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Dak's guide to Dread Fortress HM (Vindication guild)

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Flashpoints, Operations, and Heroic Missions
Dak's guide to Dread Fortress HM (Vindication guild)

Island_Jedi's Avatar

11.13.2013 , 11:46 PM | #1
Dread Fortress requires good reflexes and often good judgment to complete properly. The key to this Operation as any will be learning the key mechanics and mastering them. Lets break this Operation down fight by fight and learn the bosses together.
(Disclaimer - There are many strats out there and we do not claim to be the best. This is simply what Vindication is using currently on Harbringer and we want to share. )


If you are not geared properly, Nefra is gonna throw you outta club DF in a hurry. Nefra represents the gear check of the instance and rightly so, being the first boss of DF. She is a relatively simple fight, that tests your ability to deal with large of amounts of cleansable DOTS.

Key Mechanics

Cleave - Nefra will one-shot anybody she attacks, unless that person shares cleaves with another player. If two players stand next to each other they will receive a buff that allows them to take damage at a moderate pace. Keep tanks together to share cleaves and this mechanic is very simple to get right.

Exploding Droid - Periodically a droid will spawn and target a random player. This can be any player from DPS to heals or tanks. The droid will then run to that player and place a massive red circle at their feet. These circles will result in a timed explosion that will one-shot anyone caught in them. To deal with this circle split your raid into three factions, your Melee team, your ranged team, and the tanking team.
(Split up the healers to make sure that at no time are both healers forced to move, due to the exploding droid and significantly lower outgoing heals.)

Melee team - Keep three DPS and a healer within melee range behind the boss.
Ranged team - Have one DPS and one healer at maximum effective range, at opposite sides
Tank team - Move together and stack on each other. The left pillar on the far side of the room, upon entering gives the raid the most room to maneuver.

Cleansable DOT - Nefra will roar and cast a raid-wide cleansable DOT. The more raid members that can cleanse, the better. Having DPS that can cleanse here will make this fight much smoother, if not the pressure on healers will increase dramatically. Cleanse order for healers should be tanks, healers, DPS. If DPS can cleanse themselves they should do that first, then pick a secondary target if possible.

Fight Tips

Tanking - Try to save your cool-downs for when the DOT goes out. This part of the fight will be the most damage intensive. The DOT will go out every 30 secs, so the raid will eat a lot of damage following every phase of this DOT cast. Try to use a clickable relic here, to smooth out the incoming damage. The healers will also be busy cleansing, so buying them some time will make their life much easier.

DPS - Cleansing yourself should be your top priority if you can, second only to getting out of the massive red circles. Not a lot is asked of DPS in this fight, which is more reason why no DPS should ever "eat" a red circle. The explosion timer here is very generous.

Healers - You have the toughest job in this fight, not only will the tanks take a massive pounding; but the raid-wide DOT can make your life a nightmare. You wont have enough cleanses to cleanse every one in a timely manner, which is why its good to have a balanced raid team for this fight. Having a DPS that can cleanse will be an amazing boon to your raid in this fight.

Your response times will be the most tested of any role. This is due to the fact that not only will you have to avoid the red circle, but you will have to do this extremely quickly. The high heal-per-second requirement means there is no time for lulls in response to the circle, not to mention you have to make sure you get as many cleanses as you can.


This is a very engaging fight that requires good coordination and some memorization. The fight is all about dealing with adds and addressing their varying abilities. What this fight is asking is, can the raid work together as a team. Draxus also requires players to do their assigned roles well and not get lost in the chaotic nature of this encounter.

The raid will need to split into two teams, East and West to deal with adds that spawn corresponding to each side. One tank, two DPS, and one healer.

Key Mechanics

Draxus - He will cast "Corrosive grenade" which puts a dot on a targeted player. This ability also doubles as a threat drop, so tanks be ready for it and taunt. He has a conal attack that needs to be aimed away from the raid. He should be top priority to kill once corruptors, dismantlers, and dispatchers go down.

ADD WAVES - Their will be nine waves of adds in this fight with different compositions and abilities. The raid much remember the orientation and position of these adds to deal with this boss effectively.

