SWTOR Nightmare Grob’thok Dread Fortress Guide
A guide to Nightmare Grob’thok, the third boss of Nightmare Dread Fortress released with SWTOR game update 2.7. Class speciifc tips written by Carl & Vindrik. Theho <Himmelhunde> @ T3-M4
Updated guide to live version: No differences from the last PTS iteration.
HP: 4.68 million
Enrage: 6 minutes and 30 seconds
Once he enrages, he can no longer be lifted by the magnet and will ignore if he is below the magnet. Therefore, you can survive a few more seconds until he starts his Pipe Smash.
If you are short on DPS, your tank can watch the time and always pull the boss under the magnet, no matter whether he has a pipe or not. That way, he will be stuck under the magnet the first few seconds of his enrage.
Loot: 1 random Dread Touched item (rating 186), 1 Unassembled Dread Master Gloves
Key differences from Hardmode
- Magnet now kills you if you get caught under it.
- Two players get affected by the mining laser, which allow you to drop more lava that are used for the Ugnaughts.
- Dreadful Ugnaughts hit super hard and have an immune shield around them that is only removed by running them over the lava spit out by the mining laser. They must be kited by the offtank or crowd controlled when they have immune shield up. Make sure to guard the healers during this fight.
- Grob’thok’s Roar attack now causes does a knockback to anyone caught in it and force a tank swap.
- Pipe Smash now deals massive damage. The second consecutive Pipe Smash will cause any remaining Dreadful Ugnaughts to explode and most raids won’t survive past the third consecutive Pipe Smash. Pipe Smash comes about after every 3 Roars so tanks can prepare for it ahead of time.
Healer PoV with some explanations (Live server kill)
- Pipe Smash has a 60 second cooldown
- The "Reinforcements" ability that’s calling the adds has a 25 second cooldown
- Roar (frontal cleave) has a 15 second cooldown
- Overhead Smash (raid-wide damage) has a 30 second cooldown
- Mining Droid (the debuff where you drop lava on the ground) has a 30 second cooldown
Magnets now will kill you if you get under it. It won’t kill you immediately when you get caught under it but when you try to break away from its lift, you will die instantly.
In case it is not clear to some groups, the magnet is just distance-based; you don’t need to pull Grob’thok’s arm with the pipe under the magnet. It is enough to look at the center of Grob’thok’s target circle on the ground. This circle needs to be within a 5 meter radius of the magnet. In contrast, players are only lifted when they are in a 2.5 meter radius, so they can walk a little bit closer than the boss toward it.
Two players get targeted by the mining laser in nightmare, this allow you to drop more lava on the ground that is needed for the Ugnaughts. Keep moving when you have the mining laser to spread the lava out and not eat all the stacks yourself.
Dreadful Ugnaughts adds an additional layer of difficulty not encountered in hardmode. Not only do they do a ton of damage (can kill a non-tank in 2-3 hits), they are also immune to damage until their shield gets removed by the lava dropped by the mining lasers. The raid should stay gathered in the middle and drop lava there so the offtank can run the Ugnaughts over to quickly remove their shield.
The laval debuff tend to prefer DPS/offtanks in hardmode but the extra debuff in Nightmare will target healers. To avoid this, you can have healers stick close to the boss and mobile DPS spec stay a bit further out if you are lacking in HPS since the debuff preferentially target players that are more than 5m away from the boss.
When Ugnaughts get kited through lava, they gain the Burned damage. Note that even though you don’t see a duration on that debuff, it always stays for 6 seconds. Therefore, once an Ugnaught has the debuff, continuing to drag it through the fire has no bonus effect; in the worse case it will cause the debuff to clip and tick less often.
Do not attempt to tank the Ugnaughts head on; instead, the offtank should be kiting them around as they deal too much damage for tanks to stand up to their hits.
It is essential that your raid use crowd control abilities like Flashbang to control the Ugnaughts until their shields can be removed if the lava isn’t available.
Ugnaughts will stick to the player with the second highest threat on Grob’thok (i.e. offtank) until their shields wear off as they have no threat table until then. Regardless, it is good to guard healers so they don’t immediately get killed once the Ugnaught shields come off.
Keep in mind that when Grob’thok does his second consecutive Pipe Smash, any remaining Ugnaughts will explode, dealing proximity AoE damage. Stay away from Ugnaughts when Pipe Smash is happening just to be safe.
Grob’thok’s Roar attack now deals does a massive knockback and cause the main tank to lose threat, forcing a tank swap. The knockback from Roar can cause some issues as you get pinned down for a few seconds, enough for Ugnaughts to rush over and club you to death. If you have a sorcerer/sage, a pull might be needed to save your tank when this happens.
