SoO You Think You Can Heal: Kor’kron Dark Shaman

The Kor'kron Dark Shaman waiting patiently on their wolf mounts

The Kor’kron Dark Shaman waiting patiently on their wolf mounts

Siege of Orgrimmar
Vale of Eternal Sorrows
The Fallen Protectors
Sha of Pride
Gates of Retribution
Iron Juggernaut
Kor’kron Dark Shaman
General Nazgrim
The Underhold
Spoils of Pandaria
Thok the Bloodthirsty
Siegecrafter Blackfuse
Paragons of the Klaxxi
Garrosh Hellscream

Kor’kron Dark Shaman are the seventh encounter in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, and are found in the central courtyard of the Valley of Strength region. The bosses are initially hiding inside Grommash Hold, but fighting them inside the Hold is a really, really bad idea, so most raid groups send someone with Shadowmeld/Feign Death/Vanish/Invisibility inside the Hold to pull the bosses and then reset the encounter. Once they have been engaged once, the bosses will wait patiently outside the Grommash Hold as shown in the screenshot above.

At the beginning of the fight, there are four targets – the two Dark Shaman, and their two wolf mounts (Bloodclaw and Darkfang). Bloodclaw and Darkfang are trivial and should be killed first before much damage is dealt to the Dark Shaman. The Dark Shaman themselves gain more abilities as the fight continues, linked to their health percentage. As a result, the encounter grows more complex over time, and players must understand all of the mechanics in order to react appropriately for the fight’s entire duration.

The Dark Shaman encounter will strenuously test your raid’s awareness. Nearly all of the damage is avoidable, and that damage which is not avoidable is near-fatal. Healers must be prepared for a high-movement fight with heavy tank damage, steady damage on debuffed players, and random spiky damage on players who fail to avoid mechanics. Due to the way the encounter area fills up with spell effects that make portions of the room unusable, it is also likely that the raid will tend towards being spread out, so healers should Talent accordingly.

Darkfang and Bloodclaw

The wolf mounts ridden by the Dark Shaman will defend their masters. The wolves have low health and should be the primary target at the start of the encounter. They each possess the same two abilities – Swipe, which is a short-range cone attack that deals moderate Physical damage to players in front of the wolf, and Rend, a stacking bleed that is applied to the tanks. The faster these wolves are killed, the less Rend stacks your tanks will have to endure.

In this portion of the fight, tank damage is very high, so healers may wish to use external damage-reduction CDs on them.

While some cleaving is fine, players should be certain not to bring the Dark Shamans’ health too low, as dealing with their acquired abilities and healing the tanks through the Rend and boss damage will likely prove to be too difficult.

Earthbreaker Haromm and Wavebinder Kardris

The Dark Shaman begin the encounter with a single ability each. However, as their health drops, they will begin to drop Totems that will bestow them with new abilities that they will retain for the rest of the fight.

Haromm’s initial ability is Froststorm Strike, which deals moderate Frost damage to the tank and grants the tank a stack of the Froststorm Strike debuff, which causes the tank to take 25% additional damage from Froststorm Strike per stack. This mechanic forces a tank-swap. Stacks are applied approximately once every 6 seconds, so the two bosses will need to be close enough together that the tank-swap can be executed quickly. The debuff lasts for 30 seconds, so each tank will need to take at least 5 stacks in order to allow the other tank’s stacks to fall off.

Kardris’s initial ability is Froststorm Bolt, which deals moderate Frost damage to the tank every 7-8 seconds. This leaves no debuff.


Glyphed Hand of Sacrifice, combined with Clemency, is a great way to ensure the tanks are not too endangered by this heavy tank damage.

Haromm and Kardris are affected by Spirit Link, which causes them to share a health pool.

When the bosses reach 25% health, they will use Bloodlust, which grants them 25% additional damage (applying to all of their Totem-generated abilities as well as their base Froststorm abilities) and 25% additional Haste until they are killed.

Poisonmist Totem

A Toxic Storm (fainter, large purple swirl) summoning a Toxic Tornado

A Toxic Storm (fainter, large purple swirl) summoning a Toxic Tornado

When the Dark Shaman reach 85% health, they will drop a Poisonmist Totem, which grants each Shaman a new ability.

