Epic Cragmire Crypts Strategy Guide By Thefabricant

A few weeks ago we asked thefabricant to write a guide on how to beat eCC legit and well, he delivered. Because it’s so hard to beat the boss, it’s hard to find a group willing to get some legit tries in, so be sure to give props. This also completes our guides of T2 dungeons (eToS eGWD). The guide has originally been published here.

Traven Blackdagger
Traven Blackdagger

As there seems to be a common recurring theme of people complaining about this dungeon being too difficult, I thought I would write a guide to explain how this dungeon works.


  1. The Group Composition
  2. The Recommended Gear
  3. Random Adds
  4. Kallos Tam
  5. Adventuring Party
  6. Traven Blackdagger

As a preface to this, I will say that I have the fortune of knowing some good players and never having to random queue for dungeons. That being said, I do still random queue for them, so I do understand how frustrating it can be for players. In module 6, I was never able to pug higher then t1, however, I also feel that this is the way things should be. I enjoy difficult content, as stated in other threads and I am quite biased in that area. At the start of mod 6, I spent hours with 2k groups attempting this dungeon, trying different tactics, seeing what worked, until eventually we nailed down a set of strategies that worked. That being said, even with those strategies, it took an extraordinary group to do it in mod 6 with a 2k group, where as, in comparison it is totally viable with a 2k group, assuming they know what they doing. Take note, this guide is written for your 2k group, not your 5k group. Were I writing a guide for abaddon it would differ vastly and probably go something along the lines of…”rush in and kill everything” so if you are that 5k player, please remember, whilst this works for you, there are a lot more efficient ways you could be doing this. So, lets not beat about the bush any longer, this is my advice for the dungeon:

1) The Group Composition

There are multiple ways to do this, I will list a few that work, but I will mainly expand on two of them as they are the ones I find to be the most efficient:

Righteous/Faithful DC, MoF CW, TR, HR, GF

This part composition works based off buffs to massively scale the parties damage resistance and damage. The DC uses things like Astral Shield to boost the damage resistance of the party and then divine glow and bastion of health. If it is your first time attempting this composition, I recommend Faithful rather then Righteous as it is more forgiving of mistakes however if you are experienced, then I advise taking a Righteous to make the fight go faster. The CW, as MoF, has access to Smoulder, which is a big damage buff for the party, in addition to the control provided by Furious Immolation. On top of this, he has the regular CW skills and powers and can optionally swap out one of his powers for Ray of Enfeeblement at bosses. The GF can bring the power of Into the Fray (ITF) to the party to scale up the damage, as well as boost the parties survivability through Knight’s Valour (KV). The HR is another controller, rooting and dazing enemies but more importantly he has access to Fox’s Cunning and Slasher’s Mark, which helps to keep the party alive and prevent unnecessary damage. You might question Why a TR instead of a GWF and this is quite simply because a TR can roll, which means that he is less likely to get killed than a GWF. In addition, a TR also has tools like Wicked Reminder to help with the beating down bosses. Here is a video of the dungeon, from the perspective of this group composition:

[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/XLnM-7hN9-8″]

Devotion OP, Protection OP, GF, HR, GWF/TR
This is the safest composition to run this dungeon with. It is the composition I like to call the cheese composition, as quite honestly, given enough time, it could do anything in the game. The protection OP uses encounter powers that quickly generate AP so that he can keep up Divine Protector. He also uses Binding Oath, to help him deal with incoming damage. With the aid of the GF and the Devotion OP, he can regenerate AP fast enough to keep up Divine Protector 100% of the time, making the party immortal. This is also possible with a DC. The devotion OP also helps to deal with damage in the event that something goes wrong. Shield of Faith provides an additional layer of DR that exceeds the DR cap, mitigating 50% of the incoming damage, just like the CW shield. If your party is all at 80% DR, Shield of Faith effectively takes you to 90% DR, as an illustration. In addition, with the massive amounts of damage reduction in the party, the heal OP can easily out heal all the damage been dealt, covering everyone’s rears and making the run completely secure. The GF provides an additional layer in the event that Divine Protector goes down, once again, a contingency in the event something goes wrong. He also provides more damage from ITF. The HR helps the party by providing dodges from Foxes Cunning and by providing the party with stamina from Slasher’s Mark. The last person fulfills the roll of single target DPS. Here is a video of this group composition:

