The second of the two bosses that you reach in Gruul's Lair is the Gruul the Dragonkiller himself. Gruul is the huge dragon slaying Gronn giant and appears very similar in look to other Gronn you have seen around especially his sons.

You will have dealt with many of his sons in various quests in zones. Some of them include Durn the Hungerer, Grulloc, Maggoc and Skulloc the Soulgrinder.


Gruul has many abilities that need to be considered and dealt with during the fight. They include:

Huge Health Pool - While not specifically an ability, he can take what seems like endless hits due to his huge health pool. He has roughly 3,500,000 health. Yes, you read that correctly, about three and a half MILLION health.

Grow - Every 30 seconds Gruul gets angry and grows in size. This growth is a stacking self buff that can stack up to 30 times and can not be removed and does not expire. Each buff grows him roughly 10% larger in size and grants him a 15% damage bonus. His base damage starts at roughly 3,000 per hit on well equipped Karazhan tanks. This means that by the 15th grow he will be hitting the tank for roughly 12,000 damage! Grow effects the damage caused by his basic melee attack, hurtful strike, and cave in.

Hurtful Strike - This melee attack hits the person second on the threat list that is within melee range. It hits for roughly 6,000 damage on a tank. The one saving grace with this attack is that it can not land as a critical hit or crushing hit.

Reverberation - This attack causes everyone in the zone to become silenced for 4 seconds.

Cave In - This attack causes an 8 yard AoE cave in which will hit for roughly 3000 damage (against cloth) every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. This starts off rarely happening and increases in frequency as the fight goes on. The damage is boosted by growth damage modifiers.

Ground Slam - This attack knocks everyone in the zone back in a random direction for a random distance. Once Gruul does this attack he will immediately follow up with...

Gronn Lord's Grasp - Will effect all players and causes a stacking debuff. The effect stacks 5 times (once each second) each time reducing movement by 20% and then causes the Stoned effect once it has hit its full stack of 5. This can not be dispelled.

Stoned - When you become stoned, you will be stunned. This happens after being effected by 5 Gronn Lord's Grasp debuffs. Once Stoned, then Gruul Shatters.

Shatter - Whenever someone becomes stoned, Gruul will trigger a shatter attack. This attack does damage to everyone in the raid. The damage is physical and is based on your proximity to other players in the raid. It ranges from about 100 (at 15+ yards distance) all the way up to roughly 9,000 (if you are touching each other).

Preparation and Basics

The fight with Gruul is essentially a timed DPS race. You need to have Gruul down by the time he hits his 15th grow, which is about the 8 minute mark, as after that point he is capable of one-shotting your tank or off tank. While it is possible to take longer and still do it successfully, the odds go down drastically.

Due to the nature of the fight, and the damage ramping up it is quite possible that your main tank die at some point in the fight. Also due to the hurtful strike damage ramping up, your off tank may die. Therefore many guilds run with at least 3 and sometimes 4 tanks (while learning the fight) all in against Gruul in case 1 or 2 go down.

When you are preparing to pull Gruul have everyone run past the gates at the same time, as once he is engaged they close. Anyone not in the room will not be able to help with the fight.

Since this is a long fight, all mana users (especially the healers) need to equip as much mana over time gear as possible to ensure they are viable throughout the fight.


The cave ins are centered around a player and the more players on Gruul increase the chances that they will happen there. It also hurts to have players bunched up when a shatter goes off. For this reason most Gruul groups focus on ranged DPS which can be spread out. It makes the battle easier to heal and survive through.

The silence effect that Gruul uses can be lessened to some degree by the use of the Paladin Improved Concentration Aura. Therefore you should ensure you have the healers with a Paladin at all times.

The tanks must engage Gruul and generate as much threat as possible so that DPS can go as fast as possible. The off tank needs to be second on the aggro list at all times so that he takes the hurtful strikes instead of melee. Because hurtful strike can not crit or crush, a druid is ideal due to their huge dodge chance and armor / health stats. The third and potentially fourth tanks can intervene during silences to take a hit or two to help the main tank stay alive in later growth phases.

Misdirect should be used by the hunters as often as possible and especially at the beginning of the fight. Early in the fight it is a good idea to give the MT the misdirect to let DPS start sooner without risking pulling aggro. LAter in the fight misdirect really helps the OT stay second on the aggro list.

Throughout the fight try to make sure that players are spread out as much as possible to minimize both cave-in and shatter damage. While this isn't a big concern for the first little bit of the fight, it becomes more of a concern as the damage increases. Several classes can remove the movement side of the debuff, Rogues can use Cloak of Shadows, Paladins have Divine Shield, and Mages have Ice Block.

As you can see the fight is a real test of tanking, healing, positioning (avoidance), patience and DPS. Do not expect to expect to defeat Gruul until you have several weeks of attempts under your belt. This is the first real 25 man raid for guilds and while they become more difficult, this one is nothing to laugh at. If your guild has not raided before Gruul can be quite frustrating until everyone is geared properly and learns the encounter inside and out.

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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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