Hey there, this is your Pal Pallie and welcome back to Git Er Raid. The time has come for Warlords of Draenor raid testing. More specifically, we have the first boss in Blackrock Foundry, Gruul. Yes, you BC peeps will remember this guy. This guide covers Gruul’s mechanics on the flexible heroic mode in Draenor. Remember that is like normal mode of years past. And, of course, as always, encounters can change from the time beta is conducted until it is live.
So Gruul has approximately two phases and it seems like two tanks is probably necessary. The dungeon guide describes using tanks to taunt in order to quickly reposition the way the boss is facing. I won’t say two tanks are required just yet but it seems to make things easier. Remember also that this is heroic mode which is flexible now up to a group size of 30. Tuning is not yet solid at all but it feels like you’ll want 3 healers at 10 man size and maybe 7 or 8 at 30 man size. It may even be that a 3rd tank is something that will help out with larger groups and the taunting situation. We’ll talk more about that later.
So lets go through Gruul’s abilities and then talk strategy. First up, Gronn’s rage is a buff the boss gains, the lower his health is. All this really means is he’ll hit you like a truck the later you go into the fight. Inferno Slice is a big ability to watch out for. It does 600k physical damage to the tank and then slashes out for a large amount of Fire damage that can be split among foes in front of the boss. After taking an Inferno Slice, raid members are debuffed and will take increasing fire damage from the boss. So basically, you’ll need some stack groups to share this damage and keep soaking it. As well, you know when he is going to slice as he will do it when he hits 100 energy.
Petrify is a really nasty ability from the boss that you need to pay close attention to. He will knock you into the air with some nature damage and then start turning you into stone. This petrifying effect also slows you and once you are stone, he shatters you with a roar that does additional damage to you and anyone within 8 yards of you. Mainly, this means you need to get out from where you might be stacked with the raid and get shattered away from people. Be very careful here.
Next up, Overwhelming Blows is the tank swap mechanic that is a frontal cleave as well. It simply does some physical damage and increases overall damage taken by 10% per stack. It builds very quickly from what our tanks were saying. And given the other taunting mechanics, it feels like you may have 7 or 8 stacks of this before swapping roles here as tank. Speaking of tanks, the Overhead Smash is a telegraphed line where the boss will hit the tank with a big chunk of nature damage. The graphic for this was highly bugged but the goal is to not be in it when it goes off. He’ll do it whatever way he’s facing when he STARTS the cast. But make sure you don’t run towards one of the stack groups and then they get owned by frontal cleave right after.
That’s about it for phase 1 mechanics. The boss will transition to phase 2 about every minute in phase 1. Phase 2 is basically him going to the center and channeling Crumbling Roar. Take a look at these circles appearing here. The circles that appear first will be the first places the roof collapses. If you are there when the roof comes down, you’ll likely die. It says about 225k nature damage and I have about 280k health raid buffed in the current ilevel scaling of 660. So do your best to avoid this!
After finishing his crumbling roar channeling, he’ll hit the raid with a short cast of World Shaking and then get back to phase 1 stuff with this World Shaking hitting the raid for light aoe. In this pull, it seemed like he just kept doing overhead smash over and over and inferno slice only happened quite a bit later. We didn’t get much beyond this point due to random deaths and DCs. So that’s about it for mechanics so lets talk some possible strategy. I was in a half pug, half guild group so we did some attempts with some organization and heard of other groups approaching the fight the same way we did.
Basically we split the raid into two groups and stacked them behind the boss on these raid markers. One tank would face him away and be the main tanks. The offtank would be in one of the groups and taunt just as Inferno Slice was happening. This would share the damage and then this offtank would go to where the main tank was and continue to fight the boss avoiding overhead smashes. The main tank would go into the other group, the one that hadn’t gotten hit and would be ready to taunt for the next inferno slice. After it went off, the main tank could go back to the main tanking position here and such. Basically keep rotating in the tanks to make sure the slice hits the right group. Thus, no group would soak two infernos in a row and possibly die.
Another possible approach might be to have the offtank taunt, take the slice and then have the main tank taunt right back. The only worry here is if the offtank can take the next slice with the other group because he’ll be debuffed to take additional fire damage. On the footage, it looked like there were about four inferno slices to deal with per phase 1. As well, another approach I heard of working was simply stacking the entire raid for inferno slice every time. This didn’t seem to be too bad depending on the strength of the healers and cooldowns used. Like the other approaches, a taunting back and forth would be necessary from the tanks.
Whatever approach you take, the tricky part comes with handling the Petrify. This goes out a few raid members. Later on when this is live, I’m sure DBM will yell at you about it. But right now, you do also have a clue that you have petrify as he’ll knock you into the air. This is your signal to get the heck away from your raid. You only have a few seconds before you are so slowed by the petrify. And then soon after, you’ll be shattered which does some damage to you and anyone else around you. This sort of messes up the stack groups in essence. But basically you need to keep your stack groups until petrify goes out and then have those people get out and come back in as soon as its done.
So it takes a little bit of personal raid awareness to make sure your raiders will recognize petrify and get out for it. It seemed to only happen once in this phase 1 so it shouldn’t take long to get used to it. At the current tuning it also wasn’t a huge deal if one person shattered near the group. Its only 40k damage but still its quite unnecessary damage so do your healers a favor and get out!
In phase 2, you deal with a constant tick of damage plus trying to avoid the ceiling falling on you. There really isn’t anything to this. Just simply try to find where the big circles appeared first and be running to a place that just appeared. When the ceiling falls on that first circle, run into that area and you are safe for the rest of the phase. After that, it’s a matter of the tanks and raid avoiding the overhead smashes over and over until he goes back to doing Inferno Slices. Don’t lose your positioning too much and rinse and repeat. Obviously, things get more deadly as the fight goes on with his damage buff. But this seems a straightforward, “stack, spread, avoid stuff on the ground” type fight. Good for an opening fight in Blackrock Foundry if that is indeed why its listed first in the dungeon journal.
One last note, many groups reported having trouble with Overwhelming Blows hitting their melee. We may have seen this some which could explain some of the random deaths. But his hitbox was way too small for this test and melee didn’t have a fun day to hear it from others. So that’s it for this guide on Gruul in Blackrock Foundry. Tanks, figure out your taunting strategy for soaking the Inferno Slice and avoid Overhead Smash a billion times. Healers, watch for Petrifies and the subsequent shatters as well as healing up the groups affected by the Inferno Slices. Dps, be sure to be in your correct groups and get the heck out of the groups when you are afflicted by Petrify. Thanks for watching and as always, please comment, like and/or subscribe to the video if you found it helpful. Spread the word that guides will be coming out from Git Er Raid! Thanks and have a good one!