BossHydross the Unstable
Image of Hydross the Unstable
Title <Duke of Currents>
Gender Male
Race Water elemental (Elemental)
Level ?? Boss
Reaction Alliance Horde
Location Serpentshrine Cavern
Status Killable
Relative(s) Tainted Waveling (spawn)

Hydross the Unstable is the first boss of Serpentshrine Cavern in Coilfang Reservoir. He is a water elemental. There are 2 columns which channel beams of energy into him. It seems that the beams are keeping his body purified and "stable". If he crosses the threshold, the columns will stop channeling energy into him, causing him to revert into his "unstable", poisonous form, causing him great pain. Thus, he is more or less a prisoner of Lady Vashj in the Serpentshrine Cavern, forced to guard the way and to prevent any intruders from getting past. He could have been captured by the naga and struck a deal with them, with him guarding the area and them finding a way to purify his body. It seems now that he has no choice in the matter. He could also be acting as a component to a giant water filter, as before the fight his tainted spawn emerge from a pipe and are cleansed as they walk by.

Although being the first boss raids meet when entering the instance, The Lurker Below is an easier kill, and it is possible to sneak past Hydross. Therefore, new raids will usually try to defeat Hydross after vanquishing The Lurker Below.


  • Summon elementals: Whenever Hydross switches form he summons 4 elementals matching his new form
  • Immune to taunt
  • Enrages after 10 minutes

Water form

  • Melee: 5.5k frost damage base, cannot be blocked, cannot crush
  • Immune to frost damage
  • Mark of Hydross: 15 sec cooldown, raid-wide debuff, stacks up to 6 times, increase frost damage by 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, and 500 percent. 30 sec duration, refreshes on each application
  • Water Tomb: single-target 8 yard AoE, cast every 7 seconds. Stuns all affected players for 4 seconds and deals 4500 frost damage over 5 seconds

Poison form

  • Melee: 5k nature damage base, cannot be blocked, cannot crush
  • Immune to nature damage
  • Mark of Corruption: 15 sec cooldown, raid-wide debuff, stacks up to 6 times, increase nature damage by 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, and 500 percent. 30 sec duration, refreshes on each application
  • Vile Sludge: Single target debuff, 15 sec cooldown. 4k nature damage over 24 sec, and reduces healing and damage done by 50%.

Elemental Adds

  • Health: ~50K
  • Damage: ~6K Frost/Nature base melee damage
  • Immune to nature/frost damage


Raid Composition

  • 1 main Tank with maxed frost resistance (see Hydross Resistance Gear)
  • 1 main Tank with maxed nature resistance (see Hydross Resistance Gear)
  • 2-4 offtanks with some assortment of nature and frost resistance gear
  • 6-8 healers (preferably at least one shaman)
  • 11-14 damage dealers (any mix of melee and ranged will do)

The frost tank has to take slightly more damage than the nature tank.


The melee group needs to move with Hydross, on each phase change a few yards forward and backward. All other raid members should set up distributed, to reduce the effect of Water Tomb. It's also no problem to run through Hydross and set up on his back.

Starting the Fight

Prior to the pull a small group (one off-tank, a few damage dealers and a healer) need to pull and kill enough of the tainted water elementals on the "assembly line", so that none of them take part in the fight as adds. After the fight has started the tainted water elementals stop spawning.

Hydross starts in his water form. Whenever he leaves the area where he stands initially, he switches to the poison form. When he's moved back into the two beams, he switches back to the water form. Form switching takes place whenever he crosses a "magic boundary" which runs approximately between the two small flags in front of him. Every time he switches form, four adds of the same type as his new form are summoned. If pulled conventionally, Hydross would immediately switch to the poison form and summons adds.

Druid tanks can simply use [Feral Charge] and start the fight with a full rage bar. If druid is off-tank, main tank taunts aggro from him.

The safest method to avoid this is to use a  [Lesser Invisibility Potion]. The frost tank has to wait until he drops out of combat (because he is in combat due to the assembly line adds being killed), use the potion, walk into melee range and start the fight from there.

Another possibility is to use a combination of  [Swiftness Potion] and [Intercept], to reach him fast enough before he crosses the boundary.

As a third safe method, a mage can use [Invisibility], walk behind Hydross and [Ice Block] there. Hydross aggros on the ice blocked mage and the tank has 10 seconds to walk in and pick up Hydross. The drawback is that this uses the cooldowns on both Invisibility and Ice Block.

