The ToGC Playbook: Northrend Beasts

Trial of the Grand Crusader is the heroic version of ToC, and comes in 10- and 25-man versions.  I’ve completed 10-man ToGC and we’re working on Twin Val’kyrs in 25-man.

As always, this guide is geared towards moonkin and ranged dps in general, but I will try to cover all aspects of the fight.

We’ll start with the Beast–the Northrend Beasts.

In my opinion, this is the worst pre-Anub boss.  If you can make it past NRB, Jaraxxus will seem like a joke.  This takes several different levels of coordination and awareness.

Honestly, there aren’t too many straight out fight mechanic changes, but everything hits harder and faster.  The biggest change is that the bosses no longer wait until you’ve killed the one before them.  They will come out on a specified timer, which means everything you normally do on this fight needs to be done better and faster.

— Gormok the Impaler —

There are 3 main things to be aware of on this fight:

1)  Fire.  Just like the fires in the regular version, these come in the form of molotov cocktails that land at your feet.  Spread out to avoid having two people getting hit by one fire.  These do a lot more damage than their regular counterparts, so moving out of them is key.  The longer you stand there, the more stacks of the DoT you pile on, so don’t think about whether or not you should move, don’t finish your cast, don’t do anything until you’re out of the fire.  This should be reflex for most of us by now.  Some people can see the black bottles flying at them in time to move.  I am not one of them.

The Levitation Trick: Okay, here’s the deal.  On ToGC-25 we have routinely levitated the ranged and healers to delay the movement needed.  Unless someone is targeted twice, that’s 2 minutes of not needing to move.  HOWEVER, in a ToGC-10 I was in on Friday, the levitation trick did not work properly.  The fire very smartly only targetted people who were not levitated, meaning we wiped because our tanks were dancing in fire.  Try this at your own risk, as it might have been hotfixed this week.

2) Snobolds.  These guys are just as annoying as the ones in regular.  YAY FOR MOONKIN FORM, as being shapeshifted makes us immune to snobolds and their frustrating silence.  You still need to kill these guys.  Ideally you’ll have enough dps to kill all of the snobolds as they appear.  All dps needs to switchALL DPS NEEDS TO SWITCH.  Hey, guys, ALL DPS NEEDS TO SWITCH TO SNOBOLDS. Stop padding the dps meter and contribute to the raid, please.

If your dps isn’t high enough to kill them all and still get Gormok down before the worms make their appearance, then prioritize healers -> casters -> everyone else.  It is safe to leave one snobold to be killed when the worms are coming out.

Tanks will be getting impaled throughout the fight and will be switching off to let the debuff fall off.  I think our tanks usually switch off at three.  I’m not sure of all the details myself, but I know that a pally throws Hand of Protection on the last tank on Gormok right before the worms come out.  I think this is to help manage the extra impale or two he took while the other tanks were preparing for the worms.

Healers on the tanks need to pay attention to tank switches.  We call out tank changes on vent, but healers still need to watch the “resting” tank and keep him up while his debuff falls off.  People will be getting fire debuffs without a doubt; hopefully they’re not eating 3 or 4 stacks of the stuff.  1-2 is pretty easily healable, so have a few healers spread around the room for raid heals.

–The Twin Jormungars–

I hate this part more than anything else in this first encounter.  Fair warning.

First things first:  SPREAD OUT.  If you’ve got DBM you should have /distance 10 up, and it should be empty.  Five people getting hit by toxin or bile is bad bad bad.

In our experience, Acidmaw always pops out of the ground a little to the left of the door through which the bosses enter.  Situate yourselves around this area and burn him as quickly as you can.  He will probably get one submerge before you kill him.  My treant cooldown usually comes up when Acid’s at about 73%.  I know he submerges somewhere between 30-50%, so I generally save my trees for when he emerges and we’re racing to burn down that last half of his health. Once he dies, Dreadscale will enrage, and you’ll be burning him down.

This fight is all about awareness.  Don’t stand in poison clouds, they will kill you quickly.  Don’t stand next to people.  If you get burning bile and there’s no one who needs the toxin cleansed off of them, try to get away from people.  Your aoe damage will be a pain for your healers to heal through.  The fight dynamics aren’t that complicated, but the execution is very tricky.

Tanks switch off during this fight for us.  We no longer have a ranged tank on Acidmaw when he’s still because with all of us going balls-to-the-wall, aggro and healing were issues.  One tank stays with Acidmaw.  The other two tanks beat on Dreadscale.  When Tank A gets burning bile, Tank B grabs Dread so Tank A can go cleanse all the toxined people who are very slowly walking towards him, and they rotate like that until Acidmaw dies.

Healers have my sympathy on this fight.  The tanks take consistent damage, the raid is getting toxin, the bile people are sharing the love, and the whole time everyone’s trying to stay in dps or healing range while remaining spread out.


Dreadscale is usually around 20% for us when the Icehowl announcement comes, so one of the tanks breaks off to go get him.  We are ordinarily able to kill Dread before Icehowl becomes attackable, but if he starts wailing away while you’re burning Dread’s last 10% or so, that’s okay.  Just focus on getting Dreadscale down so you can all move to Icehowl, and make sure healers switch to the Icehowl tank while you transition.

This fight works exactly the same as the regular version, with two important changes:  you no longer get a speed boost after Massive Crash, and he enrages on a timer.  In order to beat the timer, the majority of the raid needs to stay alive.

Arctic Breath and Massive Crash both hit for a lot more damage.  If you spread out a little, fewer people will get hit with Arctic Breath at the same time, which helps.  Still, healers need to watch for this and heal the frozen people.

Check Your Six.  We had several issues with people getting crashed into doorways or pillars or facing the wall, making it difficult to run away in time.  When DBM says Massive Crash is 10 seconds away, I make sure I’m on a flat part of the wall and turn my back to it so I have a clear view and am free to run.

This fight really is a tank and spank with a twist.  Handle the Massive Crashes correctly, heal through Arctic Breath, and beat the enrage timer.  GG.


Filed under Experiences, Information

4 responses to “The ToGC Playbook: Northrend Beasts

  1. nice fight explaination 🙂

  2. Pasqoo

    When i saw the guild name on the picture.. I’ve tought you are italian like me… but then I saw you are in US servers xD

    • battlechicken

      Yeah, most of us are from the East Coast of the US. We love our guild name, though.

      Not sure what we’re seeking, exactly. Progression? Epics? But we apparently find it; we’ve been around for 4 years now! 😀

  3. Pingback: At Least I Have Chicken — A Blog Birthday « Tastes Like Battle Chicken

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