Gurtogg Bloodboil Strategy Guide (Black Temple)

gurtogg bloodboil strategy guide (black temple) tbc classic
  • Author: Pride
  • Date: March 8, 2022
  • Updated: March 8, 2022
  • Expansion: TBC Classic

Gurtogg Bloodboil, the fel-sworn orc, is a boss inside the Black Temple raid that players can encounter after defeating Supremus and gaining access to the Sanctuary of Shadows. Located at the very end of the Halls of Anguish, Gurtogg will typically be the 5th or 6th boss that players fight, usually after defeating Teron Gorefiend.

Sporting a massive 5.7 million HP and 7700 armor, Gurtogg is among the beefiest bosses inside the Black Temple. He is typically the first boss that many less prepared guilds will struggle with. This encounter takes significant coordination, so you cannot have multiple players who just get carried without pulling their own weight here — you will wipe a lot.

This guide will offer a step-by-step explanation on how to calm this angry orc down before he bleeds your raid to death.

Role Summaries

Phase 1

  • Move to your designated spot quickly once the fight starts
  • If you’re a designated soaker, move to the designated soaking spot when it is your group’s turn
  • Paladins: Use Blessing of Protection to remove Bewildering Strike off the MT if absolutely necessary
  • Spread out right before the 5th Bloodboil cast to avoid high Fel Geyser splash damage

Phase 2

Phase 1

  • Stack up behind one of Gurtogg’s sides (left/right) with the other melee DPS at all times
  • Move to the opposite side (left -> right) if you get targeted by Fel Acid Breath
  • Don’t be in front of Gurtogg, ever
  • Rogues: Use Cloak of Shadows to dispel Fel Acid Breath off yourself

Phase 2

  • Use your personal DPS cooldowns during Heroism / Bloodlust for maximum DPS
  • Seriously, don’t be in front of Gurtogg, you will die horribly

Phase 1

  • Mages: You can use Ice Block to remove any debuff of you during this fight

Phase 2

Phase 1

  • If you’re assigned to tank healing, always keep an eye out on who Gurtogg is currently attacking
  • Quickly swap to the new tank after a tank swap — Gurtogg does a lot of damage, don’t slack

Phase 2

  • All but 1 healer should be healing the Fel Rage player
  • Spam quick heals on them, don’t cheap out with mana
  • You will need to heal even harder when they get debuffed by Arcing Smash or Fel Acid Breath
  • Use cooldowns like Nature’s Swiftness if necessary to keep them alive
  • Switch back to healing your Phase 1 target when Fel Rage ends, particularly as a tank healer

Phase 1

  • You have about 10 seconds to move Gurtogg to the correct spot and turn him accordingly
  • The off-tanks should go as hard with threat as they can, while the main tank doesn’t get too far ahead
  • Main Tank: Stop doing more threat if you’re too far ahead of the other tanks
  • Main Tank: Stop doing more threat if you have10 stacks of Acidic Wound or more, wait for tank swap
  • Off-Tank: Announce on voice chat if the boss is on you, to help your healers out
  • Protection Paladins: Use Divine Shield to remove your Acidic Wound as instructed by the raid leader

Phase 2

  • You cannot tank Gurtogg during this phase, so just go all-out with DPS
  • Main Tank: Be ready to pick up Gurtogg ASAP as soon as Fel Rage ends, use cooldowns if necessary

Abilities – Phase 1

This phase is the more conventional of the two. It will last 60 seconds, after which point Phase 2 will begin.

Gurtogg’s namesake is one of those abilities that everyone in your raid will need to understand and constantly deal with else you are likely going to wipe — you can’t have people expecting to get carried here.

Every 11-12 seconds, Gurtogg spits out a projectile which hits the 5 players currently furthest away from him. These players will be afflicted with a debuff that deals 600 Physical damage to them every second, for a total of 14,400 Physical damage over its 24 second duration. The debuff can stack up to 5 times, at which point it ticks for 3,000 damage per second, which will very quickly kill most players, so this must be avoided.

You avoid it by assigning multiple groups of 5 players to move away from Gurtogg, so they always get targeted. After they get hit, they move closer, while the next group moves further away, so they get hit instead. You will need at least 3 groups in order to make sure the debuff has falls off between rotations, though it is possible to do it with 2 groups if you have very strong healers. Ranged DPS and healers are the best candidates for this job.

The damage is not reduced by armor, even though it’s Physical, but it can be reduced by Greater Blessing of Sanctuary, which helps a little. Furthermore, it can be removed using physical immunity effects — Divine Shield, Blessing of Protection and Ice Block — though in the long term this won’t make much of a difference.

