Black Temple Boss: Reliquary of Souls

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The Reliquary of Souls (ROS) encounter is one of the more dififcult and coordination based fights in the Black Temple. Typically, this is the 6th encounter that guilds face while progressing through the instance. ROS requires a bit of coordination, lots of threat generation and intelligent statistics stacking on your main tank. ROS has 3 phases, each one involving a different Essence. Each phase comes with an entirely different set of boss abilities and must be handled VERY differently from one another. Furthermore, after each essence is defeated, souls will be released into the raid, which do practially no damage and which return the raid's health and mana. In total, the fight should only last about 6-7 minutes, so you will be done before you know it.

This fight can be accomplished with a minimum of healers, and it is best to maximize DPS due to attrition factors found in phases 2 and 3. So long as you have 3 smart melee interrupters for phase 2 and a few rogues on hand fpr phase 1, this fight will come and go quicker than you may think.

Raid Compostion:
Tanks: 1
Melee: As many as you like
Healers: 6- The more priests and shamans, the better
Ranged: At least 1 mage, the rest can be assorted
Total DPS: 18

Clearing the Gauntlet:

Before the actual fight, your raid will have to clear a gauntlet of spectre mobs. The proper method of doing this is counter intuitive to what we general knowledge would dictate. There are three types mobs which will need to be dealt with, large blue spectres, larger purple spectres, and tiny little red/anger spectres, which are actually the dangerous ones. In order to accomplish this clear, your raid will traverse along the right side wall, all the way along the perimeter to the top of the ramp which leads to the ROS staging area. Along the way, your raid will stop at 3 points to kill all the mobs aggroed. You will have approximately 13-15 seconds to dispatch these mobs before you MUST move to your next location, or you will aggro respawns of the pack you just killed. It is important that your raid leader calls out when to move and that no player stays left behind. If a player goes link dead during the trash clearing, you should back track as a raid to the starting point and wait for them to die and run back.

Now what is important to know here is which mobs need to be killed. By and large, the purple and blue spectres are nearly worthless and will cause little damage to your raid. They simply have larger HP pools and should be held by a high armor class. The little red/anger spectres which look like glowing sprites, MUST BE KILLED FIRST. you can AE thoses mobs, and melee should focus on killing them as soon as possible. Given that your raid should be stacked on one solitary spot at a time, any AE should hit every target.

When your raid reaches the end of the guantlet, you have two choices. You can either wait for the pack you just killed to repop and then run down the ramp to start the encounter, which is smart in case someone needs a rez, or someone needs to be rebuffed, OR you can start the fight as soon as you are done killing your mobs. The safer method for learning this fight is to kill repops to ensure that no reds follow your raid down into the fight. Furthermore, if any reds DO repop and aggro the raid, make sure that your ranged DPS kills them ASAP, even as phase 1 of ROS is going down.

Another important point- DO NOT DROP TOTEMS DURING THE TRASH CLEAR. If you fail to reset them, you are likely going to end up pulling repops and wiping your raid. As well, place hunter pets on non-aggresive untill the actual encounter has began.

Below is a diagram on where to hold your raid during the trash clear, spot by spot. Remember, you can only stay in one spot for a very breif amount of time, and it is perfectly alright to drag the blues and purples if they didn't die in time. The melee can and will continue to DPS as the raid moves from spot to spot.

Boss Abilities By Phase (From

Each Essence has a unique aura which more or less dictates the flow of their phase. As well, they each have unique abilities from one another.

Phase 1: Essence of Suffering:
Healing effects reduced by 100%.
Regeneration effects reduced by 100%.
Armor reduced by 100%.
Defense reduced by 500.
Fixate: use on closest target every 5 sec; locks aggro to that target.
Enrage: Physical damage dealt is increased by 25%. Attack speed increased by 50%. 15 second duration.
Soul Drain: Deals 2625 to 3375 damage and drains 2625 to 3375 mana every 3 sec for 30 seconds; cast on three random targets; can be dispelled

Phase 2: Essence of Desire
Half of the damage taken when damage dealt.
Healing increased by 100%.
Decreases maximum mana over time. OOM after 4.5 Deadens Typically (135 seconds).
Rune Shield: Absorbs 50000 damage. Immune to spell interrupt effects. Increases attack speed by 100%. Increases casting speed by 100%; 15 second duration. Can be dispelled/spellstolen/devoured.
Deaden: Increases damage taken by 100%; 10 second duration. Cast time: 1 sec, can be interrupted or reflected. Should be spellreflected always!
Spirit Shock: Arcane damage 9250-10750, confuse target for 5 sec. Cast time: 1 sec, can be interrupted.

