Tank like a girl
Dec 13 2010

Cataclysm Dungeons: Blackrock Caverns

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This is part 1 of my series of ‘How to’ for the new Cataclysm dungeons. This will be about the normal versions only. I might post an updated version once we get to Heroic, depending on different things are. I hope they will be!

Instance: Blackrock Caverns, level 80-81, average ilevel required 226.

How to get there: Breadcrumb quest from Mount Hyjal, at 43, 28. Quest giver is Finkle Einhorn, and he gets you a ride on a mole machine. Otherwise, travel to Searing Gorge or Burning Steppes, head towards the meeting stone and run downwards to discover the instance entrance.

Notable trash:
Mobs here do not hit that hard, so BRC is actually a very gentle introduction to Cataclysm pulls. Crowd Control can make pulls a lot easier, so it’s a great opportunity to actually get used to CC again. Most useful will be forms of humanoid CC, and in the latter parts of the instance a warlock’s Banish can be very useful. Most trash pulls contain casters, so make sure to utilize Heroic Throw, Spell Reflect and even line of sight pulls to cluster the mobs towards you.

Bosses:

Rom'ogg Bonecrusher
Rom’ogg Bonecrusher – This ogre is a quite fun start towards seeing interesting boss mechanics in Cataclysm.

Abilities:

  • Quake, an AoE ability that will cause damage to everyone in the party. To avoid it, move out of the dust cloud underneath your feet immediately.
  • Wounding Strike, a Mortal Strike ability that will reduce healing on the tank
  • The Skullcracker, which he will cast after he has done a magnetic pull of all group members, and chained them in Chains of Woe. The chains can and must be targeted immediately and burst down before the cast finishes. Run out and live! If you don’t manage to kill the chains, it is a wipe.

When pulling him, make sure you have pulled back all of the trash groups in the front half of the room. There are a couple patrolling mobs that wander from group to group. As soon as you pull the boss, he will call for help, and any trash left alive to hear the call will add to the fight.

Notable tank loot:
Shield of the Iron Maiden – Oh yeah. Let the mastery items roll in. I like the shield model too.

Corla, Herald of Twilight – Netherspite mechanics strike back! Oh golden memories of Karazhan.

Abilities:

  • Dark Command, a fear effect. If this hits someone who is standing in one of the beams, make sure that someone else blocks the beam in their turn.
  • Death Grip, same thing applies as above. Apparently she pulls people randomly with it.
  • Drain Essence. This is the main mechanic of this fight and involves blocking beams. I am getting pleasant Netherspite flashbacks.

Corla will cast two beams, and there will be two cultists alive who want to stand in the beam to get the Evolution debuff. After 100 stacks, the person in the beam will turn into an Evolved Twilight Zealot, a nasty drakonoid that packs quite a punch. The key to this fight is to control the evolution. As tank, pick up Corla and pull her to one of two beams. The other beam will be blocked by ranged DPS or a healer. As the stacks pile up fast, people will need to take turns. They simply need to stand in the beam. As soon as someone moves out, someone else moves in. People must make sure they do not get 100 stacks either, as that will mean they will be mind-controlled for the rest of the fight. It won’t take long until the non-blocked beam turns the cultist into a zealot, which you then immediately pick up to tank. The zealot gets killed first. After the zealot is down, head to the other beam, have it unblocked, kill the second zealot after he has evolved. Kill Corla. Win! What also works is that you block both beams and simply kill Corla without zealots, but that won’t be an option on heroic, so you can already practice the proper strategy in this normal dungeon.

Notable tank loot:
absolutely nothing to see here. Boo!

Karsh Steelbender – Here’s where you control if this is a wipe or success!

Abilities:

  • Quicksilver Armor. Reduces all damage by 99%. If this stays on, this could be a loooong fight.
  • Superheated Quicksilver Armor. Stacks, increasing damage on him by 5% per stack. Melee attacks on him cause fire damage.
  • Cleave. Your average Cleave, do not want anyone but the tank in front of him.

First, you have to pull the two Conflagrations back to the ramp, one by one. If Quicksilver mobs add, pick them up as well. The Conflagrations are no joke and deal a lot of party damage. Once the Conflagrations are down, you can move onto the bad boy. Make sure people are aware to not stand on the circular grate ever, because everytime Karsh gets the Quicksilver Armor buff again, a Wall of Fire will go up. Now, as soon as you Charge in, you have to pull Karsh into the pillar of flame at the center of the room. Every second he stands in that pillar, he gets a stack of Superheated Quicksilver Armor and you can actually do damage to him. However, with every stack, he will cause increasing AoE fire damage to the whole group that cannot be avoided. You will not be able to stand in the pillar indefinitely. I found that 3-5 stacks are ideal, so please do not linger too long in the pillar. Pull him out, and as soon as Superheated Quicksilver Armor runs out, you pull him back in. Rinse and repeat. I will have to admit that we wiped quite a bit here the first time as I had to learn how long is too long. 3-5 seconds are not a long time at all, I tell ya.

Notable tank loot:
nothing in particular, though there are two good upgrades for plate DPS. But for tanking specifically, nada.

