This article concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
After the explosion of Auchindoun, Talon King Ikiss led the exodus of the Sethekk from Skettis to the ruins of Auchindoun. There, they sought their 'promised' enigmatic god, Sethe. Although a charismatic leader at the beginning, Ikiss has since descended into madness.
In Warlords of Draenor
This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.
Based on experiences by adventurers in the Spires of Arak, it appears that Talon King Ikiss was once a respected member of the Adherents of Rukhmar. However, he was thrown into the pools at the Sethekk Hollow, because he sought the hidden truth behind Terokk's downfall.
- Objective of
Attacks and abilities
- Melee: ~2k on cloth, 800–1000 on plate. Heroic: 1.5-1.9k on plate.
- Arcane Volley - hits surrounding targets for around 1500 arcane. This effect has a very long range and ignores LoS.
- Arcane Explosion - Massive and huge AoE (approx 40 yard range) 4.5 to 5k damage. Damage is only dealt to targets that are within line of sight. This Spell is ONLY cast right after he casts Blink.
- Blink - often to someone (even if they are out of LoS) — He casts this spell at 80% HP and again at 50% HP and once more at 25% HP. Right after he Blinks he casts Arcane Explosion
- Polymorph - turns someone into a sheep — lasts for 10 seconds, regenerates health but does not break on damage. Dispellable. Can be avoided with reflection.
- Mana Shield - 10,000 points of physical damage hit drain mana instead of health. He casts this spell at 15% HP and will never recast it again. Dispellable.
-Heroic Mode Only:
- Slow - Movement speed reduced by 60%. Time between melee and ranged attacks increased by 60%. Casting time increased by 60% for 8 seconds. Magic debuff; Can be dispelled.
- First, he casts a polymorph with a short duration of about 5 seconds. As a result, a secondary healer is helpful in the fight, as if the only healer is polymorphed, the fight becomes much more difficult, and an unlucky chain following a polymorph can lead to a wipe. The polymorph is dispellable and has a cast time, but cannot be interrupted. He seems to cast it on the second person on his threat list, and as such anything your party can do to help your healer reduce their threat generation will help with preventing a wipe.
- Second are his periodic Arcane Bolt volleys. It hits all characters and has infinite range, but can be resisted. A healer that is on top of the situation can usually make this ability trivial, particularly a priest that casts Prayer of Healing immediately after the volley, if possible. Ikiss casts the first volley soon after being aggroed; it is recommended that this initial damage is not healed (except on the tank) until the tank has sufficiently established aggro; even if you have a good tank, it's still helpful to stick with no more than HoTs on DPS characters until aggro is well-established.
- Last, and most deadly, is his blink-and-AoE combo. At various times throughout the fight, Ikiss will blink to a random character and begin casting a powerful, uninterruptible AoE blast (generally 4000–5000 damage), accompanied by an emote, that has a range of approximately 30 yards. The damage of this attack can be completely avoided by breaking line of sight, usually done by running around one of the four pillars in the room, and can also be resisted. The AoE has an animation and a fairly long casting time, which is crucial to watch for in order to avoid the damage from the attack — Ikiss's blink can be to a melee class character, and therefore very difficult to notice. Ikiss never casts his AoE without blinking immediately before it. The blink seems to have an threat reduction associated with it and it apparently possible that he may blink multiple times before settling into the AoE cast animation.
In a typical battle, your tank will run in and aggro Ikiss, pulling him next to a pillar. Ranged DPS and healers should position themselves near other pillars. Ikiss will soon cast his initial Arcane Bolt volley. Once sufficient threat has been established by the tank, DPS can begin. If possible, dispel polymorphs quickly. Watch for his blink and the AoE animation; as soon as this is seen, all characters must quickly run around a pillar near them, to a location where line of sight on Ikiss is broken. After the very noticeable blast, the tank should immediately move to re-establish aggro if another character has gained it. Another volley and polymorph will soon follow. Repeat until Ikiss is dead.
Melee classes seem to be most prone to dying in this strategy, as they usually have the farthest to run when Ikiss begins his AoE; if your party includes several (or is otherwise unable to survive long enough to kill Ikiss using the above strategy) Arcane Resistance gear or Arcane Protection consumables may help.
Generally, the most difficult part of the Ikiss fight is learning to notice his AoE animation. Once everyone knows what to look for and is able to quickly move to avoid it, the fight becomes trivial. The only difficulty then comes from DPS not waiting until aggro is re-established after the blast, and pulling Ikiss off the tank and dying.
Other effective strategies include using the stairs to the entrance/exit of the instance to break line of sight, having rogues use Cloak of Shadows to avoid the AoE blast entirely, and having healers equip PvP trinkets to dispel polymorph or using a Grounding Totem to avoid it. The volley may only be cast when there is at least one person out of melee range of Ikiss; moving everyone close to him may stop him from casting it, but can also make detecting his blink much more difficult. On the other hand, if entire groups knows well how blink/AoE animation sequence looks like or watches his emotes closely, staying together may actually help people to react on his preparations faster, as they won't have to check where exactly Ikiss blinked this time to decide where to run, because when everyone stay together Ikiss would practically blink to same place he was standing before casting his AOE.
