Ruby Sanctum and you: dance, puppet dance!

Well, with Ruby Sanctum released (and cleared in a less efficient manner than expected – we actually used CC on trash!) it’s time to review the instance, the bosses and some tactics and advice to help you get through the encounters without denting yourself too much.

First, in Dalaran there will be the quest “Trouble at Wyrmrest Temple” available at the Kirin Tor sanctum. This will lead you to Krasus, who asks you to investigate the Ruby Sanctum. The quest is complete upon entry, but you cannot yet turn it in. You see, the lady who’s supposed to help you is trapped in a tree, assaulted by Baltharus the Warborn.

To get to him, you have to clear some trash. In general, the trash hits like a monster truck even on ICC25 hardmode-geared tanks, so make judicious use of CC. The best forms of CC here are a Druid’s Sleep and a Paladin’s Repentance. If there is a commander among the pack, make sure to tank him away from the rest and kill him first, as he will buff the damage of the others.

Baltharus the Warborn

This fight is relatively easy from a ranged point of view. Baltharus does a whirlwind, so do not get too close. Every 33% health lost will cause him to spawn another copy of himself (at 50% on 10man), which needs to be tanked. Tank the copies away from him, or your tanks will suffer multiple whirlwinds in quick succession.

Now and then a few of the raid members will gain a debuff, Enervating Brand, which will buff his damage – they need to run away from the rest to protect the tank.

As a Shadowpriest, multi-dotting skills come in handy here. Make sure to keep all your dots up on him and the copies, and keep the pressure on. One of them will be the real Baltharus (although I have no idea how to recognize him to be honest, as he seems to clear debuffs upon spawning copies) and should be marked. Focus your DPS on him to get him down as soon as possible.

Saviana Ragefire

The Drake floating near the lake has a fiery breath and needs to be tanked facing the lake. Every so often, she will fly up into the air and cast Conflagrate on a few raid members (marked with an arrow above their heads like at Sindragosa). They need to spread away from the rest of the raid or be incapacitated, taking damage, and spreading this to nearby people.

Otherwise, this fight is quite easy. As a Shadowpriest, it is possible to move to the edge of the lake, continue DPS on her and cast Fade and/or Dispersion when she comes down to get rid of aggro and her fire breath damage before she lands.

General Zarithrim

This creature will apply Sunder Armor on the tank, so the tanks switch every 2-3 stacks. He will also periodically stun the raid and summon adds. We found that it was easiest to just have them tanked and burn down the boss. Even if you DPS the adds, it is unlikely you will kill them before the next wave comes. Once the boss is dead they despawn anyway. If you need more VE healing feel free to multidot some adds, but don’t go out of your way as it just wastes mana.


Once Zarithrim is dead, Halion will land in the middle of the Sanctum. He stands in a ring with a draconic rune in the middle, forming the edge of the battlefield. After being engaged, the ring erupts in flames, blocking access and escape.

Phase 1

Halion will do a fire breath and tail swipe, as usual, and will need to be tanked roughly in the middle. Now and then he will call down a fiery comet (move away from it) which will create fiery trails (move out of it). Every now and then people will get a debuff which makes them seem on fire. These people should move to the edge and be cleansed. This will create a fire patch (can be hard to see, looks like heat haze a bit), the size of which becomes bigger the longer it took to cleanse it.

One thing to have your raid aware of is that a) they should run to the edge with the debuff and b) healers should wait for 2-3 seconds before cleansing it, or face the risk of AoE zones in the raid.

If you happen to get the debuff, run to the edge and dispel yourself asap. No need to wait for healers, you have Dispel Magic for a reason. At 75% health, Halion will enter phase 2. He will disappear and a portal will appear in the middle. Since there is likely to be fire everywhere, cast Dispersion, run through the flames and click the portal.

Phase 2

Halion will now be in the Shadow Realm. He will do a Shadow breath, and the debuff from phase 1 is the same but Shadow damage. Two blueish orbs hover around the battlefield. Watch these carefully.

Every now and then, they will begin to pulse, and a line connects the two. It will kill just about any non-tank in one hit, so the trick is that the tank rotates the dragon, and the raid follows suit to avoid it. I found that sticking just on the right of one of the orbs meant the line (Shadow Cutter) spawned to my left and was really easy to avoid.

Once Halion reaches 50%, phase 3 begins.

Phase 3

Here the raid needs to split up between fire and shadow realms. Most sensible would be to place Melee in the Shadow realm (since if you stick to Halion’s right back leg, Shadow Cutter is easy to avoid) and Ranged in the fire realm (since they are least affected by fire everywhere).

Communicate with each other how far each “version” of Halion is, as their health has to stay as close to each other as possible. If one realm deals more damage, Halion gets pushed into the other realm, and his version there gets additional damage, stacking rapidly.

Interestingly, if the shadow-realm side people wipe, he will heal to full as there is no pressure on him anymore, but he will disappear from the physical realm. He will not reset, so people on the fire side need to jump in the portal and die. Divine Intervention is useless, and most wipe prevention is not necessary due to the short running distance.


All in all Ruby Sanctum is very interesting, and the re-introduction of Crowd Control is very nice. It requires more skill to play than just AoE-ing everything, but it is also very short and the encounters are not overly complicated. Once you have been able to reduce the damage dealt by the mobs to manageable levels, victory is at hand.

From a Shadowpriest point of view, we will be doing very well in the damage department due to the multidotting opportunities and focus on movement.

I will post information on the Hard Mode once I have seen it in action.

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