Direfrost Keep Dungeon Guide

Ancestral home of the Direfrost clan, this frozen castle has long been sealed to the outside world, its owners neither seen nor heard from in generations. Mountain storms rage above the castle walls, conjured up by some unknown malignant power.

Direfrost Keep is a four-person dungeon in the game The Elder Scrolls Online. The dungeon consists of various rooms and corridors, each with its own challenges and enemies.  Dirfrost Keep can be accessed at Level 24.  In this guide, I shall explain the mechanics as well as what you should and shouldn’t do while facing the dungeon’s bosses.

Direfrost Keep Location

The Direfrost Keep is located in the southeastern region of Eastmarch.  Travel southeast from Jorunn’s Stand Wayshrine to reach the Direfrost Keep.  You can also access Direfrost Keep specifically by using the Dungeon Finder.

Inside Direfrost Keep

Direfrost Keep is a one-level dungeon with six bosses and one quest.  The enemies in this dungeon include bears, Draugr warriors, frost trolls, and frozen soldiers.

Nobles’ Rest

I must discover what has happened to the missing nobles of Direfrost Keep.

Completing Nobles’ Rest

You must use the Speaking Stones and follow Eboric’s trail and defeat the Guardian of the Flame, Iceehart, and Drodda of Icereach.  Speak to Eboric Direfrost to complete this quest.  Completing this quest will reward you with gold, a skill point, and the Witch-Hunter’s Habi of the Magiccka Furnace, part of the Magicka Furnace armor set.

Direfrost Keep Boss Mechanics

Need specific info?  Click these quick links to go directly to each section.

Teethnasher the Frostbound

This boss is quite possibly the easiest boss in the dungeon. Of course most of the time the first one is the easiest to get you into the swing of things but the main thing to remember with this boss especially as the tank is to keep him STILL. There is no need to run at all.

Charge – The boss with hit with a charge attack in the direction of the tank or whoever has agro at the time. This does NOT do a lot of damage and a simple block will be enough, do not run around the room, just be sure to block it and you will be fine. Also, he has a lot of light attacks which most tanks should be able to stand up to but if a dps/healer is attacked you should BLOCK not run around the room

Ice Wind – This mechanic is ongoing and is very simple however with players of lower champion points (lower resist bonuses) you may want to avoid it from time to time.  Basically, the boss has a constant wind aoe surrounding it which ticks with ice damage every second. This also applies a snare effect. Since you should keep this boss very still and just kill him over time the snare is ineffective really, there is NO need to run around the room. However, the damage, if you do not have a healer, will mount up so you have two options. Stand in it and do your damage as a dps while the healer stays out of it and helps you all survive. OR simply do your damage, step out of it and recover and then go back in again. Either method works fine, the damage is really not so bad and if you do dip in health there is plenty of time to get out of the aoe and heal up so long as the tank holds it still!

Guardian of the Flame

This boss is very simple IF the tank holds him still and the group are capable of NOT running around the room. The more you run the more difficult the fight gets. So find your positions and stay there unless the mechanics require you to move. If you have to move, get back into position ASAP!

Heavy Attack – This is as simple as it gets, a long swing into a heavy attack which MUST be blocked else you will be knocked down and across the floor. The tank should look out for this and always block it. If the boss is on a dps/healer, the same rule applies, block it.

Charge – Position is KEY! Do NOT run around the room, because if you do the target furthest will be charged by the boss and then hit with a nasty frontal aoe effect. He will randomly do this sometimes throughout the fight but generally, it is due to people being too far away. If this is happening, reevaluate your group’s position and stop running away! If you are being charged you CAN block it, so in the event of this happening, do so. Running around will just get you killed.

Breath – Every so often he cast a breath attack on the person who has agro (should be the tank). This is a cone-shaped effect and should be blocked if possible. The tank won’t take too much damage but anyone else can take quite a bit so if it is facing a dps/healer they should either dodge roll from it or simply block. Do NOT run around the room. This also staggers the target a bit so is a little annoying. Keep behind the boss at all times if you are a dps/healer and this won’t be a problem.

Lightning Splash – The boss will occasionally aim at a random target (so have your own dedicated positions so you know who he is targeting) and he will place a nasty aoe on the ground under the feet of his chosen target. Simple note WHO he is aiming at and then the target should move out of the aoe and avoid the damage while getting back into a suitable position. The reason you MUST get back into the fight asap is to prevent the charge attack due to being too far away. Basically, get out of the trouble and then get back into the fight again. Standing in the aoe WILL hurt a lot so don’t stay in it for more than a second or two if you are not the tank.

Drodda’s Dreadlord

This boss is simple but can cause wipes if people are not paying attention. The tank should stay with the boss in the middle of the room and hold him still and watch for incoming banekins. The rest of the group should stay fairly close and watch for banekins also..they do hurt!

