Karagga's Palace is the second op released in SWTOR and represents a modest step up in difficulty from Eternity Vault while still being a very easy SM clear and a very accessible HM clear for new progression teams.
The overall storyline behind the operation is that Karagga the Hutt is leading a faction of the Hutt Cartel pushing to expand into Republic and Sith Empire territory. The player and the rest of the operations team have been sent to Nal Hutta to stop Karagga by any means necessary.
The operation has mostly straightforward boss encounters with a few minor twists in mechanics, with one notable exception. Bonethrasher the rancor is an untauntable boss that goes around pounding on players and knocking them back, making positioning very important to avoid death or being knocked into acid. Jarg & Sorno present the first multi-boss encounter. Foreman Crusher presents the first boss encounter so far with challenging tank/heal mechanics. G4-B3 is a much more engaging puzzle boss than Ancient Pylons ever was in the Eternity Vault.
Finally, the operation ends with Karagga that is arguably the most challenging boss fight so far if one proceeds through the ops chronologically. Karagga has a lot of outgoing damage, nuances to tank positioning and kiting, a variety of positional requirements and mechanics for DPS/healers, and the first op at this point to have a meaningful DPS check for groups. As is the case for most well-designed fights, Karagga can seem very difficult for inexperienced groups or quite easy for groups with a few highly experienced players.
An important note for group composition is that all fights can be easily solo tanked with the possible exception of Jarg & Sorno, who can also be solo tanked but at the cost of a higher heal check.
Table of Contents
Jarg & Sorno
G4-B3 Heavy Fabricator
Karagga the Unyielding
Summary Boss Fight Guides
IMPORTANT - The information below is very summarized and intended to be an easy quick-reference guide for players who need a quick reminder heading into an operation. As time allows, I intend to add separate pages with detailed boss fight guides for each fight.
Bonethrasher is an interesting encounter due primarily to the boss' untauntable status. Tanks need not apply for this fight and serve very little purpose other than holding aggro on the Vicious Manka Cats.
Bonethrasher will semi-randomly aggro to nearby players and has a variety of mechanics:
Swipe: A conal attack in front of the boss that deals heavy damage. Bonethrasher is immobile during the ability so it is possible for everyone to dodge the attack. In practice the best strategy is to have the player with aggro face the boss towards one side while others stand behind the rancor. Swipe deals by far the most damage of any mechanic and is the most dangerous as a result.
Pound: Stuns a targeted player and deals moderate damage. It also applies the Pounded debuff on a player that significantly increases the damage they take from Swipe. Whomever gets pounded needs to stand behind the boss. If group positioning is chaotic and the boss keeps turning around, I would recommend moving as far away from the boss as possible to avoid the Swipe. This is the one instance where going to the edge of the platform is safe as long as it is away from other players, as the Pounded player should not get aggro on the boss while the debuff is active.
Backhand: The rancor knocks the player back around 15m. Make sure you are far enough from the edge to get knocked back safely.
Stomp: An AoE attack that knocks all players up in the air. It deals low to moderate damage and is most notable for interrupting cast/channel abilities.
It is important that players mind their positioning at all times for a variety of reasons. Try to make sure only the player with aggro should get hit with the conal and face the boss away as much as possible. This is especially important as the player with the Pounded debuff will be killed if hit with a swipe. Also, make sure to avoid standing near the edge of the platform as the knockback can hit you into the acid pool and kill you.
There are two add mechanics that occur during the fight. Periodically a Gamorrean will fall down into the arena. Make sure to defeat him immediately or else Bonethrasher will eat him and gain a massive damage buff for a short time. Midway through the fight 2 Vicious Manka Cats will enter the arena. Group them up near the boss and AoE / DoT spread them down.
Bonethrasher has no new mechanics in Veteran Mode so the strategy is the same as in Story Mode.
Player positioning for boss cleaves is far more important due to the very high damage. I recommend designating a cardinal direction for the player with aggro to turn the boss (e.g., face the boss north). This grouping also facilitates keeping most of the team together behind the boss for efficient AoE healing.
Killing the Gamorrean quickly is also more important, since the brief enrage buff is far more dangerous in Veteran Mode.
