WotLK: Utgarde Keep

This is one in a series of posts covering a WotLK 5-mans – from a Tank’s Point of View

For many people, Utgarde Keep will be the first instance they run upon hitting the shores of Northrend. It is the easiest to get to, and none of the quests have any prerequisites. It sits just outside of the Alliance starting town in Howling Fjord, and you can pick up the quests just outside the door near the summoning stone.

What should you expect in Utgarde Keep? Depends on your gear level. Remember, this is a level 70 dungeon. A regular instance, not a heroic. If you regularly are tearing through Heroics, then you shouldn’t expect too much resistance in here.

Very well geared tanks may want to throw on some DPS gear. I actually prefer to go ahead with (threat focused) tanking gear, but to chain pull a pack or two at a time. Even at that, my healer spends much of the time DPSing – which she enjoys.

If you are coming in less-well geared, then you will find this zone to be a challenge. You probably will need to take your time, use a bit of CC, and pay particular attention the the final boss’ Slam abilities.

As for the trip through zone, there is less trash than in BC instances. The clear to the first boss is reasonably simple – There are very few patrolling mobs, so you can generally setup the pull as you like. None of the trash has any particularly interesting abilities that you need to watch out for, so just pick a comfortable pace and move on through. That’s not to say that it is boring – the 2nd room you enter is quite interesting, and the first set of wooden stairs that you come to (will be on your right side when you enter the room) has a patrol on it – It is very easy to pull this group early, so watch for them to join in.

The bosses may be very challenging for an lesser geared group – and will at least make a well geared group pay some attention.

Prince Keleseth

  • The first boss you will come to has a few tricks to watch out for.
  • He will Ice Tomb party members – this is very similar to Illhoof’s Demonic Chains. The Ice Tomb doesn’t have much health, but you do need to burst it down. Otherwise, the player is out of the fight and taking a steady stream of damage.
  • Skeleton Adds – He will summon a pack of Skeletons, and then resurrect them periodically throughout the fight. I found it best to group them up and kill them, so that they are together when they resurrect. They don’t have much health, so burning them down won’t take too long.
  • Shadow Bolt – Hits for a few thousand, not really a serious problem.

At lower gear levels take your time. Make sure your DPS is watching for the Ice Tombs, and focus on holding the Skeletons off of your healer. There are no tanking drops here.

Skarvald & Dalronn

  • The 2nd boss fight is actually a duo.
  • Skarvald has a random charge, so he will spend quite a bit of time running around the room.
  • Dalronn spams shadowbolts, and regularly drops aggro.
  • The first to die comes back as an unatackable spirit. They continue to use their abilities until the 2nd is killed.

My preference here is to kill the caster first. Dalronn is going to spend most of his time ignoring the tank anyway, so it matter little if he is alive or a spirit. This fight mostly boils down to you healing and dps, as the mechanics are setup to ensure that there will be a lot of damage spread around. Still, probably the least challenging boss fight in the zone. Skarvald’s Dragonskin Habergeon may be of interest to Bear tanks, and Arm Blade of Augelmir may be worth a look.

Ingvar the Plunderer

  • Final boss, a two phase fight – with his abilities doing more damage in phase 2
  • Smash abilities in both phases. These are on a long-ish cast, but do a lot of damage if you don’t clear away from him. Very well geared tanks can just eat the damage, but most will want to move out.
  • Roars in both phases. These do a moderate amount of damage to the whole group, and silence everyone for several seconds. This will certainly put pressure on healers.
  • Phase 1 only – cleave and a stacking enrage
  • Phase 2 only – a curse that does damage to the healer, on every heal to the cursed target

Ingvar as a lot of abilities to watch for, but tanking his is pretty simple. If you choose to avoid the Smashes, then run out when they are cast. Otherwise, this is another healer test. There will be a damage on everyone, possibly a lot of damage on the tank, and long periods of no casting – not a super combination. Get him down, and you may see Ingvar’s Monolithic Cleaver – a nice 2-handed axe.

Once you are done, simply turn around, run back off Ingvar’s balcony, through the now open door, and jump.

All told, this instance is taking my (partial pug) groups between 20 and 25 minutes – closer to the high end when explaining the boss fights, faster on subsequent runs.

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One Comment on “WotLK: Utgarde Keep”

  1. Gan Says:

    Did this instace for the first time as a lvl 70 Warrior Tank in all BC blues and a couple of T4 purples. Fun, straightforward and fast instance (30 minutes with a 72 priest healer, 71 hunter, 72 DK, and 70 rogue). Ingvar is a pain the first time though, he one shotted me with a phase 2 smash. Make sure to tank him so he’s facing away from the casters, and also, when that floating, spinning axe is cutting away at you, make sure to move!


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