Updated Wed, May 11, 2011 by Messiah
NOTE: This guide has been updated to include all the information on both the Normal and Heroic versions of the bosses.
Drahga is the third boss found in Grim Batol and is a mean tempered Orc that summons in fire elementals and the dragon Valiona to the fight.
Burning Shadowbolt – This is a magical attack that hits for shadowfire damage, hitting whichever you have the lower resistance against.
Twilight Protection – While this self buff is active, Drahga is protected from 90% of all incoming damage.
Summon Fire Elementals - During the whole fight fire elementals will be summoned in. They will target a player and move towards them, they must be stunned or snared and dealt with at range. They do fire damage while in melee and have an AOE attack to everything around them. They can not realistically be tanked past 1 or 2.
This is essentially a two phase fight. In phase 1 you have to fight Drahga and the summoned fire elementals. This phase is fairly simple as long as you have the DPS to kill the fire elementals quickly. Even if you have the DPS, sometimes getting them to switch fast enough can be an issue, so make sure you snare, slow, or stun the elementals while DPSing them down. During this phase Drahga uses Burning Shadowbolts and summons elementals.
Once Drahga is reduced to 50% health you will enter the second phase of the fight. In phase two Drahga summons the dragon Valiona and mounts her. Here you must then fight Valiona until you get her down to about 10% health, at which point Drahga will dismount as Valiona flies away. While in the fight Valiona has a teleport ability to get away from combat and a nasty flame breath attack. Her breath hits everything in her front arc for fire damage and a 4 second stun. Luckily it has a cast time and you can get out of its way, even if you are the tank. During phase 2 Drahga has no aggro table and targets random players with his burning shadowbolt and will have twilight protection. This makes it hard to deal with him, so just target Valiona until she flies away.
Once Valiona departs the fight, Drahga will revert to phase one. Simply finish him off while managing the fire elementals.
What is a fairly easy encounter on normal morphs into one of the more annoying heroic boss fights. Players engaging Drahga on heroic need to be extremely careful about the Flame Spirits he summons. These are yet another almost guaranteed one-hit kill. When Drahga summons Valiona it’s going to be crucial not to sit in its AoE fire breath because your healer is going to have their hands full dealing with the damage from the boss and the spirits.
Erudax is the fourth and final boss found in Grim Batol. He is a large insectoid looking giant called a Faceless one. You will probably remember another large menacing Faceless One called General Vezax from Ulduar.
Binding Shadows – This is a root type spell that locks the target in place while leaching life back to Erudax.
Enfeebling Blows – This attack hits the target for shadow damage, knocks them back, and enfeebles them for three seconds. While enfeebled all damage taken is doubled. This can make incoming damage very spiky to heal through.
Shadow Gale – This is a very cool void field AOE spell. Instead of everyone in the “puddle” taking damage, everyone outside of the puddle takes damage. Tricky Blizzard.
This is an extremely fun fight with several cool mechanics. In addition to Erudax’s abilities he will also summon adds that attempt to hatch the eggs around the room. DPS must prioritize these adds as soon as they appear. Any eggs that hatch will spawn dragon whelps that fly into the air and do AoE damage to players making the fight much more difficult.
The fight mainly revolves around managing DPS switches to the adds, while coping with the high amount of incoming damage on the tank. In addition players must watch for the shadow gale and get into the center of it quickly. That’s right, this time players are not trying to avoid standing in the fire, they really need to get into it instead. DPS should have no issue with this since they never seemed to avoid it before, but what about all the tanks and healers? I suspect several will die due to their natural ability to avoid the puddle.
In many peoples’ opinion this is the most challenging heroic fight in the game. This fight not only requires precise execution but is a very tight DPS check in the gear available to players starting heroics.
Shadow Gale, Enfeebling Blow, and Binding Shadows are more or less the same as normal mode, just more damage. The real challenge comes when Erudax summons his adds. You’re going to want to position your group near the entrance to the room so that the DPS can immediately start damaging the adds. It’s also vital that the adds be snared. Unsnared adds will move at a speed that makes killing them before they complete their channeling spell highly unrealistic. If the adds do complete their channel then Erudax is going to heal for a gigantic amount and summon additional foes. If one of the adds completes its channel you’re probably going to wipe so it’s all hands on deck. Tanks will need to DPS the adds and perhaps even have your healers throw up a DoT or two. DPS will have to arrange themselves in a way that gets the damage evenly split so that they both die before completing their channels. In the item level 333 gear available this is an extremely challenging encounter.
Overall the instance is a lot of fun. The initial bombing run through the halls is tons of fun and lets you speed up the run quite a bit if everyone is paying attention and bombs accurately. If they just sort of goof around like one of my groups did, then trash can be a pain as it feels like it is tuned to be challenging at about ½ health or ½ living. If all of it exists it is extremely challenging.
The instance is fairly long the first few times through it, but is broken up very nicely with several groups of trash mobs then a boss, rinse and repeat. Once you have ran the instance a few times though and know how it works, it is extremely quick to run.
Something to note too with Grim Batol is that it is very similar in layout to Ironforge. Being a Dwarf built fortress I guess it’s not surprising, however it is interesting to see the similarities between the two.
Grim Batol heroic is easily near or at the top of the list in terms of difficulty. This is not an instance we’d recommend you start with and it can be incredibly difficult to complete in a pick-up group. If you’re not with a well coordinated group of sufficiently geared players then you’re unlikely to complete this instance and may spend many frustrating hours trying. You have been warned!