Theater of Pain

Updated on 21.2.2023, 14:47

Due to the nature of SL's nonlinear dungeon design and surplus of mobs/paths you can take through most dungeons there is no “perfect path” that can be applied to every group comp or even set of affixes.

As a result, this guide will only make generalized suggestions in terms of pathing and we recommend that you visit and check their MDT section to find a route that fits your group and comfort level.

For any feedback on this guide or if you have suggestions for changes, please visit us on our Discord server and let us know!

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Battlefield Ritualist

  • Necrotic Bolt - interrupt - deals damage and puts a healing absorb on a tank
  • Unholy Fervor - interrupt - self buff; heals for 6% health each time he deals damage


Unyielding Contender

  • Death Wish - enrage - causes them to deal 20% more damage but also take 20% more damage
    • Can be soothed off but if the tank can take the damage intake, it’s worth it to keep it on to kill them faster
  • Vicious Strike - tank hit - physical damage
  • Charge - charges random players and applies a 70% slow on them -- on its own this isn’t a big deal but can be dangerous when paired with other affixes like Volcanic, Storming, or Spiteful


Raging Bloodhorn

  • Raging Tantrum - dangerous (soothe) - deals huge group wide physical damage but using a soothe effect will make him stop casting
    • he can be pulled separately from the first pack if you are worried about the damage intake


An Affront of Challengers

  • Sathel - Interrupt Searing Death and Necromantic Bolt; can't be interrupted for 30 seconds sub-40% HP
  • Dessia - casts Mortal Strike and Slam on the tank; dps and healers will need to kite her sub-40% HP
  • Paceran - sub 40% everyone will drop puddles around them for 8 seconds
  • Xira - comes out of stealth to stun party members for 10 seconds -- cc her to stop this!

A council fight with 4 enemies that you fight at the same time. They all have their own main abilities as well as certain abilities that only kick in at low health (40% HP). They can be killed at separate times and do your best to keep them together for cleave. 

DPS Priority

  1. Focus Sathel the Accursed until he shields
  2. Swap dps to Dessia the Decapitator until shields OR Sathel’s shield is down
  3. Go back to Sathel and kill him
  4. Swap back to Dessia and kill her
  5. Paceran the Virulent


Dessia the Decapitator

  • Needs to be tanked and will follow the tank around. Casts 2 main abilities on the tank:
    • Mortal Strike - tank hit - moderate physical damage reduces your healing received by 30% for 10 sec 
    • Slam - tank hit - deals heavy physical damage, have something up for this
  • At 40% health: she will Enrage giving her the follow effects
    • Gains an absorb shield for 30% of her health, lasting 30 seconds
    • Moves 15% slower
    • Fixates on random party members -- she will need to be kited from this point on
    • If you soothe her, the fixate will end and she will go back to hitting the tank


Paceran the Virulent

  • Plague Bolt - interrupt - does low damage magic casts at random party members
  • Noxious Spores - summons puddles that last a very long time around the arena
  • At 40% health: Affects the party with Genetic Alteration
    • Everyone will drop a pool of Noxious Spores near their current location every 8 sec -- need to be careful with placement of these so you don’t run out of room


Sathel the Accursed

  • Necromantic Bolt - interrupt - does moderate damage magic casts at random players
  • Searing Death - interrupt - whoever is targeted needs to be more than 3 yards away from allies or it will damage them
  • Spectral Transference - he will put this on one of the other bosses and every time he casts an ability that boss will be healed
  • At 40% health: gains One With Death
    • Gets an absorb shield for 30% of his maximum health 
    • Becomes immune to interrupt effects for 30 sec


Xira the Underhanded -- she does not need to be killed!