Jarg & Sorno
Jarg & Sorno are the first multi-boss encounter in SWTOR (the Infernal Council does not count in my mind, as each player only has to face one boss). The overall goal is to DPS them equally and kill them around the same time.
Jarg uses mostly melee attacks and has an AoE flamethrower attack. He applies a fire DoT that should be cleansed. He also periodically pulls a random player into melee range.
Sorno uses mostly ranged attacks. He has two notable abilities that should be interrupted as often as possible:
Unload: 3s channeled ability that deals damage and places a stacking debuff on the target that causes them to take more damage from Unload. Make sure to interrupt.
Rapid Scan: 3s cast ability that heals Jarg for 3% health if not interrupted. Also make sure to interrupt.
Early in the fight, both bosses will leap to the middle of the room. Shortly after this, a new mechanic will begin where Sorno leaps up to the awning above one of the doorways. During this time, a number of mechanics will happen for a brief period before Sorno leaps back down and resumes normal mechanics:
Purple Circles: Sorno will target players with missiles indicated by purple circles. Move out of them immediately to avoid damage.
Carbonizer Probe: A carbonizer droid will spawn and stun the player with aggro on Jarg. This causes Jarg to swap to the next player on the threat table until the Carbonizer Probe is destroyed. DPS should swap to the droid immediately and kill it (note its location can bug and prevent melee DPS from targeting it).
These cycles repeat until the bosses are defeated.
Jarg & Sorno have no new mechanics in Veteran Mode so the strategy is essentially the same as Story Mode. The damage taken is much higher though and so mechanics should be followed.
The team should coordinate to interrupt both Unload and Rapid Scan. Melee DPS typically have lower cooldowns on interrupts so try and assign melee DPS to Sorno and make sure the abilities are interrupted. Quickly interrupting Unload is especially important if the group is attempting to solo tank this encounter in Veteran Mode, as the stacks applied to the tank are more dangerous in Veteran Mode.
When Sorno leaps up to the balcony, make sure DPS promptly swap to destroy the Carbonite Probes. The tank will be frozen during this time and Jarg will target a non-tank, so the spike damage during this phase is quite dangerous.
Once Jarg & Sorno leap to the middle, AoE damage will begin to be more important to the group.
As in Story Mode, try to balance health levels so both bosses die are approximately the same time.
Foreman Crusher is a simple tank and spank encounter with a few extra nuances thrown in for good measure. Depending on the skill and gear of the main tank holding the boss, it can present a meaningful burst heal check for some players even on Story Mode.
The fight begins with Foreman Crusher surrounded by several Hutt Cartel Supervisors. As soon as the fight begins, Foreman Crusher will use his Stomp attack to knock everyone backwards into the air. The main tank should immediately grab aggro on the boss and pull him towards the red shield and keep him there the remainder of the fight. The off-tank (if applicable) and DPS should quickly kill all the adds then engage the boss.
Foreman Crusher has a number of mechanics to watch for and deal with throughout the fight:
Stomp: A group-wide AoE attack that punts the player and backwards into the air dealing low damage.
Rock Throw: The boss targets a random player with a thrown rock. A red circle denotes the target area and the player has a few seconds to move to avoid taking moderate damage.
Frenzy: The boss enters a brief period where damage is significantly increased on the target. Major heals may be necessary and defensive cooldowns should be saved by the tank for these phases. After Frenzy, the boss will drop aggro and target another player, so the tank should be prepared to immediately taunt back.
In addition, waves of Hutt Cartel Supervisors will spawn around 75% / 50% / 25% boss health. These are not triggered precisely based on health but will tend to spawn at or slightly below these thresholds. The tank should use an AoE taunt to hold them in place while DPS AoE them down.
While attacking adds, melee DPS should be very careful to avoid stepping in front of the boss due to his conal basic attack. It is possible to step in to briefly spread DoTs then move back out but be prepared to hit a defensive cooldown if doing so. Be extremely careful to avoid getting hit by the boss during Frenzy.
Foreman Crusher is more dangerous in Veteran Mode as he deals much higher damage to the tank and to any melee DPS caught by his cleave attacks.
Tanks and healers should be prepared for Frenzy and pro-actively use defensive cooldowns and burst healing to keep the main tank topped off during this phase.
Foreman Crusher's cleave basic attack applies a heavy slow debuff on players, so melee DPS need to be really careful to avoid getting hit, slowed and unable to get out of the way before dying.
