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This guide has been updated to include all the information on both the Normal and Heroic versions of the bosses.

The Deadmines is one of the first instances that Alliance players will encounter as they level.  The Deadmines is a large underground mine that is no longer operational.  For those that remember the Deadmines from before Cataclysm, much of the instance remains the same, however the bosses have completely changed.

Enter the Deadmines

The mines were taken over by the Defias Brotherhood headed by Edwin VanCleef, however he was defeated and executed by the Alliance.  After his execution his daughter picked up where he left off and has now re-organised the brotherhood and is planning her revenge against the Alliance.

Deadmines Upper Level Map

The Deadmines are located in the zone of Westfall which is just south west of the Human starting area of Elwynn Forest.  The entrance to the Deadmines can be found in the town of Moonbrook in the south western corner of the zone. 

The instance is ideal for a new player’s first foray into 5 player instances and really helps a new player on how to work in a group with their character. The Deadmines are tuned for players’ level 15-20, and a Heroic version is available for players that are level 85 and equipped well enough to qualify for entry.



Glubtok the foreman is the first boss in the Deadmines instance.  He is a large male ogre mage that will use his magic to try to dispatch the group. The fight is broken down into two phases.  In the first phase he is simply a tank-and-spank fight, however the second phase becomes an avoidance fight.

Phase 1 Abilities

Fists of Flame – This ability lasts for 10 seconds and while active Glubtok’s melee attacks deal fire damage to the target and anything nearby. 
Fists of Frost – This ability lasts for 10 seconds and while active Glubtok’s melee attacks deal frost damage and slow the target.

Phase 2 Abilities

Fire Blossom – This ability targets an AOE and deals fire damage in an AOE around them and knocks anyone in that area down.
Frost Blossom – This ability targets an AOE and deals frost damage and slows anyone in it.

Glubtok Strategy

This fight is a fairly simple Tank and Spank encounter for the first phase.  The main thing to remember is that players should not stand in Glubtok’s front arc so they are not hit by AOE damage when the tank is hit with Fists of Flame.

When Glubtok is dropped to 50% health he will do a few things to start the second phase of the fight.  First he freezes everyone in place allowing him time to run to the center of the room and cast arcane power.  Once cast he will be lifted up and float in the center for the rest of the fight and start using phase 2 abilities. Both of these abilities will mark locations in the room and then cast their respective AOE effect on that area.  Players need to constantly move around to ensure they are not hit by these abilities while still DPSing the boss down.  The fight remains in this phase until Glubtok has been defeated.

Glubtok Heroic Strategy

The main difference in this fight is that in phase two when Glubtok floats to the center of the room he will summon a spinning wall of fire below him and fire adds. This wall moves around under him like a spinning gate. Players must deal with Glubtok while also moving around avoiding the wall and any damage they would suffer if touched.

The adds do not deal a lot of damage but spawn very quickly. Therefore the tank should pick them up as fast as possible and DPS needs to down them while also downing the boss, or you can become overwhelmed. The second phase is not that difficult though as the wall moves slowly, and the AOE fire and frost effects that he casts are clearly marked on the floor before they happen. DPS can pretty much move around slowly while focusinng on the boss and doing a little AOE to down the adds.

Helix Gearbreaker

Helix Gearbreaker

The second boss encounter in the Deadmines occurs in the mast room and is against Helix Gearbreaker who is a goblin who enters the fight riding a lumbering oaf.  The fight has two phases, the first one involves fighting Helix while riding the oaf and the second starts once you have killed the oaf off.

Lumbering Oaf’s Abilities

Pound – Occasionally the oaf will grab a random player and ram them against the wall, inflicting a large amount of damage.

Helix Gearbreaker’s Abilities

Sticky Bomb – Throughout the fight Helix will throw sticky bombs around the room.  These can either be on the ground forcing players to avoid running through them as they explode or he can attach them to players forcing them to run out to avoid damaging those around them.

Helix Strategy

This fight revolves through two phases. During the first phase of the fight Helix will have the lumbering oaf running around the room attacking players.  While the oaf attacks, Helix throws bombs around the room leaving explosives on the ground that players need to avoid.  In addition, occasionally the oaf will throw Helix onto a random player, once there Helix continues to throw bombs for a while and then attaches one to the player and leaps back onto the oaf.  Lastly during this phase the oaf will randomly grab a player and then rush across the room to pound them into the wall.  Healers must watch for this and immediately heal the affected player once the pound occurs. During this phase the tank must maintain threat on the oaf while DPS burns it down.

Once the oaf has been killed Helix will run around throwing even more bombs and occasionally jumping on players.  DPS must burn him down before things get too hectic.

Any time a player is leapt on, just before Helix jumps off he will attach a bomb to that player.  There is no way to get it off, so they must simply run away from other players to minimize the damage that it inflicts.  They will suffer damage but other players will not be hit by the AOE that it inflicts.

