your raid is not ignoring them

Besides those 3 abilities, you’re only dealing with Arcane Disruption and Flame Strike, which are child’s play compared to what you’ve dealt with so far. Just make sure that you have a caster or feral druid giving your tank the staff’s Mental Protection Field aura at all times, and you’re most likely headed off to an easy-breezy phase 5.

Phase 5

After you get Kael’thas down to 50% HP, he will run back to the middle of his platform in panic and become untargetable for a good ~50-60 seconds while he powers up. The dude has watched too much Dragon Ball, to be frank.

Unlike Goku, Kael’thas is arguably weaker after “powering up”. He will no longer use Mind Control and Flame Strike, instead gaining access to Gravity Lapse, Nether Beam an Nether Vapor — not the greatest trade. With Mind Control out of the way, all but 1 of your Infinity Blade users can switch to different weapons, boosting your raid DPS.

Positioning for phase 5 will be the same the exact same as in phase 4. You will definitely want to ignore Phoenix adds and Phoenix Eggs in phase 5 if your raid DPS is good, focusing all of your damage on Kael’thas instead.

Roughly 10-15 seconds after phase 5 starts, Kael’thas will cast the first Gravity Lapse of the fight. He teleports every player to him, and then launches them into the air, giving them the ability to fly at the cost of taking 150 damage per second.

Your ranged DPS, tanks and healers need to quickly move away from the center of his platform. Melee DPS can stay in and damage him, but it will be very risky due to Nether Beam and the Nether Vapor clouds, while the reward is low due to Kael’thas absorbing a large part of all incoming damage thanks to repeated uses of Shock Barrier.

Regardless, everyone will want to slowly move towards the ground but avoid touching it, as that will lead to them taking damage and being launched up in the air again. Avoid the Nether Vapor clouds like they’re the plague, and make sure you’re close to the ground when Gravity Lapse ends to avoid dying to fall damage.

This part of the fight will largely depend on how many AoE healers like resto shamans and holy priests you have, and how good they are at raid healing under pressure. If you play carefully, everyone uses their Healthstones if they get low and you don’t end up losing your tank to Nether Vapor stacks, Gravity Lapse is completely manageable.

Kael’thas only casts Gravity Lapse roughly every 90 to 100 seconds, so with high enough DPS that might just be the only time you see Gravity Lapse before the arrogant prince of the elves finally goes down. Most guilds will likely see a 2nd one, but that’s it as far as big obstacles go — it is not uncommon for half the raid to die here and still get a kill.

Congratulations! With Kael’thas finally dead, your guild has fully cleared Tempest Keep: The Eye and earned a shot at his incredible loot pool. Only Lady Vashj inside the Serpentshrine Cavern stands between you and the Betrayer.


About the Author


Classic WoW is my jam, with a passion for PvP. Most know me as Baranor, the ret paladin guy, but I'm secretly a druid main, don't tell anyone. In my free time I play Switch games, particularly JRPGs. Some day I'll be making my own games and I humbly hope you play those too!
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2 years ago

Your phase 4 information leaves alot to be desired. Not gonna mention how much damage you need to do to that shield to break it and then have a melee interupt it. Or since his shock barrier shield lasts 10 seoncds you can survive both pyroblasts and just kick the shield as it comes off naturally.

Reply to  illidain
2 years ago

Hi there, illidain,

That’s a great addition! I’ve added the approximate damage required to break down the barrier.

I’m not sure what you mean when you say, “just kick the shield as it comes off naturally.”

2 years ago

Can you enchant the legendary weapons if you want to?

Reply to  Anerthina
2 years ago

Yep, sure can. We regularly use oils on the staff etc.

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