Can you solo Battle for Azeroth group content?
With the arrival of the final Shadowlands patch, World of Warcraft has officially entered its pre-expansion lull, and while the Dragonflight alpha is chugging along, many players tend to farm old expansions during the downtime, looking to pick up collectibles and transmogs they may have missed the first time around. The biggest question mark when it comes to soloing old content is always the expansion immediately previous; while our characters are ten levels higher and much better geared than when Battle for Azeroth was current, this isn’t enough to guarantee a casual soloing experience.
The main impediment to soloing some group content in BfA are mechanics that are designed around at least two players and usually require two tanks. The legacy damage multiplier does not kick in until a character is 11 levels higher than the intended content level, so it won’t be until Dragonflight that most tank-intended debuffs can be ignored, either because they don’t do enough damage or the boss can be killed before it becomes an issue. Even with the damage multiplier some boss mechanics can’t be handled solo, so a “soloing pass” will be required before everyone can freely farm the content.
That said, a substantial amount of group content from BfA is now soloable, so let’s take a look at what can be soloed and why you may want to send some of your characters into older instances.
Island Expeditions and Mythic Dungeons are mostly speedbumps to the solo player
Island Expeditions were a new feature of BfA and while there were a few bumps in the initial implementation, by the end of the expansion things had gotten better. The addition of loot boxes that can be purchased with Seafarer Dubloons mitigates some of the RNG with attempting to farm mounts, toys, pets, and transmog although it adds a different layer on RNG to the process — make sure to review this guide to maximize your chances. On the plus side, you’re able to solo Island Expeditions as of patch 9.1.5 and since the content isn’t difficult, one can easily complete a “private tour” on Mythic to maximize their number of drops and Seafarer Dubloons.
Mythic Dungeons from BfA are also readily soloable with a geared level 60 toon — with one exception noted below — so if you had your eye on one of the mounts that drop only on Mythic mode here is your chance. The Tomb Stalker from King’s Rest is probably the most popular target, but there’s also a crawg mount available in Underrot, a parrot mount from Freehold, and a Mechagon Peacekeeper from the HK-8 Aerial Oppression Unit in Mechagon. For Engineers there is the Mecha-Mogul Mk2 which resembles a goblinized Mimiron’s Head in design and can be crafted using drops and purchased items in THE MOTHERLODE dungeon (however if you don’t want to craft it yourself it can be purchased from the Auction House). Mythic dungeons have a weekly lockout, so it’s likely gonna take a good amount of effort to get these mounts unless RNG is really on your side.
The one mount that isn’t easily obtainable solo is the Aerial Unit R-21/X that drops from King Mechagon in Hard Mode. The issue is that the HK-8 Aerial Oppression Unit fight in Hard Mode can’t be soloed outside of glitching the fight as one of the mechanics has a timer that requires multiple players to overcome. That said, the mount is a guaranteed drop for a party of five that completes the dungeon, so gathering four friends or guildies to run it 5 weeks in a row will guarantee everyone earns the mount without having to worry about mechanics at all.
A solo overview of Battle for Azeroth raids
Raids are where the bulk of the most popular transmog is found during an expansion, so the motivation for many players to revisit old raids is to finish up sets. Battle pets are also popular, with roughly a dozen available across the various raids in BfA. And of course mounts are always a draw, but BfA is a little weak on this front with only one mount available from a difficulty besides Mythic — although the standard “Glory of” achievement mounts are available.
The WoW development team opened up the ability to solo BfA LFR as well as Legacy Loot in patch 9.1.5 — refer to this article to learn how to enter the raids — however it was done without any mechanic adjustments so going in there by yourself is going to be a frustrating experience. Your character won’t likely take too much damage until a tank debuff stacks too high, or two bosses you were supposed to keep separated end up stacking on you. These raids are probably best tackled as part of a group, but just in case you can’t find anyone to assist you here’s what you may find.
The first thing to note is that the popular raid addon Deadly Boss Mods maintains a separate package for old expansions, so if you wish for it to assist you make sure you install it first. Also you should probably adjust your spec to get as many passive self-heals or shields going, as survivability will likely be an issue. Finally, given a choice of classes or specs to solo with, you’re much better off going with a non-caster class — Hunters should go as Beast Mastery or Survival, not Marksmanship — as the fact you’ll be tanking while dpsing means you’ll find yourself short on time to hard cast your big dps abilities. That’s not to say that a Mage or Warlock can’t solo BfA raids, but it’ll be a much tougher experience than what a Rogue or Feral Druid experiences.
When choosing what difficulty to run the raids on, know that Heroic and Mythic Difficulties are not casually soloable yet, so it’s a choice of LFR vs Normal. I found that LFR was easier than Normal; while the former is scaled to 25 players and the latter default scales to ten, the health and dps requirements felt roughly equal. In addition, the Determination buff will still be gained in LFR so you may be able to overcome a boss after a few wipes. Finally, the ability to run wings instead of straight through meant that bosses that are otherwise not able to be soloed yet can be skipped.
Places to head (and avoid) in Battle for Azeroth raids solo
The best use of your time solo raiding in BfA is to attempt to acquire the only non-Mythic mount, the G.M.O.D. in the Battle of Dazar’alor. While it normally drops from High Tinker Mekkatorque, when running LFR you need to complete the entire wing — including the Jaina Proudmoore fight — for a chance at it. Fortunately this wing (known as “Might of the Alliance” for that faction, or “Victory or Death” for Horde) is soloable. You’ll need strong dps to defeat Mekkatorque before you’re overwhelmed by adds; there’s some timing mechanics you have to learn to overcome the Stormwall Blockade, and the mechanics for the Jaina fight will need to be done correctly, but it is doable. Whether its worthwhile for (this admittedly awesome) mount is up to you.
The rest of Battle of Dazar’alor is uneven: the first wing is soloable, but Opulence’s mechanics make it a hard stop currently for the second wing. The two-boss Crucible of Storms raid is another source of BoD transmog (and little else), but it’s not easily soloable.
Uldir is pretty tough to solo, with numerous tank mechanics that can quickly get your level 60 character killed. There is one interesting item, the cosmetic Khor, Hammer of the Guardian which drops off of Taloc, the first boss — which can be soloed.
While Queen Azshara is going to require a soloing pass to defeat, the rest of the raid isn’t as problematic for the most part. The first wing can be soloed, and Lady Ashvane can be defeated if you have a pet or another way to break the briny bubble effect. Orgozoa (second wing) and Za’qul (third wing) can be soloed — albeit not easily — but The Queen’s Court appears too difficult to do.
The final raid of Ny’alotha is of course the hardest to solo. While Dark Inquisitor Xanesh was soloable with a lot of self-heals, every other fight in the raid felt too tough to casually solo. The final two bosses of Carapace and N’zoth have the additional requirement that you have Ashjra’kamas equipped else you get mind-controlled (and thus end the encounter since you’re by yourself), which is unfortunate for those who have a Shadowlands Legendary in the back slot.
In the end it feels like the casual collector of old content would be best off waiting for the inevitable soloing pass of BfA raids at some point during the next expansion before actively farming, or doing it as part of a group. For now, there are plenty of outfits and mounts in the Island Expeditions to keep me occupied until Dragonflight, so that’s where my soloing focus is going to be.
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