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Image credit:'s Guide to the Gunship Battle


Here's the quick summary of the Gunship Battle in Icecrown Citadel. You run onto the boats and grab your backpacks from the goblin. You put that in your shirt slot right away. (If you wait until you're in combat, you'll find yourself unable to put on the vital piece of equipment.) Some of your raid will get inside the guns on deck.

And then the people in the guns blow up the enemy boat. A tank on your home ship tanks adds as they appear. When guns get frozen, an "away" team consisting of a tank, a healer and some DPS shoot over to the other ship. The tank tanks the enemy faction boss, the DPS kills the mage and the healer keeps them all alive. Rinse and repeat.

Now, we will go into more detail.

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You need two tanks (maybe a third as backup) for any version of the Gunship Battle. The number of healers will depend on how tough your tanks are -- you should only need one healer on your home faction ship, but maybe two to handle the away team tank.

The thing that makes your experience here slightly different is that you'll need two people to man the cannons.

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General strategy

Get and equip your rocket pack as soon as you get to the ship, and make sure you know how to use it. (You press a button, select the ground target location and poof, jump there.)

The first thing you should know about the Gunship Battle is that there's fire for you to not stand in. This is because the enemy ship is lobbing rockets at you. Before those rockets hit, however, a big runic pattern will appear on the deck of your ship. If you do not stand in that pattern, you will not be hit. If you do stand in that pattern, you will be hit -- and if you're in heroic mode, you'll suffer a knockback as well. I only bring this up to get it out of the way; we all know to not stand in fire.

There are two basic moving parts to this fight: the Home Team and the Away Team. The Home Team will hang out on your own faction's ship in order to kill the enemy soldiers who will board. These enemies drop out of a black portal in the center of the deck. Can't miss them. When they teleport onto the ship, have your tank gather them up and your DPS then kill them. The adds do have a Wounding ability but otherwise lack any bells or whistles.

The Away Team jumps over to the other ship whenever the enemy mage freezes your cannons with Below Zero. The tank should grab the enemy faction leader (Saurfang or Muradin) and tank him. The faction leader will hit harder as time progresses, so the Away Team DPS should quickly kill the enemy mage. A healer (or two, if necessary) keeps everyone alive, and then you all jump back to the main ship. While there's player characters on the enemy ship, the enemy faction leader's Battle Fury will reset.

Rinse and repeat.

Along the way, have ranged DPS kill the adds on the enemy ship. They'll level up the longer they're alive, eventually becoming Elite. That's a nice way to have them spend their time if they're not killing adds with the Home Team or mages with the Away Team.

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High Overlord Saurfang and Muradin Bronzebeard
  • Battle Fury Does the same thing in every version; the longer the faction leader is in combat, the more powerful he becomes. (You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.) Each stack increases the faction leader's damage by 10% in the normal modes and 12% in the heroic modes.
  • Cleave It's a cleave. It hits up to three targets in front of the faction leader.
Enemy Boarding Team
  • Sergeants The sergeants are kill priorities for the enemy boarding team, since they both Bladestorm and use Wounding Strike.
  • Reavers and Marines These are just vanilla adds and should be killed expediently.
Controlling The Gun

You have two abilities: Cannon Blast and Incinerate Blast. Use Cannon Blast until you generate about 90 Heat, and then use Incinerate Blast to dump the heat. Then start over with Cannon Blast.

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Tank strategy

If you're the Home Tank, be careful about using up your AoE resources when the adds are dropping. They drop from the portal one after another, with a short pause between each drop. If you blow all your resources on the second add dropping, it'll be easy to miss the third.

If you're the Away Tank, hover near the edge of the enemy ship so that you can more easily make the final jump home. Since you'll probably be the last one off the ship, you'll not want to waste any run time.

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DPS strategy

If you're on the Home Team, kill adds as they drop. If there are no adds, use your ranged attacks to kill the mobs on the other ship.

If you're on the Away Team, kill the mage and then get back to the home ship. Help keep the deck clear of adds when you're not actively killing mages, so that the ranged DPS can kill mobs on the other ship.

I've seen two strategies on how to split up melee versus ranged DPS, and it all revolves around who can attack the mobs on the enemy ship while staying on the main ship. In general, each raid probably will prefer its own method. But I tend to see melee on the Away Team more often than not.

Don't stand in fire.

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Healer strategy

Don't stand in fire, and lather up the tanks with heals. The tanks will take progressively more damage from the enemy faction leader of the sergeant, if DPS can't get their targets down quickly enough. That aside, you will probably see some minor raid damage as someone inevitably stands in the rocket blasts.

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