Hey all, hope you are having/had a good time at Blizzcon (if you could go, unlike I). I, instead of frolicking around as elves and spacegoats with like-minded individuals, set down to the hard work of grinding Zandalar rep before it gets turned into a Feat of Strength in Cataclysm. And, as you may be well aware, one of the prime pieces of grinding Zandalar reputation is doing the dungeon, Zul'gurub, which is also getting removed in Cataclysm. You may be even more less aware that I am a moonkin, and perhaps even the least aware that I didn't want to group with people, so I'm doing it solo. So... yep. That's the title.
Zul'Gurub: The Background
ZG, as it is abbreviated, was a raid instance, added in patch 1.7. The first raid that was neither 40-man nor world, it paved the path into the 10 and 25 man raids we know today. The lore behind it follows the ancient troll empire called the Gurubashi, who were in great desperation after the Sundering. In order to help with their troubles, a group of Gurubashi Priests called the Atal'ai enlisted the aid of one Blood God Hakkar (who has nothing to do with a Knaakian Houndmaster) to help them. But, as blood gods are prone to do, he wanted a load of sacrifices which the trolls weren't too keen on. They sent in those priests to try to kill Hakkar, but they got enslaved, and eventually everyone who wasn't enslaved fled. Now, the Zandalar tribe is recruiting adventurers to go destroy Hakkar, in an attempt to rid the trolls of him once and for all.
The raid is on a 3-day lockout timer and is not reset as per the weekly schedule. It has 5 priest-bosses which need to be destroyed before Hakkar if you wish him not to gain special abilities. For soloing purposes, just kill the priests then him. Also, there are 4 optional bosses per lockout, one requiring fishing and a questline done (Gahz'ranka).
Picture from Wowwiki's DarkRyder
The entire raid took me about 2 and a half hours to complete, but that was with two optional bosses, learning the strategies, and killing extra trash for rep. After a couple of tries, I'd imagine I can speed it up to under an hour. I should mention to solo this, you need to be in a raid - I logged on to a second account, invited them, and then disconnected off of that account. If you have a friend who isn't questing, that's another alternative.
A couple of brief notes: Starfall is handy, but be careful not to pull too many groups. Thorns is now deadly, so keep it in your rotation. Typhoon with daze can be a godsend, and if you're alliance, use and over-use that shadowmeld. 1-stack lifeblooms were, I found, the most effective healing technique, with a rejuvination on top of that if you need a bit more punch till the bloom comes around. Anything requiring more than that, and you're better off killing the damage-doers.
First, you are met with a bit of trash in the path going forward. They're pretty easy to kill, but the Axethrowers can get you into trouble if they're left alive for too long - they have a nasty 10-second or so channeled stun. Dotting them up is a simple, but effective, way of removing this threat. Barkskin + Hurricane + Typhoon your way to the first fork, where you'll take a right to the first boss: 1, High Priestess Jeklik (Wowhead). She's a pretty simple tank and spank, but she's a little hard to find if you don't know where you're looking - she's standing on the wall where you'll be looking as you come in. "/tar High" if you're really having trouble.
After her comes 2, High Priest Venoxis (WH). Just run back down the road to the fork, and go straight until you hit the room filled with snakes. clear the snakes and burn him down. Simple simple tank+spank.
Next is 3, High Priestess Mar'li (WH), the Spider boss. Go out of the snake room, follow the main road, and take the next right. Take a right at the next fork and from there follow the cobwebs and skitterers. Oh, and don't use Starfall in this room. Just... don't. She's now much of a challenge, but it makes sense to kill her adds so they don't get big, which they do if they're left alive. She'll turn into a nerubian at the end, which can be pretty shocking if you're zoomed way in. Yea, that's you, Myebika.
