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Two Bosses Enter: Karsh Steelbender vs. Forgemaster Throngus

Alex Ziebart

In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, the bosses of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

After last week's aerial battle, we're getting back down to earth with Karsh Steelbender and Forgemaster Throngus. I hope you have your AC on, because things are about to get hot.


In last week's matchup, Eregos proved that he's still got it and showed Altairus who's boss. The drake of north winds didn't stand a chance against the Ley-Guardian.

Gallery: Two Bosses Enter: Cataclysm season 1 | 15 Photos

Follow along for the details of this week's matchup, as well as discussion on last week's matchup.

The rules of the ring

  • The WoW Insider Ring is considered neutral territory, where both combatants are able to access their usual encounter mechanics and abilities. If you can't visualize it inside the squared circle, visualize it someplace else -- but you must take into consideration all of each bosses' abilities and mechanics.
  • Assume that each opponent is intelligent and capable of strategic thinking.
  • All of the competitors' abilities, including crowd control and other effects to which bosses are usually immune, work on their opponents (with apologies to considerations of lore on this point).
  • Assume that the opponents share similar levels, health pools, and comparative overall damage output.
  • Don't get caught up in gameplay mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Don't neglect style, story, and scale. Everything is a factor; seeking balance is your goal as a spectator and judge.
In Corner One: Karsh Steelbender

Feel the burn!

Karsh, like Ozruk, is one of those Cataclysm bosses who simply does not like inexperienced tanks. Karsh eats them for breakfast. His formidable defenses combined with his terrifying damage make him one tough opponent.

Karsh Steelbender's abilities include:Want to know more about Karsh Steelbender's pyromania? Then you should read up on his background as well as what other adventurers had to say about him.

In Corner Two: Forgemaster Throngus

Throngus slice you up!

Throngus's simple way of speaking belies his true cunning. Forgemaster Throngus is likely one of Cataclysm's most intelligent bosses, having the foresight to pack more than one weapon. He has a tool for all occasions. Will it be enough to chip through Steelbender's defenses?

The Forgemaster's toolkit includes:If you've never encountered the Forgemaster first-hand, you really should learn more about him.

Last Week's Winner: Eregos

The Ley-Guardian trounced his competition last week, winning the matchup with 61% of the vote. Unlike his fellow Wrath of the Lich King boss Scourgelord Tyrannus, Eregos apparently still has what it takes to compete and will be advancing to the next round, where he'll be butting heads with last week's winner, Erudax.

Though certainly not the last, Martinel was one of Eregos's first major supporters, with this vision of the fight to back it up:
"YOU! Your abuse of this world's magic is impermissable!"

Eregos' wings tore at the air, holding the great dragon above the Vortex Pinnacle as he studied the wind drake. The blue opened his mouth wide to send a blast of arcane breath toward Altarius; the much smaller drake took to the air himself and screeched defiance, nimbly avoiding the magical bolt. What had been a light breeze turned violent... the sky darkened and the wind grew to a howling gale, its strongest bluster directed at Eregos' form. Altarius flew effortlessly through his own storm, lightning arcing over his fangs as he spit bolt after bolt at the Ley-Guardian.

The two wove through the air, climbing ever higher. Altairus snapped at Eregos' wingtips even as the fully-grown blue lashed out with claw and breath. The wind whipped around Eregos, buffeting him as he fought to place himself between the current and its master. Altairus dove at him, claws poised to rend scale and flesh.

"You may control the element, whelp, but you forget who controls you!" His wings stretched to their full span and Eregos faded, holding his position in the sky. Altairus' claws met him and passed through; the blue had shifted to another plane, freeing himself of the wind as well as the threat of harm. The drake corrected his course and tried to climb again, but something was distorting the air. When Eregos shifted, he'd caused anomalies in the local airspace, and they were moving toward the nearest living thing they sensed. His concentration split between holding the storm and avoiding the rifts, Altairus let the winds die down to give himself a bit of distance. Eregos watched impassively as the drake struggled, and after a long moment brought himself back to this world. The wind drake was below him, and Eregos felt the storm at his back; he folded his wings in tightly and dove.

The blue's claws dug in deeply when he hit Altairus, clutching the beast to his chest. He spread his wings again, slowing their descent. Altairus shrieked, limbs striking blindly as he turned in the blue dragon's grasp. The two were locked together, fang and claw tearing at one another as they fell through the sky. Altairus rammed his head into the Ley-guardian's chest, unleashing a blast of chilled air and kicking hard with his hind legs. The Pinnacle shook with the volume of Eregos' roar, and his grip loosened just a little. Just enough for the drake to drag himself free and... the blue's claws clamped onto his wings.

"No magic of nature will help you now..." Eregos shifted again, taking the drake with him. The storm wound down, skies clearing as the blue dragon mauled the much smaller creature. They re-entered the material world just as Eregos bit down at the base of Altarius' wings, splintering bone and scale in his jaws. The domed spires of Al'akir's keep were visible below, and it was toward these that the dragon flung his prey.

"It's a long...




Fan favorite observer Rai threw his support being Altairus, but even CSI: Azeroth silliness wasn't enough to put the drake of north winds over the Ley-Guardian.

The battle begins!

Remember, Two Bosses Enter matchups are all about substance and style, not gameplay, mechanics, and numbers. Don't base your strategies on player tactics, which opponent has been easiest or most difficult for you personally, or the difficulty of each opponent relative to instance progression. Vote for the spirit of the battle as set forth above. Set aside differences in opponents' health pools, game level, and actual damage output. Absolutely no game mechanics nitpicking!

Set aside the world order -- let the WoW Insider Ring determine who's the champion! Your votes determine the outcome in WoW Insider's series of fantasy deathmatches, Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves.

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