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Best Level 80 Instances

August 21, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

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)

best level 80 instancesOur #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)

General Vezax Boss Strategy Guide

April 14, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

general-vezax-strategy-guideLooking for more amazing Ulduar strategies? Check out the complete Ulduar Boss Strategies Guide!

General Vezax is the 12th boss encounter of Ulduar. General Vezax guards the prison holding Yogg-Saron.

General Vezax Abilities

  • Health Points: 25,100,000 (heroic), 6,275,250 (normal)
  • Shadow Crash – deals 11,310-12,690 shadow damage and knocking back all enemies near the impact point. Leaves a magical area at the impact point for 15 seconds that increases magic damage by 50%, reduces healing by 50%, and reduces mana cost by 30%.
  • Searing Flames - deals 13,875-16,125 fire damage to all players within a 20 yard radius. Reduces armor by 75% for 10 seconds. 2 second casting time, can be interrupted.
  • Surge of Darkness – increases physical damage by 100% and reduces movement speed by 55% for a 10 second duration. When the General buffs himself with this you  must kite him.
  • Aura of Despair - prevents normal mana regeneration through out the fight. You can still gain mana via evocation, mana pots, etc. You can destroy the crystals flying around the room to get mana. These crystals drop a cloud on the ground, which will convert your health into mana.
  • Profund of Darkness – deals 500 damage to all enemies and increases shadow damage by 10% per stack. Stacks on the raid (related to achievements)

General Vezax Boss Strategy

For the most part this is a pretty standard tank and spank fight…with a few slight variations. When you engage General Vezax simply start DPS like normal, have your DPS interrupt searing flames as often as possible. When General Vezax casts surge of darkness all DPS should stop, allowing your tank to kite General Vezax around the room. This is a great time for your casters to take advantage of the clouds for mana regeneration. Make sure you are rotating your casters appropriately, it’s important everyone maintains thier mana (particuarlly healers).

Continue to DPS General Vezax until he is about 35% health. Before reaching 35% you’ll want to make sure all your casters have enough mana, if not slow DPS and allow them to get some mana regeneration going. After you take Vezax to 35% he will summon Saronite Animus. Generally you want to simply off tank Saronite Animus and finish off the general. If you want to complete the achievement you need to kill Saronite Animus before Vezax. Continue burning down the General until he’s dead.

General Vezax Hard Mode Strategy

The hard mode is the same type of fight as I’ve detailed above, except you cannot use any of the mana-regeneration clouds for the duration of the fight.’

General Vezax Video Strategy (10 man)

coming soon…

General Vezax Video Strategy (25 man)

Thorim Boss Strategy Guide

April 14, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 


Looking for more amazing Ulduar strategies? Check out the complete Ulduar Boss Strategy Guide!

Thorim is the 10th boss encounter of Ulduar. This boss is located in the Clash of Thunder.

Thorim Boss Abilities

  • Health Points: 11,300,000 (heroic)
  • Stormhammer – deals 2,451-2,551 damage, knocking down and stunning for 2 seconds. Causes deafening thunder to all nearby enemies.
    • Defeaning Thunder – inflicts 4,625-5,375 nature damage to enemies in close proximity of a stormhamer. Silences for 6 seconds
  • Beserk – Increases damage by 500%, attack / cast speed by 200% and health by 300% of Thorim and his allies.
  • Unbalancing Strike – Deals 250% weapon damage and leaves the target unbalanced, reducing defense by 200 for 15 seconds
  • Lightning Charge – absorbs energy from a target, deals nature damage to all enemies in a frontal cone between caster and the targeted enemy. Increases the caster’s melee damage / attack speed by 20%.

Gauntlet Mobs and Abilities

  • Jormungar Behemoth
    • Acid Breath – deals 12,000 nature damage and 1500 additional damage every 2 seconds.
    • Sweep – deals 6,000 damage and knockdown for 3 seconds.
  • Captured Horde / Alliance Soldier
    • Barbed Shot – deals 4,513-4,987 physical damage and an additional 500 damage every 3 seconds for 12 seconds.
  • Captured Horde / Alliance Soldier 2

