Gunship Battle – Icecrown Citadel (25)

icecrown citadel gunship featured image

An aerial fight taking place between the Orgrim’s Hammer Gunship, and the Skybreaker Gunship. Equipped with heavy artillery and squadrons of the faction’s finest soldiers, these mighty behemoth vessels attempt to thwart each other’s journey deeper into the citadel.

This guide will offer a detailed, step-by-step tutorial on how to deal with the infamous Lootship encounter.

Role Summaries

  • Stay awake, I know it’s a struggle in this fight.
  • Avoid fire and rockets.
  • Wait until the tank has aggro on the commander before boarding.
  • Focus on the Sorcerer/Battle-Mage.
  • Make sure you return from boarding regularly.
  • Stay close to the edge of your ship to DPS without boarding.
  • Stay close to the edge of your ship to increase your effective healing range.



Players controlling one of four cannons will gain access to Cannon Blast, dealing Siege damage in an area and generating 6 to 10 Heat. This has a 0.5-second cooldown, making it very quick to spam.

Launches a ball of fire at the target location, consuming all of your Heat, and dealing Siege damage based on the Heat consumed.

Muradin Bronzebeard/High Overlord Saurfang

Both Commanders will increase their damage with every swing, stacking consistently.

Commanders will regularly Cleave, dealing heavy damage to everyone in front of them.


After being alive for 30 seconds, the adds will level up. This starts with Experienced, then Veteran, then finally Elite after 90 seconds. This drastically increases their damage and attack speed, making it vital that they are killed before they become overwhelming.

Melee troops will gain Desperate Resolve at 20% Health, granting them increased Armor and Attack Speed until death.

Skybreaker Rifleman/Kor’kron Axethrower

These ranged enemies will consistently shoot from the deck of the enemy’s ship, dealing damage to players in range.

Skybreaker Sergeant/Kor’kron Sergeant

Sergeants will periodically cast Wounding Strike, dealing heavy Physical damage, followed by a 40% reduction in Healing received for 10 seconds.

Sergeants will also periodically cast Bladestorm, spinning for 6 seconds, dealing Physical damage to everyone within 8 yards.

Skybreaker Sorcerer/Kor’kron Battle-Mage

Every 35 seconds, casters will spawn on the enemy ship. This will freeze all four of your cannons until the adds are killed, making it vital to bring them down.

Skybreaker Mortar Soldier/Kor’kron Rocketeer

Rocketeers & Mortar Soldiers will fire Rocket Artillery at your ship for the encounter, dealing Fire damage and knocking anyone caught in the blast back. Additionally, this deals Siege damage, creating a win condition for the enemies if you fail to keep your cannons active.

Raid Composition & Preparation

This fight has no specific class or spec requirements, and as long as your group can burn down the Sorcerer/Battle-Mage before your tank dies.

You are unlikely to need more than 4 healers for this fight.

There are no strict requirements for DPS classes or specs here, you simply want a combination of good raid buffs and debuffs, as well as the best players you can muster.

You will need 2 tanks for this fight, one to board and one to defend.

Heroic vs Normal

The difficulty chosen for this fight will not impact the mechanics or timing, instead exclusively increasing the Health of and damage dealt by enemies.

The Pull

The encounter is manually activated by talking to your respective faction commander. Take your time to make sure everybody knows their position and role, as well as has a Goblin Rocket Pack equipped.

Assign a DPS or Healer to each of the ship cannons. It isn’t important who. Cannoneers should spam Cannon Blast to fill their Heat. Once close to full, launch an Incinerating Blast to spend your Heat. If you reach full Heat, your cannon will Overheat and go offline for 3 seconds, costing you 6 casts of Cannon Blast. You want to always be trying to shoot the Mortar Soldiers or Rocketeers towards the back of the enemy ship, allowing you to help with adds as well as deal Siege damage to the enemy ship.

Pick one tank and two healers to stay on your ship. These three should be focused on picking up any adds boarding your ship. Ranged DPS players can stay on your ship, allowing them to both DPS adds on the enemy ship, and adds on yours.

All remaining players are your boarding party. Their duty is to Goblin Rocket Pack across to the enemy ship, slay their sorcerers or battle-mages, and return to clear your ship. You want to make sure a tank always goes first, picking up the enemy commander. Once the commander is on the tank, melee DPS can jump across.

The Fight

icecrown citadel gunship spawns

Once activated, ranged DPS should immediately focus on clearing the enemy Riflemen/Axethrowers, while cannoneers focus on enemy Mortar Soldiers/Rocketeers. As soon as the enemy ship has a Sorcerer or Battle-Mage, the boarding tank will want to jump across and aggro the commander. Bring the commander close to the edge between ships, being careful not to fall off. This should place you in range of all healers.

As long as Mortar Soldiers/Rocketeers are alive, they will cast Rocket Artillery, dealing heavy, but telegraphed damage to anyone in the effect. All adds will also level up every 30 seconds, making them significantly more deadly the longer they are left alive. If you find yourself in a situation with two waves of adds alive, make sure you kill the oldest adds first!

Once the tank has the commander, the rest of the non-ranged boarding party should jump across, focusing on the Sorcerer/Battle-Mage. As long as they are alive, your cannons will be unusable, preventing you from dealing Siege damage. Once they are dealt with, the entire boarding party should immediately return to their ship, cleaning any adds still on the friendly ship.

Here are some of the main things that can typically go wrong in this fight:

  • Boarding players jump prematurely, aggroing the enemy commander.
  • Many variants of falling to your death such as:
    • Rocket Pack into the void.
    • Autorun & Blink.
    • Good ol’ fashioned walking off the edge.
  • Staying on the enemy ship for too long, killing your tank with high stacks of Battle Fury.

Congratulations on conquering the Gunship Battle, everyone’s favorite encounter. Make sure to loot the gigantic chest, then proceed in an orderly fashion towards Deathbringer Saurfang.


About the Author


I love MMOs of all shades, especially the nitty gritty numbers parts of them. You might recognize me from the Shadow Priest discord, otherwise I play a little bit of everything, especially games with support roles available.
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