The Upper part of Return to Karazhan Legion megadungeon has been added into Mythic+ pool with the release of Season 4. It’s one of the six dungeons of previous expansions with which players can repeat a familiar experience within the current M+ meta. Or properly taste it for the first time, if any players missed these dungeons at all.
Where is Upper Karazhan?
It’s easy to confuse many entrances to Karazhan and suddenly find yourself in the Burning Crusade raid version of the instance. But if someone wonders how to get to Upper Karazhan, a route to its entrance won’t differ much from a route to an old raid. Reaching it now is especially easy, as with the release of Season 4 the portals to the locations of dungeons in the current M+ pull have been added near the Oribos flight master.
But if you don’t want or can’t use a portal to Karazhan in Oribos, there are plenty of other routes. If you are a Horde player, a friendly mage can teleport you to Kamenor in Swamp of Sorrows, from where you will easily get to Deadwind Pass where the Karazhan castle stays. If you are an Alliance player, with a few clicks on your map you’ll see how close that location is to Stormwind.
Once you’re there, head to the burning bridge between two parts of Karazhan’s castle, not to the main entrance at the bottom of the tower where familiar NPCs are chilling. Because to get into the Upper Karazhan you need its side entrance at the end of that bridge. Remember: when you’ll need to farm Return to Karazhan: Lower, once again, don’t use the entrance at the bottom. You always choose the needed dungeon by placing your keystone on the pedestal near the Karazhan Upper entrance.
Upper Karazhan Walkthrough
There are a lot of ready walkthrough routes for the Upper part of Karazhan. The sizes of the instance make its routes differ from each other because of different potential strategies for pulling various groups of mobs. For example, the route written by Sha differs from the one written by Doggos with the number of mobs pulled in such locations as Library Floor and Upper Library. And the order of pulling can differ too.
The choice of an Upper Karazhan route can be influenced by many factors. For instance, what M+ affixes are in the rotation this week, and how many nathrezims hidden with the Shrouded affix you can deal with within a pull. (Hopefully, Zul’Gamux is fixed to spawn at the Shrieking Terror mob and can be farmed separately.) Besides, the map of Upper Karazhan has at least two places for an effective and safe skip, which is perfectly illustrated by a route called «UPR – 2 skips».
But no matter what route you choose, many key dangers represented by certain mobs and their spells will remain the same. And they deserve a separate discussion. For instance, right after going through the entrance to Upper Karazhan, you will meet Forlorn Spirits and Shrieking Terrors. You could have already met the first mob at Return to Karazhan: Lower, but now you’ll have to deal with it more than once. Remember to interrupt its Soul Leech spell so that it doesn’t damage all the party and heal the Spirit. Unfortunately, for that, you will have to deal somehow with the AoE fear which is cast by Terrors with the Terrifying Wail spell.
The Curator’s Room is a rather dangerous location in Upper Karazhan because of a chance to pull too many Mana Confluences and Mana-Gorged Wyrms at once. (However, it can serve you well as Wyrms deal damage by taking mana of Confluences, which makes their shields weaker and helps you to fight them). What is even worse, you can accidentally pull a boss too. Thus, regardless of how many mobs you are going to pull, the best solution is to kill them in the room that you have just come from.
After dealing with the Curator, you’ll come across Infused Pyromancer and Wrathguard Flamebringer. Pyromancer casts dangerous Fel Bombs. The best way to diminish their damage is to drain the bombs and prevent them from exploding. This is done by standing right below them in pairs until 10 ticks of damage are done to players. Flamebringer, in turn, will cause you trouble by dealing constant cleave damage with Cleave and trying to deadly burn the floor with Burning Tile.
There is a possibility to kill only one mob between Shade of Medivh and Mana Devourer encounters. That mob is just… Spider. The only thing to care about in terms of saving precious M+ time is to prevent it from healing itself with the Leech Life spell. Of course, if you don’t kill it quicker than the spell is cast.
However, to feel more confident about the boss fight, you may decide to pull the Rat mob too. The only danger caused by this Upper Karazhan M+ enemy is a Stampede skill, during which little rats will march through the party in an attempt to knock back its unlucky members. However, stacking in Rat’s model will help to avoid that spell without any unnecessary movement.