    • Heroic Strike – strong melee attack that deals 5,088-5,912 with a high amount of threat
    • Devastate – sunders armor and causes 50%, sunder armor stacks up to 5 times
  • Captured Horde / Alliance Healer
    • Heal – area of effect healing (details needed)
  • Dark Rune Acolyte
    • Holy Smite – deals 7,500 holy damage
    • Greater Heal – heals an ally for 86,500 (confirmation needed on this number)
  • Dark Rune Champion
    • Whirlwind – standard area of effect whirlwind damage plus an additional 100
    • Mortal Strike – deals 250% weapon damage and reduces healing by 50% for 5 seconds.
    • Charge – charges and enemy knocking them down and dealing normal weapon damage plus 120.
  • Dark Rune Evoker
    • Runic lightning – deals 7.875-10,125 nature damage
    • Runic Mending – heals an ally for 18,500-21,500 then heals an additional 6,000 health every 1 second for 15 seconds.
  • Dark Rune Commoner
    • Low Blow – standard attack and reduces the target’s damage dealt by 3% for 20 seconds.
    • Pummel – interrupts spell casting for 5 seconds.
  • Dark Rune Warbringer
    • Runic Strike – deals nature damage equal to weapon damage with an additional 1000
    • Iron Honor Guard
    • Cleave – deals 150% of melee damage, standard cleave mechanic
    • Hamstring – Deals 50% of normal melee damage and reduces movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds
  • Iron Ring Guard
    • Whirling Trip – 2 second knockdown, dealing weapon damage
    • Impale – causes target to bleed until healed past 90% of maximum health. Deals 1750 damage per second until removed.
  • Ancient Rune Giant
    • Stomp – weapon damage plus a 2 second knock down.
  • Runic Colossus
    • Smash – deals 13,875-16,125 damage, knocking them up
    • Charge – charges an enemy, deals normal damage with an additional 120 and a knock back
    • Runic Barrier – reduces physical damage taken by 50% and deals 2,000 arcane damage to attackers

Thorim Boss Strategy

Before the fight even begins you’ll want to split your raid into 2 groups. Group 1 will be the gauntlet group and should be composed of at least 2 tanks, 3 healers and caster DPS. Group 2 will be the Colosseum group and will fight the mobs in the arena area. This group should also have 2 tanks, 3 healers and your melee / hunter dps (due to the silence). The gauntlet group will work their way up to Thorim and the Colosseum group will simply fight the mobs and survive until group 1 makes it to Thorim.

After group 1 completes the gauntlet Thorim will jump down into the Colosseum, group 1 will follow him. At this point it’s a pretty standard tank and spank fight. When Thorim hits a tank with unbalancing strike another tank will need to taunt. Continue pumping out as much DPS as possible. Now it’s just a DPS race against lightning charge, which will 1 shot tanks.

Thorim Hard Mode Strategy

Most are saying the hard mode encounter includes Sif, Thorim’s dead wife. She won’t be tankable and will simply run around producing additional raid damage. Note that this has yet to be confirmed.

Thorim Video Strategy (10 man)

Thorim Video Strategy (25 man)

Freya Boss Strategy Guide

April 13, 2009 by · 1 Comment 


Looking for more amazing Ulduar strategies? Check out the complete Ulduar Boss Strategy Guide!

Freya is the 9th boss encounter of Ulduar. She’s located in the center of the valley in Ulduar.

Freya Boss Abilities

  • Health Points: 4,200,000 (heroic), 1,400,000 (normal)
  • Sunbeam – Deals 10,638-12,362 nature damage to all enemies within an 8 yard radius of the target. 1.5 second cast time.
  • Nature’s Fury – Applied to an enemy target for 10 seconds. Deals 4,625-5,375 nature damage to all nearby players everyone 1 second.
  • Touch of Eonar - Heals Freya 24,000 health every 1 second
  • Attuned to Nature - Fight starts with 150 stacks of this buff. Each stack increases healing on Freya by 4%.
  • Photosynthesis – Heals plant life for 10,000 damage every 1 second.

Freya Boss Strategy

Upon engaging Freya she will begin spawning adds. These adds heal Freya through a self buff system. At the beginning of the fight Freya will ahve 150 stacks of a buff, each stack increases healing done on her by 4% (600% total). Each time you kill an add one of these buffs is removed.

Phase 1

Adds spawn every minute.

  • Wave Type 1
    • Storm Lasher – Casts area effect lightning damage in a 15 yard radius. Also casts chain lightning that hits up to 4 targets.
    • Snaplasher – Stacking debuff upon dealing damage, increases damage by 1% and reduces speed by 1%, stacks up to 99 times. As this reaches a critical mass stack you’ll need to kite these.
    • Ancient Water Elemental - Frontal cone tidal burst, deals 8,000 damage. Face these away from the main raid body.
  • Wave Type 2
    • Detonating Lasher – Spawn around Freya in a circle in packs of 12. Reduces Freya’s healing buff by 2 stacks per mob.
  • Wave Type 3
    • Ancient Protector – 1,900,000 health points, removes 25 stacks of Freya’s buff.  Also cast conservator’s grip, which prevents attacking and casting spells.
    • Stand under the healthy mushrooms to remove conservator’s grip.

