Ulduar: Halls of Lightning
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At the ancient Titan city of Ulduar, in the northernmost reaches of The Storm Peaks, the second 5-man instance that players may enter is Halls of Lightning. This place has recently become the haven of Loken, formerly a devoted servant to the Pantheon, and his servants. Halls of Lightning was designed for a 5-man party of level 78-80 players.
There are 4 bosses in normal mode: General Bjarngrim, Volkhan, Ionar, and Loken. You will also face some Iron Vrykul, Iron Dwarves, Storm Giants, and various elementals to reach each boss encounter.
You must fly or be summoned to get to Ulduar.
A competent group should be able to complete Halls of Lightning successfully in about an hour. The graveyard is conveniently located, so even with a mistake or two you won’t necessarily lose a lot of time.
Gear and consumables
Like most Wrath of the Lich King dungeons, the Heroic version of this instance is tuned for players who are using high quality level 80 gear, as well as the best flasks and food buffs available. Getting the best possible gear for your character will make this fight a whole lot easier.
In WotLK, professions can be used to craft high quality epic gear. Most raid bosses also drop an epic bind-on-equip item. These items are the easiest way to get your character geared up fast, but they’re expensive to craft or buy on the AH. The easiest way to get your hands on them is to use a guide like WoW Gold Secrets, which has tips for making several thousand gold per day. This is a great way to save time and clear instances faster.
There are 2 quests that you can complete in Halls of Lightning. These quests are not shareable, and require several precursor quests.
Diametrically Opposed – Defeat Volkhan inside Halls of Lightning and return to King Jokkum at Dun Niffelem.
Whatever It Takes – Defeat Loken inside Halls of Lightning, then deliver Loken’s Tongue to King Jokkum.
In order to attain those quests, you must complete:
The Reckoning – Meet Thorim at the Temple of Wisdom, witness his fight with Loken, then report the outcome to King Jokkum.
You must do the following chains before you can get The Reckoning:
They Took Our Men – Gretchen Fizzlespark at K3 (16 quests)
The Last of Her Kind – Astrid Bjornrittar at Brunnhildar Village (8 quests)
The Refiner’s Fire – Begins with a drop item called Slag-covered Metal, from Stormforged Iron Giant east of DunNiffelem (2 quests)
Forging an Alliance – Thorim at Temple of Storms, coordinates ~ 33.4, 57.9 (6 quests)
You Can’t Miss Him – King Jokkum at Dun Niffelem (2 quests)
In Memoriam – King Jokkum (2 quests)
Jormuttar is Soo Fat – King Jokkum (1 quest)
The Earthen Oath – Thorim at Terrace of the Makers (1 quest)
Loken’s Lackeys – Thorim at Terrace of the Makers (1 quest)
Halls of Lightning seems to be a linear sort of dungeon. Each consecutive boss must be defeated before the doors will open so you can reach the next, you cannot skip bosses.
A = Entrance
1 = General Bjarngrim
2 = Volkhan
3 = Ionar
4 = Loken
(Instance map from Atlas.)
This is the first room as you enter Halls of Lightning. There are 5 platforms connected by bridges. The first boss, General Bjarngrim patrols this room traveling from one platform to the next, around the room, and then turns around the goes around the opposite way. As you clear the trash from this room, you will have to be aware of his location at all times. If you aggro him while fighting trash you’re almost guaranteed to wipe, especially if Bjarngrim is “charged” when he is pulled.
