zul'jin strategy guide (zul'aman) tbc classic
  • Author: Pride
  • Date: May 4, 2022
  • Expansion: TBC Classic

Zul’jin, the Amani Warchief, is the final boss of the Zul’Aman raid. Players can challenge Zul’Jin after defeating Hex Lord Malacrass.

His fight has 5 different phases, making it one of the most complex fights in all of Zul’Aman. However, he will typically not be particularly more difficult than Malacrass, as the main challenge here will be that he deals tons and tons of damage for your healers to deal with, and has certain mechanics that will kill players who do not pay attention.

This guide will offer a detailed, step-by-step tutorial on how to finally bring Zul’jin’s reign of terror to an end once and for all.

Role Summaries

Phase 1 (Troll Form)

  • Don’t be close to the boss if you aren’t a tank or melee DPS

Phase 2 (Bear Form)

Phase 3 (Eagle Form)

  • Spread out as much as possible to avoid getting hit by Cyclones, your healers’ lives are already difficult in this phase
  • Shamans: Use Nature Resistance Totem if your healers aren’t very well geared

Phase 4 (Lynx Form)

Phase 5 (Dragonhawk Form)

Phase 1 (Troll Form)

  • Cleave down the adds, but don’t bother chasing after them, their HP is very low
  • Quickly move away when the boss uses Whirlwind

Phase 2 (Bear Form)

  • Don’t bother using damage cooldowns here if your group doesn’t have a Priest, as you’ll get stunned a lot

Phase 3 (Eagle Form)

  • You can afford to be a bit more greedy than casters here with going in to damage the boss, as you don’t take Energy Storm damage

Phase 4 (Lynx Form)

  • Nothing special for you for this phase

Phase 5 (Dragonhawk Form)

  • Save your damage cooldowns for this phase if your group is struggling to kill the boss before you die to Flame Whirl
  • Pillar of Fire can be hard to see as melee, pay close attention & stay away from other melee so you can quickly notice it & move away

Phase 1 (Troll Form)

  • It will primarily be your duty to kill the adds, so do so before attacking the boss

Phase 2 (Bear Form)

  • Don’t bother using damage cooldowns here if your group doesn’t have a Priest, as you’ll get stunned a lot

Phase 3 (Eagle Form)

Phase 4 (Lynx Form)

Phase 5 (Dragonhawk Form)

  • Save your damage cooldowns for this phase if your group is struggling to kill the boss before you die to Flame Whirl
  • Shadow Priests, Warlocks: Be careful of your self-damage during this phase

Phase 1 (Troll Form)

  • You have to heal the player targeted by Grievous Throw to full HP in order to remove its constant bleed effect
  • The tank won’t take a lot of damage during this phase, so focus on healing melee DPS
  • Heal the melee ASAP if they get hit by Whirlwind, else they may die to a surprise Grievous Throw

Phase 2 (Bear Form)

  • The tank will take a lot more damage in this phase, so you’ll have to keep an eye on their HP at all times
  • If your group doesn’t have a Priest, make sure everyone is topped off before Creeping Paralysis fades, they’ll take ~4.2k damage

Phase 3 (Eagle Form)

  • Energy Storm damages you every time you cast a spell, so use longer cast time spells rather than instant casts, they are more efficient
  • For instance, Druids should avoid using Lifebloom here, use Regrowth instead, or you’ll take a lot of damage

Phase 4 (Lynx Form)

  • The tank will take more damage in this phase, so you’ll have to heal them a good bit more when the boss Zul’jin isn’t using one of his abilities
  • The player targeted by Claw Rage will take 16,000 damage over 6 seconds, so be prepared to heal them like crazy
  • Heal players damaged by Lynx Rush ASAP, the boss charges repeatedly so they might die if not healed immediately

Phase 5 (Dragonhawk Form)

  • Flame Whirl increases your raid’s Fire damage taken by 50% so you take more and more damage, be ware
  • After a few stacks of Flame Whirl, your tank will be taking heavy damage from Flame Breath, so make sure you keep them topped off
  • Pillar of Fire can be hard to see for melee, so make sure they’re topped off and yell at them on voice chat if they’re taking damage

