Archimonde Encounter Mechanics

The Archimonde encounter is a complex, multi-phase fight with high movement and raid awareness requirements. The fight has heavy target-switching demands, as players must prioritize adds over Archimonde to reduce raid damage.

Players are joined in the battle by Exarch Yrel, Grommash, and Archmage Khadgar, but only Yrel assists in a meaningful manner throughout the fight.

Archimonde enters a new phase each time he loses 30% health, and gains an additional ability halfway between each phase change. The final phase begins when Archimonde reaches 40% health, and his last new ability is gained at 25% health.

  • Archimonde begins the fight in Phase 1, and will gain the Desecrateability at 85% health
  • Archimonde enters Phase 2 at 70% health, and will gain the ability to summon Felborne Overfiends andDreadstalkers at 55% health
  • Archimonde enters Phase 3 at 40% health, and will gain the Rain of Chaos ability at 25% health
During the final phase, Archimonde will occasionally send a small number of players to the Twisting Nether, where they must subdue a powerful demon to return to Draenor.

Note that this boss was only tested once during PTR testing, and some of the dungeon journal descriptions of his abilities have changed since the test. This guide will present an estimate of Archimonde's abilities and the strategy to counter them using the best information available, but the encounter may be significantly different on live servers. The guide will be updated to more accurately reflect Archimonde's mechanics when more information becomes available.

Phase 1: The Defiler

Archimonde begins the encounter with four abilities, but the key mechanic during this phase is the Doomfire and Allure of Flames interaction.

Archimonde will summon a Doomfire Spirit every 45-50 seconds during this phase.

  • Doomfire Spirits will target random ranged players with Doomfire Fixate
  • Doomfire will spread from the Doomfire Spirit toward the targeted player
  • Doomfire will persist for the remainder of the encounter
  • After 10 seconds, Doomfire Spirit will choose a new target for Doomfire Fixate
  • If a player passes through Doomfire, they will gain stacks of the Doomfire debuff, taking light to moderate Fire damage every second for 8 seconds

The players targeted by Doomfire Fixate should kite the Doomfire away from other members of the raid, to avoid inflicting Doomfire damage.
Doomfire Spirits will continue to cast Doomfire Fixate and create more Doomfire until they are destroyed. Because Doomfire persists for the rest of the fight, players should prioritize killing Doomfire Spirits above all other targets.

30 seconds into the fight, and about every minute thereafter, Archimonde will cast Allure of Flames.

  • Allure of Flames chooses a few players at random and marks their location
  • At the end of the cast, all of the existing Doomfire will be moved to the indicated areas of the room
  • Players should loosely stack to bait the Allure of Flames into a particularly convenient location like the edge of the encounter area
  • As soon as the target indicators appear, players should move away quickly to avoid taking Doomfire damage
Once per minute, Archimonde will target a random player with Shadowfel Burst, flinging them and all players with 8 yards into the air when the Shadowfel Burst debuff fades.
  • When the affected player(s) land, they will take extremely heavy damage, split amongst all nearby players
  • This damage will likely be fatal if it is not split, unless the affected player has an immunity
  • Effects such as Levitate and Slow Fall offer no protection against the Shadowfel Burst damage
  • The raid should spread out several seconds before Shadowfel Burst will be cast, and then collapse under the targeted player's location to split the damage
  • Healers may wish to use weak raid cooldowns to heal through or mitigate the impact damage
  • Note that melee DPS are valid targets for this ability, so even the melee must spread out
Approximately every 40-50 seconds, Archimonde will cast Death Brand on the current tank.
  • Death Brand deals extremely heavy Shadow damage when applied, so the tank should use a strong cooldown as the cast bar for Death Brand appears
  • This ability also summons a Hellfire Deathcaller add that must be tanked
  • Hellfire Deathcaller will attack the current tank and several other players at random with Shadow Blast
  • This deals moderate Shadow damage, but leaves a debuff that increases subsequent Shadow damage taken for 30 seconds
  • While non-tanks are unlikely to take more than one hit of Shadow Blast, the tank is always targeted and Shadow Blast will stack, causing very heavy damage
  • Tanks should swap the Hellfire Deathcaller at 3 stacks of Shadow Blast
  • The tank with both Death Brand's DoT and several stacks of Shadow Blast will be taking heavy damage and will require healer attention
Due to the heavy tank damage the Hellfire Deathcallers inflict, they should be the raid's second priority, just behind Doomfire Spirits.

Desecrate

When Archimonde reaches 85% health, he gains Desecrate, and will begin to summon spires of corruption from the ground. Note that this is in addition to the Phase 1 abilities listed above.
  • These spires will deal heavy Desecration damage to nearby players as they emerge
  • They also inflict moderate Shadow damage to all raid members every 3 seconds
  • This Desecration damage will increase by 25% for each additional Desecrate spire that exists, so as the phase continues, this damage will ramp up
To aid players, Exarch Yrel will occasionally cast Light of the Naaru.
  • This will shatter an existing Desecrate spire and form orbs of light nearby
  • These orbs of light will buff players within 15 yards with Light of the Naaru for 25 seconds
  • Players buffed by Light of the Naaru are immune to Shadow damage and have increased movement speed
  • This is an especially strong buff for the tanks, due to the Hellfire Deathcaller's Shadow Blast
  • Players should move to the orbs of light to gain the Light of the Naaru buff as often as possible

In order to trigger the Light of the Naaru buff, a player must run through the circle of light beneath the orb. This will "pop" the orb, buffing all players within 15 yards of the triggering player. The raid should try to trigger these orbs in a controlled fashion.