Some groups of trash mobs are stationary, while others patrol between 2 platforms. It is vital for everyone in your group to pay attention to the whereabouts of pats. It’s also a good idea to mark the boss and patrols you are trying to avoid with raid icons. The trash is generally as follows:
Hardened Steel Reaver — 48700 HP. Normal melee damage 922-1177
- Cleave – deals 1846-2171 damage to target and one nearby enemy
- Shield Slam – inflicts damage and stuns a target for 2 seconds
Stormforged Tactician — 50400 HP. Normal melee damage 1145-1758
- Welding Beam – inflicts 498-507 nature damage every second for 5 seconds
- Arc Weld – 10 second debuff that attempts to weld an enemy to the ground, target’s movement causes damage
Stormforged Mender — 50400 HP. Normal melee damage 1263-2612, 4.4k crits possible on cloth
- Hammer Blow – deals 1120-2509 damage to a target, reducing their movement speed to 65% of normal for 5 seconds
- Renew Steel – repairs an Iron Vrykul for 10% (~5040) every 2 seconds for 6 seconds
Hardened Steel Skycaller — 50400 HP. Normal melee damage 1195-1450
- Disengage – leaps backward from a target
- Shoot – deals 614-944 ranged damage
- Impact Shot – inflicts 1569-2749 damage t
- Impact Multi-Shot – fires a volley at a target, inflicting 1402-2170 damage to target and 2 nearby enemies, also causes a knockback
Hardened Steel Berserker — 50400 HP. Normal melee damage 955-1531
- Enrage – attack speed is increased by 30% and physical damage dealt is increased by 20%
- Hurl Weapon – throws weapon up to 30 yards at a target, inflicting 1000-2500 damage and an additional 5425 damage over 21 seconds
Refrain from moving while affected by Arc Weld, which looks like beams of electricity around your character’s feet. This will decrease the healing load and help conserve your healer’s mana.
It’s best to clear the first platform as you enter, as well as any patrols, and then continue to the platform to the right (south) and then clear the bridge that follows and any patrols that may get in the way.
If the first platform as you enter is “1” and we number the platforms counter-clockwise (right to left), you should be clearing platforms 2 and 3 before fighting Bjarngrim. You can do this by clearing platform 1, then waiting for the boss to reach platform 2 and turn around to travel back. When he’s about halfway between platforms 2 and 3 you can start clearing platform 2 and continue to take out the mobs in his wake. He’ll go all the way to platform 5 (directly left from platform 1) and then turn around to travel back around, but you should be able to clear to platform 3 before he reaches you. If you don’t have time for platform 3, you can fight him easily on platform 2 as long as you’ve got the patrols on the bridge to platform 3 out of the way.
The boss will be “charged” periodically, you can see the electricity around him and his Lieutenants, if he has this buff do not pull him. You can just clear the trash behind him as he patrols and wait for an opportunity to safely pull him. Ultimately, you have to clear platform 4 to proceed to the second boss anyway.
He is an Iron Vrykul warrior with 221,561 HP. Bjarngrim’s normal melee damage varies greatly, but even with a well-geared level 80 tank you will not see him hit for less than 2k damage. An average tank may take 4k-10k damage per hit. He is capable of 17k crits when charged.
General Bjarngrim is accompanied by 3 elite Iron Dwarves which can be crowd-controlled in normal mode:
Stormforged Lieutenant — 52132 HP. Normal melee damage 1605-4166, 6-7k crits possible
- Arc Weld – 10 second debuff that attempts to weld an enemy to the ground, target’s movement causes damage
- Renew Steel – repairs Bjarngrim for 13598-22157 health
“I am the greatest of my father’s sons! Your end has come!”
This boss will use 3 stances during the encounter: Battle Stance, Berserker Stance, and Defensive Stance. As he patrols the room, he will buff himself with “Charge Up”, increasing his damage by 100%.
“Defend yourself, for all the good it will do!”
Battle Stance — Battle Aura increases his attack speed by 25%
“GRAAAAH! Behold the fury of iron and steel!”
Berserker Stance — Berserker Aura increases his damage dealt by 25%
“Give me your worst!”
Defensive Stance — Defensive Aura decreases damage taken by 25%
- Cleave – deals 5314-5567 damage to target and 2 other enemies in melee range (Battle Stance)
- Intercept – charges at an enemy, dealing about 65 damage and stunning the target for 3 seconds (Defensive Stance)
- Knock Away – deals 20% of his normal melee damage (~965-1863) and knocks the target back
- Mortal Strike – inflicts 7050-9035 damage and wounds the target, healing is 50% less effective for 5 seconds (Berserker Stance)
- Pummel – deals about 15 damage to a target, interrupting spell cast for 5 seconds (Defensive Stance)
- Slam – deals 120% melee damage (~4397-5291)
- Spell Reflection – reflects the next spell back to its caster (Defensive Stance)
- Whirlwind – a whirlwind of steel that inflicts 75% of normal melee damage to all nearby enemies, generally around 4.5k on the tank and up to 11k on leather (Berserker Stance)
Provided you have pulled him when he is not “charged”, the fight is fairly simple. Bjarngrim’s Lieutenants should either be crowd-controlled or burned down as quickly as possible, otherwise they will continue to heal the boss (like the first boss in Hellfire Citadel: Ramparts) and cause more damage to your party.