General

  • Zul’jin resets his threat after every phase transition, meaning at 80%, 60%, 40% and 20% HP
  • Save some rage / your powerful threat generation abilities when he’s about to transition, so you get threat on him instantly
  • You can use Taunt the moment he transforms to ensure he doesn’t attack a random player while you build threat

Phase 1 (Troll Form)

  • Keep Zul’jin away from ranged DPS & healers so they don’t have to deal with Whirlwind

Phase 2 (Bear Form)

  • Zul’jin deals 15% more damage during this phase & occasionally casts Overpower, so be prepared to use defensive cooldowns
  • Don’t bother saving rage when his HP is approaching 60%, as you can’t tank him in the next phase anyway

Phase 3 (Eagle Form)

  • You can’t tank Zul’jin in this phase, he spends the entire phase casting Energy Storm, just switch to DPS mode
  • You can tank him again in the next phase however, so save rage as his HP approaches 40%

Phase 4 (Lynx Form)

  • You need to follow Zul’jin as he charges around and deal threat to him, or you’ll fall behind

Phase 5 (Dragonhawk Form)

  • Don’t ever let Zul’jin face the raid, or he will kill players with Flame Breath
  • Pay extra attention to your feet and move away if you’re targeted by Pillar of Fire, as it can quickly kill you

Abilities

Phase 1 – Troll Form

Zul’jin starts the fight in his troll form, accompanied by 8 of his Amani’shi Savage minions.

Zul’jin throws his glaive at a random player in the raid, instantly dealing 4750 to 5250 Physical damage, reduced by armor. Additionally, applies a debuff to them which deals 2375 damage to them every 2 seconds. This debuff is only removed when that player is healed to full HP. This spell hurts big time, particularly if Zul’jin targets a clothie. Your healers will need to make it a priority to top the targeted player off ASAP. Note that the debuff can be removed by Divine Shield, Blessing of Protection and Ice Block, but you should really save those for Phases 4/5.

Cast every 15 to 30 seconds.

Zul’jin channels a whirlwind of steel. After 2 seconds of channeling, he will attack every player within 8 yards, dealing weapon damage plus 50 to them. This spell will deal heavy damage to non-tanks, having a decent chance to kill anyone not using plate or a shield, and as such melee DPS should quickly move out to avoid it.

Cast every 10 to 30 seconds.

Zul’jin is protected by 8 of these troll warriors. They are level 70 non-elite humanoids, dealing very little damage and only have 2794 HP.

They will occasionally cast Hamstring, dealing 20% weapon damage to their current target and reducing their movement speed by 60% for 10 seconds. However, a lot of the time they’ll simply die without doing anything, since their HP is so low.

Phase 2 – Bear Form (Shape of the Bear)

At 80% HP, Zul’jin will move to the center of his platform and transform into a Bear Avatar, increasing his physical damage done by 15%. He will no longer use any of his Troll Form abilities, instead gaining access to 2 new abilities: Creeping Paralysis and Overpower. After he transforms, he will reset all threat.

Zul’jin applies a debuff to every player in the raid, lasting 6 seconds. After those 6 seconds are over, every player will take 3923 to 4577 Nature damage and get stunned for 4 seconds.

This is a magic debuff and can thus be dispelled by any spell that dispels magic effect, such as Cleanse, Dispel Magic and most importantly, Mass Dispel. Groups with a Priest should all stack up behind the boss, allowing them to dispel everyone with just 1 Mass Dispel. If your raid does not have a Priest, you should instead prioritize on dispelling the main tank, then healers, then lastly DPS players.

Cast every 30 seconds.

Instantly deals weapon damage plus 125 to Zul’jin’s current target. Cannot be dodged, parried or blocked.

Zul’jin can only cast this ability after his target dodges an attack, though he won’t use it after every dodge, so avoidance gear is still effective.

Phase 3 – Eagle Form (Shape of the Eagle)

At 60% HP, Zul’jin will move to the center of his platform once again, this time transforming into an Eagle Avatar, losing the 15% physical damage bonus his Bear Form afforded him. He will no longer use any of his Bear Form abilities, instead gaining access to 2 new abilities: Energy Storm and Summon Cyclone. After he transforms, he will reset all threat.

