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Firelands Tanking – 10M Ragnaros

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ragnaros, Lord of the Firelands

Ragnaros, lord of the Firelands, embodies the fury and destruction of the primordial infernos that forged Azeroth itself. Promised the chance to set Azeroth aflame without interference from Neptulon and Therazane, Ragnaros seeks to appease the Old Gods by incinerating the World Tree of Nordrassil.

Ragnaros is a fun fight with a lot of raid awareness required. You need to be aware of your location, the location of your raid members, and be able to move as a group as needed during phases and transitions!

It’s unfortunate that we didn’t have 1-2 more hours on Monday night to clean up our attempts–we could have had Rag dead before nerf if we had just a couple more hours (seriously). Tuesday’s nerfs made the kill bittersweet, but that’s another post for another time. Let’s talk Rag V2.0!

Group Makeup

We’ve run so many different comps on Rag I can’t even remember them all. But here’s what we took in with us to the kill:

  • Tanks
    • Protection Paladin
    • Protection Warrior
  • Healers
    • Holy Paladin
    • Discipline Priest
    • Restoration Druid
  • DPS
    • Frost Death Knight
    • Fury Warrior
    • Marksmanship Hunter
    • Affliction Warlock – Traps
    • Balance Druid

Phase 1

So Phase 1 for a tank is pretty basic. A tank (in this case, me), starts the fight and keeps Rag as he applies Burning Wound to his current target. We allow this to stack up to 3 (you can dodge/block/parry the applications, sometimes enough times that your current stacks will fall off!) before doing a tank swap. You’re keeping 6 yards between you and your co-tank during this time, and remembering to run back in after Hand of Ragnaros is cast.

While you’re watching stacks and doing swaps, your DPS and healers are having a blast (EDIT: I snerked rereading this for my fail pun) behind you, dodging lava waves from Sulfuras Smash, and dealing with Magma Traps, which, when activated, will cause the whole raid to take damage.

Our positioning for Phase 1 is as follows:

It is worth noting that only the tanks and melee will be in their respective positions for any given length of time. The ranged will be moving to dodge traps and the lava waves that spawn from Sulfuras Smash. The ranged and healer placement is a rough guess by me (I honestly have no clue where they stand as I’m staring at magma the entire fight).

Phase 1 ends when Ragnaros hits 70%, and then you get to check out the transition phase!

Phase 1.5 – Transition

The transition phases are a lot alike–there’s a bit more involved with the 2.5 transition, but we’ll cover that later.

Both transition phases have the opportunity to be one of three layouts. I have pictured them all below:

Left Hammer

Center Hammer

Right Hammer

We assign a number to the Sons of Flame so people know what they need to pick up add wise each time. Hence the numbers in the diagrams!

Sons have a buff called Burning Speed. Your goal is to DPS the Son down to 50% health, which is when he loses the Burning Speed buff. For every 5% of their health above 50%, they move 75% faster.

If Sons touch the hammer, they explode with a spell called Supernova. It does a ton of damage and will probably kill most of your raid!

The transition phase lasts 45 seconds or until the last Son dies. If a Son is still alive at the 45 second mark, he will explode and probably kill someone.

Phase 2

Phase 2 still sees Sulfuras Smash being cast and tanks still swapping due to the Burning Wound debuff. Magma traps are gone, but now you have Molten Seeds and Engulfing Flames to worry about.

Engulfing flames will cover a third of the platform and you must move out of them. Icy Veins has a good picture to describe the different zones in their guide. I recommend checking it out there.

So a pictorial representation of Phase 2:

Once Sons are dead, we are all located on the left side of the platform, as far left as we can get to drop our Molten Seeds.

So, at the start of this phase, everyone is hanging out on the left side, keeping a distance of at least 6 yards from each other. You’re dealing with Engulfing Flames (outlined earlier), so the raid will need to move as one when Engulfing Flames drops. You must be sure to stay spread out for seeds! Seeds are spawned at player locations–as soon as a seed spawns where you’re standing, you are moving across the platform as quickly as you can (in this case, you are moving to the large Diamond on the map). First rule of Molten Seeds: Don’t move until your seed has dropped! The seeds inflict up to 56K in damage each when they land–so you don’t want to stack seeds and explode your raid members by being careless.

So, we’re dodging flames on the ground, seeds that explode, and running across the platform!

