Guide to LotRO's Ost Dunhoth: Fear Wing

Victory in the Wound Wing of Ost Dunhoth opens up some possibilities. You can backtrack and head on to the Disease and Poison Wings across the way, or you can follow the progression of the story and take an active role in Gortheron's skewed re-imagining of Gandalf's battle with Durin's Bane in the Fear Wing.

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Wing | href="">Fear
Wing | href="">Disease
Wing | href="">Poison

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Victory in the Wound Wing of
Ost Dunhoth opens up some possibilities. You can backtrack and head on
to the Disease and Poison Wings across the way, or you can follow the
progression of the story and take an active role in Gortheron's skewed
re-imagining of Gandalf's battle with Durin's Bane in the Fear Wing.

Despite the name, the thing to watch out for in this wing is
elemental damage: cold, fire and shadow. And the only way to open this
wing in the first place is to first beat the href="">Wound

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wing begins with Gortheron re-telling the story of Gandalf's fight
against the balrog known as Durin's Bane, attempting to mind-screw his
enemies with a tale of loss and terror. After a brief, mocking
soliloquy, he transports everyone to the Endless Stairs in Moria.
Echoes of Gandalf's monumental battle against Durin's Bane ring through
the air, and the scene takes on a shimmering, dream-like quality. As
this can affect gameplay, you may wish to disable post processing
effects - the shimmer is neat at first, but the blurry targets can be
difficult to accurately select or differentiate during heated battles.

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first group of mobs in the Fear Wing. Post processing makes this a
blurry mess, even with the handy target marking.

you follow Gandalf's path up the Endless Stairs, you will come across
groups of mobs barring passage at strategic intervals. There are 3
groups here, and each group has a different makeup. All the mobs in
these groups come pre-target-marked, which will make things much easier
for raid leaders.

Group 1 consists of 4 merrevail and 2 trolls.
The merrevail are susceptible to crowd-control measures - roots, dazes,
fears and mezzes - but the trolls are immune. A common strategy is to
open the fight with crowd control against the merrevail, and to tank
the trolls separately while group DPS focuses on one morroval at a
time. The merrevail hit very hard when they get into melee combat,
employ a strong fear debuff/damage-over-time attack and have loads of
morale, so you will want to limit their activity and focus DPS on one
at a time until they are all dead. The trolls have a reactive root, so
that any attack against them results in the attacker being rooted in
place with a block of ice at his feet. They also do frontal area-effect
damage and have strong ranged attacks with hurled ice. Again, focus on
one at a time until they're all dead.

Group 2 consists of 5
merrevail and 3 drakelings. In this case, the drakelings (which can
also be rooted or mezzed) are priority targets - they have a fairly
strong damaging aura, and having more than one loose in the raid can
cause a wipe. However, they have less morale than the equally-dangerous
merrevail, so you won't be fighting them as long... but you still want
to take them out first. Keep as many of the enemies locked down for as
long as possible - it will help to have a good number of Burglars,
Lore-masters and Hunters with Rain of Thorns traited.

Group 3 consists of a few of each of the mob types. Stay with
the priority of drakelings > merrevail > trolls and keep
as many of the small-but-dangerous mobs as possible locked down with

the root from Rain of Thorns is a good option for these fights,
provided the Hunter using it has the legacy for Maximum Targets for AoE
Skills on
his melee weapon, and has upgraded it Rank 3 or higher. The 10-meter
area of effect for
Rain of Thorns is fairly wide, wider than 8-meter radius of the
Lore-master's Herb-lore, and targeting the
middle mob will hit everything in the group. Keeping the mobs locked
down may be somewhat more problematic, though - the root only lasts 30
seconds, but the skill has a 1-minute cooldown. After the initial root
wears off, another player will have to take over crowd-control
responsibilities. If the mobs begin moving and group up a bit tighter,
a Lore-master can hit them all with Herb-lore.

the last troll drops, head up to the top of the stairs. You may want to
pause about 6 or 7 steps from the top - you'll see a line of boulders
and rubble up ahead - to get everyone re-buffed and ready.

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those last few steps will cause a fade to black. There is no shimmering
doorway to pass through - as soon as someone steps on the trigger, the
whole raid is teleported to the top of the tower, where everything is
black except the falling snowflakes. When Gortheron finishes blowing
your mind with his story about Gandalf and the balrog, the darkness
fades and you see the mighty Durin's Bane before you in all his
flame-wreathed-shadow-y glory.

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first glimpse of Durin's Bane. 