Players should avoid standing near Desecrate pillars/ Light of the Naaru spheres when Allure of Flames occurs, so that players do not have to run through the Doomfire to obtain the Light of the Naaru buff.

Phase 2: Hand of the Legion

When Archimonde reaches 70% health, he will enter Phase 2, and will lose access to the Doomfire, Shadowfel Burst, and Desecrate mechanics. Exarch Yrel will cast Purifying Light, completely destroying the existing Desecrate spires.

Archimonde retains Allure of Flames and Death Brand from Phase 1, and adds one new ability:

Shackled Torment will periodically target random raid members, ripping their souls from their bodies and tethering the player to their own Shackled Soul.

  • Players affected by Shackled Torment will take increasing periodic damage
  • In order to break free of their Shackled Soul, players must run at least 30 yards away from their soul
  • When Shackled Torment fades, the player's Shackled Soul will detonate, dealing Unleashed Torment damage to all players in the raid
  • Players must not all break their Shackled Torment at the same time, or the raid is likely to wipe
  • Instead, players should take turns breaking their Shackled Torment gradually, with the players with the weakest personal cooldowns going first
  • Healers must be ready to use raid CDs to heal through the Unleashed Torment damage, and should have the raid topped up in advance
During this phase, the raid should remain stacked to bait Allure of Flames into convenient locations. Players affected by Shackled Torment can then move out of the stack to break their shackles.

Vanguards of the Legion

When Archimonde reaches 55% health, he will begin to summon Felborne Overfiends and Dreadstalkers. Note that this is in addition to the Phase 2 abilities listed above.

Dreadstalkers will cast Consume Magic every 10 seconds, teleporting to a random player's position at the end of the cast. Players should be sure to move out of the targeted location before the Dreadstalker arrives to prevent Consume Magic from dealing heavy damage and interrupting players' spellcasting for 3 seconds.

Ranged DPS should primarily target the Dreadstalkers, and damage Archimonde in the downtime between Dreadstalker spawns.

Felborne Overfiends must be tanked, and buff themselves with Heart of Argus.

  • Each time a Felborne Overfiend loses 25% of its health, it will begin to cast Flames of Argus
  • If successful, this cast will deal heavy Fire damage to all players in the raid
  • This will be particularly dangerous while players are triggering Unleashed Torment
  • Flames of Argus can be interrupted, so tanks and melee DPS should be sure to interrupt these casts

Melee DPS and tanks should primarily target the Felborne Overfiends, but cleave onto Archimonde.

Phase 3: The Twisting Nether

When Archimonde reaches 40% health, he will enter Phase 3, and will lose access to the Allure of Flames and Death Brandmechanics, and will no longer summon Hellfire Deathcallers, Felborne Overfiends, or Dreadstalkers. Players should quickly kill any remaining adds before switching their DPS on to Archimonde.

During this phase, Archimonde retains Shackled Torment, and gains Nether Banish.

  • Archimonde will cast Nether Banish on his current tank target approximately every 65 seconds
  • After 7 seconds, the tank and all players within the 8-yard Nether Banish radius will be transported to the Twisting Nether
  • The other tank should taunt Archimonde when Nether Banish is applied, and the Nether Banish tank should move away to avoid unintentionally sending players into the Twisting Nether
  • This leaves behind a Nether Tear on Draenor for 5 minutes
  • Standing in the boundaries of the Nether Tear deals light to moderate Shadow damage every second
  • The raid should assign a group of players to enter the Twisting Nether
  • If Nether Banish fails to transport 3 or more players, Archimonde will heal for 5% of his maximum health
  • For more information on the Twisting Nether realm, see the Twisting Nether Responsibilities section of this guide
Additionally, Archimonde gains Demonic Feedback, which deals heavy Shadow damage to all players in the raid every 15-20 seconds. If any players are within 6 yards of one another, they will deal their Demonic Feedback damage to one another.

During this phase, the raid should be spread out more than 6 yards apart, and should move primarily to get away from Nether Tear portals as they spawn.

Rain of Chaos

When Archimonde reaches 25% health, he gains Rain of Chaos, bombarding the encounter area with meteors. Note that this is in addition to the Phase 3 abilities listed above.
  • Rain of Chaos will summon a meteor every second for 10 seconds
  • Players must move out of the green swirls to avoid taking very heavy Fire damage
  • Outside of the area of effect, players take Rain of Chaos damage based on their distance from the impact zones
Shortly into this final stage of the fight, Rain of Chaos will summon a set of 3 Infernal Doombringers.
  • The Infernals spawn where Rain of Chaos meteors land
  • The Infernal Doombringers are tankable and will chase players
  • Infernal Doombringers have an Eternal Flame buff that will heal nearby Infernal Doombringers for 8% of their maximum health each second they remain in range
  • Infernal Doombringers can be stunned, snared, knocked back, and rooted
  • When Infernal Doombringers reach full Energy, about 30 seconds after spawning, they will cast Hellfire until dead
  • Hellfire deals extremely heavy Fire damage to the entire raid, and is particularly dangerous in conjunction with Unleashed Torment and Devour Life
  • Rain of Chaos occurs every 62 seconds, but the Infernal Doombringer spawn times will be slightly staggered since it is random which of the meteors will trigger the Infernal spawns
Players should burst each Infernal Doombringer down quickly, and should use crowd-control abilities to keep the Infernal Doombringers apart to negate the Eternal Flame healing. Note that, while Infernal Doombringers are susceptible to Banish, they will still gain Energy while Banished, and if they reach full health, they will still cast Hellfire. It is not recommended to CC the Infernal Doombringers in this way.

This is the most difficult part of the encounter, so players should save major cooldowns and Bloodlust/ Heroism/ Time Warp to help burst down the Infernals and kill Archimonde.

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