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 The Shade of Aran

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Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant  Commander

Number of posts : 174
Age : 43
Location : Sussex - England
Registration date : 2008-02-12

PostSubject: The Shade of Aran   Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:28 pm

The Shade of Aran

The Shade of Aran is a boss in the abandoned tower of Karazhan. He is the spirit of Nielas Aran, the father of Medivh - the previous occupant of Karazhan. He is located in the Guardian's Library, which is a small, circular room (about 45 yards in diameter), with one door that closes and locks as soon as the fight begins.

The Shade of Aran is an optional boss. However, after he is defeated, a teleport to his room becomes available from Berthold <The Doorman>, and all trash mobs from the Curator to Aran (exc. one pack outside Illhoof's door) cease to respawn. So, it's a very good idea to kill him. (The trash above his library is linked to Netherspite.)


Very low armor
Immune to Mind Numbing Poison, Curse of Tongues, and Silence.

Basic Spells

Frostbolt - Three second cast, 3500 to 4500 frost damage and four second slow. Interruptible.
Fireball - Two second cast, 3910 to 5290 fire damage. Interruptible.
Arcane Missiles - Five second channeled, shoots five missiles each dealing 1260 to 1540 arcane damage (6300-7700 total). Interruptible.
Chains of Ice - Ten second root, does not break on damage. Dispellable. Appears to be a chance on hit with frostbolt, similar to mage's Frostbite.
AoE Counterspell - Ten yard radius AoE around Aran, occurs very often. Locks out schools of magic for ten seconds.

All of Aran's basic spells have infinite range (even through walls—they hit anywhere in the instance) and are randomly targeted. Pets are valid targets for these spells, including the snakes from Snake Traps.

It is possible to interrupt and lock out all his basic abilities to the point where he starts to use his melee attack. He sometimes takes a swing even when not all his schools are locked. When meleeing, he uses a normal aggro table. This can cause problems, as he can move out of the center of the room and leave the raid out of position.

Arcane Missiles seem to be targeted toward the raid member with the lowest percentage health, but this may simply be a random effect.

All slowing and root effects are dispellable (magic), and can be broken by the usual methods.

Special Abilities

Every 30-35 seconds, Aran uses one of his three special abilities (never the same twice in a row). The special abilities cannot be interrupted or locked out, and they are real killers.

Flame Wreath:

Five-second cast which creates a fiery aura around three random characters in the raid. When the auras are triggered by moving over them, they deal 3,000–4,000 fire damage to everyone in the room. The auras last 20 seconds.
Circular Blizzard: Large AoE that moves slowly clockwise around the room. Deals 1313 to 1687 frost damage every two seconds and slows movement speed by 65%, The Blizzard eventually covers half the room, but does not hit the center of the room. There is a graphic which looks like a small blue tornado at the front end of the blizzard to make it easier to see it.
Magnetic Pull / Slow / Super Arcane Explosion: Pulls everyone to the center of the room and Slows them. This is followed by a ten-second cast Arcane Explosion that deals 9,000-11,000 damage in a 20 yard radius.
[edit] Water Elementals
At 40% health, the Shade of Aran summons four elite Water Elementals with 13,000 health. They shoot a constant stream of Waterbolts for ~1000-2000 damage and despawn after 90 seconds. They can be feared/banished for the duration.

Polymorph / Drink / Pyroblast

When the Shade of Aran gets down to 20% mana or less (about 30k), he does an emote, Polymorphs the entire raid, conjures some water, and starts drinking. After about ten seconds, the polymorph breaks and he does an AoE Pyroblast. If Aran is interrupted while drinking, he simply uses a potion and Pyroblasts anyway. The Pyroblast does 7000-7500 fire damage to each raid member. As of Patch 2.2, the polymorph affects characters normally immune to the effect, such as druids in a form. Elementals may break one or more of the sheeps during this time. When the Shade of Aran sits down, any healers released from polymorph by an elemental should heal themselves and anyone low on health or the Pyroblast will kill them.

If Aran reaches 20% mana again after the first Mass Polymorph, he does not polymorph and pyroblast again. He just drinks a potion and continues.

PvP insignias do not break the Mass Polymorph.

As of 2.2, the Pyroblast can be interrupted.

Shadows of Aran

After 12 minutes, he goes berserk and calls Shadows of Aran. They have various high-damage AoE abilities which wipe the raid within seconds. This is not a serious concern; the fight should never take that long.


The problem in this fight is that the whole raid must learn to avoid damage. The Shade of Aran's basic attacks are not very dangerous, but the special attacks are deadly. Each raid member must pay attention which attack is upcoming; nobody can sit back and just do their usual routine. Once everybody learns how to move (or when not to move), the fight actually becomes rather easy.

