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Chess event

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The Chess event in Karazhan must be solved in order to reach Prince Malchezaar. The raid plays a sort of chess match against Medivh.

Although the analogy to chess is usable (Doomguards are "stronger" than Footmen for example), it's not very strict. The pieces from the event behave very differently from real chess pieces, in particular player-controlled pieces autoattack enemy pieces they face, and the Kings are actually the strongest pieces in the game. In order to start the event, a player has to talk to the King piece of their own faction. The objective is to kill the enemy King without losing one's own King. If the game is won, a Dust Covered Chest appears with loot. Many players see this encounter as an easy fight, referring to it as "the free epics".

Afterwards the pieces are reset, and it is possible to play a friendly game within the raid. Whenever a game is going on, there is a silence debuff in the chess room to prevent clearing the trash mobs leading to Prince Malchezaar.

It is possible to reset the event by talking to the Echo of Medivh.

Chess Piece Abilities and Control

After the event begins, raid members can control any currently uncontrolled piece of their own faction by talking to it. Upon taking control of a piece the player character is teleported onto a platform at the side of the chess field. The player gains the "control piece" buff, his viewing perspective changes to that of the controlled piece, and their action bar is replaced. It is possible to release control of a piece by removing the control buff (right click it). This incurs a 15 sec debuff, during which time it is not possible to take control of another piece.

The action bar for controlling a chess piece has the following layout:

Inv boots cloth 03 Spell magic lesserinvisibilty Inv misc questionmark Inv misc questionmark
1 2 3 4
  • 1: Move: This moves the piece, see piece description for details.
  • 2: Rotate Piece: The same for all pieces, click an adjacent square on the board to face toward it.
  • 3: Special Ability 1: The piece's first unique ability, see piece description for details.
  • 4: Special Ability 2: The piece's other unique ability, see piece description for details.

The abilities can either be activated by clicking on the action bar, or by using keys 1 through 4. It's faster to use the key shortcuts, particularly because the movement controls have a timeout. Each chess piece auto-attacks if it faces an enemy. While pieces can move diagonally, they can only face towards four directions. After a diagonal move, pieces turn 45° clockwise to realign themselves.

Movement and rotation share a common cooldown of 5 seconds, and the special abilities have another shared cooldown of 5 seconds. If an ability has a cooldown of more than 5 seconds, the other ability is only affected by the 5 second cooldown.

Chess Event Pieces
Piece Alliance Horde Movement Ability 1 Ability 2 Notes
King King Llane Warchief Blackhand 1 Space any dir. Ability thunderbolt Sweep / Ability warrior cleave Cleave
Deals 4000 damage to 3 frontal adjacent enemy units.
Spell magic greaterblessingofkings Heroism / Spell nature bloodlust Bloodlust
Grants 50% increased damage to all allied humanoids on all 8 adjacent spaces, does not affect self. Cooldown 15 secs.
High Health/High Damage. The first side to kill the opponent's King wins.
Queen Human Conjurer Orc Warlock Straight 3 / Diagonal 2 Spell frost frostblast Elemental Blast / Spell fire fireball02 Fireball
Deals 4000 damage to any single chess piece. Range: Straight 4 / Diagonal 3.
Spell shadow rainoffire Rain of Fire / Spell nature abolishmagic Poison Cloud
Deal 6000 damage to any hostile chess piece and all adjacent hostile pieces. Cooldown 15 secs. Range: Straight 4 / Diagonal 3
Medium Health/High Damage
Bishop Human Cleric Orc Necrolyte 1 Space any dir. Spell holy heal Healing / Spell shadow shadowmend Shadow Mend
Heal a friendly piece for 12,000. Cooldown 20 secs. Range: Half of board.
Spell holy searinglight Holy Lance / Spell shadow shadowbolt Shadow Spear
Deals 2000 damage to enemy units standing in a straight line of 3 squares in front.
Low Health/Low Damage. Only Healer.
Knight Human Charger Orc Wolf 2 Straight / 1 Diag Ability mount charger Smash / Ability physical taunt Bite
3000 damage to a target 1 square in front.
Ability warstomp Stomp / Ability hunter pet wolf Howl
Reduces damage of all adjacent hostile chess pieces by 50%, last for 10 secs.
Medium Health/Low Damage
Rook Conjured Water Elemental Summoned Daemon1 Space any dir.Spell frost summonwaterelemental Geyser / Spell fire selfdestruct Hellfire
Deals 3000 damage to all adjacent hostile chess pieces.
Ability shaman watershield Water Shield / Spell fire firearmor Fire Shield
Reduce damage taken by 50% for 5 sec.
Low Health/Medium Damage
Pawn Human Footman Orc Grunt 1 Space any dir. Ability meleedamage Heroic Blow / Ability hunter swiftstrike Vicious Strike
Deals 1000 damage to a target 1 square in front.
Inv shield 06 Shield Block / Ability parry Weapon Deflection
Absorbs 500 damage. Lasts 5 secs.
Low Health/Low Damage

Warning: Medivh Cheats!