  • She is primarily stealthed and will only come out to cast her one ability
  • Opportunity Strikes - stun - she stuns a random party member for 10 seconds and deals damage to them. This is a 10 second channel and you should stun or cc her ASAP to stop it

Necrolord Covenant Bonus

Past the first boss, each wing in the downstairs area has a banner that can be activated to buff them with Necrolord’s Chosen for 5 minutes. This will give any nearby allies a Necrolord’s Command buff for 10% Versatility and Movement speed.

The order of the wings from here on out is up to you and your group, the order chosen for this guide is arbitrary and you do not need to follow it if another order lines up with your preferred bloodlust and cooldown timings.

Halls of Might:


Ossified Conscript


Shambling Arbalest 

  • Shoot - deals physical damage to random party members 
  • Jagged Quarrel - bleed - applied to random party members
  • On higher fortified keys this mob can be very dangerous due to its unavoidable group damage and you'll want to focus dps on it and use stuns to give the healer time to catch up


Ancient Captain

  • Demoralizing Shout - priority interrupt - debuffs the party to deal 50% less damage for 8 seconds
  • Shield Bash - tank hit - deals physical damage
  • If you have a DK, they can use control undead on this mob that gives the party 2% damage dealt and 5% damage reduction buffs (overall not that useful for unholy DKs, but for frost and blood it can be a good call for the party to take this mob, even if just for a while). This mob has a hard time dealing with the portals before the ghost wing, so for safety do that wing last and dismiss the mob before you start taking portals.


In the first room you will fight one of two random Minibosses:

The minibosses in this path have been discovered to not be that random after all. They take turns attacking each other and the mob who's turn it is to attack when you walk in range of them, will be the "winner" and will kill the other with that attack.  Use this to pick the mob that your group wishes to deal with.

Nekthara the Mangler [miniboss]

  • Whirlwind - avoidable damage - step out of the circle around the boss 
  • Whirling Blade - avoidable damage - throws a spinning weapon at a random party member
  • Interrupting Roar - group damage - deals group damage and interrupts spellcasting 


Dokigg the Brutalizer [miniboss]

  • Savage Flurry - tank hit - 4 hits of physical damage done across a 2 second cast 
  • Battle Trance - interrupt (soothe) - applies a shield and buffs attack speed; can be soothed off if the interrupt is missed
  • Brutal Leap - avoidable damage - jumps to a random party member, and deals damage around that location on impact

In the next hallway you will fight another one of two Minibosses:

Harugia the Bloodthirtsy [miniboss]

  • Ricocheting Blade - bleed (spread) - applies a bleed to a random party member and anyone within 5 yards of them
  • Battle Trance - interrupt (soothe) - applies a shield and buffs attack speed; can be soothed off if the interrupt is missed
  • Bloodthirsty Charge - spread - charges to a random party member and deals damage to anyone within 8 yards


Heavin the Breaker [miniboss]


And at the end of the hallway you will fight another random Miniboss out of two options:


Advent Nevermore [miniboss]

  • Ricocheting Blade - bleed (spread) - applies a bleed to a random party member and anyone within 5 yards of them
  • Unbreakable Guard - shields himself while facing a random player (not just in the tank's direction), move behind him to continue dpsing 
  • Seismic Stomp - unavoidable group damage - deals physical damage to anyone within 60 yards


Rek the Hardened [miniboss]

  • Swift Strikes - self buff - attack speed increase and adds a cleave to his melees onto 2 other party members for 50% damage - stay away from the tank
  • Whirlwind - avoidable damage - step out of the circle around the boss 
  • Unbalancing Blow - tank hit - deals physical damage and reducing parry, dodge, and block chance by 100% for 8 seconds
    • Especially on fortified keys this can be extremely dangerous, ideally cover this entire 8 second period with some sort of damage reduction cooldown on top of your mitigation

Xav the Unfallen

  • Brutal Combo - tank hit
  • Oppressive Banner - kill it quickly before you get too slowed
  • Deafening Crash - get out of the circle
  • Massive Cleave and Crushing Slam - avoidable frontal attacks
  • Blood and Glory - 2 dps get sent down to duel, let whoever has CDs up win quickly

Brutal Combo - tank hit - a set of three physical damage strikes that increase in damage by 50% with each hit, keep mitigation up 

Oppressive Banner - add summon - while the banner is up it applies a stacking movement reduction debuff, making it increasingly difficult to avoid his abilities.

