BossIcecrown Gunship Battle
Image of Icecrown Gunship Battle
Race Varies (Humanoid)
Reaction Alliance Horde
Location Between the Rampart of Skulls and Deathbringer's Rise, Icecrown Citadel

The Icecrown Gunship Battle is an aerial battle between the gunships Skybreaker and Orgrim's Hammer around the spire of Icecrown Citadel. The encounter has some fun elements, and most guilds and PuGs manage it easily, therefore it is often referred to as the "Lootship Battle".


All NPCs have the same abilities regardless whether they're Alliance or Horde, only their designations change.

Own ship

Alliance Gunship Cannon / Horde Gunship Cannon
  • Ability vehicle siegeenginecannon.png  Cannon Blast 150 yd range — Launches a cannonball at the target. Inflicts 1000 Siege damage and generates 6 to 10 Heat. Instant
  • Ability vehicle demolisherflamecatapult.png  Incinerating Blast 150 yd range — Consumes all of the cannon's Heat to launch a massive ball of fire at the target. Inflicts 1000 Siege damage plus additional damage per point of Heat. Instant
Muradin Bronzebeard / High Overlord Saurfang
  • Ability warrior rampage.png  Battle Fury — Increases all damage done by 5%. Instant. 20 sec duration. +7% in 25-player mode
  • Ability warrior cleave.png  Cleave Melee range — Inflicts 120% of normal melee damage to an enemy and its nearest allies, affecting up to 3 targets. Instant (6 sec cooldown)
  • Ability gouge.png  Rending Throw 50,000 yd range — Throws your weapon at the enemy causing 3010 to 3990 weapon damage and an additional 2000 Physical damage every 3 sec for 18 sec. Instant
Mob Skybreaker Sorcerer / Mob Kor'kron Battle-Mage
  • Spell frost frost.png  Below Zero 50,000 yd range — Freezes the target in a block of ice by concentrating and freezing moisture in the air. The caster must channel to maintain the ice block. Instant
Mob Skybreaker Mortar Soldier / Mob Kor'kron Rocketeer
  • Inv gizmo rocketlauncher.png  Rocket Artillery 50,000 yd range — Launches a rocket that explodes on impact, inflicting Fire damage to nearby enemies and Siege damage to the enemy gunship. 5 sec cast
    • Spell fire selfdestruct.png  Explosion 50,000 yd range — The rocket explodes, inflicting 6300 to 7700 Fire damage to nearby enemies and Siege damage to the enemy gunship. Instant

Boarding party

Mob Skybreaker Sergeant / Mob Kor'kron Sergeant
  • Ability warrior bladestorm.png  Bladestorm — Instantly Whirlwind up to 4 nearby targets and for the next 6 sec you will perform a whirlwind attack every 1.0 sec. While under the effects of Bladestorm, you can move but cannot perform any other abilities but you do not feel pity or remorse or fear and you cannot be stopped unless killed. Instant (7 sec cooldown)
  • Ability warrior savageblow.png  Wounding Strike Melee range — Inflicts 200% weapon damage and leaves the target wounded, reducing the effectiveness of any healing by 25% for 10 sec. Instant. -40% healing in 25-player mode.
  • Ability hunter rapidkilling.png  Desperate Resolve — Increases armor and attack speed by 60%. Instant. +120% Armor in 25-player mode.
Mob Skybreaker Marine / Mob Kor'kron Reaver
  • Ability hunter rapidkilling.png  Desperate Resolve — Increases armor and attack speed by 60%. Instant. +120% Armor in 25-player mode.
Mob Skybreaker Rifleman / Mob Kor'kron Axethrower
  • Ability marksmanship.png  Shoot 50,000 yd range — Shoot at the target, inflicting 3800 to 4200 Physical damage. 2 sec cast. 5700-6300 in 25-player mode
  • Inv weapon halberd 03.png  Hurl Axe 50,000 yd range — Hurl an axe at the target, inflicting 3800 to 4200 Physical damage. 2 sec cast. 5700-6300 in 25-player mode
Shared abilities
  • Spell fire meteorstorm.png  Burning Pitch 50,000 yd range — Throws gob of burning pitch that sets the target area aflame, inflicting 17250 Siege damage and an additional 7500 Fire damage over 3 sec. 2.5 sec cast

All enemy NPCs except the Commanders and the Battle-Mage/Sorceror gain experience the longer they are left alive, starting from Regular and progressing to Experienced, then Veteran, and finally Elite. Depending on rank, damage and attack speed are increased.

