Cataclysm Dungeon Guide: Grim Batol
NOTE: This guide has been updated to include all the information on both the Normal and Heroic versions of the bosses.
Grim Batol is a massive fortress found along the border of the Wetlands and the Twilight Highlands. The fortress was initially build by the Wildhammer Dwarves, but has changed hands several times since it was first created. After a bitter war with the Dark Iron Dwarves the Wildhammer’s abandoned Grim Batol and the Dragonmaw Orcs moved in. After that the Red Dragonflight held the fortress for a while before the Twilight Hammer Cultists drove them out and took ownership. That’s who holds it now as you set off to adventure there.
The Bombing Run
Shortly after entering Grim Batol, you will come upon 5 trapped red dragonflight dragons. By defeating their guards and freeing them you set yourself up for the first real part of the instance, a bombing run!
Once you have freed the dragons, you can mount up on them and they will fly you around the outer rim of the instance. You only get once pass and while they take you on the flight you get to drop bombs on the enemies below. It is important that you watch for the path that you will follow later and drop explosives on as many groups as possible. If the group coordinates and is accurate you can almost completely clear the trash to the first boss, and the trash found between the second and third boss, while on this bombing run. This will significantly speed up your run through the instance.
Saving Yourself Time in Heroic Grim Batol
As you know from doing Grim Batol on normal you’re able to take a huge amount of the trash mobs out of the equation if you’re good with controlling the Red Dragonflight bombers. That’s still on heroic, but the trash has much more health so it’s good to have some sort of coordinated effort to kill certain packs of trash that are not skippable and are stationed between you and the bosses.
It’s good to have a plan in advance telling players perhaps to attack only one side of the large divided chasm that comprises most of Grim Batol. That way the trash is either killed or significantly weakened to the point where you don’t have to use crowd control on it and can quickly AoE it down. If this strategy is executed well it will cut as much as half an hour off of your Grim Batol heroic run which is hardly insignificant.
General Umbriss is the first boss that you come across in Grim Batol. He is a large blue Dragonspawn with a few abilities that can cause groups issues, however, being a first boss the abilities are not too nasty.
General Umbriss Abilities
– This attack causes a bleed effect on the target that
continues to cause damage over time for 15 seconds unless the player is
healed above 90%.
Blitz – Charges the current location of a random player. Anyone hit takes damage and is knocked back. It has a 3 second cast time though so there is plenty of time to get out of the way.
Ground Siege – This is an AOE ability that the General casts around himself that does massive damage and stuns players for a short period of time.
Frenzy – He frenzies at 20% health remaining doing more damage and faster attacks.
General Umbriss Strategy
The main trick here is that everyone needs to avoid the random charges as they hurt! Being a 3 second cast time though, you really have no excuse to be hit. Secondly the adds need to go down quickly, as the tank can not hold them while they have the bleed debuff or it is game over. The bleed debuff does roughly 10,000 damage every 2 seconds for 15 seconds. Since a tank at this level has roughly 100k health, that’s a full 10% every 2 seconds in addition to regular incoming damage. It’s pretty hard to heal through.
In addition to his abilities he will call additional guards in throughout the fight. They do not have a lot of health and should be stunned and taken out quickly. The tank can grab them but if hit with a bleed debuff it can hurt. Also watch for the ground siege and everyone should get away from it. Lastly, at 20% health when frenzy hits, down him quickly.
General Umbriss Heroic Mode
This guy is not too different on normal versus heroic other than the fact that it’s less forgiving of mistakes. Umbriss’ “Blitz” ability will be a one hit kill on anyone hit by it. The unstable Trogg that’s spawned is also much more dangerous and there’s more of a premium on add control rather than DPSing the boss.
Umbriss’ 30% enrage is also significantly harder to heal though. It’s highly advisable to dispel this enrage if you’ve got a Druid, Rogue, or Hunter because he really hits quite hard for the expected gear level to enter heroic Grim Batol.
The Forgemaster is a two headed giant who can be found patrolling Khardros’s Anvil in Grim Batol. Since he patrols between several groups of enemies it is important that you clear enough trash while watching out for him, before actually engaging him.
Forgemaster Throngus Abilities
Disorienting Roar – This is an AOE ability that reduces cast and attack speed.
Impaling Slam – Charges a random player hitting them for damage and inflicting a bleed effect. This is instant and can not be avoided.
Mighty Stomp – Does AOE damage to anyone nearby as the stomp creates a cave in.
Pick Weapon – The Forgemaster picks a new weapon to hit you with. He can chose between a two-handed weapon, two swords, and a shield.
Forgemaster Throngus Strategy
Depending on the weapon that the Forgemaster has will directly influence how you must deal with him. When he selects a two-handed weapon he will also randomly select a player to slam and chase them. That player must kite him around the area until he selects a different weapon. With the other two weapon types, he can be tanked as normal. When equipped with two swords he does additional attacks and when equipped with a shield he blocks almost everything. The tank holds him in both of these phases and allows everyone else to attack him from the back.
The fight is entertaining and keeps everyone on their toes as they have to watch for being changed and for being chased.
Forgemaster Throngus Heroic Mode
Throngus can output some serious damage in heroic mode if he’s not handled properly. His AoE rock shards and pools of fire hurt, but they’re nothing compared to the damage he can do with his two handed mace.
When Throngus puts on his two handed mace the tank absolutely needs to kite. Throngus will be slowed but taking hits from him at this point is not an option. Anyone but the tank will have to be careful with threat since the tank won’t be building any. If you do happen to pull threat then you’d better kite for your life because he will kill you in one hit. The mechanics don’t really change much with this fight and neither does the strategy. Everything he does just receives a big damage buff.
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.
Drahga Shadowburner Abilities
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.
Drahga Shadowburner Strategy
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.
Drahga Shadowburner Heroic Mode
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.
Erudax Heroic Mode
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.
Additional notes on Grim Batol Normal and Heroic
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!