  • Kill it as quickly as possible
  • This is especially important when your group is separated as you'll only have a tank, healer, and 1 dps to kill it 

Might of Maldraxxus - the boss will jump into the center of the room, deal physical damage to all party members and start a random combo of the following abilities:

  • Deafening Crash - avoidable damage - get out of the circle he puts around himself.
    • If you get hit: interrupts all spellcasting for 2 sec, deals heavy physical damage to the entire group and does a knockback 
  • Massive Cleave - frontal cone (avoidable) - takes up half the room
  • Crushing Slam -  frontal cone (avoidable) - deals physical damage to players in a line in front of him


Whenever he reaches 100 energy, he will cast Blood and Glory which forces 2 dps down into the arena below to fight each other. The results of this duel apply buffs and debuffs to both players:

  • The Winner: Gains a 10% damage done increase for 20 seconds
  • The Loser: Gains a 10% damage done decrease for 20 seconds
  • If Neither Wins: Both players get a 10% damage done decrease for 20 seconds

In a coordinated group, try and choose who wins and who loses based on who has cooldowns available and can fit them in most effectively in the 20 second period. The ultimate goal of this mechanic should be for both players to end it as quickly as possible and return to the boss fight -- this is not the time to actually duel. Whoever is losing should do everything in their power to die as quickly as possible, turn their back, sit down, click off HoTs etc

When returning: if possible communicate with your group to make sure it's a safe time to end the fight as a bad overlap with Might of Maldraxxus can kill both returning players as soon as they land.

Alters of Agony:

When doing the initial hallway with the Shackled Souls you have two options. Regardless of how you pull them AoE stuns, disorients, and displacement are extremely helpful here and should be coordinated so you don't waste them. Additionally both of these strategies involve pulling and line of sighting the mobs through doorways -- this means you don't need to dodge the swirl missiles that spawn in their main hallway, making the pulls much easier. 

  • If you are extremely confident you can run through and pull all of them to the very end and line of sight them inside the doorway into the next room
  • A safer strategy is to run out and grab half of the Souls, pull them back and LoS them in the starting doorway to kill them. Then move as a group and grab the other half and take them to the other side of the hallway and LoS them inside the doorway of the next room.

Shackled Souls

  • Soul Touch - deals a small amount of magic damage to a random party member
  • Bind Soul - interrupt - a channel that deals damage and slows who it is targeted on
  • If you have a DK, they can use control undead on this mob for a boost in ST damage (overall not that useful for unholy DKs, but for frost and blood it can be a good call for the party to take this mob, even if just for a while).

Following that hallway you'll encounter a large zone of floating islands with portals that are connecting them. The idea here is to use the connecting portals to make your way over to the boss for this wing.

  • Some portals (indicated by double icons on the map below) have 2 different directions you can take with them.
  • To do this, kill the mob that is "defending" the portal orb, click it to pick it up, and take it over to a glowing bowl on either side of the portal.
  • The side of the portal you put it on will determine which way it will take you when you click it.
    • This can be changed if you accidently go a way you were not intending 

My favorite path is right on the first portal split and left on the next one but pull according to your path and group's comfort level

Portal Guardian 

  • Shadow Vulnerability - curse - deals shadow damage to a random party member and applies a debuff that increases their shadow damage taken by 50%
  • Soulstorm - group damage - deals shadow damage to all party members within 55 yards 
    • This is especially dangerous to players who have the Shadow Vulnerability debuff if you don't have curse removal


Soulforged Bonereaver

  • Bone Spikes - avoidable damage - spawns missiles at each player's location for 3 seconds 
  • Bonestorm - group damage - deals physical damage to all players within 8 yards for 4 seconds 


Bone Magus

  • Bone Spear - interrupt - targets a random party member, dealing physical damage and a bleed
  • Grave Spike - interrupt - deals damage at a player's location with a knockback (this can be extremely dangerous on the very small platforms)
  • If you have a DK, they can use control undead on this mob for a boost in ST damage (overall not that useful for unholy DKs, but for frost and blood it can be a good call for the party to take this mob, even if just for a while).


