Shade of Aran Strategy Guide (Karazhan)

Tbc Shade Of Aran Strategy Guide (karazhan)

Thanks for checking out our Shade of Aran strategy guide for Karazhan in Burning Crusade Classic! The Shade is the sixth/seventh boss you can fight within the instance, but he is one of the many optional encounters. While he uses several abilities, the fight is fairly straightforward with basic understanding and execution. This, plus the permanent removal of trash between The Curator and Shade of Aran makes him worth a quick kill. We’ll cover how you can do that below!

Getting Started

Shade of Aran will be found in a room within the Guardian’s Library. Pull trash packs one at a time, saving the Mana Warps for last. Before killing them, use CC and run away from them to avoid heavy AoE damage. Clear through the library until you find the Shade in his room. He will likely stay where he stands, so you should prepare to position around him accordingly.

Role Summaries


  • Interrupt Arcane Missiles until Shade of Aran runs out of mana.
  • Interrupt all spells after he uses Polymorph and drinks.
  • Run away from Circular Blizzard and Magnetic Pull/Super Arcane Explosion.
  • Don’t move when he casts Flame Wreath.
  • Quickly kill water elementals when they spawn.
  • Don’t interrupt Shade of Aran when he’s drinking until the raid is at full health.


  • Be prepared for random raid members to take damage all fight.
  • Remove Chains of Ice.
  • Don’t stand near the boss to avoid getting silenced.
  • Run away from Circular Blizzard and Magnetic Pull/Super Arcane Explosion.
  • Don’t move when he casts Flame Wreath.
  • Anticipate heavy raid damage when water elementals appear.
  • Quickly top the raid off after Pyroblast.


  • Tanks don’t have a traditional role in this fight.
  • Focus on dealing damage and helping with interrupts.
  • Run away from Circular Blizzard and Magnetic Pull/Super Arcane Explosion.
  • Don’t move when he casts Flame Wreath.
  • Grab the water elementals if they don’t die quickly.

Fight Overview


While the fight with Shade of Aran is not particularly hard, there are several mechanics to understand first. The fight is technically a single phase long, but he uses several different abilities that vary throughout its duration. He will cast multiple normal spells all fight, paired with one of three stronger abilities every 30 seconds, and will use two more spells if health/mana conditions are satisfied. We’ll split each type of abilities into their own breakdown below to help digest the fight.

Regular Abilities

The Shade is a mage and casts several spells similar to the character class. This includes a Frostbolt, Fireball, Arcane Missiles, Chains of Ice, and a multi-target Counterspell. The boss cannot be tanked, which means he will use these spells on random raid targets rather than a designated tank. Frostbolt, Fireball, and Arcane Missiles are all interruptible, however, it is easier to only interrupt one ability for most of the fight.

Frostbolt does heavy frost damage and applies a slow. Fireball deals slightly more fire damage and is a quicker cast. Arcane Missiles is a channeled cast of five bolts that cumulatively deal massive damage to its target. Of these, Arcane Missiles is clearly the deadliest and should be prioritized for interrupts.

Chains of Ice will root a raid member for 10 seconds and is occasionally applied by his Frostbolt. It can be removed. His multi-target Counterspell hits all targets within 10 yards and will prevent casting any magic of the school interrupted for 10 seconds. Both are unpredictable and cannot be avoided. The boss will randomly use these abilities throughout the entire fight in addition to the spells below.

Cooldown Abilities

Shade of Aran also has three different abilities he uses on a roughly 30 second cooldown. He will only use one of the three abilities and will not repeat the same spell on consecutive casts. The three he will choose from include Circular Blizzard, Flame Wreath, and Magnetic Pull/ Super Arcane Explosion. These spells cannot be interrupted.

Circular Blizzard summons a moving blizzard that goes clockwise. It pulses moderate damage and applies a heavy slow. The center of the room is usually safe from this spell. Flame Wreath summons rings of fire around three members of the raid. They last for 20 seconds and deal significant damage to the entire raid if touched. If avoided, they are harmless.

Lastly, Magnetic Pull/Super Arcane Explosion is much more concerning. It pulls the entire raid to the middle of the room where the boss will be casting a massive explosion that will almost surely one-shot anyone within 20 yards. When you are pulled, you will also be slowed. All raiders have 10 seconds to run away from the boss or they will be killed.

While none of these spells are individually overwhelming, they can be devastating if they are forgotten or occur during a nasty multi-counterspell. Magnetic Pull/Super Arcane Explosion is easy to avoid, but guarantees death so it is the worst spell of the three. Flame Wreath is easily managed by having the entire raid stand still, but this isn’t always plausible. Circular Blizzard is no challenge at all as you can simply stand in the middle of the room.

Special Abilities

The boss will also use two final abilities when his health/mana reach certain percentages. With 40% health remaining, he will summon four water elementals that will spam Waterbolt for moderate damage. They last 90 seconds and will pack a punch if not quickly killed. You can CC them until they despawn or choose to kill them. Killing them is the safe and more reliable choice.

Should he reach 20% mana, he will use Polymorph on all raid members. He will also make himself some water and drink it to restore his mana. This will last for 10 seconds or until he is hit by a player. When he finishes drinking, he will use a massive Pyroblast on all raid members. Fortunately, his Polymorph will restore all health so this means everyone should be topped off to survive it.

One thing to keep in mind is that you should not interrupt the Shade too early while he is drinking. If the raid doesn’t have time to heal above roughly 7,500 health, a wipe is likely. Furthermore it is essential that you do not have a water elemental cast at the same time as a raid-wide Polymorph. This will almost surely cause a wipe.

To deal with this, you should only interrupt Arcane Missiles as mentioned earlier so the Shade exhausts his mana well before running out of health. After he casts Polymorph, feel free to interrupt all basic spells to mitigate raid damage. Both the elemental summon and Polymorph will only be cast once during the fight.

Finally, he will use a unique enrage ability after 12 minutes that summons several shadows that will AoE-wipe the raid. Most fights will end several minutes before then, whether that be because of failing a mechanic or killing him.


Putting all of this together, no mechanics are particularly hard, but the sheer number of them can be overwhelming. You should prioritize surviving his cooldown abilities cast every 30 seconds and interrupting Arcane Missiles. Remember not to move during Flame Wreath, stand in the center during Blizzard, and run to the edges of the room during Magnetic Pull/Super Arcane Explosion.

Feel free to use DPS cooldowns whenever they’re up to push the boss down as quickly as possible. It’s unlikely that your water elemental and poly phases line up for your first few weeks fighting the boss, but it’s possible if you go overboard on interrupts. Save any defensive cooldowns for these abilities and make sure healers are ready to top the raid off after Pyroblast. Quickly top the raid off and burn the boss down to unlock the teleport back to his room.


About the Author


If I'm not working or spending time with the family I'm probably gaming. Some of my favorite recent games I've played are Far Cry 5, World of Warcraft Classic, and 7 Days to Die.
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2 years ago

Having a warlock obviously makes this fight a great deal easier when they focus on banishing the elementals to take the pressure off the tanks and other DPS.

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