|Siege of Orgrimmar|
|Vale of Eternal Sorrows|
|The Fallen Protectors|
|Sha of Pride|
|Gates of Retribution|
|Kor’kron Dark Shaman|
|Spoils of Pandaria|
|Thok the Bloodthirsty|
|Paragons of the Klaxxi|
Thok the Bloodthirsty is the eleventh boss in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, and the final boss of The Underhold wing. He is held prisoner deep within the Menagerie, along with a bunch of random animals (trash) and several other of Garrosh’s political prisoners in the prison cells around the edge of the room. The objective of this fight is to defeat Thok, but this can only be done by freeing – and sacrificing – these Prisoners of War.
Thok the Bloodthirsty has two phases, and the fight alternates between them. Players can choose when to enter or exit phase 2, and can also choose which Prisoners of War to sacrifice at what times, controlling the abilities that Thok gains by eating them. In this sense, it’s a choose-your-own-adventure style of fight, where raid strategy could make a real difference. In reality, though, there’s kind of a right way to do it, which I’ll detail further in my Strategy Summary section.
The Thok encounter combines heavy, stacked healing requirements with frustrating spell lockouts, and alternates this with high-movement, spread phases of spiky random damage. While it will test every part of a healer’s toolkit, the most dangerous parts of the fight tend to occur while stacked up, so healers should Talent accordingly. Phase 1 healing – the hardest healing in the encounter – requires creativity, fast reaction times, and quite probably some sort of illicit vice you can bribe your raid’s Paladins with in order to get Hand of Protection.
Ugh, what a terrible name for a phase.
This is Phase 1, and unsurprisingly, the encounter starts in it. Three of Thok’s abilities will be the same in every Phase 1 iteration: Shock Blast, Tail Lash, and Deafening Screech. The other abilities he will use in Phase 1 varies depending on which Prisoner of War has been freed, including a breath he casts on the tank and an additional damaging ability that has no correlating ability in the first Phase 1.
In every Phase 1, Thok will breathe on the tank, inflicting a moderate to heavy amount of damage and stacking up a debuff on the tank. In the very first Phase 1, this breath is called Fearsome Roar. It deals Physical damage and leaves a stack of Panic each time it strikes the tank. Panic increases the damage taken from subsequent Fearsome Roars by 25% per stack. In later iterations of Phase 1, the breath name, damage type, and debuff varies based upon which Prisoner was freed, and I’ll expand on that more in each Prisoner’s description below.
Shock Blast is cast approximately every 2.5 seconds, choosing random non-tank members of the raid and dealing them moderate Nature damage. (Four players are chosen on 10-player difficulty, and 10 players on 25-player difficulty.) This is completely unavoidable damage that healers must simply heal through, and is the only Phase 1 ability that persists into every Frenzy for Blood! phase.
Tail Lash is a typical don’t-stand-behind-me defense that we should all be used to from slaying Internet dragons; players standing behind Thok when he uses Tail Lash will take moderate damage and will be stunned for 2 seconds. This occurs about every 10-15 seconds (it can be delayed based on the tank breath and Deafening Screech).
Thok has an Energy bar, and at the start of the fight he gains Energy at a rate of 4 Energy every 0.5 seconds. Once he reaches full Energy, he will finish whatever he is doing, and then begin to cast Deafening Screech. This ability deals moderate Physical damage to all players in the raid, and also interrupts any spellcasting, locking affected players out of their spell school for 2 seconds. Deafening Screech has a very short cast time – about 0.7 seconds – so depending upon your latency, you may need to cancel your cast as early as halfway through his cast bar in order to avoid being interrupted.
|Thok’s Rate of Energy Gain and Deafening Screech Intervals|
|Stacks of Accel.||Energy per 0.5s||Time Between Casts|
A successful cast of Deafening Screech also grants Thok one stack of Acceleration, a buff which increases the rate at which he gains Energy, causing subsequent Deafening Screeches to happen more frequently. I’ve built a table showing the number of stacks of Acceleration Thok has and the estimated time between finishing one Deafening Screech cast and beginning another. It’ll always be a little longer than the estimated time because Thok appears to finish a scheduled tank breath ability before starting to cast his next Deafening Screech.