Nefarious Darkspeaker

  • Death Winds - avoidable damage - summons a large black tornado in a random player's direction. After a few seconds it shoots off dealing damage and doing a big knockback to anyone hit by it
    • It is extremely important to avoid getting hit by this as it's almost a guaranteed death to falling off the platform if you do
  • Curse of Desolation - curse (spread) - applies a curse to a party member that makes them damage and fear other players within 3 yards - prespread for this
  • Spirit Frost - interrupt - magic damage tank hit


Maniacal Soulbinder

  • Necrotic Bolt Volley - priority interrupt - deals magic damage and applies a healing absorb on all players
  • Soul Corruption - magic dispel - applies a magic DoT to a random party member
  • Necrotic Bolt - interrupt - deals magic damage and applies a healing absorb on random players



  • Tank needs to be in melee at all times
  • Draw Soul - run to the Grasping Hands to immobilize your soul, otherwise you'll need to chase it down
  • Phantasmal Parasite - DoT on 2 players, magic dispel at least one and heal the other

As a tank, make sure you are within melee range of him at all times, otherwise he will start casting Spectral Reach. He does not move away from the middle of the platform so stay close.

His primary mechanic revolves around casting Draw Soul on 2 party members at a time, applying Soulless -- while you are soulless you are silenced and take ticking shadow damage until you reclaim your soul. 

  • At the end of the cast, you are stunned for 3 seconds and your soul starts running around until you catch it
  • While he is channeling Draw Soul, standing on the Grasping Hands that are in the room will cause your soul to become immobilized when it spawns, meaning you can catch it immediately.
    • The third cast of this will not have any Grasping Hands available -- utilize external cooldowns and defensives to survive it!
  • Reclaiming your soul increases your damage dealt by 30% for 30 sec -- dps should save their cooldowns for this!

The third cast of Draw Soul does not have an associated Grasping Hands cast that goes along with it so the 2 people targeted will need some extra healing and any externals/assistance you can help them with. (ex Blessing of Spellwarding for damage reduction, Tiger's Lust to help with with a speed boost etc)

Phantasmal Parasitemagic dispel + spread - applies a DoT to two players, dealing magic damage to them and anyone within 3 yards.

  • The healer should dispel one and heal the other
  • If you have a Priest or Warlock they can assist with the Magic Dispels lowering the damage taken of the group drastically
  • There is a huge amount of danger in someone being the target for both Draw Soul while also having a Phantasmal Parasite -- they will need to make use of defensives and get a lot of external healing if no dispel is available. 

Chill of the Beyond group damage - Kul'tharok's passively deals shadow damage to everyone every 3 seconds; this makes an already healing intensive fight even worse so minimizing unneeded damage is extremely important here. 

Barrow of Carnage


Diseased Horror

  • Decaying Strike - tank hit (disease dispel) - physical damage tank hit with a DoT that deals damage and reduces max HP by 5% per stack
  • Meat Shield - interrupt - shields itself for the duration of the channel

Disgusting Refuse

  • Leaping Thrash - spread - jumps to random party members and deals damage to anyone within 4 yards
    • AoE cc and displacement is extremely useful here to keep them grouped together for AoE