It’s best for the tank to have his back to the wall while tanking the boss, to avoid being knocked back and losing aggro. While the adds are up, everyone should try not to move when affected by Arc Weld, because the healer needs to concentrate on the tank. Likewise, melee DPS should pay attention and move away from Cleave during Battle Stance and Whirlwind during Berserker Stance. When the boss is in Defensive Stance, he will cast Spell Reflection and casters should pay attention and stop casting when this affect is active.
During Defensive Stance, the healer may also be pummeled or intercepted and unable to heal for 3-5 seconds. The tank should be aware of this and pop any cooldowns available to decrease their damage received, otherwise if a DPS in the group has the ability to heal, they should be ready back the healer up when this happens.
This encounter is a tank-and-spank in general, so long as the DPS can reduce their damage taken as much as possible and the healer has the capacity to keep the tank up.
“How can it be…? Flesh is not… stronger!”
Normal Mode Loot
The Iron Crucible
After defeating General Bjarngrim, a door will open at the east end of the room, directly opposite the instance entrance. You will see the second boss, Volkhan, above this door. You must travel through The Iron Crucible to reach him.
This room beneath the boss is full of Slag mobs. Earth elementals with about 15827 HP. They can do 300-350 normal melee damage and also cast Blast Wave which can do 1496-1825 damage. These Slags will continue to spawn until Volkhan is defeated, you cannot pull them to clear the room before passing through.
Your group will need to run through the room to the bottom of the stairs on the other side as quickly as possible, and only attack after reaching the stairs. You can AoE the Slags on the stairs, provided your tank has adequate aggro. If your healer happens to die and no one else can rez them, you will have to deal with the Slags all over again, or a warlock can summon them to the stairs on the other side.
There are also more trash mobs on both sides of the landing at the top of these stairs you will be blasting with AoE, and you need to be careful not to aggro them in the process. These 2 separate groups of mobs on the landing are at the bottom of more stairs leading up to Volkhan’s room.
Making your way to Volkhan, you will encounter:
Blistering Steamrager— 50400 HP. Normal melee damage 1052-1611, 2.5k crits possible
- Steam Blast – deals 1480-2526 fire damage to enemies in a frontal cone
Unbound Firestorm — 50400 HP. Normal melee damage 1244-2928, 2.5k crits possible
- Lava Burst – inflicts 1617-1984 fire damage to a target
- Afterburn – increases the Firestorm’s melee crit chance by 50% for 10 seconds
You can Purge, Dispel, or Spellsteal the Afterburn effect to decrease damage caused by Unbound Firestorm.
This boss is a Fire Giant with 269,783 HP. His normal melee damage is 3514-4605, and 7k crits are possible. His encounter is somewhat unique, but still quite simple.
“It is you who have destroyed my children? You… shall… pay!”
“Life from the lifelessness… death for you.”
“Nothing is wasted in the process. You will see…”
- Temper – Volkhan strikes his anvil, creating several molten golems
- Heat – extends the life of his molten golem by 20%
“I will crush you beneath my boots!”
“All my work… undone!”
- Shattering Stomp – inflicts 1500-2600 damage to all enemies and shatters all “brittle” golems, causing additional damage to nearby enemies
Every 20%, Volkhan will run to his anvil and cast Temper to summon multiple molten golem adds. These adds have a fairly slow movement speed and get slower as they take damage, eventually turning “brittle” and inactive when their health reaches 1%. When Volkhan is at 25% HP, he will cast Shattering Stomp which deals damage to your party and shatters any golems that are frozen at 1%, which causes additional AoE damage to anyone near the golems.
There are a few different ways to do this encounter, but your basic choice is whether you will take the adds or not.
You can avoid the adds and focus all of your DPS on the boss himself, by having your tank kite the boss in a circle around the center of the room. This method may be easier for a group with a lot of melee DPS that can keep up with the tank, casters (healers included) will need to use instant spells or spells with very fast cast time.
Alternatively, you can choose to assign a plate-wearing DPS class to try and collect all of the golem adds into one corner of the room, with the rest of the party dealing with the boss on the other side of the room. This may help most of your group avoid damage from the shattering golems. The golems have very erratic aggro, but can be taunted.
