Elder Scrolls Online makes a triumphant return to the frozen land of Skyrim in the new Dark Heart of Skyrim campaign, which will see over three new DLCs and an expansion ‘chapter’ release throughout the year. The first of which is Harrowstorm, a dungeon-themed DLC that introduces two new dungeons.
The first dungeon, Icereach, takes you not to Skyrim, but rather to the frozen peaks of the Wrothgar Mountains. If you’ve already played the Orsinium DLC, you’ll already know tons of stuff about the land of the Orcs. If not, you’ll still be fine, because ESO lets you play each dungeon in any order. Just as long as you own the correct DLC; in this case, Harrowstorm. Icereach is the easier and shorter of the two, by far, and you can expect to finish this within 35-40 minutes on Normal mode, and twice as long on Veteran mode.
Here’s just about everything you might want to know about Icereach, including dungeon bosses, strategies, and the overall layout of the map. Note that you’ll want to at least have a level 50 character before attempting this. However, because it’s one of the easiest and simplest dungeons in Elder Scrolls Online, at least by DLC standards, don’t worry too much about ranking up your CP before diving in. That is, unless you plan to run Icereach for dungeon gear, in which case you’ll want to wait until you hit CP160 – the current cap for CP on gear.
Let’s get started!
Note: On your first visit to either Icereach or Unhallowed Grave, you’ll unlock the Wickerman Mishap emote and corresponding Harrowstorm Explorer Achievement. Completing both dungeons on Veteran mode will unlock the Frozen Blood dye and corresponding Harrowstorm Delver Achievement.
Veteran Mode Tips
- Most enemies are ice-based and/or undead. Bring spells that cause fire damage, spells that damage undead, and weapons enchanted with a Glyph of Prismatic Onslaught or a Glyph of Flame.
- Make sure at least one player is cleaning up the adds during boss battles with AoE damage.
- Avoid AoE attacks from bosses, which will show up as red circles as they’re being telegraphed.
- DPS and healer characters should never bring a Frost Staff into a Veteran mode dungeon. Attacking with one will draw the aggro of enemies, and most Veteran bosses can instantly kill most non-tank characters.
Objective 1: Look for Survivors
Speak to Arvnir to pick up the quest called The Frozen Isle. Immediately follow the first cavern entrance you see and work your way through a handful of encounters with trash mobs. Be wary, however, as there is at least one encounter in which you face off against the ice-based Frost Atronach and its minions, the Frost Atronach Wolves.
Objective 2: Kill Kjarg the Tuskscraper
Kjarg the Tuskscraper is a giant with quite a load on his shoulder. This boss is the tankiest of the ones you’ll find in Icereach, but don’t fret, it takes very little strategy to bring this big guy down.
You’ll want to continually chip away at his health while avoiding the moving tornadoes and ice fingers that pop up out of the ground. Every so often Kjarg will raise his giant club to deliver a smash attack in front of him. This is the perfect time to get behind him and use your biggest attacks, especially your Ultimate ability. There’s no special gimmick here, just avoid his massive AOE attacks and you’ll survive to see the next boss fight.
Objective 3: Look for Survivors & Kill Sister Skelga
After an encounter with a few more trash mobs on your way past Kjarg’s Lair, you’ll catch up with your old pal Lyris Titanborn, who you might remember from the main quest. Stick around and watch her dialogue sequence, or keep moving directly through the dungeon to the next boss.
When you run into the group of Icereach Deadeyes, just avoid their front-facing AOE attacks which will be marked with a V-shaped red boundary while they nock their arrows.
Sister Skelga herself is remarkably simple to kill. Make sure both DPS characters are continually dealing damage to her and she’ll die before you know it. There are no special strategies needed here, other than to avoid her regular rotation of AOE ice attacks.
Note that Skelga will also teleport around a bit, and you’ll have to catch up with her each time she does so.
Objective 4: Explore Icereach & Kill Vearogh the Shambler
Keep moving through the corridor and you’ll find a horde of shambling Zombies waiting around for you to kill them. They aren’t that tough on their own, but there’s a lot of them in this particular encounter, so stay vigilant and you should bust through them in no time.
Much like Skelga, Vearogh is a meat shield. It’s highly possible to run through this entire boss encounter without wiping at all, and Vearogh should go down easily with the same consistent DPS concentration that you put into the last two bosses.
That said, Vearogh will attempt to summon adds in the form of Skeletons and Wraiths. These should be taken care of by DPS players while the tank remains mobile.
Objective 5: Explore the Ramparts & Kill the Stormborn Revenant
As you make your way down the Icereach Ramparts, you’ll run into a series of encounters with Harpies. These Harpies tend to be pretty easy to defeat one by one, but there are quite a few of them to deal with at once. They’re also a bit meatier than some of the trash mobs you’ve faced before, demanding a certain amount of mobility while you fight.
