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Northrend Dungeons, Part Three

April 8, 2010

And here is the ridiculously sinusitis-ridden Pinball, taking you onto the third installment of our ongoing series on how to save time and avoid wipes! Fasten your seatbelts!

Culling of Stratholme

  • If you’ve already done the quest that has you zapping the little crates before getting to Stratholme proper, talk to Chromie. He/she/it will teleport you straight into the city and skip the dialog between Arthas, Uther and Jaina altogether (wheeee).
  • Pay attention to your healer. The little non-elite zombies are minor nuisances in terms of damage, but they can still daze. Being caught beyond healing range when something (or a group of somethings) big and undead looks your way tends to hurt.
  • Kill the Necromancers and the Nerubians first, if only for convenience. The Ghouls and Abominations can be dealt with more easily due to the lack of ranged attacks.
  • Both bosses in the first area are basically tank and spank at this point. Just roll over them and run to the town hall once Salramm the Fleshcrafter goes down.
  • The pull leading to the third boss room still gives some people grief. Let Arthas run ahead and stand outside the corridor. Waiting five seconds for the tank to pick both sides of the room up will make the pull a lot smoother.
  • Chrono-Lord Epoch has a few annoying abilities, but nothing players can actively deal with. Just keep him on the tank, heal the tank through, and shoot/stab/cast the boss long enough, and you’re still gravy.
  • The back-alley fight is also pretty simple: aggro everything, drop an AoE ability, focus on whatever is still standing. Since the Infinite Corruptor is essentially a free Emblem of Triumph on Heroic if you get to him on time, you want to get through this area as quickly as possible.
  • If you’re a tank, pounding the mobs just enough for your threat to go about half their health and then running backwards towards the next set of mobs while your AoE move refreshes is a good way to operate. As long as the healer can keep up with you (and there is no reason they shouldn’t at this point in time), you can even make this entire area one massive pull without pauses.
  • Don’t talk to Arthas as soon as you get through the burning back-alley. Instead, just run ahead, bypass the last boss room, and go get the Infinite Corruptor. It’s literally just two extra minutes of dungeon, and one more Emblem nearly for free. Even the guys who are solely interested on the Emblems of Frost won’t complain.
  • Mal’ganis is also fairly easy: stand behind the boss if you’re not the tank, and kill the guy dead. If you don’t want any DPS or healer downtime, you can simply stand in front of the boss until you get hit by Carrion Swarm, then let the DoT wake you up whenever he casts “Sleep” on you. It will probably not be necessary for anyone but a healer worried about tank survivability to do that, anyway.

The Violet Hold

  • If something is giving you too much grief, you could always use the little crystals mounted on the walls. I’d save them up for Ichoron (keep reading), though.
  • The only relatively tricky trash pull in this fight is the one where a squad of Blue Dragonflight goons portals in in front of Zuramat the Obliterator’s cell. If you’re the tank and you’re not there already, go around up the stairs leading to Erekem’s cell and catch the mobs trying to run to the door. Once you have them, simply walk down the stairs and catch the others. If you have a cooperative Hunter or Rogue, it shouldn’t even be necessary.
  • Erekem is tank-and-spank. Forget about the adds if you’re not the tank, just kill the boss bird with single-target attacks and wipe the others out when he goes down.
  • Moragg is more annoying to the healer than to anyone else: if someone gets Optic Link cast on them, get ready to heal them up. No amount of running will get it off you, so just keep DPSing or tanking if you get it, and trust your healer.
  • Ichoron is a pain. If you’re the tank, concentrate on attacks that have extra threat, if you’re DPS, use the fastest attacks you can so you can burn through Ichoron’s shield charges quicker. Once she blows up and sends elementals all over the place, you can simply activate the defense grid (remember the crystals I talked about?), let it destroy the little mobs, then go back to the boss. Repeat it twice and she will stop doing that, allowing her to be killed normally.
  • Ichoron can also bug out and spawn a copy of herself instead of the elementals sometimes. If she does that, just kill the copy (it has very little health), then kill her. Double the loot!
  • Xevozz is one of those bosses that will demolish even ICC-25 geared groups, if they’re not careful. Stand on the stairs in front of Erekem’s cell and wait for his speech to finish. Start hitting them as he aggroes, and start kiting him back through the top floors after he summons his Ethereal Spheres. Do not allow the Spheres to reach Xevozz, or he’ll suddenly start doing a lot more damage, and do not allow the Spheres to lose line of sight to the boss either, as they will teleport the entire group to them, blow up, and most likely kill someone before they can run away. It takes a little bit of practice, and the healer should always run ahead of the tank, but once you get the hang of how to kite him without triggering teleports, Xevozz doesn’t hit hard at all.
  • Lavanthor: pull him to the center of the room so he doesn’t block the portal in front of his cell, stay behind him if you’re not the tank, get out of the fire either way.
  • Zuramat the Obliterator might sound hard or complex, but it isn’t. The harder part here is usually making people actually pay attention when they get Void Shifted. Kill him as usual, if you get the Void Shift debuff, look around. Kill as many Void Sentries as you can, as those can’t be damaged by people who are not Void Shifted. Once the debuff wears off or you have no more Sentries to kill, go back to the boss.
  • Cyanigosa: stay to the sides of the boss if you’re DPS or Healer (remember, she’s a dragon!), move out of the Blizzard, run away and give the tank a couple seconds to build threat after she teleports everybody towards her (aggro wipe). Kill, loot, congratulate, teleport out.

