Updated Thu, Oct 18, 2012 by Mem
The Headless Horseman is an summoned 5-man boss only available for two weeks during the Hallow’s End event which lasts two weeks. Once the event has ended the Headless Horseman will once again return to his grave until the next year. Continue reading for more information on the legend behind the Horseman and for those heroes with enough bravery to venture into his domain; how to summon and ultimately defeat the dreaded Horseman:
The legend of the Headless Horseman begins with a noble knight of the Silver Hand known as Thomas Thomson. Helping to defend against the Scourge, Sir Thomas witnessed first hand the betrayal of Baron Rivendare. Shortly after Thomas would learn of Price Arthas’s decent into darkness with the murder of his father and eventually Uther the Lightbringer. The final straw, the one that would set the workings of fate into motion was the defeat of Alexandros Mograine, the Ashbringer.
Desperate to save his family from the doom he saw speeding towards them he ordered his wife to flee to Kalimdor while he remained in service to the Scarlet Crusade. However, like the grand majority of the Scarlet Crusade, Thomas’s fervor became so fanatical that he began to see everyone and everything as being tainted by the plague. This blind fanaticism would take Sir Thomas on many raids where innocents were slaughtered in the name of the Crusade. However, the true extent of Thomas’s progressing illness was not seen until he accidentally killed his own family before realizing who they really were.
Devastated by his actions and falling further and further into madness Sir Thomas was taken back to the Scarlet Monastery. Nothing could save the brave knight though, and he went totally and utterly mad, believing that the entire world was infected with the plague and only he could save them. Thomas turned on his fellow knights slaughtering many before he was stopped and beheaded. Despite his madness, Sir Thomas was given an honorable burial by Dathrohan inside the Monastery where he was entombed and supposed to rest for all eternity.
But as we all know Sir Thomas’s peace was not long lasting. Dathrohan, who had insisted upon Thomas’s burial inside the Monastery, was actually the demon Balnazzar in disguise. Balnazzar entered Thomas’s tomb and warped Thomas’ corpse into becoming a Death Knight that would rise up during Hallow’s End to reign destruction down on Azeroth, thus creating the Headless Horseman we know today.
All you need to do now is queue for the dungeon finder. We have historical information here for fun:
Before 2011: To summon the Headless Horseman players must venture into the Graveyard wing of the Scarlet Monastery. Here in the middle of the Forlorn Cloister, players will encounter an eerie pumpkin shrine. One player must click
on the Shrine to receive the quest “Call of the Headless Horseman”. This quest will require the player to take the provided Dreary Candle to the Loosely Turned Soil located at the back of the Shrine. Turning in the quest will light the candle which will effectively summon the Headless Horseman. Be warned that the Headless Horseman will attack whomever disturbed him from his unrest. Players may only summon the Horseman using this method once a day during Hallow’s End, however, they may participate in the kill as many times as they wish.
After 2011: Players using the Dungeon Finder must queue specifically for this event in order to be able to summon the Horseman. You can summon him once per group. A pumpkin loot bag will be given on the first completion each day.
The Headless Horseman encounter is a three phase fight:
When the Headless Horseman makes his grand entrance he will automatically attack whoever summoned him. If the player who summoned the Horseman is not the tank, the tank should quickly taunt to avoid any unnecessary deaths. After the tank has aggro Phase One becomes a total tank and spank. The only special ability the Horseman will use during this time is a basic Cleave.
Once you have damaged the Horseman down to 1% he will become immune to attacks and toss his head, which will now become an active target and the focus of the groups attacks. Having a simple macro set up (/target head of) will allow DPS to transition smoothly from the body of the Horseman to the head. During this period the body of the Horseman will be healing itself back to 100% as well as wandering around occasionally casting Whirlwind which should be avoided by players.
Once the head has been damaged to around 60%, or the body has reached 100%, the head and body will come together and Phase Two will begin.
As the Horseman’s body and head rejoin he will launch an attack on the player who has generated the most aggro against him. The tank should taunt the Horseman and the fight will resume much as it did in Phase One, the only difference in this Phase is that the Horseman will shake things up a bit by occasionally throwing out a Conflagration.
This new ability will randomly target any player besides the tank. Conflagration will tick for a percentage of the player’s maximum health every second and confuses the player causing them to run around like a maniac for 5 seconds. Conflagration can cause damage to other players so the rest of the group should avoid players who are affected by this spell. Conflagration can be removed PvP trinkets, Ice Block, Divine Shield, and other similar abilities.
DPS the Horseman to 1% again to pop his head off. Damage the head to around 30% to begin Phase Three.
Phase Three is when things can get really interesting. Essentially the fight will be the same as Phase Two, players will want to focus their DPS on the Horseman with the goal of getting him to 1%. The difference in this phase is that the Horseman will lose the Conflagration ability, but will gain the ability to toss out four Pulsing Pumpkins.
These Pulsing Pumpkins will each sprout one Pumpkin Fiend after several seconds. The Pumpkin Fiends can potentially cause some real havoc in your group if they are left unchecked as they can run around and do damage To prevent this have your tank position himself into the middle of the pumpkin spawns where they can be picked up easily. Once they have been grabbed by the tank the DPS can use various AoE abilities to wipe them out while still maintaining DPS on the Horseman.
Once the Horseman has reached 1% the head will once again become detached and players should shift their focus appropriately. This time however, the object will be to destroy the head entirely. Once the head dies, the encounter is over and the Headless Horseman is defeated. The remaining pumpkins will despawn and loot will rain down upon you. Fail to defeat the head before the Horseman heals to 100% and the phase will begin again.
From the Headless Horseman
From the Loot-Filled Pumpkin Bag
Bring Me The Head of…Oh Wait
The Horseman’s Reins
The Headless Horseman is only one of the many great activities players can take part in during Hallow’s End. Check out our Hallow’s End Guide for more information on this spooky holiday!