WoW Ulduar Raid Boss Guide - Kologarn
Kologarn is the only boss in World of Warcraft history that is both a raid boss and a bridge! Unlike other bosses in early Ulduar, he is not optional and you must kill him to proceed onto the watchers. It is important to know the strategy for handling him, his left arm, and his right.
Kologarn is a massive boss, (or half of one) that guards the Shattered Walkway leading to the watchers and the rest of Ulduar. He is technically the 6th boss in the raid instance, though many raid groups will tackle him third. Kologarn is not only the guardian of the walkway (and by virtue of that, all of inner Ulduar), but upon defeat he becomes the walkway. Clever, huh?
Anyone intimately familiar with Monty Python and the Holy Grail may chuckle when the raid first engages him and he shouts out a familiar "NONE SHALL PASS!" Much like the Black Knight was an entity with and without his arms, Kologarn's arms also play a vital role in the encounter. Each of his arms is an individually targetable entity with its own ability. Handling the arms appropriately is the main key to success in the Kologarn fight.
Left Arm Abilities and Strategy
Understanding Kologarn and his arms' abilities is the key to nailing this fight. Each component of the being adds a unique aspect of the fight, and you need to be prepared in order to deal with them all.
Kologarn's left arm (which is on the right hand side while you're fighting him) has one ability: Shockwave. Shockwave is essentially a big swipe that hits everyone in the raid. It is completely random and does significant damage - 11-14k on everyone in the raid. This might seem like a big deal, especially on 25-man, but with good heals its impact isn't so severe. Some raids teams have thought it better to kill off that arm (it respawns in 60 seconds) instead of dealing with the swipe damage, but most of the guilds clearing all or most of Ulduar find it best to heal through the damage and focus on the objective: Killing the boss. I know my raid team found killing off the left arm only complicated the fight and tied up a tank that needed to be doing other things.
Right Army Abilities and Strategy
The right arm is the single most important part of the Kologarn fight. Whereas the left arm can be pretty much ignored, the right arm must be destroyed, but only at the correct time. The right arm's ability is called Stone Grip. It will target and pick up a random raid member (3 random raid members in 25-man) and squeeze them, dealing massive amounts of damage per second. Unless DPS switches immediately to the arm, the people in the grip will be squeezed to death (even if they're receiving constant heals). Whenever damage is dealt to the arm, there is a chance it will drop one of the people it is holding. 450,000 damage must be dealt to the arm to drop three raid members on 25-man. The goal is to destroy the arm every time this happens. When it is destroyed, it will explode dealing AoE damage to any melee nearby. The damage isn't too severe, but it is nice on your healers if melee simply backs off right before it is destroyed. The falling rubble turns into earth elemental adds that must be picked up by a ready and geared off-tank, moved away from the raid, and killed as quickly as possible. They inflict a debuff that increases physical damage taken, so they must be killed quickly and the off-tank must have dedicated healers during this time. 60 seconds after the arm was destroyed, it will respawn.
Kologarn Abilities and Strategy
Kologarn himself has two notable abilities that require specific tactics to handle. The first is Overhead Smash which he will use on the tank. This ability inflicts a debuff that decreases the armor of the tank by 20%, and it can stack. Very geared tanks with good healing can survive a single stack of this debuff, but they shouldn't stay tanking him if they get two. Tank swapping is necessary to stay alive, and three tanks rotating out is recommended. Kologarn's other ability is called Focused Eye Beem, and effects the rest of the raid. FEB will randomly target a raid member and chase them. A beam shoots from each of Kologarn's eyes, slowly focusing in on the target. It is easy to see if he is targeting you if you're paying attention. A good strategy for handling eye beams is to have a designated "kiting" area. In one of my raids we used the back wall, and the rest of the raid stayed clear of that area. A person targeted by FEB would run to the back and strafe across the wall until it was over. If the person chosen by FEB dies, or uses any ability to break the targeting (vanish, shadowmeld, etc) then it will switch to somebody else. FEB also deals some damage to anyone near the person targeted, so for the duration of the fight players need to be spread out.