Kardris gains the ability to summon Toxic Storms. This ability is used approximately every 30 seconds, and creates a large, swirling, pale purple storm that deals heavy Nature damage every 2 seconds to any player that stands in its area of effect. The Storm is summoned on a random player, who should be sure to move out quickly. In the dungeon journal, it is stated that the Toxic Storm moves around the room slowly, but it must be really, really slow, because I’ve never noticed it. They persist for approximately 1 minute before fading.

Toxic Tornado

Toxic Tornado

Each Toxic Storm will generate several Toxic Tornadoes, spawning one every 15-18 seconds or so. These Tornadoes are smaller, rapidly mobile versions of the Toxic Storm, and they wander aimlessly through the encounter area, dealing heavy Nature damage to any players in its path, and knocking those players high into the air.

Haromm will begin to use Toxic Mist once every 30 seconds. This ability places a Toxic Mist debuff on random players (tanks are exempt) – 2 players on 10-player difficulty, and 5 players on 25-player difficulty. Toxic Mist deals moderate Nature damage every 3 seconds, beginning at about 80k damage per tick, but each time it ticks, its damage increases by 10%.

This debuff persists for 30 seconds, so the final few ticks are very strong. Players should save personal CDs or Healthstones for the final ticks of their Toxic Mist, and players who take unexpected damage near the end of their Toxic Mist debuff may need an external CD. Note that Toxic Mist penetrates all immunities, so this cannot be countered with Ice Block / Divine Shield / Cloak of Shadows.

The Dark Shaman will continue to use these abilities for the remainder of the fight.

Foulstream Totem

When the Dark Shaman reach 65% health, they will drop a Foulstream Totem, granting each Shaman a new ability.

Foul Geyser (left) spawning Foul Slimes

Foul Geyser (left) spawning Foul Slimes

Kardris gains the Foul Geyser ability, which he will use approximately every 30 seconds. He will begin to spew bolts of green water that target the area near random players and land, dealing heavy Nature damage to any player within 3 yards. From these impact points, Foul Slimes will spawn. Foul Slimes are coated in Foulness (best dungeon journal entry ever), meaning that they deal heavy Nature damage every second to players within 3 yards of them. Players must be sure to move away from these adds as they spawn.

Foul Slimes can be snared, knocked back, rooted, and stunned, and should be killed quickly with AoE abilities to avoid anyone being killed by Foulness. Melee are perfectly capable of attacking the Foul Slimes so long as they are not tanking them or standing within 3 yards, but healers should be aware that the melee in your raid are very likely to take a few ticks of Foulness and be prepared to blow emergency heals on them.

Restoration-Druid-IconTyphoon and Ursol’s Vortex are great tools for controlling the Foul Slime adds, but be careful not to get so close that you take Foulness damage.

mistweaver monk iconLeg Sweep is dangerous, since you must be in close range to use it. Leg Sweep plus Diffuse Magic, followed by Roll, should protect you; otherwise, you could try Charging Ox Wave.

class_priest_iconVoid Tendrils are excellent on the Slimes, but again, require a close range so you must position yourself carefully.

restoration-shaman-iconEarthgrab Totem’s root effect breaks on damage, but can still be handy. Capacitor Totem is also great for Slime control.

Target of Foul Stream

Target of Foul Stream

Haromm gains Foul Stream, which he will cast approximately every 35 seconds. The Shaman will choose a random raid member and indicate his choice by placing a bright green light and arrow over the player’s head. 2.5 seconds later, Haromm will conjure a stream of foul water that erupts in a straight line, starting at Haromm and passing through the targeted player. The Foul Stream deals heavy Nature damage to any player standing in its path.

Foul Stream

Foul Stream

Players targeted by Foul Stream must take care in placing the Stream so it will pass through as few people as possible. It is particularly dangerous if the Foul Stream passes through the melee pile (and if this happens, it may require the use of a healer CD). The Stream will persist for a few seconds before despawning.

The Dark Shaman will continue to use these abilities for the remainder of the fight.

Ashflare Totem

Falling Ash impact zone and meteor

Falling Ash impact zone and meteor

When the Dark Shaman reach 50% health, they will drop an Ashflare Totem, granting each Shaman a new ability.

Kardris gains Falling Ash, a spell which he will cast about every 33 seconds. 17 seconds after casting this spell, a huge meteor of ash will descend and detonate, dealing fatal Fire damage to any player in its impact zoneand causing all players regardless of of location to suffer moderate Fire damage. The impact zone is marked by a large red circle with a slightly “molten” appearance. It is perfectly safe to stand within the impact zone until that meteor hits, but I wouldn’t advise it!