Phase 3: Essence of Anger
Deals raid wide shadow damage periodically. This damage is increased upon every cast. After 60 seconds, it will be nearly impossible to keep people alive.
Increases damage dealt by players over time (stacks higher as time goes on).
Seethe: Cast if aggro target switches - either through the tank dying, or someone gaining aggro through threat. Increases the attack speed of Essence of Anger by 100% and size by 20%; Seethe debuff on players, increasing their threat gain by 200%; 10 second duration. Seethe will also be cast if any direct taunt is used on it.
Soul Scream: Lets out a soul scream, in a 10-yard frontal cone AoE, hitting up to 5 targets. Deals 2625-3375 shadow damage, in addition, burns 4375-5625 mana (every point of mana burned causes .5 damage) and burns all rage (every point of rage burned causes 100 damage).
Spite: Target 3 players, put the targets in immunity for 6 secs, then deal nature damage 7444-7556, put target into immunity for 2 sec. Requires NR pots or massive, focussed raid healing to outheal.

Raid Layout:
ROS= Essence MT= Main Tank RHG= Ranged/Healer Group M=Melee
The raid can basically adhere to the same layout for each of the Essences. The tank will hold the Essence nearly where it spawns and case it out of the raid. Melee will stand in the back 180 degrees of the Essences hit box and ranged will all stay stacked in one single, solitary group.


Phase 1:
There are a few key points for Phase 1. First, everyone's armor is dropped to 0 and everyone in the raid loses 500 defense rating. This leaves your tank with only his parry/dodge and block value in tact. Second, there is no aggro, the Essence will stay glued on whoever is CLOSEST to it's center no matter what. The last major point is that dispellers NEED to be on top of their game and must remove soul drain ASAP. Priests are great for this with mass dispell.

Dealing With Soul Drain:
Quite simply, have 2 priests use mass dispell every time this ability goes out. Use grid with debuff icon overlays active in order to see this.

Stacking Your Tank With BV and Reducing Their Damage Intake:
The smartest way to do this encounter involves stacking as much block value on your main tank as possible. You do not want to sacrifice certain core stats in favor of crappy blues with BV, but use as MUCH epic block value armor as you possibly can. Aim for at least 700 with 2 pieces of T5 for the 100 BV bonus from shield block. Furthermore, use a GREATER RUNE OF SHIELDING as soon as you go out of combat from the gauntlet. This will give you another 4000 HP effectively. As well, use a Gnomish auto blocker at the start of the phase in order to regain the CD for the second phase of the encounter.

Using your raid's abilities to their fullest will also help you take the least amount of damage possible. Priests Power Word Shield should be used every time it is up, paladins should Blessing of Sacrifice the tank, DPS warriors can intervene the tank every time it is up, Survival hunters can use scorpid sting, boomkins should use insect swarm, Warlocks can use an Imp on the MT to increase is HP buffer and shamans can drop Stoneskin and Grace of Air totems. Nearly every class can help out in some way.

As a MT, if you are TRYING to take the least amount of damage possible, don't auto attack during this phase or use berserker rage. When you do gain rage, invest it in shield block, demo, or tc. Auto attacks will cause parries and more attacks in total from the Essence.

Keeping Movement To A Minimum:
Quite simply, the more the Essence moves on this phase, the higher the probability that someone will gain fixate who is not suuposed to. Your best bet is for melee to start the fight with caution untill your tank has stopped moving. Regardless, your melee should ALWAYS be at their maximum possible attack distance in order to not risk the fixate. Any warrior intervening the MT should do so at a side angle, and not through the boss. If someone DOES gain fixate off of the MT when they are not supposed to, all melee should back out and wait for the MT to regain aggro and be totally repositioned.

Rotating on Enrage:
5 Seconds prior to enrage going out, one of the raid's rogues or hunters with deterrence should move on top of the tank in order to gain fixate. The tank should back off slightly in order to ensure that the player who just assumed their position is going to gain fixate. It is important that whoever gains fixate does not move further ahead of where the tank was standing, as that may lead to the Essence repositioning itself.

Furhtermore, whoever gains fixate during enrage MUST use CD's in order to survive. Aside from this, your best choice is to drop auto attack at this time, especially as a rogue as you will cause massive parries and cause far more attacks against yourself. With good luck, rogue can last the entire 15 seconds of enrage, although it is probably wisest to use 3 players for this job. Whoever the incoming player for enrage is, must follow the previous steps in order to gain fixate. Again, they move to where the current tank is, current tank moves back, they gain fixate, that is all.

