Za’qul is a 4 phase encounter that slowly gains complexity as you push the boss into later phases. Za’qul starts out only having a few abilities. Za’qul occasionally casts Tentacles which spawns a tentacle somewhere on the outside of the room then spawns 2 more (counter clockwise to the first spawn). These tentacles shoot out in a straight line across the circle from their spawn point and will knockback any players in the line as well as do heavy damage (generally lethal). Za’qul will also spawn 3 Horrific Summoners as long as at least 1 player is in the normal realm. The last ability Za’qul has is Dread. Dread causes 4 raid members to run in fear and deals heavy raid wide damage when dispelled.
Upon reaching 85% health, Za’qul opens the Fear Realm and drags the entire raid into the Fear Realm. While in the Fear Realm, all players inside gain a stack of Hysteria every 15 seconds. Za’qul also will mark two raid members with Manifest Nightmares which deals heavy periodic damage over a few seconds and leaves a Nightmare Pool near the afflicted player’s feet every tick. Upon expiration a Horrific Vision will spawn from each player. The last mechanic, Maddening Eruption will kill you if you are stood in it when it goes off. For 20 seconds after the Maddening Eruption goes off, Za’qul takes 30% more damage.
When Za’qul reaches 70% health, he will open the Delirium Realm. This realm is mostly for DPS players as any player who enters the Delirium Realm will be hostile to all other players within the realm. As a healer, the only things to worry about is to not go into the Delirium Realm (don’t stand in the orange eye balls of the floor), and dispel people who are coming out of Delirium Realm with Shattered Psyche.
Once Za’qul has been brought to 50% health, your entire raid will be pulled from whatever realm they are currently in and moved to the normal realm. From here, Dread turns to Manic Dread, and Horrific Summoners can only be killed in the Fear Realm. Periodically Za’qul will cast Psychotic Split which is mostly a DPS check but also spawns extra adds that will attack your tanks. This phase is tricky since the only way to get into the fear realm is to use your extra action button when stood next to a Horrific Summoner. This is also your only way out. Maneuvering between the fear and normal realm is your only way to manage Hysteria stacks so ensure you always have a summoner available if you want to move between realms.
Notable Azerite Traits and Essences
Since you will likely be stacked due to the movement patterns of the fight, Overflowing Shores and Spouting Spirits have good value here. Loyal to the End also isn’t bad since healing raid members quickly after dispelling multiple dreads is somewhat important when hysteria stacks are high. For essences, I prefer using Life-Binder’s Invocation and Memory of Lucid Dreams.
- Assign one healer to dispel a dread marker (boss mod addons generally have an option to mark players will Dread).
- Try to use at least 1 damage reduction cooldown per Dread. Dreads are over 1 minute apart so you’ll only need 3 sets of cooldowns that you can loop through.
- While you can use Tremor Totem to remove all Dreads simulatneously, you generally don’t want to do so unless everyone is full health, and you have two raidwide damage reduction cooldowns active.