Haromm gains Ashen Wall. He will cast this approximately every 30 seconds, creating a single-file line of Ash Elementals in a line through the tank and perpendicular to his facing. In other words, if Haromm is facing north, the Ashen Wall will cut across the room from east to west. After a few seconds of “summoning sickness”, the Elementals will begin to attack anything within their reach, dealing near-fatal Fire damage to any player within melee range. Players must immediately move away from these Ashen Walls.

The Ashen Wall is made of Ash Elementals that will melee your face. (Bonus: more Falling Ash!)

The Ashen Wall is made of Ash Elementals that will melee your face. (Bonus: more Falling Ash!)

Ashen Walls will persist for the rest of the encounter, restricting your ability to move freely throughout the encounter area. If you must move past an Ashen Wall, be sure to go around it, not through it!

mistweaver monk iconWhile Dampen Harm would very likely save you from Ashen Wall damage, Diffuse Magic is the better Talent for this fight thanks to all the other dangerous spell damage.

holy-paladin-iconHand of Protection will prevent Ashen Wall damage, so if you are stuck (or you see someone else stuck) on the wrong side of the Wall, HoP & run!

class_priest_iconI believe you can Life Grip players through the Ashen Wall. I don’t have evidence of this in the logs, though.

restoration-shaman-iconAstral Shift was a strong enough cooldown for me to be able to move through the Ashen Wall and survive on Heroic mode. Just pop Ghost Wolf first, and don’t stop until you’re well clear of the Wall!

The Dark Shaman will continue to use these abilities for the remainder of the fight.

Strategy Summary

At the start of the fight, players should focus on killing the wolf mounts before switching to the Dark Shaman, although some cleave and multi-dotting should be fine.

There is no need for the bosses to be tanked separately until the Foulstream Totem is placed. Tanking them together and moving just out of range of the Toxic Storms is ideal as it will allow all DPS to cleave the bosses, and since they share a health pool, this is effective damage. Once the Foulstream Totem has been dropped, the tank currently on Wavebinder Kardris can drag him away from the raid slightly just before Foul Geyser will be cast, to allow all players time to react to the Foul Geyser impact and Foul Slime spawns. Once the slimes have been summoned, Kardris can be brought back to Haromm for a bit more cleaving until the next Foul Geyser is cast.

There is a competing strategy – frequently used in Heroic kills, but also valid for any Normal-difficulty raid group that has trouble executing all the combined mechanics of the fight – wherein the bosses are pulled far apart. The advantage of this is that each boss will only use its abilities on the players within range, so each half of your raid deals with only half of the mechanics of the fight. This requires a third tank to execute tank-swaps on Haromm, but will cut down significantly on healing requirements.

In this strategy, Haromm is tanked either on the path leading to the Drag, or inside Grommosh Hold, while Kardris is tanked clear on the opposite side of the Valley of Strength. The raid is split evenly between the two bosses, with melee assigned to Haromm and ranged assigned to Kardris (because Kardris’s Foul Geyser is much easier to deal with if there are no melee around). The Haromm side may have heavier healing requirements since Toxic Mist will only target the players in range of Haromm.

Raidwide movement speed increases are especially handy during the Ashflare Totem phase, for each Ashen Wall spawn.

Bloodlust/Heroism, major DPS cooldowns, and the best healer cooldowns should be saved for the final 25% of the encounter, when the bosses pop their own version of Bloodlust and all of these abilities become more damaging.

You will need cooldowns for: Tank damage at the start and end of the encounter (external damage reduction CDs); the final few seconds of your Toxic Mist (personal CD); Falling Ash, particularly when the Dark Shaman are affected by Bloodlust (raid CD)

Dispels: None

Debuffs to track: Froststorm Strike (tank swap mechanism); Toxic Mist

Points of failure:

  • Players do not defeat Bloodclaw and Darkfang quickly, causing both tanks to be afflicted with high stacks of Rend, leading to unhealable tank damage;
  • Tanks do not execute the tank-swapping on Earthbreaker Haromm appropriately, and die to increased Froststorm Strike damage;
  • Players stand in any of the avoidable bad, such as Toxic Storm, Ashen Wall, or Foul Stream;
  • Players do not run away from Foul Geyser locations, and die to the combined damage of the Foul Geyser impact and Foul Slimes’ Foulness;
  • The raid does not save its strongest cooldowns for the final 25% of the fight, when the bosses are affected by Bloodlust, and is unable to manage the increased damage.