Finally, when players drop below 50% health, they receive a debuff called Bloodied. If enough players are Bloodied at the same time, and are all standing within five yards of one another, Thok will sense it and enter a Blood Frenzy, which begins the second phase of the fight. (On 10-player difficulties, 5 players or more must be Bloodied and within five yards of each other in order to trigger Phase 2; in 25-player difficulties, this requires 15 or more Bloodied players.)
This interacts with Deafening Screech, the primary way by which players take raid damage in Phase 1. When the Screeches come faster than your healers are able to cope with the damage, it’s time to push Thok into his Frenzy for Blood! phase. Until then, the challenge for the healers is in pumping out as much healing as possible around the Screeches, keeping everyone alive until it’s time to initiate Phase 2. I’ve got some suggestions for each healer spec below:
Nature’s Vigil and Soul of the Forest are the go-to Talents for this encounter. Don’t be afraid to bloom your Mushrooms, and ask for a Hand of Protection or channel Tranquility during Devotion Aura when Screeches are coming fast.
Devotion Aura will prevent your entire raid from being interrupted, allowing your co-healers to use their CDs. Take Clemency so you can HoProt yourself and another healer for insane healing throughput. I like Light’s Hammer here.
Spirit Shell is hard to use unless you can get a HoProt or during Devotion Aura. PW:S spam seems the way to go, and of course, AA/Divine Star is very strong. Time IF for the end of HoP/DA for a few more seconds of free-casting.
Bribe a Paladin to HoProt you when you want to channel Divine Hymn. Seriously pay them anything they ask. It’s worth it! Divine Star is great here, and time HW:Sanc late in the phase so it persists until Frenzy for Blood!.
I’m about to say something shocking: Conductivity is actually good in this fight, since I can’t drop HR once Thok has 8 stacks of Acceleration. Given Conductivity, I like EM here. I also like PE for damage and Reinforce.
When Thok senses enough Bloodied players in proximity, he will enter a Blood Frenzy. A few seconds later, he will knock the tanks away, select a target at random (excluding the tanks), and Fixate upon them. Thok will then chase his Fixate target for 12 seconds, gradually speeding up. It is important that any player chosen for Fixate make use of their speed boost Talents or abilities to gain distance early on.
Displacer Beast, Dash, and Stampeding Roar are excellent here. You could take Symbiosis: Deterrence to give a Hunter Dash for kiting purposes, or Symbiosis: Leap of Faith to rescue players from their own stupidity
Once the 12-second Fixate timer has expired – or, alternatively, if Thok gets to munch on his Fixate target – Thok will gain a stack of Blood Frenzy, increasing his base movement rate. He will then choose another Fixate target and chase them around. Eventually, even with players’ movement-speed increases, Thok will be moving too quickly to kite, and you’ll start losing raid members to his cavernous maw of doom. (This happens around 8-10 stacks of Blood Frenzy.)
Throughout this phase, Thok will instantly kill any player who steps in front of him. Everyone in the raid must be aware of Thok’s position and the path that the Fixated player is following, to avoid getting destroyed in a ridiculously gory explosion of flesh and blood and bone.
Thok will retain Shock Blast and any additional raid-damage ability he used from Phase 1 during this phase. This means that, although players will end up being spread out to deal with Fixate, healers must try to stay in range of the entire raid and continue handling the raid damage properly. (E.g. Dispels for Corrosive Blood; see Prisoners of War section for details.)
When Frenzy for Blood! begins, a Kor’kron Jailer will rush in from the entrance to see what is causing all that fuss. The Kor’kron Jailer holds a Skeleton Key that will unlock any of the prisoner cages in the room, which your raid can only obtain by killing the Jailer. Jailers do moderate to heavy tank damage – especially when under the effects of Enrage, which increases their Haste and damage by 50% – but have no other abilities, so other than keeping an eye on your tanks’ health, there’s little for healers to worry about here.