Subteroth - An add with moderate HP and low damage output, but what makes them lethal is they explode on death. They also travel in packs making the AOE damage stack up quite quickly if you don't avoid the explosions. Ranged should use their AOE attacks to due most of the damage and also pick off ones with low HP. Melee need to front-load their damage as best as possible, then quickly get out of the blast radius before they take significant damage. Melee DPS should be away from the subteroths before the killing blows are landed.

Dispatcher - These guys don't have any complicated mechanics, but they hurt! These adds have a random threat table which means they can really put the hurt on squishy players with no elemental resistance. They will chain cast Force-lightning and should be killed second after all high-priority targets have been killed.

Corruptor - Corruptors are a high-priority kill, they need to be interrupted or they will cast "Mass-affliction". The cast-time is 8 seconds, which is plenty of time to deal with it. The raid will need to remember which waves have corruptors and where they will spawn.

Dismantler - Big swipe is one ability that changes the normal tank/DPS dynamic, here it is reversed. The DPS need to pick up this add, once he casts Big swipe the tank will taunt. Big swipe will make you take 1000% more damage from a dismantler. Their will always be two that spawn East and West of the map.

Bulwark - This guy will put up a shield that absorbs all incoming damage, make sure you are inside the shield. If your inside the shield you can DPS the adds within as normal.

Guardian - "Slam" will be the one thing to worry about here. Guardians are tough adds with moderate DPS output, their real power is in their "Slam", which is a massive telegraphed area in purple. Always target one first then kill the other, once one of them goes down they are much easier to handle.

Despoiler - Healing the other adds is what makes this guy so annoying. Kill him after corruptors or dismantlers go down.

Fight Tips

Tanking - For starters one tank needs to be assigned to Draxus and the other to help mitigate add damage in anyway he or she can. Draxus will cast "Corrosive grenade" and threat-drop at the same time, the tank on Draxus needs to be aware of this and use his taunts to hold him. The "Corrosive grenade" will often be cast before your taunt is off cool-down, use your AOE taunt to help get some of the threat-drops.

Make sure during the dismantler phases your not getting initial aggro, let the DPS pick up these adds; then taunt once you see the cast for "Big Swipe". During the Guardian phase each tank should pick up one of theses adds, except phase 9. Phase 9 will require one tank to hold Draxis and the other to pick-up both Guardians.

DPS - This fight requires the DPS to perform well, as many of the mechanics are dependent on their ability. Their will be two DPS per West and East team, so each team needs to decide who will get left and right adds for interrupts. Remember each DPS team needs to pick up their corresponding Dismantler during that phase, to allow the tank to "pull" it off you. Dealing with subteroths intelligently will be key to avoid taking excessive damage. Remember where possible always focus your DPS on the same target to kill them quickly and lower incoming DPS to the raid.

Healers - In terms of mechanics their is not a lot asked of healers. The healing requirement on the other hand can be quite high. Your job in this fight will be exponentially harder or easier depending on your DPS. The "Corrosive grenade" can be cleansed, do your best to keep this off the raid. The tank on Draxus will need to be looked after quite a bit, as he will take a beating. Make sure you position yourself in a central location on the East or West side respectively, to have the best range on as much of the raid as possible.


This fight is often referred to as "free loot" because this fight is the easiest one in all of DF. Having said that though, you still need to be savvy to a few mechanics. If you nail the mechanics Grob'thok will give up his yield easily.

Key Mechanics

Pipe Smash - Grob'thok will summon a mighty pipe and begin smashing the ground. This will cause all casts to be interrupted and do Raid wide damage. The key to most of this fight is effectively dealing with this mechanic, handled solely by the main tank. The Main tank will have to "kite" Grob'thok into the gravity lift to disable this ability. "Pipe smash" spawns 1:30 seconds into the fight and then every 11 percent. Grob'thok will only pull out his "Pipe smash" if a gravity lift is available. What this means is you can sometimes push him through two HP phases before the gravity lift comes down. The gravity lift will always spawn in two predetermined locations after the initial gravity lift is destroyed.