Good luck! 🙂


About Dedralie

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28 Responses to SoO You Think You Can Heal: Kor’kron Dark Shaman

  1. Pingback: SoO You Think You Can Heal: Iron Juggernaut | healiocentric

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  7. fringetastic says:

    Thanks for another well written guide! You mention Typhoon and Ursol’s Vortex as effective against the slimes. Does that imply that Mass Entanglement does not work on them?

    • Dedralie says:

      Mass Entanglement does work on them, but since the root effect breaks on damage, and there is no accompanying movement speed decrease like there is with Earthgrab/Earthbind, I figure the Ursol’s/Typhoon combination is better.

      Mind you, a lot of groups may not even want them to be knocked back, but it’s great for saving your melee pile if the adds start to spawn all around ’em 🙂

      On Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 3:15 AM, healiocentric

      • fringetastic says:

        Thanks! I saw you replied after the wipe that I tried ME, and yeah – durrrr – the roots break right away. I did use it as they were chasing my furry dps butt and it gave me a little room, but yeah, going with Typhoon now. =)

  8. Pingback: SoO You Think You Can Heal: General Nazgrim | healiocentric

  9. Jabari says:

    The Toxic Storms definitely DO move around. Slowly, but they do.

    One thing Priests can keep in mind is that you can safely Leap of Faith people “through” the Ashen Walls. I can Disengage my hunter across them as well, so any kind of “jump” probably works.

    Ursol’s Vortex is amazing on this fight (we have a bear tank that uses it, it’s awesome!)

    Always remember: Foul Slimes are coated in Foulness.

    • Dedralie says:

      Hmm. I have watched my video so many times and cannot tell the Storms are moving, but I will fix, and also add the life grip tip – that is pretty handy!

  10. Pingback: SoO You Think You Can Heal: Malkorok | healiocentric

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  12. Ffraid says:

    We tried a modified spread strat where you tank Kardris with one tank, 2-3 healers and the ranged out in the open area and Haromm with 2 tanks, 2 healers and the melee inside the Hold. It was silly how much easier it was, as long as your tank can place the ashen walls inside. Obviously, this works better on 25 man than 10, but I thought I’d put that out there 🙂

    Also, for holy pallies, BoPs will save people running through ashen walls, should they get trapped!

    Thanks for posting these guides. They are amazing!

  13. Pingback: SoO You Think You Can Heal: Thok the Bloodthirsty | healiocentric

  14. Datjushappen says:

    ever heard of the encounter resetting at 8% randomly?

    • Dedralie says:

      Can’t say that I have! That sounds pretty annoying though. 😦 I’ll keep an eye out.

    • Jabari says:

      I’ve had it reset before (on LFR).
      It looked like one of the Foul Slimes started evading – it must have locked onto something that it couldn’t find a path to. Health percentage doesn’t matter (it was at like 30%-ish when I saw that).

    • Harterion says:

      This may come from knockback effects such as thunderstorm/typhoon thingy from druid. we have seen that even though this is an effective tool for blob control they have a chance of reset, in other words, not worth it

  15. emmeh says:

    As a holy pali – I use glyph of Hand of Sacrifice, while using the talent Clemency – which gives me x2 Hand of Sac for both tanks (without taking any dmg) and x2 bops should anyone need it should they get cut off by the wall. Holy Prism a must for the random/spread formation of the raid. For the slimes, we have our hunter use binding shot – works well! ^_^

    • Dedralie says:

      Hi emmeh, thanks for the reply. I keep forgetting about how awesome it is to have more frequent HoSac from Clemency, which, in combination with the Glyph, probably makes that a must-have Talent for all encounters. I’ll update my post accordingly 🙂

  16. Mattphill says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I look up a lot of strats from work during my down time and your guides have helped my guild and I. A lot of content is websensed (blocked) from my computer so I can’t go on icy-veins, mmo-champion, etc. I appreciate what you do, please continue to post! thanks.

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  19. Hyyl says:

    Also dont forget to add Displacer Beast as a confirmed way for (resto)druids to travel through Ashen Walls.

  20. Pingback: Discipline Priest Raiding Tips | Welcome to Azeroth Underground

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