Posted tagged ‘Utgarde Keep’

WotLK: Utgarde Keep

November 12, 2008

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.


A Look at Utgarde Keep

August 5, 2008

Last night I had a bit of time to play around on my Priest in the WotLK beta. Planning on hitting a few quests, I’d turned on the LFG flag for Utgarde Keep – adding a note that I was spec’d Shadow. I’m enjoying soloing as Shadow, even though it isn’t radically different than pre-Wrath. Dispersion is a nice talent, however most of the SPriest changes seem to be stacked into the new abilities between 70 and 80.

When the “Want to join for UK? We are past the first boss” whisper came in, “Looking for dps? healing?” was my reply. Knowing that there were a dozen other DPS on LFG – at least 4 or 5 of whom weren’t Death Knights – the “Ahh. we need healing” reply didn’t shock me.

Having not run UK yet, I decided I’d rather respec than to try to and talk another tank/healer into running. I got a portal to IF to dump my shadow talents, and then picked out a holy/disc spec while I followed the group through the first part of the instance.

We did the 2nd and 3rd bosses in about 30 minutes, with a single wipe on the 2nd boss. That wipe was largely due to my playing an alt-spec on an alt-toon.. damage was being spread around more than I’d expected, and I had trouble finding the spells I needed. Plus, the slightly agrro-happy bosses focus-fired my ass down.

After the run back, we cleared through the rest of the instance with no problems. Most of the trash barely required me to do anything, and were I not a still working at learning my beta keybindings I would have had plenty of time to pump out some sweet-sweet holy dps. The final boss,however, does push out some serious damage. I nearly lost the tank after letting him drop to 70%, and then having a G-Heal interrupted with a several seconds long silence. Once I managed to recover, I simply overhealed the rest of the way through. Not elegant, but the fight was quick enough that I had no mana worries.

My Priest’s healing gear is mostly Kara level, with a few Arena pieces thrown in for survivability. The tank was Kara + Badge geared. We did run with some CC, but I get the feeling that most Kara level groups should tear through UK without too many problems. I’m planning on actually tanking the run in the next few days, so I’ll have a better idea of the difficulty then.