Once the spiders are put to an end, you have the option of doing an extra boss - 7, Bloodlord Mandokir (WH). He has a chance of dropping a mount, so it's usually worth it. Take the alternate fork from where you went following the spiders, and take a left in the room filled with trolls. You don't need to kill them, but they drop coins and other rep-things that, if you can't use, someone on your server can (so stick those on the AH!). Clear the floor, and get ready for 2 minutes of travel form. The trick to him is that after 2 minutes, he hits for very little damage, making the fight a breeze. But before then, you have a high danger of dying if you try to just take it. The trick is to aggro him, set your trees and dots on him, then kite him around in travel form for two minutes while periodically breaking form to heal yourself. It can take a while to get used to, but once you do, it's a snap. After that, it's a DPS race, so blow up his face with all you've got.
A note here - there are some big trolls that run around and aren't to tough, 'cept they have a brutal knockback. Just keep it in mind when you're fighting - don't get knocked into the lake!)Next comes another optional event, 10, The Edge of Madness (WH, 2, 3, 4). This one's just bloody annoying - first off, you can't pull too many of the trash imps at a time, because they spawn portals that summon trough voidwalkers that (if you have too many) can overwhelm you or, you need to kite. Second, the bosses are summoned out of four, which are determined by the day you summon them on. Lastly, you need a now-never made item to summon them (oh, by the way, alchemists can click on the tablet on the wall to learn how to make said item). So... yeah. Not really worth it. They are, however, required if you want to make the ZG Trinkets.
This is followed by another brutal one - 4, High Priest Thekal (WH). I have not found a successful way to kill this boss, as a moonkin, without the now infamous bug. I'm not going to relate it here, but I'm sure you can find it if you look hard enough (it was on wowhead, might have been removed). Otherwise, you'll need to kill the two tigers (probably by Thorns) and simultaneously dps down the two adds, making sure they die at the same time. If you can do that without dying, I'm super impressed, and then you'll need to kill Thekal himself (who, once this has been done, is pretty easy). It's the high damage output that really gets you here, so +Defence food, pvp gear, maybe some Indestructible potions even. Comment below if you find a good strat.
EDIT: A strat has been found! See here for more info.
EDIT: A strat has been found! See here for more info.
Next is another optional (Fishing!) boss by the name of 9, Gahz'ranka (WH). He is fairly simple, in that if you do enough damage to him before he kills you, he dies. I didn't attempt him because I forgot my Mudskunk Lure, which must be purchased from Nat Pagle in Dustwallow Marsh after completing a quest, started in ZG, which requires you to go to Nat and return his... measuring tape. You actually only need level 1 fishing to do this quest. To summon him, fish up 5 Zulian Mudskunks from pools nearby Gahz'ranka, and then combine them using the Mudskunk lure you purchased. Use it at Pagle's Pointe (9) and dps him down. Fishing him up also gets you an achievement (Deadliest Catch) which will become a FoS in Cataclysm. (Side note - he drops Tome of Polymorph: Turtle, a cool polymorph for mages, but this will NOT be removed in Cataclysm, and will be available through alternate means. Sorry, all you who were hording them.)
Next, run up the ramp from Pagle's and go down the main road on the other side of the lake until you see the big building guarded by panthers. Run/fight your way to the bottom, and you're at 5, High Priestess Arlokk (WH), a bit of a joke compared to the previous bosses. The one issue I found with her is that she likes to bug out. Often. So dps her down quickly, and there's a chance her panthers might not even attack you, so a few hundred panthers might jump you at the end. Have your typhoon key ready.
Next is the last optional boss, 8, Jin'do the Hexxer (WH). If you use trees here, he tends to mind control you and make you attack them. Other than that, I found fighting him on top of the dancing skeletons is a good idea, because then when he teleports you it doesn't require extraneous movement or potential buggery. Hurricane + barkskin or just thorns the skellies, and blow the Hexxer to bits. Oh, and little bit of annoyance can happen here if he decides to mind control you near the end. If he dies while a mind control totem is still controlling you, you will stay that way for 4 minutes until it despawns. Yep. Fun times.
Now, the main event. 6, Hakkar (WH), resides at the top of the temple in the center. Fight your way to the top (there's a couple of large trash packs, so don't be afraid to wait for cooldowns), and it's nice to face him on an open platform. He hits a little harder than the other bosses, but it's not much to be scared of. A rejuv or a lifebloom here or there will cover it.