Watch out for the extra powerful Harpy Stormweavers which should be taken out first.
The Stormborn Revenant will continue shooting AoE lightning strikes and ice attacks at you as you fight them. This is a slightly tougher fight than the previous two, but still doesn’t necessarily call for a ton of communication between team members.
If you’re tanking, make sure to keep the Revenant moving around the map as they shoot off their attacks, and if you’re a DPS, keep pummeling them. They’ll disappear every so often to summon adds, and those should be taken out as soon as they appear.
The Stormborn Revenant will sometimes stop in one spot to summon a bunch of lightning attacks. This is the perfect time to lay down stationary AOE damage and Ultimates, like the Templar’s Nova.
Objective 6: Find the Witches’ Lair & Kill the Witches of the Icereach Coven
Continue moving through the Icereach Ramparts until you find a floating black orb. This will initiate the final battle of the dungeon.
Mother Ciannait is the first boss in Icereach that is truly tricky to beat, as she will hide behind her fellow four Sisters of the Coven. You will have to defeat each of them in the following order, possibly multiple times, before you get a chance to take down Mother Ciannait herself
- Sister Gohlla
- Sister Hiti
- Sister Bani
- Sister Maefyn
Each Sister has their own flavor of AOE attack, represented by a red circle, which you should avoid whenever possible. Each of them will attempt to channel their energy into a dark orb in the center, and you’ll want to continually bash them to interrupt this channeling process.
You’ll only be able to deal damage to the Sister that you’re actively fighting, until that one is “killed” and the next one in the cycle comes out of their unbreakable fully-armored state. Each time you “kill” a sister, you’ll do damage to Mother Ciannait until she herself finally comes out of hiding.
Once she’s out, she should be easy to take down as she’ll be at low health. Concentrate all of your focus on downing her. Don’t let her live long enough to do any damage with her dark orb and you should be fine.
Objective 7: Talk to Lyris Titanborn
Speaking to Lyris Titanborn will finish the quest and grant you your reward for completing the activity. The Unidentified Icereach Armaments box gives a random piece of Icereach gear (Blue for Normal mode, Purple for Veteran mode) and a shiny new Skill Point if it’s your first time beating the dungeon.
Party Like a Titanborn
Congratulations on your first run through Icereach! Now that you’ve gotten a taste of this new Elder Scrolls Online dungeon, you might as well try out Unhallowed Grave, the other half of the Harrowstorm package.
Otherwise, see if you can’t finish Icereach on Veteran difficulty mode and shoot for that bust of Mother Ciannait’s head to place in your house with the rest of your favorite trophies! Stay frosty, adventurer.
Icereach Gear Sets
Hiti’s Hearth Set
- 2 pieces: Adds 129 Magicka Recovery
- 3 pieces: Adds 129 Magicka Recovery
- 4 pieces: Adds 1096 Max Magicka
- 5 pieces: When you heal yourself or an ally with an ability, gain a Warming Aura for 10 seconds. While in the Warming Aura, you and group members restore 1020 Health every 1 second and reduce the cost of Sprint, Block, and Roll Dodge by 5%. This effect can occur once every 12 seconds.
Titanborn Strength Set
- 2 pieces: Adds 1487 Physical Penetration
- 3 pieces: Adds 129 Weapon Damage
- 4 pieces: Adds 1096 Maximum Stamina
- 5 pieces: Adds 110 Weapon Damage and 1240 Physical Penetration. This bonus doubles to 220 Weapon Damage and 2480 Physical Penetration when you are under 75% Health. This bonus quadruples to 440 Weapon Damage and 4960 Physical Penetration when you are under 50% Health.
Bani’s Torment Set
- 2 pieces: Adds 4% Healing Taken
- 3 pieces: Adds 1206 Max Health
- 4 pieces: Adds 1096 Maximum Stamina
- 5 pieces: When you taunt a nearby enemy, you tether to them for 5 seconds. While tethered, you apply Major Maim to your enemy, reducing their damage done by 30%, and you gain Major Vitality, increasing your healing taken by 30%. The tether is broken if the enemy moves 8 meters away from you. This effect can occur once every 14 seconds.
Mother Ciannait Set*
- 1 item: Adds 1096 Max Magicka
- 2 pieces: While in combat, casting an ability with a cast time or channeling an ability grants you a damage shield that absorbs 3000 damage for 10 seconds. This effect can occur once every 10 seconds.
*= This only drops from the final boss in Veteran mode.
For more information on Harrowstorm loot, check out our ESO Harrowstorm Gear Sets Guide.