Generally, you should not need more than 1 enrage period in order to down the first phase, but if you do, just make sure you have spare players who can take damage and who understand the rotation procedure.

Phase 2:

Phase 2 is both a DPS race and a minor coordination trial. You will need 3 melee assigned to interupting and at least 1 mage assigned for removing runeshield. Your main tank must also be on the ball and understand how to save rage properly for spell reflecting the deaden every 30 seconds. Beyond this, your DPS needs to be mindful of their health as all damage that they cause is reflected back for half. Healers will gain 200% healing, so 1 healer can more or less keep the MT up while the other 5 go nuts on raid healing, which in turn allows the DPS to go full throttle. Given the max mana reduction aura, your raid will only have approximately 120-135 seconds to drop this phase, or your healers will be OOM, and DPS will end up killing themselves. For this reason, it is important that every player does their job perfectly.

Interupting Spirit Shock Or How To Not Wipe The Raid:
Your raid needs 3 melee consisting of rogues and warriors in order to completely negate the spirit shock. It is NECESSARY that these players make cast macros which use their interrupt ability and announce to the next player in the rotation that it is now their turn to interupt the next spirit shock. This job gets confusing, and nearly impossible after 1 single shock is missed because the Essence will gain 100% cast speed and thus spam spirit shocks at an inordinate rate. Furthermore, missing 1 spirit shock almost always means that the next target on the threat list will be killed before the tank regains control from the stun and aggro.

The hardest part when it comes to interupting is making sure you interupt the RIGHT thing. It is important to NOT interupt the deaden cast, which goes out every 30 seconds. Sometimes spirit shock will cast right before deaden, so you will need to KNOW which one is being cast via a enemy cast bar mod- such as Ecasting bar (which I use) or NECB/Natur Enemy Cast Bars (which I also use). Make sure you have the right tools to do this fight, period.

Also, make sure warlock keeps down Curse of Tounges in order to reduce the cast speed Spirit Shock.

Deaden: Right Back At Ya:
Will will be cast every 30 seconds after phase 2 begins, and each one MUST be reflected in order to maximize DPS, and survive the phase. If your raid misses 1 deaden, it may not be the end of the world, but missing 2-3 will cause a major DPS vacuum for guilds just learning the encounter. Deaden simply must be spell reflected. Your main tank should be mostly focussed on building aggro and saving a full rage bar 8-10 seconds prior to deaden being cast. After the first deaden goes out, your MT should use his auto blocker, and Shield slam as hard as they can and as much as they can. During this first deaden, a tank can gain over 40,000 Threat, which can set them up well for the rest of the phase. As well, it is wise for a hunter to use MD during the first deaden.

From a healers stand point, deaden= go time. Priests should be ready to POH their group and COH the raid during this time. Shamans should be chain healing the melee like there is no tomorrow and other healing classes should bedoing what they can to get low HP players back up to full ASAP. Again, only 1 healer should be on the MT.

As a DPSer, you need to watch yourself during deaden. The rule of thumb is, if you are below 50% HP, stop casting, period. It isn't unheard of for destruction warlocks to nuke themselves for over half of their health (14K+ SB's), so caution MUST be used. Simply put, if you are below 50% hp, stop what you are doing, wait for a heal, then resume DPSing.

Runeshield and Why You Must Be Fast At The Keystrokes:
Runeshield stops incoming melee damage and also allows the Essence to freecast Spirit Shock without any timing reductions (1 second cast time). Thus, whoever you have assigned for spell stealing Runeshield MUST be on the top of their game. We use 1-2 mages who keep their eyes glued to the timer on Runeshield and stop EVERYTHING they are doing once the timer is nearly completed. As soon as the buff is applied, they near instantly spell steal and start freecasting as much DPS as they can as they will absorb the damage for a period, and not be dependant on healers. This is a good method of bolstering your DPS is phase 2.

Runeshield is also dispelled by Shield Slam, and sometimes the MT just happens to catch it as it happens. This is fine. As well, Fel hunters can devour the Runeshield in case you are really having big problems removing it. If your raid is going OOM, a priest can innerfocus and mass dispell Runeshield nearing the end of Phase 2.

