Guide to Ost Dunhoth: Wound Wing

Ost Dunhoth is scary. For real, if you have gone through all of the other Echoes of the Dead instances and beaten the Tier 2 challenges, and now you're actually looking forward to taking on Gortheron in his stronghold in the Lich Bluffs, you may need to be involuntarily committed.

Guide to Ost Dunhoth Wound Wing
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Ost Dunhoth is scary. For real, if you have gone through all of the other Echoes of the Dead instances and beaten the Tier 2 challenges, and now you're actually looking forward to taking on Gortheron in his stronghold in the Lich Bluffs, you may need to be involuntarily committed. The difference between the challenges of even the toughest 6-man Echoes of the Dead instance and those of Ost Dunhoth is like making Eggo waffles compared to making waffles from scratch. As a writer of guides, I feel morally obliged to warn you away now.

On the other hand... there are no stronger tests of a players' skills than taking on such brutal challenges. And when you get the thing done, you can pay your massive repair bills with pride, and sneer down your nose at the noobs who shy away from such horrors.

We'll start with the easy one first - the Wound wing. 


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WOUND WING

First things first: go find Ost Dunhoth. It's not marked on the map with a Point of Interest flag, but if you look at the map to Enedwaith you can't miss it: all the way south, the ruins between the "To Dunland" legends. The coordinates are 75.2S, 19.7W, and you have to run through a bunch of wights and up the ramps to reach the door. If you're not up to makign the run from Harndirion but have a pal who's willing to help, there's a mustering horn and Hunter-bindable campfire at 73.9S, 19.3W just outside the gates.

Wound Wing entrance

It's not a coincidence that this doorway looks like it's coated in blood.

Once you're in, talk to the fellow standing in the middle of the big room and hang a left, and then another left towards the red-lit doorway. That's the Wound Wing. Make absolutely certain that everyone has ample Steeped Healing Draughts for this place.

Once inside, you will see three massive cages along the north wall, and three gated corridors leading south. Each of the corridors has 2 raised squares in front. Before you start anything, you will want to split the raid into 3 groups, one for each corridor.

This division may take a lot of fine-tuning to get just right. In order to beat the challenge, you have to get to the end room very fast, and there are some tough mobs and a lever puzzle blocking your way. And each corridor has different requirements - the leftmost lane has the most mobs to fight, and the rightmost lane the least. 

The Tier 2 challenge for this wing is to complete the run - from opening the gates to taking down the last mob in the boss fight - in just seven minutes. The whole raid needs to be very high DPS for this - lots of Hunters and Champions, Guardians using Overpower stance and Minstrels using War-speech (at least for the corridor charge; Minnies will almost certainly need to switch to healing mode for the Big Room fight). This is truly a DPS race, and things like survivability and whatnot are secondary. The goal for this is to get to the end room as quickly as you possibly can, killing everything as you go, and have enough time when you get to the Big Room to kill 9 waves of adds and 3 rampaging mammoths. Regardless of your class, do whatever it takes to ramp up your DPS.


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THE GAUNTLET

Once you figure out the sub-groups and get everyone in place, it's time to start the counter. 6 people will need to stand on the raised squares - one guy can stand just away from it and move into place after a countdown to get everyone ready. The people not standing on the trigger plates should belly up to the door and be ready to charge. This is a timed run through the gauntlet - you have only as long as it takes for the mammoths to catch up with their slow but inevitable charge.

The corridors (or lanes) are stoppered by a series of gates and levers. Each of the gates is opened by a lever in a different hallway, and each of these control points is guarded by wights and dogs. In order to trip the lever in your sub-group's lane, you must first kill all the mobs guarding it. This is not necessarily true for each lever, but it's good practice to do this each time. The lever-guard mobs are priority targets, and if you are still fighting gate-guard mobs, ignore them until the lever-guards are dead. If the mammoths reach one of the levers before it is pulled, Gortheron mocks your failure and everyone is sent back to the entrance. If the mammoths bust through one of the gates before it is opened, Gortheron mocks your failure and everyone is sent back to the entrance. If a sub-group takes too long to kill one of the groups of mobs and the mammoths catch up, anyone not fast enough is instantly trampled to death, which will inevitably cause the mammoths to reach a gate or lever before it is triggered, causing Gortheron to mock your failure and getting everyone sent to the entrance.

Colour-Coded Map of the Gauntlet
West Corridor Middle Corridor East Corridor
Gate 1 - Guarded by 1 wight, opened by Middle Lever 1 Lever 1 - Guarded by one wight, opens West Gate 1 Gate 1 - Guarded by 3 wights, opened by West Lever 1
Lever 1 - Guarded by 2 dogs, opens East Gate 1 Gate 1 - Guarded by 3 wights that spawn after the lever is pulled, opened by East Lever 1 Lever 1  - Guarded by 2 dogs, opens Middle Gate 1
Gate 2 - Guarded by 1 redeemer and 2 wights, opened by East Lever 2 Lever 2 Guarded by 2 dogs, opens East Gate 2 Gate 2  - Guarded by 2 wights, opened by Middle Lever 2
Lever 2 - Guarded by 2 wights, opens Middle Gate 2 Gate 2 - Guarded by 1 redeemer and 1 wight, opened by West Lever 2 Lever 2  - Guarded by 2 dogs, opens West Gate 2

There are 3 kinds of wights here: 8,000-morale, 4,500-morale and 18,000-morale. The weaker ones are nothing really special, just standard undead fare. The redeemers have a self-healing corruption which needs to be removed as soon as possible, and use a timed wound with a "bomb" icon over the afflicted character's head. The "bomb" debuff needs to be removed before it expires, or it will stun everyone standing near the afflicted character.