Enemy NPC experience buffs
Rank Damage increase Speed increase
Achievement pvp g 01.png  Experienced 30% 20%
Achievement pvp o 02.png  Veteran 60% 40%
Achievement pvp h 03.png  Elite 120% 80%

Due to this progression it's a good idea to kill enemy NPCs quickly.


Both ships deal siege damage to each other. The one going down first loses the battle. Siege damage is dealt to the enemy ship by firing the guns. The enemy gunship deals siege damage to the player's ship by shooting rockets.

Besides this siege battle, the players have to deal with enemy boarding parties and also need to send an offensive boarding party on the enemy ship from time to time. Additionally, the rocket teams and other enemy ranged damage dealers keep strafing all players. The rockets can be avoided by moving away from their target marks (similar to Mimiron's rockets, but less damaging than these), the ranged damage can simply be healed through.

The raid should be split up in a (smaller) offensive team which includes enough damage dealers (melee preferred) to man the guns, one tank and an appropriate number of healers (1 in 10 player, 2-3 in 25 player), and a (larger) defensive team including everyone else.

Only the offensive team needs the jet packs provided by the engineer NPC on the player's ship, but usually the whole raid finds them interesting enough that everybody takes one. They need to be equipped before entering combat, as they are a clothing item (shirt) and cannot be equipped once in combat. The jump pack is used by 'using' it and selecting a destination to jump to (this is usually practiced intensely before the battle starts).


The defensive team is concerned with keeping the player's gunship free of enemy boarding parties and with killing enemy ranged attackers.

Enemy boarders who don't have players on their aggro list instead attack the player's gunship with burning pitch, which deals very high amounts of siege damage. Therefore, all members of the enemy boarding party must be tanked immediately. Ranged AoE is highly effective. Due to their whirlwind, melee must be careful until all Sergeants are dead.

A few seconds after all members of the previous boarding party are dead, a new boarding party spawns. It may be a good idea to leave the last member of the boarding party alive for some time, so that the ranged damage-dealers can kill the ranged damage dealers on the enemy ship. Another option is to dedicate some ranged damage-dealers full-time to killing the mobs on the enemy ship.


The offensive team consists of melee attackers, a tank, and dedicated healers for that tank.

The offensive team fires the guns until they're frozen. This freeze occurs every 45 seconds or so. When the guns are frozen, they cannot fire. They're unfrozen by killing the mage on board of the enemy ship. The offensive team leaves the guns and jumps over to the other ship (the healers can actually stay on the edge of their own ship). The tank needs to keep the enemy commander busy. The enemy commander gains a stacking buff while in combat, thus the offensive party must be quick to kill the mage (depending on tank gear 20–30 seconds). After the mage is dead, they jump back and resume firing the guns.

Even if the boarding party is fast, they should not try to kill a few extra mobs on the enemy ship - it is more efficient to quickly man the guns again.

The offensive team must be careful not to leave behind anything which could keep the enemy commander in combat (totems, pets or the like). Back on the player's ship, the offensive team should move away from the enemy ship to make sure the Commander gets out of combat.

The ship's guns have two different attacks: a normal shot bound to "1" which deals 1000 siege damage. Firing a normal shot also generates between 6 to 10 heat, which fills up the heat gauge on the gun (begins at 0, maximum 100, losing 1-2 heat per second while not firing). The second shot is bound to "2". It's a heated shot which immediately expels all the accumulated heat on the gun and deals 1000 siege damage plus extra damage for each unit of heat, up to just under 10000 with a nearly filled bar. If the heat meter reaches or exceeds 100, the gun overheats and both shots are locked for five seconds until all heat has been drained.

