In the Sacred Ground
The Stonecore is a “World of Warcraft: Cataclysm” instance, designed for players levels 82 and above. It features four total bosses, including the final boss High Priestess Azil.
Stonecore’s entrance is located at the Temple of the Earth, on the second (upper) level on the southwest side. It is available on Normal (levels 82-84) and Heroic (level 85) difficulties. There are two quests inside, plus a zone buff obtainable with a Dwarven Archaeology fragment.
Corobus, a massive gyreworm, is the first boss in Stonecore. There are two alternating phases to this simple fight.
During the first phase, Corobus will be active above ground. He will occasionally target a random party member and cast Crystal Barrage on them, summoning a host of pink crystals at their feet. In Heroic mode, these crystals will become active, and begin to move toward a party member. If they reach this party member, they will do a massive amount of damage and place a stacking debuff that will increase the damage done to that target. The simplest way to deal with these shards is to have the tank make sure to move Corobus away from them as soon as they are spawned, and have everyone who is possible AoE them down at a safe distance.
Additionally, during this first phase, Corobus will place Dampening Wave on the party, which will absorb healing done to them. This should be dispelled immediately.
During the second phase of the fight, Corobus will dive underground and be untargetable. He will tunnel beneath ground, making a great line of dust, which should not be stood in as it will cause instant death to any player caught in it. Adds will also spawn during this phase, which the tank and DPS can pick up and finish off once the phase is over. Repeat these two phases, and Corobus will be defeated quickly.
The great drake Slabhide is the second boss in Stonecore, and also features a repeating two-phase mechanic (ground and air). This boss has the chance to drop a rare mount.
In his ground phase, Slabhide will cast Sand Blast, a damage spell, to anyone in front of him, so the tank should face him away from the group. He will also cast Shifting Earth, which summons pools of lava on the ground - simply stay out of these.
When he shifts into air phase, Slabhide causes rocks to fall in the area. These will appear first as shadows on the ground, and again must simply be avoided.
On Heroic, Slabhide will also cast Crystal Storm during his ground phase. This will cast crystals in all directions around the boss, causing a high amount of damage. These should be avoided by using the rocks summoned down in the air phase to break line of sight from the boss. Make sure to choose a rock that is not within Slabhide’s targeting circle, or the spell may still hit you.
The third boss of Stonecore, Ozruk, can be a complicated and difficult fight that requires precise execution to complete, even for well-geared groups.
Ozruk will frequently use Elementium Bulwark and Elementium Shield Spike, both damage reflecting abilities (for spells and melee, respectively). While casters must be careful not to reflect too much damage onto themselves, these abilities are also core to beating the fight. Casters, especially the healer, should cast a DoT on the boss during Bulwark to apply it to themselves. Melee do not need to stop attacking during Shield Spike. This damage will help break Paralyze, explained below.
Ozruk will follow these spells with Ground Slam, a frontal cone damage spell. This should be avoided by everyone simply by standing behind Ozruk (the tank should also run through him or to the side to avoid being hit). It is advised that the tank face Ozruk toward the walls of the tunnel before Ground Slam, as he will not turn during its cast.
Shortly after Ground Slam, Ozruk will cast Paralyze. This spell immobilizes everyone in the party, but may be broken by damage or dispelled. This mechanic is followed by Shatter, which will instantly kill anyone nearby. If players have been getting a damaging DoT on themselves, they will break in time from Paralyze to run away instantly from Ozruk to avoid Shatter. Ideally, the healer should also attempt to dispel anyone in melee still hit with Paralyze to give them a chance to survive.
Finally, Ozruk has a dispellable enrage at low health.
High Priestess Azil
High Priestess Azil is the final boss encounter in Stonecore, and also features a rotating two phases.
During the first phase, Azil will come down from her altar and fight the party on the ground. Two abilities should be quickly dealt with: Curse of Blood, a physical damage increase, should be dispelled, while Force Grip, a powerful damage spell used against the tank, should be interrupted.
Most importantly, Gravity Wells - dark circles on the ground that will change into spheres like Anti-Magic Zone - will appear on the ground during this phase. These will do damage and pull players to their center if they stand too close. The party should move just out of these, and place them, if possible, between the party and the far side of the room, where adds spawn.
Azil will then shift into a second phase, floating back to the altar. Here, she will cast Seismic Shards down on the party, visible as dust clouds on the ground. These should be avoided. Adds will also spawn from the far side of the room and rush the party. Keep gravity wells and shards between the party and the adds if possible, and have the tank pick up the remainder to be finished off during the next phase.
Repeat these two phases, and Stonecore will soon be complete!
- Author’s own experience.
- Wowhead, https://www.wowhead.com/.
All screenshots and references from “World of Warcraft: Cataclysm” by Blizzard Entertainment. Screenshots provided by author.