This phase is unique because Zul’jin will not do any melee attacking whatsoever — he will simply stand still in the middle of the platform using his spells. Therefore, you don’t really need to tank him in this phase, just DPS and be careful of your health.

Zul’jin applies a debuff to every player in the raid. Every time any player casts a spell, they will get Zapped, causing them to take 1250 Nature damage. Zap has a 0.5 second cooldown. Healers are strongly incentivized to use their stronger, higher cast time heals, to avoid getting Zapped repeatedly.

The Energy Storm will last for the entirety of Phase 2, only ending when Phase 2 itself ends.

Zul’jin summons 4 cyclones to assault players. They are blue and will slowly move around the room, chasing after random players. Players who come in contact with the cyclones (~4 yard radius, slightly larger than it looks) will get hit by Cyclone, taking 950 to 1050 Nature damage and getting knocked back a fair distance.

Their damage isn’t particularly high, but coupled with your healers getting Zapped every time they heal you, it will add up. For stronger groups, they’ll mostly just be annoying.

The cyclones will last for the entirety of Phase 2, only ending when Phase 2 itself ends.

Phase 4 – Lynx Form (Shape of the Lynx)

At 40% HP, Zul’jin will move to the center of his platform once more, this time transforming into a Lynx Avatar, gaining 30% increased attack speed. He will no longer use any of his Eagle Form abilities, instead gaining access to 2 new abilities: Claw Rage and Lynx Rush. After he transforms, he will reset all threat.

Zul’jin charges a random player in the raid, immobilizing and unleashing a torrent of attacks on them. For the next 6 seconds, Zul’jin will attack them every 0.5 seconds, dealing 488 to 512 Physical damage to them (ignoring armor) and increases their Physical damage taken by 150 for 4 seconds, stacking up to 12 times, for a total of 1800 increased physical damage taken. Zul’jin will not use his normal auto attacks while using this ability.

This will translate into an average of 16,000 damage over the spell’s 6 second duration, which means that your healers will have to really, really try to keep the targeted player alive. There’s good news however: spells that grant immunity to physical damage, such as Divine Shield, Blessing of Protection and Ice Block will force Zul’jin to change target, which in return significantly lowers this ability’s damage, as the new target will not have any stacks. Other classes can use abilities like Evasion, Barkskin, Deterrence etc to have a better chance of surviving.

Cast every 15 to 30 seconds.

Zul’jin charges a random player in the raid, instantly dealing 2138 to 2362 Physical damage to them and applying a bleed debuff to them for 10 seconds, which causes them to take 1500 damage every 2 seconds, for 7500 damage-over-time or 9750 total damage on average.

Zul’jin will repeat this ability up to 8 more times. He will usually target a different player with every charge, but it’s possible for him to target the same players multiple times in a row, or multiple times in a chain of Lynx Rush casts.

Cast every 20 to 50 seconds.

Phase 5 – Dragonhawk Form (Shape of the Dragonhawk)

At 20% HP, Zul’jin will move to the center of his platform for the final time, transforming into a Dragonhawk Avatar, losing the 30% attack speed bonus his Lynx Form afforded him. He will no longer use any of his Lynx Form abilities, instead gaining access to 3 new abilities: Flame Breath, Flame Whirl and Pillar of Fire. After he transforms, he will reset all threat.

Zul’jin breathes, dealing 1913 to 2587 Fire damage to all players within 15 yards in a cone in front of him. Raid damage is already high during this phase, so you’ll want to make sure the main tank is the only player getting hit by this ability.

Cast every 8 to 20 seconds.

Zul’jin starts spinning in a fiery vortex, channeling this spell. After 2 seconds, he will instantly deal 919 to 1181 Fire damage to all players, and apply a debuff to them for 35 seconds, increasing their Fire damage taken by 50%. This debuff can stack up to 10 times, for a 500% increased Fire damage taken.

