alt="Ready to tackle Utgarde Keep"
Utgarde Keep, when regular just
doesn't cut it.
I love the smell of fire-belching forges in the morning, it smells
like...victory. If you can name the movie reference in that
line, you are either old like me, or quite the eclectic youngster.
Utgarde Keep (UK) is one of the first instances that becomes available
to those hearty souls who venture from Azeroth into The Howling Fjord.
And while the regular version of the instance is tuned for lower level
70-ish players, the real manly men tackle it as a heroic dungeon at
Just because a player has hit level 80 doesn't mean that a heroic UK
run is the best idea though. As a stepping stone to raiding, heroic UK
provides good rewards, but will also test your mettle. Also like
raiding, you will want to make sure you have the best consumables
available to you. Whether it's a Fish Feast or other stat-enhancing
food, make sure you bring a good quantity. The same holds true for
potions and elixirs. While not as harsh as raiding requirements, a well
prepared player will have multiple stacks of health and mana potions as
well as role specific flasks and elixirs (i.e. strength/attack power
for Retribution spec, spell power for Holy spec and armor/strength
bonuses for Protection spec..With four bosses and a fair amount of
trash, the instance will probably take a group an hour and half to
clear so plan accordingly.
Paladin Spell Book
Make sure you crack that spellbook and have most of the spells handy -
you're going to use a wide variety. The enemies within the keep range
from a few beasts and dragonkin to a large number of humanoids
(Vrykuls) and even the Paladin's enemy of choice...undead. Be prepared
to do some crowd control stuns (Repentance) if you're a Retribution
spec as crowd control is helpful for newcomers to the instance. Other
than a possible change to Fire Protection Aura when fighting the
drakes, your typical aura should work (devotion for Protection spec,
retribution for Retribution spec, and player's choice for holy spec).
Other key spells and abilities will be needed on the bosses, and we'll
look at those shortly.
about the Mad Loot?
Protection spec Paladins can look for a couple of blue items like the
Tattered Castle Drape (with strength, stamina and 29 defense) or the
Unsmashable Heavy Band (with strength, stamina and 30 defense) and
don't forget the nice 1h sword, The Infantry Assault Blade that will
also increase your defense by 33.
The Holy Paladins among us will want to grab Helmet of the Constructor
with a good dose of intellect and +70 spell power. No other
drops that is worthwhile, but there is one ring, the epic quality
Annhylde's Ring with some good spell power (+59).
Retribution Paladins have even less to look for except one of the best
pieces that drop in the whole instance, the Staggering Legplates, epic
quality pants that will give 83 strength (very nice!) and improve hit
rating by 80 which is almost 2.5% at level 80.
Taking out the trash
Most of the trash pulls (we all know what trash is right? Trash are all
of the mobs that aren't bosses) are single to groups of five (with a
couple non-elites thrown in for good measure). Standard marking, crowd
control and group dynamics apply. The only specialty bad guy would be
the proto drakes you'll fight along the way. As a Tankadin, keep those
Drakes turned away from the party and don't underestimate how much
damage they do. They hit like a truck. Make sure your crowd control and
healers are well prepared. Other than that, the fights are nice and
Encounters of the Boss Kind
There are four listed bosses, but since one encounter includes two
bosses, there are really three boss fights per se. Since another
strategy guide will go into more depth on the specific encounters,
we'll just discuss some of the Paladin-specific tips and tricks for the
style="font-weight: bold;">Prince Keleseth (The Frost
The Blood Elf Prince is not a particularly tough guy so he beckons a
slew of skeletons (four at a time) to help him out. If that isn't
enough, the Prince will pace a party member in a Frost Tomb on someone
periodically throughout the fight. So let's look at what each different
spec should do during these phases of the encounter:
style="font-weight: bold;">Tankadin (Protection
the skeleton summoning, tanking Paladins can pull the skeletons with
Consecrate (if you're tanking, remind your party to huddle close
together so that your consecrate area is larger than the footprint of
the group). Another way to draw some aggro is to use Holy Wrath to
apply some damage and it will stun the targets for a swing or two
giving your healer a chance to catch up. When someone is Frost Tombed,
do not switch targets to kill the tomb, you are the tank, stay on the
main target and make sure the Prince keeps you as the primary target.
