This boss is the old Zul'Gurub raid version. See High Priest Venoxis for the 5-man, level 85, heroic mode dungeon version.

High Priest Venoxis' two forms

High Priest Venoxis was the High Priest of the Primal God Hethiss, the Snake.

In order to quell Hakkar the Soulflayer, the trolls of the land banded together and sent a contingent of High Priests into the ancient city of Zul'Gurub. Each priest was a powerful champion of the Primal Gods, but despite their best efforts they fell under the sway of Hakkar. Now the champions and their Primal God aspects feed the awesome power of the Soulflayer. Any adventurers brave enough to venture into the foreboding ruins must overcome the High Priests if they are to have any hope of confronting the mighty blood god.

Venoxis comes with 4 snake adds. He stays in priest form initially, where he casts Holy Nova, Holy Fire, and Renew. He can also cast Holy Wrath, a spell which jumps from person to person with damage increasing exponentially as it hits people (9000dmg per hit isn't uncommon). He later shifts to snake form, where his melee damage goes up dramatically and he releases a poison cloud AoE (500dmg/tick).


The High Priest isn't too hard, despite his recent buff in 1.9.

  • The first thing about this boss is getting to him and clearing out the entire room but him and his snakes. You will need this room. After you have killed all the other enemies in the room, get your MT and offtanks in the room, along with any CCers. This works best with at least 2 tanks, and 2-3 Mages or Druids. Get the rest of the raid directly outside the room, like this: outside the room
  • The next step is to have your offtank pull, so all the adds will come down to him. The main tank must immediately pull the High Priest off the OT or he will likely die. The OT must pull the adds to the rest of his raid, killing them one at a time. Sheep 3, sleep 3, Blind, Freezing Trap, whatever you have; the point is to have only one fighting at a time. Take them down quickly and move onto the next one, allowing the OT to break CC.
  • Next, you all run in to where the MT is tanking the boss. (He should be tanked near the bonfire for best results.) When the snake adds are dead, get within shooting range of the boss and unload anything you want on him while conserving some mana (meaning wands, bows, dots, low mana cost spells). Do this so that the High Priest won't use his Holy Wrath spell (a cranked-up chain lightning form of Holy Nova) to hit people, even those far away. This can easily wipe a raid.
  • Now, you MUST get rid of his mana and keep it gone the entire remaining fight to prevent Venoxis using his defense spells. With one hunter putting on a Viper Sting, use Warlocks to Drain Mana, Priests to Mana Burn and any other way you can think of. Do not melee until he is without mana. Circle around him like this to get rid of his mana: Mana draining
  • When all of his mana is gone, DPS with all melee you have, until he hits 50% health. Keep him away from casters, against a wall like this: DPSing him when no mana Keep him there, and back away at 50-55% because he will turn into his snake form and create a poison cloud. You won't enjoy it.
  • Next thing is to stay away from him. Everyone but the MT must stay at least 25 yards from him. No melee. At this time, you will have to be de-poisoning the MT and healing him like crazy. If he falls without a Soulstone, you will probably wipe. See this: Ranged DPS snake form You will be doing all the ranged DPS you can. Use your arrows, use your speed cooldowns, use your mana. Kill him quickly or your tank can drop.
  • At roughly 20% your other Warriors may want to use Bloodrage, run in and Execute in between Poison Clouds; this will do extra damage and drop him faster.

Alternate Strategy

  • Set up crowd control for 3 of the 4 adds and have the main tank body pull Venoxis by standing on the right side of the steps and being careful not to go in too far. The Mages immediately pick up their 3 Sheeps and a Hunter pulls in the marked add to the group (where an offtank is waiting). (We usually have the group stand near the campfire, with the tank along the right wall as you walk into the area.)
  • Take each add down individually. Once all 4 adds have been dealt with (they go down very fast) then everyone sets up to do range DPS only, because Venoxis will do a nasty AoE attack to all in melee range. (We don't bother with mana draining, just keep all heals on the tank and all DPS outside of the range of his AoE.)
  • At 50% he will turn into a snake and immediately drop a poison cloud. This conversion is crucial; all heals should remain on the main tank. The MT's job at this point is to run out of the Poison Cloud when it drops.
  • After the first poison cloud expires, we send in our melee DPS to unload.
  • Keep an eye on Venoxis's hands; when he raises them above his head, that means he has just cast Poison Cloud and you need to move out of that area ASAP. If everyone pays attention and moves out of the cloud (especially the tank), this boss is easy.

Strategy Notes

While following either of these strategies, keep these notes in mind:

  • You don't really need to kill all the adds. You can Crowd control the 4 adds. If possible, the whole fight long. For that you will need any combination of mages/druids (sheep/sleep). If not, just OT each add and kill it.
  • Holy Wrath can be avoided. If you keep no more than three people meleeing him (or anywhere near him for that matter), he will not spazz out and cast Holy Wrath.
  • Holy Wrath can be minimized. It only jumps about 10 feet at a time, so if everyone is EITHER at melee range or at maximum range, only melee will be hit. If you have powerful melee DPS, this can be worth it. Just don't send pets in.
  • Poison cloud can be cured. However, there are some warnings. If you stand in the cloud while being cured, the cloud will repoison you. Furthermore, if you are depending on the Poison Cleansing Totem, you are bound to run out of the reach by the time it could have saved you. The best advice would be for one healer to be on curing duty and he/she should cure only when the tank has gotten out of the cloud. This should save at least 2.5K health (500dmg per second, 10 second buff), and can make a big difference (in theory).
  • Venoxis will occasionally cast Renew on himself. The renew is dispellable, and it will help take him down faster if a priest watches for the renew to remove it.