Gurtogg will cast this ability 5 times before transitioning to Phase 2, so your raid should begin spreading out after the 4th cast in anticipation of the phase transition.

The second main mechanic that your raid will have to deal with during Phase 1.

Gurtogg’s melee attacks and Arcing Smash afflict a 1 minute duration debuff on the target, which reduces their armor by 500 and deals 300 Nature damage every 3 seconds. This debuff can stack up to 60 times, shredding your tanks’ armor to 0 and dealing a truckload of damage to them, but in reality it’ll be scary much earlier than that.

You will need to tank swap as soon as the current tank has 10 to 15 stacks, else there’s a fairly high chance they will die. As Gurtogg cannot be taunted, this means that your primary tank should stop doing threat altogether, while your other tanks will always need to race for threat, so they grab Gurtogg’s attention before a DPS player does.

Note that Acidic Wound can miss and be dodged or parried, so in reality Gurtogg’s hits won’t translate 1:1 into a stack of the debuff. Furthermore, Protection Paladins can use Divine Shield for a split moment then cancel it right away in order to remove all the stacks off themselves, which makes this fight a small bit easier.

Deals 125% weapon damage as Physical to all targets within 10 yards in a cone in front of Gurtogg Bloodboil.

This ability has a secondary effect depending on the current phase:

  • Phase 1: Applies a stack of Acidic Wound to the target
  • Phase 2: Reduces the target’s healing taken by 50% for 4 seconds

Deals 2850 to 3150 Nature damage to the target and all players within 10 yards in a cone in front of Gurtogg Bloodboil, and applies a debuff which deals damage over time.

Behaves differently depending on the current phase:

  • Phase 1: Targets a random player within melee range that is not the MT, has a 2 second cast time, debuff lasts 20 seconds and deals 2750 Nature damage every 5 seconds, for a total of 11,000 Nature damage
  • Phase 2: Targets the Fel Rage player, is instant cast, debuff lasts 5 seconds and deals 2750 Nature damage every 1 second, for a total of 13,750 Nature damage

If necessary, the debuff can be removed using magic immunity effects — Divine Shield, Cloak of Shadows and Ice Block, though as the damage is pretty low in Phase 1, this is only really meaningful in Phase 2.

Cast every 20 to 40 seconds, and usually only cast once during Phase 2.

Deals weapon damage plus 1000 as Physical damage to the target and has a secondary effect depending on phase.

  • Phase 1: Knocks the target back, reducing their threat by 50%. Cannot miss or be dodged or parried
  • Phase 2: Stuns the target for 1.5 seconds. Cannot crit

Will always target Gurtogg’s current target, be it the main tank or the Fel Rage player. The threat reduction component during Phase 1 is terrifying and your tanks will need to make sure they’re bringing their A game, staying within the top 3 spots on threat. Gurtogg cannot be taunted — he will start killing DPS players 1 by 1 instead.

Usually cast once per phase, roughly 30 seconds into Phase 1, or 10 seconds into Phase 2.

Gurtogg Bloodboil applies a debuff on the current target, causing them to wander around disoriented for 8 seconds. While disoriented, Gurtogg will ignore them and attack the 2nd highest threat target instead.

This ability can miss and be dodged and parried, and you’d better hope you get lucky and your tank dodges it a couple of times because it can very, very scary — particularly if it happens around the same time as Eject.

You will need to have 3 tanks as the 3 highest threat players in order to fully counter it, which will occasionally not be possible, so more realistically you’ll need your DPS players to be very careful.

Protection Paladins can use Divine Shield and then cancel it right away in order to break out of the disorient early, causing Gurtogg to go back to them instantly, but this will mean that they can’t use Divine Shield to counter Acidic Wound instead, so this trick should truly be saved for emergencies.

Furthermore, your Paladins can use Blessing of Protection on the main tank in order to remove it, but they should communicate that they’re doing so in order to avoid confusion, and use a different Blessing immediately afterwards so Gurtogg runs back to the tank instead of running loose in the raid, killing players.

Abilities – Phase 2

After Gurtogg has casted Bloodboil 5 times, almost precisely 60 seconds after Phase 1 started, he will transition to Phase 2, which he starts by casting Fel Geyser. This phase lasts 30 seconds, and then the fight reverts back to Phase 1.

Gurtogg will start this phase by casting this ability on a random player. That player and all other players within 18 yards of them will take 3237 to 3762 Nature damage and get knocked back.

The damage isn’t extremely high but there’s no reason to take it deliberately, so it’s a good idea for your raid to start spreading out before Gurtogg casts the 5th Bloodboil, so as few people as possible get hit by this.