Pipe Smash, like in hardmode, deals a massive amount of damage. You cannot interrupt the Pipe Smash mid-cast with magnet as doing so will just cause Grob’thok to cast it again. You must let Grob’thok finish his cast off and therefore endure at least one Pipe Smash before stopping him with a Magnet.
Tanks will need to becareful to not get sucked under the Magnet as doing so will cause immediate death. Pipe Smash comes after every 3 Roars and 2 Overhead Smashes so you can prepare for it ahead of time.
Most raids will be able to survive at least 2 successive Pipe Smashes, if the raid avoids the exploding Ugnaughts. If a third successive Pipe Smash is allowed to occur, then some raid members may not survive (Use class specific cooldowns such as Evasion, Force Barrier etc to help you survive).
If your maraudes/sentinels can spare a Predation/Transcendence, it can help with getting Grob’thok in position if you are having trouble reaching the magnet in time.
Not having a movement ability like Force Speed or Hydraulic Overrides makes this fight particularly challenging for Juggernaut/Guardian tanks. Due to the incredibly fast-moving magnet, it’s also very difficult to time moving Grob’Thok, and moving slightly too early will just make him re-cast Pipe Smash after the magnet effect wears off.
Intercede/Guardian Leap: Again, this is a very useful ability to make sure you’re maximising. Every 2-3 Roars, the adds will swap to you either right after spawning or before the other tank has a proper chance to drop their shields or CC them. This often means you’re stunned with an army of invincible angry midgets running at you and a death ray between you and your only charge target, which is obviously a less than ideal situation. In order to avoid this, Intercede/Guardian Leap is your best friend. Since your Healers and Rdps are usually behind the boss and close to the fire, Interceding/Leaping to any of your ranged group members who aren’t standing on top of the Ugnaughts makes this mechanic much simpler.
Saber Reflect: There isn’t a guaranteed heavy-hitting ability you need to mitigate using Saber Reflect, so saving it for when you need to hold the adds for longer than anticipated or control multiple packs because things went wrong is highly recommended. This will also generate a significant amount of threat so your healers shouldn’t take aggro after their shields drop. If you’re particularly low on health you can also use it to mitigate a potentially fatal second blow from Pipe Smash, however your healers should easily be able to prevent you from getting into that kind of situation in the first place.
CC Abilities: Being able to use Force Choke/Force Stasis or Intimidating Roar/Awe to manage the adds if timing is slightly off rather than having to call for a Flashbang is incredibly useful, and helps you control the fight much more easily.
Threatening Scream/Challenging Call Shield: Since there isn’t any AoE taunting required for this fight, as the adds automatically attack the tanks, having Threatening Scream/Challenging Call available to drop shields on your group during Pipe Smash or to quickly pick up some wandering Ugnaughts is always useful.
This is probably the best fight to be a Powertech/Vanguard tank, primarily because Hydraulic Overrides/Hold the Line nullifies some of the fight’s hardest mechanics. Combine that with great CDs and some utility in the form of roots from Flame Sweep/Explosive Surge (if specced), Carbonize/Neural Surge and Oil Slick/Smoke Grenade, controlling adds can be significantly simpler.
Hydraulic Overrides/Hold the Line: Since the worst parts of this fight aren’t 1-shot mechanics that you can mitigate, but instead are physics-based, Hydraulic Overrides/Hold the Line is by far the most useful ability for this fight. Being able to avoid Pipe Smash or Roar physics makes this fight much simpler and easier, but timing is very important and knowing when to use Overrides is paramount.
Oil Slick/Smoke Grenade and Flame Sweep/Explosive Surge Roots: Although you don’t want the adds to be running too slowly all the time, as the fire only spawns for a limited amount of time, after the adds have dropped their shields these are a great way to control them while running. The boss’ damage isn’t significant either, making Oil Slick/Smoke Grenade available for use on the adds regularly. These abilities also make add management much easier if multiple packs are up at once.
CC Abilities: Slightly less powerful than the Juggernaut, having Carbonize/Neural Surge and Electro Dart/Cryo Grenade handy will help to control the adds more effectively without having to rely on your DPS helping.
Ranged abilities: Having ranged abilities is incredibly useful, as you can kite the adds through the fire and still hold aggro on them after their shields drop, keeping your healers safe. Of notable use is casting Explosive Dart/Sticky Grenade just before they run through the fire, for a quick initial aggro gain after they lose their immunity.
Ranged AoE Taunt: Being able to quickly taunt a pack of adds in this fight is hugely beneficial. For example, if your other tank gets knocked back right next to a pack’s spawn, you can quickly AoE taunt them while they recover. Once back on their feet, they can taunt the boss off of you and you can have fun setting Ugnaughts on fire again.
Although Force Speed gives you a slight edge in movement over a Juggernaut/Guardian for this fight, a lot of Assassin/Shadow utility loses it’s usefulness in this fight, making it particularly difficult.
