WoW Gorefiend Encounter Mechanics

The Gorefiend fight has a repeating, two-phase structure. Phase 1 lasts until Gorefiend has depleted his energy by attacking the raid with a variety of spells and summoned adds. The raid's focus should be on adds management and survival, dealing ultimately very little damage to Gorefiend himself.

Phase 1: Shadow of Death

The most important mechanic of Phase 1 is the Shadow of Death/adds interaction. Periodically, Gorefiend will choose a few players and debuff them with Shadow of Death. After five seconds, those players will be "killed", and their bodies will be transported into Gorefiend's stomach.

  • While inside Gorefiend's stomach, players will have a role-specific job to perform
  • Inside the stomach, players must also avoid the Bursting Ulcers by moving away from the purple swirls on the floor
  • Players in the stomach gain a Digest debuff that lasts 40 seconds; if they are still in the stomach when it expires, they will die
  • To exit the stomach before Digest wears off, players must run into the center of the stomach
  • After exiting Gorefiend's stomach, players gain a 3-minute Gorefiend's Corruption debuff, meaning that further deaths - via Shadow of Death or otherwise - will be permanent
Note that players who die accidentally - not from Shadow of Death - will also be transported into Gorefiend's stomach and will gain the Gorefiend's Corruption debuff. This must be avoided, especially on small raid sizes, as it increases the chance that a player with Gorefiend's Corruption will be targeted by Shadow of Death and instantly killed.

The table below illustrates the known Shadow of Death schedule for raids of up to 29 players:
Normal/Heroic Shadow of Death Schedules
Time Player Role
Number of players debuffed in a raid size of...
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
0:02 DPS 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4
0:13 Tank 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
0:30 Healer 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
0:38 DPS 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4
1:05 Healer 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2
1:14 DPS 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4

This table can help determine how many healers are necessary for your group to be able to defeat the boss. The first healer(s) sent to Gorefiend's stomach may not be back before the second healer(s) are sent into the stomach. Raids must bring at least one more healer than the sum of the two healer numbers in the above chart, so that there is at least one healer able to heal the raid during the approximately 5-10 seconds of overlap with the stomach mechanic. In other words, the minimum healer requirements are:
  • 10-player raid: At least 2 healers
  • 11- to 19-player raid: At least 3 healers
  • 20- to 28-player raid: At least 4 healers
  • 29- to 30-player raid: At least 5 healers

Trapped Souls

Inside Gorefiend there are a number of trapped souls who are trying to escape, mindlessly walking toward the center/exit of the stomach. Each role of player has a specific add type to contend with inside Gorefiend's stomach. The goal is to prevent as many adds from forming as possible, to lower raid damage and allow players to focus more damage onto Gorefiend.

Tanks who are transported into Gorefiend's stomach must pick up, and tank, the Enraged Spirit.

  • Enraged Spirits will cast Fel Fury much like the Gorebound Brute trash mobs
  • The tank should move away from the Spirit for this cast, or use a cooldown to survive the damage
  • Interrupt Bellowing Shout to prevent the Spirit from gaining a +300% damage buff
  • When the Enraged Spirit reaches 70% health, it will Slam the tank away, gain Gorebound Fortitude, and move to the exit
  • This must happen before the tank has to leave the stomach, or else the Enraged Spirit is likely to kill the DPS/healers in the stomach
  • Tanks should try to maximize their DPS on the Enraged Spirit, but other DPS in the stomach must also help with damage while possible

DPS who are transported into Gorefiend's stomach must destroy or damage as many Shadowy Constructs as possible.

  • The Constructs walk quickly toward the center of Gorefiend's stomach
  • Constructs are spread out, so cleave and short-range AoE are not useful, but multi-DoTting can be
  • If a Construct survives to exit Gorefiend's stomach, the Gorebound Construct it creates will have a reduced health total based on how much damage players did to the Shadowy Construct inside the stomach
  • Even if you can't kill a Construct before leaving the stomach, putting DoTs on it will still help!
  • The first set of DPS to be sent into Gorefiend's stomach should also help damage the Enraged Spirit when it spawns