When the seeds explode, they spawn little adds that are going to beeline to your raid team. The tank that isn’t tanking Ragnaros can pick them up while your raid AoEs them down. Usually we have done a tank swap right after seeds drop (so we’re in motion swapping)–I pick Rag up when he resurfaces for Phase 2, tank him until seeds drop, cotank moves and grabs Rag, I pick up adds, they get AoE’d down, and then I move to the far RIGHT side of the platform to taunt again.

At this point, your raid team should be a mirror of what they looked like on the left. Everyone is still doing the same thing (dodging Engulfing Flames, spreading for seeds, etc.) until seeds drop. Once the seeds spawn, we’re moving left across the platform to the moon, which you’ll notice is much further up on the platform to Rag. We’ve discovered that Rag will drop his hammer right where we stack. So we all go hug Rag, dodge the hammer, and burn down our adds.

You’ll keep repeating these actions until Rag is pushed to 40%!

Phase 2.5 – Transition

The 2.5 Transition sees exactly the same activity for your raid team. The one difference is that you have some new adds for the tanks to worry about.

During Phase 2.5, Lava Scions spawn, 1 in each of the large circles on the platform. In our raids, I grab one Scion and the other is misdirected onto me by our hunter on the other side. I mark one of the Scions for instant death and the DPS begin attacking it as soon as their Son of Flame is dead.

Lava Scions will randomly cast Blazing Heat on members of the raid, and the recipient will want to run their flames out to the back of the room. Very easy to deal with.

Hammer positions again:

Left Hammer

Center Hammer

Right Hammer

Like the first transition, this lasts 45 seconds or until all the Sons are dead.

Once again, the hammer can end up in any of the three positions listed above. Your team needs to be ready to burn adds no matter where it falls.

And then you’ve just got to push the final 30%!

Phase 3

Phase 3 can pretty much be summed up with Yakety Sax. I honestly have no freaking clue what happens on this phase, aside from Aldous, AKA the Boozekin, telling me that Rag’s balls are involved.

So, how Phase 3 appears to me (and probably the raid team):

As a tank, you’re still swapping on Rag for the Burning Wound debuff. At this point you should only have 1 Scion alive as well, so tanks are swapping mob responsibilities.

We have DPS burn the remaining Scion and then go full force against Rag. Killing the final Scion removes the Blazing Heat debuff from the equation, so you’re only worried about dodging Rag’s balls as well as the ongoing Sulfuras Smash AND Engulfing Flames (as if you didn’t have enough to worry about).

Meatballs, otherwise known as Living Meteors, will fixate on a player and follow them. If the meteor touches a player, it explodes. So basically, if you get linked, you want to run away from the raid and gently hit Rag’s ball away from you so it will fixate on another player. Make sure you don’t run your meatball into your tanks, your healers, or another pack of DPS. Basically, don’t run it towards ANYONE.

Rinse and repeat until Rag hits 10%, and your loot falls at your feet!

Conclusion

Once you get used to what this fight looks like, it’s pretty repetitive.

A couple things to note:

Our World of Logs can be found here from our kill.

  1. September 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm | #1

    Great writeup! One thing my prot warrior co-tank and I found was helpful was simply swapping tanks whenever he cast Sulfuras Smash – we generally found ourselves at 4-5 stacks, but it gave us one less thing to have to worry about in terms of tracking debuffs on the other tanks, and our healers (R. shaman, R. Druid, H. Pally) said that it wasn’t a noticeable difference in damage. Just a thought!

  2. September 27, 2011 at 10:53 pm | #2

    Holy Wrath also stuns Scions and Moltens.

  3. Mittenz
    September 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm | #3

    That’s totally not our healer positioning in phase one :P Me (priest) and Anti (pally) are basically the minimum distance away from each other on the diamond raid marker (it’s there for P2 but we stand by it on P1). And then a trap lands on one of us and I end up on that far right healer marker and derp and forget to move back for half the phase.

    Brackets for people that don’t know us.

    Also argh I posted on some non-wow blogs as Mittenz because wordpress saves my info or firefox auto-completes it or something ><

    • September 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm | #4

      As you can tell, I don’t have a freaking CLUE where you guys are for those phases, lol. I just know I stay alive and have shields and penances, which make me a happy Paladin! <3

      • Mittenz
        September 29, 2011 at 9:23 pm | #5

        :>

  4. Mittenz
    September 28, 2011 at 6:13 pm | #6

    Zo mah gawsh they are not meatballs they are crunchy strawberry fireballs!

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