Phase 3:
Phase 3 is a DPS race, flat out. The longer phase 3 goes on, the more damage the raid will take due to the stacking nature of the Essence's aura. As well, the longer the stage goes on, the more damage the Essence takes. As a result, it is wise to let the MT gain a bit of threat and take it slightly easy on threat untill the second scream goes out, about 20 seconds into the phase. Once this point is reached, the raid needs to pop all BL's and do everything they can to burn the mob down.

MT Threat And Survival:
Threat is an enormous issue on this phase. Thankfully, the Essence is tauntable and the tank will retain full value from whoever pulled. If this does happen, the Essence will generally cast seethe, which will increase everyone's threat by 200%. The tank needs to use multiple taunt CD's in if this happens, and should finish the chain with taunt itself as it is the only ability which grants permanent threat, the others are simply temporary aggro holds. Please know that this Essence becomes targettable slightly before he becomes active. Knowing this will get you another few attack rounds in which you can dump some threat into him. The shaman in the main tank group should pop bloodlust shortly after sunders have been stacked as the MT needs to do everything they can to get a leg up on threat. Hunters should also chain their MD's on the tank at the very start of this phase.

Survival is a large issue here for tanks, and at least 2 healers must spam the tank at all times. It is wise to have at least 1 shaman chain healing off of the main tank to heal the melee as well. Your tank should use Ironshields and save all cooldowns for this phase. As well, your tank must spam HS, SB and all other abilities to dump as much threat and rage as possible at all times. Failure to do so will lead to a surplus of rage for the Psychic Scream and may kill your tank, flat out. If the tank is running high on rage, they can stance dance the rage off just before the cast on Psychic Scream. This will lead a reduction in threat generation though.

The most important thing your tank can do, is have a cool down rotation ready to go. Nightmare Seeds, Trinkets, Last Stand and Shield Wall should all be used wisely. I suggest popping last stand and other HP buffs right before the third scream, this should last through the fourth scream. After that, I suggest your tank shield walls a few seconds before the fifth scream, and this should last to the sixth scream, which is basically the cut off point regardless. If the mob isnt dead or near dead at that point, you will likely wipe. By doing this rotation, your tank will allow all but 1 healer to stay on him for the last part of this phase, which in turn will ensure more DPS will stay alive. There is the potential that someone will pull threat off the MT after the fourth or fifth scream, for this reason it is NECESSARY that your tank is ready to mocking blow, commanding shout and taunt in order to hold the Essence for as long as possible. If your tank makes it to the 6th scream with these abilities unused, they may as well use them anyway just for safety's sake.

The MT must hold this Essences face away from the raid at all times, or else they risk gibbing players from the Psychic Scream.

Healing Through Spite And The Aura:
Healing becomes progressively more and more difficult as this phase goes along. This phase truly rings in the importance of multi-target healing classes as havign 2 priests and 1 shaman will be practically enough raid healing to get you through this phase in it's entirety. Your raid should use at least 3 healers on the MT for the first 2 screams, and after that they should be using CD's to help them live, which as a result, allows 1 of those 3 healers to go onto the raid. I suggest leaving druids/pallies on the tank and having all resto shamans and holy priests totally focussed on the raid. As well, all the raid healers need to be paying attention to Spite, which causes 7K+ Nature damage on 3 targets at a time. Using raidframes with a debudd icon on players, such as grid, will help you enormously in targetting these players and keeping them topped before and after spite goes out. Healers will have 6 seconds to top them before hand, at which time they are immune to all other damage, and 2 seconds after before they are once again eligable to receive the Aura's damage. Due to the high rate of deaths that Spite causes, many guilds use NATURE CAULDROUNS in order to learn this encounter. If your raid is using NR caldrouns, make sure EVERY player minus the MT uses one during the phase 2-3 transition while fighting the released spirits.

The fight will typically end with the Essence's aura ticking for 3000 damage. Anything beyond this point starts to become unhealable quickly.

Also, note that any players who get a battle rez, ankh, or soul stone during this phase will reset the aura for THEMSELVES, but not for anyone else.

Burning The Essence Down:
As stated before, nobody should start testing the threat limit of the tank from the very begining of this phase. To do so is utterly stupid and has wasted many good attempts for many guilds. Hold back slightly untill the second scream is out (20 seconds in) at which time pop Bloodlust and any other DPS CD you can. The BL will last until the end of the fight as you can not go far beyond 60 seconds. Watch your tank's threat carefully, and if you do somehow pull, run to the tank position ASAP, before you land a scream on the raid. During the final few seconds, the Essence will be taking ENORMOUS amounts of damage, and even if many players are dead, the few that are left will be able to still take out massive chunks of damage every second.