Heal Tortured Essences
Healers who are transported into Gorefiend's stomach must heal Tortured Essences.
  • These adds spawn at the edges of the stomach with about 100k health, and walk slowly toward the center/exit
  • The Tortured Essences are not in the player's party, nor are they visible in the healer's raid frames
  • Players must target the Essence and attempt to heal it to full in the short time before the Essence exits
  • The higher health the Essence is when it exits Gorefiend's stomach, the lower health its associated add will have when it spawns outside
  • Essences that are fully healed will create no add, but even if you can't get an Essence to full health, any healing you can do will help!
  • Most heals can be used on the Essence, but damage-reduction/absorption abilities do nothing, as the Essences do not take damage, and they are immune to Lay on Hands

Unleashed Souls

When the Enraged Spirit leaves Gorefiend's stomach and enters the encounter area, it becomes a Gorebound Spirit.
  • Gorebound Spirits must be tanked, and will stack Fel Flames with each successful melee attack
  • Tanks should take no more than 10 stacks of Fel Flames before swapping duties
  • The Spirit will attempt to cast Bellowing Shout, which increases its damage dealt by 300%; this must be interrupted
  • The Gorebound Spirit will use Raging Charge to reach its threat target if tanks attempt to kite it

If a Shadowy Construct exits Gorefiend's stomach, it will become a Gorebound Construct.

  • Gorebound Constructs will choose a random player and pursue them
  • The targeted player is debuffed by Hunger for Life
  • If the Construct reaches its target, it will deal fatal damage to that player
  • The targeted player must kite the Constructs until the rest of the raid kills them
Tortured Essences that exit Gorefiend's stomach create Gorebound Essence adds.
  • These adds spam Spirit Volley, dealing light Shadow damage to all players outside Gorefiend's stomach
  • They cannot be interrupted or stunned, and are a source of constant raid damage
  • Players affected by the Spirit Volley have 50% reduced movement speed for 2 seconds
  • Every successful cast of Spirit Volley increases the damage of that Essence's next Spirit Volley by 20%
  • DPS must kill these Essences quickly to prevent the raid from being overwhelmed by damage
Gorefiend also has several other abilities he will direct toward players during this phase.

Every 25 seconds, Gorefiend will cast Touch of Doom.
  • Touch of Doom will affect a few random players, and will detonate when the debuff expires, dealing damage to the whole raid based on their distance from the Touch of Doom target
  • This also creates a Doom Well that deals heavy damage to players standing within it
  • Targeted players must move out to the edges of the encounter area to create their Doom Wells and help the raid minimize damage from the Touch of Doom detonation
  • Movement-speed increasing effects are useful for ensuring the Doom Wells are placed far away from the raid

Gorefiend will periodically cast Crushing Darkness, summoning a spiral-shaped pattern of small shadowy swirls that will detonate a few seconds later, dealing heavy damage to players within 4 yards. Players should move out of the swirls as they are forming. This can be difficult when affected by Spirit Volley, but alert players will have plenty of time.

Finally, Gorefiend uses Surging Shadows frequently, causing each player in the raid to erupt, dealing Shadow damage to themselves and all players within 5 yards. The raid must stay spread out more than 5 yards apart in order to avoid splashing this damage. This is not always possible - players running out Touch of Doom or collapsing for Shared Fateare likely to splash one another - but minimizing this damage is important to allow healers to save their raid CDs for the second phase of the fight.

Phase 2: Feast of Souls

Phase 2 begins when Gorefiend reaches 0 energy and begins to channel Feast of Souls. During this time, Gorefiend will regenerate energy at a rate of 5 every 3 seconds, taking up to one minute to refill his energy bar completely.

  • During Feast of Souls, Gorefiend will take 100% increased damage
  • Gorefiend will draw Unstable Souls toward him from the edges of the platform
  • If an Unstable Soul reaches Gorefiend, it will instantly grant him 10 energy, ending this phase earlier
  • Players can block the Unstable Souls by standing in their path
  • Collapsing an Unstable Soul in this way deals heavy damage to the player blocking it, and splashes moderate damage to players within 10 yards
  • Tanks can soak Unstable Souls very well; other players should use a defensive ability when soaking an Unstable Soul
  • Healers should use raid cooldowns during this phase
The raid's goal during the Feast of Souls phase should be to deal as much damage to Gorefiend as possible. When Gorefiend enters the phase, the raid should stack up for healing, finish off any existing adds, and soak Unstable Souls to prolong the phase as long as possible. Players should save their powerful DPS cooldowns for this phase, which occurs a little over 2 minutes into the fight. Subsequent Feast of Souls phases will occur every 3 minutes.

Once Gorefiend reaches 100 energy, he will re-enter Phase 1. This cycle will repeat until players have defeated Gorefiend.