Heavy Attack – This is a simple heavy attack. It is always aimed at the person who has aggro and this should always be the tank however if it is on a dps/healer the same rules apply…BLOCK! do NOT run away!

Cleave – He will occasionally spin his weapon around his head emitting a small aoe around himself. This does damage over time and should be avoided by the squishies but the tank should be fine with it. Again do NOT run away, just step out of it and you will be fine.  NOTE: after she is dead don’t forget to press the button in the room to lower the drawbridge to the next fight.

Exploding Banekins – At the start of the fight and during the fight periodically the boss will spawn exploding banekin adds, these do not have much health so if there is a lot of aoe damage down on the floor they CAN die when they spawn but be warned if they get CLOSE to a dps/healer they can almost and sometimes completely one shot a player. More than one blowing up at once is for sure certain death. The tank can withstand it but others cannot. When these spawn the tank should try to chain/pin them as soon as possible to prevent them from running at the group. If you are a dps/healer and you ARE in trouble you can dodge roll to avoid them while they explode but don’t run around the room if you can help it.

Drodda’s Apprentice

This boss is what will prepare you for the last boss. There are lots of adds to start with so be sure your tank grabs them as fast as possible on top of the boss while holding the boss still. Set up a formation surrounding the boss (everyone has their own space) around the back of the boss away from the boss’s face with the rest of the group. Pay CLOSE attention to his mechanics and do NOT run away!

Heavy Attack  Occasionally the boss will heavy attack the tank (or whoever has agro) Simply block this and you will be fine but if not you WILL be knocked down and the domino effect of other mechanics hitting you while you are down can be a mess.

Ice Blast – Watch for the spreading aoe effect that comes from underneath the boss! When this mechanic starts happening, get out of the area it is consuming/spreading to as soon as possible, it will hit really hard and apply a knockdown. This mechanic is VERY important to get used to for the last boss.

Drain – The boss will pick a target to attach a draining effect beam to a chosen target (random) and the longer he holds the target in the air the more health he will gain back, you MUST break free from this! This is also very important to pay attention to for the last boss.

Blast – The boss periodically attempts to channel a cast timed ability which will launch a nasty blast in aoe of effect at a random target. This can be interrupted so pay close attention to this and it won’t ever be a problem. However, if it is cast, just move out of the way before it lands.


This boss is actually pretty simple and follows very similar rules to most standard Ice Atronahcs with a little bit of a twist (a couple of extra mechanics) The tank should position the boss on the spot and turn it away from the group. The group should always stay behind the boss and this will prevent them from taking damage from his most effective attacks.

Cone AOE – This cone-shaped effect aoe ability is always aimed in the direction of the person who has aggro. This should be the tank. Simply block this and you will take minimal damage, however, if you are a dps/healer and this is aiming at you (which it shouldn’t be) simply block or step out of it. Remember you should NOT be in front of the boss if you are not the tank.

Ice Blast – Watch for the spreading aoe effect that comes from underneath the boss! When this mechanic starts happening, get out of the area it is consuming/spreading to as soon as possible and once it is gone get back in again. It is similar to the last boss,  adds a knockback/stagger, and does moderate damage.

Slam – The boss will smash the ground with his fist and a small aoe damage circle will appear under each player, after it bursts a large frost spike will come out of the ground, and out of the spikes will spawn Draugr-type enemies. They have very low health and are easy to kill quickly but if possible the tank should grab hold of them and/or pin them so they don’t run wild. As dps and healers do NOT run away, they will just chase you and kill you in the back of the head. DON’T panic!

Drodda of Icereach

The final boss in Direfrost is every pickup group’s NIGHTMARE!  The boss has very simple mechanics but it can go so wrong so fast if people don’t pay attention. Key points for this fight are to make sure you do not run around like a headless chicken, all find your own space, and preserve your stamina, you WILL need it. Sprinting around the room will kill you and/or make this fight REALLY hard! This boss can be debuffed but NOT taunted, she will hit who she likes, so the tank should keep up debuffs, grab adds and keep shields(if they have any) on the group. The tank is in “protect mode” for this fight.

Light Attacks – The boss will hit who she likes when she likes, this is why you all find your own positions to make sure you know WHO she is aiming at. Stacking up will make this impossible to tell. She will fire off frost-light attacks at her chosen target, usually x3 in a row. These HURT! If you are the target, shield, and block (if magicka) or block/dodge roll if you are stamina and you can afford the stamina to do so. The healer should focus on the target and keep them up as 2 of these in a row without a heal WILL kill you.

Teleport and Ice Blast – When she teleports(periodically) she will spawn at a different location. Look for her fast and gauge where she is. The second she lands she will emit a very large aoe from under her and once it is at the peak it will burst with ice shards from the ground. IF this hits a dps/healer, they are dead. One shot! (unless they have stupid high resists) avoid this at all costs and THEN get back into position.