Blighted Sludge-Spewer

  • Withering Discharge - high priority interrupt - applies a disease to all players that deals damage and reduces damage and healing done by 20% for 30 seconds
  • Decaying Filth - interrupt (disease dispel) - applies a Disease DoT that deals damage and reduces max HP by 5% per stack
  • Leaping Thrash - spread - jumps to random party members and deals damage to anyone within 4 yards

Putrid Butcher

  • Devour Flesh - disrupt or stun - disrupting/stunning this cast is a very high priority; if you don't the mob will heal for 300% of the damage it deals 
    • If it goes through, kite the mob so that it is not hitting you
  • Chop - tank hit - deals physical damage every second for 3 seconds
  • Death Knights can Control Undead this mob to deal a high amount of damage with it over the course of the dungeon


Rancid Gasbag

  • Vile Eruption - avoidable damage - does damage and a disorient in a cone in front of him and behind him so make sure you move off to the side for this
  • Disease Cloud - self buff - deals ticking damage to all party members every 2 seconds while he is in combat


  • Everyone stand in melee range of the boss to avoid being pulled in for Tenderizing Smash
  • Line the boss up with the gap for Meat Hooks, and then side step the second set of hooks
  • Hateful Strike - tank hit

The main mechanic of this fight is going to be avoiding the Meat Hooks that swing across the boss arena.

  • If you get hit by one you will be stunned and have a bleed applied to you.
  • He often overlaps this with Tenderizing Smash - he will pull all players into him and deal damage in a circle around him. It is important to get out of this ability while also dodging the Meat Hooks
    • To make this easier, if everyone stacks in melee they won't be targeted with the pull and can start planning their movement to avoid the hooks
    • The tank should keep the boss lined up with the gap in the hooks so everyone can run through them quickly
  • See the picture below for a representation of what this will look like

Adds called Oozing Leftovers will also spawn when the Meat Hooks descend:

  • They lose 5% health every second so focusing dps on them is not important, keep focusing the boss and they'll die to incidental cleave
  • Leaping Thrash - spread - jumps to random party members and deals damage to anyone within 4 yards
  • Coagulating Oozeimportant - when they die they leave a void zone that damages and slows anyone in it
    • It is very important to make sure they die in a good place that won't prevent you from continuing to move through the Meat Hooks 

Hateful Strike - tank hit - deals heavy physical damage

Mordretha, the Endless Empress

  • Grasping Rift - Spread out and fight the pull towards the rift
  • Reaping Scythe - tank hit
  • Dark Devastation - avoidable frontal attack that rotates
  • Echo of Battle - move away from the ghosts that are fighting each other
  • Ghostly Charge - mounted ghosts spawn on the edge of the room that charge in a straight line, damaging and knocking back anyone they hit

The main ability she has is Grasping Rift and its interaction with other abilities

  • This spawns a large rift somewhere in the room that will slowly pull players into it
  • Position the boss away from this rift so the party can run against the pull
  • If you get sucked in you take damage and get stunned for 8 seconds - curse

She also applies Manifest Death to all players at the same time as Grasping Rift

  • When it expires it will deal damage to anyone within 6 yards of you
  • This means you cannot stack together during Grasping Rift and must also keep away from each other while fighting the pull
  • When it expires, it will also summon Deathwalker adds that just do a simple Death Bolt cast onto random party members

Once she reaches below 50% health she will also cast 2 Echo of Carnage abilities for the rest of the fight which can overlap with Grasping Rift

  • Echo of Battle - summons ghosts that are fighting, will deal damage to anyone within 8 yards of them
  • Ghostly Charge - summons mounted ghosts spawn on the edge of the room that charge in a straight line, damaging and knocking back anyone they hit

Dark Devastation - avoidable frontal cone - targets a random player and then rotates in a circle from their position; deals damage with a pushback

Reaping Scythe - tank hit - deals both shadow and physical damage 

DPSing her past certain health thresholds will cause her to skip mechanics, on high Tyrannical weeks it's best to use bloodlust on her after she reaches 50% health as the fight becomes significantly harder at that point