Mining Droid - A mining droid will target a player and begin causing a lava like substance to appear at your feet. The DPS will then need to "kite" the lava in a concise and compact pattern to allow the off-tank to direct the adds to these pools. Its really a simple mechanic that is readily understood once its seen. Red text also appears on the screen to alert the named player to the fact he has the mine. The lava like substance hurts quite a bit, don't stand in it or begin running it through the raid.

Ugnaughts - Very tough adds, that should be "kited" through the lava pools. They can be DPS'ed conventionally, but the pools are much more effective. The off-tank simply grabs "aggro" and runs them through these pools. The rest of the raid should ignore these adds completely unless you have "aggro" on them, then they could run them through the pools as well, but its better to let the tank do this job.

Fight Tips

Tanking - Keep one tank on the boss and the other on Ugnaught duty. Both tanks will be pretty busy, but the one on Grob'thok needs a little pre-planning to be effective. Try to keep the boss on the outer-rim, so the raid has to move as little as possible. Remember Grob'thok will summon his Pipe 1:30 seconds into the fight and the gravity lift is already spawned and rotating around the room, when the fight starts. This means that the tank can predict according to how far the gravity lift has traveled since the start of the fight, when Grob'thok will cast "Pipe Smash".

After the initial "Pipe Smash" it becomes very easy to predict when the next one comes because of two reasons. First the gravity lift will only spawn in one of two places and then alternate between the two, North-West and South-East. Second if you push Grob'thok past 11 percent while a gravity lift has spawned, he will cast his Pipe Smash. Once he's pushed pass the HP threshold, he still needs to finish his chain of attacks. The "Pipe smash" will come after the last attack in the chain. Once you know where the cast will happen you can just tank the boss in the two correct spots and wait for the gravity lift to pass over you and into the boss.

DPS - The mechanics for DPS are very simple. One avoid standing in a mining lasers lava and two "kite" the lava properly if it has targeted you. Move the mining laser away from the raid and pack the lava pools together neatly so the off-tank can easily bring the ugnaughts into them. DPS can freely attack the boss with the exception of positioning the mining laser.

Healer - The main-tank will eat a lot of damage and sometimes require both healers on him to stay up. Position yourself in the center of the room, this will allow you to have range on the main-tank most of the time. When your running the mining droid around call it out, so the main-tank can use cool-downs effectively. When one healer is running the laser around, it will be the most healing intensive part of the fight. Typically the only time your tanks really go down is when only one healer is effectively healing the tank. (good calling out of who has the mining laser will help the tank and healer coordinate better)

Corruptor Zero

The infamous, the terrible, the quite annoying...Corruptor Zero. This fight tests everybody in your raid team and requires a plethora of learned skills, you have acquired thus far. Partly due to bugs and broken mechanics many guilds have struggled with this fight. The fight is doable, but requires a clear understanding of the mechanics therein. Essentially this fight is all about dealing with the concussion mine. Of course there are many other mechanics to get right, but getting through the mine correctly is key to victory.

Key Mechanics

Concussion Mine - This ability will be cast throughout the fight, with the exception of the final phase. It attaches itself to a random player, often the furthest one away(often not always). It will do raid-wide damage and continue to do more damage, till the targeted player reach's corruptor and gets it removed. Players need to stack very near the boss, to ensure they get to Corruptor Zero in a timely fashion. Getting one tick does minimal damage, two is moderate, and three will most likely wipe the raid, due to its raid-wide damage, add damage, and Corruptors own attacks. Pay attention to your debuff bar every time you see the cast for concussion mine and you will quickly know which player needs to react. Healers need to be very close to the boss to respond correctly and setting a focus target is not a bad idea.(the mine does so much damage and stacks so quickly each raid member needs to be responsible for checking if they have the mine or not. Relying on other people to call it out, will result in unnecessary ticks and damage.)