Beauty – Not the puppies! They are making me kill puppies! :o

Abilities:

  • Berserker Charge. This angry dog momma will charge a random player and deal a good chunk of damage with it.
  • Flamebreak. Causing fire damage to everyone within 10 yards. Means all ranged should be a good distance away. Does a knockback.
  • Magmaspit. Fire debuff on a random target, with a DoT effect. Do not dispel, it’ll make them explode!
  • Terrifying Roar. Your average fear effect.

Beauty is a corehound momma with four puppies. Three of them are in the front of the room, the last one is far behind her, with the name Runty. If you kill Runty, she will enrage, so we can leave one soon to be orphaned puppy alive. :(. The other puppies can be pulled individually to the entrance of the room. Tank them against a wall, strafe out of the magma puddles. No one but the tank should be in front of the little ones. Once the three front puppies are dead, you can pull her. As Beauty does a knockback, you will want to have your back against something solid. There’s a rock on the left side of the room that I use for that. As warrior, use Berserker Rage to break the fear, and move back to your regular position. Mostly tank and spank.

Notable tank loot:
Beauty’s Plate – A tanking chest with parry and mastery. As Spinks noticed as well, parry is very predominant on early Cataclysm tank drops. Not a bad chest!

Ascendant Lord Obsidius – a boss that requires kiting. Do people remember what that is?

Abilities:

  • Stone Blow. 150% melee damage and a knockdown. I hate knockdowns.
  • Thunderclap. Around 12k damage to people around him, slows movement speed. Why does my Thunderclap not hurt like that?
  • Twilight Corruption. Magic debuff, a dot that does 4k per tick. Dispel!

The major mechanic of this fight are the two Shadows of Obsidius that hang about. You can compare them to the Dark Nuclei in the Blood Prince Council fight of ICC. They have no real aggro table, they will aggro on whoever hit them last. If they are in the vicinity of Obsidius, they will reduce healing on their current target. Worst case: tank pulls Obsidius, Thunderclaps, no one ever touches the Shadows, and eventually the tank dies to the healing debuff. So what should happen is that you assign one DPS, ideally a hunter, to simply tag both Shadows and lead them on a merry chase. Obsidius will randomly switch places with one of the shadows and reset aggro, so when that happens, you as tank need to be fast to pick him up, and the kiter needs to be fast to pick up the Shadow again.

Notable tank loot:
Carrier Wave Pendant – a parry/mastery tanking necklace.

Notable Quest Rewards:
Raz’s Breastplate – for the final quest of killing Ascendant Lord Obsidius. Didn’t replace my Cataclysmic Chestguard, but if you had any other WotLK chest, it just might!

Hope you enjoyed! If you have any other special strategies I forgot to share, as always please comment. :)

3 Responses to “Cataclysm Dungeons: Blackrock Caverns”

  1. Triz says:

    For Corla, from what I have experienced in the beta (not playing Cata at the moment) you don’t need to alter people in the beams, you can have one person each beam that switches with the cultist standing there when the stacks get too high. With not too shabby gear (back then, il251 premades) you should be able to kill her before you need to jump into the beams a second time.

    Reply

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  3. Zellviren says:

    Nice guide, Kad. :3

    I would like to add that the heroic versions of these encounters are no joke, and provide the challenging awesome-sauce that peeps like your good self are looking for.

    Romogg Bonecrusher spawns adds when he casts Quake, and these need picked up and killed off. Blood and Thunder is awesome for this, but the added damage puts a strain on your healer; keep Shield Block or any trinkets ready for this, major cooldowns may be required.

    Corla has three zealots instead of one, but you can actually cheese the event with a Protection warrior interrupting lolgrip. Your team mates can stand in the beam and jump out, wait on the debuff to fall off, then get back in the beam again. Naturally, this causes the debuff to fall off the zealots and it’s the easiest way to do it.

    Karsh is the worst boss of the lot. When his armour debuff falls off and the fire shoots up, adds spawn. When an add dies, it leaves a fire puddle on the floor and that melts his armour, causing the AoE. If you’re unlucky enough to have them die in quick succession, his AoE goes up and up and the healer simply can’t manage. We worked round this by realizing that you can keep pulling him in and out the fire BEFORE the debuff on him expires, buying you a lot of time before you need to deal with adds. Pull him in for a couple of stacks, pull him out, get everyone topped off, then drag him back in again before his armour hardens. This fight is entirely dependent on the skill of the tank and how many stacks the healer can handle.

    Beauty is totally unchanged apart from the extra health and damage. Oh, yeah… And you can’t pull the puppies seperately! For us, we used Intimidating Shout and then Howl of Terror to keep two of ‘em away while we killed the first puppy and, thus, lowering the damage. When all four mutts are nailing you, the damage is extremely intense. Keep your cooldown keybinds close.

    Finally, the Ascendent Lord – nothing much changes, really, he’s the least impressive of the bosses in heroic.

    All told, this is one of the best heroics I’ve done and is right up there with the Deadmines and Shadowfang. You’re gonna love it. o/

    Reply

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