Force Speed: Although not as useful in some situations as Hydraulic Overrides or Intercede, Force Speed still has a great deal of inherent utility for this fight and helps immensely with your movement in multiple scenarios, including kiting adds and positioning the boss during Pipe Smash.
Phase Walk: This comes in very handy for kiting adds. You can drop Phase Walk near the middle of the room where the fire is likely to spawn, and immediately after being Roared can teleport straight there, streamlining the process hugely.
CC Abilities: Assassin/Shadow CC is underwhelming for this fight. Electrocute/Force Stun is handy, but Overload/Force Wave is only very rarely going to be useful. You can use it for a quick knockback if you need to create more distance or if you’re trying to knock them into the fire, but you’ll have to be vocal about calling for CC such as Flashbang if it’s required.
Stealth Rez: You barely have any time to stealth rez during this fight, so you’re better off leaving it to someone else. That being said, if it is entirely necessary, just about your only window of opportunity is immediately as the boss is pulled through the magnet. At any other time, the likelihood is too high that you’ll either be tanking the boss or adds, and even if you’re not, add spawns, fire drops, tank swaps and knockbacks will all pull you back into combat.
This fight isn’t particularly difficult for any healer archetype, or even for healers in general. There isn’t a lot of damage going out, and the big damage that does get dealt is often not healable anyway.
Timing your shields for tanks getting hit by Roar or during difficult transitions definitely helps, but there’s nothing special about this fight for a Sorcerer.
Extricate/Rescue: Very handy for this fight. Pulling a tank out of harm’s way or yanking a dps who’s being run down by adds can make an enormous difference on how the fight works out, so you should be keeping your eyes open for people in need.
Overload/Force Wave: This can be very situational for the fight. It can come in handy both for heals and helping position or slow down the adds, but simultaneously it can also break cc or knock them away from the fire accidentally. As such, always be aware of your surroundings and the implications when you decide to use Overload.
Your best advantage here is Exfiltrate and Evasion/Dodge. You can use both to avoid getting hammered by adds, and you can also mitigate Pipe Smash damage using Evasion, which can be very handy if you’re expecting a second smash.
Stealth Rez: Trying to stealth rez in this fight, while not impossible, is incredibly difficult. Even with excellent timing it can still get interrupted with an Overhead Smash or add spawn that you weren’t expecting, as well as leaving your other healer solo at rather inopportune times. Your best bet is immediately after Grob’Thok has been lifted by the magnet during Pipe Smash, but if you time it right there are other moments as well, depending on how the fight’s going.
Flashbang/Flash Grenade: This is hugely helpful throughout the fight. Dropping it on the add packs when the tank calls for it, or being aware of when is best to CC them can be enormously beneficial, and you should always be ready to Flashbang at a moment’s notice.
Your armor buff comes in handy here, but there’s not much special about Mercenary/Commando healing for this fight.
Hydraulic Overrides/Hold the Line: By far your most useful ability for this fight. You can use it both to quickly escape from rampaging Ugnaughts, or to avoid the physics caused by Overhead Smash and Pipe Smash so that you can focus on healing, which can be a huge benefit if health is tight at the time.
Defensive CDs: Again, as a Merc you’ve got some pretty amazing defensive CDs that come in handy for mechanics like Pipe Smash.
Jet Boost/Concussion Charge: It is suggested that you avoid using Jet Boost/Concussion Charge whenever there are adds nearby. If you’re confident that you’ll get the knockback angle right to knock adds into the fire you can go for it, but it can be difficult to aim, since there will always be 3 adds to hit. Your best bet is to wait until there are no nearby adds.
With the exception of a few easy to manage mechanics and keeping an eye on nearby adds, this fight is incredibly simple for DPS, and shouldn’t pose an issue.
CC and AoE CC: Any class with AoE CC comes in very handy for this fight. While single target CC can be useful as well, being able to control a whole pack of adds to make sure they get hit by the fire is hugely helpful.
Predation/Transcendence: Although it’s by no means necessary, Predation/Transcendence’s speed boost can come in handy when tanks are having a hard time with positioning or kiting.
Stealth Rez: Again, it’s possible to stealth rez during this fight but it’s very difficult and often not recommended if you can avoid it. The best timing window is as the boss gets hit by the magnet during Pipe Smash.
Ballistic Shield/Scrambling Field: You can use this to mitigate damage if your group is not topped off going into a Pipe Smash, however that is an unlikely situation. Your best option is to use it when one of your healers is going for a stealth rez and you want to mitigate all incoming damage as much as possible.
Bloodthirst/Inspiration: The best time to activate it is when the boss is stuck under the magnet the first time. The reason for this is that he already gains more damage than usual while lifted by the magnet, and that players can focus on DPS with no adds or incoming damage.