Corruptor Stacks - Corruptor Zero will gradually put a debuff on you that stacks over time. Most tanks can reasonably handle between 4-6 stacks. These stacks will require tank swaps throughout the fight. In this fight many tanks may be tempted to try to tank all the strongs. While tanking as many adds as possible is good for the off tank, his primary responsibility should be on controlling the elite adds.(Particularly the melee elite add) Tank swapping at the start of add phases seems to keep things smooth, but is not all important.

Adds - Throughout the fight groups of adds will spawn, typically two healer droids, three strongs, and one elite will spawn.(The elite melee add will be a high priority as it can stun the raid with its casted ability. Deal with this add approprietly.) The adds will be melee or ranged depending on what Corruptor Zero's current state is namely melee or ranged. Each DPS should be responsible for killing one of the strongs, organize accordingly. Two DPS, ranged preferably, should take care of one healer droid each, left and right. The two melee should each pick up one strong, right from the start of their spawn. The tank will tag the elite and any stray strong still hitting the healers. Once the healers are dead the ranged will help kill the strongs and the elite.

Remember the ranged adds will go directly for the healers, quickly killing them.)Its very important that the DPS each "tag" at least one add or have the tank on Corruptor AOE taunt to buy the raid the precious seconds it needs to get everyone in position. Guardian's really shine here using saber reflect to negate all incoming damage and get some aggro before the DPS begin killing their chosen targets.(Remember this is just a priority kill order, mixing in AOE's will greatly help get these adds down and tanks should try to group them up if at all possible.)

Corruptor melee mode - This mode is much easier to deal with then the ranged variant. Here corruptor will be melee and his adds ranged. The tank needs to position Corruptor very close to the ranged adds, so melee can DPS their targets and not be too far away when the mine goes out. Ranged and healers will simply stack on the boss and negate the mine if it is cast on them. The tank will keep corruptor in one of the four corridors that the adds spawn in, for this phase.

Heavy Slash - Deals heavy damage and knocks its target away. Aside from this mechanic Corruptor himself is very straight forward, with one other AOE damaging attack that's easy to heal through.

Corruptor ranged mode - Here is where things go wrong for many guilds, this phase is much more tricky then melee mode. Corruptor will be ranged and all his adds melee, every one should stack on corruptor and let the adds come to you. The healer droids will have to be taken care of by your ranged or pulled in by a tank or DPS. (Corruptor will telegraph this phase by saying a sentence about something "omega" and then casting his "anti gravity field" its your verbal cue and always precedes his switch to ranged mode.)

Anti-gravity field - needs to dealt with properly or will result in many wipes. Corruptor will cast a large red circle on the ground telegraphing he's about to do "Anti-gravity field", but the time to get out is very steep. The entire raid should be close to Corruptor, but at max melee range to ensure each player including the tank has the most time to move outta the Anti-gravity field, but also are close enough to cleanse a "Concussion mine". This field will cause every player caught in it to hang helplessly in the air until Corruptor has blasted a wicked ability at them. The tanks can do nothing to keep aggro if they or another player end up in the field. Tanks eating this field is ok, but DPS or healers will often be nearly killed from the blast that comes after the field. (In some sinister situations Corruptor will cast the gravity field immediately after a mine, always try to spread out a bit after the mine is cast to deal with this situation.) We have never seen three gravity fields in this phase, only two.

Missile Barrage - Waves of missiles rain down on the raid, dealing minimal damage. Spread out to mitigate some damage, but our raid team usually ignores this mechanic

Chest Laser - Channeled attack that ends with a DOT cast. Hits hard should be cleansed, tanks can call out the cast or healers focus target will alert them.

Unified Beam - Corruptor will cast a wide beam that will one-shot any one caught in the path. This ability usually comes between 30-25 percent. The raid should look at their mini-map for a single red dot to notice his spawn point and where they should be running to, keep the raid together its important. When the adds spawn they will be melee, ignore them largely and have a tank pick them up, until the unified beam phase is over. Once this phase ends it becomes a simple tank and spank.