Pulling Ancient Tomes for even more confidence can, on the contrary, endanger your M+ run, as that kind of mob is much more powerful. It has familiar Warlock and Mage spells Curse of Doom and Arcane Blast. The first one can and must be dispelled before this debuff deals damage. But the stacking effect of the second one can only be recommended to survive at the cost of all saving skills. Finally, Consume Magic is a spell that is cast for 4 seconds and has only 30 seconds of cooldown, but it will heal all the HP of an Ancient Tome if it’s not interrupted. So, think twice before pulling these mobs — especially with the other ones.
After the Mana Devourer, you’ll be met by many Manawyrms. Their ability to cast annoying AoE makes it unsafe to pull more than two or three packs of them at once. Erudite Slayer will pose a threat mainly because of its Mighty Swing. Its knockback effect can be too dangerous at the narrowest and most uncomfortable place on the map of Upper Karazhan. And if you decided to pull local Infused Pyromancer with this mob, be sure not to take too much damage from the Pyromancer’s bombs and Slayer’s Heavy Smash at once.
Finally, before the final boss, you will have to pass through the famous Chess Event! Actually, it’s not that famous, as the dungeon’s version is simpler than the raid one. But it’s only good for you because in another way your chances to finish the M+ run successfully in time would greatly decrease.
Still, this encounter is so interesting that it can be named an unofficial boss of the Upper Karazhan. The main aim of the event is to kill the enemy King. But the King is protected by Royalty buff, which makes it take 90% less damage from any source. And killing its servant gives you a possibility to damage the King normally.
So, the strategy is simple: kill a servant of a King and then deal him as much damage as you can to finish the event as quickly as possible. Of course, it won’t be that easy, as other chess pieces will protect their chess King. The squares of the desk will light up, representing a route of this or that piece. They move according to how the same pieces move in a real chess game.
Rook Move forces that piece to move directly. Bishop Move makes Bishop move diagonally. Knight Move takes Knight two squares forth and one to left or right. And Queen Move can be done the same way as Rook’s and Knight’s ones. Players who stay on the squares at the route of any figure receive fatal damage. But that’s not all the damage done by chess pieces.
Knight can cast one more Knight Move that will damage players staying at any of four squares through which Knight can possibly make its move. Bishop Move spell burns a selected diagonal of Bishop’s potential route. Another Rook Move cast by Rook burns a certain column or raw with an arcane-damaging flame. And the Queen will carry out the combined effect of Rook’s and Bishop’s spells.
There is one contradictory piece of advice. From one side, you should use AoE very much so that more chess pieces are damaged. Thus you will be able to quickly take down one more King’s servant once the King is again shielded by Royalty. But from another side, killing two or more pieces simultaneously may be the greatest mistake of this encounter. Spending two pieces on one period of fighting with a King may simply make you run out of pieces and lead to a wipe.
Return to Karazhan Upper Bosses
The Curator is the first and, maybe, the easiest boss of the instance. Like some other bosses of Karazhan, it has two repeating phases. His phases even have fixed timings.
In the first phase, the boss starts spawning Volatile Energy mobs. Killing them is of the highest priority — yes, higher than dealing damage to the boss. These mobs are extremely dangerous because of the Arc Lighting spell. It’s cast quite frequently, by many mobs at once and the damage of each cast increases. Besides, they jump to random players casting the Static Charge AoE, and this spell is even more dangerous because you can’t avoid it properly. Well, you can, but that’s dangerous because of the Power Discharge ability cast by the Curator from time to time.
That spell leaves puddles under every player. And if players spread around to avoid damage from Volatile Energies, they will pollute the boss fight area with a much more painful AoE. AoE that will remain until the end of a fight.
Finally, a happy moment of the encounter is when the boss goes into the second «burn» phase. It lasts for about 15 seconds, but during them, the Curator receives twice more damage. However, his adds won’t just disappear. It’s crucial to somehow deal them serious damage too. In another way, you will get too many adds at the next iteration of the first phase.
Shade of Medivh
The Shade of Medivh is undoubtedly one of the most interesting bosses of Karazhan Upper M+. The first task for all the members of a party is to interrupt Piercing Missiles. That spell is channeled, and there is no serious threat if you interrupt it on the fourth second of the cast. But if five seconds pass, Tank will start receiving 20% more damage from the Arcane magic. That can be survived during the first phase, but if that debuff is received before the second one, it may lead to a party wipe.
