Trial of the Champion (sometimes called "Crusaders' Coliseum: Trial of the Champion") is a 5-player dungeon in the Crusaders' Coliseum. It involves three encounters, each of which rewards a Champion's Seal in Heroic mode.
Every loot item which drops in both Normal and Heroic modes of this dungeon is of epic quality. The loot for Normal mode equals or surpasses 10-man Naxxramas drops in some slots. The loot for Heroic mode equals or surpasses 10-man Ulduar drops in some slots. Its difficulty should not be underestimated: Trial of the Champion is by no means a "get epics quick" scheme for under-geared players.
The dungeon progresses in a linear fashion, but with a different encounter set based on the player's faction:
The first encounter pits the player's party against three champions of the opposite faction:
|Alliance champions||Horde champions||Equivalent player class|
The second encounter is three packs of three trash mobs, followed by one of either:
Finally, all parties will face the 'surprise' encounter of:
Grand Champions Encounter
This encounter is done on the Argent Warhorse. To mount the warhorse the player must have a lance equipped. Lances can be found at the entrance of the Dungeon. The encounter starts with some Role Play with the herald introducing the players and the Champions. As of Patch 3.2.2, if everyone in the group has seen the event since said patch, you have an option to skip the event. The fight consists of 4 "packs".
The first three packs can be considered "trash" and consist of three groups of three mounted mobs of the race of the three representing Factions. The fourth pack are the three Champions.
The trash is handled easily by focusing on one mob at the time (mark them out). If all 5 players can charge in on the same initial target, it should go down quickly after if not already at the 5th charge because of javelins throws (2) of the first chargers. Try and focus on the same second target and the trash mobs should go down pretty easy. Make sure you keep up your shield (3 stacks) at all time during this encounter. Note that, if your mount is killed and you are dismounted, you can obtain a fresh mount provided you stay alive long enough to reach one. Positioning yourself near a fresh mount when you're about to be dismounted helps.
When the three trash packs are down, the three Champions will attack your group. Basically this is the same deal: all focus on one target and they should go down. The difference is that they have more health and use more shields than the trash.
Note that when you take down a Champion, he will try to get back on one of the mounts on the outside. You can prevent him from doing that by simply running over him with your mount. All three Champions must be downed at the same time before you can engage the Champions in normal combat. To do this agree on one person to stand on the first downed Champion, so he gets knocked down the moment he tries to get up (just standing still on a Champion is enough to knock them down again). Same goes for the second Champion.
Once all three are down, you are going to be dismounted. The champions will walk to their gate and reset. Now, equip your normal weapon again (important) and engage the Champions.
By and large, the following order should be followed to ensure a smooth victory;
- Lana Stouthammer/Deathstalker Visceri - poison clouds and a stacking DoT can make her/him the most dangerous champion; a druid using Abolish Poison or a Poison Cleansing Totem mitigates this significantly.
- Colosos/Runok Wildmane - his heals aren't especially potent but can still draw things out longer than desired. Having a mage, Shadow Priest, or any other class who can interrupt focus them and smack their Lesser Healing Wave when they see it can help a lot.
- Melee heavy group; Marshal Jacob Alerius/Mokra the Skullcrusher - Bladestorm can make swift work of a melee-heavy group, especially on heroic, and especially if the Rogue is also present.
- Ranged/Clothie-heavy group; Jaelyne Evensong/Zul'tore - their arrows hit hard and fast and unless they're controlled quickly by the tank, they can destroy your healer before anyone can react.
- Ambrose Boltspark/Eressea Dawnsinger - the least dangerous of the lot, save maybe for their Polymorph if the group is using a non-druid tank. Having a Mage or S.Priest focus on them and interrupt their Fireball will render them largely harmless.
Argent Champion Encounter
The next phase will feature three trash packs, followed by one of either Argent Confessor Paletress or Eadric the Pure. The trash packs consist of one Argent Priestess, one Argent Lightwielder and one Argent Monk each. On the whole, the kill order should be Priestess > Lightwielder > Monk - on heroic mode, the Monk will channel a spell that reduces cast and attack times by 70% when he is 'killed'. This shield, and the effect, can be broken by Mass Dispel or Shattering Throw.
Once all three trash packs are dealt with, the boss (whichever one you ended up with) will become hostile and attack.
Eadric the Pure
Eadric the Pure needs to be controlled quickly as his passive buff, "Vengeance", causes his attacks to crit quite often, and he can quickly kill a healer or ranged DPS if the tank isn't quick enough picking him up. Once engaged it is a relatively simple tank-and-spank encounter. He will make use of two moves during the fight;
- Radiance: Announced by a Raid Warning - as per instruction, if you "shield your eyes" (turn to face away from him), you will remain unaffected by the spell. Anybody facing him when the spell goes off will be interrupted and subject to a 4 second stun effect. Tank and any melee can most easily step forwards through him, stepping back at the end of the cast.
- Hammer of the Righteous: This attack is connected to the 5-man heroic-only achievement, . He will stun one party member at random with a Hammer of Justice style move and ready a large, glowing hammer, much like those used by the Dwarves of Wildhammer Keep in Shadowmoon Valley.
- If the stunned person, or someone else in the group, removes the stun in time (it is a magical effect so Dispel Magic and Cleanse will do the job, as will PvP trinkets or the Human racial, Every Man for Himself), then the targeted player will instead catch the hammer and be able to throw it back at him with button 1 on their action bar.
