Rogue vs. Shade of Aran

Shade of AranCongratulations! You’re past Curator and your raid group has T4 gear! Once you defeat Curator you have several paths to choose from. There is the Chess Event (easy loot) which leads on the Prince Malchezzar. Or there are three optional bosses all available here – Netherspite, Terestian Illhoof, or Shade of Aran.

Shade is one of my favorite fights. Maybe that’s because a rogue has a definite role besides just dps. We haz interrupts! General raid guides for Shade can be found here, here, and here.

Gear – you will take damage in this fight. Make sure you have some stam gear on. You should have over 8k health (preferably higher) when you start the fight.

Shade has no aggro. He is going to randomly spin around firing off spells at people. For dagger rogues, this is a little problematic because its nearly impossible to stay behind him. In addition, he is immune to Rupture. So you will be relying on your Sinster Strike and hitting Backstab (or Mutilate) whenever he turns his back to you. Sword rogues can use their usual rotation. Keep your SnD up at all times to get as much damage in as you can when you are engaged with him.  Edit:  Since patch 2.4 undead mobs can be Ruptured.

Note: since he has no aggro table, then make sure you don’t have the Blessing of Salvation from your pally. Go with Might for this one for the added AP.

Shade’s armor is fairly low. His health drops very quickly if you can sustain your dps through all of the chaos that goes on. That’s the key – keep your dps going through everything happening.

Shade does many things. Most of the time he is firing frostbolts, arcane missiles, and fireballs around at random players. This is where your interrupts come in. You can’t kick them all. Assign any players in the raid who have interrupts to one of those three spells. Watch Shade’s cast bar and interrupt as many as possible. If you don’t have enough interrupts in your group, then try and stop the arcane missiles and the fireballs since they do the most damage. Not only does this reduce raid damage to save your healer’s mana, but it slows down the rate of Shade’s mana use. That becomes important later…

Edit: Another strategy is to only interrupt the frostbolts and fireballs and let the arcane missles go. Because of the different spell mechanics, Shade’s mana will last longer with this approach. That gives your raid a better chance to kill him before his mana gets down to 20% and he polymorphs/pyroblasts (see below).

Every so often he will use a magnetic pull to suck everyone to him. That means that a big Arcane Explosion is incoming (not interruptable). You have to get out to the edge of the room to be out of its range. When you turn to run, you find that your movement speed is slowed. You should still have plenty of time to get far enough away. Rogues can Cloak of Shadows out of the slow effect, or use Sprint to offset it. But don’t waste them unless you have to. As soon as the explosion goes off, get back in there ASAP and start your dps.

The part of the encounter where it is easy to screw up is the Flame Wreath. Shade will cast this spell (also not interruptable) and several people will be surrounded by rings of flames. If you are in a Flame Wreath and you move, it will blow up the raid. Moving during Flame Wreath is considered the ultimate in Kara noobishness. Don’t do it. Know this – if a Rogue hits Cloak of Shadows during Flame Wreath it will set off the explosion. Don’t use CoS in a Flame Wreath!!!!!!! You can attack while you are in the wreath. Just don’t move.

The third thing that Shade does is cast a Blizzard (also uninterruptable). It moves clockwise around the perimeter of the room. For melee classes it is easy to avoid because it stays at the outer part of the room. The problem for you comes if there is an impending Arcane Explosion while a Blizzard is going on. When you run to the edge of the room to avoid the explosion you also need to avoid walking into the Blizzard. This is a good time to use your Cloak of Shadows so that you can run at full speed to avoid the two spells.

If all goes well and no one has moved during the Flame Wreath and the healers have not died during a Blizzard, then the fight should feel like a dance. When Shade gets down to 40% health, it becomes more chaotic. Four elite water elementals spawn and start attacking. In general, it’s not a rogues job to deal with them. They can be feared, banished, or tanked depending on your raid makeup. Someone has to keep them off the healers. Because rogues are on interrupt duty, though, you will most likely stay on Shade of Aran while others handle the elementals.

This has all been pretty complicated. What else could happen? Well, if Shade gets his mana down to 20%, he Mass Polymorphs everyone into sheep and then sits down to drink. When he is done drinking he does a Pyroblast that will hit for around 7500 damage. How do you avoid this? Strategy #1 is to kill him before his mana gets to 20%. Well-geared groups can do that. If that’s not going to happen with your raid, then make sure you have enough health to survive a 7500 point pyroblast. Hopefully enough of the raid survives the blast to finish Shade off.

If you get him down, then you can get the Rapscallion Boots (unless you already have the superior Edgewater Longboots from Moroes). You might also roll on the Saberclaw Talisman (unless you already have the Worgen Claw Necklace from Attumen) or the Drape of the Dark Reavers . The Drape is the best prize here, so keep your fingers crossed.


4 Responses to “Rogue vs. Shade of Aran”

  1. March 20, 2008 at 8:00 am


    Not a major thing, but I’ll suggest a different strategy here – letting the Arcane Missiles go.

    I’ll explain. The Shade spends the mana for his three spells differently. Like any mage, Fireball and Frostbolt are spent when the spell is actually cast – so when you interrupt them, he has wasted casting time and not spent any mana.
    When casting the Arcane Missiles, he spends the mana up front. If you interrupt those, then he immediately moves on to casting his next spell – spending his mana more quickly, and making it much harder to avoid the polymorph.

    If you are having trouble getting him down prior to the sheepy-pyroblasty-fun-time, I’d suggest only interrupting fireballs and frostbolts, and those only in the 2nd half of their casting. Let the Arcance Missles go, unless you see them targeting a healer with low health. This way, you are letting him stretch out his mana as long as possible.

    This is what ended up working for us on runs where we just didn’t have the dps to burn him down otherwise. And yes, rogues rock in this fight.

  2. March 20, 2008 at 9:59 am

    I have to agree with notcoding. Not only with everything he said but also interrupting the Arcane Missiles causes Aran to move. He’s much easier to DPS when he’s not moving about. My guild has only interrupted the Frostbosts and Fireballs, usually with two characters with interrupts on each spell.

    Regarding the Flame Wreath, hold off DPS during a Flame Wreath if Aran is near 40%, nothing is worse than stacking not being able to move with 4 elemental running around smacking people.

    Also, because of the chaos that the elementals at 40% cause, we usually have the Rogues focus fire the elementals and burn them down. This has worked rather well. Lately, we regularly have enough DPS that we beated the clock on the Polymorph.

    And I still haven’t gotten my Drape of the Dark Reavers. QQ

  3. March 20, 2008 at 10:19 am

    I’m going to add your advice into the post.

    Thanks for that advice. I had read about that in one of the strategy guides, but it never became an issue for us. My guild wasn’t close to beating the polymorph, so we didn’t really nitpick about Shade’s mana. We were more worried about our healers’ endurance. So we interrupted the spells with the highest damage and made sure we survived the pyroblast.

    I never got the Drape either. 😦 And Shade never moved around for us. I think that we missed enough interrupts that he always had one of his spells available. If we had as many interrupts in our raid as you did it might have been a bigger concern.

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