Both types of shot not only deal siege damage but also damage enemy mobs, thus shots should be angled at the rocketeers/ranged NPCs.

The siege damage to the player's ship is mainly dealt by the rocketeers. So disrupting them and not allowing them to gain high levels of experience significantly reduces the damage done to the player's ship. This is most effectively done by the gunners shooting at the rocketeers.


Keep everything this same, except for the Offensive squad. If the tank and his/her healer can hold the boarding party long enough, all of the DPS can jump to the far boat to down the enemy mage faster, resulting in a faster battle and more time to DPS the enemy boat down. Make sure the tank and healer can handle the mobs long enough for your raid to get over there and back without dying. Try kiting them over to the leader to have him assist if needed.

Heroic Mode

  • Rockets have a 7 Yard knockback
  • Mage has more HP
  • Enemy Gunship has more HP

Solo strategy

The hardest part of the fight is keeping the ship alive long enough to do enough damage to the opposing ship. There are three sources of damage to the player's ship:

  • Axe throwers casting Burning Pitch
  • The assault team casting Burning Pitch
  • Rockets

The burning pitch is what does the most damage, so any units that can cast burning pitch cannot be left alive while the player is either inside a cannon or on the opposing ship, killing the mage.

As of Patch 6.0.2, the damage dealt by your ship's cannon scales with your item level. At level 90+, the enemy ship can be easily destroyed in seconds, before the enemy adds even have a chance to attack.


Main article: Gunship Armory

Related achievements

10-player mode 25-player mode Objective
 [I'm on a Boat (10 player)]  [I'm on a Boat (25 player)] Claim victory in the Gunship Battle without any raid member visiting the enemy gunship more than twice
 [Storming the Citadel (10 player)] ( Heroic)  [Storming the Citadel (25 player)] ( Heroic) Defeat the first four bosses in Icecrown Citadel



First squad assisted
Skybreaker Vindicator says: Thank goodness you arrived when you did, heroes. Orgrim's Hammer has already left. Quickly now, to the Skybreaker! If you leave soon, you may be able to catch them.
Skybreaker Sorcerer says: This ought to help!
Skybreaker Sorcerer summons a Skybreaker Battle Standard.
Second squad assisted
Skybreaker Protector says: You have my thanks. We were outnumbered until you arrived.
Skybreaker Protector says: Captain Muradin is waiting aboard the Skybreaker. We'll secure the area until you are ready for take off.
Skybreaker Protector says: Skybreaker infantry, hold position!
Skybreaker Luminary says: Aye aye!
Skybreaker Assassin says: Aye aye!
A screeching cry pierces the air above!
A Spire Frostwyrm lands just before the Skybreaker.
Speaking with Muradin Bronzebeard
The old wounds still linger, <lad/lass>. I can feel 'em in me bones, even now. Aye, I got a score to settle with Arthas and ye can believe I'm gonna give that boy the beatin' I shoulda given 'im when he was a wee lad. Always knew there was something wrong with 'im.
Tell me when yer crew is ready and we'll lift off for the top o' the citadel.
Arthas won't be expectin' this!

Gossip My companions are all accounted for, Muradin. Let's go!

Event begin
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: Fire up the engines! We got a meetin' with destiny, lads!
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: Hold on to yer hats!
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: What in the world is that? Grab me spyglass, crewman!
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: By me own beard! HORDE SAILIN' IN FAST 'N HOT!
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: EVASIVE ACTION! MAN THE GUNS!
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: Cowardly dogs! Ye blindsided us!
High Overlord Saurfang yells: This is not your battle, dwarf. Back down or we will be forced to destroy your ship.
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: Not me battle? I dunnae who ye think ye are, mister, but I got a score to settle with Arthas and yer not gettin' in me way! FIRE ALL GUNS! FIRE! FIRE!
Boarding The Skybreaker
High Overlord Saurfang yells: Reavers, Sergeants, attack!
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: What's this then?! Ye won't be takin' this son o' Ironforge's vessel without a fight!
New Axethrowers Spawned
High Overlord Saurfang yells: Axethrowers, hurl faster!
New Rocketeers Spawned
High Overlord Saurfang yells: Rocketeers, reload!
New Battle-Mage Spawned
High Overlord Saurfang yells: We're taking hull damage, get a battle-mage out here to shut down those cannons!
Alliance victory
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: Don't say I didn't warn ya, scoundrels! Onward, brothers and sisters!
Once the ship docks, Muradin walks over to the edge of the rise, then despawns and respawns on the rise along with four Skybreaker Marines.
Alliance defeat
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: Captain Bartlett, get us out of here! We're[sic] taken too much damage to stay afloat!
Unused quote
Muradin Bronzebeard: This isn't looking good lads.