[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/PIiWCjPfMsA”]

Other group compositions that work
Prot OP, DC, any 3 DPS
Faithful DC, Dev OP, SW, any 2 other DPS
GF, Dev OP, 3 DPS

2) The Recommended Gear

This is not going to be broken down class by class, but rather by things that will be wanted in general across the board for all classes. Firstly, you will want 1 player with a Plaguefire Enchantment for the debuff and another player with the Terror Enchantment. In terms of armor, you will all want to at least have your T1 gear sets, T2 is optional, but not required. This is mainly for the HP rather then the offensive stats, because without the HP the group will really struggle where as without the offensive stats the run will just drag on longer. In terms of an armor enchant, you will want Soulforges across the board. This is to account for human error, which is something we are all afflicted with. Boons are optional and not 100% necessary. For enchantments, you will want at least rank 6’s, although I would recommend rank 7’s or higher. For your companion, you want an augment for the additional stats or an active companion with Bonding Runestones. Finally, the most important thing you want is a properly built char. For this, I recommend looking in whichever forum is relevant for your class, you should find a build in each forum which is highly popular and trusted, that would be a build I would recommend using. If the gear looks highly expensive, which is likely, I recommend asking the build author for budget alternatives to their gear. There is no harm in asking and most of them are quite friendly. Don’t ask me anything too specific about classes other then CW or Dev OP though, as they are the only ones I have gone into depth when it comes to truly learning all their niche mechanics. If you got a DC who is confident in their skill, they can use the mod 5 High Prophet set if they have it. It is a huge boost to party DPS.

3) Random Adds

When dealing with the random adds in the dungeon, the main focus should be to keep them all close together and not split them up, with the tank holding them down whilst the DPS AoE them into oblivion. As tempting as it is, skills like Ice Storm, Repel and Sunburst are truly frustrating and can actually cause unnecessary Soulforges, so please refrain from using them. The only skill I would say is situationally alright for this list is Relentless Avenger used by an OP, because although the knockback is painful, the benefit the party gains, especially in a 2k party, from dailies like Shield of Faith and Divine Protector far outweigh the downside. Things to note is that the Hexers put down red circles on the ground and can be quite painful and that you should be careful not to let a cut throat maneuver its way behind you, they hit monstrously hard with their melee attack when they get combat advantage. It is important to be aware of the mechanics of the Deathpledged, as whilst they are simplistic and easy to avoid, they can be incredibly harmful to the stability of the run if they are not given sufficient caution. They have a melee attack, then they have a charge attack that prones an enemy when they hit. The prone attack is the one to beware of, fortunately, it is telegraphed and puts a red circle on the ground by whoever is targeted. If you see that red circle, get out of its way as a prone temporarily incapacitates 1 member of the party. Finally, the archers are a threat because of the damage they deal and should be eliminated quickly, but pose little threat while they are actively engaged.

4) Kallos Tam

This guy is the easiest boss fight in the whole dungeon. That being said, before you engage him, if you are an uncertain group then open the door at the back of the room so that if you die, you can get back quickly. Mechanically, he does 3 things. He has a ranged AoE attack, an AoE attack centered around himself and he spawns waves of adds. It is important to use AoE to deal with the adds, whilst nuking him down. His attacks are telegraphed, making them easy to dodge or block and if you have a decent healer, it might be advisable for the tank to stand close and block rather then dodge as it keeps the fight more stable. Your CW can optionally use Ray of Enfeeblement here as one of his skills, to accelerate the killing of the boss. If you have a devotion pally and a GF, the party is safe from the red through the protection of Shield of Faith and KV. If your party is really struggling, I recommend pulling Kallos back a bit to the sarcophagus in the middle of the room and then use it as a line of sight block to play cat and mouse with him.

