Interlude: Duoing Old Raids

It's not all about levelling.

Unlike me, my pet tank was never a raider when he played WoW previously, so he expressed interest in going back to look at some old raids once we were of a high enough level to do them with just the two of us. It's been a pretty interesting experience so far, with him getting to see many zones for the first time and me getting to indulge in nostalgia by boring him with stories of just how much of a pain in the arse this or that boss used to be back in the day. Here's a list of which raids we've done so far in order of raid progression, which is not necessarily the order in which we actually completed them:

Molten Bore Core: Okay, this was one was pretty boring as it was "before my time" so to speak (as I didn't start raiding until Burning Crusade) and I didn't have a lot of stories to tell beyond some vague memories of the Hydraxian Waterlords and needing special water to douse the flaming runes. We did have some fun failing at killing Core Hound packs simultaneously for a while, but other than that it was a pretty boring-looking instance with fairly boring bosses.

Blackwing Lair: The transition from Molten Core to Blackwing Lair always fascinates me because it's just such a complete change of pace in terms of how complicated the mechanics are; I can only imagine how much of a pain that must have been for raiders back in the day. Razorgore is pretty much the perfect boss to duo these days though, with one person using the orb and the other killing everything. He also gave us our first pet drop, an Unscathed Egg, which was won by me.

Vaelastrasz was the first boss to give us trouble, as we first tried him at level eighty-one or so and found that we couldn't get him down before he cast Burning Adrenaline twice, thus killing both of us. With proper cooldown usage we eventually managed to down him anyway, as I cast a quick battle res on my tank after he died, so that he was still alive when the boss finally keeled over. When we came back a second time at eighty-six, Vael didn't even get a single Adrenaline cast off before going down.

During our first visit we were also stopped dead by Ebonroc, as we couldn't outdamage his self-healing and my pet tank wasn't keen on trying a possibly long and drawn-out tank swapping strategy with me in bear form. Again, once we came back at eighty-six he gave us no problems whatsoever, and all the bosses after him also fell in quick succession.

Karazhan: Not much to say about this one other than that it was very easy. After all the trouble I remembered having trying to solo the chess event, I was grateful to have another person to help with keeping the king out of the fire though. Pet Tank also commented that the trash looked like it must have been a nightmare back in the day.

Gruul's & Magtheridon's Lair: These were also fairly boring once we sufficiently overpowered them, though it was interesting to note that High King Maulgar and his posse, as well as Mag's trash could still rack up a significant amount of damage due to the sheer amount of effects and debuffs they've got going on.

Serpentshrine Cavern: Ahh, a raid that was much beloved by me in Burning Crusade, and not just because of the mad end fight! The first five bosses gave us no real trouble, except for Karathress' minions being a bit of a pain when they were all piled up on top of each other with all their different effects and abilities (similar to the Maulgar fight). Vashj on the other hand was going to be a different kettle of fish (pun intended). I had a hunch that they had removed the tainted core's ability to root you, but other than that I wasn't sure whether the fight had been nerfed significantly in terms of mechanics, and the answer seemed to be no. Our first attempt went hilariously badly as I was atrocious at killing the regular elementals and chasing down the tainted ones before they despawned, so by the time we finally freed Vashj herself she was up to eighty stacks of empowerment. I was impressed that it still took us a little while to die! On our second attempt things went much more smoothly, but we then wiped in phase three as Pet Tank kept getting stunned in puddles of green goo and I couldn't provide him with enough healing as feral. After I went resto for our third try, we managed to overcome that obstacle too (and incidentally, Moonfire spam is actually not a bad way of killing the elementals either).

The Eye: After the trouble we had with Vashj, I knew that Kael wasn't going to be a slouch either, and I was right. The other three bosses were once again easy enough, and Solarian even dropped a little voidwalker pet that was won by my pet tank. Just like back in the day, Kael started off easy enough as well, but the phase with all the advisors up at once was just a giant mess. With only two people to eat all the various debuffs, we were basically in a state of constantly being punted around the room while stunned, disoriented, feared and on fire all at the same time, which soon led to our demise. For our next attempt I respecced resto once again and made sure to loot and equip the Staff of Disintegration to at least save us from some of all the disruptive effects - which was fine until phase four, when Kael started mind-controlling me over and over again to heal him and made me get up to all kinds of shenanigans, which once again led to a wipe. I wasn't sure whether there was any way of getting around that other than going in solo, but fortunately I found a video online that showed that simple line of sight prevents the mind control, so I just spent most of that phase standing behind a pillar, which eventually led us to victory.

Anyone got an idea up to what level old raids will be solo-/duoable once we are ninety? I'm guessing that some Cata bosses will be manageable, but probably not all of them...


  1. You'll breeze through everything in WotLK, and Ulduar is still fantastic (as long as we are talking about 10s and normals). A lot of Cata will be do'able in Duo with a tank and healer. Not the more complex or gimmick bosses like Nefarian / Sinestra / Spine. If you could find an intrepid DPS then I reckon almost everything in Cata could be done with a holy trinity.

  2. The trick to Kael'thas is to kill the first add near the far away wall, then the next add a few steps nearer to Kael, the next in the middle of the room and the last on right where it spawns. By doing it that way you should be able to kill one add before the next reaches you.

  3. I duoed most of 25-man Naxx a while back, probably before MoP, and three-manned heroic (I think?) 10-man ICC within the last year. With enough dps you should be able to one/two-man 3-drake Sarth for the mounts and achivements, too, clear all the trash but avoid the mini-bosses and burn Sarth hard. I haven't tried short-manning any of the Cataclysm raids yet so I can't speak to those but it's definitely on my to-do list pre-WoD...