The Highlord's Return Tower challenge can be completed by Blood Death Knight, Vengeance Demon Hunter, Guardian Druid, Brewmaster Monk, Protection Paladin, and Protection Warrior. This challenge contains 2 phases and involves fighting Inquisitor Variss and Highlord Kruul.
- Tormenting Eye
- Nether Horror
- Smoldering Infernal
- Inquisitor Variss or Highlord Kruul
Velen is a neutral NPC that will help you during this challenge. He will place down Holy Wards throughout the encounter that can heal you.
- Holy Ward will emit a wave of concentrated light which heals you and will cleanse any magic debuffs.
Velen will place down a sphere about every 30 seconds. The sphere will despawn after about 2 minutes, so make sure to use the ones that spawned first. When you walk into one of these spheres, you will interrupt and blind all enemies for a few seconds, get healed, and get all of your magic debuffs cleansed. You want to have as many spheres up for phase 2 because that is the more challenging phase.
During phase 1, you will fight Inquisitor Variss.
- Aura of Decay is a puddle below the NPC that will reduce your maximum health. This aura will stack, and I recommend not to have more than 5-6 stacks at a time
- Mind Rend will deal moderate damage and is interruptible
- Drain Life is an interruptable spell that will leech your health
You want to ensure not to get more than 5 stacks of Aura of Decay and interrupt Drain Life as much as possible. If you have the option, you can also interrupt Mind Rend but keep in mind that Drain Life is your priority.
Tormenting eyes will spawn throughout the fight and channel Inquisitive stare.
- Inquisitive Stare will be used every 10 seconds and will distort you for 3 seconds. To avoid this, you want to look at the Tormenting Eye whenever this is being channeled
- Tormenting Eye doesn’t take any physical damage, you want to kill them with non-physical abilities
Tormenting Eye has low health, so you want to kill them as soon as possible. If you don’t manage to kill them before they channel Inquisitive Stare, look directly at them to avoid getting disoriented.
- Fel Resonation sacrifices 6% of the caster’s health to inflict fire damage. This means that they will lose a percentage of their health and will eventually die on their own. Keep in mind that they will use Smash right after they come back to life again
- Smash deals damage and knocks you back if you get hit by it. The infernal will cast it in a straight line, and it’s pretty easy to spot when this happens, so you should be able to sidestep it pretty easily. If you don’t avoid it, you will most likely fall off the platform. However, you can use Goblin Glider Kit
- Psytalons will apply a debuff and increase arcane damage
- Nether Storm inflicts shadow damage
Four Nether Horrors will spawn from 4 portals on the platform and run to you or Velen. If they run to Velen, make sure to pick them up as fast as possible, so they don't end up killing him.
You want to interrupt Nether Storm with, for example, shockwave as a warrior AFTER the initial cast happens and they start channeling the ability. This means that you DON'T want to interrupt the cast but the channel itself.
Unlike other tanks, it's important to know that the Nether Horror can move while they channel Psytalons if you play as a Vengeance Demon Hunter so you must interrupt them.
During the 2nd phase you will fight Highlord Kruul. However, the Smoldering Infernals and Nether Horrors will still spawn.This phase is a tight DPS check because of Annihilate that will eventually kill you.
Throughout this phase Highlord Kruul will spawn purple beams that will move on the platform that you have to avoid because they will try to push you off the platform.
- Annihilate is an interruptable spell (interruptible by Holy Ward) that increases all damage you take and will eventually kill you if you get a high amount of stacks
- Krull will use Netherstomp and leap on top of you and leave a puddle on the ground that deals a ton of damage to anyone standing in it
- Twisted Reflection is an interruptable spell that applies Twisted Reflection. This will heal Krull for 5% when the boss takes any damage
You can delay Annihilate by interrupting it with Holy Ward if you need a few seconds to get your cooldowns back up. Unfortunately, Highlord Krull will still cast the ability after a few seconds. However, it’s still recommended to interrupt it because you will be able to delay it, which results in fewer Annihilate casts.
When Kruul casts Twisted Reflections, make sure to interrupt it to avoid Highlord Krull healing, and when the boss leaps on top of you, you want to run out of the puddle on the ground to avoid the damage.
In this section, we will talk about the class-specific tips. I would suggest using trinkets like Weave of Warped Fates or Splintered Heart of Al'ar if you have them.
Blood Death Knight
- Tier 1: Blooddrinker
- Tier 2: Hemostasis
- Tier 3: Blood Tap
- Tier 4: Will of the Necropolis
- Tier 5: Grip of the Dead
- Tier 6: Voracious
- Tier 7: Bonestorm
During phase 1 you can use Anti-Magic Shell to avoid stacks of Aura of Decay and maximize uptime on Inquisitor Variss. Be careful not to use Death Grip on Variss because it will refresh and extend the debuff timer.
You want to use Death’s Caress on the Tormenting Orbs because they are immune to physical damage.
You want to kill the Nether Horror before it finishes channeling Psytalons. You can use Bonestorm to kill them and Gorefiend’s Grasp if they are in the wrong spot or attacking Velen.