Ice Wraiths – At 50% and under she will spawn ice wraiths (x2) every so often, these have nasty light attacks and can use a charge ability that will knock down players, these are easy to spot and should be avoided or blocked but above all this is where the tank comes in. While protecting the group, taunt these 2 and stick them on the boss. Aoe damage alone should be able to dispatch these fast. Remember do NOT run around the room, relax and keep up a formation so you can see the incoming attacks from the boss.

Ice Atronachs – Under 25% she will spawn 2x frost atronachs. They spawn spikes from the ground which should be avoided and they also attack with frontal cone attacks. The tank should treat these just like the wraiths and stack them on the boss so they can be killed with aoe. If they are on you and you are a dps/healer, just block and don’t panic. Let the tank grab control of them and DON’T run around the room. They have low health so will not last long.

Drain!– This is what makes or breaks this dungeon!  Just like Drodda’s Apprentice, she will target one player periodically…she will attach a beam to the target and every second will drain their health and heal herself. She heals a LOT!!! some groups find it almost impossible to kill her based on how much she heals per second so the KEY point to this mechanic is you MUST “BREAK FREE!”. If you do not have enough stamina to do so you are in trouble!

When the beam is on you, break free instantly! This is why you must preserve your stamina throughout the fight. This mechanic alone is the biggest problem. Stay in your formation so you can see who she is aiming at and deal with this problem as soon as possible! The most simple mechanic in the entire dungeon that can completely wreck a group. Have fun!

Direfrost Keep Dungeon Loot

Below is a list of all the loot you can expect to find in Direrost Keep.

On normal the loot is blue and the boss does NOT drop a monster helmet, but on veteran difficulty all of the loot is purple and the main boss DOES drop a special monster helmet.

Note: in dungeons some individual bosses can drop a unique item but generally, the weapons and jewelry (non-named items) come from the last boss. HOWEVER the entire loot table can also drop from trash and chests, so loot everything!  Got the gear in the wrong traits?  Don’t worry!  You can alter the traits by either transmuting or reconstruct the piece with a trait of your choice.  For more information see the Introduction to Transmuting and Reconstructing article.

If you are looking for a matching shoulder monster piece, visit the Undaunted Pledge Master Glirion the Redbeard at the nearest Undaunted enclave.  He sells a 50/50 chance at the shoulder piece as part of the Frigid Crucible Coffer or it could be in his mystery coffer.  You can learn more about the Undaunted in the Undaunted Guide.

Builds That Use Direfrost Keep Gear

Direfrost Keep Achievements

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement 022
A Dish Served Cold

Defeat Drodda of Icereach in Veteran Direfrost Keep, after invoking the Scroll of Glorious Battle.

ESO In-Game Icon Acheivement 020
Direfrost Keep Assassin

Defeat Teethnasher the Frostbound, the Guardian of the Flame, Drodda’s Apprentice, Drodda’s Dreadlord, Iceheart, and Drodda of Icereach in Veteran Direfrost Keep within twenty minutes of starting the dungeon. Timer starts when any player enters the first bear-filled cavern.

ESO Achievment 026 Icon
Direfrost Keep Conqueror

Complete Veteran Direfrost Keep by defeating Teethnasher the Frostbound, the Guardian of the Flame, Drodda’s Apprentice, Drodda’s Dreadlord, Iceheart, and Drodda of Icereach.

ESO In-Game Icon Ability Warrior 032
Direfrost Keep Survivor

Defeat Teethnasher the Frostbound, the Guardian of the Flame, Drodda’s Apprentice, Drodda’s Dreadlord, Iceheart, and Drodda of Icereach in Veteran Direfrost Keep, without suffering a group member death.

ESO Achievment 026 Icon
Direfrost Keep Vanquisher

Defeat the Guardian of the Flame, the Empowered Frost Atronach, and Drodda of Icereach at Direfrost Keep.

ESO Icon Achievement 024
Veteran Draugr Slayer

Defeat 325 Draugr in Veteran Direfrost Keep.

ESO Icon Achievement 024
Veteran Frozen Skeleton Slayer

Defeat 350 Frozen Skeletons in Veteran Direfrost Keep.

Direfrost Keep Leads

The following antiquity leads can be acquired in the Banished Cells I.

ESO In-Game Icon Crafting Light Armor Component 005

The Snowy Sabre Cat Fur Strip is part of the Snow Treaders mythic item.

The dig zone for this lead is found in Eastmarch.

Final Note

Thank you for taking the time to watch the content and read this guide. Be sure on your travels to remember, although once you get very experienced you may make these dungeons much easier and faster… it starts from the ground up and it’s…