In order to avoid the Magnetic Pull/Arcane Explosion everybody must run to the outer wall of the room, the Blizzard forces people towards the center (or the other side of the room), and Flame Wreath inhibits movement. Beyond this, casters want to stay outside the AoE silence and classes with spell interrupt abilities want to concentrate on what he's casting.

The encounter cannot be reset.

Four Corners, Safe Spots

Four Corners and Safe ZoneDrawing a 3x3 grid using the floor tiles around Shade shows "four corners" that you can stand on that are out of range of both the aoe counter-spell as well as the blizzard. In theory, this "safe zone" should be a small band around the middle of the room. It's not 100% guaranteed that you won't get hit by blizzard, so be prepared to take a step or two forward.

Also to note, is that Shade dose move. And his aoe counter-spell zone also moves with him. Likewise, you need to move as well. If he moves to one corner of the grid, you need to move to the opposing corner. However he likes to reposition himself back to the middle of the room frequently.

Typically these four corners should be occupied by casters/ranged dps. Melee classes should still remain in the middle with Shade

To date, Blizzard has given no indication that they consider use of these safe spots to be an exploit.


Aggro is of almost no relevance, because Aran chooses his targets semi-randomly. Hence it is important to remember to replace all threat reducing buffs, such as the Paladin's Blessing of Salvation, with something offensive instead. The tanks should don damage-dealing gear. If the raid chooses not to interrupt arcane missiles, some arcane resistance can be useful. Everyone in the group should strive for at least 8,000 health after buffs. More is better. Even healers and ranged damage-dealers must be able to survive a wave of arcane missiles (7,000 damage), and everybody must be able to survive the Pyroblast (7,500 damage).


Aran's standard attacks (Fireball, Frost Bolt and Arcane Missile) can all be interrupted. By interrupting his spells, the raid can influence how fast Aran spends his mana. This is important, because the Polymorph/Pyroblast (at 20% mana) and the Water Elementals (at 40% health) must not occur close to each other. When either health or mana reach the critical percentage, the other must be clearly away from the threshold.

For a raid new to this encounter (with comparably low damage output), it is advisable to interrupt only Arcane Missile, and let him freely cast Frost Bolt and Fireball. This will maximize Aran's mana usage, and thus the Polymorph/Pyroblast occurs early, well before he reaches 40% health. After the Pyroblast, the raid can interrupt any of his spells, to minimize damage taken.

If the raid's damage output is high enough that Polymorph/Pyroblast and Water Elementals happen close to each other even though only the Arcane Missiles are interrupted, it's time to switch to letting Aran cast the Missiles freely, and interrupting Fireball and Frost Bolt. This conserves his mana, so that the Water Elementals occur first. If damage output is really high, the Polymorph/Pyroblast does not occur at all.

Fireballs and Frost Bolts should be interrupted near the end of their casting time, because he expends mana only at the end of the cast and does nothing else for nearly two seconds. Arcane Missiles should be interrupted early, as he spends the mana upfront anyway, and early interruption reduces the spell's damage output. It is useful to assign each player with an interrupt ability one type of spell. This avoids everybody interrupting at the same time and, therefore, having nobody left available to interrupt the next spell.

The following abilities interrupt a Shade of Aran cast:

Rogues' Kick
Warriors' Pummel and Shield Bash
Shamans' Earth Shock
Druids' Feral Charge
Mages' Counterspell
Warlocks' Spell Lock

The Druid, Mage, and Warlock abilities have long cooldowns, and are thus not very effective. Note that the Shade is immune to the silence, daze, and root effects of some of these abilities, so casting them produces an "Immune" message. However, the abilities still interrupt the spell cast.

Particularly for Healers: To save mana, it is generally a good idea to understand when an interrupt is successful and a heal is not needed. There are two ways to achieve this:

Watch Aran's cast bar
Listen to distinctive sounds of interrupts: this is good if visually you have to pay attention to other things.

Circular Blizzard

This special attack materializes as a blue, translucent cloud on the floor that slowly moves clockwise along the outer perimeter of the room. It is trailed by a damaging Blizzard which fills up to half the room. The cloud and the Blizzard snare anyone caught in them. The Blizzard does not affect the center of the room.

Players in melee range to Aran do not have to worry about the blizzard, so long as Aran stays in the center of the room. Ranged fighters and healers should always keep a lookout for the cloud and run away clockwise from it (but avoid running into the tail of the blizzard). Players caught in the Blizzard get snared, and cannot outrun it. Instead, they should immediately turn to cross through the safe center of the room. This will likely expose them to Aran's silencing counterspell, but is still the lesser of two evils.

