Guide To Upper Blackrock Spire
Upper Blackrock Spire (commonly referred to as UBRS) is a sprawling 10-man instance locked away within the Blackrock Mountains. Similar to Blackwing Lair (BWL), Blackrock Spire was once one of the strongest strongholds for the Dark Iron Dwarves. However, it has a new owner. The nefarious Nefarian now controls it and is using it as a staging ground to amass his army. The upper level is designed for ten players inside of a raid that are all above level fifty-seven. The upper level contains a wealth of gear that is needed for Molten Core along with the ability to complete quests related to the attunement for Onyxia’s Lair and BWL.
In total, UBRS will take about two hours to complete. With better equipment and a knowledgeable group you can get through it much faster. Like the 40-man raids, UBRS concentrates mostly on boss fights having a sparse amount of trash (compared to other instances) between bosses. Unlike other instances, many of the boss fights are very interactive keeping people on their toes and training them for even greater threats down the road (like Molten Core).
It’s recommended in preparing a guild for Molten Core to do several runs through UBRS to not only gain equipment but learn important boss fighting tactics. Many of the bosses require everyone to follow certain tactics, such as avoiding area of effect damage spells or keeping adds busy. Truly, UBRS is a stepping stone into greater things.
Getting to Upper Blackrock Spire
The entrance to UBRS is located on the southern side of the Blackrock Mountain (located in the Burning Steppes). It’s located up the hall from Blackwing Lair and has a shortcut. There is a long chain that heads to the center platform that leads upward to a large rock. From that rock you can jump onto the balcony where UBRS and BWL are located. Otherwise you will have to fight some easy orcs to wind your way up to the balcony.
Making a group for UBRS is easy. You need atleast two Warriors, one Priest, two additional healers (Priests/Druids/Shamans/Paladins), two DPS (Rogues/Hunters), and two Warlocks/Mages. The last spot can be whatever. Without at least two healers and two tanks you will have an extremely hard time progressing through UBRS. Everyone should be above level fifty seven.
UBRS is for players who have already obtained a decent amount of gear. A good starting point would be to run Dire Maul and Blackrock Depths a few times to get a few superior quality items so that you will have a much greater survivability as compared to using uncommon (green) quality items. LBRS can also be ran (the lower portion of Blackrock Spire) to obtain some fairly decent gear.
Seal of Ascension
The raid will need at least one person who has obtained a Seal of Ascension a quest in the lower portion of Blackrock Spire. Just one person needs to have the key and he only needs to use it to open the door at the entrance of Blackrock Spire. He can leave afterwards. You can pay someone with a key to open the door for you or find someone else. Just have one person stand outside while the person unlocks the door then let them leave. Have the other person come inside.
Click here to find all of the quests available in Blackrock Spire!
Blackwing Lair Attunement: Horde/Alliance Simply slay Drakkisath and touch the orb behind him. The quest is from the Quartermaster down the hallway from the entrance to UBRS.
For the most part all enemies will simply require you to sheep/crowd control as many as possible then have the tanks (Warriors) pick up the rest. Follow one person lead (commonly referred to as the main assist) and take each one out one by one without breaking crowd control. Miniature dragons in the Rookery may require AoE if too many are aggro’d.
There is only one path through this instance. This guide will assume you are following the main path throughout the instance. There is only one place that doesn’t lead you to a UBRS boss and that’s the entrance to BWL past the boss Rend Blackhand. You can simply ignore that path though and continue on your journey!
Important Drops: Tier 0 Shaman Gloves
When you first enter UBRS you will be facing a few dragonkin and a lot of orcs. This entire area has to be cleared for you to head upstairs and fight Pyroguard Emberseer. There are a bunch of rooms with various orcs in them. You need to take each room out one by one paying attention to the orc Summoners which should be taken out first. Veterans and Dreaweavers aren’t as scary (Veterans can charge and stun you which isn’t very fun). Once the room has been cleared out you can head upstairs to a room with one fire elemental and a bunch of orcs.
The orcs in the next room will completely ignore you so you can take a rest now and rebuff the raid. The next boss if Pyroguard Emberseer but he’s currently trapped by the non-elite orcs casting some kind of spell! There is an altar that will turn those orcs aggressive when enough people have right clicked on it. When that happens slay the orcs really fast and get ready for Pyroguard Emberseer.
Pyroguard Emberseer only needs a Warrior with some decent fire resist to tank him while the rest of the raid concentrates on killing him. He’s not very tough and you should have no problem with him. Once finished rest up and get ready for the rookery.
Rookery (Solakar Flamewrath)
Important Drops: Tier 0 Priest Shoulders
This is a room many veterans of World of Warcraft get the shivers from. This section is entirely optional and you can walk up the stairs near the entrance and forget this place even exists. You can also do the encounter here for the Devout Shoulders.
Warning! All of the eggs on the floor of the Rookery can be “opened” by anyones (player or NPCs) footsteps. Once opened, non-elite dragons will spawn. These dragons can break open nearby eggs with their movement causing more eggs to break in the same process. All spawned dragons need to be dealt with and everyone must watch their step.
The event to spawn Solakar Flamewrath is a one shot deal that, if not properly completed, can make you have to reset UBRS due to the large amount of enemies that do not despawn. So be sure your raid can handle the event and has been well informed of the risks.
At the start have everyone stand outside the entranceway while a Hunter goes inside and pulls all of the dragonkin (one by one) back to the group. They should stand in such a way that the dragonkin don’t step over a ton of eggs on their way to the group. Once the room is cleared it’s time for a Rogue to activate the pillar and loot “Father Flame”. This will begin the encounter. Ensure everyone is standing in an egg free zone near the steps up to the next part.