At the start of Phase 2, Gurtogg targets a random player and puts the Fel Rage debuff on them, which increases their armor by 15k, health by 30k, damage done by 300% and their healing done by 100%. They also become huge.

Gurtogg also gains a Fel Rage buff which increases his damage done by 85% and also makes him huge. While raging, his attacks also have a 25% chance to give him the Fury buff, which increases his attack speed by 8%, stacking up to 20 times, for a massive 160% attack speed increase — making him extremely scary later on in Phase 2.

During Phase 2, Gurtogg will focus his attention on the player he targeted with Fel Rage. The only exception to this rule will be if they become completely invulnerable, through Divine Shield or Ice Block. Both Fel Rage effects will last for 30 seconds, at which point the Fel Rage player’s threat is reset to 0 and the fight reverts back to Phase 1.

Note that very commonly the player that Gurtogg targets will be someone squishy rather than a tank, like a caster DPS or healer. They typically have very low mitigation, so even with the massive health and armor boost, they’ll be taking a lot of damage, particularly when you factor his modified Phase 2 abilities.

Your raid will need to throw heavy healing their way in order to keep them alive, while your Paladins should be ready to use Blessing of Protection on them in order to save their lives — Gurtogg will keep attacking them, but they can only take damage from Fel Acid Breath now, not his melee attacks or any of his other abilities.

Gurtogg applies this debuff to all players in the raid, except of the Fel Rage target. It reduces the threat they deal by 100% for 30 seconds — aka the entirety of Phase 2.

Your DPS players should use their DPS cooldowns during Phase 2 due to this debuff, as they can go all-out.

Raid Composition & Preparation

Master Healthstones are incredibly strong during this fight, as they can help you survive a multiple mechanics.

Having at least 1 Paladin is also practically mandatory, as their Greater Blessing of Salvation will greatly help your raid manage the multiple threat-related effects Gurtogg uses. It’s a good idea to have multiple, as their Blessing of Protection can also save people from multiple abilities, including the Fel Rage target.

This fight is fairly healing intensive, both on the tank healing and raid healing sides. It is recommended that you bring 5-6 healers for it, with a healthy balance of main tank and raid healing classes / specs being beneficial.

3 healers should be assigned to the main tank for all of Phase 1. This means your Holy Paladins and Restoration Druids. It’s also a good idea to have at least one Restoration Shaman or Holy Priest assigned to them, as they can provide a unique armor boosting buff — Ancestral Fortitude and Inspiration, respectively.

One of the most important things for Phase 1 is that your tank healers are quick with swapping to a different tank, when a tank swap occurs. You’ll therefore want to make sure that your best healers are assigned to this task.

The rest of your healers — namely Restoration Shamans and Holy Priests — should be raid healing during Phase 1. If your guild is competent at dealing with Bloodboil, raid damage will be fairly low and this task won’t be too hard. But if your guild can’t deal with it correctly, these healers will need to always be on edge.

During Phase 2, all of your healers except for one should be assigned to healing the Fel Rage player. They are prone to taking massive damage spikes, so these healers should be constantly pumping strong heals on them. Meanwhile, 1 healer should be assigned to healing off raid damage, though this will largely only be Fel Geyser and leftover stacks of Bloodboil, which is not a particularly high amount of damage to heal through.

Your healers can use all the +healing they can get for this fight, so they should default to using +healing consumables, such as Elixir of Healing Power and Golden Fish Sticks.

There are no specific DPS class / spec requirements for this fight. However, you’ll need at least 15 players to deal with Bloodboil, and ranged players are better at that, so your raid will realistically need a healthy amount of rangeD DPS in order to make Phase 1 go smoothly.

This is one of the fights that you definitely want to end ASAP as the longer it goes on for, the more accidents you are prone to have. Thus your DPS players should use all of their DPS consumables for this fight. Note that Gurtogg is a humanoid, so things like Elixir of Demonslaying and Mark of the Champion won’t work on him.

This fight is doable with 2 tanks, but having 3 is a massive quality of life increase and is thus strongly recommended.

It is technically doable with 1, provided they are a Protection Paladin (as they can use Divine Shield to remove their Acidic Wound) but they would need god-like threat output to counter-act Eject‘s threat drop and your raid would need exceptional raid DPS to kill Gurtogg before you get overwhelmed. So really, bring 2-3 tanks.

Any 3 tanks work here, regardless of class, but as mentioned, Protection Paladins will excel at this fight thanks to their ability to remove Acidic Wound off themselves. If you have one, make them the starting main tank and have them reset their stacks when they get to a high amount — it makes the first Phase 1 a lot easier to handle.