Switching Form

Due to the stacking debuff, the damage taken by the tank sooner or later reaches levels where he simply gets one-shotted. Usually 100% damage increase is the limit, in water form this means 22k crits are possible. Thus after 60 seconds (= four debuffs), it's time for the current tank to move backward and pull Hydross over the boundary.

This is a most critical moment, because immediately after a form switch Hydross resets his aggro list and summons four adds. There must be no DoTs on him and all DPS and healing must stop for a few seconds to give the tanks time to gain control of Hydross and the adds. If some raid member on the wrong side of the boundary draws aggro so that Hydross moves back over the boundary, he switches form again and summons four more adds (= wipe).

In water form he should be tanked at his initial position. There's a step running in front of his initial position, which forms an angle. Just down the step near that angle is a good tanking position for the poison form.

Elemental Adds

Quickly killing the four elemental adds is a key to success in this fight. Good tanking coupled with solid AoE damage is the fastest solution, particularly if the AoE also includes Hydross. The optimal approach to this would be two Paladin tanks, one in Nature and one in Frost resistance gear. Unfortunately raids will rarely ever boast this luxury, therefore most groups will have to find their own solutions to the problem. Druid tanks work well, some combination of AoE and emergency "point" tanking by warriors does the job too. Resist gear is also useful on the add tanks. The faster the adds are killed, the less damage they do (since their damage is increased by the raid-wide debuff too).


  • On the initial phase switch, Hydross should be at 80% or lower. If that's not the case, the raid's DPS is probably too low to kill him before he enrages.
  • A hunter's Frost Trap in Hydross's path while switching to poison form slows him for a few seconds and delays the spawn of the adds, which makes them easier to control.
  • Hunters are also very useful in the Poison tank's group for [Aspect of the Wild] to help mitigate some of the nature damage.
  • If he's at 15% or lower after a switch, it's possible to use all high damage abilities and trinkets, CC the adds and nuke Hydross to end the fight in that phase.
  • If the entire raid moves to the correct side of the platform, the danger of Hydross aggroing a player on the wrong side and switching forms again is nonexistent.
  • Because of changes in patch 3.0.2, a T4-T5 geared level 70 group can do this fight without switching phases until the debuff has stacked to much greater levels, and the tank doesn't need frost/nature resistance (though a hunter aspect and paladin aura still help).

Soloing Hydross the Unstable

Hydross is still immune to frost damage. Frost mages should respec or prepare to melee the boss to death.

Hydross is a tank and spank fight if one ensures that the debuff does not stack up to more than 100% increased frost/nature damage taken.

Start by tanking him at his initial position. After 1 min, the debuff (Mark of Hydross) would cause you to take 100% increased frost damage. At this point use a defensive cooldown and drag him across the threshold. Once he is out of his prison, he becomes poisoned and summons 4 Tainted Spawn of Hydross. Quickly kill the adds as their damage can be quite substantial. Continue to attack Hydross. After another minute, the debuff (Mark of Corruption) would cause you to now take 100% increased nature damage. Again, use another defensive cooldown and drag him back into his prison. Here, he will summon 4 Purified Spawn of Hydross. Kill the adds again and focus on Hydross.

Continue alternating between his purified form and his poisoned form until Hydross is finally dead.

He drops 10 gold and 3 epic items.


Hydross the Unstable loot


I cannot allow you to interfere!
Nature phase
Aaghh, the poison...
Frost phase
Better, much better.
Killing a player in Water form
  • They have forced me to this...
  • I have no choice.
Killing a player in Poison form
  • You are no better than they!
  • I will purge you from this place.
Death in Water form
I am... released...
Death in Poison form
You are the disease, not I.


  • While Hydross is called the Duke of Currents, its spawn is considered by the elemental community to be the "Earl of Puddles."[1]

First kills


shortcut iconSee also: The Burning Crusade: Guild Progression

Patches and hotfixes

  • Bc icon.gif Patch 2.1.0 (2007-05-22):
    • Hydross the Unstable's hit points have been slightly reduced.
    • The creatures that lead up to Hydross the Unstable and creatures at the six pumping stations are now on a 2 hour respawn instead of 45 minutes.
    • Fixed an issue with Hydross where you would kill him and he would instead change into his alternate form with 1 health.
    • The "Mark of Hydross" and "Mark of Corruption" debuffs can now affect the increases of the nature or frost damage taken up to 500%.
  • Bc icon.gif Hotfix (2007-03-21): Hydross the Unstable no longer deals a crushing blow.
  • Bc icon.gif Patch 2.0.3 (2007-01-09): Added.


External links