The 2nd phase should ideally last about 1 min. Your highest priority is to interrupt Twisted Reflections, and when the boss starts casting Annihilate you want to use the following cooldowns for each cast:
- You don’t want to use any cooldowns
- Vampiric Blood
- Rune Tap
- Rune Tap + Icebound Fortitude
- Delay the 5th Annihilate cast by stepping into Holy Ward, then use Rune Tap + Vampiric Blood after the interrupt
- If you don’t manage to kill the boss on the 6th cast you will die
- Tier 1: Brambles
- Tier 2: Wild Charge
- Tier 3: Balance Affinity
- Tier 4: Mighty Bash
- Tier 5: Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc
- Tier 6: Survival of the Fittest
- Tier 7: Rend and Tear
During phase 1 you want to use Barkskin to pick up the Nether Horror mobs so they don't kill Velen. You can also use Incapacitating Roar to interrupt Nether Storm if you don't kill them fast enough. When the Tormenting Eye Spawn, you want to cast 1-2 Moonfire, which should kill it. If you get knocked back by the Smoldering Infernal, you can use Skull Bash or Wild Charge, so you don't get knocked off the platform.
The 2nd phase is a DPS race, so you want to kill the boss as fast as possible. So, consider saving cooldowns like Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc. The most important thing about this phase is to interrupt Twisted Reflections because it heals the boss, and you can use Skull Bash to interrupt it. During this phase, the boss will also cast Annihilate, and you want to use the following cooldowns for each cast:
- 2x Ironfur
- 2x Ironfur + Barkskin
- Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc / Ironfur spam
- Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc / Ironfur spam / survival instincts
- survival instincts / Barkskin
Remember to step into the Holy Ward to interrupt Annihilate to extend the fight as much as possible.
Vengeance Demon Hunter
- Tier 1: Abyssal Strike
- Tier 2: Fallout
- Tier 3: Spirit Bomb
- Tier 4: Fracture
- Tier 5: Quickened Sigils
- Tier 6: Demonic
- Tier 7: Last Resort
During phase 1 you can use Metamorphosis to get 6-7 stacks of Aura of Decay to maximize your damage on the boss. Just make sure that the stacks fall off before Metamorphosis ends.
When the Tormenting Eye spawn, you want to look at it while it’s channeling Inquisitive stare and then leap on top of it when you have about 4-5 stacks. You can kill it using abilities like Fracture; however, remember that they are immune to physical damage.
When the 4 Nether horror ads spawn, make sure to use Sigil of Silence to silence them while you nuke them down as fast as possible and you can use Fel Devastation for that. You also want to use Sigil of Misery to interrupt their channel. Remember that you want to interrupt the channel and not the cast itself.
If you get hit by the Smoldering Infernal’s smash, you will get knocked back, so you want to use Glide and infernal strike not to get knocked off the platform.
The 2nd phase is a DPS race so you want to save a few cooldowns. Remember to interrupt Twisted Reflections because it will heal the boss. During this phase, the boss will also cast Annihilate, and you want to use the following cooldowns for each cast:
- You don’t want to use any cooldowns
- Blood-Spattered Scale if you have the trinket
- Fiery Brand
- Fel Devastation
- Last Resort
- If you don’t manage to kill the boss you will die
You want to save Holy Ward for when you are low health or use it to interrupt Annihilate to extend the 2nd phase.
- Tier 1: Blessed Hammer
- Tier 2: Crusader's Judgment
- Tier 3: Blinding Light
- Tier 4: Unbreakable Spirit
- Tier 5: Seraphim
- Tier 6: Consecrated Ground
- Tier 7: Righteous Protector
During phase 1 it’s important to note that Divine Shield and Blessing of Spellwarding won’t work for Aura of Decay, and also keep in mind that you don’t want to interrupt Mind Rend. However, you need to interrupt Drain life with Avenger’s shield or Rebuke if you are in melee or Blinding light/hammer of justice. Just be careful when you use Avenger’s shield because it will make the boss move, and it could potentially refresh the Aura of Decay stacks.
When Tormenting Eye spawn, you want to look at it when they channel Inquisitive stare and remember that they are immune to physical damage, so you can use abilities like Judgment to kill them.
When the Smoldering Infernal spawn, you want to be careful not to get the knockback. However, if you get hit by it, make sure to use a Goblin Glider kit to avoid getting knocked off the platform.
During phase 2 you want to interrupt Twisted Reflections because it heals the boss, which is your number 1 priority. During this phase, the boss will also cast Annihilate, and you want to use the following cooldowns for each Annihilate stack:
- Shield of Righteous
- Shield of Righteous + Ardent Defender
- Blessing of Protection during the cast, however make sure to cancel it afterwards
- Shield of Righteous + Guardian of Ancient Kings
- Divine shield during the cast, however make sure to cancel it afterwards
- Shield of Righteous + Ardent Defender
You can use Holy Ward to interrupt Annihilate and extend the 2nd phase. Remember that this will heal you as well.