In Veteran Mode, Foreman Crusher's Rock Throw mechanic deals much higher spike damage to players who do not move out of the red telegraph circle. The rock also leaves a small cloud of dust and any player who stands in it has their accuracy (force/tech/melee/ranged) reduced by 100% and healing done reduced by 100%. In other words, DPS and healers are completely useless when standing in the cloud.
Crusher will also periodically roar and stun everyone briefly, and usually will briefly swap targets at this point. The tank should immediately taunt back.
Just as in Story mode, adds spawn around 75%/50%/25% of the boss' health. The adds deal more damage in Veteran Mode so ideally try to hold Foreman Crusher near the shield and use an AoE taunt to hold the adds and AoE them down. Melee DPS should be very careful when attacking adds.
G4-B3 Heavy Fabricator
G4-B3 is primarily a puzzle boss encounter. The key mechanic is G4's Exotech Armor buff that applies 10% DR. G4 begins at 10 stacks and is effectively immune to damage at that point. The only way to remove his armor is by hitting him with lava from the spigot above it.
As of 6.x, the puzzle aspect of the G4 encounter has been removed. (For the curious or those planning to run KP in Hard Mode, it is a simplified Tower of Hanoi puzzle.) In Story Mode now, the lava device will periodically become available to click via a button on the upper platform. It should be used on cooldown. The lava removes all stacks of G4's Exotech Armor and apply a damage debuff causing it to take more damage for a short time. After the damage debuff expires, G4 begins to regenerate armor and thus must be hit with the lava as often as possible.
Other mechanics include:
Sticky Bomb: A bomb will attached to a random player and explode after several seconds. It deals moderate damage in Story Mode and is only dangerous if the player is in a large group. The grenade has a debuff icon and a distinct noise to the player with the bomb, so they should identify it and move away.
Armor debuff: G4 applies a stacking debuff on its target that reduces its armor and causes them to take more damage. An off-tank or DWT can swap aggro to let this debuff fall off but the vast majority of groups can ignore the mechanic in Story Mode and heal through it. (Skilled healers often use the same strategy in Hard Mode.)
G4-B3 is somewhat different in Veteran Mode due to the puzzle and droids. Unlike in Story Mode where the lava device can be used automatically, the team must solve the Tower of Hanoi puzzle to activate it. The remainder of the fight is relatively similar with regards to positioning the boss at the Right lava device.
A brief refresher on the Tower of Hanoi puzzle rules for the lava device:
The objective is to stack the [I], [II], and [III] panels at one position, which will activate the console at that position to fire.
The usual strategy is to place 2 DPS and 1 healer up top. The healer stands at the [II] position to maintain LoS on the DPS at the other two positions.
All 3 panels need to be moved away from the position that fired previously. This will typically be the Right position. This requirement is met only when all 3 panels have been moved to Left or Center. Moving the [III] panel from Right to Up then back to Right will not work.
A panel cannot be placed on top of a lower numbered panel. [III] cannot be placed on top of [II] or [I], and [II] cannot be placed on top of [I]. This requires stacking [I] and [II] to free up an open position to move [III].
The typical click pattern is as follows:
Right: send [I] up
Left: take [I] down
Right: send [II] up
Center: take [II] down
Left: send [I] up
Center take [I] down (now has [I] and [II] stacked)
Right: send [III] up
Left: take [III] down
Left: send [III] up
Right: take [III] down
Center: send [I] up
Left: take [I] down
Center: send [II] up
Right: take [II] down
Left: send [I] up
Right: take [I] down (now has [I], [II] and [III] stacked and is ready to fire)
On 16m Veteran Mode the players also receive a debuff that prevents them from clicking a panel twice. Per the above panel rotation, this means the Left and Center players will need to swap when a double Left click is needed.
The usual strategy is to fire at the Right position but each lava device has a different effect:
Right position: Removes G4-B3's armor buff and makes it vulnerable for 20 seconds to take increased damage
Center position: Removes G4-B3's armor buff and destroys droids
Left position: Removes G4-B3's armor and power buffs and keeps them off for 20 seconds
G4-B3 also has the following mechanics to consider:
The boss naturally builds stacks of Energized Exotech Armor up to 10 stacks. Each stack reduces its damage taken by 10% so at 10 stacks G4-B3 takes no damage. Any lava position will remove all stacks of Energized Exotech Armor.