Medivh cheats at random intervals during the game. Although on paper the effects look tough, in reality they usually have little effect on the course of the event.

  • Healing Cheat: Heals Medivhs king (and possibly all the other pieces) to full HP.
  • Damage Cheat: Medivh places a fire AoE on a random player controlled piece.
  • Berserking Cheat: One of Medivhs units gains increased size, speed and damage.

Strategy

The king is quite strong and thus should be used in an offensive way—he is in fact similar to a DPS tank (be cautious though). A reasonable kill order is to deal with the enemy healers first, then drop the queen, and finally the king. If king and queen work together efficiently, and have good support from the bishops, the combats on the remainder of the board are less important. The friendly healers should move only very little, and concentrate on keeping the king and the queen at top health.

One simple strategy is to have each player chose one non-pawn piece which they want to control later. Then, each player moves the pawn in front of their piece as far as needed, releases control and takes over their "real" piece. As soon as holes in the pawn line appear, attack with the player controlled pieces. This is an excellent strategy for higher-levels trying to complete this event in a five-man or other smaller raid. By having a few players concentrate, at the start, on moving pawns and 'unplayed' pieces forward, these pieces are in range to auto-engage combat.

A more sophisticated strategy has four players initially controlling the four central pawns, and four other players on the king, the queen and both knights. The two remaining raid members should take the bishops. This allows to move the offensive pieces more quickly.

This event can be, at least, 2-manned. What we did was: First, move as many pawns one square ahead as possible. Then, starting moving other pieces, but keep the bishops near the king. After some time, the enemy king and queen will reach yours, so one player stays on the king and attacks them, while using heroism now and then to help the pieces hold off the other enemy pieces, while the other player stays on a nearby bishop and heals the king. It was a close call, but eventually the queen died, and then the king shortly after. Keeping other pieces near the king is a good idea as the enemy will be distracted (or even attacked) by them, thus buying your king some time, because even with a bishop, its just a matter of time until the king dies to the enemy's overwhelming assault.

You can 1-man this by using a similar strategy as the 2-man run. What I did was move the pawns in front of the knights (wolves) out one, then moved any others I could get to. Next, move the rooks (demons) to where the pawns were in front of the knights. Watch out for when medivh cheats by putting fire squares down (move the rooks/king/queen if needed) - use the queen (warlock) to burn down the king, and you'll be good to go.

Dust Covered Chest

Dust Covered Chest appears after the game is won.

Video guide

How to solo Chess Event


an additional method used by (Jabba - Gundrak) an 85 ret pally was to start the event by talking to my king either orc or human depending on faction (i will use chess terms to help explain my moves)

i move the pawn in front of the king 1 space forward (i move this pices mainky incase he put fire in the place of the king and the empty space occu[ied by the queen meaning there is no safe space for the king to move costing you important time) then move the queen as far on the diagonal this should allow you to target the opposing king piece with your abilitys. when he uses fire move the queen (if needed) then move king (fire allwasy seems to spawn under king) then go back to the queen and continue once the queen is dead go back to your king and kill the incomming king pices the range of the kings special cleave in 2 spaces directly in front of your and 1 space to the diagonal left forwar and right forward (forward refers to the directing you are faceing)

if you are a little slow for whatever reasion jump on a bishop and heal your king as needed.

if your keeg needs to much healing you will fail just reset it and start again.

Bugs

  • As of patch 2.4, releasing from a piece may cause the player to spawn below the floor of the room, leaving him back in the Curator's hallway. This can prevent the player from looting the chest because running back may take too long before it disappears—use a Warlock summon if possible in this case.
  • Taking control of a piece may sometimes result in an near-immediate disconnect. The only way back into the game is to wait some time until the player is removed from the game with a "desertion" like debuff, or by quickly releasing control of the piece before the disconnect actually takes place.

Loot

Dust Covered Chest drops
Inv boots plate 06
Inv shoulder 29
Inv boots chain 05
Inv boots chain 05
Inv belt 26
Inv crown 01
Inv pants mail 15
Inv sword 74
Inv pants plate 18
Inv jewelry necklace 06
Inv jewelry ring 15
Inv shield 31
Spell holy championsbond200200


Quotes

The "Echo of Medivh" speaks at various events during the course of the game.

Event begins
  • Very well. Let the game begin.
Cheating
  • Perhaps a change is in order.
  • Time for an alternative scenario.
  • One must not become too complacent.
Pawn Rook Knight Bishop Queen King Checkmate
Player loses Let us see.
A transparent stratagem.
Ah, the wheels have begun to turn.
Foolish! Very foolish! Yes... all according to plan. The slightest loss of concentration is all it takes. Now it gets interesting. As it should be. Nothing less than perfection will do.
Medivh loses Hmm.
No matter.
Interesting.
A minor concern. Yes...of course. A necessary sacrifice. Ahh, I should have known. And so, the end draws near. And so it ends.

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