Updated Fri, May 27, 2011 by Messiah
With the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King patch 3.2 entitled Call of the Crusade released, players are now able to enter the brand new 5 player dungeon called Trial of the Champion. This tiny instance is a great way for players to participate in the new Crusade content as well as earn better loot items than any other 5 player instance currently in the game.
Welcome to the Argent Coliseum
The instance is found in the far northern reaches of Icecrown at the Argent Tournament grounds. The entrance is found along the northern edge of the Crusader’s Coliseum and the summoning stone can be found to the east of the grand new structure.
Once you enter the building you are greeted by many of the key World of Warcraft NPC’s watching your progress from the stands. Included in the spectators are none other than Thrall, Garosh, Hellscream, Highlord Tirion Fordring, Lady Jaina Proudmoore, and King Varian Wrynn. . The Coliseum floor where you enter is, in fact, the entire instance. There is no running around trying to figure out your way through a new dungeon; the whole of the instance occurs in this one large room. To start the event, simply talk to the commentator in the center of the Coliseum.
The instance itself is made up of four possible different encounters, of which you will see three each time you compete in the Trial of the Champion. The first encounter is a two phased jousting / combat encounter against three Grand Champions, the second encounter is either against Eadric the Pure or the Argent Confessor Paltress, and the last is always against The Black Knight.
The first encounter in the Trials of the Champion is against three Grand Champions of the Argent Tournament and their minions. The exact champions you face is random each time chosen from the opposite factions champions, meaning if you are Alliance you will fight against Horde Grand Champions and vise Versa.
The encounter is two phased. The first part involves jousting with the Champions minions and then the Champions themselves. Jousting is a fairly simple thing to do in the Coliseum, simply grab a lance off of one of the racks around the room, equip it, and mount up on a supplied mount. From that point it functions the exact same way as it does for the Argent Tournament daily jousting quests. For anyone that has not done these quests, you really should go and practice them a few times before trying this fight on Heroic Mode.
Get Ready to Joust
Just in case you haven’t jousted before, here are a few basics. You have 4 abilities while mounted and in jousting combat. They are the thrust, shield breaker, charge, and defend.
The object of this first phase of the first encounter is to defeat the Grand Champion’s minions, which come at you three at a time in waves, and then to unseat the Grand Champions themselves. The minions are very simple and basically constitute a warm up to allow players to remember how to joust. Simply remember the basics, keep up your Defend stack, while trying to know the opponents stack off, then DPS while their stack is down.
Once the minions are down, the Grand Champions enter combat as a group against you. Each faction can face any of the six possible Grand Champions from the opposing faction. While mounted they all have the same abilities. Work as a group to drop each Grand Champion’s Defend buffs, then knock them off their mounts.
Three of the Grand Champions
Once a Grand Champion is off of their mounts they will fall to the floor for a short time, before making their way to the outer wall of the Coliseum to find a fresh mount. Someone needs to run them down to prevent them from remounting. Once all Grand Champions have been unseated, you move on to phase two of the fight for that Champion.
The second phase is simply a melee combat against the random champions that you just jousted against. The different Grand Champions represent different classes and each has different abilities. Have the tank grab threat against the current target and DPS them down. If you are working on all three at once, hold all three. The exact order that is best for your group depends on which of the champions you get. The Champions can be either a mage, shaman, paladin, warrior, rogue, druid, or hunter.
If you happen to die after you have knocked them all of of their mounts you do not have to redo the whole fight, when you re-enter they will be waiting on-foot ready for phase two.
Eadric the Pure is one of the Grand Champions of the Argent Crusade and is essentially a Paladin with a few extra tricks up his sleeve. The most important extra abilities he has are a blinding light and a hammer throw ability.
Overall the fight with Eadric is simple, just DPS him down, while turning away each time he uses Radiance. If players do that he is essentially quick loot, especially compared to the other bosses.
Argent Confessor Paletress is one of the two possible bosses for the second encounter in Trials of the Champion. She is also the more difficult one. Paletress is essentially a priest with most of the abilities that being one grants. In addition for Holy Smite, Renew, Holy fire and Holy Nova, she also has the special abilities to summon a shadow boss.
Confessor Paletress and your bad memory
The fight consists of two main phases. The first, and easiest, involves dealing with Paletress’s abilities and out DPSing her heals. Between fears and damage you need to fight her until she reaches 50% health. Once she reaches 50% health she will summon up one of your worst memories and bring about a shadow boss. At this point she enters phase two and becomes immune to damage.
You must DPS down the shadow boss dealing with her abilities as you do. This will take a little while since she will be healing while you try to kill the boss. Once the shadow boss is down, her bubble will remove and the fight returns to phase one. Once phase one resumes you simply DPS her down to finish the fight.
The Black Knight appears to confront you
The third and final encounter in the Trial of the Champion is the Black Knight. This encounter is a tricky three phase encounter and is much more like a raid encounter than a normal instance encounter. It requires players to control threat, positioning and coordination more than most five player encounters.
The Black Knight is a Death Knight based opponent and has many of the basic Death Knight abilities throughout the fight. These include Plague Strike, Blood Plague, Icy Touch, Frost Fever, Obliterate, and Corpse Explosion. You can find details on what these basic Death Knight spells do in our Death Knight Guide. In addition to the Death Knight abilities that he always has, he has several extra abilities in each phase.
Phase 1 Abilities
Phase 2 Abilities
Phase 3 Abilities
The fight itself involves killing the Black Knight three times. Sort of like the Monty Python Black Knight, this one doesn’t know when he’s defeated either. So you have to beat him into submission with more than just a flesh wound. You must defeat him in mortal form, then again when he has risen as a skeleton, and lastly you must disperse his ghostly form. Some people just don’t know when to stay down.
Phase 1 – Mortal Form
In phase one the tank needs to build threat against The Black Knight quickly and then as soon as he raises a ghoul grab it as well. Once the Ghoul is active, players should switch over to it and kill it quickly. Just before it goes down, all melee must clear the area as The Black Knight will cause him to explode. Once the Ghoul is gone, return to DPSing The Black Knight until he is dead, for the first time.
Phase 2 – Skeleton Form
Not quite dead yet, The Black Knight in Skeleton form
In phase two, The Black Knight enters combat as a Skeleton warrior and while he is rising from the dead also summons additional ghouls with the Army of the Dead ability. When he starts to resurrect and cast Army everyone needs to group up on The Black Knight and around the tank. When the Ghouls spawn because he can use corpse explosion on them you have two basic options, either burn them down insanely fast through AoE or single target each down as quickly as you can. If you are using AoE or able to kill them very quickly you should stay grouped up so that they are not running all over the place. If you can not deal with them before The Black Knight starts to blow them up, then split up so that you do not all suffer the damage. Keep this up and kill him for the second time.
Phase 3 – Ghost Form
The Black Knight in Ghost Form
Once the Black Knight rises in his third and final form the fight becomes a DPS race. His stacking debuff will make quick work of the party if it reaches more than 10 or 12 stacks. Players also need to watch for being marked by the Black Knight and get away from him or call for healing as the incoming damage will rise quickly.
The third phase is fairly easy though and as long as the full group makes it to this phase you simply need to do as much bust damage as you can and hand the Black Knight his third and final death. I guess it’s more than a flesh wound now.