Patch 1.2 introduced a new Operation, Explosive Conflict, which takes players to the war-torn planet of Denova. An important source of baradium, the planet has fallen to a collection of elite mercenaries and Imperial traitors. Both the Republic and the Empire are scrambling to regain control.
The first encounter players face after landing on the planet of Denova are the twin terrors of Toth & Zorn. This pair of fearsome Drouks are under the control of their handler, the nefarious Murdok, and will slay any foolish enough to seek entry into the baradium mines, a key resource for the Warlord Kephess and his seemingly unstoppable army.
If, however, you seek to gain access to the rest of this planet and the battles within, then hit the jump as we provide a sure-fire strategy for taming these beasts.
This Operations Strategy Guide will cover Toth & Zorn, the first boss battle players encounter while undertaking Denova’s Operation: Explosive Conflict. These two Drouks are terrifying, but with the appropriate set-up and a particular attention to detail, they will go down in no time.
Our strategy recommends using two tanks (one for each boss), two healers and four DPS. For the sixteen-man version of this encounter, we recommend two tanks, four healers and the remaining ten members as DPS.
The encounter area is roughly circular, with an entryway in the shape of a bottleneck. You will need to split your Operations group into two groups, with each group focusing on a different side of the encounter area, not a specific boss. This is an important distinction to make, because Toth and Zorn routinely move around the encounter area.
As an even split, you will have one tank, one healer and two DPS per boss. For the sixteen-man, you will have two tanks, two healers and five DPS per side. These groups will not switch sides during the encounter but will attack whatever target is on that side.
The only stipulation on the splitting of your party is on the assignments of your Melee DPS players. Melee DPS should always be assigned to DPS Toth, since Zorn applies a nasty debuff called Weakened. This debuff increases damage received by that player from Zorn, reflects damage dealt to Zorn back at the player and reduces the player’s damage output. The debuff itself is applied by an ability called Shriek, an AoE scream that hits any targets within 25 meters of Zorn. To top it all off, Shriek also leaves behind another DoT on those affected, Mental Anguish. Ranged DPS assigned to Zorn should always keep in mind Shriek’s destructive potential and stay at least 25 meters away.
The fight with Toth and Zorn is divided into three different “phases” of combat, each requiring intelligent party placement. The keys to winning are maintaining a general awareness of your position in relation to the bosses, to be prepared to change targets as the fight evolves and to use situationally-appropriate DPS burns or slows. Tanks and Melee DPS have the added difficulty of needing to stay mobile.
When the fight begins, each of the two groups should report to their assigned sides. DPS should begin lightly attacking the boss, making sure to give the tanks time to build hate. When either boss reaches approximately 90% health, Toth will perform a leap to Zorn, then place a Fearful debuff on the targets within 30 meters of where he lands. It is important to note that the jump with be triggered by either boss reaching 90% first.
After the jump, it is recommended that the tanks perform a swap, taunting the other tanks’ target in an attempt to lure Toth and Zorn apart. Keeping the two Drouks apart is imperative. When the two bosses are within 30m of each other, they begin to slowly power up. Eventually this power-up will turn into a buff that makes them invulnerable as long as they are within range of one another and for a short time after being moved away from one another. The range on this ability is 30 meters, so make sure the two bosses are at least that seperated during the entire encounter. Also keep in mind that each group is assigned to a side, not a boss, the exception being the melee DPS that are assigned to Toth.
In practice, this means that after the tanks swap the DPS will be swapping targets. The ranged DPS will be standing in approximately the same area during most of the encounter, and the melee DPS for each side will have to figure out the best placement for themselves. Your healers should always be mindful of the debuffs being cast and cleanse them as quickly as possible.
The start of this phase will be indicated by a operation-wide warning indicating “Toth is Berserk! Stay Away!” During this phase Toth will gain a buff called Berserk, which effectively doubles his damage output. Tanks should save cooldowns for this, and healers should be aware of heavy incoming damage.
Zorn will begin to channel an ability called Baradium Heave during this phase, pelting anyone within 25 meters with baradium boulders. Zorn will not move so long as there is a player is within 25 meters who can be targeted and damaged by rocks during this phase. Be cognizant of this fact when trying to keep Toth and Zorn apart.
As soon as one of the bosses drops below 70%, we return to Phase One. The repeat of Phase One will last from approximately 70%-60%, and another leap will happen when one of the bosses hits 60%. At this time, Phase Three will begin.
Zorn will begin this phase by using an ability called Sonic Paralysis, which stuns whichever tank is in combat with Zorn. We recommend that the tank use his cooldown to break this initial crowd control and return to attacking the boss. At the same time, Toth will begin distributing operations-wide AoE damage to everyone via Smash. This damage is unavoidable but light.
Additionally, red circles will begin to appear around the encounter area. After a few seconds, these circles will explode, dealing a significant amount of damage. During the appearance of red circles, your operations members should be moving constantly to avoid this damage if at all possible.
At approximately 50%, this fight will return yet again to Phase One, and will last from 50% to 40%, with another jump happening as either boss drops below 40%. After this happens, we return to Phase Two, which will last from 40% to 30%, and is finally followed up by a repeat of Phase One, from approximately 30% to 20%. After this concludes, Phase Three will be repeated, with one small change: the Zorn tank will become stunned again, but will be unable to break it this time. Healers should be aware of this and have heavy heals ready. This repeat of Phase Three will end at 10%, which will see a repeat of Phase One.
As one boss dies, the other will gain a linked enrage that will increase his damage dealt. It is for this reason that your raid leader should monitor the health of each boss and assign DPS burns or slows accordingly. For our strategy, we recommend getting each as close to 10% as possible, and then burning one down before finally killing the other.
For ease of reference during this encounter, please refer to the following list of phases, so you can know when and what to expect at the various percentages of life per boss. Please note that these percentages refer to either of the bosses life totals hitting the amount listed:
- Phase One : 100% – 90%
- Leap : 90%
- Phase One : 90% – 80%
- Phase Two : 80% – 70%
- Phase One : 70% – 60%
- Leap : 60%
- Phase Three : 60% – 50%
- Phase One : 50% – 40%
- Leap : 40%
- Phase Two : 40% – 30%
- Phase One : 30% – 20%
- Phase Three : 20% – 10% (Zorn unbreakable stun)
- Burn Phase : 10% – 0%
- Final Phase: Handler Murdok
As both Drouks bite the dust, their handler will drop down from his campsite above, obviously irritated with your lack of regard for his favorite pets. This enemy can hardly be called a boss; he deals moderate damage but has relatively low health. He should be easily managed and is more of a “tank and spank” than the two Drouks themselves.
If you keep these recommendations in mind, you should find that you have each boss down in no time! But Denova will not be so easily conquered, and in our next guide we will turn to Firebrand and Stormcaller, the next two bosses in Operation: Explosive Conflict.