Your 15-Minute Guide to Highmaul Bosses, Part 1

A quick guide to the bosses of Highmaul, part 1.
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The new Highmaul raid instance opens in Warlords of Draenor today, and you need info for that Day 1 raid. Here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect and how to counter it.

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Fast Facts

Location and number of bosses

Western Nagrand. There are 7 bosses to take down in this new instance.

Date Available

December 2nd for Normal and Heroic.

Mythic and Raid Finder Wing 1 opens December 9. Raid Finder Wing 2 opens December 16. Raid Finder Wing 3 opens January 6.

Seal of Tempered Fate

This is the is the new currency for bonus rolls in Warlords of Draenor. 3 per week remains the limit, and they can be purchased in Stormshield/Warspear for either gold, Garrison Resources, Honor, or Apexis Crystals.

A level 3 Bunker/War Mill grants one free Seal per week.

Recommended Item Level to Begin

(Note that Highmaul has no tier gear.)

  • Raid Finder: 615 (drops 640 gear)
  • Normal: 625 (drops 655 gear)
  • Heroic: 635 (drops 670 gear)
  • Mythic: 645 (drops 685 gear)

Kargath Bladefist

Primary Mechanic: Chain Hurl

Kargath knocks back the raid, then sends the 5 closest people into the stands to fight adds. Make sure it’s a pre-determined 5-man group (tank/healer/3 dps). This group should kill as many adds as possible before being ejected to minimize raid damage.

Other Mechanics
    • Berserker Rush: Kargath will chase a random player, similar to Thok from Siege of Orgrimmar. Kite Kargath into a Flame Pillar to stop him.
    • Impale: Tank swap.
    • Blade Dance: Ranged players stay spread out.
    • Flame Jet, Tiger Pit, Mauling Brew, Iron Bomb: Lots of stuff to avoid on the ground. Watch your feet.

The Butcher

Primary Mechanic: Cleave/Gushing Wounds

The largest group of players in melee will be hit by Cleave, which applies Gushing Wounds. Moderate damage, but kills instantly at 5 stacks.

The raid’s DPS should be organized into 2 groups, and take turns stacking up for 3 Cleaves/Wound stacks. Best way to do this is to keep both groups of equal size and have 2 “trigger” players who take turns stacking with their group to make it larger than ther other.

Other Mechanics
    • Bounding Cleave: Knockback followed up by cleave on largest stack. All players not assigned to a Cleave group should stack up on the knockback to soak Bounding Cleave.
    • The Cleaver/The Tenderizer: Tank swap.
    • Frenzy: The boss has increased attack speed and damage below 30% HP. Save your cooldowns for this phase.


Primary Mechanic: Tectonic Upheaval/Shatter

Tectus periodically channels Tectonic Upheaval, which does minor raidwide damage. His HP can ONLY be reduced to 0 while this is channeling, shattering him.

After he is shattered, he will respawn as 2 Shards of Tectus, using the same mechanics. Shards will shatter into Motes of Tectus, which can be AoE’d down.

In short, kill order is Tectus -> Shard 1 -> Shard 1’s Motes ->Shard 2 -> Shard 2’s Motes.

Other Mechanics
    • Accretion: Tectus, Shards and Motes will gradually gain stacks of Accretion, which increases their damage done. Tank Shards apart from each other to reduce rate that stacks are gained.
    • Night-Twisted Berserkers/Earthwarpers: Adds, to be tanked by the off-tank. Berserkers are simple melee adds. Earthwarpers have a cone attack (face away from raid) and a cast, Gift of Earth, which generates a slow-moving area that moves towards Tectus and gives him 10 Accretion stacks. You can chain-stun the Earthwarper to prevent the cast, have someone with a damage reduction CD soak the zone (which removes it, but causes major damage) or simply let the cast go through and heavy-heal the tank. Earthwarpers should be focused when they come out. Adds will stop appearing after Tectus is first shattered.
    • Earthern Pillar: Instakill void zone that also creates a pillar which blocks line-of-sight. Avoid, and position ranged players in such a way to avoid pillars spawning in the middle of the raid.
    • Fracture: Smaller, non-persistent version of Pillar. Avoid.
    • Crystalline Barrage: Unavoidable ground damage targeted on a player. Spread out if targeted. 


Primary Mechanic: Creeping Moss/Flamethrower

Moss will continually spread through the room, buffing all enemies on it. 2 Flamethrowers are available and should be picked up by Ranged DPS and used as needed to keep an area clear. 

Other Mechanics
    • Fungal Flesh-Eater, Spore Shooter, Mind Fungus: Multiple adds spawn and need to be handled. Flesh-Eaters are the priority; interrupt Decay and kill quickly. Shooters/Fungus’s abilities are less deadly and should be killed with AoE once enough spawn. 
    • Living/Rejuvenating Mushroom: Friendly adds, which must be healed to full to be activated and do significant raidwide healing/buffing. Raid should move near Mushrooms.
    • Infesting Spores: Heavy raid-wide AoE. Counter by activating a Living Mushroom immediately prior. Use raid cooldowns if no Mushrooms available.
    • Necrotic Breath: Brackenspore’s cone attack, avoid.
    • Rot: Tank Swap.

For the last 3 bosses of Highmaul, see Your 15-Minute Guide to Highmaul Bosses, Part 2.

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Chase Hasbrouck
Freelance writer and principal author of the druid blog The Fluid Druid, at