This spell functions as a “soft enrage” mechanic in this phase, as your healers will struggle to keep people up, with players getting 1-shot by Flame Whirl or Pillar of Fire, while your tank takes 6750 damage by each Flame Breath at just 4 stacks. Thus if your raid doesn’t have very high DPS and you find Flame Whirl stacking up a lot, you can consider using Fire Resistance buffs, like Fire Resistance Totem and Fire Resistance Aura.

Cast every 13 to 30 seconds.

Zul’jin summons a pillar of flame on top of a random player in the raid. The pillar looks very similar to a Priest’s Holy Fire spell and will persist for 27 seconds. The pillar will Burn players who come in contact with it, dealing 900 to 1100 Fire damage to all players within 4 yards, which is a slightly bigger range than the visual effect would have you think.

Zul’jin will summon a new pillar every 7 to 20 seconds, making it possible for up to 4 pillars to be up at once, but typically it’ll be 2-3.

Raid Composition & Preparation

This encounter is very heavy on the raid damage, with many mechanics that can kill players instantly. Thus it is highly recommended that everyone in the raid has a Master Healthstone ready to use in an emergency, specially during Zul’jin’s Eagle, Lynx and Dragonhawk forms.

Shamans of all specs will be invaluable for this fight. Their Heroism / Bloodlust will give groups with weaker DPS a significantly better chance of making it through the Lynx and Dragonhawk phases. More importantly, they have access to Fire Resistance Totem for the Dragonhawk phase and Nature Resistance Totem for the Bear and Lynx phases, which will make your healers’ lives a lot easier. Having 2 Shamans is ideal, but at least 1 is recommended.

In a similar vein, Paladins will be very useful during the Dragonhawk phase thanks to their Fire Resistance Aura. More than that, however, they can use Blessing of Protection on your healers if they get targeted by Claw Rage during the Lynx phase, which can prevent a wipe.

It will be incredibly useful to have at least 1 Priest here, thanks to their ability to use Mass Dispel against Zul’jin’s Creeping Paralysis during the Bear phase. It is possible to deal with it fine-ish with 2 Paladins using Cleanse on everyone, but Mass Dispel makes things significantly easier.

Zul’jin is an incredibly healing demanding fight… but only at times, since some phases are worse than others. If your group is incredibly powerful, it may be possible to do this fight with 1 healer, but 2 is recommended, or even 3 for average to weaker groups.

Most of the damage in this fight is raid damage, making healers with good raid healing (Restoration Shamans & Holy Priests, to a lesser extent Restoration Druids) a must – Holy Paladins will struggle to keep people up big time. 2 raid healers are strongly recommended.

It is strongly advised that your healers use +healing consumables for this fight, such as Elixir of Healing Power and Golden Fish Sticks. Moreover, the fight tends to be pretty long, so it’s highly recommended that they bring some Super Mana Potions and Dark Runes, they may very well need them.

There are no particular DPS requirements for this fight. Casters will have a bad time during the Eagle phase, as they have to keep moving and thus will struggle casting, while melee will have a bad time during the Troll and Dragonhawk phases due to all the AoE around the boss. Hunters are the only DPS class that stands out here, as they don’t particularly struggle during any phases, but they also have to deal with an annoyance: reviving their pet over and over, as it keeps dying to the high AoE damage of this fight.

You want this fight to be as short as possible, with the Dragonhawk phase in particular having a soft enrage timer. Thus it is highly recommended that your DPS players use appropriate DPS elixirs / flasks and buff food to make this fight as short as possible.

Only one tank is needed for this fight, and any class works fine. It is highly recommended that the tank uses DPS / threat consumables — Zul’jin will reset threat with every phase transition, so it will be very important that you can quickly grab threat before he kills an overly zealous DPS player.

The Pull

After you kill Malacrass and unlock the way to Zul’jin, you’ll be swarmed by Amani’shi Savages. That is the only trash you will encounter before the fight with Zul’jin — after all you are free to buff up and regenerate mana, as you prepare to take on the Amani Warchief himself.

zuljin 0

When your group is ready, have your tank initiate the fight by running in, while your Hunters use Misdirection on the tank and attack Zul’jin. This will give your tank initial threat on the adds and thus a little bit more rage if they’re a rage class.

