Which raids are available in each phase of WoW Classic? We break it down
It’s finally happened — you’ve hit level 60 in World of Warcraft Classic and have decided you want to raid. But which raids are open right now? We know that Classic won’t just be dropped with everything unlocked — so knowing what’s available versus what’s releasing next could be instrumental in deciding how to gear your character. Good gear is important, but making sure that you have the right resist for the raid you’re about to undertake is even more important. Kel’Thuzad would just laugh at you if you walked into his room wearing all Fire Resist armor.
When Classic launches, only a couple raids will be open. As Classic goes on, more content will be rolled out over six phases. We still don’t know how long we’ll have to wait between those phases — but we do know what’s going to be in each roll out! Let’s break it down.
The original dragon, Onyxia was a lot of people’s first experience with raiding. Onyxia’s Lair is located in Dustwallow Marsh on the Kalimdor continent. However, in order to get inside the raid, you’ll need to be attuned to it. There was a long quest chain for both Horde and Alliance, the culmination of which awarded the Drakefire Amulet. Alliance players will start with the quest Dragonkin Menace in Burning Steppes. If you’re Horde your first quest is Warlord’s Command that you’ll get from Warlord Goretooth in Kargath. You’ll need to be carrying or wearing the Amulet in order to get inside.
If Onyxia’s Lair was everyone’s first experience with raiding, Molten Core is probably the most well-known raid from vanilla WoW. Ragnaros waits for you under Blackrock Mountain, and luckily this time you don’t need to be attuned to walk in the front door — technically. The main entrance to the raid is located within the Blackrock Depths dungeon. So you’ll be able to send ten people at a time running through to get into the raid. Once you have some Warlocks inside Molten Core they can drop a Summoning Stone, as long as they have the Soul Shards. If you’d like to speed this up, there is also the quest Attunement to the Core. Once you collect a sample of the core from right next to the entrance, you’ll be able to talk to Lothos Riftwalker outside of Blackrock Depths to teleport you into Molten Core.
It’s important to remember that you’ll need to collect Hydraxian Waterlords reputation by killing creatures inside of Molten Core in order to fight Majordomo Executus and Ragnaros. Once your raid has 7 people at Honored with the Waterlords — or one person ready to take a bunch of portals and summons — you’ll be able to extinguish the runes using Aqual Quintessences and fight the Majordomo. Once you’ve beaten his guards, he’ll go and summon Ragnaros for you.
Azuregos is the mighty Blue Dragon located in Azshara. As a world boss, he’ll be hotly contested. Whenever he spawns you can expect a mad dash from both Horde and Alliance guilds to get members in place for a successful pull. Remember that he has the Mark of Frost debuff, which is applied whenever anyone is killed near him. If you rejoin the fight before the Mark goes away, he’ll periodically freeze you solid. Hunters will be very interested in him because of the Mature Blue Dragon Sinew he drops which is necessary to make the Ancient Sinew Wrapped Lamina quiver.
Found in the Blasted Lands, Lord Kazzak is ready to show why he is supreme. There’s a fairly short enrage timer of about five minutes. Once this happens he’ll start to cast his Shadowbolt Volley extremely quickly. Be careful, he’ll also enrage if he gets in combat with more than 40 players. Lord Kazzak is well known for being able to be kited to Stormwind city to wreak havoc on all the unsuspecting citizens. Priests are going to be begging to get their kills as he drops the Eye of Shadow — which they’ll need to get their staff, Benediction.
Time to put those Onyxia Scale Cloaks to good use! Blackwing Lair is located at the top of Blackrock Spire and doesn’t require an attunement, but does have a shortcut like Molten Core. The main entrance can be found inside the Blackrock Spire 10-man dungeon. To access the shortcut you’ll have to collect the quest Blackhand’s Command from the Scarshield Quartermaster that patrols the hallway in the mountain. After completing the quest you’ll be able to touch the Orb outside of Blackrock Spire in order to teleport directly into Blackwing Lair.
Dragons of Nightmare
Spawning outside of portals to the Emerald Dream, the Dragons of Nightmare are fearsome Green Dragons who have been corrupted by the Nightmare that festers within the Dream. Each of the dragons has a different set of abilities, but like Azuregos, they all have a Mark of Nature ability that you get when you die. If you re-engage before it drops off, you’ll be put to sleep for two minutes. Emeriss, Ysondre, Lethon, and Taerar have random spawn times — getting your raid to the right dragon is half the battle. The portals are located in Duskwood, The Hinterlands, Ashenvale, and Feralas.
Deep in the jungles of Stranglethorn Vale the mighty Troll city of Zul’Gurub awaits. There was no attunement to enter the raid — letting you get in and take the fight to Hakkar the Soulflayer as soon as Phase 4 unlocks. This 20-man raid had only a three-day reset timer allowing for lots of chances to obtain the Swift Zulian Tiger from High Priest Thekal. Zul’gurub is most infamously known for the Hakkar Blood Plague incident. It’s going to be interesting to see if the plague spreads in the same way once the raid opens again.
The fifth phase is all about the War of the Shifting Sands. Players will once again have the opportunity to ring the Gong in front of Ahn’Qiraj and obtain the Black Scarab mount and Scarab Lord title. This absolutely massive server-wide event had players from both factions contributing resources into the war effort, while multiple raid teams worked together to reassemble the Scepter of the Shifting Sands. With the Scepter whole and the gong rung, the gates swung open and the Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj and Temple of Ahn’Qiraj became available for raiding.
Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj
The Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj is the 20-player raid to the left once you go through the Scarab Wall. There are only six bosses, and three of those are optional, allowing you to prioritize the fights that have the loot you need.
Temple of Ahn’Qiraj
40 players are all that stand between Azeroth and the Old God C’thun. The Temple of Ahn’Qiraj is probably the most sprawling raid that Blizzard made — so much so that they made sure everyone had Scarab Mounts to get around inside of it. During vanilla WoW, C’thun was mathematically impossible to defeat when he released. I can’t wait for the first guilds to reach him and find out if that’s still true.
Finally we come to Naxxramas. Did you know that in during vanilla WoW only 1% of guilds managed to kill Kel’thuzad? Now you’ll have your chance to test your mettle against the hardest creations the Lich can throw at you. Naxxramas is found floating above the Eastern Plaguelands. But attuning yourself to enter is the first hurdle you’ll have to clear. You’ll need to raise your reputation with the Argent Dawn to at least Honored before they’ll even consider letting you in. Once you’ve done that you’re allowed to buy your passage into Naxxramas. Gaining entry when you’re just Honored is very expensive though. Keep working on your reputation with the Dawn and you’ll get a cheaper option at Revered, and won’t have to pay anything if you’re Exalted. It’s a good idea to wait if you can — you’re definitely going to need that gold for repair bills.
Raiding in vanilla WoW was a highlight of the game. The first phase will be a true test to see how well the old raids stand up to today’s standards. But, I am glad that each of the raids is going to have its chance to shine, rather than seeing everyone rush to Kel’Thuzad as fast as possible. I don’t know if it would be safe medically to try and grind each of the different attunements necessary at once.
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