In order to leave the Frenzy for Blood! phase, you must use the Skeleton Key to release a prisoner and allow Thok to eat him; this will quell Thok’s Blood Frenzy and return him to Phase 1 behaviour. His stacks of Acceleration and Blood Frenzy reset, and the encounter becomes rinse-and-repeat from this point. Some of the Prisoners will provide your raid with a buff or some sort of utility, and when Thok consumes a Prisoner, he will gain new abilities from them.
Freeing and sacrificing the Prisoners of War will end Frenzy for Blood! and grant Thok some additional abilities.
There are three Prisoners of War in cells around the edge of Thok’s room; their locations are marked on the map above, with the green diamond representing Akolik, the cyan diamond representing Waterspeaker Gorai, and the red diamond representing Montak.
Akolik will, when freed, cast Akolik’s Incantation on Thok. This spell reportedly “… has unpredictable results”, and I’ve gotta say I agree with that dungeon journal entry. Of the dozen or so times I’ve seen it cast, about 75% of the time it does nothing at all that I can find in the logs. The other 25% of the time it deals a very modest amount of damage to Thok – somewhere between 100k and 150k. You guys, Akolik is even worse at DPS than I am!
(If anyone has other information about what this ability does, please let me know. My curiosity? Totally piqued. Is there a visual effect? Does it turn Thok into a bunny rabbit? A ravenous, giant bunny rabbit with a thirst for blood? Bonus points for screenshots :D)
After Thok devours Akolik, which occurs after Akolik gets Thok’s attention with his Incantation spell, Thok will replace Fearsome Roar with Acid Breath, which deals heavy Nature damage to the tank and leaves a stacking debuff which reduces the tank’s armor by 25% per stack.
Thok also gains a new ability, Corrosive Blood, which he will cast frequently on a number of random raid members (2 players on 10-player difficulty; 7 players on 25-player difficulty). Corrosive Blood deals a moderate amount of Nature damage upon application, and leaves a DoT which deals light Nature damage each second. Corrosive Blood can stack, but it is also dispellable, so healers should dispel as much as possible, prioritising players with multiple stacks over players with a single stack.
Thok will continue to cast Corrosive Blood during the next Frenzy for Blood! phase, and healers will need to continue to heal and dispel the raid. Be certain to dispel the Fixate targets before they out-range you!
Waterspeaker Gorai will cast Restorative Waters on nearby players once he is freed. This spell puts a HoT effect on players, restoring a small amount of health every second for 10 seconds – overall, restoring about 80% of a player’s health pool.
While the dungeon journal states this is cast on “random players”, I’ve seen up to 21 people get the heal in my 25-player raid, and the other four were dead or what Australians like to call “out in whoop-whoop”, i.e. really freaking far away. I am about 84% certain that it is proximity-based, so players should try to stay within about 20 yards of Gorai until this buff is cast.
After completing the Restorative Waters cast, Gorai will taunt Thok, and sacrifice himself to end the Frenzy for Blood! phase. Consuming Gorai grants Thok two new abilities: Freezing Breath, which replaces Fearsome Roar, and Icy Blood. Freezing Breath is the tank breath ability, and it deals heavy Frost damage to the tank. Each Breath also leaves a stack of Freezing Breath on the tank, and if the tank reaches 5 stacks, he becomes Frozen Solid.
Non-tank players can also become Frozen Solid through Thok’s new raid-damage ability, Icy Blood. This ability targets several random players (3 on 10-player difficulties, and 8 on 25-player difficulties) and deals moderate Frost damage on application, then leaves a stack of Icy Blood on the player. These Icy Blood stacks cannot be dispelled, but immunities such as Cloak of Shadows or Divine Shield can remove them.
If Icy Blood reaches 5 stacks on a player, that player becomes Frozen Solid, encased in an Ice Tomb and unable to act. Whilst Frozen Solid, the player takes 5% of their maximum health total as damage every 2 seconds; in order to free them, the raid must destroy the Ice Tomb, which has 1.18M health (in both raid formats). Healers should focus on healing the Frozen Solid targets in case this takes a while – players inside an Ice Tomb are still eligible for direct healing.
