Cataclysm Dungeon Guide: Grim Batol
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%.
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.
– This is an AOE ability that the General casts around
himself that does massive damage and stuns players for a short period
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
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.
– Charges a random player hitting them for damage and
inflicting a bleed effect. This is instant and can not be
Mighty Stomp – Does AOE damage to anyone nearby as the stomp creates a cave in.
– 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
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
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
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
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
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.
– 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.
– 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
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!
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