Helix Heroic Mode Strategy

This fight really isnt much different on heroic mode, other than a lot more bombs going off on the ground. On heroic there are monkeys in the rafters that throw additional fire bombs onto the ground and players. Watch for the impact marks and avoid the fire that stays there after. Other than that however, the fight is mainly about killing the Oaf to get Helix on the ground and then defeating him.

While the fight feels very hectic because of all the fire and movement, it really is a simple fight.

Foe Reaper 5000

Foe Reaper 5000

The Foe Reaper 5000 is a mechanical monstrosity that is essentially a large elite harvest golem.

Reaper Strike – When the Foe Reaper attacks it hits everything in its front arc.  Therefore only that tank should stand in front.
Overdrive – This is a whirlwind type ability that takes 3 seconds to cast and lasts 10 seconds.  Once active, Foe Reaper spins wildly about the room damaging anything around him.
Harvest – This attack selects a random player as its target and takes 5 seconds to cast.  A rune is placed on the ground to show where will be affected and the player becomes marked.  Once cast Foe Reaper will rush forward at the player’s starting location damaging anything in its path and then hitting everything in the destination spot for huge damage.
Safety Restrictions Off-line – Once the Foe Reaper has been dropped to 30% health, it will enrage doing 100% additional physical damage for the remainder of the fight.

Foe Reaper Strategy

This fight revolves around players being aware of the Harvest and Overdrive abilities.  For most of the fight it is a tank and spank encounter with the tank holding him in place.  However, once either of the two dangerous abilities are cast, everyone must react appropriately and quickly.

When Overdrive is cast, all melee players need to back out of melee range, and all players need to spread out so that no matter which direction he goes he does not hit more than one player at a time.  When Harvest is cast, the rune will go up immediately under the marked player.  Everyone must clear out of the marked area and away from the path that Foe Reaper will take.  Everything in that path will suffer heavy damage.

Once either ability is over, all players should shift back to their previous positions and the fight continues.  Cooldowns for extra damage should be saved for the end of the fight once Foe Reaper enrages below 30% health.

Foe Reaper Heroic Mode Strategy

This fight changes significantly in heroic mode. The most significant change is that there will be a reaper available for a player to pilot. One DPS player, ideally the lowest melee DPS, will need to control this machine to control several adds that spawn throughout the fight. The reaper has several abilities including a charge, whirl, and pushback ability.

How this fight works best on heroic mode is for the healer and ranged DPS to stay at the top of the ramp in the room, and have the tank pull the boss up the ramp to about where the top overhead light is. From here the healer can heal the tank and ranged can DPS the boss. The Foe Reapers abilities remain the same so players need to watch out for them as in normal.

However, the player controlling the reaper stays near the bottom of the ramp and picks up the adds as they spawn. Here he DPS's them down and prevents them from going up the ramp to engage the other players. If an add gets past they can be knocked off the ramp and back to the bottom of the room with the push ability. It may take a few tries but once learned it is very easy for a player to control and defeat all the adds while in the reaper.

This fight revolves mainly around the add tank in the reaper controlling and defeating the adds. If no adds make it to the group, it is a fairly simple fight and easy to win. If an add makes it up the ramp, all but the best groups will wipe. Therefore take your time and explain everything to the add tank and expect a few wipes while they learn the mechanics. Once they understand it though, the fight is cake.

Deadmines Lower Level Map

Admiral Ripsnarl

Admiral Ripsnarl is the fourth boss found in the Deadmines.  He is a worgen melee DPS monster that is found on the top deck of the Defias Dreadnought.

Go for the Throat – This attack allows Ripsnarl to leap at an opponent inflicting damage, knocking them down, and stunning them for several seconds.
Swipe – Ripsnarl’s attacks hit the current target and up to three additional targets within melee range and in his front arc.
Thirst for Blood – This is a stacking buff that Ripsnarl gains as he attacks.  Each stack increases his movement and attack speed by 10% and lasts for 10 seconds.  It can stack up to 20 buffs.
Summon Fog – At 75%, 50%, and 25% health Ripsnarl will disappear and summon fog on the deck of the dreadnought.  In this fog several “foggy” elementals will appear that need to be killed.

Ripsnarl Strategy 

Admiral Ripsnarl

This fight alternates between two phases.  In the first the tank must hold Ripsnarl in place as DPS burns him down 25% quickly.  As each phase continues his stacking buff will increase that damage that the tank is taking dramatically and soon cause issues for the healer.  The faster he is dropped to the next 25% decrement in health the better.

Once the group has dropped his health enough, he will disappear into the fog and players will need to deal with the fog elementals that appear.  Once they have been killed, or after about a minute if you are slow on downing the fog, Ripsnarl will re-appear, howl, and hit a random player with Go for the Throat.  The tank needs to pick Ripsnarl up again, while players finish of the fog and then return to Ripsnarl.

The Fight alternates between these two phases until you have defeated Ripsnarl.

