As part of the quest to complete the Master’s Key, Khadgar sends you to seek the blessing of Medivh, without which your completed key is about as useful as a fishing weight. Of course, Medivh has been dead a long time, so you’ll have to travel through the Caverns of Time to speak to him. You find him in the Black Morass, concentrated on the task of opening the Dark Portal so that the orc armies can ravage Azeroth. Resist the urge to Moonfire him (if you’re a Night Elf) or to hug him (if you’re a Tauren) since approaching him will trigger the Black Morass event.
Before you begin:
- Prerequisites: You must have completed the quest associated with the Old Hillsbrad instance before you can enter Black Morass. You should have completed all the steps of Karazhan attunement up to retrieving the Second and Third key fragments from Steamvault and Arcatraz and should have the followup quest entitled The Master’s Touch in your quest log.
- Group Composition: Having the right group composition — especially while you’re learning the instance — can be tremendously helpful. The ideal group composition is a tank with solid AOE aggro, a healer, and 3 DPS classes, one of whom can act as goalie (a ranged DPS class like a Hunter or a Mage works best since they can easily switch their focus and have good AOE tools).
- Consumables: When learning any new content, it’s always a good idea to bring along a few potions for a boost. Healers should expect to bring along a couple of Super Mana Potions and a stack of water per attempt. Everyone should have a health potion for emergency use. Anything that gives relevant stat bonuses is a plus, too. For Druids, Golden Fish Sticks or Blackened Sporefish are helpful.
- Talk to Sa’at: Upon entering Black Morass, you will find a Blood Elf standing to the right side, offering you his assistance. Talk to him to get a Chrono-beacon:
The Black Morass
Binds when picked up
Use: Calls forth a guardian of time to assist you inside the Black Morass.
You can use Chrono-beacons in times of crisis and can return to Sa’at to get another. This is useful should a group member die after using her beacon. She can get another from her on her way back to the instance.
- Clearing the Instance: Before triggering the event start, be sure that you clear all the wildlife (spiders, jaguars, and crocodiles) surrounding the four portal spawn points and the paths in between them. You may find yourself overwhelmed by portal trash, and having a random crocodile aggro during a boss fight can be disastrous. Clearing the area should take about 10-15 minutes, but should your group fail an attempt, you can talk to Sa’at to ask him to turn back the clock so you can try again. You can do this a limited number of times before Sa’at tells you that his powers only go so far, at which point you’ll need to reset the instance.
Before beginning the event, make sure that your party is fully buffed, ready to go, and mounted. When approached, Medivh will yell out something and portals will begin randomly spawning — one after another — at one of the four possible locations shown below:
Map Courtesy Amp WoW
From each of these portals, a Rift Lord (melee) or Rift Keeper (caster) dragonkin is spawned. Ending his or her life will close the portal he or she protects. While the portal is open, other dragonkin will come through, including Infinite Assassins, Infinite Chronomancers, Infinite Whelps, and more. Unless provoked, these dragonkin will ignore your group and make a beeline toward Medivh. When they reach him, they will begin attacking his shield. Once that shield reaches 0%, your group will fail the event. For this reason, it’s imperative that your tank approach each portal first so that she can position herself to attack the Rift Lord or Rift Keeper while standing in the path between the portal and Medivh (Rift Keepers are casters and can be more difficult to position properly). That way, any additional mobs that come through the portal get caught up in the tank’s AOE abilities. Those that do get past your tank should be picked up and dispatched by the group’s designated goalie. This positioning is outlined below:
Rift Lords: These are pretty simple Warrior-type mobs. They do Sunder Armor and Mortal Strike, though, so try not to allow the tank’s health to drop too low.
Rift Keepers: More difficult than their melee counterparts, Rift Keepers come in two varieties: Mage and Warlock. The Mage version casts Frostbolt on its primary target and will cast Polymorph and Pyroblast on other group members. It can be useful to watch who they target to anticipate a Pyroblast. The Warlock version casts AOE Shadowbolt, Fear, and a curse that increases vulnerability to magic damage. Because of the curse, a Resto Druid will want to stay out of Tree of Life for the Warlock variety.
After each of the portals, you should be able to determine whether you need to drink or not (you should always drink at 60% or less mana). You’re more likely to need to drink after a Rift Keeper since you were unable to use Tree of Life for mana conservation. Your party should continue to the next portal and engage so that they don’t fall behind. Drink as quickly as you can, switch to Travel Form or mount, and join them at the next portal. You will want to save your Innervate for the bosses.
There are eighteen portals, and every sixth portal, you will fight a boss. The first two bosses will be engaged in front of a portal while trash mobs continue spawning. The last boss heads directly for Medivh and should be engaged near him. Luckily, you don’t have to contend with additional trash spawns on the final boss.
- Portal 6, Boss #1: Chrono Lord Deja
The first and easiest of the three bosses, Deja is basically a tank and spank. He has a minor nature-based AOE that’s easily healed. You should have no trouble keeping up with the trash while fighting him.
Portal 12, Boss #2: Temporus
Definitely the most difficult of the three bosses. Temporus stacks a 10% healing reduction debuff on your tank, similar to that of Fankriss the Unyielding in AQ40. It stacks up to a maximum of 7 applications, reducing the healing received to 30%. For this reason, a tank with a high dodge rating can be very helpful. There are different strategies for dealing with this debuff depending on your group composition. Don’t get any funny ideas about switching into Bear Form to try to pull aggro. He isn’t tauntable and you wouldn’t get far in the healing gear necessary for this instance. Another option is to have two group members use Chrono-beacons at the same time. Although all three bosses have the ability to instantly dismiss a of Keeper of Time, it’s an ability that’s on a cooldown. Using two of them can buy you enough time for the healing debuff to drop from your tank.
Because Temporus is so difficult, you won’t want to divide your focus between him and the trash spawns. It’s a good idea to pull him off to the side of the portal, allowing the trash to move to and beat upon Medivh’s portal for the duration of this fight. You can always send someone to drop a Chrono-beacon on the portal to help clean up the mess if you notice Medivh’s shield dropping below 40%.
Portal 18, Boss #3: Aeonus
Pretty easy, especially after Temporus. He has a minor frontal AOE, so the tank will want to position him so that he faces away from the rest of the group. He also periodically casts Time Stop, an ability that freezes everyone (except for him, of course) for 4 seconds. Stay in Tree of Life and stack up your heals over time and you should have no trouble. Feel free to use any Chrono-beacons you have left to help burn him down.
Completing Black Morass is arguably the most difficult step in the quest to complete Karazhan attunement. Its fast pace and unforgiving group composition requirements can quickly overwhelm a group. Once you master the strategies, however, it becomes a quick and fun way to gain reputation with Keepers of Time (with the Timelapse Shard as an Exalted reward).