This page covers a healer-focused strategy for The Desolate Host in the Tomb of Sargeras. While it's tailored for healers, other roles may also find the information useful. If you have any suggestions or feedback, you can leave a comment below or tweet @PrestonDvorak.
This guide has been updated and maintained based on my own experiences with the fight as well as Dungeon Journal information. I'll continue to update it as-needed.
General Mechanics and Abilities
Normal and Heroic
This fight takes place across two realms, the Corporeal Realm and the Spirit Realm. Several adds are also present in each realm.
- Players can traverse between the two realms using Spiritual Fonts, which are small braziers around the outside of the room.
- You can safely use these before the fight to get into the realm you need to be in.
- On Heroic, both realms should stay on separate halves of the room to avoid damage from Dissonance.
- Engine of Souls
- The tanks will be dealing with Bone Shards.
- Avoid standing in Collapsing Fissures.
- When affected by Tormented Cries, point the cone away from the group.
- Standing in the infected ground left behind causes moderate damage over time and silences, as well as increased the damage taken by Tormented Cries.
- This means you can't stack the cones on top of each other unless you have an immunity or strong mitigation cooldown.
- This is a channeled cast, during which several players will be affected by it back-to-back.
- If no players are in the Corporeal Realm, Quietus will be cast continuously.
- On Heroic, when affected by Spear of Anguish, move away from other players to prevent spreading the healing absorb.
- This also knocks back the affected player and anyone else nearby, try to leave leave at least half the platform behind you to avoid falling off the sides.
- Reanimated Templar
- Ghastly Bonewarden
- When affected by Grasping Darkness, move away from other players to avoid spreading it.
- At 50% health, these also gain Bonecage Armor.
- This is once again removed by players affected by Shattering Scream, which is cast by Fallen Priestesses in the Spirit Realm.
- Soul Queen Dejahna
- Crush Mind is interruptible and deals heavy damage to a random player if not interrupted.
- When affected by Soulbind, move to the other linked player to break the effect.
- Wailing Souls deals moderate damage over time to all players in the Spirit Realm for 1-minute when used.
- This will likely require a group-healing cooldown towards the beginning or end, when it overlaps with other damaging mechanics.
- If no players are in the Spirit Realm, Quietus will be cast continuously.
- On Heroic, Wither deals light damage over time and doubles the damage taken from Wailing Souls.
- Depending on your healing capability, players affected by this may need to leave the Spirit Realm during Wailing Souls.
- Fallen Priestess
- Shattering Scream deals moderate damage over time and applies a stacking movement speed decrease.
- Upon reaching 5-stacks, it explodes, removing Bonecage Armor from all enemies within 5-yards.
- This can be interrupted until Bonecage Armor needs to be broken.
- Spirit Chains deals moderate damage, slows movement speed, and prevents the use of Spiritual Fonts.
- This should be dispelled.
- Soul Residue
- Avoid standing in the pools of Soul Rot left behind as these move.
- Don't stand near these when they die to avoid Soul Eruption.
The Desolate Host
At 30% health, the Engine of Souls releases the Desolate Host. The Desolate Host has several abilities that will be handled differently depending which realm you're in. However, players in both realms are able to see and attack it.
- The Engine of Souls and Soul Queen Dejahna are still alive.
- On Normal, they no longer use any of their special abilities.
- On Heroic, they now only use Spear of Anguish and Wither respectively.
- Sundering Doom
- Corporeal Realm: Stack inside the Doom to help split the damage.
- Spirit Realm: Run as far away from the boss as possible to mitigate the damage taken.
- Doomed Sundering
- Corporeal Realm: Run as far away from the boss as possible to mitigate the damage taken.
- Spirit Realm: Stack inside the Doom to help split the damage.
- Torment applies a stacking damage increase to the Desolate Host.
- Players can only voluntarily switch realms when below 50% health.
- Additionally, at 30% health, when The Desolate Host is active, Spiritual Fonts are destroyed and no one can switch realms voluntarily.
- Reanimated Templar, Ghastly Bonewarden, Fallen Priestess, and Soul Residue are now affected by Bound Essence, causing them to switch realms when killed.
- Soul Residue will periodically use Unrelenting, increasing their damage and movement speed.
Quick Notes, All Difficulties
- Players affected by Grasping Darkness will need light to moderate healing depending how many times the effect bounces.
- On Heroic, players with Spear of Anguish will need healing to remove the healing absorb effect.
- Players affected by Soulbind will need moderate healing over time until the effect is broken.
- Wailing Souls deals moderate damage to the entire group, and will likely require a group-healing cooldown.
- Players affected by Shattering Scream will need moderate healing over time.
- Spirit Chains should be dispelled.
- On Heroic, players affected by Wither will need light healing over a very long time and heavy healing during Wailing Souls.
The Desolate Host
- Sundering Doom and Doomed Sundering can deal heavy damage if there aren't enough players available to stack inside it, or if players don't run far enough away, depending on which realm they're in.