First squad assisted
Kor'kron Primalist says: Thank the spirits for you, brothers and sisters. The Skybreaker has already left. Quickly now, to Orgrim's Hammer! If you leave soon, you may be able to catch them.
Kor'kron Invoker says: This should be helpin'ya!
Kor'kron Invoker summons a Kor'kron Battle Standard.
Second squad assisted
Kor'kron Defender says: Aka'Magosh, brave warriors. The alliance is in great number here.
Kor'kron Defender says: Captain Saurfang will be pleased to see you aboard Orgrim's Hammer. Make haste, we will secure the area until you are ready for take-off.
Kor'kron Defender says: Orgrim's Hammer Infantry, hold position!
Kor'kron Stalker says: Lok'tar!
A screeching cry pierces the air above!
A Spire Frostwyrm lands just before Orgrim's Hammer.
Speaking with High Overlord Saurfang
I have heard tale of my boy being here. That he's now a powerful death knight in service of the Lich King. If this is true, then it must be me that ends the bloodline.
My charge now is to command Orgrim's Hammer to the top of Icecrown Citadel and destroy all Scourge that get in our way. We leave when you and your allies are ready.

Gossip My companions are all accounted for, Saurfang. Let's go!

Event begin
High Overlord Saurfang yells: Rise up, sons and daughters of the Horde! Today we battle a hated enemy of the Horde! LOK'TAR OGAR!
High Overlord Saurfang yells: Kor'kron, take us out!
High Overlord Saurfang yells: What is that?! Something approaching in the distance!
High Overlord Saurfang yells: ALLIANCE GUNSHIP! ALL HANDS ON DECK!
High Overlord Saurfang yells: You answer to Saurfang now!
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: Move yer jalopy or we'll blow it out of the sky, orc! The Horde's got no business here!
High Overlord Saurfang yells: You will know our business soon! Kor'kron, ANNIHILATE THEM!
Boarding Orgrim's Hammer
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: Marines, Sergeants, attack!
High Overlord Saurfang yells: You DARE board my ship? Your death will come swiftly.
New Riflemen Spawned
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: Riflemen, shoot faster!
New Mortar Team Spawned
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: Mortar team, reload!
New Mage Spawned
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: We're taking hull damage, get a sorcerer out here to shut down those cannons!
Horde victory
High Overlord Saurfang yells: The Alliance falter. Onward to the Lich King!
Horde defeat
High Overlord Saurfang yells: Damage control! Put those fires out! You haven't seen the last of the Horde!
Unused quote
High Overlord Saurfang: We have failed.


10-player Normal encounter

10-player Heroic encounter

25-player Normal encounter

25-player Heroic encounter

Patch changes

  • Warlords of Draenor Hotfix (2014-10-17): Damage dealt by the cannons in the Gunship Battle now scales with the player’s item level.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Hotfix (2009-12-16): Muradin and Saurfang will no longer gain stacks of Battlefury from totems. Additionally, the duration of Battlefury has also been reduced.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08): Added.


Icecrown Citadel: The Frozen Throne |  Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment

As they continue their ascent, the Alliance and Horde heroes ultimately end up outside of the citadel where their hatred for one another erupts into a battle for dominance over the Rampart of Skulls. Players will join in battle alongside High Overlord Saurfang on the Orgrim's Hammer gunship or Muradin Bronzebeard on The Skybreaker in a unique encounter. Each faction will protect its gunship and try to destroy the other one in a back-and-forth battle to see who is truly worthy of facing the Lich King.

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