ESO Veteran Dungeon Guide – Darkshade Caverns

Welcome to yet another basic guide for Veteran Dungeons.  This time we are stepping up to explore Darkshade Caverns!

As always, the guide will be split by each boss and the bold writing will be the mechanic and beneath will be the ‘tactics’.

Darkshade Caverns

Boss 1 – The Fallen Foreman

  • There are adds at the start of this fight.  Boss casts a slow, but high damage spell.
  • Focus on killing all the adds first.
  • Make sure you interrupt the Bosses spell, tank should stay on her while everyone kills adds.
  • Boss does a Fire cone and rotates clockwise.
  • Just follow behind it or be running round ahead of it as tank or melee.  For anyone else, just be out of range (the stairs are a good place to stand).

Boss 2 – Transmuted Hive Lord

  • Boss does a heavy hit which knocks down.
  • As tank be sure to block the big scary hits.
  • Two adds fight alongside boss, these can knock you unconscious and drain your stamina.
  • You have two choices – one is to ignore the adds and focus on the boss (If the add knocks you down, you can Break Free).  The other choice is to kill the adds and then attack boss.  I prefer to ignore the adds personally, but AOE to your heart’s content if you wish.
  • .Adds burrow, boss gets a damage shield and pounds ground doing AOE damage.  This will not stop until enough damage is done to break the shield.
  • DPS the boss so that the shield breaks and the fight continues as normal.

Mini Boss A – Transmuted Alit 

  • 3 Alits which do heavy attacks.  When one dies you must kill the others within a short period of time or the dead Alit will revive (though with little hp).
  • Tank aggro all 3 and block, then the team just AOE DPS the 3 down.  Don’t panic if one drops too soon, if they come back to life their hp is so low that they will drop again.

If attempting a speed run, be aware you do not need to kill this boss.

Boss 3 – Grubull the Transmuted 

  • Boss teleports and unleashes a hard hitting AOE.
  • Be quick on your feet and get out of the way when boss teleports near you.  Tank cannot do anything to prevent the boss teleporting to others.
  • Boss will be shielded, small adds will spawn as well as some larger ones.
  • Tank aggros the larger mobs, everyone gather close and AOE down the small mobs alongside the larger one.
  • After adds are dead, boss is no longer shielded and drops to ground. 
  • All out DPS on the boss – if tank then have DPS set up on bar 2, same for healer.
  • Boss will reshield and the mechanics start again. 

Mini Boss B – Waves of Mech Mobs 

Not exactly a boss, but nasty nevertheless, stay by the river’s edge and pull the first group. 

  • Centurion and a pack of adds attack, as the fight goes on, the next pack will come, then the next.
  • Tank take the Centurion and ideally the Dwarven Spheres and gather everything up, rest of the Team DPS everything down asap.
  • If you do not kill fast enough you may end up with multiple Centurions, these hit like trucks and makes things difficult.  I have no great strategy for this other than to AOE DPS the crap out of everything.

Boss 4 – The Engine Guardian 

  • Has 3 phases, Fire (Red), Poison (Green), Lightning (White).
  • Red Phase, boss throws fireballs n players to form ground AOEs, in melee range the boss essentially has a rotating flame thrower.
  • Range is key.  Everyone stay around the middle and damage the boss from afar.  No need to actually aggro this boss as he just walks around.  Move out of the way of ground AOE, stay close to healer.
  • Green phase, poison damage ticks on all players, you cannot avoid this.
  • (Hard solution for achievement) Stay close together, healer keep everyone healthy, carry on damaging boss.
  • (Easy solution) There are 4 levers in the middle of the room wher you are standing.  Using these will stop the poison – NOTE: I THINK that is what happens.  I confess, I do not know as despite having run this dungeon many a time, my groups have never actually used the levers (we got the achievement first time we came here, so ever since have just carried on without bothering with levers).
  • White phase, VERY high damage ticks if close to boss.
  • Stay away from the boss!  If you have been fighting from the middle, this should be a non-issue, if you have been daring to attack from melee, you need to run like crazy when this phase starts or you will die.
  • 3 Dwarven Sphere adds spawn throughout the fight.
  • These guys have a range attack which hurts and means getting them close to AOE is a pain.  Best technique is to use Line of Sight via the pillars around the middle to lure them close.
  • Tank aggro the mobs, then team AOE if mobs are close enough, if not then focus one at a time.
  • As soon as mobs are dead, DPS boss again.

