Darkshade Caverns is a 4-man dungeon in Elder Scrolls Online. It is located all the way at the southeastern edge of Deshaan. Players can use the Group & Activity Finder tool to easily find groups to tackle this dungeon with.

Veteran Walkthrough & Strategies

Overall this dungeon is a very straight forward dungeon. The boss fights are fairly easy if your group has good synergy and doesn't decide to stand in the red AoE.

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).

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)


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General Information


  • Darkshade Caverns: Defeat Akash gra-Mal, Chokethorn, and Canonreeve Oraneth.
  • Veteran Darkshade Caverns: Defeat Dark root, Murklight and Bogdan the Nightflame.
  • Veteran Darkshade Caverns Banekin: Kill banekin in Veteran Darkshade Caverns.
  • Veteran Darkshade Caverns Lurchers: Kill lurchers in Veteran Darkshade Caverns.
  • Veteran Darkshade Caverns Speed: Defeat Bogdan the Nightflame within twenty minutes of starting Veteran Darkshade Caverns.
  • Veteran Darkshade Caverns Undaunted: Defeat Bogdan the Nightflame after reading the Opus of Torment.


Darkshade Caverns Map





Set Drop

NPCs in the area

Notable Items

  • The Art of Kwama Egg Cooking
  • Ithisa's Journal


  • Pit Rats


Group Dungeons
Arx Corinium  ♦  Bal Sunnar  ♦  Banished Cells I  ♦  Banished Cells II  ♦  Black Drake Villa  ♦  Blackheart Haven  ♦  Blessed Crucible  ♦  Bloodroot Forge  ♦  Castle Thorn  ♦  City of Ash I  ♦  City of Ash II  ♦  Cradle of Shadows  ♦  Crypt of Hearts I  ♦  Crypt of Hearts II  ♦  Darkshade Caverns I  ♦  Depths of Malatar  ♦  Direfrost Keep  ♦  Earthen Root Enclave  ♦  Elden Hollow I  ♦  Elden Hollow II  ♦  Falkreath Hold  ♦  Fang Lair  ♦  Frostvault  ♦  Fungal Grotto I  ♦  Fungal Grotto II  ♦  Icereach  ♦  Imperial City Prison  ♦  Lair of Maarselok  ♦  March of Sacrifices  ♦  Moon Hunter Keep  ♦  Moongrave Fane  ♦  Ruins of Mazzatun  ♦  Scalecaller Peak  ♦  Scrivener's Hall  ♦  Selene's Web  ♦  Spindleclutch I  ♦  Spindleclutch II  ♦  Stone Garden  ♦  Tempest Island  ♦  The Cauldron  ♦  Unhallowed Grave  ♦  Vaults of Madness  ♦  Volenfell  ♦  Wayrest Sewers I  ♦  Wayrest Sewers II  ♦  White-Gold Tower


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