The Fight

Zul’jin starts the fight in his Troll Form, accompanied by 8 of his Amani’shi Savage minions.

He will transform into 4 different spirits based on his remaining HP (Bear at 80%, Eagle at 60%, Lynx at 40% and Dragonhawk at 20%), with each phase having different abilities and threat being reset every time Zul’jin transitions to a new phase, immediately after his transformation animation finishes. It will be a good idea for your tank to save rage / their threat abilities like Mangle (Bear) and Judgement of Righteousness when Zul’jin’s HP is approaching a transition threshold, allowing them to instantly generate threat the moment he transforms and preventing threat-related accidents.

Phase 1 – Troll Form

At this point your tank should focus on moving Zul’jin to the correct position, while DPS players nuke down the Amani’shi Savages. If your tank is a Protection Paladin, they could pick up the adds with Consecration, but it’s no big deal even if they don’t, the adds do little damage and die very easily. Zul’jin will typically not use any abilities for the first 10 seconds, so you have enough time to position and kill the Amani’shi Savages.

zuljin 1 2

The idea in this phase is simple: the tank keeps Zul’jin away from the ranged DPS and healers, so only the only players who need to deal with Whirlwind are the melee DPS, who have to run away when he starts spinning (or stay in if they really trust your healers!). Besides Whirlwind, Zul’jin will occasionally use his other, scarier ability: Grievous Throw. Healers will have to heal the target to full HP to remove its constant damage-over-time debuff, which will be a lot easier if your melee aren’t getting hit by Whirlwind and thus they have no other damage to heal at this point.

This phase is a very simple tank and spank as Zul’jin’s abilities simply deal damage for your healers to heal off here and do nothing else. Your group could use Heroism / Bloodlust and personal DPS cooldowns in Phase 1, but that’s only recommended for stronger groups, as weaker groups may need cooldowns to push through the later, more difficult phases.

Phase 2 – Bear Form

When Zul’jin’s HP reaches 80%, he will run to the middle of his platform and transform into the Bear Avatar (Shape of the Bear). He also deals 15% increased physical damage in this form and has access to Overpower, which causes Zul’jin to occasionally attack again with an un-avoidable attack, after your main tank dodges, meaning your healers will have to pay a good deal more attention to the tank in this phase.

If your group doesn’t have a Priest, Phase 2 will have the same positions as Phase 1. If you do have a Priest, assume the following positions. This goal of this positioning is to counter Zul’jin’s Creeping Paralysis, a powerful ability which applies a magic debuff to your entire raid for 6 seconds. After those 6 seconds are over, your entire raid will take ~4250 Nature damage and be stunned for 4 seconds. By stacking up behind the boss, a Priest can dispel your entire raid with just 1 cast of Mass Dispel — otherwise your Paladins will have to go crazy spamming Cleanse on the raid, prioritizing the tank and healers.

zuljin 2 2

Phase 3 – Eagle Form

When Zul’jin’s HP reaches 60%, he will once again run to the middle of his platform and transform into the Eagle Avatar (Shape of the Eagle). Zul’jin cannot use melee attacks in this form, so unlike other phases, your DPS players and the tank don’t really need to do anything special during the transition. He also loses the 15% physical damage bonus of his Bear Form — not that it matters, as he doesn’t use melee attacks.

Your raid should spread out as much as possible for this phase, with 1 healer on each side so no players are out of healing range.

zuljin 3 2

Instead of melee attacking, Zul’jin will spend this entire phase casting Energy Storm, which applies a debuff to every player in the raid. When any player casts a spell, they will get Zapped, instantly taking 1250 Nature damage. Depending on how many casters you have in your group, this can range from manageable to very difficult to heal with. Your healers should switch to using long cast-time heals over instant spells during this phase, such as Regrowth instead of Lifebloom, as that will be a lot more efficient in the long run.

The reason you’re spreading out is to avoid Zul’jin’s Summon Cyclone, which summons 4 blue cyclones that pursue random players. Any player who touches the cyclone will get pushed back and take ~1000 Nature damage, which isn’t a lot, but you really don’t want to make your healers’ lives worse than it already is thanks to the Energy Storm. It can be incredibly beneficial if your Shamans use Nature Resistance Totem during this phase, as it’ll reduce the damage of both Energy Storm and the cyclones.