Phase 2

During phase 2 no more adds will spawn. At this point it’s essentially just a tank and spank fight. Freya has the same abilities as in phase one. In addition, she also had lifebinder’s gift…trees spawn around freya every 30 seconds, kill all of these within 15 second duration or they will heal Freya for 15%.

Freya Hard Mode Strategy

To complete Freya on hard mode you must leave the Elders up. Each elder provides an additional buff, similar to the way Sartharion’s drakes worked.

  • Elder Brightleaf - increases magic damage dealt by Freya and her adds by 50%
  • Elder Stonebark – increases physical damage dealt by Freya by 50%
  • Elder Ironbranch – increases physical damage dealt by Freya’s adds by 50%

Freya Video Strategy (10 man)

Coming soon…

Freya Video Strategy (25 man)

Mimiron Boss Strategy Guide

April 13, 2009 by · 2 Comments 


Looking for more amazing Ulduar strategies? Check out the complete Ulduar Boss Strategy Guide!

Mimiron is the 8th boss encounter of Ulduar. He’s located in the Spark of Imagination. Mimiron is the builder of Flame Leviathan.

Mimiron Abilities

  • Leviathan MKII
    • Health Points: 6,970,000 (heroic), 1,740,000 (normal)
    • Napalm Shell – Deals 9,425-10,575 fire damage to enemies within a 5 yard radius. Additionally, laves an aura that deals 6,000 fire damage per second for 8 seconds in that location. 2 second casting time
    • Plasma Blast – Deals 30,000 fire damage per second for a 6 second duration. 3 second cast time.
    • Proximity Mine – Deals 20,000 fire damage. Disarmable by rogues.
    • Shock Blast – Deals 100,000 nature damage to all enemy targets within 15 yards. 5 second casting time.
  • VX-001 – Anti-personnel Assault Cannon
    • Health Points: 6,970,000 (heroic), 1,740,000 (normal)
    • Heat Wave – Deals 9,425-10,575 fire damage with an additional 3,000 fire damage per second DoT for 5 seconds to all targets within an 80 yard radius.
    • Rocket Strike – Deals 1,000,000 fire damage at a targeted location (indicated by circle on the ground)
    • Rapid Burst – Deals 3,299-3,701 damage to all targets in front of the anti-personnel assault cannon.
    • Spinning Up – starts spinning, charging up the laser barrage
    • P3Wx2 Laser Barrage – Deals 20,000 arcane damage to targets in front of VX-001, 80 yard range.
  • V0-L7R-0N
    • Shock Blast – Deals 100,000 nature damage to all enemy targets within 15 yards. 5 second casting time.
    • Proximity Mine – Deals 20,000 fire damage. Disarmable by rogues.
    • Hand Pulse – Deals 7,000-8,000 damage to all targets in front of the mob.
    • Rocket Strike – Deals 1,000,000 fire damage at a targeted location (indicated by circle on the ground)
    • P3Wx2 Laser Barrage – Deals 20,000 arcane damage to targets in front of VX-001, 80 yard range.
    • Plasma Ball - Used on the highest threat target. Deals 14,1380-15,862 damage.
  • Aerial Command Unit
    • Health Points: 4,600,000 (heroic)
    • Plasma Ball – Used on the highest threat target. Deals 14,1380-15,862 damage.
  • Assault Bot
    • Health Points: 1,000,000 (heroic)
    • Special Note: Drops an item (magnet core) that allows you to force an Aerial Command Unit to the ground.
    • Summon Magnet Core – Temporarily forces an aerial command unit to the ground. While on the ground it takes an additional 50% damage.
    • Magnetic Field - Roots the target in places and increases the damage taken by 30%. 6 second duration, can be dispelled.
  • Bomb Bot
    • Health Points:
    • Explosion – deals 9,425-10,575 fire damage to all targets within a 5 yard radius.
  • Trash Bot
    • Health Points: 110,000 (heroic)
    • No special abilities

Mimiron Boss Strategy

Phase 1 – Leviathan MKII

This phase is a standard tank and spank fight. Tank the boss in the middle of the room and have your casters and other ranged classes spread out around the  room. Make sure your ranged is at least 15 yards away from the boss, so they don’t eat shock blast. Also, be aware of the mines that will be spawning. Don’t bother disarming them, simply avoid them as most of them will be concentrated between your melee and ranged classes.

Phase 2 – VX-001, Antipersonnel Assault Cannon

The most important thing during this phase is to simply stay spread out. The entire raid should spread out around the room, making sure you have healers equally dispersed. Furthermore, everyone needs to be very aware of the rockets. These rockets will target a section on the ground, so if you see them heading in your general direction simply move 5 yards in any direction to avoid being hit.