Once the charge through the gauntlet is complete, each subgroup will find themselves in a closed room at the end of their lane with a couple of tough wights, and the mammoth will come barreling in. It is imperative that, once the mobs in the end room are activated, everyone get into the room ahead of the mammoth. Once the mobs activate, the mammoth in that corridor will start running instead of walking, and anyone left outside in the corridor will get trampled to death. Get into the room and do not go back out into the corridor once the mobs activate or Gortheron will mock your failure and the raid will reset.

The end-room fight is when Minstrels can drop War-speech and start healing again, but the DPS classes will have no time to relent. Each group will need a tank to hold aggro on the mammoth, and everyone else burns the wights, turning on the mammoth after they are down. There is a different set of wights in each end room, but they're really the least of your worries. When the mammoth takes a bit of damage (about 15,000), it will frenzy and become unattackable, at which point it will blast through the back wall and enter the Big Room.


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THE BIG ROOM

In order to beat the Tier 2 challenge, you want to get to the Big Room with at least 4 minutes left on the clock, preferably more. Easier said than done - the Gauntlet is unforgiving. And even then, with a big juicy 4-minute timeframe, you have your work cut out for you.

The Big Room

This room seems much, much smaller when there are 3 mammoths and a big gang of wights running around in it.

One tank will be responsible for controlling the mammoths at the north end of the room, and everyone else will be in the south end, mostly taking care of adds. However, the mammoths will pick out random targets for their aggression, marking them with a coloured eye, and eye-marked raiders will want to put on their boogie shoes and keep the mammoths away from the rest of the group. If you get an eye, run around the outside of the room in the north half, well away from everyone else.

The mammoths have a slew of attacks which most members of the raid won't need to worry about if the tanking is done right. The tank, however, will need to watch out for frontal-area-effect attacks and the coloured eyes, and most of the "tanking" will be done on the hoof with shouts and cries. Standing toe-to-trunk with 3 enraged mammoths is never, ever a good idea.

There are a couple of ways to do this fight. The first method is more likely to ensure victory but will probably fail the challenge, and the second method is for beating the challenge but has a much, much narrower chance of success. Both methods share some common factors, but play to these factors differently. 

Firstly, each mammoth calls in a wave of adds at each 25% (approximately) morale interval - three waves each for a total of 9 altogether. Secondly, each wave will be a handful of trash mobs and at least one "boss" type. Regardless of the method, the "boss" mobs need to be handled first, and the rest are not much more than a hazardous nuisance.

  • The first "boss" type mob is a renewer, who will spawn in the middle of the room near the south end. Renewers will heal the mammoths unless hit with interrupts, and have a healing corruption that can be removed. These are always priority targets when they come up.
  • The second "boss" type mob is a warden, who comes up at the south end of the room betwen the two fireplaces and will be surrounded by floating red shields. He has a corruption that empowers all the other mobs around him, making them hit harder. That corruption needs to be removed fast or the trash mobs are more than just a hazardous nuisance. Because of this corruption and the strength of this particular mob, some groups may consider the warden to be a priority over the renewers.

The third common factor is that the three waves of adds are the same for each mammoth. Wave One is a Renewer and some trash mobs, Wave Two is a warden and some trash, and Wave Three is a renewer and a warden, plus some trash. It's the same sequence for each mammoth.

METHOD 1

This is the "slow and steady" method. The main tank holds the mammoths at the north end of the room, eye-marked targets kite until the eye goes away. The group's DPS target assist will select one of the three mammoths and the group burns it 25%, causing an add spawn. The group deals with the adds (renwer first, always) until they are all dead, then takes the mammoth down to the next spawn level. This method starts off fairly difficult but gets easier as the mammoths start dying, and by the time you're down to one mammoth (provided most of the raid is still standing and able to fight), you've basically won. Any group that can manage to complete the gauntlet has a reasonable chance of winning this fight using this method. However, it is much more time-consuming, and it is very unlikely that you will be able to beat the 7-minute challenge with this method.

METHOD 2

This is the "burn hot" method. The main tank holds the mammoths at the north end of the room, but instead of burning one at a time, all 3 mammoths are killed more or less at the same time. A Warden or other tank-type picks up the adds when they spawn in, and a dedicated interrupter and corruption-remover deal with the "boss" type mobs as they spawn in, but the DPS stays on the mammoths until they are downed. Once the mammoths fall, the group turns on the adds and fights them all at once, hitting them with big area-effect attacks. This method works best if the raid is over-stocked in Champions and Guardians for strong area-effect melee attacks against many targets, and has at least one Warden for "Conviction-kiting" the adds. And even then, it's going to be a close shave - healers will be hard-pressed to keep up with the damage being dealt, and won't be able to contribute to the group's DPS in a meaningful way. The group's DPSers will need to burn everything they have for this method, and probably more besides.


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FEAR WHAT COMES...

There's some fine loot to be had here - the barter coin for the new raid-armor gauntlets drops here, and there is a chance for the Symbol of the Elder King to drop also. These items will drop even if the challenge fails.

Once you're done looting, Gortheron is waiting in the chamber beyond, and he has a story to tell you about what kind of monkeyshines Gandalf got up to. Hope you've been working out on your Stairmaster, because you're in for a bit of a climb...

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