The Frostbite spell throws a player into the ice cage and can also be interrupted. But its interruption doesn’t have the highest priority. Because after all, you will be able to break that cage with another boss spell — Inferno Bolt. Just run to the frozen teammates if you are the target of Bolt, and you will make that enemy’s spell useful for the party.
The real fun begins when the Shade of Medivh mana is full, and it can finally cast one of the three deadliest spells in its magic arsenal: Guardian’s Image, Flame Wreath, or Ceaseless Winter. Every time the choice is random and, because the boss charges full mana for about 15 seconds, you will likely witness all of them. Maybe, not once.
Guardian’s Image splits the boss into three illusions who form a kind of triangle staying on the borders of the fighting area. The best way to deal with them is to strike one by one as soon as possible. Because when all three Images are alive, they are constantly dealing damage to all the party members with the Shimmer spell. And its damage increases with each Shimmer, which is especially painful because it’s cast by three mobs at once.
Ceaseless Winter forces the players to move and jump for 20 seconds in a row. That will save them from getting dangerous stacks of a debuff that will deal them frost damage and reduce their movement speed. The most dangerous effect of this spell is that if any player is still frozen with the Frostbite, it will receive enormous amounts of damage. One more reason not to delay destroying the ice cages with Inferno Bolts.
The effect of Flame Wreath is simple: if anyone crosses the fire ring that has connected two players, all the party members die. They die even if a person debuffed with a Flame Wreath tries to avoid it by using any save spell that makes him immune to it. Surprisingly, it may seem the easiest Shade of Medivh ultimate spell to survive. Of course, if you don’t make unnecessary moves and patiently heal the debuffed players.
Mana Devourer is one more Upper Karazhan boss whose guide involves keeping eye on its mana level. Because, well, if its mana is full, the boss casts Decimating Essence and kills your party.
During the fight, the boss gradually restores its mana. And when it is about 50%, it suddenly tries to get rid of it by making many Loose Mana orbs that appear everywhere around. But do not think that boss gives up, as the goal of that cast is grim. These orbs start moving towards Mana Devourer. Each one not intercepted by players will restore even more mana than was spent on its creation.
But of course, the players can’t just take the orbs themselves without any consequences. The one who intercepted the sphere receives the Unstable Mana debuff. The debuff can stack, and stacks until the end of the fight, dealing damage to the player and dangerously increasing the amounts of any other damage by 10% with each stack.
However, there’s a possibility to get rid of this debuff by walking around Energy Void violet whirlwinds. Beware: that process also has a cost, and if you stay near the Energy Void when you already don’t have stacks of Unstable Mana, you will start losing 20% of your real mana every second.
Viz’aduum the Watcher
The last fight of the Mythic Upper part of Return to Karazhan finally involves demons and even their ships. You begin fighting Viz’aduum on the top of Karazhan. Every 40 seconds a Fel Beam targets random players. Those beams must be carried out from the party so that it’s not touched by the Disintegration effect and puddles from Fel Flames won’t stop them from fighting the boss. And all the players must avoid purple orbs cast with the Chaotic Shadows spell, along with swirlies spawned during the Bombardment.
When Viz’aduum’s HP is 66%, he teleports to the Legion’s command ship and kindly asks you to follow him. There you should reach the boss as soon as possible, while not falling into any trap on your route or falling from the ship. When you reach the boss, a fight will get similar to the first phase, but the Chaotic Shadows will become much more dangerous. Now they will be cast on two members of the party, and at the same time party becomes much less maneuverable. Because the ship’s fighting area is much smaller than the top of Karazhan.
When the boss HP is 33%, he teleports to another ship. But now on your way to him, you will be met by Felguard Sentries mobs. And when you finally reach the boss, the task is to deal as much damage as possible while he’s busy with the channeling of the Stabilize Rift spell. It’d be better to interrupt it at the end of channeling — otherwise, more Felguard Sentries will arrive.
However, at this stage of a fight, these mobs are not so threatening, because you’ll have to deal with much more problems. For instance, now Chaotic Shadows will be cast on three players at once, and the fighting area is as small as during the second phase of the encounter. But if you managed to seriously damage Viz’aduum when he was stabilizing the rift, maybe you will finish him quickly.