5) The Adventuring Party

There are 2 ways of doing this, so I will list them both. The first, if you are not very confident in your groups capability, is to have the party wait outside the corridor in the previous room around the corner, then have the tank pull them back 1 room. This is effective as it groups them all up as they come down the corridor whilst allowing you to space out and lets you nuke them all at once, rather then fighting them spaced out. It makes it easy for you to get away from their AoE and concentrates their AoE in a small space. The second option is to dive right into the room and fight them where they stand. It is more messy and less safe, but if you want to beat Traven, you will want to be able to dive right in anyhow. Either way, you will still want to focus down Shaek (the healer) first, followed by the CW’s, finishing with the GWF. Your CW should probably not switch to Ray, as this is an AoE based fight. The important thing to do is to watch out for and dodge steal time from both CW’s as well as Shaek’s daily. The stuns and prones can easily wipe a party and are far more dangerous then the damage that the group is dealing. Fortunately, all of these mechanics are telegraphed and if you see a red circle, you know you should be getting out, or, if you are a tank, blocking.

6) Traven Blackdagger

This fight is very technical when you are playing it safe. I have broken it down a bit to make it a bit more understandable and user friendly.

The Arena
The Arena

6.1) The Phases
The first 2 important facts to take note of is that when he gets to 66% HP, he spawns a wave of Deathpledged and when he gets to 33% HP, he spawns 2 Hexers.

Your average ordinary every day Deathpledged
Your average ordinary every day Deathpledged
Your average ordinary every day Hexers
Your average ordinary every day Hexers

This means that before you get him to either of those 2 stages, you want to make sure your party is in a stable position.

As the fight goes on, he will occasionally spawn in some random monsters composed in groups of Cut-Throats and Archers, as indicated on the image bellow:

Spawning Points
Spawning Points

Green is where the Cut-Throats spawn, Red is where the Archers spawn. You wish this was marked in the arena, don’t you? :p

One or two players should spend some of their time add clearing these, with a third some times jumping in. Something to note is that the adds will never run through Traven’s fire bombs, meaning that if their spawn points are covered in flames, they will sit around and glare at you, but not move towards you and if there is no way to get to you but through a fire bomb, then they will just stand still.

6.2) The Boss Mechanics
Traven himself has 5 attacks. The first is a teleport skill, where he teleports behind you and then does a slow, telegraphed melee attack.

It is rather hard to get a screenshot of the exact moment of the teleport, but that is more or less what the attack looks like. The attack is dodgeable and it hits for a very large amount, if you see him pop up behind you, you definitely want to move.

The second attack he does is a quick barrage of hits in a 180 degree cone.

This is much easier to get an image of, quite nasty, you don’t want to be hit by it. Once again, this is telegraphed with a red cone being placed on the ground. The hits each hit for approximately 70k and so whilst they won’t kill you individually and you can probably take 1 to the face, the fact that there is more then 1 hit means that the 2nd or 3rd will kill you, unless you got a heal OP in the party, who can heal you up before the next attacks in the salvo occur.

The 3rd attack of Traven’s is a very hard kick, which prones whoever it hits.

This attack is a nightmare to dodge, it has almost no forewarning, so look out. This attack is not very well telegraphed, although you can predict it if you watch the visuals. The melee and tank will have to be alert for this attack, especially the tank, as a tank being proned at an inopportune moment will wipe the party. The 4th and 5th attack both get their own section, as they play an integral role in the strategy for beating this dungeon.

6.3) The Keg+Fire Bomb
The 4th attack is his fire bomb, which is telegraphed through the placement of a large red circle on the ground, which he targets one of the players in the group with.