style="font-weight: bold;">Healadin (Holy Spec):
This fight can be healing intensive because not only will the
main tank be getting hit, but the other party members will eat a
shadow bolt from the Prince occasionally and someone will get Frost
Tombed. The person in the tomb is taking a good dose of damage so you
will need to split healing between the tank and the tomb. Not only
that, you don't want to pull aggro of the skeletons, so make sure you
stacked up and within the taunt distance of the tank (see Tankadin for
what the tank is dealing with).
style="font-weight: bold;">Retadin (Retribution Spec):
This fight even has some nuances for the DPS classes. As a hybrid DPS
you may need to jump into a healing role if the main healer gets Frost
Tombed. Be ready to heal the healer, or whomever is in the tomb if the
main healer falls behind. Heck, you may have to heal the main tank.
Assuming your healer can keep up, you are going to switch from damage
on the boss to damage on the Frost Tomb when it is cast. It is critical
to get rid of the tomb ASAP!
alt="Paladin in the heat of battle"
Skarvald the Constructor and Dalronn the Controller
This is the two for one fight where you get to kill two bosses and loot
one. It just doesn't seem fair does it? These guys have a nasty habit
of reincarnating as a shell of their former self yet still causing the
same damage as when they were alive. The real strategy of this fight
will be covered in our href="put%20link%20here">Boss Strategies
but for Paladins of any spec there really isn't anything out of the
ordinary here. Skarvald is a melee damage boss and Dalronn doles out
shadow damage. If there are two Paladins one will want to use Shadow
Resist Aura while the other uses their aura best suited for their spec.
For Retadins you may be called on to help even out damage so the bosses
die as close together (timing wise) as possible. Healing is going to be
pretty sporadic because Skarvald will randomly charge someone and use
Stone Strike causing a nice dose of damage that will need to be healed.
If you're called on to be the tank, the Tankadin will use standard
group taunting (Consecrate, Shield of Righteousness, etc) and once one
of the bosses dies and reanimates as a ghost, the ghost can be taunted
with undead spells, just not damaged. Try to keep their attention
whether alive or dead.
style="font-weight: bold;">Ingvar the Plunderer
Last but certainly not least is Ingvar. Good old Ingvar throws a few
twists into what should be a straight forward fight, but our bag of
tricks is well stocked to handle him. Similar to many bosses we've seen
in both the Outlands and now Northrend, this guy refuses to die.
The fight starts with Ingvar in human form. At this point it is a boss
that just needs a tank, DPS and healing. As long as melee DPS
(Retadins, that's you!) gets out of the way when he does his Smash
attack, Ingvar will drop fairly easily. Healadins will need to watch
health bars for some high periodic damage, and the silencing effect of
Staggering Roar. Tankadins will want to face the boss away
group whenever possible (he has a cleave attack) and when the casting
bar starts for Smash, run through the boss (not around him) and then
flip turn (learn to use the mouse for turning, not the keyboard).
During the cast time for Smash the boss will not turn, he will smash
everyone within a 10 yard cone.
After Ingvar takes a very short dirt nap, a spirit will rez him and he
will become a hulking undead ghoul looking guy. All of his abilities
get turned up a notch so now it's critical that Tanks and Melee get out
of the 10 yard cone of the new and improved Dark Smash. The good news
is that now Ingvar is undead and you get another damage spell in the
form of Exorcism to use on him. As a healer, this fight can become
difficult if you get behind and/or fall under the silencing spell. One
strategy that can be tricky to master is using line of sight
the pillars so you can keep the tank in sight, but Ingvar might not be
able to zap you.
get your passport stamped and head
to Utgarde Keep!
This instance is quite fun and provides a good return on your time. The
scenery is very cool, and offers up some different encounter mechanics
to keep you on your toes.
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