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Blackrock Mountain Guide: Grim Guzzler, Dark Iron Arena & Emperor Thaurissan

How to beat all of the content in the first wing of the new Adventure.

The first wing of Blackrock Mountain has just been released, and that means there's a trio of devilishly devious bosses to be tackled. We've battled our way through these encounters to bring you a quick guide to how to unlock those lovely new cards. We've also got quick guides to the Mage and Hunter Class Challenges that feature this week.

How to beat the Grim Guzzler in Blackrock Depths


The Grim Guzzler has to make use of his Pile On! ability each turn, and that means you can expect a minion from both of your decks to make a regular appearance. That means you need to Mulligan for your low-cost cards to ensure an early board presence, then let the Guzzler do the hard work of putting your meatier minions into play. Try this Druid deck for both difficulties.

From here it's a question of making smart trades with the Guzzler and taking down his health, while paying attention to the effects of the ogre who inflicts a 50% wrong-target buff against all minions. You may want to have a crack at taking this big guy down first, but we found we could simply bluster past his debuff effect by prioritising plays carefully.


In Heroic mode, the important thing is to stuff your deck with as many massive minions as you own, and let the Guzzler bring them into play. Note, however, that his Hero Power now allows him to bring two of his minions into play, but just one of yours. He'll also start with 15 points of armour.

It can be helpful to build a deck with lots of clearance spells in it, as this increases the chance of getting a good minion onto the board from the very earliest turns. Just keep an eye out for the Dark Iron Bouncer, a character who's guaranteed to survive after the Guzzler casts Brawl.

How to beat the Dark Iron Arena in Blackrock Depths


Your task in the Dark Iron Arena is to put the beatdown on High Justice Grimstone, while battering through his Hero Power which allows him to summon a 1/1 Taunt minion for one Mana each turn. You can expect a huge number of Legendary cards to be put into play during this match, so you need a deck capable of keeping the board clear. We made use of this relatively cheap Druid deck to get the job done.


Like the last Heroic fight, Grimstone starts off with a bonus 15 points of armour. He'll also begin his first turn with four Mana in his hand - the big cheat. Again the trick is to control the board as much as possible, and push damage through to Grimstone's face whenever the opportunity presents itself. It might take you a few attempts to get lucky with your draws, but you shouldn't have too much trouble finishing this fight.

How to beat the Emperor Thaurissan in Blackrock Depths


It's an aggressive Paladin deck to the rescue for the final boss battle this week against Emperor Thaurissan. The most important thing to keep in mind is the mechanics surrounding Thaurissan's Wife. You must not kill her, or you'll trigger the boss's Hero Power which does 30 points of damage to you - not good. Avoid using any taunts whatsoever, and simply take her single point of damage to your face each turn - she won't attack your minions voluntarily.

Otherwise, just pursue an extremely aggressive strategy against Thaurissan, making use of all your buffing cards to build an escalating threat against the boss. Keep the pressure up and he should drop in no time at all.


There's not a huge number of changes to consider in Heroic difficulty, except for the fact that once again the boss receives 15 armour to help them through the fight. Overall, it simply becomes more important to keep your eyes peeled for cards like Dark Iron Skulker, so you don't lose control of the field. Make sure you silence or destroy cards like Unstable Ghoul and Abomination quickly too.

Blackrock Mountain Hunter Class Challenge guide

The Hunter Class Challenge pairs you off against the Grim Guzzler, so once again the Pile On mechanic comes into play. For this reason you should aim for low-Mana cards in your opening turns - Scavenging Hyena and low-cost Beasts make for a great starting option.

Explosive Shot will help you do a lot of work clearing the board down, so just take this on as a super-aggressive fight and you'll win this challenge in time at all. If your opponent draws a Savannah Highmane onto the board for you nice and early on, it's game over for him.

Blackrock Mountain Mage Class Challenge guide

It's back to the Dark Iron Arena for the Mage Challenge, and the good news is you don't really have to worry about Mulliganing correctly - it's Unstable Portal time! Keep popping them one by one, working actual minions onto the table as long as the Mana curve works out.

It's a typical battle of attrition here, but just watch out for Lorewalker Chow - you don't want to be gifting your opponent an endless succession of Unstable Portals! If you get a Grim Patron at any point, make sure you pop it with Fireblast to duplicate your new-found friend.

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John Bedford avatar

John Bedford


John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief and looks after the day to day running of the site when he's not writing about Hearthstone.