G4-B3 also naturally builds stacks of Powerhouse that increase its damage dealt up to 10 stacks. These stacks can be removed by using the Left lava device, but customarily is just healed through.
G4-B3's Pummel attack every 4.5 seconds will apply stacks of Battered to the tank that reduces armor by 16% per stack and lasts for 25 seconds. If possible tanks should swap at high stacks to reduce damage taken.
The Sticky Grenade does a lot more damage in Veteran Mode. It is not that dangerous to a single player but is highly dangerous if it affects a large group. Players who receive it should move away from the group.
Droids spawn 20 seconds after the lava device is used. However, if the device can be used quickly enough then no droids will spawn. If droids spawn then kill any droids near the group and return to attacking G4-B3.
The lava device will damage any player in its AoE. Melee DPS players should be careful to stand clear when it is about to be fired.
Karagga the Unyielding
Karagga is a fun last boss that is a noticeable step up in difficulty from Soa in the Eternity Vault. Karagga has a strict requirement for positioning for the tank kiting him and the other players to avoid very high conal damage potential. Karagga also has a variety of positioning mechanics that can deal very high group damage if not managed effectively. Karagga also is typically the earliest boss to have a decent chance of enraging, though not necessarily because of the DPS requirement but because of the potential for death due to high damage.
For tanks, the key consideration is that Karagga has conal attacks from his front and rear (insert Hutt hygiene jokes here). As such, the usual approach is to kite Karagga around the perimeter of the room and move Karagga each time Burning Oil is placed on the ground. This lets ranged DPS and healers stay in the middle of the room and melee DPS simply need to stay on Karagga's side to avoid extra damage.
For everything else, these are the key mechanics:
Burning Oil: Karagga drops a patch of oil on the tank and ignites it. This deals very high damage and does not get cleanses until the fight ends. Tanks should move out of the fire immediately and this mechanic facilitates the kiting. Note that skilled players with reflect abilities can briefly step into the fire to reflect extra damage (note that players with reflect abilities that do not absorb damage should generally not do this.)
Gravity Well: A random player is rooted to the ground and around half the group is pulled to them. The effect deals low damage but typically explodes when cleansed so can potentially deal very high damage. A Commando/Mercenary player can cleanse the Gravity Well without it exploding and should do so if possible. Otherwise, players should run out of the Gravity Well and then cleanse the affected player.
Tunneling Drill: A channeled attack that deals damage to other players sequentially and also knocks them into the air briefly. Deals low damage but is mostly notable for interrupting channel/cast abilities.
Mouse Droids: Karagga spawns several mouse droids that run out to random players and explode. Players should watch the mini-map or underneath Karagga and use AoE abilities when they spawn to avoid damage.
Missile Barrage: Karagga targets everyone in the group with missiles that deal low damage.
The general strategy is to have the tank kite Karagga around the perimeter of the room. I recommend avoiding the alcove where the group entered and the other one, as angles to avoid damage and LoS can become challenging. DPS and healers should stay in the middle of the room and on Karagga's side to avoid conal damage. AoE the mouse droids when they spawn. When the Gravity Vortex affects a player, either have a Commando/Mercenary cleanse them or else wait to do so until the other players can run out.
The key to success for this fight is proper tanking and avoiding damage. If all players stay alive then DPS should generally not be an issue, but the potential damage to the group is far higher in this fight than any fight in the Eternity Vault or in earlier fights in this operation. Dead DPS deal no damage...
Karagga has not notable new mechanics in Veteran Mode. However, the damage taken increases noticeably and can be challenging to less experienced healers or for groups that take a lot of avoidable damage.
Karagga's front and rear cleave attacks are far more dangerous to the group, so good tank kiting to position the boss perpendicular to the main group is very important.
Dealing with the Gravity Well is also very important. A Commando or Mercenary player can safely cleanse the debuff as in Story Mode. Otherwise, the group should move away from the player with the debuff and then either cleanse it or let it expire naturally.
Mouse Droids are the remaining significant danger for spike damage. Keep an eye on Karagga and anytime the mouse droids spawn through out a quick AoE to burn them down before they explode.