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Cataclysm Dungeon Guide: The Stonecore

Adventurers will find the site of the Stonecore in Deepholm, wedged on the west side of the Temple of the Earth. A flying mount (or a crafty summon) will be needed to discover the entrance. Earthen Ring Shaman are attempting to maintain the World Pillar and prevent it from sustaining any further damage. This is the same instance where Deathwing acquired some armor upgrades. You can read more about the Stonecore from the official preview. For an idea of what to expect and strategies to employ, keep on reading.

At a glance, here's the gist of the instance.
  • four boss encounters
  • levels 82-84
  • average item level 272 recommended (according to dungeon finder)


The first several trash packs in the Stonecore are just brutal on heroic. I suspect they're designed to be skill or gear checks for the group. Maximize the use of crowd control and focus fire as much as possible, and you won't have too many problems getting through them. After knocking out all the trash, you'll come across your first challenge.

It's a subterranean worm.

Corborus

This oversized worm has a painfully annoying ability called Dampening Wave. As a healer, be sure to remove that debuff from affected players because if it is active, it will absorb 4,000 healing on normal (15,000 on heroic mode). The first few times I engaged the worm, I struggled a bit because I didn't realize what type of effect this debuff had. Since the ability stacks, it made the situation increasingly worse.

Be sure to stay light on your feet and keep moving. Corborus will lock onto to a player's location and unload a Crystal Barrage. It spits crystals for a good 4 seconds and will hit anyone within 5 yards of it.

What kind of worm would Corborus be if he didn't burrow and surface a few times? In his second alternating phase, Corborus will burrow, and he'll continue digging through to different players. Keep moving, because the movement triggers flying debris which hurts and causes a knockback. The additional mobs that show up during this phase aren't a big deal.

Loot drops

Key to the Endless Chamber (heroic)
Phosphorescent Ring (heroic)
Fist of Pained Senses (heroic)
Cinnabar Shoulders (heroic)
Dolomite Adorned Gloves (heroic)

Slabhide

Slabhide's a stone-based dragon. You'll find him a little ways after the first boss when you've cleared the cavern. Once you get to a certain point, you'll discover that the path becomes sealed off. You'll need to backtrack for a bit, and then you'll see this dragon touch down, which triggers the start of the encounter.

This is another test of standing out of stuff.

Anyone not a tank needs to get clear of his face, since he'll dish out a Sand Blast that smokes anyone in front of him. At the same time, keep an eye on where you're standing, as he'll spontaneously cast Eruption summoning Lava Pools. Anyone 5 yards or closer will be affected and take damage from it.

Not only that, he'll then lift off and float just above the group while causing stalactites to fall from the ceiling. If you see a shadow, stand away from it, as it means you're about to get hit by a giant spike. Just look for openings. Keep repeating the tactics, and you should have no problem with Slabhide.

Loot drops

Rose Quartz Band (heroic)
Stalagmite Dragon (heroic)
Deep Delving Gloves (heroic)
Quicksilver Blade (heroic)
Hematite Plate Gloves (heroic)

Ozruk

I'm ... not actually sure what Ozruk is. He seems to be a golem or a giant of some sort that's made out of stone. When my party engaged him, we figured out quickly that he has a knockback ability. Luckily for us, we were fighting him in a fairly narrow hallway, so it wasn't all that difficult for the tank to park him near a wall. If the tank got knocked around, he wouldn't go anywhere.

Unluckily for us, he has a few abilities that punish players for being a little too close to each other. For one, he'll face a player and activate a Ground Slam. You have about 3 seconds to run straight through and stand behind him so as to not get demolished (and this goes for the entire group, since it is an AoE ability). He'll also nail the group with a Shatter. It is completely avoidable. Casters must pay close attention when he activates his Elementium Bulwark, as it has a chance to reflect their spells back.

The tank and melee players will be taking additional damage due to his Elementium Spike Shield. Ease off a little bit when this ability is up.

Loot drops

Sword of the Bottomless Pit (heroic)
Pendant of the Lightless Grotto (heroic)
Tendrils of the Burrowing Dark (heroic)
Belt of the Ringworm (heroic)

High Priestess Azil

The High Priestess is the final boss of the instance. She won't be the only one, as her group of followers will sporadically stream in; they're really easy to kill, though. The secret is that she summons a Gravity Well that affects both friendly and enemy targets. Think of it as a swirling, void zone-looking thing on the ground. If you get chased by her followers, simply lead them into the Gravity Well and watch as it makes short work of them.

While dealing with her on the ground, the tank will get thoroughly handled and thrown around from her Force Grip. Players who can interrupt are strongly encouraged to interrupt that Force Grip.

Every once in a while, Azil will conjure an Energy Shield which triggers a knockback. She'll float in the air, and damage done to her will be greatly reduced. She'll also pull out a chunk of rock from the earth and just toss it at players. It will injure anyone within 5 yards. Just watch for the indicator on the ground and move away from it. Rinse, repeat and wipe hands on pants.

Loot drops

Leaden Despair (heroic)
Prophet's Scepter (heroic)
Slippers of the Twilight Prophet (heroic)
Darkling Staff (heroic)
Tear of Blood (heroic)
Book of Dark Prophecies (heroic)
Cowl of the Unseen World (heroic)
Elementium Fang (heroic)
Helm of Numberless Shadows (heroic)
Magnetite Mirror (heroic)


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

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