There are over 20 level 80 instances in World of Warcraft, but not all of these high level dungeons are worth spending your time on. The best high level instances will really help you gear up for your end game. Running level 80 dungeons is all about getting better and better gear so you can go further in the game. Let’s take a look at the top five best level 80 instances.
Best Level 80 Instances #1: Trial of the Crusader (normal version) or Trial of the Grand Crusader (heroic version)
One of the newest dungeons also tops our list of best high level instances. Trial of the Crusader includes five sets of bosses, of which two include three bosses at a time, and one is a PvP-type of encounter which pits your group against the opposite faction. Trial of the Crusader is our number one best high level instance because of the awesome drops. You’ll find plenty of new Tier 9 loot items when you run Trial of the Crusader.
Best Level 80 Instances #2: Trial of the Champion (heroic mode)
Our #2 best level 80 instance is almost as great as our number one. You might just want to run Trial of the Champion over and over as often as you can because of the crazy epic drops in this high level instance. Every single drop in this high level dungeon is epic, so you’re sure to end up with some great items at the end. However, this level 80 instance is certainly not easy. You’ll earn every bit of that epic gear you pick up in this high level instance.
Best Level 80 Instances #3: Vault of Archavon
Number two on our list of best high level dungeons includes the Vault of Archavon, or VoA, as you might see it called in chat windows. In this level 80 dungeon you have a little wider variety of items. Boss #1 is Archavon the Stone Watcher, who drops Tier 7 and Deadly Gladiator gear. Boss # 2 in this high level instance drops Tier 8 items and Furious Gladiator gear. Koralon the Flame Watcher is boss #3, and he drops Tier 9 items.
Best Level 80 Instances #4: Ulduar
An instance that’s pretty much a classic for all level 80 characters now is Ulduar. This high level dungeon is pretty much a rite of passage for all level 80 characters. It’s one of the first ones you’ll do when you hit level 80, but don’t write this instance off after you’ve been level 80 for a while. Out of the 14 encounters you’ll find in Ulduar, ten of them have hard settings, which fall between normal and heroic modes. In fact, the only time you’ll see Algalon the Observer is if you run the hard mode of the Ulduar instance. Item levels for gear dropped in Ulduar range from 219 in normal mode up to 239 in both heroic and hard modes. Ulduar definitely remains on our list of best high level instances and is worth a second (or 10th or 20th) look.
Best Level 80 Instances #5: Naxxramas
Yes, Naxx still belongs on our list of the top five best level 80 instances. This is another level 80 classic instance, and gear drops in this one will start to add to your collection of level 80 gear. The gear you’ll pick up in Naxxramas will push you further forward in your end game, allowing you to complete some of the higher level instances so you can get even better gear. Naxx itself is a marathon high level instance made up of five areas, and you’ll defeat many bosses by the time you reach the end. Loot dropped in the Naxx instance will be Tier 7 and Tier 7.5 raid sets. You’ll also pick up a total of 16 Emblems of Conquest when you run this high level instance.
Stay tuned for strategy guides on the next two high level instances: Onyxia’s Lair (coming in Patch 3.2.2) and Icecrown Citadel (further down the road)
Trial of the Champion is the newest 5-man instance on World of Warcraft. The fact that all the drops are epic will really help you gear up a second character. If you’ve got a very experienced group and less-than-perfect gear, it is possible to run Trial of the Champion, but you may find it to be difficult. You will need at least decent gear in order to run ToC successfully, and if you’ve got a good strategy up front to guide your group, ToC can be a very quick instance run. You’ll find Trial of the Champion in the Crusaders’ Coliseum, which is in the Argent Tournament Grounds in Icecrown.
You’ll need your best jousting abilities to start off the instance. You’ll start off mounted and face three champions of the opposite faction, generated randomly from a list of five. On that list of five champions, pay attention to which three classes you draw in order to develop your strategy. Always take out the champions’ main healer first.
You’ll need to knock all three of them off their mounts, and immediately run them over after you knock them off. If you don’t run them over after you knock them off, they’ll jump up and find another mount, which basically means you’ll have to start all over again. After all three of the champions are off their mounts, your group will automatically dismount and fight them on the ground. After your group beats the three champions on the ground, stage two begins.
The second stage of ToC starts with some quick trash mobs scattered around the arena. Those mobs are led by three lieutenant bosses. Once again, kill the healer boss first, which is the priestess. Kill the monk last because when he dies, your speed and damage automatically decrease under a de-buff he casts. After these mobs, the second-stage boss comes out. This boss will be either Argent Confessor Paletress or Eadric the Pure.
If you draw Argent Confessor Paletress, you’ll face her numerous priest abilities. When you get her down to 25% health, she summons a random monster from your past. You can’t damage Paletress while the monster is in the game, so kill that monster and be ready for a Paletress with full health afterward. Also keep in mind that the monster is heavy on the fear, so healers will need to especially watch their tanks during this bout.
Eadric the Pure is a paladin, and if you draw him instead, watch out for the blinding spell he throws down. You’ll need to keep turning your character to face away from him to avoid getting dazed. Beating Eadric is pretty much all about keeping your DPS focused on him and trying not to face him. Just keep your character turned away from him as much as you can during this battle. Two of his three major attacks will stun you, so just keep that in mind as you play around it, whether you’re ranged or melee.
After you beat Paletress or Eadric, you face the Black Knight. You’ve got to kill him three times before he stays dead. For his undead form, use your basic tank and spank approach to quickly knock him down. His second form is his skeleton form, which brings with it several ghouls. Take down the ghouls first, because if you don’t, you’ll take major damage when the ghouls explode at the knight’s second death. The Black Knight’s third form is his ghost form, and this is where you’ll find out if your healer’s really got it. The ghost form casts spells which really increase the amount of magic damage taken, so your healer’s got to be on his toes.