Thok retains Icy Blood during the next Frenzy for Blood! phase, so it is important for players to watch their Icy Blood stacks and make sure they are near the rest of the raid if they are getting high. Nothing is sadder than being trapped in an Ice Tomb out in the middle of nowhere and slowly bleeding to death, except perhaps being trapped in an Ice Tomb out in the middle of nowhere and having a ravenous dinosaur explode your corpse.
Warmaster Montak will cast Flame Coating on nearby players when he is freed from his prison. The affected players receive a Flame Coating buff for one minute, which enables their attacks to occasionally inflict additional Fire damage.
While the tooltip suggests a fairly low number, 50k-ish, in actuality each Flame Coating attack deals more like 15ok-200k damage, and appears to be affected by increased damage effects like Tigereye Brew and Power Infusion. Since this buff is only obtained by those players near Montak when he completes the cast, it’s a pretty good idea for the entire raid – save for the Fixated player – to hug Montak until the spell is cast. The Flame Coating damage is not that significant (in one kill, it did approximately 2% of the total damage dealt to Thok), but it helps shorten this extremely dangerous phase, so it’s well worth getting.
Once Flame Coating has been cast, Montak taunts Thok and becomes the dinosaur’s next lunch. Consuming Montak grants Thok two new abilities. The first is Scorching Breath, which replaces Fearsome Roar as the tank breath ability. This ability deals heavy Fire damage to the tank and leaves a stack of Scorching Breath behind, which afflicts the tank with a DoT. This DoT ticks for moderate Fire damage, but after a few stacks it becomes pretty significant. Your tanks may need external cooldowns during this phase.
The second ability that Thok gains is Burning Blood, which chooses random targets (3 in 10-player formats, and 9 in 25-player formats) and launches a pool of flames at them, dealing light Fire damage but leaving a puddle of fire on the ground at the players’ feet. These puddles of fire persist for the remainder of the fight – as far as I can tell; I’ve always done Montak last – and deal moderate Fire damage every second to players standing in them.
Combined with Shock Blast and Deafening Screech, Burning Blood is extremely dangerous, making this the segment of the fight where players are most likely to die. This phase must be short, to avoid losing players to unfortunate confluences of damage. Additionally, this phase is very heavy on movement requirements. Your tanks will be dragging Thok around the edge of the room, so that the raid can fill up one portion of the room with fire and then move to a safe area (that we’re just going to set on fire again, sigh).
Be sure to save Healing Tide Totem for this phase, as you will find your other cooldowns inadequate for healing the spread damage. Ascendance / SWG / Healing Surge spam isn’t bad, but it’s only going to do half of what HTT will.
Burning Blood will persist into the next Frenzy for Blood! phase, if there is one. Fortunately, the spread-out-and-move-your-ass nature of this part of the fight is kind of a natural deterrent for Blood Frenzy, since you’re unlikely to have enough Bloodied targets within close enough range, so you shouldn’t accidentally trigger the phase transition early. Unfortunately, the spread-out-and-move-your-ass nature of this part of the fight is also likely to kill your raid, so you know, 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. Make this phase as short as possible by leaving it ’til the end and burning Thok down as hard as you can!
The prevailing strategy for this boss is to free Akolik first, then Waterspeaker Gorai, followed by Montak if necessary. (Many 10-player raid groups do not see a third Fixate phase and so do not have to release Montak.) This is done because Gorai’s raid-healing ability isn’t really useful at the end of the first Frenzy! phase, since Thok hasn’t gained a second ability to damage the raid with yet – so he may as well come after Akolik, whose Corrosive Blood ability deals quite heavy damage. And Montak’s Burning Blood is ridiculously dangerous and annoying to deal with, so saving him for last when you have already whittled away as much of Thok’s HP as possible vastly improves your chance of success.
This will look like:
- Phase 1a and 2a: Fearsome Roar, Shock Blast
- Phase 1b and 2b, post-Akolik: Acid Breath, Corrosive Blood
- Phase 1c and 2c, post-Gorai: Freezing Breath, Icy Blood
- Phase 1d and 2d, post-Montak: Scorching Breath, Burning Blood. Thok should die before Phase 2d, ideally.