Your tanks will need a healthy mix of DPS/threat and mitigation gear for this fight. They need to deal enough threat such that they can keep up with each other on the threat meter, but also enough survivability that they can survive for a decently long amount of time while the other tank resets their stacks. Both DPS and mitigation consumables can work equally well here, depending on the rest of your gear.

The Pull

After you have taken out all but 1 of the fel-sworn orcs inside the Halls of Anguish, you raid will be ready to take out the last of their kind: Gurtogg Bloodboil himself.

gurtogg 1

Note that if it’s ever looking like you’re going to wipe, because your main tank died for example, you can reset Gurtogg completely so you don’t fully wipe, by forcing him to run up the stairs by the small gate that leads to the hall before his room, as pictured below.

gurtogg 0

You can get pretty close to Gurtogg without aggroing him as his aggro range is very small. So use all of that space you got in order to ress up, buff up, regenerate health and mana etc, until you’re ready to take him on.

Before you pull, it is vital that everyone in your raid understands what they need to do. You will need a minimum of 3 groups of 5 players each (total of 15 different players) assigned to taking turns soaking Bloodboil. 4 groups of 5 is ideal, but it can only work if you have 20 ranged players (as melee shouldn’t run) so 3 groups of 5 is the most realistic option.

It can help if you go by in-game groups as much as possible in order to avoid confusing people. You can also mark 1 player in each group who you trust to remember to move in time when it’s his group’s turn, for the other, less reliable players to follow. If you can help it, only assign 1 healer per soaker group — you don’t want your healers all stopping to heal at once.

When you’re ready, your Hunters should use Misdirection on the main tank, who needs to quickly move to the spot shown below, with his back against the fountain on the right side of his room (facing right as you go down the ramp into his room) so as to avoid Eject‘s knockback. Melee will stack up behind Gurtogg and off to one side (left or right).

Meanwhile, all of your ranged DPS and healers should position directly in front of the puddle of water on the left side of Gurtogg’s room, facing Gurtogg’s back. The exception will be the first soaker group, who should already go into the puddle and prepare themselves for the first Bloodboil. Your raid will want to position as shown in the picture below:

gurtogg 2 2

Phase 1

Gurtogg will usually be a sportsmanlike fellow and not cast any of his abilities for the first ~10 seconds, giving your raid plenty of time to position, get debuffs up, pump some damage, etc. However, about 11 seconds in, he will cast Bloodboil for the first time, at which point all bets are off — he can now use his complete Phase 1 arsenal.

The first group of soakers will get hit by the Bloodboil debuff and start taking damage over time. At this point the damage is fairly minor, so your healers will have no trouble healing it at all. The first soaker group should move back into the raid, while the second group moves into the puddle, getting ready for their own Bloodboil.

This is how the Bloodboil dance will go for all of Phase 1. The current soaker group moves behind the raid, into the water puddle. They get hit, and they move back into the raid, while the next group goes into the puddle. This dance will be repeated a total of 4 times during Phase 1, as the 5th Bloodboil cast will be the last one for each Phase 1.

gurtogg 2 3

Your MT will start building up Acidic Wound stacks. Gurtogg will start using Arcing Smash as well, building up your main tank’s Acidic Wound counter up even faster, and causing them to take increasingly larger damage spikes.

Your off-tanks need to race for threat at all times. At 10 to 15 stacks, the Acidic Wound will be too much and your MT may randomly die, so they will need to take be close on threat in order to pick Gurtogg up. If your tank’s stacks get high or they get too far ahead in threat, they should stop doing threat altogether, until the next tank has caught up to them. Call the tank swap out on voice so your healers can react to it and start healing the new tank as quickly as possible.

If your MT is a Protection Paladin, they can use Divine Shield to dispel Acidic Wound off themselves, ignoring the need for the first tank swap. This can be hugely beneficial, as roughly 30 seconds into the fight Gurtogg will cast Eject, reducing the MT’s threat by 50%. This will be a lot easier to deal with if they didn’t stop dealing threat while the off-tanks catch-up, meaning they can build a massive threat lead and then let the tank swap happen naturally through Eject.

Gurtogg will occasionally pick a random target within melee range and start casting Fel Acid Breath on them. That person should quickly move to the opposite side (so from Gurtogg’s left side to his right side, for example), so the AoE effect hits as few players as possible. It doesn’t really hurt much, but no reason to take the extra damage.