Another Alternate Strategy

Set up with everyone but the MT and OT at entrance. Have OT body pull unless he can gain line of sight (doubtful with the stairs) and have the MT immediately taunt and pull Venoxis over to behind the camp fire. Have at least two priests keeping the MT alive at this point. CC 3 of the 4 adds and DPS them down one at a time as described in the other strategies. As soon as the adds are down the strategy changes a bit. Have all backup healing (anything but the priests) heal the MT and let the priests mana back up (they will be low on mana by the time the adds are dead). For phase one, because of the AoE, have nothing but ranged DPS on Venoxis. Once Venoxis hits 50% he changes to snake form and begins his cloud. All melee DPS goes in, the MT must keep him moving every time he sees the cloud start (raises hands). When he hits phase two the priests come back to healing. Keep him moving and stay out of the cloud, and he will be down in no time. This might be slightly more complicated, but it works very well for newer groups.

Another Alternate Strategy

  • ) raidleader marks 3 snakes with 3 symbols, mages / druid pick one symbol each so you get 3x sleeped/sheeped mobs.
  • ) a paladin bubbles and run up and start event.
  • ) mages/druids sheep/sleep there targets while MT take boss away from raid and start tanking him
  • ) a hunter puts down a vyper sting on the boss
  • ) raid starts to DPS down the addons one by one.
  • ) once only 1 snake is left the warlock and hunter switch to boss and start draining more mana.
  • ) only 5ppl in melee range from boss else he might AoE and wipe some raid members. so if your more then 5 melee classes tell them who is going to stand in raid using ranged weapon (pref. a def tank is somehow the boss gets loose for backup)
  • ) once the mana have reached 0 on the boss all ranged dps can begin / but let the warlock continue manadraining every now and then also let the hunter keep the vyperssting on at all times.
  • ) dps boss down fast now / 1-2 healers should try and preserve mana for second stage as the boss will hit harder.
  • ) once in second stage just continue DPS, if your not MT use bandages/pots to stay alive as the healers is busy with the MT.

Another Alternate Strategy - after patch 2.0

This boss is extremely easy and any mana draining strategies are superfluous. A group of 8 and no warriors took him down with ease, resetting him only once due to some group miscommunications. A well equipped druid can even tank this boss, provided he has 2-3 healers. Simply offtank Venoxis on your tank with one healer, while the rest DPS the adds. Switch to Venoxis, staying well back of him until he shifts. Then increase DPS and healing on the MT, while making sure to dispel his HoT (renew). With raidtracker you can have it announce when he heals to make it super easy. I could see Venoxis being down by 1 warrior, 1 priest, 1 shaman/paladin, 1 warlock and perhaps a hunter or mage. A 5 man group with tier 2-3 would make short work of him.

Further Observations

As of Patch 1.10 Venoxis doesn't need mana to cast his AoE spell. Our group fully drained his mana and kept it down to zero as the melee DPS went in. Shorty after that, he cast his AoE which jumped from the warriors and rogues to the caster and one-shot half of our raid. Since then, we only deal ranged DPS during the Phase 1 of the fight.

Alternate point of view

It seems doubtful any of the bosses in ZG can cast spells with zero mana - although this is up for debate. It is certainly true though that they can cast with 100-200 mana, and it is very hard to keep them completely at zero.

Regardless, it is perfectly possible to do Venoxis with no mana draining - and almost certainly easier, in fact. Keep only 2-3 characters in melee range in phase 1, and the rest at 20 yards+ and he will not use Holy Wrath at all.


Serpent form:

  • Let the coils of hate unfurl!


  • lassst!


Primal Hakkari armor tokens
Inv bracer 18.png250250
Inv bracer 05.png250250
Inv bracer 14.png250250
Inv belt 12.png250250
Inv shoulder 19.png250250
Inv belt 07.png250250
Inv chest chain 12.png
Inv shirt 07.png250250
Inv banner 01.png250250

Shared with other High Priests
Inv jewelry ring 16.png
Inv jewelry ring 20.png
Inv belt 01.png
Inv helmet 41.png
Inv misc cape 16.png
Inv gauntlets 10.png
Inv misc cape 16.png
Inv gauntlets 31.png
Inv helmet 61.png
Inv waepon bow zulgrub d 01.png
Inv misc head troll 02.png

Loot Specific to Venoxis
Inv weapon shortblade 31.png
Inv chest plate08.png
Inv boots chain 04.png
Inv jewelry ring 46.png
Inv axe 34.png
Inv misc cape 10.png

Patches and hotfixes

World of Warcraft Patch 1.7.0 (13-Sep-2005): Added

External links

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