I was never one for these tabletop strategy games or D&D but thanks to WoW I have become quite a tactician. Tactics are so integrated in the game that they come into play figuring out how to down Hogger without aggroing too many of his numerous minions, to sneaking through hostile territory and avoiding NPCs who want to kill you all the way to confronting KT in Naxx or Ignis in Ulduar. The latter is especially true, Ignis is a nightmare where a knowledge of tactics is life or death. When your raid leader asks if everyone knows the tactics and you all nod heads and mutter yes, it's not actually courtesy, he or she is trying to figure out how many people will survive long enough to down the giant er ... giant.

Once upon a time all you had to do to learn the tactics was play. Wiping on bosses and the depression of death, failure and repair bills can be a great motivator. At the same time, there are few unique boss fights in WoW. They all follow some kind of pattern and sometimes phases are even borrowed from other mobs. Others, such as Shade of Aran's Flame Wreath go down in lore and legend, even getting their own ever-so-catchy (nay beautiful) theme tune. I challenge anyone to move after having heard that (I even have that in iTunes and would play it just in case my raid forgot. No one ever did.).

So I wonder, constant readers, how do you learn tactics? I can read WoWwiki, for example, until I'm blue in the face but because of the weird way my brain is wired (don't ask), the only was I can truly learn tactics is in the fight itself. Yes, there's YouTube, there's the pre-boss-fight sit down where the raid leader does a run though the fight because no one bothered to take ten minutes to do some reading up. What methods do you use?

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.

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