Ripsnarl Heroic Mode Strategy

On heroic mode the fight is much more frenzied as the adds explode if not defeated very quickly. Also the stacking buff that Ripsnarl gains stacks extemely quickly and is very hard to deal with as a healer. Ideally you will want him through each of the four phases in less than 10 stacks of the buff, which means significant DPS from the players. Being a heroic anyway, and one of the harder ones, a good benchmark for DPS to be aiming for is at least 10,000, which is fairly easy for competent DPS.

In each shadow phase as the adds spawn players need to switch to them and burn them down quickly. Even when Ripsnarl respawns players must stay on the adds until they are killed or they will explode causing a wipe.

“Captain” Cookie


Once Ripsnarl has been dispatched, “Captain” Cookie comes out of the cabin on the top deck.  Cookie is a murloc and the Captain of the Defias Dreadnought. Cookie is the final boss in the normal version of the Deadmines.

Throw Food – Cookie throws food at players from inside the pot.  He throws two types of food: rotten and buff food.

  • Rotten Food – This foot hits the player for damage and falls to the ground creating an AOE that causes damage.  If a player eats it they will suffer a slow and DOT effect.
  • Buff Food – This food still hits a player for damage but is golden in colour and can be picked up and eaten.  When eaten it will provide both a movement and attack speed buff.  It stacks up to 100 times.

Cookie Strategy

This is a fun and entertaining fight that is, however, not much of a challenge.  All players need to do is run around picking up good food off the ground while avoiding the bad food and DPS Cookie. It is usually a very fast and frantic fight that ends with players getting essentially free loot.

Cookie Heroic Mode Strategy

This fight realy isnt that different on heroic mode, and you can ollow the same strategy, or almost no strategy and still burn him down. In fact there is n achievement for beating him without eating the buff food and it is not hard to get with competent DPS. If you can get through Ripsnarl on heroic to get to cookie, then you have the dps to manage the achievement.

Gauntlet to reach Vanessa VanCleef - Heroic Mode Only

After you have defeated Cookie on heroic mode Vanessa VanCleef appears and launches you into a scripted gauntlet event. The event has you try to survive the nightmares that the earlier bosses suffer before you actually get to fight here.

The gauntlet starts back in the room where you fought foe-reaper. You will be suspended above the kettle of motlen metal and need to release yourself, at which point the event starts. The first phase has you fight your way to the door to defeat a version Glubtok while dodging fire and falling ice. Players need to avoid the fire and move out of the runes that appear to show where the ice will fall.

Once Glubtok is dead the nightmare will shift and you need to defeat Helix's nightmare, a giant spider and its brood. The small spiders keep swarming so fight through the main spider while doing AOE to kill the small ones. The phase ends when you have defeated Helix.

Next up you must fight through the hallway while avoiding the spinning sparks until you get to door to the dock, where you must defeat foe-reaper.

Once on the dock the nightmare shifts a final time and you must save a family from a group of worgen adds. This shows how Ripsnarl became a worgen and is his nightmare. Once you manage to win that sequence you can make your way to Vanessa herself.

Vanessa VanCleef - Heroic Mode Only


The Vanessa VanCleef fight is a multi phase fight. The fight changes as you deal with Vanessa and the explosives she has planted on the ship.

Backstab - This is similar to the rogues ability. Vanessa backstabs a player and inflicts a DOT that deals damage for 10 seconds.
Deadly Blades - Vanessa attacks each player in the group rapidly, dealing damage to everyone.
Deflection - This is a shield type effect that grants Vanessa 100% chance to parry melee attacks, ignores ranged attacks, and reflects spells cast against her.
Enrage - Vanessa has an enrage ability that increases her attack speed and damage, it needs to be removed quickly.

In phase the first phase of the fight you must deal with Venessa and her abilities and several adds that she summons. Ideally the tank should collect adds as well as keeping Vanessa busy, while DPS focuses on adds as soon as they come up to burn them down. If you suspect a Deflection cast is near it can be worth while in keeping an add or two alive until Vanessa casts deflection so that DPS can switch to the adds while Vanessa is un-damagable. Keep adds under control and work on Vanessa until you get her down to 50% health to start phase two.

Once at 50% health the fight will pause as Vanessa sets the explosives on the ship. To escape and chase her you need to use the ropes at the side of the ship where you fought Admiral Ripsnarl. Get close and click on the arrows that will appear, similar to mounting a vehicle. As you swing away the ship explodes setting it on fire. You then swing back onto the ship to keep fighting. This phase is much the same as phase one, except the ship will be on fire and you need to avoid the flames while dealing with Vanessa and the adds.

Once you have lowered Vanessa's health to 25% she will set more explosions on the ship off. Once again you need to get to the ropes and swing away. Once back on the the ship there will be more flames and you will enter the last phase of the fight. For the last 25% it is essentially a burn phase and she will not summon more adds. Get her down as quickly as possible.

Once you get her down to 1% health she will will set off the final explosives and once again you need to get to the ropes. when back you will discover that she has blown herself up and that you have won the fight.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.


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