Several waves of two dragonkin will spawn. Hatchers and Guardians are the only two types that spawn, but you must take out the Hatchers no matter what. If left to their own devices they will go around and “Leroy Jenkins” all of the eggs wiping your raid. That’s right, this is where the famous Leroy Jenkings video happened! Anyway, eventually Solakar Flamewrath will spawn with one of the waves. Kill him and claim victory.
Afterwards you can do two quests (one of them being egg freezing, another is picking up an item off of the floor) then move up the steps.
Important Drops: Tier 0 Warrior (Rend) and Shaman (Gyth) Shoulders
Climb the steps and get ready for the only “hard” trash. Basically you’ll be fighting some orcs that can knock you back while you are still in the rookery. People can get knocked down and break eggs which will spawn a ton of little dragons. These can be dealt with AoE if things don’t get too bad. Outside of that follow the path around until you get to Rend Blackhands room. You’ll pass a room on your way with Goraluk Anvilcrack, he drops three different blacksmithing receipes (Arcanite Champion, Masterwork Stormhammer, Invulnerable Mail) along with a plate belt (Handcrafted Master Girdle). Ignore him unless someone really badly needs it. You don’t have to go down the path to where he is at (left) as that’s a deadend. You can continue right completely ignoring him.
After you fight your way up the ramps, you’ll come out at Rend Blackhand’s room. Well it’s more of an arena, but we’ll call it a room. Have everyone inch their way in (going too far will close the room off from everyone) until everyone is inside of the gate. Then it is simply walking forward to start the encounter.
Rend Blackhand has three different phases. The first phase is waves and waves of dragons and orcs. The second phase is him on his dragon, Gyth. It’ll be that way until the end when he dismounts and attacks you on foot (have an off-tank hold Gyth’s attention). The waves are easy to deal with, just focus fire and AoE things down.
When Rend attacks just have the entire raid focus on him while the main tank and an off-tank (two Warriors) try to keep his attention the best they can. He’s got a breath attack (from the dragon) and a few other neat skills but nothing too interesting. When he dismounts have a Warrior take Rend and another take Gyth. Take out Rend then take out Gyth. That simple, unless someone has the UBRS key. They can use the key at anytime to summon a red dragon known as Vaelstraz (yes the one you fight in BWL) to aid you in battle.
Important Drops: Tier 0 Paladin Shoulders
Leave the arena and continue on. You’ll come to a large room with several packs of orcs and dragons. You should slowly set-up each pull and crowd control as much stuff as you can. Using Sap, Polymorph, Ice Traps, or whatever else you can have will be a great help in surviving these pulls. Make sure not to break any crowd control and just focus fire each enemy down.
When finished (clearing all of the room out, some leave one group up but it’s best to clear it all out now) move into the large room with all of the bones on the floor. The Beast sits in the back of this room and is a very difficult boss to take out with ten people. The best way to handle this fight is have all of your casters stand far away from him (he does a knockback) while having a tank attempt to tank him against a wall while all melee DPS fights him from the back. He does an AoE knockback that does a good amount of damage and has an AoE fear. He should never be allowed to hit casters as he can three shot anyone in cloth.
Beware! There can be drama after he’s slayed. Anyone with Finkle’s Skinner (or 110 skinning) may skin the beast which frees Finkle Einhorn and could yield a Rare quality item known as the Pristine Hide of the Beast. It should be distributed fairly among the raid if it drops, unless the raid has agreed to yield it to someone beforehand. In modern times it’s not that sought after, but it’s still nice for those who can’t get into high-level raiding.
Important Drops: Tier 0 Breastplate (All Classes)
After the beast is slain you can head after General Drakkisath whose blood fuels the key into Onyxia’s lair and guards an item that will allow you entrance into Blackwing Lair (if you’ve gotten the quest).
There is a long bridge that leads into his room that contains lots of dragonkin and orcs. Have everyone wait in the large room before The Beast while a puller pulls the enemies back to the raid, until the room is cleared out enough for the raid to enter it safely. Then clear the rest of the room out. The pulls work similar to the pulls in the room before The Beast.
The Drakkisath encounter is hard and would wipe even fifteen man raids (when fifteen people were allowed into UBRS). Drakkisath is guarded by two very difficult dragonkin who need to be dealt with before him.
The most common strategy is to have a Hunter “kite” Drakkisath around the cleared part of the dungeon until the raid has dealt with the two guards. A Hunter can successfully keep him out of the raids hair for several minutes by dragging him around the instance (Rend’s room is rather popular). In the meantime the raid focuses on killing each guard with focus fire. The guards can be feared, although they are highly resistant to it.
Once the guards have been taken care of the Hunter can either dragon Drakkisath back to the raid or Feign Death. When Drakkisath is back to the raid then the two Warriors should engage him (they should be in fire resist gear if available) so that no matter what one Warrior can keep his attention. He has a skill known as Conflagration which makes a random person run around in circles and do damage to nearby allies. Everyone should move away from that person. This should continue until he is dead. He has one more skill that should be noted and that’s a flame breath. The flame breath is dangerous, but a tank in decent fire resist should be able to handle it. Make sure the second tank is ready to taunt should the main tank get conflagrated.
An alternate strategy would be to tank both Drakkisath and one guard while chain fearing another. You would kill one guard and then kill Drakkisath and then move on to the other guard. It may work for you, although they are highly resistant to fear. I’ve only seen it done properly once.
That's it! After he's dead you should discuss who gets the blood (needed for the Onyxia key chain) and everyone doing the BWL attunement should touch the orb in Drakk's room.