- The hammer only lasts for 4-5 seconds before vanishing if not used, so careful timing is required on heroic mode to ensure the hammer deals the killing blow. Reducing him to ~5% health and then stopping all DPS to wait for the next hammer is the easiest way to do this.
- If the stun is not cleared, the targeted player will take upwards of 15k damage.
Once reduced to 1 health, Eadric will run to the center of the arena, place his loot chest, and then flee.
Argent Confessor Paletress
Once hostile, she will begin casting Holy Fire and Holy Smite at random party members; both of these, as well as her rather powerful Renew, can be counterspelled and interrupted, so do so when possible. Her Renew can also be dispelled from her or her summoned add, and since it ticks for 15-20k, it's advisable to do so.
When she is first reduced to 50% she will knockback and stun all party members and summon an add, "Memory of X" - where X is a randomly selected boss from seemingly anywhere in the game, including Ignis the Furnace Master, Edwin VanCleef, Hogger, Lady Vashj and others.
Regardless of what the add may resemble it will have only a few basic attacks; a magical debuff (+90% cast times), a party-wide Fear (which can be resisted through Berserker Rage or Fear Ward, or removed through trinkets/spells/racials, but cannot be interrupted during the casting) and melee attacks.
Once summoned, all DPS should focus on killing the add and ignore Paletress, as she will throw up a shield protecting her from harm and returning 25-50% of all damage dealt to her to the caster. This shield will vanish when the add is slain and she can then be defeated.
Note that even whilst shielded, moves such as Taunt, Dark Command, Growl (from a Druid) and Death Grip will still work to direct her focus at the tank for a short while, which can help keep damage away from the rest of the group.
As with Eadric the Pure, once reduced to 1hp, she will run to the centre of the arena, place her loot cache, and leave.
The Black Knight
A short RolePlay session will begin where the Black Knight, atop a Bone Gryphon, flies into the arena, kills the Herald (Arelas Brightstar for Alliance or Jaeren Sunsworn for Horde) for ruining his "grand entrance" and engages the party in a three-phase fight. In the first two phases he will have one or more Ghoul pets - be aware that these can all use Explode much like the ability given to players affected by Raise Ally, and on heroic mode this damage can be quite devastating.
Through the first two phases, he will lay the standard Death Knight diseases (Frost Fever and Blood Plague) on his target, as well as spawning Desecrated Ground periodically. The damage from this is ignorable with a good group but a slightly less geared group may wish to drag him out of it to minimise the amount of stress-related hair-loss inflicted on the healer.
In Phase 1, the Black Knight, returned from the dead, appears as a Forsaken in his old armour. He will raise the body of the slain Herald from the dead as a Ghoul which will also engage the party; the tank must be aware of this to pick him up so he doesn't kill your healer. The Ghoul is not elite, and a solid melee DPS can easily 'tank' him if needed - but all DPS should focus on it to kill it fast enough that it does not explode, especially if you want the heroic-only achievement, . Once the Ghoul is defeated, the party can then kill the Black Knight. Hm, that seemed too easy... oh, never mind, he's getting up again!
- If your group is mostly single-target DPS, the tank can kite the boss around the arena with the ghouls in tow; so long as he keeps a hold of them; and thus avoid anyone being hit by Ghoul Explosion.
- If the group has a couple of good AoErs (mages, warlocks, shadow priests, warriors with cleave/whirlwind spam, rogues, etc.) then the tank can gather the lot and have the AoE shred through them before any have a chance to explode.
You can kill either the Black Knight or the Army first, but if you kill him first, all the remaining ghouls will explode after a short time all together, so it's advisable to AoE them down, especially if you're going for the achievement.
Once the Army of the Dead is dealt with and the Black Knight is dead once again, you're on to phase 3.
Third time's the charm - the Black Knight gets back to his... er, ghostly remnants of feet and comes at you a final time. There are no adds to deal with in this final phase, but he will constantly deal damage to all party members, so spells like Divine Sacrifice or Hand of Sacrifice will help the party or a single, particularly fragile, party member alive. One party member will also be afflicted by "Marked for Death" - the healer MUST keep their eyes open here as Marked for Death will increase their magical damage taken by 200% and this can very quickly result in their death if not watched for. Other than that, it is a tank-and-spank fight. When slain this third and final time, he stays dead, and you can collect your loot from the blackened orb he leaves behind like any other Wraith. Note, if the Desecration effect from Phase 2 is still present when he resurrects, move out of it quickly, as it will lay you to waste in very short order when coupled with Marked for Death. If you have a Priest, Druid or Shaman healer, the easiest way to get through this phase is often to have all party members gather as close to the boss as possible and have the healer chain-cast group heals such as Prayer of Healing, Chain Heal or Wild Growth, with the occasional focused heal for whoever's afflicted with Marked for Death.
|Plate +spell power|
|The Black Knight||Description|
|Two handed axe|
|The Black Knight||Description|
|Normal PTR encounter|
|Full instance by the Alliance|
|All Bosses - Paladin Tanking Perspective 1080p|
- Patch 3.2.2 (2009-09-22): "We've fixed this in patch 3.2.2. You should no longer feel obliged to zone out to reset their positions." (Source) In the 5-player Trial of the Champion (normal and heroic dungeon), the transition from mounted to hand-to-hand combat has been changed.
- Patch 3.2.0 (04-Aug-2009): Added.