There is only the one mob to fight
here, but Durin's Bane is no pushover. He has around 750,000 morale on
Tier 1 and over 800,000 on Tier 2, and he works hard to keep every last
shred of it. For this fight, you will want two strong tanks -
preferrably Guardians with the Guardian's Threat legendary trait
equipped - and at least 2 gifted healers, who will be working overtime
trying to keep everyone above half-health. Unlike the Wound Wing, this
is not a DPS race - if the group is strong enough to endure a prolonged
fight against a very powerful boss, they can take their time with this
fight and not rush blindly ahead.Communication and coordination are key
factors here. The raid leader will need to be quick, clear and concise
in his orders, and the rest of the players will need to be attentive
and quick to respond.

is a 3-stage fight, and each stage is marked by the addition of a new
special attack. For stage 1, have the two tanks run in and engage him
immediately, turning his back to the rest of the group. For the most
part, the entire raid (except for the tanks) will want to stay in a
relatively tight cluster at his back. Spreading out can cause problems
later on. The tanks will need to determine which of them is to pick up
aggro first (Main Tank) and which will pick it up second (Backup Tank).
Through a clever combination of stance-switching and forced-aggro
attacks, the tanks will "bounce" the balrog's aggro between them
throughout the fight.

During all stages, Durin's Bane will shout
out things in the Black Speech. You'll want to pay attention to these
shouts and be prepared to act upon them quickly. When he shouts "Búrzum
lázatlat, (name)," this is directed at the main target of his
aggression, and he will apply a powerful incoming healing debuff on the
named person. This debuff is marked by a red glow around the target's
head, and the affected person will want to stop taking damage
immediately. Since this is typically one of the two tanks, the process
for dealing with it is fairly simple: call it out, turn away from the
balrog and have the other guard use Challenge to pick it up.

balrog will also pick secondary targets for a fear-based
damage-over-time debuff. This debuff needs to be removed immediately,
either by a potion or a Captain's Muster Courage. If left too long, it
can be fatal - not just to the affected character, but to the entire

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buff shows up on Durin's Bane at the start of the fight. As characters
die, the number changes. When it reaches 0, prepare for another workout
on the Endless Stairmaster.

The group can suffer no more than 5 deaths during the entire
fight. If
6 player-deaths occur, Durin's Bane will execute the entire raid. It
doesn't matter if it's 6 different characters or one character 6 times
- 6 deaths is all it takes, and the raid wipes. This can occur many
different ways - a Guardian can mistime the aggro-bounce, a ranged
attacker can fail to bring his morale back up over the threshold after
being hurled, someone can get punted over the edge of the tower,
someone can neglect to remove a fear DOT... Chances are, it will be the
deaths of secondary targets that build up enough to cause a wipe. The
tanks surely take a savage beating, but since they are also receiving
the bulk of the group's healing, it is more likely that a death will
occur when a non-tank loses track of his own position, neglects debuffs
or gets hurled clean off the tower.

the second stage, after the balrog loses about 25% of his total
morale, he will begin using area-effect whip attacks,
out" Barazub lat krulkul dushatár!" before he does so. These attacks
will hit anyone standing within melee range and do fire damage, which
can be completely avoided by Runekeepers using Do Not Fall to Flame. He
will also begin throwing people around, either punting them away or
pulling them close, depending on where the target is standing when the
attack hits. These are also called out in Black Speech, and victims
will want to heal themselves up immediately after landing. If a player
falls below 30% or so of his morale and fails to get back up over half
within a few short seconds, Durin's Bane will execute that character.

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you are a tank, most of the fight will look similar to this. 

tanks during this stage are going to need to watch their footing. They
will likely get punted a few times, and each time they do, the balrog
moves a few steps closer to the edge of the tower while chasing them
down.  After a few such punts, they may want to rotate the
fight a
few degrees to put more rooftop behind them. When the tanks need to
rotate the balrog, they will need to call it out to the raid, and
everyone will need to change their positions accordingly to stay at the
back of the giant beast.

At around 35 - 40% morale, roughly the
last 250,000, the balrog switches to stage 3, and Gortheron, sure of
his impending victory, begins taunting the raid, shouting "Face Durin's
Bane and be destroyed!" Should the players choose to ignore this taunt
and continue facing Durin's Bane, they will get hit with a very large
shadow-damage attack. This is the requirement for the Tier 2 challenge:
face him, soak the damage and stay alive. For groups that don't so much
care about the challenge, there is a short window of time to turn away
from the balrog and take a considerably smaller hit of fire damage.
Even if the group has loads of healing and massive shadow damage
mitigation, facing Durin's Bane for this assault is a dangerous
proposition - remember, there's that pesky morale threshold to
maintain, and staying below that amount for more than a second or two
results in a one-shot execution. If possible, Minstrels will want to
save Fellowship's Heart for this part of the fight, and healing
Rune-keepers will want to save their big heals for this also.

Tier 1 and non-challenge runs can turn away during this phase.
You will have to act quick as soon as the billboard comes up - the
window is really small. But you don't have to stay turned for long,
either. A couple of seconds is all it takes, long enough for the small
fire-burst to hit, and then continue the assault.

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So it turns out, Gandalf is pretty badass. He kited this giant
mass of flame and shadow up the Endless Stairs and soloed him at the
top. He died in the process, but he did manage to kill the boss by
himself and he got himself a new White Wizard Robe for his troubles,
and a new title. Should your raid manage to take down Durin's Bane,
your reward will be... well, maybe not quite as impressive, but still
pretty great: a chance at a 1st age symbol, some nifty jewelry and a
barter token for an armour piece. And you'll be ready to head on over
to the other side of Ost Dunhoth, to tackle the Disease and Fear wings.

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