Picking one pillar in advance for the whole party to hide behind can be very helpful to the healer. Additionally, using a ping-pong strategy each time Ikiss uses his AOE, will make it easier for the tank to re-establish aggro. After running behind a pillar, simply wait for Ikiss to come to you after his AOE (as opposed to running back out into the middle). This strategy works especially well in Heroic mode, since Ikiss will also cast slow on the party.
At all times it is possible to reset this encounter by having your party members run out of his room to the middle of the chamber before his. Arcane Volley can still hit you, but as long as the primary aggro target is out of his room, he will reset.
Many groups have trouble getting behind the pillars quickly enough. An easier method for handling the AoE, especially for melee-heavy groups, is to have the tank pull Ikiss to the hallway from which you entered and tank him right outside it, off to one side, in the room before Ikiss's chamber. When he blinks to begin his AoE, the party runs inside the hallway to either side of the doorway, and thus out of line of sight for the AoE. After the cast, Ikiss will run to the tank, and the tank moves him back to one side of the door. (Alternately, the tank can pull him to one side of the hallway, and the party run to either side of the door in the room before Ikiss's chamber. This tactic gives the party a significantly shorter distance to run to get out of Ikiss's range.
Note: The tank must be careful not to pull Ikiss too far into the other room, or it will reset the encounter.
Talon King Ikiss is somewhat more difficult now on Heroic Difficulty because he now will sheep the tank at random. When this happens, it is likely to cause a wipe because he will immediately aggro on the healer. Druid tanks are immune to his polymorph, and thus have a large advantage here. Healers could try to survive (paladin bubble, priest fade).
His damage output is about doubled on plate (1600–2000 a hit on a decently geared warrior) and all of his abilities have had their damage significantly upped. His arcane volley now hits for between 2000 and 4000 and he uses it fairly often, so it is advisable to bring arcane protection potions and/or two or three pieces of arcane resist gear to counter that. His blink/arcane explosion mechanics are the same — avoidable by line of sight, provided you have no lag problems. He is still very squishy, so concentrated damage can burn him down rather quickly.
Another problem in the fight is his arcane volley, so the healer has to be prepared to keep everyone close to topped off or they may end up dying from one of those. Healthstones and potions are invaluable in this fight at keeping people topped off, but the arcane resist makes it easier.
As of 2.1.0, he randomly casts Slow on the party, which lasts for around 10 seconds; this can be devastating before the arcane explosion. If a priest is healing, it's possible for the priest to mass dispel the group, so they have just enough time to run around the pillars. This can only be pulled off if the group is in the center, and everyone is paying attention to the Raid Warnings put up.
Another technique for heroic mode
One technique that has been proven to work involves placement of the two carpets in the hall. As you first enter the hall there is a green carpet at your feet. There is another carpet to your left, between the two pillars.
If the tank can keep Ikiss in the center until the blink, the rest of the party should stay on the carpet. Immediately following the blink, the tank should run directly to the other carpet, and the other four should run around the pillar to that same carpet. Do not heal or cast until the tank picks up aggro again. Repeat this procedure, alternating carpets.
- Bear tanks, which generate all their threat via physical damage, may have some difficulty holding aggro while Ikiss has Mana Shield up. He tends to use it when he is at low health, and it leads to agonizing wipes. Be ready to dispel or steal it.
- On heroic mode, if all else fails, just focus on healing the tank and the healer. It can be hard to heal through the arcane bolt volleys, as they hit everyone. It can be especially difficult for paladins. It is a lot easier when the volley only hits two targets. It takes a long time for the tank to kill Ikiss on his own, but it works eventually.
- When Ikiss kills someone he will say "Mmmm..." with an audio clip. This is the same sound that SkekSil makes in the movie, The Dark Crystal, periodically.
- As of patch 2.3 Ikiss no longer drops the key to Shadow Labyrinth, the key is now in a chest located directly behind the boss.
- Some of his sound files are similar to those spoken by Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films — the vocalisation is similar and upon killing a player, he yells "You die! Ka... Stay away from trinkets!" — Could trinkets be his preciouses?
- Until patch 2.3, Ikiss was one of very few bosses (possibly the only one) to drop loot requiring a higher level than his own to equip.
- Ironically, despite his ramblings about his trinkets, Ikiss does not have a single trinket on either of his loot tables.
- <squawk> Ra-ak! Trinkets, yes. Pretty trinkets! Ak! Power, great power. Ra-kaw! Power in trinkets! Ak-caw!
- Mmm, you make war on Ikiss? Aa-ak!
- Ikiss cut you pretty <cawing>, slice you yes!
- No escape for-, <Interrupted by his Squawk> for you!
Killing a player:
- You die! <squeak> Stay away from trinkets!
- Ikiss will not -- rak, rak -- die...