Occasionally the boss will begin the laser barrage. If he does start spinning you should move directly behind the boss. This will allow you to avoid taking any damage from the laser.

Phase 3 – Aerial Command Unit

For this phase you will need both a ranged tank and a kiter. As soon as your ranged tank has sufficient threat range can begin attacking the boss until the first assault bot spawns.

Adds spawn at various locations around the room. A spotlight will appear on the spawn location, indicating the type of add that is about to spawn. An orange light means it’s an assault bot and your kiter will need to be picking them up. These assault bots can and should be slowed / immobilized / etc to assist your kiter. Once the kiter has sufficient threat these mobs should be burned down. Make sure you give your kiter sufficient time to build threat.

If the spotlight is green it means a junk bot or bomb bot is about to spawn. Junk bots should be picked up by your tanks. Bomb bots do not need to be tanked, they will walk around a bit and then blow up, simply move away from them and don’t get hit by the explosion.

After the assault bot has been killed he will drop a magnetic core. Use this core underneath the boss. This will pull the boss to the ground, allowing melee to DPS him for a 6 second duration (damage is also increased during this phase).

Repeat the above steps until he’s dead.

Note: turn free for all loot on during this phase to allow cores to be picked up.

Phase 4 – V0-L7R-0N

This phase is essentially all 3 previous phases wrapped into one. There are no new abilities and each phase works exactly the same, however, adds do not spawn during this phase.

Things to look for…

  • Ranged tank still must tank the Aerial Command Unit
  • Melee tank still must tank Leviathan MKII
  • Entire raid must avoid mines
  • Melee should run out to avoid shock blast
  • Laser Barrage will cast more often, be ready to run behind the boss
  • Avoid rockets, move 5 yards in any direction if they are coming towards you

In order to defeat the boss you must kill all 3 sections at the same time, otherwise they will repair. Split your  melee and ranged DPS accordingly, keep heals up, and use the above list to make sure you don’t forget anything…do these things and you’ll have your first kill under your belt

Mimiron Hard Mode Strategy

To complete this encounter on hard mode simply press the large red button in the back of the room. When engaged the boss gains “emergency mode”, which increases damage and health by 25%. To defeat hard mode you must kill this boss in less than 8 minutes.

Mimiron Video Strategy (10-man)

Mimiron Video Strategy (25-man)

coming soon!

Ulduar Legendary Mace Info

March 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Okay, so here’s what we know so far regarding the legendary mace for Ulduar.

  1. You must collect 40 Fragments of Val’anyr to get the quest to create the legendary mace
  2. The mace may only be used by paladin, shaman, priest, druidThe
  3. Weapon has a chance to proc Val’anyr Hammer of Ancient Kings. Your healing spells have a chance to cause Blessing of Ancient Kings for 15 seconds allowing your heals to shield the target absorbing damage equal to 15% of the amount healed.
  4. Quest requires you to kill an old god, Yogg-Saron. Located in the Archivum (it’s a small room behind the Assembly of Iron)

Amazing Ulduar Yogg Saron Audio

March 4, 2009 by · 5 Comments 

When it comes to voice acting in World of Warcraft…well, let’s just say it leaves much to be desired. The overall dialogue and voice overs in general typically come off as a rushed afterthought. That said, with Ulduar it really looks like blizzard is taking the voice acting to a completely new level we’ve yet to see in WoW.

Take a listen to this quick 3 minute audio clip featuring Yogg Saron from Ulduar. The overall quality and intensity of the voice over is quite impressing and adds a whole new level of immersion in the dungeon.

Badge System for Ulduar

February 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Minor blue post, but earlier today Bornakk touched on the issue of badge updates regarding the upcoming patch 3.1 and Ulduar. Essentially, the new Ulduar 10 man will drop the old 25 man badges, Emblem of Valor, and a new badge will be introduced for 25 man Ulduar.

We don’t plan to do this as it defeats the purpose of a multi-tiered emblem (badge) system. If you want emblem of valor gear right now, you can either look into groups for Naxxramas 25 or hit Ulduar 10 when that is available as that is likely how it will work.

Ulduar Video Preview

February 26, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

Finally got to take a look at the official Ulduar video preview today…impressive stuff. Aesthetically the zone looks amazing, I love the sharp contrasts between the different “wings” if you will. It certainly seems like the development team spent a lot of time really working on the textures and overall feel of the zone. It’s a nice shift from the typical …dark, gray, black and otherwise dreary look you find in most high end dungeons.

Can’t wait to actually see this place in action.