Groups that have a lot of casters may want to use Heroism / Bloodlust during this phase, as it allow them to get more casts in in-between moving away from Cyclones and make the phase shorter, thus reducing the annoyance and the load on your healers.

Phase 4 – Lynx Form

When Zul’jin’s HP reaches 40%, he will once again run to the middle of his platform and transform into the Lynx Avatar (Shape of the Lynx). Zul’jin attacks 30% faster in this form, meaning your tanks will need more focus on them.

For this phase, your raid will want to stack up next to the boss on one side, while melee DPS are behind the boss on the opposite side. Zul’jin’s abilities both cause him to charge a random player in this phase, so this positioning minimizes the amount of time your melee DPS will have to spend chasing after him, while stacking up allows your healers to more easily heal raid damage.

zuljin 4 2

The first of Zul’jin’s abilities, and the most lethal one, is Claw Rage. He charges a random player in the raid and unleashes a torrent of attacks on them, dealing damage every 0.5 second and increasing their Physical damage taken by 150, stacking up to 12 times. This spell deals ~16,000 damage to the target over its 6 second duration, so your healers will have to heal them like crazy. Thankfully, spells that grant immunity to physical damage, such as Divine Shield, Blessing of Protection and Ice Block will force Zul’jin to change target, which in return significantly lowers this ability’s damage, as the new target will not have any stacks. Other classes can use abilities like Evasion, Barkskin, Deterrence etc to have a better chance of surviving.

His 2nd ability is Lynx Rush, which is also fairly painful but not as scary. Zul’jin targets a random player, dealing ~2200 damage to them and applying a bleed effect which deals 7500 damage to them over 10 seconds. He will repeat this spell up to 8 times, so your healers will have their hands full healing the raid, but as most of the damage comes from the bleed, it’s only really scary of Zul’jin charges somebody who already had low HP.

Phase 4 – Lynx Form

When Zul’jin’s HP reaches 20%, he will run to the middle of his platform and transform one last time, this time into the Dragonhawk Avatar (Shape of the Dragonhawk).

Positioning for this phase will be similar to Phase 1, with one small difference: every player should aim to be at least ~5 yards away from other players, while staying close enough to each other (and healers) for AoE healing spells like Chain Heal to be effective, as there is high raid damage in this phase.

zuljin 5 2

Zul’jin has 3 abilities in this form, rather than the normal 2. The first you’ll likely see is Flame Breath, which does ~2250 Fire damage to every player in front of Zul’jin — which should only be the main tank if you’re positioned correctly. The second will likely be Pillar of Fire, which summons a pillar of fire (as its name implies) on top of a random player, with the pillar dealing ~1000 Fire damage to every player within 4 yards every second. This ability is extremely easy to avoid, but there’s always one DPS player that is too focused on dealing damage to notice their surroundings, so make sure to yell at them to move.

The final ability Zul’jin will use in this phase, and the reason why it’s one of the more lethal phases, is Flame Whirl, which deals ~1000 Fire damage to your entire raid and increases everyone’s Fire damage taken by 50% for 35 seconds, stacking up to 10 times. To put the numbers into perspective, after 4 stacks (~80 seconds into this phase) your main tank will be taking ~6750 Fire damage by each Flame Breath, Pillar of Fire will deal 3000 Fire damage per second thus killing just about anyone in 3 seconds, while Flame Whirl itself deals 30,000 Fire damage total damage to your raid for your healers to deal with.

For this reason, groups with weaker DPS will want to pop Heroism / Bloodlust and personal DPS cooldowns during this phase, to make sure you can kill Zul’jin before he burns you all to death. It can also be incredibly beneficial for your Shamans to use Fire Resistance Totem & Paladins to use Fire Resistance Aura, giving your healers a better chance of keeping everyone alive.

If you have made it this far without losing a lot of players though, there’s a decent chance you can pass the Flame Whirl and thus defeat Zul’jin, as this was the last of his tricks! Congratulations on a well-deserved victory, and here’s hoping you got some amazing loot!

 

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