The last ability that Gurtogg has in his bag of tricks is Bewildering Strike. He uses it on the main tank, disorienting them for 8 seconds. While the main tank is disoriented, Gurtogg will completely ignore them, focusing on the 2nd highest threat target instead. Provided your tanks are doing decent threat and the person in 2nd place after the Eject cast is an off-tank, it won’t hurt too much — your healers will just need to be ready to heal the next tank.

If however the Bewildering Strike too soon after Eject, it can really hurt, as your tanks may not on the top 3 threat spots, which will get many DPS players killed. It is therefore not a bad idea to have your Paladins use Blessing of Protection on the MT in order to get them back into the action ASAP, if your off-tanks aren’t keeping up with threat.

After Gurtogg has cast Bloodboil for the 4th time (roughly 45 seconds into the fight) your raid should begin spreading out in anticipation of the transition to Phase 2 that comes when he casts Bloodboil for the 5th time, 60 seconds into the fight. Position similarly to the picture below — spread around the room, with ranged DPS staying away from melee.

gurtogg 2 4

Phase 2

Almost immediately after the 5th Bloodboil, Gurtogg will cast Fel Geyser, signifying the beginning of Phase 2. This is why your raid spread out — its damage isn’t exceptionally high but you don’t want to strain your healers unnecessarily in this phase, specially if you had a few mistakes with handling Bloodboil in Phase 1.

Immediately after that, he will target a random player and apply the Fel Rage debuff to them, making them massive, while increasing their armor by 15k, their health by 30k, their damage done by 300% and their healing done by 100%. Gurtogg will also use a different version of Fel Rage on himself, increasing his damage done by 85% while giving his attacks a 25% chance to increase his attack speed by 8% thanks to Fury, which stacks up to 20 times.

The rest of your raid will be afflicted with the Insignificance debuff, which reduces all of their threat dealt by 100%. This makes the start of this phase a great time to use Heroism / Bloodlust along with personal DPS cooldowns, as your DPS players can finally go all-out, not having to worry about their threat due to the pesky Eject.

The Fel Rage player should move to the main tank spot from Phase 1, in order to make the subsequent transition to Phase 2 as smooth as possible. Gurtogg will chase them, and focus his attention on them. Nobody else should be standing in front of Gurtogg. Your healers should start pumping heals on them, particularly when he is afflicted by one of the nasty debuffs of Gurtogg’s enhanced Phase 2 abilities, such as Fel Acid Breath and Arcing Smash.

Survivability cooldowns, like Evasion, Deterrence, Pain Suppression and Shield Wall will come incredibly handy here. Warlocks can use Drain Life to save themselves thanks to their massively increased damage and healing done making it very strong, while classes with healing spells heal themselves and classes that can use shields equip them.

If it’s ever looking like the Fel Rage player might be about to die, your Paladins should use Blessing of Protection on them to save their life. It’s best to use it about 10 to 15 seconds into Phase 2, as Gurtogg will have a lot of Fury stacks, making his damage very scary. Gurtogg can still use Fel Acid Breath to damage them, so he’ll stay on that target rather than start killing others — which will certainly happen if the Fel Rage player dies, likely resulting in a wipe.

Phase 1… Again

After 30 seconds, Fel Rage will end on both the targeted player and Gurtogg, signifying the end of Phase 2 and the beginning of Phase 1, yet again. The player targeted by Fel Rage will have all of their threat reset to 0, so you’d better hope they weren’t one of the tanks, but other than that, the fight will go on in the exact same way.

By this point you know the drill. Your ranged players reposition in front of the water puddle again, while the first group of soaker goes in. Get hit by it, then move back into the raid, while the next group goes into the puddle — exactly the same as before. This Phase 1 will last 60 seconds, while the Phase 2 that follows will last 30 seconds, rinse and repeat.

The only difficult points will be tank swaps. Your tank will suddenly start taking damage as soon as the Phase 2 -> Phase 1 transition happens, and your healers will need to be ready for it, while your tanks get ready to use a defensive cooldown if necessary to buy the healers a couple of seconds.

The only other thing you should worry about is the fight going on for too long, thus having your tanks get hit by multiple Ejects, eventually causing DPS players to start getting massacred instead as there’s no longer a tank 2nd on threat.

But if your raid is good enough to handle Gurtogg’s multiple mechanics, it’s unlikely that you’ll lack the raid to take him down in time. With this angry orc out of their way, your raid is one step closer to taking on Illidan himself!


About the Author


Classic WoW is my jam, with a passion for PvP. Most know me as Baranor, the ret paladin guy, but I'm secretly a druid main, don't tell anyone. In my free time I play Switch games, particularly JRPGs. Some day I'll be making my own games and I humbly hope you play those too!
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