Karsh Steelbender

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BossKarsh Steelbender
Image of Karsh Steelbender
Title <Twilight Armorer>
Race Drakonid (Dragonkin)
Level 82 - 87 Elite
Reaction Alliance Horde
Affiliation(s) Twilight's Hammer
Location Blackrock Caverns
Status Killable

Karsh Steelbender is the third and an optional boss of Blackrock Caverns in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. He is a twilight drakonid.


Adventure Guide

The enormous drakonid Karsh Steelbender toils in the Twilight Forge, shaping weapons of war out of rare quicksilver. Although Karsh's works are nearly unbreakable under normal circumstances, at high temperatures they become brittle as rusted iron.


  • Inv shield 04.png  Quicksilver Armor Tank Alert — Karsh Steelbender's Quicksilver Armor reduces all damage taken by 99% when cooled. 
  • Spell fire firearmor.png  Superheated Quicksilver Armor Tank Alert — When Karsh Steelbender moves under the stream of molten metal in the center of the room, his Quicksilver armor begins to heat up. This immediately removes the cooled Quicksilver Armor from him and replaces it with Superheated Quicksilver Armor. The Superheated Quicksilver Armor increases his damage taken by 5% for 17 sec. The effect continues to stack for every second he is under the molten stream.When the duration of Superheated Quicksilver Armor expires, the armor cools off and Karsh gains the Quicksilver Armor effect. 
  • Spell fire sealoffire.png  Heat Wave — Every second Karsh Steelbender is under the molten stream of metal, his armor emits a Heat Wave. This inflicts 1500 Fire damage to all nearby enemies, but the damage is further multiplied by the number of stacks of Superheated Quicksilver Armor on Karsh. 
  • Spell fire sealoffire.png  Burning Metal — When Karsh Steelbender's Quicksilver Armor is superheated, he inflicts 1500 Fire damage to his current enemy target whenever he swings his weapon at them. This damage is multiplied by the number of stacks of Superheated Quicksilver Armor on Karsh. 
  • Ability warrior cleave.png  Cleave — Karsh Steelbender swings his glaive in a wild arc, inflicting 110% of his normal melee damage to his current melee target and two other nearby targets within melee distance of Karsh. 
  • Spell fire volcano.png  Lava Spout — When the duration of Superheated Quicksilver Armor expires, Karsh Steelbender's armor cools off and the excess heat causes lava spouts to erupt from the circular grate inside the room. Players standing on the grate when the lava spouts erupt take 23125 to 26875 Fire damage. 
    • Bound Flames Heroic Difficulty — When the lava spouts erupt from the circular grate, three Bound Flames form and begin to attack nearby enemy players. 


Holding him in the central pillar of fire (or over Lava Pools in heroic) will make him gain stacks of Superheated Quicksilver Armor. He cannot be damaged until he has this buff.

When he gains a stack, he deals an amount of AoE fire damage on the party proportional to the number of stacks. Each stack also increases the damage done by his melee swing, and increases his total damage taken. Get too many stacks, and you will be doing more damage, but the healer will be overwhelmed leading to deaths.

5-6 stacks works easily enough.

When the buff expires, the circular grate over the lava explodes and is pretty much insta-death to anyone standing on it.

Heroic Mode:

There are two differences between normal and heroic mode: the damage done by the AOE pulse when Karsh gains a stack of Superheated Quicksilver is much more punishing, and when Superheated Quicksilver wears off three non-elite adds spawn.

The room must be prepared for the fight. Kill all the Troggs that surround the area Karsh patrols.

Superheated Quicksilver has a 17 second duration. The key to this fight is maximizing the time that Karsh spends with the Superheated Quicksilver debuff, while minimizing the number of AOE pulses he generates at a time. This should be done by attempting to add only one stack of Superheated Quicksilver at a time. The best way to do this is to have the tank kite him tangentially to the central pillar of fire, so he only dips his toe in for a moment as he walks past it. This will ensure that Karsh only pulses the AOE once, perhaps twice, making sure that the healer is not overwhelmed with raid healing. Skilled tanks can try to time Karsh's trips through the pillar of fire to occur immediately after he takes a melee swing; as the most common reason for Karsh getting multiple stacks of Superheated Quicksilver is him pausing to take a melee swing at the tank while in the pillar. This isn't necessary though; the healer should be able to handle two AOE pulses without much trouble. If Karsh ever gets more than two stacks of Superheated Quicksilver at a time, the tank has done something wrong.

Tanks should easily be able to handle 7 or 8 stacks of Superheated Quicksilver. More than that will depend on gear. When the debuff is allowed to wear off, Karsh will become invulnerable and three adds will spawn. Additionally, the outer ring will momentarily erupt with fire. The adds are non-elite and can easily be burned down; however when they die they will leave behind a pool of lava that persists for the duration of the fight. The pool of lava has the same properties as the pillar of fire; e.g. it will cause Karsh to gain stacks of Superheated Quicksilver. Adds should be kited by DPS to the outer part of the room and burned down (this is why Troggs should be killed before engaging Karsh). This will make sure that the party has plenty of room to maneuver when dealing with Karsh himself. The tank should just hold tight and wait to kite Karsh through the pillar of fire until all three adds are down and DPS is ready to resume.

It is also possible to complete the entire fight without the debuff falling off of Karsh, and therefore no adds spawning. To do this, the tank should kite Karsh along the edge of the pillar of fire so that Karsh gains one stack of the Superheated Quicksilver debuff. When the debuff is about to fall off, the tank should repeat this process, refreshing the duration of the debuff and now making it two stacks. Repeat this process each time the debuff is about to expire and Karsh will never spawn the adds. Depending upon damage output, it is possible to down Karsh at 10 stacks or less. If, however, an accidental second or third stack is added while pulling Karsh through the fire, it will most likely be necessary to allow the debuff to fall off in order to reset Karsh's damage buffs.



Objective of



Bodies to test my armaments upon!
Superheated Quicksilver Armor
Feel the burn!
Killing a player
Merely an impurity in the compound...
We number in the millions! Your efforts are wasted...


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Notes and trivia

  • In case the boss becomes too much of a problem to kill, hugging the left wall of the room allows the group to pass the boss, however you will lose out on loot (and 70 Justice Points on heroic mode). It could be argued however that it's better to have a chance on more Justice Points from later bosses.
  • Karsh is voiced by Marc Graue.

Patches and hotfixes

  • Warlords of Draenor Hotfix (2014-10-20): Karsh Steelbender's Heat Wave ability should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
  • Cataclysm Hotfix (2010-12-21): The duration of the Superheated Quicksilver Armor debuff on Karsh Steelbender is now 17 seconds, up from 12 seconds. The encounter was too hard to tank and went against our intended fight mechanics. The display for this buff may not properly update until a client-side patch is applied.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Added.

External links