Gundrak

  • Light on trash, easy bosses, what’s there not to like?
  • Going clockwise from where the LFG places you, we start at the Den of Sseratus. Do yourself a favor and change your camera angle so you can see everything from a top-down perspective. Otherwise the little snakes all over the place are going to make switching targets hell for you.
  • Slad’ran: tank him in top of the stairs, run away of the Poison Nova if you’re a DPS who doesn’t trust your healer, kill the boss and adds otherwise.
  • There will be purple stuff on the floor in the next area. Stay off it. If you’re an overgeared Rage-based tank who’s having issues getting Rage off simply being hit, you can stay on those puddles for some extra rage as long as you don’t overburden the healer.
  • Drakkari Colossus/Drakkari Elemental: two bosses, one fight! (Ugh.) Stay out of the Ground-Based Hazard of the Day, wait for the tank to regain aggro once the Elemental comes in and out (there’s a threat wipe there), kill both of them.
  • Moorabi: tank, spank, loot, move on.
  • Eck the Ferocious is an optional boss that also gives an extra Emblem of Triumph. He is, however, out of the way and most groups don’t bother with him. If you do, be aware that both the boss and the mobs leading up to him have the very annoying of switching targets whenever they see fit.
  • Gal’darah: run away when the boss starts spinning, unless you’re a well-geared tank with an at least half-awake healer in tow. Get ready to run back in when you get knocked away, pop your cooldowns (both DPS and tanking) if the healer gets impaled by Gal’darah’s rhino form, as you want the boss to go down as quickly as possible. If you have enough DPS in your group, you can basically down him before he even turns into a Rhino.

Anh’kahet: the Old Kingdom

  • You absolutely need to kill the Ahn’kahar Spell Flingers first. Those guys are no fun.
  • Be very careful when going through the room going down the stairs to the right (the usual path for Heroics, as far as I know): the mobs there are very densely-clustered, and one bad pull can bring the entire room on your heads and very likely cause a wipe on anything but a very well-geared group.
  • Elder Nadox: maul him. When the Ahn’kahar Guardian spawns, kill it. When it’s dead, go back to Nadox. When Nadox is dead, loot, wait for the patrol outside to get out of range, then run down.
  • The big geist packs are fun to AoE down!
  • The Bonegrinders have an AoE fear that is very likely to bring new adds to the fight. Pay attention to it or tank them close to the entrance of this massive room to avoid nasty surprises.
  • Kill the Eyes of Taldaram first. Yes, the Frostbringers can be annoying because of their Frost Novas, but the shades can and will silence people at the worst possible moment.
  • Prince Taldaram can only be fought after the two orbs in the raised platforms are activated. Somehow, some people don’t know this and waste time trying to skip the platforms.
  • As for Prince Taldaram himself, attack him. Whenever someone gets Embrace of the Vampyr, keep attacking him. Once he summons his Flame Spheres, get out of the way. Rinse and repeat.
  • Kill the casters first, and stay the hell out of the Flamestrike, even if you’re the tank. The mobs have a very nasty habit of stacking those.
  • Jedoga Shadowseeker is annoying but fairly harmless to a group with enough DPS: stay out of the pulsing light on the floor, don’t get knocked back into the adds (their aura damages you), and kill the chosen add before it can reach the ring of light below the boss when she starts levitating. If the add doesn’t get killed quickly enough, the tank could pop a survivability cooldown to make the incoming burst of damage more survivable.
  • Amanitar is an optional boss in the Zangarmarsh-like area of the dungeon. Like Eck, most people skip him due to him being too far out of the way. If you’re going for him, it’s usually better to drop to the left side of the platform and kill him before going after Jedoga Shadowseeker.
  • The three Forgotten Ones before Herald Volazj have an annoying amount of burst potential with their Shadow Crashes. Pull one at a time, if possible, and lead it out of the others’ patrol range so their Psychic Scream won’t bring adds in. Trust me, three stacked Crashes will give even the best healer out there a run for their money.
  • Herald Volajz is a tank-and-spank fight with some party-wide damage about 50% of the time. His only interesting ability is Insanity, and he’ll cast it twice, with ample warnings. The adds it spawns have very little health compared to the players they’re supposed to be copying, so this phase is still very easy. If you’re DPS or the tank, kill the healer first, then demolish the others at your leisure. If you’re the healer, either kill them all with whatever AoE you have, of just heal yourself through until the other group members kill their own adds and go after yours (which they will).

And next up on Northrend Dungeons: the crème de la crème of Northrend!

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