The Shadowmoon Burial Grounds are a level 100 dungeon available to players in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.  It is available in normal, heroic, and challenge modes and contains four boss encounters to deal with.  The four bosses are: Sadana Bloodfury, Nhallish, Bonemaw, and Ner’Zhul.

As with other level 100 instances in Warlords of Draenor you will be able to get ilevel 615 gear in normal mode and ilevel 630 gear in heroic mode.

Sadana Bloodfury

The first encounter in the instance is against Sadana Bloodfury, and the fight involves avoiding heavy AOE damage while doing fast target switching.

The main mechanic revolved around Sadana summoning Defiled Spirits throughout the fight. These spirits will move towards Sadana and if they reach here they will heal her and provide her with a damage buff.  Players therefore need to switch to DPS the spirits as soon as they spawn can stunn or slow them but they cannot be rooted.

Throughout the fight players need to avoid Daggerfall AOE, and the purple rings that circle the area.  Touching either of these areas will deal heavy damage and cause issues for your healer.  Additionally during the Dark Eclipse portions of the fight AOE damage will be dealt to all players regardless of location.  To reduce this damage players must find and move through the Lunar Rune that will show up in this phase.  By moving through the rune you will gain a buff called Lunar Parity that reduces damage during this phase by 80%.


The second encounter is a repeating two phase fight against Nhallish.  The first phase happens in the regular game world and is where Nhallish is actually damaged and tanked. In this phase players need to spread out to suffer less damage from the various AOE effects which include Planar Shift, Void Vortex, and Void Devastation pools.  While avoiding as much damage as possible, you still need to DPS down Nhallish.

The second phase takes place roughly every minute and transports all players to their own shadow realm where they must deal with a Possessed Soul version of themselves within 20 seconds to get back to the regular world before the boss re-activates.  The souls take extra damage from both Holy and Nature damage to allow healers to be able to deal with DPSing their possessed soul down in time.  Once defeated you will gain a buff that lasts 20 seconds and boosts all healing and DPS by 40% during that time.

These two phases alternate until you have defeated Nhallish. 


The third encounter in the Shadowmoon Burial Grounds is against a giant worm creature called Bonemaw.  The fight takes place on a platform surrounded by water and is a single phase fight with relatively straight forward mechanics. 

The first main mechanic is called Body Slam and is an AOE effect that will throw players off the platform and into the water.  Avoid being hit by this, especially the tank, as once you are in the water you need to swim back towards the ramp that got you onto the platform and find a water jet to lift you back up and into the fight.  This time away from the fight will hurt your groups chances significantly.

The second of Bonemaw’s main mechanics is called Inhale, and he will do this periodically throughout the fight.  When this happens he tries to suck everyone onto his mouth to devour them.  Players need to immediately turn and run away from him, using any speed boosts you have to escape being drawn into him.  To help escape Inhale, throughout the fight Bonemaw will spawn AOE zones called Necrotic Pitch that should generally be avoided as they deal damage while you are in them and slow you by 75%, however during inhale getting to one of these zones will help you stay away from Bonemaw.  Anyone that is inhaled will suffer extreme damage as they pass through his intestinal track before being dropped out into the water below, and then having to make their way back to the ramp and re-enter the fight.

If you can avoid the two main mechanics the fight is simply a matter of DPSing Bonemaw down.


The final boss encounter in the instance is against the mighty Ner’Zhul. While the fight is simple in theory it required quick target switching and coordinated movement to be able to beat it.

The fight starts with Ner’Zhul needing to be tanked facing away from everyone else in the party as he uses a frontal AOE cone ability called Malevolence that deals heavy damage and applies a debuff that reduces your damage by 50% for a short time.  Ner’Zhul also has an AOE ability called Omen of death that deals damage to everyone in the group, but less damage the further you are from the effect.  Players need to move and adjust to avoid both AOE effects as the tank is forced to move Ner’Zhul around the room.

In addition to the AOE effects there is a Ritual of Bones effect which is the biggest and most noticeable mechanic in the fight.  A row of skeletons will spawn that march across the battlefield linked together to form a wall of shadow energy that will kill anyone that passes through it.  Players must therefore target and kill one of the skeletons before they run out of room, to break the ritual and create a gap in the energy wall to get through safely.  The skeletons can appear along any side of the room and will move across to the other side, while DPS is dealing with the skeletons the tank will need to grad Ner’Zhul to the farthest corner of the room to give the group the most possible time.

Once through the Ritual of Bone effect, the fight continues as normal.  The Ritual of Bone effect is used roughly once every minute and repeats until the fight is won or lost.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

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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