Flame Wreath

[I will not move when Flame Wreath is cast, or the raid blows up.| ]“ I will not move when Flame Wreath is cast, or the raid blows up. ”
file infoIf Flame Wreath is upcoming, the whole raid must immediately stop moving, simple as that. People must wait until the auras are clearly visible, and may only move again when they are sure they will in no way come near one of them. Meleers have a few seconds to move into melee range of Aran from the second Flame Wreath is announced and until he casts it, however this requires some practice and careful timing.

The effect is triggered by the following:

Player character movement
Paladins' Divine Shield (prior to 6-March-2007)
Rogues' Cloak of Shadows (prior to 6-March-2007)
Accepting a resurrection (Rebirth or Soulstone)
Mages' Blink
Druids' shapeshifting
The following do not trigger the effect:

Spell casting

Movement resulting from a spell cast (like Mind Flay or Aimed Shot/Steady Shot for Hunters)
Warrior's Whirlwind
Nether Protection
People who trigger the Flame Wreath effect are often subjected to a torrent of verbal abuse by the rest of the group. Flame Wreath is confirmed to crit, having an estimated critchance of 10-15%, dealing 7.000+ damage to the target.

Magnetic Pull / Slow / Arcane Explosion

The Arcane Explosion does not reach the outer edge of the room. To deal with it, simply run to the edge of the room immediately after the Magnetic Pull. No turning or finishing up an attack. Just run. Even slowed characters can reach the wall before the Explosion.

The Slow can be broken by the usual abilities and spells that remove magic and and snare effects. Abilities that increase movement speed also help. Priests and Paladins should keep an eye out for slow reactions (or anyone in Chains of Ice), since the slowing effects can be dispelled.

Mass Dispel is an invaluable tool here: one priest in the raid should be assigned the duty of casting this spell. Center its effect on Shade immediately after Magnetic Pull, and it will remove the slow debuff from the raid members who are furthest from the wall and help ensure they do not take damage. It will also take care of any Chains of Ice.

Water Elementals

Warlocks are invaluable here, because the Water Elementals can be banished, stunned and feared, and are susceptible to Curse of Tongues. The Elementals should be banished, feared, tanked, and killed ASAP. It helps a lot if the tank wears frost resistance gear. The Elementals have roughly 13,000 health, so they can be burned down easily. The Elementals despawn after 90 seconds; a single warlock can keep one feared and one banished the entire time.

The Elementals can be a problem if they spawn simultaneously with a special attack of Aran where everyone is too distracted to deal with them properly. It is a good idea to wait until the right moment, then bring the Shade's health down to 40% at a time when there is no risk of a Flame Wreath, Blizzard, or Polymorph / Pyroblast.

It is a good idea to use trinkets and abilities with cooldowns when the Elementals spawn.

Polymorph / Pyroblast
If the raid's DPS is high enough and the interrupts work well, this phase may not occur. If it does, the healers have to be on their toes to heal the raid very quickly after the Pyroblast (preferably using AoE heals). The Polymorph breaks as Pyroblast is cast, so you have the spell's travel time to cast something before it hits (HoTs, Priest shield, Paladin bubble, Mage Fire Ward and Ice Block, Shaman Fire Resistance Totem, etc.); this is effectively only possible if you are outside melee range. After the blast, raid members should use health potions and Healthstones to heal quickly.

This Polymorph works on characters who are normally immune. However, druids in Tree of Life form are not valid targets for the Polymorph, so they can cast spells in preparation for the Pyroblast.



"Please, no more! My son... he's gone mad!"
"Who are you? What do you want? Stay away from me!"
"I will not be tortured again!"
Flame Wreath

"Burn you hellish fiends!"
"I'll show you this beaten dog still has some teeth!"

"Back to the cold dark with you!"
"I'll freeze you all!"
Arcane Explosion

"Yes, yes, my son is quite powerful... but I have powers of my own!"
"I am not some simple jester! I am Nielas Aran!"
Low Mana / AoE Pyroblast

"Surely you would not deny an old man a replenishing drink? No, no I thought not."
Summon Water Elementals

"I'm not finished yet! No, I have a few more tricks up me sleeve."
Player Death

"Torment me no more!"
"I want this nightmare to be over!"
Aran's berserk

"You've wasted enough of my time... let these games be finished!"
Aran's death

"At last the nightmare is over..."

[Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian] is carried by a raid member

"Where did you get that?! Did HE send you??"
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PostSubject: Re: The Shade of Aran   Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:46 pm
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