If you have melee in the team, then this fight is not great for them.  Their main use will be killing the adds.  Having said that, if they have self healing/a way to protect themselves, during poison and fire phase they can get close to do damage.  (A favourite technique of mine as Templar is to keep Crit Rushing and Blazing Shield as the poison DoT and the flamethrower will burst my bubble)


That is the end of Darkshade Caverns.  Probably my least favourite dungeon if I am honest so not one I run for fun.  If you have your own strategy for any bosses, please do let me know!  I always like to hear different strategies


(If you are on the EU server and part of the Daggerfall Covenant Faction, feel free to contact @asteldian in game if you are wanting help running Veteran dungeons, any role, any class is welcome)


  1. ESO Undaunted Gear Guide on November 17, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    […] Drops from the last Engine Guardian boss (Dungeon Guide). […]

  2. Christoph on March 23, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    This guide is wrong categorised, it’s under Dragonstar Arena

  3. g on April 6, 2015 at 6:33 am

    If you have it, Volatile armor can deal massive damage to the mobs in Gubull the transmuted.

  4. Apocrita on May 15, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Thank you for this, twice I’ve tried this bloody dungeon on vet and twice we’ve failed. We’ve never gotten past Grubull. My hatred for him grows.

  5. fakewaterwalker on May 24, 2015 at 8:51 am

    the best way groups I’ve been in have dealt with
    Mini Boss B – Waves of Mech Mobs
    Stealth past them on the right side and move on to next boss.

  6. Frag-Out ESO Sorcerer PvP Build on June 29, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    […] Guardian – The helm drops in Darkshade Cavern from the final boss while the shoulders are apart of the Undaunted Pledge gold key […]

  7. Stinky Mullet on July 13, 2015 at 1:47 am

    Great guide. Holy shit that last boss is a pain in the ass. Took my group 4 hours to do dungeon. Pillars are so helpful for LoSing.

  8. rougeassassin on July 13, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    For grub ull best strategy I’ve used is to kill centurien on hill after boss and lure the boss up there. He won’t lease and adds have to funnel up that right path

  9. rougeassassin on July 13, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    For grubul best strategy I’ve used is to kill centurien on hill after boss and lure the boss up there. He won’t lease and adds have to funnel up that tight path

  10. Carlos on January 10, 2016 at 3:16 am

    Hey Deltia, i was wondering whats the trick behind the monster helmet drop rate. i have done this dungeon 30 times and no engine guardian for me, same with white gold, while a friend she has all monster helms and gets them usually at her first or second try im like no way thats luck. A guy told me achievements helped and well she cares about Achievements and i do not so im confused, i need your help lol.
    Thank you

    • Deltia on January 11, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      Make sure to kill every boss including the mini bosses. This increases the drop rates which people don’t know. Taking the extra time will increase chances.

  11. Slayer on May 9, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    When it comes to Grobull, focus on adds then wait for Grobull to collapse on the ground and hit him hard. Keep clear of him otherwise, entire group needs to attack adds. (It will take a while)

  12. SilentHarvester on November 22, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Deltia – I have a really squishy stamblade and we were having a rough time until we figured out that you have to throw all 4 levers within about 5 seconds. Tricky for one, easy for 2 if you have set counter/clockwise pattern.

    Also our group was disheartened that we didnt get impen helmets.. We checked in the quest and thats when I saw a master level chest on the top of the water cliffs. Unlocked it 1st try, boom- Impen Helmet.

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