In-depth Notes, Normal and Heroic
Consider this section in "beta." My goal is to lay out the order of events without necessarily providing an entire strategy for all roles (other sites do that already). The idea being it should help organize your cooldowns or pre-healing. Feedback is greatly appreciated as Tomb of Sargeras is my first time attempting something like this.
Detailed Event List
The event list lays out major boss abilities based on what time they occurred after the boss entered combat (denoted by [minutes:seconds], along with notes on how to identify or handle the mechanics. Once enough events have repeated to develop patterns, the patterns are noted below the event list. Numbers are based on a 20-man Heroic group.
For The Desolate Host, I've separated the events based on realms. Some information may be a little sparse due to the random nature of which realm I'm in during the fight.
- [00:00] First set of two Fallen Priestess and three Soul Residue.
- [00:05] First Shattering Scream cast.
- [00:15] First Soulbind.
- [00:15] Second Shattering Scream cast.
- [00:21] On Heroic, first Wither.
- [00:28] Third Shattering Scream cast.
- [00:32] On Heroic, second Wither.
- [00:38] Fourth Shattering Scream cast.
- [00:42] Second Soulbind.
- [01:00] On Heroic, third Wither.
- [01:00] First Wailing Souls.
- This is when you'll want to use group-healing cooldowns in the Spirit Realm, particularly towards the beginning and end when it overlaps with other damaging mechanics.
- [02:01] Second set of Fallen Priestess and Soul Residue.
- [02:08] I switched to the Corporeal Realm.
- I decided to have Spirit and Corporeal healers switch realms after Wailing Souls to help conserve mana.
- Needing to heal two Wailing Souls meant the Spirit realm healers were running out of mana.
- [02:59] Second Wailing Souls.
Abilities denoted as "first" may not technically be the first ones of the entire fight, just the first ones I've seen after switching realms. I also wasn't seeing the graphic for Spear of Anguish, I'll add those times as soon as possible.
The Desolate Host
On Heroic, as long as Soul Queen Dejahna is still alive, the Spirit Realm will still need to deal with Wither, and as long as the Engine of Souls is alive, the Corporeal Realm will need to deal with Spear of Anguish.
Based on the Event List, we can assume the following:
- Spirit Realm
- Fallen Priestess and Soul Residue spawn every 2-minutes.
- Shattering Scream is cast every ~15-seconds as long as Fallen Priestess are alive.
- The timing can change a bit depending when and how often the cast is interrupted.
- Soulbind occurs every 45-seconds , starting 15-seconds into the fight.
- On Heroic, Wither doesn't seem to follow a set pattern.
- Expect to end up with 2-3 active at a time.
- Wailing Souls occurs every 2-minutes, starting 60-seconds into the fight.
- Corporeal Realm
- Tormented Cries occurs every 2-minutes.
- Soulbind occurs every 45-seconds , starting 15-seconds into the fight.
- Reanimated Templar and Ghastly Bonewarden spawn every 2-minutes.
- This is an educated guess based on the Spirit Realm adds.
- Grasping Darkness occurs every 4-seconds as long as Ghastly Bonewarden are alive.
- The Desolate Host
- Sundering Doom occurs every 25-seconds, starting 15-seconds into the Stage.
- Doomed Sundering occurs every 25-seconds, starting 25-seconds into the Stage.
- Soulbind seems to occur every 15-seconds during this Stage.
Debuffs to Track
- Spear of Anguish needs to be healed to remove the absorb effect.
- Spirit Chains needs to be dispelled.
- Several abilities cause players to need additional healing:
Below are the DBM settings I'll be using for The Desolate Host. You can set them up however you'd like, but these ones should work well as a starting point. Some settings may be Mythic only.
Heroic, Restoration Druid PoV
Below is a video of me and my guild defeating The Desolate Host on Heroic difficulty. There is no commentary, only game sounds.
Mythic, Restoration Druid PoV
Below is a video of me and my guild defeating The Desolate Host on Mythic difficulty. There is no commentary, only game sounds.
October 31, 2017 (Maiden of Vigilance) - Added Mythic kill video.
October 25, 2017 (Tomb of Sargeras) - Guide reviewed for patch 7.3.2, no changes needed.
October 05, 2017 (Mistress Sassz'ine) - Added Mythic kill video and clarified Mythic information.
August 29, 2017 (Tomb of Sargeras) - Added Mythic video to the healer guide for The Desolate Host.
August 08, 2017 (Tomb of Sargeras) - Added a mythic kill video and additional mythic information to the Sisters of the Moon healer guide.
July 25, 2017 (Tomb of Sargeras) - Updated Mythic information in the Goroth and Harjatan healer guides. Added Mythic kill video to Harjatan guide.
July 13, 2017 (Tomb of Sargeras) - Kil'jaeden healer guide updated with in-depth notes.
July 07, 2017 (Tomb of Sargeras) - Added in-depth notes to Maiden of Vigilance healer guide.
July 04, 2017 (Tomb of Sargeras) - Added kill video to Kil'jaeden healer guide.
July 03, 2017 (Tomb of Sargeras) - Updated Kil'jaeden healer guide with DBM settings and minor ability clarifications.