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WoW ClassicDec 15, 2021 2:00 pm CT

What’s in WoW Classic Season of Mastery Phases, and when will they be released?

One of the big changes in WoW Classic’s Season of Mastery is an accelerated Phase release, which will let players zoom through the whole of Classic at a speedy pace. Unlike the initial roll out of WoW Classic, the Season of Mastery plans to release Phase 6 within 12 months, so you’ll experience the whole game within a year.

The actual content of each Phases is mostly unchanged from the original release: they’re just being rolled out on an accelerated schedule. However, there is one surprise.

When will Season of Mastery Phases start?

We don’t actually know when these Phases will go live, except for Phase 1, which launched today when the Season of Mastery began. All Phase 1 content will be live as soon as the Season starts, and for the first two months or so will be the entirety of the content available to players. Now, this is mostly unchanged from the original Phase releases back in 2019, with one major exception.

What’s in Season of Mastery Phases?

Phase 1: Now Live

  • Raids: Molten Core, Onyxia’s Lair
  • Dungeons: Maraudon
  • PVP: Honor System and Battlegrounds

This Phase will contain the initial raid content of WoW Classic, as well as the expansive starter dungeon Maraudon, which released after launch in the original game. And it will also see the release of the PVP Honor System and Battlegrounds, which originally launched in Phases 3 and 4 when WoW Classic went live.

The raids Molten Core and Onyxia’s Lair will be available during Phase 1, allowing players to go up against the Broodmother of the Black Dragonflight herself, Onyxia, followed by a dive into the Molten Core to confront the forces of the Firelord before facing Ragnaros himself.

Phase 2: Now live

  • Dungeons: Dire Maul
  • World Bosses: Azuregos, Kazzak

While there will be no new raid content in Phase 2, the expansive four-wing Dire Maul dungeon will unlock during this time, allowing Paladins and Warlocks to get their Epic Mounts and making the Quel’Serrar quest chain possible to complete. In addition, the open world bosses Azuregos and Kazzak will be added to the game world, with Azuregos patrolling around Azshara while Kazzak wreaks havoc in the Blasted Lands.

classic nefarian

Phase 3: Estimated Mid-January Release

  • Raids: Blackwing Lair
  • Events: Darkmoon Faire

Phase 3 heralds the arrival of the Darkmoon Faire, which in WoW Classic switches locations between Elwynn Forest and Mulgore. The Faire being open, you’ll be able to build the various Darkmoon decks as the cards will begin dropping, letting you build powerful trinkets tailored for your playstyle. Also, the first major new raid since Phase 1, the Blackwing Lair inhabited by the Black Dragon Nefarian, will open and players will have the chance to face off against Onyxia’s even more evil brother.

We predict this phase will open in mid-January because Molten Core and Onyxia’s Lair are already cleared, and it doesn’t seem likely that the raiding content can be satisfied with Azuregos and Kazzak for two months.

Phase 4: Estimated Mid-March Release

  • World Bosses: Dragons of Nightmare
  • Raids: Zul’Gurub

PVP will have already unlocked in Phase 1, but Phase 4 will still have content, with the Dragons of Nightmare world bosses coming to Azeroth. Lethon, Emeriss, Ysondre and Taerar will spawn in one of four locations: Bough Shadow in Ashenvale, Dream Bough in Feralas, Seradane in The Hinterlands,  and The Twilight Grove in Duskwood. Each Dragon spawns randomly in one of the four locations, but at least you never get two of them in one location.

In addition, the 20 player raid Zul’Gurub will open in Stranglethorn Vale, allowing players to face the Blood God Hakkar and his corrupted minions as well as earn favor with the Zandalari Tribe. Yes, even Alliance players.

We estimate mid-March because Blackwing Lair is a fairly substantial raid, and with its release, there will be Molten Core, Onyxia, Azuregos, Kazzak, and Blackwing Lair to keep raiders occupied for at least two months. This patch will being 20 player Zul’Gurub and the four Dragons of Nightmare into the mix, which is a substantial amount of content to keep players satiated.

Phase 5: Estimated Mid-July Release

  • Raids: Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj
  • Events: Gates of Ahn’Qiraj

This Phase is dedicated to Ahn’Qiraj. First up will be the War Effort, as both Horde and Alliance players put aside their differences and gather materials to bring the fight to the Silithid and their masters, the Qiraji, lying in wait deep within the fortified ruins of Ahn’Qiraj.

Then the 20 player Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj and the 40 player Temple of Ahn’Qiraj raids will open once the War Effort is completed on a realm, unlocking the full content of both raids and allowing players to explore and combat the Qiraji menace.

I think this phase could end up in July because with Phase 4 in March, there will be a good amount of raiding and players will need as much time as they can get farming up nature resistance gear for the raids in this phase, especially Temple of Ahn’Qiraj. With the Dragons of Nightmare being open world raiding content, you’ll need more time to farm them because you’ll be competing with the other faction as well as other guilds in your faction to even get to kill them on a weekly basis.

Phase 6: Estimated November Release

  • Raids: Naxxramas
  • Events: Scourge Invasion

If the release schedule goes as planned the final Phase of the Season of Mastery will roll out in November 2022 — but we don’t have any confirmation on exactly when. This Phase will focus on the Scourge and their invasion of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, led by the dread fortress Naxxramas. First up will be the extensive Scourge Invasion event, which contains quests, random spawns of undead in various zones, and the chance to collect rare armor sets dedicated to destroying these Undead fiends surging across Azeroth.

Then it becomes time to take the fight to the enemy, as Naxxramas itself opens — this 40 player raid is the pinnacle of WoW Classic and will be the final raid content for your characters in the Season of Mastery.

So get out there and enjoy WoW Classic’s new Season of Mastery, now live, and remember you’ve got about a year to see all that the game has to offer.

Originally published 11/16/2021, updated 1/14/2022

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