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Ready Check: Northrend Beasts


Ready Check is a column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses.

The Northrend Beasts are the first series of encounters inside the Crusaders' Coliseum raid instance. Today we'll look at their non-Heroic version. You actually fight four different critters, all of whom are the Biggest and Toughest of their racial types in Northrend. That Tirion sure is a kidder, isn't he?

The four bosses that make up the Northrend Beasts are:

These encounters all take place immediately after one another, so you're not going to have a lot of time to buff, rebuff, and drink in between the fights. You can consider the entire encounter to be like an endurance test, but it goes by fairly quick. Let's jump behind the cut and get started on how to kill them all.

Gormok the Impaler

I wanted to make a Vlad Tepes joke about Gormok's "Impaler" title, but I just couldn't pull one together. Gormok's only got a couple of tricks that make him anything more than a tank and spank. First, he Impales your tanks, forcing you to swap tanks back and forth to manage the debuff. Second, he has minions. These minions are snobolds, which Gormok will pick up and hurl at your raid. Let's go through his abilities.

Gormok's Abilities:

  • Impale - Inflicts about 2,000 damage in 10 man, about 2,500 damage in 25 man, every 2 seconds for 30 seconds. And it stacks. If you can get a Hand of Protection on the affected tank, however, the Hand will clear the effect.
  • Staggering Stomp - Does about 8,000 damage in 10 man (~12,000 in 25 man) to everyone within 15 yards and interrupts spells for 8 seconds.
  • Rising Anger - Increases all damage dealt by 15%. Applied every time Gormok throws a Snobold.
Snobold Minions:
  • Batter - Inflicts 75% of normal melee damage, interrupting spellcasting for 5 seconds.
  • Fire Bomb - Inflicts Fire damage every 1 second to all enemies within 8 yards of the target.
  • Head Crack - Stuns an enemy for 2 sec.
Putting it Together:

Gormok isn't the most difficult fight out there, but it really is the culmination of several other raiding skills you've picked up from other places. Once he comes walking into the Coliseum, you've only got a few seconds before the fight starts.

Keep Gormok facing away from the raid. Every time Impale gets up to 5 stacks, switch to your second tank. Keep going back and forth.

Occasionally, Gormok will hurl a snobold at a raid member. The raid member won't be able to kill the snobold themselves, so the rest of the raid will have to handle it. The snobolds throw fire on the ground. Lastly, keep an eye out for that Staggering Stomp, since it'll interrupt spellcasting. You want to make sure your tanks are topped off on health.

Don't stand in fire, kill adds, and swap tanks whenever they have an Impale of 5 or more. Apply your raid's mammoth DPS directly to Gormok's face.

Acidmaw & Dreadscale

Not one, but two! Two giant worms! Acidmaw and Dreadscale is mostly a coordination fight, testing your ability to detect who has a key debuff, and then testing your ability to quickly walk to that person.


  • Acidic Spew - Inflicts ~3,000 damage in 10 man (~4,000 in 25 man) Nature damage every tick for 2.5 seconds, to enemies in a frontal cone. Don't stand in front of him.
  • Paralytic Bite - Inflicts ~8,000 in 10 man (~12,000 in 25 man) Nature damage to its target and injects them with a Paralytic Toxin. This is Primary Ability To Worry About Number One.
  • Slime Pool - Spawns Slime Pool underneath the jormungar's body. The Slime Pool grows in size for 30 seconds and inflicts Nature damage every second to players standing in it. You may recognize Slime Pools from "Don't Stand in Poison" during Grobbulous.

  • Burning Bile - Deals Fire damage to anyone who has this debuff, but cleanses Paralytic Bite off whoever has that debuff. This is your big cue to how to do this fight, and is Ability To Worry About Number Two.
  • Burning Bite - Inflicts ~8,000 Fire damage in 10 man (~14,000 in 25 man) to its target and coats them with Burning Bile. This happens when Dreadscale is mobile.
  • Molten Spew - Inflicts Fire damage every tick seconds for 2.5 seconds, to enemies in a frontal cone.
  • Slime Pool - Spawns Slime Pool underneath the jormungar's body. You may recognize this from Acidmaw using it.
  • When Dreadscale is half-submerged, he'll use Burning Spray against random targets. This does some Fire damage, but when he's immobile, that's what supplies the Burning Bile debuff.
Putting these two together:

Since Burning Bile is an ability which affects the person with the debuff as well as everyone around that person, you want your raid relatively spread out. Additionally, since both Acidmaw and Dreadscale have frontal cone abilities, your tanks need to keep the bosses facing away from the raid. For that reason, it helps to "move" them in a circle on the outside of the Coliseum, while your raid is spread out inside the circle.

When you start out, only your Dreadscale tank will have the Burning Bile. Put a Skull or Star on his head. Whenever a raid member gets the Paralytic Bite debuff, that person should move immediately next to the Burning Bile person. That will burn the Bite debuff off them.

Your tanks will need to move the big worms, due to the Slime Pool which is consistently being dropped on the ground. However, since the worms "swap" who is submerged and who is above-ground, you'll need to be prepared to give your tanks a little time to get aggro back after each such switch.

Mostly, this fight is about keeping the worms moving so that Slime Pool doesn't kill everyone. Equally important, whenever you get Paralytic Poison, you must immediately get it off you by touching the Burning Bile person. There is definitely some healer pressure in this fight, since there's so much general raid damage being thrown around.

It's helpful to kill Acidmaw first, since that will remove the need to juggle Paralytic Poison. However, you should be aware once you do that, Dreadscale will immediately enrage.


Icehowl is a gigantic Northrend yeti, and those continue to look awesome in a raid setting. I'm going to take a break from the ability-then-explanation format, since Icehowl is mostly about a couple key dynamics. He has other attacks and buffs, but the overall powers to worry about directly are few.

You can tank Icehowl wherever you'd like, but don't put too much effort into positioning. Periodically, Icehowl will jump to the center of the Coliseum in a move called Massive Crash. When Icehowl performs this wrestling-esque maneuver, it will knock your entire raid back to the outside wall. A raid warning will announce who Icehowl has his eye on, and then the boss will charge that person. Everyone needs to get away from the spot where that person was standing. Don't worry, you get a speed buff called Surge of Adrenaline to make sure you can do it a little easier. If Icehowl misses his target, he will bang his head on the wall and suffer a Staggered Daze. While Icehowl is under this effect is the ideal time to burn him down, since he'll take double damage.

Other than that, Icehowl has two abilities to keep in mind. He has an Arctic Breath which will spew Frost damage in a random cone. Also, he'll periodically Whirl, inflicting damage to anyone around him in melee range and knocking them all back a little. These abilities will obviously cause some raid damage which will keep your healers on their toes.


No individual fight among the Northrend Beasts is particularly all that challenging. However, you'll be switching gears quickly between each set of encounters, and that can prove to be surprisingly difficult for some raids. It might take some practice to effortlessly go between dance-type to dance-type, but most anyone should be able to handle it after a little repetition.

Good luck, and good hunting!

Ready Check is here to provide you all the information and discussion you need to bring your raiding to the next level. Check us out weekly to learn the strategies, bosses, and encounters that make end-game raiding so much fun.

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