It is possible for a good group to ignore the adds completely and simply tank the boss near his anvil and burn him down quickly. This means you can’t have any of your DPS using AoE attacks or you will probably end up with a few brittle golems and take quite a bit of damage from Volkhan’s stomp.
“The master was right… to be concerned.”
Normal Mode Loot
Hall of the Watchers
After Volkhan has been defeated, a door will open in his room, leading south into the Hall of Watchers. In this room you will see Vrykul lined up along the walls, they are like statues and cannot be selected.
Proceed cautiously through the hall as a group, a few of these Vrykul will randomly awaken and attack as your party passes.
They are generally:
Titanium Thunderer — 48700 or 50400 HP. Normal melee damage 817-1381
- Deflection – the Thunderer’s chance to parry incoming attacks increases by 25%
- Throw – deals 1300-3500 physical damage from up to 30 yard range
- Deadly Throw – deals 1681-1866 damage from up to 30 yard range, interrupting spell casting and prevents the caster from using that particular school of magic for 3 seconds
Titanium Siegebreaker— 48700 or 50400 HP. Normal melee damage 1600-3365, capable of 7k crits
- Frightening Shout – all nearby enemies flee in fear for 6 seconds
- Blade Turning – reduces melee and ranged damage taken by 1000, lasts 4 seconds
- Penetrating Strike – ignores armor, dealing 100% physical damage (~3000)
At the end of the Hall of the Watchers, you will find Ionar, a Lightning Revenant. This boss has 325,825 HP and deals normal melee damage of about 3094-4620.
“You wish to confront the master? You must weather the storm!”
- Ball Lightning – deals about 1203-2384 nature damage to a target
- Static Overload – a debuff that deals 1249-1450 nature damage over 10 seconds to the target and zaps the target’s nearby party members for 1200-1400 damage. After 10 seconds an explosion will occur, knocking back all nearby enemies of Ionar and dealing 2313-2687 nature damage
“The slightest spark shall be your undoing.”
“No one is safe!”
- Disperse – Ionar disperses into volatile sparks of energy
This fight is pretty straightforward, with some aspects that you’ve likely encountered before.
Every 25%, Ionar will “disperse” into sparks that can do 400-700 damage per second to anyone nearby. When this happens, your group can run back down the hallway in the direction you came. The sparks will follow you for about 50 yards and then go back to the spot where Ionar dispersed and he will return to Revenant form.
In Revenant form, Ionar will hurl balls of lightning which can be avoided like that of Void Reaver in Tempest Keep.
Members of your party will get the debuff Static Overload, similar to the mobs before The Curator in Karazhan. This debuff will damage the one it’s inflicted on as well as any party members nearby, so it’s best to spread out. Static Overload is “magic” and can be dispelled or cleansed.
“Master… you have guests.”
Normal Mode Loot
After defeating Ionar, you can proceed west through this room to clear your way to Loken. Here you will find:
Stormfury Revenant — 50400 HP. Normal melee damage 1382-2266
- Electro Shock – deals 2016-2779 nature damage to a target and 600-700 additional damage every 3 seconds for 12 seconds
- Thunderbolt – deals 1958-2657 damage to the target, which jumps to nearby enemies
Cyclone— 6,300 HP. Normal melee damage about 100
Molten Golem — 42500 HP. Normal melee damage 797-968
- Blast Wave – inflicts fire damage to all nearby enemies and reduces their movement speed for 6 seconds
- Immolation Strike – deals 350-400 fire damage to a target, with an additional 1350 damage over 9 seconds
Storming Vortex — 50400 HP. Normal melee damage 692-1442
- Cyclone – incapacitates a target for 4 seconds
- Lightning Bolt – inflicts 1954-2365 nature damage
The Terrestrial Watchtower
This is the last room leading to your encounter with Loken. In this room you will have to clear mobs of the following varieties:
Stromforged Construct — 88200 HP. Normal melee damage 1442-1737
- Runic Focus – deals ~650 nature damage to a target every 1 second, immobilizing them for 6 seconds
- Runic Punch – deals 1057-1338 nature damage
- Forked Lightning – inflicts 2070-2844 nature damage to enemies in a frontal cone
Titanium Vanguard — 50400 HP. Normal melee damage 1185-1430
- Charge – deals 2990-4060 damage and knocks the target back
- Poison Tipped Spear – inflicts 250-350 damage every 2 seconds for 10 seconds
Stormforged Runeshaper — 50400 HP. Normal melee damage 913-2086
- Charged Flurry – attacks in a flurry of axes, dealing 1478-2781 damage
Stormforged Sentinel — 50400 HP. Normal melee damage 1301-2329, 4-6k crits possible
- Storming Bellow – increases damage dealt by 50%
- Sleep – puts an enemy to sleep for up to 4 seconds
- Renew – heals an ally for ~1347 health every 3 seconds for 15 seconds
Stormforged Giant — 100k HP. Normal melee damage 2472-3222
- Soul Strike – inflicts 220% normal damage (~7199) and reduces healing the target receives by 50% for 5 seconds
- Stormbolt – deals 3127-3461 damage
- Thunderstorm – deals 2492-4008 nature damage to enemies within 15 yards
The final boss of Halls of Lightning, Loken was a servant of the Pantheon in the past, but has been corrupted by the Old God, Yogg-Saron.