The red circle placed by the targeting of a player by Traven when using his fire bomb. Unless you have over 90% DR, or Divine Protector up, this attack will 1 hit you. My Devotion Paladin has over 90% DR and still gets hit for over 90k, only barely surviving, so be very careful and make sure not to be in the way. The important thing to note about the fire bomb is the AoE, after the initial bomb does remain in the instance on the ground and deal a fire damage dot if you stand on it for about 12k damage/second, the dot will remain until the keg is used.

The keg is a new mechanic introduced in module 6, which goes hand in hand with Traven’s fire bomb. What it does is it removes the fire bomb from the floor of the instance, at the cost of initiating Traven’s 5th attack which is a form of bloodbath.

Warning: Using this keg makes a potentially unstable pirate dangle from the chandelier, proceed with caution. Bloodbath is a Trickster Rogue ability that hits 6 times. After pulling the keg, Traven takes more damage for a brief period of time, but also hits a whole lot harder. It is recommended to not pull the keg if the party is in an unstable situation, as you will more then likely wipe. Due to this, it is best to pull the keg a little early sometimes if you are in a good position, as you can get in extra DPS and not be forced to pull it later when things are a bit shaky.

6.4) The Strategy
First, this is a lot easier with someone to lead the group via voice chat. What you do is you have 1 ranged character attack the boss from a distance when entering the arena. This will aggro him to the ranged character and have him throw his first fire bomb on the ranged character, having it be placed on the bottom right, which is by the door where you enter. You want to always stand on the outer edge of a red circle together, moving from right to left, then up and left to right, in a zigzag pattern, so that his fire bombs land close together and you can sustain the fight as long as possible without popping the keg.

Makes a lot more sense with a picture, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, your instance of eCC will not come with those included. Once a particular line is filled with red circles, you start zigzagging. This is important to keep the red circles efficiently packed so that if something goes wrong, you got some way to get out quickly. Rather than having red circles on all sides.

An alternate strategy to zigzagging is to pop the keg after a fixed number of firebombs, for example, pop it after every 3. Before you get the boss to 33% or 66%, you will want to pop the keg. This is so that you have plenty of space in which to deal with the Deathpledged and Hexers, which are a major problem when the floor is covered in red. If you are running with a Protection Paladin, you will want him to have Divine Protector up the moment you pop the keg.

Keg Popping the safe way
Keg Popping the safe way


If you are running with a DC, you will want the DC to have an empowered astral shield on the ground which the group stands in, the moment you pop the keg. These precautions are taken to prevent the Bloodbath from killing you, as it can be very dangerous. Either way, during the interim before his second Bloodbath, you should quickly build up AP and have your abilities get off cooldown, in order to use them again to protect from the really big hits of the 2nd Bloodbath.

After the 2nd Bloodbath
After the 2nd Bloodbath

Once the 2nd Bloodbath is finished, the group should collectively move down to the bottom corner where you entered the dungeon and repeat the zigzag strategy which is outlined above. This is because you do not want firebombs close to the keg starting off as then it is hard to use the keg later down the road. During the fight, ideally you want Slashers Mark on the boss as well as Ray of Enfeeblement, as the extra damage and dodges make a big difference.

If all goes well and no major mistakes are made, sticking to this guide should allow you to pull through and get that legit eCC clear. I hope this guide helps, if you have any questions or queries, please post them here or pm me. If any of you in the community use a different strategy to the ones I use, please post them here in response :)

Finally, something interesting I noticed while messing around with demo record is that the CW teleport isn’t actually a teleport, its a roll like the TR’s roll. This can be seen when playing back a video from demo record where there is a CW who is teleporting, as you will be able to see your wizard executing a roll. Also, I would like to thank @ironzerg79 for sort of teaching me how page formatting on the official forum works through the power of copy paste to get this thing looking nice. Without quoting some of his stuff and seeing how he got the colors changing, I never would have figured it out. Some more thanks can go to @angrysprite for his/her guide explaining how /demo_record works so I could get the screenshots :) Finally, thanks to the other members of the teams I have been doing runs with, without you, I wouldn’t have smooth video footage :p (especially you @jaegernl)


j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.