The time at which Thok transitions from Phase 1 to Phase 2 is completely controllable. Some raid groups prefer to stack the entire raid together and let Frenzy for Blood! occur whenever the healers can no longer keep up with the damage, while others prefer to split the raid into two equally-sized groups and trigger Frenzy for Blood! by stacking. The latter strategy is much more controlled, since there is no chance whatsoever of accidentally pushing the boss to the Frenzy phase, but can be more difficult for the healers and is prone to accidental deaths in a way that the former strategy isn’t.
In either case, your raid should attempt to extend the first Phase 1 for as long as possible. Your DPS and healers have the minimum number of mechanics to deal with during this time, and the more damage your raid deals to Thok now, the less time you can spend in Frenzy phases or in the final Montak-buffed Phase 1 iteration.
The best way to achieve a long Phase 1 is to bring as many Paladins as possible (sigh), and chain Devotion Aura once Thok’s Deafening Screeches start coming too frequently to allow your healers to get casts off between them. After the Devotion Auras run out, the Paladins can then cast Hand of Protection on the healers, allowing them time to channel their raid CDs (Tranquility, Divine Hymn, Spirit Shell, Ascendance all benefit from this). Good use of DPS cooldowns like Ancestral Guidance, Healing Tide Totem, Vampiric Embrace, Rallying Cry and Demoralizing Banner will also help extend this phase.
It is best to use Heroism at the start, too. Yes, after freeing Montak, players get a 1-minute buff that allows them to deal extra Fire damage with each attack, which would be really nice with Heroism and Execute range mechanics, but the downside of the post-Montak phase is that there is so much fire on the ground, and so much movement, that most of your raid will not be able to use the buff to its fullest extent anyway. Using Heroism to shave more damage off of Thok at the start will drastically reduce the amount of time you need to spend in any Frenzy! phase or in that final, extremely dangerous post-Montak phase.
If your raiders are skilled at kiting Thok around during the Frenzy! phases, you can get more DPS on Thok (to shorten or skip the post-Montak phase) by assigning melee to kill the Jailer slowly and having ranged stay on Thok. Just be sure to free the prisoner before Thok reaches his 10th stack of Blood Frenzy, because he is very, very difficult to kite at this point. This technique takes a little experimenting with to determine how many Blood Frenzy stacks Thok should have before your raid group needs to free the prisoner, and how many DPS to leave on Thok whilst still being able to kill that Jailer in time.
It is possible to single-tank this fight so long as you push Thok into a Frenzy for Blood! phase before the tank reaches 5 stacks of the breath debuff (you can go a little farther than 5 on the first Phase 1 breath if your raid has sufficient external CDs). This means you must either have good enough DPS that you can drop Thok’s health enough in this brief time that it won’t cause problems later during the Montak phase, or you must be able to keep a lot of DPS on the boss during Frenzy! phases. The debuffs your tanks gain from the breaths are not removed by Hand of Protection, and each one (except the Frost Phase 1 breath) increases the amount of damage your tank takes from subsequent breaths, so in order to execute this strategy, healers must be prepared with external tank cooldowns.
You will need cooldowns for: Extending the first Phase 1 as long as possible; the end of the second Phase 1 to cope with heavy Deafening Screech damage paired with Corrosive Blood; the fourth Phase 1 where players are spread out; external tank CDs if single-tanking, for high stacks of any breath debuff.
Dispels: Corrosive Blood
Debuffs to track: Corrosive Blood, Fixate, Frozen Solid, Icy Blood, and the tank debuffs Panic, Acid Breath, Freezing Breath, and Scorching Breath
Points of failure:
- Tanks stack in front of Thok and cannot drop their stacks of whatever debuff is associated with his current breath;
- Healers do not put out enough throughput to prevent the raid from dying before Thok enters a Bloody Frenzy (this is only possible if the raid chooses the split-group method);
- Players targeted by Thok’s Fixate kite Thok through other players/to the Jailer instead of away from them;
- Players do not defeat the Jailer quickly enough, allowing Thok to Fixate more than 10 times, thus becoming pretty much unkiteable, and he eats your entire raid;
- Players do not properly handle the Corrosive Blood, Icy Blood, or Burning Blood debuffs.