Loken has 390,990 HP and his normal melee damage is 3160-4698, however he’s capable of 8k crits.
“What hope is there for you? None!”
- Arc Lightning – deals 3238-3762 nature damage to a target, the target may shock nearby party members for additional damage
“You cannot hide from fate!”
“Come closer. I will make it quick.”
“Your flesh cannot hold out for long.”
- Lightning Nova – a pulse of energy deals 6000-8583 damage to all enemies within 20 yards, this spell takes 5 seconds to cast
- Pulsing Shockwave – an aura that deals damage to all enemies every 2 seconds, this damage is based on your distance from Loken
During this encounter, Loken’s aura is constantly doing damage to everyone in the party. It can be as little as 400 per tick when a player is close to Loken, or as much as 3-4k at a distance of 30 yards or so, which would become impossible to heal through.
Also, the Arc Lightning debuff has the potential to cause about 8k damage to multiple party members. So, it’s necessary for the person afflicted with this debuff to back away from others a few yards, while also staying near enough to Loken to avoid taking a lot of damage from his aura. This is a sort of balancing act, but not very difficult.
The Lightning Nova can be impossible for some healers to deal with, so the strat that seems to work best for most groups involves moving out of range each time he casts.
You can do this by tanking Loken at the circle in front of his throne at the beginning of the fight. When he begins to cast his Lightning Nova, your group can move together to the bottom of the stairs to escape the blast and stay there to tank in that spot until he casts his Nova again. For the second blast, you can run back to the circle where you originally tanked him, escaping the blast again, then wait and tank him there until the next Nova. Simply rinse and repeat until Loken is dead.
Some groups may be able to do this encounter successfully without running to escape the Lightning Nova, but this depends largely on heals, so I would leave this decision up to the healer in your group. IF your healer thinks himself capable of healing through the Nova, it’s fairly simple to do so. Everyone takes minimal damage from the aura, and your healer has at least 4 seconds to try and top off everyone’s health while Loken is casting. A level 80 priest for instance, can accomplish this task easily with Prayer of Healing, but this makes mana conservation a challenge.
“My death… heralds the end of this world.”
Normal Mode Loot
- Utgarde Keep
- The Nexus
- Ahn'Kahet: The Old Kingdom
- Drak'Tharon Keep
- The Violet Hold
- Ulduar: Halls of Stone
- Caverns of Time: The Culling of Stratholme
- The Oculus
- Ulduar: Halls of Lightning
- Utgarde Pinnacle
- Fathom-Lord Karathress
- High Astromancer Solarian
- High King Maulgar
- High Warlord Naj'entus (Trash)
- Hydross the Unstable (Trash)
- Leotheras the Blind
- The Lurker Below
- Morogrim Tidewalker
- Shade of Akama
- Void Reaver
- Zygor Leveling Guides
- Team Idemise Guide
- Joana's Horde Guide
- Brian Kopp's Alliance Guide
- Ultimate WoW Guide
- Warcraft Millionaire
- Luke Brown's Gold Secrets
- Warcraft Wealth
- Warcraft Riches
- Valkor's Gold Making Guide