Fight Tips

Tanking - Get familiar with the flow of the fight and feel when you need to swap, swapping on four to six stacks is not always the best thing. Sometimes a swap will make sense at two stacks use your intuition and keep the fight as smooth as you can. Make sure your bringing Corruptor Zero well within melee range of the ranged adds and aim your self into a wall corner to avoid getting knocked really far from the raid. If you get knocked to never land and a "Concussion mine" is cast it will probably be a wipe, don't let it happen.(Guardians can use saber reflect when the adds are ranged to absorb the initial aggro that will be on the healers.) The off-tank should primarily control the elite whether ranged or melee don't let it stun the raid, it will cause wipes.

DPS - Stacking on the boss correctly will mean the difference between success and failure for your raid. Make sure your killing adds near the boss, so you can quickly get to the boss when "Concussion mine" is cast. also setting a focus target will help when you switch targets away from Corruptor. When the adds are melee, let them come to you and make liberal use of AOE's to quickly kill them. Guardians and Sentinels using the "Focus" spec will greatly help getting these adds down. Killing the adds effectively is your main job, melt the adds and your task has been accomplished.

Healer - How healing intensive this fight is depends largely on your raid team, but its safe to say it will be hectic for you. Make sure your stacked on the boss during his melee mode and you can solely focus on healing. During the ranged mode give yourself a few feet of breathing room from the boss, to help you get out of the "Anti-gravity field". Remember to cleanse the dot after "Chest laser" and make sure you know who is tanking the boss at all times. The tanks will sometimes take spikes in damage from Corruptor. The healers need to know which tank will be taking most of the damage.

more to come

Rogue-master's Avatar

11.13.2013 , 11:54 PM | #2
Can we please have the rest of of the fights corruptor zero would be nice thanks

Island_Jedi's Avatar

11.13.2013 , 11:54 PM | #3
On the way

dakisback's Avatar

11.14.2013 , 12:42 AM | #4
DakisbackMarkmanship Sniper Dakisbehindyou[AMR]Lethality Operative DakiscatImmortal Juggernaut Dakisaheadofyou Darkness Assassin
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Island_Jedi's Avatar

11.14.2013 , 03:21 AM | #5
I am sorry there is only one Daklar.

KeyboardNinja's Avatar

11.14.2013 , 11:00 AM | #6
Random tip: you can CC the elite, tank all the strongs and burn the healers. This means the raid takes an initial spike of damage when the ranged adds spawn, but it dies down instantaneously. Elite dies last (add tank should stun it before going back to the boss for a tank swap; it should be dead almost before the stun wears off). Swapping on adds spawn and immediately after the strongs die results in no more than 4 stacks, and usually 2-3.
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Bowenator's Avatar

11.14.2013 , 12:51 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Island_Jedi View Post
Corruptor melee mode - This mode is much easier to deal with then the ranged variant. Here corruptor will be melee and his adds ranged. The tank needs to position Corruptor very close to the ranged adds, so melee can DPS their targets and not be too far away when the mine goes out.
This is probably a matter of preference but we try to leave Corruptor stationary at all times. We've noticed that while he or a player with concussion mines is on the move, it tends not to cleanse (or take longer to cleanse) than if both stand still. It also makes the edges and position of his anti-gravity field more predictable

Our melee will typically run and saber throw on their way to the adds and save a leap in case they get a mine. Otherwise, I can pull them back in on my sorc healer. Obviously depends on your comp.
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Falver's Avatar

11.14.2013 , 06:14 PM | #8
On Grob'thok, I disagree with the statement of Pipe Smash being every 11%. He actually has a very distinct attack order that's also on a timer. Before his Pipe Smash he does something like: Roar -> Overhead -> Roar -> Pipe Smash.
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Island_Jedi's Avatar

11.14.2013 , 07:13 PM | #9
I believe its either, or depending on your DPS. I am sure their is a timer as well.

SDconqueror's Avatar

11.15.2013 , 04:16 AM | #10
Thanks again for another guide.

The real issue is that we do not have enough guides and (mostly) every guild has his own issues regarding certain bosses. Therefore it's always good to get insight from certain mechanics and how its handled from another guild... the more guides the better